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  1. #1
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Keepin' It Kayfabe

    So the thing I love most about wrestling is the stories and characters. I will talk booking, I will talk backstage politics but ultimately it isn't as interesting and I feel like at a certain point it becomes very toxic to my fandom. What really gets me excited though is talking about the actual stories.

    SO

    I wanted to create a kayfabe only thread to chat WWE. Let's talk characters, let's talk motivation, let's geek out over narrative and story.

    I'll start out by bringing up the recent turn of my favourite wrestler Dean Ambrose and the Chronical that went with it.

    What did you think of his character? Has he actually changed or was he this guy all along? What caused him to change?

    I have my own theories but what do you think?

    Feel free to bring up other characters too. I'm just starting things with Dean.

    I'm very interested in the current Daniel Bryan story, I love how they have transitioned the 'fight for your dreams' mantra from an overwhelmingly positive thought into something negative. I feel like it could even say something about the modern age where we are told to follow our dreams to the end of the Earth no matter how unrealistic and the negative spiral that can send some people in.
    Last edited by SirSam; 12-04-2018 at 06:21 AM.



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  2. #2
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    What a great idea, Sam. I'm sure I'll be back in at some point as I did watch that Chronicle and it was a very interesting piece.

    For now, though, I only have limited time so I'll just throw out a fair warning to anyone repeating, or even hinting at, the scurrilous rumours that pro-wrestling is predetermined in this thread, those posts will be deleted on sight! You've got the rest of the board to discuss those lies!

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

  3. #3
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Yes Sam!

    Finally, a thread to relentlessly plug my podcast Sports Entertainment is Dead which does exactly these things!

    Dean has revealed himself to be a self-pitying hypocrite of the highest order. I can't help but feel he's deliberately indulging the idea people have of him as a lunatic too, with these shots and gas mask stunts. It's sneering, it's contemptuous. It's a petulant little boy lashing out.

    If anyone could have helped him it was Seth. Instead, I just cannot wait to see Rollins burn Ambrose down and purge him of his self-inflicted misery.

  4. #4
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The chronicle seemed to show a man that was essentially overwhelmed by his own frustrations, more than anything else. Not helped, of course, by other people getting into his head, playing on that frustration. And once the deed was done it was like there was maybe a sense of regret but that at the same time he'd gone too far to not go the whole way.

    I haven't really seen much since with the exception of Seth's promo at Survivor Series, so I don't know how it's really played out since then.

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

  5. #5
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I would add self righteous to self pitying there. A very dangerous combination indeed.

    I have a bit of a theory formulated that over the years Dean has become very wary of being 'used' by someone to elevate themselves. Obviously a lot stems from Seth but also his upbringing where he had a dysfunctional family and was abandoned by his Father and even smaller things like the James Ellsworth story confirmed in his mind that if he isn't vigilant people he trsits will use him and then betray him when the time is right for them. The only 100% good relationship he has had around someone successful was Roman Reigns, when they fought for a title they embraced as brothers afterwards, there was no deception or selfishness on either man's part. It is no coincidence that Roman leaving was a catalyst for him to take action and beat Seth to the punch Dean assumed was coming based on the fact Seth had only called him back to help him defend the IC title and gain the tag team championships.

    It isn't justified but it is kind of the backstory brewing in his mind that effects how he treats those close to him.



    @Sir_Samuel

  6. #6
    Kayfabe wise, we all know heels cost faces title matches that they are feuding with, but why wouldn't the heel just let the face win the title? The heel can then have the title put on the line in their match.

  7. #7
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The opportunist might say, I'll let them win, as that will serve me.

    The person motivated by pure hatred will not want someone they hate to have those kinds of laurels in the first place. They'll be as motivated by spoiling their career as they are by success in their own.

    There's also a chance that, deep down, some people just don't believe they can beat an opponent in a fair contest. Better to keep it from ever getting into their hands.

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

  8. #8
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    Love the idea of the thread, I just wish WWE explored the motivations of their characters more and not just from Network programming very few people would see. Its surface level so we have to guess and have theories about why someone did something.

    Bryan's explanation makes sense to me; Basically having a awakening inside a Hyperbolic Chamber. It was always there, it just needed to be unlocked.

    With Dean, I feel like even though it wouldn't be so heelish, it would make sense for all that Dean has been doing to point to Roman's illness. Dean is afraid and has no support from his best friend. Its a hard thing to really do for WWE because you can't play off someone that's not there.. and get that perspective.

    But that's what makes sense to me. Dean loses it because of Roman. It has nothing to with the tired trope of fans. I do think Dean has always been this type of guy who is fiercely loyal but had a breaking point and now without anyone to trust.. he's gone. That evil side comes out.

  9. #9
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I think with Bryan's character while he was shown to be a 'man of the people' he has actually always been a bit of an elitist particularly wrestling wise. This has shown up in a number of ways and even at his most popular in:
    - his refusal to respect John Cena in the lead up to their Summer Slam match - particularly refusing to give John Cena the traditional japanese slap that Cena readily gave Bryan.
    - his promos to Orton insinuating that his hard knocks are tougher than Orton's - a guy who wrestled Mic Foley to one of the greatest hardcore matches in WWE history and who has come back from numerous incredibly painful long term injuries.
    - the way he treated The Miz who also went through an incredible hazing process.

    Outside of the ring, looking at his Total Divas character (and if you think reality TV makes it any less of a tv character then I've got a bridge you may be interested in purchasing) he is constantly on holier than thou art crusades and is particularly harsh to Nicki.

    So yeah you are bang on LK3185, this is all just an extension of that turned up to eleven and I love how the 'fickle' bit has replaced 'YES!'.



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  10. #10
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    I think with Bryan's character while he was shown to be a 'man of the people' he has actually always been a bit of an elitist particularly wrestling wise.
    I don't think this is true, really speaking. Elitism is the kind of thing he's been subjected to by people like The Miz and Michael Cole - that whole attitude of 'if you don't do it in the big leagues it doesn't count'.

    What he might be guilty of is the exact opposite of elitism, a kind of inverted snobbery by which one throws the values of the elite back into their faces. So it's kind of a 'you don't value what I do? Well, I don't think much of you'.

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

  11. #11
    Anyone else thinking Paige is getting hosed with this recent removal as GM? I feel she's done a very good job, the whole thing seems like a McMahon power move. Very disconcerting.

  12. #12
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Agreed, after the self absorbed leadership of Daniel Bryan and Shane MaMahon she was able to turn Smackdown around and into a super exciting show but because of the inept leadership of Baron Corbin on the other show she is getting shafted. Surely they could at least keep her on as a consultant.

    It is very interesting to think back tobBryan’s leadership of Smackdown as he was preparing to come back to the ring especially given how his recent exploits have revealed some ugly traits that were buried under his everyman persona. I wonder how many decisions were influenced by the fact he thought he may be returning?



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  13. #13
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    Speaking of GMs, while Baron Corbin was inexcusably unfair, Kurt Angle was not that much better. At one point, he complained that Lesnar was champion for too long and never defended the title. Hello? Lesnar won the title literally the day before Angle became GM, kept it for 500+ days, and it took well over a year for Angle to bitch about it. And when he did, Angle put all the blame on Lesnar. Ridiculous.

    Angle resisted confrontation. When Sasha Banks and Bayley were at each other's throats, instead of booking the two in a match, he ordered them to friendship counseling under threat of their employment. Can you imagine if somebody in power had done the same to Triple H and Shawn Michaels when they were ready to tear each other apart in 2004?

    Plus, did anyone even look at Angle's previous GM experience before giving him the reins in 2017? Back in 2004, he faked a broken leg in a long con to screw Eddie Guerrero out of the WWE Championship. Blatant partiality, for which he was soon thereafter fired from his authoritative position.

    Corbin's been a biased GM, but Angle, while his heart may have been in the right place, was not much better. Paige has done better than both of them, but still - The Miz allowed a match to occur outside of her watch, and what was his punishment? Literally nothing. She put him in a mixed tag match.

    By the way, Daniel Bryan may have been the worst GM of all. Shane had to have hired him on a whim. Not only did he have zero experience in that kind of role, he had actively rebelled against authoritative positions for nearly the duration of his time as a WWE wrestler!

    The McMahon family has shown time and time again that, though rigorous and blunt, they run the tightest ship in WWE. Time is up for the wrestler-immediately-turned-GM experiment. I'm glad that the McMahons are back in charge.

  14. #14
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Yeah, I feel like they need to look at people with real life sports management history rather than blindly hoping ex-wrestlers will be able to pick it up as they go based on their experience on the other side of the ledger.

    It is like when a sports team has a player retire and immediately they are given the reigns to coach and manage. Rarely does it ever work out straight away because they two are very different disciplines.



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  15. #15
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skulduggery View Post
    By the way, Daniel Bryan may have been the worst GM of all. Shane had to have hired him on a whim. Not only did he have zero experience in that kind of role, he had actively rebelled against authoritative positions for nearly the duration of his time as a WWE wrestler!
    I don't know that this is a good enough reason to call him the worst GM, especially when there's so much competition. It certainly makes it a weird hire by Shane, but have you ever heard of the expression, poacher turned gamekeeper?


    I'm right there for you on Kurt Angle, though. That's the kind of track record that should debar you from ever holding that kind of position again. Franklly it should lead to an investigation into Stephanie that she'd put someone like that in this kind of role.

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

  16. #16
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Mic Foley did a good job at least in his most recent run.
    - Saw that Sheamus & Cesaro would make a great team and pushed them together
    - Did everything he could to try and combat Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho making things unfair
    - Was able to motivate and support the rise of Braun Strowman from a guy people really disliked to one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster.
    - Masterminded the return of Goldberg to Raw.
    - Oversaw the Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair feud and snag a number of firsts for women. He is into equal opportunity!



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  17. #17
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    - Was able to motivate and support the rise of Braun Strowman from a guy people really disliked to one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster.
    Hasn't been able to win the big one though, has he? Given his size and strength advantages, at what point do we have to start calling Strowman a choke artist?

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

  18. #18
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Yeah, mentally Braun has always been pipped at the post. In all their matchups he has been obviously the bigger, stronger man but Brock has managed to use his veteran instincts to jump on the opportunites that presented themselves and win the match none the less.

    The guy is unrefined and probably needs some coaching and direction, kind of how Paul Heyman guided Brock throughout his career - particularly early on.



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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time
    I don't know that this is a good enough reason to call him the worst GM, especially when there's so much competition. It certainly makes it a weird hire by Shane, but have you ever heard of the expression, poacher turned gamekeeper?
    Fair point. I think I was exaggerating too much, probably based on my bias against Bryan. Though, to be fair, I'd still rank many GMs above him!

    Great points about Mick Foley and Braun Strowman. I agree with Sam on the fact that Braun needs some tactical strategy added to his game to truly make him dominant and able to win the crucial matches. At some point, he'll have to realize that utter destruction (at which he is scarily good) may not win every single time. Look at his Steel Cage match with Kevin Owens. He destroyed Owens, but lost the match. Maybe that was one he didn't mind losing, but similar things can be said about him focusing too much on pulverizing Lesnar at SummerSlam '17 (and he didn't win that one).

    He also didn't capitalize on his Money in the Bank opportunity, partly because he scheduled his cash-in match in advance. Lack of tactics. Yes, one could argue that his previous attempts to cash in at opportune moments were foiled, but that has happened to guys like Ziggler and Sheamus in the past, and they still were able to seize opportune moments later and win championships. Strowman is crazily impressive in how destructive he is, but if he can add that cerebral element to his arsenal, that's when he'll make his next step.

  20. #20
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    It strikes me the Monster Among Men is a creature of instinct. He's insanely primal, and I can't help but think that's a large reason as to why he seems completely incapable of playing well with others for any great length of time. Even the fact he tagged with a kid at 'Mania seems to imply he isn't even capable of that degree of thought! Perhaps there's a certain mentor who could help him on that front. I mean, if Bray Wyatt came back and was once again able to harness Strowman as his own personal weapon then that's a very scary thought. An evolved Strowman? Look at the last primal creature who found a mentor to direct his destructive energies, Brock Lesnar, and what he became capable of. Strowman in a similar position at this stage is not something I think the world should be hurrying to welcome....

  21. #21
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Very interesting to see the Extraordinary man capable of Extraordinary things is going up against The Beast?

    What do we think has to happen for The Demon to awake for this fight?



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  22. #22
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Strikes me that the most obvious thing would be that Lesnar would have to beat it out of him. If Brock plays it cool, just let's him get to the Rumble without molestation or blatant disrespect, then I can't see there being any major shake-up... and I can't see Lesnar leaving without the gold, without that kind of digging deep, internal search.

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

  23. #23
    Is it possible to get this thread stickyed? Just thinking as it's a very cool idea, like to see more attention drawn to it.

    Anyway, thoughts on the Rumble? Seth has to be a front runner, certainly in terms of stamina. Having had several long matches in the last year and never slows down he seems primed. Then, he also has alot of distractions right now.

    Does Braun make the Rumble? I know he's out of the title match but The McMahons can be terribly inconsistent. Wouldn't be surprised to see them flip-flopping and giving Braun a chance to win his way in to the Rumble match. Hell, how many times did Austin finagle opportunities from the crazed mind of Vince McMahon?

    Speaking of the title match; I initially dismissed Balors chances (on account of the enormous size difference) but then I remembered Eddie Guerrero beat Lesnar using speed and cunning. Things a Demon Balor has plenty of. Of course that was a younger Brock. But then again, Brocks attention seems split towards a money UFC match so this might be the ideal time to be facing him. Lots of variables.

    Who has thoughts on possible dark horse winners for the Rumble?

  24. #24
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Seconded on the sticky this thread request!

    Seth has a ton of distractions for sure, so it's going to be all about whether or not he can use that and funnel it as fuel for motivation on the night. His ace in the hole is the will power I've referenced innumerable times in my columns and on my podcasts - it's the only thing I think is capable of getting the better of the Beast now that Roman Reigns has had to take time away from the ring and it's what's driven him to accomplish remarkable things in the past. He was the one-legged man who won an ass-kicking contest because of it so it's definitely a massive boon for him on Sunday. It's interesting, though, to think about whether or not that means he'd be better getting an earlier draw perhaps?

    I wouldn't be shocked to see Braun get into the Rumble. We've seen in the past that the rules are loose when it comes to entry. How many times has a number been stolen or an entrant beaten down and replaced at the last moment? We've seen Braun rampage his way to getting what he wants in the past, so rampaging into and through a Rumble shouldn't prove too difficult for him I wouldn't think.

    I was just saying on my podcast, Sports Entertainment is Dead, this last week that Samoa Joe is a mighty prospect this year but is perhaps better suited to a situation where he can get in the ring, clear it out and be the only man left in there. He's a master of the art of intimidation, that's his ace in the hole, but it's practically impossible to weaponise that in an environment as busy as a Rumble can become. In a situation where the next guy out is faced only with Joe in the ring though? That gives the Right Hand of Destruction the platform where he can call on that intimidation factor and use psychological warfare to greater effect than perhaps we've ever seen in a Rumble!

    Drew McIntyre is widely considered a favourite but I think his chances rest much heavier on getting a late number. We've seen him time and again on the offensive in matches, time and again prove himself as the aggressor - but to be in a situation where you inevitably absorb as much punishment as you do with a long run in a Rumble match from an early number, that's a situation in which I don't feel we've seen his mettle tested. So very interesting there. I think it's going to be a luck of the draw situation for him just because of that. A Rumble isn't as straight forward as, well, anything else in WWE!

    Conversely, don't look past Mustafa Ali - another guy I highlighted on my podcast this week. There's someone motivated to fight because of a sense of greater social purpose, and we've seen what that can push him to repeatedly throughout 2018. He's on a hell of a hot streak right now with his recent promotion to Smackdown Live and his victory over the WWE Champion, we know he's not easy to intimidate and, unlike with Drew, we know exactly what kind of punishment he can absorb while going on to pick up impressive wins over larger, more dangerous opponents. Ali has the endurance, the durability, the cardio and, most importantly, the purpose to win this thing and that's a powerful fire to have in the belly. I guess, though, his biggest risk would be how conditioned he is by his experience in the cruiser division - his first instincts might be to fly, so his first Rumble might end with him crashing and burning. So adaptability is what he'll have to turn to in order to really excel on Sunday.

    I love the Rumble, and I LOVE breaking down the prospects of its entrants! Any more for any more?!

  25. #25

  26. #26

  27. #27
    Senior Member 205 Clive's Avatar
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    Interesting take on Ali. One of his strengths in regular matches is the comeback. It's as if his resolve increases with the more punishment he takes (See vs Gallagher in the Cruiser tournament last year). It's possible that with every elimination attempt on him, his determination to stay in the game becomes more entrenched. This might be the fanboy talking, but I really could see a final 4-8 showing for him.

    A dark horse that nobody seems to be talking about is Ambrose. His modus operandi, in part seems to be to take away everything that Seth holds dear to him. Seth has made his intentions on winning the Rumble very clear. Who is more fitting to squash Seth's dreams once again than the man who knows him most?

    Liking this thread, people. Good idea.

  28. #28
    Cheers, Coach!

    Ambrose? Interesting, I certainly see what you mean as far as his determination. I just wonder if he is a bit too chaotic for an atmosphere like that? I think of Randy Savage jumping over the top rope to get at Jake in 1992 (although not an official elimination, as you had to be removed by someone else that year). The Rumble needs a clear head, an ability to focus among all the madness. If he gets a later number, maybe. When he wont have time to make a mistake.

    Joe is a very strong possibility, he's always seemed very capable of focusing his power, I could see him methodically removing people.

    Thoughts on the womans Rumble? Charlotte seems an obvious front runner, except in her new found aggression may work against her. She seems to have real trouble keeping her focus where things don't go her way.

    I think Alexa will surprise many. The Rumble is a great opportunity for someone quick and cunning like her. However, she does have an enormous target on her just by the number of enemies shes made!

  29. #29
    And if they want to go to the route with Seth rollins going to Mania, Ambrose (if he wins the rumble) can put his title match on the line vs Rollins' career in a PPV in between the Rumble and Mania,

  30. #30
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    OK so here's a question. Won't be a popular opinion but when we look at how infrequently he's lost, and the fact that he's beaten all the people who have also beaten him, and when you add in his NCAA and MMA credentials, at what point do people have to start thinking about Lesnar as the greatest wrestler of all time?

    We're talking about a guy who has beaten Undertaker, Big Show, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Triple H, John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Goldberg... and I'm sure the list goes on. The only person to beat him that he hasn't got a win over was Rico Constantino, and given he was just on his way from OVW to the WWE I reckon you can say he'd taken his eye of the ball.

    Anyway... discuss.

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

  31. #31
    He hasn't beaten Kane or Batista 1 on 1. He needs to add those two to the list

  32. #32
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    You can only beat what is put in front of you. And he's beaten plenty of guys who have beaten them....

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

  33. #33
    The Rock and Hogan as well! Didn't he beat a young Nakamura in his Japan run?

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