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Kamaras-Tash

AEW Fyter Fest

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50 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I'm not a fan of the "Unsanctioned Match" gimmick. I'm willing to suspend my disbelief that a match not sanctioned by the company would still air on their PPV as just a "well, it's wrestling" quirk, but for them to make a point of "the lights are going out, the next match isn't part of the AEW show, AEW want nothing to do with this", that stipulation's immediately buried when both wrestlers make their entrance with AEW branded chyrons on screen, wrestle with giant AEW logos on the screen behind them, and absolutely nothing about the presentation of the match itself suggests AEW want nothing to do with it. If it's an unsanctioned match, why is there an AEW referee in AEW branded gear? When NXT did an unsanctioned match, Drake Younger wore a plain black shirt to ref it. When CHIKARA did one, they removed all CHIKARA branding from the ring beforehand. If you go the extra mile to put the gimmick over, it can be a really interesting dynamic, and this wasn't that..

100% agree with this. Made the whole non-sanctioned element pointless with all the AEW logos and commentary and the like.

I think it was ROH who did this the best, for the Generico/Steen 'Final Battle' match. The ring announcer simply said something to the effect of, "This match is not sanctioned by ROH. This match is being funded privately by independent investors, and all distribution rights have been awarded to ROH. ROH takes no responsibility for the aftermath and repercussions of this match".

It was great. I'm not sure if they even had commentary or entrance music either, but the announcement was enough that you could easily buy the stipulation and the escalation.

Edited by Accident Prone

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52 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

Another issue with this match, and Cody in general, is that his face/heel dynamic is utterly confused. As the public face of AEW, he's a principled babyface. Video packages on this show highlighted his "big brother" babyface promo. Yet he still wrestles as a heel. But then Shawn Spears turns heel by attacking him, even though we were effectively being encouraged to root against Cody during the match. So we're supposed to want to see him lose one moment, then have sympathy for him the next. Then the first person down to help him is MJF, the most overt heel on the roster. It's all messed up.

 

This is my biggest issue with AEW so far too, outside of pre-show shit. Cody did the exact same at Double or Nothing too. Big babyface entrance, pops the crowd with the sledgehammer bit, wrestles like a heel relying on Brandi/dirty tactics/making a bloody mess out of his brother, then two minutes after the bell rings hes cutting one of the best babyface promos in years.

It's almost as though he wants to be a babyface but prefers to wrestle as a heel, and he's trying to have the best of both worlds. But it just makes for a confusing dynamic.

Hopefully when the weekly show arrives the heel/face divide will be more obvious, but right now it seems a lot of the matches these guys are presenting - Omega vs Moxley, Janela vs Moxley, Cody vs Allin, Young Bucks vs Lucha Bros - are face vs face and it's up to us to pick a side. I've always preferred the traditional face vs heel way of presenting wrestling and I'm hoping it settles down into something that resembles that.

 

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And not one single person believes it's non-sanctioned anyway. Remember somebody getting very upset about a match in WWE (might be Triple H/HBK from SummerSlam 2002?) on a podcast once. It's pointless. It's a gimmick.

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I've always seen it as the promotion stating that you will be guaranteed something intense and high-risk. 

It's down to the ref for me; in any other no-rules gimmick match (street fight, no holds barred, hardcore, etc) the ref can still play a role other than counting the pin or submission. We've seen no-contests, stoppages, rope breaks and all manner of ref interference during those match types. Non-Sanctioned is pretty much there to stamp that out and to say, "These competitors will fight until there is one unanimous winner".

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I just think that kind of gimmick is a missed opportunity - it lends itself to interesting presentation, to angles where the referees either don't want to work it because it's too dangerous or because they're worried about their job security if they agree to work a match the promotion doesn't sanction, so the wrestlers have to find someone prepared to referee it for them, and to stuff like Lance Russell's G.O.A.T. performance in the Lawler/Funk Empty Arena Match. To say something's "unsanctioned" and then present it visually identically to everyone else on the card is disappointing. 

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But the lights went out and everything.

They could have done all of the stuff suggested and someone would still moan that it's in their arena, it's on their TV. It's not a gimmick anyone is buying.

30 minutes ago, Accident Prone said:

I've always seen it as the promotion stating that you will be guaranteed something intense and high-risk.

This is spot on. That's exactly what it was.

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True - I guess it's down to where you draw the line, and having seen elements of the gimmick done better (in my opinion) elsewhere, I felt more could have been done to put it over, or else they could have used a different gimmick name.

To be honest, I think it's too early for AEW to be doing "unsanctioned" gimmicks anyway, as when they say "this is too violent for us", we're not familiar enough with their product to know how violent "too violent" really is. And when they inevitably up the ante the next time they want to do that kind of match, do they go with "unsanctioned" again, or No DQ, or Hardcore, or something else?

As a ref and a nerd, I tend to get a bit finickity about stipulations.

Edited by BomberPat

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I found "lights out" more annoying.

When they announced it I thought it meant some sort of last man standing stipulation, but they literally just turns the lights off and then back on.

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I think a few things were too early on this show. The time limit draw, the chairshot, the Spears heel turn, the unsanctioned match. Not bad ideas but would all benefit from months of establishing a base line. This show didn't need anything bar a handful of good matches and the good angle at the end.

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2 minutes ago, The King Of Swing said:

I found "lights out" more annoying.

When they announced it I thought it meant some sort of last man standing stipulation, but they literally just turns the lights off and then back on.

At least those dweebs from the pre-show didn't show up when they came back on.

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I don't mind the time limit draw - I like that they've established early on that time limits matter. I don't remember if they had time announcements on the first show, but a few matches on this show had "ten/five minutes remaining" announced, which helped.

The heel turn I completely agree with being too early - admittedly I don't watch all the YouTube guff, but when you had the announcers saying "Shawn Spears is one of Cody's best friends!", I was just thinking, "is he?". It's like Scotty Riggs showing up in ECW as RVD's best mate. Maybe he is, but he's never been portrayed as such before. And given that we'd only seen Shawn Spears in that gimmick once before, we don't know if him attacking Cody is out of character or not, because we don't know who he is yet.

Worse than that is the chairshot - aside from what I said earlier about it in relation to the Unsanctioned match, where do they go from there? The next time they want a big impactful heel turn, how do they make it mean more?

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23 minutes ago, The King Of Swing said:

I was fully on board with the draw. Agree with you on the rest though.

 

9 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I don't mind the time limit draw - I like that they've established early on that time limits matter. I don't remember if they had time announcements on the first show, but a few matches on this show had "ten/five minutes remaining" announced, which helped.

I think they did well do have the foresight to establish them but one and a half shows is too early for me. Going to the limit with someone above your level is a great, under-used little tool and l just think they've used it too early. Allin could have lost the match after going that long and looking that good. It didn't really need it. It should have been saved for making a guy a real contender. IMO, anyway.

Edited by tiger_rick

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I have wondered in the past if the unsanctioned match gimmick could be done in a different way. Perhaps have a heel businessman character, in the mould of a Titus O'Neill or Paul E. Dangerously, do an angle whereby they've cunningly managed to get a slot on the show for their shady agent's company (e.g like Titus Worldwide or the Dangerous Alliance), providing an excuse to not have the AEW branding, and have a ref in that company's gear. After a fashion, a drastically-downsized version of the nWo PPVs without going full nWo. Could lead to a whole storyline in itself where the businessman slowly builds up his empire, developing his "brand" as the unscrupulous arsehole who'll put on matches that AEW won't, even uses the matches as his own version of "Raven's Rules" to get one over on a wrestler he wants to mess with, and eventually debuts his own belt, leading to a big showdown where he tries to take over the main company at one of the big events, putting up his champion against the actual AEW champion, etc. Basically nWo but not going ridiculous with it like they did - limiting it to a storyline centred around the manager and his stable.

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