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Bask in Raw's Glory - 7/19/2021


Dolfan in NYC
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I don't have a deep-seated issue with Karrion Kross.....but his style doesn't feel like a fit for the main roster. Baron Corbin came in in a similarish gimmick. But Corbin pivoted, plus he's taller, more douchey, and has better signature spots. I get that Corbin isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea either....especially when overpushed, but he's a good utility midcard heel. It's hard to see Kross doing a similar pivot. He wrestles like he wants to be in Japan.

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52 minutes ago, CastleVania Rey said:

Well... Sure they don't care (except for their own petty amusement). I'm not questioning that. But isn't that why we have these forums? To talk about wrestling? Or maybe we should talk about non-WWE and not bother talking about WWE stuff at all? I mean, why are any of us here then? I suppose not watching Raw also works (the current ratings suggest this is a good solution). But then the champion from the show I like jobs to make the show I like look bad. So the solution becomes to watch nothing under WWE's umbrella I suppose.

Of course we're here to talk about wrestling. And in that spirit, it's hard for me to see the outrage surrounding the treatment of a guy who many people clearly haven't enjoyed in NXT and not roll my eyes and say "give me a break" to the people who either a) expected better or b) purport actually want better for either Kross or the belt/brand. But I understand he's not universally reviled, so if you don't count yourself among those I'm addressing then so be it.

As for not bothering with the WWE stuff, these weekly threads have become pretty quiet on your average week. So it's clear some people have decided to do just that.

49 minutes ago, Krone Meltzer said:

I'm just gonna ask in this way, is NXT supposed to be canon to the WWE Universe or not? Because the way booking seems, there's no consistency through any of the programs which begs the question of how they plan to become "Marvel esque". You have people like WALTER (as you mentioned) who was eliminated in 2 minutes from the Survivor Series match back in 2019(?) I think it was. Why do they continue to do these things? The only rational answer I can think of is Vince has no idea what goes on outside of RAW and SD. He might barely even remember what happened last week. 

I'm never one who cares to split hairs over "canon," but isn't the answer clearly (as you yourself concluded) that it depends what week it is and what their mood is? You're not going to get consistency from them ever. One week you've got Adam Coles repping NXT and beating Daniel Bryan in the main event of SmackDown. Another, everyone's supposed to pretend not to know who Piper Niven is even though she's from the same brand they developed Rhea Ripley from. As I expressed earlier, they don't care and we're chumps for spending a second of thought on it. But if you'd like my take on why they continue to do these things: They see no reward in attention to detail, so they have no issue forgoing it when they have a bright idea or a shitforbrains whim. And they don't perceive any negative consequences for indulgence in such conduct. Also: I'd assume we're dealing with some personalities in the mix who over-value going with their gut, which leads to some erratic swings and loss of interest. 

Re: the Marvel stuff, I would like to see someone in a position of authority actually explain what's specifically meant by that statement. It's been interpreted so many different ways, and clearly 95% of talk on that tip is making some erroneous assumptions. But it's taken on a life of its own, so it is what it is. 

Edited by John from Cincinnati
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11 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Made the rest of the brand look like a joke. 

Poor Gargano and Ciampa and Cole and O'Reilly and Thatcher and all the other big stars that the bulk of their audience prefers to Kross. I sure hope they can recover some dude who's not them losing to a three-time world champ. 

Edited by John from Cincinnati
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7 minutes ago, John from Cincinnati said:

Poor Gargano and Ciampa and Cole and O'Reilly and Thatcher and all the other big stars that the bulk of their audience prefers to Kross. I sure hope they can recover some dude who's not them losing to a three-time world champ. 

When you interact with people in these discussions, you're incredibly cynical and condescending. You could try cutting that out and maybe try empathizing to understand where people are coming from instead of shitting on them. I suspect you already know this though and have little interest in doing so because acting in the former allows you to draw or troll people into arguments and fights. I'd hope that's not the case.

More than enough people have done enough legwork to explain why this matters even if they don't care for Kross.

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1 minute ago, Craig H said:

When you interact with people in these discussions, you're incredibly cynical and condescending. You could try cutting that out and maybe try empathizing to understand where people are coming from instead of shitting on them. I suspect you already know this though and have little interest in doing so because acting in the former allows you to draw or troll people into arguments and fights. I'd hope that's not the case.

I've actually been remarkably restrained and understanding. I'll refrain from being incredibly condescending and telling you what you can do with the tone policing, but this isn't the first time you've pulled this on me and I still don't intend to act on your advice. Thanks for taking the time to reach out though. 

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It's funny comparing some of these matches to the Lesnar-Kofi squash.

I understood that move at the time because the perception was that FOX wanted a more "real sports" vibe to SDL.

Lesnar made perfect sense as the face of that show.

Then they had him jump back to RAW and swap places with Bray Wyatt for... reasons.

I can't understand the Keith Lee or Kross matches.

Lee is just another guy to Vince, clearly.

I guess with Kross, the plan is to bring in Scarlett to "rebuild" him? Like NXT just never happened?

Or maybe they aren't using her at all (like Nikki not coming in with Sanity) and Kross is going to end up with Alexa in that role?

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Here's the problem; To Vince, and probably to a lot of people around him, nxt just does not fucking matter. We've seen too many times in the last 5 years or so that outside of one Survivor Series, the higher-ups don't see nxt as anything but a closet to keep performers they think they might need one day. Vince is too busy eating steak wraps with horseradish sauce and ketchup to give fuck number one about big dumb dipshit Karrion Kross and his unbeaten streak in nxt, or how it makes Cole, Ciampa et al. look like jerks for not being able to beat him. None of those guys ever have a chance of being anything on the main roster anyway. Cole, O'Reilly, Gargano, Thatcher, Dunne, whoever. Not a single one of them has anything approaching main event size. I can hear some of you saying "size doesn't matter anymore," but let's look at the two top guys on the main shows and the performers orbiting them. WWE is the only institution on earth where Kofi Kingston would be considered "small" and he just got his ass handed to him to build Lashley up even more. So the welfare of the remaining nxt performers is inconsequential. They don't matter and if there were any doubt remaining, VInce sees that show as something to keep Hunter busy.

 

Karrion Kross also has what I like to call "Mike Awesome Syndrome." He's big for the small pond he was in, but he's gonna wind up in the ring with guys like Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, Sheamus, Randy Orton and Damien Priest and he isn't gonna stand out. He isn't charismatic enough to get over without Scarlett, and she ain't walkin' through that door. 

If Vince sees Keith Lee as "just another guy," Karrion Kross has no chance. No sense in getting yourself worked up over how him losing makes the third brand look.

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27 minutes ago, Wyld Samurai said:

Maybe they're keeping Scarlet off in hopes Kross can get over on his own before introducing her... Otherwise you end up with a Bodydonna scenario where Skip barely registered and it was all Sunny.

In a world with multiple women's titles and programs that's not an issue is it?

 

Nothing wrong with Kross as the muscle behind Scarlett IMO.

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9 minutes ago, just drew said:

Here's the problem; To Vince, and probably to a lot of people around him, nxt just does not fucking matter.

I can't speak for everyone, but at least for me, I'm not worked up. I already know they don't think NXT matters. I'm only venting about it because it's honestly sometimes the best way I can get through the horseshit week after week. I enjoy a little rant now and then. It clears my mind, because I know I'm going to end up watching it again week after week because it's the primary social interaction I have with a family member. Most of the time I vent to that family member, but sometimes I feel like spilling it forward here. And is something wrong with that? The thread isn't supposed to only be for praising Raw, I'd hope?

Though I think people wouldn't be as bothered about all the dumbass decisions if NXT didn't outperform WWE most of the time. It's my preferred wrestling show, even if the mainland WWE management thinks of it as a "closet".

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12 minutes ago, CastleVania Rey said:

I can't speak for everyone, but at least for me, I'm not worked up. I already know they don't think NXT matters. I'm only venting about it because it's honestly sometimes the best way I can get through the horseshit week after week. I enjoy a little rant now and then. It clears my mind, because I know I'm going to end up watching it again week after week because it's the primary social interaction I have with a family member. Most of the time I vent to that family member, but sometimes I feel like spilling it forward here. And is something wrong with that? The thread isn't supposed to only be for praising Raw, I'd hope?

Though I think people wouldn't be as bothered about all the dumbass decisions if NXT didn't outperform WWE most of the time. It's my preferred wrestling show, even if the mainland WWE management thinks of it as a "closet".

Listen, I understand. Go over to the AEW side and you'll see that no one loves a good rant more than I do. I personally don't get why anyone would invest anything emotionally in nXt at this point, but people like what they like. Unless they like the Young Bucks. Then they're fucking idiots. ;).

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2 hours ago, Craig H said:

When you interact with people in these discussions, you're incredibly cynical and condescending. You could try cutting that out and maybe try empathizing to understand where people are coming from instead of shitting on them. I suspect you already know this though and have little interest in doing so because acting in the former allows you to draw or troll people into arguments and fights. I'd hope that's not the case.

More than enough people have done enough legwork to explain why this matters even if they don't care for Kross.

So essentially you are calling him the modern day BostonIdol?

 

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2 hours ago, John from Cincinnati said:

I've actually been remarkably restrained and understanding. I'll refrain from being incredibly condescending and telling you what you can do with the tone policing, but this isn't the first time you've pulled this on me and I still don't intend to act on your advice. Thanks for taking the time to reach out though. 

Says the guy "just trying to raise the level of discourse." #DVDVRGate

I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but the "why" of it all fascinates me. I suppose you're scoring a lot of points in the game only you know we're all playing.

I've been saying lately that if the trends toward big guys and "entertainment" over "sport" continue, NXT will be gone within three years. Last night does nothing to dissuade me from that forecast.

Edited by Dog
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Why were people into NXT in the first place?

  • An hour a week meant that people were protected and while it wasn't exactly a studio feel, it was a throwback feel. You didn't see every wrestler every week. They built towards big shows. In general, the lack of overexposure allowed people's poor qualities to be hidden or for them to be used in entertaining ways.
  • There were other throwback elements like having Regal on commentary or Dusty being on screen almost every week, and then later on things like a tag tournament for a cup or the themed shows. Or just Renee being there as insanity happened around her like Lance Russell in Memphis (or Kermit).
  • It let us see a bunch of people we enjoyed as indy stars on the WWE stage but in a way that they were treated better. It was basically WWE's take on indy wrestling, which let it shine on the big stage. It made it all feel more legitimate, like they "made it."
  • The touring shows were rare and it was still special to see them and to see something you wouldn't normally get on TV, whether that was Bayley and Finn singing or what.
  • They pushed women (and to an pretty equal degree junior heavyweights) in a way that was never even imaginable in WWE previously.

I imagine half of that stuff isn't in existence for NXT anymore and the other half doesn't matter because it's become commonplace across the business.

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14 minutes ago, Dog said:

I'm not gonna tell you what to do, but the "why" of it all fascinates me. I suppose you're scoring a lot of points in the game only you know we're all playing.

Well this is your fantasy, so feel free to make up whatever "why" you feel would most tickle your fascination. 

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17 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Why were people into NXT in the first place?

  • An hour a week meant that people were protected and while it wasn't exactly a studio feel, it was a throwback feel. You didn't see every wrestler every week. They built towards big shows. In general, the lack of overexposure allowed people's poor qualities to be hidden or for them to be used in entertaining ways.
  • There were other throwback elements like having Regal on commentary or Dusty being on screen almost every week, and then later on things like a tag tournament for a cup or the themed shows. Or just Renee being there as insanity happened around her like Lance Russell in Memphis (or Kermit).
  • It let us see a bunch of people we enjoyed as indy stars on the WWE stage but in a way that they were treated better. It was basically WWE's take on indy wrestling, which let it shine on the big stage. It made it all feel more legitimate, like they "made it."
  • The touring shows were rare and it was still special to see them and to see something you wouldn't normally get on TV, whether that was Bayley and Finn singing or what.
  • They pushed women (and to an pretty equal degree junior heavyweights) in a way that was never even imaginable in WWE previously.

I imagine half of that stuff isn't in existence for NXT anymore and the other half doesn't matter because it's become commonplace across the business.

It was a really fun little show for a long time. Those first couple of years with Bayley, Sasha, Charlotte, Bo Dallas, the Wyatts, Enzo & Cass (don't kid yourselves, they were absolute diesel fuel there), AA, The Revival, all the way through until right around when KOR and Bobby Fish came out of the crowd to ambush Drew McIntyre with Adam Cole. Always felt like HHH was trying to make what he thought PWG was after tht. But damn early nXt was fun...

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I just looked it up. The night after Royal Rumble 2014 (the night they had Triple H rant about "your friend Mark" crying on Twitter) drew 4.7 million viewers.

The night the McMahon family came out and did the "keep watching, we'll do better" promo drew 2.5 million viewers.

The second to last Thunderdome show on July 5th did the lowest rating in the history of Raw, 1.4 million viewers.

WWE just trademarked the phrase "complaining is not conversation” according to today's Observer Daily Update.

At what point does the light bulb go on and they realize treating your customers like shit for almost a decade has been a bad business strategy?

Sure profits are high. And they will be for the foreseeable future. But the bubble IS going to pop. They don't respect the fan base, and actually despise it. That's the point of everyone ranting about the bad booking decisions. At a certain point the viewership is going to drop so low they aren't worth the billion dollar contracts. You'd think with such clear and obvious evidence of people not liking what they're doing, they'd change some of their ways. But nope, they dig in deeper. It's gonna get worse before it gets better.

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3 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

At what point does the light bulb go on and they realize treating your customers like shit for almost a decade has been a bad business strategy?

The ones who know know. Everyone else will go to their grave comfortable in the knowledge that everything else is the problem if they have the honesty to recognize there's a problem at all. 

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The thing that's most frustrating about WWE is they know how to book a great show.  it's not just they lucked into something.  Every few months they'll have a great show or a hot angle and everyone will praise what's going on but then the quality falls off a cliff again.  The Money in the Bank PPV was mostly really good stuff and then the RAW that follows is a complete mess.  it's been that way for a long time. 

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3 minutes ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

The thing that's most frustrating about WWE is they know how to book a great show.  it's not just they lucked into something.  Every few months they'll have a great show or a hot angle and everyone will praise what's going on but then the quality falls off a cliff again. 

That's pretty much exactly what you'd expect from random chance.

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