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AEW Scouting Report


Goodear
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I think there's nothing wrong with stating your opinion and being critical of a professional's work. This is what comes with the territory of becoming a celebrity.  As long as it doesn't become personal, doesn't involve their innocent family, celebrating an injury and doesn't go into the stalking levels of doxxing, etc.  

 

I think the line is pretty clear and if you cross it, then you are a piece of shit. And if you make it personal, then others will see it for what it is and that person will lose their credibility.  

 

Getting rid of the Brodie Lee post was a good choice.  This is a devastating, horrible loss of life and fresh in people's minds.  No reason to stir up a hornet's nest.

But if you're a professional in any manner and can't handle Goodear's scouting reports I think it's an indictment of the professional than it is of Goodear.

 

 

 

HoC

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I actually like Santana and Ortiz as a team although I'm not a fan of the name. It doesn't have a certain 'bite' to it.  Like most AEW tag teams I wish they would get out of the indie tag team wrestling template where there are too many spots where 1 guy beats double teams, one wrestler gets floored and then stays out of the match only to conveniently raise up and hit a key move and the 'quail dive spot.'  

I do agree that some of the stuff that Ortiz was doing was out of whack with what the team is supposed to be.  And I'm not sure that they are really the fit you want in the Inner Circle.  

Overall they should be a top-4 tag team in AEW and should be protected and not losing to The Best Friends.  I'd like to see them built up more along with FTR and wait awhile before they have a feud.

 

PAC just hasn't clicked.  He doesn't really grasp the modern wrestling heel style and since he started in AEW as a heel that really diminished him.  That and the Orange Cassidy match did him no favors. It looks like he really took his WWE training and advice to heart as when he was a heel he'd moved the pace to a snail's pace and then hit some high spots.   This is where Guevara is so good as he can hit the high spots, but make himself still feel like a heel doing it.

In some senses he does remind me of Sydal in that he's the wrestler you expect AEW to sign and he's supposed to be this great wrestler, but I don't see him clicking with the fans and I don't know what they can really do with him. As I said earlier, he can learn a lot from Guevara as far as being a heel and could learn from Darby Allin as to how to be a face.  Otherwise he's a below main event level wrestler that you try to get into some crazy high spot match to help fill the card.

 

 

 

HoC

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I always figured that Ortiz started doing goofy shit as a way to stand out in the group since they're at the bottom of the totem poll. Based on their work, I know they can go if you're a fan of the "go go go" style of wrestling (part of me wishes we get Usos/PnP one day maybe even with a street fight stip), but other styles might not work as great for them.

Pac is great and to me, he really nails working as a bulldog heel that can also fly. It might be his physique that makes his extra flips seem like they have more impact compared to someone like Sammy.

As far as work, Sammy's stuff is really based on him being a cocky little shit and that doesn't work for Pac since he friggin jacked.

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On 12/20/2020 at 8:34 AM, MrKothoga said:

With the limited time AEW has to offer, who do you feature less to feature Miro more? He's a substitute at the moment, waiting for his time, which sucks if you ask me, yeah, but he's not alone on this bench. I mean, I really don't like what the Acclaimed have shown me so far, but they clearly are a project and if AEW would give these minutes to the ex-WWE star obviously some people would criticize that as well.

I get the point that you feel Kip kinda drags Miro down (I don't feel that way, but we can agree to disagree here), but AEW clearly tries to pair all of their more unknown wrestlers and potential stars with their mainstream-attractions. Hangman & Jericho, MJF & Cody, Jerichos short stints with Scorpio Sky and Jungle Boy, Darby & Cody, Orange & Pac, Orange & Jericho, MJF & Mox, Kingston from Cody to Mox, Private Party & Matt Hardy, Sammi & Jericho, Sammi & Hardy, Darby & Sting, Top Flight and The Acclaimed & Young Bucks and now Jurassic Express feuding with FTR. It may not work as intended with Kip and Miro but I get the idea and I appreciate the idea as a whole.

The women's division not having any mainstream attractions to pair their unknowns with is clearly one of the biggest proplems of that division.

All in all, I agree that the apperances of Miro are too sporadic and leave you waiting for more most of the time, but I still feel like you value a clear face-heel-dynamic to much. I don't see why I would need a clear negative association from the get go to get invested in Miro. Even more so since Miro is such a likeable beast that he probably would be the ideal person to play more of a easygoing face outside the ring while beeing a ruthless beast inside the ring.

Joey Janela? 

I think a big problem here is that AEW has a bloated roster and not enough time to showcase advance everyone's stories or characters on TV. They really need that second show already.

Edited by TheVileOne
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Yeah, sure. I'm all in for more Miro and less Janela. But unless you wanna see Miro losing everytime he's seen on Dynamite, that's probably not the best trade.

To be honest, I like AEW only having two hours of important tv time. I'm okay with people beeing on the sideline from time to time. They should use Dark more like before Covid.

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Sammy and Pac both wrestle perfectly for their characters. Sammy looks and wrestles like a young cocky prick who thinks he's the best ever. Pac looks and wrestles like a nasty, angry bastard. He projects aggression in everything he does, as he's supposed to. As far as the pacing of his matches, he wrestles like a veteran who won't rush into making rookie mistakes, as he should. He is a veteran, who has had long reigns as a World Champion and gone unbeaten for a whole year.

The wobbly legs on the top rope is actually a smart bit of non-telegraphing. Remember the Kane tell? Where if Kane would set off his pyro as part of his entrance, it meant he was going to lose the match, because when he won he'd have a pyro celebration? Pac's leg wobble is him not doing that. If he only wobbled when he was missing the top rope move, it would be a give away. Doing it whether he's hitting or missing creates uncertainty and intrigue in the match. Isn't it generally accepted that unpredictability in wrestling is a good thing? That if you, as a fan, can call the spots before the wrestlers do them, that's less enjoyable? Here's a guy adding a subtle nuance to his work and people who aren't as smart as they reckon they are think he's botching.

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Penta el Zero M

That name. Woof. 

Penta is what happens when someone has boatloads of potential and ability but has picked up so many bad habits that have stifled his progression. At one point, I would have said Penta had the potential as a break out star but I no longer think that is the case. Penta's desire to do long drawn out taunts and reduce the value of his own offense has limited him to a tag team worker and a mid carder. He's someone who has a look that could be marketed to a wide audience reminiscent of the ninjas from Mortal Kombat. But he's not marketed widely really. He's a guy you show people who aren't in wrestling to be like 'Woah, he's cool". But he's too devoted to going back and forth with people, he'd be much better off if they treated Penta like they treated L.A. Park in MLW and just let him play a destroyer.

He's been too joined at the hip with Fenix and I think both would benefit from some separation. Putting them as the second bananas in the Death Triangle doesn't really help as now they're in a support role to Pac where they are going to be the ones taking falls in the set ups to the angle. 

Penta might be better off being a bigger fish in a smaller pond. 

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Peter Avalon

Perfectly serviceable as a low card heel most people are going to be able to beat. Annoying mustache and annoying hair as is appropriate. Gear fits much better as 'Pretty' Peter than as a librarian. Peter has good execution on most of his spots like the leg lariat and the moonsault. He's skinny and slimy and that's great for a low card heel. He's got the ability to be a lower card fixture for years with ease. That's not a bad place to be. He's where he belongs in my estimation.

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23 hours ago, Goodear said:

Pac

Pac is an example of a guy with lots and lots of positives who may be at his ceiling due to a perceived lack of personality. His relative lack of size in WWE is much less important in AEW where he looks on par in size with main eventers like Omega and bigger than some of the stars like Orange or Darby. He is a bit of a mush mouth when he has to speak into a live microphone, but let's be honest, he doesn't have to talk a ton in AEW where even their World champion is a very suspect promo. Gear, haircut and physique really work well together in putting together the package. I don't really like Pac as a name and I think he'd be better off with a regular first and last name rather than one syllable. 

Skill wise, Pac is really fucking good. He's strong, fast, agile and everything he does looks really good. Even for someone who does something as fancy as the Black Arrow, he is sure to milk it with a slow rise and steadying moment on the top tope. He also has a talent for hitting high flying moves with venom behind them as though he's adding in flips purely for the added impact and not for the spectacle. This was noted by several people all the way back in NXT when he has a match with Kevin Owens just after Owens turned on Zayn the first time. Angry 450s are a thing and Pac throws them. The Brutalizer was a good addition as a submission finish as well. If I were to rank people by ring skill on AEW, Pac might be at the very top above Omega for those who care about that.

I feel like the association with The Death Triangle and the subsequent feud with Eddie Kingston are missteps to be honest. I liked the idea that Pac was the heel version of Jon Moxley where he walked alone because he was too miserable for anyone to stand. So creating yet another faction felt like a default decision rather than one that came naturally. The feud with Kingston was cast oddly with the faces being given a talent advantage in terms of booking and then a numbers advantage in terms of adding Archer to the mix when they did not need him in there. The whole thing felt like Eddie was starting to be a dick to Fenix and Penta just to set up Pac's return when there was no sign of such treatment prior.

I want to see Pac higher on the card personally. I think he'd be a great TNT Champion and would be someone who could conceivably be put up as a challenger for a face World champion somewhere down the line. I think he's best cast as an aggressive heel. AEW could be doing more with him in my opinion.

Pac is the anti-Matt Sydal, everything he does has such purpose and his personality makes him seem bigger than he is. I love Death Triangle but I'll be the first to admit it's fairly incongruous as a faction. Pac is a loner and doesn't have a ton of history with the Lucha Bros that I know of. The split from Friends of Eddie was built from the beginning though, Kingston always preferred Penta in promos and didn't really like Fenix, pitting them against each other so he could split them and have Penta to himself. But agreed that Pac is A) a bad name and 2) miscast as a face. He's so good with the little things that he's one of the only spectacular highflyers that works as a heel. The Brutalizer is part of that, he can hit the Black Arrow for the pop and then torture a guy for the finish. Good call by @AxBon the wobbly legs too, it's that kind of attention to detail that puts Pac above the rest. Definitely TNT title material, I want to say world title too but not right now.

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I had this thought in my own thread but I'm reiterating it here:

The most interesting part of Orange Cassidy matches to me are the first couple of minutes where his opponent tries to solve the problem of how to face him when he refuses to engage. What it reminds me of the most are the first few minutes of matches from a fully developed Yoshinari Ogawa, when he tries to get under the skin of his opponent and chip away at his opponent while refusing to meet him directly (even despite the culture that demands he do exactly that).

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I can see that but there comes a point where people should know what he's going to do and take him down with a double leg or something. Being confused by things the crowd has seen 10-20 times makes your people look like they don't scout their opponents. If Orange varied his lack of attack more, it would be more interesting. 

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6 minutes ago, Goodear said:

I can see that but there comes a point where people should know what he's going to do and take him down with a double leg or something. Being confused by things the crowd has seen 10-20 times makes your people look like they don't scout their opponents. If Orange varied his lack of attack more, it would be more interesting. 

Well, if his opponents happen to read this board (and a few of them very well might) they don't have to scout him any further, since his weaknessess have been exposed here. Then, if they STILL refuse to learn, I don't know what to tell ya!

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Pac faced Orange twice and dealt with it differently each time. The one time he smashed OC with the clothesline, the other time he started throwing weak kicks back.

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38 minutes ago, AxB said:

How many people saw Hogan was Hulking Up and decided it was a good time to stop throwing right hands and try something else instead?

Hogan was of a different era. Most people saw Hogan work maybe 6-8 times a year on Saturday Nights Main Event and PPV. You will probably see Cassidy wrestle that much in 2 months.

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45 minutes ago, AxB said:

How many people saw Hogan was Hulking Up and decided it was a good time to stop throwing right hands and try something else instead?

Nobody, but that was fucking stupid and shouldn't be emulated.

40 minutes ago, Matt D said:

This is something I honestly don't know, at least not in AEW: does every opponent deal with it the same way or do they try different things? And what about if someone wrestles him twice? Does it go exactly the same each time?

John Silver's reaction during their PPV match was definitely unique. And awesome. That match made me a believer in John Silver for the first time.

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12 minutes ago, Goodear said:

Hogan was of a different era. Most people saw Hogan work maybe 6-8 times a year on Saturday Nights Main Event and PPV. You will probably see Cassidy wrestle that much in 2 months.

Ogawa worked a lot more and still feels a better point of comparison to me. 

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Hogan is of a different psychology.  He was the babyface that 'powered up' and his opponent couldn't believe where Hogan was getting all of this strength from.  So they continued to throw punches because they just couldn't believe what they were experiencing.  And often times they just didn't throw punches...they may throw punches and then when that doesn't work they throw a kick or go for a body slam.

Orange Cassidy is doing a joke that the viewer has no real idea what the joke is or why it's a joke.  But from a psychology standpoint, I can see wrestlers not being too offended by his faux kicks enough to fire up on them (although it would be good to see a hothead heel once in a while just punch him in the chops).

It's not like the opponent has to sell those kicks.

The bullshit goofiness sports entertainment part comes when he puts his hands in his pockets, runs the ropes like shit and the opponent has to blatantly participate in his moves.  It diminishes his opponent as a joke because they have to sell and/or job for a joke who is doing joke moves.  

He is over with that crowd, I just don't see it getting over beyond the loyal 750K viewers that show up ever week. And typically the joke gets old after a while and the fans pan it after a while.

For me, personally, I'd rather have the TV time and effort spent on guys like Page, MJF, Guevara, Omega, etc.

 

 

 

HoC

Edited by Hustler of Culture
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14 hours ago, Hustler of Culture said:

Orange Cassidy is doing a joke that the viewer has no real idea what the joke is or why it's a joke.

This is such a far-reaching and off-base assumption.

I get the joke. The people I have watched AEW with get the joke. We are watching a post-kayfabe product who's success is centered around its ability to court a millennial audience, the "key demo" if you will (or wheel). People who grew up with the second, third, fourth wave of televised entertainment, shows and music and movies that winked and nudged at the mediums that contained them. People who are fluent in the language of Youtube content, social media, memes. Multiple layers of fiction, mixed with fact, expressed through irony or otherwise, this is the fucking lingua franca of the people who they WANT to watch this show - AND the majority of the locker room - AND the boss- AND the veterans who have always been lauded as being "ahead of the curve" like Jericho, Matt Hardy, or whether or not he wants to admit it, Jim Ross. The dramatic "worked shoot" stuff of the previous era lives right next door to OC's "worked anti-shoot". They both expose the business, because exposing the business is profitable and entertaining when done with a deft hand. Pulling the curtain all the way back diminishes what's happening on the main stage but smartly-applied flashes of the old hot dog recipe A) provide a second layer of intrigue to a viewership who loves movie star gossip, sports talk radio, pop culture video essays, etc. B) push back against the idea that kayfabe insults the audience's intelligence

And holy shit, B) matters. So much more than it gets credit for. Gimmicks like Orange Cassidy are the best way to invite people who grew up thinking pro-wrestling was for people who didn't know what they were watching was a work. Well done meme-y comedy communicates to an outside audience that, yes, pro-wrestling knows damn well how ridiculous it is. It's no longer trying to convince a 1982 television studio audience in Biloxi that Irish Whips make sense. It's self aware, unashamed of it's nature, and is willing to give you some "this is me" self-deprecating chuckles before it leans over with its thumbtacks-and-chokeholds Main Event makeout move. We talk about "courting an audience". Orange Cassidy is how this industry should be flirting.

Here's a short list of things that people who have watched AEW with me have criticized - people standing around in clumps for dives. The Judas Effect being an instant death finisher. Britt Baker's babyface act. Assuming the viewership knows who every old guy manager is. Shawn Spears existing. Occasional sloppy camera work. Everyone making it back into the ring at the count of 9. JR's casual sexism. Cody's neck tattoo, entrance, and habit of upstaging everyone. Brian Cage's facial hair. Legit MMA submissions not instantly ending matches. Riho's strikes. The ropes always being loose and slippery. I could go on. But when it comes to Orange Cassidy, they all get the joke. That's why he's a top-tier merch mover. That's why he's the hero of my girlfriend, Brodie Lee's son, the kids on Youtube who click his shit, the people who cosplay as him. He's dependent on good writing and booking, he's limited by his size (and age, quite frankly), and works best as an upper-midcard attraction. Still sounds like a draw to me. And I would bet my left nectarine that every bit of data AEW has says the same.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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It really became a running gag that I tell my girlfriend stories from wrestling when she has trouble falling asleep because she just has zero interest in wrestling altogether, but even she likes Orange Cassidy from the few times I watched AEW and she wasn't sleeping next to me. He's one of a very few she could tell by name if I showed her a picture, besides maybe (maybe, not sure) Omega, Moxley, Bucks and Jericho. We incorporated the half-assed thumps up into our daily life.

Five of the top ten AEW videos on YouTube are somewhat related to Orange Cassidy. People get Orange Cassidy. Inside and outside the wrestling world.

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11 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

 

And holy shit, B) matters. So much more than it gets credit for. Gimmicks like Orange Cassidy are the best way to invite people who grew up thinking pro-wrestling was for people who didn't know what they were watching was a work. Well done meme-y comedy communicates to an outside audience that, yes, pro-wrestling knows damn well how ridiculous it is. It's no longer trying to convince a 1982 television studio audience in Biloxi that Irish Whips make sense. It's self aware, unashamed of it's nature, and is willing to give you some "this is me" self-deprecating chuckles before it leans over with its thumbtacks-and-chokeholds Main Event makeout move. We talk about "courting an audience". Orange Cassidy is how this industry should be flirting.

I edited down the quote so there isn't a large wall of text but I want to discuss this point as I think it's interesting.

I don't think comedy wrecks wrestling if that's the tone of your promotion. Just like Airplane! doesn't wreck disaster movies and Kung Fu Hustle doesn't destroy the concept of martial arts movies (more on that specific example later), I think you can have a show where you lean deeply into the comedic tropes of wrestling. I think it's a bad idea to do it and then, in the same show, try to do a serious angle that everyone is supposed to believe in. Winking at the audience that everything is fake wouldn't work in many works of fiction and would break suspension of disbelief. Take Lord of the Rings as example, Orcs and elves and balrogs don't exist. This does not mean that everything is on the table in terms of that story. Aragorn can't pull out a AK-47 and mow down orcs in the middle of The Two Towers and have the audience accept that because they didn't set that up in any way. Likewise, they don't stop in the middle of the story and have Frodo turn to the camera to break the forth wall and let everyone know he and Sam should have just taken the bus to Mount Doom. Or hug Golem at one point to be like, "Hey guys, I love Andy Serkis so much! We are real life friends don't you know?" 

So in order to clarify my argument. I don't have a problem with a promotion setting out to be the Airplane! of wrestling with as much silly stuff as they think appropriate. Lucha Underground in my mind merged wrestling with a grindhouse atmosphere successfully.  I would have a problem breaking the internal logic of your promotion in one segment in order to go to super serious in the next. This is the same argument I have against 'shoot angles' where wrestlers complain about their pushes. You're stopping the story to remind everyone it's fake to create investment in the fake story. This would be like Sean Bean in Lord of the Rings refusing to die because he thinks Boromir deserves more screen time.

And yes, there are funny parts of Lord of the Rings that give you a chance to reset. Gimli making jokes about Dwarfs being built for short distances and such. But that's not the same as absurdist, fourth wall breaking bits. This is why building in breaks in your card are important so people have a chance to engage other emotions for a while so they don't get burnt out. But again, those shouldn't break your continuity.

Now some times people have merged silly and other emotions well like in Kung Fu Hustle or Sean of the Dead, but that's really hard and those are one and done movies. They didn't need to come back the next week to keep trying to keep that balance. And again, those movies are consistent in tone.

EDIT 1: This is all show related obviously. I don't believe kayfabe needs to be held off television so heels and babyfaces can't be seen together. I think that genie is well out of the bottle and in this age of social media, it's impossible anyway. Just like I don't need Elijah Wood to not wear shoes off set, I don't need Orange Cassidy to be in gimmick 100% of his day.

EDIT 2: I consider BTE to be out of continuity incase anyone is curious. It's a show about the show with its own rules and regulations. It's the "silly show" discussed above.

Edited by Goodear
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The part of the joke that prospective fans don't get is the hands in the pockets, being a mute, dressed up in denim, etc.  The kicks are because...I guess he's lazy.  Who knows.

 

I agree with Goodear in that I don't have a problem with say, Chikara.  It's a comedy promotion and if they do all of this outlandish comedy in a show...well, that's exactly what I knew was going to happen. But AEW was supposed to be a 'sports based' promotion and an alternative to the WWE and here we are with some guy doing faux kicks with his hands in his pockets.

 

And it becomes impossible to take the rest of the card seriously when you just got done watching over-participatory comedy spots and the rest of the card is doing similar spots to that.  If I watch OC do a overly-participatory swinging DDT and then a match later where another wrestler wants to do a swinging DDT it just comes off as bullshit because I just watched OC do it and expose the move for being bullshit.

 

In the end, it just comes off like amateur hour/way off broadway theatre.  Arn Anderson was brilliant at doing comedic spots, but it didn't kill the tone of the show and expose the spots.  As usual with wrestling, there's a way to do it and a way not to.

 

 

 

HoC

 

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1 hour ago, MrKothoga said:

It really became a running gag that I tell my girlfriend stories from wrestling when she has trouble falling asleep because she just has zero interest in wrestling altogether, but even she likes Orange Cassidy from the few times I watched AEW and she wasn't sleeping next to me. He's one of a very few she could tell by name if I showed her a picture, besides maybe (maybe, not sure) Omega, Moxley, Bucks and Jericho. We incorporated the half-assed thumps up into our daily life.

Five of the top ten AEW videos on YouTube are somewhat related to Orange Cassidy. People get Orange Cassidy. Inside and outside the wrestling world.

Most people outside of wrestling have no idea who Orange Cassidy is.

 

And I would argue that most pro wrestling fans don't even know who he is.

 

 

 

HoC

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