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SomethingSavage

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  1. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Absolutely. Their pitch for the Enforcers' own Netflix show was tremendous.
  2. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Have you listened to the Screw It, Let's Just Talk About Comics (formerly actually titled Screw It, Let's Just Talk About Spider-Man) podcast? It's excellent, and the original premise was just two brothers covering the entire Stan & Ditko run. Tremendous stuff and just a fun listen in general.
  3. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Appreciate that rundown, man. I'll just start with Smith's run and let it ride from there.
  4. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Isn't there some stuff between Bendis' initial run and his longer, more "iconic" stuff that gets talked about? I'm on board for starting way back with Smith and Guardian Devil. I just wasn't sure if there was a lengthy trench in between that and the quality Bendis stuff that gets so much hype.
  5. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    Thanks, guys. Any thoughts on Waid's tenure with the lighter tone, new setting, etc? What about Soule? Regardless, I'm starting with Bendis (thought about giving Guardian Devil a shot, although I'm not real big on Smith) just for the sake of reading almost all the modern stuff in one big binge. But I may try to devour the prime selections first, and then go back to fill in the gaps if I've still got an appetite for more DD.
  6. SomethingSavage

    Grilling JR

    JR's shows have felt like a slog the last few times I've checked in, but I gotta admit - there's something immensely enjoyable about hearing him cut scathing promos on technology and Twitter every now & then.
  7. SomethingSavage

    83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff

    Anyone check out the Verne Gagne episode? If so, how was it? Worth a listen or nah? I really dug Eric's episode highlighting his own AWA origins. I mostly only dip back into 83 Weeks for the TNA shows now, but I was thinking of giving this one a listen if it's worthwhile at all.
  8. SomethingSavage

    Comic books and Manga Thread

    You're not alone, brutha. I dug the story, but it *was* at a time when I was just reintroducing myself to contemporary Marvel comics, so maybe I just missed reading Cap and really enjoyed seeing him in such a unique setting for his solo series. I thought they tapped into some interesting themes, the art was amazing, and it all wrapped up neatly. I believe I have my immediate feedback somewhere in this thread a couple of years ago when I initially read the arc. Probably right before I dove into Secret Empire, if I recall correctly. I find that being outside the bubble really helps make these arcs more enjoyable though. I'm not plugged into a lot of what's happening AS it unfolds. I wait for trades, let the love/hate whiplash reactions die down, and give things a thorough read after the fact. I tend to view my wrestling and binge watch seasons of TV very much the same way. Anyway, I came here to ask you guys for some recommendations. I've caught up on a lot of modern comics over the last few years since getting back into things. There was just SO MUCH I missed out on during my time away. So, next up on the agenda is modern Daredevil. And by modern I guess I mean everything from Bendis on up to current day. Bendis seems to be the standard answer I get as to a starting point, but what do you guys say? Courtesy of podcasts like Geek History Lesson and Only Stupid Answers, I know Mark Waid's run is one I've got to check out soon, too. Can you guys point me in the direction of specific arcs/issues? I'm pretty much a blank slate when it comes to Daredevil, aside from the Miller stuff from the heyday of my fandom. I'm wide open for suggestions. Any recs are much appreciated.
  9. Conrad assigning obligatory nicknames to past fixtures and friends of Tony still sounds better than Conrad humble bragging about the time he bought Arn's shoelaces or Tully's underwear at an auction or whatever though. Gotta pick your poison when it comes to weird Conrad contributions.
  10. SomethingSavage

    The aging of wrestling fans

    This. Pro wrestling without characters to care about or compelling conflicts is just filling time. Pro wrestling is always, has always, and will always be at its best when it exists within those contexts - characters to care about in compelling conflicts with one another. If the spots and the in-ring stuff being presented ice cold is enough for you, then that's cool. But chances are you're already a fan and don't mind watching motion for the sake of motion. That simply doesn't appeal to very many people for a sustainable period of time without characters to care about or compelling conflicts. The question was raised about wrestling fans getting older and newer/younger fans not latching on, so that's what I was addressing. I'm not denying that there some of you who will watch just about anything related to wrestling - you've already bought in. We are discussing the hows and why's of the fan base dwindling and not being replenished. It's because there isn't mass appeal for fake fighting without storytelling, without suspense, and without that emotional component. It's those ingredients that combine together and make pro wrestling such a unique art form in the first place. People saying AEW stands a chance of doing it right sort of makes me sad. In early 2020, I might have agreed with that. But they really took some major missteps since the pandemic slowed things down. What once felt like a decent show worth following quickly descended into WCW 2000 territory for me. Line up Khan's football field and orange juice on a pole next to Russo's noteworthy contributions and nobody would spot the difference. Their shit is atrocious at times.
  11. SomethingSavage

    The aging of wrestling fans

    Well yeah. Promoters are following Vince's lead, obviously. And McMahon is in the business of producing content. Sheer quantity. Everything is a victim to that mindset. Storytelling and characters don't need to be marketable when you're strictly in the business of marketing time-consuming, filler content. Hours upon hours of it. If we're talking storytelling, then of course they're capable of doing better. Hell, their documentaries are incredible devices for that. But their actual mainstream product is what sucks. It could be argued that great matches have never mattered less than they do now. It doesn't help that every single match up and down a card is designed and structured the same way. Everything is a Wrestle Kingdom main event. From the closer to the opening act, everything is near falls and counters and kickouts. It's awfully exhausting and all so hollow to the senses. It's all fireworks. You can watch it once or twice a year and never need to see it again at any point in between. There's no purpose or sense of fulfillment. It all just looks and sounds the same. Meltzer's star rating system is even indicative of great matches meaning less than ever. Reviewers and critics over the last 15 years created a scenario in which they'd all cried wolf so often that Dave had to go and shout, "Six stars! Wait, this one's SEVEN stars!" just to get folks to stop and pay attention or even give anything a second glance. And none of it really matters a week later. Bottom line - a match, no matter how great, is not going to make a star. It's not enough on its own. A match can push somebody over the top, but they've gotta already be on the verge of breaking through. It's gotta be Austin/Bret. It can't occur in an ice cold environment. Great matches just don't make that much of a difference in the end. In isolation, nobody gives a fuck. I remember awhile back when everyone was raving about this epic gauntlet match Seth Rollins supposedly had. Against better judgment, I had to see what everyone was talking about. And the match was okay. I mean, it wasn't actively bad. And it killed A LOT of time for them. It certainly did that. But really. At the end of the night, it accomplished nothing other than eating up some time. It was another match. It didn't "make" Seth like people were talking. He was no more (and no less) over than if the match had never even happened. A great match can push a guy over the finish line. The problem is, nobody is putting in the prep work to get the personalities over first. And that effectively means they've never even crossed the start line. They've never taken off. They're not even in the race. Personalities matter. Motivations matter. Story arcs matter. Otherwise, everything is just perpetual, meaningless, masturbatory motion. Wrestling is so far removed from the pop culture conversation nowadays, I'm not really sure what it would take to get them back to relevancy. But I can tell you that what they're doing will definitely make sure they don't get there. It's like a film franchise that follows up with terrible sequels and eliminates itself from the pop culture landscape. Instead of building up like the MCU or Fast and Furious, they've become the Terminator and just ran their reputation into the ground. Also similar to Terminator, they're suffering from a mean case of nostalgia poisoning - and it's their own doing. Instead of cultivating a new crop, they constantly rely on the Arnold's and Sarah Connors of their past. They prop up everything on the pillars of Rock N Wrestling and Attitude booms, because that's all they've got. So many problems with so many variables to discuss and deliberate obviously, but the simplest answer is to go back to basics and build from there. Advertise your personalities. Market your stars. Make them identifiable - as something, as anything. Create conflicts between them. And promote their fights. BUILD anticipation. PROMOTE payoffs. DELIVER outcomes. That's it.
  12. SomethingSavage

    The aging of wrestling fans

    Ultimately though, if the discussion is about whether or not wrestling is attracting newer/younger fans, then storytelling still matters. Structure matters. Hierarchy matters. Plot development, satisfying arcs, progression, and advancement matters. No young person is going to stick around for very long (as a viewer and committed fan) without these things. Serialized storytelling is what's in. Colorful characters like Cena and New Day might draw in children. But young adults and teens aren't going to be swayed to stick around as fans for very long. The climate and pop culture are just different. Everything is trending toward serialized storytelling. And I'm not calling for wrestling to be the Attitude Era again, but simple & streamlined storytelling is crucial and absolutely called for if they want to engage a broader audience at ANY point. Without commitment to character, the turn of Hogan and subsequent birth of the nWo doesn't work. Without long-form planning, we never get the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object in Hogan/Andre. Without satisfying arcs we never get the Mega Powers exploding. Without hierarchy, we never get to experience the young lions maturing into the pillars. Without escalation, we never get the glory days of All Japan at all. Without structure, the rise of Stone Cold doesn't mean as much. Without anticipation, those cliffhangers on Raw don't lead to record-breakig ratings and thus the sheer excitement and the buzz surrounding the Monday Night Wars. I could go on & on. All these elements are severely lacking in today's pro wrestling. Everything exists as evergreen and utterly inconsequential. Every match happens for the sake of having a match happen. Everyone on the roster is on a treadmill. Outcomes result in nothing. Championships aren't used to elevate. They're used as an excuse to have (you guessed it) more matches. Nothing more, nothing less. Today's wrestling feels like an exercise of running in place. Nobody is elevated. Nobody gets anywhere. Everyone is interchangeable and totally replaceable. There's no reason to follow along week to week. It's all fireworks. You can watch it once or twice a year, get the jist of the experience, and never need to see it again until the holiday season or Mania season or whatever. You won't miss anything significant in between. Furthermore, I think today's wrestling has become more about giving the wrestlers what they want - rather than giving the audience what they want. It's like the wrong lessons were learned from history. Whereas hour broadways were used to create interest in repeat business before, now they're utilized as some sort of badge of honor with the boys. Hardcore matches, too. The emphasis is removed from competition and placed on how "entertaining" the fight might be. Let's watch the champ wrestle his challenger for an hour and never suggest he's being taken to his physical limit. Instead, let's use it to humblebrag about cardio and crossfit and other assorted horse shit. Literally NOBODY cares, except the wrestlers themselves. To the outside world, it just looks like a bunch of clowns gathering around and patting each other on the back. Matches now feel like they're booked so the wrestlers can show off or have long matches. The vast majority doesn't give a shit about a cold wrestling match that is six or seven stars. They're not going to sit around and waste an hour plus watching that shit. Like it or not (and I realize I'm the odd man out by saying this on a forum literally titled Pro Wrestling Only), but "great matches" aren't something that will appeal to a larger audience. The matches themselves are the endgame. They're not the hook. If promoters are wondering what the base line is for that stuff, then they've found it. You can assign a match ten stars if you want, but it's not going to be enough to entice younger/newer viewers and convince them to follow the product - especially when you consider that all ten matches on a card look, feel, and function like a clone of the one that came before it. Everything is long and drawn out. Everything is dives and thigh slaps. Everything is multiple kickouts and nearfalls. Today's wrestling is exhausting and a chore, to be honest. And, other than those of us who were hooked by the stuff when it was actually GOOD, nobody wants to stick around and keep coming back for that.
  13. SomethingSavage

    The aging of wrestling fans

    Pro wrestling getting into the streaming business earlier than some ultimately doesn't matter if what they're streaming isn't enticing. We are in an age of consumption and content. Viewers seek out shows to binge and burn through. Pro wrestling in 2021 isn't "binge-worthy" because it doesn't adhere to actual continuity. Canon is hit & miss. But most of all, there is no real suspense anymore. Eric Bischoff (I know, I know) said it best when he noted how wrestling thrives when it hinges on ANTICIPATION. Big money matches hinge on that sense of buildup and anticipation. Hell, fantasy booking - a niche within a niche - hinges on ANTICIPATION. Pro wrestling doesn't work without that excitement. Without suspense. Without anticipation. I don't see much of that in modern wrestling. It doesn't help that the characters are all so desperate and thirsty to be taken seriously. It doesn't help that they all want to seem "reality based" and dry as fuck. I don't need a bunch of wannabe MMA guys in my pro wrestling when only one or two will do, please & thanks. Wrestling needs characters with conviction - not a bunch of nerds playing parts. It needs defined rivalries. It needs milestones and marked tent-poles. As it stands, every show is just another show. For the sake of having a show. It's just this giant hamster wheel. It's a timesuck. Everything, every match, every segment, every half-assed attempt at an angle... They all exist to fill time. To kill time. Why? To get through this show. To get on to the next show. There are no cliffhangers. No suspense. No anticipation. There's no reason to watch another show after you've seen one. You're good. Because the next episode is just copy & paste. It's more of the same. It's rematches of rematches you just watched. It's Xerox copies of the characters and the finishes you just saw. It's bad acting and poor delivery. For every reason you hear people praise their favorite "binge-worthy" shows from other streaming platforms, pro wrestling feels like a relic from another time. And not in some fond, nostalgic sense. It's struggling to keep it's head above water and stay relevant anyway it can, but that would almost require a total overhaul of how it's presented at this point. And maybe the tide will change. Maybe the trends will shift. Maybe this "fad" of peak television will come to an end. But not anytime soon. And even if it does, I highly doubt the old model of repetitive, monotonous, meaningless filler television like pro wrestling will be the one to draw people back in like that. To summarize, pro wrestling needs a major editing overhaul. The matches need to feel like they mean something. The characters have to resonate and appeal to SOMEBODY outside their pre-existing, already established fan base. I don't see or feel like anybody out there is on the verge of doing that. I know some of y'all will tout guys like the Bucks, Page, Cody, or whatever. But nah. Outside their bubble, they don't connect and nobody gives a fuck. And I'm not saying they couldn't. I'm just saying - with the strategy they've chosen to employ so far - they never will. They're opting to play within the same sandbox as WWE and everybody else, instead of trying to find a new hook to grab interest. And it's not a complicated thing like reinventing the template from scratch. It's as simple as building their own world with cohesive stories, characters people can care about (meaning they'd have to value things like motivations and traits over shock value and turns), etc. Wrestling is simple and works best when it's kept simple. People's viewing habits are fairly simple, too. When something is appealing and enthralling, they'll watch. Pro wrestling is neither right now. I don't know if it's ever felt more irrelevant. Nothing matters. Results don't matter, because we've been educated that rematches will quickly undo everything we are watching anyway. The fan base is growing older because we are the only ones who knew it when it was worth watching more than once. Fans today would never know that. Because you can sit and watch one match and get the jist of the full experience. It's pointless to continue watching, unless you're just looking to kill some time. There's no investment to be made. I always go back to watching an episode of Raw in 2018 with my nephew. He was a HUGE wrestling fan. But I could tell, week to week, he was starting to lose interest. I kept watching along with him though, because it's just something we bonded over and could enjoy together. One week, he suddenly got up and walked away during a commercial break. He didn't care about seeing anymore of the show. When I asked what he thought about one of his favorite guys losing the match we'd just watched, he simply shrugged and said he didn't really care. I pressed him to find out exactly what he meant. And his answer was both innocent and telling in its absolute truth: "They're just gonna do the same thing again next week." And what do ya know. They did. We didn't watch anymore episodes together after that. Actually, to be fair, we tried watching an episode of NXT and Smackdown (out of sheer boredom) the week that Hurricane Laura struck us last year. It was fun seeing how much his tastes had changed, but otherwise everything felt like it had somehow gotten worse and even less interesting. People have too many options to stick with shit that has no hook, no sense of progressive storytelling, and ultimately no purpose.
  14. I haven't enjoyed much of anything Conrad has done in awhile, but I've got to say - I don't mind the Kurt Angle pod one bit. It ain't half as bad as I heard some people make it out to be. Kurt's not saying a lot of controversial shit or taking cheap shots, for sure. But hell. Compared to Bruce, he's spitting straight fire when he talks about how most of the modern product is devoid of characters or storylines. Doesn't hurt that it's true, too. (It's true.) What I particularly enjoy about the first four episodes with Kurt is that Conrad is willing to slosh and shuffle his formula around a bit. It isn't just analyzing a month worth of shows and reading a bunch of paragraphs straight from the Torch or the Observer for hours on end. It's actually closer to the original shows with Bruce, in that it's more conversational than "Conrad reads Meltzer, then host replies with brief statement, and repeat." It's not a total subversion of the formula, but it is focusing on isolated periods and particular programs. I kind of dig it. Plus Kurt's ad read for Chicken Snax is a more engaging promo than anything I've heard Seth Rollins say since 2014. Annnddd that's all I've got to say about that.
  15. I was digging Tony's ECW watch-alongs for a minute a few years back, but that's all I've ever cared for from his show. I might give some of the 86 stuff a shot, but I'm wary. How much Casio Kid is there? Because if the answer is any at all, I'm out. I feel like he brings even Conrad's worst tendencies to a new low with all the dick jokes and talk about his wife taking epic shits.
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