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  1. Hold up--why would someone book Misawa and Ogawa and not promote their appearance? I don't doubt that it happened, but that's crazy.
  2. I admit, the Janela promo was the clearest example, and my reaction to the stuff afterward was probably colored by my reaction to that. And it's true, you can find terms like "good hand" and references to athletes expressing themselves or wanting to be exciting in real sports. But in pro wrestling (as everyone here knows), "good hand" refers to a performer who has a talent for making others look good by losing to them in worked matches, and wrestlers almost always talk about self-expression and so on when speaking out of character. So yes, I can accommodate everything said by or about Spears and Allin in that video within kayfabe, but I have to pause for a moment to remind myself how, because the most natural interpretations are non-kayfabe ones. That's the strain I was talking about.
  3. There's so much stuff in this video that you have to strain to make sense of in kayfabe. Joey Janela talking about WWE promos being written by 24-year-olds from NYU; Cody calling Shawn Spears a "good hand"; even Darby Allin saying he was attracted to wrestling as a way of expressing himself and saying his goal is to be accepted by the audience, which makes perfect sense if he's talking about a kind of performance art and much less if he's talking about fighting. I seem to out of step with most wrestling fans on this. The idea seems to be that since everyone knows wrestling is fake, the way to make it seem real is to acknowledge that it's fake while also hyping the matches as though they're real, within the same promo and sometimes within the same sentence. Or something. Jericho did it in his post-match promo at Double or Nothing: first he called the fans marks, then he said he only beat Omega by the skin of his teeth. To me that sort of thing interferes with suspension of disbelief, but I'm clearly swimming against the current here.
  4. I have the same confusion about this guy. While I'm at it: I don't yet understand why Britt Baker incorporates her real-life job as a dentist into her wrestling character. It doesn't seem to amount to much beyond some imagery on her gear and entrance video. I could see it being a heel thing where she acts very superior because she's a DOCTOR, but I don't remember anything All In or Double or Nothing that suggested she would be going in that direction.
  5. EDIT: At last, my first ever double post. Never thought I'd see the day.
  6. I don't think I've ever seen a non-WWE show that didn't have this problem. It's like WWE has some secret proprietary method for actually making entrance music come through clearly. Very weird.
  7. If their only grievance with WWE is that they don't get to be tag team champions often enough or for long enough, then sure, that seems silly. But the story wasn't specific about what their problem is--it only suggested that whatever it is, it persisted even after being made champions. I would bet that it has less to do with the tag titles specifically and more to do with wanting to be given positions on the show commensurate with their abilities. For a tag team as good as theirs, that probably would involve the tag titles, but they could also have the tag titles and still be unsatisfied. And that does seem to be what happened. But admittedly I am speculating.
  8. There is at least one other possibility: that they place a lot of value on being able to perform at a high level and be appreciated for it. I guess if we define a mark as someone who takes wrestling seriously, then that would make them marks. But it doesn't seem that stupid to me, considering there are other opportunities to make good money in wrestling out there.
  9. The idea of an NJPW expansion into the U.S., beyond just running a few shows in major markets every year, never made any sense to me. People find that idea exciting because they like NJPW, the Japanese promotion with Japanese stars that's run in a distinctly Japanese fashion. But that's not something that can be imported to the U.S on a full-time basis. It literally isn't possible. So I guess the mistakes they've made with the shows they've done so far don't seem too significant to me, because they've basically already taken it as far as it will ever go.
  10. There's no doubt in my mind that Meltzer is pulling for AEW to succeed, given that some of his favorite people in the industry are involved in it, and the fact that a new major promotion is bound to generate the kind of intrigue he makes a living reporting on (as we've already seen). But is there any specific evidence that Meltzer hasn't been covering this story accurately? Has he gotten something wrong? Has he failed to report something that he should have? Has he spun anything especially blatantly? Or do people just have a general hunch that he's too close to those guys to be trusted?
  11. I'm trying to think of exceptions to this--Giant Baba, maybe?
  12. It gets worse: Meltzer actually mails this kind of thing directly into people's homes. And he's been doing it for decades!
  13. The Observer sometimes sends emails to subscribers when they have a bunch of new posts on a big story. The posts are not ads. Covering the run-up to an event is not the same as promoting it.
  14. No. The email had links to f4wonline.com posts about AEW, including one about the on-sale dates for Double or Nothing tickets being announced. If that kind of post counts as shilling, then just about every wrestling news website is on the take right now.
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