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Posts posted by Go2Sleep

  1. You know Daniel Bryan has moved up in the world now that they're building up a throwaway challenger for his belt. Can't say I'm excited for "Kane is an evil monster again" Round 86, but Bryan gets to keep the gold and The Shield get the best combination of the authority to feud with too.


    The Shield/Evolution thing was pretty good, but less impressive than it should have been due to the recent similar beatdown on SD and HHH's beatdown on Bryan. Guess we know the Shield's threshold is 5 on 3, once it gets past that, it's all over for them. Also would've thought "Believe in Evolution" would get major heat in Alabama.


    Cena's promo was definitely not one of his better efforts, but I can't believe everyone's forgotten his genius opening line "The last thing I need is another push, no one wants to see that."

  2. Austin embarrasses Vince, who then tries to take it out on the Brothers of Destruction. Always loved the look on Vince's face when Taker catches him flipping the double bird.


    Even though the angle was written off abruptly, this moment will always stand out as one of Bryan's biggest in WWE. The Yes chant that gets faster and faster is epic face heat.

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  3. I admire how Nattie can talk in nothing but cliches. And her big (anachronistic) match featured a "restroom break" sign in the background.


    Also love AJ's role on this show. She is never mentioned except when she occasionally shows up to beat someone on the main cast.


    The Nikki house swerve really hammered home that this show is in fact the realization of Vince Russo's dream: Pro wrestling without the ring.

  4. I don't think anyone holds creating new stars against the early brand split/ruthless aggression era. Lesnar, Cena, Orton, and Batista was a strong group to build around. It's that late brand split/PG era that really screwed the pooch creating new stars. CM Punk is about the only success story between that group and Bryan/whoever that's coming into shape now. I guess you could say Sheamus too.

  5. He definitely left at the right time for himself, but WWE would've benefitted greatly from him sticking around. Even if they booked him to job a few times, he would still have been a top guy. Between him, Cena, and a potentially-not-ruined Orton, they could've pushed the old guard to the back burner a lot sooner. The flow of the talent would have been a lot more even and they probably wouldn't be relying on HHH to make guys well into the 2010s.

  6. HHH/Bryan was very good, but I think Bryan has had a couple better matches already (vs. Bray and Orton). It was kind of surreal to see HHH shoehorned into a very "Daniel Bryan" style match, but he did a great job fitting in. Some of the WM 20 callbacks were kind of weird. Like I know that they wanted to redo the ending to that show without you know who, but I'm not sure why they felt like they needed to include such direct imagery by using the crossface, rolling germans, etc. They could have replaced the crossfaces with a fujiwara armbar and it wouldn't have made a lick of difference (and don't bother pointing out one works the elbow and one works the shoulder, armbars hurt every part of the arm in pro wrestling). Those spots, especially the crossface roll through that Benoit used to make HHH tap at 20, were kind of jarring but they worked in the context of the match I guess. There were lots of other really good spots here too, like the crossface chickenwing being established to create a logical transition into the tiger suplex, the hammer lock belly to back on the apron, and the struggle for the second pedigree. It felt like HHH watched a handful of Misawa matches and WM 20 to figure out how he was gonna work this one. Bryan was Bryan with all his fire, innovative sequences, and bumps not many guys would be willing to take, pretty much his usual great self.

  7. Where there any other wrestlers, at the time, directly impacted by Brock leaving? I'm not talking about money wise, but as far as time off, planned angles, etc.



    JBL for sure. No way he's getting a 10-month reign if Brock's there to fall back on.

  8. I think another important thing to note about this era is how screwed WWE got when Lesnar bailed. It worked out great for Brock (and Cena), but WWE really had a lot invested in him. If he stayed, that whole time period is a lot more stable at the top and there is no doubt in my mind that had Lesnar stayed, he would be be considered unquestionably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He already has a résumé that puts most of the roster to shame and he only has what? A little over 2 years worth of shows under his belt? There are a lot of interesting what if scenarios for Brock sticking around.

  9. Matt Hardy overachieved if anything. No one expected him to be a top 3 WWE wrestler for nearly 4 years. His heel run bombed much later after he established himself as a good hand, but he was on the path to nowhere since 2002 before Edge hooking up with Lita revived his career.


    MVP was the most disappointing of the lot, I think. He had everything you could want for a superstar, but they started booking him like shit for no apparent reason in 2007. Carlito was lazy and didn't give a shit, Benjamin had no charisma and was prone to botching, Kennedy (and Morrison) were just never as good as WWE wanted them to be. MVP was the only one of those guys that had any business near the main event scene.

  10. I was thinking about that too, and this definitely looks like the best shot for one of those angles to work. The young guys are all cool, likable faces, and the old guys are heels that no one actually wants to see.


    The Millionaire's Club vs. The New Blood was doomed from the beginning since the MC were booked as the faces (still one of the most mind boggling booking decisions in wrestling history imo)


    The Front Line vs. The Main Event Mafia almost worked, but the heels were a little too cool and the faces weren't booked strong often enough, because TNA was going with Angle as the ace.


    The New Breed vs. ECW Originals had the same face/heel dynamic problem as the Millionaire's Club vs. The New Blood, but it was slightly more understandable since ECW nostalgia was high at the time and, outside of Burke, the New Breed all sucked.


    Nexus vs. WWE establishment was doomed with the unquestioned ace Cena being on the establishment side. The face/heel dynamic was the least offensive "young guys as heels" booking of the lot, but they had to lose and most of them weren't any good anyway.


    With Bryan as the ace and The Shield all poised to be major players, and Orton as the only guy on the heel team that will still be a factor in a couple years, there shouldn't be any hesitation for the new generation guys to be booked strong and go over decisively in the end.

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  11. I kinda hate the term "Reality Era" because it's really just a new style of worked storytelling, but I'm sure that's what will catch on (thanks HHH). I guess no one wants to run with "Indy era" even though the majority of the big stars came from high profile indies, and the major unspoken themes are respect and guys getting pushed regardless of their look because they have good matches. 


    Either way, yes, it does start with the pipe bomb.


    Up until last year I'd say the Smackdown 6 era was the peak of WWE in ring quality. So what '01 is still the attitude era? The Benoit vs Austin matches that year were fucking awesome.


    I would put WrestleMania 17 as the end of the Attitude Era. Austin's heel turn and Rock's departure from full time wrestling really did mark the end of an era. I'm not sure when the Ruthless Aggression begins and ends though. 



    That's because the rise of defining talent of the mid-2000s is very spread out. Brock Lesnar came in and went straight to the top, and stayed there til he left in 04. Orton was coming along nicely, but got pushed too hard in 2004 and regressed. He didn't cement himself as a top guy until 2007 really. Cena and Batista got steady pushes with defining wins at WM 21 (2005). Batista was the man on SD for a while until Edge settled in there, and Cena was still second tier until he beat HHH at WM 22 (2006). 


    Meanwhile you had HHH still going strong as the unquestioned ace in WWE until the aforementioned Cena match at Mania. That's why I'm saying you can't really define that time frame by talent. The biggest defining characteristic of that era was the established HHH running things on Raw, while the next gen cut their teeth on SD. That time period is all about the dichotomy of the brand split because the defining guys weren't all the main focus until 2006 at the earliest.

  13. No - they had planned on doing one but the weekend prior to it all the Benoit stuff occurred so that show turned into the Benoit tribute


    They definitely had a fake Vince tribute show. Benoit caused them to abort the angle the week after.


    I remember this because people (Bix for sure, I think there were others) discussed it at length here, and some of those posts made it verbatim into that Matt Randazzo sleaze thread book about Benoit's death. One of the most surreal moments of my life was seeing DVDVR posts quoted in an actual published book.

  14. Hey, Mojo had his best career match this week. Finally did the right match structure for his gimmick.


    Nothing else was particularly exciting. I'm starting to feel like there are too many WWE rejects on the show with Brodus, Khali, and Gabriel. I like it when someone like Sheamus shows up and gives the show a real rub once in a while, but those aforementioned losers make everything look worse when they go toe to toe with NXT's top names. Superstars and Main Event is where those guys should be, if they have to be on tv at all.


    Other than that, um... Bayley's cool and Adam Rose isn't using a clothesline as a finisher anymore, so that's good.

  15. I think it's pretty impossible for the Shield and Wyatts to have bad matches against each other. 


    This one didn't have that once in a lifetime epic clash feel of the first match or the neat story woven into the second one, but as a formula face vs. heel 6-man where The Shield obviously had to win, it was as good as it could get. Ambrose is the best face in peril in a long, long time, and Rollins' hot tag runs are up there with Bryan. As usual, both teams put in all the great little touches. Rollins holding Rowan's beard while punching him, the struggle over the koji clutch, Ambrose biting Rowan to get out of the vise, Harper's extra stiff boot to break up a pin, the desperation strike exchanges between Ambrose and Harper all stood out. The big spots were nice as expected with Harper's face-planting of Ambrose, Reigns' bump off Harper's dive, Rollins obliterating Rowan with the somersault plancha, Rollins dodging bullets on the apron, and the quick-strike finish sequence to Rowan all looking great. If the other two matches hadn't happened, everyone would be talking up this one even more.


    The promo was good stuff too. Roman's delivery has been pretty hit or miss the last couple of months, but that was an explosive burst of charisma here with perfect execution. Ambrose selling the match was a nice touch, and Rollins is really coming into his own as a reliable long promo. Nothing flashy, but he hits all the key points smoothly and knows when to up the intensity and when to mellow out. These guys are going to fit right in the main event scene.

  16. Also, lost in everything else in the triple threat, Bryan capped off his ownage of HHH by diving on him, his wife, and his stooge ref at the same time, then hitting him in the face with a sledge hammer. Regardless of how the last 8 months went, they put Bryan over 100% right tonight.

  17. God, what an amazing show to see live. I've never cheered so hard at a wrestling show and experienced legitimate shock and legitimate joy watching wrestling. That's an experience you can't re-create.


    So glad Bryan/HHH went on first. That video package was quality stuff, as was HHH's entrance. Liked Sasha Banks and Charlotte getting a Punk-esque WM moment as HHH's throne girls. The match was really fun and I was so happy to see good HHH show up for this match. The arm work was nice with crossface chicken wing, HHH delivered a tiger suplex (something I never even fathomed), the single-knee diving headbutt counter, the struggle for the second pedigree, and there was a clean win for Bryan. Wasn't close enough to catch Steph's work on the outside, but I'm sure it was good. The post-match stuff was done perfectly and I'm glad it was mostly played off as just another setback, and not running with a "will he make the main event" angle.


    The Shield match was fun, but it in a bad spot. Liked the cutoff entrances, but it didn't get the heat it deserved. The Shield looked good and the finish was impressive.


    The battle royal was interesting. The ring filled with jobbers during the backstage segment, but I noticed Cesaro snuck in there too, so I was pretty pumped to see him win. Kofi's spot looked insanely dangerous. Cesaro straight heaving Show out of the ring was a great put-over moment.


    Cena/Bray seemed like a match that might come across better on tv. Looked like they were going for a lot of subtle things with Cena's demeanor, so I'll definitely need to give that a re-watch. Had some good spots and some weird spots.


    Taker/Lesnar was what it was. Pretty dull match with limited crowd involvement. That ending though was easily a top 3 surprise all time. It seems like weird timing, but I can see the positives with it as well, especially if Taker is done. The total WTF silence was chilling. Also interesting to see so many fans legit angry at a show.


    The divas were in a bad spot, but they did what they could. Alicia looked good, and The Bellas did a double suicide dive, Emma got a couple spots, and AJ won as she should.


    The main event was as good as it possibly could have been. Bryan was off the charts, good Orton showed up, and Batista was inoffensive. That table spot was crazy, and might be the sickest spot I saw all weekend after going to ROH and watching a terrible CZW death match at Wrestlecon. Bryan fighting off the stretcher was the best kind of wrestling cheese, and the nearfalls at the end were very well done. The final fall was perfect with Bryan clearing Orton out with knee then making Batista tap. The pop for him winning was the loudest I've experienced and the celebration was an amazing feel-good moment. 


    I always thought it was the brand split era. To me, that was defining characteristic between the Invasion and PG eras. It's a divisive time with some of the best and worst efforts from WWE this century, characterized by one brand being pretty good while the other was terrible. I don't recall both brands ever being good top to bottom at the same time. 


    The "brand split" was 9 years long though, which feels like too long for 1 era - though with that comes the issue of naming the 2nd era.


    I think Ruthless Aggression ends in mid-2007 with the end of the split-brand PPVs and the death of Benoit. Later that year Punk wins the ECW Title, Jeff Hardy feuds with Umaga and emerges as a player. Fat like Lashley and Masters (he sucked then) were trimmed. RVD left too, thanks to Orton who became 'The Viper' and actually a proper main-eventer, Edge became #1 heel on SD, HHH goes on his first proper face singles run, Jericho returns. Lots of people dropped weight, and the style became a little quicker as a result. I'm not sure what I'd call this era, but I think 2002-2007 and 2007-2011 deserve separate treatment.




    When I break up "eras" in my mind, I think the Brand Split runs from 2002 to 2008. It starts to fade out when the re-introudce joint ppvs all year, and guys start appearing on both shows more and more in 2007. Yes it's a long stretch, but really the differences between WWE in 2002 and 2007 are pretty non-existant outside of the expected roster turnover. The next massive change in the presentation of WWE was when they went PG in the summer of 08. Eras are pretty fluid, though, so of course you still have remnants of the brand split after 2008, but it's less and less important and PG has a much more dramatic influence on the direction and presentation in WWE. The difference between the unprotected head-shot and blade-fests of the HHH/Michaels influence and the PG style is actually pretty stark if you watch some shows from that time frame.


    It's hard to determine when eras begin and end until well after they're over, but I'm thinking PG might have been on the way out as the driving influence since 2011 or so as everyone got acclimated to it and more guys started inside of it. We may or may not have officially entered the indy era at some point. 


    But regardless of what you want to call that mid-2000s time frame, it was a very up and down era. Not surprising given how much time it covers and how thin the roster was spread.

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