Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 8/14/2022

Paul” The Nitro” Skivers

Good morning and welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us. With the return of CM Punk in AEW after his foot injury, it is now imminent that the unification match between Punk vs. Moxley, which could be held at All Out. With that in mind, I want to look at the ramifications that could result from the match and it is just more than a main event match. Here are some of those ramifications:

  1. AEW needs to have a solid main event and a solid undercard to be competitive with the rise of the new HHH ran WWE, because it seems that AEW has stalled in coming with any counter moves to overcome the surprises that the WWE has brought in the last couple of weeks. A good example of this would be the success of Summerslam and how AEW had lack some initiative in toping the event with Dynamite. AEW gave us the same formulas that had no steam or sizzle for fans to talk about the next day. This is a major factor in trying to still remain the top promotion.
  2. CM Punk needs to prove that he is the true AEW World Champion and have what it takes to have one more sustained run. The foot injury proved that Punk is at the point that any wrestler will encounter in their career and that is being more prone to significant injuries, like the foot. Especially, when the fans are always questioning anything with their champion and injuries are always included in the conversation. At the end of the day, CM Punk must need a solid victory to say that he is the one to lead AEW as the World Champion.
  3. Jon Moxley is entering a similar situation with the exception that he is battling for respect as champion. We all know that Jon hates the word Interim in his official title as champion. Also, he has the hardcore reputation that still proceeds them and that can turn the fans off to that particular wrestler and television stations that show the program. A win by being the better wrestler against Punk will be a major step in the direction of getting his respect.
  4. WWE will definitely be paying attention as to how this event does as far as the buzz from the fans, because HHH will take advantage of any mistake made by AEW and capitalize on it with a great match or angle. Meanwhile, Tony Khan must be aware of this important factor and put on the best show that AEW can produce and not make any major mistakes that can cost him fans and eventually will become WWE fans.

Hopefully, these factors should be put into the equation as to the importance of the unification match between Moxley vs. Punk and the ramifications that will come from it. With that in mind, that will end this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Until next Sunday morning, have a great week everyone.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 8/7/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro and thanks for joining us. I hoped that you enjoyed the audio preview versions of this column on my podcast-Saturday Evenings with the Nitro over the past two weeks. For this week, I want to give some random thoughts on Summerslam 2022 which occurred two weeks ago.

  1. I felt that this Summerslam was a good show with some enjoyable surprises, like the return of Bayley and the brutal last man standing match between Brock and Roman for the main event. There is no doubt that HHH taking over creative is nothing but a major positive first step for the WWE to reclaiming the spot of top promotion in the world.
  2. Bayley looks really good in her return and leading IO Sky and Dakota Kai as a gang over the past two weeks have been newsworthy. By taking out Becky Lynch with a shoulder injury and targeting Bianca Belair, they have become a major threat to the Raw Womens Division at this time.
  3. For anyone that is booing Liv Morgan at this time has no idea as to how much of a positve it was for Liv to win at Summerslam. By beating Rhonda Rousey in 5 minutes, Liv propelled herself to superstardom and is now going to be the scrappy tough champion that this Smackdown Womens Division needs at this point. I expect a long title reign from Liv as the champion.
  4. Who is going to stop the Bloodline? I do not at this point as to where the Bloodline is going. Maybe, the group has gotten too dominant for their own good. It will eventually bore the audience into always expecting the same results every time that gets to be stale in the long run.

With that in mind, that will do it for this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us and I will see you next Sunday Morning for a new column. Have a great week everyone.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 7/10/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. I thought that today, I want to do a surprise topic for everyone, and this will focus on the one main problem with the wrestling business and that is predictability. Predictability is defined as the ability to be predicted. With that in mind, the wrestling business is gaining the ability to be predicted and that is bad for the bottom line and here are several reasons why:

  1. The fans are predicting what is going to happen next in angles and storylines and criticizing it from the moment it occurs. After it occurs, the fans lose interest in the angle and thus not tuning in every week. The fault lies with the creative department in the organization. A prime example of this would be the WWE “Creative” Department. In just about every angle they portray on television, the fans have already figured out what is going to happen next and thus boo the living crap out of it.
  2. The unlimited access to behind the scenes information online from the news source and talk shows have taken the kayfabe out of the sport and makes the fans not suspend disbelief, which is the main purpose of why fans come out to the matches. However, the fans today have the inside word on what is going to happen next and that makes the fans make a choice of either watching it or turning the channel. The fans should not have to make that choice at all.
  3. the promotions are giving away too much of a heads up as to who will be at the event in the main event at the next pay-per-view. If I was running the publicity department, I would just do an artistic design of the pay-per-view and use that to promote the event. By showing them the main event before it is announced, this will give the fans that choice of ordering the event or not instead of getting the event out of curiosity as to what may be on the card itself, this the suspension of disbelief.

I hope that this predictability comes to an end soon as this is ruining the fans interest in watching the sport of pro wrestling itself. With that in mind, that will do it for this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Have a great week and see you next Sunday Morning.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 7/3/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro and Happy 4th of July weekend. I think that in honor of Independence Day, let us take a look at some wrestlers that would be considered the label “All-American”. The label can be best defined as those wrestlers that display characteristics that make America the great nation that it is and that is hard work, courage and dedication to advancement in their careers and doing it the right way. Here are some wrestlers that would be best fit the label:

  1. Liv Morgan- At last night’s Money in the Bank, she not only won the Womens Money in the Bank Ladder Match, but successfully cashed it in later in the night and beat Rhonda Rousey to become the Smackdown Womens Championship. Liv has displayed a never say die attitude and her hard work backs it up every time. She is loved by the fans and sets a positive example of working hard to accomplish her dream of becoming champion.
  2. Cody Rhodes: Here is a case of taking advantage of a second chance after leaving the WWE six years ago and forming AEW and being successful there. When he returned to the WWE, he took full advantage of the second chance by beating Seth Rollins at WrestleMania and then showed true courage when he beat Seth while suffering from a torn pectoral muscle to get the win inside Hell in the Cell. Even though Cody is out for 9 months, Cody had earned his distinction of being “All-American”.
  3. Bianca Belair- She has lots of confidence and a fierce attitude in herself and her abilities in herself, Bianca can back it up in the ring with being the Raw Women’s Champion. From her victories over Liv Morgan, Becky Lynch, Doudrop and Carmella amongst her victories during her reign as champion. There is no doubt that she has earned her distinction as “All-American”.

There are other examples as well, but these three would easily have earned that distinction. With that in mind, that will do it for this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us and have yourself a great 4th of July. I will be back next Sunday with another edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 6/26/2022

Paul” The Nitro” Skivers

Good morning and welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. With AEW Forbidden Door coming tonight and Money in the Bank this Saturday Night, I wanted to get some random thoughts on both events here this week.

I am looking forward to seeing who the interim AEW World Champion tonight as this will be Jon Moxley’s biggest match in about two years against Hiroshi Tanahashi. It will come down to who will make the first mistake and if the other takes advantage of it for the win. Also, I feel that CM Punk will be watching and anticipating who we will have to face for the undisputed AEW World Champion.

Also, I wonder how many wins New Japan will gets in the pay-per-view tonight. If they get at least 50% of the matches won tonight, they will become a major player in the US once again. However, if they do not get to that mark, it may be a while before they try anything this high level in the US.

Another great match tonight will be Thunder Rosa vs. Toni Storm for the AEW Womens Title tonight. This is the match for Toni Storm to shine and quite possibly become the new champion. She can keep the intensity up against Rosa and has the skill and quickness to get the job done. A match of the year candidate will take place in this match tonight.

John Cena will be celebrating 20 years of being in the WWE tonight and he does deserve the respect that he gets thru the WWE universe. Now, the question is when will John be in the WWE Hall of Fame. I have a feeling that it will probably be next year at WrestleMania.

Finally, Money in the Bank feels flat to me as there is no sizzle to entice anyone to watch the event. I feel that Drew McIntyre will win the Men’s and Raquel Rodriguez will win the women’s MITB matches and cash them in at Summerslam. With that, it is proof as to how predictable “creative” is getting these days. I just don’t feel the excitement and the sizzle in this event coming on Saturday. It just feels flat.

With that in mind, this will end this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Have a great week and we will see you next Sunday Morning.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 6/19/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us on this chaotic week in wrestling. I thought that I would take an historical look at this chaotic week and see if this is the most chaotic in wrestling history.

This past week has been chaotic to say the least with Jeff Hardy being arrested for DUI at the beginning of the week to the WWE 3-million-dollar hush money scandal and possible insider trading (Kevin Dunn is being accused of this crime) that lead to Vince stepping aside as CEO of the WWE and Stephanie McMahon stepping in as interim CEO at the end of the week. However, from an historical perspective is the question of whether this week in the history of the sport. Let us look at several examples of this kind of week:

  1. WCW and ECW being sold to WWE- March 2001: The rumors were flying around all week that Vince was going to buy out the competition and with the state of both companies being near extinct, Vince decides to buy them out for cheap prices. With the purchase, WWE have bought out the competition and in effect ended the Monday Night Wars with WCW and eliminated the third top promotion at the time with ECW. We all know what happend after the purchase with WWE having to compete with themselves for ratrings (RAW vs. Smackdown).
  2. Vince McMahon culminating his talent raid of the territories by getting Hulk Hogan from the AWA-1983: Vince had already got Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine and others from the NWA and the dying territories at the time and then landed the ultimate coo by getting Hulk Hogan from the AWA. With the signing, Vince made Hulk Hogan a mega star with Hulkamania and the rest is history.
  3. WrestleMania 1 week-1985: The media blitz with the Rock n Wrestling connection culminated in Hulk Hogan and Mr. T beating Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff in the main event of the event. Along with the celebrities like Muhammad Ali, Liberace and Billy Martin being at the event, WrestleMania 1 was a major success and put the WWE on the map.
  4. WWE Steroid Trial-1994: A two year investigation into alleged Steroid distribution charges that could have put Vince in jail for several years and alter the WWE like never before, but it never happend as Vince was found innocent of the charges. Because of the trial, Vince instituted a drug polciy in the WWE that has been modified many times over the years.

With these examples and many more in mind, I feel that this is the most chaotic week in wrestling history as the mere fact that Vince could step done as CEO of the WWE and in effect have Nick Khan run the company (I don’t feel that the McMahon family will be running the WWE after the smoke clears.) and the rumors of selling the company to a major media company like Disney would be a major possibility. Also, the release of Sasha Banks, which happened at the end of this week will leave the door open for her to join AEW. Finally, Jeff Hardy’s arrest may lead to the end of the Hardy Boys in AEW as Tony Khan will learn about someone’s past catching up with them. It will be interesting to see the end result of all these events and how it will affect the wrestling world.

With that in mind, we will end this week’s edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us and we will see you again with another new column. Have a great week.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 6/12/2022

Paul” The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. After the inspirational effort by Cody Rhodes inside Hell in the Cell against Seth Rollins, I thought that I would give you my top 5 most inspirational moments in wrestling history and here is the list:

5. Mike Von Erich-1985: In the spring of 1985, Mike Von Erich was a popular mid-carder wrestler of the Von Erich family. Then, he suffered a shoulder injury on a tour of India for World Class and came back to Dallas for surgery. During surgery, Mike contracted Toxic Shock Syndrome and nearly died from it. But Mike recovered and made his return (which it is ill advised from a new perspective in this era) to the ring and won the World Class six-man tag titles. However, Mike ended up committing suicide in April 1987 after getting pulled over for a DUI the previous week before his death. A sad end to an inspirational comeback, but give Mike credit for making a comeback.

4. Junkyard Dog-1980: JYD was the most popular star in Mid-South Wrestling in April 1980 when the Freebirds blinded the Dog with the freebird hair removal cream leaving JYD blinded for several months. Then, the fans and his family gave him the support that he needed, and he recovered enough to beat Michael Hayes in a dog collar cage match while still partially blind. No doubt, JYD became a legend in the business after this incident.

3. Bryan Danielson- 2018: After suffering from lingering effects from a concussion for several years, Daniel Bryan got clearance to wrestle again after leaving the sport 2 years earlier and he went on to win the Universal Title in September 2018. Now, Daniel is a member of the Blackpool Fight Club in AEW and nearly won the AEW World Title in January 2022.

2. Steve Austin- 1997: Austin suffered a serious neck injury at the hands of Owen Hart at Summerslam 1997. However, Austin would not be denied his vengeance against Owen and came back at Survivor Series 1997 and beat Owen to win the Intercontinental Title. After that win, Austin’s career took off and he eventually became WWE World Champion.

  1. Magnum TA- 1986: In October 1986, Magnum was involved in a career ending car crash that left him partially paralyzed. I thought that Magnum would never return to a wrestling event ever again after the accident until it was announced on tv that Magnum TA would be at the Crockett Cup 87 in Baltimore. Then, on night 2 of the event, Magnum walked down to ringside with the aid of a crutch and embraced the Superpowers-Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff. It was a powerful moment that I will never forget.

With that in mind, that will end this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us and have a great week everyone.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 6/5/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thanks for joining us as we are just hours away as of this writing for WWE Hell in the Cell. I thought that for this week, I want to focus on the Hell in the Cell main event between Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins and wonder whether this match can resurrect the respect that the cage match has lost in pro wrestling. Let me explain:

The steel cage match has become an afterthought of a specialty match these days to fill out a segment of WWE Raw or Smackdown. It has been taken for granted by the fans as the traditional style of cage matches has all but disappeared from the lexicon of pro wrestling. Finally, the participants that battle in the cage has had their angle become stale and boring with the fans hoping that the cage will put an end to the useless angle.

However, with the feud between Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins getting red hot and nearing its apex, the hell in the cell match is the perfect concept for this feud to reach its conclusion. The angle has gotten heated and personal between the two and the old school concept of the cage fits perfectly with the situation as this will be the ultimate conclusion as to who is the better man.

In conclusion, we will all see how this match in Hell in the Cell will unfold in several hours. But, if both men can pull it off and have a great fight in the cage, then the tradition of this stipulation match will regain its respect and luster that it originally lost thru time. With that in mind, I will bring it to an end for this week’s edition. Until next Sunday everyone, have a great week!

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro: 5/29/2022

Paul “The Nitro” Skivers

Good morning and welcome to another edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thank you for joining us and before we begin, we want to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day weekend as we honor the armed forces who fight to preserve our freedom for this country, and we thank them for their service.

This week, I want to focus on the fact that the Money in the Bank pay-per-view event that takes place on July 2nd has been moved to the MGM Grand Garden Arena from Allegiant Stadium due to poor ticket sales. With that in mind, this is a myriad of problems that the WWE needs to seriously pay attention to and deal with it now before it gets worse. These problems are as followed:

  1. Sasha Banks/Naomi walking out on the WWE- This is no doubt proof that the locker room morale is low at this point and adding on the releases each year by the WWE leads to uncertain futures for the stars on the roster. Another factor is that their are not really producing any new talent to be pushed to the main roster at a solid rate leads me to believe that “Creative” does not know how to make a star these days.
  2. “Creative”- Most of the problems with the WWE lies on the creative team and there lack of how to produce solid angles and making stars. Instead, we have botched pushes and false starts along with angles that make no sense which causes the fans to look elsewhere to enjoy the sport.
  3. Celebrity Involvement- It is kind of a toss-up as to whether they work on for the betterment of the company’s bottom line. For example, Bad Bunny did a good job at WrestleMania last year that brought eyes on the WWE in an exciting way. On the other side of the coin, Johnny Knoxville made an embarassing effort that ridiculed and insulted the Pro Wrestling community in the worst match of all time in my opinion against Sami Zayn. The WWE must have a solid plan if they want to bring celebrities in the ring.
  4. Is the WWE for sale?- Even though it has died down, the looming cloud of a possible sale of the WWE with Nick Khan taking over some of Stephanie McMahon’s duties as Branding Officer still leads some people in the wrestling world still wondering if the WWE will be put for sale in the near future. If this continues to loom around and gain strength, then the uncertainty will creep in again to the locker room and get everyone to worry about there futures.

The WWE must address these issues, or it will cause more problems for their bottom line in the future. Hopefully, they have started that process immediately. With that in mind, we will end this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Until next Sunday Morning, have a great week everyone.

Sunday Mornings with the Nitro- 5/22/2022

Paul” The Nitro” Skivers

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro and thanks for joining us. Today, I want to focus on the biggest feud in pro wrestling and it has been going on for a very long time. Most recently, this feud was illustrated with not only the Sasha Banks/Naomi walking out of the WWE this Monday Night, as well as the promo and feud between the Jericho Appreciation Society and the combo of the Blackpool Fight Club, Eddie Kingston and Santana and Ortiz. The feud that I am mentioning is between Sports Entertainment and Pro Wrestling. Let me explain what this feud is all about.

The feud has been around since the 1930’s when a book called Fall Guys: Barnum’s of Bounce released in the thirties pulled the curtain on the double-crossing tactics of the promoting trio called the Gold Dust Trio led by Toots Mondt. Ever since then, the feud reared its ugly head on multiple occasions and especially when trying to define pro wrestling as a sport against others who think it is “Fake”. So, it is no surprise to me that this is coming up again. So to better understand this feud, let us look at both sides of the feud and explain what these particular fans believe in and we start with Sports Entertainment.

Sports Entertainment are fans that believe that matches are pre-determined and that all the moves in the ring are choregraphed and the wrestlers are working together to put on an “exhibition”. They also know the inner workings behind the scenes and let others know that pro wrestling is “fake”, and the winners are determined by a “producer” A good example of this is the WWE Universe meaning those fans that shill the product to the world and proclaim other organizations like AEW as second rate.

Oth the other side of the feud is the Pro Wrestling fan. These are the fans that may know the inner workings of the business, but they keep it to themselves and show respect to the wrestlers as highly trained professional athletes. Also, the level of danger in the moves and how they are applied are respected by the fans and therefore they do not try these moves at home. Finally, they cheer for whoever they cheer and for who they want to boo and just enjoy the show.

In closing, this feud will never be over as long as these two sides continue to exist. So, I say that if a fan wants to be a fan of Sports Entertainment, then that is fine and vice versa for the pro wrestling fan. Let us hope that this feud does not get out of control, and something happens. Let us all enjoy Pro Wrestling the way that we want to enjoy it and have fun. With that being said, that will end this edition of Sunday Mornings with the Nitro. Thanks for joining us and we will see you next Sunday. Have a great week everyone.

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