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Welcome back to the Mr. Tito Experience exclusively here at LordsofPain.net. Only 4 months to go, folks, until my final column here at LoP. I shall end here on the 20th Anniversary of Mr. Tito joining LoP and I’ll have 2 decades of work to look back on… For all of my haters, who else are you going to hate on when RAW‘s viewership numbers come in repeatedly as under 3 million?
Speaking of RAW, I want everyone to focus on the image of 1 particular segment… To start RAW, Kurt Angle was trying to announce that the multi-person match to determine the #1 contendership at Extreme Rules 2018 was postponed because of contractual issues (real or shoot) with Brock Lesnar when both Roman Reigns and then Bobby Lashley appeared. Roman and Lashley were trying to debate who should rightfully challenge Lesnar at SummerSlam 2018 and it made me gringe because neither guy sounded to me if they were ever trained on how to cut a promo…
But let’s ignore both wrestlers poor speaking abilities and focus specifically on image. We’ve heard it for YEARS that the reason for which Vince McMahon has been pushing Roman has been his “look”. However, did you see how Roman looked compared to Bobby Lashley on Monday? Before 2014, it was a wrestler looking like Bobby Lashley which Vince McMahon would desire and want to push. Shirts off, too…
What was going on with Roman Reigns on Monday NIght?
– Looked pale in his face as if he was sick all week or coming off a sickness.
– Appeared bloated. He seemed to be a bit snug underneath that bullet-proof vest.
– Arms seemed smaller, less defined. Certainly if he was sick all week, obviously there would be less working out.
– Not clean shaven. Roman is constantly switching between beard and goatee. Don’t forget that the WWE has been pissed at other wrestlers for changing their looks whether it is facial hair, haircuts, or tattoos. That beard looked rough, too.
Meanwhile, you have Bobby Lashley and he looked like a real athlete. He was dressed in actual tights (not pants with a belt and a bulletproof vest like the other guy) and he was in amazing physical shape. Lashley, I swear, had muscles growing out of muscles. If you compare Lashley to the World Champions that Vince has pushed since BEFORE 2015, he is the prototype for what Vince wants to push. Don’t forget that this actually happened during the mid 2000’s when Vince wanted to push Lashley to the moon, even overruling Paul Heyman at that ECW December to Dismember 2006 Pay Per View disaster to make Bobby Lashley become ECW Champion. If Lashley didn’t abruptly leave during 2008 to try out Mixed Martial Arts (15-2 record, not bad), he could have been the top guy during the early 2010s.
And wrestlers performing in street clothes aren’t exactly Vince’s cup of tea. Reportedly, the attire was part of the reason why Jeff and Matt Hardy weren’t getting pushed during the 2000s as top level singles wrestlers (WWE would flirt with them as such, but always cut both down in the end aside from a few Jeff Hardy opportunities). The only exception was Mick Foley but his actions, not his look, made him acceptable as a Main Eventer. While John Cena wrestled in jean shorts, he at least wrestled without a shirt to resemble a real, bodybuilder like athlete.
Why is Roman Reigns wearing that bulletproof vest? Last time I checked, the Shield stable was over… Their initial break-up occurred during 2014 and since then, both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have not only changed up their looks, but their music too. Yeah, that’s right… Roman STILL uses the same Shield theme music, 4 years after the initial break-up. And he still hasn’t changed up his attire, either… You don’t see Rollins or Ambrose wrestling with bulletproof vests on, do you?
What do you have to hide, Roman?
And what is so appealing about his look, Vince McMahon? He wrestling attire and physique isn’t something that you’ve dared to push before as your #1 babyface from the past. Furthermore, that “look” which complements a weak in-ring ability and poor promo skills, has resulted in over 1 million RAW viewers lost, lost merchandise money, and lower attendance numbers in the United States for the past 4 years. All facts, folks… Some will say his relations to various other WWE greats… But if that was the case, why aren’t the Usos getting pushed hard as singles wrestlers?
Take off that vest, Roman… And I don’t truly wish to see that, but if you want to be taken seriously as an athlete and #1 guy in the WWE, look the part. Or at least wear something similar to Bret Hart, if needed. I’m not clamoring to see Roman in tights, but you need to look the part as a real athlete. That clunky vest, heavy boots, and no flexibility from his choice of pants is actually making him slower as an in-ring performer. Don’t you want your wrestlers to be faster, more flexible in the ring? I guess when you only have to do 3 moves (Drive-by, Superman Punch, Spear), extra movement in your gear isn’t needed
See, it’s OK to fat-shame Nia Jax in the storylines and ditto for Kevin Owens. With Nia, it was an entire storyline to showcase Alexa Bliss as a bully and for something to let Nia Jax overcome. With Owens, Vince McMahon and producer Kevin Dunn have expressed dislike for his look and various things said on TV or signs shown in the crowd are done to marginalize Kevin Owens’s look. Chances are, that’s why the WWE doesn’t let Owens accumulate wins strongly when he’s in main event territory. And in a sense, I agree with the WWE on Owens… Wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt makes him look more ready for a YMCA pick-up game of basketball than the WWE.
But if it is OK to ridicule Nia Jax and/or Kevin Owens for their weight issues, then let’s question the Big Dog… As the #1 guy, are you REALLY looking the part? Are you hitting the gym hard enough like the other wrestlers on the roster? I’ve seen it for a while on how you become quickly out-of-breath for your matches. Roman Reigns is sucking wind and sweating heavily early on in every match. Might there be a health problem causing this? Is there something related to his July 2016 Wellness Policy violation that resulted in a 30 day suspension that we’re not aware of? I don’t know… Just guessing because it seems like that bullet proof vest has only become thicker since the initial Shield break-up.
For all we know, he could be lean, mean, buffed, and jacked underneath that vest… I don’t know… But I’m baffled at why Vince McMahon observes Roman’s current look compared with the past wrestlers that he has pushed. Roman looks like he’s about to go patrol the streets as a SWAT team member of a police department. Based on who Vince pushed in the past, Lashley seems like he’d be more appealing to Vince than Roman.
It’s not consistent with what Vince usually wants in his top guy to be the #1 babyface of the company.
Maybe start “Take the Vest Off” chants at WWE live events? Why not? If other wrestlers before Roman had to “look the part” as a legitimate athlete as the WWE’s #1 babyface, why shouldn’t Roman?
Be consistent, Vince.
By the way, I’m LAUGHING at how the WWE is pushing a “contractual issue” with Brock Lesnar to break-up the Extreme Rules multi-person match at WWE Extreme Rules 2018. It’s a work, folks… Brock loves getting paid easy money by the WWE. Dave Meltzer was reporting that it was all a scheme to get more babyface cheers for Roman with the thought process of fans turning on Lesnar as a “sellout”.
If SummerSlam 2018 comes and it’s Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, fans will crap on it because the one Main Eventer who always seems credible is leaving the WWE. They’ll boo Roman HARDER because Lesnar is leaving.
Let’s just straight up say it… FINGER OF SHAME to the WWE for their handling of Daniel Bryan‘s comeback. Congrats on that LOW viewership of WWE Smackdown Live. Under 2.2 million… What a joke!
And now, after Big Cass was released, Bryan gets to reform “Team Hell No” with a 51 year old Kane.
LEAVE, Daniel… Get out of there!
I’m laughing at how a few WWE marks are repeatedly pointing to the WWE Stock Price and saying “see, see, see, the WWE is growing!”. And then Old Man Tito points to lower viewership, lower attendance, lower merchandise sold, and the fact that the WWE drastically reduced its expenses (notice how there is no pyro at the TV shows?). But then you point to the stock price again…
Let me remind you of something… The stock market hit record highs during 2008, too, and what happened again? Yeah, that same stock market crashed. Stocks can grow like steroids when Interest Rates set by the Federal Reserve are incredibly low. The Fed was cutting rates heavily during 2008 as the economy was spiraling down recession hell and stocks have grown since that 2007-2009 recession because interest rates have been kept absurdly low for over a decade. When rates are low, banks and investors can borrow at a low interest rate and buy stocks… Simple as that.
With the WWE, they have their own stimulus. FOX and Comcast just handed the WWE over $200 million to play with for over the next 5 years (over $1 billion total). On top of that, foreign countries are finally able to host Pay Per View like shows on the WWE Network. Aside from a few Canadian shows and SummerSlam 1992 in London, the WWE has kept its Pay Per View like shows in America. WWE has desperate television content providers and foreign countries handing them LOTS of cash. And if you want to praise the current crop of wrestlers, then why are these foreign shows going to have Triple H, John Cena, and the Undertaker wrestling? Eh?
That’s obviously why the WWE stock is going… Surely, they can find something successful to invest in with all of that cash? You know, like maybe signing Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey to extensions? Aggressively buying free agents from other parts of the globe. Bring back the pyro for RAW and Smackdown shows… I don’t know.
But what I do know is that the WWE’s popularity is DECLINING in the United States and the numbers prove that. WWE’s own posted financial data proves that.
THE LAST WORD
Let me outright say this right now… I have ZERO problems with Brock Lesnar barely showing up to defend the WWE Universal Title. “Less is More” to me.
What would you like? Someone to appear each and every week as World Champion? It’s kind of not working out well with WWE Smackdown and their under 2.2 million viewers. I love AJ Styles, but he was there representing as World Champion for all of 2018. Before him, Jinder Mahal was there every week as WWE Champion. Ratings dropped.
See, here’s the deal about the World Champion… He has to be WORTHY of being the World Champion. Who on that RAW roster right now appears credible to be World Champion?
-Roman Reigns – Been there, done that… He actually drew less when he was World Champion than for all of the times he has chased the belt.
-Braun Strowman – Losing to Lesnar at No Mercy 2017, tagging with a kid at Wrestlemania 34, and winning the “Greatest” Royal Rumble match only for that match to mean nothing. He lacks that heat or swagger to be the #1 guy because his wings were clipped off after SummerSlam 2017.
-Bobby Lashley – Can’t talk and only returned to the WWE just recently.
-Seth Rollins – He’s on a roll but it’s hard for me to erase 2015-2017 from my head. Needs more momentum before defeating Lesnar.
See the problem? You don’t have any major stars to push to that WWE Universal Champion that could DRAW. Anytime Brock Lesnar appears on RAW, the show mostly gets above 3 million. Under 3 million when he’s gone. And I believe that Lesnar has helped sell that WWE Network.
WWE needs Brock Lesnar more than Brock Lesnar needs them. He has been there and done that with the WWE for the last 6 years. Zero farks have been given lately and he’s not that excited about wrestling Roman Reigns.
I’m wondering what the presence of an UGLY looking red title belt is going to do for RAW?
If I were booking the WWE, I’d try Bobby Lashley and possibly have Paul Heyman joining him. What Lashley lacks is mic skills and Heyman could easily speak on his behalf. Heyman could screw Lesnar out of the title, too…
But there really isn’t much other than that…
And once Brock Lesnar is officially gone, who is going to draw for RAW?
SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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