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  1. #1
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Royal Ramblings Ep9: AEW is overrated and it is your fault


    NXT>AEW, deal with it.



    What’s up guys, Kingzak is back in action with another column. The Wednesday night wars are fully underway by this point, and to say it has been interesting to watch unfold is about the right way to describe it. NXT’s transition to two hours has actually gone fantastically compared to other shows being given an extra hour. I am genuinely disappointed in the fact that there is no NXT on TV outside of the US, I would watch the shit out of NXT (and by that I mean record it because it’s at one in the morning and I ain’t staying up that late)

    On the flip side, AEW came to be in a fervour of fanfare, however it hasn’t really done much outside make the hardcore fan lose the rational part of their brain when there is anything involving them. Don’t get me wrong, the show isn’t bad by any means; as far as an actual scale goes it is still above Raw and probably SmackDown at least once or twice. But it is far from a game changer. The game has pretty much remained the exact same, stop acting like it is guys.

    And I have been watching the show too, so I know what I’m talking about. There are segments and parts that are good, the less scripted nature of the promos helps a lot, the tag team division has been great especially compared to the incredibly mundane ones that WWE have had this year (NXT included), I have no problem saying that they have the best tag division of the major players in wrestling.

    But ultimately that is where the compliments end, the women’s division just seems to exist to tick the “We have women’s wrestling, we are totally progressive” box, WWE have had times like this but they are better about this, actually offering decent storyline’s for their women beyond the just “I want a title”. And to compare it to NXT’s women’s division is laughable, NXT have the best women’s wrestling division now and from the stacked division they have right now, for the foreseeable future too.

    There is no mid-card title to speak of from AEW, but that doesn’t really matter, there isn’t a midcard either. This isn’t a joke by the way; there isn’t a group of wrestlers that I would describe as the midcard.

    Darby Allin: had a world title match a few weeks back, so can’t be a midcarder
    Adam Page: Same as above
    PAC: this is actually a possibility, though why would he leave WWE just to be a midcarder somewhere else.
    Joey Janela and Shawn Spears: yeah I’ll give you these two.
    Jack Hager: yeah, he’s midcard too, but hangs out with the top heel’s stable so it’s not really.
    Peter Avalon: sure, why not.

    This is all the talent from the roster that isn’t in a tag team or definitely main event wrestlers. I’m sure you could post more but unless you can add ten or more, this is still a weak mid-card.

    The most interesting thing is actually the main event scene, and not in the viewing sense (though it is good). The big problem with the main event scene is the fact that it is the exact same as what WWE has on offer. Both WWE and AEW’s main vent scene is populated with Indy darlings and athletic types for the most part, there is no one on the AEW roster that WWE doesn’t have an exact mirror of. Sure the moves and style may vary, but at the core essence the wrestlers are the same.

    The only real difference is that AEW lack size disparity that WWE have, WWE’s scene goes from people of the indy size of Daniel Bryan or Seth Rollins, all the way up to the super heavyweights like Braun Strowman. Meanwhile AEW is made entirely of the smaller guys. The only bigger guys I can think of are Hager and Luchasaurus. If they have anyone else bigger than 6’6 then they have done a fantastic job hiding them.

    Now I know what you will likely say in response, it’ll be probably be something about how NXT is the same. And that is true, however with NXT you do get the odd heavyweight powerhouse coming through and the biggest difference in regards to my enjoyment is quite simply, I have been watching NXT longer, I’ve watched these characters change and develop over time, with AEW they have existed a month, plus the various PPV’s from the past year. And before you start talking about the Indy days, I know they exist, but they shouldn’t be included as part of the company history. The company history is All In onwards. You shouldn’t have to watch someone for five years to be interested in them; they should be endearing enough to make you want to right away.

    Over time I do expect to develop interest in some characters, I’ve already started to, I like Luchasaurus and Private Party were genuinely very impressive so far. But I can’t say anything else has stood out to me. There is nothing in AEW that is actually different to WWE aside from it being the new wrestling show. And that is where my annoyance with it really lies.

    If you look on Twitter, you’ll see so many people just talking about how refreshing AEW is and how it is a real alternate to WWE. Both of these statements are wrong, AEW is exactly the same as WWE with different packaging, it is the Pepsi to WWE’s coca cola, in the sense that they are the exact fucking same just with different branding on the front. The only thing you don’t have in AEW is the disappointment in the creative team that has built up in WWE the last few years (and I imagine the lack of Brock Lesnar looming over the world title is a nice bonus too).

    As far as an alternative, it isn’t really an alternate to WWE; it is more of “in addition to”. Allow me to explain. Raw and SmackDown ratings are pretty much the same as they were; they have been in decline for the whole decade but have maintained that same sort of decline pattern the last few months.

    AEW as an alternate product would imply that they are directly taking viewers IE, You either watched Raw or Nitro, couldn’t do both. WWE has not lost the 800,000 or so viewer that regularly watch AEW, they are still there. The only sort of alternate they are is to the disenfranchised internet super fans who hate everything that the WWE do because they are WWE. Those are the only people watching AEW but not WWE.

    In fact I’d be willing to say the entire of the AEW is comprised of the super hardcore wrestling fans and they really aren’t doing anything to bring in new fans or the young fans that comprise WWE’s audience. Everything I have seen on the show is designed to draw in the Indy nerd fandom. Remember a couple weeks ago they had the Rick and Morty cross promotion, that was incredibly levels of pandering to the audience, and this is coming from someone that likes the show. But people ate it up because shockingly the 18-49 male Indy wrestling fans is also into Rick and Morty.

    The thing that bothers me about the whole thing is the fact that if that same sort of thing took place on an episode of Raw or SmackDown, fans would jump down the WWE’s throat to rip them a new one over it. But AEW gets a pass because they have Kenny Omega or some shit like that. Bullshit is bullshit, it shouldn’t matter who is the one dealing it out. Call them on their bullshit if you like them or not.

    Now don’t get me wrong, it is great to have another wrestling show get attention, there is no issue with that. My issue is with the fans creaming themselves and acting like it’s the second coming of the Attitude Era. Get some perspective you fucking incel. Not everything they do is great, not everything they do is even good, not everything in the Attitude Era was good, need I remind you that the Kennel from Hell happened. Wrestling has always been a very up and down sort of show, somethings are great and something are just meh.

    Acting like everything is amazing is one of the worst atmosphere ruiners out there. We’ve all seen a match where a “This is Awesome” chant has broken out and we just sat there thinking “you must have a really disappointing life if this is awesome to you”. There is nothing worse than overhyping something, because that just leaves you with inevitable disappointment.

    Like I said, I do hope AEW does well, I’d love to see it develop into a real challenge to the WWE’s throne because competition brings out the best in them, or at least more effort gets put into creative. Though maybe they already are, I’ve quite enjoyed the NXT invasion and build to Survivor Series, but that is a topic for my prediction column next week as it is time bid you all a fond farewell. I am genuinely curious to see the sort of response here, what are your thoughts on AEW, is it really good, are you disappointed in it, or just happy to not have a show with Brock Lesnar sniffing round the title. Leave your thoughts below and I hope you have enjoyed today’s column and I will see you next time.



    If you have been affected/offended by the issues raised in today’s column, you are probably part of the problem.

  2. #2
    HUGE Member TheLAW's Avatar
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    Loved this man. I do have one point that you might have missed when speaking on the AEW main event scene. Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Dean Ambrose, and occasionally Goldust and Neville. Sure does read like an Intercontinental title scene doesn't it? The reason they don't have a midcard is because their Main Event is a midcard.

    All the money in the world doesn't equal star power and their James Storm knockoff in Adam Page isn't going to help things. But its ok! Because soon they'll have Luke Harper, Hunico, and Mike Kanellis. Wooooooo watch those ratings explode!

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Nice work

    I'm still on the fence with AEW. I'm enjoying it, but given the limited roster and how many supposedly big matches they give away on the show they named after me each week I don't know how long they can hold my interest.

    So far I'm giving them a pass though, despite agreeing with Law about the main event looking more like a mid-card elsewhere. Trouble is, aside from Jericho how many genuine main eventers were available? He's doing a great job putting over the guys he interacts with so far, but sooner or later he's going to disappear off on tour with Fozzy and when that happens I'm not sure they've got anyone to carry the main event.

    They were doing so well...until I watched Full Gear. Even that was doing well until the lights out match at the end. That was just an unforgivable spotfest, there was no real story to the match itself, just a series of stunts that should have no place on a show that presents itself as a sport. I have since watched the following episode of Dynamite, but that match was almost enough to put me off ever watching AEW again.

  4. #4
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    I agree that AEW isn't the game changer than it was hyped up to be. Perhaps it just boils down to the decline in the popularity of wrestling in general. From my side, though, I am in the process of binge-watching AEW in order to get up to date with the show. The next show on the list is Full Gear and I must say from what I have seen since watching it I can honestly say, besides a few exceptions, that I thouroughly enjoy the show. That show is about wrestling and the wrestling is good, even though its flippy-doo-da stuff.

    As for the midcard, you're right, it's not very defined. I don't consider PAC a midcarder though. Their Womens Division is lame as hell. Not bad wrestlers in the division but it is sorely lacking. But their tag team division though... WOW. Pretty freaking awesome. The fact that they hype their tag team division like a main event spectacle gets extra points from me.

    All in all I agree with your sentiments here. AEW are not taking fans from WWE; it's practically the same damn fanbase.

  5. #5
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Franc View Post
    I don't consider PAC a midcarder though.
    Neither did WWE, that's why he was on 205 Live. You think AEW should keep him on Dark?

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    An interesting column that I don't entirely disagree with. Anyone out there claiming that AEW can do no wrong or has changed wrestling instantly would certainly strike me as delusional. I don't think those in charge of AEW themselves have declared themselves as instant game changers, though I could be wrong about that.

    I do find myself disagreeing with some of your points though. The women's division is a popular target, but while I agree it's still developing I think it's a miss to overlook how some of their top women's matches have gained viewers and gotten very hot reactions from the crowd, with Riho as champion being a more successful draw for her target demographic than she seems to get credit for. There's room for improvement, particularly in developing the feuds and stories in the division further, but there's a lot of talent on board and more still for AEW to sign in the future. I won't argue that WWE's division is more stacked, but it would have to be after the frenzy of signings they've done in the past few years.

    I don't really go along with your argument that the company doesn't have a midcard. The idea that anyone who ever had a title shot must be considered on the same top tier doesn't really hold true in any era. I'd say they've done a pretty good job of creating a hierarchy in the company, though there are some missteps in this area as well (Trent nearly defeating PAC a couple weeks ago was a headscratcher for me). I think it's been well established that Jericho, Cody, Moxley, and Omega are the top of the main event, with PAC and Page in the mix and others dipping in and out from the top of the midcard. I could break it down further but I suspect a list of names won't be convincing here, so I'll just say a company with 3 total hours of product a week, a well developed tag division, a developing women's division, and plenty of top guys to choose from doesn't necessarily need an enormous midcard anyway.

    As far as being an alternative to WWE, I'm not sure what they would do in order to distinguish themselves further. It's still going to be wrestling. The difference for me has been in the booking, the engaging storylines surrounding Cody have stood out as feeling very different that what I've seen from WWE in recent years, and I do find it refreshing that I feel like I'm seeing real attempts to promote new stars instead of solely relying on old ones and cutting pushes out from under guys even if they're over. Private Party, Luchasaurus, and Darby Allin in particular are early successes, guys who were virtually unknown a few months ago who are really starting to feel like a big deal.

    I also dislike the "If WWE did this..." talking point because it ignores context. Even as you criticized the Rick and Morty thing you had to admit it fit perfectly with their target demographic. I'm struggling to think of a similar cross-promotion with WWE for a point of comparison, the best I can think of is the Muppets hosting Raw some years back, which I remember fans actually enjoying just fine because it was done in a fun way that didn't really have a downside. Unless you can give a better example of WWE being castigated for something AEW got away with, I'm remain skeptical of this argument.

    So yeah, I largely disagreed with your points here, so hopefully that doesn't make me "part of the problem". I freely admit I prefer AEW and do feel like they are doing something fresh and exciting, but I'm not ignorant towards the things they can do better, so even if I disagree I do get where you're coming from with some of these points. Rome wasn't built in a day, and when WWE took on guys like Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and many others they were career midcarders as well. I don't know if the guys WWE has picked up can reach those heights, but I know I've seen some stuff I really love in AEW so far, and that's enough for me for now.

  7. #7
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    @Dyno - On the WWE roster, PAC was nothing. But considering he was the top dog in NXT at one point and the top dog on 205 Live, technically he was a main eventer in WWE. He is certainly being promoted as such in AEW.

  8. #8
    Mediocrity at it's finest kingzak13's Avatar
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    Feedback time

    @TheLAW: Bit harsh on Jericho and Ambrose there, I consider them main eventers. Star Power isn't too much an issue, anyone can main event with the right build up. I honestly hope that they do get Harper, at least he'll be something different.

    @Dynamite: My hope is that they start to develop proper stories to keep people interested beyond the standard indy show. The only people I would say that have shown any of that sort of story driven-ness are Jericho and Cody.

    @Don: The Wrestling is fine across the board, I don't have any issue with it. But it really isn't doing much for me.

    I think as far as AEW's women's division goes, they have been screwed by the Women's Revolution. With that going on in WWE, all the talent flocked to WWE and left relatively slim pickings elsewhere. The talent is still there, but just needs more promotion and time beyond just having a random match on each show.


    @Mizfan: I agree on the point about the women's division. I do hope they put effort into it but so far they just seem to have one because equality, not because they want to push female wrestlers.

    Just to clarify, it's not ever had a world title match, it's recent world title matches. While I do agree on the point about not needing a big midcard, it does feel odd to me that it isn't there.

    I feel like the big problem for the fact it doesn't feel different is more a problem to do with all wrestling trending more towards smaller, athletic-er wrestlers, while not a bad thing, it does leave pretty much everywhere's wrestling style very similar.

    I see what you are saying, but I can't really say anything from AEW is drawing me in at the moment. Like you, I do enjoy Luchasaurus and Private Party, Cody's also been on point the whole time, but outside that I can't see much worth getting excited for.


    Thanks to everyone for the feedback, glad to see so much discussion on the topic.

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