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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - RAW Under 3 Million Again, How to "Fix" Roman Reigns, and Bullet Club
By Mr. Tito
Sep 27, 2017 - 12:19:46 AM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

Welcome back to the most genuine and authentic column experience that you'll find online, MR. TITO STRIKES BACK exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. Heading into 19 years, you've received nothing but brutal honesty without any filter about professional wrestling. Writing this 100% voluntarily and at my own discretion, there's no agenda here. Legit wrestling opinion that you know is mine and mine alone.

And I'm also consistent... I've called the WWE's bluff on Roman Reigns, the WWE Corporate Frankenstein, for over 3 years now. Dating back to January 2014, I wasn't impressed by Roman's match against CM Punk (My review: I'm sorry to say this, but I was not impressed by Roman Reigns first time in the singles main event spotlight. He looked clueless and green out there, as if he needed some more time in the Tag Team division. The only advantage Reigns has over most in the WWE is his look, but the ability and charisma aren't there to draw beyond that. But the WWE will try... and then I was the ONLY one to express outrage by WWE thrusting Roman to the WWE Title match at Money in the Bank 2014 following the Shield break-up. Guy was a tag wrestler who only performed moves off of hot tags and only said "you can believe that" at the end of Shield promos. Zero midcard singles experience.

The past few United States Presidents have been very polarizing and divisive while their election margin of victories have been thin. Several have become President by losing the popular vote, some have been under 50% and still won... But with that, each of the last few Presidents have tried to run their agenda as if the voters gave them a mandate. No, about 50% voted for you and 50% didn't.

So with that, let me utilize language by various media outlets assessing recent presidents:

- "Majority of wrestling fans didn't vote for you!"
- "I hope you fail."
- "You're not my main eventer!"

In my lifetime as a wrestling fan, I've NEVER seen a promotion force someone to the main event as hard as Roman Reigns has been pushed. Not even close and that includes other wrestler pushes were wrestlers have been outright sabotaged (CM Punk in 2011, Daniel Bryan in 2013). Roman Reigns now has WINS over CM Punk, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Triple H, Undertaker, and John Cena while defeating everyone else on the current roster. Yet the results are? Oh yeah, over 1 million RAW viewers lost and thousands of live attendance butts in seats lost since his 2014 push began.

4 weeks in a row for RAW being under 3 million. We're here and this week was supposed to be the post Pay Per View "bump".

But don't worry about that, folks... Enzo Amore will take the blame. I believe that there's a good reason why the WWE didn't purposely put Miz vs. Roman Reigns as the Main Event of RAW. WWE knew that NFL Monday Night Football had the Dallas Cowboys on the game and didn't want the NFL humiliating their Roman Empire. Thus, Enzo Amore will fall on this 500,000 lost viewer sword from the 3rd hour. Never mind that the first and second hours were barely above 3 million despite following a Pay Per View.

WWE is out of bullets, too... Roman vs. Cena is done, no rematches. Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman is done... Not much point of a rematch. WWE burned through Cena vs. Strowman on RAW a few weeks ago. We've already seen Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 31. The SCARY part is that the WWE began its downward spiral back under 3 million RAW viewers while hyping No Mercy 2017. The stacked brand specific Pay Per View failed to draw and now RAW's viewership will pay the consequences.

What I always love is "well, why don't you stop watching?"

And my answer is just like the Michael Bolton character from the movie Office Space. If you'll recall, the character Michael Bolton is upset that everyone keeps asking him if he like musician Michael Bolton's music. Then, someone dares to ask the character Michael Bolton to change his name... His response was CLASSIC: "Why should I change my name? He's the one who sucks!"

Folks, that's exactly how I feel as a wrestling fan. I WANT to watch GOOD pro wrestling, as I've argued when pro wrestling clicks, there's hardly any other form of wrestling that can top it. The WWE, to me, is the most accessible wrestling product to watch. And I've tried New Japan, Ring of Honor, TNA/GFW, and whatever else comes along. WWE is better because of it's production values and better roster than the other promotions. But its Creative and Main Event scene right now? Ugh.. But, I always stick around because I want to see the WWE promotion get it right and want to be there watching when WWE does. I WANT to watch pro wrestling and I WANT to give my time/money to it as a fan... That's why it upsets me that the other promotions can't get it right and challenge the WWE.

So why should I stop watching pro wrestling when it's Roman Reigns who sucks?

WWE is having an awful time of being a star maker right now... In addition to Roman Reigns, the Smackdown roster is dying with the former RAW jobber Jinder Mahal... Before them, it was Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, and Miz getting World Titles without drawing a dime in the midcard to earn it. World Titles DO NOT get wrestlers over. Vince Russo and David Arquette would have "saved" WCW during 2000 if that were the case. Sadly, a top drawing #1 babyface who is naturally over is what the WWE needs to get back above 4 million viewers of RAW and pack arenas for television shows.

Roman is not "the guy"... Sorry... He has had 3 years and major victories over everyone on the roster... Yet, viewership and attendance is down. Nothing to show for it on his own. There was not a No Mercy 2017 "bump" following what appeared to be a major Pay Per View. What happens next week and the week thereafter? Third hour barely got above 2.5 million this week. That's SCARY.

But you know what? I'm not here just to complain... That's not what you're here for. You're here to not only read my opinion, but see what advice that I have to give. Now, I have compiled this column before but now that Roman is seriously "the guy" in the WWE and there's no turning back (nobody else to push at this point), maybe he could be salvaged? I honestly don't see him as an Andre/Hogan/Undertaker/Austin/Rock/Cena/Lesnar class of upper tier guy... But someone like Triple H or Randy Orton who are durable and have longevity, why not? Major repairs, however, are needed with Roman in my opinion. He's been overpushed following a light resume of singles wrestling.


Let's get these out of the way first...

Captain Obvious Fix #1 - Turn Roman Reigns HEEL.
Fans cannot stand his mega babyface push. Why not embrace the boos? Heat is heat... Even better, have Vince McMahon on camera more to boast how great he is. The New Corporate Champion. Want some FACTS? Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, the Rock, and John Cena were all heel workers before they began their epic babyface pushes. In the case of the Rock, his initial babyface push FAILED and the heel turn legitimately saved his career.

Captain Obvious Fix #2 - Reunite the Shield.
Just go back and watch those Evolution vs. Shield matches... Fans were heavily into Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins who finally turned babyface as a stable during 2014. They drove the stake through Evolution and could have kept growing as a babyface trio together. Seth Rollins turned heel and Roman Reigns began his singles main event push instantly. Right now, Rollins and Ambrose are together and getting a good reaction. Adding Reigns to the fold will allow the 3 wrestlers to push the SHIELD brand... Reigns would probably received cheers with his Shield brothers and WWE could make a killing on Shield merchandise. This has become more possible recently, although Miz & his Miztourage are WEAK opponents... But Miz and crew taunting Roman with the Shield pose may signal something is coming.

Now that those are out of the way, let's get to the bottom of fixing Roman Reigns as the #1 babyface wrestler in the WWE:

#3 - Perform a physical examination on him immediately!
Something is physically wrong with Roman. If you watch his matches carefully, you'll see that he's winded fast and he's covered in sweat within just moments after the start of the match. By the end of the match, he looks as though he crawled out of the swimming pool. How does the shortness of breath issue occur when he wrestles all year long? How on earth is he sucking wind so early in matches if he's working so much? How can this be? Well, look at his football career. He was pretty good for Georgia Tech and made the All ACC Team during the mid-2000s for defense. Yet when he got to the NFL, something limited him from going further in football. Maybe it's his heart, thyroid, or something else... At the very least, there's no way he has that weak of a cardio system as a wrestler.

#4 - Ditch the Shield stuff once and for all.
Don't want to reunite the Shield? FINE... Kill the music and kill the look. The music without the intro and climbing through the crowd looks lame and it just has Roman clinging onto the past. In case you haven't noticed, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode are getting instantly over because of their ring entrance... As bad of a year that Bray Wyatt has had for 2017, his entrance is always well received. Well, why can't Roman have something cool like that?

#5 - Change the ring attire.
Can't be easy wrestling with a bulletproof like vest on and army like boots. He needs to be faster in the ring and I believe that the attire gets in the way. Plus, it's my same old argument about wrestling with t-shirts on... What do you have to hide? Look like a wrestling athlete. I do like Roman ditchng the red in his vest for the gold. Just a simple color change has improved his look. The red looked terrible! How was he a former football player yet he seems seems to move slowly in the ring. It has to be those thick, flatfooted boots. Why can't Roman get hip and wear Nike or Under Armour shoes? Something that makes him standout but also improves his footspeed in the ring.

#6 - Sell his former football career.
Part of the mystique of Bill Goldberg is his former football career. Why does he do the Spear? Well, he used to tackle offensive players for a living and was pretty good at it. Roman was close to making the NFL which is closer than 99% of football players out there. He played at Georgia Tech which should be heavily mentioned by the WWE to help draw in the South. The South loves College Football and knowing that would create some fan interest.

#7 - Sitdown Interviews, possibly with Jim Ross. Maybe Stone Cold Podcast
Remember when Mick Foley had those interviews with Jim Ross where his character described what happened to Foley when he was younger? From there, fans got to know Mick Foley and that branched his character out into giving us Dude Love, Cactus Jack, and letting him do more microphone work instead of punishing in-ring stuff. Then, fast forward to Triple H trying to get over as a main eventer during 1999. Remember how pissed off he appeared about the Curtain Call stuff? If you allow Roman to sitdown and chill... Let us get to know the person behind the Roman Reigns wrestler to show us a real side of the man. Everything seems so artificial regarding Roman and getting him to reveal more about himself could not only humble him, but letting non-fans of his to relate to him in some manner. Steve Austin's WWE Network Podcast show could work as well... Maybe have Roman prepare a little better than Dean Ambrose.

#8 - Give him a submission hold.
Almost everyone has a submission hold in addition to their regular moves. Why not for Roman as well? Something unique that would fit his character well. I've always argued that someone should use a Full Nelson, Camel Clutch combo as I've been locked into that and it's impossible to escape!

#9 - Incorporate more MMA like moves - see Undertaker during 2000s
Undertaker wasn't exactly known for his ground game or strong workrate during the 1990s, or at least he wasn't allowed to. Then, the Bikertaker emerged during the early 2000s with MMA gloves and began incorporating some offenses that he saw at UFC events into his moveset. The result? Greatly improved workrate. Honestly about Roman, he has a nice looking punch. Why not do more ground & pound moves with Roman? If he's not good at chain wrestling or restholds, just utilize more punching and more hand-to-hand combat moves on the ground to fill in the gaps of his matches.

#10 - Better Finisher
Spear, Superman Punch... Eh. Besides Rhyno, Roman Reigns is the only one who pins with a Spear. Most use it as their set-up move. Furthermore, his main finisher is a jumping punch... Eh. The highlight of the Shield was when Ambrose/Rollins held up their opponents for Roman to powerbomb. He needs a power like move like maybe something like a Swinging Rock Bottom (to honor his "cousin" Rocky) or the Dominator. Something that just pumps up the fans when the high impact move is executed.

#11 - No more scripts
No more scripted promos for Roman... Let him take personal ownership of his promos and attempt to improvise on the spot. He's too reliant on WWE's scripting on what to say that it causes "blanking out moments" which we saw against John Cena. Just give him general direction and let him shoot... Let him react to the fans as needed.

#12 - Be consistent on the facial hair.
Total nitpick here, but he never has a consistent look... Sometimes he grows in the beard, sometimes he's in-between, and then next he's clean shaven. He didn't shave for RAW last week, had a beard for No Mercy 2017, and then came out clean shaven this week. Huh? Just a minor detail but those details add up.

#13 - Let him have midcard-like feuds for now.
I like the feud with the Miz... Scales down his opponents and also gives him a chance to appear like he's working his way up the ladder to Brock Lesnar. Letting him beat on Miz, Bray Wyatt, Elias, Apollo Crews, and others to build up singles wins and in-ring experience.

#14 - Do a GOOD WWE Films production with Roman starring.
Do something unique or cool with Roman... Nothing like the typical WWE film, but something that is high octane action or something cool with science fiction. Maybe like a Predator movie where Roman is out in the jungle and blasting aliens. Maybe do a good football movie? After all, he is a former Football player and wouldn't have to act that much on the field. Something like "The Program", "Remember the Titans", or "Longest Yard". It cannot be halfassed...

And finally...

#15 - Let wrestling veterans perform consulting on Roman.
In other words, let guys like Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Steve Austin, Jim Cornette, and even Pat Patterson compile weekly reports on their opinions on Roman Reigns's work for the week. They could be just simple 1 page memos and mailed to Vince McMahon for his review. He can take their critiques and at least consider them... They could be as simple as emails sent to Vince and this type of consulting could be relatively cheap. Paul Heyman, in particular, could be used to mask Roman's weakness and emphasize his strengths. Pat Patterson can improve how he looks in matches and his finishes. Vince just needs better advice on how to build superstars compared to what is presently backstage.

Comments are welcome on this list below... And you can use my stage to add further Roman Reigns suggestions... Let's HELP the WWE.

If we're wrestling fans and we can't get away fro the crackpipe... Then let's try to make the existing product better.



Many of you don't know this, but I actually tune into Ring of Honor (ROH)'s shows on a weekly basis. I have FOX and NBC Sinclair based stations around me and their show airs both on late Saturday and late Sunday nights. I usually catch it on Sunday Night following the nightly news and often times after a WWE Pay Per View.

My thoughts? I usually don't say much on purpose about ROH because, well, I want them to succeed. Their shows to me usually have decent in-ring stuff every week but it's just lacking in the character department. Maybe I've seen too much WWE in my lifetime that I'm "institutionalized" to their style of wrestling, production, and showmanship. The quality of the picture of ROH shows is a bit blurry and their attempts to have entrances like the WWE falls short. What really bothers me about ROH shows is their arena selection for their tapings. Everybody is mocking Smackdown for tarping off large chunks of arena seats but ROH plays tiny venues that aren't always packed. That worries me.

But I wish Ring of Honor the best and I don't want to pile on any criticisms of them because I don't want to harm their promotion. I know some of the wrestlers there from past dealings and knew some of the people in the past who operated the promotion. Good people who are trying hard. I really like seeing Cody Rhodes on their shows lately as he's a talent that the WWE missed out on and could really use right now for depth on the Brand Extension.

Where I want to go with this "Last Word", however, is the Bullet Club. The timing of them trying to "invade" RAW this past week, sort of like DX invading WCW Nitro's parking lot, couldn't be better. I've had this discussion on the Bullet Club on my mind for a while and I wanted to address the Club's popularity that seems to be a tad overblown.

The Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) will tell you that the Bullet Club is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They'll tell you that "Bullet Club" t-shirts are everywhere at wrestling events and that it's drawing lots of money. Really? Because last time I checked, the 2 promotions who feature Bullet Club members regularly, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) & Ring of Honor (ROH), are on AXS television which is limited on availability on Cable/Satellite systems for NJPW and late at night on Sinclair stations for ROH. Not exactly prime time... And when Ring of Honor tried to join TNA on Destination America, that didn't go so well. New Japan had their big American show a few months ago and yet after that show, it has been kind of quiet on New Japan stuff (or at least I'm not hearing it).

Yes, Kenny Omega by himself is having a great in-ring year... But is being a member of the Bullet Club enhancing his in-ring ability? Nope... AJ Styles has been a singles wrestler without any need for a stable in the WWE. All it took was just appearing at the 2016 Royal Rumble to walk towards the ring and suddenly AJ Styles was more popular than he's ever been. How are Anderson & Gallows doing in the WWE again? Even with them calling themselves "the Club", where are their NJPW and ROH fans to help get them other in the WWE? Where are you?

And to use the New World Order (NWO) hand signal... Tisk, tisk. Black and white colors, too.

See, what made the New World Order draw was the trickery of fooling everyone that WWE wrestlers were invading WCW. Furthermore, it was felt that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were under-utilized in the WWE and joining WCW felt big. Then, turning longtime babyface Hulk Hogan into a heel was gigantic. Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, and Scott Hall were larger-than-life characters who knew how to talk. They barely wrestled on WCW Nitro yet they drew huge numbers just by talking. In fact, NWO based Pay Per View matches often didn't come close to delivering... Didn't matter. Fans liked the personalities of the group and wanted to join that group.

The Bullet Club is just a stable of good wrestlers that feel more like a NASCAR team than a wrestling stable out to change the wrestling world. To me, it almost feels like NWO wrestlers appearing on WCW Worldwide during 1998... It was the syndicated show and at a point where the NWO became bloated with WCW midcarders. Them appearing on WCW Worldwide didn't feel special and belonging to the NWO didn't help those specific wrestlers get over. I just don't see the personality or agenda of the Bullet Club that I did with other successful stables like NWO, DX, Four Horsemen, the Corporation, or even the Shield. If they did, New Japan would make a bigger splash in the United States and Ring of Honor would draw well on the many Sinclair channels that it airs.

Sure, if you like New Japan/Ring of Honor and you like the wrestlers in that stable, please by all means, support the Bullet Club. Be proud to wear their t-shirt and tell all of your wrestling fans about it. But don't around saying that Bullet Club is the greatest thing in wrestling because it's not. That stable isn't drawing for Ring of Honor and New Japan... Kenny Omega would be great without them and Finn Balor & AJ Styles are proving that they work just fine without that group.

A great stable? Ehhhh... Reminds me more of Aces & Eights than the NWO, but with some damn good in-ring workers who would be significant without the Bullet Club.

But again, if you love the Bullet Club, keep enjoying them. Just be real in terms of how much their promotions have grown (or not) with the Bullet Club on their shows.


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

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