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  1. #1001
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    I think that's something which should be used more often, actually - the no word 'promo', if you like. That Taker/HHH interaction before their second Mania match, which was completely silent, was excellent. Roman's 'this is my yard now' promo was built on silence.

    Ask yourself whether that segment would have been more impactful with Drew coming out and spending 5 minutes saying he'd beat Lesnar at Mania before hitting that first Claymore Kick - I think the answer is no.

  2. #1002
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    Also, what you do not realize about McIntyre is how big the guy actually is. He is billed as 6'5" and 265lbs of muscle (I think that Drew is actually a little heavier than 265 as Reigns is listed at the same weight, but looks much smaller, and Reigns is 2 inches shorter). Lesnar is thicker and 10lbs heavier, but he is also shorter than McIntyre, and that showed last night.

    McIntyre, physically, I think matches up the best with Lesnar with all of his opponents, besides John Cena. Reigns without his vest looks smaller, and McIntyre just has that look to him.

    Both guys can go, and I hope that the match is a back and forth contest, and Lesnar actually wrestles, and not Suplex, Suplex, Suplex.

  3. #1003
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    I think you'll be disappointed, Powder. I think it's unfair to expect someone who's done so well with so few moves to suddenly change. Like Hogan in the 80s, Brock is capable of more, but that's not what he's asked to do.

    I can't stress enough how much I've enjoyed the quick bangers Brock has unleashed since he won the title the first time. On their own, they aren't special. But in the era of Bucks spamming finishers, or Japanese supposed epics for 30+ minutes, Brock's violent sprint matches stand out. McIntyre has the rest of his career to have the type of match you're looking for. But I want him to brawl with Brock, a hockey fight with throws and a boot to the face (which wouldn't be very proper in hockey).

  4. #1004
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    Is anybody else a little surprised about how little they developed Becky vs Shayna last night on Raw? Becky opened the show with a promo on Shayna, but otherwise there was very little to develop that story, despite it main eventing the EC PPV.

    I have kind of come to terms that Becky/Shayna is not going to be a super high profile match on the Mania card, but it seemedweird to me to not go pretty much immediately to some kind of physicality between them. Shayna wasn't even on the show, an Becky's promo was pretty perfunctory.

  5. #1005
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    I guess that is due to Becky quoting Tito (about his description of ADR) that Shayna is a Black Hole Of Charisma, which she is. Shayna cannot cut a compelling promo, or go toe to toe with Becky on the mic, as she will get eaten alive by Becky.

    What would do wonders for Shayna is a sit down interview, like the WWE does with Brock. Brock is well spoken and effective, when he does not have to have a live mic, and is in a smaller, less intimidating setting. Shayna may be the same. Have a sit down, with highlights of her MMA past, and her NXT runs, and then EC win. That will make her seem more legit and less boring.

  6. #1006
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    No. With so many "high profile" matches for Mania, some weeks will have extra attention for some angles, with less for others. Last week had a BUNCH of Lesnar/McIntyre promotion, but barely anything this week. It balances out.

  7. #1007
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    It makes sense - I guess I just expected them to capitalise on the night before with something between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    I guess that is due to Becky quoting Tito (about his description of ADR) that Shayna is a Black Hole Of Charisma, which she is. Shayna cannot cut a compelling promo, or go toe to toe with Becky on the mic, as she will get eaten alive by Becky.
    I disagree - I thought the 'tear the living shit out of you' promo was excellent. And I love the way that Shayna carries herself through her promos - she's a dickhead bully that knows she can back it up. But then, I'm a big fan of hers and have been throughout her time on NXT, so I'm probably biased.

    To be honest, I thought Becky calling Shayna a 'blackhole of charisma' was bloody stupid and does nothing to get a new talent over. And I'm not sure I'm really 'feeling' Becky right now as a character.

  8. #1008
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    Maaaybe someone realized how much Shayna doesn't hold up in the ring and is looking to move this match out of the limelight somewhat.

    She's completely legitimate, and I love the character, but when it comes to stepping in the ring she is capable of having "her" match and nothing else. She's good at two or three things, and it's rough sailing otherwise. Her style is great in NXT where she's the only one kind of doing the more dominant, realistic, less dynamic matches. But she's not in NXT anymore and it's starting to show.

    This WrestleMania is starting to scare me a little. Brock, Shayna, The Fiend and Goldberg are all much better in shorter, more aggressive, matches. But that's potentially four very similar matches on the card, or one match that will be really exciting, and two to three that fall apart.

  9. #1009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    This WrestleMania is starting to scare me a little. Brock, Shayna, The Fiend and Goldberg are all much better in shorter, more aggressive, matches. But that's potentially four very similar matches on the card, or one match that will be really exciting, and two to three that fall apart.
    I wouldn't categorize Shayna the way you have, and really enjoy her style. It's less "exciting" than modern wrestling styles, but I still enjoy it. Feels old school, though she's no Bob Orton Jr.

    In fact, Goldberg is the only one who cannot wrestle anything but the short blitz match. Brock and Fiend excel there, but can work other types of matches. Cena especially is a great opponent, and I have no concerns for that match. Drew vs Brock will be a brawl, and likely will be my fave match of the night (unless Bryan vs Gulak happens again).

    Basically I'm not worried because I like having these matches on the card. I'm more worried about Taker vs AJ.

  10. #1010
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    I haven't like a Fiend match yet. It's that no-selling style that I can't handle. Admittedly it seems to have scaled back a bit with his last two matches and they're moving in the other direction, but I really do fear that Cena is going to sell his ass off for a plodding, no-selling Michael Meyers for 15 minutes, and there's only so long of a bathroom break I can take.

    I have faith in Brock vs Drew. I don't think is cracks the 10 minute mark, and it doesn't have to if they just go out and fight. Like you, that's the one I expect to enjoy the most.

    But I haven't seen it with Shayna's matches since day one, and I still don't. Her fundamentals are still really weak, it seems like opponent after opponent she has to have her match, and if she tries to step outside that box like with Kari Sane last week it doesn't work. I appreciate the level of violence she brings to her matches but I hit a point in all of them where I feel like I'm watching an MMA fighter struggle to adapt to pro wrestling, rather than an MMA fighter bring presented as an MMA fighter in a pro wrestling setting, which is what they want.

    Like you, I am getting a little worried about AJ vs Taker, though. I had high hopes because AJ is so good, but those chokeslams we've seen lately haven't been great.

  11. #1011
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    Well we should only have 2 Undertaker matches left for us to watch....WM36 and Survivor Series 2020. That would be 30 years after his debut, and when he should finally retire.

  12. #1012
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    (unless Bryan vs Gulak happens again).
    I'm kind of expecting, after the backstage bit with Bryan (where he shouts 'blood and guts' a lot) that we're going to see a Gulak/Bryan tag team in the not too distant future. He ended that by saying he was going to see if Gulak could 'help him'.

  13. #1013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    Well we should only have 2 Undertaker matches left for us to watch....WM36 and Survivor Series 2020. That would be 30 years after his debut, and when he should finally retire.
    People have said this for a decade. Every milestone has been "when he should finally retire". He shouldn't retire until he and/or the office feel that he can't do it anymore.

    He said on Austin's show that he feels each match is a little closer to that point, but if he still feels he can do something, it's not really my place or yours or anyone else's to say it's time for him to finally retire.

    He could to five more years of coming out and Mania to interrupt some brone, chokeslamming him, pinning him and going home for a year and it'll still get a massive reaction and a "you still go it" chant.

  14. #1014
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    I enjoyed Smackdown tonight for what it was, but I hope WWE gets a bit more creative with the content if every show will take place at the PC. The novelty will wear off fast.

    Loved the Cena promo. There really is no one better.

  15. #1015
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    I really hated that Hardy beat Corbin in a few minutes. I do not care that there was an Elias distraction, it took Roman Reigns months to finally beat Corbin and Hardy does it in a few minutes?

  16. #1016
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    My boycott is still going on, but I checked that Cena promo from last night out via other means.

    That's how you do it, folks. Cena is still the man.

  17. #1017
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    Certainly the best bit of the show from what I've seen.

    I think WWE needs to realise what an opportunity this is for them and use the unique setting better. It might just be due to the relatively short turnaround for this show, but they're on home turf with no fans to entertain. For the first time in forever they can think small, and do something in ring that reflects the weird circumstances they're in.

    I also wouldn't be against them having Big E and Kofi in the crowd reacting to everything. Or having people sat in the stands 'scouting' and interacting with each other. So if the end goal is a Bryan/Gulak tag team to face Cesaro and Nakamura, run a Cesaro/Nakamura tag against, I don't know, The Forgotten Sons, and have Gulak analysing them with Bryan in the crowd to build off him identifying weaknesses.

  18. #1018
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    I just rewatched the Vena/Wyatt promo and I think that what the few posts about how good Cena was on Friday, which is very true, also forgot how good Wyatt was. I think it was the first time that he gave a promo in a ring to an opponent since he Redebuted. It was clear, well spoken, had all the right elements, told his reasons, and gave us a backstory to the Fiend. Yes Cena is one of the best mic men of all time, But Wyatt stood with him and was very good and effective. Wyatt delivered one of his better promos in response. Just giving credit where credit is due.

  19. #1019
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    I loved empty arena Smackdown. Everything felt looser and less scripted.

    I was saying as I watched it that I think they should turn this into a show for The Network. Whether it's an interview show in an empty, but fully set, building or maybe they take a handful of guys that aren't doing anything else and they work the empty arena show. Unscripted promos, easy matches, make your shit look good because there's no way to hide it.

    I'd love to see it. Maybe something smaller scale like Power. I just really enjoyed the aesthetic.

    Also like Triple H on commentary. He's really good. I love that he knows he's not getting fired, so he points out the absurd Vince McMahon stuff that he doesn't like.

  20. #1020
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    Good points, and comparison to NWA Power. Maybe what you're describing as an idea is what "main event" should be.

  21. #1021
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    It had a nice feel to it, and makes them think a little differently. For instance, Triple H pointing out how ridiculous it was that Asuka could "sneak up" on anyone to cause the interference in an empty building.

  22. #1022
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    I didn't like Raw last night, in contrast to Smackdown.

    I get that there's an element of talent protection in not having too many of them wrestle together, which needs to be factored in, but they're really going to have to start getting creative with this setting.

  23. #1023
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    I was going to say the same thing. Is the WWE deliberately not holding matches to keep as few talent isolated as possible so the WM can go on? If so then good for them. If not then I do not see why we could not have more matches. Replaying the hour long rumble was nice but not necessary, unless it was.

    Also, One thing that an empty arena exposes is the hokiness of the Undertaker. He obviously did not do his standard entrance, but then when the lights went out and he turned up behind the OC it was a little silly. The Ďmagicí and suspending of disbelief of the WWE needs that live audience to make it work at times. The Fiend came out as Bray Wyatt and Taker came to the ring as a version of Biker Taker, but when the lights went out it was as I said a little silly.

    And Austinís entire 3:16 day was awful. There I said it. It was bad. He read off cards and each new rule and joke was not funny.

  24. #1024
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    I am 100% certain that I am reading into this, but on NXT, HHH was not wearing his wedding ring. I find that interesting, considering he is NOT wrestling.

  25. #1025
    I really enjoyed the hour recap of the Ciampa-Gargano feud. That early tryout footage was good stuff.

  26. #1026
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    I'm going to check it out later, I heard they were essentially doing NXT with no active wrestling so left it on the shelf. But that sort of stuff will work well for me in terms of the storytelling.

  27. #1027
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    The show was good, and I liked what they did, and do not accuse me of comparing NXT to AEW here, but AEW ran a show with much of it's roster in the audience. With the heels cheering for heels and faces cheering for faces. I know someone suggested that, but I can't remember who.

    NXT felt like a Network Special about specific people and was cool to watch.

  28. #1028
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    I said about Smackdown that putting people like New Day into the audience to watch a tag team match and 'scout', like a wrestling Statler and Waldorf, would be really fun.

    Honestly, I haven't had a chance to watch either NXT or AEW yet. But AEW sounds like it handled this weirdness very well.

  29. #1029
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    I am so disappointed in that the WWE through Cole asked Reigns about a tweet where he called out Goldberg about headbutting doors prior to matches, and he did not give a good answer. I wish that Reigns would have mentioned the fact that Goldberg called him out during the HOF speech. That could have been so much better.

  30. #1030
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    Does anyone have any information to why the WWE keeps replaying matches from the past on RAW and SD? Why can't they have more live matches on their broadcast?

  31. #1031
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    I don't have an answer but I guess it's to do with the number of people you can have in one place at any one time? Running old matches is going to help immensely with the logistics of that, so I'd bank on that being the reason until I hear that's something else at work.

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

  32. #1032
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    Could also have to do with money. Itís much cheaper to replay videos than have talent make their way to the PC once a week from wherever theyíre living.

  33. #1033
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    Plus, why not? It is an effective way to tell the stories they are going for. Seeing Bray lose to Cena is in many ways more effective than hearing him complain about it.

    EDIT
    Oh, and before any comparisons to AEW are made, I'll point out that they don't have the library and catalog that WWE does. My guess is if they could, they would as well. Just a guess though.
    Last edited by PEN15v2; 1 Week Ago at 09:33 AM.

  34. #1034
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    Mmm, showing the Rumble and the Bray/Cena match kind of makes sense.

    I'm not sure why (other than the fact that it utterly rules) they'd show Brock/Cena/Rollins from an old Rumble, but it's not really that much of an issue for me.

    Speaking of Rollins, his promo last night was outstanding.

  35. #1035
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    Any big Brock victory will be worth covering to make Drew's eventual win even bigger.

    Honestly, it's another case of hardcore fans thinking they are the majority. Lots of fans watching today never got to see Charlotte vs Asuka, or that Triple Threat. It adds to the aura of those involved.

    It honestly reminds me of the type of WWF programming I got into as a kid. I never saw Hulk Hogan wrestle on Saturday mornings. But I did get recaps of what was going on in his stories - Piper's Pits/Brother Love segments, him escaping the cage vs Bundy, highlights from match recaps like Orndorff turning on him...etc.

    Put the midcard guys in the ring, let the production truck and interviews carry the main events.

    EDIT
    100% Oliver. My internet was crashing through the promo, but I loved what I saw. And that's a promo that I doubt would have worked with an audience. He'd have been too distracted or interrupted with the live crowd reactions.
    Last edited by PEN15v2; 1 Week Ago at 11:12 AM.

  36. #1036
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    I'm really getting into these no audience shows. Some parts show that wrestling is sort of lame without an audience, but I think that they're just starting to hit their stride with it.

    There's something to this. I hope that they can take this, and somehow integrate it into the show when they're back to normal. I don't know how (I feel there needs to be more happening in front of the audience and less on the screen to begin with) but if you have a monologue that you don't want to risk the crowd hurting, tape it in front of the empty arena before the show and air it with the crowd mic silenced and not cutting back to the arena randomly throughout. Just stuff like that, where I think they can use some of what they're learning here.

  37. #1037
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    Maybe more segments filmed in the PC in general? I know you say do it in front of the audience, but ignoring that for a second. You don't need the PC to be turned into the arena to film that segment between Owens and Rollins. The Pc is a legitimate place for main roster people to workout. So have Owens working on drills with random trainer A, and have Rollins arrive. No mics in hand, just filmed properly so they aren't needed, and tell the same story. Have Rollins leave with a smirk, and Owens bail on his training session to the showers in frustration... and it accomplishes everything we need to.

    Honestly, one thing all wrestling needs to do is cut out the excess. Entrances are too fucking long on TV. Whether it's The Street Profits going through the audience, or the Undertaker's 8 minute walk to the ring, there's got to be a way to cut out this stuff a bit more. Entrances can be done in the commercial breaks. Start the entrances before a commercial break, have the announcers talk over it so the at home audience can see the fans reaction, then cut to commercial. When you get back, start the match. That's how UFC does a lot of their TV events. Between rounds, they go to exactly 60 seconds of commercials, then come back, ref starts the round. WWE unfortunately has 4-5 minutes of commercials, but the same thing can be accomplished.

  38. #1038
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEN15v2 View Post
    I know you say do it in front of the audience, but ignoring that for a second. You don't need the PC to be turned into the arena to film that segment between Owens and Rollins.
    Oh, no I mean less pretapes overall, and make those pretapes more interesting so it doesn't kill the live crowd.

    What you laid out is an interesting segment that could last a few minutes and the people in the arena watching on the screen would still be interested. But, use the time more efficiently. If you're doing that pretape, then cut three minutes of the Street Profits discussing who's in the upcoming Hell in a Cell match and making jokes about it while the audience dies a slow death in the arena.

    AEW does few to no pretapes, and I feel like I don't have a chance to breathe. Meanwhile, half of Raw is pretapes and I can't imagine being there live. I actually turned down free tickets to a SmackDown taping a few months ago when I found out last minute I was going to be in town because I couldn't imagine anything less fun than being in an arena for a TV taping and having half of it take place in the big screen.

  39. #1039
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    No argument on the Street Profits stuff. That was painful 80% of the time. And the forced backstage interviews are often predictable and useless (though I liked Angel flirting with Charly last night, and throwing her off her game).

    I feel like the backstage stuff rarely is needed to be done live. It's not that they screw it up often with lines being flubbed, but it just feels like it would move faster if pre-recorded and cut to efficiency.

  40. #1040
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    I don't understand what's so different today as 20 years ago. Sunday night, I was watching old Rock promos because some popped up on YouTube. They's give him five minutes of television time for a live backstage promo and for the first three he'd say nothing, but it would sure as hell be entertaining. And then in the last two minutes he'd cut a quick promo on whomever he was doing something with that night. But it was those three minutes of just talking about absolutely nothing where he got himself and the interviewers and anyone else he touched over.

    It would be on the screen, but it would engage the crowd.

    Can you imagine Seth doing a five minute backstage interview? Even without just fucking around for the first three minutes? That would be death and would kill the crowd.

    I know that The Rock is The Rock, but even Billy Gunn would be able to get through three minutes of a backstage interview and keep the crowd pretty easily.

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