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9 hours ago, Go2Sleep said:

Penta's problem in AEW is that he and Fenix got the gimmick of "resident Mexican wrestlers" and the role of "second-tier spotfest filler."

This is very much a thing. I don't know why they can't get in some other AAA/Crash talent like Hijo del Vikingo due to their connections, though I know Covid and visas are an issue. MLW has more luchadores than AEW.

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11 hours ago, eikerir said:

 Have they ever explained why Fenix and PAC are a team now instead of the established Lucha Bros team? has Penta had any interaction at all with the other two Death Triangle guys in the last few months?.

Penta was having VISA issues and had been out of the country until this past week if I understand correctly. So they ran with the two they had.

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9 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

This is very much a thing. I don't know why they can't get in some other AAA/Crash talent like Hijo del Vikingo due to their connections, though I know Covid and visas are an issue. MLW has more luchadores than AEW.

Yeah, I agree it's gotta be a Covid/visa issue, especially now with the NWA/Impact/NJPW involvement, unless there's some political aspect to it we aren't considering, like if for example one of those companies had a CMLL partnership (no idea if they do in reality).

Along these lines, I wonder if there was supposed to be more involvement from CIMA and OWE pre-pandemic, because I wasn't too familiar with em but I loved em on the early shows.

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Nah CMLL and AAA are basically All Japan vs. New Japan back in the day. They'll never work together. Crash is Konnan's company and him and AAA are connected instead. 

Strange you bring up OWE because they were involved with MLW as well. 

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Lucha Underground was my first exposure to Pentagon and I thought he was awesome there. He looked cool, was put over as a serious threat, and had plenty of great matches. His appearances in PWG also ranged from solid to really good. I'll admit there's been a dip in quality in his work in AEW but pushing him as dangerous arm breaking Pentagon once again is the best way to use him and can be done easy enough provided he's willing to put in the effort. I also prefer he and Fenix better solo than a unit. Their different styles and personalities just lend them better to singles action, not to mention Fenix is a natural face while Pentagon is much better as a heel.

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Being in the UK, I’m always a day or 2 behind by the time I catch up, so my hot takes are more mild at best once I get to the thread, but nonetheless.

I generally think Omega’s been handled well in AEW, but this was the first time I really thought he shouldn’t be a top guy. His whole presentation here just came off as cheap and inauthentic. I actually like some of these things as heel touches (the dancers, the douchey outfits, the entourage) but all together it just didn’t work for me here. Honestly, I think the key is to just limit his mic time, it works in short doses but this was too much. I think he could do with upgrading his back up as well, I still think they should align The Bucks with him as they’re not likeable as faces.

This was the most impressed I’ve been with Sky. It helps that he has Darby bumping for him but I much preferred him as de facto heel, with the relatively simplistic and vicious offence. Much better than being generic athletic face, he really didn’t stand out in that role considering you have the likes of Fenix on the roster doing much more impressive stuff. Still not convinced he has much more upside but this was a positive step.

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I must be the odd man out here because I liked the rest of the show but disliked the main event. Liked the new feuds introduced (Penta-Cody, Darby-Sky, Sting-Archer?) but I thought the main event turn/reveal didn't really make any sense. Why would FTR who have been all about bringing back tag team wrestling and tradition align with a guy like MJF who is everything but?! What do they care about him or the Inner Circle? Why did they lose the tag belts and just never really bother to try to get them back? They were ruthlessly trying to destroy the Bucks, lost the titles and just were like "Eh, let's fight that dinosaur guy" and now suddenly that's out the window so they can focus on the Inner Circle and be MJF's lackeys?! I still don't think MJF should have ever been involved with the Inner Circle, the money feud was Sammy Guevara usurping The Inner Circle and booting out Jericho (the whiny unlikable heel taking over the group from the guy that the fans REALLY want to cheer), who picks up some allies to fight back. The Inner Circle as faces is going to get real old, real quick, I feel.

This episode was full of a lot of that, actually. Clearly, they viewed as a chance to change up the feuds and storylines but didn't really explain it very much. Kingston is back with Moxley, they're friends again, so Kingston just ditches Blade, Butcher and Bunny, who randomly end up as Matt Hardy's new team, when all the signs pointed to Hybrid 2 as ending up in that slot. Jurassic Express don't bother to go after FTR after their weeks-long feud. Bucks being heavily featured in the Bullet Club-Moxley build-up, then suddenly not being involved in the story anymore. Lance Archer being evil, then being good, then being a tweener, now back to evil.

But I LOVED Maki Itoh' two appearances (Between this and the buy-in). The singing while everyone fought was so great (The microphone shots...not so much) and I loved Schiavone and Excalibur just chuckling away while it happened. But why are they teaming her with the heels when the audience so clearly loves her? Reminds me a little of Tajiri in ECW in a way where she is clearly connecting with the audience but the company is stubbornly insisting on shoehorning her in a spot where she doesn't belong.

I enjoyed Sky-Darby but, Good Lord, did they ever over-foreshadow that heel turn. I'm pretty sure every announcer at one point during the show brought up his "new attititude".

Page and the Dark Order going for a lawnmower ride made me laugh.

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:29 AM, Craig H said:

Jake and Sting are kinda feuding again! So that's neat!

It'll be really great if they use their lightning eyes on each other again and cause another explosion.

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4 hours ago, HumanChessgame said:

Lucha Underground was my first exposure to Pentagon and I thought he was awesome there. He looked cool, was put over as a serious threat, and had plenty of great matches. His appearances in PWG also ranged from solid to really good. I'll admit there's been a dip in quality in his work in AEW but pushing him as dangerous arm breaking Pentagon once again is the best way to use him and can be done easy enough provided he's willing to put in the effort. I also prefer he and Fenix better solo than a unit. Their different styles and personalities just lend them better to singles action, not to mention Fenix is a natural face while Pentagon is much better as a heel.

I slightly prefer Fenix in the tag team because if they're working more rudo, some of his bad habits are muted. I greatly prefer singles Penta, I greatly prefer Lucha Underground arm-breaking semi-spooky Spanglish-shit-screaming Penta. I think that guy has main-event upside in any promotion in the world. I don't think Cody and Penta are going to iron out each other's flaws, but I think they're capable of being the sort of mutual foils that can turn those flaws into strengths. Which is to say - it should be one hell of a battle of egos.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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On 3/12/2021 at 12:33 AM, just drew said:

It's the same thing with Kenny. In addition to his "crash as crash can" in ring style, I don't buy what he's trying to sell the audience right now, especially when the two guys he's programming with are maybe the two most authentic dudes in wrestling today. Listen to Eddie Kingston talk about being in the holding cell before his sentencing and then listen to Kenny Omega try to mock him by talking about detention in 7th grade. Either he's doing the world's best "pretentious dweeb" impression, or he actually is a pretentious dweeb.

Okada is also a colossal dork, but his game face is firmly on when the show starts. Similarly when most people find out Misawa was a big Kamen Rider fan they are surprised because Kamen Rider Fan was most definitely not his gimmick (though dressing as an anime character in-ring for several years should have been a clue).

It seems that Kenny doesn't have the right dork flavour to resonate with fans the way Hangman can, but isn't able to mask it like the biggest names can. At least I enjoy the stories Kenny tells even if I don't buy them. I remember people not being able to get into the Rock in his prime because they thought he was too goofy, and in-ring is where Kenny is likely ironing over the cracks for the kind of readership we have so I can see that alone being enough reason for some.

I soured on Kenny for a bit after his behaviour surrounding him leaving New Japan. I put it down to me committing the crime of being a Lion Mark with my sentence being not appreciating one of the great modern day workers. While I've since eased on that stance I've been trying to work out why it was so easy to me to do a 180 on him with only the slightest of prompts. Partly this was because his stuff was easy to buy into if you want to which explains why he's super popular in the wrestling bubble but not so much in the mainstream, but also because I was the co-runner of an e-fed in the noughties. Every now and again he gives me flashbacks to the kind of character I would see all the time and always hate:

Cool cocky heel? Check.
Leader of nWo rip-off stable? Check.
'Best wrestler in the world' gimmick? Check.
Almost certainly using the above gimmick to hide that it is their actual opinion? Check.
Extensive fued / storyline ideas exclusively involving their RL friends? Check.
Snarky shoot comments when they don't get what they want? Check.
Finisher that no one is allowed to kick out of? Check.
Career long rivalry with a frenemy which we know about because they and they alone keep on bringing it up? Check.
'You're stifling my creativity! I'm starting my own fed!' Check.

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The above comment makes me think of the time a guy I used to know started to book his own fantasy fed and I "loaned" some of the guys from my own created wrestling RPG to fill out his roster. Obviously, I wasn't really "using" any of the talent, since I wasn't really using the game anymore, but I had put a lot of thought into the characters at one time, and tried to explain them to him the best I could.

Then, he proceeded to turn them into most ridiculous bull-shit characters and job them out to his own created guys at least on the first show he wrote (he wanted me to write the Scott Keith/Chris Hyatte-type reviews about the shows afterwards). This didn't last very long as our creative differences were quite significant. I mean he was just trying to have fun, and I was like "you are obviously having fun in a very, very wrong way!" I can see, how I was taking it way too serious at the time, but boy was I pissed at the time.

But yeah, E-feds are probably shit to pull off, because so many people do it totally wrong, as very well described in the above post.

Edited by Shartnado
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We don't talk about E-Feds.

There used to be a DVDVR E-Fed, and that's why we don't talk about them.

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Super Late Thoughts on Dynamite!  I'm super salty!

AEW agents continue to be the worst. Two matches on the card with the 'face does a flip and hurts his ankle' spots is one too many. No one sat Ethan Page down and said, "Hey Ethan, we have a roster of people who do diamond cutter variations... maybe don't also do one?" Speaking of which, Ethan Page might as well be called "We have MJF at home". Why sign another guy who so closely mirrors one of your existing featured talents? 

How Shawn Spears looked in the mirror and decided to somehow make his hair worse is goddamn amazing. "Chairman" has been added back into his gimmick pile because if there is anything he needs, it's more gimmicks piled on his presentation. I'm not even sour on him as a talent, but he has no idea how to get himself over. He like everyone else, needs an editor. 

I have no idea how anyone can hurt someone on this show when people pop up from crazy shit on the floor every show. They could cut someone's head off and I'd expect them to kick out at two.

Christian coming in to immediately go after the AEW champion is such WWE booking philosophy it should make everyone sick. Let's give this guy with zero matches an angle with the World Champion! Why do they have those rankings they never use? They are for more likely to have a battle royal or tournament or ladder match to determine conteders so why bother?

Maki Itoh is living proof workrate doesn't matter to this audience because she sucks in ring and gets by on charisma. Just mechanically awful. The whole six women match was put together terribly with the World Champion getting beat up by middle aged woman Vicky Guerrero and comedy flunky Reba to get play tapped by Itoh. It would be like Hulk Hogan getting beat up by Jimmy Hart and Virgil. 

When people point to AEW being amateur booking hour, this is what we are talking about... How many promos got interrupted? How many new groups got formed? How many turns are going on? How many matches had post match shenanigans? You have to keep so much shit flying at the screen or people will realize there is no substance. Remember when Pac came back to reform the Death Triangle because Kingston was trying to split the Lucha Brothers?  Since then Penta has evidently split from the group so Pac and Fenix can tag, The Kingston group has broken up entirely, Eddie turned face, and Archer turned de facto face and is now a heel again.  How long ago was that?

Edited by Goodear
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What's the right way to debut a prominent signing from the evil empire? A high profile feud with the world champion out of the gate or a slow burning midcard feud featuring less known talent? Because it seems like either way is wrong.

Death Triangle is still a thing. It was derailed by Penta having visa issues and being out for a few shows. I also don't get why some many people are surprised by Butcher and Blade going away from Kingston. I mean, they are mercenaries, guns for hires. That's how they were introduced by MJF. Of course they come when Big Money Matt shows them the money. The whole angle of Kingston's family was hotshotted anyway because PAC suddenly couldn't reenter the country.

But I do agree that people need to stop using Cutter variations. The TKO by Scorpio is fine, I guess. Other than that, go away. Handspring and springboard variations are the worst. Jay Lethal and his Lethal Injection is the most terrible finisher I can think of. Just stick to the Diamond Cutter.

I still think that you need to stop looking for clear faces and heels and AEW. It's obvious they don't really go by that traditional dichotomy of good and evil. You're looking for something AEW doesn't want to give you. I don't watch Marvel movies and complain about the twentieth movie with the exact same structure ending in a CGI massacre final fight. I know what I'm getting into, for better or worse.

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14 hours ago, AxB said:

We don't talk about E-Feds.

There used to be a DVDVR E-Fed, and that's why we don't talk about them.

Roger that. Probably for the best, anyway. I see how that must have ended in tears.

Edited by Shartnado
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I've been not medically cleared since Thursday and never got a chance to fully post about the show, and the time really has passed.  I couldn't mentally pay very good attention to the show anyway. 

BUT I will say, I do dig Alex Ibrahantes (sp?) as this generation's "THE GREAT KHALI SAYS" guy is muy bueno.

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Yeah he’s very good. That whole Penta segment was great actually. Penta has quite an aura; a translator filling in the generic parts while Penta spews acerbic acid with his Mex-English insults is a good way to go.

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2 hours ago, MrKothoga said:

What's the right way to debut a prominent signing from the evil empire? A high profile feud with the world champion out of the gate or a slow burning midcard feud featuring less known talent? Because it seems like either way is wrong.

Death Triangle is still a thing. It was derailed by Penta having visa issues and being out for a few shows. I also don't get why some many people are surprised by Butcher and Blade going away from Kingston. I mean, they are mercenaries, guns for hires. That's how they were introduced by MJF. Of course they come when Big Money Matt shows them the money. The whole angle of Kingston's family was hotshotted anyway because PAC suddenly couldn't reenter the country.

But I do agree that people need to stop using Cutter variations. The TKO by Scorpio is fine, I guess. Other than that, go away. Handspring and springboard variations are the worst. Jay Lethal and his Lethal Injection is the most terrible finisher I can think of. Just stick to the Diamond Cutter.

I still think that you need to stop looking for clear faces and heels and AEW. It's obvious they don't really go by that traditional dichotomy of good and evil. You're looking for something AEW doesn't want to give you. I don't watch Marvel movies and complain about the twentieth movie with the exact same structure ending in a CGI massacre final fight. I know what I'm getting into, for better or worse.

The choice between Christian and Miro is a false choice. I don't have an issue with a newly signed guy getting an important spot in the company but getting title shots should always be earned through some manner beyond showing up. It up blows the internal consistency of being a competition and renders a lot of the reasons for caring about results mattering moot. We want wrestler X to beat wrestler Y so wrestler X can move up the card. It's easy storytelling and we shouldn't toss it out so we can play with our new toy. On the other hand, Miro has been in AEW since September of last year and has spent half a year building to a match with Orange Cassidy which hasn't happened for... reasons? He's in a booking quagmire since his debut and it's allowed his stock to fall. 

Has Death Triangle been all together on screen since two weeks after reforming in November? I know Penta had visa issues but has there been an sign of them being together since he's been back?

So many cutters. Cutters every match. I do agree the flying backward cutter variations like the Lethal Injection and Cody Cutter are the worst. 

AEW does have some grey characters (Archer) and some that are obviously supposed to be black (Omega, MJF) or white (Orange Cassidy, Moxley) but sometimes trying to figure out which is which can create narrative whiplash as the characters aren't strong enough to cover their decisions. If we strongly built that Archer will accept zero disrespect or Cody will cut a bitch who mentions his family, it can work. Most of the time, it doesn't. AEW is not proven capable of deep storytelling so they should keep it simple. 

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:47 AM, S.K.o.S. said:

Was thinking last night about how eventually I'm going to know that song by heart, whether I want to or not.

Was also thinking that without the music, you could really tell she's a pretty good singer.  (Yes I know about her backstory)

This was the best

Maki is going back to Japan now, but what a great memorable little run this was.

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9 hours ago, Goodear said:

I don't have an issue with a newly signed guy getting an important spot in the company but getting title shots should always be earned through some manner beyond showing up.

Okay, but... Christian has not gotten a title shot. Yes, they clearly foreshadowed last week that he probably would, but that's not the same as actually giving him the shot. If they jump to that step without any reasonable in-universe explanation of how he earned it, I could understand the complaint. But complaining at this point seems silly.

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Also, random thought: am I misremembering or did Ethan Page refer to himself as "All Ego" and/or use it in his entrance video? If so, why?

I mean, it's okay for a heel to have a nickname that's an insult, like "No Class" Bobby Bass. But Bobby Bass didn't refer to himself as "No Class". That would make no sense. So why would Ethan Page actively use a nickname that says he's full of himself but can't back it up?

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5 hours ago, tbarrie said:

Also, random thought: am I misremembering or did Ethan Page refer to himself as "All Ego" and/or use it in his entrance video? If so, why?

I mean, it's okay for a heel to have a nickname that's an insult, like "No Class" Bobby Bass. But Bobby Bass didn't refer to himself as "No Class". That would make no sense. So why would Ethan Page actively use a nickname that says he's full of himself but can't back it up?

On the show, I have no idea. In reality, probably in order to sell a freakin' boat load of "All Ego Wrestling" shirts - that's a lob over the plate for the merch team

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