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MoS

AEW Dynamite - March 10, 2021

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10 minutes ago, Loss said:

That we're talking about this is a sign of something itself, because opening this door with WWE would be pointless. 

That's a good point. The thing with AEW, because of who they are and how young the company is and what they've showed thus far, is that it's obvious they are learning on the job. That last PPV should be a terrific learning experience, despite providing jokes for the next 20 years. AEW brought back optimism as far as I'm concerned, which is something that has been killed dead by WWE a long, long, long time ago.

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1 hour ago, TheDuke said:

I kind of wonder if Tony Khan needs someone working with him on the booking who would be able to warn him when something doesn't make sense like this or the Hangman Page Revolution contract. My guess is in his head it makes sense but he doesnt realize how the dots arent all connecting for the viewers.

Yeah, I've been thinking that if Tony Khan is the Vince McMahon, Jr. of AEW then who is his Pat Patterson? They need a guy like that. They have quite a few good wrestling minds around 'em over there. I don't think the answer should be Cody, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks or Adam Page. It needs to be someone that isn't a part of the AEW founding squad, for a lack of a better phrase.

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They should ask Don Callis about stuff (although I do think D'Amore is the brain booker of IMPACT, seeing as he was also the only guy who made TNA a really fun and easy to watch alternative in 2005/6). 

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Just now, El-P said:

They should ask Don Callis about stuff (although I do think D'Amore is the brain booker of IMPACT, seeing as he was also the only guy who made TNA a really fun and easy to watch alternative in 2005/6). 

Yeah it seems that Don does the business end and D'Amore does the booking, and both have done a way better job than anyone could have reasonably expected making Impact meaningful in 2021.

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A friend of mine used a good analogy about AEW's booking: it's often like a good but not particularly memorable/logical modern match. It's a lot of spots designed to pop the crowd without necessarily having any logic or consistency to them. I think it's because much like how some wrestlers don't have a coherent gimmick true to themselves, AEW and therefore their booking don't have a coherent identity yet. Being a buffet was fine when they had to get a baseline audience. They have one now and it's time to figure out what they are.

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There's still opportunity to be a buffet, WCW was able to do it when they had an audience of millions every week. You had lucha matches, cruiser matches, hardcore matches with plunder, and whatever bullshit the nWo was doing on top. 

I think AEW's biggest problem is they clearly stacked their roster once they signed a new deal with TNT expecting a second TV show shortly. The pandemic delayed that plan and now they are left with way too many people with the TV time they have. Yes , I know, Dark is a thing, but other than the crawl on the screen saying the results they almost never mention it on Dynamite. 

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3 minutes ago, sek69 said:

There's still opportunity to be a buffet, WCW was able to do it when they had an audience of millions every week. You had lucha matches, cruiser matches, hardcore matches with plunder, and whatever bullshit the nWo was doing on top. 

This. WCW absolutely was a buffet. I want the buffet.

4 minutes ago, sek69 said:

Yes , I know, Dark is a thing, but other than the crawl on the screen saying the results they almost never mention it on Dynamite. 

It's not like anything really happens. It's not even like Saturday Nights or Thunder during the Nitro days when you had somewhat cool secondary feuds happening there. It's mainly competitive JTTS matches. I hope they do something different with the Monday show, as Dark is already way too long with so few happening for me to watch every week considering I want to watch other stuff too.

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Kind of a forgotten thing was how WCW would split Nitro into two separate hours complete with switching the announcers up and pyro. 

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1 minute ago, sek69 said:

Kind of a forgotten thing was how WCW would split Nitro into two separate hours complete with switching the announcers up and pyro. 

They should do the same in AEW, except if you're still working your match during the hour change, the ring actually explodes.

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WCW was a buffet as far as in-ring styles are concerned; I am all for that. WCW's booking had an internal consistency and pattern from top to bottom, for good and for bad, during their peak years.

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1 minute ago, MoS said:

WCW was a buffet as far as in-ring styles are concerned; I am all for that. WCW's booking had an internal consistency and pattern from top to bottom, for good and for bad, during their peak years.

Yeah, people look back fondly on things like the Cruiserweight division now, but in the moment when that shit was live, that was mostly filler time 'til the nWo came out. At least for the casual fans, the reason for the popularity of wrestling at the time. The entire show revolved around the nWo & what Hulk Hogan was doing because he was getting paid all the money. Like there was obviously great stuff between the likes of Eddie, Rey, Jericho, etc. & a lot of them got over - but nothing sums up WCW at the time more than the Jericho Vs. Goldberg feud & how WCW perceived it. I think it was Jericho himself whom talked about how he just wanted to work a little program & Bill would still go over in the end & even with him trying to do the skits & what not they just wanted him to shut up & get squashed in 20 seconds like a nobody jobber.

Funny how all the supposed WCW filler was the stuff that I ate up when watching the show. I loved the U.S. Title scene when Raven was around. I really liked Wrath when he came back & went on that undefeated streak when he was using the Meltdown. I remember even getting excited when Bam Bam Bigelow showed up & did a run-in (brisk trot) while wearing sweat pants. Whenever Meng's music would hit, you knew you were going to get something stiff. I loved The Giant back when he was dunking dudes with the Chokeslam that looked like death. I loved when the nWo B-team music would hit & that anticipation before the wrestler came out where I was hoping for Scott Norton (Yeah!) or would get Brian Adams (Boo!) - I mean, I ate up all the Goldberg & Sting stuff too but the people in charge were wrong in that the people only cared about the main events. If anything, WWF PPV at the time had awful undercards with great main events and the WCW PPV had great undercards & awful main events. The top of the card in WCW was what kind of sucked. 

One thing that WCW definitely got right though is that each guy had a finish, you knew what the finish was & you knew if they hit it, that the match was over. Raven's Evenflow DDT, DDP's Diamond Cutter, Saturn's Death Valley Driver, etc. Each guy had an established finisher & we weren't trained to expect each finish to be kicked out of three or four times back then, so when it did happen it was a bigger deal. It was awesome when a dude would come out, hit his finish & just lay someone out. Like a Sting Scorpion Death Drop - those were the moments I lived for. A Kevin Nash walk-in to hit a Lazy Bomb because he wanted mic time. I have always liked when the finish was what was treated like death instead of like doing a run-in with multiple people doing a beatdown with weapons or whatever. 

 

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9 minutes ago, Coffey said:

Each guy had an established finisher & we weren't trained to expect each finish to be kicked out of three or four times back then, so when it did happen it was a bigger deal.

No one ever kicked out of the One Winged Angel (Ibushi maybe once in Japan). No one kicked out of Mox finisher I believe. No one kicked out of the Meltzer Driver in AEW I don't think. The "everyone kicks out of finisher galore" really is not a staple of the promotion at all. It's really the WWE Self-Conscious Epic formula (even worse with Lesnar's short match formula which is *only* spamming finishers). There are certainly death spots all over wrestling, still. In WWE, less so.

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To my earlier point, WCW was completely obsessed with the tiniest of details then. Every NWO segment was presented as paid programming until they created a storyline reason that it didn't have to be anymore. They even had their own merchandise phone number. They combined that with telling casual fans, "Hey, we know you're here for the NWO and you're going to get them. In the meantime, enjoy this sampling of the most exciting wrestling happening all around the world."

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Sullivan booked until June of 1997 when Terry Taylor took over and everything suddenly became about titles and longer undercard matches. The balance on top also started to suffer around that time, as that's when you started seeing WCW wrestlers presented as stupid, not making saves for no apparent reason, etc.

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8 minutes ago, Strummer said:

Was Kevin Sullivan booking all the way till Nash took over in Oct./Nov 98? The attention to detail seemed to stop around late 97ish

I believe there was somebody between Sullivan (who was totally burned out by 98 honestly) and Nash. I should now, really. Wasn't Dusty helping at some point in the Summer of 98 ?

16 minutes ago, Loss said:

To my earlier point, WCW was completely obsessed with the tiniest of details then. Every NWO segment was presented as paid programming until they created a storyline reason that it didn't have to be anymore. They even had their own merchandise phone number. They combined that with telling casual fans, "Hey, we know you're here for the NWO and you're going to get them. In the meantime, enjoy this sampling of the most exciting wrestling happening all around the world."

They had guys who had been doing this for 15 years (and learned from the best). Not one and a half.  Hey, WCW 96/97 is some of my all-time favorite pro-wrestling, I'm not the one telling you're wrong about it being immensely more consistent than current AEW. I'm just telling you can't expect them to be as good as the best of them when they are new at this.

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Just now, Loss said:

Sullivan booked until June of 1997 when Terry Taylor took over and everything suddenly became about titles and longer undercard matches. 

Did Taylor really took over or was he just more influent ? I thought Sullivan was still basically booking in the first half of 98. I don't remember Terry Taylor being the top booker ever.

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Dusty was at least contributing in summer 98 because Meng got another push again out of nowhere.

according to Nash, Dusty tried to work his way on the booking team in late 98/early 99 and Nash basically told him to fuck off

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10 minutes ago, Strummer said:

according to Nash, Dusty tried to work his way on the booking team in late 98/early 99 and Nash basically told him to fuck off

Imagine someone as creatively boring as Nash being so arrogant that he wouldn't want the help of one of the greatest bookers of all time (Dusty wasn't without his issues - Dusty Finishes, focusing on himself, etc. - but he was galaxies ahead of Nash.)

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Nash probably told that story when he was in TNA in 2005ish. At the time, he was having problems with the booking and was trying to rally everyone against Dusty, but I don't remember specifics. Anyway, he suddenly had a problem with him when he never had before that. But in his Torch Talk around that time, he was burying Dusty on early career stuff he'd talked about plenty of times and had never framed even closed to that.

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26 minutes ago, Strummer said:

Dusty was at least contributing in summer 98 because Meng got another push again out of nowhere.

That's exactly what I was trying to remember, that damn Meng push !

15 minutes ago, C.S. said:

Imagine someone as creatively boring as Nash being so arrogant that he wouldn't want the help of one of the greatest bookers of all time

Well, Dusty's booking effectively helped kill JCP. His stint as a booker in TNA, post-Russo/pre-D'Amore, in 2004 was just awful. I know Dusty's popularity has risen a lot the last 10 years with NXT and his death, but the pendulum has swung way too far on the positive side to the point people have forgotten haw terrible Dusty's booking has been at times too. 

Of course, Nash's booking of WCW has been well documented. ;) 

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History can look back on the NWO and say a lot of positive things.  What they can’t say is that WCW was internally logically consistent.  The announcers would grasp at straws and throw jello at the wall, hoping something would stick and make sense.  It sounds like they had everything covered with the introduction.  After Hogan cshowed up and Schiavone sent him to hell very little about the NWO made sense.  

Bischoff was destroyed and came back to be management’s link to the NWO.  He had power, then didn’t, then there would be a power struggle, then he had power again and so on.  WCW was internally illogical from one segment to the next.  They were so frustrating because they WOULD do great touches like the sponsored NWO segments.

WCW would have count outs in no-dq matches.  They would be careful not to say any other stips just to drop in the unmentioned stip to decide the match.  

That was in like...1997?  

The Piper/Hogan feud was all about the unmentioned stipulations. How did he win twice without getting one of those in a title match...and he was the president or commissioner or whatever.

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WCW was famous for having loads of authority figures to the point it was never clear who was really in charge. Was it Nick Bockwinkel? Was it Roddy Piper? Bischoff? Some unseen WCW Board of Directors? Some totally random Turner suit brought out to make an announcement? What was the hierarchy? Did the President outrank the Commissioner? We'd never know for sure.

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57 minutes ago, Loss said:

Nash probably told that story when he was in TNA in 2005ish. At the time, he was having problems with the booking and was trying to rally everyone against Dusty, but I don't remember specifics. Anyway, he suddenly had a problem with him when he never had before that. But in his Torch Talk around that time, he was burying Dusty on early career stuff he'd talked about plenty of times and had never framed even closed to that.

This was quite awhile ago but IIRC Nash said Dusty went over his head (to Craig Leathers? I believe) to try and get on the booking team. Nash saw that as a political ploy to try to get his job so he told Dusty to quit it or there would be trouble.

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