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flyonthewall2983

Is the empire crumbling before our eyes?

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2 minutes ago, strobogo said:

I'm sure she's also being harassed by weirdos who for some reason blame her for stealing his gimmick or something

Another downside of the cult mentality WWE is fostering, they don't seem to realize/care that it creates toxicity for their own performers as well. 

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Of course the book on Vince forever has been that if you want him to go along with something you want to do, make him think it was his idea.

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Like how do these releases not absolutely shatter any morale that exists behind the curtain? Like these firing are completely blindsiding people. And there's a lot of relationships behind the scenes that are just disappearing on a whim. 

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Nick Khan is 100% installing the corporate "we don't want just some of the money, we want all of the money" mindset and things like salaries are just inconvenient speedbumps. Like when you see video game devs laying off hundreds of people after announcing they had a record profit year. It's gross and completely dehumanizing to anyone who works there. 

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It's a statement on WWE that I had to look up who the last two Universal Champions before Roman even were, since I had no memory of it.

Also it's been kind of weird to see a lot of causal WWE fans I follow who I wouldn't expect to have much opinion on this that are upset about Bray. 

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I personally think Fiend stinks and Wyatt has been useless since his early modern day Waylon Mercy run, but he does have a sizeable contingent of very devoted fans who spend ungodly hours thinking of The Lore and everything. They had to feel blindsided and betrayed by this sudden release

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I'm not going to pretend Bray was some sort of secret superworker or anything,  but a ton of the Fiend stuff that people hated was due to how the character was booked more than any failing on his part. Like someone who was a horror movie character come to life in the land of 50/50 booking is going to come off lame no matter who's doing it. 

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I look forward to Bray being able to work elsewhere & cut a promo without having to worry about the "what!?" chants.

What I don't want is another "that other place sucked!" promo.

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Feels like a case of Vince knowing he's got everything he can out of the Wyatt character and not having to feel bad about letting him go because there's a viable place for him to work now.  He'd been there a long time and felt like a Vince/Dunn guy and as close to "family" as it gets.  Also, I think he's another of those guys who resigned in the last few years for big money, who was probably "overpaid" relative to the type of pay scale they're trying to have. 

He's tight with Cody and others in AEW I believe and I can see Tony being a fan so I fully expect him to end up there at some point.  I've been sick of him for a long, long, long time but way back in the day I did enjoy the Wyatt Family.  I'm willing to give him a chance away from WWE, but I'm really not a fan of all the hocus pocus.  I don't mind it done for a bit of comedy in AEW here and there, but that's it

Also, this totally feels like Vince trying to trojan horse AEW and kill multiple birds with one stone.  Old talent (Henry, Show, Christian, Wyatt, etc) gets paid, AEW's roster gets bloated and the next Austin, Foley etc. come running to Vince.  I can see Vince looking at how things played out with WCW and thinking he can make history repeat itself

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6 hours ago, MoS said:

I don't know how true this is, because Meltz has been getting worked by his sources recently (the GCW plant controversy) and I can't remember the last major story he broke. But if this is true, then it's pretty shameful for a billion dollar promotion making record profits to use budgetary reasons to cut one of its most featured stars of the decade, especially since it's just a couple of days after Vince joked about sending more talent to AEW. Maybe this is the "Vince sent Russo to WCW" but for real, where he is releasing as many wrestlers as he can, hoping AEW blows up their budget going after them all and get burned as a result

 

Sean Ross Sapp has confirmed/backed the "budget cuts" story as well

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I wonder if half of these releases are just 'we want you but you'll need a pay dip' and hoping they re-sign after the cut. 

 

Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan are not on the current WWE superstars page. Brock is, interestingly. 

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Alexa Bliss' tweet:

“I really am at a loss for words… thank you so much Windham for everything you’ve done for this company. The most fun I’ve had is working with you. Such an amazing talent & the most kind person. I’m just in shock.”

Various stuff, various sources:

"according to Dave Meltzer, WWE Head of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis informed Bray Wyatt that his release today was due to budget cuts. Additionally, Wyatt was reportedly prepping for an August return and was said to have been booked for some shows before this decision was made."

"Wyatt’s 90-day non-compete clause will run out the week before AEW Full Gear."

"The relationship between Wyatt and Vince McMahon “ran very hot and cold” at points, and since McMahon is giving Khan more freedom than anyone else in history to run things, there likely wasn’t as much push back over cutting Wyatt."

"The reaction backstage has been one of shock, especially due to how big The Fiend was for merchandise in decent years. The character sold a lot of t-shirts and action figures. One source blamed WWE President Nick Khan and CFO Kristina Salen, claiming the two are “obsessed” with WWE not being in the red at all"

"Wyatt’s name had previously been brought up during another recent round of cuts. Multiple wrestlers had been discussed but were ultimately kept. The creative team had been told that Wyatt was getting protective of his character after “poor creative decisions and ideas” presented to him."

WWE tweeted the stock "future endeavours" line, too.

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9 hours ago, Strummer said:

According to PWI, people are "shocked" backstage over Wyatt's release. As mentioned before Alexa seemed to take it pretty bad as she seemed shook up over it

It doesn't help that some fans have attacked her and blamed her for Wyatt getting released. That's why she put her account to private.

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2 hours ago, SirEdger said:

It doesn't help that some fans have attacked her and blamed her for Wyatt getting released. That's why she put her account to private.

Mickie James indirectly blamed Bliss too, even if that wasn't necessarily her intention. Obviously she meant it as a criticism of WWE higher-ups, but she should've been smart enough to realize her comments could potentially cause unnecessary issues for Bliss.

 

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She's not wrong, though. Like I said a while back, Bray's days were numbered once it became apparent the Fiend gimmick works just as well with a pretty blonde woman. The same thing happened to Brodus Clay when he came up with the Hall of Pain gimmick for himself only to see it given to Mark Henry. Obviously it's WWE's fault and not the gimmick recipients in both cases, but knowing that ideas you come up with can be taken from you and used to get other people over has to be a morale killer.

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People think its a good gimmick? On the odd time either have been on while I've watched its an instant fast-forward 

Apart from maybe that psychedelic John Cena flashback match 

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Over-invested fans were already blaming Alexa for stealing Bray's gimmick. Mickie's statement added fuel to the fire. Mickie came back to say that she wasn't blaming Alexa, but the toothpaste was out of the tube by then. Not that she's wrong, but maybe save it for another day, especially when Alexa had to go private on Twitter over this.

@Rah brings up a good point about bringing some wrestlers back on a lower contract. I can see that happening, especially with Bray and Braun. Nick Khan is clearly operating with the formula that if you make X-amount of money, you need to bring in Y-amount of revenue or consistently used on TV to justify your salary. It's harsh, but that's what corporate headhunters do.

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18 minutes ago, Dale Wolfe said:

People think its a good gimmick? On the odd time either have been on while I've watched its an instant fast-forward 

Apart from maybe that psychedelic John Cena flashback match 

Don't get me wrong, I think it's irredeemably awful. But it's a merch mover, so it'll be kept around in some form. And I'm sure Alexa's downside is significantly lower than Bray's, which surely factored into it.

8 minutes ago, Burgundy LaRue said:

 

@Rah brings up a good point about bringing some wrestlers back on a lower contract. I can see that happening, especially with Bray and Braun. Nick Khan is clearly operating with the formula that if you make X-amount of money, you need to bring in Y-amount of revenue or consistently used on TV to justify your salary. It's harsh, but that's what corporate headhunters do.

Or he's clearing the books for a sale.

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27 minutes ago, Dale Wolfe said:

People think its a good gimmick? On the odd time either have been on while I've watched its an instant fast-forward 

Apart from maybe that psychedelic John Cena flashback match 

Some people really were into that shit. I think ALL of the Fiend and Alexa stuff has been some of the absolute worst and most embarrassing shit I have ever seen in wrestling, any company, any era. And I've only seen it in highlight packages at PPVs where they make it look the best it can possibly look. 

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3 hours ago, Dale Wolfe said:

People think its a good gimmick? On the odd time either have been on while I've watched its an instant fast-forward 

Apart from maybe that psychedelic John Cena flashback match 

The Fiend was nice up until the Finn Balor match. The entrance was money, the song rocked, it was different.

When it was clear he wasn't going to sell for SHIT, it became a problem. How can you book someone who doesn't feel pain and doesn't sell finishers aplenty? Even OG Taker wasn't that over the top.

 

It feels like Bray's ideas don't translate well to wrestling. He's more of a Sci-Fi channel dude. I'm sure he could have some pretty fucking nice ideas for Tom Savini, that's for sure.

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I don't think its that Bray's ideas don't translate - I think its that "horror movie villain" is a tough character to shoehorn into a show that also wants to be everything for everyone. I think that's why Bray connected with such a big part of the audience: horror movies are many people's favorite thing. Like heavy metal. Horror and heavy metal don't just have fans, they have rabid, loyal mega-cult followings. And Bray spoke to that audience. 

At times, I actually thought he did co-exist well in the WWE's world - but, then, there were other times he clearly didn't or was booked in a way that directly contradicted what a horror movie villain is. So, instead of a Taker/Wyatt feud being an epic clash like Freddie vs. Jason, for example, it was just basically a Taker squash. Ditto for the time Lesnar ran through all the members of the Family in one match. The Fiend no-selling wasn't good, but its worth remembering, he did actually show some vulnerability against Daniel Bryan and others. I could never know for sure, but I think the no-selling was a bad agent idea or an idea from Vince himself who didn't really understand what Bray Wyatt - in any of his incarnations - was actually supposed to be. The Fiend, to me, was not supposed to be superhuman Michael Myers - it was supposed to be a deranged lunatic cosplaying as Michael Myers, a fully human pyschopath who, when wearing a mask, slipped into a state where he believed he "felt no pain" and was as brutal as could be (if you're a horror buff, I'm kinda thinking like Vince Vaughn in the opening of Freaky). I'd be very curious to know whose idea having red lights on for whole matches was but, again, I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually not a Bray Wyatt idea, just a bad production element from someone who thought it would look cool (but didn't). 

Which is why I almost hope Bray goes somewhere unexpected like Impact. I think there's actually something that can be done with him as your resident monster, but you have to go in 100% with it - not with bad lighting and goofy hocus pocus, but with the crucial detail that, no, he's not just another wrestler, that he is legitimately dangerous, that, like any good horror movie villain, he's merciless but also maybe beguiling, that its not about titles or victories, he's got motives that are beyond evil. The dangerous cult leader. The psychopath in a mask. The creepy Mr. Rogers figure who is coming for your children. I think Bray, in his best moments, proved that they can work in a wrestling context and his loyal following speaks to that. But for every one or two great things they did with Bray (or Bray did for himself), the WWE seemed to do 10 things to make him a joke.  

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so SRS is reporting that pretty much no one is buying the "budget cuts" excuse in WWE, and that long time stars don't feel their jobs are safe regardless of their position on the card.  Sounds like it's a fun place to work at right now for sure.

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