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  1. I'd say the difference there is that, even if Austin and the rest of those wrestlers in 1997, or Hogan and the rest in 1984, never talked like actual people (and they didn't, because they were larger than life superstars and whatnot), they all felt like individuals. No sane person on the street would act like Steve Austin or walk into a Starbucks and order a caramel latte in the third person like the Rock. Those guys were far from "regular" people, but I'd say the bigger problem today is that, even if a wrestler doesn't talk like a normal human being, they all talk like the SAME not-a-normal-human-being. It's not just that one of them talks about the "WWE Universe" rather than "fans." It's that they all fucking say it. You can't help but remember you're watching something that's micromanaged to ridiculous degrees. And everything being so clearly scripted doesn't help either, because nothing feels organic and most of those folks aren't very good at making that script-writing come across as something they'd actually say.
  2. In my opinion WWE would improve a thousandfold if they taught their talent how to watch a fucking TV screen properly. Every week I get stupidly and irrationally infuriated at those segments where folk are standing there craning their neck to watch a TV monitor and I tell myself it's a four second snippet of a two-three hour show and there's really no reason for me to be getting so annoyed by it and yet here we are, another week, another cloud being yelled at by this here old man. Owens is just about my least favourite wrestler in the entire company, and while I never actually considered Shane McMahon a viable candidate for a transitional title run, I'm already sold on that idea much more than Owens. I also get that they might've had to turn him because of something Bryan-related, but in the right circumstance I'd have been a wee bit interested in seeing babyface Owens. I have no use for heel Owens whatsoever while heel Shane has actually been pretty fun from the bits I've watched. If they ran with him v Reigns as a short program to flip the belt onto Reigns I imagine a match built around Shane trying all sorts of horse shit to win only to be inevitably crushed in the end could be sort of enjoyable. I mean, you know he'd bump like a lunatic if nothing else. I only saw bits of it but that Charlotte/Bayley match seemed decent. Crowd were into it down the stretch and I quite liked Bayley's sell of the leg (though I missed how the leg work came about, or even if there was any leg work to speak of).
  3. KB8

    Post-Mania TV 2019

    I'd basically zoned out during that entire run where Bruan got red hot, but I'm pretty sure he was getting booed briefly in that segment with Joe the other night so...you know. They definitely haven't missed the boat with that dude.
  4. KB8

    Post-Mania TV 2019

    Yeah, I sort of joked about that at the end of the post when I realised what I was actually talking about. They're by far the most vocal when it comes to stuff like that and probably an outlier in the grand scheme of things, but I'd be surprised if they were the only ones (again, I don't really watch enough to know one way or the other).
  5. KB8

    Post-Mania TV 2019

    Generally speaking I think WWE's booking - when I actually try to pay attention, which, to be fair, is not often - isn't particularly good. Sometimes it's so shoddy that you actually wonder if they're deliberately trying to sabotage a guy like, say, Roman Reigns (for someone people talk about as being shoved down throats, he's only won just over half his PPV matches, which is sort of nuts. Though I get that wins and exposure aren't necessarily hand in hand). They absolutely do not get a pass for any of their ropey booking or writing or decision-making. But there were elements of those post-Mania crowds that were pretty unbearable, and on the whole I'm someone who thinks that if you pay money for a ticket you should be allowed to cheer or boo whoever the hell you like. I mean, forget the MOVES~ argument and all that guff -- a guy like Sullivan gets brought up and is clearly being positioned as a fresh act that they're intending to inject into things, and after about five minutes of screen time pockets of the audience are already shitting on him (I've seen him probably three times, btw, so maybe he sucks and actually can't wrestle, in which case I guess I'll shut my mouth). As has been mentioned, WWE have brought it on themselves with all the rubbish they've pumped out over the years, but there's a LITTLE element of them being damned if they do and damned if they don't. I'm loathe to defend them because I largely find their product unwatchable, but shit. Becky and Kofi caught fire and they put the belts on them, but Sullivan is a shitshow and sucks straight out the gate. Ricochet and Black are two guys folk seem to have wanted to get some exposure on the main roster, two guys who are clearly being positioned as fresh acts to liven up a stale TV product, and large sections of the audience don't care and would rather fuck around Mexican Waving during their match. No way am I one of the "just shut up and enjoy the PRODUCT man stop complaining so much" crowd, but every year there seems to be a larger percentage of the crowd that would rather chant goofy shit to "get themselves over" than actually give anything a chance. And on the one hand I suppose I can see their point because WWE have been given plenty of chances only to trot out complete horse shit, but on the other hand those post-Wrestlemania crowds are the woooorst and maybe it's all their fault. Either way I think there's absolutely an annoying element of self-entitlement with some pockets of WWE crowds. Maybe they should just...shut up and enjoy the PRODUCT man!
  6. KB8

    Post-Mania TV 2019

    Were folk chanting "you can't wrestle" at Lars last night? You'd figure the NXT guys would be spared that for at least a few weeks (I may have totally misheard, tbf)...
  7. I know this happened a while back now, but it's pretty crazy watching it in 2019, three days after a Wrestlemania headlined by one of them, where that same one of them became the first unified women's champion in WWE history (unless they had a unified Divas champion that I've forgotten about). Even if I wasn't really following NXT in 2015 I know how highly thought of Sasha Banks was. You had this, the Bayley series, folk talking her up as the absolute prodigy of women's wrestling in the US. A year later she was part of the very first women's hell in a cell as women headlined a WWE PPV for the first time ever. If you had to bet on one of these two main eventing the first women's Wrestlemania main event you'd have put the house on it being Sasha. Honestly, I haven't really cared about Sasha in a while. It's not that she's a terrible babyface or anything, she's just not very interesting. But this was heel Sasha and she felt so much more natural. You could see it against Rousey when she got to show some of her heel chops, how she got to be real nasty working the arm, the way she mostly worked from the top and didn't need to focus so much of garnering sympathy. This was a similar performance from an offensive standpoint, only it was ramped way up and she got to go all the way with the mugging and shit-talking. The arm work was mean and inventive and I liked how it came about as a response to Becky trying to do it first. She took over with a big arm-wringer drop onto the ring apron, then worked a great straightjacket choke where she'd stomp Becky's arms into the mat as the hold was applied. There was an awesome bit as well where Becky crawled over to the ropes to pull herself up, ending up straddling the middle rope, so Sasha yanked her into the position Becky would assume for her pre-match headbanging and twisted her arm over the top rope at a nasty angle, mimicking Becky at the same time. Becky going for Sasha's arm in kind gave us a really cool dual limb work dynamic, which isn't really something we've ever gotten a lot of in WWE. Even though she was technically the babyface the crowd were largely behind Sasha, but by the end they were all for Becky submitting her with the armbar. She mostly sold that arm the whole way through as well, hanging it by her side as she climbed the turnbuckles and generally reminded you that she was working hurt. The arm breaker off the top at the end didn't come off great, but it definitely worked as a payoff to the arm work and a nice set up for the Banks Statement. Really cool match. Maybe Becky Lynch might get over after all.
  8. I was pretty much dead on my arse by the end, but somehow the show didn't feel like as much of a slog as last year's. I had more beer this year, tbf. I liked how all the luchadors got eliminated from the battle royal in the hurtiest ways possible. I liked Lesnar throwing Rollins around like a sack of carrots and Rollins getting all welted up. I liked the Shane McMahon match way more than I expected and that bump where he scooted clean off the top of a golf buggy into a flat back concrete bump was ludicrous. I liked Bryan/Kofi a bunch and pretty much everything about it was the perfect payoff. I liked Drew's bagpipes entrance. I liked Cena's midlife crisis lame ass Thuganomics goofiness and how he clearly knew it was lame as fuck and went all the way with it anyhow. I liked Helmsley yanking Batista's nose ring out with a pair of pliers. I liked Batista taking a bunch of nutty bumps that he absolutely doesn't need to take now that he's an actual movie star people take seriously. I liked Alexa Bliss, although I did NOT like how I felt closer to the hardcore Alexa Bliss creepers than I ever would've wanted. I liked Charlotte getting the motherfucking helicopter entrance. I liked Rousey shit-talking and pretty much everything else she did but especially the "you chop like a BITCH" and "tables are for BITCHES" parts. I probably will never watch any of it ever again.
  9. I haven't really paid much attention to Riddle since he's been in NXT. My commitment to following along with any promotion at this point never lasts very long and so I might've missed something worthwhile. So this might not be his best match in NXT, but I will make the very bold claim based on pretty much nothing other than this very match that he won't have many better. I'll watch anything with Dream, so I was pretty hyped and it didn't disappoint. The early parts in Velveteen Dream matches will always put a smile on my face and I liked Riddle being as chilled as always, having fun taking Dream over with tricked out submissions and generally having a good time doing what he does. None of Dream's horse shit was working on him and Riddle gyrating his hips while he was tossing him around was amusing. Then Dream stomped on Riddle's bare foot and that was that. He pissed him off and as soon as Riddle took over - with the awesome German suplex on the floor - he just went on a tear. This was such a cool Matt Riddle performance, the way he dropped the breezy attitude and tried to mangle Dream. He flirted once or twice with his heel side as well, throwing some mean strikes before releasing on a rope break, punting Dream in the chest, doing everything with a scowl. Dream's Hulk-Up stuff is obviously carny as fuck, but I'll always get a kick out of it and I liked how it led to the double ax handle to the floor, which he'd tried earlier before Riddle grabbed him and took over. The finishing run never got excessive at all and it meant that, outside the finish itself, the biggest spot led to the biggest nearfall. That German/Flying Bro sequence was incredible and Dream took the German almost full Kobashi style right on his cranium. Finish itself was great too. Riddle can grab and submit a guy from anywhere, but Dream is resourceful and the champ for a reason. He weathered the storm, took everything Riddle threw at him and managed to pull it out in the clutch. You get the sense there's a bigger match in them as well, and that's pretty refreshing when just about every match these days shoots for epic first time out. I can't remember the last time I was disappointed by a Velveteen Dream match.
  10. I dipped in and out of this thread last year and it kept me going pretty well. It's completely absurd that we're at a point where I can go to bed after this show has started and get up for work as it's still going on, but I'm off tomorrow so I guess the bigger absurdity is that I'll stay up and watch it. I'm watching it with my brother and one of my friends and there's a goodly amount of beer in my house so we'll see if I don't crash out before the end. I know about no more than four matches that are happening, though. How many fucking wrestlers have they managed to get on the card? Sixty?
  11. KB8

    NXT Takeover: New York

    Tbf, it had most of the stuff he likes, and it was ramped up even more so than usual, so it doesn't strike me as that much of a HOT TAKE~. Like, I wouldn't have been surprised if he gave it seven and a half stars or whatever we're up to now, so this doesn't totally shock me either.
  12. KB8

    NXT Takeover: New York

    At some point in that main event it felt like we'd reached the point in modern day wrestling where the superkick is the new punch. Or at least in Johnny Gargano matches. How many superkicks did those dudes throw?! Gargano is obviously not the only wrestler who throws a bunch of superkicks, but he threw like two million last night and Cole threw only a couple fewer. I can't really say anything about the match because I didn't pay all that much attention, but the ending stretch was too much even if I bit on a couple of the nearfalls. Crowd were super into it if nothing else. Doubt I'll ever go back and actually watch it. Dream/Riddle ruled and Dream is the best thing going. Thought this was Riddle's best performance in NXT and he was excellent in it. Liked how he started out as chilled as he usually is, looking for the fist bump, generally having a fun time doing his thing. A couple of the early submission attempts were super funky. Then Dream stomped on his foot and pissed him off. Riddle was a total dynamo on offence when he took over (with the awesome German on the floor) and I dug how he acted sort of heelish in the way he'd just murder Dream with strikes. Dream's Hulk-Up is of course carny as fuck but I like that it at least led to the payoff from earlier and he was able to hit the double ax handle to the floor on the second attempt. Finishing run wasn't close to overkill (though you could probably say they moved on from a big bomb or two a little quickly) and no nearfall felt absurd. I mean, outside of the finish, the kickout after the HUGE German followed by the flying bro (or whatever the fuck Ranallo called it) was the biggest spot of the match. They didn't treat it as an afterthought by moving onto some other guff. They built everything really nicely, Riddle looked like a killer, Dream looked great for weathering the storm, and even if Riddle can tap someone out at any moment, Dream is good enough that he can stay in the fight even in the most dire of circumstances. I can't remember the last time I was disappointed by a Velveteen Dream match.
  13. KB8

    Greatest Match Ever Project

    I'm glad this is going to be a yearly thing because there are four matches that would've been in my top 30 (one top 10) that haven't even been nominated. And of course I entirely blame myself for taking for granted that they would be!
  14. How's that for an all-star babyface team? It may be the best North-South Connection there never was. In some alternate universe we probably get an awesome Duggan/Murdoch North-South Connection v Koko/Eaton Midnight Express match that Joel Watts left the film reel of in his car to be destroyed by Louisiana sunlight. There were very many Dick Murdoch and Jim Duggan punches thrown in this, a bunch of different variations, from body shots to jabs and straight rights and Murdoch's awesome fist drop. The beefies provided some fun beefy moments and I completely blanked on Kamala hitting a splash off the top rope. The parts where we got two fatties crashing into each other looked great and morbidly obese Kareem Muhammad taking big bumps through and over the ropes will always look impressive. Duggan stamps his foot while Murdoch does his little hoedown jig, then Akbar's stable hits the ring as Duggan throws haymakers and Murdoch pops folk with a knuckle duster. Fun little brawl with a raucous crowd and you never scoff at that Murdoch/Duggan team.
  15. This was sort of the babyface version of Murdoch v Afa; not as much of a total carry job as Nightmare is a plenty fun stooge and holds up his own end fine, but it's largely built around Murdoch shtick and working towards big payoffs to it. First few minutes are all about him going to punch the Nightmare and the ref' stopping him. He cocks his fist, the crowd are ready...and Fergie steps in to remind him that a closed fist is illegal. Nightmare survives again and again because the ref' is trying to enforce the rules. Murdoch isn't happy about it but he plays along and tries to do things clean. Of course the Nightmare doesn't care about that and throws a bunch of cheap little forearms and punches out of tie-ups. After a little while the crowd are itching for Murdoch to just throw a punch and the heat for him repeatedly being stopped just builds and builds. You could probably argue that it put more heat on the referee than the Nightmare, because folks were very loudly booing Carl Fergie, but you forget all that when Murdoch leapfrogs an onrushing Nightmare, cocks his fists and then pops him in the mouth on the way back. Nobody works like that anymore and I know it's because wrestling isn't remotely the same in 2019, but it's always fun to see one single punch draw a bigger reaction than most nearfalls today. They also do the spot later where Murdoch winds up the arm for one big shot, then as he goes to throw it the ref' grabs the arm so Murdoch casually pops Nightmare with the other hand. Murdoch grabbed him by the eye holes in the mask and peppered him with punches, spun the mask around so Nightmare couldn't see and wound up falling out the ring, Murdoch sporadically ducked out to the floor so he could chase Eddie Gilbert; he ran through a bunch of hits and it's a show I'll never get tired of. I love as well how babyface Murdoch in Mid-South wasn't afraid to acknowledge his salty past. He tried to play it by the book earlier, but when Gilbert came in swinging that cane you knew Murdoch wouldn't be above using it himself if it fell to him. He did it nonchalantly, with a shrug of the shoulders, like Gilbert should've known better than to think ol' Dickie wouldn't stoop to his level.