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Timbo Slice

AEW Rampage (and The Buy In) - October 15 2021

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If you hate Dan Lambert's "angry pro wrestling grandpa" act... There's a pretty good chance that you yourself are an angry pro wrestling grandpa.

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1 minute ago, Matt D said:

Well, I thought the Soho vs Bunny match was pretty good?

Yep. My nitpick would be that they followed up a "skin of his teeth" match with a "skin of her teeth" match.

I think Bunny is wildly underrated in some places. She is so naturally hate-able. Excellent heel.

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3 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Well, I thought the Soho vs Bunny match was pretty good?

Agreed!  Bunny's been stepping it up this year.

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I still love the sing-alongs.

Excited to see how Dos Santos looks in there.

Hoping for Mark Coleman/Don Frye-level.competence

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You all know I am not a "my wrestlers should be able to beat up people for real" person, but Jericho getting punched by Junior dos Santos and not immediately crumbling like a pack of cards is too much for me to take. 

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Those boots made me think JDS was wearing flip flops for a moment there

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Just now, MoS said:

You all know I am not a "my wrestlers should be able to beat up people for real" person, but Jericho getting punched by Junior dos Santos and not immediately crumbling like a pack of cards is too much for me to take. 

I liked the bit where Jericho got his feet up out of the corner and surprised him with a PRO WRESTLING THING, but those dos Santos worked punches maybe need some more work?

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2 minutes ago, Matt D said:

I liked the bit where Jericho got his feet up out of the corner and surprised him with a PRO WRESTLING THING, but those dos Santos worked punches maybe need some more work?

He does his worked punches like he is so terrified he will accidentally hurt someone for real. He should just not do them at all, they look like shit.

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Credit to Sammy, he looked great here. And the crowd is extremely hot for this. I am glad Scorpio got a pin, albeit with a lot of help. 

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5 minutes ago, MoS said:

He does his worked punches like he is so terrified he will accidentally hurt someone for real. He should just not do them at all, they look like shit.

If you've spent your whole life training to hit people as hard as you can, I'd imagine it's probably difficult to flip the switch and do worked punches.

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Counting the buy-in, this was easily the best Rampage in weeks, maybe since the Punk debut. It's amazing what a difference a hot crowd makes. 

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2 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Van Zandt vs Soho (or Baker or.. Jade?) is going to be the biggest thing coming out of all of this, right?

She definitely feels at home in the pro wrestling world, far more so than Junior, even though it is also evident that JDS is a big fan. I imagine her vs Britt would generate some interest. They try hard to book Britt like a proper tweener, so she can be the babyface carrying wrestling's flag. She's an asshole, but she's our asshole.

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Of all the matches Bryan and Suzuki could have had, that was certainly one of them. Strike exchanges really don’t mean much in pro wrestling anymore; become as overwrought as anything going in the last decade, and yes, there were some wrinkles thrown in, but it really feels they left a lot on the table. It was a bit of a letdown. 

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What was the Sammy/Page spot that the camera missed before the Hager/Dos Santos table spot, I wonder?

Really fun two hours and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the main and how hot it all was. A big 10 man at Full Gear sounds like it could be a good time. God bless Bryan Danielson for one of the greatest sell jobs of a forearm I’ve ever seen

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Looking at the reaction on Twitter, I didn't know people loved stiff strike exchanges THIS much. They certainly gave fans what they came to see, but strike exchanges becoming this mythical in pro wrestling is certainly something. To me, such exchanges were born out of an inability of wrestlers to understand the layered, constantly building psychology and callbacks and progression of King's Road, only focusing on "HA, Misawa and Kawada are forearming and elbowing each other in the face again!!" But I realize this is a topic for another discussion and I sound like someone twice my age when I see it. We should really make a thread for moderrn wrestling tropes and what we think of them. 

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Posted in the wrong thread but..

By the way, I'm ultimately in agreement that the Danielson match worked because it was Suzuki and because it was character driven. If he came out and had a match just like this with another opponent tomorrow (even a similar one), I'd be nonplussed, but within the confines of the States at least, Suzuki is singular and unique and exceptional, and this is exactly the match he'd have with him. Thankfully, in this case it was about the wrestler driving the style and not the style driving the wrestler. As something singular and unique, it WAS exceptional. But now I'm ready for him to have a completely different match with Fish.

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I have seen people calling Danielson/Suzuki a MOTYC so it seems like the strike exchanges were successful.  I thought it was a really good match but was longer than it needed to be and I don’t really think we need to see it again.

As far as Punk as goes, the match with Sydal makes me think he’s “From Elvis In Memphis” era Elvis.  And that’s the best Elvis.

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6 hours ago, MoS said:

Looking at the reaction on Twitter, I didn't know people loved stiff strike exchanges THIS much. They certainly gave fans what they came to see, but strike exchanges becoming this mythical in pro wrestling is certainly something. To me, such exchanges were born out of an inability of wrestlers to understand the layered, constantly building psychology and callbacks and progression of King's Road, only focusing on "HA, Misawa and Kawada are forearming and elbowing each other in the face again!!" But I realize this is a topic for another discussion and I sound like someone twice my age when I see it. We should really make a thread for moderrn wrestling tropes and what we think of them. 

This is what i was getting at with my post re: loving 2010s NJPW.  The people who worship that style do so in large part BECAUSE of those strike exchanges.  Here's my quick & dirty interpretation of why:

Many fans in this era were into anime/manga before they discovered wrestling.  i don't watch anime or read manga myself, but in a lot of my friend circles i'm pretty much the only one who doesn't...so i've learned a fair amount through osmosis over the years.  And one thing i think is relevant here is how intelligence is valued vs. toughness in this sort of media.

Basically, in shonen (more or less "action") anime & manga, the protagonists tend to make Sting look like Bockwinkel in the brains department.  The common trope there is the protagonist's much smarter best friend forever being doomed to second-banana status.  These stories focus on the main character having heart, "guts" (Japan uses this as a sort of slang term for what we'd call "clutch" performance), and extreme resilience.

Combine this with the trend of wrestling fandom & wrestlers themselves getting nerdier over time, and you can see where i'm going with this.  That's absolutely been a thing in Japan too; Tanahashi's a huge geek for the Kamen Rider live-action superhero series and even got an acting role in one of the franchise's movies.

The strike exchanges of the modern era are quite reminiscent of what you tend to see in anime fight scenes, and they work in storytelling terms to highlight those qualities i mentioned above.  "Who's tougher"/"Who has MORE heart" are very important questions to resolve in shonen works, and this is how that's been adapted to wrestling.  So you have generations watching & reading this stuff as kids in Japan, then becoming wrestlers and (be it consciously or subconsciously) bringing some of that spirit into the squared circle.

The difference now compared to, say, the 80s is that anime/manga has become one of the biggest nerd fandoms throughout the English-speaking world as well.  So it's not *just* Japanese kids growing up on this stuff anymore, it's American adults getting into it as well...and i think that contributes a lot to those kinds of Twitter reactions you saw.  Like, my wrestling Discord hangouts (which have deep anime/gaming roots) were all blown away with Bryan/Suzuki and had some even calling it possibly the best AEW match ever.

Basically, the way many posters here value intelligence in their wrestling characters is very much out of vogue.  We expect wrestlers to be dumbass meatheads slapping meat nowadays.  And in a way i get where the modern sentiment comes from, even looking at it in the kayfabe sense - if you wanted to avoid taking damage, why the hell would you fight for a living in the first place?  You have to be a particular kind of fucked-up to get into this world at all...the kind of fucked-up that has you BEGGING Murder Grandpa to elbow you in the face.

welp that's my story hop u enjoyed~

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Thank you, that was an excellent post. It certainly helped me understand it from a different perspective. I don't know how much of modern NJPW striking exchanges are anime/manga inspired and how much is King's Road inspired, but at this point, it is irrelevant I think. I have seen so much love for the match, so many fans calling it their MOTY. It definitely has a very visceral appeal, and to be fair I did really like the first two of them. I thought they told a good story with Danielson being out of his element during the first exchange and getting plastered, and then finding the fighting spirit needed to survive the second exchange.

For me personally though, the mat exchanges were so fucking excellent, if they had cut down on a couple of those striking exchanges and instead focused on grinding each other to dust like they were doing, I would have enjoyed it so much more. The matwork was next level, there were so many little nuances they were adding, they would keep shifting and moving to new holds without ever losing the feeling of a genuine fight where they were trying to best and hurt each other. What we had was great but imo it was too little. I wanted more, damn it! 

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