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AEW TV - 5/15 - 5/21/2024 - Fear of a Malakai Black Planet


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41 minutes ago, Coletti said:

Her first big babyface return promo went over but after that it fell off a cliff. It's a shame because any time I've heard Deeb interviewed out of character, she's so naturally likeable. Why can't she just be that?

I guess we can call that the "Nyla Rose Conundrum."

My personal opinion is that her insistence on being “the professor” and “the best technical women’s wrestler” doesn’t really work as well in 2024 when most of the women working are all talented and not just models trained in basic bumping. Like she really doesn’t do much/anything that Toni Storm couldn’t do. Hell, Emi uses that weird “self-lock” hold and turns it into a great heel comedy spot. Some of that could also be remnant sexism since men using the same gimmick can get very over.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, RazorbladeKiss87 said:

I should have known better than to bad mouth her (not saying her name or quoting so he isn't summoned) with her biggest supporter around. Expressing my opinion and being told I'm foolish and maybe someone alluding to racism? I don't know what that other but is about but yeah, heaven forbid I don't like a wrestler someone else does. This whole discussion is stupid and I'm not going to engage you anymore. I don't have any problem with any posters here and I'd like to keep it that way but being insulted for thinking someone is overrated by her obsessives doesn't sit well with me. 

 

Forgive me for thinking this is a discussion board and not just a place where you and that other guy get your takes off without being challenged on them. 

Keep in mind, he tried insulting me unprovoked and I explained what my position was on where this story line has been going and where I think it's headed and he just cowered away. 

Edited by Niners Fan in CT
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2 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

 

Forgive me for thinking this is a discussion board and not just a place where you and that other guy get your takes off without being challenged on them. 

I'm not sitting here calling you a fool for enjoying someone I don't. Like I said, I should have known better. This is your move. Someone says they don't care for her, no matter how mildly they put it you show up and get upset and insult them, an argument derails the thread and no discussion takes place. Please elaborate on how calling someone foolish promotes discussion. Or tiptoeing around whatever it is you were implying in your other post. 

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2 minutes ago, RazorbladeKiss87 said:

I'm not sitting here calling you a fool for enjoying someone I don't. Like I said, I should have known better. This is your move. Someone says they don't care for her, no matter how mildly they put it you show up and get upset and insult them, an argument derails the thread and no discussion takes place.

That's not what happened here. I'm all for discussion but I was insulted before it even got to that point. I'm explaining where the story began, what has happened to this point and where I think it's heading...   and instead of having a discussion about it I was told it's some "bullshit 4D chess to make Mercedes look like a wooden promo" Lol.  

It's been clear since after the first appearance that she was doing a "disingenuous babyface" schtick, the commentators haven't even been subtle about it,  it's been way over-the-top,  look at the interruptions, look at the facial expressions from Willow...  

It's all there.  But because it's Mercedes doing it....  we are supposed to ignore what we are seeing on TV?   Ok....

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Okay. That's cool. I agree with you that this is how they're presenting her. I'm glad you're enjoying it. My comment was on the fact that it's not doing anything for me because I don't care for her as a character or a wrestler. It's apparently not doing anything for the audience. Part of this is probably a lack of promotion on SOME nights, like you said. But that begs the question: what good is a performer who may only draw in viewers for their segment? Shouldn't a promotion want to enploy people who can improve their overall audience? Note, she's not the only person this applies to, obviously since ratings are going down so this is more of an overall statement. 

I'd have to go searching for the ratings breakdown but I know they promoted the contract signing with Willow beforehand so I'd be interested to see what fans were brought to the table by that. 

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5 minutes ago, RazorbladeKiss87 said:

Okay. That's cool. I agree with you that this is how they're presenting her. I'm glad you're enjoying it. My comment was on the fact that it's not doing anything for me because I don't care for her as a character or a wrestler. It's apparently not doing anything for the audience. Part of this is probably a lack of promotion on SOME nights, like you said. But that begs the question: what good is a performer who may only draw in viewers for their segment? Shouldn't a promotion want to enploy people who can improve their overall audience? Note, she's not the only person this applies to, obviously since ratings are going down so this is more of an overall statement. 

I'd have to go searching for the ratings breakdown but I know they promoted the contract signing with Willow beforehand so I'd be interested to see what fans were brought to the table by that. 

The segment lost 15,000 viewers at the start then another 41,000 by the end. So it’s kind of hard to paint Mercedes as any kind of draw. Plus I felt earlier like the one you’re replying to was trying to start race baiting which shouldn’t be allowed here ever.

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2 minutes ago, RazorbladeKiss87 said:

Okay. That's cool. I agree with you that this is how they're presenting her. I'm glad you're enjoying it. My comment was on the fact that it's not doing anything for me because I don't care for her as a character or a wrestler. It's apparently not doing anything for the audience. Part of this is probably a lack of promotion on SOME nights, like you said. But that begs the question: what good is a performer who may only draw in viewers for their segment? Shouldn't a promotion want to enploy people who can improve their overall audience? Note, she's not the only person this applies to, obviously since ratings are going down so this is more of an overall statement. 

I've never been a believer that one talent is going to shift ratings in a major direction one way or another.  There's too many factors that go into it. I didn't think the signings of Mercedes, Okada and Ospreay were going to "help" ratings because what actually helps ratings....  I think it's a combination of things.  Unfortunately for AEW,  I think it's more a "hot story line" that really changes things.  That's what they had with MJF-Cole.  That's what really turned WWE around with The Bloodline saga.  

Roman Reigns was a ratings killer for years.  Now he's a massive draw.  He's still Roman Reigns. He just found a character and a story that appealed to the masses.  He was a very good wrestler and performer as a babyface but a lot of people did not care and felt it was forced.  

What does Mercedes actually bring?  I think she brings star power,  I think she brings as a presence,  someone who can be a leader in the locker room for the younger women, someone who can put on great matches,  someone who can promote the AEW brand when she's making appearances at fashion shows or red carpets, whatever..   There's a lot of value there.  I think she helps sell tickets too... when she's actually wrestling,  which she hasn't done yet.  

But is she going to bring a ratings bump? No, I don't think anyone does that by themselves.  Maybe for an appearance or two.  Her first segment at 'Big Business' was very highly rated but it's like CM Punk, it doesn't last just because they are who they are...  you need a hot story line. 

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4 minutes ago, Just Adam Bay Bay said:

The segment lost 15,000 viewers at the start then another 41,000 by the end. So it’s kind of hard to paint Mercedes as any kind of draw. Plus I felt earlier like the one you’re replying to was trying to start race baiting which shouldn’t be allowed here ever.

The 9:30 slot is always bad no matter who is there.  She's had decently rated segments but half the time she isn't even advertised,  it's not something I'm speaking on to defend her because I could say the same thing about many people on the roster.  

Also, there was no race baiting whatsoever. The guy I was talking to admitted that that line of discourse did happen here but I was not talking about the board itself, I was talking about online discourse in general which has often times been disgusting dating back as far as 2018 and if you don't believe that.... I don't know what to tell you other than open up your eyes. 

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7 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

What does Mercedes actually bring?  I think she brings star power,  I think she brings as a presence,  someone who can be a leader in the locker room for the younger women, someone who can put on great matches,  someone who can promote the AEW brand when she's making appearances at fashion shows or red carpets, whatever..   There's a lot of value there.  I think she helps sell tickets too... when she's actually wrestling,  which she hasn't done yet.  

How much of that crossover audience sticks around for anything else though?

Promoting AEW at fashion shows/red carpets, okay fine, I get that, but what else on AEW causes that audience to stick? If the audience is watching solely for Mercedes, then there are two issues in play:
1) AEW needs to be a lot better about promoting her appearances and plugging at what point they will happen on the show (and this isn't Mercedes-specific, this applies to everyone; there's little harm in doing an "up next, X vs Y, still to come, Z!" etc etc on their shows and social media)
2) If you're trying to hook an audience that is coming just for Mercedes, then you need to have something that will capture their attention aside from Mercedes. This is why it's big to develop a brand identity and only bring in talent that fits that specific identity. If it's just scattershot stars coming in for that one week pop and a "well now what?" for the rest of their time, then what do you do?

There's a reason why people only go to timeshare pitches for a free lunch once; you don't want to sit through two hours of something you're not interested in to get to the thing you wanted. And if it's a bad lunch? Hoo boy.

So that's why I think it's a matter of being thoughtful with who you get, how it fits your show, and if the audience that currently exists for that piece of talent will mesh with your currently existing material. It's a tricky thing to navigate and I don't envy anyone trying to do it.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Stefanie Sparkleface said:

So that's why I think it's a matter of being thoughtful with who you get, how it fits your show, and if the audience that currently exists for that piece of talent will mesh with your currently existing material. It's a tricky thing to navigate and I don't envy anyone trying to do it.

I agree with you 100% that it's very challenging because I think the core AEW audience is sometimes at odds with some of what Mercedes is about... which is unfortunate. She fit like a glove in NJPW/Stardom because they love wrestling but they also love some "Hollywood" type theatrics. 

This isn't a Mercedes specific issue, I think you touched on something that's going on.  AEW needs to appeal to wider audiences because that's how they are going to get the TV rights fees that they want but sometimes the core audience suggests that they want AEW to be basically what ROH was and that is not something that can be widely successful and sustainable on cable TV. 

I think if Mercedes goes out and has great matches which she's always done,  the AEW audience will start to come around again. 

Edited by Niners Fan in CT
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9 minutes ago, Stefanie Sparkleface said:

1) AEW needs to be a lot better about promoting her appearances and plugging at what point they will happen on the show (and this isn't Mercedes-specific, this applies to everyone; there's little harm in doing an "up next, X vs Y, still to come, Z!" etc etc on their shows and social media)

They kind of do a lot of that on their show already, though. I'm not sure how much they could ramp it up without reaching Nitro levels and start ignoring what's going on in the ring to talk about the main event.

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3 minutes ago, tbarrie said:

They kind of do a lot of that on their show already, though. I'm not sure how much they could ramp it up without reaching Nitro levels and start ignoring what's going on in the ring to talk about the main event.

During matches or as wraparounds? Because if it's during matches, a lot of folks will miss it. Wraparounds capture full attention and are more likely to be recalled, as opposed to lower thirds mid-action that are easy to miss because you're focusing on other portions of the screen.

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6 minutes ago, Stefanie Sparkleface said:

During matches or as wraparounds? Because if it's during matches, a lot of folks will miss it. Wraparounds capture full attention and are more likely to be recalled, as opposed to lower thirds mid-action that are easy to miss because you're focusing on other portions of the screen.

They announce a lot of things on social media "day of"  and they don't explicitly say what the main event is all the time or where certain segments are being placed, etc.. 

They've been better about this with the new "ticker" that they have put on Dynamite but again.. when it's the day of the show and I don't know who is appearing yet, it's an issue. 

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I think the issue with Mercedes comes down to the fact they debuted her on TV way too long before she was gonna wrestle and they collectively (AEW and Mone) simply did not have enough material in play/set up to cover that much time. I think she's fine but probably half the stuff she's done on TV has been filler that very few would mourn if they missed it. Now that she's gonna finally step back in the ring imminently it feels like things can finally begin/proceed for her, and while it is a shame they probably cooled her off a good bit compared to if they debuted her say two weeks before her first match I don't think it'll make much of a difference long term.

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38 minutes ago, ExcellenceofAirPollution said:

Could someone (preferably Niners) explain the "internet discourse" around Mone and how it involves politics and how I have to live here (I do) to understand?  Seems I don't frequent the places where this discourse is happening but you can't just drop a vague, cryptic post like that

Where would you like me to begin?  I can start by traveling all the way back to I believe it was 2018 when Mercedes was video taped rushing out of her hotel to get a Door Dash order and rushing back into her hotel without stopping to speak to the fans who were crowded outside. Around this same time she was photographed with a fan at an airport where she looked agitated because it was 3am and apparently these fans wait for wrestlers to get off the plane so they can have them sign a bunch of things (presumably to sell at a later date)

Bully Ray and Disco among others in the wrestling community including some lesser dirt sheet writers started an online smear campaign saying she has a "bad attitude" ...  coded language towards black women painting the picture of "the angry black woman)... (none of the wrestlers have ever said a bad word about her) and that she should feel "lucky" that fans are sitting outside her hotel and she needs to do better. 

Interestingly enough,  when other wrestlers were stalked at airports or just stalked in general... these same people who threw dirt on Mercedes said that the fans are "losers" and need to get a life.  So why are some wrestlers afforded that leeway but Mercedes was painted with the "angry black woman" brush? 

This is just the beginning of the online discourse that I've seen....  I can continue if you wish. 

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Not many people here is a bigger fan of Mercedes than me but I agree as great of wrestler as I think she is, she is terrible on the mic. I hope you are right about her playing it up as being this Sports-Entertainer because she is really being exposed. Willow on the other hand is killing it on the mic. It’s to the point that she is showing up everyone else. AEW is such a work rate based company that Mercedes is going to damn near going to have kill herself in order to get over here. I consider her one of best women in American wrestling but I think her promo skills will bring her down. She’s probably going to be a Roman Reigns type schedule where there will be probably a lot of in between time between matches were she’ll probably have have a lot of talking segments to build her matches but I guess we’ll find out soon 

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Still trying to catch up to everything this week -- it's been a rough one, and an awesome one somehow too -- but I have to say before I watch everything that Shane Taylor and Will Ospreay was, like, every single thing I love about Taylor and every single thing I hate about Ospreay. Shane tried and tried and tried but Ospreay was never not gonna kick out of HIS brutal piledriver finish and hit what until the Danielson match was HIS super-finisher. And the Kingdom geeks were out there too to watch. Man. Taylor, keep being awesome. Will... I'd say tone it down, but he can't and won't. 

I did catch the Edge/Brody match earlier though and that was great. Edge has completely turned the corner from his WWE days. Brody was a mess and it was glorious.

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I’m starting to get burned out on this Collision/Rampage stuff. Collision has settled into being Rampage+ and Rampage is just, well, the same as it has always been. Dynamite is still where it’s at.

I don’t blame them. Ain’t no one watching on a Saturday. Most weeks it will be around 11 pm and then I’ll realize, oh yeah, Collision. I’ll watch a little bit of it, turn it off, and then over the course of the next couple days I’ll watch a little more here and there. Sometimes I’ll finish it, but more and more I’m just not.

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Shocking how good Claudio's promo was. You could even tell it how Moxley was looking at him with total pride. Calling another wrestler "fake" has to be the biggest insult. 

And then the Hook and Shibata matches were good! John etc. seemed to realize Hook was a bit of a crowbar and work accordingly, then Shibata had an incredibly surprising match with Rocky Romero. Rocky is the definition of a boring-ass "good hand" but they worked out something that really worked. Shibata shooting into the kneebar and actually 

Spoiler

winning with a fucking Figure Four

were both awesome. 

Also, Jericho going back to his delusional WCW period is the best decision he could make right now. I was afeared of him dragging Bill down but this might just work. 

More later

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Saturday night, it wasn't the best time for Boxers from Britain. First that big hype thing in Saudi, and then our boy Ogogo has to stand ringside and watch Shane Taylor lose another big match. It is strange that Shane was under contract for AEW for like a year before someone suddenly realised he was really good and started using him on TV a lot. If they'd kept O'Shay Edwards in STP, that would have been a fearsome looking team. Although having said that, the Iron Savages are a fearsome looking team, and that hasn't stopped them being given a comedy jobbers gimmick... although when you've got that fearsome look, it's pretty easy to cut out the comedy and become a serious threat when the time comes. But yeah, Shane Taylor pulling off and actual leapfrog with that low centre of gravity he has, he's a hell of an athlete as well as a great big man worker.

Roddy Strong continuing the wrestling tradition of selling a spray of water to the face like it's concentrated acid was nice. Three of the former Undisputed Era guys arriving in AEW and suddenly being very good Sports Entertainers despite being all "We take Wrestling Seriously" in NXT tends to imply that Bobby Fish was a really bad influence. Well, Kyle O'Reilly hasn't really been much fun on telly, but his Hey! EW appearance was hilarious.

Ospreay getting beaten down by a bunch of guys, and his Callis family stablemates don't make the save for him at all? I was expecting the split to be a big angle, not a quiet disassociation. Unless this is lack of save is a part of building towards that big angle. 

The trio of TNT Challenger qualifiers, Hook vs Johhny Taya Valkyrie was nice, a bit short. Hook couldn't get his hands locked on the Capture Suplex, but nobody really does, who isn't Akira Maeda. Romero vs Shibata was really good. The longest of the three matches, but also the one where I got a stronger feeling of "Wouldn't have minded a few more minutes of that". Bryan Keith vs Boulder, the pre-match promo was longer than the match, and then most of the match was all based around distraction spots and interference. One for your Raw fans, that.

Cassidy vs Kassidy had some really smooth matwork early, and good action throughout, but it was happening to build to the post-match Trent promo and brawl. Although I did love how, after referee Steffon Smith told Trent he had to get out of there, Trent's counter argument was just "I'm a good boy!".

They should pair Serena Deeb and Matt Sydal up as smug heel Yoga instructors, who boast about being in better shape in their 40s than most wrestlers are in their 20s.

Jack Cartwheel is nutty as hell for doing a Space Flying Tiger Drop to nowhere. A decent TV match, but the 15 minute version of it that probably happened in GCW at some point was probably more fun.

Lance Archer and the Righteous vs FTR & Bryan Danielson, that was a lot of fun. Cash inadvertently pulled off the heel offense of the year on Dutch during an outside brawl, grabbing one of the bands of his suspenders and twanging it right onto his nipple. The post-match beatdown did a great job of bearing out the point I made earlier about how if you look scary enough, you can go from 'goofy comedy act' to 'legitimately threatening' at the drop of a hat. Does make you wonder if Daniel Garcia might be replacing Darby Allin as Eddie Kingston's replacement in Anarchy in the Arena.

On to Rampage!

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So that low-rent Michael Hayes wannabe in the crowd really wanted to get his jacket on camera, didn't he? Damn fool paid for a front row seat and then refused to sit in it all bloody night.

Kyle vs Lee was really good. They did the George St Pierre vs Matt Hughes 1 armbar reversal finish as a meaningless bit of matwork feeling out, and it was funny. But all in all, they did a really good job of telling a story of escalating damage, but without neglecting the short attention span crowd. Possibly (it being a pretaped show) AEW gave the fans a little audio assistance, but whatever. Reversing the Border City Stretch into a Regalplex was a great feat of strength and balance from Kylo.

So Max Caster has a moustache now. Anthony Bowens has always had a Van Dyke (but his chin beard is less prominent than his upper lip hirsuteness). I think it's time Billy Gunn went back to the 1992 Smoking Gunns look and resumed his "Blonde Burt Reynolds" image.

Cody Chhun, as one half of C4, is a top tag team wrestler in the Portland area, but RUSH's squash match opponents tend to survive for seconds rather than minutes. The post-match beatdown lasted longer than the match.

Deonna Purazzo vs Robyn Renegade reminded us that there are three pushed women's matches going into Double or Nothing. And the build to Deeb vs Storm, and the build to Mone vs Nightingale, really puts the build to Rosa vs Purazzo in the shade. Really they should put Deonna and Deeb against each other (or team up or something), so they can talk about what great wrestlers they are for a bit (without actually having any great matches to prove the point). Just feels a bit off, they're both doing an "I'm really good at wrestling" gimmick, when Emi Sakura works for the same company and actually has a character in addition to being a great(er) worker.

Anthony Bowens singles matches, that's what we want to see more of. Brian Cage already had one great match on AEW TV this week, so Bowens had his work cut out for him. So he did the smart thing and made it a completely different type of match. Whereas Cage vs Swerve was back and forth but largely a feature for Swerve's ability to do cool shit, this was Cage as dominant, controlling heel and Bowens as the underdog babyface trying to keep his head above water. 

All in all, another good 3 hours of weekend Wrestling. 

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The best Ospreay matches are when he’s constrained by his opponent or by pro wrestling bullshit because it hyper focuses his exceptional positives as inputs in traditional structures without it becoming excessive and bloated. That’s to say I liked the Taylor match a lot. 

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Posted (edited)

By the time When C(K)assidys Collide started, we’d already had 4 jobber matches in a little over an hour, so I tapped out.  Maybe I’ll finish it tonight but I’m dreading the obligatory masturbatory 30 minute FTR match.

Edited by Technico Support
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Always good to see Serena Deeb in the ring. I feel like this character's a natural heel though so this Toni feud feels a little off. 

I like that we are finally getting more women's feuds that just revolve around the championships. I'm looking forward to Deonna/Thunder. 

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