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SummerSlam XXXIV - 8/21/2021


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What's the Sasha conspiracy theory based on?  It at least sounds like it could be Covid-related, but I don't see any evidence to suggest Vince is burying something.  Sasha and Bianca were pulled off the house shows, Metlzer said mid-week Sasha and Bianca were medically cleared, then Sasha was pulled or no-showed again.  Bianca, Vega, and Carmella all appeared on tv this week, so presumably they're fine.  Not sure how any of this suggests Vince is putting Sasha out there when he knows she has Covid or whatever.

Besides, if Sasha does have Covid, well, her social media has given the strong impression that she's anti-vaccination.  Sooo.... if she did miss the show due to Covid, it's completely on her, not Vince.  Honestly, if that is the case, I'd be supportive if Vince releases her.  That won't happen because she'd show up in AEW 91 days from now, but it might be worth it to send a message to any other any anti-vaxxers on the roster.

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Sasha can be blamed for Sasha things depending on what is or isn’t true. 100%. But she didn’t make the WWE choose to go that specific way in their response when there were dozens of other potential options and when it was part of a pattern of absolute bullshit. The night after the Punk return. People that are harping about Sasha (not anyone here necessarily) are blowing smoke so that they can ignore bigger issues.

Edited by Matt D
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24 minutes ago, hammerva said:

The main difference between AEW and WWE to me is simple:

WWE - "We know exactly what you want and eventually you will get it.  But you may have to wait for it.  Until then accept this"

AEW - "We know exactly what you want and we can actually give it to you so here it is.  Enjoy"  

Now is that a good way to run a long term business.  I guess we will see in the next 5 years

 

I get the sentiment behind this but I’m not sure it really fits. The WWE thing could definitely apply to things over the years like Bryan at WM30 or Kofi’s title win. But, at this point, do WWE even know what people want anymore? It’s more like ‘we know what we want (although we may change our minds) and that’s what you’ll get’.

And it might not have been what you meant, but the way it’s written here comes across to me as if AEW is throwing all their good stuff at the fans just to create moments. But what AEW has done well is tell logical, longer term stories (generally) and protect their big matches/moments.

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1 hour ago, mystman said:

Wouldn't the WWE get in major trouble if Sasha has covid, possibly spread it to other performers, and didn't tell anyone? They do testing, right? So they'd know?

 

35 minutes ago, hammerva said:

I mean given how much they fucked up handling COVID last year in 2020 would it really surprise you if they didn't tell anymore.  

The major difference is that in 2020 they could do whatever they want because they were in Florida in their own building.   Now they are out of Florida and have to deal with buildings run by other people  

This.

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Just saw Meltzer's tweet from last night about WWE knowing for eight days that they didn't have Sasha.  Although the Observer website also posted on Wed or Thurs that Sasha and Bianca were medically cleared and the match was still on, so who knows what is true.

I feel like putting the title on Becky was the right outcome, though the way they did it was.... oof.  Maybe they didn't watch to give away Bianca/Becky but wanted the title change for whatever reason.  Who knows?  Vince still tries to run the company like it's 1989, so trying to figure out his thinking is a waste of time.

Anything worth watching besides Cena-Roman?  I'll probably watch Mysterios-Usos at some point.  Dom's turning heel soon, right?  I mean, really, it'd make more sense for Rey to figure out Dom is dead weight and turn on him, but they're probably not going to try to make Rey a heel at this stage in his career.  Not sure turning on Dom would accomplish that anyway.  He's probably still get cheers.

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8 hours ago, just drew said:

 You could start a pretty decent Indy Fed built around just the folks who's careers have been cut off at the knees so Roman Reigns and Charlotte could collect brass rings. 

Considering how Roman has dealt with so much BS himself, this statement is a bit misleading. Besides, what are Roman/Charlotte supposed to do, tell Vince they don't want to be pushed? And based on last night, Charlotte may have nothing on Becky Lynch in cutting off someone's career if we're going down that road and depending on how Bianca is treated like this.

Moving to the rest of the show:

Kickoff match was solid. Big E's dive will always scare me. Wonder if they'll continue with Corbin trying to steal MITB as a story.

RKBro winning was expected, but done pretty well. Can't get excited for Riddle, but the guy is talented.

They could have done Alexa-Eva Marie on RAW, but they played it fairly straight and kept it short. Eva Marie isn't completely hopeless in the ring now, still rough going though. Apparently Lilly dolls sold like hot cakes, so don't expect that to go anywhere soon. Take that as you will.

Credit to Sheamus, he can turn a crowd around on a match they don't initially care about. Him and Priest started slow, but things picked up when they went to the bomb-throwing. Thought Priest had messed up his back/hip on his dive. Right guy won.

Usos-Mysterios just click. We've seen this in several variations, but it was still good stuff. Interested if they'll go full-on with Dominik being a prodigal son.

Talked about the SD women's dumpster fire already. McInytre-Mahal was there.

RAW women's triple threat was pretty good, though they were throwing and dropping each other in ways that made me jump. Charlotte has to stop with the moonsault. If the SD women's division is a mess, the situation for the RAW women feels like a tire fire. They probably keep going with these three into the fall, provided there's no draft.

Edge-Rollins was really good. Loved the Brood entrance and the Dracula/Alucard dynamic. 

Lashley got cheered for beating up a 15-year-old kid in front of his broken-down dad! That's ice cold. Match was a mess, and looks like Goldberg legit blew out his knee. But the post-match stuff was quality.

Enjoyed Reigns-Cena a lot. Cena bumped more than I expected, and Reigns was giving him the business pretty hard in spots. I like that Roman is still doing the in-ring talking, he's great at it. They laid out the story well and for me, it worked. Brock's return as Viking Goro was a surprise for me, though it shouldn't have been, with Saudi around the corner. Heyman's hysterics were fantastic. How they have Roman's opponents come out as he just wraps up a previous contender is neat. 

If I'm USA, I'm upset. FOX currently nearly all the big names: Roman, Brock, Cena, Edge, Rollins, Becky. It's lopsided and even with a draft, I think USA will still get hosed somehow. They're getting the leftovers.

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Historically, if we consider Rey/Dominic theclassic student/trainer angle, its ususally the trainerr that turns heel. Of course, the biggest example of the other way is Bruno/Larry.

the only father/son angle that comes to mind in Bullet Bob, but hevwas already a heel when he slapped Brad. Idont recall bob turning on randy or chavo turning on chavito (but i did just wake up). 

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Pic spoilered for size.

Spoiler

May be an image of 3 people and text

I mean, I don't even dislike Becky or anything, but the booking of that whole thing was just shit.

Edited by Gonzo
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They have very much depowered Cena and Goldberg, so that's better for the active guys like Bobby and Roman.

Also those very short video game finisher matches are done with, maybe Brock matches are the sole exception but we will see.



 

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Reading through this sparked a few hot takes to formulate in my mind.

-Something Gregg said stuck with me. Charlotte is great. She almost always has killer matches. But the majority of us don't care and are sick of her. I mean he's right. She's an awesome worker. But WWE just over expose even the best of the best and grind down our desire to see them because they're always fucking around. Makes me realize if any of our favorites from bygone eras were in this era, we'd probably get annoyed by them too. It's a real problem hindering my enjoyment of these shows.

-WCW 1999 & 2000. Once the general opinion becomes your show is shitty to watch and we don't care, it's very hard to work that stink off. Sure WWE sold 46,000 tickets last night. But how many of them actually enjoyed what they saw? Using drew's example, they just lost someone that was hardcore into the product to the point of flying out to see a Sasha vs Bianca rematch. With a real true alternative giving the crowd exactly what they want, the wheels of momentum are already turning. And it's going to take A LOT of work to re-write the (mostly accurate) narrative of how bad WWE has gotten.

-History repeating it's self. Moxley / Jericho in the Hogan & Savage roles. Jumped in 1994 and made them a legitimate national promotion that can make toy deals and what not. No longer a regional thing (or a just startup). Now Hogan & Savage jumping didn't win the war. But they were the first steps on the momentum train. 1995 Nitro / Dynamite starts. 1996 Hall & Nash (Punk & Bryan) jump. Two legitimately over current era dudes. If they get a spark like the Hogan turn & nWo formation, WWE is in trouble. Cringe drip stick segments = Hog Pen Matches. Just running the most cartoonish uncool shit possible vs the real living breathing pulse the other guys have.

-Sasha. I get the jump to Rona takes. It's where my head went too. But her out dining in public kind of puts a nail in that. So the last few female performers that had weird medical flags come up, what were they? We Charlotte had a false positive pregnancy medically disqualify her for a bit. Becky legit found out she was pregnant. So that's where my mind is at. She also posted a tweet about it being a great day the other day. Baseless speculation? Yup. But makes more sense than the Rona stuff to me.

-Bianca burial. No excuse for that shit man. I get that Becky was a last minute replacement and she probably didn't have the confidence to work a full match coming back with a month or two less prep time than she planned for. But do better than that. Let Bianca work a short match with Carmela. Let Becky come out and face off and all that as your make good surprise. Just such a tone def decision.

-Edge. Loved The Brood entrance. But wish he would have kept the persona and not shed it half way through his entrance. This return for Edge has been a total miss for me. He was never super a intense monster man before. So why is he that now? I don't want Edge doing Benoit cosplay. I want Edge working like Edge. Dial back the crazy eyes and intense "tough guy" shit my dude. Go back to being the laid back slime ball opportunist. Just a total disconnect for me. Funny. Laid back. Chill. That's the Edge that got over. Not heavy breathing grunting lumberjack Benoit variant.

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I'm still bewildered by Vince continuing to advertise Sasha on the show when she obviously wasn't in the bldg.  I was at a ballgame and didn't watch the show, so I didn't realize until a bit ago that they were still promoting the match on the pre-show, ran a video package, and waited until Bianca made her entrance to announce that Sasha wasn't cleared to compete and her replacement was Carmella.  I mean, the real replacement was Becky.  Can't think too many people would have been that disappointed to get Becky as a substitute.  

i mean, maybe if you announce Beck in advance, you maybe get a few more eyeballs on the product?  Isn't that ultimately the point of all this?

I'm assuming the reason not to announce Becky ahead of time is that then Vince then feels he has to deliver a match?  Not a thirty-second angle?

Weird.  The whole thing seems like a case of working the marks so hard that you work yourself by mistake.  

 

Edited by Eoae
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Bianca comes out first. Everyone expects Sasha's music to hit, but it's Becky's. Becky gets on the mic and says Bianca's pretty good, but she's never faced the Man. They jaw-jack for a bit before being interrupted by two heels (oops, no IIconics! Think fast!), which leads to a tag match. Becky and Bianca win, staredown, more jaw-jacking off-mic.

There. That sets up drama, makes the fans happy, doesn't bury anyone, and you can do it without a lot of prep. It took me literally 30 seconds to come up with that, and I'm pretty much an idiot. What's WWE's excuse?

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I don’t know that I have much to say about Bianca/Becky that hasn’t been said by now, but you have to tip your cap to the special kind of incompetence it takes to book a scenario that simultaneously buries your hot new star AND makes your returning top babyface star come across like a massive heel in victory.

You’d think a billion dollars could buy somebody with a clue in creative.

Edited by EVA
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9 minutes ago, odessasteps said:

From the way people were describing it last night, I figured Becky was a heel now. 

Same. Becky apparently offered to shake Bianca’a hand, then sucker-punched her and pinned her with the Man-Slam.

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This is just my gut, but something tells me Sasha is on her way out. Also, I bet WWE and Vince will hold this against her, whatever it was.

Also, does anyone know why Sasha took time off after WrestleMania? did she just need time off and need a vacation? Was there more to it?

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