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Big Z

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Everything posted by Big Z

  1. I lean towards everything being a work now with MJF (though it may not have started out that way). However, do not really miss him either and am good with him sitting out indefinitely.
  2. Privileged to be there live, as New Japan and later AEW (along with pre AEW NXT) rekindled my love of pro wrestling. Even with New Japan's quality suffering post-pandemic, their stars are still damn good when treated well, so hopefully they'll hit a resurgence with crowds coming back. Third AEW show I've been to live (All Out and Full Gear last year), and they've all been classic for different reasons. I'd agree that there wasn't a surefire MOTYC candidate, but basically all of the matches hit in one way or another (and I really dug the IWGP four match before the necessary abrupt finish). Very happy for Claudio to be the mystery guy (even if wasn't a shock), as he just belongs in AEW. Looking forward to having New Japan guys popping in more frequently in the future, and AEW may actually make the two night Wrestle Kingdom concept actually work.
  3. I'd actually call for the other Team Taz member not related to Taz to at least win the battle royal and lose to Mox. Hobbs isn't a bad shout, but Starks is ready to take that next step and is super over now.
  4. I'd have Anarchy in the Arena 3rd-4th overall in 2022, definitely behind Hangman-Bryan and Jericho-Kingston, and coin flip with MJF-Punk dog collar match. It was definitely best mat h at Double or Nothing and arguably five-stars, but not quite as the top two matches of 2022.
  5. It was a long show, but everything had a purpose, even if a couple of matches could have been moved to Dynamite or Rampage this week. Glad that they are finally going full heel with Sammy and Tay, and wonder what their next program may be (actually don't hate the idea of feuding with Cole and Britt, as they both should be faces at this point anyway). The six-man tag and Anarachy in the Arena will both have shouts to be in my best matches of the year, and the title matches generaly delivered to the high AEW expectation (though Hangman and Punk have better in them down the road). Wardlow is a star now, and MJF can hopefully take some time off now and maybe mature a wee bit (and he needs to listen to somone wiser to not burn the AEW bridge, as his behavior would get his ass fired/suspended in a heartbeat in Vinceland). On the flip side of that, while I like the work of Adam Cole and the good doctor more than some/most here, they are also great representatives of the company and fitting inaugural champs of an important new event loke The Owen. Not an all-time great AEW pay per view (and a step below the last three), but still dang good and well worth the money.
  6. Face Brandon Cutler would have qualified. Very early Jungle Boy, but he's progressed well beyond that.
  7. If people want to mention a Nature Boy to compare MJF with, how about Buddy Landell. Buddy was damn good in the ring when he wanted to be and could talk, but also derailed his career on multiple occasions due to idiotic decision making. While I do not believe that MJF has the same out of the ring demons, this current behavior feels like Landell's move of sabotaging his JCP run in late '85/early '86.
  8. While Punk-Hangman has only been official for a few weeks, I figured that match was on the minute that Punk signalled for title right after Revolution. Now, it's been a fairly unique build in that two face wrestlers have kind of been acting like assholes during the build, but a positive spin on that is that both guys are all business and desperately want to win.
  9. I actually like Gargano a fair amount, though his best stuff in NXT was as a team with Ciampa in DIY. That best said, he does not bring anything to AEW that the roster does not have bunches of already (and some of his luster jumping over has been lost over the last few months). Dang good show as usual, with all of the Owen matches delivering nicely and Hangman-Takeshita was a total banger that felt like a title level match. Also, while I get the arguments about Deeb not being earth's best promo, I like the idea of AEW throwing people out there to sink and swim and not being overly produced. Even if leads to mix of both good and bad, the quality of the good from the creative freedom will be worth the trade-off for things that do not totally hit. I'm not tuning into AEW for homogenized production that has no character.
  10. Solid hour of wrestling per usual, but not feeling that last angle at all. If Guevara is still to be involved in the TNT title scene, he should have retained a few weeks ago and fully gone heel (at least for the storyline, audience long ago decided that direction for his character). Meanwhile, Scorpio Sky ultimately remained on the dark side even though he seemed to be much more effective and over during this recent face tease (and a face run with TNT title could have helped get things back on track with that belt). While they likely had no choice but to take the title off Miro when they did given his injury situation at the time, it's definitely fallen in prestige since then and no longer feels special after a good 18 month or so initial run after its introduction. I strongly push back on the argument with the tag titles losing prestige (though FTR needs them ASAP), but the TNT title unfortunately feels very WWE'ized the last six months.
  11. I'd love Ibushi in AEW, and at this point New Japan needs AEW a lot more than AEW needs New Japan, but think this one may not be happening before Forbidden Door at a minimum if things are that toxic between Ibushi and New Japan.
  12. Man I really want to like Pillman Jr. cause his father is one of my all time favorites, but agree with those that do not see a ton in him. He's okay in the ring, but not great, and definitely did not inherit his dad's athleticism and natural flying ability. He's awful on the mic though, and while his online personality shows some heel potential, he is still way too green for a prominent role on a big stage (and unlike say a young Lex Luger, does not have a million dollar body/physique to compensate). Definitely some hit or miss with the show, and interested that they went with Hangman heeling it up tonight. It's probably the smart short-term move, but still think that Punk turning down the road is the long-term play.
  13. I actually like how that would play into things, as Punk could say that nothing has changed, but it would be slow burn to a full heel turn before Full Gear.
  14. Diving into the dangerous realm of fantasy booking, I'd have Hangman win this match at Double or Nothing and Punk turns down an opportunity to cheat to win. During the summer, Punk regrets thats and gradually starts cheating a bit more in his matches before winning the title via chicanery at All Out.
  15. I'd argue that the generation of NXT guys post Finn/American Alpha/Horsewomen actually took a NXT up another level until Vince sent them on a suicide mission competing against AEW. Ciampa as heel champion was incredible, you had amazing debuts from Nakamura, Bobby Roode, a returning Drew McIntyre, Adam Cole (and the formation of the Undisputed Era in Brooklyn), and Ricochet to name a few, and a bunch of great stories (the Ciampa/Gargano break-up and feud, the Undisputed Era as a new generation type of Horsemen, Aleister Black developing into a superstar, and the Velveteen Dream becoming a high-level homegrown star before his awful behavior and indiscretions torpedoed his career). While Vince being hands off allowed for NXT to flourish as a popular brand until the formation of AEW, he royally fucked up not making a bunch of people major stars that were handed to him to a silver platter.
  16. I'd actually rate Page-Cole from this week's Rampage higher of the two really good Texas Death Matches, and include that match in the next tier of awesome AEW matches this year right below Page-Danielson and Bucks-FTR.
  17. It's most glaring any time he tried a move to the corner turnbuckle, so I would cut those out immediately. Also, do not try any leapfrog spots, as he could not exceute that with basically the shortest guy on the roster. I know that his back issues have been affecting him for awhile, but I didn't remember them to be near as dramatic during the match with Rush at the AEW/NJPW supershow in 2019. Also, it did not help me that I could visibly see the back brace under the trunks/singlet hybrid he was wearing to try to mask that. Really wish that a healthy Dalton Castle could have gone to an AEW (and he could have also had a fun NXT run under Hunter before Vince saw him).
  18. I will be contrarian on two-plus themes of this thread. First, the TNT title going back on Sammy is the more interesting move, and glad that they are leaning into the heel heat. I think he can have a fun, decent length title run before losing convincingly sometime around All Out. Second, love the Dalton Castle presentation and have been a fan of his in my previous experiences with him. That said, he's moving like a sixty year old when he was to go any length of the ring. While he's still fairly explosive in short areas and executed some crisp moves, he looks especially slow compared to the rest of the roster and that is not intentionally his style. It would probably benefit him greatly to take a few years off to heal, but that's not realistic at 36 years old and having to make a living and all. Also, I actually very much like this group of champions and think that both Jurassic Express and especially Hangman are having very good title runs. Even with Jurassic Express as semi-transitonal champs, they have had a bunch of excellent title matches and their eeign has kept elevating Jungle Boy as an upper card star (and they are still super over as a team). While Hangman's two bangers with Danielson brought the most attention to his reign, his other title matches have all been very good (even with odd reactions from Revolution crowd), and the Rampage match this past Friday should be somewhere in the 5-10 range of top AEW matches this year (of which there have been loads of awesome matches already this year). He's doing plenty good heading into the likely Punk program for Double or Nothing.
  19. Really liked the match against Brian Cage at Double or Nothing last year. Also enjoyed the Ricky Starks matched on Dynamite where unfortunately Starks took a bad bump off a suplex that jacked his neck. Both matches in 2020 Eliminator tournament prior to the Omega match were also good, especially the one against Wardlow. Going back to the very early days of AEW, his series of matches against Pac were a lot of fun as well. For some non-AEW matches, really liked the IWGP U.S. title match against Jay White as his breakout performance and also Hangman was one of the better things about a very mixed 2018 G1.
  20. I absolutely loved the Clash of the Champions concept, and have seen most all of them multiple times at this point. However, the difference is that for all the Clashes that pre-date Nitro, they featured high-level matches that were previously only seen on PPV and very ocassionally on Saturday Night or one of the syndicated programs. And unfortunately, the Clashes were much less important after the introduction of Nitro. With the nature of wrestling TV in 2022, you have to have high-level matches on the weekly TV shows to keep eyeballs on them. It's pretty amazing that AEW has kept most of their PPV matches fresh and must-watch with three hours of weekly programming, but unfortunately it's a giant ask to also do that for another four quarterly specials. Instead of keeping those specials for TV matches, I think that would be better served for a more unique concept. Also, they need 2 or 2 1/2 hours if you want fully replicate the importance of the Clashes.
  21. Terry Taylor-Bobby Eaton and the title match between Luger and Ron Simmons were also pretty good, with Eaton-Taylor probably the best match on the card (and of course, edited off of the VHs version of the show). That was actually a decent recovery show on the back of the Great American Bash '91 disaster.
  22. Crazy thinking where this list is now compared to the same point last year, as I'd rate Hangman-Danielson from 1/6 and Bucks/FTR last week as five-star matches, and then a ton of other matches right on that 4 and 3/4th stars and five-star border: Both Punk-MJF matches, Mox-Yuta from the last Rampage and Danielson-Yuta, Kingston-Jericho and the triple threat tag match also from Revolution, Punk/Mox against FTR, and the triple threat TNT title match from Rampage before Revolution. I'd argue that last year's first five-star match for AEW was Bucks vs. Lucha Brothers at All Out (and there was a cascade of them after that thanks to the combination of regular size, hot crowds and Mr. Danielson joining the fray). And I've tried to sort of keep a running list of all-time great AEW matches in my head, but that's a daunting task given the sheer quality of awesome matches (and great crowds that add just that much more to the matches).
  23. From when I first saw the match, my thought was that they resorted to trying flippy moves out of desperation, but the idea still very much works. I'd rate the rematch a touch better also, but in any comparison that is remotely close, I will side with the match that had a full crowd over the one with limited fans in attendance.
  24. In a week that saw two of AEW's best TV matches in company history. You can choose violence over your inane posts and theories, I'll choose TK's violence of putting out the best pro wrestling in North American history and calling out bullshit and trolls on social media.
  25. I actually think that is the route for continued growth and potential explosive growth as well. In 2022, people will mostly shun overly promoted products for quality products that grow audiences almost by word of mouth. Programs like Schitt's Creek and Breaking Bad put out quality entertainment for years before they totally exploded in popularity, and they exploded in popularity because they had created such a good product. As long as AEW continues to cook and put out high-level programming, the audiences will eventually follow (not that they are anything to sneeze at currently, especially with live crowds and PPV buys).
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