Pro-Wrestling Discussion

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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:35 pm

KnightDamien wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:59 am
Totally agree. I've actually been banging that drum for years and years now. No gimmick match should be an entire PPV.

Also agree that maybe winning the RR shouldn't equal a title match months later. I don't think pro-wrestling is set up for those kinds of long waits and it takes away a lot of the spontaneity of what 'could' happen because, as you said, it's usually pretty obvious what WWE -wants- the WM main event to be and the RR winner makes that far more obvious. Personally, I'd get rid of MITB and just go with the RR winner getting a future title shot of their choosing. But I also don't really like MITB.
I think the RR winner concept worked fine back when the TV was, at best, squash matches on WWF Superstars on Saturday morning and maybe a 1 hr Raw, and there were only a few PPVs - you could drag things out then - it just doesn't work now that they need to fill 5 hrs of TV each week, plus have the Rumble winner and the Champ be involved in other feuds in between and on the extra PLEs.

But I do like MitB and the RR winner getting a title shot. It can lead to good stories when they use it to get someone new into the main event scene, or create a face vs face or heel vs heel match to turn someone, or as a way for a face to get to a heel that is ducking them. The one thing the title opportunities have going for them is you don't need to have a "feud" per se, just competition as the driving force.

I think if I was WWE I'd consider 6 "Big" PLEs - bring back King of the Ring and merge it with Clash of the Champions concept - have it be a champion only tournament for bragging rights - Universal, Heavyweight, IC, US, and then the four members from the two tag team holders for the men, for the women they need a secondary title, and do a four woman WWE champ, secondary title champ, and the tag champs. And elevate Money in the Bank as a main show. You'd have WresteMania and SummerSlam as the two big events to cap 6 months of stories and then four themed shows - RR, Survivor Series, KotR and MitB - two offering title shots as a prize, two about bragging rights outside of the titles.

The other six then become supershows - like Crown Jewel or Clash at the Castle or Halloween Havok - that's where you maybe add in the gimmick matches like a HitC, TLC, Elimination Chamber or War Games as needed, or maybe do an all-women's event, or an all-tag event, or a 205 event - spice it up a bit.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Tue Nov 29, 2022 9:51 pm

fac wrote:
Tue Nov 29, 2022 3:35 pm
But I do like MitB and the RR winner getting a title shot.
Pretty much agree with everything you guys said. But the part above is too redundant if the payoff for being in the Royal Rumble isn't a Wrestlemania headlining payoff. Why go through 29 competitors when you could go through 5 or so with the same payoff?

I still laughingly love when they forced Batista to win the RR when EVERYONE wanted Daniel Bryan to win it. The fan blowback was so ridiculously huge and steady they actually had to backtrack and put DB in the main event match and have him win it. As frikken' huge as Sami is right now, I could see them work up a program with him against Roman for the title at Mania, though the plans are (were?) for Cody.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:39 pm

I suppose that's fair, as long as the Rumble is a bit closer to WM and they only have one event in-between that doesn't need the champ or RR winner to participate. This year it will be about 2 months - not too long, but still long enough to make the build seem stretched out I feel. But you are right it would diminish the Rumble if that wasn't for the WM main event spot.

The Rumble works great when there are 3 or 4 legit options and there can be some mystery as to where it is going. But it can be terrible if it seems predictable. I think about the last two Brock appearances - when he came in early and was eliminating folks left and right only for Drew and a few faces to eliminate him - that worked great as you could see them book Brock to just destroy folks, and the pop when he was eliminated and then Drew won was huge. Then you have the next time when he came in at 29 or 30 or whatever and I felt like the whole thing was undermined as it was a forgone conclusion he would win at that point.

I was thinking a really interesting Bloodline story would be for the Bloodline to enter the Rumble under orders to keep certain guys from winning that Roman didn't want to face, and that succeeds as they work together to eliminate everyone, but then it comes down to Jimmy, Jey, Sami and Solo as the last four - so one gets the title match...what happens, and does the winner lay down for Roman or go for the title?
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Fri Dec 09, 2022 12:36 am

I have no idea what AEW was trying to do with the MJF/Regal/Moxley/BCC storyline, but I feel as though they managed to make Moxley look dumb, Bryan look naive and MJF look weak all at the same time.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Tue Dec 27, 2022 10:42 pm

I know this is a super unpopular opinion generally, but I have zero interest left for the Best of Seven series. I just don't want to watch the same two teams fight each other that many times in a row. It stops being interesting, no matter how you book it. During the last one, I found myself just doom-scrolling Instagram during the entire match. I just don't care. I love Pac, but the Bros are better as a regular tag team. Pac is better as a singles guy. I don't care about Kenny and the Bucks as a trios team despite loving all three guys.

I can't believe Mox isn't on vacation yet. Wasn't that the whole point of him losing the title now -- that he wasn't even supposed to be champ in the first place and was supposed to be enjoying a vacation? In other words, I don't like Moxley, as I've often said, and would like him to go away. And probably back into rehab, from the looks of him.

Also, Ricky Starks is a terrible face. AEW fans are weird in the sense that they'll get behind someone because they want to see them succeed for whatever reason, or because they really want to see their opponent lose. Whatever. But sometimes that sense mixed signals. I think TK got the idea from the cheers that Ricky was -really- over and fans really loved him. He isn't. They don't.

I'm genuinely surprised that they still seem to be struggling to pivot into something worth watching after having to cancel all their CM Punk-related plans. But it's painfully obvious that a lot of things going on right now are half-formed ideas that they're just running with. Honestly, it surprises me how often this happens in both companies. Like, you run a wrestling company. Rule number [email protected]#$ 1 should be to have contingency plans in place for WHEN someone gets hurt, quits, or gets fired. Both AEW and WWE are very guilty of putting out terrible content whenever someone suddenly has to be off TV, and it's pretty silly to constantly be so unprepared for it considering how often it happens in the industry.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Thu Dec 29, 2022 4:52 pm

Agreed about the best of 7 - in general I feel it is too obvious that is going to go 7 matches, so how invested can you really be in the early matches. I think a best of 3 series can be good and remain interesting and tell some stories across matches, especially if it was used more often, and you let some end 2-0, or after the 3rd match ends with a disqualification you add some stipulations, etc. for a 4th match, and so on. That is done defacto now in feuds to have multiple matches, but I'd like to see it done more overtly like best of 3 for title. Part of the issue for me with best of 7 series (or any long series of matches) is I am not invested enough to remember some call-back to match 2 in match 5 three weeks later, like reversing some move that worked before.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Thu Dec 29, 2022 8:02 pm

To be honest, I actually hadn't even considered that aspect of it; trying to do call-outs to stuff from previous matches. I'm honestly not sure how that would work because, exactly as you say, I don't think -most- fans are so invested in each match that they'll necessarily remember enough about each match for that to work. Especially as you're definitely going to have the matches sort've blurring together after a while.

Granted, it seems like they're trying to do something different with every match. No rules. Falls count anywhere. All that stuff. Just to keep the matches straight in your brain, and definitely to keep it interesting. I just don't know that it's working all that well. Really, I think the best way they could have done a best of seven is to have one team sweep the series. THAT would have been kind of unexpected, and at least you just stop after 4 matches instead of trying to do 7 matches all in a row with the same teams and try to make it interesting each time.


That being said, you're also not wrong that this is basically the standard formula anyway. We just don't call it a best of seven --- instead we just suffer through the same guys in matches all the time. AEW, though, isn't nearly as bad for that as WWE is. Maybe that's why this stands out to me so much as a bad idea.


I'm hoping Wardlow is about to get repackaged somehow. Seems like such a waste. He had a great build-up. Fans were solidly behind him. Fans were hardcore invested in watching him climb the ladder and get that title. And then he gets it and AEW very clearly did not know what to do from there. Everything after him winning the title was just awful. Possibly the worst title run in AEW's existence. And now he just jobs out to one of the most over-rated Indies guys ever.
So I'm hoping the hair-cutting is a way to transition him into a different look and maybe a different attitude or something?
I just hope he doesn't go the WWE route of having him come back on TV as a heel, blaming the fans for 'never supporting him.' WWE LOVES to do that, even with people that fans absolutely loved and definitely supported. Remember Becky Lynch being like 'you fans never believed in me!' when she went heel? So dumb. She was regularly getting better reactions and better merch sales than like 80-90% of the entire roster.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Sat Jan 14, 2023 5:56 am

Trying to figure out what is going on with WWE in terms of a possible sale. Lots of, I think, pretty dubious rumors. I feel the speculation this is just Vince trying to get control back is probably off-base, as officials of publicly traded companies can't just say "we are looking to sell" without that being the real goal and endgame, as that opens them up to all sorts of problems in terms of appearing to manipulate the stock. I also think it is a mis-read of the situation to think that any existing corporation who would buy WWE would want to keep Vince in charge, given his age and the fact they would want their own management team to be in control so as to follow whatever directives they want - Vince could not be autonomous.

I was thinking Comcast might be a buyer given WWE on Peacock, but WWE is really a bit different than other media properties given the live events and touring - it is not like buying a normal media property like say Star Wars where you buy the IP and develop new shows/media around it and get the library. Would Comcast want to go into the road-show business? I might question if they want to add that line of business as it is so different that everything else they do.

Disney really is the one media firm that, in addition to traditional media, does the live event thing as well - with the Disney on Ice and Broadway shows. The question is whether the content (violence and scantily clad performers) skews a bit too old to imbed into the Marvel/Star Wars/Muppets etc. type IP that they buy. However, it is pretty much PG material. I was thinking they could easily move NXT out of Full Sail and into a weekly show at Disney World as a draw for the parks, and I could see a WWE type show being an attraction at Disney parks as well. (Side note, I think Alexa Bliss's head might explode if she would actually work for Disney, given the Disney fangirl that she is).

One part that I am not sure about is whether Vince could sell his shares and have those shares retain the voting rights to keep majority ownership, or if he would need to convert them to regular shares and in doing so, whether they lose their extra voting power (As I understand it, Vince's shares are a different class than what was publicly offered which is how he has a majority of the voting power without the majority of outstanding stock). If the voting power remains, he could sell out to an investment firm/consortium while leaving the common shares out of the loop. When people talk about the Saudi Investment Fund being involved, this seems more likely to me than them buying up all the shares and going private - and it might only require half the current market-cap to do it, which is a big deal. A corporation like Disney would need to swallow WWE whole I think - if kept as a subsidiary that often confuses investors as to how to value Disney and a still traded WWE. But if Vince could sell enough of his shares directly to transfer ownership, he might be able to make the case that is maximizing shareholder value by getting a better investment partner - Vince has no money that isn't WWE money, but someone else might. It would also explain why he "needed" to be back on the Board in order to change the rules on the stock to do a sale.

Anyway, interesting stuff - until something happens, I am not going to have it impact my watching of the WWE, which I am generally enjoying at the moment, sans the Wyatt gibberish.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Sat Jan 14, 2023 8:24 pm

I don't really have complicated thoughts on a potential WWE sale. There's just so much misinformation and guesswork going around right now as everyone tries to be the first one to break some important news. The fact is, I dropped all support for WWE the moment Vince was back. Dude is a serial sex abuser and him being able to come back just shows how broken the whole thing is.
If he goes away, everything goes back to normal? Sure, WWE is a bit problematic but okay. If Vince stays, or if the company gets sold off to some incorporated walking human rights violation like a Saudi investor? I won't talk, watch, buy, or otherwise support WWE ever again. S'all I've gotta say.



Sasha Banks/Mercedes Mone's NJPW debut was such an absolutely MASSIVE waste of all the hype she's built since leaving WWE. Anyone that regularly or semi-regularly watches NJPW knows that Japanese audiences tend to be very quiet overall and even quieter during promo segments. But even for a promo segment in NJPW, that crowd was DEAD. Many likely didn't even know who she was, quite possibly couldn't understand what she was saying, and otherwise just weren't overly invested. But even if they were, you're not going to get that huge reaction out of that crowd that you'd get even at some regular ol' AEW Rampage taping. Hell, she would have gotten a louder reaction at the taping for some shitty YouTube show for NWA.

And that lack of reaction makes her look a lot less important even to people that do know who she is -- AEW fans watching NJPW for the first time, perhaps. Combine the utter silence from the crowd with her botching the only move she did and it just fell flat so hard that it was actually sad to watch.

That's all being said from the fan perspective, of course. If NJPW paid her way more money than anyone else was going to, or gave her whatever other perks she wanted... more power to her. Happy for her and I hope she does well. But as a viewer, it was a total waste of all that hype. Like a balloon spinning around in fart circles when you let the air out.


I've been psyched about House of Black running through the AEW roster when they came back and they're already mired down in just the worst storyline with the shittiest performer on the roster. I can't STAND Kingston, and I don't understand how this feud does anything for HoB. They shouldn't be picking random fights with low-rent mid-carders. They've already all had their individual runs where they beat up nobodies to boost their rankings and make them look tough. HoB desperately needs a couple of feuds with higher level talent that they -win-, in order to really elevate them to that next level.

The fact that Julia Hart still isn't even getting to have matches on Rampage is goddamn criminal. She's my favorite part of Dark/Elevation.


As much as I'd love to see Danielson as AEW Champion - I really doubt it's going to happen. Not only would they be quickly transitioning into making another ex-WWE guy the champ, and I'm sure there's a reticence there, but I just don't see them taking the strap off MJF this quickly. They really made a strong statement by having all their champs at the beginning of the year be AEW Originals. I imagine that's something they'll want to carry forward for a fair bit longer.

And please, please tell me Statlander is coming back soon and she's going to be the one to beat Cargil.


The biggest 'goes without saying' ever is that Osprey v. Omega was amazing. Just amazing.
Also. .Adam Cole! And with Jay White leaving NJPW, I really hope AEW is on the horizon for him.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Sun Jan 15, 2023 9:34 pm

I've never been a huge Sasha/Mercedes fan - I appreciate her ringwork and like her character but I guess she never was a must-see for me, and think she is a little over-hyped. Having said that, I assume that the average New Japan fan knows only a little about the WWE, so not that surprised she got a muted reaction - if some star from New Japan debuted here (under a new name as well), I'd be more likely to have a muted reaction of "let's see what they can do" more than excitement about their appearance, as compared to say a returning star. But I do wonder if she is mainly there to get eyes on the New Japan product in the US (and get more in the US to pay for shows), and I suspect to that extent it is working to expand that.

And I'll just say that I really was turned off by the blade-job Ruby Soho did on Rampage - I don't like wrestling when I generally am concerned about the health of the performers and felt she was suffering a bit from the blood loss and that can lead to botches. For whatever reason I find the women bleeding more bothersome than the men - there is probably a whole lot of subconscious gender stuff there on my part - but I would be happy to never see a "crimson mask" again in wrestling, male or female. Doing that for an otherwise throw-away episode makes little sense to me.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:04 am

fac wrote: I've never been a huge Sasha/Mercedes fan - I appreciate her ringwork and like her character but I guess she never was a must-see for me, and think she is a little over-hyped.
I don't think it's a contradiction for me to say I think she's one of the best out there, AND is over-hyped. I think there was such a massive pushback in the fandom to the way she was booked in WWE -- constantly being treated like a glorified jobber and being thrown under the botch-bus that was/is Charlotte Flair -- that people went way too far in the other direction and were like 'Banks is the greatest wrestler to ever live and should never lose a match.' People just got on board with that because they were so frustrated with seeing her lose all the time to people (Charlotte) that shouldn't even be on television.


So yeah, I think she's fantastic, and I'd definitely put her up there with some of the best going today when she's working and in her stride. She doesn't really do bad matches and a few of the matches she's been in, even going back to NXT, remain some of my favorite women's matches of all time.


But the idea that she's like the single greatest wrestler ever to lace a pair of boots needs to die.


fac wrote: But I do wonder if she is mainly there to get eyes on the New Japan product in the US (and get more in the US to pay for shows), and I suspect to that extent it is working to expand that.
I definitely think that's why she's there. That being said, I still think it falls flat. Wrestling fans can be really fickle, and that kind of absolutely terrible (lack of) reaction can actually hurt her in the eyes of the very people that tuned in to see her. The reaction is really part of it. The hype matters. They murdered her hype. I'm a huge fan and even I care a lot less now than I did pre-Wrestle Kingdom. It just took the wind out of my sails to see her come out.. botch a move.. and stutter through a lame promo spoken to a completely silent crowd. I'm absolutely sure I'm not the only person who feels this killed her momentum.

Contrarily, if she'd made this debut at literally any AEW event (even goddamn Dark), the reaction would have been so loud that it instantly makes her seem like an even bigger star. And if she then says 'and I'll be at NJPW Wrestle Kingdom in two weeks.. be there!' -- that hype is already generated and the crowd's lack of reaction in Japan maybe doesn't mean as much? I don't know. Just.. bleh.

fac wrote: And I'll just say that I really was turned off by the blade-job Ruby Soho did on Rampage - I don't like wrestling when I generally am concerned about the health of the performers and felt she was suffering a bit from the blood loss and that can lead to botches. For whatever reason I find the women bleeding more bothersome than the men - there is probably a whole lot of subconscious gender stuff there on my part - but I would be happy to never see a "crimson mask" again in wrestling, male or female. Doing that for an otherwise throw-away episode makes little sense to me.
I mean.. yeah. I've never been the biggest fan of color anyway. Seems like AEW is using it a bit too much to get matches over that either don't need it, or that it won't help. No one [email protected]#$ cares about whatever feud this is supposed to be - especially when they keep rotating women through it. When did Willow get involved in this? Does anyone care?
Not to say it wasn't a good match. But to your point - it was a throw-away episode of Rampage that in a few weeks no one is really going to remember, serving a C-plot feud that is also not going to be remembered within a week of it being over.

Blood can do a lot. I maintain that blood helped make Britt Baker's career. It can have you go from 'this is a good wrestler' to 'damn, they're tough as balls!' and really get behind them. Stone Cold isn't Stone Cold without WM13.

It's just getting really, really over-used and they're running the risk of going full ECW with it where the blood stops mattering and then when you need it to sell how tough or badass a person/match is.. it won't work and you've gotta do something even crazier. And the 'even crazier' matches usually absolutely suck.

To be fair, we can reduce the ridiculous and unnecessary bleeding in AEW by like 70% by just telling Mox he's not allowed to bleed anymore.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:24 am

KnightDamien wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:04 am
I don't think it's a contradiction for me to say I think she's one of the best out there, AND is over-hyped.
That's a fair assessment - I think she is top-5 among the women in terms of ring work, and while I find her character work to be a little one-note, she plays that note well - but it is hard for her to keep up with Becky or Bailey or Alexa in terms of promo battles. Granted, some of my "she's good, but..." stance is in reaction to her most ardent fans going overboard - you would think her Mandalorian part had her one step away from being the next Rock, that her character had her as the next Stone Cold in terms of fan support, and her ring work had her as the next Shawn Michaels. The key being that is one of the best out there, but not on a different plane of existence compared to other women.
KnightDamien wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 3:04 am
Blood can do a lot....Stone Cold isn't Stone Cold without WM13.
And to me it works best to get over a face while making the heels seem more despicable, hence why that worked so well in WM13 to flip the Hart and Austin roles. Some feuds reach the point where it seems so personal that it can add to the final bout, but that has to come after a series of escalating matches (kind of follows the discussion about something like a Hell in the Cell match being booked organically as the end of a rivalry, not just a random bout). But in some ways I feel it is best used to advance a feud - for example the same Friday night as Ruby's color, if WWE used color, then having Kevin Owens get some during the beatdown from the Bloodline - and further make Sammy unsure if he was OK with the beatdown - would have made that even more intense.
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Re: Pro-Wrestling Discussion

Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:55 am

fac wrote: That's a fair assessment - I think she is top-5 among the women in terms of ring work, and while I find her character work to be a little one-note, she plays that note well - but it is hard for her to keep up with Becky or Bailey or Alexa in terms of promo battles. Granted, some of my "she's good, but..." stance is in reaction to her most ardent fans going overboard - you would think her Mandalorian part had her one step away from being the next Rock, that her character had her as the next Stone Cold in terms of fan support, and her ring work had her as the next Shawn Michaels. The key being that is one of the best out there, but not on a different plane of existence compared to other women.
Totally on board with that. I have basically that kind of visceral reaction to a lot of talent. The moment there's that huge wave of 'this person is the new Wrestling Jesus' I just get really turned off. I think I would detest Brock Lesnar slightly less if other people didn't practically worship him. Hogan and Flair as well. I'm so generally unimpressed by basically Ric Flair's entire body of work and I'm absolutely sure part of that is how often and loudly I've been told that he's possibly the greatest of all time.

fac wrote: And to me it works best to get over a face while making the heels seem more despicable, hence why that worked so well in WM13 to flip the Hart and Austin roles. Some feuds reach the point where it seems so personal that it can add to the final bout, but that has to come after a series of escalating matches (kind of follows the discussion about something like a Hell in the Cell match being booked organically as the end of a rivalry, not just a random bout). But in some ways I feel it is best used to advance a feud - for example the same Friday night as Ruby's color, if WWE used color, then having Kevin Owens get some during the beatdown from the Bloodline - and further make Sammy unsure if he was OK with the beatdown - would have made that even more intense.
I don't disagree here at all. I guess I'd admit that there's other times blood works in matches, beyond what we've mentioned. I just think it needs to be used way more sparingly. It should surprise you. Or you should kind of know it's coming but dread it -- like in a REALLY contentious grudge match with weapons in a cage or something, where this is the culmination, as you said, of a big feud and you know these two are going to go nuts on each other so you're kind of covering your eyes and peeking through your fingers before the entrances are even completed.

End of the day, if you're rolling your eyes when someone starts bleeding -- the promotion has [email protected]#$ up.

Moxley.

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