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AEW Dynamite - February 2, 2022

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It's another testament to Bret's greatness that just about everyone else who attempts the ringpost figure-four seems to fuck it up somehow. In MJF's case, he went astray by wrapping the wrong leg around the post. It'll likely take decades to undo the damage Ric Flair did to wrestling by making people think the figure-four primarily targets the bent leg.

As for Dave's star ratings, recall that he gave ****1/2 to the Taker/Foley HIAC match and the Omega/Moxley lights out match even though he actively hated both matches. On the flip side, he said he personally loved Omega/Yano but gave it one star because he thought a pure comedy match had no place in the G1. On the topic of star ratings in general, Roger Ebert said it best: I cringe when people say, "How could you give that movie four stars?" I reply, "What in my review did you disagree with?" Invariably, they're stuck for an answer. One thing I try to do is provide an accurate account of what you will see, and how I feel about it. I cannot speak for you. Any worthwhile review is subjective. If we completely disagree, my words might nevertheless be useful or provocative. If you disagree with what I write, be my guest. If you disagree with how many stars I gave it, you can mail your opinion to where the sun don't shine.

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19 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

It's another testament to Bret's greatness that just about everyone else who attempts the ringpost figure-four seems to fuck it up somehow. In MJF's case, he went astray by wrapping the wrong leg around the post. It'll likely take decades to undo the damage Ric Flair did to wrestling by making people think the figure-four primarily targets the bent leg.

Serena Deeb's the other week was ok. But yeah, usually looks like shit except for Bret's.

Flair's figure four hold on the wrong leg always triggered me once I figured the pressure was actually on the straight knee.:lol: Which made the selling ever more bizarre when you think about it. Yet, it was acknowledged as both great psychology and great selling (usually, when the opponent was a Steamboat or Savage). In the end, the point was "twisting someone's leg" + "hobbling" = pain somewhere = ok whatever people are buying it, therefore it must work, where is Gorilla to give a pseudo-anatomical explanation ? Another sign that pro-wrestling is about, well, signs, and that's it.

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As soon as I found out that the pressure is on the straight leg, I always have to go "wait, which leg has been worked over?" and more often than not it seems to be the wrong one.

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Jeff Jarrett had figured it out. At some point he would not even bother to work the leg before applying the hold. And really now, if a hold hurts that much in itself, why bother ? :lol: 

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I suppose this can double as the Rampage thread but the finishing spot in Starks vs Lethal was smooth as butter. Starks has fantastic presence, he feels like a forgotten worker when people are mentioning AEWs future top talent. Are we thinking that QTs “top student” is just going to be him in a mask or is that too soon after the FTR dressed as Luchadors angle?

As for Dynamite, I think that Brandi/Lambert segment may well be an AEW low point but another one was surely Kip Sabian sitting at ringside with that stupid fucking bag on his head. I thought Miro had killed him off

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12 minutes ago, Stiva said:

I suppose this can double as the Rampage thread but the finishing spot in Starks vs Lethal was smooth as butter.

Yeah, that spot was crazy good. Watched it three times in a row. Unbelievable execution by both.

Loving how the plots thickens in the women's division between Martinez, Thunder Rosa (best use of a DQ to further the feud, glad it's just the beginning), Hayter and Britt. The usual spot backstage with Hirsch attacking Statlander from behind during an interview segment cracked me up though. It's almost a running joke by now. Hirsch fits as a heel though, in a Taz way.

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6 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

It's another testament to Bret's greatness that just about everyone else who attempts the ringpost figure-four seems to fuck it up somehow. In MJF's case, he went astray by wrapping the wrong leg around the post. It'll likely take decades to undo the damage Ric Flair did to wrestling by making people think the figure-four primarily targets the bent leg.

What does this say about Terry Funk spinning toe hold? 

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The only real problem I see with Ricky Starks is that he doesn't get nearly enough to do. He needs a program he can sink his teeth into. That's true for a lot of AEW talent, but I think it's probably more true for him than it is many others.

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6 minutes ago, Loss said:

The only real problem I see with Ricky Starks is that he doesn't get nearly enough to do. He needs a program he can sink his teeth into. That's true for a lot of AEW talent, but I think it's probably more true for him than it is many others.

I'm not saying he should constantly be making it about him, but he should be using the Rampage commentary slot to set up potential programs with everyone in a "make fun of Bossman's mother" sort of way. Just planting seeds that could pay off.

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10 hours ago, Loss said:

He needs a program he can sink his teeth into. That's true for a lot of AEW talent, but I think it's probably more true for him than it is many others.

Agreed. The reality is that they have way too much really talented people that do, plus they are doing a concerted effort to build for the future and they also listens to their crowds, meaning that something that is gonna get over is gonna get some time. Since they don't do ridiculous 50/50 booking, you also need to short-time build some feuds like the Gunn vs Jurassik Xpress to give the tag champs some wins and momentum outside of bigger matches. And then you got the women division, which surely needs some work (both in term of booking and talents that are being pushed) but is also growing in interesting ways. But you also don't want to put out too many hours of content to not burn out your audience (I mean, there's surely some cool stuff on both Dark, but like I said I just don't have the time/will to watch it if I want to watch other pro-wrestling too, which of course is an outside issue). So in the end, it's tricky, even more so when they keep bringing people in. All of this to say that yeah, Starks feels like someone that could get to the four pillars level (Jungle Boy's at least, MJF seems far advanced by now) pretty quickly if given the same attention.

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Starks, Hobbs and HOOK vs Sydal, Dante Martin and Lethal could be a fun 6-man to throw on the Revolution undercard. At the very least, it would get HOOK a featured PPV win

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I'm a Starks fan, but I'm not generally in favor of active wrestlers on commentary. In fact, I don't think I can think of a single guy who it worked well for (at least not in a major company?).  

Even Lawler suffered from it in the mid-90s. I've written about it elsewhere, but as a 10-11 year old when Lawler showed up in WWE, and not being aware of his credentials as a top guy, it seemed like he was just an old, chubby, annoying jerk who was keeping Bret Hart from regaining the WWE Championship. He never seemed like a real threat to Bret in a wrestling-sense, which is why he also constantly had other guys doing his bidding (Doink and Isaac Yankem). Lawler was a commentator/manager/wrestler in that order, a guy whose matches were comedy segments in my eyes (now, on re-watch, having learned and seen who Lawler was, I see things differently).

Starks has been on commentary so much that it feels similar: a commentator first and a wrestler second. On one hand, Starks has proven to be a fine commentator (though I wouldn't say he's great), but that has come at the cost of making him feel special when he wrestles (at least to me).

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Starks is an interesting one because he really had to work for his push and even then he's had those neck problems that's really hurt his development as a character. The match with Jay Lethal was a step in the right direction, although it would have been better if Lethal had have been established more on the roster before Starks beat him on the show only half the audience actually watches.

What they should do is develop Team Taz and add more members to the stable. I don't think it's a great look to have top talent constantly turn them down, let's make them one of the stronger factions and something wrestlers actually want to be a part of. See, I think a guy like O'Reilly would be a good fit here,  or a Jeff Cobb if they can strengthen those NJPW affiliations. I'd try to avoid having Starks work goofy guys since he's pretty goofy himself and pair him up with more serious workers like PAC and even revisit the Darby feud since they're natural opponents and it feels like they could do more with that gimmick.

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