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August 2021 Wrestling Discussion


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Helped: Roman Reigns, Eddie Kingston, Ben Carter/ Nathan Frazier, John Silver

Hurt: Brodie Lee, Alexa Bliss, Rhea Ripley, Ilja Dragunov

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I'm a little concerned that we're headed to a repeat of that weird period from April 2020 where there were no fans again. That was rough. I was thinking during the NJPW today, didn't Tokyo just post a record number of new cases in a day?

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1 hour ago, Octopus said:

Who were wrestlers that were helped or hurt by the change in show presentation during the pandemic?

There's an interesting nuance to this, which is 'change in show presentation' versus 'lack of audience'. I'm not sure about the latter, but for the former - Drew and Shayna come to mind, as well as the Mandy / Otis angle's derailment. 

 

1 hour ago, Spontaneous said:

I'm a little concerned that we're headed to a repeat of that weird period from April 2020 where there were no fans again. That was rough. I was thinking during the NJPW today, didn't Tokyo just post a record number of new cases in a day?

This is a good take. If anyone wants a grim data science side project, graph the outbreaks two weeks after a WWE show rolls through a town.

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2 hours ago, Octopus said:

Who were wrestlers that were helped or hurt by the change in show presentation during the pandemic?

Anybody with no real talent, but was liked by management because of their looks was helped by it. Some of the wackiest gimmicks were definitely helped by the audience not being there to shit on it. I think the people with in-ring ability, and aren’t the greatest talkers were definitely hurt by it.

Certain acts like Orange Cassidy definitely needed the crowd. I feel like Jericho was definitely hurt the most by it. He was the guy who could make the lamest shit work with fans in attendance, and all his pandemic angles started to grate on the fans nerves by the end. But since getting the fans back, somebody like him seems to be putting 100% back in to their work.

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10 minutes ago, For Great Justice said:

Yeah Otis has to be the pick right? He was going to get the huge “got the girl” WM moment. First name that came to mind for me.

Otis suffered from incompetent booking, not a lack of crowd. 

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8 hours ago, Octopus said:

Who were wrestlers that were helped or hurt by the change in show presentation during the pandemic?

Didn’t Bayley’s star ascend during the pandemic period? From the clips I saw she grew more and more comfortable in her own skin and being fully in character in front of zero fans. Another type of performer to add to @LoneWolf&Subs list: those who can fill minutes with talking segments and make it work (as far as anyone can).

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Sometimes that’s the case. As long as they weren’t in an arena setting. A lot of those backstage interview segments benefited the best talkers. When the best guys  were doing it in an empty building, canned heat, or planted crowd, that’s when it just didn’t work.

 TV production deserves the most credit, and criticism for what did, and didn’t work ultimately. Some concepts that they came up with really helped certain acts at the time. Best Friends really benefitted from the gimmicky brawls. But then you had the Team Taz Vs. Darby & Sting cinematic match that I don’t ever want to see again. You know who else benefitted a lot? Everybody that worked on Dark, and got noticed. Will Hobbs went from an overlooked California guy, to a guy that everybody wanted to get signed because of that short ass Orange Cassidy match, and the spinebuster he gave Scorpio Sky. Sure “It was too long”, but it’s better to get to know what’s out there in the wrestling world, than three matches, and a bunch of recaps on Main Event.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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3 hours ago, The Green Meanie said:

 But the fact that a crowd didn't get to be there for his biggest moment(s) didn't help things either.

That would have been nice, but I don't think it would have changed much if anything at all. Its clear they didn't see Otis as a singles guy.

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59 minutes ago, Eivion said:

That would have been nice, but I don't think it would have changed much if anything at all. Its clear they didn't see Otis as a singles guy.

Which is crazy, since they're the ones who decided to push him as one. "We don't see you as a singles guy. So we're going to break up the tag team you're in and give you the Money in the Bank briefcase."

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5 hours ago, The Green Meanie said:

 But the fact that a crowd didn't get to be there for his biggest moment(s) didn't help things either.

That show was depressing to watch in general, but that was the biggest “this would have HIT with a live audience” moment of that weekend. 

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He’s been working without a contract since July, told WWE he would work through SummerSlam weekend and then re-evaluate things, and apparently WWE assumed his contract was up in December but it was actually in July.

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I mean I can understand generally not caring about Black's contract status given how they were using them.  But Adam Cole is still a main eventer in NXT and you ignored his contract?   Although given how NXT stars are being treated on the main roster lately, maybe it isn't that surprising

That being said I figure he would stay in WWE.   I know his wife is in AEW but I would think he would be a small fish there.  Especially if people like Punk and Bryan show up.  

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I’m theorizing that somebody in corporate doesn’t really care. NXT is apparently still a loss leader, and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if those contracts expired. Paul is probably upset, but his project appears to be dangling by a thread at this point. Time to actually turn into development, with even smaller contracts, instead of pretending with these indie stalwarts that will never be main roster mainstays. 

And yes, this could mean a sale is looming.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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Cole will obviously end up in AEW as he's boys with the Elite, but seriously - he sucks. We have seen everything he has to offer the wrestling world. And do they need ANOTHER big name if they are already getting Punk and Bryan, on top of under-utilized guys like Black, Andrade and Miro. How long until the start focusing too much on these new acquisitions and guys like Page, Darby, MJF, Jungle Boy end up getting short-changed? I would 100% rather see what AEW could do with Bray Wyatt than Adam Cole.

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Personally I think Adam Cole should go to Japan, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to leave Britt(Schiavo is right there to pick up the pieces of Britt’s broken heart!). He’d be a good pick up for Cyber Fight/DDT. Who want to expand their streaming appeal in NA. Getting somebody like Adam Cole, and dare I say… Bray Wyatt would legitimize them here. But this isn’t 2016 anymore, and there is a real number #2 right in their own backyard. They probably don’t want to go all the way to Japan for a paycheck at this point in their lives, no matter how cool that sounds on paper. 

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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It's not too surprising that NXT isn't working. There is no set call up plans, they mix international and indie wrestlers with performance center trainees, and it tried to compete with AEW so they couldn't focus on developing talent. Is it meant to be OVW/FCW or is it a third brand? They seem to be wanting it to become a developmental brand now. If there is such a disparity in goals then perhaps it is best to jettison the talent hired under HHH's original vision and quit with the round peg/square hole drama this current set up has caused.

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WWE has spent the last 5 or so years building up a pipeline of talent, only to have nowhere for that talent to go. Still relying part-timers for your big matches. Now all that talent has somewhere better to go, but the pipeline is just so big. There's almost enough for ANOTHER major player to swoop in and pick up some big names. No idea what ROH's coffers are like these days but they should be angling for some of these guys. 

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