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DMJ

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  1. DMJ

    WWE TV 01/20 - 01/26 Lost 10 pounds in two days AMA

    Re: Velveteen getting ruined by Vince My point was the opposite - I think Velveteen Dream should absolutely leave NXT. There's nothing for him to do there. He should've won the NXT Championship at least 12-15 months ago, had a brief run with the belt, and then called up to the main roster. And the argument that Dream was "too green" to be an NXT main eventer in 2018 is ridiculous. He was very over and he was great against good opponents (which NXT has a plethora of). At no point has Adam Cole been more over than him despite having more "in-ring skill." Plus, it goes without saying that, If "in-ring skill" meant 20 years ago what it means today, The Rock would've never gotten the big push he did at Survivor Series 98'. That spot as Corporate Champion would've gone to a "good hand" like Al Snow. I know I'm preaching to the choir but putting on 45-minute mega-epic spotfests does not make you a good wrestler or a star. Will Vince ruin Velveteen Dream? Yeah, most likely. But keeping him in NXT is equally boring. Would the WWE main event picture not look better with Velveteen Dream being built-up as a potential babyface challenger for Brock? For Wyatt? Even for Nakamura? We know the guy is excellent as the foil to other larger-than-life characters (see his feud with Aleister Black). We know his character pops off the screen and that he has natural charisma. We know his gimmick is fresh and different. We know that he can hold his own and put together a good match against arguably more "skilled" opponents. But, with his recent injury, it is likely that we've seen the peak of Velveteen Dream already. If he's known for being injury-prone, he won't get "the rocket." Plus, even if he did get "the rocket," would it be a stronger push than what Aleister Black or Ricochet or Andrade got? I mean, they're all just kinda treading water with momentary snippets of being somewhat relevant.
  2. DMJ

    WWE TV 01/20 - 01/26 Lost 10 pounds in two days AMA

    I'm not sure if the chain-of-command is just so long that Vince doesn't actually know who is "hot" and when or if he just plain doesn't care. I know, I know - its all about the 'brand" and its intentional that nobody "breaks out... But even if you set the ceiling at a Kane-in-98' level or Mankind-level or Triple H-level or Randy Orton-level (y'know, guys that were over, sold merch, etc. but were never going to abandon wrestling or become mega-stars outside of the company), they don't even let guys reach that level. My eyes roll every time someone says Drew McIntyre could be a bigger star or that Matt Riddle has a huge future or that Gargano or Ciampa or Aleister Black can be difference makers. Its far more accurate to say that they've likely peaked and would need a JBL-like repackaging and an insane grassroots support (ala Daniel Bryan) to become permanent main event guys. I mean, for how many years was Ziggler a "future main eventer"? For how many years was Kofi a "future main eventer"? Look at Braun Strowman. Look at Sasha Banks. Look at Balor. The number of "can't miss" prospects they've missed with over the past 5-6 years is insane. And much of that is because they let guys die on the vine. Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne winning a tag team tournament is "big news"? Its a lateral move at best, a meaningless trophy they can place on the mantle right next to their hamster wheels. Pete Dunne turned heads close to 3 years ago and he's less interesting and less intriguing now. Do more people know his name? Probably...but less people are excited about it. Ditto for Matt Riddle, who came in as a big name and is now...just a name. Keith Lee just had a breakout moment at Survivor Series, got tweeted about by THE ROCK, practically became a star overnight, and is now...the NXT North American Champion. Big fucking whoop. The guy got a mega-response at one of the biggest shows of the year and they give him the *secondary* title on their least-watched, least established brand. No wonder the company has no momentum going into the friggin' Royal Rumble and all the talk this week was about a taped show on a booze cruise.
  3. DMJ

    WWE TV 01/20 - 01/26 Lost 10 pounds in two days AMA

    ^ I'm guessing you're hinting to Ronda's return? Aside from Baszler, I don't see anyone else possibly winning the thing. Becky/Ronda, hopefully in a singles match, could be a fun feud. I do wonder what that would mean on the SD side of things. I'm guessing Charlotte will challenge Bayley because, well, that seems to be the only other woman they really care about around Mania season. They'll probably add Sasha in too somehow. As much as I generally dislike big multi-man clusterfucks at WrestleMania, part of me wishes they'd do just that with the SmackDown Championship - Carmella, Lacey Evans, Ember Moon, Nikki Cross, and Alexa may not all be world-beaters, but the whole company, every roster, all seem so stale. Even NXT. Maybe throwing some of these characters together can lead to some new angles. Cross, in particular, has proven with Regal and Alexa that her character can get over as a foil to more "serious" characters. Maybe they should give her a shot?
  4. But, to us, who were "in the know," that part of Austin's career/gimmick was much clearer than to the millions (...and millions!) of Austin/Rock/WWE fans who hadn't watched much wrestling before 98'-99'. I was in high school back then. My friends and I were wrestling fans since the early 90s and had watched countless tapes and read all the magazines and were obsessed with WCW, WWE, and whatever ECW we could get at 2 AM on local TV. But the jocks and newer fans who got into it in 99'? They had no idea that Austin's gimmick was based on being held back by Eric Bischoff. It was inessential to understanding his character. Case in point - I remember around the time of the Higher Power angle, we were talking about who the Higher Power of the Ministry could be in lunch and I said to some buddies, who were newer fans, that I thought it might be Ted DiBiase because he had been the guy who first brought in the Undertaker. They had never heard of him, but proceeded to say, "You're probably right, I bet you it is Ted The Bossy." So, yes, while Austin's back story definitely was a part of his character, it really was very minuscule compared to what the company did for Mick Foley (the sit-down interviews with JR, the callbacks to the Jimmy Snuka splash, the consistent reference to him as "Mrs. Foley's Little Boy") to make him seem like an average joe that was not particularly physically gifted, but was a man of the people and refused to quit. And, in that sense, I do see that parallel to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, guys who, from their first introduction, were really presented as "non-WWE" and "alternative" who were now going to "sink or swim" in the "major leagues" after toiling away in the minors.
  5. DMJ

    "Triple H shoots himself in the foot" thread

    I didn't think the joke was all that bad. Every time I've heard that joke in the past, in various forms, the intention has not been all that vicious, its been that the woman is such a "wild child" that even she forgot if she had a kid or not. It can certainly be interpreted as slut-shaming, but I really think Triple H was referencing Paige's all-around image as "wild" rather than her promiscuity or history of drug abuse specifically. I genuinely dislike Triple H for many reasons, but even I don't think it was a super malicious comment. But directing that joke towards Paige, who has clearly been trying to leave that "wild child" reputation behind, when you're a corporate figure but even if you're just a colleague, is a stupid move. Paige has been pretty open on Twitter about the guilt and embarrassment she's felt over the years, not just with the sex tape but with all the other drama before her return. It was just an unnecessary snipe that I'm guessing Triple H would and could make in-person and get an uneasy laugh from Paige...but to a reporter? Just woefully inappropriate.
  6. DMJ

    WWE TV 1/6/20-1/12/20: At least 2019 is finally over

    - I'm expecting Edge to be announced for an ultra-safe match at the next Saudi show. I don't think he's coming back for a long run considering the risk, but if you believe the rumors, guys like HBK and Taker were getting anywhere from $500k to $2m for their Saudi appearances. For $300k-$500k, for one night of work in a well-rehearsed match against a safe, trust-worthy opponent, and basically no big bumps, I think its too good for Edge to pass up. WrestleMania pay-offs are nowhere near that - which is why Shawn hasn't come back. - Austin and The Rock still seem like longshots to be in full programs and unless they are permanently done with Roman Reigns being a top babyface, putting Reigns against them would be the dumbest move possible. I tend to think Reigns will be facing Wyatt, but if they do go with a special tag match for him, I'd expect he'll be paired with the bigger, more popular stars rather than against them. Maybe Rock & Reigns vs. Corbin & Co.? I mean, that feud has another 3 months in it, right?
  7. I will say this in defense of this stable: I already like it more than the Undisputed Era. Faint praise, I know, but what has always bothered me about the UE is that they are almost all interchangeable in size and relative style. There's no brawler. There's no "young lion" (like Orton was to Triple H in Evolution) or grizzled mentor (like Flair was to Triple H in Evolution). Adam Cole is the leader, but unlike Rollins in this new stable, its not because he has more experience or is more accomplished than the others. Its hard to imagine Arn or Tully leading the Horsemen while Flair spent the 80s in tags, but its not all that difficult to envision Roderick Strong or Kyle O'Reill in Adam Cole's spot and Cole in theirs (Bobby Fish's mustache makes it impossible for me to take him seriously in singles, but the point still stands). So, I like that Akem and Rezar are the tag team muscle. I like that Buddy Murphy is that "next breakout star"/"young lion" and that Rollins is the establised leader because, for better or worse (okay, just worse), he is a top guy in the WWE and that means partnering up with him is a kayfabe wise move for the other 3.
  8. DMJ

    WWE TV 12/23 - 12/29 Holiday Season is Here

    I agree that Punk was never a great athlete or very fluid in the ring. He wasn't even graceful like, say, Shawn Michaels or John Morrison or even Jeff Hardy, who could do acrobatic things like springboards. And what's funny, as someone else said, is that the same can be said of The Miz. Now, I do think Punk's striking and submissions put The Miz's offense to shame and Punk is the better in-ring worker and all-around performer - - - but when The Miz is booked right, which is almost always as a chickenshit heel, his lack of great offense doesn't matter because he gets great heat with the Yes Kicks and the clothesline-in-the-corner and playing to the crowd. And, for the past decade, The Miz has proven to be in the 10th percentile as a promo. So, in the end, I think Punk is just not giving respect where its due and, honestly, should feel a little embarrassed. CM Punk toiled and toiled and worked and worked and studied but, in the end, he's not all that much better than The Miz. Meanwhile, on the flip side, The Miz (like Mark Henry) has proven that being a "WWE System Guy" is not the worst thing in the world and isn't something that should be completely dismissed or disrespected.
  9. DMJ

    WWE TV 12/23 - 12/29 Holiday Season is Here

    Yeah, I'm speaking from a position of not watching NXT weekly and only seeing their RAW stuff, which comes off as vapid to me. Or worse - the kind of stuff that Michael Hayes or Vince think will get black wrestlers over (think Cryme Tyme). I compare this to The New Day and Usos who were probably pitched lots of stuff that made them roll their eyes but somehow managed to get their actual personalities, interests, and *intelligence* into their characters. On another topic - and I apologize in advance for this lengthy rant, hence the spoiler tag. If you don't want to read, don't feel like you need to. Its about the Miz/CM Punk stuff: In summation, CM Punk's tweet came off like an R-rated version of a Disney movie where the new kid in school gets bullied until the final scene - when all of the bully's friends realize that the new kid is actually cool and the bully was just an insecure dickhead.
  10. DMJ

    WWE TV 1/6/20-1/12/20: At least 2019 is finally over

    Yeah, and to be extra clear, I'm not saying its not a good line. Its a terrific line and I love the way Heyman delivers it. I believe it every time. Its really no different than the countless times any other heel used the word "guarantee" or "promise" or just came out and said, "...and I'm walking out of <insert city> the World Champion." When a heel makes a promise, its not necessarily about whether they deliver on it - its about whether you believe they can deliver on it. Ric Flair made you believe he was able to outsmart, outwrestle, and outthink any challenger that came his way - - but the stats don't lie. Dude lost. Alot. In big matches. It didn't change me from thinking he might just eke out of WrestleMania 8 with the title. I was an 8-year old idiot kid, but Ric Flair was also that damn good at making me believe that when he said he was going to beat someone, he was. It may be a bit on the nose, but I like how Heyman has simply updated the verbiage by using the word "spoiler," which is just a 2020 version of saying "I guarantee ______ will happen." Its a minute twist on classic heel shtick and because it has come true a couple times, it still works - even if I do think he used the line to build up matches that Brock lost (not only against Rollins, but possibly/probably against Reigns before SummerSlam 2018).
  11. DMJ

    WWE TV 1/6/20-1/12/20: At least 2019 is finally over

    Is Heyman's streak actually intact? I could've swore he used the spoiler line the two times Seth Rollins beat Lesnar. Ugh...I threw up a little in my mouth as I was writing the words "two times Seth Rollins beat Lesnar."
  12. I know people are gonna shake their head and think I'm crazy but... For a couple years there, Matt Hardy was a guy I often found to be quite good at making rather cold matches/feuds huge with live crowds. I used to describe it this way: Matt Hardy may not have the best match on any night, but he never had the worst match on any show (I think that stopped at some point, but for awhile there, it was shockingly true - which might also have something to do with the WWE product from 02'-09'). And, in that time, he wrestled just about everybody - including lengthy rivalries with Kane, Snitsky, and others. Now, I'm not saying he's up there with Flair or Daniel Bryan, but considering Matt Hardy was often considered the less charismatic/dynamic Hardy and maintained the same ridiculous Hot Topic look WWWELL past its expiration date, he deserves some credit for keeping fans engaged when a lesser worker could've ended up like Scotty 2 Hotty or The Dudleys or all the other guys who got good responses in 2002 but were clearly getting lukewarm-at-best responses by 05'.
  13. DMJ

    WWE TV 12/23 - 12/29 Holiday Season is Here

    I want to like the Street Profits, but they strike me as "overproduced" and desperate to get their slogans and catchphrases over and it comes off as unnatural. I also think the idea that they are "naturally charismatic" is vaguely bias/prejudice/racist - the idea that because they are young and black and handsome that is somehow the equivalent of having personalities. So the producers have told them to smile alot and speak loudly and be cartoonish but, ultimately, none of it has any substance.
  14. DMJ

    The length of wrestling shows & overkill

    I just watched In Your House: Season's Beatings from December 95' (just in a Christmas mood, I guess, plus I'd never seen it) for my blog* and I was amazed at how watchable the show was. Now, aside from the main (Bret vs. Bulldog), there's not really a "good match" anywhere on the show. BUT what the show does do very effectively is present 6 matches that serve a purpose and the booking is solid throughout. The opening match sees Razor Ramon tag with Marty Jannetty to continue his feud with the Million Dollar Corporation (specifically The 1-2-3 Kid). In a real smart move, though, some of the attention is placed on Goldust, who is sitting in the audience and gets a mid-match interview with Todd Pettengill - who he then hands a love letter to to deliver to Razor later. Meanwhile, in the match, the babyfaces win - but neither Sid or The Kid eat a Razor's Edge, so, even the heels come out without full comeuppance (which furthers the feud without finishing it the way the Crybaby Match would in February). From there, you get a very mixed-up and poorly executed angle/match involving Jeff Jarrett, Ahmed Johnson, Lawler, Dean Douglas, and Buddy Landell - it is a total clusterfuck but its designed to accomplish two things: make Ahmed Johnson seem like a monster and re-introduce Jarrett (who also enters the Rumble and attacks Johnson). Again, its not a great segment, but its purposeful and feels important to the characters involved. The Hog Pen match is similarly clever in that it also delivers the two things it needed to - Helmsley remains undefeated, but we still get to see the snob covered in slop and pig shit. Deisel's slow-burn heel turn is also continued in both his match against Owen Hart and his post-main event showdown with Undertaker. Speaking of Undertaker, his match against Mabel is everything you'd think - its not good - but it also doesn't overstay its welcome and gives the Deadman a decisive win in a Casket Match in under 8 minutes to keep him hot for his Royal Rumble title shot a month later. To me, I'd rather watch the worst 7-minute match ever than a mediocre 14-minute match because at least the former doesn't overstay its welcome. Again, even if the audience doesn't care, the characters look at their matches as important. In a sense, the show has no filler because every match is either designed to push a storyline or adorned with enough gimmicky ornaments to make them watchable (you're kidding yourself if you'd rather watch Shanghai Pierce and Terra Ryzing actually wrestle a standard match than the Hillbilly Jim-refereed gaga with live pigs we get instead). The main event has been discussed elsewhere on this forum so I won't overdo it, but after a slow start, it ends up being an excellent Bret Hart title defense. And the whole thing wraps up in something like 117 minutes as each match flows into the next without too many needless commercial breaks and backstage BS. Its not a great show - hell, there's a segment with Savio Vega that features some terrible, terrible outright racist jokes from Lawler - but it shows more creative thought and planning and consideration for details than anything the WWE presented (and that includes the NXT shows) in 2019. Today, you can look at a card and point to all sorts of "filler matches" even on the Network Specials/PPVs, but, even with a talent level considerably lower than what they have now, a show like this has no discernible filler because, for better or worse, every match served a purpose. I mean, I liked Aleister Black/Buddy Murphy as much as the next guy, but what the fuck did that match really mean? Today, the idea of presenting "good matches for good matches' sake" has become as stale as what Season's Beatings must have felt like in 1995. Everything old can be new again. Maybe having wrestling matches end with heels falling in pig shit is what we need more of. * CHEAP PLUG - If you go over to Kwang The Blog, you'll find my Top 10 WWE Network Matches of the Year. Great bathroom reading!
  15. DMJ

    2019 Match of the Year

    Will be posting my annual Top 10 WWE Network Matches of the year over the next couple days, but just wanted to ask, for WWE at least, was there any better performer than Daniel Bryan? I have him in 3 of my Top 5 matches of the year. I could see an argument for Charlotte Flair (she has 3 matches in my top 10), but Bryan beats her with all of his promo work. Granted, I'm not a weekly viewer and I semi-soured on the NXT main event formula this year. For example, I have Biance Belair/Shayna Baszler on my list and Cole/Gargano are a maybe for Honorable Mention.
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