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AEW - AUGUST 2022


The Natural
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I was really hoping (and it's not too late) that the Deeb/Shida feud would end in a handshake and the creation of the women's tag team title with Deeb and Shida as the female equivalent to the Holy Demon Army where various babyfaces get the belts from time to time but inevitably the titles always transition back to the mainstay badass heel team. 

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She has very clearly called out people she's in the ring with on TV, so it's not shocking. I just looked up why Baker was trending and omg the reaction to her on there is hilarious. "FEMALE HULK HOGAN!" TOXIC!" "BURIES ANYBODY SHE SEES AS BEING PUSHED OVER HER!" Like, come on. I laughed at the one tweet joking Britt has shooters. ? 

Maybe Rosa would get more promo time if she wasn't average at best on the mic. I don't know what happened but she used to be the shits in the ring and incredible in backstage pre-tapes as Kobra Moon, then she improved in the ring and now she's regressed across the board. Even pre-taped promos aren't doing anything for me. Such a strange career trajectory. Maybe she comes back as the best wrestler in the world when she's healthy.  Who the fuck knows at this point?

As for All Out, I mean, I'd belt Hayter but that's not happening, so I guess you run with Hayter or Britt costing the other and Storm taking advantage. That sets up two programs with Hayter/Baker tension and Storm defending like Moxley did until Rosa comes back.

AEW drama of the day.

Edited by Jiji
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15 minutes ago, Jiji said:

 

As for All Out, I mean, I'd belt Hayter but that's not happening, so I guess you run with Hayter or Britt costing the other and Storm taking advantage. That sets up two programs with Hayter/Baker tension and Storm defending like Moxley did until Rosa comes back.

 

I am probably wrong, but now could be a great time to put in motion the Brit/ Hayter split. Either Baker prevents Hayter from winning and capitalizes OR Hayter winning and Baker being jealous. ORRR Hayter almost wins, Baker fails to double cross costing both of them the win. In that scenario you can have Storm or Shida as a fighting champ and a side feud of Baker vs Hayter and a Jade Cargill fighting whoever. Three women stories to change the lack of female matches on the shows each week. The world is your oyster, because that’s all the world is!

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Speaking of the game, FTR are not in the game as of right now

Quote

Top act removed from AEW video game
Forever The Removed.....from the AEW game.

Well, maybe not forever. However, Fightful Select was able to confirm that Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler are not slated to be a part of the first version of the AEW Fight Forever game as of this moment.

Sources connected to the game  that we heard from wouldn't confirm how far into the game FTR were still included, but Fightful first gained word earlier this summer. It was stated that they at least made it to the "model phase" of the game, however. We're told that FTR were informed of the call, and weren't too happy about it, as being involved in video games usually also comes with a significant bonus. We're told that they were originally set to be included in the game, but by Spring of 2022, had been removed.

Fightful spoke to Kenny Omega about the game in June, who noted they were hoping to release the game in 2022.

Missed the part where it said it wasn't their decision and they were pissed. 

Edited by Jiji
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That's a dumb move. I'd bet money they took them out to be a part of an ROH DLC pack. Which is incredibly annoying. Because they deserve to be in the base game. A DLC pack that has FTR, Briscoes, Claudio, Yuta, Mercedes Martinez, & Samoa Joe will sell like crazy. But it would still sell like crazy even without FTR being lumped in.

There's literally no other understandable reason for them to not be in a game that has a roster so deep Abadon is in the game.

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I really hope Ricky Starks gets a nice push over the course of the next year up into the main event scene, because I would like to see some "AEW originals" if you will push their way into the top. It's nice to have CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, etc. on your roster, but do not let it stunt the growth of the performers who could be the stars of tomorrow. I just don't want them to wait too long while someone's hand is hot by trying to appease to the other big names they've brought in. A main event scene with MJF, Ricky Starks, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, etc excites me more than the current one we're at. I'm not bashing it, but I'm ready for some of these guys to really get a push up into superstardom if you will. 

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Soooo... I was thinking about this while I was in my crawlspace surrounded by spiders and dust, AEW has a roster big enough for... a brand split. I know they wouldn't and shouldn't for many very sound, good reasons, but it would be a way of solving quite a few of their problems especially if the backstage politics bullshit between some of the major players seems like it can't be resolved. Mainly, it would help elevate guys like Andrade and that pocket of the AEW universe into a more prominent role. Would, ideally, also help feature more women on TV than currently happens. Hypothetically, if they could upgrade Rampage to a 2hr, better timeslot, would that be unanimously a bad move? I feel like you'd need to rename Rampage at that point because it's basically WWF Heat as is and would not be worth the effort to rehab its value.

Easier answer is just to extend Rampage to two hours and in a better slot and book it in a fashion similar to Dynamite. You'd need to go live too to avoid crowd burnout, not that it really impacts ratings as much as many myself including think (at least that's what Meltzer always said when I still listened a couple years ago). 

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I fully admit this is one of those moments where it seems like what I like out of wrestling is a bygone era and maybe it's passed me by. But I think extending Rampage would be a bad idea, brand split or not. I actually think Rampage & battle of the Belts are both bad moves, at least as far as my enjoyment goes. I get that they're making more money off of more programing. But I wish we went back to the days of just a single 2 hour Dynamite in a week. Less is more.

My enjoyment in wrestling was at it's peak when WWE only had a 2 hour Raw. WCW only had a 2 hour Nitro. ECW just had their one hour of Hardcore TV. You would look forward to it all week. You never got burned out because it was just one show a week. Every company just produces too much content. WWE has 7 first run prime time TV hours. As well as the supplementary network shows. AEW has 3 first run hours, Battle of the Belts thrown in a couple times a year, plus like 3 hours of supplementary youtube stuff. Everything gets burned through so quick. There's no room to breathe and anticipate the shows all week anymore.

That's a long answer to a short question, but my enjoyment meter would not enjoy adding an hour to Rampage at all. For whatever that is worth.

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5 hours ago, Krone Meltzer said:

I really hope Ricky Starks gets a nice push over the course of the next year up into the main event scene, because I would like to see some "AEW originals" if you will push their way into the top. It's nice to have CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, etc. on your roster, but do not let it stunt the growth of the performers who could be the stars of tomorrow. I just don't want them to wait too long while someone's hand is hot by trying to appease to the other big names they've brought in. A main event scene with MJF, Ricky Starks, Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, etc excites me more than the current one we're at. I'm not bashing it, but I'm ready for some of these guys to really get a push up into superstardom if you will. 

Yeah it kind of baffles me how far some of the "pillars" have fallen in the past year. With Sammy I feel especially bad because I think he got really misused after the fans forced the heel turn on him and Melo and now he, and with him Scorpio Sky and the TNT title, are very much damaged goods. 

With Darby I don't know what the hell happened. A year ago he was facing CM Punk in Punk's first match back and then had that really great program with MJF. But since then he's mostly just been a guy on the roster. Tag matches, occasionally a big win but moreso big losses too. I don't know if the plan was for Jeff Hardy to put him over and then that obviously never happened so they just blanked on him or what but he should be getting his win back over O'Reilly *the very second* O'Reilly is back and then staying on a hot streak from there. 

Jungle Boy has been far more protected than Sammy or Darby but I'm concerned about where he goes after he beats Christian. He's still a pretty rotten promo and his nice guy energy in the ring hasn't translated well into his interview segments. Did anyone really want Jungle Boy to call Christian a "pussy", mock him for his divorce, and try to run him over with his car? It all felt too familiar, like stuff we'd see babyfaces do in the post-Austin era over and over, and what's more it kind of blurs the line between him and Christian if Jungle Boy's retaliation is just as volatile and crass as Christian's heel turn was. Jungle Boy isn't Moxley or even Hangman; his whole charm and the most idiosyncratic stuff about him was his wholesomeness. They need to tweak the character in a more fun loving, carefree direction going forward or else I'm afraid he's gonna just grow a beard, buynsome long tights, change his name to Jack Perry and become the umpteenth version of Omega/Cole/Hangman/Jay White/etc. 

I didn't really start feeling so negative about the status of the three dudes discussed above until I realized how quickly they're getting lapped by Wardlow, Wheeler, Garcia, and now Starks. And maybe that's just the way it's going to work out and that's okay.  Nagata, Tenzan, Kojima and Nakanishi never did the business Tanahashi and Nakamura did, and maybe Sammy, Darby and maybe even Jungle Boy will end up in that solid, protected upper midcard role that Orange Cassidy and PAC seem to have eased into rather than being on the level of Moxley, Omega, Punk, Danielson and Jericho. 

Edited by Belgian_Waffle
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Darby was a demonstrable draw for them. They've dropped the ball there big time but he's recoverable: he's magnetic. Jack Perry can't speak: they are going to kill him putting the spotlight on him like they are currently ("I hit him with my fist .. I hit him with a chair..?). Perry tops out at novelty but over tag team level (think Too Cool) or low/mid card loveable non speaking cruiserweight. Guevara they've killed with WCW 2000 level booking - I mean they've really fucked his booking up. Of the 3 Darby is probably most salvageable with most upside, Guevara is variable .. Perry is just not going to work whatsoever with what they're attempting for him. 

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I enjoyed Jungle Boy's indy stuff and he's had a great connection with the audience, but he's really plateaued in the ring. His promo skills almost seem to be getting worse the bigger his role gets. He's a great case for someone who would probably do well in ROH when and if they get it doing its own thing again. Send him there to see if he can learn how to talk, or at least figure out a niche for himself.

Sammy is a weird case because he had that natural face charisma that comes with being a high flying underdog but quickly started to develop that obnoxious young prick personality. His face/heel booking being all over the place didn't really help either. They just need to figure out what direction they're going with him and stick with it for a while, then book him in programs with people he's going to get booed against accordingly.

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47 minutes ago, EVA said:

Typically around 250-300k views in the first week.

For some reason, I had no idea Dark was doing that well. For comparison, Impact is only averaging 114K viewers a week on AXS this year, and NXT did 678K this week on USA - so I think that sounds about right (and is also pretty fairly impressive).

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The obvious caveat to those numbers is, unlike Nielsen ratings, there’s no way to know how many of those views could be multiple views by one person, views in which just one or two matches were watched rather than the whole episode, etc.

But ~1/4 of the audience keeping up with Dark, to some extent, feels about right.

Edited by EVA
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I can understand if no one under 35 wants to wants to watch Dark/Elevation, because I think it's for people who grew up with Wrestling Challenge and Worldwide and mid-late 90s WCW Saturday Night and Velocity. That's the tricky thing with a lot of the discourse right now. A lot of what AEW produces is for me in a lot of ways. A big chunk of it is not, and it's kind of funny because it feels like some people want more of the things I don't want and less of the things I do want.

But I think we're all in agreement that they can make everything feel more important (probably by letting certain things sink in somewhat more), not be so beholden to certain formats, and book a few more weeks out in the build on some of the things in the undercard.

We're all in disagreement on a lot of other things, though, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The last year has really made it more of a "big tent" promotion, which again, has some pros and cons, and makes for a very tricky balance overall. If they improve a few straightforward things, they'd probably make enough people happier enough to smooth over quite a bit of the concerns.

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