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17 hours ago, Goodear said:

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.

 

The thing about Cody (okay, one thing about Cody) is that people seem to believe that every aspect of his act that is incongruous to being a babyface is actually proof that a heel turn is coming.  But see, there's a continuum here:

Heel <-------------------------------------> Actual person who thinks everything he does is really cool and believes he's a babyface in real life

Every week, Cody moves further along the continuum toward the right hand side.  I truly feel at this point he's just tone deaf and doesn't actually understand pro wrestling.  He will turn heel eventually but that won't have a damn thing to do with what he's doing right now.  He's not driving his big dumb truck to the ring or dressing up like Captain Kirk, for example, because he's secretly an arrogant heel.  He does those things because he is an EVP and personally likes those things, and who cares if they make no sense in the context of anything else.

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I forgot to add:

That's something that I think bugs me the most about Cody, the feeling that he's just doing whatever he likes and feels is fun because it's what he wants to do and he has power in the company.  Like HHH cosplaying Ric Flair back in the day because he could and it didn't make a damn lick of sense.  Look at this:

Cody drives his Ford F10050 or whatever to the ring.  So he's a Steve Austin style redneck asskicker?  No.

Cody dresses up like Captain Kirk.  So he has a cosplay gimmick?  No

Cody has a big dumb neck tattoo.  So his gimmick is he's some inked badass like Brody King?  No

Cody dresses like a dandy-ass fancy lad fop.  So he's working an upper-class, better-than-you poor marks gimmick?  No

Cody comes to the ring with a group of hangers on so big that 1991 MC Hammer says "dude, you can't possibly pay all those people."  So he's working a horsemen gimmick where his people all interfere?  No.

Cody has the announcer call him "The Prince of Pro Wrestling" and has the most elaborate entrance in the company.  So he's an arrogant heel?  No.

There's no cohesive character being portrayed here.  This isn't brilliant meta heel work where it will turn out that "arrogant EVP who does whatever makes him happy" is his gimmick.  As time goes on, it just becomes clear that this is who the guy is.

Because shit, if that turns out to be a gimmick, it's awful because wrestling needs another "booker with a power trip" gimmick as much as it needs another horsemen group.

 

Edited by Technico Support
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Colt "You Don't need a Nickname" Cabana

Cabana has been playing things pretty lowkey since he's been in AEW which is saying something as he has history of going silly. He's actually the straight man in a lot of the Dark Order stuff he's been involved in, reacting to the madness of the people around him. He's been effective in that role as the least crazy person in a gaggle of lunatics. He has good reaction face. This has also bled into his wrestling as a nominal heel and I think that has worked too! Doing less comedy schtick and less superfluous mat work has made him so much more bearable to me. He still has some wrinkles I would work out of his matches. I think the Superman pin is dopey and the spinning lariat borrowed from Brodie Lee also makes for a poor finish. Why he just doesn't use the (insert name of move here) where he picks someone up in a fireman's carry on the middle rope and just drops would be his best option since it's unique, impactful and he won't have problems hitting it on the smaller AEW face roster.

Booking wise, Colt suffers from a lack of forward momentum. We could be using Colt to explain the Dark Order as the reason for exposition (so Uno can explain the D.O. to him instead of the audience) and explain why joining the Dark Order changes people for both the better or the worse. But by this point, the momentum of the story has ground to a halt as he titters on the edge for months. He's noncommittal to the point of absurdity. So much so that The Dark Order has become the aggrieved party in that they have this dude who will use them as tag partners but not join the cause. And that's a strange place to put an evil cult.

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The one thing about Cody that gives me pause, tech support, is how the commentators have openly called him on his egotistical behaviour, as have other wrestlers. He's also leaned into heel work when he was tnt champ working younger and/or smaller babyfaces. There was a lot of talk of big headed Cody taking opponents too lightly. Then Brodie beat his ass. The follow up to that definitely confirms your theory though. He's exhausting to follow. How smart is he when it comes to all these douchebag small details or is he truly delusional or somewhere in between (likeliest)? As you rightly point out, there's a gradient of douche. 

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26 minutes ago, Jiji said:

The one thing about Cody that gives me pause, tech support, is how the commentators have openly called him on his egotistical behaviour, as have other wrestlers. He's also leaned into heel work when he was tnt champ working younger and/or smaller babyfaces. There was a lot of talk of big headed Cody taking opponents too lightly. Then Brodie beat his ass. The follow up to that definitely confirms your theory though. He's exhausting to follow. How smart is he when it comes to all these douchebag small details or is he truly delusional or somewhere in between (likeliest)? As you rightly point out, there's a gradient of douche. 

That's what's so maddening!  And on top of that, he's so great as a pure babyface.  I was firmly on the Cody train, if you can believe it, during the MJF strap feud with the promos and yappapi-esque strappination that lead to it.  But then he just go so exhausting.  I think he knows he can play a great babyface, but Cody the real person is just too douchey and the douchiness just bleeds through.  He can't help himself.  And if he's honestly shooting for arrogant but lovable babyface, he's missing by a long shot.

And oh man, don't get me started on his carniness.  The guy lies when he doesn't even need to.  He claimed, long before WWE dropped it all, that he had the right to use the Rhodes name the whole time but chose not to because he felt he'd gotten the rub from the name enough.  Holy shit what a whopper.  That might be worse than the one he told on AEW Unrestricted early this year.  Everyone has always figured that he fell back on wrestling after moving to Hollywood as a young man, taking acting classes, and then never really making it.  On the show, he said he wanted to be a pro wrestler his whole life and that the Hollywood thing was just to learn how to play a character better so he'd be a more effective wrestler.  Jesus.

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44 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

And oh man, don't get me started on his carniness.  The guy lies when he doesn't even need to.  He claimed, long before WWE dropped it all, that he had the right to use the Rhodes name the whole time but chose not to because he felt he'd gotten the rub from the name enough.  Holy shit what a whopper. 

i'm of the belief that Cody said that (and 'i want to get over just having one name') because he believed that, or wanted to believe that, or was trying to convince himself that it was true. Cody obviously has a ton of respect for everything his dad accomplished and loved being intertwined with him. there's little chance he would purposefully not use the Rhodes name.

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53 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

That's what's so maddening!  And on top of that, he's so great as a pure babyface.  I was firmly on the Cody train, if you can believe it, during the MJF strap feud with the promos and yappapi-esque strappination that lead to it.  But then he just go so exhausting.  I think he knows he can play a great babyface, but Cody the real person is just too douchey and the douchiness just bleeds through.  He can't help himself.  And if he's honestly shooting for arrogant but lovable babyface, he's missing by a long shot.

I was coming to post something like this. I winge about Cody a lot but the truth is he was incredible in 2019, the strappination and of course his match with Dustin were highlights of the year. I was and am still a Cody Rhodes fan because when he's on, he's ON. He's just off so often these days.

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I have no idea what the fuck is up with Cody.  One minute he's doing awesome baby face shit like getting whipped like a dog by MJF or even going as far as to eat a thumbtack spot in a No DQ match with Eddie Kingston.

The next he is cutting really sketchy promos like the "Why Is Your Son Training With Me, Taz?" crap from last week or he's doing heelish things like doing push-ups during a title match with Darby Allin.

I honestly believe he has no idea how to book himself.  He obviously wants to assume the role of the ace in the federation, but you can be an ace without shameless self-promotion.

As for Colt Cabana, I don't really give a shit about him because he is just a Dark Order hanger on.  He has not fully given himself to the program and its way past time for him to have decided.  Fish or cut bait, Colt.

 

Edited by J.T.
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15 minutes ago, J.T. said:

I have no idea what the fuck is up with Cody.  One minute he's doing awesome baby face shit like getting whipped like a dog by MJF or even going as far as to eat a thumbtack spot in a No DQ match with Eddie Kingston.

The next he is cutting really sketchy promos like the "Why Is Your Son Training With Me, Taz?" crap from last week or he's doing heelish things like doing push-ups during a title match with Darby Allin.

I honestly believe he has no idea how to book himself.  He obviously wants to assume the role of the ace in the federation, but you can be an ace without shameless self-promotion.

As for Colt Cabana, I don't really give a shit about him because he is just a Dark Order hanger on.  He has not totally given himself to the program and its way past time for him to have decided.  Fish or cut bait, Colt.

 

The best part was the heel promo when he straight up SAID the TNT belt was the “ACE” belt and Darby wasn’t the Ace he (CODY) was. What a fucking lame ass joke! Ugh only one dude can call themselves the ace and not sound lame and Cody is not Tanahashi. 

Edited by WholeFnMachine
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3 hours ago, WholeFnMachine said:

The best part was the heel promo when he straight up SAID the TNT belt was the “ACE” belt and Darby wasn’t the Ace he (CODY) was. What a fucking lame ass joke! Ugh only one dude can call themselves the ace and not sound lame and Cody is not Tanahashi. 

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Edited by elizium
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13 hours ago, WholeFnMachine said:

That fucking tattoo, and the placement there of, are like the fucking profile pic of a bad tattoos Instagram page. 
And yes I like tattoos and have 18, that tattoo is just fucking ridiculous.

I once heard someone say he has a neck tattoo on his chest and a chest tattoo on his neck.  That sounds about right.

13 hours ago, J.T. said:

 The next he is cutting really sketchy promos like the "Why Is Your Son Training With Me, Taz?" crap from last week

 

I maintain that Cody just got around to seeing Cobra Kai and is ripping off the plotline.

On the "Cody can't help being a douchebag" tip, don't forget that while promoting AEW at the start, he couldn't help but throw shade on Bayley while promoting Kylie Rae, essentially calling Bayley fake nice and Kylie real nice. 

Quote

"Somebody was sent to Chicago to interview Kylie and, man, what a ball of emotion. That’s what we want. It’s someone passionate, and it’s not like wacky inflatable tube men pretending to be nice"

There was absolutely no need for it.  It brought out the online Bayley stans against Kylie, and her treatment on social media because of this likely played a part in her deciding to not join AEW.  All because Cody couldn't hold his tongue and not say some asshole shit.

Edited by Technico Support
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Imagine talking about dude's body types in NJPW like it fucking means anything and then think of how much someone like Chuck Taylor gets over-fucking-analyzed for his body type despite the fact that he's in pretty good shape. In this thread he got described as being chubbyLike, what? If that dude is what you consider chubby then I'll never be in good shape because I'm pretty far away from being in as good of shape as Chuck is now. Also consider that maybe the best worker in the world and of this generation, Okada, isn't cut like a model or anything and no one gives a fuck that Okada isn't shredded.

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56 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Imagine talking about dude's body types in NJPW like it fucking means anything and then think of how much someone like Chuck Taylor gets over-fucking-analyzed for his body type despite the fact that he's in pretty good shape. In this thread he got described as being chubbyLike, what? If that dude is what you consider chubby then I'll never be in good shape because I'm pretty far away from being in as good of shape as Chuck is now. Also consider that maybe the best worker in the world and of this generation, Okada, isn't cut like a model or anything and no one gives a fuck that Okada isn't shredded.

Word.  I fight the fat gene every day.  I lift and I can run five miles without dying and I wish I looked like Chuck Taylor!

After I start the "shit AEW booked that I already forgot about" thread, next up is the "wrestlers Chuck Taylor looks better than" thread.

Edited by Technico Support
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18 minutes ago, Casey said:

Okada is tall and skinny, Chuck Taylor looks like a normal human being who happens to be a wrestler.

But they both wish they had Trent's physique.

Okada is 6'3" and Chuck is 6'2". 

Anyway, this is all starting to remind me of the fucking dumb debate over HHH calling Punk skinny fat and whether if that was a flub by HHH and whether Punk was in good shape (he was). 

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People can be stacked to shit and not be in shape for wrestling. 

People can look like average joes and be able to wrestle for hours. 

Looking like the average joe or not being in wrestling shape can both be problems if the booking or the character don't protect them.

Edit again: I have Eddie Kingston and Evil Uno who are fatter than Chuck coming up and I have zippy problem with either being less physically appealing because it fits who they are portrayed to be. Kingston is a street tough veteran who looks like he would fuck you up if you bumped into him. Uno is a mincing weirdo. Neither of those things need to be in perfect physical shape but they do look like something.

Chuck as presented doesn't have that out. He looks like a guy and his character is that he's friends with Trent and Orange. 

Edited by Goodear
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On 12/7/2020 at 4:12 PM, Goodear said:

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.

 

These are all good points, and my only real rebuttal is empirical: Curiosity about where the story is going has in fact been enough to keep me interested in the segments. And I haven't seen a lot of criticism of the angle online, so I would guess that a decent chunk of the fanbase feels the same, though of course I'm on shakier ground.

Re: the point about Jericho being too smart to trust MJF - to me, that just makes the question of what's going to happen more interesting rather than a plot hole. I mean, it's surely a plot by MJF to do something underhanded, that's just how MJF is. But as for why Jericho is going along - maybe he's just giving MJF enough rope to hang himself. Maybe on some level Jericho knows he's getting old and doesn't have many years left, and he wants to set the Inner Circle up with a new leader who's enough of a scheming bastard to be worthy of the role. Who knows?

I definitely feel the angle is in fact going somewhere. (If anything, it's going somewhere too fast.) Whether that destination will be somewhere satisfying is completely up in the air, but I'll complain about that when it becomes appropriate.

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I think we are all preconditioned to expect wrestlers to look a certain way. And I do get it, listen, I'm 44 and I'm in what most would consider to be great shape for my age, HOWEVER, there I guys I train with that are my age or older that put me to absolute shame. And of course much younger dudes as well, and that's what I compare myself to. I know I shouldn't but I do, I was chubby growing up, so there's that. I have a full time job, a wife, and kids and I find time to work out every day. So yeah, sometimes I get aggravated when I see dudes on TV who are paid to fucking wrestle who don't look like they train/eat right. And I get it, it can be part of a gimmick, and it shouldn't have to matter if they can still go, which Chuck absolutely can, but it still does annoy me a bit, I can't help it. Like I could give a fuck if a dude is short or not shredded to the gills, or not a HOSS, but look like you get paid to do what you do. I also notice that people on here have really cracked down on folks body shaming female wrestlers, which as a #GIRLDAD, I think is awesome, however, why is it OK to still body shame male wrestlers? All I ask, of both sexes, is look like you give a fuck and you're putting in the work. Or if you don't maybe find some more flattering gear.

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Darby Allin

I know many people have made Jeff Hardy comparisons regarding Darby in the past and I want to make one as well although its not really the one you might be thinking of. I have never met anyone in my life like Jeff Hardy. But I have zero doubt that Jeff is 100% sincerely the person we see on television. I would not be surprised a moment if Jeff jumped his dirt bike over the street in full face paint and gear to pick up milk at the store. I have the same feeling that Darby is the whacky person he is portrayed to be 100% sincerely. I think he would print out pictures of people and where them as masks even if there was no camera. This is an amazing gift that we've as wrestling fans have been given and that's why I wanted to lead with it. Sincerity is unbelievably important because it helps protect suspension of disbelief and allows us to believe that there is no Darby the character, just Darby.

I find Darby fascinating to watch work as his style is suited to him perfectly and is psychologically sound. It's like he said, "I'm smaller and I don't care if I die, so I need to wrestle like this to win" which is fucking perfect. The Coffin drop is bonkers good and relatively safe. I can watch his float over stunner thing a million times and I love it every time. His suicide dive is done with the clear idea of trying to hurt the other guy rather than to look pretty. I have no complaints work wise.

Booking wise, I think AEW on one hand didn't protect Darby enough and on the other, gave him his win too fast. I would have liked some detours in his program so he could win feuds against mid carders so it didn't feel like he was always losing to Jericho, Moxley and Cody. I also felt the win over Cody came too fast with a two week direct build when a month would have really blown him up. Ricky Starks is a great foil for Darby and I think they are going to be seeing a lot of each other for a long time, but they have to careful not to just go to it out of habit.

Presentation wise, my only minor quibble is that I might have him just put on long pants rather than the jean shorts over the leggings if you just put the Darby Allin 'design' in front of me cold. I don't see a reason to mess with it now.

The only issue I have with Darby is that he takes a lot of risks that have a lopsided level of risk to reward. I would think getting stuffed in a body bag and thrown places would be really dangerous so stuff like that should be kept for times you're really going to use it to get someone over. It should be featured and shown so money can be made. And I understand Darby is skate board guy and he doesn't care and that's part of what makes him him. But management who do want Darby around for as long as possible needs to step in and protect their asset. Because how dumb would we all feel if Darby ended his career jumping off a bridge in a promo for no real reason.

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The only issue I have with Darby is that he takes a lot of risks that have a lopsided level of risk to reward. I would think getting stuffed in a body bag and thrown places would be really dangerous so stuff like that should be kept for times you're really going to use it to get someone over. It should be featured and shown so money can be made. And I understand Darby is skate board guy and he doesn't care and that's part of what makes him him. But management who do want Darby around for as long as possible needs to step in and protect their asset. Because how dumb would we all feel if Darby ended his career jumping off a bridge in a promo for no real reason.

We brought this up before, but Darby is basically going to Darby. I don't think he is someone you can potentially build the company around because honestly, he also feels like he's a breath away from doing something incredibly fucked up AND having that go very, very poorly for him. I remember thinking that when he did that Coffin Drop to the ring apron around a year ago or so. It was sickening. He just went splat. And he's not a bulky guy either to absorb all of the stupid shit he does to his body.

I remember when we all used to say this stuff about Jeff Hardy and he is somehow still wrestling. He's also a lot bigger than Darby. I just don't know how long Darby can pull this stuff off for.

And the sad thing is that Darby wrestles like no one I have ever seen. He's a total speed demon and looks more slippery than Nakazawa when he's sliding all around the ring. He doesn't NEED to do the stupid shit like taking an unprotected bump in a body bag. He does a ton of other stuff that makes him stand out. I want his career to last a long time, but like someone else said, the dude lives that skateboarder life and has lived a life of doing really dumb skateboarder shit. It's not like he's going to stop now.

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