Rob chimes in on the state of wrestling fandom and the obvious points being missed when yelling at Vince McMahon.
We’ve had two weeks of declining ratings for RAW, and a not so great financial report for the first quarter so those hot takes are flying everywhere. Now it’s bad enough that financial reports and ratings talk are a regular part of wrestling fan conversations, but it’s only gotten worse the past two weeks, Which leads me to ask:
Seriously folks, what do you want from Vince McMahon?
They literally gave you everything you were asking for at WrestleMania and in the weeks after:
- Seth Rollins won the Universal Championship and is about to face AJj Styles
- Becky Lynch won the main event and holds both Women’s Championships
- Kofimania happened, and was paid off with a title victory, and now he’s about to face one of your favorites in Kevin Owens
- Roman Reigns has been in the midcard and out of the title picture
Everything that you, the complaining on the internet so called smart wrestling fan wanted, you got. So why are you still mad?
“Vince McMahon doesn’t listen to the fans, things were supposed to be different!”
What the hell do you call what just happened less than a month ago? If that’s not listening to you I don’t know what is. No seriously, you ordered a Big Mac, fries and a coke and he went back on the grill and made it for you himself then delivered it to your house. And you still complain. You still wont stop bellyaching. I mean, come on already. Last year you didn’t get the winners you wanted or expected and you complained, this year you got them and you still complain. It’s almost like there’s no point in asking you what you event want or booking the show that way, because there damn sure hasn’t been any reward for it. Oh, but there are some other arguments of course…
“Vince McMahon insults our intelligence with the storylines!! There’s no build for anything!!”
Umm…….yes there is. Every match on the Money in the Bank card has some kind of story that’s been going on behind it. Even the ladder matches have some stuff in between some of the participants going on. But apparently a few weeks of beefing that started before the matches were announced (or in Charlotte and Becky’s case several months) doesn’t count anymore. Apparently people are leaving the audience because they want the deeper, more intelligent storylines of days gone by like when……..
- Paul Orndorff turned on Hulk Hogan out of jealousy because he was tired of being seen as Hulk Jr
- Rick Rude flirted with Jake Roberts wife, she rebuffed him, and the fight was on
- The Powers of Pain jumped the Road Warriors because there was obviously only room for one musclebound, face painted tag team in the NWA
- Jim Cornette hit Baby Doll in the stomach with his tennis racket and went on super caveman rants about how she belonged in the kitchen and not in wrestling
- The Von Erichs and the Freebirds started feuding because Michael Hayes got pissed at Kerry Von Erich for not accepting his help to beat Ric Flair for the World Championship
Need I go on? I haven’t even gotten to all the flat out nonsense behind all the feuds in the Attitude Era and how they would routinely overturn the results of pay per views that you spent $50 on the very next night on free TV. I’m sorry, if you’re worried about your intelligence being insulted in 2019 by professional wrestling I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you do need to move on because pro wrestling is never going to be The Sopranos or Game of Thrones. I don’t care how many people tell you it can or should be, it just isn’t. The Night King didn’t lose a falls count anywhere match and he didn’t get face dumped in a cake backstage. Arya Stark stabbed him with a knife, she didn’t pin him by trapping him under a forklift while Jon Snow counted to three. They’re not the same thing and they won’t ever be.
If you can’t deal with silly, simple plots you’re watching the wrong show. Wrestling is Naomi putting on a great athletic display in the ring and it’s also Naomi fighting Mandy Rose in a hotel room. Lacey Evans just walking up and down the aisle for three months then stopping one day and punching Becky Lynch in the face because she felt like it is as much professional wrestling as the match they’re going to have in two weeks. Kofi Kingston had a serious storyline leading up to his match with Daniel Bryan where he won the title, and he also throws pancakes to the crowd on his way to the ring. That’s the business, folks. Always has been, isn’t changing.
Blocking Moxley: What Does It Mean?
AEW has blocked Jon Moxley from participating in New Japan’s G1 kickoff in Dallas, leaving fans with mixed feelings as we head toward a new era for the wrestling business.
AEW has blocked Jon Moxley from participating in New Japan’s G1 in Dallas, leaving fans with mixed feelings as we head toward a new era for the wrestling business.
So the big news at the beginning of last week was that AEW blocked Jon Moxley from working New japan’s G1 show in Texas, the first night of the opening round of their annual G1 Tournament. That put a major damper on New Japan’s ongoing U.S. expansion effort, as Moxly had just won their U.S. Title and was going to be one of the faces of the company here in the U.S. Mox is still working indie dates over the summer but apparently won’t be allowed to work any televised dates for anyone outside AEW. OK, I’m not totally surprised. I did think they were going to let him do whatever he wanted throughout the summer but apparently they decided to pull him sooner.
What’s been interesting is the reaction I’ve seen. There were a few people mad at AEW, but a lot of people I saw or talked to on Twitter explained it away, thinking that the two companies would eventually work something out if not for right now then sometime down the line so that everybody could work everywhere (other than in WWE of course). To which I say……don’t hold your breath. This is just the beginning. Once AEW TV starts up don’t surprised if more restrictions on working elsewhere are enforced on AEW talent, depending on the language in everyone’s contracts. Joey Janela is still running his Spring Break shows but don’t be surprised if some of the talent that is working for other televised companies now has to stop doing that soon.
Why? Because it’s not in AEW’s best interest to have any of there people show up on TV somewhere else, or to risk injury anywhere else either. There have already been lines drawn in the sand with ROH, Impact and for now New Japan. WWE is obviously off limits. MLW might be as well. Let’s not forget that in the immediate term AEW’s biggest rival is not WWE but all those other companies. They’ll be competing for talent, buildings, space on pay per view or streaming sites, and eyeballs. And it does them no good if you can easily watch some of their people working somewhere else because then you don’t have to make a weekly two hour TV watching commitment to see them in AEW.
Most of us have a few people that we’ll watch anywhere but beyond that group it’s see ya when I see ya and if I see you once or twice this week we’re good. There are people who are perfectly fine seeing MJF on a streamed local indie show and won’t feel the urge to tune to AEW to see him again; if you’re AEW the only answer to that is to not let him do the streamed indie show, it’s not to hope he gets so big that people who like him will watch him everywhere all the time. With Mox there’s a novelty factor outside his core fanbaase where every time you see him it’s a little less special or a little more indicative that he’s not as different now as he’s being talked up to be. And then there’s the inevitable comparison that will happen when guys and gals have to hold back for primetime TV vs being able to cut loose somewhere else. Again, unless you’re such a huge fan of the wrestler that you watch all of there stuff then you’re going to watch them where you think they’re better and that’s almost never in a shortened TV match. So yeah, choices are going to be made and barriers are going to be erected.
I’ve maintained from day one that in order to succeed in the long term AEW is gonna have to operate a lot more like the Evil Empire than the progressive wrestling utopia that a lot of people have seemed to derive they would be from sound bites and way too friendly wrestling media coverage. This is just one way and there will be others. And for the reasons I laid out I don’t blame them here. From an exposure standpoint and from an injury standpoint (can’t build around people only for them to get hurt working someone else’s show and have to be taken off TV for several weeks), they’re going to have to limit what they’re people are allowed to do outside. All this kumbaya, let’s all work together with everyone stuff is a pipe dream. to quote the Godfather, this is the business they have chosen.
Tiffany’s Takes: WWE Raw (6/24/19)
What’s the landscape of WWE Raw after Stomping Grounds? What is on deck for WWE Extreme Rules? And…UNDERATKER?
What’s the landscape of WWE Raw after Stomping Grounds? What is on deck for WWE Extreme Rules? And…UNDERATKER?
WWE Universal Championship: I love Seth and Becky’s RL relationship. I think they’re super cute and I’m very happy for them. I do NOT love their relationship being used as part of a storyline. I’m also not a fans of the continuation of each of them vs Corbin and Evans. Seriously, let’s move on. I will admit to being intrigued by the match at Extreme Rules, but I’m hoping it’ll be the end of the feuds and we all move on because this will be the THIRD match for these four.
WWE United States Championship: This was definitely a main event match! This has been a dream match since Ricochet came up from NXT. It was a great match, as expected, but I’m puzzled by what Gallows and Anderson were doing. I’m not even mad about Styles getting the win because A. It was a good match and B. We’ll probably have a title match at Extreme Rules.
WWE 24/7 Championship: Well, that didn’t go as expected. I thought Miz having Truth on MizTV meant Miz would double cross his former buddy and take the 24/7 championship. I was happy about Maverick being pissed about Truth crashing his wedding, which is understandable. According to Emily Post, it is highly inappropriate to crash a wedding simply to have a title match. You should always wait until the reception. The match was quick, so Maverick probably shouldn’t have skipped the honeymoon for it.
Then it was back to chaos. Slater got a moment, then Truth, then Cedric Alexander, then EC3 got a go. Thank God, Truth has Carmella to watch his back for him. 9x 24/7 Champion, baby!
RAW Women’s Division: I feel sorry for Nikki Cross. All she wants is a friend, and she’s got Alexa Bliss, who is only interested in using her to get her own way. I love that Nattie and Naomi tried to warn Nikki off, but I still think Nikki’s going to learn the hard way that she can’t trust Alexa.
I love that Naomi showed off some new offense in the inevitable tag match, but it’s too early to hope that Glow Cats got through to Nikki just yet, but it’s clear that Nikki wasn’t happy about Bliss stealing the win from her. We’ll see.
Wild Card: So Greenjerks came back to RAW because WWE is still in Washington state, the only place Daniel Bryan WON’T get booed for an eight man elmination tag team match with the Revival against the Usos, New Day. The match was really good. It looks like New Day will be in line for a title match after Woods pinned Bryan, but the fact that the match ended up being the two RAW teams wasn’t a shock and it looks like we’re getting Revival vs Usos at Extreme Rules. Yay!
Not yay-worthy was SmackDown taking up several minutes of RAW for the WWE Championship situation. Seriously, do this on your own show. The match between Kingston and Zayn was good, but again, They should’ve saved it for SmackDown instead of taking up time on RAW. Also not here for Joe attacking Kingston. Seriously, over this.
Roman Reigns vs Shane McMahon: Well, your humble reviewer has once again had to delete an entire rant because shit went sideways while she was typing. Rest assured, my rant on why having Roman continuing to deal with McIntyre was dumb, then Undertaker showed up and made the save. I’m not sure where this is going, but I’m intrigued. Hopefully the Extreme Rules tag match won’t be the trainwreck I fear it will be.
Braun Strowman vs Bobby Lashley: Just when we thought this was over, WWE dragged this trainwreck back out. This was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. Why is this feud continuing?
Gallows and Anderson vs Viking Raiders: Okay, I loved Styles trying to get the Good Brothers to be more serious, especially when it gives us matches like this. Viking Raiders have been on a tear…whenever they’ve been on TV, and it was nice to see them show their stuff in a match that wasn’t a squash.
Overall Comments: So, how was RAW after Stomping Grounds? It was pretty good. there were some hit or miss spots, but they did a good job of building for Extreme Rules. I’m equally intrigued by the mixed match, Winner Take All for RAW, but I’m also tired of Corbin and Evans getting shots, especially since Evans has shown repeatedly that she’s not as good as her spot says she should be.
The whole Taker thing is interesting, but given how bad the Goldberg match was, I’m not sure I want to get my hopes up for it. The Wildcard thing is getting stupid. I don’t mind it being for cross-promotional matches, but the fact that three SmackDown guys took up twenty minutes of RAW for a SmackDown title is ridiculous, especially when it was all about Samoa Joe challenging Kingston.
Styles vs Ricochet was Match of the Night. It’s not even close. That’s it for Tiffany’s RAW Takes! Tune in tomorrow for SmackDown and 205!