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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - RAW Continued the Messy Wrestlemania 30 Booking Trend
By Mr. Tito
Mar 25, 2014 - 2:35:07 AM
I want to dedicate this column to GWAR. It was a strange band that I followed during my teenage years and I wouldn't have followed them if I didn't see Mtv's Beavis and Butthead. I immediately bought Hell-o, Scumdogs of the Universe, and America Must Be Destroyed and I was hooked. Just amusing heavy metal music... It was my childhood... I would have to say "The Road Behind", "Sick of You", and "Dirty Filthy" are my personal favorites.
Anyway - I was watching tonight's Monday Night RAW Fatal 4 Way to determine the #1 contender match for the Intercontinental Title between Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Christian. Wait a second? All 4 guys are FORMER World Champons and they are fighting for the contendership of the Intercontinental Title? Worse yet, it's the right to fight Big E Langston (or just Big E) on the 3rd banana show of the WWE, the Main Event on WWE Network. Yeah, good for them...
Here we are, 2 weeks away from Wrestlemania 30 and all 4 of those former World Champions DO NOT have a Wrestlemania 30 match scheduled. Instead, they are fighting for a shot at the Intercontinental Title on the Main Event show. That's despite Christian and Sheamus working their asses off against each other for the past few RAW episodes and the incredible workrate that both Ziggler and Del Rio have. Just make Christian vs. Sheamus and also Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio and you've got yourself a STRONG Wrestlemania 30 midcard. If not that, why just do a Fatal 4 Way rematch at Wrestlemania 30? Did you hear how HOT that crowd was for that match tonight?
As I think about it and am influenced by my readers and peers, I'm becoming perplexed by Wrestlemania 30's booking. Certainly, I have my issues with how the WWE has handled Daniel Bryan since SummerSlam 2013 and we've written column after column after column about that (with many "I told you so" declarations). But at least in the end, I'm curious about Triple H vs. Daniel Bryan and how it will spill over into Batista vs. Randy Orton. I'm know what I'm possibly buying with those matches... But the rest of the show is becoming questionable...
I'm not going to knock the Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar booking at Wrestlemania 30. The match makes sense as the psychology is that someone as dangerous as Lesnar could legitimately challenge the Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak. Furthermore, they had that confrontation at UFC (or stare down). There is legitimate interest in seeing those two wrestle... This evening, I was Tweeting with Pro Wrestling Torch's wrestling insider, Wade Keller. For one, that blows my mind... I've been reading the guy for insider news well over 10 years now, if not the entire time that I've been Mr. Tito. But he brought up great points on how stale the Undertaker gimmick was becoming and how it was relating to hyping the Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker. At the moment, I somewhat disagreed... But the more I thought about it, he was right... WWE Creative is truly rehashing all of the old Undertaker playbook to hype this match. It's unlike last year when CM Punk used evil heel tactics like mocking Paul Bearer to hype the match.
IN MY OPINION - The WWE is so razor focused on (a) fixing Batista vs. Orton and (b) being overwhelmed by the Daniel Bryan popularity to force rewrites that they cannot comprehend booking the rest of the roster.
What Chrissssssssssssss wrote about the other day on the Andre the Giant Battle Royal was highly accurate. It's as if the WWE has nothing better to do with much of their roster, including various midcard champions, and just slaps them together in a Battle Royal. Ohhhh, but we'll name it the Andre the Giant Battle Royal so that it has meaning and Hulk Hogan will even endorse it! Come on, WWE!
Speaking of lazy booking, we now have a Divas Invitational with everyone and their mother from that division now aiming towards the Divas Title. Poor AJ Lee. Aside from being cursed with AWFUL theme music, the booking is not going her way. Her Divas Title reign is about as worthless as someone else who held a WWE Title for a long, long time... When you're the top champion, defend the damn title in high profile matches! The belt is not an accessory as it's a prize that everyone lusts over and seeks. Instead, the WWE has a boner for E!'s Total Divas and AJ takes a backseat to anyone on that show. She should walk out and join her boyfriend already. Seriously.
And that Shield vs. Kane/New Age Outlaws match... The Shield is a cutting edge gimmick that could be argued that aside from the Ohio Valley Wrestling "Class of 2002", Ambrose, Reigns, and Rollins are the greatest crop of developmental wrestlers ever called up by the WWE. You would think that they'd get some sort of rematch with the Wyatt family or maybe even a match against Swagger and Cesaro. Nope... They get Kane, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn who were trying to mock the Shield while wearing suits tonight. Mind you, the combined age of Kane and the New Age Outlaws is freakin' 141 years old (Billy Gunn is 50 years old!!)... Why not call Steve Austin, Rock, and Mick Foley to wrestle as well? Between Triple H, Kane, Undertaker, and the New Age Outlaws, we have the freakin' Attitude Era front and center here in 2014. I guess they are walking billboards for WWE Network?
Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena is doing NOTHING for me. For John Cena, he comes off of headlining 3 straight Wrestlemania shows with the Rock (technically with the Rock involved in the Miz match) to wrestling a guy who isn't 1 year removed from NXT. Don't get me wrong on Bray Wyatt... Nothing against him personally, but he's rushed. WWE has tried to push Wyatt as an instant main eventer from day one and it feels forced. Wasting John Cena on Wyatt is just a shame when say, 4 former World Champions wrestling tonight, would kill for that shot. Aside from working with Daniel Bryan, and anyone looks great with him, his ring work isn't proving worthy for the shot against John Cena. Yet, the WWE wants to rush this guy to the top. For what? They are doing the same thing with Roman Reigns and Big E, both of which have had plans scrapped because someone came to their senses (Big E was going to turn heel and wrestle John Cena at a Pay Per View late last year).
WWE has put the rest of the roster on auto-pilot while trying to figure out how to fix the broken Batista vs. Randy Orton match while also dealing with Daniel Bryan's surging popularity. Before SummerSlam 2013, Vince McMahon and Triple H assessed that Randy Orton was the top guy and not the fan favorite Daniel Bryan. The result was less than 24 hour title reigns for Bryan and Orton being pushed to become the WWE Heavyweight Champion. Then, Batista returns after a 3 year absence and with an upcoming Marvel Comics film coming out in August, the WWE expected a Rock-like reaction to his return. In reality, the reaction has been flat to VERY negative. Orton vs. Batista was supposed to be the Main Event at Wrestlemania 30. But it was bombing quick!
Daniel Bryan reportedly went from an ending program with the Wyatts to Sheamus to now Triple H, thanks to CM Punk's walkout, for Wrestlemania 30. Plenty of rewrites... Furthermore, if Daniel Bryan beats Triple H, he's somehow inserted into the Batista vs. Randy Orton WWE Title Match. Well, what the **** is the point of the Royal Rumble then? Making booking matters worse (though I think it adds greatly to the "sense of urgency" to this event), Triple H could also get a WWE Title shot if he wins. Again, what in the blue hell is the Royal Rumble for if others can steal a WWE Title shot at Wrestlemania?
Point being is that WWE Creative is MESSY. Late during 2013, the WWE did the switch to Triple H becoming the head of creative while Stephanie assumed more of a corporate role. But guess what? Nothing has changed... Messy, messy, messy... No long-term plans, plenty of rewrites, and lots of recycling to hype Wrestlemania. Even if Stephanie has lessened her role as the Creative lead, Triple H is still around as are the same old cast like Michael PS Hayes and all of the loyal failed soap opera writers. Vince McMahon is still there but he doesn't have the surrounding cast of wrestling minds that he had during the late 1990's to help him (Jim Ross, Gerald Briscoe, Pat Patterson, etc.). I can imagine that Vince is frustrated with the utter bullshit scripts that he's handed that he forces rewrites. Yet, I guarantee that Stephanie and Triple H get nice job evaluations by the WWE's CEO and Board Chairman... That's the problem!
Overall, I'm hyped for Wrestlemania. I want to see Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar because the Wrestlemania streak is a draw for me and Brock Lesnar is the most interesting wrestler in the WWE today. I'm VERY curious to see what happens with Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H and then who joins the Batista vs. Orton match. Shall be interesting to see if the WWE pulls the trigger on the big Daniel Bryan moment or if they stick to the original booking of Batista winning the WWE Title. Or, Triple H could want another WWE Title run...
The rest of the show, not so much... But then again, the WWE could slap together some decent matches in 2 weeks. Or just increase the Andre the Giant Battle Royal participant count...
I would laugh my ass off if CM Punk suddenly shows up at Wrestlemania 30 to screw Daniel Bryan out of the WWE Title and the entire thing between Royal Rumble to Wrestlemania 30 was a big work just to let Punk heal up from injuries. You would have to haul me away to a mental hospital if that happens. Given the WWE Creative's track record on utter stupidity for the past year, there's NO WAY they could work us this well.
Comments and debates are welcome on Twitter. Bring it on. @titowrestling
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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