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On 11/27/2020 at 8:41 AM, AxB said:

There was much rejoicing on Gay Wrestling Twitter when Anthony Bowens got signed, because he is both Out and Proud.

 

Honestly curious, what's Gay Wrestling Twitter's reaction to Jake Atlas?  Dude went from out and proud to what sounds like semi-in; promos sort of dance around his sexuality but never commit to just saying it and moving on.  And they renamed his finisher from "the LGBDDT" (which was an amazing name) to the "rainbow DDT" or some shit.  It feels like WWE is doing all they can to, maybe not straightwash him, but very much downplay the gayness.  It really feels like he sold out a little but that's not really my place as a straight dude to say I guess.

On 11/27/2020 at 7:36 PM, Dewar said:

I love the Brandi Booking Vortex.

Same!  Tremendous.

I like Adam Page a lot BUT I don't like him in long tights and I don't like the setup for the Buckshot Lariat.  Just hit a strong lariat like AJ Gray does.  No need for a rope assisted front flip, which is so unbelievable it takes me out of the match.  And I love "PWG style" so when I call something not believable, it must be fucking horrible.  😛

You know what's awesome about AEW?

  1. Wins and losses mean something
  2. They don't feel the need to put every wrestler on every show -- this means wrestlers aren't put in meaningless matches, overexposed, and 50/50 booked to death
  3. They can use Dark to keep guys warm as far s records go

These add up to cool shit like the ability to put Hybrid 2 on Dynamite when we haven't seen them on the main show in a long time, give them a win, and suddenly they're in contention for the Bucks' titles.  Wrestling can be so damn simple if you let it.

Edited by Technico Support
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Count me in as someone who doesn't dig the long tights on Hangman and who would also like to see ANY lariat be his finisher. Page should be the guy where if he hits any sort of special lariat on you, whether it's a discus, short arm, flipping, etc. then it should be a finish. The current Buckshot Lariat should be his MDK finisher. Rarely used, but sometimes necessary when you can't put someone away with anything else or when you want to just put an exclamation point on your finish.

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15 hours ago, Goodear said:

Brian Cage

Ever wonder what ‘it’ is? If you could define it with a negative it would be Brian Cage. Jacked to the gills, mammoth athletic ability and about as much ability to draw attention and dollars as a wet dishrag. Take a Scott Steiner when he wasn’t crippled and remove every bit of personality and you get Brian Cage. If a wrestler was beige, it would be Brian Cage. This is me trying to be funny.

So to AEW’s credit, they try to cover for Cage with as much smoke and mirrors as you can find at a magic show. Here’s Taz to cut promos for him! Here’s the FTW belt to use as prop to make sure you know he is important! Here’s Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs to stand next to and oh boy do they make Cage look like they backed the wrong horse. Hobbs seems to have a better idea about how to get over in a quarter of the time. Hobbs know that sometimes, shorter is better. Hell, he knew that when he was doing jobs for Orange Cassidy and knew to get in and out. Cage is the type of guy who would go ten minutes and make himself look on par with whoever he's working. 

Let’s put it this way, if I had to book a ‘good match’ I might book Cage. But if I wanted to build a promotion about making money? I take either Hobbs or Wardlow twice as fast as Cage changes his one facial expression.

Talking about his skills is almost a waste of time since he’s in such a charisma deficit that I don’t think he can overcome it. He's the type of guy who would kill in the Apter mags era because seeing him in motion is such a let down from the physical potential.

Cage is a dude I didn't think AEW needed before he debuted and I think ever since he's probably the easiest guy to cut. Out of the Team Taz faction, I'm more interested in Starks and Hobbs than I am Cage. Describing Cage as the color beige is pretty spot on.

Maybe Cage develops some sort of personality at some point by hanging around with Taz and Starks, but he's been in this game for awhile and the most personality he's shown is being a guy into cosplay. Out of all of the hosses in AEW, I like Cage the least and that feels like something I shouldn't be saying. I even like Hagar more than Cage.

Basically, I like almost every hoss in AEW except for Cage. Hagar, Luchasaurus, Hobbs, Archer, Wardlow, and even Billy Gunn are all better.

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3 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Honestly curious, what's Gay Wrestling Twitter's reaction to Jake Atlas?  Dude went from out and proud to what sounds like semi-in; promos sort of dance around his sexuality but never commit to just saying it and moving on.  And they renamed his finisher from "the LGBDDT" (which was an amazing name) to the "rainbow DDT" or some shit.  It feels like WWE is doing all they can to, maybe not straightwash him, but very much downplay the gayness.  It really feels like he sold out a little but that's not really my place as a straight dude to say I guess.

 

Pretty much exactly what you think. Love Jake Atlas, hate that WWE are refusing to acknowledge his identity. They let him cut promos about breaking barriers and making an example, but don't say which barriers, or who he's making an example for.

Although AEW doesn't get a pass there either, given that they've barely acknowledged that Nyla is trans in a whole year of TV, and whilst I don't imagine anyone would see Sonny and think he was straight, he hasn't actually been stated to be Gay on air either. Although obviously Kenny Omega being less than entirely Out himself* would complicate things... Like, if we're defining everyone's orientation publically and the company Ace won't say, that's a headache.

* Like, it's widely assumed he's Bi, but he might be a straight guy who was a bit bi-curious as a younger man. We don't know.

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I kinda give AEW a pass on Nyla becuse it's a new company, it's her first time on a national stage, and a trans woman in sports is a whole other kettle of fish as opposed to a gay man.  Wrestling has never been able to deal with anything with any type of subtlety, so I feel like it's better to leave her trans status as something known but not super pushed, because it could easily become a really tasteless gimmick, a Fallon Fox type heel that all the cisgender woman complain about having an unfair advantage.  

Someone in AEW quite obviously telling JR to never say a word about it is absolutely for the best.

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Mr. Brodie Lee

I removed this due to his untimely passing. Now that he's gone, lets remember Mr. Huber for all the good times he gave us and mourn for his passing. It is no longer time for analysis of him as a wrestler.

Thank you.

Edited by Goodear
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I am probably one of the biggest TAFKA Luke Harper marks out there, but I don't think Dark Order is a very good fit for him.  I think the stable would be better off with Evil Uno and Stu as co-leaders.  Uno is a damn fine talker and he really can come up with some excellent Faustian bargain promos when he is trying to recruit someone and Stu brings the goods to the ring.

Problem now is success has become your worst enemy.   Mr. Brodie Lee is a former TNT championship so there's zero chance of repackaging him now.  His fate is tied to the success or failure of Dark Order as a stable.

8 hours ago, alstein said:

Anna Jay needs an excursion when one is doable.   I'd give her a year in Japan in TJPW to learn.

A year in Japan would probably do wonders for her but in the meantime, she needs to wrestle more matches on Dark either solo or with Tay Conti as a partner or maybe even an adversary.  I think you could build a Jay vs. Conti angle following Tay's reluctance to help Anna cheat to win and beat Shida in that title match last Wednesday.

Edited by J.T.
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Brian Cage makes a great '101 Best Moves by Brian Cage' video but has a hard time stringing it together or delivering at all between matches. In fact, he does so much sometimes that he takes away from other wrestlers. I wasn't that into him in AEW although I think teaming with Taz has been a big help. The Who Betta? line is good, let him throw it out at the end of someone else's promo as his only contribution and he's fine there.

I re-watched the promo leading up to it and the dog collar match would have been 100x better if it had been bad ass trucker Brodie Lee fighting Cody. The Dark Order stuff diluted it and Lee's character, imo.

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1 hour ago, AxB said:

Although AEW doesn't get a pass there either, given that they've barely acknowledged that Nyla is trans in a whole year of TV, and whilst I don't imagine anyone would see Sonny and think he was straight, he hasn't actually been stated to be Gay on air either. Although obviously Kenny Omega being less than entirely Out himself* would complicate things... Like, if we're defining everyone's orientation publically and the company Ace won't say, that's a headache.

Isn't this kind of progressive, in way? Like, not virtual signalling and treating them as tokens, letting them be full characters instead of being reduced to one aspect about them. Imagine if the commentators felt the need to remind the audience that Hobbs is black. 😬

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Brian Cage is a safer Michael Elgin.  He uses a shit ton of power moves that all look like they should kill you on impact, but he at least appears to try to work in a way that doesn't hurt the guys he's in the ring with.  Unlike Elgin or Scott Steiner who are solidly in the if he dies, he dies camp.  

As a lot of people have noticed, he has the most carefully staged Steiner Screwdriver out there.

I'd like to see him use a bit more clubbering to transition from one move to another so it doesn't look like he's a suplex spot monkey.

Edited by J.T.
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49 minutes ago, The Green Meanie said:

It's very hard for me not to say "then Kanyon?" after every time he does.

I learned from Jericho's Friday podcast with the Young Bucks that the Bucks and Cage were all really good friends with Kanyon. Cage does the "who betta" line as a tribute to Kanyon and to keep that phrase alive.

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This is a really great thread.  A couple of thoughts I had.

Alex Reynolds - He comes across as the Stevie Richards of the Dark Order to me.  Since I’m weird and have to compare everything to other TV shows him and Silver remind me a little of Trevor and Cory from Trailer Park Boys.  Constantly waiting for a high five from Brodie that will never come.

Austin Gunn - Just let him be AEW’s Stifler already. Seriously he’s got that early 2000’s Mark McGrath frat boy image down to a fine art.

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I was like "well that's all the B's" and then I was like, "oh I forgot the women, duh" and there was Britt Baker and ...

Brandi Rhodes 

Trying to recap Brandi Rhodes' booking is like staring into the abyss and hoping not to become mad and worship one of the Old Gods. Not like the cool ones people know like Nyarlathotep or Cthulhu. One of the really odd ones no one has heard of like Suc'Naath.  So much so that the BBV now threatens to swallow the entire AEW scouting report. But let's not dwell on the lunacy or that the Jade Cargill thing may have already been sucked in there never to return along with any mention of Shaq.

Let's talk about Brandi in ring! She's pretty bad! Not offensively, funny bad most of the time but still pretty bad. She would be the worst woman on NXT regularly by far and probably is about as good as Eva Marie was when everyone hated Eva Marie for how bad she was. This puts her in the lower fourth of AEW women talent. She's not really good at anything. She was smart enough to go to a pump kick finish when her spear was closer to a pointy stick but neither one is executed well, just one is less bad.

I don't like her wrestling gear. It doesn't compliment her.

I would say Brandi is best served with Cody as his one and only second instead of the army of people Cody has decided to 'elevate' by making them walk to the ring with him. Brandi was at her best as supporting Cody during the whipping from MJF and getting choked out by Anna Jay. They have an understandable degree of chemistry and they are better off sticking to that than trying to tie the whole roster into their angles.

 We mentioned earlier how much Adam Page has been hurt by not having a crowd. I think Brandi might only be breathing because there is no crowd because I don't think she'd be enjoying the same 'we love AEW!' crowd response at this point. I think her good will was done around time of the tag team deal and she's going to suffer some backlash when the people get back in the buildings.

 

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Evaluating AEW's roster is a  trickier than evaluating WWE's because there's clearly a more open, wrestler-based creative system in place than the Vince = God one we've been stuck with for the last twenty years. We're basing the roster basted on what we're shown two hours every Wednesday. Plus Dark + BTE if you're ride-or-die. But I think AEW is a completely different beast as it pertains to creative control and the locker room. The  logical, worker-friendly booking paired with the disjointed segment-to-segment feel (i.e. redundant angles on the same Dynamite) point to a creative process that involve a LOT of on-and-off-air talent

I've spent a lot of time wondering what AEW's "booking committee" is, beyond Tony Khan and the EVPs (Cody, Bucks, Kenny in that order). One would assume Excalibur, JR and Jericho are involved. One would also assume Brandi was involved before all her angles wound up shit - rough way to put it, but that's how it looks. I actually had no idea about the Kevin Sullivan/Impact/AEW situation until I started writing this post, but I guess he's one one of their guys now and I can't imagine anyone bringing him on and not at least bending their ear to him. Add on the ex-WWE road agents in Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, and Jerry Lynn.

There's more than a few active wrestlers who strike me as producer types. Dustin Rhodes is the most obvious one. Chuck Taylor in particular has been cited as a "backstage guy" by Gabe Sapolsky, CHIKARA, and the reports that came out of the AEW Georgia tapings. I gather he studied TV production and theater in college, and I think he's (probably) booking most of the Orange Cassidy stuff. The way Taz in involved with AEW Dark, he might have a hand in the lower card. Michael Nakazawa is probably a very relevant figure when Japanese talent are/will be involved (particularly with any potential NJPW crossover). Obviously Matt Hardy, to some extent. Maybe Bryce Remsburg. More importantly, I think there are a lot of talent that are limited weekly-television workers who have a ton of value behind the scenes that the average fan isn't aware of. The obvious example is Brandon Cutler. He's been the BTE cameraman since... always? Clearly one of the Bucks dearest friends and most important creative collaborators, if not outright manager/secretary/gofer/etc, His wife is the company's seamstress. He's the centerpiece of their Twitch stuff. Who would you rather pay, him or Matt Cardona?

In time these people might shift to backstage roles. BJ Whitmer and former RoH Dojo Ace Shane Hagadorn are on their payroll, examples of younger guys who gained reputations as good hands on the indies. COVID has shrunk the roster and has put more of these "good hands" on TV, but don't sleep on people being a little over-pushed because management likes their off-camera contributions.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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13 hours ago, AxB said:

Pretty much exactly what you think. Love Jake Atlas, hate that WWE are refusing to acknowledge his identity. They let him cut promos about breaking barriers and making an example, but don't say which barriers, or who he's making an example for.

Although AEW doesn't get a pass there either, given that they've barely acknowledged that Nyla is trans in a whole year of TV, and whilst I don't imagine anyone would see Sonny and think he was straight, he hasn't actually been stated to be Gay on air either. Although obviously Kenny Omega being less than entirely Out himself* would complicate things... Like, if we're defining everyone's orientation publically and the company Ace won't say, that's a headache.

* Like, it's widely assumed he's Bi, but he might be a straight guy who was a bit bi-curious as a younger man. We don't know.

I saw a lot of Jake Atlas's final matches before he went to WWE and I wonder if the flamboyantly gay wrestler gimmick might come across as a bit to indie for a national company (publicly traded as well). I wonder if they are just trying to figure his character out in a way that doesn't feel like stereotype. And I'm really glad that Nyla has a personality and character beyond just being trans. Wrestling has a real lack of nuance and subtlety to handle something like that and I think its best just to down play it and let her be a monster heel

 

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A few other thoughts. I think the long term storyline with Hangman Page with page is a Peyton Manning like can't/hasn't won the big one. Lost to Jericho in his title shot, lost in the Full Gear finals to Kenny. I kinda feel like Omega wins the title so Mox can go be a new dad and we finally get the story climaxing with Page finally wins the big one.

 

Brandi comes across as very likable so making her a heel is a mistake, but I don't want to see her in the ring as a face either. I think she'd be great as Cody's Ms. Elizabeth, beyond that she could be a good corporate face of the company. Like a non-idiotic Dixie Carter 

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I don’t think Cutler’s wife is the AEW seamstress (though she does make gear for people) - I believe that’s Sandra (ex-WWE).

Maybe they have two seamstresses, though. But I know Sandra has been in the camera shot of a few BTE skits working on gear.

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5 hours ago, zendragon said:

I saw a lot of Jake Atlas's final matches before he went to WWE and I wonder if the flamboyantly gay wrestler gimmick might come across as a bit to indie for a national company (publicly traded as well). I wonder if they are just trying to figure his character out in a way that doesn't feel like stereotype. And I'm really glad that Nyla has a personality and character beyond just being trans. Wrestling has a real lack of nuance and subtlety to handle something like that and I think its best just to down play it and let her be a monster heel

 

Maybe you saw different matches than I did, because I never saw Atlas working "flamboyantly gay."  He had gear with rainbows on them but that was it.  His nickname was "superstar" and he played up the cockiness but that was it.  He wasn't Effy out there, trying to bite nipples and dropping down to crotch level for running opponents or anything like that.

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On 11/26/2020 at 4:28 PM, El Gran Gordi said:

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. 

Funny thing is I was a bit too quick to write him off as somebody mostly shitting on what he sees.  But when going back to see some posts plus this thread I imagine that he actually does like AEW and critiques it because he wants them to succeed.  So as long as it's constructive then that's fine by me.

As for BTE that and Sammy's vlog are tremendous but it's a lot to ask everybody to follow along if one is not a die-hard.  So I don't blame anybody for missing out on some character arc that may occur on there.  But it is then up to them mentioning or showing a clip from that on Dynamite so people know what's going on.

As for Brandi all I'll say is I don't fault somebody who keeps and trying yet fails as I'm sure she wants to be more than just Cody's valet (which she's great at)  So I sympathize at times and hope that something does stick.  But I agree that her wrestling does generally stink so a manger role of some kind might be for the best.

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Harsh but fair, that’s my motto.

Notice I have nothing to say about WWE. Because it’s not worth watching most of the time. I get more enjoyment out of the roster playing Uno anymore.

#lrlr #blessed

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