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August 2021 Wrestling Discussion


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1 hour ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

 We'll never know what awesome dudes we lose out on in the 2020s & 2030s because they won't exist.

They'll exist in Wrestling. But not in the WWE, apparently.

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The problem with WWE training guys with no experience is, to me, the fact that history shows they only train guys to work one way. Which leads to bland homogenized wrestling. You need wrestlers with different backgrounds to have guys with their own styles. This is one place where the comparison to the Japan dojo’s doesn’t hold water because those places train to work house style but to also let the trainees to work in ways that match their strengths and also they don’t train out the new aspects that they gain on excursion. Even with guys like Brookside at the PC their not showing that their from ground up trainees are any different from the guys how they produced through OVW. All pretty much the same from look to style to promos. Wrestling needs guys learning to adapt and change and have the ability to wrestle a way that matches their personality. 
 

Maybe things will be different but the past shows that this will probably turn out a certain way and people are right to be wary. This won’t really affect me cause I haven’t watched WWE since 2018 and probably won’t start again anytime soon 

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WWE notes

There have been increases in attendances and merch for markets Smackdown visited in USA thanks to being on FOX.  Even before covid. Raw is truly the B show now.

WWE filed a trademark for "House of Monet".

The Fiend continues to receive new merchandise. However the puppets and the Bray character and his show are certainly all dead.

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45 minutes ago, Eivion said:

Also I don't think I ever took a shot at indys so I'm not sure where that came.

Direct quote taken from your first reply:

16 hours ago, Eivion said:

Just because they went to WWE first instead of going to a small time indy to work their way up doesn't really mean their dedication and hard work is any less per say.

 

47 minutes ago, Eivion said:

Why are you going back 13-16 years ago to Ace looking for models? I'm talking about all the training camps they have been doing since the PC was established. Pretty sure most if not all of the non-wrestlers from these have been athletes. I think Angle, Corbin, Ford, Dawkins, Braun, etc. were/are pretty talented though mileage may very depending on what you are looking for.

The training camps they have run since the performance center has been in operation had been diverse camps that had some athletes with no experience, rookies that have been fully trained with a solid look, and veteran talent from all over. Even the one they did in Vegas last week had some actual professional wrestlers in it. Going by their own wording, that's not how they are going to do it anymore. Again the exact phrase is find people with the look and train them from the ground up. That's exactly what they were doing 13-16 years ago all the way up until Triple H took lead and created the performance center. That hasn't been what they've been doing since 2013ish. While they have signed some people with no experience since then, that wasn't their *only focus* like it will be now.

 

52 minutes ago, Eivion said:

The problem is everything you are saying roots in baseless speculation from the idea that no one of that level will turn up purely because they are limiting what they are looking for, to the idea that we would get people of that level for sure w/o limits even with WWE's current general booking/writing issues, to idea that knowledge and experience won't be picked up working in WWE.

I disagree. It's not baseless speculation. It's going by exactly what they are saying and applying that to other time periods. If they had this same practice in place in the late 90s they wouldn't have hired Foley or Austin or Triple H or Kane. They would have hired a shit ton more of Brakkus. If you want to take a wait and see approach to it you're more than welcome to. But I'm sure as hell not interested in the timeline where they just hire 100 more Brakkus dudes and reject anyone that had previous experience from that era. And just as it's a crazy proposition for the 1990s, it's also a crazy proposition for the 2020s.

And to your second point, The Ringmaster sure found a way to break through the 1995 / 1996 bad booking and writing issues. I get that now and then isn't an apples to apples comparison. But you don't seem to get you're disqualifying a shit ton of really talented men & women with the potential to break through all of that due to experience and knowledge. They are point blank saying yes we know this is professional wrestling, but if you have even done professional wrestling you can not be a competent professional wrestler. It's asinine.

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As much as WWE has spent to upgrade facilities and training over he past 7-10 years, it seems unlikely that the company wants to roll back match quality to the late 90's/early 2000's.  The focus the past few years has been on indie talent, but they've brought in people from other backgrounds and been fairly successful with a lot of them.  

Personally, I think you'll still see indie guys getting contracts, but it will be more lesser known guys with a look they like and less "let's sign this guy because the PWG crowds like him". 

It doesn't have to be an either/or situation.  WWE can look elsewhere for talent without completely tanking the product.  I'm not convinced the new focus will work out well for them, but I'm not convinced it won't.  Maybe we should wait to see how it plays out before rushing to judgment?

Edited by Eoae
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40 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

Direct quote taken from your first reply:

Not sure how that comment could be seen as a shot at indys.

40 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

And to your second point, The Ringmaster sure found a way to break through the 1995 / 1996 bad booking and writing issues. I get that now and then isn't an apples to apples comparison. But you don't seem to get you're disqualifying a shit ton of really talented men & women with the potential to break through all of that due to experience and knowledge. They are point blank saying yes we know this is professional wrestling, but if you have even done professional wrestling you can not be a competent professional wrestler. It's asinine.

I don't think them not looking at indy talent is questioning their competence for professional wrestling so much as again not wanting to take the time to mold them into the WWE style. I also don't think its anymore disqualifying then your assumption of them being unable to find talented men and women if they do go the route of no longer looking at indy talent.

Also I thought women weren't involved in the planned changes?

40 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

I disagree. It's not baseless speculation. It's going by exactly what they are saying and applying that to other time periods. If they had this same practice in place in the late 90s they wouldn't have hired Foley or Austin or Triple H or Kane. They would have hired a shit ton more of Brakkus. If you want to take a wait and see approach to it you're more than welcome to. But I'm sure as hell not interested in the timeline where they just hire 100 more Brakkus dudes and reject anyone that had previous experience from that era. And just as it's a crazy proposition for the 1990s, it's also a crazy proposition for the 2020s.

You keep going to this extreme that just isn't likely to be the reality of what they are trying to do or will do.

Edited by Eivion
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Yeah, I’d back up what @Eivion and @Eoae are saying here. I think a couple of throwaway leaked comments about ‘no more vanilla midgets, only models now’, or whatever it was, have been taken way too literally. A quick google threw up recent comments from HHH and Samoa Joe where they talk about the ‘new’ policy and (while not denying it) they’re basically saying it doesn’t mean there’s suddenly some hard and fast rules about no Indy experience, nobody under 6ft or whatever. 

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Comparisons to the NJPW dojo are not totally on-base. Okada was trained by Ultimo Dragon in Mexico, Ibushi by MIKAMI in DDT, Shingo by CIMA and Animal Hamiguchi, Naito and EVIL both started out w/ Hamaguchi, hell, the last 1000% NJPW trueborn to hold the IWGP Championship that wasn't Tanahashi goes allll the way back to Togi Makabe. Even Satoshi Kojima was a Hamaguchi guy first.

Which brings up a really good fuckin' point and something WWE is going to have to realize again when their current strategy fails/gets changed by the company being sold or Vince's heart exploding - they had it right before. Having affiliated trainers and further-reaching developmental strategies went really well for them. Not even the OVW days, but back when they had Dory Funk and Memphis getting guys into shape and figuring out their gimmicks. This is your Animal Hamaguchi. Then you send the guys to NXT. This is your dojo/Young Lion system/finishing school. Fuck, they already have this with EVOLVE and Sapolsky and they just forgot on account of COVID.

There's also the other feeder fed they have, the one that never gets brought up. The money WWE is sitting on will be thrown at expiring AEW contracts. We don't know what WWE's strategy is going to look like outside of their instantaneous poaching of Ben Carter. Who's to say they won't be bloodthirsty? "No indy guys, we'll just overpay for talent Tony got TV-ready for us." And does WWE really think it's overpaying if it hurts a competitor?

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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13 minutes ago, Kev said:

I think a couple of throwaway leaked comments about ‘no more vanilla midgets, only models now’, or whatever it was, have been taken way too literally.

What do you mean too literal? WWE wants to be Marvel, starring nothing but young beefcake studs who've never seen wrestling before. And that's why the 2030s are going to suck. 

Here's some of the talk from Joe you alluded to in case anyone's interested:

Quote

“Vince says ‘hey, this is what we want’. But, the directives, it’s weird. They’ve been around forever. I worked for WWE in developmental when I very, very first started in California and these directives existed. 

“But, they change. It changes based on the needs of the company. It’s funny, I read the articles – I know exactly what you’re talking about – I read the outrage about the directive and I’m like, this is nothing different. 

“And then next week, the directive will be different. I think at this point, the track record of NXT and the hiring process has shown that. 

“There have been different cycles where different types of athletes come in. Everything from independent talents come in to just straight up athletes; these directives change and they shift basically on the needs of the company. 

“The directive right now is probably a little bit younger and looking for a little more athletic, which isn’t terrible whatsoever, but that directive will invariably shift as the needs as the company shifts. 

“So yeah, there is a directive, it comes from Vince, we all follow it and we get the job done for him. We’re happy to do so,” said Joe.

“It’s that simple by the way, too! There’s no other convolution to it,” Joe explained.

...

“It’s ‘we’re looking for this right now, can you get us this?’ Sure! We’re the talent department, we’ll go look for that. 

“It’s much like a casting agency if you’re in Hollywood. Then maybe a few months later he goes ‘ah, I need this, which is different from what I said before, can you get me that?’ And then we as a talent department goes ‘You know what? We can get you that!’ 

“Then we go out and we find him that. Yes, that is how it works. I hope I have demystified the process for everybody. 

“When you take the circumstances and you put it in some people’s imaginations, it’s a much more horrible process. But yeah, it’s as simple as that!”

https://talksport.com/sport/wrestling/933829/samoa-joe-vince-mcmahons-scouting-directive-recruitment-policy-wwe/

Not sounding all that scary to me. 🤷‍♂️

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To me, the more interesting story with regard to the NXT directives is the complete overhauling of the show. To me, it reads like a very public "This is no longer HHH's NXT." Neon colors and Wale are miles away from skulls and iron crosses and Motorhead. I could be off but it seems like a very clear rejection of that vision.

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"Small-time" is true, not a shot at those indies. Most indies are "small-time."

I tend to agree with @NoFistsJustFlips though. I don't think the WWE house style is all bad, and I would guess that most people posting here would agree. It can produce great matches. I do think that wrestlers working their styles into that house style makes it more interesting, at least when it comes to big-time matches. If their focus is on people with no previous experience, it's going to take away from that.

But the other issue is stale match layout, which is really only one aspect of the house style. 

WWE TV hasn't been worth watching, match-wise, since before I stopped watching in 2016. The way they work around commercial breaks is awful. I will say, as an aside, that at the arena, some of the guys are more creative during those breaks and so the matches are better live. One example I'd give is Kevin Owens shit-talking the crowd and changing up the restholds while he shit-talked the crowd was entertaining. You could have been fooled into it not being a commercial break based on his staying active and doing good pro wrestling shit instead of just laying there for three minutes or w/e. 

But man, was the obvious layout of TV matches on RAW and Smackdown terrible back in the mid-10s. That's part of the reason that NXT weekly was such a breath of fresh air. The match layouts seemed more varied. 

 

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38 minutes ago, Zakk_Sabbath said:

To me, the more interesting story with regard to the NXT directives is the complete overhauling of the show. To me, it reads like a very public "This is no longer HHH's NXT." Neon colors and Wale are miles away from skulls and iron crosses and Motorhead. I could be off but it seems like a very clear rejection of that vision.

Even if you're off, I don't want to know. I'm very much enjoying the mental image of Triple H being paraded nude through the thoroughfare while Nick Khan marches behind him ringing a bell and bellowing "Shame!"

Edited by John from Cincinnati
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Vets like Joe and more are still around. So are the producers to help with the matches.

Khan said in interviews it's Triple new vision as well. People can have more than 1 vision.

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NXT’s been in a bit of weird position, most obviously since 2019 with the TV deal, where they’ve kind of treated it as a 3rd brand, but it’s theoretically still developmental (while realistically it stopped being that years ago). I suppose they kind of tried to recreate their developmental structure with the likes of the Evolve deal, but that’s all fell apart (I don’t know whether that’s all on COVID or what). Basically, a re-think of the whole NXT/developmental structure was probably needed on a practical level, so boringly I don’t think this is the great political downfall of HHH that some are reading it to be.

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1 hour ago, John E. Dynamite said:

There's also the other feeder fed they have, the one that never gets brought up. The money WWE is sitting on will be thrown at expiring AEW contracts. We don't know what WWE's strategy is going to look like outside of their instantaneous poaching of Ben Carter. Who's to say they won't be bloodthirsty? "No indy guys, we'll just overpay for talent Tony got TV-ready for us." And does WWE really think it's overpaying if it hurts a competitor?

They're going to overpay for midgets over 30 who don't know WWE style? That might hurt AEW, but I don't see how that helps WWE. They don't see AEW as a competitor, and I can't imagine that becoming more likely as their two presentations continue to diverge.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Carter couldn't legally work in the U.S., so of course he took the NXT UK deal.

Edited by Dog
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Does this mean Poppy has to completely change her music and presentation style again?

Perhaps a return to this:

 

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19 minutes ago, Dog said:

They're going to overpay for midgets over 30 who don't know WWE style? That might hurt AEW, but I don't see how that helps WWE. They don't see AEW as a competitor, and I can't imagine that becoming more likely as their two presentations continue to diverge.

For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure Carter couldn't legally work in the U.S., so of course he took the NXT UK deal.

You at least attempt to "overpay" some guys that look like they'd fit. MJF, Wardlow, Hobbes, Both Pages, Griff 'n Brian Jr., Starks. Those are the only people I'd expect them to go after in the men's ranks. Maybe Anthony Bowens or the Bears.  I'm not in any way implying they're gonna sign Jack Evans for a million bucks and a truckload of cigs to crush the enemy's backstage morale.

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4 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

You at least attempt to "overpay" some guys that look like they'd fit. MJF, Wardlow, Hobbes, Both Pages, Griff 'n Brian Jr., Starks. Those are the only people I'd expect them to go after in the men's ranks. Maybe Anthony Bowens or the Bears.  I'm not in any way implying they're gonna sign Jack Evans for a million bucks and a truckload of cigs to crush the enemy's backstage morale.

Those guys still don't work WWE style. If we take them at their word (ha!), they're sick of retraining people.

And if I were any of those guys, I'd review the illustrious WWE tenure of one Ethan Carter III before making any drastic career decisions.

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17 minutes ago, Dog said:

Those guys still don't work WWE style. If we take them at their word (ha!), they're sick of retraining people.

And if I were any of those guys, I'd review the illustrious WWE tenure of one Ethan Carter III before making any drastic career decisions.

And yet none of them really work a bang-bang PWG Main Event kickout festival style, save for Hangman. In fact, he's the only guy to really be featured anywhere like RoH or NJPW. The WWE has opened up a chasm in their talent budget, there are 50+ less people being paid, of course they want AEW guys. This new business model  happens to double as a great smokescreen, it seems. I'm not saying everybody's going to take the deal, but if you think they're not going to wave money at some guys, you're living in a world you'd rather live in instead of the one that exists.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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