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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING has returned to LordsofPain.net where it has produced each and every of its wrestling columns since October 1998. As we head into the potential “series finale” of Mr. Tito on the 20 Year Anniversary of the start of this column, I am LAUGHING at how only *I* am deemed to have an “negative” opinion of WWE SummerSlam 2018. Folks, I can point you to multiple other top reviewers at major sites and publications who disliked that event too. The only ones that I can see giving it positive reviews are NOT critiquing the matches but suggested that the results were “newsworthy” as a reason to give the show a positive review. However, what about my NXT Takeover Brooklyn 2018 review where I gave a grade of an A+. What about that? That show was awesome and it earned a perfect grade. And I posted it the day before SummerSlam, too…
Here is what I also LAUGH about. The Monday Night RAW following SummerSlam 2018 could only average 3,095,000 viewers, just scraping above that 3 million mark which was the first time that accomplishment happened in 16 weeks. And then you consider what the WWE did to earn the viewership number:
(a) WWE Universal Title match as the Main Event.
(b) Hype of Braun Strowman cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase during or after that Main Event.
(c) Stephanie McMahon returns.
(d) Triple H returns for a hyped “big announcement”.
(e) Post SummerSlam RAW, as SummerSlam is considered by most as the #2 show of the year.
(f) Hype of what Brock Lesnar could do if he appeared on RAW.
ALL OF THAT and RAW could only BARELY scrape above 3 million?
But then you consider how the THIRD hour did UNDER 3 million viewers with Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor as the Main Event. Folks, this was the first time that RAW featured a WWE Universal Title defense since, what, early 2017? Late 2016? I’m guessing it was when Kevin Owens was WWE Universal Champion because Bill Goldberg never wrestled on RAW and neither did Brock Lesnar who defeated Goldberg for the Universal Title at Wrestlemania 33.
How is a World Title match as a Main Event causing a viewership decline? RAW’s viewership should be exploding at least to the 3.5 million mark, if not pushing 4 million for a WORLD TITLE MATCH on Monday Night RAW. Is that an indictment of Roman Reigns as the new World Champion? Probably… Is that an indictment of his opponent Finn Balor whom Vince said was “not over” and that caused him to nix a Brock Lesnar vs. Finn Balor match? Probably… When I watched Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor at Extreme Rules 2018, the crowd was mostly silent during that entire match.
And now we have the Shield back once again… LOL…
The Shield reunion is pure “booking on the fly” as both Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose had their own angles going, as Seth Rollins just won the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam and Dean Ambrose returned to the RAW roster with a new look. Having the Shield reunite and helping Roman Reigns fend off Braun Strowman is just another short-term gimmick to protect Roman.
SummerSlam’s booking with Brock Lesnar attacking Braun Strowman was a distraction to keep the New York fans from jeering Roman Reigns. Then, on Monday Night RAW, Braun Strowman was used once again for a Money in the Bank briefcase cash-in to assist with creating interestin the Roman vs. Finn Balor Main Event. When that cash-in was about to happen, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose dressed in black (Ambrose oddly didn’t have the bulletproof vest on, possibly indicating that this was rigged together at the last second) came down to the Shield theme music to attack Braun Strowman. Once again, it was done to distract the New York fans from attacking Roman Reigns as WWE Universal Champion.
So what happens next week? Brock Lesnar seems to be gone for a while and the “shock” fo the Shield reuniting is gone. Braun Strowman has tried to cash-in the briefcase twice now and thus that “threat” of cashing in ASAP will run its course fast.
NFL Monday Night Football is about to begin, as are many shows for the Fall televisioni season. We could be in for some bad viewership times…
If Roman Reigns, as WWE Universal Champion and actually defending it on RAW, cannot pull ratings upward soon… It is time for Shareholders to demand more from Vince McMahon, ditto for the Board Members and EVPs of the company. That includes you Stephanie, Triple H, and Kevin Dunn. Grow a sack (or ovaries) and challenge Vince!
At the very least, this WWE Title reign will keep Roman Reigns from winning the WWE Royal Rumble in efforts to crown him WWE Universal Champion because he is already champion for the time being.
Understanding CM Punk
Recently, the Internet Wrestling Community is all over CM Punk for his deteriorating friendship with fellow wrestler Colt Cabana. Reportedly, Punk made promises to cover all or part of Cabana’s legal fees as it relates to the WWE’s main physician suing Punk and Cabana for comments made on a November 2014 Podcast. Punk alleged that WWE’s physician wouldn’t treat him or refused to treat him and made those comments on Cabana’s show.
Many were asking “how could CM Punk do that?” The answer, obviously, is that he holds a grudge.
See, I can relate to CM Punk… Many of you call me “grumpy”, quick tempered, and can often hold a grudge. That sounds familiar… But why? What the hell is wrong with Mr. Tito and CM Punk?
Well, consider this… CM Punk is “Straight Edge” which defined as a person who refrains from the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other recreational drugs. Guess who else is “straight edge”? Yours truly, Mr. Tito.
I never tried any tobacco products, nor have I tried any recreational drugs. I took a few sips of alcoholic products when I was a younger teenager and deemed it “not for me”. Didn’t like the taste, in particular, and I also didn’t like the state-of-mind that I saw under the influence. It’s just not for me… That would explain my early 2000s columns being very anti-drug, as I repeatedly bashed Road Dogg, Rob Van Dam, and Godfather for non-stop drug references on WWE programming. I was also quite critical of wrestlers who couldn’t keep their substance or alcohol under control. What you didn’t know is that it was mostly from me being “straight edge”. As I’ve grown older, I have cared less about what others put in their body, as long as they don’t hurt other people, although I practice being “straight edge” on my own still. Still 100% sober from any alcohol or drugs and I still haven’t tried tobacco.
Anytime people attack me for my views on wrestling or the WWE, I always get the following response:
“Crack open a beer and enjoy the show!”
Ummmm, I can’t. I don’t drink. How about this one?
“Get baked and enjoy the show!”
Again, I’m not taking drugs to watch a pro wrestling show.
There is no substance or alcohol “escape” for yours truly and furthermore for CM Punk. Any pain that you have, physical or mental, are 100% endured by straight endge person. Worse yet, your memory of all events is super sharp because you’re of sound mind at all times. Thus, if someone pisses you off, you won’t forget. If something bad happens to you at work, it bothers you and wears on you for days. If you have a tragedy or a loss, there’s nothing that can take your body away.
Go back to 2013 for CM Punk. Promises were made to him for headlining Wrestlemania 29 following 2012 on being denied to headline Wrestlemania 28 as WWE Champion. Instead of Punk headlining Wrestlemania 29, he lost to Undertaker at that match and going on to lose to Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2013. Punk was on a major losing streak at big events with losses to Rock, Cena, Undertaker, and Lesnar throughout 2013 while promises by Vince McMahon were reportedly made to Punk about Wrestlemania 30 for 2014. Heading into 2014, Punk lost to Roman Reigns during a January 2014 RAW and then didn’t amount to much at Royal Rumble 2014. Punk snapped when he was offered a match with Triple H at Wrestlemania 30.
Then, the WWE officially terminated CM Punk on his Wedding Day. Gee, I wonder why CM Punk is so bitter about the WWE as his former employer?
If you listen to that Colt Cabana Podcast, Punk holds nothing back… He speaks about his dislike for Triple H based on 2011 events, Ryback for hurting him repeatedly, Vince McMahon for his many failed promises, and the WWE physician’s care of him. Lots of vendettas and grudges held by CM Punk for past events. Then, during 2011, it was CM Punk who as openly showing his disgust for the Rock appearing as a part-timer and taking the spotlight from full-time workers. Punk’s dislike of his use and the company was so strong during 2011 that he was legitimately ready to leave. It wasn’t until the “Summer of Punk” stuff caught fire and made him WWE Champion at Money in the Bank 2011 that things changed… And money talked, too. Eventually, the money no longer mattered.
I’m the same way… If someone pisses me off at work or in my personal life, I very much hold a grudge and it takes a lot for me to let it go. If work ramps up, it causes anxiety with me that causes me to struggle to get to sleep. Then, I’m constantly thinking about work non-stop during evenings and then weekends. Anyone that does me wrong personally, and that could include family, they won’t hear from me and I will hold a grudge.
But, there is a salvation to being “straight edge”. I believe that CM Punk really loves his wife AJ Lee and I would imagine that throughout his WWE lawsuit, she has been his rock and has kept him sane. Lucky for me, I found an amazing person in my late teens whom I’ve always dubbed as “Mrs. Tito” and YES, it is the same one that I referred to 20 years ago when I first started my column… I don’t know what I’d do without my wife. No matter what happens at work, I can come home and there my wife is with our kids. Washes a good bit of mental pain away… I would imagine that AJ Lee has kept CM Punk from really going off on the WWE and probably helped to keep him focused on becoming a UFC fighter.
Just to give you an example of my “straight edge” pain, I had a really bad 2016. We expanded considerably at work and it placed me directly into major projects. I was working long hours and getting burned out quick. Then, a family tragedy struck… A key family member of mine suddenly became ill and within 3 months, I was attending a funeral. So now, I was being worked like a dog and dealing with a major loss in my family. Many of you remarked how much RAGE that I was showing during many of my columns from 2016. Well, Mr. Tito was my “escape” from it all and much of those very aggressive columns was me just using wrestling as a vehicle to vent. During much of 2016, I was probably getting 2-3 hours of sleep per night. And I’m still bothered and haunted by that year and has taken a while to recover from the physical told that it took on me. Let’s just say that I no longer consume anything caffeinated and probably shouldn’t ever again.
When you’re of clear mind, always, you don’t forget things. When I watch pro wrestling, I have a photographic memory that allows me to never forget what happens on shows. If you notice from my columns, I’m quoting history often and much of that is 100% from my memory. But of course, when something irritating happens on WWE programming, I don’t forget. This entire Roman Reigns run, I’m able to recall all of his events day by day… I’m not going to down a beer and “enjoy the show” because I don’t drink. However, it won’t let me forget about many bad things that the WWE has tried either.
CM Punk holds a grudge against the WWE and that is why he has cut off many former WWE employees from any communications. When Colt Cabana appeared backstage at a WWE event, Punk took it personal and felt betrayed. They reportedly made-up during the trial but afterward, Cabana felt the need to take CM Punk to court based on Legal Fee promises made. I don’t believe that we’ll ever see CM Punk in the WWE ever again unless someone purchases the WWE from the McMahons.
However, what I do see is a strong chance of CM Punk to appear at the “ALL IN” during September and the Ring of Honor/New Japan event at Madison Square Garden to “stick it” to the WWE. “Revenge is a dish that is best served cold” and to be part of the revolution that really begins to challenge WWE’s dominance in America as a wrestling company. If he is as vengeful as I am, he’ll definitely appear at that Madison Square Garden show…
While many try to blame the alcohol or use of drugs for any bad behavior, I’ll blame my anger on being “straight edge” on being moody at times… But I have no place to hide the pain at times, so please give me a break.
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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