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You have returned to the EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING exclusively here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com… Imagine that, folks, IN-RING WRESTLING FEATURING YOUR TOP STARS draws for 2 hours when you feature them. Imagine that, here in 2018… Both of those hours did just over 3.5 million viewers and when the WWE turned away from their top guys and DARED to headline the show with a 6 person women’s match… D’oh @ that third hour at barely over 2.8 million… A net loss of 700,000 fans. Yeah… Do y’all remember my conversation about the Royal Rumble and what should have headlined that show?
Now, I’ve tried to write this column during both Tuesday and Wednesday night… And I had nothing. I tried to write about Seth Rollins in particular but I couldn’t get excited for it. For one, several other columnists online already had it covered… Secondly, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I’ve witnessed the Creative stupidity handed to Rollins since his HEEL turn during 2014 and I just can’t believe that ONE NIGHT will remedy that. Yes, it was freakin’ nice to see Seth Rollins pull off a CLEAN win against Roman Reigns and then FINALLY getting a good win over John Cena… But what’s the follow-up act? I’ve seen enough 50/50 booking on Rollins to make my head spin… Wins one night, loses the next. And most of his wins haven’t been that convincing.
Seth Rollins was a “yes man” for the Authority and then the PG Era and Politically Correct WWE Corporation BANNED the Curb Stomp finisher. Remember when I was an early adopter on that being a major mistake when it was first rumored to be happening? On the April 22nd, 2015 Edition of Mr. Tito Strikes Back, I jumped all over the snowflakes within the WWE for deleting a part of Seth’s identity. WWE gave him Triple H’s Pedigree finisher instead and it made him look weak. Arguing with Corporate Kane while getting NO significant or legitimate wins as WWE Champion during 2015 did nothing for him. Then that Triple H feud which was a complete disaster.
So….. Until I see additional momentum put forth by WWE Creative on behalf of Seth Rollins, I’m NOT ready to declare that Mr. Rollins has arrived. It was a great night but to be a legitimately drawing Main Eventer, you need months and months of build up. If he remains a babyface, nobody should beat him cleanly for a long, long time. That, and he should be allowed some legitimate creative freedom on his promos.
I’m struggling to buy a Seth Rollins push has arrived with BOTH Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns on the RAW roster as well. All 3 of those guys are babyfaces… Something has to give or someone is moving to Smackdown following Wrestlemania 34…
ANYWAY… Let’s give you something new that you haven’t read anywhere else this week.
It is my opinion that the WWE may have purposely sabotaged John Cena via the Creative Team since SummerSlam 2014.
Did you get all of that?
Now, why on earth would the WWE do that? Well, they were beginning to push his replacement strongly during that year… Roman Reigns.
I know, this is “Crazy Old Man Tito” with another conspiracy theory… But here me out when you consider the legitimate facts that have occurred in John Cena‘s WWE career ever since SummerSlam 2014:
#1 – On the SAME show where John Cena was destroyed by Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns beat Randy Orton 100% clean.
#2 – Well established during the latter half of 2014 that 2015’s long-term plan was to make Roman Reigns become WWE Champion by Wrestlemania 31 by defeating Brock Lesnar who had an expiring contract at the time (he re-signed with the WWE on the Monday before Wrestlemania 31 to change plans). That said… Who did Brock Lesnar DESTROY at SummerSlam 2014 again? And who was going to BEAT Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31 if Brock’s contract was going to expire?
#3 – Between 2015 and 2017, John Cena was reportedly considered to wrestle the Undertaker at Wrestlemania but the plans were scrapped. Cena was reportedly in plans to wrestle the Undertaker at all 3 shows but booking plans were changed each time in favor of someone else. By the way, who wrestled the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 33 again? Oh, and beat the Undertaker as well? Roman…
#4 – WWE NEVER lets anyone take time off for non-WWE stuff, particularly a big star under contract. You’ll give me the Rock but he was always quickly back to the WWE during 2000-2003 or often working both. Listen to audio interviews from Miz and Randy Orton who were both exhausted by being forced to work a WWE wrestling schedule and also make a movie for WWE films. Remember when CM Punk dared to attend UFC events when he had the night off? He took all kinds of hell for that. Yet, the WWE just lets John Cena take lots of time off to make films and returns when he wants to.
#5 – No serious World Title reigns since SummerSlam 2014. Let’s be honest… That early 2017 WWE Title reign was a JOKE on how he quickly lost his WWE title at Elimination Chamber 2017. Through 2014, John Cena was clearly the top drawing star of the WWE. Instead, he was made United States Champion and wrestled on the midcard quite often.
#6 – Moved to the Smackdown brand per the 2016 Brand Split. RAW is the #1 brand and he was moved away for Roman to “thrive” on that show.
#7 – WWE Houseshow business has tanked without John Cena and nobody has cared. Since 2014, WWE’s live gates for non-RAW events have significantly declined including Houseshows for both brands. For anyone doubting Cena as a draw, it was the houseshow numbers that he kept steady and WWE often gave refunds for anytime John Cena missed shows between 2005-2014.
#8 – Roman Reigns beat John Cena on a non-Big 4 Pay Per View convincingly. No Mercy 2017 and only with a month of build-up. This should have been a Wrestlemania match yet it was on a throwaway Pay Per View. But Roman dominated John Cena in this match and took multiple finishers from Cena without getting pinned. It was such a one-sided victory.
#9 – John Cena stuck in the midcard. Granted, Cena is great working with anybody and actually puts wrestlers over… But the treatment for one of the greatest WWE superstars who is still in his prime is baffling.
And I could go on and on… Other wrestlers have seen destructive booking to reduce their star power in order to make Roman Reigns look good. I maintain that Dean Ambrose was creatively sabotaged as seen by his awful Pay Per View record from 2014 through 2016 and went back to losing during 2017. Braun Strowman was cooled down at that same No Mercy 2017 Pay Per View. To a degree, I believe that Seth Rollins wasn’t pushed convincingly during 2015 because the WWE wanted to make Roman look great.
I don’t get it… John Cena was your #1 star from 2005 through 2014. If you look at actual ratings data before and after the SummerSlams 2013 and 2014, viewership tanked after Daniel Bryan/Randy Orton took his WWE Title during 2013 and Brock Lesnar took his title during 2014. As continued ratings data showed, John Cena’s viewership numbers went up when he was United States champion and carrying some midcarder to a great match.
Yes, he went to Hollywood… But again, because WWE let him go. WWE has been historically controlling of their talent and how they’d be used elsewhere. Fact is that the WWE let him go to Hollywood and perform many non-wrestling functions.
No other explanation other than just getting John Cena OUT of the way. And I believe that John Cena resents this in a way. If you watch those No Mercy 2017 hype promos, Cena repeatedly thrashes Roman Reigns on the microphone to make Roman look bad. And it’s not like John Cena has been enthusiastic about putting over Reigns through various interviews as he had been about CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, and AJ Styles. Their match at No Mercy 2017 was awful, too, as Cena probably knew that his career was getting buried in favor of Roman Reigns.
Cena still had mileage on him… They could have kept him strong on top while TEACHING Roman Reigns the wrestling business through the midcard as a singled wrestler. Instead, they rushed Roman to the Main Event immediately and gave him big wins over every top name on the WWE roster. The end result is 600 average fans lost per live show and 1,000,000 fewer viewers for RAW since SummerSlam 2014.
But that’s just a theory… Just look at John Cena‘s career since SummerSlam 2014.
WWE ELIMINATION CHAMBER 2017 PREDICTIONS
Time to plaster on a fake smile and plow through this crap…
By the way, I LAUGH at anyone who mocks me for getting Pay Per View predictions wrong as if that’s an indictment on me as a wrestling forecaster. Do you really think that I put any legitimate thought into these predictions? Please… I’m seriously guessing at this point because I cannot remember wins/losses of television shows any longer… In the past, I actually studied patterns of televised wins/losses to help me predict Pay Per Views… Now, I just guess… I keep doing these because anytime I skip doing Pay Per View predictions, I get hammered with questions “where are your PPV predictions”. Come on, man… I’m getting too old for this stuff!
GET OFF MY LAWN!
“Woken” Matt Hardy vs. Bray Wyatt
I need to say this… Whether it’s “Broken” or “Woken”, I don’t get it… Many praised his TNA work as the “Broken” character but I was baffled by it whenever I watched. Then, as I see him in the WWE, he just looks like a goofy midcarder to me and NOT the awesome wrestler that I remember during the 2000s. I understand that you have to evolve in the wrestling industry and I’m glad that many fans dig his later career… But when I watch the “Woken” stuff, I’m like “I don’t get it”. FOR THE RECORD, I feel the same exact way about the Wyatt Family stuff as well. I don’t get it. You’re doing character stuff that has NOTHING to do with the in-ring product.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Bray Wyatt
Asuka vs. Nia Jax
If Nia Jax wins, she joins Asuka’s Women’s Championship match at Wrestlemania. This has “Course Correction” written all over it for me. Asuka won the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble and she’s been “meh” ever since. In fact, she’s been “meh” since joining the WWE Main Roster. Between Asuka and Nakamura, I believe that Triple H’s NXT Creative Team does more to protect wrestler weaknesses (in-ring style & promos) than the WWE Creative Team does. That, and the stage is bigger. I definitely believe that Nia wins this and gets added to the Wrestlemania match.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Nia Jax… I’d agree here if the WWE makes a “course correction”. I’m just not digging Asuka under the WWE bright lights. It’s not working.
Women’s Elimination Chamber Match
Hey, since this is the FIRST EVER all women’s Elimination Chamber match, DOES THIS GET TO MAIN EVENT TOO?!? The match is Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss taking on Bayley, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, Mandy Rose, and Sonya Deville. Well, scratch out Mandy and Sonya as they are too new to the process. Mickie had her shot already. Not happening for Bayley… I could see Sasha, as she’s been decent in the ring lately… But nah, the whole dynamic of Alexa trying to convince Nia Jax not to hurt her and only go after Asuka makes sense from storyline perspective. Plus, Alexa has been a good champion and a Wrestlemania slot is her reward for her hard work.
WHO SHOULD WIN / WHO WILL WIN: Alexa Bliss
Men’s Elimination Chamber Match
That’s right, the guys who can push 3.5 million viewers to watch… This match earns the right become #1 contender at Wrestlemania to wrestle Brock Lesnar. The participants include Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, John Cena, Elias, the Miz, Finn Balor, and Braun Strowman. Seth having a great Monday Night rules him out, in my opinion. John Cena not being in WWE’s top level plans for the rest of 2018 is also an indicator that he won’t win. Nope on Elias and I expect Miz vs. Finn Balor to maybe become the Intercontinental feud for Wrestlemania (that should be good). That leaves Braun and Roman… Now, there are some news stories swirling about Roman that makes me wonder if the WWE gets cold feet. Honestly, it would NOT surprise me if Wrestlemania 34 is headlined by a Triple Threat match between Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, AND Braun Strowman.
WHO SHOULD WIN: John Cena. John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar is STAR POWER that will draw huge for Wrestlemania.
WHO SHOULD WIN #2: Braun Strowman. He should be the one who defeats Brock Lesnar cleanly for the big rub. Roman has already beaten the top stars in the business and it did nothing for his career. Why waste a good win?
WHO WILL WIN: Roman Reigns. I believe that Vince has total regrets for that Wrestlemania 31 result and will stick with his plans to have Roman defeat the contract expiring Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 34. God help us!
SO JUST CHILL… ‘TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!
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