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The Excellence in Column Writing is upon you and this week, we have a WRESTLEMANIA THEMED version of “Ask Mr. Tito”. I’m going to answer general or all-time related Wrestlemania questions to give you my overall opinion of this year’s event while also discussing PAST Wrestlemania events. It shall be fun.
In case you missed it, here are my WRESTLEMANIA 37 PREDICTIONS in a column that I posted on April 6th, 2021. I go into great detail on my predictions, but I also put my booker hat on and give you my opinion on who should win as well.
Onto the Wrestlemania themed questions:
ASK MR. TITO – Your Questions, My Answers
What will be the BIG Post Wrestlemania 37 angles?
For one, I believe that a new “Superstar Shake-up” will occur to help “spice things up” during the late Spring and early Summer. Little does Vince McMahon know that his shake-ups ruin the chemistry built for each roster and in the end, he seems to lose fans each time the shake-ups are performed. THAT SAID, I believe that WWE is going to further STACK the Smackdown roster with this shake-up. I could see Bobby Lashley as WWE Champion (though I sense Drew might beat him) being sent to Smackdown and then Edge as WWE Universal Champion being sent to RAW. I just don’t think that Edge fits the vibe of RAW and Bobby Lashley is the best major opponent possible for a feud with Roman Reigns. I could see that happening.
In my mind, the match that matters the most is Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley. That will determine the creative direction of RAW for the Spring/Summer and whether or not WWE has any confidence in Drew McIntyre as Champion. Yes, he endured COVID-19 Era but WWE also had a live sports content monopoly from mid-March through July. Yet, their viewership with Drew as the top guy declined. We can only blame the live crowds for so much. Top guys need personality, charisma, and promo cutting skills to get over and if they are lacking that, get a manager (MVP helps with Lashley’s promos, like Heyman did for Lesnar). In my opinion, I’d keep the ball rolling with Bobby Lashley who is in his mid-40s and you have to keep striking the iron while it is hot. Drew McIntyre is in his mid-30s and has at least 10 good years left in him to win another World Title. The time is NOW for Bobby Lashley.
If Cesaro wins his match with Seth Rollins, that means we may finally see a Cesaro push in some sort. But I’m not keeping my hopes up whatsoever.
As for the Women… I don’t know. Sasha Banks is the #1 star of that division but even she seems a bit bored at the top of the division now because the depth of the Women’s roster is actually weak right now with Bayley not being used and Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair being out. I like Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley, but it’s too early to determine if they have any staying or drawing power. Women’s wrestling in the WWE is overrated as a draw by many fans and the FACT remains that Women’s Wrestling in the WWE has headlined just a few Pay Per Views. In fact, they mostly need a “FIRST” like “first” Hell in a Cell or “first” Royal Rumble to headline a Pay Per View or Ronda Rousey. The All-Women Pay Per View, Evolution, couldn’t even sell out a smaller arena in New York City. It truly is the WNBA for the WWE, as until we see a Women’s ONLY WWE show out there and drawing on its own, that is all you can conclude. I say that as a fan of many women in the division, but the depth is just not there. Getting outside of Becky, Charlotte, Sasha, at times Bayley, and at ties Asuka, it’s a bunch of wrestlers who look or perform the exact same.
Regardless of who wins the Triple Threat, it won’t matter for Roman Reigns. He’s the #1 star of the company and doesn’t need a title to rule the Smackdown brand as the #1 heel. People are consistently tuning in to see what he’ll do or say next as the main guy. He’s the best pure heel since Triple H during 2000 and I’d keep pushing him that way. My worry is that the live crowds returning might cheer for his new character and force a babyface turn. It doesn’t matter… With 10 years in the business now, Roman has figured out the timing, the pacing, and the patience of what it takes to be a great wrestler. Experience matters, but so does wisdom in knowing what works and what doesn’t work for your character. Furthermore, the heel persona fits who he is… He’s not that comfortable being a babyface, as you can tell that slight things annoy or irritate him. It’s the perfect attitude for being a heel wrestler, as that amplified fits closer to who Roman really is with people versus acting like a babyface. I’m not saying he is terrible to fans, but we’ve all seen him snap at people on Twitter from time to time and I’ve heard that he was a demanding teammate on the football field from time to time.
The Superstar Shake-up is what I predict will happen… If not that, a “Draft” will happen instead. Same thing.
What is your opinion of NXT defeating AEW Dynamite on the final head-to-head “Wednesday Night Wars” meeting?
It spells doom for AEW Dynamite, for sure. I wrote a column previously on this topic called Statistical Findings on AEW Dynamite’s Viewership on March 3rd hear at NoDQ. Just read that and you’re good.
If you didn’t read that, I can report that I found a significant finding that AEW and NXT’s viewership numbers were POSITIVELY related. In other words, when one show’s viewership increased, it was likely that the other show’s viewership increased. When one show’s viewership decreased, it was likely that the other show’s viewership decreased. What it tells me is that casual wrestling fans loved having CHOICE on Wednesday Nights. Having the ability to flip between 2 shows is great, as you can jump from show to show to avoid awful matches or segments. Now, with just 1 show to watch on Wednesday night… That choice isn’t there.
AEW did 700,000 viewers last week and under 700,000 viewers this week. You could easily argue that NXT Takeover happened this week, but what is the excuse last week?
Tony Khan, aka “Booker of the Year” as deemed by the heavily biased Wrestling Observer Newsletter, needs to do better. His EVP managers need to do better. Sorry, but this whole “Impact Invasion” angle is a TOTAL BUST and having Kenny Omega as your top guy is proving to be as well. As I’ve said many times, you go from New Japan wrestling and participating in multiple “Match of the Year” candidates to being a laughing stock without that New Japan system. It’s seriously time to consider putting the title back on Jon Moxley who despite having the COVID era, he kept numbers stable and 3rd Quarter 2020 was really good for him as champion.
What do you think about Becky Lynch’s Social Media post that hints at a “NIGHT ONE” Wrestlemania 37?
In case you missed it, Becky Lynch posted a picture of her weight training with eight words with the first letter of each eight words spelling “NIGHT ONE”.
If Becky Lynch appears anywhere near that Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks match, the WWE must publicly apologize. This virtue signalling of having their “first minority women Main Event of Wrestlemania” goes down in flames. First of all, Bianca and Sasha are NOT headlining Wrestlemania… They are headlining the FIRST NIGHT OF IT. The true headline is whatever occurs on the 2ND NIGHT. In the history of Wrestlemanias, only Wrestlemania 36 and Wrestlemania 37 have been held on separate nights and all indications is that Wrestlemanias 38 and 39 will return to being a 1 night show.
But anyway, if Becky Lynch even tries to ruin the parade of Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks, the WWE has zero credibility ever bragging about a “first” again. If this match is somehow converted into a Triple Threat, then the WWE Corporation was just made into a bigger joke. Now, that isn’t to say that Becky couldn’t make it a better match. Daniel Bryan being added to Roman vs. Edge will make that a better match, probably… But that’s not the point. When you win the damn Royal Rumble to earn the #1 Contendership, THAT SHOULD F’N STICK!!!!!! Just ask Becky Lynch who during 2019 had Charlotte Flair inserted into her Women’s Title match with Ronda Rousey. It’s ridiculous.
The bigger issue here, however, is cultural moment that the WWE wants to push and that is the first “Wrestlemania night ever to be headlined by 2 female minorities”. Keep it that way and pull it off. Don’t even let Becky Lynch appear afterward and challenge the winner of that match.
With Seth Rollins on WWE Smackdown, it is painfully obvious where Becky Lynch is going to appear when she returns. But let hear appear earlier in the show to hype her return or even insert her into the Tag Team Turmoil match as a last second injury replacement.
Keep her away from the Sasha vs. Bianca Main Event… For months now, the WWE advertised Bianca vs. Sasha as something “special”. Keep it that way… Let it be a moment for those 2 ladies who EARNED that spot and worked hard to keep women’s wrestling relevant while Becky Lynch was out on maternity leave. You know, the leave that unexpectedly happened last year after Wrestlemania 36 that caused a big change in plans to create this absence. The ladies to who remained did their best to keep the ship afloat and they deserve this moment, particularly Sasha Banks who worked hard to turn her career around during 2020 and has been a major asset of Smackdown.
If Becky Lynch appears anywhere near Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair’s first night Main Event opportunity, the WWE deserves a major FINGER OF SHAME for being a virtue signalling piece of crap hype machine. Period!
I say this as a HUGE Becky Lynch supporter… But girl, you’ve been out since just after Money in the Bank last year. Step aside and let those who worked hard in your place get their proper reward at Wrestlemania. Your shadow cast on the Women’s Division needs some time to be reimplemented, anyway.
What is the BEST Wrestlemania show of all time?
You just have to go with Wrestlemania 17. It was a loaded show where most of the top matches performed while the midcard overperformed in some fashion. Because of the ending, I personally don’t live Rock vs. Austin #2 and find the Wrestlemania 15 match to be better. However, up to that heel turn, it was a fantastic match between 2 legends and it was the last time we’d see both wrestling at their peak together. TLC match was sick!!! Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit was a clinic. Chyna squashing Ivory was a great moment. Triple H vs. Undertaker was the best match on the card, in my opinion.
And then you had surprises… Gimmick Battle Royal was hilarious and great to hear Bobby Heenan back on WWE programming. Regal vs. Jericho was a great opening bout. Then, you had a crazy Shane McMahon vs. Vince McMahon match that exceeded everyone’s expectations.
There is some filler otherwise, but none of it is offensive compared to the filler of other Wrestlemania shows.
Personal favorite, though, goes to Wrestlemania 10. I’ve rewatched Shawn vs. Razor and Bret vs. Owen as a pair of matches moreso than any other pair of matches from a Wrestlemania.
Technically speaking, Wrestlemania 3 was the the “BEST” because it grew WWE’s business significantly with Andre vs. Hulk Hogan. Wrestlemania 5 was awesome too, with Macho vs. Hogan drawing the largest buyrate that stood until Starrcade 1997 finally beat it.
What is the BEST Wrestlemania match of all time?
You have to give it to Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 13, which I’d consider the BEST WWE match of all time as well. The match had it all… Perfect workrate, great psychology, amazing finish, and the storytelling was great with the heel/babyface double turn for both guys. While Wrestlemania 13 was in the tank overall as a show, this match set the WWE on fire for the rest of 1997 with Bret Hart becoming a heel and Austin now cemented officially as the top babyface of the company. The rest grew from there.
Honorable mentions for Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25, as well as Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 21. In my opinion, Angle vs. HBK has been overlooked with time but in my opinion, that is the most athletic or technically sound match that I have ever witnessed.
Many could suggest that Macho Man vs. Steamboat is the best from Wrestlemania 3, but I don’t know… I just don’t like that George “the Animal” Steele interference and it feels too short for me. Just my opinion.
Who is the MVP of Wrestlemania?
Tough question… You’ve got Hulk Hogan, who was the #1 star of the first 9 Wrestlemania shows and main evented most of them. Macho Man was among most of those plus 10, but his matches were just epic on those shows. You could suggest Shawn Michaels, but I didn’t like his Wrestlemania matches, besides Ladder at 10, for his early part of his career compared to his later part. Rock and Austin weren’t there for as many Wrestlemanias as they could have been, as injuries or Hollywood stopped them. John Cena has had good matches at Wrestlemania, but SummerSlam seems to be where he pumps out “Match of the Year” material.
Oh yeah, there is this guy with a Wrestlemania Streak…
Undertaker = MVP of Wrestlemania
And not just for the streak, but MANY great matches during that Streak. That is what many of you missed with my Supernatural Column… Undertaker got away with using special effects and theatrics BECAUSE he had great matches consistently. Hell, for almost 30 years!!! Bray Wyatt struggles to pull off great matches unless it is hardcore brawling style or with Daniel Bryan. He has been AWFUL in the ring as the Fiend, period, and you all know that.
Undertaker had AMAZING matches versus Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Batista, Edge, AJ Styles, Kane, etc. at Wrestlemania and I would even argue that his bouts with Sid and Kevin Nash were tolerable.
It’s not just longevity that matters, but how you perform in big spots. That’s what she said.
What is the BEST moment in Wrestlemania history?
Anything involving Macho Man Randy Savage from 1986 until 1992. That storyline of him being an abusive boyfriend, then redeeming himself to become a well liked babyface and WWE champion… Then the Mega Powers colliding for Wrestlemania 5 and then redeeming himself after Wrestlemania 7’s retirement. Then, at Wrestlemania, he defended Elizabeth’s honor by wrestling and defeating Ric Flair for the WWE title. That stuff gets to me, man, as an older wrestling fan.
Macho and Elizabeth reuniting at Wrestlemania 7, though… Come on man, you cannot tell me watching that as a kid that you weren’t emotional seeing that reunion.
If you could change one thing about any Wrestlemania outcome, what would it be?
I have a few on this one, to be honest… Austin HEEL turn at Wrestlemania 17. HUGE mistake, as it finished off Steve Austin’s career 2 years earlier than he thought. How can everyone’s hero join up with the boss that he was challenging for 3 years prior to that show? Just idiotic.
Both Booker T at Wrestlemania 19 and Randy Orton at Wrestlemania 25 should have defeated Triple H. Both guys were primed and ready to grow as WWE superstars at those moments but Triple H’s stupid Pedigree killed both of their careers at that time. Booker T endured legitimately racist storylines with Triple H before Wrestlemania 19 and he wasn’t allowed to redeem himself? Then for Wrestlemania 25, it was Orton’s time to finally overcome HHH… And he didn’t.
Many will say “Rusev vs. John Cena” and then I’ll point to AEW Dynamite recently.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.
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