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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/01/2023 in all areas

  1. Dolfan choosing chaos to start the month by mentioning AEW in a "I know just enough about AEW to start a problem" kind of way
    15 points
  2. As an AEW ride-or-die who has spent years (decades at this point) shitting on WWE here, I just wanna state that to me, the distinction is that even though the quality of AEW's show has slipped a bit over the last 8 months, I don't feel like TK & Co. actively resent me/us as their audience. Are there booking choices I would have made differently if I were in charge? Of course! But very few things aired on AEW TV have ever made me go, 'Is this even f'n wrestling that I'm watching anymore?' in the same way the average WWE broadcast did. In fact, the only time I've ever had anything even approaching that reaction when watching AEW is when something feels 'too WWE' (looking at you, 17 minute four pillars opening promo...) There were times with WWE by the end where it felt like they were literally daring me to stop giving them my time (and HHH came pretty darn close with that 'my friend Mark' promo). In AEW, a bad show is just a bad show; maybe Friday/Saturday/the next Wednesday will be better, maybe not. In WWE, a bad show is representative of a top down, corporate philosophy of 'Content is King!' and 'Fuck 'em, they'll buy it.' I definitely can't and won't speak for anyone else, but personally that's my reasoning for my vitriol toward WWE, and the comparative 'undercriticism' of AEW.
    13 points
  3. What brings you joy in life, friend?
    10 points
  4. 8 points
  5. And that was with the Starks mini program along the way too. It probably makes sense to have the champ with 1-2 programs while the challenger gets built up before a PPV, but with Max's deal that he only wrestles a few times a year, that becomes innately hard. BUT, in the face of the whiny bit of bad faith tone in the post above mine, let me be entirely clear that there's still a lot to enjoy on any given Wednesday or Friday (or Thursday, or Tuesday, or Sunday morning). I'm writing up both Sammy vs Darby and Orange vs Bandido tonight for SC and toss a bunch of words at both. It does make me wonder if they wouldn't be better served by 6 PPVs a year and again, if a soft brand split and more Punk influence isn't going to help things just a little. Plus there's been a lot of talk about bringing in a new continuity writer (with a loose rumor that it's Will Washington but that's more of a matter of timing than anything else).
    8 points
  6. "Being unable to separate one's personal taste from what will work for the masses is what craters so many artistic endeavors", she says as she sadly mopes that Scott Norton and the Barbarian were never World Champions in the United States.
    7 points
  7. To me, AEW is a hybrid of 1992 WCW and PWG, which is pretty fine by me. Swap PWG for 2004 ROH and it's perfect.
    7 points
  8. People also don't always take into consideration that a title match can be the literal main event but not the main draw for a PPV. If there is some sort of Blood and Guts BCC vs. Elite type match, that will be the main draw as they've been getting equal TV time the last month in building up to it. But if they don't have a big throwdown between those factions and do lean too heavily on MJF vs. Pillars match I wouldn't think that was a great idea. Its ok to have a B Level defense now and then, all promotions do it, the issue only comes up if the B Level defense is sold/presented as an A defense. A title defense like that just needs a really solid card around it, you can't just throw it out there by itself. I personally don't take gimmick posters seriously, I don't *care* they exist as I'm way too old to care about such things but I'm far more open to listen to/discuss criticism from fans that talk about the good and the bad than the ones that's sole purpose is to talk down something. To each their own, just feels like an odd way to go about Interneting.
    7 points
  9. You just saved me a lot of time and effort writing basically the same thing, thanks. I'm a huge AEW fan, but I agree with a lot of AK's criticisms, it's just that they're mostly very small fry for me compared to what I like. Jungle Boy and Sammy suck at promos, agreed, but I like watching a company that lets them try and fail. I don't like reading most of what AK says because it makes me feel worse about something I enjoy, but I'm capable of having my opinion challenged. Where it comes across as disingenuous is in how little criticism I see from him towards WWE, and how a lot of his praise of them, and forgive me if I'm conflating this with someone else's take, is that they're good because they're doing record business and are currently very popular with the mainstream wrestling fan. Which, for me, is a bit too close to the 'Ed Sheeran/Coldplay must be great artists because they sell out stadiums and do billions of Spotify listens' school of criticism. It's one thing to deconstruct the issues with AEW and make me question the fact that it's the best weekly TV wrestling show in history, but good luck making a convincing case for current WWE not being mainly a travesty still.
    7 points
  10. 7 points
  11. I think as far as historical years to base your company around, you could do a lot worse than 1997 WWF. I'm not sure if it's something you could create self-consciously, but it was still a "down period" (for WWE at least), there weren't a host of hot new stars "showing up unexpectedly," and there were definitely huge chunks of it that sucked as bad as anything I've ever watched, but overall it felt really alive and unpredictable in a way that would become more standardized and rote through the boom period of what was properly "The Attitude Era." There was just so much stuff being thrown at the wall, mostly utilizing by-then established WWE guys, that everything felt like it was always on the verge of exploding or going off the rails. Sometimes it was raggedy but it was usually compelling, and the undercard was so, so much weaker than what AEW has to play with right now. I'm not suggesting that the cure for AEW's (relatively minor, I think) woes is to let Sammy Guevara start saying fuck on TV or by going on all in on a Sid/Undertaker-calibre main event and just hope someone magically becomes Stone Cold, but I do think that there's something to be said for kind of messing around a little and making mistakes and seeing if something doesn't just happen to catch fire. It's an advantage AEW has over WWE, so why not use it?
    6 points
  12. I am sorry that I missed this. This will be entirely too long, so I apologize. Bear in mind, I stopped watching AEW in the first eight months of its existence and have only seen about three shows since then. The last AEW show I saw was the one in Seattle, which I was actually at. Most of what I don't like about AEW is not necessarily AEW's fault. Wrestling as an art form is at a place in 2020 that is different than the place it was at in 1978 or 1984. Some of that is that I have a marked preference for a bunch of hosses doing press slams, and even the big men tend to be go-go-go. When the Giant did a dropkick, that earned a massive pop. Now dudes over 6'6 are doing dives on the regular. But even if you ignore that preference, I think the ante has been upped entirely too much in pro wrestling w/r/t the work itself. My feeling is that you can see the seams way too easily. Some of that is the acknowledgement that everything is a work from the wrestlers themselves, but then again, I can watch an episode of Succession and then watch Sarah Snook talk about what she thinks Siobhan's goals and needs are, and that doesn't bother me. So maybe that's not it, but what is the problem for me is that it comes through in the ring. I don't see Snook practicing her blocking when I watch an episode. I get the illusion that Shiv is Shiv, not someone pretending to be Shiv. This is a person deliberately distancing her husband from her because she doesn't understand how to trust someone enough to love them, not an actor pretending blah blah blah. But when I watch a lot of modern pro wrestling, I can see the seams. I can see how contrived that tower suplex spot is. I can see the hesitation as Wrestler A gets into the right position to catch Wrestler B on an overelaborate dive. I actually think that most of the work today sucks. It's bad pro wrestling. And the issue is not an AEW issue or a WWE issue or anything else; it's an issue of what happens when your work becomes so intricate that you can't risk anything that even looks spontaneous because you're responsible for protecting the other worker. I don't know - you see Bret Hart pop on a ringpost Figure Four, and you don't see that really, it's the guy who is being put in the move who has all that responsibility to keep Bret from banging his head on the floor (thanks for nothing, Goldberg!). But I think the stuff a lot of modern workers do today cuts right through that. I can see the seams. In WWE, last I saw, it was really bad because everything about their house style is so repetitive down to how people enter the ring that nothing feels real or spontaneous. It very much feels like a wrestling if wrestling itself were a theme park. Everything is scheduled down to the second, and if anything happens that's out of order, it'll be quickly corrected by management, or otherwise the CEO's gonna have to come down and start firing people. AEW doesn't feel like that, exactly, but I can see through everything. And again, I think that's just where wrestling evolved to. I blame PWG and all those ladder matches in the Attitude Era and, while I don't blame lucha directly, I blame the influence of lucha on a bunch of guys who like the moves, but who don't know how to do them and also hide the seams. w/r/t AEW specifically, I don't like feuds that rely on shooty shit, I feel like the house style has two modes, generally - bloody brawl and flippy flippy flip shit (yes, that is a reductive POV, so believe me that I know it's just my POV and not a reflection of actual reality), and I struggle with all these young wrestlers they're pushing because I don't believe in any of them as stars. You can go down the line: I don't believe in Sammy, I don't believe in MJF, I don't believe in Darby, I don't believe in Britt, boom, boom, boom. I believe in young, happy-to-be-here Marcus Alexander Bagwell more than I have ever believed in any of the pillars. I am rooting for Ricky Starks personally, but I don't think he actually has it. Combine that with a veteran core that I also don't like , and really, you'd need a whole-ass personnel change to get me into AEW. But again, that's something that comes down to me. Way too much to change there. So I think the thing that I'd need changed for me to come back to AEW are: 1) no more try-hard segments were people cuss because they're on cable, so they can, 2) cut out the shooty stuff completely, 3) something that feels more like a variety show in terms of matches and styles, and 4) while I like good matches for the sake of good matches, I respond well to compelling stories with stakes. YMMV, but I haven't seen a feud yet in AEW that feels that way to me.
    5 points
  13. I do think there is a place for those who do love old school wrestling with none of that sports entertainment aspect or those who feel their wrestling is still unrepresented. However, people are going to have to accept it's not going to be in front of packed arenas every week (or this day and age, 60-85% filled arenas sometimes scaled down for production reasons) or have the same fervor as the kayfabe days. Here's where I feel Corgan missed the boat. He had a chance to be the solid, entrenched number 3 (especially with ROH's rapid decline) who could have been the fan favorite promotion that wasn't AEW or WWE especially among the old school fans. There was also a wealth of talent out there that wasn't signed to a major promotion yet and needed a place to be seasoned before that and exposure before they go to the big show. He chose to be neither and booked his promotion out of spite against old school fans. You don't need a money mark who has some of the same likes or dislikes when it comes to wrestling. You just need someone who isn't that incompetent or shallow as the above example who doesn't mind that he will lose money or probably barely break even for the sake of good, serious, adequately booked pro wrestling. Problem is there aren't many if any that start a business with the hope of barely breaking even when they already have money to begin with. Moreover, the people who do have the funds don't have the booking/creative experience or the connections to someone who can book or have enough creative experience is extremely small if not non-existent. Tony Khan's safety net may be his VPs, but it appears it doesn't have much effect on the final product. Corgan's was probably Lagana, but once Speaking Out happened, that safety net was gone and you get what you have now.
    5 points
  14. I think my problem with AEW is that I wanted WCW in 1992 or 1996 or even the promise of what might be in 2001, and I didn't get it. And that's okay! That's a problem with me! But even if it's not for me, there's no reason to make countless posts about how it's obviously failing because it's not what I want. I guess the same is true of WWE for that matter. But man, when some billionaire money mark watches 1992 WCW on Peacock and decides that they want more of that in the 2020s, I'll be there, dammit.
    5 points
  15. Let me assist you by yelling at the clouds as well: When Tank Davis fought there pre-pandemic, I was so glad that the arena (then still Royal Farms Arena) still looked basically the same way it did when WWF and WCW ran there in the 80s and 90s. It was instantly recognizable. We've had this discussion before here, but I hate it when all the arenas look the same cause it does nothing to help how it looks on TV.
    4 points
  16. Del Rio is on the Mount Rushmore of wrestlers with presentations so good that people were fooled into thinking they'd be viable main eventers someday.
    4 points
  17. Like WWE hasn’t had years where they just threw mud against the wall and pushed guys like Jack Swagger or Alberto Del Rio to the title
    4 points
  18. Just wait until I win Powerball, pal. (Seriously, Watts was certainly out-of-touch in more ways than one, but the in-ring product is so good, and there are so many memorable moments that came from that year, that I think even with Watts making a series of booking mistakes, that's an amazing year aesthetically. But let me revise that to wanting AEW to be 1982 Mid-South or 1984 JCP instead.)
    4 points
  19. AEW is very watchable even if not compelling and I do appreciate that they are trying to elevate young talent. A lot of eventual main event talents had starts and stops to their eventual rise. Talk to me in three years, not today about the value of giving a jungle boy or guevara a chance in a main event feud. WWEs issue for years has been an overreliance on established main eventers and nostalgia. This is an indictment of NXT. Despite all of the hoopla around the facility, they cannot make anyone. The one person who they are trying to make just looked like Fandango at mania. At least AEW seems to be aware of the fact that there's going to come a day when the current crop of main eventers are gone. And lets not forget that WWE has been basically unwatchable since 2014 which is why the niche for AEW exists in the first place. Almost ten years of pushes to nowhere, very little getting over, and trying to fill the hole John Cena left behind. Does WWE know how to put together a giant event better than just about anyone else in sports or entertainment? Yes, you need to give them that. But then there's the rest of the year.
    4 points
  20. Yet again, Americans treat a Canadian badly, and then call him standing up for what he believes in a heel turn.
    4 points
  21. Actually, if WCW in early 2001 ran a Scott Steiner/Billy Kidman/Shane Helms/Lance Storm main event on, like, SuperBrawl or something, that wouldn't have been the worst! It would have been an interesting attempt at finding new main event stars. If this is what it seems to be, which is AEW running a one-PPV angle to put four young guys in the main event, girded by an undercard with the established wrestlers, every company does that at some point. And why not? You have to take shots at some points to see if your potential main eventers really are main event-level talent. Nothing wrong with that from a booking perspective.
    4 points
  22. Also want to say this: I'm obviously cognizant of the fact that the build to this has been, as the French say, 'the shits' - and I can't argue with you that those guys don't necessarily yet equal 'box office.' But as a counterpoint, let me say this: maybe if WCW rolled the dice and ran a PPV or two in '98 with your Jerichos, Guererros, Malenkos, Mysterios, etc. on top they'd still be around. You're 1000% correct that the execution could have been much, much, MUCH better - but I absolutely cannot, in good conscience, get behind any stance that opposes the idea of building for the future. And as I've mentioned before ad nauseum, this has been SUCH a needed reset/mission statement after the Punk shit.
    4 points
  23. Double or Nothing is in a few weeks! Watch MJF and Sammy battle to decide who is the more disgusting human being! Woo!
    3 points
  24. Forget the AEW vs. WWE discussion for a minute. If you haven't watched Stardom All-Star Grand Queendom, go do that. Then get ready for NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30. Then get ready for NJPW Resurgence in a few weeks.
    3 points
  25. I will try to be concise when I say what @The Idiot King and @Sparkleface mention kinda go hand and hand. People tend to overrate great wrestling or sometime great booking and believing that it automatically leads to commercial success. WWF 1997 has some stuff that in retrospect that doesn't age well at all and TBH wasn't that great when I watched it originally. WWF in 1998-1999 when the tide of the wrestling war was turning and then the turn of completed has a whole bunch of stuff that doesn't age well. However, if you have 2-3 guys on a team or in a promotion who are averaging the pro wrestling equivalent of 40 points, 25 rebounds, 15 assists with 5 blocks or steals and a 31 +/- everytime they step on the court, whatever happens outside of that is negligible. We're at a point where we're so far removed from what made us love pro wrestling for each specific person that what folks want OR willing to accept as the baseline is going to vastly different with some similarities and overlap. The only clear connecting link is star power. However, based on how this thread started off and whenever you visited various threads on this forum, people have some different definitions and very narrow views on what a star can be. Having lived through the time twenty-five years ago, I can say people did have some of the same viewpoints and talking points on that. At the same time, what helped as time passed was people even if not likeminded were still a bit more open minded. If you already categorized someone and someone pushes that person above that station, you're probably going a bit of bias going forward about the booking. Now people have to basically overperform to meet sometimes unrealistic expectations. "Be entertaining" doesn't sound unrealistic on paper, but if you have different interpretations of what entertainment can be, it can sometimes be unrealistic especially in an era of pro wrestling where the talent came into the business at a much different time (less live events to work out and format their matches, much more censorship, less day-to-day guidance/mentorship, and more and sometimes unnecessary choreography at the behest of creative/producers/road agents)
    3 points
  26. Yeah, I love the perspective that brand splits are essentially what the territory system was. It's easy to jump from that to "the issue is how poorly WWE always handled brand splits, not the idea of brand splits themselves." I accept that my aesthetic preferences w/r/t pro wrestling are almost completely left unreflected in the modern pro wrestling scene, but that's why old stuff exists. I do miss watching new wrestling, though, especially watching new wrestling that many other people are watching. The communal aspect of watching pro wrestling is half of what makes it fun.
    3 points
  27. This is one of the issues I had with Brian Last when he thought AEW should have been that in 2019 back when I was still listening to Cornette's two shows. You know the only way that could have happened? It still be the 1980s and more importantly, before Vince's expansion and he didn't have most of the big stars. That's the only way. In 2019, it was silly. In 2023, it's even more ludicrous. Vince (and to be fair, Bischoff for a few years) put running a wrestling promotion far out of reach for the regular person funding a venture like that. On the production side, you cannot do a stripped down production where you basically doing everything off 1-3 cameras. From a visual standpoint, everything is going to be WWE-lite or a even poorer imitation. On the financial side, everyone is going to be on restrictive, guaranteed contracts. AEW at least allows people to work indies through office approval and you can get approval to work with their Mexican partner (AAA depending on when Konnan and TK are on speaking terms) and New Japan. Otherwise, you're not going to have the luxury of having talent swaps and bringing new guys in who are already stars elsewhere. Add in that most of the people you bring in now (even if you get some guy or gal who was on WWE TV for years) aren't going to be the same caliber of stars you had back in the territory days. One of the greater issues no one looks at is fundamentally, a lot of the territories are working off of 10-15 talents as your core. Now that 10-15 is mostly name guys, but that's who you're working around at a given time. Some territories had more, but once you get past 7-10 guys honestly, it's a group of interchangeable talents. Go through your favorite territories and their best or your favorite year of critical/commercial success. Some years are going to be more stacked than others (especially the stronger territories), but most times, it's top heavy than a motherfucker in terms of the roster. In a lot of years/eras, you get where there are some name guys but they aren't in at the exact same time. In an era where most of the non-televised cards are only 7 or 8 matches tops and the TV shows are basically 44-50 minutes of content (not counting Georgia which for a long time was 2 hrs and Memphis being 90 minutes), there is the likelihood that you don't have time to build around 5 or 6 big stars and then have an absolutely loaded roster underneath. If a guy is working Mid-South and Memphis or Mid-South and World Class, he ain't going to really be showing up on Georgia or Mid-Atlantic TV anymore. He's working those towns pretty regularly and showing up on those TV shows. Then, when his time is done, that's it. On to the next. We've had to endure already two going on three months of bitching about a brand split in AEW. As much as I personally don't care about it one way or another (cause I am watching both), people want to see their favorite wrestlers all the time against their other favorite wrestlers. Even though technically, before national expansion and a bunch of places ceased to exist, you were always watching basically brand split pro wrestling. You just didn't give a fuck cause WWF/E didn't have a name for it yet, and you only cared about the show you were able to watch. Also, add in the fact, those two (JCP and Mid-South) weren't on the national level really. So you only have to focus on your principal cities and the few other towns you were running. You weren't really looking to build an audience past that. As long as you had strong penetration in your key markets and a pretty loyal local fanbase, you were good as gold. What happened when they either tried to expand or that "loyal" fanbase went away? I just watched the infamous Dirty White Boy and Tom Prichard hanging from a post/fake domestic abuse angle from Continental this past weekend. For all that was great about it (minus the alleged domestic abuse part), it happened in front of maybe 300 people in an arena. Keep in mind, that's a territory in front of their supposed hardcore fans who only care about that particular brand of wrestling. A year or so later, they were out of business. Vince McMahon made it where you cannot go backwards. People have to get it through their skulls.
    3 points
  28. I can't believe I let my friend guilt trip me into going to a concert the day of Double or Nothing. But at least I'm going to Dynamite on Wednesday so that's cool. Also, random side note but I went to CFG Arena yesterday for Monster Jam with the nephews so I got a preview of what the arena's like. They redid a lot of things and I honestly fucking hate it. VIP seats and parking for spots that were always open, food and especially drinks are a lot more expensive, and there's no ties look-wise to any of the history the arena had. I know times change and they had to modernize things. But even in past arena names it always had that Baltimore Arena vibe that I adored. Now it's just a place to go to which sucks. Yeah, this is definitely my yelling at clouds moment but I've been there tons of times and have such fond memories. So to see that all wiped away just sucks. But to turn this back around I'm looking forward to seeing Willow live and the four pillars tag match should be fun. I think The Elite are going to appear and I'm already excited to sing along to some Kansas. Arena be damned fun will be had. Add in the fact that I got floor seats for a good price on Stubhub (not facing the camera but who cares) and it's gonna be a good one.
    3 points
  29. ROTJ came in at #5 for the April 29th-28th box office. Good thing because Disney needs the revenue. We Hate Movies Chris Cabin put forth the argument if it had been the original cut it would've been #1. I maintain if any of the original cuts make it back to theaters they easily would top the BO chart for at least 2-3 weeks James
    3 points
  30. "Crushing your enemies" feels like the answer that will be given, but there really was nothing wrong with feeling the wind in your hair.
    3 points
  31. Some video intern at ABC had their things packed and waiting for them when they came into work Monday morning.
    3 points
  32. I feel that this movie would've only gotten made in today's political climate. Here in the era of anti-wokeness and convenient amnesia is the perfect time for a movie to come around and shove the face of US History in its own bile. I await the social chaos and backlash this movie will bring. I will need to go to the store and buy lots of popcorn.
    3 points
  33. I love AEW and all, but, man - we’ve spent this many weeks to get to the match that everyone already knew was going to happen. And we still have like like 3 or 4 more weeks of build to go, too. Ugh.
    3 points
  34. It looks so fucking stupid but him having it on while wearing a shirt with a picture of him wearing it takes if all the way around to sublime. You know Brian Cage is the only dude in that group with a real contract because he was the only one who said "That sucks, I'm not wearing it."
    3 points
  35. Swerve’s fuzzy ski mask looks like he skinned some kid’s plushie collection and it’s certainly a choice.
    3 points
  36. I'll go the other way. After everything he's been through -- indies, being ROH's anchor, flailing in NXT -- at the end of his career, Roderick deserves this. A tremendous in-ring talent who never never made the big time because of his size and charisma. Let the guy make his money and receive his accolades now.
    3 points
  37. I still haven't forgiven them for that nonsense.
    2 points
  38. Yes, but i think most missed it or didn't care as this type of stupidity is kind of expected at this point.
    2 points
  39. Good for her, but apparently a motherfucker (said motherfucker being MASADA) set himself on a fire a couple weeks ago. And apparently, no one knew what to do. Why wasn't this bigger news and why is Rob Black still allowed to promote in loosest terms "pro wrestling"?
    2 points
  40. Watts letting Scott Hall go to WWF was very shortsighted considering if you look at Diamond Studd, he had a much better body than 2/3 of the roster and was finding his footing as a wrestler and overall performer. I know WWF in 1992 was a catastrophe in terms of a lot of the in ring stuff, quality of the TV and definitely behind the scenes, but Hall stepped in and took over a pretty high spot on the WWF totem pole within months and performed well. He couldn't have done that in WCW?
    2 points
  41. Which is fair! I want to be clear that there's plenty of that era that I enjoy, but I would very much pick and choose if I rewatch. After all, as mentioned upthread, I'm a noted Barbarian fangirl, so the Barbarian World Title push got a lot of love from me. Of course, said push was one of the most criticized things of that era. Can't win 'em all. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    2 points
  42. If those two weren't connecting with you, there was Vader and Sting and Cactus Jack and Ricky Steamboat and Scorpio and even a couple of Liger appearances, if I remember, and a great Steiners vs. Miracle Violence Connection feud. I mean, if we're going to reduce a company to its lamest parts, then was any wrestling ever good anywhere? (Though I freely admit to liking green Marcus Bagwell, heaven help me.)
    2 points
  43. I wrote a bunch of words about Cassidy vs Bandido and somewhat less words about Darby vs Sammy http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2023/05/aew-five-fingers-of-death-and-friends.html
    2 points
  44. Jericho/Guerrero/Malenko/Misterio in 1998 =/= AEW's guys, though. Three of those four WCW guys were legitimate main event talent. I know people think MJF/Darby are legit main event talent. Maybe I can squint and see MJF getting there one day as a main eventer who looks like he belongs. But I think AEW's young talent is a bunch of interchangeable midcarders. Still, I could be wrong! Doesn't hurt to throw up the occasional main event where you put two or more "not quite fully established" wrestlers together and see what they can do. Brock Lesnar faced off with heel Cena, Jeff Jarrett and Booker main evented against one another in WCW, etc. Why not give it a shot with the young guys that AEW has? If Tony Khan believes in them, he's gotta see what they look like in that spot.
    2 points
  45. I’m currently thinking out the Bill Watts Show. Where Bill is joined by mute cohost Boyd Pierce and he spends the hour ranting on local college football and his friends while occasionally welcoming guests. Also every other show will be hosted by Jim Ross and Joel Watts.
    2 points
  46. Richard Holliday returned after the main event at Beyond Wrestling Thirty (and Under). He announced that he's now in remission from Lymphona and will be returning to the ring soon.
    2 points
  47. The President's Trophy 119 Curse remains undefeated. Every President's Trophy winner with at least 119 points has failed to win the Stanley Cup.
    2 points
  48. The only thing shittier than that take is the font itself.
    2 points
  49. https://twitter.com/RealBrittBaker/status/1652355803423162370?t=cxO8cFWVGTu1zDqi5JYmvg&s=19 I'm gonna table any discussion of this new shirt. If you think this is a good or bad idea, keep that shit to yourself. If you think I'm being a shit head and "stifling free speech", my DM's are open and know in advance that I do not care. To sum up my feelings: If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, call 800-799-7233. Or text START to 88788.
    2 points
  50. Fall Brawl 1997 notes: The Eddy Guerrero/Chris Jericho opener is on one of those WWE DVD collections I have - maybe Eddy's Cheating Death, Stealing Life? - so I have re-watched it more recently than I've re-watched most 1997 WCW. It's a very good opener, and Eddy's got a lot of heat on him, so a title change is the right choice. The match is also quite good, which is no surprise. Jericho keeps Eddy grounded, which makes sense. He's the bigger guy, so he needs to lean on Eddy. Eddy was just the bigger wrestler on the previous Nitro against Rey, and Eddy works as the big man by hitting a series of bombs. It's cool to see that Jericho's work as a big man is more focused on leaning on Eddy and working him into pinning positions. Two different approaches for smaller guys being the bigger wrestler in the match, both effective. One of the nice things about this Cruiserweight division is that you could see how wrestlers would change their approach depending on whether or not they were the bigger or smaller cruiser in the ring, and it feels like each of these wrestlers has a distinct approach to each of those situations. That's a little something that makes this division work so well. Anyway, Eddy wins this with a Frog Splash after he reverses a Jericho superplex attempt. The Cruiserweight title had quite the journey in 1997, especially this Syxx -> Jericho -> Wright -> Jericho -> Eddy -> Rey series of switches that happens only over a few months. It works, though, because everyone is so good that it's believable that the competition would be tight enough to have guys straight up beat each other at a moment's notice. It also helps that the matches were no less than good and the one at the end of this series of switches is a stone cold classic. Not a Stone Cold classic, a la Austin/Angle at Summerslam '01, but a stone cold classic. The Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat have a decent match, though it's nothing special, and it feels like these teams have been feuding off and on for a loooooooooong time. The Steiner Brothers' tag titles victory has been held off for probably, what, a year almost at this point? Bischoff needs to move it along with some of these arcs. Scott Steiner and Booker T continue to build the chemistry that would carry through to their matches in 2000 and 2001, which generally delivered IIRC. Though I am somewhat cold w/r/t the entertainment level of this bout, I must say that the crowd is quite into the whole thing. I did fall for Harlem Heat getting a finish off the Heatseeker, but it's only a 2.9, and Stevie falls to a clothesline/bridging back suplex combo only seconds later. The Steiners are finally the number one contenders to the tag titles, which since they cleanly beat the Outsiders like six or seven months previous to this match, should have been their status way the heck earlier. Alex Wright and Ultimo Dragon have a rematch of their Clash 35 TV title encounter. As good as that match was, this match is verging on dreadful. Commentary tries to find a narrative through line, though there really isn't much of one, at least in kayfabe. However, I wonder if the champ called each match. Dragon was the champ on the excellent Clash encounter, but Wright's the champ in the rematch, and it looks like he ran out of ideas pretty quickly. He has an awful, crowd-killing heel control segment that genuinely felt like it was twenty minutes long. Around the time he was two minutes into about eight minutes of working a shitty chinlock over two separate match segments, I felt like I could see it on the poor fella's face that he was out of ideas and trying to figure out what to do. This match was entirely too long, and while the finishing segment was fine in a vacuum (Wright counters a Dragon Sleeper and wins with a German Suplex), it did zero to get the crowd back. I didn't expect a match as good as the Clash match or anything, but this was well below any reasonable expectations that I had for it. Gene Okerlund points out Tony Schiavone's lapse in throwing it over to him for a segment. Then, the nWo's "Arn Anderson Sketch Guys" (Nash, Syxx, Konnan, and Buff) storm through said segment, and Okerlund has the nerve to talk about how rude they are. Oh, as rude as pointing out a momentary pause that your buddy on commentary made when throwing it over to you? That level of rude? Anyway, the nWo knocked out Curt Hennig, but not really because it's a ruse (both in the kayfabe and shoot senses). The Horsemen are WCW's team for War Games tonight in a late switch by acting WWF Commissioner acting WCW Commissioner Roddy Piper, so the nWo countered by buying off Hennig. Oops! In Piper's defense, his decision was because Luger and DDP, two members of that team, have been beefing lately. Jeff Jarrett comes to the ring to wrestle Dean Malenko because none of the other Horsemen wanted him in their group and chose to pursue Curt Hennig instead. Oops! Jarrett is not long for WCW - he'll be back on Raw in mid-October - so this is his WCW PPV swan song. For now, at least. It's a pretty good match, and really, watching Jarrett's whole run this past year has made me re-evaluate him. He was in a number of good bouts and a couple that were great, or at worst verged on great, against Giant and Benoit. He came in as a face who was excited about TRADITION, though, and that killed him dead almost immediately. The dude just comes off as naturally unlikeable, but he's a terrible heel and a great fighting babyface in the ring. The reverse is true in his character work (though his heel ringwork during this run was good, just not as good as his babyface work). When he comes back to WCW in 1999, he's going to get the biggest push of his life as a heel who kabongs dudes with guitars, and I can't blame him for then doing that for the next decade because he got over doing it. You do what gets you over, I understand that, but it's a shame because aesthetically, he's so much better working as a face. The caveat is that this comes from someone who thought his "sympathetic dad trying to hold things together for his kids" period in TNA after his first wife passed was far and away the best version of him in that company. I digress as much as Taz apparently does. Jarrett wins this match with the Figure Four and ostensibly gets another shot at Mongo McMichael and the U.S. Championship at Halloween Havoc, but that'll never happen. It's interesting that Bischoff booked Jarrett to win here when Jarrett was so close to being out of contract and hadn't agreed to a new one. The "Arn Anderson Sketch Guys" cut a promo. They plan to retire the Four Horsemen in War Games tonight. Well, the Three Horsemen. Wow, these guys cannot settle on four active Horsemen for anything this year. Wrath and Mortis vs. the Faces of Fear is a nice way to give Vandenberg's guys something to do besides wrestle Glacier and Ernest Miller, neither of whom have been on TV lately, come to think of it. This has been a good mini-feud on TV for the past month. People love that backdrop/powerbomb combo move the Faces of Fear do. It wakes them up a bit. This is another solid match. I love that Tony S. calls the ref "Shooter" Curtis, a little shout out to the Busaiku knee/facelock two-piece he served up to some bum who rushed the ring last Nitro. Vandenberg gets involved and his boys have some nice offense in control - the match is pretty much a bombfest starting about three minutes in - and we get a tower superplex spot that actually makes sense because Mortis, who is on top of the tower with Barbarian, is also hurt! It leads to a hot tag, and the desk talks about how the move backfired because Mortis didn't control his fall. Sometimes, people all sell that move, but it always seems so contrived and the selling is often cursory before getting to the next move. This one helped stitch the match together. Meng double-Tongan Death Grips Vandenberg and Mortis, but while he's doing that, Wrath dispatches of Barbarian and catches Meng from behind with a Death Penalty for three. Vandenberg really does whatever he needs to when it means that his guys will win. Top-class manager, that guy is. Oh no, Benoit does a ton of talking in this Three Horsemen interview. I like that he just delivers his pitiful attempts at insults as though they're really good ones, so maybe people will also think that they're good insults, I'll say that much. I mean, he doesn't fool me. They stink. But I appreciate the "fake it 'til you make it" approach. WCW is always down a man in these big matches against the nWo. This is like the third time this has happened in a major match on a WCW PPV in 1997. The Giant had to wrestle the Outsiders alone, WCW was down a guy in that big triple-threat elimination match against the Horsemen and the nWo, and now this. Plus we got a tag title match that ended up being one-on-one for the tag titles when Scott Hall went to rehab and Scott Steiner got removed from the match in a stupid way to even it up. Bischoff really loved this booking trope, huh? The Giant is wrestling Scott Norton? They really have nothing better to do with LE GEANT~? Vinnie McMahon Jr. booking the Big Show like ass for a huge chunk of Show's run there is a fairly common talking point, but I'm not sure the booking of WCW babyface Giant, who is very over, is pointed to as a massive error like it should be. Bischoff is wasting this guy. Not that this matchup is bad. It's another solid match. The Giant suplexes Norton on the floor, and it rules. But look, the Giant deserves better. He already killed Savage off, sure, but there are other options. The Outsiders have been ducking the Steiners. The Steiners have wrestled Harlem Heat about five hundred times the last few months. Why not shunt Hall or Nash into a quickie feud with the Giant? Hall's probably the best option as a) he can eat a loss and be just fine, and b) he is excellent when he's wrestling small against a bigger babyface. So, the match: The Giant does a kip-up and a dropkick and the crowd loves it and it's pretty great! Chokeslam, three, huge pop for the big man. Can we give him something to do that isn't "uh, we're all out of ideas, I guess let's turn him heel again?" Lex Luger and Dallas Page have our second Clash 35 return match of the night; they face off against Scott Hall and Randy Savage. The crowd is VERY into the face team. Luger kills the heels, but during DDP's FIP segment, Hall stomps Luger out in the no man's land between the two rings until Luger's wedged between the rings. Everybody else goes into both rings and does all sorts of fun spots to differentiate this tag match from the previous tag matches. Scott Hall knocks out Mark Curtis because why the fuck not, so Larry Zbyszko comes down and faces off with Scott Hall, which distracts Hall enough for Luger to pull himself out from between the rings and sneak up behind. Larry Z. shoves Hall backwards into a Luger schoolboy, then counts a quick three. The nWo does this sort of fuckery all the time to their benefit, so I'll allow it. It's War Games! What was the last good one of these? 1994, yeah? 1996 was actually pretty decent, I think. That could ostensibly be the last good one. Or maybe tonight's War Games, considering that I remember zero about it! But probably not. Let's run through this thing. First in are Chris Benoit [Horsemen 1] and Buff Bagwell [nWo 1]. Tony S. whines about no one coming out to help the Horsemen and fill the open spot in the match. Hey, Ric Flair's ineffectual leadership made this mess, and they should have to deal with it. Benoit tries to finish Bagwell early, which makes a ton of sense! He whiffs on a flying headbutt, though. Oops! The crowd chants for Sting. Mmm, I think maybe the Horsemen have gone to that well and pissed in it one too many times at this point, WCW fans. The five minute period ends with, and you will be shocked to find this out, the heels having won the coin toss to enter next and hold a two-on-one advantage. The nWo feels right at home with a one-man advantage at this point. Konnan [nWo 2] enters in time to miserably fail at helping Buff beat up Benoit, at least for awhile. Finally, the heels are on top for the last minute of the period. Mongo McMichael [Horsemen 2] enters at the end of that period and cleans house with clotheslines and slams and clubberin' and such. The Horsemen basically dominate this period, and when it ends, Syxx [nWo 3] enters the match. You know what the issue is with this match? I don't buy the hatred. They needed more than two weeks to build this match up. They sort of hot-shotted the feud with the retirement and then the follow-up mockery of said retirement happening in such a compressed space. So, Syxx gets in and basically gets murdered; it might as well be three-on-three for 45 seconds of this period. Finally, Benoit is distracted by trying to wrap Syxx into knots, and the nWo grabs control of the match. Meanwhile, Curt Hennig comes down with his arm in a sling. It looks like he'll be participating. What courage, Tony S. says! That poor rube. Ric Flair [Horsemen 3] enters the ring and WOOOs and chops and Syxx is in here getting his ass beat, pretty much. The Horsemen run both rings for the full two minutes, until Kevin Nash [nWo 4], gains entrance. Nash wrecks Flair, wrecks Benoit, and big boots Mongo off of Buff. Though Curt Hennig is at ringside, the crowd chants for Sting. Apparently, the only people with a shorter memory than Sting are WCW fans. The nWo keeps control until the period ends, at which point Curt Hennig [Horsemen 4] enters the ring and the Match Beyond begins. Hennig rips off his sling, takes out some handcuffs, and strikes the Horsemen with them. The crowd is making noise at this turn of events, but I feel like the noise is essentially, Hey, this is bullshit. This could just be my interpretation. Actually, they telegraphed the Hennig turn reasonably well over the past few weeks of shows, but we're in Winston-Salem, and I think this crowd just wants to see the Horsemen win. The nWo handcuffs Mongo and Benoit to the cage and then beat Flair down. Whenever Mongo or Benoit spits at an nWo member trying to get them to surrender, the crowd flares up with a cheer, but no, you're not getting any catharsis, Winston-Salem. The nWo basically obliterates Flair, and they threaten to crush Flair's head in the cage door before Mongo surrenders to save Flair...which of course doesn't work. Hennig slams the cage door on Flair anyway. The crowd is at an uncomfortably low buzz after that spot, but don't worry - the only thing that got killed tonight is Winston-Salem as a drawing town! Riiiiiiiight HERE is where I've decided that WCW starts being inexorably booked into the ground. Not Starrcade 1997 or 1998, not the Fingerpoke of Doom Nitro, not Vince Russo's first turn as booker. Here.
    2 points
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