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Never can say goodbye…. No, no, no, no now, never can say goodbye. Everytime I think I’ve had enough and start heading for the door, there’s a very strange vibration piercing me right through the core. It says “turn around you fool” you know you love writing columns more and more. So tell me why, is this love… Don’t want to let you go! Never can say goodbye.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, here is my VIDEO REVIEW of the 2019 WWE Royal Rumble.
And yes, that is my voice… Now, let me explain myself and my “Unretired” role here at LordsofPain.net. I’m just here to chill… For a while now, I’ve observed other wrestling websites offer a select variety of content avenues for their supporters. Here at LoP, we offer you the typical wrestling website of posted news, results, and opinionated columns. We also offer Podcasts via LoP Radio as led by our good friend Steven Bell. LoP also has a Social Media presence which we’re trying to improve… But there was ONE THING that we didn’t offer or haven’t offered since about 5 years ago: YouTube Videos.
During last year when I gave my “6 month notice”, my stance was to (a) retire completely or (b) try something new. The “try something new” was to take the Mr. Tito franchise to a new form of media, such as a Podcast or making YouTube videos, or to possibly try a new environment. Well, come October 2018, I wasn’t quite ready or was unwilling to take those leaps. On the YouTube video front, it was over a decade since I last cut videos using Adobe Premiere 6.5. Things have greatly changed since time. Between September through November, I was working for a few political campaigns and posting political ads or hype videos. It is that timeframe that helped me learn how to use the newer version of Adobe Premiere. I continued to help a few political organizations and causes with video production on social media after the election as well.
But through December, I was sticking to my retirement… I honestly did watch any single WWE shows since WWE Hell in a Cell. In fact, I was laughing at how bad it was getting by actually being below 2.0 million viewers. I wrote a Christmas Column “from the Retirement Home” just to express my disdain for the WWE and to also emphasize further that I don’t need you, WWE or pro wrestling, to exist…
Then, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) arrived… HOLY COW. I figured that Cody and the Young Bucks would do something, but I did not predict that they’d find financial assistance. Enter the Jacksonville Jaguars ownership family who are LOADED with money, probably moreso than the McMahons. And then Chris Jericho joined them in a jaw dropping moment. Suddenly, I was engaged at checking out wrestling news again… Then, the whole Priscilla Kelly tampon stuff hit the fan and I was chomping at the bit on the merits of that debate.
The YouTube stuff started circulating in my head and during January, I inquired about creating videos for LoP. I actually started pre-production on Priscilla Kelly which you can read HERE and All Elite Wrestling which you can read HERE for possible Video Commentaries. In the middle of the Kelly one, I was starting to get repulsed by the subject matter and quit… Then, the week before the Royal Rumble 2019 started to get in my head… I LOVE the Rumble Match. It is my absolute FAVORITE thing in Pro Wrestling and to deny myself of that would be a crime. Plus, WWE Network was bombarding me with $0.99 cent offers for 2 months… Damn it, keep that heroin away!
So I gave in… And then I thought, what if I did a quick Video Review of the WWE Royal Rumble 2019?
What I’m here to tell you is that I will NOT and I repeat NOT be doing Show Reviews as videos for LoP’s YouTube Channel. That Royal Rumble review was basically a TEST video for myself to see how quickly I could turnaround a video after something happened and also just to tell everyone “HEY, LOP HAS A YOUTUBE CHANNEL!”. What pushed me to “retire” was that very thing, show reviews. As much as you may have enjoyed the insta-columns, it was taxing on yours truly. 4-5 hour shows SUCK to review, especially with a family around. My entire Sunday Night is shot plus the WWE wasn’t exactly giving us any quality in those 4-5 hour shows.
What I’ll doing for LoP’s YouTube Channel are concept videos. Sure, I might make a video commentary on a major news item, but I want to strive to make videos that I want to see as a viewer. I’ve been watching what WhatCulture, WrestleLamia, and others have tried and I believe that I create a unique set of videos for mass appeal. The video that I’m working on now covers a past rumor that is still talked about to this day, for example.
As for written columns… Well, what you’re reading NOW will be few and far between. I’m done writing columns, at least on a schedule. My focus will be 99% on LoP’s YouTube Channel. We have enough good columnists now to provide you with written content but what LoP doesn’t have is a YouTube or video presence. I shall work to fix that…
But I’m also changing as a wrestling fan AND as Mr. Tito. Not in my views, but in my habits.
To quote Magneto from the 3rd X-Men film… “In Chess, the pawns go first!” My new policy as wrestling fan is to CHILL on Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday Nights and NOT WATCH THE SHOWS… Then, when the reviews come out, if I hear that a specific match was GREAT, I’ll hope on YouTube or WWE Network and check it out. I AM DONE watching 2-5 hour wrestling shows. Many have asked if I’ll do a video review on Wrestlemania 35. NOPE. In fact, I’m probably not going to watch all of that show when it airs… I’ll wait until I hear about a 4-5 Star rated match and then go back 1 day later to check it out.
As for providing content, I’ll just work at my own pace and I will NOT push myself to Insomnia just to grind out a bunch of columns to meet scheduled deadlines.
Think of me like the Burt Cooper character from the show Mad Men… I’m the old man who has a big stake in the company but yet I’m just there to chill… I want to see where my creativity on Video production can go. I’m also going to be more open with appearances, as you may see or hear me on various wrestling talk shows that have tried to invite me for years but I kept saying “no”. I have the blessing to appear on various channels as “Mr. Tito from LordsofPain.net” and I’m currently talking with some friends to put together a unique online show that should impress…
As far as “going back on my retirement”, yeah, I guess you are right… I’m a hypocrite. But I needed 2-3 months off to assess where Mr. Tito was going and I really wanted to try something new. I enjoyed writing columns and I was damn good at it, but I have more to offer than just that medium I believe. But I’m semi-retired here because my wrestling viewing habits are changing as will my contributions to LordsofPain.net. It has ALWAYS been a “hobby” to me and I want to keep it that way. When it ventures into becoming WORK that doesn’t fulfill me or create enjoyment, that is when I start going insane. WWE burned me out during 2017-2018 with LOW QUALITY PROGRAMMING + PUSHING THE WRONG WRESTLERS… But now, I’m not watching them exclusively… I’ll just watch 1 day later when I hear good things and I’ll do the same with AEW after their events too.
And to the haters out there… I don’t care about you. I owe you nothing. The fact is that when you attack me in the Comments section, it’s just words… Just try not to cry as much, this time around, when I hit back… You are a pageview to me and cents added when you load my columns or videos on our ad banners. If you only come to my columns to thrash me in the Comments, goes to show you what a fool that you truly are to get upset about wrestling opinions and wasting your time on a guy named after a Jackson 5 band member. We’ll keep exploiting you for pageviews and that justifies my existence. Usually, when there is something that I dislike (NJPW, ROH, Impact), I say NOTHING about them and find something else to enjoy. If reading or commenting on something that you “hate” gets you off, then keep doing it for all I care. You’ll fall for my retirements each and every time and then you’ll keep trolling me when I make another comeback.
But I’m convinced that when I become stronger at video production and providing unique content, you’ll come around… If not, your pageviews will still be appreciated.
So I’m back and probably here for ever… I have the freedom to post whatever and whenever I want…
If you don’t like it or like me, just don’t check it out… It’s a free country and it’s your choice to click into my stuff. LordsofPain.net provides plenty of other content to check out.
OK, enough about me… Now that you have made it through my “return” speech, I’ll provide you with a wrestling column as a present in return. How about them apples?
DEAN AMBROSE – PRO WRESTLING HERO
When I heard the news that Dean Ambrose was NOT going to sign a contract extension with the WWE and was thereby going to become a Free Agent after Wrestlemania 35, I was so happy! Finally, a noteworthy wrestler had the courage to buck the system and potentially join the upstart All Elite Wrestling (AEW).
It was what I was demanding of Daniel Bryan when his WWE contract came up during September 2018. After months of poor Creative Treatment (see Big Cass, Rusev loss, Miz losses), he was prime to bolt from the WWE and maybe appear at “All In” or maybe even “Wrestle Kingdom”. Nope, his wife has those E! Network shows and probably the promise of a push was on hand for him (and a Lesnar match). Now, we get to suffer with his Left-Wing Apologist gimmick that is just sad to watch because the IRONY is that he just re-signed with the WWE company that he is criticizing.
Now that AEW has been formed, it was just a matter of time before a decent free agent joins them from the WWE. After all, WWE Creative and Vince McMahon placed ALL of their chips on Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar since 2014 while everybody else endured 50/50 booking (win some, lose some). In the case of Dean Ambrose, he has been nothing but the WWE Creative’s bitch from mid-2014 when the Shield broke up until Money in the Bank 2016 when he won the WWE Title because of a certain someone failing a Wellness Policy test. His Pay Per View win-loss record is a JOKE between that timeframe. Finally winning the WWE Title was nice as was his feud with John Cena and AJ Styles during the early days of the Smackdown brand extension, but Dean has been poorly used since. He was “just a guy” in the Shield reunions and the heel turn on Seth Rollins has led to nothing significant.
Now, am I saying that Dean Ambrose will INSTANTLY make All Elite Wrestling (AEW) become great?
Nope… Not saying that.
“Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it” -George Santayana (1905-1906)
Hey, can you name me the TOP STARS of the WWE’s Attitude Era? Besides the home-grown talent named The Rock, the top guys were the Undertaker, Kane, Steve Austin, Triple H, Mick Foley, and eventually, Chris Jericho.
And where did each of those wrestlers come from before the WWE? Oh yeah, World Championship Wrestling (WCW). I could take that argument further… Before they rejoined WCW, Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) and Kevin Nash (Diesel) joined the WWE and helped the company “swim” during the mid-1990s after the Steroid/Sexual Harassment charges plagued the WWE’s early 1990s. Hall was terrible as the Diamond Studd and they had many goofy gimmicks for Nash (Master Blasters, Oz, Vinnie Vegas). I could argue Sean Waltman‘s WWE return from WCW, too… X-Pac was very important to the WWE during 1998-1999.
“It takes a village”, as “no man is an island”. I’m NOT saying that Dean Ambrose joining AEW will put the company over as the #1 promotion. Nope, not at all…
But the signings of Undertaker, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and Triple H were thought of as nothing by WCW. In each case, World Championship Wrestling saw no singles potential in each of the wrestlers as Main Eventers. They would later join the WWE, be repackaged, and become major superstars. By 1998, each played a MAJOR role in the WWE as Bret Hart, let go by the WWE, and Shawn Michaels, out with a back injury, were gone. Suddenly, it was “next man up” and each of these former WCW wrestlers stepped up HUGE for the WWE. Better yet, many longtime wrestlers sympathized for these wrestlers because they KNEW that they were screwed in WCW, specifically Austin and Foley.
Dean Ambrose was screwed by WWE Creative, right?
When Undertaker, Austin, Triple H, and Foley were each signed by WWE, nobody thought much of their signings… It wasn’t until they were properly packaged by the WWE that their true potential began to shine.
The Undertaker – WCW primarily used “Mean Mark” Callous as a substitute wrestler for the Skyscrapers tag team that consisted of Danny Spivey and Sid Vicious. After that, they tried him briefly as a singles wrestler with Paul Heyman as his manager. Despite showing off skills of an agile big man, including walking the ropes (“Old School”), WCW thought nothing of him. They let him join the WWE where Vince McMahon packaged him with a perfect gimmick as a wrestling Undertaker to which Mark Calaway (real name) took very seriously. McMahon protected him with booking to keep him strong and he virtually became the next “Andre the Giant” in the process. By 1996, they were allowing him wrestle smaller wrestlers and his in-ring talent began to shine.
Stone Cold Steve Austin – One of the best midcard acts for World Championship Wrestling as “Stunning” Steve Austin. I’d argue that Austin was the very best Television champion of all time. But WCW had no real plans using him beyond that. They stuck him in the Tag Team division with Pillman and when that team was abruptly broken up, he was chasing the United States title for a while. Mid-1994 arrives, however, and WCW signs Hulk Hogan to a huge deal. With that, Hogan has creative power and he also brings in a bunch of his old WWE buddies for jobs too. Austin was the “odd man out” and began jobbing to “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan regularly. An injury sustained just gave WCW an excuse to cut Austin loose but they were going to do that anyway. Austin joined the WWE as “The Ringmaster” with Ted Dibiase as his manager. Once Ted signed a WCW deal, Austin was free and changed his gimmick to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. He cuts the “Austin 3:16” promo at King of hte Ring and he’s off! Austin becomes the WWE’s biggest star since Hulk Hogan.
Mick Foley – As Cactus Jack in WCW, he was just a punching bag to the top stars in the promotion (Sting, Vader, etc.). He did have a goofy name didn’t create mass appeal and some of the booking (amnesia angle, for example) did him no favors. WCW didn’t take advantage of Foley’s personality, as the guy could cut one hell of a promo and as seen by his work in WWE, he was flexible to do other things creatively. WCW let him go and after a brief stint in ECW, he joined WWE as a much needed hand during 1996. WWE repackaged him as a Hannibal Lecter type character named “Mankind” and let him talk often with promos. Finally, the character was every bit as good as the in-ring work. His first few matches with the Undertaker were so impressive that it gave Foley additional work, such as a feud with Shawn Michaels which produced an amazing Mind Games Pay Per View match. Then, the WWE began to explore his character with Dude Love and even bringing back Cactus Jack for the “hardcore” version of Foley. The multiple personalities version of Foley was perfect and gave the WWE amazing flexibility with the character. Then, when he was needed to be the punching bag to the stars, he was always available. Fans felt his struggle getting to the top and were very happy for him winning the WWE Title during early 1999 (in your face, WCW!).
Triple H – He joined WCW with just 3 years of wrestling experience under his belt and was named “Terra Ryzing”. Not much can be said about that character other than he was used as a lower midcarder and he would be later repackaged as “Jean Paul Levesque”, a French based snob that looked very similar to the Hunter Hearst Helmsley character that he’d initially play in the WWE. Soon, he’d join the British snob Lord Steven Regal to form a tag team. When inquiring about becoming a singles wrestler again, WCW insisted that he remained as a Tag Team wrestler. When his contract came up during 1995, WWE promised to use him as a singles wrestler. That was enough for him. The HHH blueblood character was an instant hit as a midcarder insomuch that by mid 1996, he was seriously going to win the King of the Ring 1996 tournament and begin to challenge Shawn Michaels for the WWE Title. However, the “Curtain Call” incident happened… HHH would remain in the midcard until late 1997 when Degeneration X was formed and the popularity of that catapulted Triple H up the ladder. By early 1999, WWE gave him a nice contract extension and formulated plans to push him as a Main Eventer. The rest was history… Not only was Triple H a big part of the WWE as a wrestler, but he is likely to be the backstage successor to Vince McMahon as an executive.
Kane – I could add him to the mix, though his WCW stint was very, very brief.
So as you can see, it wasn’t just ONE wrestler who put the WWE over the top, although Steve Austin‘s rise to the top helped elevate everyone quickly. But it was a collection of misused WCW wrestlers who joined WWE to deepen their talent pool for the company to grow. WWE lost Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels from 1996-1998 and that should have destroyed the WWE’s chances to defeat WCW in the Monday Night Wars. No problem… Triple H, Undertaker, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Kane, etc. were ready to step up along with home-grown talents such as the Rock.
For Dean Ambrose to leave the WWE and join AEW, he’ll just be the first of many… Add him along with other disgruntled WWE wrestlers getting screwed with by Creative, and they’ll be set.
DO NOT put it all on Dean Ambrose’s shoulders… The sum of parts is what will defeat WWE.
Now, All Elite Wrestling should NOT just take any wrestler with “WWE experience”. Otherwise, you’ll become TNA Impact Wrestling if you choose that option. After the big splash signing of Kurt Angle during 2006, anybody who could fog a mirror and worked for the WWE was signed by TNA. Hence, their quick downfall after that Angle signing.
AEW has to be picky on their signings… They also need to avoid signing any wrestlers that represent them poorly, such as ones Tweeting that wrestling is either “fake” or “make believe”. You know who you are.
Dean Ambrose is a perfect AEW signing because he was CLEARLY screwed with by WWE Creative and always seemed to be holding something back with his character. Kind of like all of those former WCW wrestlers who joined WWE… Austin and Foley could both talk but WCW limited their opportunities. It wasn’t until they had brief stints in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) that their mic skills were unleashed thanks to Paul Heyman.
Hopefully, Dean Ambrose DOES sign with AEW… Nothing is guaranteed, as he might have another promotion in mind or retire… Also not guaranteed if is AEW will be successful. Still TOO EARLY to tell… AEW will need to create demand for its product to tour, get a television deal, sell merchandise, and market big events. If starting a promotion was so easy, WWE would have many competitors by now.
Oh, and by the way, who is the EVP of AEW again? Oh, that’s right… Cody Rhodes, a guy who was screwed with by WWE Creative. Solid singles talent who did cool things with the Legacy angle but was eventually placed into the “Stardust” gimmick to which there was no end in sight. He leaves and suddenly, Cody is an international superstar who is killing it in the ring and is in demand by many promotions. Along with the Young Bucks, he helps create the “All In” event to pack an arena in Chicago.
If Ambrose joins AEW, that would make 2 disgruntled former WWE wrestlers within the company… If you look at the early days of the Attitude Era, it took about 4 disgrungled former WCW wrestlers to put the WWE over the top.
Remember, it is just not Dean Ambrose joining AEW that matters… It who else has the BALLS from the WWE to join him and “save” the wrestling business from a WWE monopoly.
And remember… To purchase the Doc’s book Greatest Matches and Rivalries of the Wrestlemania Era via Amazon.com in the United States, GO HERE. To purchase this book via Amazon.com in the United Kingdom, GO HERE. If those don’t work, please inquire Doc via Twitter through his handle @TheDocLoP.
BUY THE BOOK!
So just chill… Until the next episode!
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