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AEW Scouting Report


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That’s a good point. Look at Orange Cassidy. He basically had a reboot on national TV, and wasn’t just “Check out this guys indie work”. Sure commentary hinted that he was a “meme wrestler”, but most people probably were stunned by his performance with PAC that the ironic cheers turned sincere. Kris never got that moment. She never spent weeks pretending she was Mork From Ork. She just wrestled. I hope when she comes back she drops the boops. It’s too late to get that over. But don’t drop the look.

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15 hours ago, Hustler of Culture said:

  HHH gets lauded as one of these all time great workers,

Where? By who?

I bet you lurked this board for all of half a second before you registered and started posting, if you think there's any kind of consensus that H is a great worker.

He's a mediocre-to-quite-good Wrestler who was inexplicably given a 'great worker' gimmick, and consistently failed to live up to it. That's the closest thing to a consensus opinion on him here. Not that we ever fully agree on anything ever.

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17 hours ago, Hustler of Culture said:

Omega's rise to fame as a worker really comes from Meltzer's influence on US fans watching puroresu.  Not that it's entirely a bad thing.  Meltzer played a role in influencing my puroresu watching habits with guys like Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi, etc.  But the less experienced WON readers have less time to realize Meltzer's biases when it comes to the wrestling he likes and often times he has gone back and regretted putting over something as great.  I had a lot of respect for Dave's opinion on in-ring work, but he was the same guy that wrote that Sabu was arguably the greatest worker in the world in '95.  He has always been more into the junior style of wrestling and appreciated flips and agility over working the crowd, doing stuff that feels plausible, being careful to not outshine higher levels on the card and basically keeping the fans wanting more for the long run.

 

It's hard for me to say that Omega is the most overrated worker of my generation, but there are people that are nutty enough to claim he's the greatest worker of all time and that gets reinforced by Meltzer's 7-star ratings.  And to Dave's credit,the industry has changed to fans wanting to see more athletic style of wrestling as seen from the results of focus groups.  

 

So in the sense of people saying he's the greatest worker ever, yes he's outrageously overrated.  But he's a really good in-ring performer nonetheless.  The problem with Omega for me is that he's such a great athlete that when he works at a slower pace he's entirely less thrilling to watch.  And that means a lot of good workers who simply cannot keep up with him will not have great matches.  Then the workers that are athletic enough to keep up with his breakneck pace may be lousy workers.  I think it translates into a lot of 3* star matches.  But in today's wrestling climate he's not going to be the main event for long periods of time and his athleticism can take the shine off those that are in the main event.  

 

The V Trigger and Dragon Suplex usage is something that I debate a lot along with the Young Bucks' superkick usage.  I think the V Trigger is a fairly easy move to execute and looks devastating.  But using it so much makes you wonder why it should be protected by other wrestlers on the card.  However, the fans do want to see the V Trigger and want longer matches so the V Trigger usage makes sense.  Hell,it makes more sense than Flair's chops. 

I do think Omega has some lousy footwork, he tends to make 4 steps when he only needs to make 2 steps.  But he seems to manage without screwing himself or his opponent up.

Anyway...as far as most overrated worker...

It's really tough to say.  There are those that think Jerry Lawler was the greatest pure worker of all time.  I think as a pure worker he was great, but I don't know if I'd say hew as the best ever as his shit didn't get over nearly as well outside of Memphis.  HHH gets lauded as one of these all time great workers, but I never saw him carry a guy to a really good match.  I could even make the case for Flair being highly overrated as his finishes usually stunk and there was a lot of bad psychology spots and wrestling the same match quite often.  

 

 

 

HoC

 

What you just described there is both what I think Okada's limitations are as well, and why Omega/Okada was so great.  Those two finally had someone who could keep up with them athletically (Naito almost could, though Naito's a lot better at a lot of other things, Jay can keep up as well, but it's not in his character to keep up).

 

AEW just doesn't have the talents that NJPW has outside of a few guys, and as an ace Kenny's not well suited for working with athletically inferior talents, which is why he's a crappy ace.   Okada is better at this.

 

I think a lot of Omega's bad fundamentals are due to his path, and that should be his weakness.  I remember something from Minoru Suzuki , where he said "perfect wrestlers are boring".   That's something I think Omega does excel in- he makes sure he has flaws.   I saw Kenny admit in a training video that he never really trained properly in terms of fundamentals, he just winged it.

 

Kenny is a great in-ring storyteller though, that's the area he excels the most in, he just needs an opponent who can keep up with his 3rd/4th gear to really get the classics out.   I wonder how an Omega/Angle in his prime match would go, as Angle to me is the best example of someone who had that athletic gear but was bad at in-ring psychology.

 

His promo skills depend heavily on whether you're in on the references or not, which is not a good thing IMO, even if I get it. 

 

 

 

Edited by alstein
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2 hours ago, AxB said:

Where? By who?

I bet you lurked this board for all of half a second before you registered and started posting, if you think there's any kind of consensus that H is a great worker.

He's a mediocre-to-quite-good Wrestler who was inexplicably given a 'great worker' gimmick, and consistently failed to live up to it. That's the closest thing to a consensus opinion on him here. Not that we ever fully agree on anything ever.

I wasn't talking about what fans on here think of HHH (or Omega) like it's some holy grail of opinions on the wrestling business.  I'm talking about, as you pointed out, HHH being given the 'great worker gimmick' and how I disagree with the notion that he's a great worker.

 

I know this board quite well.




HoC

 

 

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1 hour ago, alstein said:

 

What you just described there is both what I think Okada's limitations are as well, and why Omega/Okada was so great.  Those two finally had someone who could keep up with them athletically (Naito almost could, though Naito's a lot better at a lot of other things, Jay can keep up as well, but it's not in his character to keep up).

 

AEW just doesn't have the talents that NJPW has outside of a few guys, and as an ace Kenny's not well suited for working with athletically inferior talents, which is why he's a crappy ace.   Okada is better at this.

 

I think a lot of Omega's bad fundamentals are due to his path, and that should be his weakness.  I remember something from Minoru Suzuki , where he said "perfect wrestlers are boring".   That's something I think Omega does excel in- he makes sure he has flaws.   I saw Kenny admit in a training video that he never really trained properly in terms of fundamentals, he just winged it.

 

 

 


That's kind of the way I feel about Jeff Jarrett and Chris Candido.  Other wrestlers loved working with them because the footwork was perfect and they touched light.  They reminded me of Larry David being referred to as a 'stand up comic's stand up comic.'  He did all of the little things that only stand up comics could really appreciate, but as a fan he wasn't all that great.  I personally never understood all of the praise that Jarrett and Candido received as I never found them to tear down the house in a match, but the workers thought they were gold in the ring because they made things easier for them and made it look easy doing it.

I don't mind Omega's schizo style at all, but many workers may not like working with him because his footwork is off. 

But on the other hand, when I hear him being talked about as the greatest of all time, I just don't see it.  He's not on the level of a Steamboat, Misawa, Eddy, Kawada, Fujinami, Dynamite, etc.  He's a worker that has a lot of really good to great matches that worked with the perfect guy to work a style of match that we hadn't seen the likes of before.  There's certainly no shame in that.  Now the question is if he can be the Ace of AEW....of course he's got to get the opportunity to be the Ace, first.

 

 

 

HoC

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Kip Sabian

Sabian is really a victim of the current 'good matches' style of wrestling when he's got a gimmick that's perfect for old school heeling and stooging. As part of the couple with Penelope Ford and their suitably ridiculous displays of affection, he'd be perfect taking a bump and running to Penelope on his knees for a hug and solace. If you look at the AEW roster, almost no one stooges in that way and it would be something that could get him some much needed heat since he's so cookie cutter in the AEW environment. His wrestling is okay. I dig the rope assisted neckbreaker as a finish but nothing else Sabian does has made much of an impression with the highlights being Ford's interference spots when that was a larger portion of the act. When it was so featured, they overplayed it by having Ford in the ring for long periods of time and made their referees look like idiots who were always looking the wrong way. It would have worked better if she got caught every now and again or even countered by the faces.

Having the Superbad nicknames is really low rent since its an allusion to am even lower card talent in Janella and they've not had any sort of meaningful interaction outside of twitter. Maybe they wrestled on Dark or something, I cannot for the life of me remember. So every time Sabian is announced, I go "oh right, because he's engaged to Ford, who used to date Joey and... I don't care about that at all." It would serve a purpose if they had a hot rivalry or Joey was a big deal. But they didn't and he isn't. It limits Sabian by bringing to mind a connection no one cares about.

His relationship with Miro is really better served in the Miro discussion so I will hold off until then.

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Good assessment of Kip but for FWIW they did have a mini feud around the time Dynamite started up.  The matches happened mainly on Dark but there were small things they would do on Dynamite.  Their Dark blowoff match was fun but that was a long time ago.  I didn't know when or why he started with the Superbad nickname but if it's tied to Joey then yeah it's time to drop it.  Plus it makes me think of the movie which while fun is incredibly dated by now.

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Not a fan of Sabian's work.  Another modern wrestler that hasn't quite figured out how to be heel with a modern moveset or just doesn't care to.  Just throws a lot of flippy moves and overly participatory spots together and taunts the crowd.  Fundamentals are piss poor, doesn't know how to sell like a heel, etc.  Nice addition for an affordable payday on an indie show where athleticism is at a premium, but on a TV show trying to reach a nationwide audience I don't know what he brings to the table.  I like Ford, though.

 

 

 

HoC

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FWIW, i thought the Superbad nickname predated the Sabian-Ford-Janela situation, but i could be mistaken. maybe it was just before i heard about it.

Sabian is great in his role as valet for Ford. outside of that, he is as mediocre as it gets. His BTE skits are easily the worst of the bunch.

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Kip Sabian was called Superbad in WoS 2018. Long before Joey and Penelope split up.

He was trained by the Knight family (Paige's Mum mostly), like Nick Aldis. So that's where he learned his fundamentals. When he started out, he would have been by far the most athletic guy on any given show he was working. Being surrounded by superior athletes is probably quite unsettling for him.

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Lance Archer

I'm still not really sure what I think about Archer. He does some things very well but he's got these odd parts to his presentation that I don't care for. First the positives, Archer is really good about running with observable momentum and his chokeslam is pretty boss. While I find his haircut odd, I can recognize no one else is going to have it so it distinguishes him from the pack. He's got good size and has shown (unlike Brian Cage) that he understands that to get himself over, he needs to truck people on occasion. Jake Roberts being there to cut promos make sense and Archer being larger than Jake is important to that presentation since Jake is going to dwarf some of the AEW roster. 

On the negative pile, I don't like Acher's beat up a person on the way to the ring gimmick as it leads to a lot of dumb questions like 'why hasn't he been sued' or 'why would anyone be anywhere near him'. I much prefer using the overhead slam to the claw as a finish as the claw really doesn't extenuate Archer's size. He and Jake don't seem to really to have much chemistry and Jake doesn't have much to do as the manager anyway. Jake should be the devil on Archer's shoulder telling him to be even worse but that's missing in the presentation. 

Booking has been also a bit of a mixed bag with the feud with Eddie Kingston has muddied the waters when they could have just stuck with Kingston vs. Murder Triangle rather than adding Archer to the mix. The downside is that they really didn't have anywhere else to go with Archer after the Moxley and Cody feuds. That may have been the opportunity to slide him down the card to work Kazarian and Dustin to get him reheated to give Moxley a roadblock when he comes back to get to Kenny or to propel Adam Page back up the card.

Positioning, Archer belongs in the upper midcard where he was putting over AEW's superstars and beating lower card guys. He really should only be doing jobs to people they've earmarked for big things in programs rather than one off matches.

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Leva Bates

Bates isn't a very good worker.

AEW should employ her forever because she's so damn likable.  

Something is off about Bates' ring work that makes everything she does look cooperative and a quarter step slow. I can't really point to anything she does and say that its impressive. Which is fine since she's not there to be impressive really. She's there to get her faced pushed in most of the time and bow up every now and again to get a pop. She's the type who can lose all of the time and it won't hurt her really. I would like to see her work on one thing to make her ringwork pop and that could be as simple as a really good forearm but she doesn't have that now.

Bates seems naturally likable and that's something you can't really teach. They should have leaned into it at the start rather than have the terrible heel run with Avalon. Bates would have been much better served as an undercard babyface who put over people on their way up the card. They didn't need to make Leva a goof, but I still don't think they managed to hurt her undercard appeal. The Librarian gimmick is something they never put a lot of effort into and they should drop it. If they want to keep the glasses ascetic and slightly modify the gear, that would be fine but the whole obsession with books never worked at all. 

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18 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

If they pick the Stadtlander/Orange Cassidy romance angle back up I'm cool with her being an alien. Some feel-good dorks-in-love segments and her being allied with Best Friends would bolster her status as a young babyface contending for the title. 

Without knowing/caring about their personal lives their stuff on BTE made me wonder about that for a sec.  They just seem so darn well together that it'd make all the sense to put her with him and Best Friends.  Besides, there's aliens in their entrance video so it kind of writes itself.

1 hour ago, Goodear said:

Lance Archer

I'm still not really sure what I think about Archer. He does some things very well but he's got these odd parts to his presentation that I don't care for. First the positives, Archer is really good about running with observable momentum and his chokeslam is pretty boss. While I find his haircut odd, I can recognize no one else is going to have it so it distinguishes him from the pack. He's got good size and has shown (unlike Brian Cage) that he understands that to get himself over, he needs to truck people on occasion. Jake Roberts being there to cut promos make sense and Archer being larger than Jake is important to that presentation since Jake is going to dwarf some of the AEW roster. 

On the negative pile, I don't like Acher's beat up a person on the way to the ring gimmick as it leads to a lot of dumb questions like 'why hasn't he been sued' or 'why would anyone be anywhere near him'. I much prefer using the overhead slam to the claw as a finish as the claw really doesn't extenuate Archer's size. He and Jake don't seem to really to have much chemistry and Jake doesn't have much to do as the manager anyway. Jake should be the devil on Archer's shoulder telling him to be even worse but that's missing in the presentation. 

Booking has been also a bit of a mixed bag with the feud with Eddie Kingston has muddied the waters when they could have just stuck with Kingston vs. Murder Triangle rather than adding Archer to the mix. The downside is that they really didn't have anywhere else to go with Archer after the Moxley and Cody feuds. That may have been the opportunity to slide him down the card to work Kazarian and Dustin to get him reheated to give Moxley a roadblock when he comes back to get to Kenny or to propel Adam Page back up the card.

Positioning, Archer belongs in the upper midcard where he was putting over AEW's superstars and beating lower card guys. He really should only be doing jobs to people they've earmarked for big things in programs rather than one off matches.

I agree on Lance though can see the issues in the second paragraph.  He really did a helluva job reinventing himself from Lance Hoyt and in New Japan was just incredibly impressive.  The beating up no-names does seem like something he took from doing that to the NJPW young boys at ringside.  So I guess if you know you know but even if not then it's kind of on brand for him to go scorched Earth and beat up anybody in his way.  And considering this happens to no-names all the time in WWE anyway it's not something that's totally uncommon.  Whether that's a good or bad thing is up for debate though.

As for Leva she has her hands in many things behind the scenes so that plus being so loveable means she's got a job for life if she wants.  I think the Librarian gimmick was a miss because of how much they tried to cram it down our throats initially.  But if it was just her and as a face from the start then it's possible that may have worked out better.  Not sure what you do with Avalon all this time but that's for a different discussion.

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Some here have already said it, but Archer comes off as such a tryhard.  THE MURDERHAWK MONSTER seems like something an angsty 8th grader would scrawl on his Trapper Keeper.  His finisher is indy, convouluted, and probably more unrealistic than the Canadian Destroyer and that's saying something.  Sometimes he wears a spiked helmet out of Lemmy's personal "not a Nazi I just like how badass their clothes look" stash and it somehow makes him look even more tryhard and cringe.  Don't talk about it. Be about it.

Edited by Technico Support
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Luchasaurus

First thing is first. The name is terrible and makes him sound like a character on a Saturday morning cartoon. I didn't go into the Jungle Boy name since its so worn over due to Jim Ross, but Luchasaurus is worse. You can't even shorten it well so you always have to say the whole damn thing. Ugh. Other than the name, I don't have an issue with the rest of the presentation. The mask (when it doesn't fall off) works and the gear goes with him well. He takes a pretty good picture.

Skill wise, we've got some rough patches as he comes off as overly choreographed especially when he's going through his kick sequences. For example he does this one feint kick where the guy taking it blocks low so Luchasaurus can kick him high. The problem is I've never seen anyone ever block a low kick in that manner. So they are doing something they never do just to set up Luchasaurus' spot. He also gets a bit mechanical where he does a chokeslam and then a backflip. He never seems to do the backflip without the chokeslam so it becomes locked in your mind in one thing when it could be two and more effective. Luchasaurus can be an effective hot tag right now but he seems to get lost when things go off sequence. He feels green and not in the lizard sense. 

Luchasaurus, much like his partner is a project but a different project. While JB should be drawing heat and work on his selling and fire, Luchasaurus should be working on showing dominance and building momentum. But much like Jungle Boy, AEW may not be the best place for him to do that as they eschew the normal tag team structure in order to go back and forth a lot. That doesn't help a big guy like Luchasaurus who could be a big star if given the right tools.

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Luther

One of the original creatures to crawl out of the Brandi Booking Vortex, Luther started out as a second to a women's stable and should have never survived the end of the Nightmare Collective no matter who his friends are. Just a terrible signing who is so bad that he can't put anyone over with a terrible gimmick (he points to his head guys!) and low rent presentation. His tag team gimmick of throwing Serpentico on people is cute until you see how bad he is at it in comparison to the Quebeckers who specialized in such. They got that the bigger guy is the one who should land on people and that's the way it worked because PCO could get up for anything Jacques wanted to do. Luther doesn't want to leave his feet so he lightly deposits a 160 pound guy on people. 

Luther has no upside and no value. He should not be on television.

Boo Luther.

Boo.

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Editors Note: I will be following the AEW Roster Page as I go through the M's despite it being out of alphabetical order.

Seriously, three guys have the first name Matt and they are separated by four people.

So it will be... 

Matt Hardy, Miro, MJF, Marko Stunt, Marq Quen, Matt Jackson, Matt Sydal, Max Caster, Mel, Michael Nakazawa

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2 hours ago, Goodear said:

Luther

One of the original creatures to crawl out of the Brandi Booking Vortex, Luther started out as a second to a women's stable and should have never survived the end of the Nightmare Collective no matter who his friends are. Just a terrible signing who is so bad that he can't put anyone over with a terrible gimmick (he points to his head guys!) and low rent presentation. His tag team gimmick of throwing Serpentico on people is cute until you see how bad he is at it in comparison to the Quebeckers who specialized in such. They got that the bigger guy is the one who should land on people and that's the way it worked because PCO could get up for anything Jacques wanted to do. Luther doesn't want to leave his feet so he lightly deposits a 160 pound guy on people. 

Luther has no upside and no value. He should not be on television.

Boo Luther.

Boo.

I.....can't even begin to explain how much I disagree with this post. Like literally. Take everything said above and reverse it.

Luther has possibly been my favorite new discovery since I started watching AEW. Him pointing to his head SHOWS THAT HE'S CRAZY. It works on so many levels! I will admit that earlier thing with Brandi and Mel (Nightmare Collective) was a huge miss, but he's rebounded since then. I loved the subtle storytelling they had going on in the audience for a few weeks, showing that Serpentico was (for some reason) the only person that could control him. Them then becoming a tag team made the dynamic even better, they got an awesome name and logo, and even a tag team pose and entrance! They easily became my favorite boy tag team (and possibly still are.) The first piece of AEW merch I've purchased is a Chaos Project t-shirt.

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A friend is someone we enjoy talking to and spending time with, generally independent of business, sexual, or familial connections. A friend is someone we trust, someone who has our back, supports us, helps us when we need it, and vice versa.

Hanging out is spending time with people we like, just for the pleasure of their company, without any other reason or benefit than the joy of spending time together.

Fun is enjoyment, amusement, and/or pleasure, often of a lighthearted sort.

One of the obvious pleasures of AEW, for me at least, is it is clearly a pro wrestling promotion where the employees get to have "fun" while "hanging out" with their "friends."

My beloved local indy, Osaka Pro, was very much like that, too. I was fortunate enough to be invited to "hang out" and have "fun" with them from time to time and I still have some good "friends" from those days. I have been dreaming for years of having an  internationally  broadcasted Englsh-languge pro wrestling program that gave a similar kind of feeling. It seemed like an impossible dream.

You'd hear and read about stuff like locker-room bullying and deeply mean-spirited pranking going on in the WWE, you'd see the apparently sadistic glee with which the company would tear apart friends and lovers and send them to work on different shows in their annual draft...

It wasn't the only reason or even the main reason that I stopped watching and caring about WWE, but it was a significant part of it. 

The joyful, friendly, warm atmosphere at AEW is not the main or most important reason why I am an unabashed fan, but it is pretty huge for me.

There is a common refrain among people who like to complain about AEW, which is "Why should I have to watch additional YouTube shows in order to understand the stories being told on Dynamite?" Fair enough, but, AEW is fundamentally about more than just the wrestling. Dynamite (and Dark) are only part of the picture. BTE and Wrestlers on the Road Ordering Room Service and I presume various other podcasts and video blogs and what have you all provide glimpses of the real, down to earth and human story behind the more melodramatic stuff that's presented on the main show. And, generally, it is lovely. You get to know the characters better, but also you get to know the people behind the characters a little better as well. It's hard to explain and probably near-impossible to understand if you haven't seen it, but watching these guys playing UNO (for example), makes all the difference in the world.

One way we make and strengthen friendships is by sharing "inside" jokes. So (again, for example), when Kazarian tells the story behind "DO YA?!" he is inviting us to be a part of it. That's a pretty big shift in pro wrestling which just 40 years ago was still based almost entirely around keeping "the marks" from getting even the tiniest glimpse of what was behind the curtain.

 

Anyway, long story long: If we are considering the wrestlers as wrestlers (ahem -per se) in isolation from all else, then... yeah, why would you waste a valuable roster spot on a guy like Luther or Cutler who are only gonna appeal to weirdo fringe fans like @The Green Meanie and myself? Why would you saddle a potential star like Miro with an anchor like Kip?

However: If you are going to consider the wrestlers as people - as human beings - (which, I would argue is a far better approach to looking at AEW - and AEW makes it quite easy to do) then such apparently inexplicable decisions not only make sense, they are a huge part of what makes AEW so well worth watching.

 

Edited by El Gran Gordi
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