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As an aside, I'd like to push back against the idea that charisma is something that can't be taught. There are innumerable examples of wrestlers (Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Trish Stratus, and Shinsuke Nakamura come to mind) who displayed little or no charisma for years before developing into incredibly charismatic performers. People usually say it was just their natural charisma finally breaking through, as if it were a mutant power that takes longer to manifest in some people. But if you think about it, projecting charisma in the ring and on the mic is basically a form of acting. And that's absolutely a teachable skill even if some people are more naturally gifted than others. For that reason, I think wrestlers would be well-advised to study acting or at least improv.

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That's a very valid and fair point on charisma, Brian Pillman is also one to add to that list. But Austin always had Charisma, just took time for the right gimmick and seasoning to bring it out to it's fullest. I always liked Stunning Steve Austin as a gimmick, that is acting, like two different wrestlers lol  

A lot of it is also presence, leaning how to stand and hold your body, not let your nerves show when the camera is on you. Some people like MJF and even the Miz are naturals at it.  Bret hart had to grow into it, Been reading the old observers and the in the last one Meltzer brings it up as an issue with Nakamura not having any. 

 

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Yeah, it absolutely is more about loosening up and learning how to properly convey  whatever character you have. Miz, even with his lame early days, still conveyed who he was with absolute confidence.

Nakamura's overhaul happened after he went to Mexico, isn't that right?

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Interestingly I think Rock showed less charisma as a pro wrestler after he came back as a full-time actor than he used to before, but that partly might have been booking. I do agree with the overall point though. Cody IIRC has also taken a lot of acting classes, and it definitely helped him improve his charisma and presence to where he was over like a God in the first few months of Dynamite.

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7 minutes ago, Ricky Jackson said:

While he was arguably more entertaining as a heel, Pillman was super charismatic from day one in Stampede

Check out his early WCW stuff, uncomfortable on camera and took some time to find himself. It took him time to project his charisma and not his nerves. Thinking more about his backstage vignettes/interviews then the in ring stuff. 

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Improv would be a pretty obvious benefit for wrestlers (and there are plenty who've done it and are quite good at it). Working with your scene partner to build a world, understanding how to advance things forward, making strong choices and committing to them... a match is like an improv scene, and a dueling promo is almost exactly an improv scene. Would be invaluable. 

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Jade has the look and charisma but man she is so green I'm not even sure she should be on TV at all yet. She'll do a real impressive power spot, but then you see her doing something as basic as a stomp and it looks so atrocious you'd think she wasn't trained at all. She's only been working what like...6 months? And her first match was a celebrity stunt match. I think she's been working frequently on Dark and whatnot, but she's still a 100% rookie in every sense and it very much shows. It's truly wild they debuted her the way they did with basically no training or experience in a match with Shaq. Lmao.

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I'm not saying Cody's IRL stances don't color people's perceptions, but  he has go away heat with a lot if people who aren't in to having a separate Codyverse that seems completely unattached to the rest of the company. Honestly I think he's miscast as a babyface, he has such natural heel charisma. If he would lean into that I think it would be better for him and the show overall. 

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Cody has an insatiable savior complex that shines through in his constant need to be a conquering hero, let alone an ego that is almost completely unearned. It’s capital that has rightfully blown up in his face, and him shoehorning himself into situations that are completely unnatural in a company whose possibilities are seemingly endless speaks volumes about the disconnect between perception and reality. He is on an island all into his own, and him beating Black next week is going to ring about as hollow as any moment in company history. 

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Cody has been involved in some very good stuff but mostly in the first year of AEW. After putting over Darby, he did that weird Face of the Revolution match with the utterly corny giant brass ring, and then that Shaq feud that was clearly a launchpad for Jade but which absolutely killed him dead, all for a one-off rating that wasn't even that massive - it didn't help that they had Jade cut very long promos in it, which is clearly not her strength. We all joke about the tattoo being the beginning of the downfall, but there really is some truth to it. Only a man with zero self-awareness would get that shit tattooed on his neck for everyone to see. 

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It's only more bizarre when you see the promos for his reality show and the clips they chose to promote it makes Cody come off as a self centered manchild that Brandi can barely put up with. 

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The goal for that show is to bring a larger female audience to AEW similar to Total Divas but holy shit, how could anyone see him on that show and feel it’s worth an investment?

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I guess it does make Brandi into a sympathetic figure trying to wrangle her husband and his wacky friends, but I'm not sure how anyone can think Cody comes off well. 

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2 hours ago, Timbo Slice said:

The goal for that show is to bring a larger female audience to AEW similar to Total Divas but holy shit, how could anyone see him on that show and feel it’s worth an investment?

I was watching Dynamite with my 11-year-old (a casual fan) last night, and his reaction to the ad was: "Why the hell did anybody think that was a good idea?"

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I could completely believe that Dusty would have had a fully kayfabed reality show in the 80s if they were a thing then. And he'd absolutely have used it to shoot angles for the wrestling shows.

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After tonight's Dark Side of the Ring episode it probably would be a bad idea for AEW to bring in Ric Flair. They actually interviewed the flight attendant and confirmed what everyone suspected and it was less "oh look at Flair being wacky, waving his donger around, oh whoops the flight attendant saw it" and more "he had her trapped in the galley and wouldn't let her go".

Also for some reason Tommy Dreamer had to confirm to the world that Flair apparently is 2 Cold Scorpio levels of hung, which is information I didn't need to know, especially from Tommy Dreamer of all people. 

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Christ, we hear about Ric Flair and Scott Hall sexually assaulting a flight attendant and somehow Dreamer came off the worst of anybody in that whole episode.

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He managed to damn Flair the most whioe ostensibly trying to defend him, that's how bad he came off as. 

With Flair, yeah, he shouldn't be brought in right after an episode about how he assaulted a woman - and let's be honest, it's part of a pattern with Flair, most other incidents are just not as documented  - in a TV series which they explicitly acknowledge on their TV, to the point that one of their main stories right now revolves around an aired DSOTR episode. This is wrestling though, and wrestling promotions have historically never cared about this if the wrestler is a big enough star. Hopefully AEW is different, but it's a case of having to see it to believe it.

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34 minutes ago, PeteF3 said:

Christ, we hear about Ric Flair and Scott Hall sexually assaulting a flight attendant and somehow Dreamer came off the worst of anybody in that whole episode.

I expect that to be the case whenever Dreamer is involved. 

 

Ric's gonna go out shooting

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The hardest part was JR clearly *wanting* to defend a guy he's probably been friends with forever and like "maaaaaaan, I just can't". 

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Ric could use this as an opportunity to own up to his behavior and show actual remorse for the trauma he put people in.  Or he could do what he indicated to Renee and just flamethrower everyone around him. 

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