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War is Raw

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  1. War is Raw

    AEW All Out

    7/10 or 8/10 show. Crowd was fantastic. Prolly would have been 9/10 if Mox didn't get hurt and PAC was the unadvertised surprise. 10/10 if Punk or AJ Lee showed up. It kept my interest for 5 hours, although I was getting sleepy 11:35PM EST. AEW feels completely different than NXT, WWE, or NJPW. It feels like anything could happen. And yes, JR sucked, just like post-prime Solie sucked. JR isn't even playing a character anymore- he's himself, which is a frustrated old dude. He shit on Riho and Havoc's matches and sounds like Elmer Fudd. I loved Excalibur and Golden Boy. Streaming the Buy In on TNT's YT channel instead of AEW's official or BR.live was a huge miscue- only had around 13K live viewers. My favorite were the 3-way hardcore and ladder matches. Only real bomb was the women's battle royal. Had high hopes for Omega, Cody, and Riho's matches, but they were slightly off. Jericho/Page was exactly as expected. Had low expectations for all the tag matches, so was pleasantly surprised (except I'm not into Best Friends). Can't say enough good things about the characters/costumes/gimmicks. I like the intrigue and world-building on the march to TV.
  2. Pro wrestling is a genre all by itself. Any comparison or analogy is not really 100%- and that's ok. It's a business, craft, entertainment, TV show, like figure skating, like theater, like action movies, like vaudeville, an over-the-top combat sports simulation, and it is performance art. It has carnival and circus roots, and a shoot background. Yes, I do believe it is an art form, and it you don't it is because of class tastes. But it's no longer "realistic". Hasn't been that way for 100 years? Or at least since Gorgeous George + Buddy Rogers- who were called "entertainers", not "wrestlers" by Lou Thesz? Everyone knows what a real fight looks like thanks to MMA and street brawls online. Kayfabe has been dead since sometime in the late 1980s-1990s? The genie is out of the bottle. There is no turning back. Even in Japan, after it was exposed, they lost the mainstream audience. That's life.The Wrestlingclassics old dudes sound real bad longing for a pure time where "wrestling was real" which never truly existed. All are phonies because they would be bored watch 1915 matches. As far as being presented as "sports-like", we have NJPW which is presented as a sport but has unrealistic moves (but so did Harley Race, Jerry Lawler, and Ric Flair). Yes, American wrestling is like lucha libre without the masks and culture. The workers act like superheroes with the no-selling and ballet moves. They don't believe "less is more". Yup, things change. {shrug} BTW, I had never heard of Jordan or however her name is spelled, before Cornette. Same with the penis guy. I checked out Omega after he attacked him years ago because I wanted to see how bad Kenny was. Turns out I became a big fan. So once again, he gives people he hates free PR. I really don't see what the big knock is with Omega and The Young Bucks when they pretty much wrestle the similar styles as Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy, Blue Blazer, Shawn Michaels, AJ, luchas, etc. If it it solely because they do video game stuff or wrestle kids...come on. Especially since Cornette was a Memphis fan and of carny stuff with bears and mummies.
  3. War is Raw

    All Elite Wrestling

    Excalibur ought to be solo- he's that good. I thought the criticism of Alex Marvez was too harsh- he is learning and trying. I get that Good Ol' JR was first hired for NJPW and then AEW because he is the most respected old school announcer and a good face for a company, but the feedback on him was bad for NJPW (where it was night and day between him and Kevin Kelly) and just as bad for AEW. He's been moody, drunk, inaccurate, politically incorrect, does not know the new moves, and acts like a cliched 67-year old Baby Boomer. Should stick to interviews. Tony would be an upgrade since he doesn't go into business for himself, but the two of them? Only if you are addicted to nostalgia.
  4. War is Raw

    WWE TV 08/19 - 08/25 The Return of the King of the Ring

    The KO = Austin thing was more of a statement on Punk IMHO. The Stunner was a red herring. Austin did not give two damns about how other people were pushed, his family, or screen time given to Vince. He was just upset Mike Tyson was called the baddest man on the planet. He never fought for other people's rights. He was a rattlesnake. Punk's podcast revealed he had problems with part-timers getting pushes (Brock/Rock/Undertaker) and the McMahon family in general. KO had his mic cut like how Punk had his mic cut. Of course, KO was clearly working and following the script while Punk was so believable, some Youtube marks still question if he was shooting. So in a way, WWE has shown once again that by having KO apologize, any rebellion or criticize of the McMahon family shall be neutered and stopped because workers have to put food on the table. I dare say this angle doesn't even happen if Moxley didn't drop his podcast interviews. I also find it amazing how fans are excited over King of the Ring, which is clearly an inferior response to the G-1 (which got WWE's attention for the first time due to Mox.) It shows me that these fans didn't watch the superior G-1 and that they are aching for an ounce of WWE acting more like a serious sport (which is what tournaments symbolize).
  5. War is Raw

    [1999-08-22-WWF-Summerslam] Steve Austin vs HHH vs Mankind

    The Ventura stuff felt dated after I watched this for the first time in 20 years. I really loved him but it just does not hold up. I could only imagine a kid watching this and not even knowing who he was or why he was so important. The finish? OMG...so flat anti-climatic, and even felt like it was a miscount. The match itself at least did not have slow points as they scrambled for pins. But...it's a generic AE brawl outside of the ring and with chairs. Seriously- how many matches were just like this? Foley's third (?!?!?) title reign which lasted a day anyway? Austin pinned? This is the stuff people have fond memories of and high ratings? WWF won the war with this crap? Anyway, the video package angle summary leading up to this had Chyna beating HHH but Foley beating her to get this match. Looking back, Chyna ought to have been in this match and if they were going to take the title off Austin for some reason, Chyna should have done it. Would have been very controversial to have her win the World's Championship as a woman, and Ventura would have held her hand up.
  6. Took a few days for me to get through this one. Just can't take the random teams, turns, and title changes. Should have been Taker and Kane vs Show and Pac if this was a fantasy league.
  7. War is Raw

    [1999-08-22-WWF-Summerslam] The Rock vs Billy Gunn

    Great symbol of Attitude Era "sports entertainment" to be honest. Randomly select a match from this time and the in-ring work is going to be like Rock vs Gunn: unrealistic moves but fast paced. Just not believable, but over with the crowd.
  8. War is Raw

    All Elite Wrestling

    Yes, uni students care about how minorities are treated. Mexican-Americans have been dying for fair treatment of Latinos on wrestling shows. But I will continue to bang that MOST "lapsed" WCW fans are either dead or just saw it as a 1990s fad (they have moved on). I mean MLW having Tony and Cornette announcing didn't make them a real "major league". I get that AEW has some old timers with name recognition and it does HELP a LOT to distinguish it from, say, ROH or PWG and draw in former RAW viewers. But the real key to a potential BOOM will be getting NEW fans (gamers, teen girls, reality show fans, MMA fans, etc.) not 40-70 year olds. Hulkamania had new fans, Hollywood Hogan had new fans. If they don't get casual TV viewers, and stay near their 350,000-500,000 online fans- that's fine, too. It would still be a profitable niche. But I have a feeling they will be closer to a million, so 500,000 new fans will come out of nowhere, basically. NXT is inside the WWE bubble. NXT fans tend to overrate its importance and popularity. I have a feeling NXT's fanbase are mostly cord-cutters who are used to watching it on the Network. NXT will have major problems getting "new" fans. Vince moving NXT to combat AEW will (likely) backfire because an AEW ratings victory will increase this rebellious group's momentum and TV industry buzz and humiliate the Roman Empire. I don't think he knows the demographics pie chart crossover either. At best, he will be introducing NXT to his mainstream fanbase who never checked them out on the Network. Let's face it, there's a reason why WWE never tells us how many people watch NXT on there- the older fans (50+) don't watch. It's way under the 2 million RAW viewers. NXT shows had some tapings with dead fans in small darkened arenas. So I assume that will change for USA, considering it is a $50 million show. But considering Smackdown viewership is ALWAYS lower than RAW's (even though it has been more critically acclaimed historically), it is a huge ASK for them to tune in Wednesdays to watch "new people". Watch Vince go crazy and toss main roster people other there like he did with WWEECW. He may ruin NXT's hardcore fanbase. If they had a heart attack when he randomly made tag teams of out of them on RAW earlier this year (or when Enzo became 205 Live's champ) just imagine when he does something really stupid to pop a rating. All this being said, I actually love to be surprised. It's no sweat off my back who is right or wrong with predictions or speculating on demographics and ratings. We could look at the past to see if there is a cycle and learn from history, but AEW (and Cody) have been breaking records and defying expectations. So that is why I am so excited about this war after 20 years of pure monopoly and brainwashing. I am behind Cody's passion to right the wrongs of Vince's treatment of his father, WCW, and pro wrestling in general. And all they wanted to do (for now) was to be a peaceful alternative- not to go head to head. The fact that Vince tried to kill AEW while it was still in its womb will never be forgotten by AEW fans. WWE fired the first shot...
  9. War is Raw

    Worst wrestler/manager combination ever?

    BTW, as this is an old thread, just wanted to mention besides the previously mentioned Cesaro example, Paul Heyman with Curtis Axel and Ryback also bombed. They tried to recreate the "I'm a Paul Heyman Guy" gimmick that Paul had with Punk (who really didn't need him anyway).
  10. War is Raw

    Vince Russo

    Regardless of what he did as a writer, The Russo Brand is interesting. It's the only podcast/video network which calls out wrestling and its fans for taking it too seriously. And if you listen to his Christian sermons, he says all the other shows he does are for entertainment purposes to get a reaction. Russo is like the court jester or a comedian- someone who tells us what we don't want to hear, but there are truths wrapped in his jokes/rants. If the truth hurts, it's on you. If you want to label him and believe he ruined your precious "sport", it's on you. Truth is, Vince McMahon mainstreamed WWF and made it a cartoon way before Russo turned it into Crash TV. He calls out Keller, Johnson, and Meltzer for their BS, smarks for their obsessiveness, how workrate is less valuable than character work and looks for TV ratings, etc. He deconstructs what modern wrestling is and I find it refreshing. Doesn't mean he's right about everything (it is grating when he calls it "pretend fighting"- but isn't it?), but no one is.
  11. "Ten million people went to wrestling matches during the past year [1988], and 30 million watch them on TV each week. The audience is not only in trailer parks and six -flats but in the Princeton Club of New York, where the downstairs TV set is often tuned to wrestling on Saturday. Although yuppies and their journalistic camp followers discovered wrestling a couple of years ago and gave it a tussle, its life in the mainstream has endured..." https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Archive-Channels-of-Communication/Channels-1989-01.pdf How do these Hulkamania numbers compare to previous eras (1940s-1950s Gorgeous George/DuMont Network, 1970s territories, early 1980s TBS)?
  12. War is Raw

    Kevin Owens

    You know you've been criticizing for years due to how he's been booked or his gimmick, right? There's nothing wrong with his in-ring work based on his era.
  13. Bob Holly special ref. Kane is the face. Big Show powerpressed Kane over the top rope and dominated Kane the whole match, cutting off all of Kane's comebacks. Good offense by Big Show, but too much. Fans kinda wanted to be in this but were quiet as Kane was getting killed without opening shine. In typical Russo booking, when Kane starts to show life for his comeback after Show missed an elbow drop, Holly clips Kane and Show wins with a chokeslam and fast count. X-Pac comes to help Kane, but Undertaker beats him up. Show and Taker beat up Kane. Show leaves with Holly. Austin beats up Undertaker backstage.
  14. Hardcore title change. Another heel wins on this PPV. Hard-hitting, stiff brutal match. Things got crazy after Bossman slammed Snow in a stone corridor leading to the outside. The outside sidewalk bumps looked like they hurt. Standard hardcore match which in many ways help define this ECW-inspired era. These matches are both stiff yet loaded with comedy elements since the wrestlers use either mundane or dangerous objects. A shame Bossman doesn't get much crowd heat in this time period because he was still a good hand and nice guy. Snow sold well.
  15. D-Lo as a face is funny. So is Midian being on the main card PPVs so often. He's a standard entertainment brawler, not crisp but tries his best. Fans were into D-Lo. His tornado DDT was sloppy but his other moves were fine and he shined. Clean win with the frog splash. Third title change on this PPV in a row (European title). OK short match.