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Burgundy LaRue

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  1. Dave: DNP - CD (social distancing) on Twitter: "B R A Y https://t.co/u2WKqn9wqa" / Twitter Spoiled for size
  2. Hour 2 had 2.574 million viewers on average. That's about 20% more than Smackdown normally has. So they were able to keep around 400,000 football fans for the entire show. The show was set up perfectly. Open with the world champ in an easily recognized stipulation match. Go into a tag match showcasing your top women. Follow with match setting up a potential opponent for the world champ. End on a high note with a face winning a title as confetti drops. Whether they keep any of the new viewers, we'll have to wait and see. But WWE capitalized on the NFL lead-in big time.
  3. If they're looking to only retain the audience they have, why have Shaq on? Why try to do something with Tyson? Why take part in the Christmas Story script reading? Because those are things that suggest they want to reach a new audience. By my unscientific account, American wrestling has 2.5 million hardcore fans, give or take. Dynamite brings in roughly 40% of those fans every week. Not a bad number at all for a new promotion. But not where they want to eventually be, I can only guess. Not every wrestling fan will watch, of course, for any number of reasons. But that's where building a foundation for new fans comes in. Twitter last night is a cross-section of a group being introduced to Dynamite (that's my take). Of course AEW shouldn't live or die by what was said. But if they're on their Ps and Qs--and most here say they are--they'll at least look at the comments and include them in their overall analysis for moving their promotion forward. It was an unvarnished take on their show by people who have no bias for or against them. Food for thought, if we will. Keeping current fans happy is important. But ultimately, every entertainment medium should at least try to bring in new fans. Wrestling as a whole needs to do that.
  4. Thanks. Twitter can be a mess. But it gives an instant account of perception. I was surprised that so many hadn't heard of AEW. Figured just by watching NBA on TNT they would recognize AEW, however vaguely, by default. It's a stark path for wrestling if they have any chance to be even somewhat mainstream again.
  5. I could have said he smelled of an outhouse in the Mississippi sun during the dog days of August. But it's Christmas Eve, and I'm a sweet winter child.
  6. More than anything, Sarah posts hunting pics (as I've been told, I don't follow any of her social media). Apparently, some fans complained and she pretty much said stop following her if they didn't like it. So that, along with not being on TV, equals less social engagement. Hardly a movement against the third-most popular member of the Riott Squad.
  7. The WWE = American wrestling point is fair. I'll be curious to see if AEW can go beyond that. The Sturgis concerts made major news sites and I'm pretty sure Fozzy was at least mentioned. TIJ is a well-known wrestling podcast. As a wrestling fan, it's hard to miss when he has the son of a sitting president on as a guest. No one had to look hard for it. I don't think anyone here is frothing at the mouth over it. I have no ill will toward AEW. I don't think they're as great as some make them out to be, but I've been generally entertained by Dynamite. I thought last night was an interesting look into what may be a non-wrestling perception, not just for AEW, but wrestling as a whole. The path back to a more mainstream spot is a long one. If there's a path at all.
  8. AEW was going after NBA fans. What's being said by NBA fans is relevant in that moment, even if they're on Twitter. Do they represent every NBA fan? Obviously not. But NBA Twitter was vocal. It's the cross-section we have. Last night was an unfiltered first impression for them. When they ask why Jericho is still wrestling and is AEW a bootleg copy of WWE, that's not good. Whether one thinks they're bumping their gums for self entertainment is fair. But in that timeframe, Jericho and by extension AEW, was found lacking by someone outside the usual wrestling confines. As far as politics, it goes beyond being Republican. A lot of wrestlers are GOP. But Jericho had 45 Jr on his show, holds super-spreader concerts, went All Lives Matter online. It's too much to ignore for many. Hager has long had the air of being a dunce. His POV just reinforces what many already thought of him. Ryker has the same stench.
  9. Body shaming isn't cool, but if you've been a massive jerk like Jericho this year--and himself has body shamed others in the past--it's hard to muster sympathy. Mileage varies, of course. The point about NBA Twitter is they don't care about anyone's feelings. If they don't spare players of the sport they enjoy, they certainly aren't going to let Jericho off the hook. If we're being honest, 99% of NBA fans wouldn't stick around for AEW after this week, no matter what. And I get why they'd put Jericho on first--name recognition and all that. It didn't go well. Again, at least with Jade, they could have played into the Shaq story. It doesn't matter what AEW does every week if prospective fans don't come back. Which returns us to wrestling being so insulated. Wrestling isn't hip and hasn't been for years. AEW and TNT were clearly looking to see if they can pull in new numbers, which they absolutely should. Coming on right after a hot NBA game is perfectly timing. Not hitting the mark isn't the be all and end all, of course not. But it shows how wrestling has a long way to go to even sniff at pop culture relevance again.
  10. Taking up for JeriCOVID, in this economy? Are we in Sturgis? Body shaming isn't cool, as we all know. But NBA Twitter goes after its own. James Larden is a thing this week. They roast LeBron over his hairline. The crying Jordan memes. NBA Twitter is social media's version of the dozens. Everyone can and will get hit. Many were caught off guard. They didn't expect Jericho to still be wrestling, and they certainly didn't anticipate his massive beer gut. More than anything, last night showed how insulated the wrestling bubble really is. It's a niche within a niche. To @AxB's point--Jade Cargill, with the Shaq connection, would have been a solid choice to showcase first. Or Shida, being the women's champ and dressed like a video game character. Omega may have been too silly for the NBA crowd, but he's your world champ with Callis alongside him, cutting good promos. The absolute best person would have been Hangman Page, IMO. Young, handsome, athletic, an all-around strong package to put you in the best light. And his politics would go over better with the NBA crowd, had they looked into him a bit more.
  11. Starting the show with Charlotte patronizing Asuka instead of Orton coming out to "Light My Fire" isn't what I would have done. Mandy-Dana insulting Shayna-Nia by calling them ugly reindeer was the biggest WTF moment of the night. The match was pretty good, though. They got enough time and was solid throughout. Riddle's act got on my nerves before the allegations. It's 10X worse now. If they're going to put him in a tag team, he needs a strait-laced partner to offset his tendencies. Gulak would have be a better choice. BTW, Garza-Gulak was starting to get good, alas. Hurt Business is the best thing on the show by a mile. Watching Alexander become more arrogant is going to be fun. Miz returning to form, if just for a moment, was great. But if they put MITB back on him? No bueno. Just admit MITB was cursed this year and move on. Drew reading "A Nightmare After TLC" was cringe. Retribution beating up Ricochet until he joins them feels like an abusive relationship. The Orton-Alexa segment was weird, but at least there's effort going into it. Having Alexa acting like a brainwashed 10-year-old is creepy, which I get is the point. Props to her playing it well. Guess The Fiend is going to become WWE's Freddy Krueger. Whoever thought to give Elias THAT guy as a roadie needs to be hit upside the head with a brick. Peyton-Lacey is a terrible team. They have similar strengths and weaknesses, which means we get two annoying 'speak to the manager' types who can't carry the workload for their duo. A six-man street fight with legal tags and no weapons until the last two minutes was a choice. They're trying to create tension with Sheamus/Lee, but it's not quite clicking. Omos is the coolest guy in this story by far, just by standing there 90% of the time. Legends Night better be Orton setting old dudes on fire. It's the same issue as always with RAW: some things are fine, some things aren't. The big problem is the show has no rhythm. There's no spark or joy. It goes through the motions and it does the job in the most mundane way.
  12. Looking at FOX's promotion for SD, Roman is the centerpiece. SD's ratings increased back to 2 million-plus after his return. Can't see them giving that up. USA would surely like to have Roman back on RAW. They supposedly got fussy when Roman was moved to SD in the 2019 Shakeup. It was clear he would be on FOX that October. That's how the Wild Card rule was apparently born, to pacify USA a bit. But Roman being on whatever show is top priority is a given. That's currently SD with the FOX deal. WWE may have Roman appear on both shows, but I'd be shocked if he was moved off SD anytime soon.
  13. TBF, they're incorporating more of RAW's storylines on Main Event lately, based on the clips I've seen. Particularly with Nikki Cross addressing Alexa Bliss and Ricochet cutting a good promo on Retribution. It would be a good spot to see where some underused NXT folk are in their development. But they're keeping NXT separate because they have way too many COVID weirdos among their ranks.
  14. Main Event is mostly for international markets who can't or won't pay licensing fees for RAW/SD but still want something WWE related. But there's no reason they couldn't take that show and build more WWE programming for USA. Main Event/This Week in WWE/205 Live is an easy two-hour block to put together.
  15. Carmella has at no point been underutilized, and I'd pick Billie Kay over Peyton Royce if I need to showcase a former IIconic more. That no Black or Brown wrestlers show up on that list is noticeable, but not surprising. NBCU has had some turnover at key positions, as I remember. So who knows if the new bosses are as friendly towards RAW as in the past. But as mentioned, USA doesn't have much else. RAW is their #1 show by a mile. We're probably closer to Vince doing a modified version of the Wild Card rule again. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I can see them wanting to get Roman and Sasha over to RAW somehow, just to see if they can help with ratings.
  16. I was about to say--Smackdown is a good show. Even an off-night is usually a B- episode. Not everything works, but there's a flow to what's happening. RAW isn't inherently bad, IMO. But it lacks direction in a major way. Take Orton vs The Fiend. Orton is committing arson, again. We should be screaming for him to lose their upcoming match. But while he may be see as such internally, what about The Fiend makes him a face? He's got Alexa in a Stockholm Syndrome mind warp. He doesn't help any of the other faces. He's a sociopath using a children's show motif to cover up his abusive side. I don't hate The Fiend, mind you. But he doesn't make sense as a good guy. Then we have Drew McIntyre, supposed warrior babyface who stands for all that's good. But his best friend Sheamus gets throttled with a chair by AJ Styles with McIntyre nowhere to be seen. So if he turns against Drew, what makes Sheamus the bad guy in that scenario? Or if they have Keith Lee turn--I wouldn't feel bad for Drew, because he kept interrupting Keith's matches with Orton with Keith losing in DQs not of his own fault. The woman's tag story has had better build on RAW Talk and social media than on TV. Shayna and Nia criticize Lana for thinking that her finally putting in work to be better should be applauded, when everyone else in the women's division has been doing for years. (Put aside whatever you think of Nia; in context, it works.) Meanwhile, Lana cuts an awesome babyface promo where she admits she's not as good as her opponents, but she's put in the training and has to see what she can really do. She comes across 100% as a genuine, self-aware heroine with Nia/Shayna as jerks in how they bully Lana instead of letting her succeed or fail on her own. None of this has been on RAW. We get the women's tag champs being frothing madwomen for seemingly no reason with Lana as a clueless dope. I'm getting wordy with all this. But RAW would be fine if they'd followed logical points. Whether it's predictable isn't that big of a deal for me. As long as it makes sense with wrestlers acting accordingly to their current story arc.
  17. When I say the next level, I do so in context that NXT clearly isn't on the same creative wavelength as SD/RAW. As several of us have said, there is a disconnect to where too many NXT wrestlers aren't prepped in a way to please Vince. Is that on Vince? Hunter? A bit of both? There are likely several factors. There should be joint planning between the 'main' roster and NXT. Making sure to showcase what someone has done prior to RAW or SD to help non-NXT viewers get to know them. I'm not personally saying Aleister shouldn't have the same aura from NXT. He 100% should. But until all of Creative is on the same page, talent like him sadly suffer. That's another issue: NXT needs to be redefined. They tried to showcase it as its own brand, particularly with their Survivor Series appearance last year. But with half of their roster paying no heed to COVID, that couldn't happen this time. They still have the developmental smell on them. Until they're part of drafts and shakeups, it will remain that way. As for viewers, SD's ratings has gone back over 2 million and RAW has stabilized for now. NXT pulls in about 40% of RAW's numbers at the moment. A creative shakeup is needed. But the Attitude Era frankly shouldn't be considered in doing so. I get the point. But AE was lightning in a bottle in many ways. WCW was actually pushing WWF at a time WWF could realistically have gone out of business. AEW is doing well, but it will be some time before they fully push RAW in terms of viewers. There's no urgency to change the status quo. WWE makes tons of money and will continue to do so for some time. AEW isn't bankrupting WWE, and vice versa. I agree with many of the overall viewpoints being presented, please know. We're just taking different routes to get there.
  18. Roman has benefitted from no crowds, in that his promos have a quiet intensity that translates better without smart alecks trying to interrupt him. When he's the one full-time person who moves numbers across the board (ratings, YT views, merch, social media, etc), I don't see how he can be brushed off as a dweeb who got lucky. Just my two cents, though. I enjoy Aleister a lot. He should be in a better spot, especially with his kickboxing background. But I'm not surprised that he's struggling. If anyone has a persona that Vince and Bruce wouldn't understand, it's Aleister. Even when he was in good standing, the guy was cutting weird promos in a closet for months. His fate was pretty much sealed when Heyman was fired as RAW's creative director. He lost his biggest supporter. Aleister is a prime example of the disconnect between NXT and RAW/SD. With NXT, he had the lengthy entrance with candles and the vampire rise. He was given a certain aura that worked well in the smaller setting. It wasn't going to translate to the next level. Some thinking he was going to become a modern-day variation of the Undertaker was a setup for disappointment, too. Besides, they have their resident spooky guy for this generation in The Fiend. His best bet probably would have been to stay in a tag team with Ricochet. Two guys who seem wildly different being tag partners and good friends would have helped both until they adjusted to the bigger WWE picture. I wonder how long Aleister's contract goes for. I can't imagine he wants to stick around with Zelina getting her walking papers. But if he signed a new deal within the past year, he may be stuck for a while.
  19. @username made several strong points. RAW is tough to navigate even when you're in favor. FWIW, I think Lee is liked. They've done a solid job of protecting him, with only his mini feud against Braun being a bit off. They actually gave him a quality new entrance theme to replace his old one, which is more than what others can say. But for some reason, he hasn't quite clicked yet. I wonder if he's being told to tone down his moveset and he's finding it difficult to adjust. While he still does a lot, I think Ricochet has slowed down enough in-ring to pass that hurdle. I'd be curious to know if Lee is being asked to do the same. And with there being no house shows to get in reps, it's become an even tougher task. I can't discount @Curt McGirt's mention about weight. I'm pretty sure someone said Lee was told to 'tighten up' before he was called to RAW. Factor in him wearing a tank top now and I can see that being held against him. Same with Otis. As for why someone like Nia doesn't get sent back to the PC: to my knowledge, they don't send back any women. If a woman does go, it's by her direct request. Lana did some work on the Coconut Loop a while ago, but I think she got pulled away to do weekend house shows with RAW and/or SD, setting back her progress. It's not an accident Lana is improving since she started training with Natalya and Tyson Kidd on her own. Why don't they send women in for refreshers? I have my theories, sadly.
  20. Younger brother to the Usos. Cousin to Jacob and Roman.
  21. No Ryker. Just Blake and Cutler becoming Corbin's Court. With Bayley, it feels like this the start of the long road to her being a face again. That she allowed her obsession to be #1 take over, losing herself in the process. So they're going to have her go on a losing streak and realize that being champion is great, but it doesn't define her. Sasha-Carmella leaned too heavy into certain tropes. Having two women being overly catty for starters. I get that they were going for competitive since they mirror each other in some ways, but it didn't come across well. Carmella's bragging about being a hot chick in a company full of them was laughable. And bragging about the men she gets to do her bidding? After the Women's Evolution? Bad scripting on that. Roman is beyond awesome. How he continually gaslights everyone is incredible and scary all at the same time. "There is a a lady present, grow up" to thrashing three guys in front of countless female fans? Great heel work. Threatening KO's family because he feels KO forced him to beat up Jey was amazing. I like how they're having other wrestlers note the change to Roman, wondering if it's Heyman who caused it or if Roman is off in his own world. Trying to unravel the puzzle that has become Roman Reigns would be a good way to extend his title run. Because I don't see anyone who's ready to take him down for a long time.
  22. I give AEW credit in recognizing they needed a major story to carry them into 2021 and toward their next PPV. The last few Dynamite episodes from last year weren't good. They made a necessary adjustment. Kudos to them. However, I'm not sure I quite get it. Omega is an EVP for AEW. He became the #1 contender for their world championship, which many correctly predicted he would win one day. He's been in the catbird seat almost from the beginning. Why do something that could jeopardize his goals, whatever they may be? If it's just a case of his longtime friend Callis bending Omega's ear, fine. But it makes Khan look silly. Allowing another company's executive to get that close to one of his top stars on AEW's clock seems amateur. Plus, in situations like these, someone has to come up short. That's going to be Impact, because AEW has all the leverage with their TV deal and bigger stars. Should Impact be worried that Khan may pooch several of their women to his side? I would be. And how will AEW juggle their already large roster? Will Impact be featured on Dynamite beyond Callis being in Omega's corner? Is a talent exchange on the table? The NWA women's title already gets featured more than AEW's equivalent. Gotta figure they'll want Deonna to have a couple of matches, especially with her already being connected to them via All In. Maybe I'm overthinking it. I know many are high on the idea of several promotions working together. But it feels like a situation where egos are going to take hold sooner or later. I'm intrigued by the possibilities, so mission accomplished. It should be interesting.
  23. Orton and Wyatt playing hot potato with Alexa was something. It's a story that I understand but don't get, if that makes sense. I still don't see how Joker Bray and Alexa Quinn are faces. But I like like how Orton connected how both he and Bray have voices in their heads. Jeff Hardy smacking his head against the stairs was terrifying. He and his brother have no regard for their lives. Miz TV needs to stop. I can't remember the last time it was entertaining. Lana has zero chemistry with Nia. They both goofed on that spot with Nia going through the ropes, yikes. However, Lana does have chemistry with Shayna. Their sequence was good IMO. Lana is a strong seller, I appreciate that she continued to limp on the ankle Shayna stomped after the match. Alexander vs Woods was the best match on the show for me. Really good stuff. Styles vs Lee vs Riddle was also strong. They need to drop the backstage stuff with Riddle, though. The stoner thing can only go so far. Lashley vs Riddle should be solid from an in-ring perspective, though I get no joy in seeing Riddle on my TV. Good touch on having Dana Brooke confront Retribution after being attacked, but yikes on that match with Reckoning. The mask coming off was the cherry on the dirt sundae. They're clearly spinning their wheels with the women's division until Charlotte returns. Alexa is the only woman with direction, and she's doing nearly 100% character work with the men. Main event was--fine. The finish didn't work. Bad delivery. I thought McIntyre's promo was corny and cliché. And can he bump and sell better for most guys' finishers? He took the Skull Crushing finale worse than he does the RKO. A C-level show for me.
  24. It'll be interesting to see how Jimmy factors into Roman/Jey once he returns. After all, it was Jimmy who threw in the towel despite Jey saying no at CoC, then got choked out by Roman at HIAC, forcing Jey to quit to save his brother. With how Roman is in full gaslighting mode, he could easily have the Usos competing for his favor as he manipulates them to turn on each other. Aalyah-Murphy bugs me not just because of the age difference. Considering that wrestling went through the Speaking Out movement with WWE having talent accused of grooming--it feels tone deaf to run a story like that so soon after the real accusations, even if that isn't happening onscreen. I guess they figure if Rey is cool with it, then it's not a problem. Billie Kay is hilarious. She got 30 seconds to do something, and she nailed it.
  25. That Roman promo is nearly six years old. Let that dead horse become fertilizer. Why this version of Roman works is because of what he's been through over the past five years. Dealing with Vince and fans alike, his cancer returning, taking time off due to the pandemic, having McIntyre claim that Roman abandoned WWE during last week's promo. When, as Heyman spelled out in August, it was WWE that took Roman for granted. It eventually came to a point. Roman is taking everything that's happened to him in his singles career and molding it to fit his still-new domineering persona. It's the right blend of story and reality.
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