Welcome to the BRAND NEW column to WrestlingHeadlines.com/LordsofPain.net. If you have watched ESPN's Sportscenter, you'll see a regular feature called "Fact or Fiction", in which ESPN gets 2 analysts of a sport and they discuss around 5 topics, saying if a statement is either a FACT or FICTION. It's especially great when John Clayton and Sean Salsbury argue over NFL topics.
After watching one of those segments, I figured "why not do a Wrestling FACT or FICTION?". Given that I debate wrestling with LoP co-worker William Martinez regularly, I figured this would make a great new addition to LordsofPain.net.
So enjoy. If you like what you see, please feel free to e-mail Mr. Tito at firstname.lastname@example.org or William Martinez at email@example.com.
1) FACT or FICTION: Steve Austin is returning to the WWE and will make an impact.
William Martinez: This is a FACT You know, so much is said about how WWE brings in big names to try and give the ratings a little kick start but there are a certain few who can maintain that ratings kick. Bret Hart would be one. Kurt Angle would be another provided he came back from a long haitus. Steve Austin is also one of those people. Just his presence on screen gives a WWE TV show an edgier, anything can happen feel to it, regardless of whether Austin drives a vehicle to the ring or not.
Mr. Tito: I disagree. This is FICTION. Austin won't be able to make an impact, for one. He walked out on Vince McMahon TWICE, and at crucial times in the WWE's storylines, once after Wrestlemania and at the height of the RAW with Flair as the boss storyline. I don't honestly think adding another old WWE name will help spark the WWE to some good business. Maybe his return might spike a buyrate or some ratings for a few weeks, but he's not the answer to save the WWE. There's much more to it. Plus, what says he'll agree to come back to the WWE in the first place?
2) FACT or FICTION: Scott Steiner will last in the WWE by Wrestlemania.
Mr. Tito: This is definitely FICTION. Steiner's blowing up at the Royal Rumble was the beginning of the end for him in the WWE, and the heel beatdown on RAW iced it that Steiner isn't going to be around for a while. Given that no contract details have been released in Steiner's honor, I believe he's on a per date deal. Therefore, he'll be let go sooner or later. I'm assuming he'll get one more rematch with Triple H on a future RAW, but other than that, he's finished.
William Martinez: This is indeed a FACT. Scott Steiner will last in WWE until Wrestlemania but I don't see him on the roster heading into Summerslam, unless he is moved to Smackdown. When push comes to shove and Steiner demands that World title, Triple H will not give it to him. Steiner will not put up with many more compromises like he did for the Royal Rumble. WWE will have Steiner work with Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Steve Austin and The Rock just to squeeze every last buck they can out of him.
3) FACT or FICTION: Shane McMahon will help RAW do better in the ratings.
William Martinez: FICTION. While he does have tremendous fan support, McMahon's character just doesn't seem strong enough to single-handedly help Raw in the ratings. Like Stephanie McMahon, Shane's character has been over-exposed. Character turns (face to heel or vice versa) simply don't have as big an effect on fans as it would someone else for the simple fact that Shane has been turned far too many times. The same could be said about Vince McMahon but Vince is portrayed as such as God in all aspects of wrestling media that just his name being mentioned on a program will cause channel surfers to stop on TNN or UPN. Shane, at least his character, is still in Vince's shadow.
Mr. Tito: I agree with Martinez on this, in say that it's FICTION. The McMahons wore out their welcome after the Stephanie/Triple H relationship became old and after the Invasions. Shane may, like an Austin return or a Vince McMahon return, spike the ratings early on, but in the long run, fans will be burnt out of Shane McMahon getting overexposed on WWE television. He'll start wrestling, too, and do insane bumps for his good friends, and then walk away for another year upon returing once again.
4) FACT or FICTION: Chris Benoit should be pushed as the top face after his performance at the Royal Rumble.
Mr. Tito: I believe this is a FACT. If you look at the WWE product lately, cutting promos aren't getting wrestlers over that well like it did during 1998-2000. Fans don't care what wrestlers have to say for 20 minutes, they want action, given that the remaining fanbase seems to be wrestling fans, not sportz entertainment fans. That standing ovation from Boston, after being quiet for the matches beforehand, was something special. Plus, Benoit was getting over as a face before his neck injury, so based on the workrate, he's good to go right now. Who else are they going to push as a face these days?
William Martinez: I disagree with Tito, as this is FICTION. While Benoit took a giant leap in proving that he can hang as a main eventer on Sunday, I just don't think he has the sustained fan support to put WWE on his shoulders heading into the company's biggest show of the year. And I don't think WWE has that confidence in him either. Brock Lesnar is, and rightfully so, being pushed as the top face going into Wrestlemania.
5) FACT or FICTION: Bill Goldberg will sign with the WWE.
William Martinez: FICTION. Other than PERHAPS a one-time deal, Goldberg in WWE is just something that will never happen. I don't think that Goldberg's moral beliefs will ever allow him to sign any contract with the WWE logo on it and I don't think WWE is desperate enough to offer Goldberg the kind of money that would make him put his moral beliefs aside. I won't say that I don't think Goldberg will ever be in WWE because who knows if he'll need the money but with Steve Austin and The Rock coming back for a relatively long period, I don't think the two sides will come together.
Mr. Tito: I say it's a FACT that Goldberg will sign with the WWE. He's rumored to have a deal where he'll wrestle the Rock for 2 consecutive Pay Per Views (Wrestlemania and Backlash), which is on the table right now. Vince needs a prayer to save his product, and like he did for Mike Tyson in 1998, he'll shell out the money once again to spike Wrestlemania and get the fanbase talking again. My belief is that Goldberg is realizing that his celebrity status here in the United States is dwindling, and a decent run with the WWE could get him movie roles and more money outside of wrestling for him.
@Thanks for reading,