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A thread of wrestling

elbows

WoeTimer
AEW Seemingly Purchases 'Wednesday Night War' Domains, Furthering Feud With WWE

Like a secret cheat code in a video game, AEW appears to have purchased domain names pertaining to the soon-to-be clichèd term "Wednesday Night War(s)."
Its so hard to predict how this will all pan out. I think its safe to say that WWE have run off so many fans this century that there are more than enough of them to build a huge new audience with. But how many of those people will actually watch AEW is a big unknown.

I was originally hoping that AEW would not keep acknowledging and poking at WWE or have this sort of war, but I think I was wrong about the situation. I was thinking of all the pathetic ways Impact used to do this, and how low-rent it made them seem at times. But it looks like a fair chunk of AEWs support comes from fans that are anti-WWE and want some aspects of AEW to reflect this. Plus, once AEW started getting ticket sales etc that made the TV industry interested in them, Vince was never going to leave them alone. He has always had a ruthless desire to destroy the competition, and he takes this threat seriously, unlike TNA which was such a minnow that a proper 'war' was not at all sustainable.

I suppose one eventuality is that all of WWEs issues, from crap product to too much product to too much micro-management by an increasingly old and out of touch and spread too thin Vince McMahon, declining ratings, network numbers decline, live attendance decline, unhappy wrestlers, getting into a war with hot new competition and Vinces attention being spread even thinner when his new american football league starts, eventually leads to doom. Doom for Vince if not for WWE itself (they have too much revenue from tv etc deals for the company to die within the lifetime of these multi-year deals), nothing lasts forever, not even Vince McMahon as master of his own empire.

I dont know if it will happen like that. There is always a chance WWE will find fresh success with something and change momentum. If they fail to do that, then the timing of all of this is certainly interesting, it could become a perfect storm. When I think of all the times they wasted my time as a viewer, by not sticking to the stories that are supposed to engage us, or not letting hot new stars be the wrestlers and stars they should be, I am certainly on the long list of people who think WWE deserve to have their ass handed to them. I've been after an alternative that ticks all the right boxes for me for almost 19 years now, when they dropped the Kurt-Steph-HHH love triangle angle in a manner that foreshadowed how they would be careless with storylines ever since.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Oh Schiavone is also in at least one of their All Out hype videos. I havent caught up with all of these yet, I will probably watch some of them in the coming days as we get closer to that show.

 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
My big worry with AEW is that it’s almost too much like WCW. Wrestlers booking the shows and having creative control over their characters is always a recipe for disaster and part of the reason why WWE is so micro managed to that end.

If however they can book engaging fueds with excellent matches and not too much “blood and gore” which I doubt TNT will go for anyway as like WWE they will have advertisers to please.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
My big worry with AEW is that it’s almost too much like WCW. Wrestlers booking the shows and having creative control over their characters is always a recipe for disaster and part of the reason why WWE is so micro managed to that end.
There are things that can go wrong with their wrestler-booker setup, but I wouldnt compare it to WCW. There have been successful bookers who were still active wrestlers plenty of times in the past. The situation with bullshit involving egotistical, insecure megastars with creative control clauses in their contracts was a problem, but that really isnt the same as letting wrestlers book. Rather its interfering with booking, refusing to do a job, and adding to the toxic atmosphere at that company. An atmosphere that drove off the wrestlers who got a good portion of their self-respect from giving a shit about the quality of the matches and their own work rate.

Some of the main potential pitfalls with booking can happen whether its an active wrestler doing the booking, a former wrestler, or someone who didnt have an in-ring career themselves. Burnout and repeating themselves are big ones, as well as learning the wrong lessons from specific successes and failures. Many bookers, including famous wrestler-bookers of their time, ended up with mixed records. They had boom periods where they were considered to be great, periods where putting themselves over as the top star was entirely in tune with what their audience wanted, and periods where everything was sliding rapidly towards doom, and where their positioning of themselves on the card was at odds with what the audience wanted. Dusty Rhodes was probably a good example of both the good and bad at different moments, and hopefully Cody learnt the right lessons in that regard.

As for why WWE is so micro-managed. Well, back in the Monday Night wars, a key difference between WWF and WCW was that it was very clear who was boss in WWF, and that alters the backstage dynamic a lot. But if we look at the periods where McMahon had his greatest successes, it often involved the right blend of what the company, bookers, agents etc wanted, and how the wrestler would take that and make it work with his character and promos. There may have been some scripting, but not the sort of bullshit corporate speak that they force many wrestlers these days to deliver in ways that just dont seem very human. Plus WWE in the last decade or so decided to indulge in further counter-productive corporate brain farts such as trying to convince their audience that their brand is the thing that matters, and to de-emphasise individual superstars. That really is part of their corporate philosophy these days, and it shows, and its bloody stupid. The business was always built on stars and particular feuds they got in that really put bums on seats. People can care about specific promotions too, but a lot of that represents a core base audience, and for success and boom periods you need a wider buzz with the public.

If however they can book engaging fueds with excellent matches and not too much “blood and gore” which I doubt TNT will go for anyway as like WWE they will have advertisers to please.
Blood and gore will likely be a special attraction type thing that they only do at pay-per-views. They will probably do that sort of thing a little more than I would like, but as long as they dont become a one trick pony I think that will be ok, and was very much a small but significant part of the traditional pro wrestling they seem to be trying to recreate with AEW.

I suppose my concerns are about whether any of their wacky stuff turns some people off - eg some of the stuff they did on pre-shows, which might not have been taking account of the fact they were making first impressions which might stick. And there is a big difference between writing, producing etc the shows they have done so far, and churning out hours of television every single week. I wonder about the size of their roster. I wonder about some of the moves WWE might try to pull. I think they've got a fair chance of being ok, and more than ok, certainly the best chance anyone has had in the last 20 years. I've no idea what to expect from their weekly TV, maybe I wont love it. I'm not exactly someone who has been religiously watching 'being the elite' for however long that show has been going.
 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
You could also argue social-media/Internet is also a big factor why WWE is the way it is now. Wrestlers are real people. Gone are the days for example where Bundy would have to hide under a cover in the back of a car to get out of an arena, or Sgt Slaughter's wife would have to have 24/7 guards around their home. Kayfabe is dead.

Egos and just blarting straight out on social media is a huge problem. Sasha Banks for example can go and pull her shit after dropping the tag titles at WrestleMania, which back before days of internet would have seen her buried and never return, let alone return straight to the top of the card, which seems to be way WWE do things these days and pisses me off. Want a push? You may as well purposely injure yourself so you're off for 3 months and then you'll pretty much instantaneously return to a mega push! :beardy:
 

elbows

WoeTimer
which back before days of internet would have seen her buried and never return, let alone return straight to the top of the card, which seems to be way WWE do things these days and pisses me off.
Never say never was always the safer bet with wrestling. People who seemed to burn bridges in a rather permanent way often returned given enough time.

Part of it is due to Vince - he is one of those crazy billionaire types who doesnt want people to challenge him, but at the same time the people who stand up to him and spar with him are more likely to win his respect.

For example, Bobby Heenan avoided publicly having a go at Vince. He didnt get his job back, while others who had been far less restrained in their years away from WWF did. Such are the joys of having to deal with the contradictions of billionaire bosses.

Personally in many scenarios I side with the wrestlers, and for every idiot that refused to do a job for shit reasons, there are people who did the right thing in standing up to nonsensical shit that harms their ability to get over. I also take this stance because of the way WWE have long classified their wrestlers as 'independent contractors' for all sorts of crappy reasons. So it serves them right when the talent actually acts like independent entities by refusing to have their value destroyed by Vinces crap whims. Also, in the past the top stars of WWE would have more say in terms of their character, storylines and the lines scripted for them, and this was often a good thing, not a bad thing.

I think I am only able to take this stance because the mindset of the current generations of wrestlers is quite different to the 1980s & 1990s wrestlers. The lifestyle is different, the attitude towards in ring workrate is different, the attitude towards the audience is different - its not just that kayfabe is gone, but also other carnival aspects such as treating the audience as stupid money marks who deserve to be exploited. I think WWE management actually has its own modified modern version of this, eg they dont give two shits about how often they false advertise a wrestler or match, and I think it costs them over time and is out of step with what a modern promotion can do in terms of its relationship with the fans.

WWE attitude towards the fans is another example of their shit corporate speak and how they have been trying to make everything about the brand and not superstar wrestlers. The WWE Universe. Just fuck off with that shit. I enjoy wrestling so much more when I dont have to digest such phrases. It will be so easy for AEW to come across as more authentic compared to this shit.

Anyway I see that WWE still has the silly attitudes towards leaks - apparently they didnt announce the NXT stuff on Raw last night because they were pissed off that news had leaked.
 
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elbows

WoeTimer
How was NXT UK? I only had time to watch AEW All Out, which I enjoyed.

I see that not only was Jericho the first WWF Undisputed champ, and the first AEW world champion, but has probably also set the record for the quickest theft of a new belt!

Chris Jericho reports wrestling title belt stolen

I would be more suspicious that this story was a work if it were not for local police confirming the story. I still retain a little suspicion. Either way I believe he has already cut a promo, which I havent seen yet, so they will make the most of the publicity.
 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
Apparently it’s been returned.

NXT UK was very enjoyable as well. Majority of the matches were very good. Main event perhaps went on a little too long and started to lose interest as the false finishes continued. perhaps my only gripe.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Yeah, the guy that found it reckons they probably left it on top of the boot by accident and it fell off at some stage.

Meanwhile it sounds like Bischoff has had more power to fuck everything up on Smackdown than he should have been given. I have little idea what the weekly AEW show will actually be like, but it should at least be refreshing to have a show that lacks writers scripting everything.

Details about that and a big writer reshuffle here:

Inside WWE's 'SmackDown' and 'Raw' Creative Team Shakeup (Exclusive)

The “SmackDown” moves also come amid growing questions about Bischoff’s leadership of the show. The insider cited Bischoff’s decision to hire Stevie Long, a former “Sons of Anarchy” writer who was found asleep in the writers room by longtime producer Michael P.S. Hayes on his first day on the road with WWE. (Long is still with WWE.)

Bischoff declined to comment; Long’s manager was unable to provide a comment from his client by the time of publication.

Bischoff and his “SmackDown” creative team have also come under scrutiny for this summer’s Erick Rowan doppelgänger storyline, in which an unknown attacker drop heavy backstage scaffolding on top of Roman Reigns, “injuring” the company’s No. 1 star.

According to the WWE insider, the storyline was “botched so bad” that “explaining to anyone what it was supposed to be wouldn’t make any sense at all.”
I suppose I will make myself watch at least one Smackdown when it moves US station & reboots, and at least a few NXTs when that gets US TV and goes head-to-head with AEW. There will have to be drastic WWE changes for me to stick with any of their shows for more than a few weeks at a time these days, even when the Wednesday night wars begin.
 

Nine Bob Note

The Brexit King You Deserve
Nearly 1.2m views for the first USA NXT show, surpassing almost all predictions. How many stick with it next week will be very telling (not worrying too much about AEW - it's 2019, people can easily watch both if they think it's worth doing so). Over half the RAW/SD audience on a fraction of the budget and without 25 years of hype/Vinnie Mac/Bucky Beaver/Michael Cole/The Authority etc... Hopefully the old man will just leave Tripers to get on with it and not view it as a Talking Smack moment.

Not happy that I now have to wait until Friday to watch due to network restrictions (not shown live or at all on UK tele of course) - not realising this, I clicked to watch on Thursday and was immediately presented with Roddy Strong avec NA title belt from the second half of the show :mad:

Wasn't impressed at all by the women's fourway spotfest - why not give us two matches this evo, with a match between the two winners next week and just cut out that Aliyah garbage? Great NA title match between Strong and Dream. AWESOME strikefest between Dunne and Ruas. I LOVE Oney Lorcan, but I don't want him as a fucking cruiserweight - he has potential to be a huge star. Fell asleep and missed the streetfight - reports suggest I didn't miss much.

I'd say that Dream should've only lost the NA title if he was about to win the big one, but fuck it, give it to Peter Doone.

Never watched NXTUK so I have no idea what's going on, but I already know most of the Imperium and approve!

One thing that's really niggling me - there is no NXT UK Championship, it's the WWE UK Championship, far more prestigious than the WWE US championship in my view. Dunne's reign (having overtaken Asuka) AFAIK was the longest title run since the late 80s, and that one was only because they forgot they were still employing Rockin' Robin.
 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
NXT UK is ok and they’ve been building some good stories. BUT. where that all goes now who knows as Dunn, ripley and now imperium have all shown up on the main NXT show over the last few weeks.

There’s still too many squash matches and pointless matches on NXT UK but I guess it’s difficult to build storylines when things are taped weeks I’m advamce and by the time you get to next taping some of those people are not cleared to wrestle and they end up off tv for 6 weeks with no explanation.

I’m surprised with main WWE going to BT Sport over here from Jan and AEW on ITV they haven’t tried to get NXT UK on one of the free to air channels to be honest.
 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
Ok so I clearly or ITV and AEW didn’t make clear what their UK TV show plans are or for how long the ITV deal was for as by the sounds of this article, AEW Dynamite doesn’t yet have a home in the UK.

They way they talked before about the ITV deal and saying things like ‘our deal puts us in millions of more homes in the UK than their new deal does’ made me assume ITV was already on board for the weekly tv show. Now either I read into that wrong, or something sour has gone down inbetween.

The Young Bucks Comment On AEW TV Deal In The UK - Wrestling Inc.
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
Interesting...

No, I think most of us were under the impression it was going to air live on ITV4. In fact, I'm sure I read recently on something vaguely ITV-official where they said "we'll air it live, and then again at a more UK-friendly time".

Had been mildly aware there were still not definitive plans, though.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
I became aware recently that there was still no ITV details. There are now. Its shit (Sunday mornings) and a bit confusing in terms of how it will change in the future (since PPVs are Saturday nights and they said we'll see the tv show before the PPV). And it seems that their 'live international' plans currently involve us having to pay $2.99 an episode or $4.99/month for AEW Plus. (Via fite tv).

I consider this to be the first big disappointment and misstep of AEW.
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
08:20 on Sunday mornings?! Jeeeesus :facepalm:

I wonder where the sticking point is. Maybe Fite didn't want to give up live rights? Or offered a better deal for live rights than ITV?

Also, great work by Forbes on the opening line of their article:
British and Welsh wrestling fans found themselves a bit disappointed on Wednesday evening local time.
:facepalm:
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
Hadn't occurred to me, but just read the point on Twitter that 08:20 on a Sunday may also lead to edits as it's waaaaaaaaaay before the watershed.

Either there was some weird disagreement somewhere, or they want to push people to pay on the Fite app to watch live.
 

cybershot

Well-Known Member
Hadn't occurred to me, but just read the point on Twitter that 08:20 on a Sunday may also lead to edits as it's waaaaaaaaaay before the watershed.

Either there was some weird disagreement somewhere, or they want to push people to pay on the Fite app to watch live.
Yeah it's gonna be bad, Cody confirmed on Twitter it's going to be a TV-14 show, so it's going to be cut to shreds with pans to the crowd when there are chair shots etc.

This is a big error on their part, it won't bother me too much as I'll torrent the main show after it's aired to watch on the train in the morning, but for those who dont have access or don't want to use illegal methods, this is really bad for UK fans, especially after blowing their trumpet about how important the UK was to them. Because it really doesn't seem like we are afterall.

ETA: according to this the Sunday morning show will be the full two hours (no doubt cut to shreads)

AEW And ITV Announce Details On Dynamite & PPV Viewing For The UK, Tony Khan Comments - Wrestling Inc.
 
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cybershot

Well-Known Member
In other UK related news, NXT UK is moving to Thursdays, I guess due to influx of Wednesday wrestling now. Should have moved it to Tuesday imo ahead of the rush to keep up to date with the night before.
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
Yeah it's gonna be bad, Cody confirmed on Twitter it's going to be a TV-14 show, so it's going to be cut to shreds with pans to the crowd when there are chair shots etc.

This is a big error on their part, it won't bother me too much as I'll torrent the main show after it's aired to watch on the train in the morning, but for those who dont have access or don't want to use illegal methods, this is really bad for UK fans, especially after blowing their trumpet about how important the UK was to them. Because it really doesn't seem like we are afterall.

ETA: according to this the Sunday morning show will be the full two hours (no doubt cut to shreads)

AEW And ITV Announce Details On Dynamite & PPV Viewing For The UK, Tony Khan Comments - Wrestling Inc.
I think had they not said "ITV4" before this, then announcing that "live it'll be on Fite and then repeated on ITV4" would have gone down ok.

WWE has been on Sky and now BT, both of which are paid services, and you've also got the WWE Network and all the On Demand streaming services for other promotions, so it's not like wrestling fans aren't used to paying for access. But, we've had months of "it's going to be on ITV4", a free service, so now this feels like a climb-down/something's been taken away.

So, yeah, badly played...
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Its hard to know quite how much it will be cut, because I think a bunch of stuff that we are used to on their PPVs are not planned for the weekly telly anyway.

However, I think they did make a thing of how their tv would not be PG like WWE, so I assume there will still some stuff on ITVs cutting room floor.

To be honest I hate ITV and adverts anyway, so it wont bother me personally too much, but its a big shame in terms of the broader UK popularity. Might all change within weeks anyway though.

I dont really imagine staying up every week to watch it live, but I suspect I will do that for at least the first episode, via fite tv.

I didnt watch the 'new' NXT but the first one sounded good. I've never watched NXT UK either, but I shoul since I want to see some Walter matches, having heard about him for several years.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Turns out it was a problem between TNT (AEW USA TV partner) and ITV - TNT are doing 16 minutes of adverts per hour and ITV are only allowed 12 minutes of adverts per hour (terrestrial broadcast regulations), and they couldnt come to an arrangement. So that fucked the live showing, and they need time to edit content into the UK show to fill the gaps so I guess thats what killed the Friday evening showing too.

Before this snag, it was supposed to be live on ITV4 and also on that channel on a Friday night, as well as the Sunday replay.

There is supposed to be a 1 hour edited version shown on the main ITV channel quite late on Monday nights, which may yet help with the casual UK audience.
 

Lord Camomile

Lemonade socialist
4 minutes?? Just run a bloody 4 minute short! You could make a whole thing of it, reach out to 'content creators' to fill the time. Like E4 do with their stings.

Bloody hell...
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Well, 4 minutes per hour so 8 minutes. And its more complicated when its a live show.

Maybe there were other things that went wrong too, between ITV and TNT, I dont know, its the bloody tv business and since it is TNTs show in many ways they get to call plenty of the shots.

Anyway I am looking forward to this new era, even though I expect AEW to be a mixed bag in some ways, not free from things to criticise. And there is way too much wrestling and hours of tv per week overall, its hard to even keep up with all the reports into great matches, let alone watch them all. And since I finally totally stopped watching all WWE stuff I find sticking to that more compelling than the idea of going back, even for NXT. Probably I will feel compelled to watch the first NXT that goes against AEW, and the first Smackdown once it reboots on Fox.
 

elbows

WoeTimer
I dont think I am familar with Vic Joseph yet, as 205 Live came along when I had already had just about enough of WWE.

Since it is a special week coming up, maybe I will try to watch a bit of everything. Way too many hours of shows to watch it all though, maybe I will skim Raw and Smackdown, watch AEW and NXT in full.
 

Nine Bob Note

The Brexit King You Deserve
Supposedly, Jerry Lawler is just filling in on Raw until Mickie James takes over. Vic Joseph is perfectly fine, but I'm sad to lose Tom Phillips. He and Corey Graves on NXT were IMO the best announce team since Gorilla and Heenan or Gorilla and Jesse.

Saying that, I used to like Rich Brennan, and they fired him, so what do I know?
 

elbows

WoeTimer
Not sure if I picked up that phrase from him or elsewhere. I know I got 'stick a fork in him, he's done' and 'mountain of misinformation' from Gorilla Monsoon.

I watched about half of Raw. I dont think I could review it fairly based on that, since I am so out of touch with the product. I can tell that the Heyman era Raw is better than the shit level it had sunk to when I stopped watching, but thats not enough to get me to watch it again on a regular basis. The new set is cool in some ways, pyro etc is back, announce team are not so annoying but still has that WWE over-produced feel to it.

I've spent my $4.99 for a months worth of AEW dynamite on fite.tv. Watched a bit of some rambling fite.tv live hype show thats currently on, just to make sure the fite.tv app was working ok with my smart tv box. Only thing of note is that Tony Schiavone has dyed his facial hair several shades too dark to be convincing.
 
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