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WWE RAW

PatriotPaine
(@patriotpaine)
Trusted Member Admin

I've only seen the first hour, but my God that was terrible.

The Eva Marie stuff was about what I expected. But it's laughable how bad everything about RAW is. Don't produce a show and then have RAW's announce team pretend to have no clue who a non-masked wrestler is. Piper's been with the company for a couple years, a regular on NXT UK and has appeared on NXT... yet they don't have a clue who the talented big girl is?

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Topic starter Posted : June 14, 2021 10:39 PM
Sandman liked
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Jules
(@jules)
Moderator

WWE needs a change at the top ASAP---if that takes them selling the company so be it. 

They have managed to take millions of lifelong fans who used to schedule their lives around when wrestling was on, and make them go out of their way NOT to watch the crap that's on now.

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Posted : June 15, 2021 9:31 PM
Sandman
(@sandman)
Eminent Member

I still think we gotta be careful what we wish for here.  Things won't get any better if NBC or even FOX buys WWE, in fact it will likely get worse and woke.

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Posted : June 16, 2021 7:02 PM
Eric W. and Jules liked
Jules
(@jules)
Moderator
Posted by: @sandman

I still think we gotta be careful what we wish for here.  Things won't get any better if NBC or even FOX buys WWE, in fact it will likely get worse and woke.

Probably true --- but right now aside from bits of NXT and Roman Reigns current run, there's nothing in WWE that even remotely makes me want to spend time watching it. 

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Posted : June 18, 2021 1:54 PM
Eric W. and Sandman liked
Sandman
(@sandman)
Eminent Member
Posted by: @jules
Posted by: @sandman

I still think we gotta be careful what we wish for here.  Things won't get any better if NBC or even FOX buys WWE, in fact it will likely get worse and woke.

Probably true --- but right now aside from bits of NXT and Roman Reigns current run, there's nothing in WWE that even remotely makes me want to spend time watching it. 

That's why I think the best bet is rolling the dice with Steph/Hunter/Shane taking over.  It's not guaranteed that the Hunter can repeat the NXT success with the main roster, but hopefully it would at least move in the right direction.

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Posted : June 18, 2021 2:50 PM
Eric W. liked
CurrentBigThing
(@currentbigthing)
Active Member

The best thing for wrestling would be for WWE to return to being a privately held company, and it seems like because of the Comcast/Fox/Peacock deals the money is there to do that, but I’m not holding my breath.

Vince has been all about putting on a show that takes place in a wrestling ring that he thinks is somehow above being part of the wrestling business for at least 30 years now.

I vividly remember seeing footage on some show or whatever of Vince recalling Ted Turner’s informing him over the telephone that he, Turner, had just bought Crockett Promotions and was now in the wrestling business, and Vince’s response was something to the effect of, “Well, that’s great, Ted, but I’m not in the wrestling business— I’m in the entertainment business.”

This horse shit is nothing less than his dream come true.

I watched last week’s AEW, and, while it’s still pretty bad(the fans especially are at least as awful as the TNA fans used to be and maybe worse), it’s certainly less dreadful than WWE.

That the only options are still defined by degrees of shitty is really unfortunate. And the only way to watch old wrestling that’s actually good is to (however minutely) send money to the people who destroyed it.

It’s like the wrestling version of one of those “young adult” post-apocalyptic movies or something.

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Posted : July 6, 2021 5:47 PM
Eric W. and Jules liked
Jules
(@jules)
Moderator
Posted by: @currentbigthing

The best thing for wrestling would be for WWE to return to being a privately held company, and it seems like because of the Comcast/Fox/Peacock deals the money is there to do that, but I’m not holding my breath.

Vince has been all about putting on a show that takes place in a wrestling ring that he thinks is somehow above being part of the wrestling business for at least 30 years now.

I vividly remember seeing footage on some show or whatever of Vince recalling Ted Turner’s informing him over the telephone that he, Turner, had just bought Crockett Promotions and was now in the wrestling business, and Vince’s response was something to the effect of, “Well, that’s great, Ted, but I’m not in the wrestling business— I’m in the entertainment business.”

This horse shit is nothing less than his dream come true.

I watched last week’s AEW, and, while it’s still pretty bad(the fans especially are at least as awful as the TNA fans used to be and maybe worse), it’s certainly less dreadful than WWE.

That the only options are still defined by degrees of shitty is really unfortunate. And the only way to watch old wrestling that’s actually good is to (however minutely) send money to the people who destroyed it.

It’s like the wrestling version of one of those “young adult” post-apocalyptic movies or something.

Spot on. For at least half a decade now, how many hardcore fans have probably spent more time listening to podcasts of people talking about what wrestling used to be rather than watch what currently is? 

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Posted : July 14, 2021 11:15 AM
Eric W. liked
CurrentBigThing
(@currentbigthing)
Active Member

Count me amongst them. This year to date, I think I might have watched 15% of WrestleMania and like half of that one episode of Dynamite. And I’ve watched a little bit of NWA Power. Power is the only wrestling show I’m aware of that even remotely resembles a wrestling show anymore, though I’ve heard good things recently about Ring of Honor. 

Contrast that from the fact that I almost never miss an episode of either the Jim Cornette Experience or Jim Cornette’s Drive-Thru.

Were it not for places like this and shows like those, I might think was maybe losing a little of my mind.

There are sheep all over the place swearing everything is awesome and the ‘80s and ‘90s were “overrated” and they’re all bafflingly undeterred by the fact that fewer people are watching wrestling, either televised or in person (plague notwithstanding) than at any other point in time when there’s been wrestling to watch.

They should all have gold medals for their world class mental gymnastics.

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Posted : July 15, 2021 12:06 AM
Jules and Eric W. liked
THE MONKEY
(@docmonk)
Moderator

I think most older wrestling fans crave something that they can never have.   They want that feeling they had watching wrestling when they first started as a fan.  The problem is most wrestling fans started watching wrestling as a child so it is impossible to achieve that feeling.  Nothing will ever feel the same to you in your adult life as it did to you as a child.  It's a common thing that applies to several things not just wrestling.

It's funny too a lot of the bitter "things were better in my day" fans always make absurd comparisons.  *Watches random match on Monday Night Raw......Flair vs Steamboat was way better than this.  I look at it as apples to oranges comparisons.  Of course the period you became a fan is the best to you.  I'm a huge fan of early 90's stuff because 91 is when I started watching on a regular basis enough to actually follow storylines.  To me there is a lot of great stuff but if I watch back that time frame now even though I love a lot of things; objectively there is some serious horse shit too.  Comparing things from different eras as I said will always be apples to oranges.  Even if they followed the exact so called blue print, any form of entertainment will be always be a product of it's time to a degree.

It's why I rarely do reviews and made a conscience effort to abruptly stop writing about music years ago.  I love music but I found that reviewing things made me enjoy things less because in order to review you are comparing it to something.  Something on a very conscious or subconscious level has to serve as the baseline for your score, and thus becomes a point of comparison.  From a movie standpoint is it fair to compare Ironman to the Shawshank Redemption.  They share almost no similar traits outside of both being movies

I like to simplify things and simply ask the question, "am I entertained."  I try not to go beyond that with how I take in entertainment because nothing else matters in the end.  If I was entertained and enjoyed at least some aspects then I'll take it; I don't need to start analyzing the levels of my entertainment.  I don't eat a meal but then contemplate my level of enjoyment by sitting and pondering whether that meal was as good as the best meal I've had.  So that's how I approach the current wrestling product. Does it matter how a story being told between Karrion Kross and Samoa Joe ranks against a story between Dusty Rhodes and the Horsemen?  Why would I want to even draw that comparison. I've always been entertained by the spectacle of wrestling.  That doesn't mean everything sticks but it usually takes bad booking, bad story, or bad wrestler/entertainer to take me out of things.  Of course all that is subjective but I am a bit more forgiving at times because at it's core wrestling is a ridiculous concept. 

I just find some of the arguments thrown out there to be mostly silly.  People take stabs over the selling or lack there of, people take stabs at the storylines or lack there of, heck people even take stabs at the size of the performers.   In terms of selling I see great selling and I see bad selling and I see no selling; that's always been the case though if we look at wrestling objectively.  You can certainly make the argument that Jake Roberts hitting a DDT would do absolutely nothing to his opponent.  In order for him to get the velocity needed to actually inflict significant enough damage to keep his opponent down he'd have to knock himself out.  What about Randy Savage hitting 102 elbow drops to Ultimate Warrior only to have him kick out at 2?  Even better what about when Savage and Warrior were teammates and in order to wake up the Ultimate Warrior, Savage hit the elbow drop.  Hell Hogan and Undertaker made careers out of largely no-selling portions of their matches.   All huge stars of their respective era but all that you can poke holes in their selling if you wanted to judge things realistically.

If we are to believe the long form stories are years before were all worlds better then the Undertaker's mom was an idiot.  Named both her sons Kane, Kane the Undertaker and his brother Kane.  Yes I can acknowledge that in some cases stories in feuds are non-existent but that's largely a WWE midcard problem and isn't really true in other promotions. 

Lastly size, sure stars of today are generally a lot smaller but so what.  Floyd Mayweather is 5'8 150 lbs.  However if you put him in a boxing ring and he's going to outbox most people.  He is also capable of outboxing people much larger than him, because he's a trained professional.  Royce Gracie almost always was significantly smaller than his opponents yet knew that his submission skills and grappling were unmatched.  So in fight he was able to  take larger opponents and submit them, which quite literally means he made them give up.  The point being you don't have to be a big guy to be an actual badass, but it's a moot point because we aren't watching actual fights. So much like selling, realism should even come into your argument. Yet if it did, just know the precedent is already there for smaller guys to be able to take out larger guys. 

When it comes to wrestling what we are watching is a sport (yep I said it) where people put their body on the line for our entertainment.  They aren't hitting moves meant to actually hurt someone but that's also part of the art.  The art of making fans believe the truth they are being told.  It's like a cinematic universe that has it's own rules, in the real world I go for a DDT and all I get is a sore back but when Jake did it; watch out because it's going to put you away.  The art though is getting you to buy in to what they are telling you is possible.  They do this by performing moves that while Flair used it as a dirty word, is almost like performing stunts.  The hope is the performers can execute this art without incurring serious injury. In some cases the only way to make it look like it hurts is to make it hurt.  

I can understand where some people are coming from with the "they need to slow down" argument.  Some times it's warranted but I think you can have a seemingly reckless pace while still having these moments of letting the fan soak in the spot they've just seen.  Part of that was always going to be a product of the time.  People's attention span isn't what it used to be for better or for worse, so taking large chunks of a match to slow things down simple won't work.  If you look at it objectively though these changes are nothing new and were always the case of each era.  When it happened people were stoked on Wrestlemania 1, but that's a dogshit show that is super boring.  Yet at it's time it was though to be innovative and made everything larger than life.  Bruno and Backlund may be legends and I can respect what they did, but I'm good with not watching the bulk of their body of work.  To me it's just painful to watch, but it's apples to oranges to compare to my favorite time period.

Worse are the Attitude Era people who cite how many fans used to watch.  I liked the Attitude Era fine as it happened but there is so much crap in that time period.  That's the big counter argument no matter what; "8 bazillion people watched so it was clearly the best period."  Cool by that logic NSYNC is one of the best music acts of my generation.   The problem with that logic is nobody listens to NSYNC anymore and outside of nostalgia fans the bulks of those albums are in the trash.  The Attitude Era is another product of it's time and create some good moments, some huge stars, but a lot of downright embarrassing things as well.  WWE may force catchphrases now trying to recreate past magic but the Attitude Era objectively wasn't much different.  Rock was entertaining as hell but if you really look at his promos, over time it was basically just a string of catchphrases to sell shirts.  I ate it up at the time sure but that's why if you start to truly compare things objectively that some of your favorite past moments don't hold up.

I guess what I'm getting at in my long drawn out whatever this is; wrestling is meant to be entertainment and entertainment is subjective.  As with anything that is subjective I'm not trying to convince somebody to like something I like because it's subjective and you like what you like.  All I say is don't dislike wrestling now as a whole because it's not as good as it was during your favorite time.  Chances are if you really look your favorite period had some of the same flaws of today. Instead dislike wrestling now as a whole because it doesn't entertain you. 

....don't even get me started on Jim Cornette.  It's still real to him damnit and he'll live the gimmick until he dies.  Hypocrite who trashes a product even if it's similar to product to was part of (ROH, TNA, MLW, NWA:Power).  Conveniently only likes to put over wrestling product that he was a part of.  I get it his gimmick is to trash certain things because those riled up people just put cash in his pocket but excuse the pun, he's just corny.  Won't pretend he's never entertained me and he probably will again but his gimmick is well passed it's expiration date. 

This post was modified 1 week ago by THE MONKEY
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Posted : July 17, 2021 6:35 AM
Jules, Sandman and Eric W. liked
PatriotPaine
(@patriotpaine)
Trusted Member Admin

Great post Monk and I largely agree with all of it.

I'd say, for me, it could be more like it was when I liked it the most (as a kid, yes). My problems with the shows today is that they're too long, too many of them, and all feel the same (and I'm largely talking WWE here).

Yeah it's subjective, but while I still enjoy NXT a lot, it lost quality when it went to two hours. 

RAW would immediately be more watchable if USA Network didn't want to pay for a third hour. So much fluff would instantly vanish.

I miss enhancement matches and will always argue they make the product better. I don't mean modern squash matches where some big guy demolishes two or three local dudes.

I mean the match where some super low card jobber or even local guy works a 5-6 minute match and actually gets in some offense but the match is still largely a showcase for the star to get his stuff in and look good.

Putting aside the fact that, especially in WWE, PPV's mean very little, I like it when a PPV or big event is well built towards not the same matches we've been seeing on RAW or Smackdown for weeks or months and will likely to see yet another rematch the next night.

The gigantic screens and LED boards make for an overly polished and bland spectacle, and it never changes. A four minute match features a thousand camera cuts, usually switching during a move that would've looked better from the previous shot.

I also miss when there were characters and it felt more like a contained universe akin to comics than an extension of the real world where 90% of the roster is just happy to be there because it was a dream for them.

So yeah, for those reasons (and overall terrible or lazy booking) wrestling isn't as good as it once was to me personally. But then I liked WCW pre-Hogan and the New Generation more product wise than I did the Attitude Era. The Attitude Era was fun simply because I was in middle/junior high at the time and everyone was watching it. Plus no Internet, and being 13 the half naked women and bra and panties matches was was sweet.

But I also don't look at ratings being at all time lows and pretend no one watches because of it. Viewing trends have changed. People DVR, catch shows on Hulu or some other replay, or just catch highlights on YouTube or some other site. Sure the audience isn't 8 million anymore, but there's a lot more factors involved in that than just thinking the product sucks. Erik vs Omos from this past RAW has over 1.2 million views on YouTube in a couple of days.

In short, even though I'm not a fan of the style that is largely present everywhere today, I would find the shows infinitely more enjoyable if they weren't so long, there wasn't so many of them, and they didn't all feel like reruns. Factor in the bland corporate polish, generally poor fans (lame chants), and a million camera cuts, and it's just hard to care about any of it.

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Topic starter Posted : July 17, 2021 4:49 PM
Jules and Eric W. liked
THE MONKEY
(@docmonk)
Moderator

I am with you.   In no particular order:

NXT being two hours wouldn't bother me if two things were true:  One it was it's own brand and two it wasn't the 7th hour of televised weekly WWE content.  In a perfect world Smackdown would go.  While it's the better show right now if you were getting rid of Raw or Smackdown I figure they are keeping the tenured show.  Honestly it doesn't matter because truly wouldn't be upset at a re-brand.  The point being there should be one two hour truly polished WWE style show.  Save 3 hours for PPVs or maybe even a super rare "huge" card that is televised but two big for 2 hours.  NXT then should be in the style it is now but also don't "promote" people from the roster.  Shake things up from time to time sure but it should have it's own exclusive roster.  Fill it with guys who fit that "Indy" mold or that WWE has a habit of starting and stopping with pushes.  Let guys like Nakamura, Kevin Owens, Cesaro really build something there. 

To your point the commitment to be an adult wrestling fan is too much in terms of consuming all the product.  Seven hours on a normal week  and 10-11 on a PPV just of WWE content.  Trimming that down to four and seven would be much better.  It also would help alleviate what I feel is a big issue, over saturation of matches.  I have no reason to invest in Baron Corbin facing Shinsuke Nakamura  if you do it three weeks in a row.  Having less content hour to fills alleviates some of the stress from the teams that book the shows and they don't just copy and paste from week's prior to save time.

I can agree with enhancement matches and AEW does a solid job of utilizing them.  The problem in their case is again over saturation.  I can appreciate having a show to showcase lesser used stars and also bring in some potential talent you are looking to sign.  A two hour show featuring some weeks 12-15 matches those is insane.  Not only is that way too many matches for that type of show but two hours is way too long.  That's a case where the classic formula worked just fine.  Have it be a hour and that's it.  Now AEW has doubled down and has TWO shows that is mostly enhancement matches.   It's insane to have four hours of weekly content dedicated to lower tier matches and enhancement matches.  I consider myself a pretty big AEW guy but I've literally watched Dark 2 maybe 3 times, and never watched Elevation.  Dark was fine when I watched it, even enjoyed but felt like fat could have been trimmed.

Back to WWE I think they can borrow from NXT.  Go back to the core PPVs.  Give us Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series.  Then in between just stack a live show every once in awhile.  "Tonight's Raw is 3 hours and the theme is King of the Ring."  Forget all the PPVs named after gimmick matches and make those matches special. 

You could even do the layout something like this

 

January -Royal Rumble

February - Takeover

March - Special 3 hour show (Raw vs NXT)

April - Wrestlemania

May - Takeover

June - Special 3 hour show (Raw)

July - Special 3 hour show (Nxt)

August - SummerSlam

September - Takeover

October - Special 3 hour show (Raw vs NXT)

November - Survivor Series

December - Takeover

Other than the two televised shows the two rosters don't cross paths. 

I do like characters myself.  Love Bray Wyatt, I feel like he really goes out of his way to present himself in a unique fashion whether it's just Bray, The Fiend, or even his happy go lucky version.  I even feel personally his promos are always unique too.  Just never seems to find himself on the side of favorable booking for too long.  I do wish more people took chances.

WWE has had a rough patch for me but I also think their no fans/thunderdome era shows just haven't been as entertaining.  Smackdown this week was a noticeable improvement and I'm hoping in the coming weeks fans will maybe keep WWE more honest.  They have a solid roster but the best team would struggle to churn out that many hours of interesting content EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

 

 

 

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Posted : July 17, 2021 6:15 PM

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  • Gary is Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Vortainment. He's usually posting news and reviews, and doing all the back end stuff as well. He likes to play video games, watch movies, wrestling and college football (Roll Tide Roll).

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