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flyonthewall2983

Is the empire crumbling before our eyes?

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I'm thinking its going to get worse over the next couple of years. They don't really seem to have any real plans in place beyond Lesnar vs Reigns at Crown Jewel and potentially Reigns vs Rock at Wrestlemania. So I expect things to keep getting worse and more disorganized these next couple of years. Where I do see hope in the long term is Gable Steveson. He seems like a can't miss sort of prospect like Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Bill Goldberg, The Rock etc... As long as they don't undercut him I think he'll draw them a lot of money.  

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This is probably a topic on its own, but if Gable Stevenson's ceiling is Kurt Angle Level, that's not a good thing. An Olympic Gold Medalist coming in at the peak of WWE's popularity should've theoretically been an even bigger star. As it turned out, he obviously was a big star within the WWE bubble, but in terms of actual drawing power I'm not sure he ranks in the Top 10 of the past 25 years.

It just doesn't seem likely to me that Gable Stevenson is going to somehow move any needle anywhere anytime when the WWE has failed to make a single big star in years and arguably didn't even capitalize on Angle as much as they could've when the WWE machine was operating much better than it does now. 

 

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He may also not adapt well. Not every former wrestler ends up being Angle, Lesnar or Cobb. Any talk of him becoming this great worker and star is way premature, especially in the broken system (both in term of training and making stars) that is current WWE.

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Probably the biggest thing that prevented Angle from becoming a bigger star was the sharks (or should I say sHHHarks?) outmaneuvering him politically in the early years of his career, the love triangle storyline being the most notable example. He was also involved in far too much comedy to be effective as a top star. By the time he had smartened up to the political aspects of the business, the damage was done. Foley showed that a top guy can do comedy and still draw, but only after they've been established as a killer. They went in the opposite direction with Angle, and it didn't work nearly as well. Steveson has Heyman watching his back, so hopefully that won't be an issue for him.

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7 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

Steveson has Heyman watching his back, so hopefully that won't be an issue for him.

Depending on Vince's opinion of Paul at the time, it could end up being his biggest liability.  Every time he falls out of favor, it seems all the Heyman Guys/Gals not named Brock end up on ice. 

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And that maybe is because Heyman campaigns so hard for them that it ends up annoying Vince & Bruce a lot. But if Vince & Bruce sees Steveson the same way they saw Brock, that might be his saving grace.

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IMO, the worst thing that can happen to him is that he proves to be adept at WWE style comedy from the start. Like NintendoLogic said, it's fine to do some comedy stuff once you've been established as a top guy, but if Vince thinks you're funny from the jump you're on the Santino track for life. 

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About the Heyman connection, I also wonder if Vince would let someone, anyone, gain as much leverage and power as Lesnar got, no small thanks to Heyman's advises probably. So that's another reason why the Heyman connection might be a double-edge sword.

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There's also a "What If..." regarding Lesnar not leaving in 2004. 


If Lesnar doesn't leave and become an even bigger star in UFC, I don't think he becomes the same level star he is now, a star that ends the Streak, a star that gets to toss Cena around for 20 minutes, a star that can come and go as he wants and still have the most lucrative contract in the company.

But already in 2004, Lesnar, the Next Big Thing, the guy the company was supposed to be built around from 2002 on, was out of the Mania main event. And, by the next year, Cena and Batista seemed to be "locked in" as the next two major babyfaces with Randy Orton right there too. Meanwhile, Eddie, Benoit, Angle, Jericho, and Shawn are all shuffled down the card a bit. If Lesnar doesn't leave, I'm not sure he doesn't end up shuffled down the card too as crazy as that seems in 2021. The rest of his run could've been at a Kane or Sheamus level. Would he have made good money and had good matches? Probably. But he's not ending the Streak.

So not only is being good at comedy a potential pitfall, but signing any kind of long-term deal would also be a real bad move (at least in terms of maintaining his own star power/credibility).

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That's a great point. Lesnar has been back (and forth) for so long now that we almost forget his star power just skyrocketed only when he went to UFC and became a huge star there.

Maybe by 2009, Lesnar ends up in TNA. :lol:

4 minutes ago, DMJ said:

So not only is being good at comedy a potential pitfall, but signing any kind of long-term deal would also be a real bad move (at least in terms of maintaining his own star power/credibility).

Especially in the current landscape where you can actually play both sides (which Lesnar always did with UFC, but it was quite different) and actually sign with the opposition if you're not happy. And come back later for even more money and a better deal.

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14 hours ago, DMJ said:

This is probably a topic on its own, but if Gable Stevenson's ceiling is Kurt Angle Level, that's not a good thing. An Olympic Gold Medalist coming in at the peak of WWE's popularity should've theoretically been an even bigger star. As it turned out, he obviously was a big star within the WWE bubble, but in terms of actual drawing power I'm not sure he ranks in the Top 10 of the past 25 years.

It just doesn't seem likely to me that Gable Stevenson is going to somehow move any needle anywhere anytime when the WWE has failed to make a single big star in years and arguably didn't even capitalize on Angle as much as they could've when the WWE machine was operating much better than it does now. 

 

I see Steveson's floor being Kurt Angle. He's much bigger physically than Angle. He's got a bigger personality. He's younger. And he doesn't have the injury history Angle had when he joined WWE. My worry would be that they push Steveson to the moon right out of the gate and he's not as over as his push. Then WWE responds by undercutting his push, which WWE has done multiple times

 

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I love Steveson (as a wrestler) but he has shown no indication that he has a bigger personality than Angle. His interviews and on-camera appearances point to the opposite. I don't think that's a bad thing though. As mentioned, Angle's blessing and curse was that he had so much personality and charisma and was so good at WWF Sports Entertainment.

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Yup. I'd argue that Angle being very damn funny is what made his WWE run so remarkable, not him going at a 100mph. Sure, comedy didn't make him win any more titles, but when your company is based around MOMENTS, it sure gave him plenty.

Stevenson might need a mouthpiece early on, because he looks pretty bland. IMO he'll have to work a lot to get to where Jason Jordan was.

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There were times where they tried to make Angle a more serious character but inevitably they would go back to making him goofy. Even the feud with Brock in summer of 03 had a bunch of backstage comedy segments at least until Brock turned heel and aligned with Vince.

i can remember Brian Gewirtz saying he (and Vince I guess) couldn't help themselves in booking him in comedy stuff

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On 10/6/2021 at 3:46 PM, Strummer said:

Everything is going to be fine because wwe hired Ken Doane as a performance center coach

This disappoints me greatly. Doane was one of the best parts of the original Beyond Unchartered Territory series. He was one of the best live heels I have seen in years. He had that wild-eyed, unhinged look in his eyes that really made you believe he might take a swipe at a fan or clock a wrestler. Then he could flip a switch and have a yellow streak a mile wide, bumping and feeding for babyfaces. He had a great punch to transition to heat. Heels should be cruel and cawardly. He had that in spades. If he can articulate what he did in Beyond that will be a big boon for WWE, but if he is like a lot of wrestlers and doesnt even realize what he is good at, it will be a waste. 

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The floor is Dick Hutton. Or perhaps in this era, Jason Jordan? There’s a ton of wrestlers who couldn’t quite grasp the professional game. It requires different skills. The biggest advantage amateur wrestlers have is they’ve shown the training discipline already.

If Steveson turned into Kurt Angle I’d be thrilled honestly. He could be better than that but you probably can’t project anyone to be a bigger star.

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Funny tidbit, the former Salina de la Renta talked about her experience at the Performance Center. So they had her work matches and cut no promo at all. The amazing sense of talent at the Performance Center, as always... And then she did not hear from them. And now that she's doing some OnlyFan stuff alongside Alicia Atout, needless to say it's not a given she'll end up there eventually. Would love to see her in either IMPACT or AEW, can be a great heel manager.

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Not surprised about Salina, WWE only sees women who are not white and blonde as quotas to fill and I'm sure Vince probably feels they have enough "ethnics" for now.

Also after teasing a scoop for a while, the Voices of Wrestling guys just dropped that WWE has been leaking the fast national numbers for Rampage once they hit their usual number for a non CM Punk debut episode. That ties in with them adding the extra half hour on Smackdown this week, as their plan seem to be "our B show can beat your B show" but let's hear again how they don't consider AEW competition. 

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