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AEW - OCT 2021


The Natural
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11 minutes ago, Goodear said:

I don't think its all that strange. Santana & Ortiz should be ruthless ass kickers especially as babyfaces akin to The Road Warriors or The Steiner Brothers and a lot less like the Rock 'n' Roll Express. FTR on the other hand seem to a paradigm where they try to have better matches on these Youtube shows where they likely have the ability to play around with the standard tag formula. This can happen more on the internet than it can on the television shows where their heat often gets eaten by commercial breaks. 

I wanted to touch on @Matt D's commentary regarding S&O's squash matches. Watching this week, it seemed to me as though they had deviated from their previous structure which if anything was even more convoluted and required even more movement based tag work. I actually appreciated that they seemed more direct here than I've seen them in the past. I would agree the flippy finisher is a bit underwhelming or odd or whatever you would want to call it. S&O are one of those teams where they've never locked into a finisher for whatever reason with at least four of them being in play. I don't think any of them really have gotten over other than the street sweeper which is the one they probably use the least. If I were them, I would focus on their DVD/DDT combination.

I've given this some more thought and I think there are a couple of things going on.

  1. The matches just aren't all that creative/compelling relative to what else is going on. Other people are doing the same idea better. This is a company where you have 2.0 and Garcia working squashes where they are constantly tagging and making use of the rules in a visually compelling and almost musical way. Like syncopated violence that embraces key aspects of pro wrestling instead of just ignoring them. Whereas S&O just sort of stand in the ring and toss people around. Even the Road Warriors and the Steiners wouldn't do that. You'd have Animal beat on a guy and then tag in Hawk and everyone go "Ohh crap. This poor bastard's about to get more." There are plenty of things they could do in interacting with their opponents or the ref especially to make this more compelling, but they just do three or four double teams with no rhyme or reason and get out of there.
  2. What you're left with then are big double team moves. And who am I kidding? If I'm watching a Beverly Brothers match from 92 and they hit the Shaker Heights Spike on someone and it totally kills them, I'm going to go back and watch it three more times. But that's a historical object. It's already happened. Me watching it or not watching it doesn't have any power over it. It's still there despite me. I'm not sure I really want to see enhancement guys dropped on their head all that much in 2021, not for the sake of it, not without some more interesting window dressing to add color and flavor to it.
  3. This is still new to me. A lot of these wrestlers are new and there's something i can learn from almost every match and every interaction. I learn something about the wrestlers, how they're being agented, how they're being trained, how the announcers are being produced, about the crowds, etc. from a Skye Blue vs local talent match. I tend to come out of these S&O matches feeling like I wasted two minutes of my time.
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1. I'd agree that they spend too much time double teaming in a traditional wrestling setting. But I'm not sure if I can really fault them when the most pushed tag team in the promotion The Young Bucks and the tag team champions The Lucha Brothers are notoriously worse when it comes to not recognizing traditional tag team match structure. I would concede 2point0 is better at getting in and out but they (much like FTR) aren't at the tippy top of the promotion. I'm guessing that S&O have read the room and realized that the room doesn't care if people are out of the ring at a count of 5. Now, from the perspective that you and I care much more deeply about structure, I can see your point. If I'm S&O I would adopt a smash mouth style while still holding onto traditional rules.

2. I would agree that head dropping is sort of silly. The DVD/DDT combination is more cool looking than dangerous (if that was really what you were referring to) with it really looking more like a controlled back bump than a head drop. Anyway, if I were to summarize my vision of S&O it would have significantly less frills and more substance built around aggression rather than constant double teaming and working in unnecessary movement.  

3. Understood. I personally have a different takeaway having seen more of a evolution in S&O which (to me) has been generally positive. Personally, that it was only 2 minutes is a positive considering that most matches where out their welcome doing too much and taking too long. Hobbs is also good at getting in and out and making a point rather than hanging out doing longer matches that don't help him. S&O primarily need to up their aggression and put on an ass kicking. That they still need to cut more out of their presentation is probably true, but I think they are moving in a positive direction.

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58 minutes ago, J.T. said:

That match looks horrible on paper.

Britt is good, but she's not ready to carry Jade and Jade isn't ready to be carried by Britt. And if they do Jade vs Britt, then I assume Jade is winning because having your version of Brock or Sid in the women's division lose this soon seems not smart.

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7 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Britt is good, but she's not ready to carry Jade and Jade isn't ready to be carried by Britt. And if they do Jade vs Britt, then I assume Jade is winning because having your version of Brock or Sid in the women's division lose this soon seems not smart.

Oof.  And then it's a question of how soon does the Jade backlash start?  Putting a belt on a green but attractive and jacked worker is not supposed to be AEW's thing.

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This is where having a loop of house shows would be useful because you could have Jade riding to towns with Rosa and then working a program with her on house shows. Just get a lot of reps in to make sure she's ready. 

Then again, AEW seems to work some kind of weird magic with their women's division where the women get even better when they're out with injury and not even able to work. It's really inexplicable that Britt or Kris, who herself was already pretty good, could get better while on the shelf. And then you have Anna Jay, Penelope Ford, and others who have improved in AEW. I'm not sure if that's because of Dustin Rhodes working with them or what.

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12 minutes ago, Goodear said:

1. I'd agree that they spend too much time double teaming in a traditional wrestling setting. But I'm not sure if I can really fault them when the most pushed tag team in the promotion The Young Bucks and the tag team champions The Lucha Brothers are notoriously worse when it comes to not recognizing traditional tag team match structure. I would concede 2point0 is better at getting in and out but they (much like FTR) aren't at the tippy top of the promotion. I'm guessing that S&O have read the room and realized that the room doesn't care if people are out of the ring at a count of 5. Now, from the perspective that you and I care much more deeply about structure, I can see your point. If I'm S&O I would adopt a smash mouth style while still holding onto traditional rules.

2. I would agree that head dropping is sort of silly. The DVD/DDT combination is more cool looking than dangerous (if that was really what you were referring to) with it really looking more like a controlled back bump than a head drop. Anyway, if I were to summarize my vision of S&O it would have significantly less frills and more substance built around aggression rather than constant double teaming and working in unnecessary movement.  

3. Understood. I personally have a different takeaway having seen more of a evolution in S&O which (to me) has been generally positive. Personally, that it was only 2 minutes is a positive considering that most matches where out their welcome doing too much and taking too long. Hobbs is also good at getting in and out and making a point rather than hanging out doing longer matches that don't help him. S&O primarily need to up their aggression and put on an ass kicking. That they still need to cut more out of their presentation is probably true, but I think they are moving in a positive direction.

I do get what you're saying. I think it's still a mistake. Instead of reading the room, they should be leading the room. There are clear narrative benefits to showing that you, as wrestlers, care about something. There are simple tools in wrestling, like rules and norms (and selling), and more complex tools that take more effort, like spots/moves (and bumping), and even with this crowd, they can make the more complex stuff matter more and have more worth if they focus on the former. I get that there are some teams on top that sort of ruin it for everyone, but we're still a post-pandemic honeymoon where fans seem willing to go along with things for the most part. That said, I'm probably going to be skipping through them at 2x speed moving forward. Unlike you, who are trapped in a social torture experiment that you cannot escape, I'm treating AEW like how we watched 98 WCW. Watch the mid-card. Watch the C shows. Avoid the main event. I can be selective and still engage 200% with my peers than I was a few months ago.

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I think that Britt beats Jade unless Britt plans to take some personal time or needs to heal an injury.  Jade will probably go on to be the inaugural tbs ladies champion if she doesn't beat Britt, even though it should be Abadon or Serena Deeb being the first one to hold the new title.

Kayfabe win / loss records matter and Jade (quality of opposition not withstanding) should be the #1 Contender, so she deserves a title shot.... I guess..

Edited by J.T.
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Jade has this issue (it's not just her, I see it a lot with younger wrestlers now) where she telegraphs that her move is going to miss/be reversed.  It's very glaring with her.  Like, she'll lunge toward her opponent, but what was she going for?  I just hate that when a wrestler moves toward their opponent and are clearly getting in position to take offense when the idea is that they are supposed to be going for a move.  

Related to that, many many wrestlers do that thing where they swing super high on a clothesline when it's supposed to miss.  

Anyway, I think the sky's the limit for Jade, but as many others here have pointed out, she's just not there in the ring yet. I think if you keep Britt, who's a heel, champ for a while longer, you may need to have a face TBS champ.  And, as others have pointed out, they need to be someone who can work with a variety of opponents.  My personal pick would be Rosa.

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24 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Britt is good, but she's not ready to carry Jade and Jade isn't ready to be carried by Britt. And if they do Jade vs Britt, then I assume Jade is winning because having your version of Brock or Sid in the women's division lose this soon seems not smart.

 

15 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Oof.  And then it's a question of how soon does the Jade backlash start?  Putting a belt on a green but attractive and jacked worker is not supposed to be AEW's thing.

Way too soon for Dr. Britt Baker AEW Women's World Championship run to end and for Jade to win. Lose lose match. You also need Thunder Rosa to challenge Dr Britt Baker having beat her in the brilliant Lights Out match on Dynamite, 17th March this year.

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I don’t know why they wouldn’t send Jade to work shows with NWA or Impact to season her. She hasn’t even had 20 matches. Her ceiling is overexposed attraction if they aren’t going to give her the tools to succeed. 

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12 minutes ago, Matt D said:

I do get what you're saying. I think it's still a mistake. Instead of reading the room, they should be leading the room. There are clear narrative benefits to showing that you, as wrestlers, care about something. There are simple tools in wrestling, like rules and norms (and selling), and more complex tools that take more effort, like spots/moves (and bumping), and even with this crowd, they can make the more complex stuff matter more and have more worth if they focus on the former. I get that there are some teams on top that sort of ruin it for everyone, but we're still a post-pandemic honeymoon where fans seem willing to go along with things for the most part. That said, I'm probably going to be skipping through them at 2x speed moving forward. Unlike you, who are trapped in a social torture experiment that you cannot escape, I'm treating AEW like how we watched 98 WCW. Watch the mid-card. Watch the C shows. Avoid the main event. I can be selective and still engage 200% with my peers than I was a few months ago.

Honestly, I've somewhat divorced from the main shows at this point and am not really engaging with Rampage and Dynamite except in bite sized chunks. I probably wouldn't be watching any Dark or Dynamite if it wasn't for you writing up your thoughts as I feel like your content is worth discussion and a back-and-forth. AEW for the most point doesn't provide enough narrative for me to really invest in so I'm finding watching matches for matches sake like I would WCW B Shows to be an adjustment. 

I'm right with you in terms of rule enforcement and the importance of wrestling mores. I'm enjoying FTR much more in this internet environment where they can play with ring positioning and coming from different angles. I would agree that S&O would be better off for my perspective of enjoyment if they went the direction you are advocating. I'm just more understanding of why they don't seem to be going that direction. 

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35 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Britt is good, but she's not ready to carry Jade and Jade isn't ready to be carried by Britt. And if they do Jade vs Britt, then I assume Jade is winning because having your version of Brock or Sid in the women's division lose this soon seems not smart.

I honestly think that Jade needs to lose a match in the TBS tournament by slipping on a banana peel or get DQ'd or something else that is a "loss" and not a loss to the eventual winner.  Then they need to start building to Jade vs. the winner.  If they are going to maximize her potential they need to be patient.  She needs both ring time and TV time, so they need to build her to the secondary title, then give her a dominant run with that belt, before letting her put over the next big contender and push her to the big belt.  She super young in her career and just needs time to get to the point where she can reign as the top woman in the company.  Thankfully, they have a great top woman in the company right now.  They have two women in Thunder Rosa and Ruby Soho, who can be credible champions when her reign is over.  They also have Kris Statlander, who is probably six months to a year away from being at that level herself.  Jade is in the perfect situation for her to become a massive star, because she doesn't have to be the top woman until she is ready.  Take it slow, build her up, and make sure she's ready when you pull the trigger.

 

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14 hours ago, Matt D said:

FTR vs Moriarty/LSG: Wardlow needs a jacket of his own. "Dragon twist?" I didn't know we were going to see FTR vs Moriarty so that's exciting. Kingston shooting down Tony mentioning the other sports Lee did was great. Totally speaking my language. Dax figuring quick that he might not be able to outwrestle Moriarty and switching gears successfully only to get stooged anyway was some classic stuff. They get stooged just enough while still controlling when they should. The whole deal with FTR is that they use the classic tricks and structure and formula but give it a modern twist. Wheeler leaping up and getting both legs in there instead of just a knee to the back for the transition is that sort of thing. The hopespot and cut off coming from the ref not buying the trick switch was interesting. It's nice to see it fail once in a while. Whatever else you might say about LSG, that was a good hot tag. Then Moriarty got to really shine with some long-limbed kicks, a nice bevy of "vs the world" spots, and then a good exchange with Dax. Fun stuff.

You are exactly right in terms of FTR modernizing tropes. My favorite here was the illegal switch from the really boss half crab that they got called out on.  But when the referee enforces them to switch back, Dax takes the time to argue and draw the referee's attention so Cash can rake the eyes behind the referee's back. It comes across as the actual plan of the whole switch to start with but could be seen as a no lose situation for FTR who get to cheat no matter what happens. And that's great because despite the fact that they are good wrestlers, they are going to cut corners regardless. It's the Brainbuster/Midnight Express formula with all of the participants (including the referees) having seen those matches and understanding the workarounds.

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@A_K

The flip side of that is Goldberg.  Great look, not that good in the ring, and once the streak was over, nobody gave a shit.  This is what you get when a green person gets a winning streak gimmick.  The whole thing is paper thin and two dimensional.  You need some sort of plan for where that person is going to go and who they'll be after they do lose.  As @RunningFromAmerica said, essentially, if someone is dead in the water as soon as they lose, you're doing it wrong.

People can win and lose.  It's supposed to look like a sport.  One of the worst things about how WWE has evolved over the years into whatever the fuck it is now is the booking approach that says, "how do we get out of this match?" 

AEW should build Jade like they've built Wardlow.  She can lose to a star and it's fine, because everybody knows she's not there yet.  Nobody thinks Wardlow's not a threat just because he lost to Cody and dropped a very close match to Hager.

Edited by Technico Support
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Apropos of nothing, can the three initial name thing be left as just a MJF thing? There have been a number of guys coming through Dark and Elevation with that naming convention and its really bad at telling us anything about any of them.

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Just now, A_K said:

Cargilll loses and she becomes just another number. Do not do that until she eventually loses a Championship bout one day.

Yes and no.  A loss should mean something, and her first loss especially should mean something.  That is why I believe if she loses in the tournament it needs to be a loss to the eventual winner of the tournament.  That loss should not only mean something to the winner, but also to Cargill.  Cargill should go on another long run, where the overarching story told through her promos and the play-by-play needs to be focused on her getting her win back.  The first champion needs to be put over strong, but the shadow of Cargill's revenge also needs to be put over.  Cargill needs to be destroying everyone in her path on her way back up to get her title shot, and the champion needs to be winning hard fought victories.  Make it so the champion is gaining credibility by winning, but Cargill is gaining credibility by destroying every woman in her path.  When she finally wins the title it needs to be a close competitive match that makes the former champion look like a deserving champion, but Cargill comes off looking great because she didn't fold when she was finally faced with a tough challenge.  There you go, one loss that means something to the winner and the loser.  Tell the story that beating Jade Cargill made the champion a star, and the loss lit a fire under Cargill's ass that made her a better wrestler. 

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You don't put Jade into title matches against Britt because there is no traction for Britt if / when she wins.   Yes, Jade is finally starting to put shit together but Britt has experience and the numbers game on her side.  Jade is the underdog in that match and IMO she should not leave with the title  Britt wins that contest all day every day.

See also:  Ruby Soho, Thunder Rosa, Nyla Rose, Emi Sakura (there I said it).

That being said, Jade is a star on the rise and her first L has the potential to elevate (no pun intended) anyone who beats her.  I hate to say it, but I'd probably book a DQ loss for Britt or a time limit draw for her match with Jade and then use an L on Jade's record as a vehicle to put someone like the ever improving Skye Blue or a much less green Julia Hart on blast.

I like how AEW treats its organic talent well and I'd like to see this continue.

Edited by J.T.
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You can also make the loss a demonstration of a weakness of Cargill's character and provide her with a Achilles Heel like a weak ankle or being susceptible to a certain pinning combination. This is really just a continuation of Miro being weak to the DDT and you can build a psychology around that weakness.

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12 minutes ago, Goodear said:

Apropos of nothing, can the three initial name thing be left as just a MJF thing? There have been a number of guys coming through Dark and Elevation with that naming convention and its really bad at telling us anything about any of them.

True I'd rather someone had a cheesy name like Big Schmoz or Des Moines Stomper than just slamming three letters together.

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1 hour ago, Goodear said:

You can also make the loss a demonstration of a weakness of Cargill's character and provide her with a Achilles Heel like a weak ankle or being susceptible to a certain pinning combination. This is really just a continuation of Miro being weak to the DDT and you can build a psychology around that weakness.

Yes and no.  I think that a mat general like Rosa or Britt should be able to defeat Jade via the ever mysterious "veteran presence."  Ring wisdom should successfully counter power in most situations unless the booking says otherwise.  A wise wrestler would neutralize Jade's power by working an arm or leg and test Jade's gas tank by bashing her in the ribs and then making her gasp as the match goes on..

If Jade were in the ring a Skye Blue or a Madi Wrenkowski and they are booked to beat Jade in spectacular underdog fashion then yes, there should be some match progression where they discover a chink in Jade's armor and use it to beat her since Jade has been booked with this aura of unstoppable might.

Edited by J.T.
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