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  1. #41
    The Brain
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    Really well thought out response Sam, I wouldn't expect any less from you. Curious myself to see Shane's response, for my part I do share a dislike specifically for the three points of ROH you highlighted, though I'm glad you did come back to acknowledge some of the good stuff they did, which was more than they seemed to get credit for from most.

  2. #42
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    I just woke up, and I am VERY HAPPY TO SEE THIS DIALOGUE, Sam. I named you in the show, for at least three reasons I can think of:

    1. As mentioned, you were literally the only person who has built enough ethos with me that I was willing to read (knowing the critique was going to be there) once I had already seen what felt like 100 testimonies of the same critique (and often, in them, with no explanation needed).
    2. Originally I planned to read the section you quoted on air, so that I could show where I was seeing explanation from you and where I was still seeing such a collective agreement that explanation wasn't even needed. (I didn't do this simply because I had the 14-hour day before the show, and I knew we were going to risk going over even without anything added.)
    3. I actually WANT THE DIALOGUE. I am not frustrated, for example, if anyone can tell me Roh should not give Enzo and Cass a chance and here's the reasons why. I am suspicious (of all things) when, up front, it feels like any entire community has decided, "Nope. Fuck that. Bad move. No explanation needed." So I want to see the reasons and have the dialogue, and I thought, if anyone, you would step up and do it.

    So, now I'm going to read what you have written (happily, so!) and respond as best I can:

    I take your first point, which is your statements in the column were bound by the context in which they were delivered. That is partly what I just explained above, concerning my statements on the show, so we now both know the contexts that produced the statements we made (and which limited the ones we didn't make or barely made).

    I think the part I wonder about, after reading the paragraph in which you stand by your statements, is:

    How is everyone (but specifically, for this conversation, you) so able to see (and assess) all these moves as immediately ridiculous or bad for Roh?

    I will break the Rumble decision apart from the other two, because I feel it's a bit different, but here is what I'd like to ask as far as it concerns The Beautiful People and Enzo and Cass:

    Is Roh not allowed to take creative risks (outside of what we would expect from them) or is it simply that, under no circumstances, are they allowed to make decisions based off Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Enzo, or Cass, and who decides this, how, and why? Or, is it, for you, the WAY they did it? If so, don't you think they also left fans with the push of Roosh, the title win of Taven, the redemption of Flip, etc., and not just the debuts?

    OK, and so far I'm not saying whether these were good moves or not, but I start by thinking of myself as booking for Roh. Even if they do straight wrestling and nothing else, they are still coming out the losers compared to NJPW. I think we'd agree on this.

    This next part here is hypothetical, so we can't say, but I doubt, even if they had strictly stuck to wrestling, they are picking up a bunch of fans off one split show with NJPW. (As mizfan and I mentioned, I think they have bigger, more structural issues that keep me (and maybe others) from watching.)

    Is the problem that the four people mentioned are simply not of any wresting quality worthy of Roh? Is it that it's been decided they should be ostracized from the business? Or is it that they don't fit the Roh brand?

    For me, I do think the Beautiful People were more over than anyone is letting on, but I also know that was a long time ago. I do think the nuance here is that they were used to put over someone who was already there, as they seemed like the two on the side, lifting up a new challenger (at least on this night).

    With Enzo and Cass, while I am not putting myself in the position to defend the worked shoot, I can acknowledge that these guys are heat magnets right now (and maybe in a way that will be detrimental to Roh but maybe not), and that Enzo has been over at times and able to make himself felt, gimmick wise, in a way a lot of Roh folks can't. I don't think it's insane to be in Roh creative and say, Let's see what we can get from this.

    As I type this, where I think I would agree with everyone might be in the COMBINATION of both the Beautiful People and Enzo and Cass. Here, with the two big storyline debuts being people who are far more gimmicky than wrestling-oriented, I can see a legit critique that ALL YOUR DEBUTS are OUTSIDE YOUR LANE and OUTSIDE YOUR BRAND.

    That seems fair to me.

    What I'm left wondering is this:

    Is your biggest critique the Vince Russo-ish nature of this? Is it that these four folks don't deserve a shot at employment? Is it that it's outside the Roh brand? Is it that it's just a bad look for how they used their MSG-moment (but they also did a lot of other things that night)? Is it something else? What is your biggest critique of these moves and why?

    In praise of you, because I don't think I say it on the show, it was probably your article that allowed me to know that Roh was responsible for helping get them in that building, so props to you for putting that in there as well. Which is nuanced in your take for sure.

    As for the Rumble, I am happy they gave us Liger-Muta, but I have nothing for defending giving us them at the end followed by a cheap "eliminated eliminator." So, I'm off that one completely.

    I'm glad you see the strength of the show overall. I haven't sat down and watched that much wrestling in FOREVER, and I know part of my crankiness was actually enjoying a show and then rushing in with that enjoyment to find so much rejection in so many places. So we all are coming from our contexts and experiences, but I did enjoy the show overall and was thankful it happened.

    (The funny thing is I also am not a Roh fan so, in some ways, what a conversation to have between two not-Roh fans....)

    Lastly, I want to make sure that mentioning you does not equate for me as critiquing you when I critique the wider collective stance. I said your name, to position you as an individual, and not part of what I was referring to. Just want to make sure I'm clear on that.

    OMEGA

    Love getting some Omega feedback.

    Your comments give me 1. A couple things I like 2. A fear I now have 3. Some uncertainties

    (This will be a long path for me on deciding on Omega because he is positioned so high and important for AEW).

    I will start by saying, if there is a multi-verse, the happiest version of me might have moved to Japan 10-15 years ago to teach conversational English, while yearly attending E3, Tales of Festival, and NJPW. So, I am seeing *a* Kenny Omega in BTE, at times, that I can certainly relate to. How that translates to convincing me of an intense, main event feud, is still to be seen.

    Things I like: his selling the other arm with Penta. Good stuff. Potentially doing those moves of the other members for a deeper reason.

    Fear: The cinematic and the over done. If I had to put it to Kenny, I might say I was actually a fan of Final Fantasy UNTIL the graphics improved so much that they began to rely too much on video and faces and voices. I liked the old school, I liked the storytelling, the grittiness, the guessing. I don't need to watch it overly conveyed to me in video. . .This stuff will be subjective, as I watch him, but i have, in the past, been put off by guys who overdo it.

    Uncertainty: My felt sense says this is a guy who is going to bother me, someone I'm going to see (whether true or not) as doing some of what he does in ABSENCE of simply being able to make me feel what I need to feel. . .However, I am completely happy being wrong about that. I know so little and, even in this year, I'm going to see so much. So, we shall see.

    I'd be glad to watch those matches sometime. That will be up to mizfan, as Convince Me! is his domain.

    Seriously, thank you for reaching out. I am someone who hates a world where people simply argue, and I hate the world where we censor and vilify who we don't agree with.

    However, I LOVE dialogue.

    I may convince you a bit; you may convince me a bit.

    Neither of us may be convinced of anything.

    But both of us leave, at minimum, with broader perspectives and more strengthened stances.

    Thank you for engaging.

  3. #43
    The Brain
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    You put me in a tricky situation with Omega, Sam! I had 2 different matches in mind, ones I haven't seen as I'm still trying to convince myself to Omega on some degree. Was looking at the Cody match in San Francisco and the Sabre match from this year's G1. But considering how Shane enjoyed Okada and Naito on the MSG show, those might be the perfect matches to put his mind at ease. I'll have to think on it!

  4. #44
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The Cody match is probably a good one for what we might get in AEW because, lets face it, there is no one who can substitute in for Okada.

    I do enjoy the Sabre match too as he is quite a unique opponent.

    Also I will respond in full to what you've said Mystic I just need time to put it all together.

  5. #45
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    No worries. With the last 2-3 reports I've read about Roh, if they are true, I'm now in a "fuck Roh" mood. So, if you want to respond, that is up to you. You will get the last word. They aren't getting any defenses from me right now.

    My least favorite weeks in doing AAAE is when news and rumors are strong and, goddamn they're strong right now. We are recording tonight. Going to talk new talent; TV rumors; BTE and Road to DON; Convince Me! Kenny Omega; and MLW Fusion: TLS.

  6. #46
    The Brain
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    Super curious now about what Mystic unearthed about ROH!

  7. #47
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    I don't have it all in front of me, but the three latest reports on Roh, true or not, go something like this:

    1. They may have decided not to do the Enzo/Cass angle due to backlash
    2. They may have demoted the guy in charge for making that decision, as well as for the Beautiful People decision
    3. [Here comes some wild shit if true] They promoted Bully Ray and others and are punishing anyone who worked for AEW at All In [Didn't Bully?]
    4. Roh only allowed the collaboration with AEW at All In because they didn't think it would be so successful. They thought it would show those guys that the grass isn't greener, and they'd end up staying with Roh

    I don't know how much is true, but I know this: I wanted to keep Honor Club, but they did NOTHING after MSG to make me do so. (I've already canceled it.) I was actually interested in how Enzo and Cass would be booked and, though I know most weren't, the only thing worse than a "bad decision" is judging your decisions off mob rule. Then the AEW stuff. If any is true, ffs. This is the week that it became nakedly obvious that some within and without the wrestling industry are out to do harm on a company that "doesn't exist/hasn't run a single show."

    It's been a great week in some ways (which we will talk about tonight), but it's been an ugly week in other ways.
    Last edited by Mystic; 4 Days Ago at 07:45 PM.

  8. #48
    The Brain
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    For more on these topics and many others, tune in to our show later today when it drops!

  9. #49
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    So to respond more to what you were saying about Enzo & Cass & Beautiful People thing originally for me it simply comes down to the tone that I was hoping the MSG show would have and how those two completely destroyed it.

    To me the MSG show should have been a celebration of how far we've come, similar to how All In was. For the most poart the show was that exactly, the Liger, Muta face off, the big opener crowning a new double champ, the NJPW stuff certainly came off that way too - finally crowning Ibushi and Okada's redemption however and those guys appearances just completely grated against that celebratory atmosphere and it feels intentionally provocative. I don't like it when wrestling organisations get too cute with how they antagonise the crowd and those two debuts, on that stage, in my mind were done with the management thinking "let's wreck the atmosphere on the biggest stage we have ever been on to create some buzz for our next tv taping."

    I don't think they should be ostracised, in fact I think Enzo & Cass were a pretty good fit in WWE and liked their work up until they were split up. I have much less of an opinion on The Beautiful People because I haven't seen or heard from them since I was a testosterone fueld 20 year old however their debuts completely jarred with the tone of the show and to me demonstrate a desperate direction that ROH has taken which is very counter the the way that NJPW (the company I like) runs their company.

    Now onto something awesome and litterally just as I was listenting to your opening rants on the podcast (btw, FUCK those guys, who even cares who is paying for what if they have good wrestling on TV - and if their paying GOD is that a ballsy move that we will celebrate down the line if it pays off - talk about going ALL IN) I saw the latest Road To and BOY is that a story I can sink my teeth into.

    I had actually been planning a column for next week saying that Double or Nothing needs a proper story with some emotional stakes beyond the meta story of 'can these guys pull it off'. Up until now there has been some fun looking matches and some really interesting characters that I want to see more off but nothing that has truly grabbed me emotionally. That all changed immediately after watching the video.....



    Go and watch it if you haven't already cause I'm about to spoil it.








    FREAKIN' CODY RHODES! That guy was the heart of ALL IN and now him and Dustin are gona be the hearts of Double or Nothing. I got chills watching that video and the way they presented it was so damn good. I'm actually stoked we never got the pair of them in WWE, even though it was a missed opportunity then there is no way it would have been as engaging or heartfelt in that environment as it is now. With one video I went from starting to worry about AEW to jumping out of my seat excited.

    I guess I should have guessed they were keeping their powder somewhat dry over Mania season so their biggest announcements didn't get lost in the deluge of news from that week and now just as Raw & Smackdown are starting to drift again and NJPW is just moving along to its next big show they have come in hard with the biggest play they have left.

    Beyond this match that I'm so hyped to see build up having both Rhodes brothers backstage is huge.

    Damn such a great signing.

    Post-podcast EDIT:
    I very much agree with your thoughts on the 5 star ratings scale, when people start quibbling over 'quarter stars' it just seems fairly silly to me but then again some people love that so I'm glad for them, just not something I find stimulating. I would say that Kenny Omega's style is almost perfectly aligned with what popular opinion says the five star scale should represent but that is not why I love him (see my previous post, that I don't think mentions ratings at all - although to be fair it is nearly impossible to have a conversation about him without talking about that).

    Also in relation to your comments about the usage of plunder, they actually did a spot like that in the Tanahashi match at Wrestle Kingdom and the narrative had been about how Omega & Tanahashi were different wrestlers. Although from memory they ended up using it anyway in the end so I dunno where that leaves it (I've only seen that match once and was quite tired at the time).

    However when you said 'maybe people shouldn't pull guns out all the time' all I could think of was this clip from The Office.



    Am really enjoying the podcast guys.

  10. #50
    The Brain
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    Love having you along for this ride, Sam, I dig that post a lot.

  11. #51
    Whats the latest episode? Waa it March 30th? I was following the links before, now Im trying to find it on the blog talk website.

  12. #52
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    So much to say!

    Benny -- I sent you a text with the date for our latest episode. It's a good one. First time we didn't even get to MLW Fusion: TLS.

    SirSam - Thank you for the explanation. It was insightful. My reaction was definitely colored by what felt to me as a near universal dictating of who could/couldn't work, but, as I said, since Roh doesn't even stand by Roh, I damn sure don't. I will watch them if/when they attract me to watch, but they are back off my radar again.

    I like your response to the pay, which definitely isn't confirmed. But, if it should be so, EXACTLY AS YOU SAID. What balls. What risk. By any reports I've seen these guys were each offered a mil or more by WWE, ridiculous freedom, etc. And here they are either 1. With a historical deal or 2. as you say, one they are going All In on. God bless 'em either way.

    I'm going to save some of my Dustin-Cody response until next week (as I've realized I need about three different lenses to talk about it three different way.) I watched it last night; I watched it this morning; I watched it with my girlfriend this afternoon.

    mizfan and I are on different pages, in that I think he is more prone to see Dustin in a meaningful way. Not that I don't, but I get the sense more for him. mizfan and I are on the same page that neither of us wanted it to be Dustin going in but we both noticed that it moved A LOT OF PEOPLE.

    Including you, it seems.

    So I am DAMN HAPPY for the reaction it's getting.

    Your comment about one video changing your whole felt trajectory is what I'm hoping the Cody-portion of AEW will be all about. More "real". Not so much good and bad, but complicated human beings (like Michael Scott!) who are different depending on the context they are in. (We are already seeing that potentially with Brandi, with MJF, with Cody, with others.)

    Here are the things I need to work out before Saturday:

    My opinion of the video based on what I wanted the story to be
    My opinion of the video based strictly on storytelling value
    The one thing in the video that doesn't hold up for me
    What I want to see happen at DON, concerning these two
    A weird desire I have to see Dustin and Cody vs. Matt and Nick
    Who is Dustin Rhodes in this moment in time
    What does Dustin's claims, if anything, mean about Cody himself

    I agree on star ratings. If it stimulates you, I'm damn glad for you. We didn't talk about the five star system to say Kenny has to be tied to it, but our video just happened to align with his releasing those statements about the ease of the five star match. It was also in context of it seems to be that, above all else, he is signed to AEW to deliver the greatest matches in wrestling. Hell of a standard, but it's kind of where his clout is right now.

    If I were a wrestler, I would pitch an angle where I, as a heel, am there to clean up the wrestling match. Not only mine, but I'd come out and put the table back under the ring while two guys are wrestling. I'd say I would do that, but maybe someone kind of, almost, already is........and he will be the focus of the first ever Convince Me! Junior! this coming Saturday.

    I love Michael Scott.

    He is representative of the best potential AEW storytelling, based on the mediums they use and the philosophy they've put forth. He is both the man who (seemingly and maybe truly) ruins things for very selfish reasons and, just as much, a man who sees the world as in-develop, with fictions and characters and play as real as the rigid real that so many of us obey daily. The same man who ruins one improv is the man who forced the office to keep playing a murder mystery, even as Jim became pissed off that, with their jobs possibly to be lost, the manager is playing a game. Then, before the episode ends, he realizes that none of them have anything to depend on and no amount of "reality" will fix that. I think he even admits he could learn from Mike.

    Great stuff.

    I love and respect AEW for letting WM have their season, but I'm now loving the outpouring of developments. Going to be a fun run into Double or Nothing!

  13. #53
    Really liked this last one. I will agree with Mizfan that the five star match is 100% subject to opinions and the fact that Meltzer's opinion is taken for gospel is silly. Also, you guys did a good job hi-lighting the silliness that Omega's ego is so big when the stars are giving by one person. Wow, he's really mastered Dave Meltzer's fetishes with ease.

    Still, I don't think the consensus that he's a great wrestler is wrong. I watched the Kenny/ Cody match now and loved the hell out of it. And thinking of the context of the story, Cody was out to do whatever it took for all the power. But in the end he found redemption. I thought the Tonguens came out as great heels. Just loved the entire thing and how it segued into the next feud. That's the wrestling I grew up on. I think if we're watching those kinds of stories week to week , the matches will feel even better. I actually came out somewhat high on Omega, and while that's not the intent....your episode did a great job making me want to watch him and judge for myself.

    I take Mystic's point that the matches are formulaic. But I don't think I've seen enough to know the formula. Though, I've seen all three matches at different times, they were really spaced out. I watched the Okada one and wouldn't give it six stars, then again, I don't really know the story behind the bout. All Okada's matches I have seen seem to have been better by knowing the story. I thought he and Marty had a thing of brilliance at All In.

    I will agree with Mystic that some of the best matches from HBK, Flair, Daniel Bryan and others don't need any objects. It's about how they physically tell the story.

    Back to Marty, I, also, agree that his and Aldis story-telling has been kind of meh. Didn't much like seeing him get the upper hand on Aldis and then ESPECAILLY holding the Title over his head. I agree with Mizfan, that this stuff is overdone. But I can't stand when the challenger parades about with the Title. Winning the Title is the biggest thing in a wrestling story, I don't know why companies cheapen the coordination with challengers parading around with it without having won it. It's like your fiancé showing up to the rehearsal dinner in her wedding dress. Make that shit special!


    Good stuff, as always, guys!
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 2 Days Ago at 09:47 PM.

  14. #54
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin Button View Post
    Wow, he's really mastered Dave Meltzer's fetishes with ease.

    Still, I don't think the consensus that he's a great wrestler is wrong.
    Really like the pairing of these two statements, it covers a lot of what I feel about Omega.

    Also dig your point about challengers not constantly getting their hands on the title before the bout. You'd have needed to just about kill Hogan to get the belt out of his hands, and when Rock stole Austin's belt and threw it in the river it was a big deal. Would love to see champs more protective about their hardware.

  15. #55
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    There is a through line in history of guys who are not going to win the title holding it before the match. In that vein, I liked seeing him hold it. It looked right with him, and, *if* he's not going to win it, and *if* he's on his way to AEW, he's probably moving WAY away (and above) from challenging his "big brother" again. So, for those reasons, I liked seeing him hold the belt. Somewhere there is a picture of Lex Luger holding the WWF title, and god knows that was the only way I'd ever get to see it.

    lugerwwftitle.jpg

    As I've said, I came out respecting Omega more, even if I didn't yet come out liking him more.

    HBK is a wrestling god, but I'm saving all my ammunition for WWF: TLS. :-)

    Happy that our show made you want to watch. That's the best compliment.

    I can say that if Convince Me! Omega did one thing for sure, it made me more sure of Cody Rhodes.

    Edit: That picture reminds me how UTTERLY RIDICULOUS that gimmick and outfit are. That almost everyone blames Luger, not WWF, shows how brainwashed many remain.
    Last edited by Mystic; 2 Days Ago at 11:17 PM.

  16. #56
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Also, to mizfan, NWA Crockett Cup is this coming Saturday night. Do we get it and cover it the following week?

  17. #57
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I'm all in on Cody after last year. He was simply incredible going from utterly despicable almost Wormtongue like villain during the Bullet Club Civil War to heart and hero of All In seamlessly and played both roles incredibly.

    I think he has a very, very big role to play in AEW, bigger than most are giving him credit for and bigger than they are selling him for. One of 'Plan's theories is that a main event scene is built around three people - Hogan, Savage, Warrior - Hart, Nash, Michaels - Rock, Austin, HHH - etc. It isn't right all the time but certainly has some historical credibility to it. If I had to pick that for AEW without hesitation I would say Kenny, Jericho & Cody yet while they have made a big deal of Jericho & Kenny signing as wrestlers they really haven't for Cody.

    Cody isn't a wrestling machine like Omega who can just nail that 'athletic spots like' formula we are discussion and he doesn't have the veteran status of Jericho but he has become a character performer and story teller like few others.

  18. #58
    The Brain
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    That "3 man based title scene" theory is an interesting one when applied to AEW, seems like it could merit some discussion on the show!

    Mystic, I leave it in your hands if we pick up the Crockett Cup for the show. At this point I'm curious, if not passionate about it.

  19. #59
    Hey guys! Just a few thoughts that I wrote down while listening to the latest episode!

    I totally agree with you guys! It's SOOO bad that people wish AEW to fail. I just don't get it honestly... Nobody is forcing nobody to watch/follow/care about AEW. It's only gonna be good for both; the business AND the wrestlers. They will have a choice to make between (maybe) two companies that can give them a decent payroll. There is a difference between being a wrestling fan and a WWE fan... Seems like WWE fans can't accept anything outside of WWE, and that's sad!

    AEW needs to build a roster, they can build from different sources, but keep their own identity anyway! If you wanna follow a company like AEW, you have to be open-minded, people shit on WWE all the time, so clearly AEW needs to do something different. If I wanna look at what AEW has to offer, I don't want it to be the exact same as WWE! Also, so very very true when Mizfan said WWE is about the brand not the wrestler. If AEW gives more free space to wrestlers to build their character and craft stories, which they seem to be doing; wonderful!

    AWESOME discussion about the star rating! How much did I enjoy the match is truly the only real criteria when I judge wrestling. After all, you just need to find people with the same taste as you to recommend more stuff to you... When you read, somewhere, that someone's had a 5 stars match, your judgment is automatically clouded and you expect the match to be great instead of being great.

    As for Omega, I haven't nearly enough of his stuff to judge, but I've liked what I have seen so far. I wasn't bother by the length of the matches (which seems to be more frequent in NJPW). We'll see where AEW will settle down the road.

    That's only my 2nd week checking out AAAE and I really like it! Thanks guys!

  20. #60
    The Brain
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    Really pleased to have you along for the ride Cathe, very much digging these thoughts as well. We're lucky to have such excellent listeners.

  21. #61
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathe67 View Post
    If you wanna follow a company like AEW, you have to be open-minded
    This is so true! Honestly, I don't yet know that I am open minded enough for AEW, but I accept that reality. Only time will tell. Nice to have you on board, Cathe! Feel free to bring the dialogue whenever you choose. It's a hell of a ride that none of us can predict. That alone is exciting and different.

    Sam, I have to spend some time thinking on Plan's theory, but I do like that comparison. Benji, mizfan, and I were playing fantasy booker early and playing with Pentagon in a role like that, but, in reality, we already have it with Omega-Jericho-Cody. So smart if they keep a buffer between Cody and Kenny as long as they can. In the new BTE, Cody and Kenny form an alliance and it's based, in part, on the lack of a grip on reality that either seems to have (as well as the lack of a grip on financial responsibility). I thought they had good chemistry together, so it's one that needs to be taken care of.

    AGAIN THOUGH IN MY FANTASY BOOKING........

    God I want a night like WrestleMania IV to determine the first AEW champion. Probably won't get it, as it's a bit old fashioned like myself. You shouldn't use it to book all the dream matches that early (Andre-Hogan shows you how easily you can get rid of favorites and not spend all your matches), but the TV, the BTE, the Road to on the way to a one-night tournament could really have ALL OF THESE PEOPLE in weird places with each other. Months of paranoia, of wondering, of imagining, of wishing, of hoping...

    I just think that's how you set a title off right.

    Anyway,

    back to almost reality.

    On the day that BTE released an episode titled, "Dead Friend 1"

    I get home

    and in my mailbox

    is the following:

    Villain.jpg
    Last edited by Mystic; 1 Day Ago at 05:55 PM.

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