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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - WWE RAW Review, WWE Stock Follow-up, Bryan Injury, more
By Mr. Tito
May 19, 2014 - 11:45:40 PM
Welcome back to the Excellence in Column Writing. I am your host, with the most, Mr. Tito, doing this for 15 years now. Why? Because I like you... And you do inspire columns for me from time to time. Knowing my financial background, I received many questions about the WWE's stock tanking on Friday following the WWE's Thursday announcement of the new NBC/Universal deal that didn't double the previous deal as WWE hyped to investors. So, I wrote a column on the subject which you can read by CLICKING HERE.
I explaining the markets and the reactions of investors, I quietly have an opinion of it's not as bad as you think. The NBC/Universal deal didn't double (or triple), but it still increased by about 50%. If you received a 50% increase at your workplace, would you be happy? Furthermore, isn't the whole point of joining Hulu and creating the WWE Network because traditional television outlets like Cable and Satellite are dying? Yet, WWE still makes an increase from it... WWE made an error by overestimating the WWE Network subscriber date BUT they fail to consider the convenience of the WWE Network to its fans. In addition to forcing many fans to watch Pay Per Views legally, WWE now lets fans watch the current Pay Per Views at their own leisure.
WWE remains the #1 pro wrestling company by a mile... That's a fact. I'm wondering what the hell the internet is counting on with Jeff Jarrett's new wrestling company. You do realize that he helped found TNA Wrestling, right? How did that promotion end up again? Go ahead and blame the Carter family... Fact is that the Carters kept him in charge once the Panda Energy money was flowing in and then with Cable TV deals with FOX Sports Net and later Spike TV. Yet, what was the results? Essentially, TNA Wrestling was WCW during 1999-2000. That's what it always has been and that's the booking style that Jeff Jarrett knows. After all, he jumped to WCW during 1999 with his best buddy Vince Russo and helped Russo gain employment repeatedly in TNA. He had the resources in TNA and it sucked...
Come on, internet... Haven't you heard the true definition of the word insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". I wouldn't be so confident in Jeff Jarrett's new promotion if I were you...
If the WWE can't impress investors with their revenues, they'll have to reduce expenses... If I were any WWE veteran right now, I'd keep that resume handy. There will be cuts this summer that might see many longterm employees and recent developmental wrestlers who aren't panning out receive the axe. With the WWE unloading its developmental system right now, roster spots may need freed up. Furthermore, since TNA and Jeff Jarrett's promotion are unlikely contenders to act as legitimate competition, the WWE can risk letting go such a bulk of talent.
Speaking of talent, I know exactly how the WWE can grow significantly again... Of course, it's not easy. As it stands now, there hasn't been a pro wrestler to grow to actually grow the business since Steve Austin or the Rock. Guys on the next tier like Triple H and John Cena are good, but they just sustain the audience. They aren't the type of draws who bring in mainsteam fans. They might satisfy the current fanbase but they aren't growing it. Pro wrestling, historically, balloons in growth when at least 1 guy gets white hot. In the case of WCW during 1996, it was an entire stable with the New World Order.
WWE needs to find THAT GUY who can significantly draw for the business. Easier said than done, right, but the WWE can eventually find that guy by (a) improve its developmental grooming process, (b) raiding TNA/indies of its best talent, and (c) improve its booking. The Shield is an exception and one of those guys might be the guy... But the rest of the developmental call-ups have been botched. Wrestlers are either stuck with a bad angle from the start or pushed too hard at the beginning of their WWE career. Not sure of Triple H's tactic of drafting athletes and attempting to groom them into wrestlers. That's arrogant. There are plenty of good indy wrestlers that the WWE steal and groom into whatever they want. After all, you have to WANT to be a pro wrestler to be a great pro wrestler.
I'm quite convinced that the WWE stays away from the indies out of fears of hiring more CM Punks... Seriously... They dislike him that much.
That's all it takes... ONE GUY. One guy whom fans of all ages and dedications can't get enough of whether its buying tickets to live events, Pay Per Views/WWE Network, or merchandise. One guy who crosses over to other forms of media and makes pro wrestling cool to talk about among the high school crowd. I've argued that the WWE could have had THAT guy in CM Punk during 2011 and then Daniel Bryan during 2013. Bad booking and dislike of former Ring of Honor wrestlers got in the way and sabotaged both guys. You'll probably point out 2014 and Wrestlemania 30 to me about Daniel Bryan. I'll then counter the fact that Daniel Bryan was RUNNING SCARED from Kane a few weeks ago on RAW and was about to actually wrestle Kane in a BURIED ALIVE match at WWE Payback. It's like I said... It not only takes good development of talent, but good booking as well.
Easier said than done... That's why I'm sitting here in my living room and typing this column about Monday Night RAW instead of doing it myself.
By the way, the drive-by Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) is calling for the WWE to bring CM Punk back. What? Do you realize that CM Punk doesn't want to come back? He walked out of the company just before Wrestlemania 30 and it was out of protest to his current booking and his Wrestlemania 30 opponent, Triple H. Poor guy wanted to main event Wrestlemania and was going to get a multiple time World Champion instead. Awwww, poor CM Punk. I'm actually getting sick of the begging by the Internet with regards to CM Punk. Remember, HE walked out of the WWE. It was his choice... He wasn't happy and he opted to leave. While I would agree with you on the poor booking of CM Punk for the past few years, I've moved on from Punk because he chose to walk away. Internet fans need to walk away, too.
But but but Tito, WWE Payback is in CHICAGO, CM Punk's hometown.
Yeah, well keep singing "You're the Inspiration" and he'll sing "Hard To Say I'm Sorry". What you need to do is "Remember the Feeling" of 2011 when CM Punk was "Feelin' Stronger Everyday" heading into Money in the Bank 2011 and was "Free" to say whatever he wanted. However, his WWE career proved to not be a "Saturday in the Park" and in a few years, CM Punk said "I'm a Man" to WWE Management and left the WWE even though it was a "Hard Habit to Break". OK, I'll turn the Chicago band pun machine off!
Anyway... In my opinion, WWE will be fine for the next 5 years. WWE Network will prove to be profitable especially as it debuts internationally. WWE has a good history of managing its costs once they overheat and I expect something to happen soon. WITHOUT COMPETITION, the WWE can remain profitable in the marketplace and remain to exploit the remaining fanbase of its money as it has for years. 5 years from now, however, I'd worry... When John Cena retires, I really worry about who can replace him as the #1 babyface draw. I'm fans of Roman Reigns, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt, and other younger wrestlers who have impressed lately, but I'm not sure if they could get as big as John Cena became... I really hope that I'm wrong.
OK, I'll discuss some Monday Night RAW now...
WWE has a major hit with Shield vs. Evolution. Why? It's VERY simple... The WWE is actually letting the Shield, and that includes all 3 members and not just Roman Reigns, to look strong against Evolution. Evolution, the heels, are running scared week in and week out against the Shield and the Shield is getting the better of Orton, Triple H, and Batista. Evolution is acting like the Shield are equals to them... THAT'S HOW IT'S DONE, folks. That's in big contrast to the whole post-SummerSlam 2013 feud between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton/Triple H. Instead of running scared and Bryan getting the better of them, we saw beatdown after beatdown after beatdown on Bryan. Bryan got his ass kicked repeatedly and thus looked weak in return. It's the opposite with the Shield... I wonder if Triple H is crazy high on those 3 wrestlers and is behind their strong push recently?
Really fun match between Batista vs. Seth Rollins. Eventually, the fans were feeling that Shield vs. Evolution vibe and it helped elevate the match. Rollins was working his heart out but it also appeared that Batista is now in better cardio shape than when he debuted. I don't see why this feud can't just keep going for all of summer. With the way that Evolution is actually putting over the Shield and treating them as equals, it's the best part of WWE programming right now. It's almost tempting to add a 4th member to each group, but damn that would ruin the chemistry of both groups.
In my opinion, the WWE has real money in doing a 3 Way stable feud between the Wyatts, Shield, and Evolution. You have 9 wrestlers to rotate between matches on RAW to carry the storyline into a massive 9 man tag match on whatever Pay Per View. Plus, it gets Wyatts away from John Cena...
I'm just not feeling the John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt feud. John Cena has more than proven himself against the Wyatts at Wrestlemania 30 by beating Bray Wyatt cleanly and then almost beating all 3 Wyatts in a handicap match. It's just not a drawing feud and just seems like it's just keeping John Cena busy while he's not WWE Champion and to give Shield/Evolution some spotlight. With Daniel Bryan out, I'm going to painfully suggest this... But I'd give the WWE Title to John Cena for yet another run and set up Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena at SummerSlam 2014 for the WWE Title. That's my opinion and it has lots of "virtue".
Would you want to see John Cena (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Title at SummerSlam 2014? If you say "no", please go watch their Extreme Rules 2012 encounter. It was badass!
I'm baffled by the Alicia Fox angle here... For a few years now, the WWE has wasted Fox since her Divas Title win. She's just existed on the roster and was filler talent for the Divas Division as the WWE attempted to elevate other ladies to the Divas Title. Seemed like she lived on Smackdown forever... She was even an enhancement talent for Paige early into Paige's Divas Title reign. But all of the a sudden, she's a sudden contender! Paige beat her again last week but Alicia did an angle where she snapped after the match. But this week? Alicia Fox beat Paige in a non-title match. Good lord... Nothing against Fox, as I believe that the WWE wasted her talent for years, but let Fox develop this new character with other filler Divas talent and then aggressively go after Paige.
And I HATE non-title matches, WWE! You do too many of them and you almost purposely make your champions look weak.
I would agree with many who Tweeted me today that the WWE's Beat the Clock was lazy booking, but I'm OK with it. At the very least, the WWE is putting attention on building an opponent for the Intercontinental Title and I'm OK with that. I don't have too much of a problem with Rob Van Dam winning the competition as long as "Bad News" Barrett gets the clean win at WWE Payback. Time to make Barrett look strong as a midcard champion instead of the piss poor booking treatment he received before as a midcard champion.
I enjoyed Cesaro vs. Sheamus... If WWE booked things correctly, that would be a hot Pay Per View midcard match that could make people excited for a Pay Per View or "special event".
I also enjoyed the Adam Rose and Jack Swagger/Zeb Colter storyline. Zeb cracks me up... I have a cousin who married a guy just like Zeb and it amuses me to hear him ranting on political stuff. Cracks me up... And the Rose music is catch, uh oh...
I had no problem with Rusev destroying 3 Man Band. For one, Rusev broke his own color barrier... But two, I could really care less about the 3 Man Band gimmick or its wrestlers. Poorly booked and not made to be taken seriously. And damn, I love me some Lana... Like a hot little version of Mrs. Drago from Rocky 4. And I love that she is repetitively using the RESISTANCE IS FUTILE phrase from the Borg from Star Trek: the Next Generation. NERD ALERT!
By the way, Google has the Rubik's Cube on its website today... It reminds me of the fantastic Joel Gertner catchphrase regarding that toy from ECW back in the day: "I'm Joel - Just like the Rubik's Cube, the more you play with it, the harder it gets - Gertner!". Although with Joel Gertner, his best phrase ever was "I'm harder than the tree that hit Sonny Bono". I'm going to burn in hell for laughing at that!
Main event was John Cena vs. Luke Harper... Solid match... I can't complain. Interference ensued and the Usos couldn't get Cena's back. I do like the teaming of Usos with Cena, by the way... Much needed friendship there. Show ended with Bray singing and reminding us that the next Cena vs. Wyatt match will be a LAST MAN STANDING match. That's right, smell the
Pay Per View buyrate WWE Network subscriptions!
And finally... Daniel Bryan, next week, is likely to hand over the WWE Title. All signs are showing a SummerSlam or post-SummerSlam return for Daniel Bryan and the WWE isn't patient to keep the WWE Title out for that long. Understandable... But what I don't like is the continuation of making Daniel Bryan look bad. I understand about the attempts at drawing heat, but what does Stephanie McMahon have to gain? She keeps calling him "B+ Player" and yet her character is actually hurting her own product. This whole storyline involving Kane and making Bryan afraid of the BIG RED MACHINE was embarrassing. Furthermore, Stephanie was able to easily talk down the WWE Champion. I don't understand the incentive of the WWE to make their WWE Champion look bad.
Think about what Daniel Bryan just accomplished at Wrestlemania 30. He beat Triple H 100% clean at Wrestlemania 30, which is no easy feat. 1 year before at Wrestlemania 29, Triple H beat Brock Lesnar. Yes, that same Brock Lesnar who ended the Undertaker's streak on the same Wrestlemania 30 show where Bryan not only beat Triple H cleanly but wrestled a second match against Randy Orton/Batista. In addition to Triple H's attempted interference, Daniel Bryan overcame that and won the WWE title against Orton/Batista. Think about that... He defeated Evolution by himself on 1 night!
And yet, he's struggling to wrestle an older Kane and then running scared from him? Meanwhile, he's taking crap from Stephanie McMahon? And this was actually leading to a BURIED ALIVE match at WWE Payback. Yeah, more like BURY MY CAREER. Why does the WWE do this to WWE Champions not named John Cena?
Makes no sense unless WWE wants to underwhelm on WWE Network subscriptions. Think about all of the potential subscribers who were loyal CM Punk and Daniel Bryan fans. Do you think that you can rip $9.99 out of their pockets each month?
LAST WORD: I enjoyed RAW. Solid show that carried well for 3 hours. No complaints other than the strange Divas division stuff and I'm not as excited for Cena/Wyatt as others may be. However, I'm loving the Shield vs. Evolution feud and like the attention that the US and Intercontinental Titles are getting right now. Bravo, WWE! B+ for this week's show and London was a great crowd!
SO JUST CHILL... 'TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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