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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - What Convinced WWE to Give Paige Another Chance? WWE 2K18 for Nintendo & More
By Mr. Tito
Dec 6, 2017 - 11:52:20 PM

Follow Mr. Tito on Twitter.com: @titowrestling

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

Welcome back to the EXCELLENCE IN WRESTLING COLUMN WRITING that you'll only find here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com. I hope that everyone is having a great Holiday season and that everybody is managing their finances well. Damn elves keep taking money out of my wallet! And for the record, I did buy a few WWE toys for a relative so I'm doing my duty by financing a product that I disagree with heavily besides my $9.99 WWE Network subscription. Oh well.

Today, Time Magazine announced their 2017 "Person of the Year" award and the winner was The Silence Breakers. In other words, Time Magazine recognized women in particular who were speaking out about sexual harassment and even sexual assault at the workplace or for favors (#MeToo). In case you've lived under a rock, many lead anchors at FOX News, NBC's Matt Lauer, movie producer Harvey Weinstein, and a host of others (particularly males) were accused of bad behavior from the past and present. It almost seemed like each political side started throwing dirt around after accused sexual activity was making headlines... FOX News was eroded with an anchor exodus and in return, here comes Hollywood harassment/assault stories. Then, the media realizes that these stories sell magazines and they begin digging into whispers about celebrities that they've heard for years. The New York Times was preparing a Matt Lauer story on his treatment of women weeks before NBC fired him.

OK, how does that relate to pro wrestling?

Let me ask this BOLD question... If this were 2012 and the exact same events happened to WWE female wrestler Paige... Would she still be employed by the WWE?

In other words, if this were 2012 and she did the following things:

(a) Violation of the WWE Wellness Policy during August and October of the previous year.

(b) Involved in a domestic altercation with a former WWE superstar, particularly one recently released by WWE.

(c) Leaking of photos and videos of very private moments with other WWE employees.

FOR THE RECORD - I have zero problems with Paige being employed by the WWE. For part (a), she did her time... For part (b), chalk it up to being young (she's 25). And for part (c), those private moments were hacked and stolen without her consent. The reported actions contained in those "private moments" were consensual with the 2 male wrestlers involved.

BUT - This isn't me that we're talking about, nor is it talking about pro wrestling fans who were hoping that she'd make a comeback. I'm talking about the WWE Corporation who went PG during the late 2000s and takes offense to about anything possible. If you jokingly challenge someone's masculinity on Twitter or on the air, WWE Corporation forces you to apologize immediately. That, or WWE Creative will eat you alive. WWE Corp has zero tolerance for even making jokes and has been very controlling of its image since June 2007 when its image was tarnished following Chris Benoit.

Oh, and let me add one more honest question...

Would Paige be employed with the WWE if the Rock wasn't making a film about her life? The film Fighting With My Family is set to premiere during September 2018 and was well into production when the private moments were leaked throughout the internet. Hard to start and then stop a movie production but the WWE has to also be sensitive of the Rock. WWE wants Rocky to come back to the WWE on occasion and he's related to Nia Jax, the Usos, and Roman Reigns. If you terminate Paige then the source material for the film is no longer associated with the WWE.

Again, I want to stress... I'M HAPPY THAT PAIGE IS BACK! I'm just asking honest questions.

Just to show consistency, I remember the amusement that I had when WWE brought Hulk Hogan back during 2014 despite his personal issues and his "private moments" leaking on video. WWE didn't even flinch on that because, well, he is one of the biggest WWE superstars of all time and they needed him for the WWE Network. Even as that lawsuit against Gawker kept that leaked video tape in the news, WWE kept him around... It wasn't until the end of the tape was leaked where he said several racial slurs that the WWE terminated him.

I even laughed at the ESPN 30 for 30 on the Nature Boy Ric Flair. Here we are with Disney who is one of the militant politically correct companies out there laughing up Ric Flair's antics on the highly censored ESPN cable network. They let Flair brag that he banged 10,000 women! This is in light of all of the sexual allegations throughout media! And the WWE participated heavily in it. Ric Flair was notorious for running around with a bath robe on and nothing else... Yet, one guy in Hollywood is accused of that lately, there are cries that he should NEVER work again.

Do you honestly believe that the WWE Corporation wants Paige's termination hitting the news headlines right now?

And do you think that WWE wants their past to come up in today's news headlines as well?

As squeaky clean as the WWE Corporation wants to tell you that they are in 2017, maybe one could watch a few old clips of the Donahue show from 1992 to see accusations thrown at the WWE then (besides steroids). Maybe ask Rena Lesnar (Sable) about feces placed in her gym bag during 1999 (the guy who did that has openly admitted it!). Could someone tell me what the real purpose of that Divas Search contest was again and signing most talents from that competition? Of course, Michael PS Hayes & Rosa Mendes during 2013.

And that's on top of years of Bikini Contests, Hot Lesbian Action, legitimate domestic violence incidents (I still cringe about the Austin attack on Lita)... WWE Creative during the 2000s before the PG Era was implemented was not very pro-woman. They began calling them "Divas" after all.

Not much of a foot to stand on... EXCEPT for Triple H's recent image change for the female in the WWE and God bless him. What Triple H has done to recreate Women's Wrestling has been fantastic and should be applauded. HHH has molded the NXT system into a place where women's wrestling is welcome as a legitimate drawing entity and Trips was the first to let women's wrestling headline Pay Per Views. He's not only "saving" the midcard from certain doom, because the IC/US and Tag Titles have been poorly used lately, but making the WWE into a valid place for female athletes to work and make great money. Post-college, where else can women continue in the athletic realm and make great money? WNBA? Just doing some research, it appears that WNBA players are capped at $110,000 per year! That is an entry level position on the WWE roster, at worst. Triple H has legitimately created a culture that female athletes of any shape, size, or look can join and make great money. Look at the amazing diversity in that female division!

Special mention to AJ Lee for her awesome 2/24/2015 Tweet at Stephanie McMahon... If you'll recall, Stephanie was gushing at the Academy Awards speech by actress Patricia Arquette regarding equality at the workplace... AJ Lee responded to Stephanie with the following: "Your female wrestlers have record selling merchandise & have starred in the highest rated segment of the show several times, and yet they receive a fraction of the wages & screen time of the majority of the male roster." Just nailed her. Stephanie was the ultimate enabler of her father Vince McMahon and Executive Producer Kevin Dunn's culture towards women that kept trying to relive the Sable days via those Divas Search contestant hires and was WWE Creative team leader through late 2013 when they were called "Divas". As irony would have it, her husband Triple H and his retooling of the NXT developmental system (he took it over during mid 2012) built up the WWE workplace for women. But I think that AJ Lee's comments to Stephanie stung hard and sent a real message to WWE Corporate.

As luck would have it, Paige has the right conditions in place for redemption. The 2017 workplace climate is changing across the nation (although, I wish more believe in "innocent before proven guilty" instead of just accusations) while the WWE roster is more accepting towards women. Paige was Triple H's first big call-up from NXT developmental territory and he's likely looking out for one of his students. That, and there is a need for a good talent like Paige to complement the rest on the RAW roster who have been kinda poorly booked since the post-Wrestlemania 33 "superstar shake-up". It's been Alexa Bliss and WWE's confused use of Bayley, Nia Jax, and Sasha Banks... Paige plus two new talents along with Asuka's call-up certainly strengthens that roster.

Between now and September 2018 (when the movie comes out)... What if Paige slips? While the WWE has 2 documented Wellness Policy violations in place and maybe they could consider several other public relations issues, having her on the WWE roster to help promote that September 2018 movie will help... It will likely lead to the Rock appearing on RAW/Smackdown to help promote the film... Now, do you see the politics of this issue? Effectively, Paige is a pawn between several Corporations to remain on this roster until the movie airs. But if something else happens, what does the WWE do? After all, according to the WWE Wellness Policy for something other than alcohol or pot could result in a termination and a public announcement of that event.

Would WWE do something or make an exception to the rule? Do you want the news headlines for treatment of a female at a workplace? Do you want to make money off that September 2018 movie?

Very sticky situation...

By the way, I have to laugh at everyone "high fiving" regarding Paige having "fun" with 2 fellow WWE co-workers. Aside from fans actually appreciating her in-ring talent and promo work, I think there's a feeling that her "private moments" being revealed has made her infamous. Seems like her new character is playing that up, too... It is what it is. Kinda feels like those national stories where a Female Teacher develops a relationship with one of her teenage students. Everybody gives a high five to that male teenage student who was "lucky" enough to score with the older Female Teacher... BUT, if it's the other way around with a Male Teacher, the headlines are much different.

Kind of like the outrage that you're seeing today with many Male celebrities falling from grace. Very loud right now with male news anchors, politicians, actors, producers, and other high profile male celebrities being challenged to resign based on accusations. It's about the overuse of power and the fear of taking old one-eye to the optometrist improperly by males.

All of this said, I WANT Paige to succeed... It's a great redemption story for someone legitimately talented and one of the ones who got the ball rolling. People make mistakes... That said, the Wellness violations are on you while nothing good ever happens when a "private moment" is filmed... Phones can not only be hacked, but media can be easily sent and then permanently uploaded somewhere for the rest of your life. Be careful of who you hang out with, too...

I'm pretty excited about the RAW Women's division... Finally, some depth in that division... Can we get depth on the Creative Team too? Can we?


WWE 2K18 Review for the Nintendo Switch - Coming Soon

Early reviews are in for the Nintendo Switch version of WWE 2K18 and it seems like the framerate and the gameplay suffer from slowdowns when the Switch is "docked". In other words, when you have it in the holder to play on your television. My guess is that the technology that projects from the Switch tablet into the HDMI connection to your television either gets disrupted by other signals in your room or the loose connection causes problems. Part of the gimmick of the Switch is the immediate ability to convert it from a TV console to a handheld. Well, that gimmick might be causing problems for games.

That said, I play the Switch 99% of the time in handheld mode. When you have kids and they control the television with their Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and educational videos, handheld mode becomes your thing. That's what I enjoyed about the Nintendo Wii U is that I could go off-screen with the tablet controller for MOST games. In my fact, I played so much in that mode that my left control stick veers right if you leave it alone (ugh).

Speaking to my local GameStop, it appears that a physical copy of the game will be made available on either 12/12 or 12/19... Someone at GameStop said that 12/19 appeared on their systems but then changed to "unknown". I'll be getting the physical copy of WWE 2K18 because I like having the trade-in currency if needed. Still, even with the physical copy, I still have to download freakin' 24 GB onto my 128 GB microSD card. Not to worry, as I "fired" NBA 2K18 and LA Noire and their bloated sizes from my Switch. That seriously frees up 33 GB!

Good or bad, I'll review WWE 2K18 for the Nintendo Switch. I bought it with my OWN MONEY, therefore, you don't have to worry about any promotional bias. Expect the usual brutally honest Tito. You could suggest that I may have bias towards 2K Sports to make more 3rd Party games for the Switch, but I just told you that I got rid of 2 other 3rd Party games for being bloated in size and not very interesting. I was expecting more GTA freedom with LA Noire and I like NBA Playgrounds's "NBA Jam" like style compared to NBA 2K18. In other words, I don't like defense that crowds the rim for a basketball game.

The problem is that 2K Games is too used to making Xbox and Playstation games on disc that they aren't accustomed to Nintendo's hardware. The Switch plays smaller cards that hold up to 16 GB... Thus, if you have a larger game than that, something additional has to be downloaded onto the Switch... Problem is that you have a "fractured" game between the physical game card and the harddrive needing to work together to execute a game. Furthermore, Xbox One and Playstation 4 have much more power and 2K seems to want to force that same game onto the Switch. They should adopt what EA Sports did with FIFA 18 when they created a modified game for the Nintendo Switch. Gone are some features and reduced graphics but what remains is the core of the game. Same thing is happening with Rocket League on the Switch which I'm inhaling.

As you've seen with my previous reviews of media and shows, I'm don't halfass it. You'll get a full review and after I've inhaled many Switch games already to completion (Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids, Mario Kart 8, and almost done with Splatoon 2). Schedule is clear for the WWE 2K18 game to impress me and steal whatever free time that I have.



Hey, Monday Night RAW was UNDER 3 million on its average again... Imagine that. 12 out of 14 weeks now with only the RAWs surrounding Survivor Series 2017 drawing above.

But but but but NFL... Uh huh, viewership for ESPN's poor selection NFL games has been declining for a while and the NFL in general has seen declines in viewership for the last 2 years. Meanwhile, they just re-signed their Commissioner to a 5 year, $200 million extension to remain the owners' puppet to keep the players down.

2017, in my opinion, should have been the year of building Braun Strowman and then crowning him with the Royal Rumble + Wrestlemania coronation. Instead, Brock Lesnar made short work of him at WWE No Mercy 2017 which I believe is the WWE's #1 mistake of the year. At least attempt to make it a longer and closer match...

But disposing of Strowman against Lesnar was only done to make Roman Reigns look special when he defeats Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34. Reigns already has big wins over Triple H, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Undertaker, and John Cena but he's still not drawing. Some have tried to tell me that his merchandise sales are tops among current WWE Superstars. Well, the audience has lost 25% everywhere and John Cena no longer tours as much. Kids will want anything at live events and Reigns's biggest fanbase is mostly children. Adults cannot stand him and that's the low booing at the events.

The Shield has helped Roman Reigns, but poor credibility decisions like making Kurt Angle/Triple H act as temporary 3rd members and the focus being 100% on Roman (not caring about Seth or Dean at all)... It's not working as it should.

All of you are cheering for the "Woken" Matt Hardy... Do you really trust this Creative Team to be successful with gimmick? Just watch their great work (sarcasm) with Bray Wyatt for 2017. Remember when Wyatt was a WWE Champion earlier this year. How did that work out again?

Recently, I listened to Kelly Clarkson's interview on the Howard Stern show. Great interview... She was discussing how her albums began receiving production by the legendary producer Clive Davis. Davis produced such acts as Whitney Houston, Aretha Frankin, Barry Manilow, and many others... Yet, Clarkson struggled creatively with him as he was controlling of the songs she tried to write and how she'd sing on recordings. Kelly said she kept asking "where that guy who produced Whitney and Aretha went".

Well, I'm wondering where that Vince McMahon who made the WWE go national during the 1980s and gave us the Attitude Era during the late 1990s went. Will the real Vince McMahon please stand up? Please stand up, please stand up? Because this guy who is trying to manufacture stars out of thin air like Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Roman Reigns, and even the Miz at times is not the Vince McMahon who grew the WWE business. It's the one who was lost after Hulk Hogan (like Cena now) who tried to put manufacture Lex Luger into an "All American" hero during 1993-1994. Fans didn't like the top babyface being forced on them 23 years ago just like they don't know with Roman Reigns.

If someone could bring back the Vince McMahon who brought us Hulkamania and the Attitude Era, that would be appreciated... Because the version of Vince in office now struggles to make new top drawing stars. He has lost the magic.


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

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

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