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Posted in: Mr. Tito
MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - The WWE RUINED the Shield with Triple H Joining Them at a WWE Houseshow
By Mr. Tito
Nov 2, 2017 - 11:46:56 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

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Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. What's also exclusive to this column, at times, is logical sense about the wrestling business. The other night during the European Tour in Glasgow, the WWE just flushed their prized Shield stable down the tubes and destroyed their last ditch hope for getting Roman Reigns over. Oddly enough, it wasn't Roman Reigns's fault! Poor guy is suffering through a viral infection and this column wishes him a speedy recovery.

In case you missed it, Triple H filled in for Roman Reigns for a Shield 6 man tag team match. Not only that, HHH dressed in full black with the bullet proof vest and then joined in on the Shield fist salute with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Certainly, it was a bonus for fans attending this European Tour event...

But this move spits in the face of the WWE storylines seen for the past 3 years between Triple H and the Shield. Let's run through the storylines...

(a) Shield vs. Evolution had a heated feud that covered back-to-back Pay Per Views following Wrestlemania 30.

(b) Triple H convinced Seth Rollins to join the Authority and turn on his fellow Shield members.

(c) Roman's feud with the Authority as WWE Champion caused Roman's WWE Title to be on the line for Royal Rumble 2016. Triple H, of course, was entrant #30 to eliminate Roman to become WWE Champion.

(d) Dean Ambrose and Triple H feuded for the WWE Network event, Road Block 2016. This match was more of a one-and-done, but heated match none-the-less and Triple H and Seth Rollins were still in the Authority together (Rollins recovering from ACL surgery).

(e) Roman Reigns and Triple H headlined Wrestlemania 32. Roman won the match and in the course of the match, Stephanie McMahon took a Spear.

(f) Triple H turned on Seth Rollins to help Kevin Owens become WWE Universal Champion.

(g) Triple H and Seth Rollins wrestled at Wrestlemania 33. Triple H hasn't been seen on television since which means his character is still heel and the Authority never truly disbanded... Stephanie & Triple H just disappeared and let Kurt Angle manage RAW ever since (well, Stephanie returned on Monday).

However, at a WWE Houseshow on the European Tour, Triple H plays dress-up and teams with Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to act as the full Shield team.

Wait a second... If Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins operate as a Tag Team, aren't they called "The Shield"? Furthermore, those tickets for the European Tour... Didn't they go on sale MONTHS AGO? You know, before the Shield was officially reunited. Thus, fans on the European Tour weren't promised an appearance by the fully reunited Shield when they bought tickets.

And why can't Triple H be on the OPPOSITE team against the Shield? You know, maybe team up with the Miz for a Tag Team match (poor Miz would probably eat the pin). Thus, the Shield still wrestles as maybe promised (Ambrose & Rollins) and fans get an added bonus of Triple H wrestling. Everybody wins.

Nope... Triple H plays dress-up and teams up with the Shield.

Now you could say "it's just a houseshow" and it's "just fun for the Glasgow fans in attendance". Sure, maybe if this was the 1980s or early 1990s where the forwarding of pictures or videos would be limited... But it's not. We're in 2017 where everybody has a camera on their Smartphones and everybody is on Social Media. The SECOND that Shield + Triple H were in the ring together, pictures were posted online. Not just pictures, but video as well.

Then, to pour gasoline onto this "exposing wrestling" fire, the WWE's own website and Social Media outlets actually posted pictures AND videos of this incident. Thus, it's canon folks...

Next response by yes-man WWE fans making excuses is "but but but Kurt Angle joined the Shield temporarily". Yes he did... I thought that was ridiculous too, BUT at least Kurt Angle does not have any direct heat with the Shield. Triple H does... He caused their 2014 break-up and then made the lives of each member miserable by his HEEL actions (well, mainly Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose). And Wrestlemania 33 was just 6 months ago and there has been no reconciliation between Rollins and Triple H seen since that event. That, and the Authority still remains in power even if they have not been on camera.

And I don't care if there's a difference between "WWE Triple H" and "NXT Triple H", as some people tried to suggest that it was "NXT Triple H" who temporarily joined the Shield. Sorry folks, but that was a WWE European Tour stop and NOT a NXT European Tour stop. You are just making silly excuses.

What the WWE has lacked since the early 2000s was (a) QUALITY CONTROL and (b) ATTENTION TO DETAIL.

A magician never reveals his or her tricks or thus the "drawing power" of said magician ceases to exist because the audience knows fully what's coming. Billion dollar corporations do NOT let their meeting minutes get leaked through the media as WWE's constantly does. Somehow, wrestling insiders know full well what happens at WWE Creative and Production meetings (unless WWE is directly feeding them).

Yes, I know that pro wrestling is scripted... I knew that during the late 1980s when I CLEARLY would see wrestlers being inches away from contact when throwing punches or dropkicks. That, and as a regular viewer of boxing matches at the time (my dad was a big fan), I saw how punches were thrown and opponents didn't just wait for them. HOWEVER - wrestlers wouldn't tell you how they sold bumps, they didn't appear on vacations with their heel/face counterparts, they wouldn't be telling fans that the business was scripted on social media, and there weren't any shows like "Tough Enough" or "Total Divas/Bellas" openly talking about how the business is scripted. Hell, the NXT show "Breaking Ground" showed you EVERYTHING from training wrestlers to deciding the bookings of matches. It was unbelievable to see how much the WWE was willing to expose their business.

EVERYONE knew that pro wrestling was scripted during the late 1990s when the WWE/WCW Monday Night Wars happened. Go watch SummerSlam 1997 for the Owen Hart vs. Steve Austin match and see how phony that finish was after Steve Austin got hurt. Owen Hart loses by the WORST pin in the history of mankind! Then, look at the New World Order... Kevin Nash & Scott Hall were sold and acted like they were legitimately under WWE contract and were invading WCW. You didn't see either guy speaking about "the process" on a WCW documentary or going on Late Night talk shows to talk how they set up matches and storylines. NO! When you saw Hall and Nash make appearances, they were in full character and didn't let up! As bad as the Eric Bischoff/Hulk Hogan vs. Jay Leno/Diamond Dallas Page feud was, you still saw Bischoff and Hogan acting in full character on Leno's Tonight Show to sell that feud as if it were real.

Now, all WWE personnel repeatedly expose the business by talking openly about it on Social Media, public events, WWE Network documentaries, WWE reality shows, podcasts, you name it... Since the early 2000s, the WWE Corporation has heavily advertised how they do their "magic tricks" and they let any closed door meeting notes to be leaked to the wrestling press (well, 3-4 insiders).

The result? WWE Monday Night RAW could do between 6-8 million viewers, depending on what happened on the show, during 1999-2000. Now? We're beginning to become consistently under 3 million. WWE live events used to sellout 20,000 seat arenas in minutes during 1999-2000. Now? They are lucky to get 10,000 for RAW television shows and minor Pay Per Views. As they repeatedly raised prices on Pay Per Views, their viewership on those tanked and it forced them into a monthly $9.99 WWE Network streaming service (which I enjoy). WWE lost a Pay Per View cash cow not just from their foolish price antics but from a reduction in quality.

They have repeatedly been telling their customers how the wrestling "magic tricks" are done and in the words of Jim Cornette, wrestlers have to work extra hard to get fan's attentions. That's why you see more spots in matches these days... Everybody does dives through the ropes. We have repeat announcer's table spots. Much more top rope moves than ever and WWE really likes when Shane McMahon is willing to be a dumbass and risk his life for the sake of a Pay Per View match. WWE Corporation won't let you do headshots, but the rest of the body is fair game.

But let's look at other fine details of the WWE... Do you actually know a contender system for any of the WWE Championships? Like who is in line for World Titles, midcard singles titles, Women's titles, or the Tag Team Belts? NO... What you see is a random Fatal 4 Way booked for an event on the SAME DAY and that's what determines #1 contenders. If now that, something ridiculous like Stop the Clock, Fatal 5 Ways, Six Pack challenge, or winning a briefcase that allows you to challenge for a World Title anytime you wish... Even after the World Champion receives a beatdown or wins a match. Could you imagine UFC or Boxing having THAT ridiculous of a contendership program? They'd be laughed out of any arena that they applied for and I'd imagine State Athletic Commissions would question the promoters' sanity as well.

Let's get back to the Shield because I'm about to make an "early adopter" call here as a wrestling analyst that nobody has yet to make.

The Shield is done.

It's over folks... The Shield "honeymoon" is complete and again, it wasn't Roman Reigns's fault. Poor guy is going through medical hell right now...

The WWE Creative Team and the WWE Marketing Team are 100% to blame.

First and foremost, I was a little put off by the fact that the Shield already had WWE licensed T-Shirts ready on the night they reunited. Seriously... After they did their fist pose, they came out later to attack Braun Strowman with their new Shield shirts on. What, does the WWE have a t-shirt maker backstage? Could someone quickly photoshop a new logo and then have it screened onto t-shirts perfectly? Oh please...

Then, the WWE turns the ONE GUY whom they have legitimate heel heat on the current RAW roster into a babyface. Braun Strowman... Freakin' Kane returns and the WWE uses him to flip Braun Strowman into a babyface at TLC 2017 Pay Per View. Thus, the Shield have NOBODY to feud with other than guys pushed as midcarders, Miz + Cesaro/Sheamus and/or Miztourage.

And now, the WWE takes a giant dump on any storyline credibility by having Triple H play dress-up and team with the Shield at the Glasgow WWE houseshow which the WWE has heavily advertised now.

As I stated in another column, the Shield was the LAST "savior" to Roman Reigns being a babyface in the WWE. Can someone please tell me what Roman will actually do AFTER he defeats Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34? Who will he actually wrestle if Braun Strowman has been flipped into a babyface?

It's over... The WWE ruined its last best hope to save the overpushed Roman Reigns and the poor guy is on the sidelines as it happens. It's actually NOT his fault as Roman is not a member of WWE management who booked that WWE European Tour show.

Funny thing is that the WWE Corporation and/or Vince McMahon will bury you in the Creative process if you "expose" the wrestling business... But only with media outlets without WWE's approval or when something goes unscripted. Rusev is still eating crap sandwiches after he let media outlet TMZ announce his engagement to Lana. At the time, Lana and Rusev were feuding in the storylines... Dolph Ziggler went to the media to badmouth John Cena and Randy Orton while also openly criticizing his theme music. The result? He can't win a big match or when he actually wins a big match, that momentum is squashed quickly. WWE Creative Team member Jimmy Jacobs takes a picture with the Bullet Club and it gets posted on Social Media. Fired. Then, Finn Balor and AJ Styles do the NWO horns hand signal salute which the Bullet Club has been using lately. Are you enjoying those Kane beatdowns, Finn? 2 straight weeks of receipts for your unscripted moment. Just you watch next week with AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal. Jinder, who needs some build up for his match against Brock Lesnar, will defeat AJ Styles 100% clean. You watch... That kind of match result wouldn't happen if AJ didn't attempt to salute the WWE's competition on WWE programming.

But on WWE programming or sponsored WWE events? Please... Wrestlers can speak openly about how scripted their shows are, how to take a bump, and what their characters are doing and how WWE management are using them. The NXT Breaking Ground documentary, though fascinating, is sickening on how much it exposes the "sausage making" process of putting on wrestling shows. That should NOT be seen by the public. Ever. Total Divas should not be having its female wrestlers break character to hang out on screen and then feud on WWE programming. Ridiculous.

WWE needs a CREDIBILITY CRACK DOWN to button up its own product. Sure, the public will still know that the WWE is a scripted business, but they should never see HOW it's scripted. They should never see HOW wrestlers take bumps. They should never see feuding wrestlers hanging out in public.

Simple fixes:

- Stop the closed door meeting leaks to the media.

- Babyfaces and heels should NEVER hang out together. Fines are issued, even if they are simply playing video games together on YouTube.

- End these ridiculous KFC spots where everybody breaks character to sell a product. KFC is more than welcome to sponsor events. Put their damn logos on the turnbuckles or rings for all I care. That easy.

- No more WWE shows that openly show how WWE shows are prepared, scripted, or how wrestlers train.

- Social media crackdown and fines issued for any posts deemed to expose WWE's business.

- Podcast and media appearance crackdown. Wrestlers should stay in character for their appearances and not offer how wrestling is scripted or how moves are performed. They should act like any WWE match is a legitimate fight.

- McMahons need to reduce language used in public speaking and financial reports that expose the business. Just state simple business metrics.

- Get rid of authority figures unless they are as authentic as Vince McMahon was through 1999. Kurt Angle, Shane McMahon, and Daniel Bryan have no legitimate titles in the WWE Corporation to merit authority in running shows. Makes no sense when Stephanie or Vince can swoop in and order people around. HEEL authority figures make no sense whatsoever as well.

- Stop the nonsense of cameras everywhere and wrestlers not acknowledging that they are there... Why would a wrestler say anything revealing when a camera is staring at them? Stupid.

- Better contender system for Title Belts and things announced well in advance. If they had a legitimate contender system, then maybe someone like ESPN might help them promote it...

- Return of traditional things like Champions coming out second, better enforcement of rules (5 counts and 10 counts are a joke), and better advertisements of matches being non-title and/or no-disqualification. Rules of each match are never clear.

- Get RID of non-title matches. Again, Boxing and UFC don't have non-title matches to set-up a title match. That's just lazy booking and it diminishes your current champion's viability.

And I could go on and on and on...

Button it up, WWE.

The Shield is over, folks... I had such optimism for their return, as the group was beneficial to the careers of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns. It could still be salvaged, as Reigns/Rollins/Ambrose could act like they are honoring Triple H on an edition of RAW and then attack him immediately. In other words, the European Tour temporary Shield thing was creating a "false sense of security" for Triple H only to lure him into a trap. Then, the Shield attacks Triple H and gives him a MASSIVE BEATDOWN. That would prompt a PISSED OFF Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to challenge Kurt Angle on letting that Shield beatdown happen with the "inmates running the asylum" perception. Hell, it causes Stephanie to take action and terminate Kurt Angle and that ignites the Triple H vs. Kurt Angle feud that we can build for many, many months towards Wrestlemania 34. That works.

This obsession to have THREE members of the Shield is ridiculous. The Shield has only been Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns. It's like the "core" members of the New World Order with Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall... When they kept adding and adding members, it watered the stable down and it lost credibility. Some of the later additions to the group were head-scratchers much like Triple H joining the Shield is as well. Just makes ZERO sense from a storyline stance and it not only hurts the stable's credibility, but hurts the consistency of the wrestling product as well.

What would I have done with Roman Reigns OUT with the viral infection?

Simple... It's just Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose trying to survive. And they'll get their arses kicked repeatedly trying to hold up the Shield until Roman Reigns recovers and can "save the day".

I would NOT have turned Braun Strowman as babyface and created a SUPER HEEL GROUP between Strowman, Kane, Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro... Yes, that TLC team... But you also have Samoa Joe to consider as an addition and maybe Bray Wyatt as well. Make the heels form a MEGA GROUP under some assumed name and it creates a major "sense of urgency" for the Shield. Hell, you could even have Triple H putting all of those heels up to it. Even better, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar are behind the heels collectively teaming together... Maybe call it a "Dangerous Alliance". Yeah right on that one, but I can dream.

But nope... We get Triple H, a longtime THORN in the side of the Shield's members, teaming up with the Shield at a publicized houseshow and also playing dress-up.

I legitimately feel there are times where I'm the only one pushing for an ATTENTION TO DETAIL in order to push the WWE to add layers of credibility to its product. Just seems like I'm one of the few who will openly speak out about this and I'm demanding better from the WWE product. WWE's programming is too over-exposed and the wrestlers have freedom to openly talk about how the "magic tricks" are performed in the wrestling business.

With magicians, you KNOW that they do not have super powers to pull off tricks... Yet, you don't know how magicians pull off tricks... Because you don't know, you are "suspending disbelief" and letting a magician dazzle you with his or her tricks. "Holy cow, he cut that woman in half and then put her back together again! I don't believe that's possible yet I don't know how he/she performed that trick!". If a magician told the audience how that trick was performed, would any future customers PAY to see that magician perform?

Did you notice in the news recently when an employee of Apple let his daughter play with a prototype of the new iPhone X Smartphone? As any younger person would probably do to show off (somehow, having the new iPhone is deemed a luxury), the daughter actually posted a video demonstrating the new iPhone X on social media. Ooops, Apple caught wind of this and terminated her father for exposing the iPhone X to the world before it came out to the general public. Furthermore on Apple, the deal for Beats by Dr. Dre almost fell apart when Dr. Dre and his friends revealed the Beats/Apple deal early on an online video. That was worth billions and could have been dropped by Apple for announcing it early. Apple was pissed and lucky for Dre, the deal still occurred and thankfully for Dre, he had a good product that Apple still wanted.

You have to button up your product, WWE... Stop the leaks and control your WWE employees... Furthermore, the WWE Corporation, itself, has to stop advertising that its product is scripted and quit showing the public how wrestling matches are constructed. The public should NEVER see anything other than what happens in the ring and any controlled hype building up said matches.

But hey, that's just my opinion as a wrestling fan of almost 30 years now who has seen how the business has grown and since 2000, how it has declined.


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