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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - Depressed About WWE Royal Rumble 2017 & Wrestlemania 33, Monday Night RAW Thoughts
By Mr. Tito
Feb 1, 2017 - 12:03:57 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

So I'm posting here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com and I'm just wondering what the hell WWE is thinking with their Wrestlemania planning. Since my return to writing wrestling columns during 2010, the Royal Rumbles have underwhelmed in terms of adequately setting the table for Wrestlemania. In the past, the Rumble Match definitively set-up the #1 contender for the World Title match at Wrestlemania... But since 2010, eh... Del Rio in 2011, Sheamus in 2012, Batista in 2014, Roman Reigns in 2015, and now Randy Orton for 2017. I'd argue last year as well as Triple H only won the WWE Title just for Roman Reigns to win it.

Because the Royal Rumble Match has been poorly booked, the WWE Creative Team has to often make corrective bookings between the February/March Pay Per Views and/or hot fixes on RAW/Smackdown. Just look how messy 2014 was with Daniel Bryan being shoved into the Batista vs. Randy Orton match at Wrestlemania 30. We'll see if the WWE course corrects after hearing the MASSIVE BOOS by the San Antonio, TX crowd. Wrestling fans in Texas don't troll, too... Thus, those massive boos for Roman Reigns throughout the entire night and then Randy Orton being booed heavily for winning the Rumble.

In the past, the Rumble Match Winner was clear and present... The fans were banging down the WWE's door to see Steve Austin win the Rumble during 1998 and guys like Batista were ready to win it during 2005. Who wants to keep seeing Randy Orton pushed towards a World Title? Who was begging the WWE for that? Did they enjoy his run as a Tag Team wrestler for the Wyatt Family so much that it warranted a World Title run? Or better yet, how has his TWELVE WWE World Title reigns helped his career and/or drawn with WWE fans? 12 reigns since August 2004 and why does he potentially need another? Why does Randy Orton need the "Royal Rumble Rub" by winning the Rumble Match? From the many, many Main Event pushes that Randy Orton has received since 2004, what does he have to show for it? FACT is that his last few reigns on the Smackdown brand during 2011 and then his reigns during late 2013/early 2014 actually LOST viewership. Add that to the fact that Orton has become injury prone with time and, well, he can get time off for other things...

Sorry, but I DO NOT want Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker. Not when we could have had Undertaker vs. John Cena which was reportedly cancelled despite being WWE's booking plans for Wrestlemania through late 2016. Not sure if Vince McMahon is pissed off at Cena for his part-time status lately, especially on the sagging Houseshow circuit... But I do NOT want Undertaker vs. Roman, particularly if Roman Reigns is booked to win. NO THANK YOU.

Like Orton, Roman Reigns has been handed opportunity after opportunity... So I ask again, what does he have to show for it? It all started during early 2014 when Roman Reigns became the first Shield member to defeat CM Punk in a singles match. Before that during late 2013, CM Punk reported that multiple WWE officials came up to him and said "make Roman Reigns look good" during a Pay Per View match. Roman was runner-up during the 2014 Rumble Match, was scoring the pinfalls in the Evolution match-ups, and then received 2 WWE Title shots immediately after the Evolution feud ended. He goes on to beat Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2014 in a terrible match and then gets injured. Yet, despite the time off, he still wins the 2014 Slammy for "Wrestler of the Year". Wins 2015 Rumble Match and was booked to win at Wrestlemania 31 until Brock Lesnar signed a new contract. Plus, everyone was booing Reigns out of the building. Some midcard action for a while during mid 2015 but then it was back to the MEGA PUSH through late 2015 with multiple WWE Title reigns and then beating Triple H for the WWE Title at Wrestlemania 32. RAW's viewership, under Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns as Champions went from averaging around 4 million viewers during early 2015 to now being at or just below 3 million viewers. FACT!

And of course, after losing cheaply to Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble thanks to loads of interference by Braun Strowman... Roman Reigns is allowed to enter the Royal Rumble as the #30 participant to be able to (a) eliminate the Undertaker and (b) be runner-up in the Rumble. Excuse me, could someone tell me why AJ Styles wasn't allowed to enter the Royal Rumble? How could one obtain a Rumble spot if one already had a World Title shot? Hmmmm... (Yes, I know that it may have happened in the past).

Despite how HARD the WWE has repeatedly tried to push Roman Reigns and Randy Orton as top guys, THEY HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. Lower viewership with both guys on top since I returned during 2010. The NUMBERS DO NOT LIE.

So yeah... Depressed about Wrestlemania 33. I'm not too thrilled about this potential Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker match or Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Title. Both were TAG wrestlers on the thin Smackdown roster. Seriously... Couldn't we see Bray or Randy at least challenge for the WWE Title once or twice instead of seeing AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose 10438948283 times on Smackdown Live?

THIS SUCKS... WWE had John Cena vs. Undertaker ready to serve up on a silver platter for Wrestlemania 33, but nooooooooo... Vince and the Dogpatch crew backstage have to keep lusting over how Roman Reigns looks. Assuming that Undertaker doesn't break a hip during Wrestlemania, it's probable that we'll see Cena vs. Undertaker headline SummerSlam 2017 instead. That's not a bad idea, but you need to save your best for Wrestlemania. I bet that Vince McMahon feels that Goldberg vs. Lesnar will draw enough for Wrestlemania 33 and that they can save that special Cena/Undertaker match for SummerSlam instead.

I'd love to be happy about John Cena being WWE Champion again, but the current plans are for him to probably drop the WWE Title at Elimination Chamber 2017 to Bray Wyatt. If I were booking, aside from the Cena/Undertaker match, I'd have AJ Styles reclaim his WWE Title at Elimination Chamber and then have John Cena win #17 at Wrestlemania 33 against AJ Styles. Then, for their 5th match on a Smackdown exclusive Pay Per View, we could see an IRONMAN MATCH or BEST 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS match between Cena and Styles... The 5th, and deciding Pay Per View match-up, winner take all...

Nah, instead let's book AJ Styles against the 40+ year old backyard wrestler named Shane McMahon. I know, he drew for Wrestlemania 32 against the Undertaker, but everyone wanted to see him fall of the cage and nearly kill himself. You can only pull off that magic trick just once and he hasn't been drawing as Smackdown's Commissioner ever since. How did his Survivor Series appearance go as a wrestler again? Yeah, those shows were poorly rated surrounding that show.

Just kick me in the balls as a wrestling fan, please... I'm getting very close to protesting with my wallet again because I'm TIRED of poorly booked Wrestlemania shows. Know what show has actually been consistently one of the strongest shows since 2010 when I returned to writing? Money in the Bank... Yay, can't wait for Summer. SummerSlam has been pretty good lately, too... I really liked this past year's Survivor Series, so there's that too... Sigh.

Anyone badmouthing John Cena as World Champion again simply needs to re-read my October 6th, 2016 Column were I PROVED that Cena was a DRAW as World Champion. Used statistics and I scientifically proved that Cena added to the ratings in a statistically significant fashion. Many of you seem to forget how much RAW's viewership decreased from 2000 to 2004. Major decline but yet Cena as WWE champion on RAW during 2005-2006, DREW ratings. During the periods of time where he was World Champion, statistics proved that he drew higher viewership than other wrestlers who showed NO movement in ratings or DECLINED viewership. He showed growth... As a recent sample, ratings went up when he was champion during 2013 and then they crashed hard in 2014 after he was squashed during SummerSlam 2014 against Brock Lesnar. He hasn't been champion since until Rumble 2017. The viewership decline between late 2014 through late 2016 speaks for itself (1 million viewers more lost!).

I'm SO DAMN TIRED of many wrestling fans taking John Cena for granted or badmouthing him at any cost. What, did you not enjoy Cena putting over your heroes CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ Styles when NOBODY else would? Furthermore, Cena has mostly done it on his own... He didn't have a second top draw guy like Steve Austin had in the Rock and Hulk Hogan had with Andre/Savage/Piper/Warrior. As I've already discussed, Orton is a DUD as a Main Event draw. Edge was probably his best drawing sidekick, to be honest, but Cena and Edge were kept away from each other after 2009. Probably Brock Lesnar too, but Lesnar is part-time. That SummerSlam 2014 squash of Cena by Lesnar was a BIG mistake in hindsight.

Funny how the SAME haters of John Cena are also hating on Roman Reigns... It's quite evident that Cena haters can't appreciate what's in front of him. What happens when John Cena is officially gone from the WWE? Ditto with the Undertaker who isn't getting any younger and Brock Lesnar's contract is up in 1 year. You can hate on John Cena all you want, but there is NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING on the WWE roster who can replace him as a top babyface draw. We have THREE YEARS of sample data on Roman Reigns as being pushed as a Main Event babyface and nothing but declining business. I 100% guarantee that the SAME Cena haters will immediately change their tune once he's officially gone.

One last thing on this post-Royal Rumble 2017 rant... I'm SICK and TIRED of everyone automatically assuming that Roman Reigns will be FIXED if he turns HEEL. Huh? What are you talking about? For one, he was a HEEL before during 2012-2014. He just stood there and nodded his head, letting Dean or Seth speak for the Shield. Where is Roman going to get a personality from? Where is he going to get a strong public speaking ability from? How about the ability to carry a match in the ring? Yeah, as a heel, you usually lead the match... For much of his matches, he just kinda waits around until he can hit those trademark moves like the Drive By, Superman Punch, Spear, or Powerbomb. He's actually quite thankful for No-Disqualification matches because Announcer Tables can get involved and that's a 5th moved added. Oh boy!

As I've said REPEATEDLY NOW for MANY MONTHS... If you want to get Roman Reigns OVER as a babyface, REUNITE the Shield. Push them as a babyface stable and let all heels (Owens, Joe, Triple H, Strowman, etc.) bring it on. Hell, I'd root for the Shield if they reunited. Count on it! I LOVED that Shield vs. Evolution feud during 2014.



First of all, I love how Anderson & Gallows have called people "nerds". That brings me back to one of my favorite comedies of all time, Revenge of the Nerds where the Jocks didn't hesitate to humiliate anyone who cared more about books/computers than athletics. In particular, there was a large individual named Ogre who became famous for going crazy in the presence of "nerds". I'd laugh if they start wearing red Letterman's jackets. It's something, folks... Anderson & Gallows need some identity. Making them bullies of some sort doesn't hurt instead of them just being two guys who once wrestled in New Japan or were friends with AJ Styles. I enjoy the mixed 6 person match... Good follow-up booking from the Rumble and it let ladies mix it up with the guys during the backstage promo. Highly entertaining.

Secondly - Samoa Joe. I'm HAPPY that he's finally in the WWE and sincerely hope tha the gets pushed... BUT, consider this. Joe has been a pro wrestler since 2000 and wrestled for NXT during 2015-2016. During that entire time, notably the last 10 years, Vince McMahon could have easily had Joe on his WWE roster. Joe was much better during the 2000s in his prime and when healthy, but Vince had no interest in signing him. Then, when he arrives to WWE, he's stuck in NXT for 2 years. Joe more than proved himself there and probably helped that brand grow considerably. But it's only until now that he's joining the WWE roster? I don't know folks... AJ Styles didn't have to take an NXT trip but Joe, who was equally as accomplished (besides New Japan), needed 2 years in NXT to "learn the WWE style of how to work". And the WWE called up many NXT wrestlers last year...

Just saying... Don't get your hopes up with Samoa Joe. I'm not trying to be negative here, but I've seen how Vince McMahon operates. That's why I worry that Shinsuke Nakamura remains in NXT despite his world class efforts and reputation from New Japan. WWE needs him on the main roster and yet he's stuck in NXT.

Why did it take SO LONG for Seth Rollins to get revenge on Triple H anyway? HHH attacked him during August 29th, 2017 and we're just NOW getting something happening between the two? Ugh... The Seth Rollins character just floundered for 4 months, barely even mentioning his hatred for Triple H or desire for revenge. What a wasted opportunity to possibly transition him into a babyface. Instead, nothing but confusion about that character for 4 months.

Cannot stand Stephanie McMahon talking down everyone in sight. Just too strong and she never "gets hers" as a heel should.

I like the storytelling of Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg, but I just wonder how good the Wrestlemania 33 match could be. Probably kept short... Props to Lesnar for letting himself look vulnerable against Goldberg which is doing nothing but help Goldberg as a draw. Because LORD KNOWS those promos on the mic aren't for Goldberg!

I was SHOCKED that the WWE actually remembered what happened on a previous show to set up Kevin Owens vs. Braun Strowman for the WWE Universal Title. I'm not going to lie... Braun is growing on me... He just goes out there and plays the part as BIG HOSS... Very convincing. Looks OK in the ring. Not a bad promo. LOVE that theme music... Sounds like GWAR, man... As for the match, FINGER OF SHAME for the WWE making Kevin Owens come out FIRST as World Champion for the second straight night. What the hell, WWE? You don't see Orton, Cena, Reigns, or Lesnar coming out first as World Champions. Well, I guess there was a reason to come out first because Braun immediately attacked Chris Jericho at the announcer's table. That was great! Owens is now terrified and is taking a beating and pretty much was dominated during the match... But you can guess what happened, Roman Reigns attacks the guy as revenge for the Rumble and also spears Owens for good measure. Booed heavily, of course... "Been an incredible 24 hours for Roman Reigns" as the idiot Michael Cole said.

OK, it's time to give praise where it's due... I'm becoming a big fan of Braun Strowman. He's good, folks... He's in incredible shape, he sells moves, and he now looks and acts the part. You have to give Vince McMahon credit for seeing something in the guy. Strowman gets the "Tito stamp of approval". He's the kind of HOSS that would benefit from another HOSS putting him over... Like the Undertaker.

SHOW THOUGHTS: Once again, the edits for Hulu pay off... YIKES @ what I missed once again. I'm telling ya, folks, the Hulu RAW is the BEST RAW to watch because it normally blocks out all of the worst parts of RAW. Personally, I thought it was a good show that advanced a few characters in the right direction. [ A- ] As I keep preaching and preaching, move Dean Ambrose to RAW (move Sheamus & Cesaro to Smackdown) and REUNITE THE SHIELD. Look what Reigns did tonight... Attacked TWO heels in Strowman and Owens and was booed heavily. Makes NO sense... Hell, reunite the Shield at Wrestlemania 33 to help Roman beat the Undertaker for all I care...

Hey, that happened before... Remember the April 26th, 2013 edition of WWE Smackdown? Watch the video, notably the very ending where the Shield POWERBOMED the Undertaker through a Table...


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© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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