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14 hours ago, Cleavy said:

he gave us that rap video, which led to the Disco Inferno parody.  possibly the high point of both their careers.

I would say the second highest point of Disco's career was beating Manabu Nakanishi after the disco music started playing during the match, Nakanishi got distracted by a Fat Elvis impersonator disco dancing down to the ring, and a disco ball came down from the ceiling and Disco knocked out Nakanishi after swing the disco ball at him.

And third highest point was when Craig Pittman went to put a Kimura armlock on him and Disco tapped out before it was fully applied because if Craig Pittman locked it in, Disco couldn't wave his hands in the air while dancing and run his hands through his hair anymore.

Disco had his moments. Dude still deserved to get cooked by Cody and has nothing to offer as far as advice that should be followed in 2024 by anyone in wrestling.

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I guess that I'm the DVDVR high poster on Disco, but these posts sell him short, IMO. 

Disco had a very neat character arc across 1996 and 1997 where he went from dancing goof who couldn't lock on an armbar and cared more about his hair than winning a match ----> Surprisingly competitive wrestler if he could just focus and get out of his own way (BatB 1996) ------> Fluke TV champion ------> Deeply embarrassed former TV champion who got annihilated by Saturn and cleanly defeated by Jacquelyn --------> Surprisingly likeable fiery babyface who needed to prove something to himself and the fans in the back, reached deep within, and was able to win the TV title back from Saturn. 

As an aside, Disco is a goof, but so is Cody Rhodes. Though I stipulate that Cody can give more good advice about pro wrestling in front of 2024 fans, who are absolutely not 1996 fans in any way other than broad strokes, Cody also failed miserably at being a fiery babyface in the new '20s and had to run back to the machine so they could use their propaganda machine to blast their fans with CODY IS A DETERMINED BABYFACE nonsense so that he could successfully fit in that role. Meanwhile, Disco pulled it off in 1997, by losing a lot before finally beating Saturn cleanly and through his own will to win. 

What I'm trying to say is fuck Cody Rhodes, he sucks. 

Oh yeah, and that Disco was much better than people give him credit for from 1996 through 1998. 

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1 hour ago, SirSmUgly said:

I guess that I'm the DVDVR high poster on Disco, but these posts sell him short, IMO. 

Disco had a very neat character arc across 1996 and 1997 where he went from dancing goof who couldn't lock on an armbar and cared more about his hair than winning a match ----> Surprisingly competitive wrestler if he could just focus and get out of his own way (BatB 1996) ------> Fluke TV champion ------> Deeply embarrassed former TV champion who got annihilated by Saturn and cleanly defeated by Jacquelyn --------> Surprisingly likeable fiery babyface who needed to prove something to himself and the fans in the back, reached deep within, and was able to win the TV title back from Saturn. 

As an aside, Disco is a goof, but so is Cody Rhodes. Though I stipulate that Cody can give more good advice about pro wrestling in front of 2024 fans, who are absolutely not 1996 fans in any way other than broad strokes, Cody also failed miserably at being a fiery babyface in the new '20s and had to run back to the machine so they could use their propaganda machine to blast their fans with CODY IS A DETERMINED BABYFACE nonsense so that he could successfully fit in that role. Meanwhile, Disco pulled it off in 1997, by losing a lot before finally beating Saturn cleanly and through his own will to win. 

What I'm trying to say is fuck Cody Rhodes, he sucks. 

Oh yeah, and that Disco was much better than people give him credit for from 1996 through 1998. 

I think if Disco had flipped the switch and dropped the Disco character at the end of 1997 when he had won the TV title back from Saturn (not a sudden drop, but a slow transition away from it), we'd be remembering him a lot more fondly today. Instead, once he lost the TV title to Booker, he went right back to schtick and the moment was lost. I guess he figured he could be the 1990s answer to the Honky Tonk Man, but he really had something with that TV title run and could have been more. He was never going to be World Champ but he easily could've made his later roles, as part of the Filthy Animals or the NWO post-Hollywood and Wolfpack merger, seem a lot more valuable.

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addendum: there's a short window of time in mid 2003 where Gilberti, free of the Disco gimmick, is doing solid character work in TNA. This is perfect timing, as TNA was terrible in early 03 but gets pretty good by late 03, so he slots in there, gets a title match (vs. Jarrett of course) that is very competitive and compelling, then shuffles back down the card and out of everyone's minds. But there was a solid few months of semi-main event Gilberti that i didn't hate.

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Disco was good. I even liked him psychologically at his worst because he was a rare midcard heel who actually got heat and lost matches on TV. He improved over time as a worker and his status improved as talked about already. His slow anger build the more he lost matches upon his return, then finally getting mad enough to drop Saturn that 1 night was very well done and he was over until the Jaqueline neutered him. 

I never found spoof wrestling skits offensive. I know some of them got heavy, but that was some of the beauty in them. You could do that in rasslin. Besides when you hear the offended people talk about them, it’s obvious that they’re really just mad about a whole other can of worms. 

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4 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

Cody also failed miserably at being a fiery babyface in the new '20s and had to run back to the machine so they could use their propaganda machine to blast their fans with CODY IS A DETERMINED BABYFACE nonsense so that he could successfully fit in that role.

Yes, it was that propaganda machine that I believe CGI'd the torn pec he worked a ppv main event through, the several months he took off afterwards was just to sell it, you are very astute.

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22 minutes ago, username said:

Yes, it was that propaganda machine that I believe CGI'd the torn pec he worked a ppv main event through, the several months he took off afterwards was just to sell it,

This is a non-sequitur. We're talking about what Cody was able to do or not do before he returned to WWE. You can like him all you want, but you don't have the right to your own facts. The fact is that Cody tried to be a fiery babyface in AEW and bombed at it. He couldn't figure out how to get himself over in that way. He had to go back to WWE to do it. Fair play to him for working through a pec tear and giving WWE something to promote that would help build him as a fiery, never-say-die babyface, however. 

Quote

you are very astute.

This is needlessly provocative, especially since you're struggling to comprehend the original post is about his failure in AEW. Try to do better, please. 

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On 6/10/2024 at 7:39 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Cody also failed miserably at being a fiery babyface in the new '20s and had to run back to the machine so they could use their propaganda machine to blast their fans with CODY IS A DETERMINED BABYFACE nonsense so that he could successfully fit in that role.

I'd love an in-depth discussion as to why Cody was so lame, and failed, in AEW as opposed to becoming the next Cena in WWE.  Some possibilities:

  • AEW booking, part 1 (The Codyverse): he wasn't the top babyface and wasn't going to be, and his angles were trash. 
  • AEW booking, part 2: Cody booking himself sucks; someone else booking Cody is great.  Also see: AEW is great for workers who have their own good ideas.  Not so much for others.
  • Fan differences: AEW fans don't want a whitemeat babyface, while WWE fans are somehow more accommodating of that type of portrayal
  • Brandi and the rest of Team Cody/Nightmare Family: an integral part of his act in AEW, but not in WWE.  Fans perceived them as hanger-ons undeserving of a spot, and disliked Cody for the perception that he was forcing them on AEW
  • Tribalism: WWE fans latched on to him because he left AEW to join them

I think it's a combination of the first two, and #5.  I think Cody is charismatic but has bad instincts.  To @SirSmUgly's point, in WWE he was forced to not get in his own way, and they put their machine behind him.  I'd like to hear other opinions.

Edited by Technico Support
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8 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

I'd love an in-depth discussion as to why Cody was so lame, and failed, in AEW as opposed to becoming the next Cena in WWE.  Some possibilities:

  • AEW booking, part 1 (The Codyverse): he wasn't the top babyface and wasn't going to be, and his angles were trash. 
  • AEW booking, part 2: Cody booking himself sucks; someone else booking Cody is great.  Also see: AEW is great for workers who have their own good ideas.  Not so much for others.
  • Fan differences: AEW fans don't want a whitemeat babyface, while WWE fans are somehow more accommodating of that type of portrayal
  • Brandi and the rest of Team Cody/Nightmare Family: an integral part of his act in AEW, but not in WWE.  Fans perceived them as hanger-ons undeserving of a spot, and disliked Cody for the perception that he was forcing them on AEW
  • Tribalism: WWE fans latched on to him because he left AEW to join them

I think it's a combination of the first two, and #4.  I think Cody is charismatic but has bad instincts.  To @SirSmUgly's point, in WWE he was forced to not get in his own way, and they put their machine behind him.  I'd like to hear other opinions.

legitimate question (not directed at you specifically Technico, just using your post as a jumping off point):
is Cody cutting the same type of longwinded promo in WWE as he was in AEW? Does he still write them himself? Do said promos still reference that he'll "never turn heel" and make other insider-y references that he never quite found the right balance to pull off?

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11 minutes ago, twiztor said:

legitimate question (not directed at you specifically Technico, just using your post as a jumping off point):
is Cody cutting the same type of longwinded promo in WWE as he was in AEW? Does he still write them himself? Do said promos still reference that he'll "never turn heel" and make other insider-y references that he never quite found the right balance to pull off?

Thanks for putting this out there for others, because I have no idea as I don't watch WWE.  I'm betting he doesn't have free reign on his promos there.  Some leeway, sure, but nothing like in AEW.  I still can't forget his last AEW promo, where he:

  • Openly discussed his dissatisfaction with his contact negotiations
  • Buried CM Punk and claimed to have done all the things Punk said he'd do
  • Complimented the Lethal Injection out of nowhere
  • Buried Brody King, who was new to the company, for having the temerity to use that name, implying that -1 would be kicking King's ass in a few years

So maybe he's thriving under WWE's more controlled environment, which corrals his worst instincts?

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Oh no, I started a Cody thing. 

My only point was that the venerable @clintthecrippler mentioned that Cody was right to goof on Disco, but Disco actually got himself over as a fighting babyface without needing to be the (or one of the) focal points of a company. Cody did the opposite of that to the point that he was trolling the crowd like Jeff Jarrett physically dropping the actual belt in the ring and then laughing at fans' DROP THE BELT chants or Cena twisting his shoe to complete a "heel turn." I only watched AEW weekly for three or four months, but I did tune in intermittently for a few months after that, so I saw it with my own eyes.

I fully submit that Gilbertti is a dope who also probably isn't going to be able to give much insight about how to get over in 2024. I'm just saying that Cody Rhodes was never the guy to lecture him about needing a lot of help to accomplish anything as a pro wrestler.  

To @Technico Support's question, Cody thought that his AMERICA FUCK YEAH shit was going to fly in front of AEW fans over the past five years, so I'm going to guess that going to WWE where people will tell him "no" is a big part of maximizing his success. And I really do give him credit for working through the torn pec; it did give the company something to build a believable "never say die babyface" out of. 

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9 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

To @Technico Support's question, Cody thought that his AMERICA FUCK YEAH shit was going to fly in front of AEW fans over the past five years, so I'm going to guess that going to WWE where people will tell him "no" is a big part of maximizing his success

I did leave out one possibility: AEW fans are less susceptible to jingoistic bullshit and found Cody's whole presentation distasteful.  My dude is the human equivalent of a Ford/Chevy/Dodge truck commercial and WWE fans love it completely and unironically.  Are tribal WWE fans more in line with that sort of vibe?  I know, personally, ever since Trump became president and he and his followers weaponized patriotism, I view anyone flying the stars and stripes as sus.  That's pretty sad but it's where we are.

You have one company where a guy draping himself in the flag and being unabashedly rah rah was viewed with distrust, and another where it's accepted with open arms.  This is some real "did you enjoy Pulp Fiction or Forrest Gump?' shit.  It's wild.

Edited by Technico Support
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2 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

I did leave out one possibility: AEW fans are less susceptible to jingoistic bullshit and found Cody's whole presentation distasteful.  My dude is the human equivalent of a Ford F450 commercial and WWE fans love it.  Are tribal WWE fans more in line with that sort of vibe?  I know, personally, ever since Trump became president and him and his followers weaponized patriotism, I view anyone flying the stars and stripes as sus.  That's pretty sad but it's where we are.

This is a great point. Without getting into the political weeds, I do think the demo for AEW is narrower. That's not meant to be an insult at all; it's just that WWE is a monolithic company, like any other massive company or corpo, and therefore it has more fans who are into that sort of nationalistic presentation of a babyface than AEW. AEW is, gosh, I don't want to use language that's too loaded, but it's boutique? I think cosmopolitan is maybe a bit too loaded, so we'll go with boutique

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1 hour ago, Technico Support said:
  • Tribalism: WWE fans latched on to him because he left AEW to join them

I disagree with this, because a significant majority of WWE fans don't care about other wrestling outside of WWE's walls. Maybe the people who post on social media meet this criteria, but I don't buy that most of WWE's fanbase cares about any other form of wrestling. Proof of that is when you see them genericize WWE as the catch-all term for wrestling. There's a tweet I saw with a clip of a Japanese promotion (I can't remember if it was NJPW or DDT) and the caption "Japanese WWE is wild". That's exactly what I mean, and that's most of their fanbase. It's the same thing we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, where all wrestling was "WWF". It's also why Punk's wink wink nudge nudge remarks about AEW fell flat, most of their fans had no idea what he was talking about.

I'm not saying that's a bad thing, btw. I think any company should strive to have brand loyal fans who only watch their show. I also think that we forget that amongst people who follow wrestling, we're very much a minority; most people who watch only follow one promotion. That's why we saw a major dropoff when WCW went under; it wasn't because people who were watching WCW at the end loved wrestling so much they stuck with WCW, they loved WCW so much that they stuck with WCW, and when there was no more WCW they moved on to something else.

Frankly, I think the reason Cody took off in WWE was because he was presented as a big deal from the start. He was a mystery debut at WrestleMania going against a main eventer at Seth Rollins. To a WWE fan, that's a signal that this guy is special, because you don't debut a nobody or a midcard guy under those circumstances, and they reacted accordingly.

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I think Stefanie hit it on the head there. WWE fans are more likely to see things as WWE wants to present them. That's not a knock on anyone. It's just that when you are only exposed to the one thing, and the one thing says things are a certain way, that's how you're likely to see it. They have presented Cody as their number one face for over a year now, so people are buying him as that.

 

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29 minutes ago, Log said:

I think Stefanie hit it on the head there. WWE fans are more likely to see things as WWE wants to present them. That's not a knock on anyone. It's just that when you are only exposed to the one thing, and the one thing says things are a certain way, that's how you're likely to see it. They have presented Cody as their number one face for over a year now, so people are buying him as that.

 

Perception is reality. That actually gives me space to present another theory I have: Cody's AEW momentum died because he actually followed through with his stipulation to never challenge for the AEW title after he lost to Jericho at Full Gear 2019.

I get why he did it. He wanted to let other people challenge for the title without the looming specter of "when will Cody challenge for it". He also wanted to elevate MJF and use that as a catalyst to go for it. The problem is that the fans were never given a concrete reason to get behind him as a top babyface afterwards, as there's no final goal for him to root for. If you can't be the World Champion, then you're basically dead in the water. If they had presented a way for him to break out of the stipulation and given people a rooting point behind that, then his momentum doesn't die off nearly as quickly, but there isn't really a point to getting behind someone who can never be the best. What good is there to root for a guy whose only goal in life is to continue being Cody Rhodes?

This is probably why the "finish the story" thing became such a big driving factor once he got to WWE, because he had to keep the hope of actually being a champion alive since it tanked his momentum so miserably in AEW.

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Relevant to nothing, but Lloyd Kaufman from Troma once said in an interview that the subtext of Forrest Gump was to never question society and blindly be led by larger powers as a way through life. I thought it was just a dull boomer nostalgia factory like "We Didn't Start the Fire", but he might have had a point.

Cody could be Forrest Gump the movie?

Edited by Curt McGirt
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22 hours ago, SirSmUgly said:

This is a non-sequitur. We're talking about what Cody was able to do or not do before he returned to WWE. You can like him all you want, but you don't have the right to your own facts. The fact is that Cody tried to be a fiery babyface in AEW and bombed at it. He couldn't figure out how to get himself over in that way. He had to go back to WWE to do it. Fair play to him for working through a pec tear and giving WWE something to promote that would help build him as a fiery, never-say-die babyface, however. 

Previously...

 

On 6/10/2024 at 7:39 PM, SirSmUgly said:

Cody also failed miserably at being a fiery babyface in the new '20s and had to run back to the machine so they could use their propaganda machine to blast their fans with CODY IS A DETERMINED BABYFACE nonsense so that he could successfully fit in that role.

 

That sounds very much like you are arguing that his success as a fiery babyface now is solely the result of the WWE propaganda machine, which is to be blunt at best factually fraught and at worse simply wrong and what I pushed back on/gave an example for. He's quite likely the #1 babyface in the States at the moment and if WWE could manufacture that simply by snapping their fingers it'd have happened a whole lot more frequently. Y'all can hate him all you want, but said hate is blinding you a bit and making you write some rather foolish things IMO. Sorry for being provocative, I sometimes respond poorly to people coming off as trollish, I see how that you are being genuine so hey, I say you can have a right to your own facts 🙂

 

FWIW Cody was a rather over fiery babyface for a good bit between WWE runs, acting like that never happened is also kinda revisionist. What he did screw up is A) cutting a promo bad enough to lose the AEW audience (which seems to be the one way you can lose said audience, same thing happened to Sammy), and B) being stubborn in the whole refusing to turn heel deal. In all likelihood if he did so he'd have been a very successful heel and could have turned back face a couple years down the road without much difficulty, but instead he twisted himself in all these weird ways to avoid that and... well I thought most of his last six or so months in AEW sucked to be honest. Any criticism he gets for that stretch I am 100% behind, but that stretch wasn't his entire (IMO up and down) run.

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I watched it, I recorded it, I didn't really pay much attention, so I could watch the recording and pay attention later

EDIT: kinda interesting how Konnan was a little more sympathetic to Goldberg, or at least willing to point out there was jealousy against Goldberg considering that Konnan was a non-Mexican who became a big deal in Lucha, so he probably had to deal with no shortage of Mexican dudes pissed that Konnan just showed up and became more popular than them.. plus having to fight for turf in WCW as a lucha guy after all that.

For all the regret over doing Hogan/Goldberg on live TV.. ultimately if you have Hogan willing to do that, you do it because if you wait it out, then you could get Starrcade 97 where Hogan starts to waffle on actually putting him over at a PPV. Now, they absolutely could have done a Hogan/Goldberg rematch on PPV later, and never did. Yes, they would have had to do stuff to make that work.

Thunder messed things up. They probably should have thrown Saturday Night into the fire quicker to make Thunder a little less of an albatross.

WWF just checked WCW into the boards with what the WWF could do and WCW couldn't do

And now people bury Nash as booker, and Nash/Bret are teaming up on Goldberg.

Nash's justification for how he booked the end of Goldberg's streak is hilariously self-serving because they never actually had him chase and he's always talked about how much he was cheered vs Goldberg.. WCW in the first half of 1999 just fucked themselves so hard because it just made no sense and wasn't consistent.

Oh yeah, happening in the background was Bischoff going over Flair at Starrcade

"WCW had chronic bad finish disease" - THANKS ERIC

But yeah, of fucking course people are gonna watch Raw if you tell them something big is gonna happen. Eric Bischoff in 1999 had a brain made of moldy bread. The Rock is pretty superfluous in his talking head presence, since, he kinda wasn't the big factor in the WWF taking things over but, he's the guy with the promoters license so he's gonna be on the show.

WHY DOES THE AEW COMMERCIAL REFUSE TO JUST SAY WHEN DYNAMITE IS AIRING, YOU FUCKING MORONS

Yeah, the accounting magic around WCW sure was something

Goldberg and Bret certainly have their dynamics for how they feel about Goldberg kicking Bret in the head. Left unmentioned is that Bret was working for weeks after Starrcade 99 and getting more fucked.

Didn't the Nitro book mention a long-ass Bischoff vacation in early 1999 that sorta messed things up because things were floundering and people didn't appreciate that the boss was in Europe on a family trip or something like that?

Edited by Cobra Commander
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On 6/11/2024 at 5:32 AM, clintthecrippler said:

I would say the second highest point of Disco's career was beating Manabu Nakanishi after the disco music started playing during the match, Nakanishi got distracted by a Fat Elvis impersonator disco dancing down to the ring, and a disco ball came down from the ceiling and Disco knocked out Nakanishi after swing the disco ball at him.

And third highest point was when Craig Pittman went to put a Kimura armlock on him and Disco tapped out before it was fully applied because if Craig Pittman locked it in, Disco couldn't wave his hands in the air while dancing and run his hands through his hair anymore.

Disco had his moments. Dude still deserved to get cooked by Cody and has nothing to offer as far as advice that should be followed in 2024 by anyone in wrestling.

where does him using the 'cheat sheet' of how to put on the leglock rank?

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Konnan nailed it on this one with one of his answers, wish I could remember what he said.

Bischoff almost came off as sympathetic, just a sliver, because he was being battered on all sides from everybody -- corporate, wrestlers, advertisers, you name it, he was not Vince who had a superhuman survival instinct and ego to help him juggle all those factors personally. Anyone else would crumble.

Goldberg was "sincerely insincere", as Raven once said, in his answer about Bret so fuck that guy. What a self-serving asshole. 

"They were mad because we got 'em", no Kevin we were mad because it SUCKED. 

There were so many factors in play. I get the feeling this would make a good sports drama in the vein of Winning Time or Clipped, but I dunno who they'd get to play the wrestlers. And it might just be too fuckin' complicated!

Edited by Curt McGirt
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