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All Elite Wrestling General Discussion

(@docmonk)
Moderator

Figured I'd create a general discussion thread for AEW.  I know there are some varying opinions of the federation as a whole but it's going to be hard to convince me last night wasn't PPV of the year.  Personally I believe to this point All Out 2021 is the most complete show AEW has put on.  I thought we had great matches combined with great moments.  Every debut felt like a big deal and a huge double debut to close the show.  Really excited for the direction they are heading right now.

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Topic starter Posted : September 6, 2021 9:37 AM
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

Was a good show for sure.

I have some concerns for the promotion going forward, but those don't take away from how good last night was.

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Posted : September 6, 2021 1:56 PM
Jules liked
(@jules)
Moderator

They've got all the momentum and good will in the world right now.

Punk and Bryan PLUS Cole is as big a moment as they could possibly have. 

I pray the don't bungle this opportunity because IMO, this is as close as any company has been to being true competition to Vince since the 90s... WWE had to do a lot of self-sabatoge for that to be the case, but still, the opportunity is here for something really special and I'm excited for it. 

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Posted : September 6, 2021 7:12 PM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

AEW is in a really interesting spot.  I'm definitely a bit of a "mark" for their product to some degrees sure but I also like to remain realistic.  It's the growth that is so fascinating to me and I think they continue to address issues while growing.  It's not a perfect product but if you go back and watch Double or Nothing 2019 and then watch All Out 2021 the growth is undeniable. 

Things aren't perfect like I mentioned in previous threads but I can honestly say AEW is fun.  That's a word that sometimes gets overlooked but wrestling should be fun. 

Dynamite should be very interesting this week.

 

EDIT:  Speaking of interesting.  Kevin Owens tweeted then deleted the coordinates to Mount Rushmore which also happens to be the name of the Ring of Honor faction he was in with Adam Cole and the Young Bucks.

Rumor circulating that WWE re-structured some deals during the pandemic and Owens' may have been one of them and is now expiring in January

This post was modified 1 month ago by THE MONKEY
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Topic starter Posted : September 7, 2021 5:18 PM
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

The edit is exactly my concern for the future of the company.

How many people, especially "top talent," do they need? At what point do you acquire so many that your younger or "home grown" stars get cast aside and/or misused exactly the way WWE did when their roster was absolutely massive?

I'm not going to watch Dark or Elevation, ever. I'll watch Dynamite, I'll watch Rampage.

As I've said before, Hikaru Shida is my favorite in the whole company. She's been non-existent on Dynamite for almost three months. I don't care if she wrestles every week on Dark and wins all of her matches, it might as well be a house show for me.

You get Owens and Sami. Bray Wyatt. Down the line, when they don't fit McMahon's vision for NXT, you get Gargano, Ciampa, O'Reilly, and Lerae. Maybe Finn Balor and AJ Styles decide to hop when their contracts are up.

Where does that leave everyone else? We saw a similar thing happen to WCW in the early 90s, resulting in Sting getting pushed down for a bit, Vader, Foley and Austin getting released, etc. We saw it happen in TNA with guys like Joe getting terribly neglected. We've even seen it in WWE when NXT transitioned away from being an OVW/FCW developmental operation to being WWE's version of an Indy fed with top "Indy" talent at the top of the card instead of building new guys.

What does all the new talent coming in do for guys like Lance Archer and Brian Cage?

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Posted : September 7, 2021 10:21 PM
Jules liked
(@jules)
Moderator
Posted by: @patriotpaine

The edit is exactly my concern for the future of the company.

How many people, especially "top talent," do they need? At what point do you acquire so many that your younger or "home grown" stars get cast aside and/or misused exactly the way WWE did when their roster was absolutely massive?

I'm not going to watch Dark or Elevation, ever. I'll watch Dynamite, I'll watch Rampage.

As I've said before, Hikaru Shida is my favorite in the whole company. She's been non-existent on Dynamite for almost three months. I don't care if she wrestles every week on Dark and wins all of her matches, it might as well be a house show for me.

You get Owens and Sami. Bray Wyatt. Down the line, when they don't fit McMahon's vision for NXT, you get Gargano, Ciampa, O'Reilly, and Lerae. Maybe Finn Balor and AJ Styles decide to hop when their contracts are up.

Where does that leave everyone else? We saw a similar thing happen to WCW in the early 90s, resulting in Sting getting pushed down for a bit, Vader, Foley and Austin getting released, etc. We saw it happen in TNA with guys like Joe getting terribly neglected. We've even seen it in WWE when NXT transitioned away from being an OVW/FCW developmental operation to being WWE's version of an Indy fed with top "Indy" talent at the top of the card instead of building new guys.

What does all the new talent coming in do for guys like Lance Archer and Brian Cage?

All good points. This is where smart booking and someone in charge to handle it would obviously pay off big time. 

My focus right now for the next year or two would be to maximize the ROI you can get for Punk and Bryan and keep them super hot for as long as that dog will hunt. 

When you have someone who is over and a star and the people want to see them pushed, you'd be a fool not to get what you can out of them for as long they remain hot. You just don't want to ever fall into the TNA trap of pushing ex-WWE guys just because they "used to be over" somewhere else. Punk and Bryan are "over now" type guys.

Once that fades then you pick two guys, not Omega or Cody, but two on the cusp AEW "originals" for lack of a better term and over a well-booked storyline you have them each pass the torch, and then after that Punk and Bryan can be used sparingly as special attractions. 

And any more WWE top guys you get in the meantime, their primary purpose should be to help make the homegrown stars more valuable for the most part, unless they come in with enough fanfare of their own accord to merit something more on their own for a Bryan/Punk type push, which even then, the longterm purpose should still be to use them to make the next era of stars. I guess my point being I would make two classes of WWE pick-ups: Class A: Punk and Bryan, guys who are so over and valuable that they more than warrant and make up for whoever's spot they are taking while they are there, and Class B: Guys who have name value but are not over to that level who should be evaluated case by case and used accordingly.

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Posted : September 8, 2021 9:13 AM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

I can understand your point but it's a necessity in order to grow.  I'll use the MMA analogy.  A.J. McKee right now is probably one of the better guys at 145lbs and has never lost.  However he's also not in the UFC nor has he faced anybody your casual fan would know.  After a certain point if he doesn't get that big fight he's never going to be perceived as big as he wants to be regardless of his skill level.

Darby Allin is a star in the making but you can't get to that next level until you have been in there with guys perceived to be on that next level.  I've I told a casual fan, hey this Darby Allin kid was doing some wild stuff on the Indies with Ethan Page the response would be who?  Darby Allin vs CM Punk automatically makes Darby's star shine brighter when he gives Punk everything he can handle.

These bigger names need to flesh out the roster.  There needs to be tiers and these bigger names are here to do just that.  People hear about Punk and Bryan jumping ship, maybe they've never even seen AEW so they check it out.  The big names draw in fans that weren't already watching.  That doesn't mean your established guys get thrown away, it gives them guys to get in there with to get better and get more credibility.

Shida is more a casualty of the women's division booking then anything, which hopefully starts to improve as the roster does.  She definitely deserves better since she essentially carried the division through injuries and a pandemic.

Time will tell if AEW commits the same sins of WCW and TNA but so far they've done nothing that means they are on that track.  One of the bigger things IMO that needs to happen and will give insight into their booking is who they book to beat Omega.  To me it HAS to be Hangman.  That's the story the fans want to see, and that's the story the fans deserve to see conclude.  You still can throw a guy like Punk, Danielson, Cole into the mix while he's champ to give Hangman the credibility but he's the guy AEW has been building towards. 

I love Punk, I love Danielson but neither should be that guy to dethrone Omega.  Back to TNA, I still remember being salty that Angle (who I also loved) came in and beat Joe for the belt.  So we'll see how it plays out.

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Topic starter Posted : September 8, 2021 11:26 AM
Sandman liked
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

I certainly agree that big names are needed to draw some attention. If it was just Punk and Danielson, definitely the biggest they've gotten and will get for a while, then I wouldn't really have any concerns about it. Or not as many anyway.

I see a billionaire who isn't afraid to open the check book to get talent to come in. I see active wrestlers in upper management and creative who desperately want to get all their friends in, most of whom won't come cheap. The guys that have come in recently, are rumored to be coming in, and who could feasibly join first chance they get aren't guys that are going to be bit players taking a backseat in AEW's three hours of weekly television.

If Punk was their Hulk Hogan, then Bryan Danielson is their Randy Savage. I don't want to see the floodgates open. 

There's only so much time, when you bring in a bunch of established names who are going to be featured then someone is being relegated to Dark (or Main Event in WWE's case). It's like the people who say Ricochet should go to AEW, he'd be top tier talent there instead of wrestling on Main Event.

But would he? He'd be a featured player, but would he rise to the top of a crowded roster of bigger names? And if he did, who in the company would get the WWE Ricochet treatment as a result?

I understand proper booking fixes a lot of things, but who in history has done it properly in the past?

I don't put a lot of stock in ratings anymore, but we know how much Tony Khan loves to talk ratings and demos. If you buy a bunch of talent and that needle doesn't move a lot, and just stays fairly consistent, then how much of it was really worth it.

Too early to tell now with Punk, and certainly tonight's show with Danielson and Cole is definitely to soon, but if in a few months Dynamite is still hovering around 900k  to 1.2 million viewers then the needle didn't really move despite hype. At which point I'd say focusing on making new stars is a better, cheaper, path than chasing the next established name that will get a pop for debuting.

They did 1.4 million when their biggest names were Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley and Cody Rhodes. The rest of the Elite had the Internet attention, but certainly weren't on the radar of most casual WWE fans.

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Posted : September 8, 2021 2:08 PM
(@docmonk)
Moderator

Another piece though you have to consider is merch sales.  I don't have an idea of what the split is with PWT for their merch but I'd have to think it's pretty favorable to AEW considering they are the driving force behind their biggest t-shirt sellers.

Punk's first AEW shirt is the top selling shirt in history of PWT, Malachi Black already has 6 AEW licensed t-shirts at their store and 2-3 of them have pretty consistently been featured in the top sellers.  Again I'd be a liar if I pretended to know what kind of revenue we were talking but at the very least it's revenue. 

I am with you though.  Back to your original point I will also agree about Brian Cage.  I think Cage has a tremendous upside and am at least glad he's featured in a feud right now.  He's the type of guy who can wrestle as a bad ass brute but can also wrestle the "Indy" style with some of those guys.  Plus he's a guy that casual people flipping channels he looks like a guy that can beat the hell out of people.

I do in general like how they balance the roster on their shows but I also don't want to see those guys slip through the cracks.  Some of the undercard guys probably will be stuck to Dark and jobbing for more established names (Janella, Kiss, etc.) but you don't want the roster to get so unmanageable that you start to see guys like Jungle Boy, MJF, Darby to lose their footing.

Long term, taking the wait and see while trying to give the benefit of the doubt. 

Short term, trying to enjoy it while it's rolling because like WCW and TNA taught me, it can fall apart in a flash

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Topic starter Posted : September 8, 2021 2:26 PM
Jules liked
(@jules)
Moderator

Recent thought I just had Re: Cody Rhodes.... it seems to me of late that he has been trying to portray the role of a part time wrestling legend, without having actually gone through the trouble of becoming one. His WWE career was never above midcard level, and even though he did raise his stock on the indies and in japan, it's not like he created this body of work that any mainstream fan or even hardcore fan would look at as on par with even say, Omega. His biggest moment career wise IMO was winning the NWA title at the first All In, which was an awesome moment, and then he had an incredible match with Dustin at Double or Nothing. Since then he's been booked like Hogan in 98 WCW, with celebrity matches, and then you get the reality show etc... he appears for random programs that exist in a separate universe than anything else on the show, that have no follow ups and then he vanishes again. If he's not turning heel, he's got a hilariously inflated opinion of his worth. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago by Jules
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Posted : October 4, 2021 11:31 AM
Sandman liked
(@sandman)
Trusted Member

Yeah, Chris Jericho should really be in that sort of role as the part time legend.

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Posted : October 5, 2021 7:09 PM
(@patriotpaine)
Estimable Member Admin

https://twitter.com/TonyKhan/status/1446679936903925772

Dumb tweet.

"I saw you’re doing a half hour head-to-head with us. I can’t wait to finally beat your main show head-to-head. It’s been a long time coming. See you next Friday for #AEWRampage on @AEWonTNT!"

 

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Posted : October 9, 2021 7:01 PM
Jules liked
(@sandman)
Trusted Member

Well that's what happens on Twitter, people say dumb things.

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Posted : October 11, 2021 6:05 PM
Jules liked
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