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Kev

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Seattle Yannigan

Seattle Yannigan (3/11)

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  1. I know Spears is kind of a board whipping boy but, dare I say, he’s been pretty good in The Pinnacle. I mean I’m not getting excited about a Spears match anytime soon, but he’s pretty much the perfect fit for his role. He’s there to be the 5th guy, someone the face can beat early/mid-feud to overcome an obstacle/get one over on The Pinnacle, without sacrificing one of the important guys. He’s unlikely to go out and steal the show, but he’s reliable and just as unlikely to go out and shit the bed. The Chairman thing is a good gimmick in that he can still represent some kind of threat without ever really having to be seen as an equal to Jericho or whoever they’re gonna feud with. And the fact that nobody likes him works perfectly, he’s pretty much guaranteed not to get cheered over the face. No doubt there’s be better workers you could have in that role, but that’s kind of besides the point, I don’t see anyone else in AEW actually working as well in that role.
  2. I usually hate this shtick, but weirdly I think it works for Page, precisely because it’s unrealistic. With The Bunny, for example, the ‘I’m craaazy’ thing is pretty much her whole character and it’s fucking dreadful and unrealistic. Now I’m probably giving him too much credit, but because Page’s character is primarily an arrogant douche, I take it more as him fronting. His character isn’t actually crazy intense, but he likes to think of himself as a bad ass and that’s how he thinks a badass would act. It kind of works as a nice contrast to Darby who comes across crazy and intense in an effortless sort of way.
  3. Pretty strong show overall I thought. Not really a fan of the Bucks but I thought that opener was good - well laid out, with a hot finishing stretch. My one criticism would be Matt’s goofy expressions, they’re fine as an early match thing after getting caught with a chop or whatever, but coming off big moves later in the match it just feels too consciously silly and undermines whatever came before it. I’m fine with Eddie/Penta presumably not getting the win next week, they don’t feel like the right team to dethrone the Bucks, despite their AEW history and the ‘Eddie’s best friend’ thing, I don’t think they have much chemistry. Page/Darby stuff was good, and I liked all the talking stuff throughout. Jungle Boy/Evans and the post-match was solid and served its purpose. Miro/Pillman was good, Miro gave him just enough and Pillman looked good laying his stuff in when he got the chance, that dropkick to the outside was sweet. I’m not sure about Miro’s new theme though. It’s good once it kind of kicks in after 15 seconds or so, but the intro with the horns felt a bit off. I think it needs some kind of elaborate setup to go with the intro, maybe drop the lights and build to a spotlight on Miro as he appears like a God’s light shining down sort of thing. Brit/Nyla stuff continues to be a dud. They need to get that match out of the way and re-set as it’s been a poor start to Britt’s title run. Outside of Jade, I don’t think they’re doing a very good job building up anyone else in the division though. The main was decent but the kickouts at the end hurt it. I thought the tombstone was sold quite well afterwards, with Sammy doing the getting the feeling back in the fingers sell, but MJF needed to sell the knee for a lot longer to justify the kick out. I really liked how they shot the 630 with MJF begging and then Sammy hitting it with him in a slightly awkward seated position. The kickout was unnecessary though, they should have ran the Wardlow interference coming straight off him hitting that.
  4. Nah, I think it was decent as well. Just in hindsight Nia didn’t really get over much as a face, was quickly turned back to heel so they could rush Ronda into the title scene, and then Alexa ended up getting the title back from her anyway, which kind of undone the whole thing.
  5. Thanks. I watched these this afternoon. Payback - didn’t have the highlights of the Sasha matches, but solid and probably has less flaws. Bayley gets the early shine, with Alexa picking her spots and taking advantage of minor mistakes to take over. Her offence is solid, although nothing looks as good as against Sasha. She’s talking down to Bayley throughout and coming across like a real piece of shit. Bayley gets the comeback and ends up hitting a really good running knee, followed by the top rope elbow, which Alexa kicks out of (this’ll be my nitpick). Ending comes off a creative spot as Bayley gets kicked off a pin combination and goes head first, under the bottom buckle into the post, which makes a nasty thud. Bayley gets a last ditch small package but is countered into a ddt for the pin. I promised a nitpick and it’s that Alexa got a kick out off a big move combo, whereas Bayley gets pinned off the first really big move. It’s the heel getting a clean win, albeit off a bit of a banana peel moment, but she basically comes out looking tougher than the face as well. If she was losing I’d have no problem with that spot, but it just feels like there’s at least one choice in each match which positions her unnecessarily strong. Extreme Rules - the match doesn’t do much for me (I mean it’s an ‘on a pole’ match) but is fine for what it is. It’s pretty short and the story is whether Bayley has enough killer instinct to use the kendo stick. There’s a bit back and forth before the stick comes into play. Bayley ends up getting control but takes a bit too long allowing Alexa an opening, she takes control and there’s no hesitation as she lays in some shots. Bayley gets a quick comeback with the belly to belly but fails to cover due to the damage, Alexa gets control again and hits a ddt for a pretty comprehensive victory. I seem to remember a lot of complaints at the time about Bayley looking like an idiot, but it really isn’t that bad, I was expecting some bad ‘I’m conflicted’ acting but it’s just Bayley taking too long, almost playing to the crowd, before she gets the chance to use the kendo stick. Wiki says that Bayley was meant to face Alexa at Summerslam but was injured. I’m assuming the plan was for her to show a bit more killer instinct and regain the title, which would have been the logical payoff to these two matches. As it stands it’s a pretty unsatisfactory story, as was the Sasha series, and when Alexa finally does get some comeuppance it’s against Nia ffs.
  6. Kev

    1997 WWF

    IYH - A Cold Day in Hell There’s a mention of the Hart Foundation buying front row tickets and that feels like it’s telegraphing a fuck finish in the main immediately. Flash vs. HHH - this is a perfectly fine, but cold opener. HHH takes over after Chyna interference, the highlight of his offence is doing the high knee to the back sending Flash off the apron, generally HHH on offence is just a bit boring though and I don’t think he ever really changed it up over 20 years. HHH wins with the pedigree, Chyna picks up and crotches Flash post-match, she’s the best thing about HHH’s act at this point. Mankind vs. Rocky. Some standard back and forth stuff early before Mankind takes over and livens things up with a cannon ball dive from the apron. Rocky snapmares Mankind over the ropes to outside which I’ve never seen before, Foley then gets in his low-key ridiculous bump for the night, taking a Rock Bottom on the ramp. In-ring, Foley does the legs collapse under him thing on an Irish whip, I think that’s actually a pretty great low-risk bump to sell how much you’re hurt. Mankind wins after rolling through a (pretty good) cross body into the claw. Another cold match but made worthwhile by Foley’s commitment to dying for the cause and mixing it up with some interesting bumps. It feels like the ambivalence is starting to turn to negativity for Rocky as he’s getting some boos now. Ahmed runs the gauntlet. Starts with Crush. He tries to make a 5 minute Ahmed match boring by working a nerve hold and then a long sleeper spot. Ahmed counters the heart punch into a spin kick for the win, nice spot but they used it a couple weeks back on Raw so felt predictable as soon as it was setup. Savio next. Savio also works in a nerve hold ffs, this was decent enough though before Savio gets himself dq’ed beating him down with a chair. Farooq out last being cocky and toying with Ahmed, before getting caught with a spinebuster. For a non-spinning version I quite like Ahmed’s spinebuster, there’s a nice explosiveness to it, Farooq gets it over nicely with the convulsing leg sell. Ahmed hits his finish but his exhaustion delays the pin and Farooq barely kicks out before hitting the dominator to win. Overall this was ok, Savio and Crush could have done something more interesting with their heat segments, but it didn’t really drag and was built up quite well with Ahmed looking good in defeat. Vader vs. Shamrock - Shamrock doesn’t have a very good theme yet, he gets a good reaction though. This is submission/knockout only. Nice leg kicks from Ken to start. Goes back and forth a bit feeling each other out before Shamrock gets a big waist lock takedown, then a German. The story is Vader using his pro wrestling experience - using rope breaks and going to the outside - to frustrate Shamrock. Vader takes over and ends up dumping Shamrock over the top from a suplex in a cool spot. There’s a bit back and forth for the last few minutes before Vader hits a huge haymaker which I’m sure everyone’s seen the gif of. But that leads straight into an ankle lock and Shamrock wins. I liked this, some slight awkwardness but it had a different feel, some nice spots and some stiff strikes. Austin vs. Taker. Hart Foundation are out straight away to take their seats. There’s a good early spot where Austin seemingly bails from Taker offence, only to turn and drag Owen out of the crowd and start beating him, Taker then takes out Austin, only to turn and get his own shot in on Owen. Match is quite good from there with Austin taking advantage where he can to counter Taker’s power/size advantage. It’s fairly even with leg work and some submissions from both. Taker even pulls out an arm wrench heel kick (shades of Booker T, it didn’t look that good though). There’s some Hebner dreadfulness as he chastises, but fails to dq Austin for a low blow, Austin gives the middle fingers behind his back (to a pop), Hebner then does the same to Austin’s face in retaliation (to no reaction, and which also makes no sense as he didn’t see Austin do it to him). Was Hebner popular backstage? I don’t get how he was so prominent on tv, as a performer he’s got to be one of the worst high-profile refs ever. Austin hits a stunner but Pillman causes a distraction by ringing the bell, then Taker gets the tombstone for the win after a reversal sequence. Foundation attacks Taker after the match with Austin making the save, but he gets in another stunner on Taker for good measure. This was good but the Hart Foundation presence made it feel like more of an angle and it probably could have been done on Raw. That probably sums this up, all solid enough but generally felt a bit weak for a ppv.
  7. I mean they literally had a team called Bums R Us on this week. And there’s guys like Ryzin with a record of something like 0-30, clearly some guys aren’t that elite.
  8. Thanks for the recommendations. I went back and watched the Sasha series (I saw the ppv matches at the time but don’t remember much of them), I’ll try to watch the other stuff when I get a chance. I came out of it probably a bit more positive on Alexa - she’s definitely good at some stuff (mainly on offence) - but the criticisms I have are still there (some of it not aided by the booking). Great Balls of Fire - this had the best structure but was hurt by the finish. Sasha got shine early, with Alexa pulling the double jointed fake out to hit a great forearm and take over, really cool spot. From there her offence is good, some vicious looking stuff, including standing on her back and stomping on her head, a hair-pull backbreaker, and even the chokeslam/STO was good here. This is helped by Sasha’s flexibility and contorting her body, making everything look nasty. Alexa uses crafty, opportunistic stuff to cut Sasha off. Sasha comes back as we go into the finishing sequence, Alexa hits a nice code red out of the corner. Sasha gets the bank statement, with Alexa staying in this too long, going over half way across the ring to reach the ropes. This is the sort of little thing where I think Alexa is presented too strong, being craftier and more vicious than the face is good, but also being tough enough to survive their finisher in this way isn’t. It then ends on Alexa taking a count out loss to retain the title, fine with this as a heel move but really shouldn’t be done on ppv (that’s not on Alexa though). Summerslam - This is probably the best match, but I didn’t really like the layout. It starts with Alexa getting the better of Sasha in a strike exchange, she’s hits a really good forearm again here, but I don’t like this. I think, with some exceptions, the heel shouldn’t be looking tougher than the face in a strike exchange. Following this, I think Alexa just takes far too much, basically dominating for a good chunk with no real hope spots thrown in. Again, a lot of the offence is good and vicious looking, but the crafty, opportunistic stuff of the first match is gone and it’s just Alexa being better than Sasha, there’s a couple of cut offs with weak clotheslines which kind of highlights my issue, Alexa shouldn’t be dominating physically like that, it’s stuff like this where I think she misjudges her role sometimes. As Sasha starts to comeback there’s a nice call back to the last match as the code red is countered into a sort of Alabama slam in the corner, cool spot. Alexa gets back in control pulling out the apron to trip Sasha to the outside, much better cut off and it leads into some nice arm work as Sasha injured her shoulder. Sasha then comes back to get the bank statement, it gets briefly countered using the bad arm, but Alexa gets caught again and Sasha takes the title. Raw - This one felt the weakest, maybe not helped by the ad break in the middle. It’s worked as a lot more of a back and forth, throwing in some similar spots seen in the other matches. Alexa generally good on offence and there’s a nice superplex. Ending feels a bit out of nowhere, Alexa gets out of the bank statement, hits a ddt and thats it. This did nothing for Sasha, no cheating or anything to mitigate the loss, just the heel being better than her. So yeah, Alexa generally good on offence, selling is fine, but some of the choices of spots and general layout of matches position her too strongly. In a kayfabe sense I thought Alexa generally looked a lot better than Sasha and that’s probably why I don’t think I’d consider Alexa outright good. Sasha made Alexa look good with her selling, Alexa made herself look good but probably to the detriment of Sasha, given she’s playing crafty heel rather than dominant heel I think that’s an issue.
  9. Flair could probably fill up a few spaces himself, I’d have the flop up there, plus he’s got the throw off the top. Rikishi’s inside out clothesline bump is a good one, that felt like a pretty crazy bump for a guy of his size.
  10. Minor criticism but I sometimes think they should ask some of the jobbers they bring in to tone their looks down . I get that it’s indy guys/girls just trying to stand out, but occasionally the likes of Ryzin or whoever will look like a bigger, more interesting character than their squasher. I’d like some of these guys to embrace their jobber status and get some generic, ill-fitting singlets. Its been explained why and it’s a non-issue now with the young boy look but similarly, Cutler’s old gear with the face paint, dragon mask and entrance jacket felt like something that could have been saved for someone bigger as a special ppv look or something. Hobbs is someone who I think low-key made a big upgrade in his gear after moving to Team Taz. The singlet is a much better look for his body type and he looks pretty great now.
  11. The Cage match versus Chandler Hopkins on Dark was interesting in that I was ready to hate it as Cage gave him far too much, with it being it worked ridiculously evenly. But then Taz started laying into him on commentary saying he was making things far too hard, so I’m kind of torn on it as I think that’s exactly how they should have been playing off Cage’s GMSI style. Ideally I would have had an angle where Taz coached that out of him so he improves, but the imminent face turn makes that seem unlikely. If they start to acknowledge that Cage is basically his own worst enemy because of his style then I think I’ll find him a lot more tolerable.
  12. I’m not about getting into internet arguments and I’m not trying to be a dick but your original post was full of what are basically ‘contrarian’ cliches at this point. You did a variation on the ‘what next? Kids are gonna be identifying as *inanimate object*’ joke that has been going around for about a decade. Maybe a dissenting opinion isn't because they’re a homogeneous member of ‘the left’ but because, you know, the joke wasn’t very funny.
  13. Yeah, I don’t remember around this period, but as his his career went on getting out-wrestled by a less experienced opponent was a pretty standard Angle opening sequence.
  14. Kev

    1997 WWF

    Raw May 5, 97. Hart Foundation are now fully formed and start with a decent promo as they set their sights on HBK, after taking out Austin last week. Ahmed (randomly wearing long black pants rather than his gear) vs Rockabilly. Disappointing, Billy takes most of it, doing nothing interesting and Ahmed does no cool/reckless shit. Ends on a dq as Ahmed gets the guitar off Billy and kills him with a El Kabong. HF are looking for HBK backstage and this is the story running through the show. Another Shamrock video package, I quite like this, with them playing off him overcoming a tough upbringing to succeed and now being a family man. Vader vs. Goldust. What we get of this is decent but it’s broken up by a break and a Vader confrontation with Shamrock at ringside. Highlight is Dustin catching Vader on an Avalanche into the corner with a sweet running Powerslam. Vader wins with the Vader bomb. There’s then a brawl as Shamrock and Mankind get in the ring, Dustin gets a bit of shine making the save for Shamrock. That leads into a Dustin sit-down interview, with them acknowledging him as Dusty’s son and explaining why he started being Goldust. There’s a bit of a WCW dig as they reference Hall refusing to fight him. There’s some stuff that’s a bit awkward watching in 2021, like Dustin talking about ‘coming out of the closet’ in relation to revealing himself as Dusty’s son, plus a reference to ‘minorities, like the gays’, but I think the intentions were good and I liked this overall in adding depth to the character, although I’m not sure it ever really went anywhere and Goldust increasingly reverted to one dimensional over the years. Nice little bit where the HF jump an HBK lookalike backstage, realise it’s not him, but continue to beat him up anyway. Crush runs a gauntlet vs. 3 hand-picked jabronis building to Ahmed running the gauntlet against the Nation at the ppv. He beats the 1st with a gorilla-press gut buster, 2nd with the heart punch, but then the 3rd man is Ahmed with a stocking over his head, who wins with an immediate Pearl River Plunge. Simple, effective stuff. HF are now outside looking under cars. HBK comes out like normal with music, as if the HF stuff wasn’t happening. He announces his comeback at KOTR. Bret on the tron again gets in some causal homophobia, before challenging HBK to a match with Anvil, which turns into an ambush as Bulldog/Owen immediately jump him. LOD make the save. Furnas & LaFon vs LOD rematch from last week. They’re kind of doing a they’re good technicians but boring thing with F&L, which never works. LOD are wearing singlets with their tights, I don’t remember ever seeing this so they must have dumped it pretty quick, but I think it’s a good look and would have made sense as they got older and their guts grew. This starts out quite nicely with some hard-hitting stuff from both teams, but there’s a weak finish as Bulldog causes a distraction, leading to Owen interfering and kind of flubbing a neck snap over the ropes to give F&L the win. There’s a backstage pull apart with HBK/HF where Austin shows up after they’d previously questioned whether he’d make it tonight. Taker promo where they’re randomly doing a stolen belt angle and Taker promises to get revenge tonight on whoever stole the belt. Bulldog vs. Austin in the main, perfectly fine match which Austin wins. A big brawl ensues with everyone who’s been involved in the HF stuff tonight, which includes Owen bringing out the WWF belt. The ring is cleared ending with Austin holding the belt, leading to a brawl with Taker. The whole belt bit just seemed like an unnecessary and convoluted way to get Taker and Austin to brawl. I like the idea of the HF setting up Austin to build tension with Taker, but that didn’t come across at all. Another solid show, all the angles here were built well (minus the random belt shit), but the in-ring generally feels like an afterthought and the post-match mass brawls are overdone.
  15. I think this is fair, and I’m not sure there’s a particularly strong argument for Alexa being outright good. She did feel overpushed early on, with her kind of coming up out of nowhere to win the title pretty quickly, having largely been a manger in NXT. She was then positioned pretty strongly as a fixture in the title scene for the next couple of years, while more hyped NXT call-ups floundered a bit (Sasha, Becky, Bayley, Asuka). This is a WWE criticism rather than an Alexa criticism (as an aside I’d argue you’re better off coming to the main roster without having had a strong NXT run). Character-wise she was generally decent-good, but I’d struggle to name anything particularly standout she did (other than some gif-worthy reaction shots), and I’m not sure there was any faces that came out stronger having feuded with her (again, that’s not all on Alexa though). In-ring, I’d say she’s mostly unremarkable. My main memory is her adopting that chokeslam/STO as a signature spot, which seemed massively misjudged and felt like it should have been a set-up to a comedy spot (a kind of Flair gets carried away and goes to the top rope thing). What are the standout Alexa matches or what even are her strengths? In terms of more recently, fair enough she’s went all in and is doing well with bad material but I feel like this is a slightly over-used talking point. Like it used to get used to praise Kane, but Kane still mostly sucked for 20 years.
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