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Loss

The aging of wrestling fans

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IMPACT has the most coherent week-to-week booking you'd want. Everybody's got something to do, it logically leads to TV matches, logically leading to the big match the PPV/Special. Now, whether you want to see those matches in another matter, but in term of making sense and going from A to B to C, IMPACT is just straight on point. 

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9 hours ago, Coffey said:

 

So, Lance Storm apparently doesn't get that Britt Baker is supposed to be the star of the promotion. And that Thunder Rosa is not even *signed* to AEW yet. Of course you have to focus on the talent designed to be *your* biggest star. 

Also, no, that loss doesn't technically counts because it's a lights out match.

Also, a heel coming out to celebrate despite having lost is pro-wrestling 101.

The one thing I agree is that they need to absolutely *not* do another match. In a year, in a different narrative context, why not. But it has to be done between the two of them for now.

I must say, pissed off Lance is pretty funny though when you look as his face. So damn serious. :)

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If Baker is supposed to be the star, why is she losing to outside talent? In that case, she should have won and then the gloating would have been on point.

I didn't think his point was without merit.

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Britt Baker is a heel. She doesn't need the win. She can lose and gloat anyway. That's what heels do.

I'm sure they will do the most to sign Rosa once her NWA contract is up.

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Her gloating wasn't the point wasn't the point of Storm's criticism as much as it was Tony Schiavone calling for people to give her a hand and people doing it. She's the heel.

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Tony & Britt have had this bizarre relationships for ever now, it's an established fact in the AEW lore. I mean, Alvarez pretty much gave all the good arguments there. The main one being : Britt is supposed to be the actual star of the division. I'd be curious to see how many times Mean Gene got Flair on the ramp on Nitro despite him having lost his big match the previous week.

And yes, we're in the days in pro-wrestling where you applaud the performance "in kayfabe", the fact matches are great is part of the lore too. Like it or not, that's the way it is.

And Britt did get booed and did talk down to them for not appreciating her enough, so, there was heel work there. I dunno, that strikes me at nitpicking.

I'll listen to what he said about Cody & QT though, as I think I may agree with him on that a lot more.

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She needed to be interviewed and allowed to gloat because otherwise the fans would have turned her face and they don't want that. Interviewing the loser to allow them to get their heat back is standard wrestling procedure, isn't it?

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Her initial face run didn't work, she has just improved in the ring and her in-ring style is very heelish, and I think they feel she has more mileage as a heel before she turns face. Plus, their current champ Shida is a face and I think they feel a future heel champ would therefore have more fresh faces as challengers. 

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17 hours ago, Loss said:

The storytelling aspect of pro wrestling is overrated in the sense that it shouldn't be treated as an attraction in itself and it often has been. But you do need something to make people care about what they're watching in the ring and understand the stakes. I think it's usually overcomplicated and can be very simple and straightforward, but some context needs to be provided for the matches. Maybe I'm "romanticizing the past", but that's generally the way it worked most of the time outside of WWE.

Nintendo Logic has now passive aggressively told me to stop watching wrestling twice since I returned to the board. I should start a running tally.

This.

Pro wrestling without characters to care about or compelling conflicts is just filling time. Pro wrestling is always, has always, and will always be at its best when it exists within those contexts - characters to care about in compelling conflicts with one another.

If the spots and the in-ring stuff being presented ice cold is enough for you, then that's cool. But chances are you're already a fan and don't mind watching motion for the sake of motion. That simply doesn't appeal to very many people for a sustainable period of time without characters to care about or compelling conflicts.

The question was raised about wrestling fans getting older and newer/younger fans not latching on, so that's what I was addressing. I'm not denying that there some of you who will watch just about anything related to wrestling - you've already bought in. We are discussing the hows and why's of the fan base dwindling and not being replenished. It's because there isn't mass appeal for fake fighting without storytelling, without suspense, and without that emotional component. It's those ingredients that combine together and make pro wrestling such a unique art form in the first place.

People saying AEW stands a chance of doing it right sort of makes me sad. In early 2020, I might have agreed with that. But they really took some major missteps since the pandemic slowed things down. What once felt like a decent show worth following quickly descended into WCW 2000 territory for me. Line up Khan's football field and orange juice on a pole next to Russo's noteworthy contributions and nobody would spot the difference. Their shit is atrocious at times.

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On 3/28/2021 at 12:04 AM, Loss said:

The storytelling aspect of pro wrestling is overrated in the sense that it shouldn't be treated as an attraction in itself and it often has been. But you do need something to make people care about what they're watching in the ring and understand the stakes. I think it's usually overcomplicated and can be very simple and straightforward, but some context needs to be provided for the matches. Maybe I'm "romanticizing the past", but that's generally the way it worked most of the time outside of WWE.

Nintendo Logic has now passive aggressively told me to stop watching wrestling twice since I returned to the board. I should start a running tally.

Not romanticizing at all.  When I think of my favorite wrestling shows of all time, they were both fun weekly episodic TV and completely binge-able. ECW Hardcore TV, AJPW 30, Toryumon, Lucha Underground, Mid South, World Class, etc. All were great weekly shows with great storytelling but also all had at least average in ring action.  What we have now is usually quality TV matches without any context or context that is doesn't make sense. The average casual person isn't going to tune in to watch bad TV with some good wrestling mixed in. 

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I think it goes a little deeper with WWE. They just run matches into the ground really quick. I couldn't imagine being a new fan and wondering why Drew McIntyre and Sheamus wrestle every single week. 

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On 3/28/2021 at 12:04 AM, Loss said:

Nintendo Logic has now passive aggressively told me to stop watching wrestling twice since I returned to the board. I should start a running tally.

That wasn't directed at you, my man. It was for all the folks in this thread saying that the quality of matches doesn't matter and all they care about is good vs. evil storytelling.

The notion that pro wrestling needs some kind of storyline hook to work is belied by the fact that some of the most successful promoters in history (Giant Baba, Sam Muchinck, Vince the Elder) stuck to basic booking patterns and almost never ran angles. Really, why does every match need a story? Do people need promos and video packages to explain why Patrick Mahomes wants to win the Super Bowl? Of course not. The motivation to want to be a champion is self-explanatory. Feuds rooted in personal issues are great and all, but winning championships should be presumed to be every wrestler's default motivation. Promotions where there's a complete disconnect between wins and losses and championship success (late period WCW, TNA for most of its existence, current WWE) are rightly regarded as the worst of the worst.

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Totally agree.

And I will add that yes, weekly TV storytelling has been heavily romanticized. I'm an old ECW fan, LU has been my favorite program in years and actually got me back into current pro-wrestling, but pretending that they were paragon of great stories with only logical development and totally coherent week-to-week stuff is really looking back with glass colored roses. There were tons of stupid shit that went nowhere both in ECW (speaking peak ECW, as past 98 is really nothing to brag about in term of weekly TV) and LU, tons of hot-shotting, tons of random stuff that was actually cool because the matches were just cool to watch. I won't even go back to the old territory TV because I went on and on and on for years about how this was way overrated and watched with total nostalgia/rose-colored glasses (not that it wasn't great at times and depending on the promotion). The same thing happened on the better years of Nitro. And back then, I remember people have *fun* with all the kinda random good stuff which went nowhere but was just, you know, fun pro-wrestling shit. 

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Thank you for clarifying. :)

You can look at the most successful angle-driven companies in wrestling history like 1970s Florida, Mid South, 1979-80 Georgia, peak Memphis and mid-80s JCP, and they all still have plenty of wrestling for the sake of it to ground everything and make the stuff that's supposed to be red hot pop even more. If every match is personal, no match is personal. It makes the matches they're trying to make special even more special when they come up with a storyline hook for them. 

I think "storytelling" is often conflated to make two things into one. There is a difference between a match progressing in a logical and satisfying way based on the build and personalities and having a reason to happen (even if it's as simple as putting someone in hopeful title contention) and having to accuse your opponent of raping the dead corpse of Katie Vick. Of course the latter isn't needed the vast majority of the time

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More than the tightest of storytelling, you really need charismatic characters the fans connect to and invest in.

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I have a disagreement on match quality. I think up until the late 00s that match quality mattered a lot. Good matches were still a bit of a novelty at the time. But these days good wrestling is dime a dozen. You can go to the most podunk of indies and see good matches. 

So I say in this era it doesn't matter because almost every promotion has good wrestling in it. So now you need the side stuff to get attention from fans. 

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I present this quote from Bill Dundee on USWA TV from August of 1992:

"We do this for money. That's right, that's the main thing in your mind when you get into the wrestling business or any kind of professional sport -- it's for money. And sometimes you do it for belts, and sometimes you do it for titles, and sometimes you do it to settle something, and sometimes you just do it."

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23 minutes ago, MoS said:

More than the tightest of storytelling, you really need charismatic characters the fans connect to and invest in.

The issue is that charisma is a very vague notion. Most people raised on 00's WWE probably consider Randy Orton to be super charismatic. I consider him a black hole who suck the interest of everything he's involved in. You obviously don't care too much for Kenny Omega's oddball character. I saw Japanese women cry in the audience when he won the title from Okada. I find Hulk Hogan to be a complete clown that should probably not appeal to anyone past 8 years old. It took forever to me to "get" Riki Choshu.

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13 minutes ago, Loss said:

I present this quote from Bill Dundee on USWA TV from August of 1992:

"We do this for money. That's right, that's the main thing in your mind when you get into the wrestling business or any kind of professional sport -- it's for money. And sometimes you do it for belts, and sometimes you do it for titles, and sometimes you do it to settle something, and sometimes you just do it."

Loving that quote.

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It's pretty clear in wrestling that having charisma just means looking like somebody instead of looking like nobody. I don't even mean physical appearance, I just mean the ability to convey that you're something more than the average person on the street.

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34 minutes ago, Mad Dog said:

I have a disagreement on match quality. I think up until the late 00s that match quality mattered a lot.

I would say it's actually the opposite, match quality has never mattered more. Even in a traditionally non-match-quality environment like WWE, in today's landscape, if you really suck at pro-wrestling or even if you're really mediocre, you don't stand a chance. I may not agree with what WWE thinks a great match is, but it's obvious a guy like Sid would have zero chance of getting over today, because the audience and the office who see through him and he could never deliver what they think a great match is. Sure, they'll still push Karrion Kross for other reasons and give body and big guys much more opportunity because they are still stuck in the past somewhat, but whether they get over with the actual audience is another thing altogether. I mean, Daniel Bryan got injected into the main event at Mania for a reason.

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2 minutes ago, Loss said:

It's pretty clear in wrestling that having charisma just means looking like somebody instead of looking like nobody. I don't even mean physical appearance, I just mean the ability to convey that you're something more than the average person on the street.

Agreed. But the perception of "charisma" still is something that can be put to debate (not even going into sociology and Bourdieu on your asses ;)). To me Triple H is a guy with no charisma whatsoever for instance. I mean, none whatsoever. By sheer virtue of being pushed at the top for so long, given insane productions (that damn entrance, Motörhead and such) for totally *other* reasons (body, politics, network, son-in-law), he's getting that perception from the faithful WWE audience. 

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4 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

That wasn't directed at you, my man. It was for all the folks in this thread saying that the quality of matches doesn't matter and all they care about is good vs. evil storytelling.

So me, then, without saying my name? 

All I know is that, at least as it pertains to WWF, shit like Savage & Liz reuniting is a more memorable thing than the (good) match that Warrior & Savage had right before hand. People bought tickets to see Hogan Vs. Andre at Wrestlemania 3 for the story of can the Giant be beaten, not for Savage Vs. Steamboat wrestling a clinic.

No one cared that studio shows were full of jobber squash matches. People were buying tickets to see the stars & see what the stars did. WWE currently has no stars & the ratings are terrible, regardless of if the matches are better. 

The "romanticizing" that goes on pertains to workrate, Meltzer's opinion & his sycophants. 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

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From what I gather I think the point is that it isn't that story doesn't matter in wrestling but it doesn't have to be a multi layered narrative that goes from point to point over episodic television. The story can just be " I want the title", "I want to see if I can beat you".

the WWF of the 70s flourished with almost no big angles or stories under Vince Sr. Honestly a lot of of Hogan's biggest programs in the 80s didn't have a deep story behind them. Everyone just wanted to see him win.

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