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JANUARY 2020 Wrestling Discussion


RIPPA
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Regarding the changes to House Shows

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There looks to be a major change in the house show business. With the shows having started to lose money last quarter, plus with them drawing less, the attendance decline has hurt the stock price and given the perception (accurately by the way) that the brand’s popularity is declining, they are cutting way back. Instead of two brands doing four shows per week as has been the case for years, house shows have become more rare. There are no regular house shows this coming weekend. There is one, a super show on 2/9 in Fresno, the following weekend. There are two, both Super shows, one each on 2/15 and 2/16. The next Raw brand house show is 2/23 in Brandon, Manitoba and it’s the only one of the month. The next Smackdown brand house show is 2/29 in Elmira, NY, and obviously, it’s also the only one of the month. AEW doesn’t do house shows, so the number of live major league house show events in the U.S. in 2020 will be way down. The positive is that it cuts money losses and also, since the TV tapings usually draw okay to good, the average attendance for the quarter will improve since it’s the traditional house shows that drag down the average. Keep in mind that historically, the best three months of the year for business are January through March. So artificially, in late April or early May, it’ll look like arena business is up for average attendance even though total revenue from live events and merchandise sales should be way down. This should in theory cut down on the injury rate, so that’s a good thing. The bad thing is that for talent, house shows are usually more fun, and for younger talent, that’s where you get to improvise a little and improve your game. There was a good amount of talent who had no idea about the cutback in house shows until they got their February booking sheets and saw how much it was cut down. While the top guys are making a lot of money these days, the rest of the crew will have their income affected by working so many fewer dates. One noted there was a happy medium between four shows a week and TV and maybe two more shows very other week and it’ll affect both pay and for the big stars, will hurt their merch sales significantly so many are unhappy about how this went down. NXT is actually now doing more events than Raw or Smackdown but NXT talent isn’t paid based on the house shows as they are on flat salary, making the same if they work 20 shows or 120. For some of the NXT talent, the ones who weren’t already stars elsewhere before coming in, working more dates is beneficial to everyone involved because in the aspect of developmental, those wrestlers need as much ring time as they can get in front of a crowd. It used to be WWE tradition to do early afternoon East Coast shows on Super Bowl Sunday

 

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To really go back - here is Dave's report about what happened at Rocky Johnson's funeral

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There was a lot of talk this past week regarding the funeral of Rocky Johnson on 1/21. Superstar Billy Graham, who was not at the funeral, but his mother-in-law, who was friends with Johnson, was. He made a facebook post saying Vince McMahon and Pat Patterson were inconsiderate and tasteless. We heard from two people at the funeral who said that was true. They said that the pastor went very long and was more negative toward pro wrestling and it being fake than some were comfortable with. They said Vince did his strut coming to the podium which was way out of place and first put over Johnson for being a great athlete and performer. He then ended by saying the best thing Rocky ever did was marry Ata (Ata Maivia). He then pointed to Ata and said that Ata had kids (they had one child, Dwayne) and then he strutted off the stage. He then left the building. Shane and Paul Levesque left shortly after. Two people said that Vince made it clear he was annoyed the funeral went long. Vince did do the same thing at Eddy Guerrero’s funeral in 2005. Graham presided over that funeral and also went very long. This ended up with Graham getting heat with Chris Jericho as Graham told Jericho to keep his speech short and Jericho didn’t listen because he had far too much to say about Guerrero, who he was very close with, to keep in short. But Vince made a remark about Graham going long which Graham ended up offended by since it was at a funeral. One person noted that the preacher went long, which took away from time for friends and family speeches. He described Patterson’s speech as weird. The description was that he made perverted jokes, used the word shit, didn’t really talk that much in his speech about Johnson, kind of insulted Johnson at one point and eventually they cut his mic off. Patterson also talked about getting drunk the night before and going to the bathroom to drink some water when the toilet seat fell and hit him in the head, implying he was drinking out of the toilet. I don’t know Patterson’s status but I did a show with him in England in 2018 and it was sad because his memory was so bad in the sense he literally couldn’t remember the names of anyone who was in the San Francisco territory during his heyday other than Ray Stevens, was asked about the first WrestleMania and told a story about it being at the Pontiac Silverdome and at another point when somebody brought up Buddy Rose to him, he had no idea who Rose was. Al Rosen, a close friend of Johnson’s, said that the family was not offended by anything that happened

 

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And lastly - and I know this is in a few threads - no matter what is going on regarding Brock/Matt Riddle, Riddle does have heat with Vince McMahon. 

Part of it Dave says is that they (WWE management) have told folks at the PC to not call out anyone on the main roster unless approved by management and obviously, Riddle hasn't been doing that. There is also some thought that Vince just doesn't "get" Riddle.

Anyhoo - Dave says that this call could easily be part of Heyman master plan since a lot of the pieces fit his MO perfectly but there is still some smoke to the "Riddle has heat" story

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4 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Part of it Dave says is that they (WWE management) have told folks at the PC to not call out anyone on the main roster unless approved by management

It must be approved now since WWE PC has posted a video with Riddle talking about how he wants the match with Brock.

This is such a weird company.

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1 hour ago, Casey said:

It must be approved now since WWE PC has posted a video with Riddle talking about how he wants the match with Brock.

This is such a weird company.

so on one hand Vince wants his talent to reach for the brass ring, show him how much you want it. But then when you do try to promote yourself you are punished for it.   

 

Agreed very weird company. 

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This may very well make me a terrible person(and it's a risk I'm obviously willing to take) but thinking about Vince McMahon doing his power strut up to a podium at a funeral makes me laugh uncontrollably.

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1 hour ago, paintedbynumbers said:

so on one hand Vince wants his talent to reach for the brass ring, show him how much you want it. But then when you do try to promote yourself you are punished for it.   

 

Agreed very weird company. 

I don't really like to defend WWE, but I think that people are bit wrong with these "reach for the brass ring" takes. At the end of the day Vince and other influential people have to like what you are doing. You will not get brass ring just because you tried to reach it.

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17 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I had a feeling this would happen as soon as I heard it.  That Mark dude is a dipshit and I wish they would stop bringing him in for this.  Hopefully they walk it back on one of the shows.

Bryan's already king dipshit. So it doesn't surprise me to see what his bullshitting buddies and hanger-ons are like.

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56 minutes ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I had a feeling this would happen as soon as I heard it.  That Mark dude is a dipshit and I wish they would stop bringing him in for this.  Hopefully they walk it back on one of the shows.

Not that he was wrong here, that spot (can you call something that goes on for several minutes a spot?) took way too long and distracted from the match. At best it was a comedy spot that completely failed.

Also calling a spot "idiocy" is not the same thing as calling whoever is executing it an idiot. Same thing as the difference between calling an action stupid and the person doing said action stupid (period).

Edited by Robert s
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6 minutes ago, Robert s said:

Not that he was wrong here, that spot (can you call something that goes on for several minutes a spot?) took way too long and distracted from the match. At best it was a comedy spot that completely failed.

Also calling a spot "idiocy" is not the same thing as calling whoever is executing it an idiot. Same thing as the difference between calling an action stupid and the person doing said action stupid (period).

 

1 minute ago, Rehabilitated Rick said:

The spot sucked and dragged on too long. The payoff should be somewhat instantaneous, not jumping from table to table like an obstacle course. I wasn't a fan of it. I don't see why anyone should walk back anything. The spot sucked, not the performer doing it. 

The idea of finding some creative way to not be eliminated has gotten ridiculous over the years.  If it feels organic then it's fine (example:  Otis catching Mandy because he did something similar on Smackdown) , But the more contrived ones are where they lose me.  That said Mark has always comes across as a dumbass and makes Bryan tolerable by comparison.

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1 hour ago, NikoBaltimore said:

 

The idea of finding some creative way to not be eliminated has gotten ridiculous over the years.  If it feels organic then it's fine (example:  Otis catching Mandy because he did something similar on Smackdown) , But the more contrived ones are where they lose me.  That said Mark has always comes across as a dumbass and makes Bryan tolerable by comparison.

Yeah, the Naomi thing fell flat for me, but the Otis thing popped the room I was in.  Naomi is expected to do something to avoid an elimination, and if it isn't very interesting it's going to fall flat.  The thing with Otis and Mandy worked because none of us were expecting it.  Mandy isn't someone any of us expected to win, so we had no reason to think she wasn't just eliminated.  It also was probably the best produced part of the show, because she was out of the ring for a second or two before they cut to Otis holding her up.  It was part of an ongoing storyline, and made all the sense in the world.  Naomi was just another Naomi stunt, and not a very good one.

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I personally didn't care for the Naomi spot either. I'm firmly of the feeling that all these over-elaborate near misses in battle royals have long since jumped several sharks. 

But man do I hate me some Bryan Alevarez and his standing as someone who should be taken seriously as a critic (as if anyone in wrestling "journalism" should be taken seriously). Hey, Bryan: Roger Ebert took some stiff shots, but I don't remember him ever publicly sitting around with his dipshit friends yukking it up and casually motherfucking people who have actual talent. And I'm happy that said individual with actual talent has decided to address you like the bottom-feeding, limp-dicked nobody that you are. I hope the market for live television gets so fucked up that they expand Raw to five hours and drive the last little bit of light out of your eyes, you slimy little dweeb. 

Glad I got that out of my system. This is why I know better than to be on Twitter. 

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24 minutes ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Hey, Bryan: Roger Ebert took some stiff shots, but I don't remember him ever publicly sitting around with his dipshit friends yukking it up and casually motherfucking people who have actual talent.

Go back and read or watch some of the horror reviews he did back in the early-mid 80s.  As a horror fan, I think the guy is a complete shitbag.  If you're counting dipshit friends motherfucking people with actual talent, his partner Siskel gave people Betsy Palmer's address and told them to write her and tell her she was a horrible person for doing Friday the 13th, for example.

She just wanted a new car, man.

Edited by Tromatagon
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9 minutes ago, Tromatagon said:

Go back and read or watch some of the horror reviews he did back in the early-mid 80s.  As a horror fan, I think the guy is a complete shitbag.  If you're counting dipshit friends, Siskel gave people Betsy Palmer's address and told them to write her and tell her she was a horrible person for doing Friday the 13th, for example.

Fuck, I knew someone was going to point out that I chose an imperfect vessel for my little rant. But I wanted to pick someone recognizable enough and with enough supposed "credibility" for the analogy to land. Please replace him in your mind's eye with a critic you'd take more seriously. 

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I have qualms with the "nobody should take wrestling journalism seriously" part, but I can't quite formulate into words why I disagree with that part. Everything else lands, mainly due to me never caring about the critical side of wrestling (or music, or movies, etc etc).

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