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Thread: AEW Full Gear

  1. #1
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    AEW Full Gear

    Thread for the next AEW PPV offering, not for a while yet but coming from Baltimore in November.

    Jericho vs Cody for the belt and the once-cancelled Moxley vs Omega matches are all we know so far.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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    I will be there live, as well as at the TV debut show in DC. Hoping for some great shows. Interestingly, with four TV shows between their debut and Full Gear, if Cody goes on a losing streak he could lose his shot as wins and losses matter.

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    The Brain
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    Those seem like two of the most appealing matches AEW can put on right now, so I'm hopeful for the show to be very strong on top. With actual week to week TV to build up to the event, I'm really hopeful we see some great stuff to further build interest.

    Interesting point about Cody, with no singles losses plus victories over Dustin and Spears he feels like the obvious #1 contender. Moxley has yet to debut in a sanctioned match, Omega has lost a few big matches, and PAC is close but with only one win to his name I put Cody ahead. But if Cody does drop some matches? Could possibly see him ousted. I don't see it happening but it should lend some additional bite to his matches on the way to the show.

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    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    PAC has already had two pretty significant wins on AEW television against their top guys. Cody has more wins with one draw against what can be considered lesser competition. I hope that they use that fact to build up something good for either or both guys in the near future.

    I'm curious to see how they continue to build up Full Gear. They didn't really push anything concrete forward with this during the first Dynamite show. There were a few teasers like the Lucha Bros. and SCU brawl, but there's still no set matches as of yet beyond the two that have been mentioned for weeks now. I wonder if it would have served them better to do Full Gear at a later time. That way it would give them a bit of time to establish themselves in the weekly format, give more people a chance to know some of these wrestlers better, and set up matches with a bit more story behind them.

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    I agree that now post Dynamite PAC has jumped right up with Cody. It'll be interesting to see if they do address that now or just focus on the Cody/Jericho story as they build up to Full Gear.

    Definitely hope they start building the card more explicitly come next Wednesday!

  6. #6
    I'm thinking Britt Baker will end up being the next contender for the AEW womens title, or it could be a triple threat match with her, Rose and Riho.

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    The Brain
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    I hope Nyla doesn't immediately get another title shot. Give it some room, you know?

    Britt would be a logical next contender based on what she's done so far, though the issue with Bea Priestly is also waiting to be explored. Britt's not my favorite personally but I'm willing to give it a chance if they go that way.

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    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Updated card for y'all:

    Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega Non-sanctioned Lights Out match

    Chris Jericho (c) vs. Cody AEW World Championship

    The Young Bucks vs. Santana and Ortiz

    Adam Page vs. Pac

    Bea Priestley vs. Britt Baker

    Riho (c) vs. Emi Sakura AEW Women's World Championship

    SoCal Uncensored (c) vs. Lucha Brothers vs. Private Party AEW Tag titles

    Joey Janela vs. Shawn Spears (with Tully Blanchard)

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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    Baker vs. Priestley will be on the pre-show, just in case anyone is confused there about it being on the main card. That will be the only pre-show match as far as I know of, so you're look at seven matches for the whole show. I'm very much looking forward to mizfan and I being the lone champions of that Riho-Sakura match tomorrow!

    I also have absolutely no idea what the result will be for Moxley-Omega or Cody-Jericho. It could legit go either way in both cases, though it does feel like there has to be some sort of angle in the Cody match given all that's surrounding it.


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    Transgender Terror
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    What?

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    Just see Dustin turning on his brother one more time.

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    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    Anyone know where to watch Full Gear without PPV?

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    Not sure there is a way, is there? Genuinely haven't been tracking it, but I thought it was a one hour buy in show streaming on YouTube for free, then either traditional PPV or Bleacher Report Live.

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    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Just a reminder that asking for streams and providing info about where to see the show outside of legit channels is against the rules of the forum.

    I caught the latter part of the show on the Fite app (not sure if it was available within the U.S. on the app) and it was pretty good. The Lights Out match was insane. On first glance it looked incredibly reckless for the most part. But on second viewing they seemed to have prepared well and did a lot of stuff that, while still dangerous, was prepared enough to look a lot more devastating than it probably was.

  15. #15
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    So I just watched Moxley vs Omega. That was one of the best Extreme Rules/Unsanctioned matches I have ever seen. Both guys earned about a week off to recover.

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    I'm going to catch up properly tonight, but have already read results and seen clips.

    What the heck happened to Cody on the dive? I'm assuming he's going for a Tope con Giro and not getting the rotation, turning it into a Tope Suicida that Jericho wasn't there to catch, hence the face plant.

    Seems like a very high risk thing to do with the elevated ramp regardless, but he could easily have ended up far worse off than just with a nasty cut and a sore head.

  17. #17
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    The huge highlight of the show for me was Cody vs. Jericho. On paper the action was probably pretty simple, save for Cody's hellacious headfirst bump onto the ramp. But MAN, the story, the character, and the white hot crowd investment put it over the top for me. Very possibly my favorite match I've seen all year!

    Really liked the card overall, enjoyed at least something about pretty much every match. PAC/Page and Riho/Sakura were my other favorites, with a bonus mention to Tully busting out the Spike Piledriver. I didn't buy into Moxley/Omega like many others did, but I definitely give recognition to the way they pushed their bodies to the limits to deliver a super violent match.

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    I'm pretty sure he was going for the face plant thing and then he either bladed too deep or he landed without getting his hands in the way. If he was going for a Tope con Giro then it was the worst attempt ever because he didn't even try to rotate till he was almost towards the ground.

    Whether it was intentional or fortuitous juice as they call it I definitely think it was more a plus than a negative. I thought they were building the match quite nicely to that point but it definitely hit an extra gear following that miss.


  19. #19
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    I definitely interpreted it as intentional and that he bladed deep intentionally, maybe going deeper than he meant to, but to me it doesn't really matter much because it elevated the match that just more and fit perfectly with the ending.

    As much as I loved the MJF turn, part of me wishes they stretched it out even further. If MJF threw in the towel with Cody's well being truly in mind but that decision ripped them apart over time, I see a lot of rich potential in that. But going right for the throat has a lot of benefits as well, and I think MJF is going to be at least 10 times the star he is now by the time this is all over, especially because I predict Cody will put him over big at least once in the course of this.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    I just finished that show. I thought it was pretty okay. Cody and Jericho was one of the best matches I've seen this year. I despised the Mox vs Omega match. I thought that it was entirely too much, I hate the peel back the mat spot as I've said before and if you're going to do it without burying everyone else on the card it had better be one big bump, match is over and the guy who took the worst of it is stretchered out.

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    It's a damn good thing then that the guy who did take the worst of it did lose, didn't get up afterwards and has already announced that he won't be competing this week because of the "injury" he suffered.


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    Having watched the show, I probably fall in line with Coach's review - it was OK, a lot of mid-level matches that didn't pop. Riho/Sakura was my MotN, but Cody/Jericho pushed it close. I didn't mind the unsanctioned match so much because AEW has very much established that those bouts are over the top within their promotion - it felt like what I expected.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    I'm pretty sure he was going for the face plant thing and then he either bladed too deep or he landed without getting his hands in the way. If he was going for a Tope con Giro then it was the worst attempt ever because he didn't even try to rotate till he was almost towards the ground.

    Whether it was intentional or fortuitous juice as they call it I definitely think it was more a plus than a negative. I thought they were building the match quite nicely to that point but it definitely hit an extra gear following that miss.
    I agree on it overall enhancing the match - which, I guess, has both positives and negatives. Seeing shots of the injury all stitched up, it's not a clean wound like you might get from a blade job, which for me suggests it was hardway blood. I don't like to see that in a situation where it could be avoided, and to be honest I think that was a stupid idea to do a spot like that - which is why I asked whether he was going for something to rotate where he lands on his back.

    I mean, in the match it worked as a good thing. I just think it looked like he was a fraction away from absolutely wrecking his neck on it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    It's a damn good thing then that the guy who did take the worst of it did lose, didn't get up afterwards and has already announced that he won't be competing this week because of the "injury" he suffered.
    Which is good, don't get me wrong. But the guy should be out for a month. You miss a Phoenix Splash onto the wood and kick out at two? That either craps on everyone who took a bump on the full ring and didn't kick out, or says that there's no need for the padding so you might as well get rid of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Having watched the show, I probably fall in line with Coach's review - it was OK, a lot of mid-level matches that didn't pop. Riho/Sakura was my MotN, but Cody/Jericho pushed it close. I didn't mind the unsanctioned match so much because AEW has very much established that those bouts are over the top within their promotion - it felt like what I expected.
    I just felt like a lot of it was contrived and stupid, too. A mouse trap board and "barbed wire spiderweb" are so "fake" I guess. It's such that indy wrestler mindset of "I have a big hardcore match coming up, I'd better go to the hardware store to stock up". It's not dissimilar to Darby Allin's thumbtack skateboard. I know they're being made by a prop person, but the idea that Kenny or Mox spent hours that day gluing mouse traps to a board without anyone noticing that it was under there annoys me.

    I would prefer those matches to involve things that might naturally occur at ringside. The chain was innovative, and something that feels like it should be under there. It was novel when Mick Foley pulled out one "custom" weapon in that one could believe he stashed there the form of a bag of thumbtacks in the Cell, it stretched things a little more when it was a barbed wire 2x4 but I'll give it to him because he's Mick Foley and he'd earned it. But over the years it's just grown and grown. By the time it's full on craft projects, it's just too contrived for me.

    The whole thing felt like an EVP being self indulgent because he wants to prove he's a tough guy.

    I will say, I really appreciate just how much of it was worked. If you're going to do violence for the sake of violence in a company with the money to do so, you'd best be working it.

    I agree on it overall enhancing the match - which, I guess, has both positives and negatives. Seeing shots of the injury all stitched up, it's not a clean wound like you might get from a blade job, which for me suggests it was hardway blood. I don't like to see that in a situation where it could be avoided, and to be honest I think that was a stupid idea to do a spot like that - which is why I asked whether he was going for something to rotate where he lands on his back.

    I mean, in the match it worked as a good thing. I just think it looked like he was a fraction away from absolutely wrecking his neck on it.
    Oh yeah, I think that was a total shoot. His face hit the ramp and skidded. It's probably going to be a nice scar, too. I don't think he was trying to rotate, it looked to me like he was trying to flatten out and land on his stomach, but because of he height of the ramp he just didn't have the room to do it. But heat, he almost did a full scorpion and killed himself, he's a lucky dude.

    I am almost wondering if he wasn't supposed to bleed at some point, though. That finish just doesn't have the same oomph without it.

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    See, now I have an image of Kenny Omega gluing things to a board backstage and then desperately trying to hide behind his back when Moxley enters the room...

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    Oh man, my favourite part of the entire show that I forgot to mention here! It was a moment of just...pure zen.

    Janela has just been beaten, he's recovering in the ring, looking distraught. Only for them to cut back to a fucking Kip Sabien and Penelope Ford promo. That has to have been planned right? Foreshadowing, maybe? Just, Jesus it was too good.

    After Janela called Brian Last a cuck on Twitter and he fired back wondering how long it took before Janela found out about Kip and Penelope, it was just this perfect circle moment that made everything that would follow it worth it.

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    To be fair though, between the original ECW extreme matches, and then the true hardcore matches in the WWE in the late 90s and early 2000s, AND the HIAC matches, what else could be done?

    Yes they took backyard wrestling and CZW matches and used them as inspiration, but the match was a complete spotfest (but aren't most AEW matches that anyway?) but it was "new" to the general public. The WWE has been PG since Benoit 2007, and they haven't had a true hardcore match since. The only one that comes close is HHH vs Taker HIAC at WM27, but that was more of chair shots, and cell spots, and the sledge hammer, etc.

    If I am not mistaken, Moxley got his start in all these extreme type of matches right? So it was a return of character and Omega went all in (pun intended) and went for it. I do not think he has had a major extreme rules match before (I could be wrong, and probably am). So this match was contrived, obviously pre-planned, and everything to that matter, but it was fun to watch because of what these guys sacrificed. But the match also was a wrestling match with psychology. You knew why these guys hated each other. You believed that they wanted to hurt each other. They told the story in the match with all the extreme nonsense, like the mouse traps and barbed spider web. AND they are selling the injuries, some of which are most definitely real.

    I just hope that these matches are few and far between so that if and when it happens again, it means something. I mean look at the WWE's HIAC matches now. The Cell used to be the culmination of a blood feud, now its a gimmick PPV that is not even used well.
    Last edited by Powder; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:18 PM.

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    Unless they're stupid, you're not seeing a match THIS nuts from a hardcore standpoint for awhile. Otherwise it'll water the thing down something fierce. They certainly have other guys Moxley can do it with besides Kenny and Janela (Darby Allin and Jimmy Havoc are two guys that come to mind) but it's not something I'd expect until the situation absolutely calls for it in a feud like it did here.

    I found this match to be brilliant, and probably one of my favorite matches EVER. I enjoy death matches, I greatly enjoy the GCW promotion and this match was basically a GCW match with three notable differences; it didn't involve Nick Gage, great care was taken to make sure this match was safe and the storytelling from both perspectives was MARVELOUS! Let's start with Mox. For years, Jon Moxley felt trapped, pigeon holed into this role he felt was beneath what he could offer. When the time for freedom came, he took it and he set out to prove his worth in two ways; by targeting the biggest bullseye he could find in Kenny Omega and by going to the place that bullseye once called home (Japan) and trying to prove he could hang at his level. There were some set backs (the return of an elbow injury that delayed the initial encounter, a failure to win the G1) but overall Moxley proved there was more to him than meets the eye and looked poised to perhaps beat Omega at his own game. And then, a week and a half before the match, Tony Khan calls Moxley into his office and declares the match will be unsanctioned; it will not officially count. Put yourself in Moxley's shoes; you spent years feeling trapped in a cage, you fought out of it and you've since been working your way towards legitimacy by beating your biggest rival. And now you're told that not only will it not count, but that it's taking you back to that part of yourself you were looking to escape.

    Now to Omega. It's almost the polar opposite of Moxley; for years Omega was the man, the "best bout machine", the mythical figure who thrilled Japan with his outstanding performances and huge victories who decided now was the time to conquer the US. Instead, on his first night out, Omega loses his big match and is then immediately humiliated by a debuting Moxley. Omega tries to get revenge with a similar attack on Moxley a month later but instead Moxley laughs it off; no matter what Omega does it cannot phase Moxley. When Moxley goes down, Omega finds himself in a match with Pac and proceeds to lose again and not just lose, but lose via submission stoppage. The man who was expected to be "the man" of AEW has now lost two straight big time matches and seems a shell of himself. So he blames Moxley and then he obsesses over Moxley, to the point that he abandons his "best bout machine" ways and allows himself to become consumed by the idea of revenge.

    It all builds to this past Saturday and that's where both things collide and both guys make decisions. Moxley, angered and hurt that he is once again being pigeon holed into a role he wanted to leave behind, decides that if this is what AEW wants him to be then he will be it; he will embrace the monster inside him, he will embrace his psychotic nature and he will give AEW the violence it wants to prove his point. And Omega embraces his obsession and sinks to levels he's never known, at the risk of his own safety and sanity, in order to finally get one over Moxley. In the end Moxley moved forward victorious, but still in need of having to prove he can be the great wrestler without the violence, while Omega now becomes the man who continues to fall short where he used to come up big, and now has to deal with the fact that he couldn't beat Moxley while sinking to Moxley's level.

    It's just all so layered and brilliant, and it was a story told without it having to be hammered over our heads. And it presents so many places they can go going forward, such as Moxley having to prove he can now beat Omega is a straight match and Omega having to prove he can actually beat Moxley and regain its mojo. From that standpoint it was a complete and utter success, and from a work rate standpoint it was the same because these guys managed to have a death match that fit all that in (largely because Moxley and Omega are incredible workers and far better than some of the deathmatch guys you see in GCW), while also having a match that "felt" ultraviolent while actually not being the case. That's some tremendous skill. I absolutely adored this match and the only hardcore matches I'd put in the same league of it is the Mike Awesome-Masato Tanaka match from the first One Night Stand, Vampiro-Pentagon Jr. from Ultima Lucha I and Killshot (NXT's Isiah Scott) vs. Dante Fox from Ultima Lucha III. Coincidentally the Pentagon-Vamp and Fox-Killshot matches were special for the same reason this one was; they were exceptionally worked to go along with the ultra violence, and the stories they told were top notch.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    To be fair though, between the original ECW extreme matches, and then the true hardcore matches in the WWE in the late 90s and early 2000s, AND the HIAC matches, what else could be done?
    Which is how I feel about all the AEW spots (which you also mentioned). I should include NXT Takeover main events as well. Anyways, back in 1986, bodyslams were big moves (not a finisher, but still bug impact), so it made sense that Randy Savage could bodyslam someone, and then have enough time to climb the ropes, and jump with a flying elbow to finish things off. Obviously, it makes no real sense. No one in a barfight is ever going to pick up a guy, slam him on his back, and then climb up onto a pool table, only to jump off and drop an elbow into their chest. Wrestling is full off internal logic that doesn't make sense outside of a wrestling ring. And it shouldn't be hard to understand that everyone has their own tolerance level for how much the boundaries of reality get pushed. I get it, it's all fake. But much like a movie, you don't want to be thinking it's just a story, or it's fake. You want the emotion to grab you like it was real.

    Yet now, it seems like every promotion is pushing on my tolerance limit. The only one I can't point to a moment where I thought it was BS is NWA. But no promotion does this as much as AEW.

    I've already ranted about some Dynamite segments, so I'll stick to Full Gear now. I've only watched one match so far, the opening tag. I know, due to my distaste for the Young Bucks, I should look past it. But that match was so bad that I don't want to watch the rest of the show. Even if Cody has been the best storyteller in all of wrestling over the last year, I can't seem to get past the amazing amounts of illogic of the rest of AEW.

    First, keep in mind how relaxed the rules have been for AEW. This is something that's been discussed a bit here, and it seemed like most agreed that tag matches get out of control too much, but it could be fixed if AEW established that the rules were relaxed, or were going by lucha rules (no tags needed) or something. Yet this match started with the referee enforcing even the most minuscule of rules, such as you must hold the tag rope, and only tagging with the hands.

    Then 10 minutes into the match, Santana or Ortiz tagged the other's foot, and it was allowed. Forfuckssakes.

    Then, one of the Bucks does a triple Northern Lights Suplex. I get it. I wasn't a fan of Kurt or Eddie with theirs, but the moves are quick, and logically disorienting enough to allow Eddie or Kurt to continue picking them up and throwing them again. But a Northern Lights Suplex into a pinfall already is a bit over the top. Add in that he repeated it 3 times. And then, he did it to both Santana and Ortiz at the same time. Twice.

    I don't get it. I just don't get it. I know, I'm 38. Maybe wrestling is passing me by, and I should just stick to my Tom Petty greatest hits while watching Saturday Night's Main event from 1986 with Savage dropping elbows.


    So, unlike hardcore spots, which seem to be saved for only huge grudge matches so far, these high spots are weekly. And just like hardcore spots, I go to Powder's quote: "what else can be done?" Every AEW show I've seen, it seems like all they are trying to do is top the previous spot. And I get it, every wrestler has had that instinct at some point. But it feels like 75% of the roster is doing this. It's tiresome. And while the impressiveness of these moves is not lost on me, the effectiveness of keeping me interested in the match (and therefore the rest of the show) is waning. The more impressive it might be athletically or in terms of danger, it also seems it pushes the limits of reality.

    The comparison to Mick Foley is very important. When Foley was pushing these limits in WWF, he was one of the only ones doing that. Before the hardcore title where more of the wrestlers were doing these stunts (which was almost always a toned down version of a true hardcore Foley match), only one wrestler was pushing these limits. It made sense with his gimmick that because he was athletically inferior to most of the other wrestlers, he won because he was willing to put his body on the line more than the rest. This actually has a reality to it, as many fighters will trust their chins and move into the pocket knowing they will be hit, but use that close reach to do something else. Take a left jab to the face so that you can get in closer for a right uppercut to the jaw and get the KO.

    But more and more wrestlers just do their spots just to get their spots in. It's not about winning a match. They play to the crowd after every second move. They execute something that should win the match, but they forget the pinfall, and raise their arms to the crowd instead. I know Foley did his finger guns Bang Bang after a solid clothesline, but not after delivering a double arm DDT - his finisher.

    And it's just an escalation. Young Bucks are an easy target, but they aren't alone. How far will they go?


    I hope I can force myself to watch the rest of Full Gear, especially for the 2 last matches. But I like wrestling for the whole story. It's a very special form of entertainment where it's a story (the match) inside a story (the angle), among several other stories (a show/program/event). I don't really pick and choose matches as I want to understand all the story telling to get there. So I won't often fast forward through the midcard just to get to the main event. But I might have to for this show, because it's very daunting to go through more AEW spot matches to get to the type of stuff I enjoy.

    The wrestling buffet is a great way to look at things. Comparing to WWE quickly, many online fans are complaining about the Rusev/Lana/Lashley angle right now. I'm not defending it, but it's one angle among several others. If the rest of the show is what I enjoy, I can put up with this triangle angle. But when the rest of the show is also tough to get through, then the buffet approach won't matter. I don't like seafood, so a seafood buffet isn't for me. That's what WWE is for many (myself included these days), and that's what AEW seems like to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    Which is how I feel about all the AEW spots (which you also mentioned). I should include NXT Takeover main events as well. Anyways, back in 1986, bodyslams were big moves (not a finisher, but still bug impact), so it made sense that Randy Savage could bodyslam someone, and then have enough time to climb the ropes, and jump with a flying elbow to finish things off. Obviously, it makes no real sense. No one in a barfight is ever going to pick up a guy, slam him on his back, and then climb up onto a pool table, only to jump off and drop an elbow into their chest. Wrestling is full off internal logic that doesn't make sense outside of a wrestling ring. And it shouldn't be hard to understand that everyone has their own tolerance level for how much the boundaries of reality get pushed. I get it, it's all fake. But much like a movie, you don't want to be thinking it's just a story, or it's fake. You want the emotion to grab you like it was real.

    Yet now, it seems like every promotion is pushing on my tolerance limit. The only one I can't point to a moment where I thought it was BS is NWA. But no promotion does this as much as AEW.
    Isn't this, kind of, just how wrestling evolves over time? I mean, Black Gordman invented the DDT in the 70s, Jake Roberts made it popular in the 80s, then during the 90s it kind of developed into different types of DDT that people would use as high impact/finisher moves, like Mick Foley's/Kobashi using the double arm variant, things like the Tornado DDT coming in, and largely they stayed as finishers for most of those guys but the simple DDT became a secondary/transitional move. Nowadays you see a DDT and unless it's got some kind of theatrics associated with it it's not really even thought of as a near fall, let alone a three count.

    So, you know, it all develops over time and finishers from yesteryear become transitional. I mean, in NXT now you've got someone like Tegan Nox throwing out 'chokeslams' like popcorn in a cinema. I don't especially like that - and it's certainly not as egregious as something like the Panama Sunrise not being a proper finisher - but the traditional chokeslam (which despite Lincoln having used however many decades ago, seems to have it's history in the mid-90s from Heyman and 911 in ECW) seems to now be transitioning into being a transitional move and not a finisher. I suspect there will be some innovations around that - maybe a chokeslam into a backbreaker or lungblower or something - that keeps it as an aspect of a finisher, but I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 years time people are hardly batting an eyelid when someone chokeslams someone in there.

    The question is - is this innovation and development, or is this undermining the fabric of wrestling itself? It's an interesting debate to have, I think - arguably if wrestling never went through this pattern of development it wouldn't maintain interest of fans.

    I always used to think that there was a 'specialist' in a move - like Jake Roberts with a DDT, or Bret Hart with a Sharpshooter - and they could just do that move better than anybody else. So it was a finisher for them but not for others.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Isn't this, kind of, just how wrestling evolves over time?
    It's how it has evolved since the late-1990s, for sure. But when you factor in that each boom is a little bit less strong than the last one, and the busts just get longer and deeper, you've got to ask the question about whether this is the best way to maintain the interest of the fans anyway.

    There's also something called the "is-ought" problem. Just because wrestling has developed in this way, doesn't mean either that it had to evolve that way, or even that it's a good thing that it did.

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    That's very true, I suppose. I think my biggest issue with 'modern' (for want of a better word) wrestling is that there isn't necessary a strong storytelling bent in a lot of the wrestling you see. Like with Cole/Gargano, I, II, and III - I just found there was nothing there except for 'where does Gargano's spirit end?'.

    Now, that's not to say it's prevalent in all 'modern' wrestling, or even that it can be assigned to everything in one company. Gargano/Ciampa, start to finish, killed it with in and out of ring storytelling in NXT. AEW can do a match like Lucha Bros vs Private Party (I think it was that one) which is just 'here's a spot, here's another, oh and another, is there a legal man? Who cares!' and then turn out something like Dustin/Cody or Cody/Jericho where there is a lot more depth to it.

    I wonder if, simply by amount of wrestling available, there is more 'wrestling for wrestling's sake' happening now. Like, why are we getting four minutes of Walter vs Rollins in the middle of some throwaway Raw? Why are we lobbing these matches away that could absolutely build to something with a story?

    I guess that's what I liked about 'classic' NXT - pre-2 hour show, really - or one show a week WWF/WCW, Lucha Underground, etc etc - everything on a show tended to have a purpose, and seemed to be part of a larger tale or tales. AEW largely does that but there are still things that just don't matter happening - Baker vs Priestley was one of those recently, on the same show as Best Friends vs Bucks.

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    I don't disagree with you, in that you can still find matches and the like that have more to them. I think it'd be naive to suggest otherwise. The trouble is that because of the way things have shifted, you're left with only those people that can pick and choose specific matches, or who don't really mind what else is on the show. And that seems to be pretty limiting. I'm all for the three-ring circus, something for everyone, but I'm only for it when it's done in such a way that you don't hamstring your main attractions with the rest of the stuff that you do. For me, it's as simple as this: by all means do all your different stuff but present it in such a way that it doesn't turn people away and make sure it all comes up to a minimum standard.

    People who want to follow a product in it's entirety have a much harder time of it now, for all sorts of reasons - unless you happen to be that rare person that the majority of contemporary wrestling is catering for. One of those is absolutely throwing away matches that should be worth seeing as a throwaway with no build. But I could list a whole host of reasons.

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Isn't this, kind of, just how wrestling evolves over time?


    I always used to think that there was a 'specialist' in a move - like Jake Roberts with a DDT, or Bret Hart with a Sharpshooter - and they could just do that move better than anybody else. So it was a finisher for them but not for others.
    You're correct, things evolve. But at least with taped shows and weekly 1 hour broadcasts, things evolved slowly in the 70s-80s. Now, everything moves so much faster, so things evolve faster.

    Agreed on the specialist approach. I wish we still heard of this more often.


    EDIT
    Oh, and I watched the rest of the show last night. I did love Cody vs Jericho, and I thought Hangman vs Pac was another MOTN contender. Rest of the show was forgettable or bad.
    Last edited by PEN15v2; 3 Weeks Ago at 03:43 PM.

  34. #34
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    Now to Omega. It's almost the polar opposite of Moxley; for years Omega was the man, the "best bout machine", the mythical figure who thrilled Japan with his outstanding performances and huge victories who decided now was the time to conquer the US. Instead, on his first night out, Omega loses his big match and is then immediately humiliated by a debuting Moxley. Omega tries to get revenge with a similar attack on Moxley a month later but instead Moxley laughs it off; no matter what Omega does it cannot phase Moxley. When Moxley goes down, Omega finds himself in a match with Pac and proceeds to lose again and not just lose, but lose via submission stoppage. The man who was expected to be "the man" of AEW has now lost two straight big time matches and seems a shell of himself. So he blames Moxley and then he obsesses over Moxley, to the point that he abandons his "best bout machine" ways and allows himself to become consumed by the idea of revenge.
    This sounds so great... I wish I had gotten any sense of it from the match itself! I believed Mox's side, but Omega seemed the same as ever both in the build up and in the match itself. I never got a strong sense that he was pissed or looking for revenge, once the match rolled around it felt to me like it Omega was just trying to have the "best bout" as usual, just in a hardcore setting. But I know not everyone felt that way, so if you picked up something from Omega that I missed, more power to you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I think my biggest issue with 'modern' (for want of a better word) wrestling is that there isn't necessary a strong storytelling bent in a lot of the wrestling you see. Like with Cole/Gargano, I, II, and III - I just found there was nothing there except for 'where does Gargano's spirit end?'.
    This is a really succinct way to sum up a lot of the big epics of today, and I think it spans a whole lot of promotions. I can enjoy that style sometimes, but at times I do feel starved for something more intricate, which is why Cody and Jericho rocked so hard with me.

  35. #35
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    I had a looooong talk over a few drinks with a friend of mine about this very topic after a show Saturday night.

    Part of the problem with the "evolution" of wrestling to where it is, is that pro wrestling from day one until ostensibly today has supposedly been a simulated fight. Yes, it doesn't look like a "real" fight, it hasn't looked like a "real" fight in 80 years. MMA didn't kill that illusion -- we had boxing for as long as wrestling and anyone who's ever seen a schoolyard scrap or a bar fight knows what a "real" fight looks like, but people were willing to believe.

    Wrestling evolved athletically because it could. It's not that the guys today are better athletes, it's that they can talk. In the 70s and some territories into the 80s, the guys didn't share lockerrooms, right? You got given your finish, you called it in the ring. That limits the amount of athleticism that you can physically perform to what you can explain in a few seconds of calling something. If you think for a second that Harley Race and Dory Funk Jr. wouldn't have texted one another ideas and "spots" from opposing locker rooms if the technology had existed, you'd insane. But those guys still would have prided themselves on making things "real" and doing things that were logical in the context of a simulated fight.

    I think that about 15-20 years ago, a generation of guys who had never been in a fight before, who had grown up loving wrestling as "sports entertainment" came in to the business, and those are the guys who are at the top today. To them, wrestling is not a simulated fight, it's "art" and they are trying to evolve their art, but they've lost the intended purpose of the "artistic medium".

    I love watching Tiger Mask working with guys like Dynamite in the 80s. He's so smooth and so athletic even compared to today's guys, but everything he does looks violent. It looks like it's being done with the intention of breaking a hold that he's legitimately in, or hurting his opponent. When he rolls through an arm wrench, it's done with such violent force, that it's breaking the hold. It looked incredible, but it was also effective.

    Today, that same roll through is done to look pretty. Gone is the illusion of violence or force, it's done to look fancy and usually followed by a kip up where the opponent has to help lift the guy.

    That's my problem with the "evolution" of the sport. It's why you get a five double team moves in a row on the same person that should be the finish, but don't even keep a guy down for two.

    It's the same reason I disliked the unsanctioned match at Full Gear. "Hardcore" went from using what was around you and in your environment to inflict maximum punishment to your opponent in a way that the announcers could sell as credible, to objects that had no business being in the environment used because they looked/sounded cool, to arts and crafts projects that require such an extreme suspension of disbelief that it's just stupid.

    Why do we need 45 chairs in a match that you pulled out from under the ring? Why can't one or two chairs that you take from the time keeper and the ring announcer suffice? Why, logically, is there a barbed wire wrapped baseball bat or broom under the ring other than Tony Khan being an evil human being who wants to put these objects out there to watch to guys try and kill one another? Did Kenny place one earlier in the day and Mox place the other? If that's the case, why didn't the second guy out there get rid of the first guy's shit?

    The chain was my favourite part of that match because it's the only thing that they used that I have logically seen under a pro wrestling ring with a purpose.

    I recognize that I'm being harder on AEW than I would most promotions, but AEW literally asked for it by saying from day one that they'd be more logical, more sports-like and a "better" alternative.

    I don't believe that the "evolution" of pro wrestling is wholly a bad thing, but I definitely don't think that it's good. I think that the fact that wrestling is, logically and visually, where it is today is a big part of the reason that it appeals to such a niche audience. It's part of the reason that you don't see a lot of grannies throwing their canes or upper middle class people in suits at wrestling shows anymore.

    This is getting really long, so two final points.

    1) Cody vs Jericho was, in my opinion, the emotional high point of the entire night. Other matches had more and bigger pops for moves and spots. The final match had more visual moments from the crowd where they were in fear for the guys' safety. But in terms of genuine, real, "forget that it's fake" emotion, nothing topped the basic, old school wrestling match. People felt for Cody during and after that match. And without any barbed wire, any flips or spots, MJF got more heat for a low blow -- so much that a guy was angry enough to throw a full drink at him on the way out -- than any other emotion that night. Cody, Jericho and MJF did fake pro wrestling and got more true emotion than the guys who legitimately hurt one another but got car crash disbelief.

    2) Some friends of mine worked a show Friday night that was about as US indy as you can get. Intergender matches, flips, kendo sticks, tables, etc. From what I was told, at the end of the night an old man in the audience accused the promoter of "ruining" wrestling.

    Now, the business will survive without a doubt, it's survived worse than an indyriffic style show. But at what point do we as workers and promoters, and we as the "smart mark" "tastemakers" of pro wrestling stop saying that this old guy is just out of touch with what modern fans want, and he's not with it and "ok boomer" or whatever the kids are saying, and when to we take a step back and just think about why for one old man who's loved wrestling since the Stampede heyday, the evolution of the business and where is sits in 2019 has ruined something that he loved for him?

  36. #36
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    Talking my language there, for sure.

    I've lost any faith in that step back happening, though. It's an era of 'I'm all right, Jack'.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  37. #37
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    Today, that same roll through is done to look pretty. Gone is the illusion of violence or force, it's done to look fancy and usually followed by a kip up where the opponent has to help lift the guy.
    See, I think this is why, if I'm going to pull out my best and favourite wrestlers, I'm looking at the likes of Shibata, Ishii, and similar in NJPW. It feels real to watch them, it's not elegant and fancy, it's just hard hitting and tough.

    Obviously, too much in the former's case, sadly.

    I think there are people that sit somewhere in the middle - Daniel Bryan is immediately in mind there. He doesn't do overly fancy stuff, but he looks like he's probably a bit lighter in the ring.

    Ultimately, I can watch Ospreay vs Ricochet (or similar) and have my breath taken away due to what they are physically capable of. But I can also get that from a Simone Biles floor routine. I can't get the same feeling I get from Ishii beating the dog shit out of someone - worked or otherwise - from that.

    And, I mean, this isn't especially new, right? This goes back to probably over 15 years ago, just how choreographed wrestling has become - perhaps even further. The Matrix Minute between Red and Low Ki was, what, 2002? Heck, maybe even back to...95? and Eddie vs Malenko doing stuff in ECW. It's not an exclusively 2019, 2018, 2017 thing, it's something that has come out over 15-20 years of guys watching other guys do shit that now becomes de rigeur. Eddie and Malenko did the whole mat wrestling routine to a stand off thing that essentially started 90% of RoH main events for a decade, for example.

  38. #38
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    It's something that happened over a period of time. The question then becomes when did it tip over into something that will become a problem for most people who would otherwise watch wrestling. I don't think anyone would say that it had that issue prior to 1998 - and if it had, then wrestling likely couldn't have grown the way that it did. I had my issues by 2005, to be honest. Probably earlier if I'd gone looking for it through the indies, but I know I had major issues not just booking but with what was suddenly passing as 'good wrestling' no later than that.

    The difference with the last decade is that you can't avoid it anymore. If you don't like it you either have to put up with it, or you stop watching wrestling altogether, because it finds its way everywhere. What I've noticed about the last couple of years of this decade is that more and more people who would otherwise have been 'lifers' are starting to choose the latter. I think that's what really typifies the modern era - people have double down on stuff that is dividing the audience and it's reaching the point where lifetime fans are just giving the whole thing up.

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  39. #39
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    Sounds like it was around 100k buys for Full Gear, keeping things right where they have been.

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  40. #40
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    I was honestly concerned the buyrate would fall since the price is still so high for a single wrestling show in a market that's moved away from that. It's a good sign but I still think they need to find a different way to distribute.

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