My opinion of half the roster doesn't take away from the other half being pretty nice. It's a fine roster, not a great one.
And I couldn't have known how things would be booked. Sammy Guevara vs. Kip Sabian is a decent 12 minute match. Doesn't mean I want to see Sabian go 19 minutes with the guy who next month wrestles the main event for the AEW Championship.
There's looking strong in defeat, and then there's the casual viewer thinking "wow, this guy is wrestling Jericho for the title and he almost gets a draw against this dude?" It's trying to make guys look equal who shouldn't be. Which just makes me believe that, with their relatively small roster (and I mean number wise not size), that they're going to fall into the trap of 50/50 booking once they get on TV.
Let the really small guys wrestle each other, not time limit draws with your main event talent. Guys like Darby, Havoc, Jungle Boy, Sabian, etc make Tony Nese and Drew Gulak look like Bret Hart.
I don't think it's a case of 50/50 booking I think AEW is doing something that I always thought Heyman did well and present talent on equal footing. I get there will always be a pecking order/ranking but if the perception is wrestler C can never beat wrestler A or B; then why ever book them together. Once you go down that road you severely limit your booking options. Hangman can only have competitive matches with Omega, Moxley, Jericho, Cody, Dustin, MJF, Shawn Spears and Luchasaurus.
Instead if you book them on equal footing and focus on having competitive matches then you have more options. While you may not fancy Darby Allin or the fact that he went to a draw with Cody; there is no denying the pop he got with the crowd Saturday. The guy will be a star for sure if handled properly.
Overall after 1 PPV and 2 "Clash of the Champions" style cards I've liked what I've seen for the most part.
Really high on their tag division in particular. I can see that tournament on TNT this Fall being some of the best wrestling on television. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus on paper is so random but man does that team work. I was skeptical about the Dark Order haven't not seen their Chikara work and them primarily being a comedy act pre-AEW but they really won me over Saturday.
MJF is money. He's like Miz at his heel peak but with the benefit of being 10 years younger. With Cody really being the "storyteller" on the roster with his matches I see a great story when MJF full blown turns on Cody.
Women's roster is developing, some rough patches but I like what Baker has been doing (even if she gets her Japanese women mixed up and tags her opponent lol)and I think bringing in so many of the women from Japan will help.
They do have some presentation issues I'd like them work out over time, and they have to give their announcers better prep sheets. The fact they multiple times the announcers seemed lost as to what the next segment is just can't happen.
Now it's also important to understand what it is I want/expect from AEW. Nobody is beating WWE, they are a multi billion Global juggernaut and that's a far cry from a new company that is owned by a billionaire. Main thing I want though is a good wrestling product and for the most part AEW does that. I like the fact that they offer a variety of ice cream flavors even if I don't like each one. The other main thing is I want it to make WWE strive to step up their game.
At the end of the day I think this past weekend showed it's probably one of the best times to be a wrestling fan in terms of the sheer variety being offered without having to resort to tape trading or ordering DVDs well after the fact.
I never said they shouldn't have competitive matches. I didn't want to see a squash.
My problem with it is the matches went overly long for what they needed to be. It made the whole event longer than it should've been, and the crowd lost interest throughout the night (and you can't blame them, it was hot and for the most part the action wasn't anything they hadn't seen).
Black/Cesaro was a competitive match. It was less than 10 minutes long, but it was a really strong match. Joe/Kofi also a really good match, less than 10 minutes.
Added time doesn't make a match better, it can be drag. Omega/Bucks are firmly in the "longer is better" camp, and it's not. I mean, they gave Allie/Brandi 11 minutes for crying out loud and that was the shortest of the night. It's straight out of the WWE approach of events running way longer than they need. WWE does it because they have more matches than they should have (12+).
It's why, for me, nothing holds a candle to NXT. The program is a tight hour, and the TakeOver's are laser focused.
I can't buy Darby Allin being a star, I just can't take him seriously.
Oh I definitely agree that a longer match doesn't mean better by default and the jury is still out. The last two shows were basically house shows in my mind in the sense that generally speaking matches get more time on those types of shows. I think Saturday the length of the show wasn't as much of a problem as the heat was. Was listening to Busted Open on the way to work this morning and a couple fans mentioned that it was about 100 degrees in the venue. That type of heat is going to wear you down even had the show been more compact.
Side note that I forgot to mention: Someone needs to be smacked for trying to pass that stuff on Jericho's hands as Page's blood during his promo.
Heading into All Out I think they've built a fun card on paper and I am looking forward to All Out more than Double or Nothing (not that I wasn't in to DoN)
So I saw some of the chat box following All Out but wanted to give my thoughts on AEW at this moment in random bullet points.
-Are improvements still needed? Absolutely, but to be fair I don't think any wrestling company this young in it's career was producing a perfect product. I think we can all agree that NXT is the best thing in terms of consistency the WWE has going for it right now but let's not pretend that NXT delivered the same quality product right out the gate. So I'd say the jury is still out BUT what I do like is the fact that little things are improved upon each show IMO.
-Commentating has been improved upon but still needs some work. Alex Marvez for whatever reason just didn't click in that initial booth and that change of swapping him out was an immediate upgrade. However the elephant in the room is still Jim Ross. Jim still has a great mind for the business and can certainly be an asset for AEW but realistically him full time in the booth I just don't think is going to work. He gets talent and knows what he takes to connect with a large scale audience but his commentating is all over the place. Also I like Excalibur but let's be honest, your average person tunes in to AEW and sees a commentator in a mask and that just screams "B Level." Sorry but it's true. I know he seems content backstage but Tony Schiavone really needs to be calling the action. In a perfect world (it'll never happen) honestly I'd like to see Punk round out the 3 man booth with Tony and GoldenBoy. I know everyone wants to see Punk wrestle but if the man is content retired let him stay that way. I think he's a fun commentator though and as a Bobby Heenan type third man I think he could round out a great announce team
-I think with All Out they probably did their best job overall in terms of card placement. They'd been guilty in the past of overloading the back end but this time the card was more evenly spaced. However the next thing they REALLY need to address with talent is movesets. You can't have every match featuring suicide dives and you can't have every roster member doing variations of the cutter/RKO. For instance it's silly that Private Party uses a version of the cutter as a finisher but then half the roster does it as a throw away move. Would be like if while Jake Roberts was taking people out with the DDT, half the roster opened a match with one. In short, don't undersell the importance of the finishing move of other talent on the roster. You could hear Ross sounding frustrated about this on commentating and this is the type of value he adds, he gets the nuances and younger guys should listen.
-Another random elephant in the room.....let's be honest. Nala Rose isn't a good wrestler. People are mad about her getting shit saying "it's only because she's trans". No that isn't it at all. The reality is wrestling is scripted and while some of the bumps are very real it simply isn't the same as a man and a women having a legit fight against each other or engaging in a similar sports competition. Thus the idea that she's trans is irrelevant. In fact had that spot been given to a more talented star then their wouldn't be nearly as much fuss. However, Nyla simply isn't very good and the feeling is she only is in the spot she's in because "hurray, diversity:" not because she's a deserving talent. Thus the backlash. Never once has it been "screw Nyla Rose, she's trans". No, tt's irrelevant. It's more "screw Nyla Rose, she sucks."
-One of my favorite things about AEW is variety. Not everything is going to be a hit with everyone but AEW tries to present something that everyone will enjoy. For example Riot HATES what Havoc, Janella, and Allin bring to the table. I disagree but I 100% get it. Would I want a whole card structured after those guys and "hardcore" wrestling? Absolutely not. I do however see the place on the card and understand that there is a difference between putting on a great wrestling match and entertainment. It's like this, not everybody is a horror movie fan. That doesn't mean horror movies are pointless as plenty of people enjoy them. That said if you were making a list of the best films of all time, not a lot of horror movies are topping that list. Point being, just because it isn't for you doesn't mean it has zero value. Fun fact, wife and daughter are the epitome of casual wrestling fans and LOVED Havoc, Janella, and Allin's match. Same logic with Bucks/Lucha Bros. I'll admit my first exposure to the Bucks in TNA I HATED them. For the first time I understood the term "spot monkey" and didn't get their appeal. Over time I warmed up to them and seeing them wrestling various styles I saw their talent. That said not every match they do is going to be a wrestling clinic BUT see thoughts above in terms of where they fit. On the flip side you have a talent like Cody telling a compelling story every time out
-Wins matter. Holy crap was it cool seeing a breakdown of a wrestler's record on screen. Hopefully it lasts as it truly gives it the "sports" feel in "sports entertainment"
Bottom line like I said before. Let's have realistic expectations here: this is a very new company. One that if you even think will complete with WWE in the near future are crazy. That doesn't mean you have to choose a side though. It's far from a perfect product but as of now it's at least a product that seemingly cleans up a little bit more each show and IMO hasn't failed to entertain. All I ask is that you don't dismiss them simply because they aren't "a WWE killer" as that is simply unrealistic. Enjoy the fact that in 2019 it's probably the best time ever to be a wrestling fan in terms of sheer amount of choices and give them the chance to continue to grow.
I'm done complaining about the hardcore garbage. If I'm watching AEW and they're on, I'll just change the channel or if it's a PPV I'll do something else with my time and mute the TV. Complaining just means I have a problem with it, and I'm trying to live by the philosophy of if you have a problem either solve it or get over it. Obviously, no control over what AEW does or who they hire, so I'll just get over it.
That goes for everything else too; no more complaining about the crucible or the weapons people use.
Still disappointed that Hikaru Shida didn't win; really wanted her to be the first women's champion. But to be fair, that's more because I think she's hot than anything else.
This isn't about Nyla Rose or trans wrestlers but the idea that floats around a lot now on the net about male vs female matches, but I'd probably stop watching WWE or AEW if they started doing inter-gender matches regularly. I get that it's not a legit competition, and it's scripted, but I'm not a fan of having it shoved in my face that it is. You put Becky Lynch in the ring with Drew McIntyre, and have it be either competitive or Becky win, and I'm never taking Drew seriously again. It's what killed Impact for me when they were turning things around. Tessa Blanchard isn't even that good, and yet it seems she's poised to be the World Champion at some point.
One of the world’s most popular wrestlers is no longer with the world’s most famous wrestling league.
The reason? He wants to spend more time wrestling.
Chris Jericho said he feels World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., where he spent decades honing his craft, has become too scripted for its own good. He is now with an upstart rival, All Elite Wrestling, which pledges to make professional wrestling look more authentic by giving its fighters more input.
“Having full control as an artist to be creative and call my own shots is refreshing,” Mr. Jericho said.
A flurry of WWE alumni will compete in the new league’s first televised event on Wednesday, which will go head-to-head with a WWE show on another channel. The matchup pits a traditional, flamboyant showman against a newcomer with a risky approach: Drop the scripts and elaborate choreography.
Wrestler Cody Rhodes, who is also AEW’s executive vice president, said the new league would be nothing like the WWE. “The only thing that is similar is the fact that there is a ring in the center of the arena,” he said.
A few other similarities: AEW wrestlers won’t really be trying to beat each other up. The outcome of matches will be decided beforehand. All wrestlers will be divided into good ones (known as “babyfaces”) and villainous ones (“heels”).
Jimmy Jacobs, a former WWE writer, said it remains to be seen whether unscripted wrestling events can be sustainable.
“A two-hour show every week with no writers—it’s not that easy to do,” Mr. Jacobs said. “You start burning through those matches real quick.”
While at WWE, Mr. Jericho, the wrestler joining the new league, spent significant amounts of time in the ring doing things other than fighting, including carrying a giant notepad on which he compiled an ever-growing list of people he considered to be “stupid idiots.” Many people in his immediate vicinity made the list.
Another time, in a “festival of friendship” that started with fireworks and women in skimpy costumes, he showed that another wrestler was his best friend by unveiling a painting of the two of them patterned on Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam.”
Every facet of the WWE has long been shaped by Chief Executive Vince McMahon. On top of running the publicly traded WWE, Mr. McMahon over the years has served as commentator, promoter and wrestler.
He played a character who got into pretend feuds with other fighters, plus one in 2007 with Donald Trump that ended with the future president tackling and pummeling Mr. McMahon and forcibly shaving his head. In 2007, Mr. McMahon’s character was killed off when a limo he stepped into exploded. He came back to life shortly afterward.
The gimmicks helped establish the league as pro wrestling’s gold standard and turn the company into a juggernaut. In 2018, it had revenue of more than $900 million, and its market value is $5.6 billion.
Some WWE stars have used the platform as a springboard into mainstream entertainment. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a huge television and movie star and John Cena has also shown crossover appeal.
Still, “the story lines can ruin a wrestling match,” said one viewer, 18-year-old Cody Conlin. He is looking forward to the AEW.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts, a WWE hall-of-famer, said the antics have slowly squeezed wrestling out of WWE events: “You watch a three-hour show with the WWE, and you get about 35 minutes of wrestling.”
Mr. Roberts recalled a 1990 match against Bad News Brown and his supposed sewer rat. “Of course, when they unveiled it, what was it? It was a possum spray-painted black,” Mr. Roberts said. “Everybody from the Mason-Dixon Line down knew exactly what the hell it was.”
While ratings for the WWE’s shows “Raw” and “Smackdown” have declined in recent years, like much TV content, they are still in high demand and getting top dollar. Last year, the WWE signed new five-year deals with Comcast Corp. ’s USA Network and Fox Corp.’s Fox network that more than tripled its fees to $468 million annually. Fox Corp. and Wall Street Journal parent News Corp share common ownership.
Story lines are a key selling point, said Billy Corgan, frontman of the rock band Smashing Pumpkins and owner of yet another wrestling league, the National Wrestling Alliance. “It will work for a particular audience, but when you’re looking at the mainstream American audience, that’s a tough sell,” Mr. Corgan said.
A year ago, a group of wrestlers led by Mr. Rhodes, now of the AEW, put together an event near Chicago with no writers and mostly just wrestling. It sold out in half an hour and drew more than 11,000 people.
That caught the attention of Tony Khan, son of Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team owner Shahid Khan. Tony Khan and some of the wrestlers went on to create the AEW and strike a TV deal with AT&T Inc. ’s WarnerMedia, whose TNT network will air the first televised AEW event Oct. 2. WarnerMedia has a stake in the AEW.
Fighting back, the WWE took a show from its streaming network called “NXT” to the USA Network to go head-to-head with the AEW.
Mr. McMahon took some veiled shots at the AEW during a recent earnings call, saying the WWE was done doing “blood and guts and things of that nature, such as being done on perhaps a new potential competitor.” The WWE didn’t make him available for an interview.
Kevin Reilly, the WarnerMedia executive in charge of TNT, isn’t worried about a little roughhousing.
“I think there is a way to offer a more authentic grittier product,” Mr. Reilly said. There is a younger generation hungry for an alternative to the WWE, he said, and it is important for the AEW to “really come out swinging.”
Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of the WWE and the daughter of its chief executive, said the WWE has more pop-culture appeal. “Longevity and staying power is in our DNA,” she said.
“We’re going to do everything we can to keep our audience,” she added.
Wearing an AEW T-shirt to a WWE event is a no-no, as one attendee found out earlier this year when security made him remove it, an incident adding fuel to the growing rivalry.
The WWE rose to prominence in the 1980s as the WWF—the “F” standing for “federation”—but changed its name in 2002 after a legal battle with the World Wildlife Fund. For a long time, no story line or stunt was too out-there for the WWE. Mr. McMahon once “roughed up” his daughter in the ring. Another time, wrestler Martin Wright, known as The Boogeyman, ate a fake mole off fellow wrestler Jillian Hall’s face.
Jake the Snake, Mr. Roberts’s character, often carried a Burmese python named Damien into the ring, a stunt that made him popular with fans but required some acting skills.
“I’m terrified of snakes,” Mr. Roberts said. “I shake and shiver when I see a snake. But yet when that bell rang, and I put on that cloak, I’m out there, man. I’m doing it.”
Mr. Jericho, the notepad-toting wrestler and “festival of friendship” showman, thinks a league should just let wrestlers be who they are.
The action in an AEW tag-team match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in May. PHOTO: RICKY HAVLIK/ALL ELITE WRESTLING “Who knows better how to bring that character to life that’s based on a real person other the real person?” he said. Pro wrestling may not be real, he said, but it shouldn’t be entirely fake either.
“It’s not fiction. It’s not nonfiction,” Mr. Jericho said. “It’s a combination of the two. It’s a combination of sport and theater and a live stunt show and a Shakespearean morality play rolled up into one.”
The video packages are awesome, the wrestling is awesome, but one thing I need way more of so far is.
Of the three shows I've watched so far, it's been a very wrestling heavy show, and that's fine for me. I know the characters, and the action is good. I'll keep watching as long as they're on the air, but to grow they need to lure in the folks who are not like me.
They don't need to become WWE and have 20 minute talking segments open up every show, but for instance, Jon Moxley is not being used anywhere near to where he should be for his potential/proven ability on the mic.
He should have delivered the "Paul Heyman" style us against the world promo on the very first week IMO. The casual viewer still doesn't know who Kenny Omega is so let Moxley tell us with a good old fiery promo how Omega is the best in the world and he was dying to escape from WWE where he'd already done everything he could and prove himself against the best.
Also, I think Omega should be used way more sparingly... aside from Jericho and Moxley and Cody, he's the 4th most established star (established to us hardcores anyway) and I think he should be booked like Vince books Lesnar (although not nearly that extreme in terms of time off) because his mystique is a draw in my opinion, the guy who conquered Japan and had the greatest matches of all time etc. but instead he's competing in tag matches, and on AEW dark in insanely dangerous stunt matches. I don't get that.
Like I said, I love the show, but if I had any ability to implement the above changes, I'd do so.
I've been sticking with NXT and just watching bits and pieces of AEW.
Still think AEW needs a lot of work.
I really do hate that both Dynamite and NXT are two-hours. A tight one-hour show is, and always will be, better. It's better for the viewers, it's better for the angles/feuds, and ultimately better for the wrestlers. If you were to watch every wrestling show of some note in the US, you're looking at a minimum of 15 hours a week (not counting any specials). It's absurd. No, most of us aren't going to watch everything, but still.
AEW is far too wrestling heavy, and are already falling into the trap of putting top talent against top talent on free TV. Doesn't make the PPV matches special, thus why would I want to pay to see them in the age of $10 WWE Network?
They had six matches, four of them went over 10 minutes, one almost got there, and one squash. I miss the days of squash matches that actually built talent up. Not even necessarily squashes like how WWE does it with their monster characters, but the old style of enhancement guys getting in some offense but mostly bumping to make the star look good in a four/five minute TV match.
I'm not going to take the Lucha Brothers seriously when you have them take almost 11 minutes to put away Jungle Boy and fricken Marko Stunt.
The officiating is all over the place. I thought they said they wanted to be more sports like? Imagine watching football and seeing someone grab the running backs facemask and slinging him to the ground right in front of two officials and neither one flagging it while the announcers talk about "leniency and letting them play." It's like they're scared to have a DQ finish, but yet they'll call for a rope break in a street fight. Either enforce the rules and appear legit, or just don't have any. Having officials ignore everything while the announcers have to awkwardly go along with it or make up some excuse is bush league.
Impact has decided to go full on "outlaw mudshow" as Corny would say, Joey Ryan penis flips and intergender matches galore.... a sad waste, but there's some good talent there that will likely be AEW bound as soon as it is legal for them to be so.
That's the latest commercial for Dynamite that ran during an NBA game last night.
Normally I wouldn't have a problem with it, but some of The Elite guys just annoy me with stuff like this. Take shots at WWE all the time, claim there is no war, and cry whenever WWE does something they perceive as being against AEW. Cried when WWE aired an Evolve special opposite one of their B/R Live shows. Cried when NXT was first announced for USA Network, despite being years in the work and Wednesday being NXT's night for years before AEW was thought of.
Why use media quotes from the first week's ratings reports to even mention the other show? It's stupid, especially when they lost the last two weeks in total viewers. These quotes are from when Dynamite did like 1.4 million viewers. Last week they did like 550,000 or so.
Do your own thing, don't acknowledge the competition like this.
Monk and I watch every week(I catch NXT on Fridays when it's loaded on The Network, commercial free). I enjoy most of it, most of what I don't like is particular performers(ex. Chuck Taylor) as opposed to any guess or storylines.
Though I'm starting to wonder if Jake Hager is ever going to wrestle.
The opening match of last night's Dynamite featured everything I dislike about wrestling today. Goofy comedy spots, stupid highspots, and a bunch of moves that don't matter.
Can we get an alternative that doesn't feature multi-man matches? I'd be so happy to watch a show and never have to see that stupid six guys standing around waiting to catch two guys coming off the top spot again.
This isn't an AEW problem, it's a wrestling in general problem that plagues WWE (and NXT) as well, but I loathe how formulaic every multi-person match has become.
If it's a six or eight man tag, there's always going to be the spot where Wrestler 1 hits special move on 0, then gets hit by 2's move, and then it daisy chains through to where everyone has gotten their move in and none of it has meant anything.
Gotta have the Tower of Doom spot. Got to have dive after dive after dive, followed by everyone standing waiting for dude to jump off the top rope.
Then if it's not that BS in multi-man matches, singles match get plagued with the generic Indy "sequence" spot where the wrestlers are basically doing ballet for two minutes before staring each other down and waiting on the crowd to applaud.
People rightly complain about promos in WWE being overly produced and scripted, and not sounding natural, but seemingly have zero issue with matches being overly choregraphed to the point where it appears to be a dance. Just because everyone knows the outcome is predetermined and the guys aren't trying to hurt one another doesn't mean the crap can't look real.
All the flipping and flying has watered down the in-ring product, and now we have very few wrestlers that can tell a story in the ring and actually work with some psychology.