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Rampage - 6/17/2022


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Seems bad! I don't know if that's Vince enticing people to watch Smackdown instead of Rampage, people deciding since they skipped Dynamite they might as well skip Rampage too, or what.

 

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Just speculating but I think having both Punk and Danielson out is a prime culprit in the ratings being down. 

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4 hours ago, sabremike said:

Just speculating but I think having both Punk and Danielson out is a prime culprit in the ratings being down. 

This seems fair but I kinda think the whole NJPW Forbidden Door thing is also likely a drag on things. NJPW at least in the eyes of a portion of the US fanbase is in a dull stretch, another portion of the audience likely has little idea who these people even are, and the build if we are honest hasn't been great as they seem to be struggling between balancing the normal AEW stuff build ("hey, Blood and Guts is soon") and the build for this show. The good news is that if that is a case it is a short term problem, but if it turns out to be true it raises the question of if they should bother continue trying to do shows like this.

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It's a confluence of things:

Punk and Bryan being injured. 
MJF not being on the shows. 
Two back to back tournaments, one of which is for a belt that AEW really doesn't need and the other being won by people who didn't need to. 
The biggest narrative hook, Eddie vs Jericho, has been muddied. 
NJPW is cold in the states and we're not getting Okada or Naito, and possibly not Bryan vs. Sabre, Jr. 
The Ring of Honor purchase. 

Frankly, the booking really hasn't been that great since the Punk vs MJF blowoff. Tony has taken on too much and is also booking things that really just aren't working. 

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Yeah I really have got to think a lot of the dip/plummet is on account of the Forbidden Door build. As stated above, NJPW has been cold here for awhile and attendance figures are still down in Japan so it seems like a dream interpromotional feud we're just getting at the wrong time (especially with Punk, Omega, Danielson and MJF out on the AEW side). 

Regardless of how much I think Ospreay sucks, he's the type of guy who was guaranteed to get over with this crowd and he's been used very very well. I can't really say that for any other New Japan guy they've brought in. Tanahashi should have been working tags on tv to build up his match, especially since he's been appearing on the shows anyway. Jay White's appearance got a flat reaction and served to... possibly set up some matches nobody really wants to see. 

Aside from Okada really being the key guy everyone wants to see, I think there was huge missed potential in not making Shingo a big part of the promotion of this PPV. In terms of style I think he's better positioned than even Ospreay to give the AEW crowd the kinds of matches they go nuts for, and can mesh with just about any style. 

Which is all to say, if even the diehards this PPV is geared at are feeling alienated by its build, the average fan who just wants to see Moxley kill guys and Darby do wild shit is probably totally confused. 

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Forbidden Door will be the first AEW ppv i do not order. With it being only a month out from Double or Nothing, NJPW being ice cold, the build being trash, Punk's injury, AEW booking being relatively poor the past 3-6 months with a few exceptions, no Omega/Ibushi, I don't have much to care about. The Ospreay TV has been quality despite the fact I dislike him but I'm good. If AEW is still struggling by late July then there are serious problems to be concerned about. I don't think we can entirely put this relatively down period (and it's nothing major but there are some cracks showing) on Forbidden Door either. Some straight up bad booking decisions the past half year or so. At least with AEW, the matches will always be there to make the shows worthwhile. 

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1 minute ago, EVA said:

New Japan is killing the ratings, but the highest rated segment of Dynamite last week was Mox and Tanahashi facing off...🧐

Right for that one segment, which had Moxley in it. It's not like it did an enormous number or anything. In any case I'm speculating that the shift in focus to a PPV with such an underwhelming card full of unfamiliar guys has contributed to the Rampage number being crazy low.

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The fact of the matter is that Omega, Danielson, Punk, and MJF have all been off tv and Cassidy only came back last week as a surprise. Even Sting was out for a few weeks there. And Cody is gone. If you told me 1/3 to 1/2 of the normal audience doesn't really care about the New Japan stuff, I'd believe you. Crowds are still hot. They've done some big things like get Yuta over as a big babyface, so I'm not going to fault the booking as much as I might otherwise. Things seem to be working with the core audience. They're still selling tickets. I'd be very surprised if the Blood and Guts show doesn't pop a rating.

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Booking over the past few weeks has been a real mess, too.  I'm sure TK had specific plans for Punk, Danielson, MJF, and (maybe to a lesser extent) The Hardys before DoN.  That's a lot of things going wrong in a very short period of time.  As a result of these, we got:

  • A half-hearted interim championship tournament.  Nobody cares about an interim title.  They should have just vacated the belt, had a real tournament with the semis and finals at Forbidden door, and announced Punk was #1 contender when he got back.
  • Wardlow cooling off so fast and being put into a dumb (albeit short) program with the wrestling lawyer and 20 jobbers.
  • MJF telling all the fans that the company is lame, then being booked into an angle where he's not there.
  • BCC vs JAS build being kinda wacky.
  • Tag title picture being muddied.
  • That weird shit with the JAS jumping Mox and Tanahashi to set up a totally different six man.

We also got, apparently, the build to Forbidden Door getting screwed up because of Mexico/NJPW politics.  This whole thing has been an aimless mess for weeks.  I don't know for sure if any of it translates to ratings but I know it, at times, hasn't been enjoyable from a storytelling standpoint.

 

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MJF screwed Wardlow. You can say that he is right to hold out for more money and take care of himself, but he fucking killed their hottest angle and no sold the stretcher job. Putting him on TV that Wednesday was fucking stupid.

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2 minutes ago, JLowe said:

MJF screwed Wardlow. You can say that he is right to hold out for more money and take care of himself, but he fucking killed their hottest angle and no sold the stretcher job. Putting him on TV that Wednesday was fucking stupid.

I'd actually argue it was a mistake to do the stretcher job in the first place. You knew you had a big Dynamite coming up in LA where you wanted MJF to riff off of how the weekend played out. So why book yourself into a corner like that? We've all railed on WWE for 20 years now about Triple H getting flipped over by a forklift and showing up on Raw the next night with only a bandage on his forehead. This is the same thing.

Do the match exactly the same. Once he hits the pin, no stretcher. You just have him do the kicking dirt on a dead body taunt as he walks away. You keep the camera focus on him all the way up the ramp, and you do the All Elite graphic. And you don't show MJF at all. That's how you keep the focus on Wardlow. What they did was keep the focus on MJF. The story conclusion ended up being about MJF and not Wardlow. And that's why it's fallen flat since.

Wardlow also should have steam rolled Scorpio in LA for The TNT Title too. If there's a new title coming down the pike and you know you're gonna have a long term focus on that, the TNT Title should have been booked in contrast. A shocking surprise kind of thing where it's now on a completely new (and over) performer. New. Fresh. Surprising. Exciting. AEW is great at doing the long stories. But they need to mix in some good surprise booking once and awhile. (No, not Russo swerves. Think more like 123 Kid beating Razor out of nowhere cool moments every so foten).

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Maybe Big Dave just has me panicking about the Rampage rating more than I should but I'm really nervous they're going to try to pop a rating by announcing tomorrow morning that MJF is appearing on Dynamite to do a bunch of shooty stuff.

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20 minutes ago, NoFistsJustFlips said:

I'd actually argue it was a mistake to do the stretcher job in the first place. You knew you had a big Dynamite coming up in LA where you wanted MJF to riff off of how the weekend played out. So why book yourself into a corner like that? We've all railed on WWE for 20 years now about Triple H getting flipped over by a forklift and showing up on Raw the next night with only a bandage on his forehead. This is the same thing.

Do the match exactly the same. Once he hits the pin, no stretcher. You just have him do the kicking dirt on a dead body taunt as he walks away. You keep the camera focus on him all the way up the ramp, and you do the All Elite graphic. And you don't show MJF at all. That's how you keep the focus on Wardlow. What they did was keep the focus on MJF. The story conclusion ended up being about MJF and not Wardlow. And that's why it's fallen flat since.

Wardlow also should have steam rolled Scorpio in LA for The TNT Title too. If there's a new title coming down the pike and you know you're gonna have a long term focus on that, the TNT Title should have been booked in contrast. A shocking surprise kind of thing where it's now on a completely new (and over) performer. New. Fresh. Surprising. Exciting. AEW is great at doing the long stories. But they need to mix in some good surprise booking once and awhile. (No, not Russo swerves. Think more like 123 Kid beating Razor out of nowhere cool moments every so foten).

We'll never know, but what if the stretcher job and the live mic on Dynamite where the compromise for MJF to show up at all? I do agree that they made a huge mistake by not immediately having Wardlow crush Scorp for the TNT title.

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29 minutes ago, JLowe said:

MJF screwed Wardlow. You can say that he is right to hold out for more money and take care of himself, but he fucking killed their hottest angle and no sold the stretcher job. Putting him on TV that Wednesday was fucking stupid.

I've wondered how much of MJF's antics that weekend were fueled by his impending job to Wardlow.  Kind of like his idol Piper not wanting to job to Hogan because of the thought that there's nowhere to go but down after that.  Pulling some extracurricular shit that killed fans' suspension of disbelief and made MJF's story bigger than any one match or one job certainly helped him and absolutely cooled Wardlow off.

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1 minute ago, JLowe said:

We'll never know, but what if the stretcher job and the live mic on Dynamite where the compromise for MJF to show up at all? 

One or the other could have been a concession. But they are in contrast with each other. He wouldn't have wanted to be stretchered out and then also no sell it to do a promo. It's plausible that MJF could have been like hey let me do this live mic thing and I'll do whatever finish you want. And what they wanted was probably the stretcher job. But then you get competing things that don't jive.

If that is the case and he wanted the promo as a concession (plausible), they should have scrapped the stretcher job.

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On 6/18/2022 at 4:15 PM, SirFozzie said:

New Rule: Only folks who can do topes to the level of Darby Allin can call that the tope suicida.

Actually, we need a tope ranking chart

My suggestion (From High to Low)

Tope Darby

--Flecha Del Infierno--

Tope Suicida

Tope Peligroso

Tope Mal

Tope

"Tope"

 

Fixed. Santos hasn't gotten to use it in NXT much, but he had the coolest looking tope until Darby started going bowling for midcard heels.

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2 hours ago, Go2Sleep said:

Fixed. Santos hasn't gotten to use it in NXT much, but he had the coolest looking tope until Darby started going bowling for midcard heels.

yeah, forgot about his King Cuerno Arrowshot topes.

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59 minutes ago, SirFozzie said:

yeah, forgot about his King Cuerno Arrowshot topes.

They all lose to Dragon Lee's last weekend.

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