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AEW/ROH Battle of the Belts II - 4/16/2022


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I will be contrarian on two-plus themes of this thread. First, the TNT title going back on Sammy is the more interesting move, and glad that they are leaning into the heel heat. I think he can have a fun, decent length title run before losing convincingly sometime around All Out. Second, love the Dalton Castle presentation and have been a fan of his in my previous experiences with him. That said, he's moving like a sixty year old when he was to go any length of the ring. While he's still fairly explosive in short areas and executed some crisp moves, he looks especially slow compared to the rest of the roster and that is not intentionally his style. It would probably benefit him greatly to take a few years off to heal, but that's not realistic at 36 years old and having to make a living and all.

Also, I actually very much like this group of champions and think that both Jurassic Express and especially Hangman are having very good title runs. Even with Jurassic Express as semi-transitonal champs, they have had a bunch of excellent title matches and their eeign has kept elevating Jungle Boy as an upper card star (and they are still super over as a team). While Hangman's two bangers with Danielson brought the most attention to his reign, his other title matches have all been very good (even with odd reactions from Revolution crowd), and the Rampage match this past Friday should be somewhere in the 5-10 range of top AEW matches this year (of which there have been loads of awesome matches already this year). He's doing plenty good heading into the likely Punk program for Double or Nothing.

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7 hours ago, DEAN said:

WE HAVE A HEEL TURN!

7 hours ago, For Great Justice said:

Thank God for that heel turn

7 hours ago, hammerva said:

So AEW basically have a heel vs heel angle going on because while Sammy and Tay clearly turned heel in the match; 

I said this on January 12th:

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I'm quoting this for no other reason than my personal prediction is that she will be a heel before the end of 2022. New boyfriend, middle fingers to the camera, extra feistyness in matches. Something in my gut tells me it's organically going to head that way.

I don't get it right much, so let me have this one, I told you so! 

Didn't think it would be so quick, but I am looking forward to seeing what Heel Tay can do. Wonder what they'll do with her team with Anna Jay? She's been tagging with Ruby as of late, hopefully they don't just ignore it, it could be interesting. Heel Tay vs Ruby would be fun too.

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8 hours ago, For Great Justice said:

I had no idea Gresham is that tiny. I’ve met Joe and he’s a legit 6’0. Jeez.

Gresham is a short dude.  He is maybe a hair taller than Jordynne Grace.  They are a cute couple.  They are adore each other so much that it is almost nauseating.

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When I saw the contrast between Gresham and and the big fella my jaw hit the ground.  I’m pretty sure that’s what Vince wanted the stare down at WM3 to look like.  It was like me vs. my action figures when I was 11.  
 

Oddly cathartic seeing two generations of ROH guys holding their belts.  I really hope they figure something out with ROH that keeps it going and going well.  
 

I liked the heel turn for Sammy/Tay.  The inverted version of his baby face championship victory promo was nice.  
 

Heel vs. Heel matches for me are a novelty I’d actually kinda like a bit more of.  On the rare occasion one where one actually happens.  It plays as so far off any typical match formula.  No need for a heat segment here.  It’s a game of one upmanship over who be the shitbaggiest.  Managers getting way out of line and causing chaos.  Boatloads of cheatings greatest hits.

Thunder Bae and Nyla was struggling it seemed until the Code Red blew up the crowd.  Then they had them.  Nyla really has ironed out the wrinkles in her big person=power moves game.  Like it.

I like a good bonus episode now and then that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.  3 nights of shows this week that never felt the last mile of a marathon *cough* RAW.

 

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1 hour ago, Brandon Bones said:

I like a good bonus episode now and then that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.  3 nights of shows this week that never felt the last mile of a marathon *cough* RAW.

From a viewer standpoint (ahem), the difference between AEW and the WWF is that you don't need to fast forward constantly with AEW,  I would take RAW and Smackdown off my DVR if I couldn't fast forward to the wrestling, which is usually good.  AEW is just constant great wrestling with very little blathering and vignettes.  NXT is more like AEW, in that you don't need to fast forward through 80 per cent of it because it has more actual wrestling.

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4 minutes ago, DEAN said:

From a viewer standpoint (ahem), the difference between AEW and the WWF is that you don't need to fast forward constantly with AEW,  I would take RAW and Smackdown off my DVR if I couldn't fast forward to the wrestling, which is usually good.  AEW is just constant great wrestling with very little blathering and vignettes.  NXT is more like AEW, in that you don't need to fast forward through 80 per cent of it because it has more actual wrestling.

That’s funny because I was thinking about that when I watched this morning. I also find myself not fast-forwarding through matches on AEW that I may not care about that much because there still may be something interesting/funny/cringey/weird said. AEW’s commentators have fairly free-reign over what they say, for better and for worse, and it keeps it interesting. 
 

I really dug that Castle/Gresham match. I haven’t seen any Castle and very little Gresham, so there were some cool things that I hadn’t seen in a match before. It wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but it did differ stylisticly from most AEW matches. 

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6 minutes ago, Log said:

That’s funny because I was thinking about that when I watched this morning. I also find myself not fast-forwarding through matches on AEW that I may not care about that much because there still may be something interesting/funny/cringey/weird said. AEW’s commentators have fairly free-reign over what they say, for better and for worse, and it keeps it interesting. 
 

I really dug that Castle/Gresham match. I haven’t seen any Castle and very little Gresham, so there were some cool things that I hadn’t seen in a match before. It wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but it did differ stylisticly from most AEW matches. 

Well, that was the best Dalton Castle match I've seen.  He really brought it for the big stage.  The insane visuals with the Boys was just added extra.  Gresham pretty much let Castle have the entire match, which was smart because I don't think Gresham's style is visually big enough to get over with that building at full capacity like it did with 2,000 hardcore fans in it.

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Satnam Singh looked SO much better tonight, like dude's actually pretty damn mobile for a giant and that "dribbling basketball" choke slam thing was rad. 

Dalton Castle looked great and that leg-capture Saito suplex was boss as fuck. Sign him, TK!!!

 

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That corner spot with Gresham/Dalton was stupid is hell, even for pro-wrestling comedy spots.

Don’t get me wrong, I get a kick out of comedy spots in general, but this was lame.

Loved the fact Dalton got everything in and looked like a star. Gresham’s style just isn’t for me.

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I like heel Tay/Sammy combo. Let them really lean into the crowd getting nausea from their PDAs. Two gorgeous, athletic, successful people licking each other's faces? GTFO!

I need to see The Octopus vs The American Dragon right fucking now!

Singh looked awesome here too BTW. He his hit moves and was way more mobile and interactive than any of us anticipated. Liked him doing the "I'm looking at you Joe" gesture as well, sells him as more than a massive meat head moving from spot to spot.

Nyla Rose is a treasure that I think will be under appreciated until she's not working any more. She's a fantastic monster but gives just enough on the hope spots that the crowd bite every time.

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54 minutes ago, DEAN said:

From a viewer standpoint (ahem), the difference between AEW and the WWF is that you don't need to fast forward constantly with AEW,  I would take RAW and Smackdown off my DVR if I couldn't fast forward to the wrestling, which is usually good.  AEW is just constant great wrestling with very little blathering and vignettes.  NXT is more like AEW, in that you don't need to fast forward through 80 per cent of it because it has more actual wrestling.

There is merit to editing your own WWE experience.  

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If I could edit my own WWE experience I would actually be able to see what the wrestlers were doing instead of the truck cutting to a new shot every time someone moves a fraction of an inch. 

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I enjoyed the Singh segment here better than the debut. Which shouldn’t surprise. You gotta let these giant experiments marinate a bit before completely passing judgement. Because of the experience of seeing him the crowd seemed to pick up that whenever this man appears now, people will get hurt.

Question is… When will we see him in the ring? It’s tough because if you were the booking staff, who would you sacrifice to get him over for the initial feud, and how would you do it? You’d think logically it’d be Joe, but as shown last night, he’s too over to try that right now. Best thing would be a feud that leads to a tag that has Singh destroy Moriarty, then Joe loses to Singh in a big match.

Then from there, where do you go? The obvious answer from looking at the roster is, Wardlow. That’s who a Singh is destined to lose to. But do you put a belt on him? 

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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Hot potatoing the TNT title isn't ideal, and I fully believe they always intended to put the title back on Sammy. But with the fan reactions it was probably the best choice anyway.

They weren't going to have him lose the feud this quickly, because he's still clearly over Sky in the pecking order, and the chase is really a storyline that only works if it's a face having to overcome heel shenanigans. By having Sammy cheat to win, they a) solidify his heel turn rather than trapping him in Codyville, and b) give more legs to a feud that otherwise would have been dead despite clearly being intended to continue given that PVZ and Tay have yet to have a match.

That being said, the booking heading into all of this didn't do the title or the wrestlers any favours. But kudos to them for at least having the sense to pivot.

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12 hours ago, DEAN said:

Hey!  It's Dalton Castle.  I love the Boys fidgeting like parakeets.  Castle is built for big arena wrestling, WHO KNEW?  The Boys are soooo great in this.   Fuck ROH, AEW needs to sign Dalton Castle.  Gresham does finger torture during the picture in picture.  He should do that during the Big Picture to get a try-out with the BCC.  Castle hits some really beautiful suplexes.  Man, Castle looks fucking great.  Oh man, the Boys are soooo awesome during the Bangoorang. Gresham won the match but Castle wins the night.  MILLION BILLION STARS. 

'Mean by Gawd @DEAN better expresses my feelings on Dalton Castle's AEW debut than I can.  Tho, I can't help but agree with this assessment...

10 hours ago, Big Z said:

Second, love the Dalton Castle presentation and have been a fan of his in my previous experiences with him. That said, he's moving like a sixty year old when he was to go any length of the ring. While he's still fairly explosive in short areas and executed some crisp moves, he looks especially slow compared to the rest of the roster and that is not intentionally his style. It would probably benefit him greatly to take a few years off to heal, but that's not realistic at 36 years old and having to make a living and all.

AEW has a lot of terrific producers in place to help work around weaknesses.  Could he be doing some things less to avoid that visual?  I hope so.  Would a tag team partner help matters?  Or would a partner mess with the presentation?  Anyway...

Quote

The best thing on the show was Dalton Castle and the Boys.  AEW RULES!    

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6 minutes ago, HarryArchieGus said:

 

'Mean by Gawd @DEAN better expresses my feelings on Dalton Castle's AEW debut than I can.  Tho, I can't help but agree with this assessment...

AEW has a lot of terrific producers in place to help work around weaknesses.  Could he be doing some things less to avoid that visual?  I hope so.  Would a tag team partner help matters?  Or would a partner mess with the presentation?  Anyway...

It's most glaring any time he tried a move to the corner turnbuckle, so I would cut those out immediately. Also, do not try any leapfrog spots, as he could not exceute that with basically the shortest guy on the roster. I know that his back issues have been affecting him for awhile, but I didn't remember them to be near as dramatic during  the match with Rush at the AEW/NJPW supershow in 2019. Also, it did not help me that I could visibly see the back brace under the trunks/singlet hybrid he was wearing to try to mask that. Really wish that a healthy Dalton Castle could have gone to an AEW (and he could have also had a fun NXT run under Hunter before Vince saw him).

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The Boys copying Dalton’s in ring movements was a helpful addition to his act(I don’t remember this prior to last night). As stated, the man is extremely banged up. Any bit of smoke, and mirrors is a plus to extend his longevity.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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I primarily saw the ROH title match. It's funny that Castle and Gresham both have really over the top entrances while repping ROH. I thought the close-up work was extremely good, that Castle's size advantage/strength stuff was very good, but that when they picked up the pace it was a little off. I got big "ROH" vibes from it though and both guys interfaced with the crowd very well. Castle was feeling his big moments and Gresham has a way of pointing out what he's doing with the intricate mat work to the crowd that I've never really seen anyone do before but that plays brilliantly in a big stadium in keeping them engaged.

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I wonder if Dalton would be willing to do the Dustin/QT route, help train folk and wrestle a match every once in a while.  That would probably give him time to heal up some more while still being relevant.

Bummer that Scorp lost the title, I was kind of hoping he'd hold on to it for a bit and face a few more people before dropping it to Wardlow; but I suspect smarmy Sammy will be an even better opponent.

Men of The Year should probably move on to the tag scene now, Grumpy Uncle Dan cutting cornette-esque promos about Wrestling Dinosaurs and Flippy lucha things would be entertaining.

Satnam looked way better here, here's hoping he keeps it up.

Nyla is the best.

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One of the announcers said Gresham is 5’4”, which would be surprising as a kayfabe height so I’d imagine that’s accurate.

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