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AEW Scouting Report


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Welcome to my in depth analysis of the AEW roster!

Because I feel like it, I'm going by alphabetical order based off the AEW roster page as of the last time I looked. This basically allows us to hit everyone on the roster in an order that won't front stack all the main eventers first because there's fun to have in the under card. The goal is to hit everything about the wrestlers so look and gimmick will be tied in. Everyone is welcome to participate but I would ask that we don't jump to people I haven't gotten to unless I quit in a day in which case, have at it. 

Abadon

The upside of going alphabetical in that 'The Living Dead Girl' comes up first and boy do we have a lot to cover with her. Like The Wyatt Family or Tyler Breeze (shut up) high concept gimmicks, Abadon has one of those gimmicks that should stir creative ideas instantly. Honestly, if you can't look at Abadon and have 3 good booking ideas, you should not be writing for wrestling. She's the type of character that should always be up to something if only for the spectacle. And quite frankly, she's a lot of spectacle right now and needs to work on her substance. 

Lets talk about her look and the two parts that need separate examination. First is her face paint and it's a 11 out of 10. It's the best. I'm not kidding. There's no but. Secondly there is everything else and that could use a little something, something. Abadon's outfit is interesting because it seems very wrestler to me when she's also a zombie/rage virus/whatever she is. If it's me, I put her in street clothes to indicate that she's not your average performer. You could also use her outfit to help with the lore of whatever she is. Like put her in medical scrubs and suddenly she's a doctor without borders who stumbled upon a rare disease in the amazon or whatever. 

And the lore is interesting because we cannot get it from Abadon because she really shouldn't be having sit down interviews with JR. I really think she needs a manager/handler to both direct her (giving her some sense of purpose when she, by all rights, shouldn't) and explain what the deal is. I personally enjoy the virus explanation because she could then infect other people and create a horde which is probably more Lucha Underground than AEW but I've decided not to care. I'm sure a Kevin Sullivan could spout a bunch of shit of her being the last fruit of the Tree of Woe or whatever nonsense you need to put the character together. I would alter her entrance so she's not waiting around for a music cue so either her manager has her confined by extras or in a trunk or cage. I personally enjoy the virus explanation because she could then infect other people and create a horde which is probably more Lucha Underground than AEW but I've decided not to care. 

Working skills are less important to a character like Abadon but she does some of the little things right. She should never lock up. She shouldn't out think anyone. I personally think the Widow's Peak finisher is good in that its a great move and I can't think of something better at this point for a lunatic. I don't think she should be using the short rana she's used as early finish as it seems too fancy for a psychopathic creature. She should be working on her punches all the time because her throwing forearms to stick to the rules of wrestling is nonsensical. 

All in all Abadon may not be ready for a big push but she is someone who should be featured in the undercard a lot. She needs booking protection in that she really shouldn't be beaten flat but can eat pinning combinations and disqualifications. She's a spectacle wrestler and AEW doesn't really have those (especially in the maligned women's division). She's not ready to be the Undertaker but she has a chance that a lot of wrestlers don't.

 

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Adam Page

Adam Page is a guy with big draw potential who I believe is being harmed by his booking which we will get to as this report rambles onward towards the sun. and the sweet release of death. Of all the AEW guys with no WWE experience or exposure, I would pick Page as the one with the most mainstream appeal and the best chance to cross over into big draw territory. I think he's a potential needle mover but they've got to get behind him and stop with some of the moves that would threaten his steam.

"The Hangman" is an all time great nickname and as he's developed and matured, I think he's managed to finally fit the moniker after years of trying to fit into an independent mold. By saving the moonsaults to the outside and the standing shooting star presses, he can concentrate on what he's good at and that's <Big E> slapping big manly meat </Big E>. Page has great strikes in particular his boots and clotheslines which always seem to hit in a satisfying flesh to flesh manner. The fallaway slam and pop up powerbomb are also good additions to the tool set and while I would save the reverse piledriver thing that I don't remember the name of as a big PPV finish, I think it fits his tone properly. The buckshot lariat is a fine finish and that it has a long wind up and pay off is not a bad thing in a face finisher. Countering it can become too ingrained in the psychology if they have everyone figure it out all the time but they've done a reasonably good job not overplaying the counters.  The Cowboy gimmick is a classic and Page has done a fairly good job of modernizing it so he's not quite so cartoony. Look wise, I think I preferred the plain black trunks to the new long tights with the frills. I think they're a might too fancy for the character and thy could bring it back to center by putting him back in the simpler gear.

So we have a guy with a lot of tools to work with and many intangibles that could lead to big dollars. We seemed to be on the verge of something major when Page and Omega faced the Young Bucks at Revolution but to be honest, it feels as though not pulling the trigger on someone turning caused the angle to sputter. Page basically won the tag titles in the closing stretch on his own and the Bucks and Omega were treating him as a lesser partner in the group so the parts were there to make a major move to put Page on the road to super stardom. But instead they didn't do anything and still all four guys were in the ring at the end of the Bucks-FTR title change. The angle's lack of progress has killed its momentum coupled with one other crucial element...

The drinking problem.

I'm still baffled by them taking their potential breakout star and making him a sad drunk. No one ever got over by being pathetic but we're going to give it a go. The belief seems to be we're taking a guy at a 7 of being over, intentionally dropping him to a 5 so he can rebound to a 10. This idea ignores that sometimes people don't recover from their heat diminishing when they go to reheat. The crowd may move on if they think Page is too much of a sad sack loser who cries in his beer. The momentum of the Page push has faltered a lot from the writing perspective and I don't know that continuing to push him down is going to make him rise in the end. It's on one hand very ambitious but it also feels like AEW hasn't had the stones to have either Kenny or The Bucks definitively turn on Page and get some heat.

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The thing with Abadon is, if you've seen her Instagram, you'd see she can also flip the zombie thing into being IMHneticoO, incredibly attractive. Because of this card up her sleeve, you can slow-burn with her if you have the patience. She's absolutely in the Ricky Starks/Jungle Boy tier of somebody you can build over time into a major star and cornerstone of your company. 

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Alan Angels (aka ,"5" of the Dark Order)

As the first member of the Dark Order to come up, I'm going to keep my comments to 5 rather than trying to make wider comments about the whole crew. I may do a special Dark Oder report when I get that far.  Angels rose to "attention" as the job guy who Kenny Omega wouldn't blow out in a match on Dark despite not making a very large impression. I have to be honest, he still hasn't found a grove for me. I still struggle to figure out what he does to warrant a place on the roster. He seems competent enough but there's no stand out quality that makes him more than a member of the third string tag team on a too large stable. I will say he's fluid and flows between holds fairly well and his round kick usually looks pretty good. His double arm back stabber finish is okay but doesn't add a wow factor that makes me look forward to his matches. He's not someone memorable.

Look wise, I really hate the white color scheme he and Preston Vance have going on as it makes them look like baseballs. Outside of the gear, he's small and tattooed and generic.

I can't see Angels really making any sort of impact going forward as he's again, the bottom of the barrel of a stable with too many members. Now I'm not a guy who says everyone on the roster needs to be a main eventer. We need gate keepers and undercard guys and an assortment of characters. But Angels seems like just a guy and I don't see the need for a guy to have meaningless technically proficient matches that serve no purpose.

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Abadon is an interesting case where they have a very young talent coming in with a ready-to-go gimmick. I think you're right, they need to slow burn her development. Who would be a good manager thought? Sinister Minister?

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Honestly this may be a long shot but I would consider pairing her with Eddie Kingston. It might work as "someone who will do anything to succeed" and use Abadon to further his own ends. Abadon the character could be manipulatable considering we don't know anything really about her and Eddie could pull off being a user fairly easily. Also more Eddie Kingston promos.

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I think Page more than anyone else on the roster has been hurt by the inability to have live crowds. Once AEW can draw in a decent sized crowd again, I'll bet they start Hangman's redemption story. But realistically I doubt they pay it off until next year's All Out or Full Gear. 

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Alex Reynolds 

Reynolds is pretty much captain average as a performer. He doesn't really flash a lot and can fade into the woodwork a lot if he's allowed to do so. So we need to find a way to feature him if we are going to have him on the roster so he serves a purpose beyond the second tier Dark Order tag team or the Marty Jannetty of the pairing with Silver. So here's what we have to work with, either we lean into his position in the Dark Order and determine his purpose that way or we turn into the Marty comparisons and make it the way he draws heat. So he's got to kill a man behind a bowling alley.

I joke.

In terms of the Dark Order position, he and Silver have a T shirt marking them as the recruitment specialists for the Dark Order and it seems honestly like a T Shirt idea and not much else. But it doesn't have to be that way. They've been courting Colt Cabana and Tay Conti for what feels like forever so let's give Reynolds the job of trying to make the sale. While Brody is ranting and Uno is being weird and Grayson is glowering, Reynolds could be the slippery one who tries to push contracts in front of people to get them on board. Make him the high pressure car salesman and you have something he can do.

OR the other option. I'm of a mind that John Silver could break out into a crowd favorite undercard guy. So Reynolds in a meta sense could recognize that and act accordingly. Either by denying the crowd Silver in tag matches in a way that puts the heat on him without being blatant about it or by making Silver come to him in order to get booked into tag matches. Something along those lines.

Reynolds as is doesn't really engender a lot of attention as he's kind of the other guy in a tag team right now. He needs something to latch onto or he's going to be an afterthought.

 

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18 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

The thing with Abadon is, if you've seen her Instagram, you'd see she can also flip the zombie thing into being IMHneticoO, incredibly attractive. Because of this card up her sleeve, you can slow-burn with her if you have the patience. 

Abadon has the Joseph Park / Abyss and Bray Wyatt / Fiend thing going on so the gimmick has a lot of versatility.  If she wants, she can work IMHneticoO as an entirely different persona since she is almost unrecognizable when she has the Abadon make-up on.  It's like getting two wrestlers for the price of one.

Abadon seems to be able to get herself over without a manager or by cutting any promos, so I would let that simmer for a bit and then decide whether she's better off with a mouthpiece.  I almost wish that AEW could poach Rosemary and / or Su Yung away from Impact and put together some sort of zombie stable.  If it came down to a choice of one over the other, I think Rosemary would be the better get for that course of action since she also cuts excellent promos.

Edited by J.T.
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16 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

In a perfect world they'd get Katrina from Lucha Underground or poach Salina de la Renta. 

I think that Salina is busy trying to build a booty photo Instagram empire with Zeda Zhang.  She may be trying to hedge her bets and either get out of the wrestling biz or at least get more into the production side of things.  I think the MLW layoff / restart has given her time to think about the trajectory of her career and whether or not being solely a ring performer / valet / manager is the right move.

Edited by J.T.
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My Allie report got eaten by a internet outage.

Short Version.

Brandi Rhodes booking vortex.

Needs expanded role in the Butcher and The Blade act beyond generic second during matches.

Bunny mask does a good job hiding her cute features to extenuate her hotness which is the purpose.

Edited by Goodear
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thanks for this thread, @Goodear. Should spark some interesting convos. But first, missed opportunities!

re: 5.  i was hoping that he would wrestle with his luscious blond hair once, but unless i missed it, he never did.

re: Allie.  when she kinda sorta joined the Nightmare Family, they should have kept the Bunny with Butcher&Blade. Just never acknowledge that they are the same person. it surely would've been better than just dropping one angle for the other, and then doing it in reverse.

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Silver and Reynolds recruitment specialists is a BTE angle. Reynolds tries to persuade people of the benefits of joining, whilst Silver mostly just talks about how hot they are and tries to seduce them. It's hilarious.

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1 hour ago, AxB said:

Silver and Reynolds recruitment specialists is a BTE angle. Reynolds tries to persuade people of the benefits of joining, whilst Silver mostly just talks about how hot they are and tries to seduce them. It's hilarious.

"But it should be on TV!!!!!"

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This is a great thread idea that I’ll definitely actively partake in!

Part of the really interesting thing about doing an AEW roster review is how they rotate through the talent, where you might see a given name on this list either wrestling or on the show in general once a month. It’s an approach that takes some getting used to after the overexposure you see multiple times per week in other promotions, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing necessarily. It will make this a tricky exercise for some names, though.

Abadon - good example of the above. Every roster needs an Abadon and she’s good in the role, successfully coming across as terrifying and not hokey. What’s her ceiling though? We really don’t know because of the lack of exposure or development for the character. Clearly there’s a ton of potential here. But jury largely still out (which is totally okay as in baseball terms she still has prospect status).

5 - Just A Guy. 

Reynolds - I’m a fan, but I don’t know how much of this is Reynolds himself or due to tagging with Silver. Silver, to me, is the best hot tag in America right now and might have the best “go go go” offensive flurry sequences on TV. So any partner of his will likely be seen as really good in my eyes. Could they upgrade from Reynolds in that spot? Yeah I think they could, but he’s fine. 

Allie - I like the look and attention to detail in the BBB act (more on then later I’m sure) and she’s fine there, but in an inoffensive valet way. Like a lot of things Brandi has been a part of, the Nightmare Family stuff was terrible and I’m glad we’re past that. 

Edited by For Great Justice
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This is a pretty interesting thought experiment. 

@Goodear is a dude who:

Doesn't really like AEW all that much (as evidenced by the weekly posts in the weekly/monthly AEW threads which tend to be, like, 8 or 9 negative things and 1 or 2 minor positive thoughts). 

"Only" watches Dynamite and Dark. (as evidenced by his not knowing about the Recruitment Specialist stuff playing out weekly on BTE).

Would prefer clear and pure heel vs face storytelling and clear lines between the two, and dislikes the way the good guys sometimes do bad things and the bad guys are sometimes sympathetic on Dynamite. Would prefer kayfabe to be kept and doesn't enjoy the 4th-wall breaking on Dynamite (as evidenced by not understanding and not liking that real life besties Sammy and Stunt did a fist bump).

 

That being said, @Goodear often has interesting takes and is a good writer who expresses his opinions in a clear and entertaining way. (Also: I am not sure if I should be writing this in second person rather than third person. I'm going with third so it doesn't come across like a personal attack).

Anyway, I will be following along and look forward to reading this, but I'm disinclined to comment much because I can already imagine that it would be a series of "Actually, if you watched BTE..." and "Well, that used to be true, but shades of grey characters and 4th-wall breaking are just part of AEW's presentation and in my opinion that's OK" posts. 

 

 

 

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Angelico


We are on to Angelico and his brand of Lucha British hybrid stuff. I’ve come around a bit on him in the last few months as he’s done a better job of coming to the forefront in the TH2. At first, he seemed very willing to let Jack Evans do most of the heavy lifting in the team but since deciding to become more of a wacky submission guy, it’s given him more of a identity in the team and more value in my eyes. His leg lock finisher is a bit of an odd fit for a tag team but it works since so many of the face tag teams are built around athletics. 

Look wise I like the yellow and black is a good color scheme and the entrance attire works for an obnoxious jerk. The disrobing dance is also a solid annoying heel thing to do and I even like his hat. His build is sure to annoy JR but it doesn’t bother me so much as it makes him stand out as the rangy guy in a mid card tag team.

I think Angelico’s issue is that mid card tag team guy may be his ceiling. I’m not sure I can see him up card anywhere and that can lead to a stagnant feel if he is in AEW for years and years. Time will tell if he will evolve further.

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:48 PM, BrianS81177 said:

I think Page more than anyone else on the roster has been hurt by the inability to have live crowds. Once AEW can draw in a decent sized crowd again, I'll bet they start Hangman's redemption story. But realistically I doubt they pay it off until next year's All Out or Full Gear. 

He has that relatability factor people say Austin had. He has it more than anyone on TV in Wrestling. Also like Austin his rise hasn't been ,rushed or forced on the crowd.

My biggest issue with WWE for a long time is that I can't trust their booking enough to get behind anyone no matter how high up the card they get. Look at how Eddie Kingston was able Headline a PPV against Moxley, lose and not be hurt by it. Fans are just as invested in him and will be another star for them in time

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If nothing else, TK and the crew have had no problem putting people from the midcard and even openers in main event slots on Dynamite, especially as of late. It's neat and definitely seems like a reward for the guys busting ass underneath.

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28 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

This "word" will not come up with a single Google response so I don't even know what she looks like. 

I think that what is going on here is that @christopher.anninocombined IMHO (in my humble opinion) with the Cibernetico joke while commenting on a female wrestler's (Abadon's) appearance to make IMHneticoO... then @J.T.... I dunno, maybe he misunderstood christopher's joke and thought that IMHneticoO was the name of Abadon's attractive altar ego, or maybe he was continuing the joke? 

 

Also, I know I said that I wasn't gonna comment here and now I'm commenting, like, four posts later.

I am Gordi's Shadow.

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