GWF Reunion?!?

How did we miss this?  Bungee match and Nigerian investors or we RIOT.  


Never trust the Romulans.  
That is all.  

DEAD BY 2023

Hello Scott

WarnerMedia Greenlights Second Weekly AEW Show as Dynamite Extended Through 2023



Too much, too soon?


I personally only watch Dynamite myself since it’s only two hours.


(but I have to say, AEW has got me back into watching a weekly product)


I'm wary of adding more content to the mix, although if it's just something like bringing Dark to TNT so they can monetize it, good for them.  This definitely answers the "questions" about how happy TNT is with the ratings, though. 

Academy Awards are a Joke…

Damn, Joker sweeps the noms!  Todd Phillips getting nommed for a Scorsese impression is kind of dumb, but I loved the movie and I hope it wins just to spite the AVClub nerds.  But mostly I hope Once Upon A Time wins because Tarantino deserves one and Hollywood loves putting itself over anyway.  Either way, I’m good and I’ll actually have a couple of movies to root for this year.  

Fwd: Reality Sports Feel: NJPW vs WWE

Hey Scott,
In the "Please Steal This It's Such An Easy Win" Department:  Why do you think WWE does not copy over New Japan's post match press conference gimmick? 

WWE TV (and all US wrestling) continues to be invested in the fabricated backstage skits from the 90s where everybody is pretending there is no camera there but then is clearly playing up to a camera.   You would think that three decades in that it would improve or move forward (re: the Lucha Undergound stylized vignettes) but it has not.  Meanwhile, NJPW really has the post-match presser as a constant for all its big shows and it does a great job of having wrestlers speak to the camera in a style that is familiar to sports fans all over the world.

Case in point, I have not seen the full Okada vs Naito match but the YouTube of the after math is amazing. First, you have Okada, a dynasty style champion in the vein of Tom Brady/Lebron James/Flair/Big Match Cena, deflated and perplexed after losing his most valued possession.  We also get KENTA's brazen promo where he is totally gloating on ruining Naito's coronation. Bonus, Natio not even on the press conference video sells that he is either too injured, pissed, and/or embarrassed to speak.  Cha-ching!  More drama and context for a series of matches that can be easily re-shown on any of the promotion's shows or packaged off to other media as teasers for buying the PPV or jumping on to new stories.

I was under the impression that the original idea for Backstage was going to be exactly that sort of thing, but then plans changed and it went off the rails into whatever stupid kayfabe show it is now.  But yeah, 100% that's a great idea.  It would also help guys better understand their character, by answering questions in character.  

Also, they should do one after NXT shows and let Matt Riddle answer all the questions.  


So I’ve just been watching Hogans initial WCW run for the first time.

I’m only at Halloween Havoc 94 but so far the MVP of this whole fued for me is Sherri. She is more believable than either of them and she took some mad bumps during the fued.

But I never seem to hear her getting much credit for it?

I know you didn’t seem over keen I her and Flair as a combo from your reviews but it worked for me, what didn’t you like about it?

Then they revealed the masked man and I’m pretty sure it all goes to shit now.

Flair didn't need a manager, but they were so desperate to make sure that no one would possibly cheer him that they had to add one anyway.  The whole thing felt really shoe-horned after they had done such a great job accidentally making Flair into a giant babyface to save the whole Sid situation.  And yes, spoiler, the masked man thing does go to shit. 

Show Don’t Tell

OK, I feel like this topic needs to be spun off into its own thread, so I grabbed a comment from the Dynamite thread.

"As much as I think some of AEW's detractors are…purposefully obtuse at times, I have to agree on the Cody/QT/MJF thing.

This is show don't tell stuff. I enjoyed the match; I enjoyed QT surprising people; i would have enjoyed it more if it was really put over before hand that this was MJF putting Cody in check. And that insert promo gets the bare minimum of credit.

I appreciate that they are still trying to figure out the balance of creating drama without spelling everything out, but they are erring too much on the side of telling too little"

Yeah, so as I alluded to in the original review, this is not an effective way to build an audience.  I kind of joked about not really wanting to watch extra content to understand the story, but it's TRUE.  The argument from the gatekeepers is that "Oh, it's on YouTube on Being the Elite", but what is Being the Elite?  Who are the Elite?  Is that Cutler guy part of the Elite since he hangs out with the Young Bucks?  Was MJF part of the Elite?  They don't answer any of these questions on the TV show that they're trying to convince 800K people to watch every week and that's fucking annoying to me.  And yeah, you can be all WHATTABOUT?!? with WWE but WWE has a diehard rock bottom audience of 2 million people who watch their shows every week no matter what stupid shit they do or don't do in the name of storytelling.  We're not talking about them, let's focus here.  

Another great analogy was brought forth in the comments as well, in that AEW is currently telling stories like Marvel Comics, with a dense backstory that you need a physics degree to understand, and they should be telling stories like Marvel Cinematic Universe instead.  The argument is that "Oh, the announcers already told us that Adam Page left the Elite".  So why not SHOW THAT?  They're got five extra minutes to have the guy talk to his TV set in his hotel room, but they can't show a clip of Page deciding to "leave the Elite", whatever that means?  And while I'm at it, how were we supposed to know that the two jobbers even had a team name?  Have they ever been announced as "The Beaver Brothers" or whatever the fuck they were called on Dynamite?  Not everyone is watching all your content like devoted hardcore nerds, and it's really insulting to be excluded in all those little ways and it's the kind of thing that makes people resentful.  It makes me feel like "If you don't want my business, I will stop watching".  Not to say I'm gonna stop watching the show, because it's great, but I totally get where people would be coming from.  

Clearly they have an audience who wants to be sold to.  So sell to them!  Anyway, there you go, my rant on this for the morning.     

Fwd: NXT: Victim of its Own Success?

Hey Scott–

Now that it's well established that NXT is handily destroying AEW on

Wednesdays and Cody's promotion is on its deathbed, is the end also

near for NXT as we know it?

With NXT taking a more prominent position (live on Wednesdays against

AEW, all the Survivor Series nonsense, bringing Raw/Smackdown guys in

to "invade") I just have this sinking feeling that Vince is going to

start mucking with it more and more. What makes NXT so great is that

it's far removed from Vince and his army of writer monkeys. I worry

that in the wake of NXT beating AEW a couple of weeks in a row, the

lesson Vince will take away is that it's the Raw/SD "influence" that

turned the tide and he'll start tinkering with it until NXT is as much

of a chore as Monday and Friday nights are.

What do you think? Is Vince going to mess with the Wednesday show or

does Triple H put his foot down? Or will Vince be too busy pretending

to be a football mogul to care?

I guess we'll find out in the next few weeks.  But I think as long as it's still competitive on Wednesdays, Vince will mostly let HHH do his own thing.  

Fwd: Randy Orton: New Smartest Man?

Hey Scott–

With Triple H a front-office fixture, does the title of "Smartest Man

in Pro Wrestling" now belong to Randy Orton?

He calls out bullshit whenever he wants, works whatever schedule he

wants, "corpses" on camera (to borrow Maffew's phrase) whenever he

wants, gives whatever level of effort he feels is justified on any

given day… and he just signed a contract for "fuck you" level money

because Vince doesn't want him to go play with Cody in AEW.

Given all the kayfabe accolades he's already achieved, is there a

wrestler on the planet who sits in a better position?

I'd say Brock still has him beat, but Orton is a strong contender, yeah.  

Survivor Series/Takeover

Bryan Alvarez went off on a great rant on Observer radio this morning about why the buildup for next weekend's WWE shows sucks so bad this year, and I wanted to echo his sentiments.
Myself and many other hardcore, longtime fans are basically the only ones left watching this product, and it's SO FUCKING COMPLICATED to follow who is facing who and why.  You've got Takeover with 2 different Wargames matches and a series of matches and angles building that up and determining who's on which team there.  Plus, running concurrently, you've got many of the same people in that match participating in a series of interbrand tag team matches for the next night, with another series of angles and matches determining who's on which team THERE.  Some people are on both, some are on neither, some are in unrelated three-way interbrand matches with the secondary champions.  But there's also a couple of non-interbrand World title matches on the show with their OWN separate buildup.  NXT is invading both shows, but RAW and Smackdown aren't invading each other and the whole thing has a vibe of NXT v. Main Roster, but we're still supposed to buy into the "brand supremacy" of RAW v. Smackdown as well as the NXT brand fighting for whatever.  It's a mess.  When you need a literal scorecard to figure out who is fighting who in what watches and why, your booking SUCKS.

AEW up 16% after PPV

Nearly back up to a million viewers again for AEW after Full Gear.  Glad to see that some of their strategies in laying out the show worked this time around, and it was a hell of a show to boot.  
NXT drops on the Network tonight so I'll probably check it out this weekend because I hear it was good, too.