Fwd: AEW: Has the buzz worn off

After watching the AEW show, it's looking like they've put all their eggs in on Double or Nothing, the last 2 shows have been average as the day as long and it seems are fans are kind of crapping on the product even moreso now, I admit there are some
issues with the product, the roster needs some more depth, the characters need to be built up a little more than just flippity flip indy geeks, the production qualities need to be tightened up and someone like Cody isn't exactly a guy I want to see on the
top of the card.


What do you think Scott, has the shine worn off on AEW a bit or is it just a slight bump in the road and come October they'll be off and running

I think doing these two mini-PPVs was kind of a mistake, honestly.  But once they get onto TNT, I think they'll be off and running.  

I'm telling ya though, Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy are EXACTLY what they need to push the shit out of, because they're gonna draw teenage boys.  Guaranteed.  They're got something with those guys.  

Obsessive Fan Alert: Best Matches of the Decade

Hey Scott,

I went ahead and compiled all your best matches of the 2010s. By my count, you have 22 matches ranked at 5 stars or above (not counting Ospreay vs. WALTER and Punk vs. Bryan from OTE 2012, did you rank those 5 stars?)

The full list is below, and I took a shot at ordering them in the order I thought you might consider them. Looks like it's safe to say Okada/Omega; Omega/Tanahashi; and Gargano/Ciampa are the three best matches of the decade and maybe of all-time, according to you?

Also, Gargano is on here 7 times. Omega 3 times; Naito 3 times; Ciampa 3 times. Would you say Gargano is the best wrestler of the decade?

And last question: are there any of these that you would downgrade/upgrade or re-rate with the benefit of hindsight?

No, because clearly I am perfect and my opinions are resolute and indisputable.

Gargano is pretty friggin' great, yeah. I think you forgot Jericho v. Omega from last year, which I'm pretty sure was also the full monty. I'd also add Dustin v. Cody to the list the more I think about it.

And yes, I gave Ospreay v. WALTER five stars, as well as Bryan v. Punk after doing an extended bit that only got funnier with each iteration.
Best Matches of the 2010s
  1. NJPW Dominion 2018: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega (2/3 Falls Match) *******

  2. NJPW WrestleKingdom 2019: IWGP Heavyweight title: Kenny Omega v. Hiroshi Tanahashi ******½ 

  3. NXT Takeover: New Orleans 2018: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano ******

  4. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 2018: Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito *****

  5. NJPW BOSJ: Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi *****

  6. WWE Money In The Bank 2011: John Cena vs. CM Punk *****

  7. NJPW Dominion: IWGP Junior Heavyweight title: Dragon Lee v. Will Ospreay *****

  8. NXT Takeover: Philadelphia 2018: Andrade Cien Almas vs. Johnny Gargano *****

  9. NXT Takeover: Brooklyn 2018: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Johnny Gargano *****

  10. NXT Takeover: Toronto 2016: The Revival vs. Tomasso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano *****

  11. NXT Takeover: Phoenix: Ricochet v. Johnny Gargano *****

  12. WWE SummerSlam 2013: CM Punk vs. Brock Lesnar *****

  13. NXT Takeover: New York: Johnny Gargano v. Adam Cole *****

  14. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 2018: Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho *****

  15. WWE Hell In A Cell 2018: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose *****

  16. NXT Takeover: 25: Johnny Gargano v. Adam Cole *****

  17. NXT: July 11, 2018: Kyle O'Reilly & Roderick Strong vs. Tyler Bate & Trent Seven *****

  18. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 2019: IWGP Intercontinental title: Chris Jericho v. Tetsuya Naito *****

  19. NXT Takeover: Dallas 2016: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura *****

  20. NJPW Dominion 2019: IWGP Intercontinental title: Kota Ibushi v. Tetsuya Naito *****

  21. WWE Royal Rumble 2010: Royal Rumble Match *****

  22. WWE WrestleMania 28 2012: Triple H vs. The Undertaker *****



Draw!

Scott,

 

Given Vince’s new edict that matches should not occur during commercial, what do you think of bringing back time limits?  Instead of having terrible 50/50 booking, guys can get their stuff in and run into a time limit draw rather as a means
to protect the guy you don’t want to job that week.  Aside from the obvious – that WWE would screw it up – do you think it would help reduce the damage from the 50/50 booking?


I don't really see where it would fit into the "No wrestling during commercials" thing, though.  I'm definitely not adverse to the idea of 10 minute TV time limit draws, though.  Easy way to build up a rematch without anyone jobbing.  


Chemistry


This debate has been too difficult for me to decide. Who has less on-screen romantic chemistry: Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, or the Rock and every female love interest in everything he's ever done?

I just want you to know, that's really mean and hurtful to me personally.  I'll let it go because it was quality snark, but you're on notice.

Hogan/Bret follow-up


Hey Scott,

  You've had some stellar, top notch questions come in the last couple of weeks that have never, and I mean ever, been talked about on the blog, or in a simple Google search, brother. That made me think of my own questions/wrestling mysteries still left unanswered:

1. I was watching Survivor Series 97 the other day, and I seem to remember the look on Bret's face, like he wasn't expecting the bell. I'm assuming this was storyline mixed with a little real life?
2. I was watching Wrestlemania 3 the other day, and the announcers said the attendance was 93,173, but I seem to remember someone saying it wasn't?
3. I was watching Survivor Series 88, and I seem to remember the look on Randy's face, I'm assuming this was storyline mixed with a little real life?
4. I was watching Starrcade 89 the other day, and I seem to remember the look on Ric Flair's face, how would you rebook Starrcade 89?
5. I was watching Phantom Menace the other day. I seem to remember the look on Anakin's face. I've been wondering, what are midichlorians?

I will show myself out.



Please do.  Don’t forget to take a complimentary pamphlet about the rant archives on the way out.  

Fwd: Pro-Wrestling: EVE Plug

Hey Scott,

It'd be super cool to get a plug for EVE's WrestleQueendom II show that's coming up June 30th at 16:00 BST (that's 8:00 PST, work it out from there). It's just 10 bucks a month for their subscription service and they produce some absolutely great wrestling if you're looking for a real alternative to the humdrum of WWE.

If you're unaware of what they're about, they're an all-woman British wrestling promotion that has been the launching ground for a shit-ton of top-notch female wrestlers. EVE has helped the careers of Paige, Nikki Cross, Toni Storm, Piper Niven, and basically the entirety of the women on NXT: UK.

Thanks for the plug and I hope to see some of us here for that show.

I don't think I can make it, but there you go.  People might like a link, tho.  

Fwd: Austin as Heel 2001: Too Hip for the Room?

Hey Scott–

I just got done rewatching King of the Ring 2001. Most of us agree that the Austin heel turn was a disaster, but I have to say that the concept that came out of the turn is fascinating. Austin losing his mind, needing not only the belt but VINCE'S LOVE to maintain any shred of sanity? That's a lot more complex than 99% of wrestling storylines. It was new and different, seemed like it had a lot of places to go, and you can't say Stone Cold wasn't completely devoted to playing the character.

Then of course we got the invasion and we dropped all of that so Austin could be "generic heel leader of generic heel faction."

So my question is; do you think that specific story could have gone in interesting places if:

A) They don't do the initial turn in TEXAS (where Austin could have lit The Rock on fire and the crowd would have cheered him)?

B) Vince hadn't Vinced all over the invasion?

Thoughts?

Austin's heel turn was fantastic from a creative standpoint, but with Rock going Hollywood and HHH about to be injured for months, it was the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up as one of the worst booking directions in history.  You could make a legitimate case that the heel turn killed off the Attitude Era, the most profitable time in wrestling history up until now.  Had Rock still been around as top babyface to balance it out, then sure, go for it.  But Angle as the #1 guy wasn't gonna carry things, sorry.  

Fwd: Avengers: Endgame…



So when are you scheduled/planning on seeing it?  Thoughts going into the film?  Expectations?


Mark

I've got tickets to see it tomorrow at 2:30 in IMAX with my daughter, and there's a spoiler thread that goes live on the blog in about an hour for all your spoiler-y needs.  Aside from the trailer, I've been avoiding all reviews and discussion about it.  Given I've read the original comics I have a pretty good idea of how things will resolve, but I'm not taking any chances until then.  My fanboyish hope is that there's an end of credits final stinger where a certain set of claws is seen in the MCU for the first time, but I'm not holding my breath or anything.  

Fwd: Breaking news: Andrade, Aleister, Zelina to SDL

Mike Johnson of PWInsider:

As noted earlier today on PWInsider.com, Aleister Black, Andrade and Zelina Vega were moved from Raw to Smackdown today.  PWInsider.com has been told that the move to bring Andrade and Vega back to Smackdown was made, in part, at the request of FOX as the brand lacked any major Latino stars following the Superstar Shakeup last week and that once the series moves to FOX this October, there are plans to spotlight WWE's Latino stars on their Spanish language station, Fox Deportes. 

Black was moved, at least in part, due to the fact he is married to Zelina Vega, as WWE has made an effort to keep married couples on the same brand, but we are also told there were some idea pitched for him for the blue brand. 

There is no word when talents were informed of the move.


I suspect a lot of the reason had to do with Charlotte in this case.  

Fwd: Omega Man: A Wrestling Love Story

  1. Have you seen it?
  2. What did you think? I thought the first half hour was promising, but in the end, it was just an extended kayfabed explanation of the last few years of his career, which didn’t really reveal anything shocking. Kind of a letdown. Although, I am sure Jim Cornette’s brain will explode if he sees this because it features the footage of Kenny wrestling an 8-year old, and Ibushi wrestling a blow-up doll.


Yes, I agree with that take on it.  It also didn't do much to explain the Golden Lovers concept to a wider audience.  I'd say it was worth watching but had a lot of untapped potential.  

Fwd: Avengers: Endgame Theory RE: Loki

Hi Scott,

 

Long time, first time, etc.

 

I know you’re a comics fan, and you’ve commented on the Avengers movies on your blog a handful of times over the years, so I figured you might be a receptive audience to this theory I came up with.

 

Last night, I had Infinity War playing in the background while I was cleaning my apartment, but with the audio in my earbuds, so a throwaway line of dialogue that Thor says under his breath ended up standing out to me for the first time (this was the only time I’d seen the movie outside of theatres).

 

It’s when the Guardians first pick him up after Thanos leaves him for dead, drifting through space. Thor explains to them why he thinks Thanos is headed to Knowhere – because the Collector has the Reality Stone – and Quill says something to the effect of, “Well it’s not safe there. Only an idiot would give that man a stone.” Thor quickly, under his breath, replies, “Or a genius,” and then Gamora says something immediately and the conversation moves right along, without missing a beat.

 

Here’s the thing: Loki gave the Collector the Reality Stone. While he was posing as Odin, he sent the stone to the Collector for safe keeping (in the post-credits scene of Thor 2).

 

So when Quill suggests that “only an idiot” would give him a stone – and Loki is the idiot in question here – Thor responds by defending Loki’s honor. Why? Because Loki has assumed Thor’s identity and is hiding in plain sight throughout all of Infinity War.

 

I wrote a whole thing about this theory on my comics blog. Maybe you could share it if you find it at all worthwhile:

http://doomkopf.com/2019/03/21/loki-is-alive-and-well-in-infinity-war/

 

Thanks, Scott! Keep up the great work – I love reading your blog.

 

Yeah, but how did he survive the blast of the sun, which only Thor would have the power to do?  And it's already been established that Loki can't lift Mjolnir and I assume Stormbreaker by extension. 

Big E


I don't know how much of Smackdown you've been catching, but after seeing the serious promos and limited silliness from the New Day lately my question isn't about Kofi — my question is why isn't Big E a bigger star? When he's not clowning he can talk and work and he has a unique look. Have you ever seen anything special in him?

No, I think he's slotted right where he should be.  Wasn't he IC champion for a cup of coffee?  He's overachieved a bit with the New Day gimmick, although given his look and moveset I could see Vince giving him a shot.  

Observerations

Hey Scott,

Since you, like me, are a longtime subscriber to the Observer and regular listener of Observer Radio, I want to know if you've noticed something that's really been bothering me over the past couple of years in particular. Doesn't it seem like Dave falls back on the "if you only knew the actual story behind this situation" crutch a lot more than he used to? I understand that there is a necessity of protecting your sources when you're a journalist, but it feels like, more often than not, Dave will say that and then never actually get into the backstory of whatever it was he was originally referencing — even when things have eventually played out. I still enjoy Dave's perspective and institutional knowledge, but WOR feels more like a review show than it used to. Wouldn't it be nice for Dave to actually break these stories that he claims to have insider knowledge about once in a while instead of waiting for everything to happen and then giving a half-assed tick-tock of how things went down? He has gotten worse about this lately, right? 

Oh yeah, for sure.  One of the main criticisms levied against the show, even by the F4W Board, is that Dave treats it like a barker advertisement for the newsletter a lot of the time, when in fact anyone listening to the show already subscribes to the newsletter.  Basically it should be an audio version of what we're already paying for.  Which actually it was during the couple of weeks when Dave broke his hand recently and it was just him and the amazing Garrett Gonzalez doing a news recap for an hour every day, which was then transcribed into the Observer for that week. That was a great week for the show.  That's why I prefer the Garrett shows to the Bryan ones, because Garrett asks follow-up questions and coaxes information out of Dave whereas Bryan lets him ramble and then moves onto the next point.