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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - RAW Thoughts, Slammy Awards Rebuttal, and WWE TLC Pay Per View Predictions
By Mr. Tito
Dec 10, 2013 - 9:18:28 PM
Here we are for the "GO HOME" show of Monday Night RAW before the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (TLC) Pay Per View. I always laugh at how critical the internet fans are about these "go home" shows. What are you expecting on a night where the WWE chooses to rest their performers in order to be in good health for the Pay Per View? When you've reviewed WWE shows for as long as I have, it becomes common.
RAW last night was just plodding along like typical go-home shows and then the ending happened.
Wow... That ending was AMAZING! All of the former WWE and World Heavyweight Champions in the ring who were available (Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Mick Foley included!!!), a massive brawl that gave us Wrestlemania 30 of possible Triple H vs. CM Punk and Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan match-ups while also selling John Cena vs. Randy Orton well for the quickly hyped TLC Pay Per View match-up this Sunday. Then, it got real when Stephanie McMahon was accidentally bumped and it led to Triple H attacking Randy Orton to end RAW.
Phew! What a finish. THAT'S WHY WE WATCH PRO WRESTLING! When pro wrestling's manufactured drama clicks on all cylinders, not much on television can match it as entertainment.
The segment properly pushed the World Titles as something special (something lacking for the past few years), hyped TLC's main event to probably cause a decent buyrate for the December Pay Per View, and in a rare moment, Triple H allowed another superstar to get the best of him when CM Punk retaliated to Triple H's shoving. Did you hear the fans going bonkers for that? The anger over the 2011 Night of Champions Pay Per View is still there as Triple H defeated CM Punk and we never got a rematch. In fact, 2 Pay Per Views later, Punk and Triple H tagged up and Punk was pinned in that match. Oh yeah, it was against Miz and R-Truth. Ouch. Punk went from the next great superstar during mid-2011 to damaged goods by November 2011. He would win the WWE Title but would spend the next year barely main eventing RAW or Pay Per Views.
2 years later, CM Punk could seek his revenge. Fans, including myself, are still disgruntled with how Triple H and the creative team dismantled CM Punk's momentum by favoring Alberto Del Rio instead while making CM Punk lose repeatedly on the Pay Per Views following SummerSlam 2011. Heck, he lost at SummerSlam 2011 when Alberto Del Rio cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase. I'm still waiting for the explanation as to Kevin Nash's involvement. From a storyline standpoint, the WWE could actually explain Nash's role and maybe explain it as Stephanie or even Vince McMahon bringing in Nash to interfere. After all, Triple H did feud with Kevin Nash and fought him 2 years ago at the TLC 2011 Pay Per View in a decent TLC match, all things considered.
WWE is reportedly looking at CM Punk vs. Triple H at Wrestlemania 30, something I called upon the WWE to book on September 17th, 2013 "Mr. Tito Strikes Back" column for much of the reasons that I listed above. Hopefully, Triple H is willing to do business. Much of that will depend IF CM Punk has signed a new WWE deal, reportedly set to expire around June/July 2014 from his 3 year expension signed reportedly at the Money in the Bank 2011 Pay Per View event. If Punk signs a new deal, it's Triple H's duty as Executive Vice President and future CEO of the WWE to do good business and use his star to elevate CM Punk. Over the past year, CM Punk has lost matches to Kane, the Undertaker, John Cena, the Rock twice, and Brock Lesnar with the Undertaker/John Cena/Brock Lesnar matches on many fans' "Match of the Year" lists. It's time to reward CM Punk for all of his hard work and it's also time for the part-time wrestler Triple H to lose cleanly.
Problem with Triple H is this... The general feeling is that he could come back as a pro wrestler at any time and become World Champion. Despite maybe wrestling twice a year now, he's still booked as the toughest guy on the roster. No ring rust, whatsoever... Yet, he can push around guys who are full time wrestlers. The psychology just doesn't make sense and hurts the credibility of the entire WWE roster, particularly when Triple H puts the entire roster on the entrance way and talks them all down like they're chumps. Furthermore, Triple H just can't turn that wrestler mode "off". He's a company executive yet he's still actively booking himself to look way too powerful on the roster. He bullies other wrestlers and personalities around and yet he never "gets his" in the end. Much different than Vince McMahon during the late 1990's who always "got his" in the end. Eventually, Steve Austin would foil Vince's plans or get his hands on Vince. Vince would either beg for mercy or take his beating like a man. IT WAS GOOD FOR BUSINESS.
Will Triple H do that for CM Punk at Wrestlemania 30? Probably depends if a new WWE deal is signed.
Ever since Wrestlemania 26, I've repeatedly written about how Shawn Michaels will get bitten by the pro wrestling bug and do at least 1 more match. I was thinking that Shawn might do 1 more match against his friend, Triple H, but now he appears to genuinely want to wrestle his former student, Daniel Bryan, in a match. Why else would Shawn interfere in a Daniel Bryan WWE Title match or get physical with Bryan for 2 segments now? Shawn took Bryan's YES! lock and now the flying knee. In my opinion, Shawn wants a big profile match so that his kids, now 13 and 9, can see him perform now that both are older and can appreciate what he did for a living.
So let's see here for Wrestlemania 30...
- Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
- Randy Orton vs. John Cena
- Shawn Michaels vs. Daniel Bryan
- Triple H vs. CM Punk
Lastly for Monday Night RAW, how does Alberto Del Rio go from being World Heavyweight Champion to jobber to Sin Cara? I don't understand the logic in that particularly for how long Del Rio was champion and what a runt that Sin Cara is. As I predicted from day one, Sin Cara would be a bust because he was NOT Rey Mysterio. Mysterio, aside from his World Title pushes, was a good midcard character that had charisma to appeal to a wider audience. Sin Cara is a spot machine with zero personality. You can change the lights to whatever color that you wish during his matches but nothing can fix him as a small, spot hitting wrestler without any psychology.
Now, those stupid Slammy Awards...
For WWE Superstar of the Year, I'm happy that Daniel Bryan won it, but nobody has had a better in-ring year than CM Punk along with the surrounding storylines. He started off the year feuding with the Rock over the WWE Title and then turned to the darkside to create the best feud heading into Wrestlemania against the Undertaker. Then, after some time off, CM Punk returns with a different outlook in life and that upset Paul Heyman. Heyman then had Brock Lesnar attack CM Punk and one of the best matches of ALL TIME happened with CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar. Daniel Bryan had an epic rise to the top, but Punk had the best year.
For the Diva of the Year award, my girls, the Bella Twins won in a tie. Fine by me... What exactly has AJ Lee done this year to deserve it? Win the Divas Title? Big deal... Her character is too goofy and inconsistent. Bellas are the stars of Total Divas and have helped the WWE generate mainstream attention beyond anything AJ Lee has done for the company. AJ Lee's promo resenting Total Divas might have won the hearts of some critics of the Bellas, but nobody can deny their success on the freakin' E! Channel. In fact, Total Divas might help the WWE land more shows and a better deal with Comcast/USA Networks.
VERY tough category in Double Cross of the Year. I would probably lean towards Triple H turning on Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam 2013 instead of Michaels predictably turning on Daniel Bryan at Hell in a Cell. In hindsight, the HHH turn on Bryan didn't amount to much because Bryan NEVER got revenge on Triple H for that turn. Imagine that? See my paragraphs above about CM Punk and Triple H from 2011.
The Match of the Year category was utter bullshit from the WWE. Not even including a single SummerSlam 2013 match was just wrong. CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar was an all-time great match while Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena was fantastic. In my opinion, the Rock vs. John Cena at Wrestlemania 29 was a total disappointment, as was the Wrestlemania 28 match. Just nothing there for fans to remember forever.
For Insult of the Year... Yeah, I guess Stephanie McMahon should have won that with the way she advised that Big Show would die soon. OK, I'm with the WWE Universe there. That promo was cold.
LOL Moment of the Year, along with Rock vs. Cena at Wrestlemania 29 being "Match of the Year", just proves that the WWE wants the Rock to return. They're going to kiss his ass from here on out just so that the injury sustained at Wrestlemania 29 doesn't discourage the Rock from returning. Not sure what I'd recommend for this category...
I would have gone with the Shield attacking the Undertaker as the Extreme Moment of the Year, although CM Punk whooping on Paul Heyman was a good winner of the award. It's pretty impressive to maul the Undertaker like that, especially when the injury angle is sold by the Undertaker to this very day.
He's not over enough to be WWE Champion for more than 24 hours, but Daniel Bryan clearly won the Fan Participation of the Year award. Yes, because he's OVER with the fans, WWE. He doesn't reduce the fans to boredom like Randy Orton does.
OK, let's predict TLC Matches...
MR. TITO'S PHAT TLC Pay Per View Predictions!
Pre-Show Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. Fandango
Not sure which career is in better shape at this point. Dolph Ziggler went from World Heavyweight Champion right after Wrestlemania 29 to putting over Damien Sandow in a #1 contender's match for the Intercontinental Title. Then, we have Fandango whom the WWE tried to push hard but has lost steam.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Dolph Ziggler is the more experienced veteran. Fandango needs more work.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Fandango wins. Dolph Ziggler has opened his mouth about his fellow WWE Superstars, particularly the "sacred 2" in Randy Orton and John Cena, and Ziggler will thus job out the rest of his WWE career.
AJ Lee(c) vs. Natalya for the Divas Title
WWE needs to figure out how to find a strong opponent for AJ Lee. Natalya is a good wrestler and something to play off the Divas E! show, but she lacks the strong fan reaction and/or following. In my opinion, the WWE has 2 options. (1) Bring in Mickie James as a veteran for AJ Lee to compete with for good matches and to defeat for credibility (James is a former WWE and TNA Champion). (2) Tamina Snuka has to turn on her and destroy AJ Lee for the Divas Title. Otherwise, the WWE has to wait until many of the Divas just get better in the ring and wait for someone like Summer Rae to get popular enough to help carry the division. Bellas and Natalya, so far, have not proven to be top stars in that division to complement AJ Lee in the ring. Doing well for Total Divas is a different story, but in the ring, they are boring audiences.
WHAT SHOULD/WILL HAPPEN: AJ Lee wins thanks to Tamina Snuka interference and will probably help set-up Tamina vs. Natalya on the RAW shows that follow.
Big E Langston (c) vs. Damien Sandow for the Intercontinental Title
I'm actually quite proud that this match exists on this TLC Pay Per View. For years, the WWE has taken their midcard titles for granted and it's caused the WWE to be too reliant on the World Title feuds to draw. Thus, when the main event is a stinker, the WWE has nothing else on the Pay Per View because the midcard titles were taken for granted. Big E Langston has been solid since his debut and thus, I believe in his early Intercontinental Title win. At least it's not an early World Title... Damien Sandow has been on an in-ring roll lately and just overcame a good little feud with Dolph Ziggler. If only the WWE would just define a group of wrestlers as Intercontinental Title contenders instead of attempt to make believe that every wrestler can chase the World Title, the WWE could have something again on the midcard...
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: Big E Langston should retain. Give him a healthy reign while also humbling Damien Sandow. If the match is good, have a rematch at Royal Rumble.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Damien Sandow wins the belt. I think that the WWE has bigger plans for Big E Langston while wanting to see how well Sandow could draw with a title around his waist.
Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family in a Handicap Match
Daniel Bryan goes from defeating John Cena cleanly for the WWE Title at SummerSlam in a "Match of the Year" candidate to this. What a shame. Nothing wrong with the Wyatt Family other than how fast the WWE has pushed them and the WWE will probably sacrifice a guy who could have been a decent draw.
WHAT SHOULD/WILL HAPPEN: Wyatt Family wins. It's 3 on 1. Bray Wyatt pins Daniel Bryan to set up their one-on-one match in the near future.
CM Punk vs. the Shield in a Handicap Match
This match could get interesting, particularly if Triple H decides to interfere. However, the Shield now has animosity among its members and the WWE is reportedly looking at splitting the group up. The Shield is great, though... They've been awesome since day one with their gimmick and they've more than proven their worth in the ring. I'm sure we'll get a great match with Punk busting his ass once again in the ring and Reigns, Ambrose, and Rollins are always up for big matches. I figure since Daniel Bryan loses his handicap match, an accident occurs with the Shield and costs them the match.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: It's a handicap match with superior performers in the Shield. They have some legitimate wins for the past year. Punk should be overwhelmed.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: CM Punk squeaks out a win and pins Seth Rollins. My guess is that Roman Reigns spears Dean Ambrose in error and that will continue their slow break-up of the group over the next few months. Then, CM Punk can have bragging rights over the Authority for overcoming their handicap match. The CM Punk and Triple H confrontation occurs on RAW for the following night.
John Cena(c) vs. Randy Orton(c) to unify the WWE Title and World Heavyweight Championship in a TLC Match
It just seems to me that if you're going to hype a WWE World Title vs. World Title match, you need more than a few weeks to hype it up. Just randomly deciding to unite the titles after no "sense of urgency" by WWE wrestlers to merge them just seems odd to me. One would figure that the official merging of the World Titles would occur at a bigger event like Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania. Not TLC, although non-Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, and SummerSlam Pay Per Views could use a boost. I figure that Randy Orton and John Cena will have a great match and possibly be a top 5 match for the year.
WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN: John Cena wins the WWE Title and Randy Orton wins the World Heavyweight Title, a switch of titles... I believe that Triple H will declare both World Titles as "vacant" on RAW following the Pay Per View and then set up something to cause them to unite the titles at Wrestlemania 30. In my opinion, I would utilize Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber Pay Per Views to set up the 2 performers fighting for the unified title at Wrestlemania 30. The winner of the Royal Rumble match gets the first slot and then a series of tournament matches are held on RAW thereafter to determine the Elimination Chamber participants for the second slot.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Some kind of No Contest or my scenario for what should happen. To unify two titles that have been kept as separate for over 10 years in just 3 weeks seems a bit off to me. I wouldn't doubt that the WWE makes the Royal Rumble match as a battle for the unified WWE Title, the first since the 1992 Royal Rumble to fight for the World Title. Why not? That's the best Royal Rumble match of ALL time. And increase the Rumble to 40/50 wrestlers to really add a "sense of urgency" to it. Maybe then, I'll "take a bath" from Stubhub's price gouging on Pittsburgh Royal Rumble tickets.
Comments and debates are welcome on Twitter. Bring it on. @titowrestling
SO JUST CHILL TILL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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