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AEW TV - 10/10 - 10/17/2023 - Tuesday Night Wars


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That was a rough episode.  Six matches, four are glorified job matches, and the main ends in a screwy finish.  Remember when WWE was the only place that booked matches where it was clear that creative was like, "uh oh...how do we get out of this one?" I hope this is an aberration and AEW can get back to just booking winners and losers.

I'm not a wresting matches for wrestling matches' sake guy.  I'm not going to eat up JTTS matches just for the love of wrestling.  If I were, I'd still be subbed to ROH.  All that being said, I did watch Mack vs Joe because Willie Mack is awesome.  I typically FFWD Joe matches because he's dull and predictable and "badass man who is badass and beats people up very badass" is passe for me.  But Mack has a fun character and is entertaining.  I'm probably the only person in the world who would say "Willie Mack made Samoa Joe watchable" but that's fine.

Statlander/Skye was easily the match of the night.

I agree with everyone here who said that Edge cutting a promo on Starks that legit buried him was awful.  So either he beats a vanilla midget wannabe Rock, or a vanilla midget wannabe Rock beats him.  That's fucking dumb, and "don't bury your opponents because either way you get fucked in the end" is first day of wrestling school stuff.

I did like the two segment setup and playoff of CJ/Action/Miro.

Bullet Club Gold abandoning the antisemitic gimmick was smart.

This was a two hour Rampage and I did not like it.  And next week we get Collision AND Battle of the Belts.  Fuuuuuuck.

Edited by Technico Support
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I've got comments going up about Danielson vs Christian tonight but it felt special for everything it wasn't as much as everything it was.

Re: the squashes. I think some of this was caused by Cage not being able to perform, but everything had a purpose. Fletcher got built up so he could challenge Omega. Lee is leading to the Taylor match.

Also you need to differentiate Joe vs Mack and Juice vs Danielson vs the other two.

I probably would have left the Lee match off overall, but you have to figure one of the matches would have gotten left off if Cage vs Komander had happened. My guess is that Juice would have just gotten a quick squash or just a mic segment instead and maybe Fletcher would have just had the backstage bit?

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I dig the squashes, fwiw. We’ve been conditioned as an audience for so long to think every match has to be between two stars, yet at the same time get upset when there isn’t a clean winner and loser. 

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6 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

Are they actually going somewhere with this Shane Taylor/Keith Lee business? Maybe actually book Shane Taylor in a match on cable.

I'm hoping so - I assumed there were plans for Taylor after he wrestled Joe on PPV but we're sure taking our sweet ass time getting there, aren't we?

2 hours ago, Just Dave said:

I dig the squashes, fwiw. We’ve been conditioned as an audience for so long to think every match has to be between two stars, yet at the same time get upset when there isn’t a clean winner and loser. 

 

 

23 hours ago, Technico Support said:

 

I'm not a wresting matches for wrestling matches' sake guy.  I'm not going to eat up JTTS matches just for the love of wrestling.  If I were, I'd still be subbed to ROH.  A

I'm of two minds on the squash thing. Just Dave, you makes a excellent point on audience conditioning, but Tech hits a good one too with the 'match for sake of a match' description.

I guess I land somewhere in the middle:

I am 100% down with the art of the squash as a TV viewer - but if I paid $120 for tickets and that's what I got, I wouldn't be necessarily pleased. I think the happy medium is probably just to keep those kinds of matches to ROH and Rampage, and pepper in *maybe* one per Dynamite/Collision -- but ONLY in service of pushing a monster along the lines of Wardlow, Luchasaurus, Nyla Rose, Joe, etc.

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I'm totally cool with a squash.  I grew up on Wrestling Challenge and WWF Superstars.  I'll gladly watch Ricky Ataki get his ass whopped in 1:30.  What I don't need is something like Juice Robinson vs older than me Chris Daniels in a two seg JTTS match that's just there to eat up time on TV.  If your TV is short squashes and meaningful matches, that's cool.  It's the in-between matches, where there's no story, no doubt to what the finish will be, and it goes long, that I just can't deal with.

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If I paid for tickets to a show, I would be fine with a squash depending on the wrestler. I'd be cool with seeing Wardlow just powerbomb a dude a bunch of times or seeing Keith Lee yeet someone across the ring.

I'd be pretty disappointed, though, if like Brian Danielson had a three-minute squash, though.

I guess there are some guys where I'd just rather see their cool spot and others that I want to see do more.

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1 hour ago, Technico Support said:

I'm totally cool with a squash.  I grew up on Wrestling Challenge and WWF Superstars.  I'll gladly watch Ricky Ataki get his ass whopped in 1:30.  What I don't need is something like Juice Robinson vs older than me Chris Daniels in a two seg JTTS match that's just there to eat up time on TV.  If your TV is short squashes and meaningful matches, that's cool.  It's the in-between matches, where there's no story, no doubt to what the finish will be, and it goes long, that I just can't deal with.

I agree, a squash is all about the intention. If you're throwing someone out there just to remind the audience they exist it probably won't do much, especially a competitive squash like Juice/Daniels. A short squash to establish a certain dynamic about a wrestler (new person, new move, new attitude, etc) can be very effective so long as it's going somewhere. I'd be disappointed to see Danielson in a squash too, he doesn't need it so it would be a waste of his efforts (unless there's a storyline reason for it), but someone similar like Danny Garcia would benefit immensely from smacking and stretching a dude for 5 minutes and submitting him

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I think squashes are also fine if they effectively do what they need to do for a guy. I also think a lost art is those mid-level type squashes, where it's basically a jobber, but like a few more minutes and the jobber gets some offense in. This is like how they would let top heels get some clean wins on TV while giving them lesser names.

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34 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

I think squashes are also fine if they effectively do what they need to do for a guy. I also think a lost art is those mid-level type squashes, where it's basically a jobber, but like a few more minutes and the jobber gets some offense in. This is like how they would let top heels get some clean wins on TV while giving them lesser names.

The mid-level squashes are great ways to get a lower-tier tag team member some singles time. 

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Putting new people to the promotion in squashes used to be useful, too, in that you could show the audience their moveset. Show them what they use to win, then, when they're in a more competitive match, it means more to see that move blocked or kicked out of.

I suppose nowadays, by the time someone makes tv (especially in AEW) the audience has already seen them wrestle somewhere else and know what they do.

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Squashes can be greatly effective, but they can also be a fucking snooze/ratings killer/funsucker.

Wardlow 'In Action' feels meaningless at this point. The powerbomb symphony doesn't feel particularly over anymore. Ppl wanna see him face somebody of value. If squashes are somehow a must for 'rebuilding' him then it might be more effective to book him against interesting opponents - see big huge dudes to show off his incredible strength. Not goddamn Matt Sydal. It makes him look like an asshole to be crushing cruiserweights while calling for competition. Going back to a Wardlow squash run with the recent history in mind of a previous squash run leading to a less than substantial run in the upper card feels problematic. 

Powerhouse Hobbs has been especially tedious 'In Action'. He just doesn't have anything that special (ooh a spinebuster!) for showcase like that.  Further, Hobbs has had so many squashes that have led to, at best, simple losses to bigger stars. I dunno, I like Hobbs, but don't really see much passed gatekeeper hoss. Which is a fine enough role.

The Keith Lee squash on Rampage was aided by the excellent bumping of Turbo Floyd. That's part of what's necessary, a great bumper. Still, any of these guys giving enough to make a worthy opponent seem worth defeating is more important and far more interesting than AEW Creative seems to understand.

EDIT: Samoa Joe and Miro have both had a number of great examples of how to effectively squash an opponent. Or how to tell a story with an undersized opponent - see Miro's matches v Fuego del Sol. 

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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13 minutes ago, HarryArchieGus said:

Squashes can be greatly effective, but they can also be a fucking snooze/ratings killer/funsucker.

Wardlow 'In Action' feels meaningless at this point. The powerbomb symphony doesn't feel particularly over anymore. Ppl wanna see him face somebody of value. If squashes are somehow a must for 'rebuilding' him then it might be more effective to book him against interesting opponents - see big huge dudes to show off his incredible strength. Not goddamn Matt Sydal. It makes him look like an asshole to be crushing cruiserweights while calling for competition. Going back to a Wardlow squash run with the recent history in mind of a previous squash run leading to a less than substantial run in the upper card feels problematic. 

To me that means the squashes are working. Maybe he's supposed to come off like an asshole and if people want to see him against better opponents that's better than not wanting to see him at all. Besides, they're short so how much fun can they suck?

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4 minutes ago, Godfrey said:

To me that means the squashes are working. Maybe he's supposed to come off like an asshole and if people want to see him against better opponents that's better than not wanting to see him at all. Besides, they're short so how much fun can they suck?

You could certainly play that card and go in that direction. I like a bully Wardlow clearly crushing ppl not in his league and avoiding those who are. That said, I don't see how that's even being hinted at. Maybe tho, he definitely seems to be going heel to get to the man whose name he prints on his wrist tape. 

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