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DECEMBER 2020 WRESTLING TALK.


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44 minutes ago, Ziggy said:

Smackdown was been really good overall lately. I hope they don't do something to where the change the roster. Raw has a ton of great talent but Vince doesn't want to them

I was about to say--Smackdown is a good show. Even an off-night is usually a B- episode. Not everything works, but there's a flow to what's happening. 

RAW isn't inherently bad, IMO. But it lacks direction in a major way. Take Orton vs The Fiend. Orton is committing arson, again. We should be screaming for him to lose their upcoming match. But while he may be see as such internally, what about The Fiend makes him a face? He's got Alexa in a Stockholm Syndrome mind warp. He doesn't help any of the other faces. He's a sociopath using a children's show motif to cover up his abusive side. I don't hate The Fiend, mind you. But he doesn't make sense as a good guy.

Then we have Drew McIntyre, supposed warrior babyface who stands for all that's good. But his best friend Sheamus gets throttled with a chair by AJ Styles with McIntyre nowhere to be seen. So if he turns against Drew, what makes Sheamus the bad guy in that scenario? Or if they have Keith Lee turn--I wouldn't feel bad for Drew, because he kept interrupting Keith's matches with Orton with Keith losing in DQs not of his own fault.

The woman's tag story has had better build on RAW Talk and social media than on TV. Shayna and Nia criticize Lana for thinking that her finally putting in work to be better should be applauded, when everyone else in the women's division has been doing for years. (Put aside whatever you think of Nia; in context, it works.) Meanwhile, Lana cuts an awesome babyface promo where she admits she's not as good as her opponents, but she's put in the training and has to see what she can really do. She comes across 100% as a genuine, self-aware heroine with Nia/Shayna as jerks in how they bully Lana instead of letting her succeed or fail on her own. None of this has been on RAW. We get the women's tag champs being frothing madwomen for seemingly no reason with Lana as a clueless dope.

I'm getting wordy with all this. But RAW would be fine if they'd followed logical points. Whether it's predictable isn't that big of a deal for me. As long as it makes sense with wrestlers acting accordingly to their current story arc.

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I'd start paying more attention to RAW if they gave The Hurt Business legitimate feuds and let them go on a run.  They do too much 50/50 bullshit and reading these results it sounds like that's still the case.  Also, why is Retribution still a thing?  They are a straight up lower card heel stable? That's not gonna work.  

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3 hours ago, mattdangerously said:

You're right, but look at how many people base their entire personalities around how much they like Joker and/or Scarface. 

True... But ask yourself. Do all incarnations of the Joker get over? Do you see a lot of people idolizing The Batman’s shoeless Joker? At the start The Fiend seemed like a winnable new brand, but it slowly became unsustainable once he became more, and more of a TV presence. Probably do to Wyatt’s over performance.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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There's nowt wrong with hyping something big, when you know you're going to deliver something big. That's what AEW Winter is Coming was. What does WWE have on the table that's on the level of Omega vs Mox and Sting debuting?

Goldberg coming back and challenging Roman for Mania. Which everyone knows is happening anyway.

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Doesn't help that WWE is awful at long term booking. They can make a guy in a night and then slowly wittle them down to nothing. Anything they do to pop a rating always leads to minimal gains. No reason to stick around where as you wanted to see the follow up to Winter is Coming. Crap like the McMahons appearing or legends night aren't worth tuning in for and you are better off just watching it on YouTube the next day.

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Recently a group of writers were asked to make a list of underutilized talents they felt could shine if given the proper opportunity. Those lists ranged wide, but nearly ALL of them included: Cesaro, Angel Garza, Chad Gable, Carmella & Peyton Royce.

WWE writers: "gotta throw two blonde women in there so Vince pays attention to the list."

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15 hours ago, RunningFromAmerica said:

NXT on Wednesdays hasn't exactly been helpful. I'm not a big fan of everything they do, but it's a lot better than RAW even in terms of Sports Entertainment e.g. The Way, McAfee. And it's NOT THREE FUCKING HOURS.

Meltzer periodically gets into this on Twitter, and his claim is that USA wants NXT on Wed as much as Vince does even though the network realizes they'd get better numbers on another night.  The reasoning is that USA feels like it's paying to have the number one wrestling show on cable, and, as long as that's the case, they are getting their money's worth from the contract.  Dave thinks NXT ratings are somewhat irrelevant to the network since the Wednesday show just exists to siphon viewers away from AEW.

Dave also thinks losing RAW would be catastrophic for the network.  

The next contract negotiation will be very interesting if the ratings don't improve.

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15 minutes ago, Eoae said:

Meltzer periodically gets into this on Twitter, and his claim is that USA wants NXT on Wed as much as Vince does even though the network realizes they'd get better numbers on another night.  The reasoning is that USA feels like it's paying to have the number one wrestling show on cable, and, as long as that's the case, they are getting their money's worth from the contract.

 

Thanks a lot for clarifying this.  Every time Meltzer mentions this, I never understand it.  My reasoning was always, "why do they care?  They know the number is somewhat false because they're counterprogramming."  Now it makes more sense, like USA has to justify to stockholders and/or NBC Universal why they're paying so much for wrestling.

I wonder how far away from a total USA rebranding we are.  They went from blue sky shows to darker programming, but Mr. Robot (while a great show) didn't do much for them, Sam Esmail's new show died quickly, and who knows if/when Queen of the South is coming back.  On one hand, WWF may do fine at the renegotiation because execs love lying to themselves and other to justify their salaries, and "wrestling is a live sport and is DVR proof" is a whopper that everybody is eating up so far.  On the other hand, with USA seemingly doing noting else aside from wrestling, there could be a shakeup or something that leads to NBCU wiping the slate clean.

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Carmella has at no point been underutilized, and I'd pick Billie Kay over Peyton Royce if I need to showcase a former IIconic more. 

That no Black or Brown wrestlers show up on that list is noticeable, but not surprising.

NBCU has had some turnover at key positions, as I remember. So who knows if the new bosses are as friendly towards RAW as in the past. But as mentioned, USA doesn't have much else. RAW is their #1 show by a mile.

We're probably closer to Vince doing a modified version of the Wild Card rule again. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I can see them wanting to get Roman and Sasha over to RAW somehow, just to see if they can help with ratings.

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5 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Thanks a lot for clarifying this.  Every time Meltzer mentions this, I never understand it.  My reasoning was always, "why do they care?  They know the number is somewhat false because they're counterprogramming."  Now it makes more sense, like USA has to justify to stockholders and/or NBC Universal why they're paying so much for wrestling.

I wonder how far away from a total USA rebranding we are.  They went from blue sky shows to darker programming, but Mr. Robot (while a great show) didn't do much for them, Sam Esmail's new show died quickly, and who knows if/when Queen of the South is coming back.  On one hand, WWF may do fine at the renegotiation because execs love lying to themselves and other to justify their salaries, and "wrestling is a live sport and is DVR proof" is a whopper that everybody is eating up so far.  On the other hand, with USA seemingly doing noting else aside from wrestling, there could be a shakeup or something that leads to NBCU wiping the slate clean.

I doubt USA rebrands, the name have been around since the late 1970's and I think the days of goofy names like Spike TV are long gone. Any original programming under the Comcast banner that has a budget is going to be on Peacock, so that leaves USA with WWE, reruns of comfort shows, old movies that can be stretched to 2 or 3 hour blocks, and el cheapo reality/game shows. Losing the WWE would kill their overall rating and drop them down with the likes of WGN-America and Sundance, USA needs an anchor show and that's WWE wrestling on Monday nights.

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1 hour ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Lesbian ghost gimmick incoming.

Didn't they already do that?  Katie Lea Burchill?

Edit: Nope, that was sorta her gimmick in TNA, not WWE.

So, yeah, Vince is overdue.

 

Edited by Eoae
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Main Event is mostly for international markets who can't or won't pay licensing fees for RAW/SD but still want something WWE related. But there's no reason they couldn't take that show and build more WWE programming for USA. Main Event/This Week in WWE/205 Live is an easy two-hour block to put together.

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2 hours ago, LoneWolf&Subs said:

Lesbian ghost gimmick incoming.

Weird synchronicity; I was just in & out of lucid dozing while doing some infusion treatment, and I suddenly started wondering if I'd read that Ethan Page had gotten signed by WWE and they were considering an "Elliot Page" gimmick for him.

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