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AEW R-Evolution II - 3/7/2021


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Yeah. It's not as if this company is far off from really getting it and they go through stretches where it looks like it's clicking on all fronts but they still pop up with some really bad ideas. I would think a good number of them come from the EVPs, and of course they contribute to the good from time to time, but this is Tony Khan's show and if he can't say no to them or hear his ideas suck (maybe Janela does serve a purpose!) then we will never get beyond this mix of mostly great stuff bogged down by the odd really bad idea ratio they've been rocking two years in. 

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2 hours ago, hammerva said:

Listening to Al Snow in the last decade or so, I can only imagine how miserable he was watching the show.   He had to have some stake in being there.

When I saw Al Snow. I did two things.

1. Roll my eyes.

2. Remember this beauty:

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Edited by The Natural
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I wish they’d put the titles on MJF/Jericho. That would have been such a perfect platform to get some gold on MJF, have 2 bonafide stars heading the tag division, actually get some pay-off for them as a duo given all that theatrical BS that stretched out for months endlessly before eventually pulling the turn w/ greater stakes established as MJF gets a taste for titles, then goes over Jeri in singles & has a great platform to World gold.

Instead we continue on with balding-Bucks as super whiny & annoying “faces” while the MJF/Jeri storyline probably shoots its load way too soon and deprives us of some of the fun that tenuous build should have paid, with MJF on another none-title related storyline - which is off for someone whose schtick is being such a winner.

So close yet so far.

Edited by A_K
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Are we going to gloss over how bad Arn and Cody lingering in the tunnel and in the camera shot for most of that ladder match was? It distracted me from the match because I was more fixated on the awkwardness of them there. You knew Cody was coming back out at some point, but to telegraph it so egregiously was not great. 

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10 hours ago, The Natural said:

I liked how the Ladder match had a hanging donut and a Sonic the Hedgehog ring dangling from the ceiling.

 

36 minutes ago, For Great Justice said:

That's a great way to phrase it. So many own goals on this show. Choosing to hype and debut Christian the way they did. Choosing to box themselves in with the exploding ring gimmick. The Sonic the Hedgehog ring. 

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Edited by The Natural
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5 minutes ago, Chaos said:

Are we going to gloss over how bad Arn and Cody lingering in the tunnel and in the camera shot for most of that ladder match was? It distracted me from the match because I was more fixated on the awkwardness of them there. You knew Cody was coming back out at some point, but to telegraph it so egregiously was not great. 

Oh yeah, completely agree with this. So odd. Why did they do that?

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Cody is the real face of TNT and must be prominently featured at all times. 

At least the crowd turned on him. At least a vocal minority did. 

Edited by Jiji
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Just realized I hadn't said shit about the ladder match. I didn't know who Ethan Page was and this wasn't the way to see what he could do so no judgement one way or another on his performance. The others though? It started feeling like backyarders just doing spots they thought were cool without any kind of cohesion. Why even run the injury angle with Cody if he doesn't win? Way to take the shine off the actual winner, which brings me to the elephant in the AEW room:

HOW HAS CODY BEEN A FACE THIS WHOLE TIME?? Seriously, the last time he exhibited babyface actions was the MJF feud. His entrance, using a segment of national TV for a gender reveal party, the original TNT belt genesis, an entourage, what the fuck. This is a heel! Why are they being presented as a babyface? There wasn't even really much in the Shaq mini-feud that made me think "ah, Cody is the virtuous one who should be cheered!" as it was just general antagonism.

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The ladder match felt a bit off to me - as most (all?) of the multi-person ladder matches AEW have done so far have. Archer was the highlight. I didn't feel like Sky, Caster or Page really came out of it looking much better than they did going in. And I figured this match's main purpose was to give those three guys the chance to really shine. 

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The match was designed to give them some spots but the actual story was about Cody and giving him an out for not winning. Even if it wasn't a botch fest with a literal giant brass ring as the prize, it still would've sucked for that reason. 

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The actual Shaq match was great (I say this as a hugely vocal critic throughout the build) and Jade Cargill should be an absolute star. But let that not distract from what a pile of absolute self-indulgent BS Cody Rhodes’ representation has been in the show for going on 10 months now. If the arena-crowd are now finally turning on this then great. If he finally has to get off TV for a little while & we save the dead-time spent on the whole ‘Nightmare Family’ schtick and entourage then great. Bring him back as a heel which is what a good looking, pompous ‘EVP’ should always be in this kind of entertainment and meanwhile have someone take more singular control over this thing and get some quality-control in place rather than letting a pile of EVPs and washed up WWE guys run amok playing out their personal & nepotistic fantasies with variable results.

Edited by A_K
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10 minutes ago, Sex Machine Gun said:

HOW HAS CODY BEEN A FACE THIS WHOLE TIME?? Seriously, the last time he exhibited babyface actions was the MJF feud. His entrance, using a segment of national TV for a gender reveal party, the original TNT belt genesis, an entourage, what the fuck. This is a heel! Why are they being presented as a babyface? There wasn't even really much in the Shaq mini-feud that made me think "ah, Cody is the virtuous one who should be cheered!" as it was just general antagonism.

Cody is a face because he's an EVP, in charge of his own creative, and thinks he, the person, is a face IRL.  There's nothing else to say but I'll just repost something I wrote three months ago since, as my man @The Naturalwrote, the Cody Hate Train appears to be picking up passengers:

Quote

That's something that I think bugs me the most about Cody, the feeling that he's just doing whatever he likes and feels is fun because it's what he wants to do and he has power in the company.  Like HHH cosplaying Ric Flair back in the day because he could and it didn't make a damn lick of sense.  Look at this:

Cody drives his Ford F10050 or whatever to the ring.  So he's a Steve Austin style redneck asskicker?  No.

Cody dresses up like Captain Kirk.  So he has a cosplay gimmick?  No

Cody has a big dumb neck tattoo.  So his gimmick is he's some inked badass like Brody King?  No

Cody dresses like a dandy-ass fancy lad fop.  So he's working an upper-class, better-than-you poor marks gimmick?  No

Cody comes to the ring with a group of hangers on so big that 1991 MC Hammer says "dude, you can't possibly pay all those people."  So he's working a horsemen gimmick where his people all interfere?  No.

Cody has the announcer call him "The Prince of Pro Wrestling" and has the most elaborate entrance in the company.  So he's an arrogant heel?  No.

There's no cohesive character being portrayed here.  This isn't brilliant meta heel work where it will turn out that "arrogant EVP who does whatever makes him happy" is his gimmick.  As time goes on, it just becomes clear that this is who the guy is.

Because shit, if that turns out to be a gimmick, it's awful because wrestling needs another "booker with a power trip" gimmick as much as it needs another horsemen group.

 

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6 minutes ago, The Comedian said:

What's an EVP?

I mean Google tells me its either Electronic Voice Phenomena or Employee Value Proposition, but neither of those give off a wrestling vibe to me...

Executive Vice President.

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10 minutes ago, The Comedian said:

What's an EVP?

I mean Google tells me its either Electronic Voice Phenomena or Employee Value Proposition, but neither of those give off a wrestling vibe to me...

It stands for Executive Vice President, but I wouldn't be shocked if Cody tuned his radio to static and got booking advice from beyond...

"Book yothelf strong, Cody!"  Said the disembodied voice from the AM dial.  "thtay ovah if ya weeeeeeeeeel."

9 minutes ago, The Natural said:

Thanks for reposting that Cody Rhodes post, @Technico Support. One of my favourites in my time on the board from September 2005-present day.

So, Interstellar (2014) or Cody Rhodes?

I only had to see Interstallar once.  I get Cody almost every damn week.

Edited by Technico Support
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1 minute ago, Technico Support said:

It stands for Executive Vice President, but I wouldn't be shocked if Cody tuned his radio to static and got booking advice from beyond...

"Book yothelf strong, Cody!"  Said the disembodied voice from the AM dial.  "thtay ovah if ya weeeeeeeeeel."

I only had to see Interstallar once.  I get Cody almost every damn week.

Legit LOLS at both. Thank you, @Technico Support.

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1 minute ago, The Natural said:

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I'm still mad at Cody and Brandi for putting poor Pharoah through that.

I'm more mad about Cody bragging on Twitter about firing a guy.  What a dick.  And yeah, really good odds he asked for the pyro himself and then put the heat on a guy making a fraction of his salary when Brandi got mad.

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First proper PPV I've ordered at full price in like a decade and, well, I enjoyed it as a solid night of wrestling overall but obviously issues. What I think was interesting was that this was NOT a work-rate focused PPV the way a lot of early AEW was. This was stories, pushed guys, angles etc. I think there is a little push/pull with the crowd that wants these guys to go out there and have bangers and their pivot to being more of a traditional national wrestling company where just having a show of four-star matches isn't the goal to the larger stories. 

One thing that struck me is that AEW really does have a deep roster. The tag battle royale really highlighted that. There's so many tag teams and so many young guys and guys that didn't have a national name until now that we're getting to the point where guys feel under-pushed. 

As far as Christian coming in - listen, I think TNA really poisoned the well on stuff like this so everyone is defensive. I've been watching a boatload of old TNA on Pluto (which is awesome) and you really forget how often the "hey that used to be so and so in WWE and now he's here in TNA" as some dude runs in and attacks AJ happened. If a solid vet with name value wants to come into your company you take him. Now if he's hitting the Unprettier on MJF Wednesday, we have a problem. Of course, aside from being over-pushed the fear is that these guys just take up TV time that you should be giving to the younger guys. I think the Christian thing will be fine though. And, as far as "ex-WWE" guys who have they over-pushed so far aside from the various attempts to get Matt Hardy over? 

They really have to stop with the run-ins though. They're veering into NJPW territory where every match has a million guys or gals interfere. 

Match thoughts:

- Baker and Rebel not Reba is such a great package and Rebel not Reba has really turned into an effective heel manager. Britt's clap of delight when Itoh came out was delightful. I always liked Riho but I think she's looked a LOT better since coming back. Just a little crisper and her moves look more impactful. She's been good. I like Itoh and Baker as a weird heel unit. Itoh is a treasure though I fear the act may be a little one-trick. 

- Bucks vs MJF/Jericho was really good and just shows how versatile the Bucks are. We're at the point where every time we see them we need to realize that we are watching a legitimate all-time tag team at their best. Them vs Pac and Fenix has the potential to be the Match of the Year if they have time. 

- Battle Royale was fun enough. Bear Country is a blast. Deep tag division. 

- Shida, like Rio, has also upped her game a lot. Decent match, if a bit sloppy at times. Shida has upped her intensity a lot. I can see a heel turn in her future, especially with Riho back. Baker/Itoh/Rebel not Reba/Vickie and Nyla could work as a bizarre heel unit. Like, imagine the image of them doing a old school Survivor Series team interview

- The bloom is off the rose on Cassidy. Maybe when crowds are fully back you can get back to it but none of that match really worked. Miro looked good though. 

- Ladder match was okay. In a weird way, this showed how good WWE is at ladder matches even though everyone is sick of them. WWE has their template down and they just throw a bunch of flippy guys in there to kill themselves and maybe on chickenshit heel and/or big guy to base and this was not that. It was a hodgepodge of inexperienced ladder match guys, vets and newer talent and it kind of worked but also didn't have those big tentpole spots that the WWE lampshades. There were some brutal bumps but it wasn't a stunt show in the way the WWE does it. Ethan Page is a nice signing if it's like Darby feud Ethan Page and not meta-self aware "played by Julian" Ethan Page. 

- Big Money Match was a fine WCW '91 PPV match with like Brad Armstrong vs Wildfire Tommy Rich. Perfectly competent but asking Matt to go that long in a PPV singles is ambitious. 

- I liked the Sting match though it tried to be all things at all times. It's like they anticipated every criticism they would get and tried to do everything and ended up just muddying the waters. That said, it looked cool as fuck. Some wildly inventive spots, some brutal bumps, everyone looked good. That spot of Cage walking up the stairs with Darby was totally nuts too. They would have been better either having commentary and calling it like a street fight without the music or do the cinematic stuff and not have commentary. 

- Okay, so main event was one of the better barb wire matches as barb wire matches go. Moxley is just a remarkable wrestler and really is the torch-bearer for guys link Funk and Foley. Moxley turned down millions of dollars and is doing this because he loves wrestling so much. He is just the coolest babyface in the world. Omega looked great of course. Hated the run-in finish. And, then the ring didn't explode. So, here's the thing - they have an out with the "Omega built it" thing which is fine for the story though the fact that the announcers and the wrestlers initially sold it makes it silly but you can retcon that. Khan said "well you can't really blow these guys up." Okay, then - do the barb wire, do the explosions but don't promise the countdown clock and sirens. You don't HAVE to do the final explosion. But, if you do, it has to look cool and it didn't. Just a total swing and a miss. The ONE thing they were warned about was that if the final explosion looked lame it would kill the gimmick and they couldn't pull it off. It shouldn't take away from the match which overall was solid tho. 

 

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