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AEW - OCT 2021


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Rampage and Smackdown both did bad demo numbers last week. The key is that the latter's went down in hour 2 20%.

So time for some maths.

Stewart Lawson on Twitter: "The irony of this product is brilliant 😂… "

SD! did 0.25 in the demo last year on FS1 against the World Series. It was the week before HITC - Reigns vs Jimmy Uso in the Cell, I Quit.

BUT if you look at last week's demo of 0.45, they did 0.5 in Hour 1 and 0.4 in Hour 2. So we can take 10% of that 0.25 to get 0.225. And they're going head-to-head in Hour 3, so we can probably knock that down another 5% or so. Let's call it 0.21.

Now you can say...they have a much stronger card this year. Yeah probably true (I wonder if the bloom isn't off the rose for Sasha and Becky mind), but then they are going head-to-head with AEW - who is ultimately in their normal slot. So I could easily see them struggle to get 0.2.

AEW did 0.17 last week, a bad performance for sure but if they can generate some buzz around a live show and hold most of their audience I think they might be closer than some might think.

We will see.

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I think this makes it clear that AEW desperately needs competition to improve. The Wednesday night wars have been over for months and they've clearly gotten complacent. They're trying to force feature matches with Matt Sydal down people's throats on a Friday when they could snap their fingers and make Danielson-Suzuki happen at the drop of the hat? Talk about disrespecting your fanbase and thinking they'll just keep tuning in out of habit. 

I'm happy someone's finally challenging this company in what they think is their timeslot. Let's see if this McMahon kid can keep them on the ropes. We might get some good TV out of it. 

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So many things accomplished by this.

  • With the goal being to generate social media buzz prior to Rampage, this marquee match with two names will be red meat for the most vocal part of their fanbase; enthusiasm continues to be one of this company's more valuable assets
  • Bryan gets Suzuki without having to travel to Japan
  • It gives us a big match without burning a big match; We've seen where this company slots Suzuki in against its main eventers, and it's good and fine but it doesn't scratch an actual future main event

Good good good matchmaking.

Anyway, I expect everyone to still do poor ratings this week for maximum drama. But at least we'll get this. Thank you, MLB.

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

So many things accomplished by this.

  • With the goal being to generate social media buzz prior to Rampage, this marquee match with two names will be red meat for the most vocal part of their fanbase; enthusiasm continues to be one of this company's more valuable assets
  • Bryan gets Suzuki without having to travel to Japan
  • It gives us a big match without burning a big match; We've seen where this company slots Suzuki in against its main eventers, and it's good and fine but it doesn't scratch an actual future main event

Good good good matchmaking.

Anyway, I expect everyone to still do poor ratings this week for maximum drama. But at least we'll get this. Thank you, MLB.

I love Suzuki and seeing him live was an all-time wrestling highlight. That said, he's 53 and not exactly at the top of New Japan cards these days either (and has been out of 2 of last 3 G1's), so I wouldn't expect him to be beating top AEW names either. It's smart to capitalize on his positive name value here, but I do not expect him to be challenging for any titles in AEW in 2021 (now if AEW existed five years ago, it would be a different story).

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I am loving all this and look forward to the joy and nostalgia I’ll have as I flip back and forth between both shows during the overrun on Friday night like I’m 10 years old again. That first Monday night TNA show with Hogan did the same thing for me, and that was terrible! Both Rampage and Smackdown are good shows and this will be awesome.

Edited by For Great Justice
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So Dark was a D show instead of a C show this week. That would have only been slightly helped by the Stallion Rogers/Janela match not getting cut.

Dark 10/12/21

Dean vs Lockhart: Well, this was a thing I guess. I don't know what to make out of Lockhart. He really went over for Dean's armdrags and ate the dropkick big. The cutoff to stop the tope was well timed and his corner Russian Leg Sweep looked good. Then it got a little weird with the marching elbow drop and the nothing chop and Dean doing some stuff that probably needs to be workshopped more. Let's move on.

King vs D'Amboise: I think King is new to me. Basically everything looked good here. King's delayed vertical suplex is a nice, impressive spot. They both showed good instincts in crowd interaction. I liked D'amboise's selling of exertion at times. Just hard shots all around by King. That finisher is incredibly contrived. She'd be better off with just that running kick to the skull.

Wardlow vs Bengston: Mr. Mayhem? Really? I feel like Wardlow should never come out alone. He always needs someone with him. Bengston has a unique look at least. And he got to make Wardlow work for it. I like how this was laid out. All the skill and desperation in the world wasn't going to save Bengston. It wasn't a matter of if but when. I sort of wonder what the spot was supposed to be before Bengston goofed it, but it really doesn't matter, because the recovery was Wardlow getting his powerbomb. F10 work better as a finish than his knee to the face (though now I kind of want to see him do it and somehow drop the guy on his knee). This had a good balance for a two minute squash; shame on the botch.

Uno vs Greene: Unfortunately, Excalibur used the "Team Taz is over in..." joke for Lockhart and Wisconsin in the first match so he couldn't use it for Dangertown USA. This was good. The best part of it was Taz marking out for Greene going for a bunch of cross-bodies, but it was still good. (Second best part was the chops). I just don't think this was the right match up. Greene is a guy who is going to surprise people and get a crowd behind him but the crowd wanted to be behind Uno. Greene's goofy overhook/underhook crucifix bomb ended up looking better than Uno's finish, but I can't really suggest either as things anyone should do. Uno did a good job basing for him anyway. This being quasi-face vs quasi-face sort of cut off the narrative possibilities mainly.

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I know some folks think it's trite to feel/say this, but:

If we are really headed into a new era of "competition is good for the business" then this legit might be The Best Time to be a Pro Wrestling Fan.

Even if all we get out of it is Bryan vs MiSu on YouTube for free... Good Lord! What a dream match! And Fish v Moriarty ain't exactly chopped liver.

Too bad guys on a Greggulator level of "casualness" don't know/care who Suzuki is 😉 but I guess they can watch SmackDown anyway so as fans we are all winners here.

Not directly related to AEW, but connected to "TBT to be a PWF" I've seen discussion elsewhere: Is GCW now the #3 promotion in America? 

Impact, ROH, and MLW all have TV, and Impact has a big name, and ROH has that legacy of great matches (and MLW has Jacob Fatu...)

But could any of them run Hammerstein? I honestly think GCW puts more butts in seats than any of them.

It's partly due to the new era of inter-promotional cooperation... and partly due to GCW listening to, understanding, and respecting their fans... which does tie this neatly back into Tony Khan's way of running things (and to this being The Best Time etc).

 

Edited by Gordberg
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In less than a month in arriving in AEW  we've seen or going to see Bryan Danielson wrestle Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, Minoru Suzuki and Bobby Fish. Then you think about future opponents in CM Punk, Adam Page, Miro, Daniel Garcia and Eddie Kingston. Hopefully NJPW with Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Zack Sabre Jr, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano. Get in!

Edited by The Natural
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12 hours ago, Matt D said:

So Dark was a D show instead of a C show this week. That would have only been slightly helped by the Stallion Rogers/Janela match not getting cut.

Dark 10/12/21

Dean vs Lockhart: Well, this was a thing I guess. I don't know what to make out of Lockhart. He really went over for Dean's armdrags and ate the dropkick big. The cutoff to stop the tope was well timed and his corner Russian Leg Sweep looked good. Then it got a little weird with the marching elbow drop and the nothing chop and Dean doing some stuff that probably needs to be workshopped more. Let's move on.

King vs D'Amboise: I think King is new to me. Basically everything looked good here. King's delayed vertical suplex is a nice, impressive spot. They both showed good instincts in crowd interaction. I liked D'amboise's selling of exertion at times. Just hard shots all around by King. That finisher is incredibly contrived. She'd be better off with just that running kick to the skull.

Wardlow vs Bengston: Mr. Mayhem? Really? I feel like Wardlow should never come out alone. He always needs someone with him. Bengston has a unique look at least. And he got to make Wardlow work for it. I like how this was laid out. All the skill and desperation in the world wasn't going to save Bengston. It wasn't a matter of if but when. I sort of wonder what the spot was supposed to be before Bengston goofed it, but it really doesn't matter, because the recovery was Wardlow getting his powerbomb. F10 work better as a finish than his knee to the face (though now I kind of want to see him do it and somehow drop the guy on his knee). This had a good balance for a two minute squash; shame on the botch.

Uno vs Greene: Unfortunately, Excalibur used the "Team Taz is over in..." joke for Lockhart and Wisconsin in the first match so he couldn't use it for Dangertown USA. This was good. The best part of it was Taz marking out for Greene going for a bunch of cross-bodies, but it was still good. (Second best part was the chops). I just don't think this was the right match up. Greene is a guy who is going to surprise people and get a crowd behind him but the crowd wanted to be behind Uno. Greene's goofy overhook/underhook crucifix bomb ended up looking better than Uno's finish, but I can't really suggest either as things anyone should do. Uno did a good job basing for him anyway. This being quasi-face vs quasi-face sort of cut off the narrative possibilities mainly.

Dean vs. Lockhart suffered from an assumed knowledge of the watcher in my mind as the weird elbow thing was evidently a Sean Dean thing that I've never been exposed to previously. This coupled with Excalibur bemoaning that Dean didn't do the 'salute' as his finish felt like I was missing out on the context (which, you know, I was). I feel as though sometimes Taz and Excalibur's conversational tone sometimes deflates the action as they don't take anything seriously. I feel as though it was their job to get over that Lockhart was mocking Dean instead of just being a spaz. I personally have a rule about counters that they shouldn't happen until a move is really established. I would extend that to mocking things as well.

King's finish typically comes from a basic belly-to-back set up so all the jostling here was extraneous movement that she doesn't normally do. King works best as a bruiser in my opinion so I would agree that doing a bunch of counter wrestling doesn't work as well. If she wanted to do it out of some sort of deadlift, I think that could work but this was too much. 

Wardlow squash was interesting until the botch as Wardlow's selling went from ignoring the leg kicks, to being annoyed by them, to actually taking damage. 

Greene seems like a natural face to me which makes 2 out of the 3 matches I've seen him in suffer from casting issues. The one where he actually got to play face against FTR was obviously good, both the 6 man teaming with Bear Country against 3 big faces and this were worse off because he can only work underneath a babyface so much. Commentary again focused on their in joke and while I think it was admittedly funny, it never transitions to actually caring about what they are watching. I agree about the big offensive moves being goofy. I really love Greene's step out cross body thing though.

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I think it is about time that Ashley D'Amboise posted a win against lesser caliber opponents.   She's got some flashes of brilliance and a wicked ass neckbreaker.  I also hate KiLynn's finisher.  She is a pretty big girl and needs to be using power slams or something to kill ladies.

Anthony Green is the gatekeeper jobber that AEW needs to hold down Dark, but I am not sure that AEW should be signing anyone else given their gigantic roster.  I love Evil Uno's swagger.  That guy is pro wrestling.

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So we get a new wrestling company which is basically a very rich guy who books like you might book with your friends - what if X got wrestle Y? But it's real - he is re-writing the rules along the way and the talent seems from all cases to get along in the back. BTW - talent getting along starts with your top guys the EVPs. Like the opposite of the Kliq. 

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