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I second that Christopher Daniels is super lame in his current role and his in ring work (understandably) can't redeem it anymore. If they want to give him one last kinda meaningful run I'd try turning him heel. I always like him more as a heel anyway. Let the Fallen Angel realize he can't cut it anymore and resort to his sinister side. Let him have programs with the younger guys like Jungle Boy or John Silver/Alex Reynolds (or Private Party, The Acclaimed, Sonny Kiss, Billy Guns sons, Alan Angels... how low do you wanna go on the totem pole?) to highlight that contrast, he beats them dirty at Dark first and ultimately puts them over clean on Dynamite. I think he's still good enough for that and the Young Lions probably could learn a thing or two from wrestling him. But as his current face SCU-self he really shouldn't be on television.

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18 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

Hasn't Daniels' whole thing been purposely lame, and for a while? Like going back to the appletini days? Saying, "this is the worst town I've ever been to" in EVERY town isn't anywhere near cool, but SCU are faces now so ūü§∑

Say what you will about the worst town bit, but it did lead to a shirt saying "This is the worst year I've ever been in"  Everytime I wear that it's guaranteed to get a reaction even if it's only something for this year (please, please don't suck 2021)  But I think they realized doing that as faces could only go so far and the pandemic basically shut that down for good.

As for Daniels on BTE a month or so ago he talked about his future and knows he's nearing the end.  So I would be surprised if he's still wrestling much by this time next year if not sooner.

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Chuck Taylor 

Taylor is a bit of a hot topic (okay not really) in terms of people having differing views on his skillset. I'm personally of the opinion that Chuck has the ability to do some moves and some moves I actually like, but is kind of a mishmash of different characteristics that don't congeal.  Let's start with our gimmick that Chuck and Trent are best friends. What does this tell us about them? I would assume that it means that they have a high level of affection for each other and that they would have a high degree of chemistry. In the 80's-90's this would be a heel gimmick as they high five and hug and stooge. But we aren't in those times anymore so it means they hug once a match and the camera zooms out. I would think The Best Friends would be a bit of a fun team but Trent actually wrestles like the angriest man alive and Chuck wrestles like a guy and Orange Cassidy if you count him, acts like he doesn't care. Now people like this can BE best friends obviously. But I'm left wondering why they are best friends because they've been best friends this whole time and I don't know they ever established it. So we are being told and not shown and that's writing 101.

Chuck's look is somewhat controversial so let's put our cards on the table here. Chuck is "out of shape" in a way that doesn't help his character or presentation despite him not being obese or something. Someone like The Sandman being more out of shape does not matter because being a drunken lout is his character. Chuck's character has no such out so him being chubby is more of a problem for his presentation. Overall, Chuck looks like he should be managing a Best Buy and while that could be a character, it's not his.

Moveset is almost jarringly devastating with several piledriver variations for a character who doesn't seem that devastating. Eat Defeat makes sense for me for a babyface midcarder. The Awful Waffle which is a "holy shit, he's dead" move with a silly name that is like giving a hand grenade to a grade schooler. Yes, I made the hand grenade reference on purpose. 

 

 

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On 12/6/2020 at 10:51 AM, tbarrie said:

This strikes me as a case of excessive insistence on traditional face/heel lines. You're not supposed to be cheering for anybody; you're supposed to be curious to see how things will play out between this mix of personalities. The fact that everybody involved is an asshole doesn't preclude its being compelling television.

So obviously I don't agree. Even when you have stories based around complete assholes like Tony Soprano, Walter White and Jerry Seinfeld you start by making them the POV characters so we follow them around for a while and then you place them against worse characters like the other mobsters, the other drug dealers and Newman. This gives the audience a chance to empathize with the POV character and create investment. In the case of Jericho and MJF, they are too similar to place against each other and have us chose one for narrative reasons. You could chose one for reasons outside of narrative (MJF is younger and newer, Jericho is a legend) but neither one is more wretched than the other. And since wrestling doesn't usually have a POV character, they can't do that either. 

So with no routing interest, we also have is stakes. We care who wins the Iron Throne or gets the One Ring because they have been built as important things. What's at stake in the MJF-Jericho angle? It cannot be the Inner Circle as the troops in the Inner Circle hate MJF (in Sammy and Ortiz's case) or Wardlow (in Hagar's case) so if MJF takes control, he gets people that don't have a reason to stay with him. Neither Jericho or MJF have anything the other can take. Even if you think this is a plan for MJF to retire Jericho, we have to ask how Jericho could be so dumb to trust the person whose defining characteristic is that he betrays other people. It's out of character for Jericho to do that.

So now all we have is curiosity. And I don't think that's enough. Especially when 'what will happen next' may well be a tap dance or a trip to Panama. This has to GO somewhere.

 

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On 12/6/2020 at 4:12 PM, christopher.annino said:

Hasn't Daniels' whole thing been purposely lame, and for a while? Like going back to the appletini days? Saying, "this is the worst town I've ever been to" in EVERY town isn't anywhere near cool, but SCU are faces now so ūü§∑

No. Do not accept that unless it is glaringly obvious. Otherwise you get caught in a logical trap that AEW cannot be critiqued because anything bad they do must have been done on purpose. I see no intent that Daniels is lame for any reason other than he's lame. 

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11 minutes ago, Goodear said:

No. Do not accept that unless it is glaringly obvious. Otherwise you get caught in a logical trap that AEW cannot be critiqued because anything bad they do must have been done on purpose. I see no intent that Daniels is lame for any reason other than he's lame. 

... except the SCU schtick predates AEW?

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Cody In the Future we won't need Rhodes

Cody is the king of self inflicted wounds. He gets a terrible neck tattoo (which is important, don't think its not). He gives himself a face manager he doesn't need. He gives himself a face faction that exists PURELY to come to the ring with him and fail to save Cody from beatings. He books himself in a match so he can never compete for the World Title again instead of just booking himself to lose and doing something else. Cody has also fallen into the same trap every working booker ever has. He trusts himself to do the angle right, so he puts himself in the angle. This is basically true of every working booker ever.

And this is the best pure babyface in the company. Honestly, when they aren't doing goofy shades of grey booking with Cody which doesn't help him, Cody knocks it out of the park. Cody punching out a window to get to the Inner Circle! Cody puts over Brodie and then comes back for revenge! These are high points for the entire promotion and every time Cody acts against type to be more arrogant or whatever, he's worse. 

Cody's moveset is fine but he's devalued his own Crossroads by using it multiple times when he didn't have to instead of it being a KO move as it should be. The Cody cutter is convoluted and there's enough cutters in this company that we don't need another. Rest of it is fine. I find the weight belt annoying but it serves as Jerry Lawler strap moment so it's okay. I hate that it rides up his chest sometimes though and creates an area of flesh between the belt and his tights. This is me being unreasonable. Otherwise he looks the part except for the neck tattoo.

 

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Wait till I tell you about Shawn Spears haircut. But oh god it that an ugly paragraph... it sucks, but it’s okay, but it sucks!

Edited by Goodear
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55 minutes ago, Goodear said:

So now as a face in AEW should he still be doing it?

Eh, I understand the arguments against it, don't get me wrong, and part of the blame lies with the fans cheering for, well, everything... but to me he comes across as the dorky uncle/dad who's definitely out of touch but you still love the galoot. Put it this way - CD being lame and out of touch isn't as cringe-inducing as almost anything done by Dolph Ziggler (although that's a LOW bar). 

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Cody can't get out of his own way. The tattoo is one thing, the hair dye and then re-bleach shows me that he's still a guy who's not sure of who he is. It's reflected in his ring work too, a hodge podge of mid-level face offense and some truly silly highspots (nobody can tell me the Cody Cutter ever looks good). He cuts an incredible face promo when he wants to though and it all leads to a lot of confusion in the presentation.

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Inner Circle: What's at stake? The Inner Circle is at stake. Presented as the most important group in the first year of this new promotion. Moreso than the Elite I would argue who were always shown in some kind of dissension. The Inner Circle members were always on the same page - until now. That's a huge deal for one to get invested to. And I don't see betraying people as a defining characteristic of MJF. He betrayed one person and Jericho hates Cody anyway.

Chuck Taylor: I don't really get the problem with Chuckies physique. Especially the way he's positionend with him beeing in a tag team and pretty much exclusively so. He had three singles matches in AEW, won against a jobber on Dark and lost to Pac and Kip Sabian on Dynamite. If he would go toe-to-toe with Pac and Kenny Omega for 20+ minutes, maybe. But even then he could still be on the losing end and the commentary could point out that Kenny and Pac are just too fit for Chuckie who uses all his wits but could quite get it together to overcome his handicap or whatever. It's not like his gimmick is that of a fitness guru or a wrestling machine. Physique gets you nowhere if you don't know how to play the game. How many super-high-level athletes are drafted into the NBA who never amount to anything?

Cody: Pretty much agree. Sometimes he's the best part of the night, other times I'm thinking about switching the channel. And I hate every Cutter variation there is. The only people who used it right are DDP, Kanyon and maybe the Dudley Boys.

Edited by MrKothoga
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3 hours ago, Goodear said:

Wait till I tell you about Shawn Spears haircut. But oh god it that an ugly paragraph... it sucks, but it’s okay, but it sucks!

For real though, thanks for doing this. I'm certainly not watching Brandon Cutler matches, so it's nice to see some takes and analysis about people who aren't on my radar at the moment. And when you reach the occasional super-specific gripe, I'm way into it. 

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Chuck has a classic pro wrestler's build, so it really shouldn't be an issue. 

He's a good rope runner, he's deceptively strong for his look, he's got some aerial skills, and he makes for a fiery hot tag.  There is not much more you could ask for in a tag-team partner.

I like the Best Friends because they strike me as more of an Anderson Brothers team than a Midnight Express unit.  Chuck & Trent have a few double team moves, but they mostly win by keeping you on their side of the ring and beating you until you die.  They don't focus on body parts like the Andersons, but they have a solid grasp of isolate and control.

I'd like to see Chuck & Trent challenge for singles titles just to give each guy some breakout time, but I feel that they might get lost in the shuffle now that AEW has so many moving parts.  I hate the billion stables dynamic of NJPW, but it might not be a bad idea for AEW to engage in a bit of factional feuding to give the impression that everyone has something relatively important to do and aren't wasting away on the vine while jockeying for rank.

Edited by J.T.
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I don't think Chuck Taylor has a bad physique but he looks more like a guy who goes to the gym a couple times a week than an professional athlete. You know how people have said that Jeff Cobb is better under a mask? Chuck might be well served with a singlet or tshirt that at least partially covers his upper body 

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12 hours ago, twiztor said:

is a Curry Man cameo too much to ask for in AEW?

I dunno. You think it might be interpreted as culturally insensitive? Personally I thought it was just goofy and in good humor, but you never know how people will react these days. 

There's an alternate universe where the Fallen Angel ended up being the Higher Power or whatever for the Dark Order. I never saw the gimmick when it came out but if he could talk that might've worked. Or he could have talked for Abadon (and I guess they still could do that). 

Edited by Curt McGirt
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I think if we didn't talk about Cody a lot in the other threads this one would have a good couple pages talking about him.  But I'll just say that it's so damn frustrating seeing him at times.  He is very passionate about what he does and has shown lots of admirable traits both in and out of the ring.  Heck, even when doing interviews or conferences he seems like he's self-aware about what he's doing.  But since the TNT championship became a thing his Dusty tendencies have stuck out so damn bad and it's impossible to ignore that.  I'm hoping though that once there's full crowds again he may find out the hard way that some of the stuff he's doing just doesn't work as intended.

Edited by NikoBaltimore
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