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AEW Navel-Gazing Thread Number Two


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13 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

I want AEW to run a grudge match in a really small cage, like half the size of the ring. 

You don't really want that.

 

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I think eventually, AEW will find the right mix and balance. I do think they like to go to the hardcore brawl well a little too often.

Provided things are going well in the US and getting back to normal, I'm hoping getting live fans back in the second half of the year will give the shows a boost.

Pandemic wrestling has definitely made me anemic and averse to a lot of wrestling. It's just harder to watch this way. Raw has never been more unwatchable than the last year or so.

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AEW's crowds were a massive part of the early magic and while I'd like to say I cannot fucking wait for them to be back, I absolutely can and should wait for them to come back when it's safe and it really doesn't seem to be the case. Whatever. They're just one of many companies fucking this shit up at this point.

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On 5/14/2021 at 8:15 PM, Jiji said:

AEW's crowds were a massive part of the early magic and while I'd like to say I cannot fucking wait for them to be back, I absolutely can and should wait for them to come back when it's safe and it really doesn't seem to be the case. Whatever. They're just one of many companies fucking this shit up at this point.

It may be a hair premature, but almost half of the U.S has received at least one vaccine shot, 36% are fully vaccinated (a list I'll be glad to join a week from today), and the Pfizer vaccine was just approved for kids 12 and over. Those numbers should be greatly improved by the time they are back on the road, and I think of people are like myself in being ready to return to living normally (planning on going to a bar to watch Champions League final and hopefully another City treble, got tickets to Genesis in November, and hope that All Out returns to Chicago and maybe even not at damn Sears Center in the boondocks so I could get tickets to it).

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  • 3 weeks later...

I re-watched some of Full Gear 2019. Bucks vs Proud and Powerful, Page vs PAC were both pretty damned good and it was definitely interesting to kind of ponder everything that has happened with all of those guys since then.

What really got me navel-gazing, however, was the Jericho (w/ Hager) vs Cody (w/ MJF) title match. Cody was definitely a really good sympathetic top-of-the-card baby face back then, behaving and presenting himself as most of us here feel a pro wrestling good guy should. How things have changed! 

But it was this spot, the sickening face-first diving bump that Cody took onto the ramp, that really got my mind reeling:

Real talk here, in no way trying to be funny: Is it possible that Cody did some real damage to himself with that bump? 

The very front part of the brain, the part right behind the forehead, the part Cody basically landed on full force at full speed, is known as the pre-frontal cortex. The functions of the PFC include projecting future consequences that might result from present actions. Symptoms of PFC damage can include reduced creativity, impaired judgement, and changes in behaviour.

I could not help thinking about this, nor could I help feeling sincerely concerned. 

I really hope I am completely off base and totally wrong about this.

 

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44 minutes ago, El Gran Gordi said:

I re-watched some of Full Gear 2019. Bucks vs Proud and Powerful, Page vs PAC were both pretty damned good and it was definitely interesting to kind of ponder everything that has happened with all of those guys since then.

What really got me navel-gazing, however, was the Jericho (w/ Hager) vs Cody (w/ MJF) title match. Cody was definitely a really good sympathetic top-of-the-card baby face back then, behaving and presenting himself as most of us here feel a pro wrestling good guy should. How things have changed! 

But it was this spot, the sickening face-first diving bump that Cody took onto the ramp, that really got my mind reeling:

Real talk here, in no way trying to be funny: Is it possible that Cody did some real damage to himself with that bump? 

The very front part of the brain, the part right behind the forehead, the part Cody basically landed on full force at full speed, is known as the pre-frontal cortex. The functions of the PFC include projecting future consequences that might result from present actions. Symptoms of PFC damage can include reduced creativity, impaired judgement, and changes in behaviour.

I could not help thinking about this, nor could I help feeling sincerely concerned. 

I really hope I am completely off base and totally wrong about this.

 

I will preface this by saying I absolutely love your enthusiasm for AEW and largely agree with most of your posts.  But unfortunately I don't know if I can get behind this idea.  I was there live and did feel he may have had a concussion to some degree.  But while I know medical has whiffed on key things I would think they would have been on top of this especially for one of their main stars.  Plus from all I've heard there's been no indication of those changes that I could pick up.

For me personally I just think that Cody's been in feuds after this that haven't required the sympathetic babyface that he is good at.  He let his ego run wild and over time he got more obnoxious.  But to say it's the result of this seems way off to me.

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Yeah, he played a pretty traditional babyface role in the MJF feud that followed and it produced some good stuff. The initial TNT title run was also pretty good, with him slowly becoming a bit more cocky and showing heel tendencies, but it never paid off. The return after the first Brodie match seems to have been the real turning point, his character work has been pretty consistently bad since then.

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I know we joke but it was the tattoo. He got it for the MJF match and that's when he jumped the shark. The build for that match was legendary but the match absolutely missed the mark by a mile. Then he went into the TNT title run and while it had some obvious highs, the character work went to shit. And now we are here. 

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If I were to make some inferences, I would say that Cody saw how successful EVERYTHING he did was and thought everything he would do from that point forward would work just as well. The booking of the TNT title up until he lost it to Brody was pretty brilliant. He got cockier and cockier and then got ethered by Brodie. Unfortunately, that lead to a probably ill advised too soon title change back to Cody, but it also lead to Darby as champ and Brodie soon died after, so I guess maybe that one is a wash. But other stuff though? Like the neck tattoo, booking himself in a vacuum apart from the rest of AEW, the MURICA promo, the Homelander attire, etc., that all seems like a product of a guy who thinks everything he does works.

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Cody’s a weird case, even going back to WWE, I think when he’s bad he’s really bad. His WWE run was generally solid, if unspectacular. But then I thought the masked heel thing was really bad, just dreadful acting which I found hard to watch. And the Stardust character was fucking awful, that was an embarrassed to be watching thing for me, hissing at the crowd to try to get heat ffs. And I think he was pretty heavily credited with creative input on both of those.

But he’s done enough good stuff, especially post-WWE, that I don’t think you can totally dismiss him in terms of creative, he’s maybe just someone who needs to be reined in and told to keep it simple.

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Posted (edited)

I did a pretty piss-poor, incomplete, job of explaining myself there. 

(There are two types of people in the world. There are those who can extrapolate from incomplete information).

Anyway, more detail: There's this old friend from my football days. Great guy. Big-hearted. Fun-loving. Maybe not quite as funny as he thinks he is, but a guy who you know always has your back. He also used to be very level-headed. A guy you'd go to for advice.

He got badly concussed during a game, making a tackle on special teams. He also got flagged for the hit, for leading with his helmet. He sat out a couple of games but was back on the field for the final couple of games of the season, and our playoff loss, because that's how things were back then.

We are still in touch, on facebook mostly. I was chatting with him online a day or two before I re-watched that Cody vs Jericho match. So, he was very much on my mind as I watched Cody taking that bump.

He's still pretty much the same guy. Still big hearted, still thinks he's pretty funny, still happily enjoying his life. But, he regularly makes terrible choices. Like, if option A is the obvious good option, the one that most people would pick without needing to think about it, and option B is something risky or foolish or likely to lead to a bad outcome... he will pretty often figure out an option C which is much, much worse in every way than option B. But, if you try to talk with him about it he is always utterly convinced that he has made the right choice. He's a likable charismatic guy with lots of useful skills, so he always lands on his feet. But he can't keep a job or a relationship going because he keeps making indefensibly terrible life choices. Not every single choice every single day, but often enough that I can imagine he's be difficult to live with or rely on for very long.

I had a drinking buddy who was a research scientist specialising in tau proteins as they relate to CTE and TBI. Not sure if she's still working on that. We lost touch. But, given my wrestling and football connections, I have a genuine interest in that field of study and I think she enjoyed the challenge of explaining it to me in layman's terms and in her second language. We talked about my football buddy and (if I understood correctly) she thinks it's pretty feasible that there could be a direct relationship between his concussion and the fact that he is no longer the level-headed guy that he used to be. It could be a lot of other things, though. And that kind of damage is more often the result of numerous small bruises than one big collision. But, I can't help but wonder if that one hit in that one game had a profound effect on my buddy's life. 

With Cody, it's not his booking. It's the "why would anyone think that is a good idea?" type of decisions he seems to have been making from time to time that remind me of my friend. The neck tattoo. Putting the Cody Express bus on TV while he's working an everyday American hero, son of a son of a plumber, gimmick. That promo on Ogogo. Explaining that said promo was "workshopped." 

And in every case when people ask him about those decisions he's utterly convinced he's made the correct one. 

So, yeah, definitely not cool of me to speculate, but I can't help but be reminded of my buddy and seeing Cody take that bump again brought it all together in my mind. But there very well might be no connection, there are plenty of more reasonable explanations, and if I'm totally wrong about this it's for the best.

 

Edited by El Gran Gordi
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When explained in that way I can see where you're coming from.  I still maintain there's no connection but now that I think about it it could be more of how he adapts to where he is.  When he was doing the indies he didn't have one main place to settle in and let his ego run wild.  But being in a company for a couple years I can see Cody wanting to try different things and see what sticks.  Which in itself isn't a horrible idea but when you don't have a crowd to play off of for over a year there's no true sense of what works and what doesn't.  Which is why it's no surprise he got his fair share of boos at DoN and in visual form the "I strongly dislike Cody" sign.

I will say to his credit that when doing the media calls before PPVs he's largely pretty level-headed and you get a glimpse into his thought process.  While his promo on Ogogo was trash when he only had a minute to summarize what he meant dare I say it kind of made sense.  That's why I said that week that a much shorter promo without the dramatics would have been much more effective.   So yeah, I think he's a smart guy but hopefully when they tour he'll get the hint as to what works and what doesn't.

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Linking head trauma to poor decision making latter in life could explain a lot of things about wrestlers from Flair's money problems to vince going from a guy who booked wrestlemania to wrestlemania to constantly tearing up the script

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On 6/3/2021 at 5:16 AM, Gordberg said:

I re-watched some of Full Gear 2019. Bucks vs Proud and Powerful, Page vs PAC were both pretty damned good and it was definitely interesting to kind of ponder everything that has happened with all of those guys since then.

What really got me navel-gazing, however, was the Jericho (w/ Hager) vs Cody (w/ MJF) title match. Cody was definitely a really good sympathetic top-of-the-card baby face back then, behaving and presenting himself as most of us here feel a pro wrestling good guy should. How things have changed! 

But it was this spot, the sickening face-first diving bump that Cody took onto the ramp, that really got my mind reeling:

Real talk here, in no way trying to be funny: Is it possible that Cody did some real damage to himself with that bump? 

The very front part of the brain, the part right behind the forehead, the part Cody basically landed on full force at full speed, is known as the pre-frontal cortex. The functions of the PFC include projecting future consequences that might result from present actions. Symptoms of PFC damage can include reduced creativity, impaired judgement, and changes in behaviour.

Well that would explain all of his decisions since this match... The tattoo and every creative idea he's had over the last year.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

https://redcircle.com/shows/be34c05b-8483-4797-af55-5ec4bd254611/episodes/173fa5e9-8321-4bdc-a5e7-5288fa292ba0

That's a link to the "Way of the Blade" podcasts where @Phil Schneiderdiscusses the matches in his book with various guests.

So, why am I posting it here? 

This is why:

Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase with Tony Khan

1hr 41min
We are joined by AEW President, Promoter and Booker Tony Khan to discusses Ric Flair vs. Ted DiBiase from Mid-South wrestling. We talk about arguably the greatest hour of wrestling television ever, the challenges of producing AEW in a pandemic, his vision for booking World Titles and a lot more

First of all, this is a great listen! Both of them are so enthusiastic and joyful discussing the match, reminiscing about tape trading, talking about booking... Just two likable, knowledgeable guys going on and on about pro wrestling.

I am not a podcast guy. Never have been, never will be. I vastly prefer reading about stuff to listening to people talk about stuff. But I am really glad I made an exception here, l laughed out loud several times, and enjoyed the hell out of the nostalgic stuff.

And the reason I posted the link here: I feel like anyone who likes thinking about AEW will also enjoy the hell out of listening to Tony Khan talk to Phil Schneider. I think it's possible to get some genuine insight into the kind of person, the kind of wrestling fan, the kind of booker, and the kind of pro wrestling mind that Tony K is. He totally comes across as a good dude, a person who both loves and understands pro wrestling, and an intelligent and thoughtful person. 

Edited by Gordberg
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