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Here's what I hope AEW works on for the new year:

  • I know some of you have an affinity for the Super Smash Bros., but the Dark Order's act just isn't remotely over with live crowds. People don't even care enough to boo them. An act like this only works if one of it's leaders was someone recognizable, but they started out as two goofs who they tried to elevate by giving them the first round bye in the tag tournament, they rightly pivoted from them to try and repackage and rebuild them when they weren't getting over, and their new act also isn't getting over. They're looking for losers, but at the end of the day all you're going to have is a giant group of losers. Maybe they have strength in numbers and that storytelling makes sense, but audiences don't seem to care about them.
  • Find a better way to have Kris Statlander do her alien wrestler gimmick. Maybe portray her as an odd duck, someone with a personality that feels like they're an alien because everyone always treated her like an outcast and now this is who she is. I don't know, but there has to be a better way to do this.
  • Figure out who they're going to push for the first 6 months of 2020. I don't care if it's Moxley, Jungle Boy, the Bucks, Page, and Sammy G, but pick your dudes to build around and go from there.
  • They also need to look at the booking sheet and make better calls on what matches make Dynamite and what matches make Dark. Dark winds up getting so many matches that are good and worth being on the main show, but if Dark is shoulder content that doesn't matter, then the good stuff on Dark isn't going to matter.
  • Announcers need to recap what happened during breaks and what happened on Dark. Those are two quick and simple storytelling things they could be doing that they aren't doing enough of.
  • DQs and countouts have to matter at some point, but not in a title match. You do that in something that is non-title so people worry about it in a title match.

There's probably more I'll think of, but none of these are promotion crushing things, but addressing some of them will make for a better TV product.

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The criticisms of how they're using the PIP commercials isn't wrong, so I'd add that to the list.

Edit: another thing... I don't like the alien shit as is but how can you say that this is what people hate about wwe when one of the more popular midcard acts is a guy in a dinosaur mask?

Edited by Oyaji
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I've discussed my feelings on the Dark Order stuff in the Dynamite thread, so I'm not going to repeat it. All I'll say here is that I think it IS working, but not to the degree they want it to (yet). The crowds aren't sitting on their hands, but they aren't booing them out of the building or responding all that much either. With some work, it can be successful. I have faith in the Elite that they'll get it to where they want it to be, in time.

I see nothing wrong with the Statlander gimmick. It's only been on TV for like two weeks, let's give it a little more time before we say they need to throw it in the garbage. Either way, I don't agree with this one at all. You can't have a female alien, but you can have a guy who bounces between being a human with a Master's Degree in History and an actual dinosaur? Nah, man.

Who said Dark doesn't matter? Because that's just not true. If it was, then the matches that happen on that show wouldn't affect the rankings. Her match on Dark was the reason a lot of us were confused as to why Britt Baker was in a #1 contenders match last night. The only issue I have with Dark is the day they decided to broadcast it on YouTube. It needs to happen the same week it's taped - there were a few instances on this week's Dark where they couldn't decide where the continuity lies - are we acknowledging this is pre-taped, or are we acting as if it's a "live" show?

I think eventually you'll see things like DQ and countouts, because it's wrestling and it's inevitable. I don't like the idea of that happening within their world of rankings, though. I'm not saying it should be like ECW where the conventional rules are thrown away, but that might cut back on the Lights Out bullshit too.

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To be fair to the Dark Order gimmick I don’t think pro wrestling has ever had a Zerg rush stable where the world finds out if 1,000 jabronies can overmatch 1-2 higher quality opponents. So that’s cool. 

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Kris Statlander's gimmick is one of those things that needs to be built up a bit rather than just jumped into cold so that people can see the subtleties. I thought her promos in AAW where she portrayed the whole "alien who is trying to grasp the nuances of acting human but doesn't quite get it" were hilarious. It helps if you've got an interviewer really good at playing the straight man.

 

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The alien gimmick aside, I like that Statlander was given a chance to shine, knocked it out of the park, and has been on a hot streak ever since. It’s exactly the kind of push I hope for but never happens in the ‘E. Is she ready to be champ on national TV? No idea, but it feels great to see someone ride a wave rather than get knocked off because it wasn’t the plan. Her and Riho will have an awesome match one day.

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If there's anything I want AEW to borrow from NJPW, it's their well-defined factions. It seems like AEW is trying to do this, but I'd like for there to be wrestlers under the Elite Banner, some who are Inner Circle, some who are Dark Order, and then unaffiliated wrestlers. Give these groups logos and banners and shit, when wrestlers from those groups come out show which group they belong to, etc.

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I don't think I'm saying anything that hasn't been said before but I look at the records and you see Adam Page at 6-6 and you see the Lucha Bros. at 4-4 as a tag team or whatever and I think it's a bit of an issue.   I wouldn't say they are doing 50/50 booking,  it's more this guy beats this guy who beats this guy.. 

My fix to this would be to use AEW Dark a little more as a 'Superstars' type show with a couple squash matches and then maybe 1 or 2 competitive matches.   Have Kenny Omega beef up his record against The Librarian types.   Not anything near fall either.  Just straight kill him in under two minutes.  

It will improve their overall records so they look more like stars and it will also get the signature/finishing moves over.   

Then when you do have these matches on AEW Dynamite it's more like hey it's Adam Page (10-2) vs. Rey Fenix (11-4) and it makes it more appealing to a general audience.  

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5 hours ago, Craig H said:

If there's anything I want AEW to borrow from NJPW, it's their well-defined factions. It seems like AEW is trying to do this, but I'd like for there to be wrestlers under the Elite Banner, some who are Inner Circle, some who are Dark Order, and then unaffiliated wrestlers. Give these groups logos and banners and shit, when wrestlers from those groups come out show which group they belong to, etc.

This would help a lot. At times it feels like there are just a ton of guys running around for no reason. 

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Looking at NJPW's factions in 2019 though points to how flawed that system can be. It's beyond stale and holds a lot of burgeoning stars down because they're not leading their own faction. Then you could have too many and it gets watered down. The opposite is true with Dragon Gate where there are new stables seemingly every 2 years or 1 year with constant movement in and out (at least that's how it used to be). I don't think everybody needs to be part of a faction otherwise it's just a cheap form of giving their character some meaning rather than actually coming up with something interesting.

The hierarchy in NJPW is a bit of a double edged sword. You know exactly the pecking order and that is an inherent part in the in-ring psychology and can lead to some wonderfully dramatic moments when the pecking order is challenged or forcefully changed. But, it also can lead to stagnation and rigidity. AEW may be too loose where they just rotate through hot acts in comparison. I don't know, but they've seemingly done a good job with sustaining Darby's momentum even after he disappeared from TV for a while after his match with Jericho. It's not the worst idea that anybody can lose to anybody but perhaps there should be a bit of separation between star calibre acts like the Elite and Lucha Bros to up and comers like Private Party. We'll see how this plays out in the long-run halfway through next year if they stick to their guns with the records. Right now it doesn't matter much at all because it's resetting before the next show. 

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13 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

It's not the worst idea that anybody can lose to anybody

I think that pro wrestling needs more unpredictability. I would love to see job guys get a chance to shine. Not that they can't still get squashed by big stars, but it would be fun to see a company roll with the idea that anybody might get cradled for a three count, or that some local schlub has a super dope short arm scissors that no one escapes. 

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Guest The Magnificent 7

Statlander needs to come out in a red outfit and some opponent slaps her and accidentally pulls off part of her face, revealing green skin underneath

Yeah I watched V as a kid. 

Tony Khan can invest in some SFX makeup. 

Before that reveal someone could walk in on her eating a rat backstage for build up. 
 

 

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Also, looks like I'm not going to AEW Revolution. I thought it was another situation where the ticketing website sucked, kept trying, went to run a load of laundry, made some lunch, sat back down, and there's fucking NOTHING left. MotherFUCK. I'm never going to go to an AEW show at this rate.

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8 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Also, looks like I'm not going to AEW Revolution. I thought it was another situation where the ticketing website sucked, kept trying, went to run a load of laundry, made some lunch, sat back down, and there's fucking NOTHING left. MotherFUCK. I'm never going to go to an AEW show at this rate.

Damn, man that sucks.  I was kind of hoping you'd finally get a chance to go.  But Cody's said for past shows that there's always a chance of more seats opening up after production's setup.  That or if you're so inclined you can try Stubhub.

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9 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

Damn, man that sucks.  I was kind of hoping you'd finally get a chance to go.  But Cody's said for past shows that there's always a chance of more seats opening up after production's setup.  That or if you're so inclined you can try Stubhub.

With C2E2 in town I'm guessing tickets on Stubhub and Seatgeek will be through the roof. I also need to stop being a snob and just take whatever I can get. I really want floor seats, but I should just settle for whatever best deal is available.

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Kind of surprised it hasn't been brought up regarding Dark but I liked Vickie on commentary.  Not sure how much she knew about what was going on but it sounded like she covered for that by leaning heavily into the Cougar gimmick she had.  But whether it's due to getting more comfortable or being clued in by Excaliber she improved as the matches went on.  All in all she was very endearing and it's amazing how such a sweet woman could be so good as a heel.  As for Joey if you knew what he was referring to he definitely had an axe to grind.  I honestly didn't mind it and thought he was still good on commentary.  The references to his gut were humorous and it was nice to hear him having fun with Excalibur and Vickie.

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I actually really liked Vickie on commentary too.  Also, they still aren't actually showing off all Orange Cassidy can do which is great.  

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Wintrust seats about 10k people. If setup for wrestling I'm guessing that's going to be 8k to 9k?

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Depends on your definition of "very soon." AFAIK, Tessa is with Impact through at least April. Maybe into the summer. 

And while wrestlers flirting with one another on Twitter is evidence of nothing, this was earlier today:

Her father having a spot doesn't mean she's a lock for AEW. 

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