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  1. Vampiro on AAA broadcasts, when going out live and without the production wizardry of Lucha Underground, has been an unmitigated disaster.
  2. I've been more pleasantly surprised by Jim Ross than I thought I would be. Taking him out completely would be a mis-step. Getting rid of Alex Marvez is an absolute necessity, he's awful. Transition him into some kind of panellist/backstage interviewer role. Maybe have Jim Ross in something like the Mike Tenay "expert" role and just bring him for main events/the second half of the show, and rotate other guest announcers - an expert for the women's division, for example, or a wrestler with a vested interest in the match. No idea if they'd be any good at it, but some of the agents/veteran wrestlers they have could be tried out as colour guys - Billy Gunn, Dean Malenko, even Dustin Rhodes. Tony Schiavone popped up on one of their hype packages, and he was great with MLW recently, really sounding enthusiastic and like he'd got a newfound love for wrestling, while enough of it was new to him that it lent him a kind of audience surrogate role in that he was seeing some of these people for the first time just like you were, so if he's available, he wouldn't be a bad addition to the team.
  3. Is Excalibur wearing a mask really any worse than Jerry Lawler spending most of the Attitude Era on commentary shirtless in a crown?
  4. "I'm sorry I love you" worked, but it caused Triple H to ruin every match he had for years afterwards trying to have his "I'm sorry I love you" moment. Couple that with Kurt Angle in-ring and Johnny Ace out of it pivoting to multiple finisher spam finishing sequences from the mid-00s onwards, and you've got the makings of a lot of the flaws of modern WWE being laid down and established as the norm there.
  5. Not only is HBK/Undertaker overrated, I'd also hold it, along with Michaels vs. Flair, largely responsible for a subsequent decade of self-conscious "epic" Wrestlemania matches in which WWE main eventers strove for dramatic "moments" over any organic sense of drama or logical pacing. Fuck it.
  6. Street and Linda are the only ones not involved with WWE, though with them popping up in that photo, and living back in Wales now, I wonder if they will bring Adrian in for a stint. Him getting the "sat in the front row" treatment at Takeover Cardiff would be nice.
  7. The Rome Statute is the International Criminal Court's definition of war crimes. They're big on nicking your holiday snaps, presumably.
  8. Apologies for the double post, but this advert has been going around a lot locally. Can you imagine paying however much it costs for a promoted ad, and that's the best you come up with?
  9. Saw one of these today and it almost made me feel nostalgic; Haven't seen that kind of guff in years. Aside from the ridiculousness of it all, and someone in Sheffield talking about "Channel 13 News", that really does sum up the demographic this shit is aimed at, doesn't it? "Oh, I heard it on the news".
  10. At one point someone, I think Charly Caruso, said "who knows if we'll ever see The Undertaker and Roman Reigns team up again!". Given that they produced merch for them as a team that went on sale after this PPV, I'd say they're a dead cert for Summerslam, question is who they'll be facing.
  11. Dave Taylor, Johnny Saint, Adrian Street, Miss Linda and William Regal. Street doing the standard wrestler pose of standing on his tippy-toes and trying to shove everyone's shoulders down to make himself look taller.
  12. FSM did a great job of hanging on when the likes of Powerslam failed purely because it recognised the strengths of print media over the internet - Powerslam's bread and butter was breaking news, results, and comments on recent happenings, and in the age of Twitter no one's buying magazines for that. FSM focusing more on deep dives and offering insight over immediacy was exactly what a wrestling magazine should be doing, so it's gutting to see it going under. Also, they once printed my favourite ever typo in a photo caption, in an article on pageantry and showmanship - "The Undertaker always puts on a shoe".
  13. Yeah, but Eye's cooler than pretty much everyone. A decent show, but at a time when AEW really need every show to be great. It felt amateurish in ways that the previous shows haven't. Sonny Kiss is great, in that everything he does feels unique and informed by his character. He stands out as someone wrestling his own match, similar to Darby Allin in that respect, rather than an identikit Indie Wrestler. Peter Avalon, meanwhile, is emphatically not that. Hated Avalon hitting the Finlay Roll/Kamikaze Crash into a missed Moonsault, when Omega did the exact same spot in his match, and it's a regularly used Young Bucks spot. The show also featured something like three Death Valley Drivers in four matches. Giving wrestlers more freedom than in WWE is great, but they need someone agenting these matches to stop them reusing spots and big moves. The women's tag was a bit of a shambles, which I'm guessing was down to Britt getting concussed, though the general presence of Bea Priestley (and her unintentionally hilarious super spooky entrance graphics) certainly didn't help. I love Shoko Nakajima and the Big Kaiju gimmick - like a hybrid of Kris Wolf, old-school STARDOM name Natsuki*Taiyo, and Princess Mononoke - but it wasn't a good showing for her. Didn't like how the announcers kept telling us that Bea and Britt hate each other, without giving any reason or backstory - show, don't tell, lads. I don't like Darby Allin going from a star-making performance against Cody to being thrown into a "but can they co-exist?!" six-man where the focus is all on the other side, just a failure to capitalise on that momentum. I also don't like them doing "can they co-exist" for a heel team anyway - if one member of the team were to fuck over the others, I'd have no sympathy, as they're all pricks anyway. And then the babyfaces look a bit useless when they lose, because they were the more coherent team but lost to the three who can't get on. The whole match felt like a holding pattern, and hopefully we'll get less of this sort of thing on big shows once TV starts. The Shawn Spears push still feels very TNA, in taking a WWE also-ran and stubbornly insisting he's a top star. Jimmy Havoc got an interesting run in this match, showcasing his technical skills rather than focusing on the deathmatch side of things, and looking to set up a match with Darby Allin, which could be a lot of fun. I'm a fan of Jimmy's, but fucking hell, from the look on his face for half of this match he looked like he'd rather be anywhere else. Brandi Rhodes should never wrestle. That the pre-show match featured champions of two separate companies, a much-anticipated debut for Britt, and Riho, who's being hyped us as one of the favourites of the division, but it's Brandi who gets the main show and hype package is a bit of a slap in the face. Has anyone without the surname Rhodes got a dramatic hype package yet? I don't know if I'm supposed to take her talking about her anxiety and struggles with confidence as heelish manipulation now (but to what end?), or if she's just flip-flopping from face to heel and back again as much as her husband does. If they're trying to put Awesome Kong over as a monster, it's ridiculous to have Allie completely no-sell her surprise appearance, then voluntarily square up to her. And as much as I love Aja Kong, shifting focus to her does nothing for Allie - why tease conflict between Allie and Awesome Kong just to shift focus to Aja? I don't like Dark Order just being booked in a match without incident. Going from mysterious "we don't know who they are!" evil outsiders to just wrestling on the show without comment is a narrative leap. Tag match was superb, though, and Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus are absolute breakout stars. Loved seeing them come out with the top babyfaces at the end, as it looks like the company recognise that too. Best match of the night by far. Still no idea why Marko Stunt was there. I also don't like Dark Order keeping all the video game references in the names of their moves and whatnot. If they're going to be a spooky evil team, having them goof around with game references takes away from that. And was calling their minions "Creepers" a Minecraft reference too? Adam Page vs. Kip Sabian was awful. It's a welcome change of pace to have a slower, more methodical match after that tag match, but not with these two. I'm slightly warming to Hangman as a Magnum TA working class hero type, but this match did him no favours, and Sabian is just the epitome of the worst kind of modern indie wrestler - everything's smooth and well executed, but none of it has any heft behind it or feels like it matters, and he thinks, "arrogant with a shoutalong catchphrase" passes for a character. "Takes 20 minutes to beat Kip Sabian" isn't a glowing endorsement of your potential top babyface. I liked Jericho's promo. Seen a lot of hate for it online, but it sold the match, made you want to see him get beaten up, and put over Hangman as a guy capable of doing it. Lucha Bros vs. SCU was great, though I prefer both Lucha Bros as singles guys. They bring out their worst habits as a team. I loved Omega vs. CIMA, and didn't feel it went too long at all. I'd have actually put CIMA over, though. Them trying to make "Omega's on a losing streak!" into an angle to put stakes on this match was daft, but could have actually gone somewhere had he lost. Omega knows that he can be a more compelling character in loss than by winning all the time, and I actually thought CIMA had it with his llave pin right before the finish. When they started brawling on the outside, I thought maybe they'd go with Omega getting too "hardcore" because he had Moxley in his head, and it end up costing him, but nah. As much as I love CIMA, it's disappointing that he's been the face of the OWE partnership, when they should be showcasing the amazing young lads he's been training. Main event was massively overlong, and dwelling on character notes that the Bucks aren't good enough to carry. The match felt like it was going to kick up into another gear and never quite good.
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