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AEW Dynamite - 1/13/2021


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7 hours ago, A_K said:

I think they really need to start setting some battle lines here where jobbers are concerned. Kip really shouldn be on the show; he is pretty close to the bottom of a long roster list in pretty much all aspects of talent / exposure. Being a sacrificial lamb to get Miro really over is probably the best use, if that's the way the angle is headed. If its not .. well, again I'm not sure why he has airtime given other talent at disposal.

AEW has a tendency to be too democratic; what probably goes under the radar a bit w/ peak WWE/F & WCW is how proficient they were at leveraging low/mid card to get upper card over. There needs to be a few "untouchables" who embarass 90% of the roster in the ring which really drives up the stakes when that 10% face off with each other.

 

I think that's what part of Dark is for- to build up records so matches look like they're between pushed talents more.

Generally, folks give a lot to folks lower on the card in AEW, but folks rarely trade wins and losses, one guy usually always beats the other unless there's a growth arc.

 

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53 minutes ago, alstein said:

 

I think that's what part of Dark is for- to build up records so matches look like they're between pushed talents more.

Generally, folks give a lot to folks lower on the card in AEW, but folks rarely trade wins and losses, one guy usually always beats the other unless there's a growth arc.

 

Yeah - personally I think they give too much. Back in the day late 90s / early 00s I remember the incredible impact of Jericho beating Hall, or Jeff Hardy taking one against Triple H // going competitively vsUndertaker, or even Helms vs Rock because these were otherwise untouchable guys who physically/verbally mocked vast majority of the roster. There are a few for whom AEW need to cultivate a similar level of superstardom / intensity. The Omega 3-man tag this week, for example, was I think too competitive given the opponents.

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Beating Brodie Lee was special because only Moxley and Cody did.
Beating Chris Jericho is special because only Moxley, Orange and MJF did.
Beating Cody is special because only Jericho, MJF, Brodie and Darby did.
Beating Darby is special because only Jericho, Cody, Brodie and PAC did.
Beating Kenny is special because only Jericho, PAC and Moxley did.
Beating Lance is special because only Cody and Moxley did.
Beating PAC is special because only Hangman, Moxley and Kenny did.

Beating Moxley is special because only Kenny did.
Beating MJF is special because only Moxley did.

AEW is clearly building up an upper class of wrestlers you have to beat to be meaningful (I only looked up singles matches). Sure, Archer and Jericho will probably fall in these standings in the future, but Cody, Darby, Kenny, PAC and especially Moxley and MJF are tough to beat. I will second though that AEW often is to giving to the loosing side and could use a few more emphatic squashes on Dynamite here and there. Kinda takes the impact away of a hard fought loss against the upper echelon of star when everyone gets ten plus minutes. But a Jungle Boy beating Cody, Kenny or Moxley would be nothing less of a shock to me than Jericho beating Hall in the late 90s.

And I will always accept Kenny going toe to toe with a jobber since his whole deal is beeing the best bout machine. Even in kayfabe, Kenny isn't just looking to win, he's looking to entertain, show-off and win.

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11 hours ago, A_K said:

I think they really need to start setting some battle lines here where jobbers are concerned. Kip really shouldn be on the show; he is pretty close to the bottom of a long roster list in pretty much all aspects of talent / exposure. Being a sacrificial lamb to get Miro really over is probably the best use, if that's the way the angle is headed. If its not .. well, again I'm not sure why he has airtime given other talent at disposal.

AEW has a tendency to be too democratic; what probably goes under the radar a bit w/ peak WWE/F & WCW is how proficient they were at leveraging low/mid card to get upper card over. There needs to be a few "untouchables" who embarass 90% of the roster in the ring which really drives up the stakes when that 10% face off with each other.

I agree with the second half of your post, but I can't believe you're doing Kip like that! I think that guy is going to be a huge star someday if handled right. I see him as a young future cornerstone with your MJFs, Darbys, Jungle Boys, Sammys, Starks, Wardlows etc. 

 

 

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Kenny likes to put on a show, Brian Cage lets his opponents hit him with moves to prove he's tough, Marko Stunt defies physics. That's a lot of lifting to excuse a central flaw in the product. What worked better for Omega, going 10 minutes with Joey Janella complete with hope spots from a guy who never, ever wins or smashing Sonny Kiss in 30 seconds? It was the latter, and not just because Janella is a dick and did that shitty dead bug sell. I understand why they don't want their roster quite as stratified as the WWE, but I can remember matches like HHH/Taka Michinoku because how amazing it was Taka went so long with the champ. You don't get that if everyone can go 10+ minutes with the champ already. 

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1 hour ago, Godfrey said:

Kenny likes to put on a show, Brian Cage lets his opponents hit him with moves to prove he's tough, Marko Stunt defies physics. That's a lot of lifting to excuse a central flaw in the product. What worked better for Omega, going 10 minutes with Joey Janella complete with hope spots from a guy who never, ever wins or smashing Sonny Kiss in 30 seconds? It was the latter, and not just because Janella is a dick and did that shitty dead bug sell. I understand why they don't want their roster quite as stratified as the WWE, but I can remember matches like HHH/Taka Michinoku because how amazing it was Taka went so long with the champ. You don't get that if everyone can go 10+ minutes with the champ already. 

 

2 hours ago, MrKothoga said:

And I will always accept Kenny going toe to toe with a jobber since his whole deal is beeing the best bout machine. Even in kayfabe, Kenny isn't just looking to win, he's looking to entertain, show-off and win.

 

@Godfrey exactly my sentiment. RE: @MrKothoga - I get that, and the best equivalent high-performing portrayal I can think of would be Kurt Angle's "Wrestling Machine" early/mid 2000s schtick. A kind of psychotic, high performing goofball who plays the comedy spots but demolishes in-ring & has complete superstar status. Omega's portrayal at the moment, I feel, is very low-end on where it can be. Too flat. Raise the stakes. Have him hurt & show up inferior opponents. If they want to glamourise / sexualise his entrance, then really go for it. A halfway house is always dull. Shoot for the moon.

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To be doubly the fair, the HHH/Taka match was only like 6 minutes, too.  So they’re still very comparable matches!  I think HHH/Taka has just grown in our memories/imaginations into something more than it was.  And, ultimately, I think the difference between those two matches has less to do with booking philosophies and a lot more to do with Taka in his prime being many, many, many orders of magnitude greater than Janela.

You give Taka 6 with a top guy, you’re going to get gold.  You give Joey 6 with a top guy, and you’re more likely to get “Um, why did that need to happen?”

Edited by EVA
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I'd honestly very much prefer AEW to keep doing what they are doing. I enjoy those  6 to 10 minute completive squashes a lot.

I think that "Be more like WWE" is never the way to go in trying to improve AEW's booking. They need to be distinct from the competition, and having a much looser hierarchy is, from my perspective, not a bad thing at all.

I think that "Be more like WWE" is never ever good advice for any person or company in any situation, to be honest. 

I was really happy when Private Party beat The Bucks very early in AEW's run. I think it set the right tone.

I like the idea of "All of these wrestlers are good (even Brandon and Joey and Luther)" way more than I like the idea that "This tiny handful of wrestlers are elite and nobody else is close to that level." Maybe that is what is meant by "All Elite."

Edited by El Gran Gordi
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I totally agree with @El Gran Gordithat any promotion that hopes to compete on a national level needs to stop aping WWE and become their own thing. That was what hurt TNA for so long. A lot of casual fans just saw them as a second-tier knockoff of WWE with their “has-been” stars.

 

One little thing that AEW has done so far that I like is announcing the lineup for their show ahead of time. Too many WWE shows start with a promo that leads to another promo that leads to the main event or a featured match later. What was the plan of that “surprise” promo never happens? Was there not a scheduled main event? I love the Memphis approach of having a format and either it happening or things go off the rails. But at least there’s a format. 

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I think WWE got sucked into that 'Surprise Main Event' philosophy during the Monday Night Wars (when it worked as a way to get the draws on screen early, whilst still having them Wrestle in the main event). But now that they don't have head to head competition, you do wonder why they're so unwilling to change it up.

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I would like to see a few more squashes mixed in, even of name guys on occasion, like Brodie/Cody.   Also would like to the occasional 2 minute-style rollup match like KUSHIDA/Hiromu.  Those add to the unpredictability of the product.   I want my wrestling to surpise me on occasion, so I don't tune out like I sometimes will for the first 10-20 minutes of a NJPW main.

 

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Can you imagine if they recreate Yoshinari Ogawa's quick cradle win gimmick with Marko? Especially if he's beating someone like Archer or Brian Cage in 2 minutes.

nb: Brodie Lee was telling Marko that he intended to give him his win back soon, before he got sick.

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8 minutes ago, AxB said:

Can you imagine if they recreate Yoshinari Ogawa's quick cradle win gimmick with Marko? Especially if he's beating someone like Archer or Brian Cage in 2 minutes.

Yeah, various members of the board would be looking like this if that happened:

BtWFS5S.gif

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Haha, okay, that's on me, thanks for the correction @EVA.  And I don't want AEW to be more like WWE, that's not what I meant by that comparison at all. AEW's style is much more exhibition-y than is my preference and I'm still adjusting to it. Sometimes it seems to me like they're more concerned with having a flashy match than one that makes the most amount of sense given their statuses on the roster and as a person who is in favor of things making sense, I find it distracting.

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7 hours ago, Godfrey said:

Kenny likes to put on a show, Brian Cage lets his opponents hit him with moves to prove he's tough, Marko Stunt defies physics. That's a lot of lifting to excuse a central flaw in the product. What worked better for Omega, going 10 minutes with Joey Janella complete with hope spots from a guy who never, ever wins or smashing Sonny Kiss in 30 seconds? It was the latter, and not just because Janella is a dick and did that shitty dead bug sell. I understand why they don't want their roster quite as stratified as the WWE, but I can remember matches like HHH/Taka Michinoku because how amazing it was Taka went so long with the champ. You don't get that if everyone can go 10+ minutes with the champ already. 

I'm pretty sure they could make Best Bout Machine and GMSI work if they stopped trying to be meta with both concepts and just leaned into the motives behind the motives.  Them just going 50-50 with lower people on the card lessens their star power in the process.

In regard to Kenny, they should lean into his need for validation without him needing to go back and forth with everyone on the roster. Have him demand star ratings from Callis with an every expanding need to increase the ratings. "Only five stars!?!" sounds like something a complete jerk hole would say. Have him run from challengers who 'can't get the snowflakes'. He can go flashy and tie into the concept they started with the Bucks-FTR match where he over extends and it gets him in trouble. The point is to get that sweet, sweet validation. He would need people to tell him he's great and his demeanor would degrade quickly when it doesn't happen.

GMSI is a simpler fix just by adjusting Cage's match layout so its not so back-and-forth. If he wants to wade through other people's best stuff, he should do that. If he wants to hit all his spots, he should do that. What it looks like from a casual observer is that he can't hit three moves in a row without his opponent countering something. That's not the same thing as getting his shit in. Cage should instead never go for a cover again unless it's the finish. Unless he's turned someone into quivering goo with a barrage that would make Scott Steiner jealous. Because this gives him outs as he may have Darby beat but he just needs to hit this triple decker powerbomb with a twist and things go wrong from there.

Honestly in regards to Marko, I wish the conversation would change from 'he sucks because he's small' to 'he's sucks and he's small'.

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On 1/14/2021 at 9:27 PM, A_K said:

Just sweep some of the cringe / needless low rent prod. values away and stop making jobbers so competitive.

I'm going to disagree here. I actually really enjoy that, and would prefer if they were even more competitive.

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When the comment is "you want it to be like WWE; there is no success in trying to be like WWE", I mean .. what epoch are we talking about? This is not a 'WWE' thing - it is a 'product defining popular culture' thing. In the US the WWF/E variously had that magic touch over different generations, WCW had it through a couple of generations. It is sentiment rather than promotion based. Should AEW try to ape WWE now? Well, given WWE is certainly quantatively & arguably qualatively at its lowest ebb with some episodes drawing the lowest ratings in history, yeah, it makes sense not to try and replicate that. Are there elements in its past AEW would benefit from harnessing? Well, obviously.

Opinions are what make the discussion. AEW are beating WWE's 3rd show - NXT. That's great. They're also pulling less than half, often a third, the numbers of Smackdown. Less than half, sometimes a third, of a 3-hour averaged RAW. Given we'd probably all agree WWE is less relevant now in culture than its been since the early 90s & a ton of money has been lavished on AEW, it has room to take more share. To bridge the gap they need to catapult some of these young stars into real (not indie) superstardom, so that's really the challenge ahead & point of this discussion. I don't think the more diplomatic booking style gets them there; others do. Look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store!

Edited by A_K
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WWE has an advantage because they've been established for so long that they've become synonymous with the industry. I'm guessing that most people think WWE is wrestling and vice versa. People here tend to think that's by accident and that's a mistake. WWE is a machine and if AEW wants to grow, they'd be stupid not to analyze and study the most successful wrestling promotion in history. This doesn't mean they need to become WWE, but AEW has decades of Vince's successes and failures to study. We've seen what works and draws for the market. WWE just doesn't provide that anymore in its desire to create a homogeneous factory of competent workers who won't rock the boat.

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1 hour ago, Goodear said:

I'm pretty sure they could make Best Bout Machine and GMSI work if they stopped trying to be meta with both concepts and just leaned into the motives behind the motives.  Them just going 50-50 with lower people on the card lessens their star power in the process.

In regard to Kenny, they should lean into his need for validation without him needing to go back and forth with everyone on the roster. Have him demand star ratings from Callis with an every expanding need to increase the ratings. "Only five stars!?!" sounds like something a complete jerk hole would say. Have him run from challengers who 'can't get the snowflakes'. He can go flashy and tie into the concept they started with the Bucks-FTR match where he over extends and it gets him in trouble. The point is to get that sweet, sweet validation. He would need people to tell him he's great and his demeanor would degrade quickly when it doesn't happen.

GMSI is a simpler fix just by adjusting Cage's match layout so its not so back-and-forth. If he wants to wade through other people's best stuff, he should do that. If he wants to hit all his spots, he should do that. What it looks like from a casual observer is that he can't hit three moves in a row without his opponent countering something. That's not the same thing as getting his shit in. Cage should instead never go for a cover again unless it's the finish. Unless he's turned someone into quivering goo with a barrage that would make Scott Steiner jealous. Because this gives him outs as he may have Darby beat but he just needs to hit this triple decker powerbomb with a twist and things go wrong from there.

Honestly in regards to Marko, I wish the conversation would change from 'he sucks because he's small' to 'he's sucks and he's small'.

 

That last idea is pretty much how Minoru Suzuki is protected in NJPW.  It looks like he could choke folks out all he wants, but he has to hit his Gotch, and folks know that.

 

And yeah, Marko would suck as a wrestler even if he was a foot taller.  He'd still be a good singer.

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