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DMJ

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  1. I'm curious what the WWE relationship is with Cena right now. It just seems very murky. No big retirement angle, but he also appeared at Mania...but in a comedy sketch with Elias. Then you also add in the fact that he wasn't heavily featured at last year's Mania either. But he did do one Saudi show. But now he's not doing any Saudi shows. And on the interview circuit, from what I've seen, he's been wishy-washy about whether he's going to wrestle again. It just seems like when the ratings went to shit last fall and with Roman out, Cena would've been Vince's first call. The ratings are still down and house show attendance is sagging too...but still no Cena appearances? Just all seems very murky to me. I know the WWE doesn't regularly promote guys that are no longer on the active roster, but then again, they always keep Undertaker and DX/Triple H in their marketing. Cena felt like a guy they would never truly stop promoting, but I haven't heard his name uttered in what feels like at least a year (aside from the surprise Mania appearance).
  2. Yeah - I will watch the random episode of 205 Live maybe twice a year, but I don't "get" the need for it no matter how great it is as its own stand-alone thing. I really liked Jack Gallagher when he was on the main roster and his offense was bad-ass enough for me to accept him as a threat to just about anyone. No different than Balor or Mysterio in that regard. Ali moved up from 205 and doesn't stick out as "too small" at all. According to wikipedia, Almas is 210 and 5'9. The Universal Champion is 6'1', 217 pounds. The WWE Champion is 6'0 and 212. This ain't boxing. Weight divisions when your main eventers are only 10 pounds heavier than the guys in your cruiserweight division makes no sense to me. As someone who does not watch it regularly, 205 Live looks like a hamster wheel/holding cell from the outside. I'll admit I'm ignorant about all the minutiae and details of the brand, but is it not that? Is it not just its own insular little world of "small guys" putting on good matches for good matches' sake in 3/4ths-empty arenas?* * I'd call them "half-empty" arenas, but that's the attendance for the main roster shows these days.
  3. Not sure which thing above is more ridiculous. 1) People who want Undertaker to "retire in peace" like the WWE has a gun to his head and he has to perform. I don't know Taker's contract situation, but if Daniel Bryan can say, "I'm not going," the Undertaker can say I'm not going. 2) Mansoor defended his anti-Semitic goofing as something he did when he was a "dumb college kid." Like Lars Sullivan's bigoted rants, I can understand that people make mistakes and deserve forgiveness/second chances. People can change. I still think having these abhorrent views means that if you do lose your "dream job," that's completely fair. You are/were a bigot, you let your hatred show, now you don't get to wear spandex and pretend to fight for a living. Go do something else. I guess what I'm saying is - fuck Mansoor and fuck Sullivan. If they've changed their views, that's great - I still can't find myself ever cheering for them or appreciating their "work." Not different than the Harris Twins.
  4. Goldberg hit two spears immediately, but couldn't get the pinfall. Undertaker did a sit-up which almost counts for a "high spot" for him nowadays. A few minutes later, Goldberg ran into the post and got busted open - supposedly hardway. Also, on Twitter, Goldberg said he was knocked out for a second. Taker hits a decent chokeslam and a decent Tombstone - but Goldberg kicks out. There's a collision that brings them both to the mat, but Undertaker maintains control soon after and delivers a Snake Eyes - only for Goldberg to counter with a third spear! Goldberg attempts a Jackhammer, but ends up having to settle for a Brainbuster. Taker kicks out, but is very slow getting to his feet. Goldberg tries to get Taker up in a powerslam but he can't and they both go to the mat. Taker then delivers an awful-looking chokeslam. After the match Taker looks pissed as Goldberg gets helped by a trainer I did not like this match and I'm someone who liked Goldberg's last run against Lesnar (and Owens). I'm also probably a bigger fan of Taker than many here and feel like, for a long time, his "aura" really was enough to carry a bad match into something interesting or "important." This match, though, didn't have any "big fight feel" and I didn't get any sense of a story being told. It started off interestingly with Goldberg trying to "shock and awe" his way to victory, but from there, it was just bomb-throwing with a couple random moves thrown in. There was no escalation - it felt like Undertaker went to the Tombstone as his fourth or fifth move when, back in the day, he would progress there with some other signature moves (the Flying Clothesline, the Old School, even the Triangle Choke). There's an audience for matches like this - as the review above shows - but I'm not it.
  5. I'm not going to defend Kofi's statement as that would be ridiculous but, since he's become champion, I can imagine every "old school" agent/producer/Vince McMahon asskisser has been in his ear about how, now that he's the champ, he needs to "represent the company" and all that BS. I think he fully knows about the human rights violations - how could he not considering the bad press the WWE gets for even during these shows? - but he's given verbiage and his job is to speak it. Just like his promos on SmackDown. And, yes, to whoever said it above - you can and should blast Goldberg, Taker, and Shawn Michaels for working these shows. I can't hide the schadenfreude I feel towards Shawn Michaels fans/apologists who somehow believe that being Born Again means that he's not a greedy scumbag. Did the drugs make him an even bigger scumbag in the 90s? Sure...but it was there all along and him coming out of retirement to do a Saudi show proves where his heart lies. At least in Taker's case and especially in Goldberg's case, they've been open about the fact that they'll do anything and promote anything at the right price, that wrestling is a business. Michaels has put himself out there as a man of faith.
  6. I thought that was all kayfabe - like all the bogus Twitter drama and "wrestling is fake - but I'm not!" stuff they did during the build to Mania. She was just playing the character of the former Champion who lost the title in screwy fashion (the finish to the Mania main event). Even the comment about her broken hand was "on brand" for her. Plus, based on her most recent tweets about the 24 Special, she's thankful and appreciative of her WWE run. I think her desire to start a family is legit, so I'm not expecting her back any time soon...but I definitely don't think we've seen her last match. At 32, she's got years ahead of her in pro-wrestling and Vince and Co. will always regard her as a bigger star than anyone on their own roster. I'm not sure we'll ever see her as consistently on TV and house shows, etc. like we did in 2018-19, but I wouldn't be surprised to see her make an appearance (at the very least) at WrestleMania 36.
  7. - I don't think there's been a bad Takeover, but part of that is that the shows, compared to the main roster's, are considerably shorter and only happen every 3 months. Injuries have also stalled more than a handful of storylines. Calling any of them a "one match show" feels a bit hyper-critical...but, again, that's compared to the average main roster PPV that sometimes feature a total sum of 0 good matches. - I don't think NXT needed the North American Title. Its a "midcard title" for a brand that, at any given time, really shouldn't have a genuine midcard. Its a minor league. Take Velveteen Dream, for example. Why is this guy fighting for a midcard title when (a) he's been over enough to challenge for the NXT Title (a minor league championship) and (b) his best feuds/matches have really been about the clash of personalities anyway. If you've got wrestlers trying to win the second tier championship in a minor league, you've run out of storyline ideas for characters that should be, by definition, being developed with characters that shouldn't need titles to give them value/meaning. All the singles in NXT's midcard should be fighting to climb the ranks to be the NXT Champion - that's it. Its not like on the main roster where you have 30+ guys and 1 Championship isn't enough. Its NXT and they really only have what? 7-8 guys at any given time that are getting prominent exposure? 1 title is/was plenty. For another example - Ricochet. Did he need to win a title? If the answer is "Yes," they should've made the NA Title Ladder Match into a Number One Contender's Match and let him win that. Then he could've challenged Ciampa (or whoever was champ at the time). They created the title to seemingly give him and Cole something to do, but did the title add anything to that feud? If you want to "strap the rocket" on someone in NXT - a developmental minor league - just strap the rocket and put them on top of the show like they did with Owens, Nak, etc. The "rocket" doesn't go all that high. Its not like the NXT brand is depended on to bring in huge revenues or needs stability at the top. Its a developmental minor league that is fun to watch, period.
  8. DMJ

    AEW Double or Nothing

    Just saw that 98k people purchased the show - that includes international, online, etc. based on the news story (which was pulled and maybe altered from the Observer). Any way you slice it, that is a very respectable showing for the first show. I thought 50k would be impressive, so 98k is tremendous and, if they can sustain it for another couple shows, real proof of concept. AEW is batting a thousand right now in my eyes and I haven't even seen all of DoN so I'm not even talking the wrestling-side. They're crushing it at getting buzz/positive PR on social media (Ocasio-Cortez!), on reddit (inclusivity for people with sensory disorders!), in the podcast world (Moxley torching WWE Creative), and in getting a TV deal (bringing 'rasslin' back to TNT!).
  9. DMJ

    Jon Moxley on Talk is Jericho

    I too suspect that the "line" was going to be something like Dean Ambrose claiming to be dealing with "the real serious medical threat of being around all the infected scum in Chattanooga while Roman Reigns is pretending to have cancer in Miami." While I think he's going overboard saying that the WWE would lose sponsors - that's kind of a toss-up as some stuff gets traction in the news cycle (Moolah) while some stuff is just ignored (pretty much ever depiction of a minority character from the 80s through 2005?) - the IWC would certainly be in an uproar. And, of course, Vince and Koskey would probably relish in it as being "good heat." Another facet of the Moxley interview I love: the outing of Koskey as Chief Yes Man. Like how the Punk podcast outed Dr. Amann as, at best, being just complicit in the company's mishandling of performer's injuries, Ed Koskey has now become a name that we can attach to RAW's terribleness. Based on what Moxley said, Koskey seems to be there for all of the major creative meetings (which makes sense as he's RAW's head writer), but it seems like the extent of his input is to laugh at Vince's jokes and help him procure more props for his "comedy sketches."
  10. DMJ

    Jon Moxley on Talk is Jericho

    Renee was definitely put in the booth as part of the Women's Revolution deal. And I'd theorize that her initial contract may have also been coming up and there was interest from networks and sports channels. As a backstage interviewer, she was clearly a natural and she's obviously a beautiful woman to boot - if ESPN hired Jonathan friggin' Coachman, I'm guessing ESPN and Fox Sports had their eyes on her too (probably even back when she was working in Canada). As I said, I could be way off but I could see the WWE possibly re-signing her to more a lucrative deal after her first expired and then, as the pay's gone up, thinking, "Hey, if we're going to get the most out of our investment, she should be on TV more." What non-wrestler role is on TV the most? Commentator! We'll make her a commentator...even if that's not what we hired her to do or what she excels at. There's also the added thought that, based on what her husband said, the overproduction and micromanaging of every aspect of the show includes the commentary and because she is being overproduced, her commentary suffers as she can't use her natural instincts to actually do the job correctly. I mean, don't we already know that to be somewhat true with Booker T? Or do we all actually believe that if the real-life Booker T was sitting on your couch, watching a match with you, he would be the same annoying dweeb with the inane (and stolen) catchphrases that we hear in the WWE? I tend to think that Booker T has more insights than "shucky ducky quack quack" and sometimes get the sneaking feeling that Vince McMahon might just have a documented penchant for minstrelsy. Or not? Maybe I'm wrong and Renee, Booker, Graves, Jerry Lawler after 95', and Mick Foley are all just really, really bad at their job.
  11. DMJ

    Jon Moxley on Talk is Jericho

    I'm only 25 minutes in and this is already a "must listen." Obviously, the ads every 10 minutes are annoying, but they're only 90-120 seconds or so. I'd put this right up there with the CM Punk podcast and Austin's best episodes. On NPR they call them "driveway moments" when the story is so good that even when you reach your destination, you want to stay in your car and keep listening. That was exactly what happened to me when I got to work. I'll also admit that I was wrong the countless times I theorized that Moxley's unhappiness had less to do with Creative and more to do just being burnt out on life as a WWE wrestler (the injuries, the travel, even the wrestling itself). I believed he had far more creative lee-way than what seems to be the case and that many of the bad ideas he talks about originated from him. Which is why I kinda soured on him - because I thought, "Wow, this guy's idea of what's good is terrible." Its nice to hear that he thought all the prop comedy over the years was stupid and only got worse as time went on. I also liked the part where he mentioned that there are plenty of guys backstage who speak up, but that its not so easy because (a) even meeting with Vince sounds like an hours long ordeal, (b) convincing him of your vision as opposed to his is not easy, and (c) the label of being a "complainer" may not mean you'll get fired, but its still not a good thing. I'm figuring things are going to get very interesting over the next couple years if AEW stays afloat. If I think of how the company's treated some of their "main eventers," it makes me wonder if we've haven't seen the last of Prince Devitt, Kevin Steen, and Bryan Danielson after all...
  12. DMJ

    All Elite Wrestling

    As others have said, considering the level of brand awareness/current lack of TV presence, even 50k would be a huge number. I can't verify their accuracy but the numbers I came across from TNA ranged from 10k-40k for their PPVs, with an average around 20k (?). Despite some bellyaching, the $50 price point does not seem to have hindered sales too much. In fact, the overall positive reception for the show makes it seem like this was well worth the price on PPV. I did not order the show and I have not seen the whole show (I am admittedly more of a "WWE-centric fan" and have limited knowledge/exposure to indie wrestling save for local shows) but based on what I did see and read about it, I'm more likely to buy the next one. If there are another 8-12k fans like me, who were "fence-sitters" this time around, AEW has the potential to do an even bigger number for their next show. From what I've read, I have not seen many fans say they regretted their purchase.
  13. Or worst of the bunch? Or somewhere in the middle? If that list of ideas ever does leak or get reported, its possible that it actually has some good ideas on it that Vince refused for whatever reason - even out of just spite or stubborness. I don't consider myself someone who blindly sees Vince or HHH or Stephanie or Shane as infallible creative geniuses - just as I don't think Kevin Sullivan, Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Paul Heyman batted 1.000 when they were in charge of different companies. They all had hits and misses. Right now, though, it does seem like the WWE is missing way, way more than hitting and this title is just not something I am interested in. As for people shitting on it and speaking great things about the Hardcore Titles of yesteryear - I don't know what to say about that. The 90's/00's Hardcore Titles of WWE and WCW were an unfunny joke that I disliked when I was a teenager and, on rewatches, its still a part of those PPVs and shows that I don't like. I don't know of really anyone who appreciated those titles back then outside Crash Holly's involvement and, in WCW's case, Norman Smiley's work (which was also comedy-based). Maybe I missed the critical reassessment of Brian Knobbs and Al Snow's Hardcore Title runs, but I thought we all agreed that shit was nothing special.
  14. DMJ

    Money In The Bank 2019

    Oh, I agree...but in 2019, Cena is gone, Reigns was somehow a bigger deal before he beat cancer (!) Daniel Bryan is in a tag team, and as much as I like and think the WWE could do a better job at making guys like Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mysterio, and AJ come off as bigger attractions, none of them have much aura right now. And that's before we even talk about guys that could've/should've/would've been main event stars like Strowman or Rusev or Big E. Sadly, I think we'll see the same thing with someone like Velveteen Dream - someone whose Takeover matches have become "must see" to me and who oozes charisma and feels like a transcendent star (the way Nakamura did in his WWE debut). But they'll probably have him come in and feud with Robert Roode over the 24/7 Title or whatever and that "specialness" will disappear. So, you're right, it shouldn't be a "Lesnar Or No Stars" situation...but it IS a "Lesnar Or No Stars" situation because unless I'm missing someone, I don't see anyone with the same aura as Lesnar on the main roster currently and, even when the WWE does seem to have someone that has that aura, they crush it almost immediately with 50/50 booking and overexposure.
  15. DMJ

    Money In The Bank 2019

    Oh, I agree...but in 2019, Cena is gone, Reigns was somehow a bigger deal before he beat cancer (!) Daniel Bryan is in a tag team, and as much as I like and think the WWE could do a better job at making guys like Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mysterio, and AJ come off as bigger attractions, none of them have much aura right now. And that's before we even talk about guys that could've/should've/would've been main event stars like Strowman or Rusev or Big E. Sadly, I think we'll see the same thing with someone like Velveteen Dream - someone whose Takeover matches have become "must see" to me and who oozes charisma and feels like a transcendent star (the way Nakamura did in his WWE debut). But they'll probably have him come in and feud with Robert Roode over the 24/7 Title or whatever and that "specialness" will disappear. So, you're right, it shouldn't be a "Lesnar Or No Stars" situation...but it IS a "Lesnar Or No Stars" situation because unless I'm missing someone, I don't see anyone with the same aura as Lesnar on the main roster currently and, even when the WWE does seem to have someone that has that aura, they crush it almost immediately with 50/50 booking and overexposure.
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