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DMJ

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  1. DMJ

    WWE TV 3/23-3/29 Who Cares? Edition

    Yeah, I mean, if you're USA, you're seeing your numbers dwindle with everyone's eyes on cable news anyway. There is nothing, short of first-run blockbuster movies, that the network can air that will draw a number. But imagine curating the best 3-hour highlight show ever. Warrior beating Honky Tonk. Michaels vs. Taker. Austin/Bret at WM13. One of the Shield six-mans. Punk vs. Cena at MITB. Savage/Flair at WM8. Hogan/Warrior at WM6. That one DX/McMahons & Big Show cage match that was fun. The list goes on and on... I don't think this would pop a huge number, but again, what would? And it is 100% free to produce and risks no one's health. And, in a weird way, you might even have people stumbling upon it and watching it because, truth be told, the WWE's Greatest Hits are better than anything they could produce now. And I don't think USA would even be able to criticize it. FOX, on the other hand, probably does have the ability to say, "We want first-run shit" because they do probably have the power to air a first-run, family movie on Friday nights (for sake of argument, lets just say Jumanji II), but even they probably wouldn't protest too much in this climate.
  2. DMJ

    [1994-01-22-WWF-Royal Rumble] Royal Rumble

    I actually didn't hate this Rumble as much as others. Some things I liked that I haven't seen mentioned - - Obviously, there was a real lack of starpower and Savage is wasted. Wisely, they sped things up by having someone enter every 90 seconds. In 95', they'd cut it to 60 seconds - which felt too fast, but that Rumble also has even less starpower than this one. 90 seconds keeps things moving without completely ruining the gimmick or the idea that, if you were in an early entrant, you'd still have to put in 30+ minutes of work. It still feels like an actual main event. - The Rumble starts slow, but things picks up when Diesel shows up and there's no real lull from then on thanks to the efforts of Savage, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, Lex Luger, and Bret Hart. As someone else mentioned, Jannetty/Michaels have a great exchange, but there's also a handful of mini-moments between Bret and Shawn that showcase their natural chemistry. - The finish is obviously super memorable, but its the penultimate elimination sequence that is overlooked and underrated. Basically, Bret is working with Shawn and Fatu is working with Luger in the closing moments, with the heels dominating for a little while until the faces are back in control, each beating down their respective foe in opposite corners. It is almost like a tag match at this point. Then, with amazing timing, Bret and Lex simultaneously irish whip Shawn and Fatu out of their corners - essentially sending each other the guy they had just worked over. In a wonderfully timed spot, Luger and Bret hit mirror hiptosses to eliminate the heels to a huge pop. It is just such a clever way to go from 4-to-2 and it is executed perfectly, the kind of spot that wouldn't be out of place in a Midnight Express/Rock n' Roll Express match or something. Unlike so many other Rumble eliminations, which can be very contrived, I love how organic this sequence is.
  3. DMJ

    WrestleMania 36

    As a Clevelander, I'm a homer for The Miz so I'm eager to hear the full story behind him possibly showing up to the PC with flu-like symptoms. I read somewhere that they were taking people's temperatures as they came in like many businesses are doing. Its possible that he showed up and felt relatively okay, maybe even thinking, "Oh, I'm just the usual level of tired of every other person who has had their daily work/exercise/sleep routine completely wrecked," only to learn that, actually, he was running a mild fever. For some that's hard to believe, but my wife once went into the hospital with pain in her kidneys and ended up being hospitalized for 3-4 days from an untreated UTI. She has a high pain tolerance and didn't think it was anything major, just a bug, going days just self-medicating with Ibuprofen until she vomited in her car on the way home one day. The doctors couldn't believe she was able to drive herself to the hospital. Granted, that event didn't occur during a global pandemic when everyone and their mother is talking about Covid-19, but the point is, some people treat flu-like symptoms as nothing serious (even in this climate). As part of my job, to prove a (very stupid) point, I once gave swimming lessons with the flu and got myself even sicker in the process.
  4. DMJ

    WWE TV 3/23-3/29 Who Cares? Edition

    Maybe cuz of those tweets about Cena? I really have no evidence behind this, um, theory, but I could see Triple H being the type of guy who believes that calling out a guy of Cena's stature when you're still just an "indie guy" means you need to be humbled a little. Or maybe its just the usual "We'll get the fans behind him by making him lose all the time!" idea that they seem to believe is the way to get someone over when, aside from Daniel Bryan (kinda) and Bayley, it has worked for absolutely no one. I don't know. One question I do have, and I"m not sure we'll get an answer until we have some hindsight, is whether this WrestleMania build and the general lack of excitement around the event is more because of the Covid-19 crisis or because of the card/build? Obviously, the Covid-19 factor is massive and I'd say is probably 80% the cause of disinterest...or is it 90%? Or is it really just 70%? I mean, lets say everything was "normal," we weren't in quarantine, and the WWE was able to produce the intended build-up and go-home shows that they had mapped out originally. How excited might you be? Pessimistically, I believe that, in some ways, we've actually seen what the WWE intended and it wasn't all that great. The build for Edge/Orton has been fantastic, Reigns/Goldberg good, but McIntyre/Lesnar has been paint-by-numbers. Lynch/Baszler has had a decent build and Flair/Rhipley too, but I think its apparent that these two matches were Option B when they realized Rousey wasn't going to be back for the show. Taker/AJ has been an absolute mess to me, a match that I think just about anyone could've fantasy-booked better than the WWE has. Cena/Wyatt is meh, but I wasn't expecting gold considering how much Wyatt's been exposed to be the same ol' Wyatt he was a year ago. I don't think I'll ever be interested in a Kevin Owens* or Seth Rollins program ever again so pairing them up is like pairing a shit sandwich with a diarrhea milkshake. The rest of the card is filler despite presumably featuring a bunch of acts that deserve better, including the company's most consistently great worker (Daniel Bryan) and two acts that have really hit their stride after some lulls, Asuka and Sami Zayn. (I'd also throw The Miz in there as a guy who should be taken in consideration for a top spot every Mania season at this point because he's still one of the top 5 guys at selling a match on the mic and making it seem like a big deal.) So, yeah, that was a really long-winded question, but how do y'all feel about it? In a world without the Covid-19 crisis, how does this card/build make you feel? Excited? Underwhelmed? Somewhere in the middle? * I don't even dislike Owens really, its just, he's been involved in so many cringe-worthy storylines and feuds over the past 2-3 years that I just don't think he has any "edge" or "cool" factor left. Even his adoption of the Stunner gets an eye roll from me.
  5. DMJ

    WrestleMania 36

    On the 1st page, I mentioned how whittling this show down to just 5 matches would be ideal. Then it became a 2-night deal and I thought, well, maybe 7 matches would be okay. But I hear they're still doing a SmackDown Women's Championship match? There's still gonna be a RAW Tag Team Title match and maybe a SmackDown one? Why? Why on Earth would the WWE waste their time doing this? Is it just the public service of having people check to make sure the fast forward function works on their remotes? I thought that was what Owens/Rollins was for. I can kinda understand when you've got 40,000 people coming out that you want to provide lots of "bang for your buck" and you need 10 matches to fill a 6-hour show. But this is not that anymore. This is a 2-night TV show that, based on AJ's promo about his match against Taker being a "Boneyard Match" and what I'm expecting out of Wyatt/Cena and Edge/Orton, isn't really going to be very heavy on traditional wrestling wrestling. I'm expecting AJ/Taker to be almost like the Broken Matt Hardy match at his compound, Wyatt/Cena to be very similiar to the Boiler Room Brawl match, and Edge/Orton be a Empty Arena brawl that starts in the ring but finishes somewhere else entirely. On the typical show, having 3 of these type of matches on the same card would be ridiculous and too much...but on this particular show, its the opposite, its the "normal" matches that are going to feel weird and kinda like a dress rehearsal. And, even when SNL films their dress rehearsal, they do it in front of a live audience. I've seen a few empty arena matches over the past few weeks, on that one episode of SmackDown and on Dynamite, and once the novelty and uniqueness of it wear off, its just hard to see it as something one would want to watch for any real length of time - especially when the stakes are as meaningless and lame as the current WWE Tag Team Title scene or Smackdown Women's Championship.
  6. DMJ

    WrestleMania 36

    As someone who has only watched a couple minutes here or there of the crowdless, Performance Center shows, I still think this is all just a bad idea. That being said, I do think the WWE can mitigate things a bit and this is a step in the right direction. There is an undeniable novelty to the shows from the PC. If there wasn't, websites like Vulture wouldn't have covered it. It is different and bizarre and like pizza with hotdogs baked into the crust, there's a group of people out there who are going to want to try one slice. If I were the WWE, I'd trim this show down to 2 hours on 2 nights - maybe 5 matches total, if that. I know, I know, 2 hours is alot of time for 3 matches - but that's where you get creative and fill some of the time with video packages, interviews, and other randomness. Maybe pre-tape some sort of really convoluted, over-the-top 24/7 title thing where we see the title change hands three dozen times, almost like a live-action MC Escher painting with all sorts of production tricks. Its going to be hard enough to make Goldberg/Reigns or Lesnar/McIntyre feel like a big deal in the PC, why make things harder by making it the 4th or 5th match on a 3-hour show on Night 2? The WWE should be trying to keep the novelty of these matches as special and unique as possible and the first step to do that is to limit the number of matches.
  7. Yeah, I don't get it. I get postponing. I get cancelling. I don't get holding fake sports for no audience. With other sports, I can understand holding the competition because a competition doesn't require spectators (I worked the ticket booth at enough middle school basketball games to know that attendance doesn't matter) - but a fake wrestling match? I just don't see the point. Another thing I don't get - the questions regarding how they will extend storylines or "write around" WrestleMania. Umm...we saw them extend Baron Corbin/Roman Reigns for at least 12 weeks past its expiration date. The WWE has been operating with "hamster wheel booking" for years now. Kevin Owens had two separate feuds with Shane McMahon in a 2-year span that were unrelated. Can you name a main roster guy that is more over in 2020 than he was in 2017? In fact, some guys are less over now than they were when they were in NXT. So, yeah, I don't understand the concern about them having to recycle stories or "slow things down" or come up with "side feuds"...their main feuds feels like side feuds and they haven't had anyone with any sort of real momentum since Daniel Bryan in 2014. The hamster wheel was going to keep spinning with or without Mania. Drew McIntyre's meteoric rise won't be affected because, surprise, there was no meteoric rise to begin with. He was just a guy positioned to beat Lesnar the same way Rollins was and, as much as I hate to say it, was/is less over than Rollins was a year ago.
  8. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/09 - 03/15 Working From Home Edition v1

    If I could place money on it, I'd bet it will simply be postponed. Looking at the Raymond James Stadium schedule for the spring of 2020 and there is not a single event going on that brings in even 5% of what WrestleMania does. Some of them are charity events that could easily be rescheduled or relocated or, in the case of the Best Buddies Friendship Walk for individuals with disabilities, turned into part of the Mania weekend and get the WWE even more positive PR.* Some of them are also events that the performer might be actively seeking to drop from their own calendar (*cough* Justin Beiber *cough*) due to low ticket sales even before the coronavirus scare. * I'm not sure if Vince has/had a family member with moderate-to-intensive disability like JFK did, but I will say, the WWE has consistently made itself available to many charities related to people (especially kids) with medical issues, disabilities, etc dating back to the Hulkamania years and maybe before. (My father, a clinical psychiatrist for the past 40+ years, believes this is because wrestling itself "speaks to" individuals with cognitive disabilities/mental retardation the same way Disney/Pixar movies do, but I think there may be something more to it)
  9. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/09 - 03/15 Working From Home Edition v1

    At this point, I'm predicting that they will move the show into May or June. By doing so, they can do what other major festivals are doing and deny refunds as your ticket will be good for the future date. I assume (could be wrong) hat this is what the airlines are doing as well, which will allow international and fans from out of state to make it to the show. Flat-out cancelling doesn't seem like likely and, if they move it to the PC, I'm guessing they'd have to refund all the tickets. Obviously, people are still going to have to reschedule their lives to make it and I don't know about the availability of the stadium, but I would again assume that Tampa sees Mania as a top priority considering it brought in an estimated $165 million to New Jersey last year.
  10. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/09 - 03/15 Working From Home Edition v1

    That's definitely an odd take. I understand that the audience isn't forced to attend the death march that Mania has become, but if you need to "pace yourself" to get through a pro-wrestling show, maybe the show itself is too long. And I say this as a massive Guided By Voices fan who gladly attends their 3-hour, 60-70 song shows with a huge grin on my face and a beer in my hand at all times.
  11. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/09 - 03/15 Working From Home Edition v1

    Wasn't sure if this should be its own thread, but I'm really wondering how the coronavirus panic is going to impact WrestleMania. Here in northeast Ohio, there are 3 confirmed cases and there are colleges who are extending spring break, shutting down classes, the Bernie Sanders rally was cancelled, MAC conference games are getting played in empty arenas - - - and most are expecting the virus to spread even more over the next few weeks. Knowing that Mania is also a big tourist destination, one has to be wondering exactly how many pounds of shit is Vince emptying into his pants right now. I can see him wanting to hold the event no matter what (as we know "the show must go on" with him), but at a certain point, it might not be up to him. The panic around this virus is huge, there's also a not-so-healthy sense of xenophobia attached to it, and events like these are getting cancelled left and right (SXSW, for example).
  12. DMJ

    WWE Elimination Chamber 2020

    Just coming in to say that Cena vs. The Fiend is beneath Cena at this point. He's a bona fide star and The Fiend, as much as his fans hate to say it, is still Bray Wyatt from 2018, 2017, 2016, etc. He had some buzz a few months ago, but giving him the title was a misstep and the Goldberg squash was the nail in the coffin. This is like if they brought The Rock back in 20whatever and decided to have him feud with Ziggler or Sheamus. Sure, Ziggler and Sheamus were somewhat over at that time as upper midcard heels, but they weren't Wrestlemania main event guys. Or, to bring it to 2020, if they brought The Rock back to feud with Seth Rollins. Rollins has a ton of accolades and titles and has main evented a ton of big PPVs...but does anyone consider him at the same level of The Rock? Or Cena? Or Lesnar (who he beat twice)?
  13. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/02 - 03/08 I know how to fix Bray Wyatt

    I don't think the relative success of bigger UFC and boxing shows is really a relevant comparison to where the WWE is today. With UFC and boxing, while there were down periods, the model has always been that a bigger show is going to cost at least $50 in the US and, if I'm not mistaken, for the very biggest matches, closer to $100. The WWE, meanwhile, is not only putting out a terrible, repetitive product featuring less and less actual stars, but spent 5 years training the audience to think that their biggest shows of the year were worth $9.99 and that because the Network is available 24/7 and the best bits are typically put on YouTube, you don't actually have to watch any of - RAW, SD, NXT, PPVs - live. I just don't see the WWE having much success trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Sure, ESPN+ giving them a huge rights fee will offset any financial loss but I wouldn't expect the actual number of PPV purchases to reach the same level (1 million or more for Mania) as they were in the pre-Network era. I just don't see a million people agreeing to pay 6-7 times what they were spending a year earlier on the kind of shows the WWE puts on these days.
  14. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/02 - 03/08 I know how to fix Bray Wyatt

    I don’t watch the weekly shows but is the EC card finalized for this Sunday? If I had a ticket, I’d be pretty pissed. No Reigns, no Bryan, no Bray, no Lesnar, no Goldberg, no Rollins or Owens?. I’m not even a fan of all these acts, in fact I loathe some, but in terms of star power, this show is really lacking. Are Becky and Charlotte even on it?
  15. DMJ

    WWE TV 03/02 - 03/08 I know how to fix Bray Wyatt

    I think its pretty clear that Rollins is going to be back in that spot. They just can't quit the guy.
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