Wrestling shows (AEW/IMPACT/NWA/ROH and others)

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Tulpa Girl

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So AEW is going to have a second, hour-long show on Fridays starting in August called Rampage. Both Rampage and Dynamite will move from TNT to TBS in January 2022.

AEW is also going to have four 'specials' annually. Not certain if this would be stuff like Winter Is Coming and Blood And Guts, or something else.
 
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Maybe they'll be like Impact's monthly specials, but on a bigger scale?

The outside bet would be these taking the place of PPV's, but unless their new deal is huge I doubt that.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Yeah, I seriously doubt that they would replace the actual PPVs. That said, it could be something like what Fyter Fest became, with a sort of mini-PPV feel, maybe running 3 hours instead of the standard two.
 

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They had been talking about doing a second show for awhile now. Instead of adding a third hour to Dynamite, they went with a second, hour long show. Tony did an interview about it, and claims Rampage is just as important as Dynamite is (so it's not going to be like Dark/Elevation).
 
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Tulpa Girl

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They had been talking about doing a second show for awhile now. Instead of adding a third hour to Dynamite, they went with a second, hour long show. Tony did an interview about it, and claims Rampage is just as important as Dynamite is (so it's not going to be like Dark/Elevation).
Honestly, I'm expecting it to be a place for the upper-midcards to shine, and to get more tv time, with maybe one uppercard showing up per week to help generate interest.

Also, the four specials will air on TNT, after the two shows move to TBS.
 

urbwar

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Those special sound just like the old Clash of the Champions shows WCW would run.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Yeah, I think that's the sort of vibe that they'll be shooting for.
 

urbwar

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Honestly, I'm expecting it to be a place for the upper-midcards to shine, and to get more tv time, with maybe one uppercard showing up per week to help generate interest.

Also, the four specials will air on TNT, after the two shows move to TBS.
Personally, I think that would be the wrong move. Both shows should be fluid, with storylines being furthered on both shows. That keeps things organic, because why should storylines only get coverage on Dynamite? If all the main people are on Dynamite, people might ignore Rampage (because they don't care about anything else). If say, the Pinnacle/Inner Circle feud had an important event happen on Rampage, and the next week something happens on Dynamite, it gives people a reason to watch both shows. Sure, give other people more airtime, but if it's mostly in it's own bubble, are people really going to tune in?

I also hope the extra hour means they can devote more time on Dynamite for the women's division. I haven't seen it, but I read that Deeb and Red Velvet had a really good match. We need more matches like that on AEW tv
 

Tulpa Girl

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I haven't seen it, but I read that Deeb and Red Velvet had a really good match. We need more matches like that on AEW tv
It really was quite good, match of the night I'd say. As much as I'm a mark for Shida, it's hard to deny that Deeb is the best female wrestler in AEW right now. Red Velvet also held her own, and it's nice to see the amount of improvement she's shown over the last year from where she started out at.
 

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So I watched the newest NXT UK and the latest NWA Powerrr.

NXT UK had a great hoss fight between Wolfgang and Rampage Brown. We also got to see a rematch for the Heritage Cup between A-Kid and Tyler Bate. Amale took on Xia Brookside (who she cost a spot in that gauntlet match for the #1 contender spot, which Satomura won as the replacement for Brookside). Nathan Frazer (fka Ben Carter) stepped up to Sha Samuels, and Sha's buddy, Noam Dar, poked the bear when he interviewed Ilya Dragonuv. Walter was nowhere to be seen (which happens a lot). For such a dominant champion, even a video of him would have been nice. His lack of presence seems strange.

Powerrr is going for the meh route again. With Trevor out for 30 days, that storyline seems on pause. Aldis and crew no-showed (after pulling out of a tag title match last week), so The End and the War Kings fought to see who faces Stevens and Kratos next. War Kings came out on top (which surprised me, given the issues Jax Dane has been having with Slice Boogie); I would have liked to see The End get the shot. The champs took on Fred Rosser (Darren Young) and Marshe Rocket, and their slow implosion continues. Pope and Matt Cross had a decent tv title match, and Thunder Rosa had a good fight with Jennacide (who also had a good showing with Kamille). The show wasn't bad, but Murdoch and Strictly Business being absent made the show feel less important. The main event tag match was really good though, and I kind of hope War Kings win the belts (as Kratos should have turned on Stevens already)
 

Malleustein

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So I watched the newest NXT UK and the latest NWA Powerrr.

NXT UK had a great hoss fight between Wolfgang and Rampage Brown. We also got to see a rematch for the Heritage Cup between A-Kid and Tyler Bate. Amale took on Xia Brookside (who she cost a spot in that gauntlet match for the #1 contender spot, which Satomura won as the replacement for Brookside). Nathan Frazer (fka Ben Carter) stepped up to Sha Samuels, and Sha's buddy, Noam Dar, poked the bear when he interviewed Ilya Dragonuv. Walter was nowhere to be seen (which happens a lot). For such a dominant champion, even a video of him would have been nice. His lack of presence seems strange.

Powerrr is going for the meh route again. With Trevor out for 30 days, that storyline seems on pause. Aldis and crew no-showed (after pulling out of a tag title match last week), so The End and the War Kings fought to see who faces Stevens and Kratos next. War Kings came out on top (which surprised me, given the issues Jax Dane has been having with Slice Boogie); I would have liked to see The End get the shot. The champs took on Fred Rosser (Darren Young) and Marshe Rocket, and their slow implosion continues. Pope and Matt Cross had a decent tv title match, and Thunder Rosa had a good fight with Jennacide (who also had a good showing with Kamille). The show wasn't bad, but Murdoch and Strictly Business being absent made the show feel less important. The main event tag match was really good though, and I kind of hope War Kings win the belts (as Kratos should have turned on Stevens already)

It's time for Walter to lose the belt in a totally legendary match. They are past the point where it helps anyone to lose to him, as good as the matches are. They need to decide who the next "guy" is, and get him ready for it.

Walter's run on top has mostly been good. Having him appear infrequently and put on stellar matches against just about everyone proves his value, but we do need a change soon. Otherwise, good show.
 

Tulpa Girl

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So I broke down and ordered Double Or Nothing as a splurge for myself last night. Just finished watching it again. Some scattershot thoughts and impressions:

The Deeb/Riho match was probably one of the best pre-show matches I've ever seen. Deeb is great in the ring, and I hope she continues to work with AEW. She was really on point as the heel in this match. The better of the two women's matches of the night, from a technical standpoint, although the latter had higher emotional stakes.

Page/Cage was a really solid match, and did everything it needed to for officially kicking off the night. Looks like Cage is finally ready to break away from Team Taz, which is fine, as I think he's ready to do his own thing as a monster face. And this sets up Page to face Omega for the belt.

Moxley & Kingston vs Young Bucks helped to show, along with some of the other matches helped to show things that weren't always obvious during the empty arena era - mainly in this case that Eddie is hugely over. Decent though not spectacular match, and Kizarian's brief appearance will help to set up future matches for him against the Elite nicely.

The Casino Battle Royale was never going to be an intricate, finely tuned piece of work - battle royales never are, there's just too many moving parts. That said, there was some decent spots, Lio Rush made for a nice surprise entrant, and Jungle Boy beating Christian in the end was a solid way to finish it.

Cody/Ogogo was probably the weakest match of the night, except maybe for the Stadium Stampede, but the latter has to be judged on a different scale, due to its nature. Ogogo looked better than I expected when he was doing actual wrestling spots, given his relative inexperience. That said, Cody cosplaying as Homelander from The Boys was just weird.

Archer/Miro was exactly what it needed to be - two extremely jacked, beefy guys in an extremely physical hoss fight.

As much as I'm a mark for Shida, having her drop the belt to Baker was probably the right call, given that the Doctor got a bigger crowd pop than her babyface opponent. Baker giving Jericho-style heel champion promos will no doubt be delicious, but while she's improved by leaps and bounds in terms of her in-ring ability, she's still not at the level of a Deeb, Rosa, or Shida. She's good enough to have great matches with wrestlers of that caliber, but I'm unsure if she's good enough to elevate lesser opponents, the way that Jericho does (even while defeating them).

Sting/Allin vs Page/Sky was a lot of fun, and what do you know, Sting can still go in the ring.

I know that three-way title matches aren't always popular, but this one delivered. All three involved looked strong, and anyone doubting that OC is hugely over just needs to listen to the huge crowd pops every time he got close to getting the pin. No surprise that Omega retained, as there's still some juice left to be had with him as a heel champion. Omega/Jungle Boy should be a barn-burner, and the eventual Omega/Page confrontation should be a match for the ages.

Mark Henry being an announcer for Rampage sounds like a good call, and he's another veteran whom the younger talent can learn from in the locker room and training room.

The Stadium Stampede match wasn't as good as last year's, in large part because the comedy bits felt more out of place, given the history of the two teams and the stakes involved. Not that there weren't some fun and inventive bits along the way, along with a nice guest appearance by Konnan. Also, given the energy of the live crowd, it was weird to derail that by having most of your final match take place outside the arena. It definitely picked up near the end when some of the contestants finally made their way to the arena. Having Sammy get the pin on Spears just felt right, given that he was the one pinned last year, and the one who called for surrender during Blood & Guts (and having Sammy run down Spears with a golf cart earlier in the match was a definite fist-pump moment). The crowd singing Judas after the match was a nice way to end the show. My question now is: what the hell do you do as a blow-off match between the two factions?

We're now at the point where all the belts are held by heels (even if Baker seems to be a very popular one). Probably either Omega or the Young Bucks will be dropping their belts sooner rather than later - Miro will hold on to his for a bit, and Baker will have a lengthy title run, I would guess.
 
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Malleustein

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...I opted for nothing.

Technically, I opted for a month worth of classic Mid-South, but the show isn't called Double or Something Else.
 

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WWE cut more people today. Braun Strowman tops the list. Others include Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Santana Garrett, Ruby Riot & Lana
 

Malleustein

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WWE cut more people today. Braun Strowman tops the list. Others include Aleister Black, Buddy Murphy, Santana Garrett, Ruby Riot & Lana

Braun is the big surprise there, to be sure. I don't know if there is any more room in AEW's commentary team for ex-WWE big guys...

Black is the least surprising ever since Vega left.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Obviously Braun can get work wherever he wants, but given that he's never wrestled outside of the WWE bubble, and his comments last year mocking indie wrestlers who couldn't get work during the pandemic, I wonder how well he would adapt to a different locker room environment, and if he would still get some heat for those comments.
 

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Braun is the big surprise there, to be sure. I don't know if there is any more room in AEW's commentary team for ex-WWE big guys...

Black is the least surprising ever since Vega left.
Vega was supposedly being brought back in (she was filmed entering the PC not that long ago, with word that they wanted her back). He was also getting pushed again, and it looked like a feud with Big E, so I don't think his release is the least surprising. Murphy on the other hand, has been vocal about how he hasn't been used, so him being let go doesn't surprise me.

Unless Braun's knees are so bad he can't perform in-ring anymore, I don't see him going to commentary. Not that I want to see him in AEW, but the hoss fights he could have with Archer & Cage would be interesting. Of course, there is the comments Tulpa Girl Tulpa Girl mentioned that might hold him back.

If they are still going to work with MLW, I wonder if any of them might end up there.
 

Malleustein

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I was just kidding about Braun. At 37 and with his ring style, he might just retire from wrestling full-time to preserve his future mobility. He is a big enough name to take big bookings and appearances if he wants to. That he's been cut while a main event guy, without being beat into powder on the way out can only help him.

Aleister Black was likely just a "credible threat" to Big E who wasn't going to get anything but TV time out of the feud, but what do I know? Maybe opinions had changed on him.

Overall, perhaps WWE is getting less concerned with tying up every wrestler they can. They've done it the last few years and it must be expensive for no actual gain. They've got far too many people milling around and doing nothing, especially given the crappy ratings and zero attendance for the last year. I'd release a whole hell of a lot more if it were me.

Hell, I'd release Baron Corbin three times at least, just to make sure he was gone.
 

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A lot of people are speculating that all the cuts are part of the reorganizing Nick Khan is doing. Some people think he's reshaping things to make it more viable to sell off. There's been rumblings for awhile that Comcast was possibly interesting in buying it. No clue how true any of that might be, but it is interesting to see what is going on
 

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Cageside Seats special edition of their Rumor Roundup speculate that Strowman's 2019 deal might be why he was cut. He was making 1 million a year from that deal. That's a big savings for releasing just one person.

Edit: another thing I saw mentioned is Khan is open to working with other companies (which explains the recent talks between WWE and NJPW), and hoarding talent like WWE has been doing is likely detrimental to that (and also feeds into the salary issue, as it seems more than a few of the cuts involved people who signed deals around the time Strowman did, which likely meant paying them more not to go elsewhere)
 
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Malleustein

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I've heard the rumours about a sale, which the recent layoffs might be a small part of. Trim the fat, tidy up the company structure, etc.

I just can't imagine WWE without a crazy McMahon in charge.
 

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Out of curiosity, how does NJPW compare to companies like AEW, Impact, and NWA, both in terms of respect and what they would be able to offer to someone financially?
 

Malleustein

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It's hard to compare. NJPW has been around for decades, it's had its ups and downs over the years, to be sure.

Simply due to longevity and legacy, it is closer to WWE than the rest, but more respected. As a financially sound business, I believe it's still doing well, pandemic aside. I haven't heard anything either way, but prior to 2020, things seemed to be going well. They are big in Japan (and now that song's stuck in your head), but still have a long way to go if they want to actually matter in the US.

The NJPW Strong show is reasonably accessible, Kevin Kelly commentates that and does a decent job.

If (big if) NJPW strikes a deal with WWE, I can't see any of it's other arrangements lasting. Which might create a few issues. Mox is their US Champ, and with Ospreay out for a while, that's probably the most important NJ belt anyone in outside of Japan cares about. Right now NJPW has some sort of deal with almost every promotion other than WWE, but if WWE (under new ownership?) is open to a deal, I could maybe see the situation changing. It really depends if Comcast (or whoever) is interested in being associated with a "wrestling" company, since McMahon has so utterly distanced his company from the concept it's almost moon-speak.

In my ideal world, NJPW and WWE would absolutely be co-operative entities, with the occasional cross-promotional events and some talent sharing. Then again, in my ideal world, WWE wouldn't be a cake and arse party where creative decisions are made by sitcom writers...
 

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Out of curiosity, how does NJPW compare to companies like AEW, Impact, and NWA, both in terms of respect and what they would be able to offer to someone financially?
Besides what Malleustein Malleustein mentions, NJPW is now affiliated with World Wonder Ring Stardom, the one of (if not the) largest Joshi promotion (as they are both now owned by Bushiroad).

Their style of wrestling is a little harder hitting, hence the term "Strong Style). New Japan posts free matches every Monday on their Youtube channel (as well as the matches on the Roku Channel).

Many of their competitors are technically sound (which is why guys like Angle and Lesnar competed there between WWE Runs). Many wrestlers who became stars in WWE were there in the past (Benoit, Malenko, Guerrero, Jericho among others). It was founded by Antonio Inoki, whose fame goes beyond wrestling (he fought Ali once which inspired the whole Thunderlips part of Rocky III).

They had a long term working relationship with WCW & The NWA in the past. If not for that, we wouldn't have the great rivalry between Pillman and Jushin Liger, or Sting and The Great Muta among others. Shinsuke Nakamura and Kushida both came from NJPW, and are good representation of the quality of wrestlers they create.

I saw something that WWE's deal seems to be more towards a direct relationship with NXT, not Raw/Smackdown. That would be beneficial for their younger talent, and still give NJPW access to a larger audience (while AEW does better numbers than NXT, there's also Peacock, plus WWE has a larger and better public relations department).

Whether it will be as beneficial for NJPW remains to be seen. They had plans to expand into the US that got killed by the pandemic. They sold out Madison Square Garden in that show with Ring of Honor, something no other promotion has done since WWE became the juggernaut it has. Casual fans likely don't know much about it, but more invested fans who support AEW, IMPACT, RoH, etc, do. A deal with WWE might bring more of those fans back to WWE (since many don't, or just support NXT).

It would definitely help them in Japan. They sell out the Tokyo Dome pretty much every year for Dominion (their Wrestlemania). Given NXT Japan might not happen now (or is still a few years off), working with NJPW now might help make that have a better chance of success. So there are plenty of financial incentives to having the two largest wrestling promotions in the world working together
 

Malleustein

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It is entirely possible that WWE is less interested in having NXT's across the globe and might just make co-operative endeavors with reliable partners essentially the same thing, as long as they can broadcast it on Peacock. If that's the case NJPW is the obvious candidate.

Honestly, I don't think the Japanese "strong style" has much potential in the U.S., simply because so few non-Japanese wrestlers can do it well (though plenty think they can...) and there are barriers to a lot of the Japanese getting over with the casual audience. Those who speak English well have a better chance, of course.

Still, it's an untapped market that appeals to a dedicated fan-base, and while WWE's flagship shows are aimed at the lowest denominator casual audience, they cater to the hardcore wrestling fans on the network. There's no reason not to try and get as much NJPW on there as possible if a sound deal can be made.

It might be an opportunity to see another side of WWE talent if they work with NJPW wrestlers. Some already have, and some really found themselves over there. Juice Robinson spring immediately to mind. Some who have floundered or are not well-regarded in the ring might be able to prove naysayers wrong. Of course, if the relationship is only with NXT, that's really less of an issue.
 

Malleustein

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So that's Andrade in AEW. They really are giving TNA a run for scooping up ex-WWE guys aren't they?

Honestly though, he's a really good get. Not an over-the-hill-club member and never fully utilized in WWE.

Besides, the more ex-WWE guys, the fewer "AEW Originals" I'll have to skip segments of.
 

urbwar

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I hope Thea (aka Vega) joins as well. Tommy End (aka Aleister Black) did a thing on her Twitch, and he claimed the news reports of her coming back to WWE were not true. If that's the case, she is free to reunite with Andrade. They both worked better together than on their own
 

Malleustein

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I'd rather see Vega besides Andrade, but he seems to be Vicki's client right now.
 

urbwar

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I'd rather see Vega besides Andrade, but he seems to be Vicki's client right now.

For now. If Thea comes in, she could manage him. Given Andrade is set to challenge Kenny Omega for the AAA title, it would make sense to make him more of a tweener/face than have him be a heel with Vicki as his manager. That way we could see Andrade vs Omega for the AEW title as well. I think the plan is for Hangman to face Omega (they started setting that up when they were a tag team), so I could see him beat Andrade, then go heel on Hangman. But I think cocky face Andrade could be pretty cool
 

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I'm watching When Our Shadows Fall, the current NWA ppv. It's just shy of 2 hours. Some big surprises:

1) Kylie Rae is back, and she's a heel! Yet she still acts the same as when she was a face (just with some cheating).
2) JTG is back, and he looks good! He was more jacked than Fred Rosser (aka Darren Young). They also had one of the better matches on the card (which says a lot to me, as I don't find Rosser that interesting of an in-ring performer. JTG I only ever liked in Cryme Tyme, so his performance here was more enjoyable)

On top of that, I continue to be impressed with Kamille. Her match with Rosa on Powerrr was really good, and her match with Deeb continues the pattern. Kamille was all power, while Deeb was constantly putting Kamille in various submission holds to try and wear her down. The in house crowd were supportive of both women (even though Kamille was the heel going into the match), but I get why. Why she's a heel, she didn't cheat during the match.

I was let down by the main event. It was a decent match between Aldis & Murdoch, with the emphasis on how both were trained by the late Harley Race, and were facing off for a title he helped make famous. Murdoch summoned his inner Dusty to hit some bionic style elbows, which was pretty cool. The ending was a letdown though.
 

Tulpa Girl

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So AEW's Jungle Boy and Anna Jay are now an item.

E4_BpFrWYAAkRhh.jpg

Once this image had started making the rounds, apparently Abadon decided that she would recreate the image with Carlie Bravo (who has been on Dark and Elevation of late).

E5LCk6JWUAIDPA1.jpg

Aww, they look so happy together!
 

Malleustein

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Make Anna Jungle Boy's manager, so that he never has to speak again. I'm not sure I could survive another one of his interviews.
 

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I'm behind on NXT (I am at the last Takeover), but almost caught up on NXT UK. Ilya, Joe Coffey and Rampage had one of the stiffest 3 ways I've ever seen. Really good match. Jack Starz had a decent go at Tyler Bate for the Heritage Cup, and Amale (after attacking Nina Samuels from behind) challenged Meiko, who decked her with a microphone in her hand! That was bad ass!

NWA appears to have faltered on the Trevor Murdoch angle. The interesting things going on now are: Melina is supposed to be a face (being on Rosa's side), but she keeps pissing off the other women. She lost to Kylie Rae on the last Powerrr. JTG is going to face Adonis for the National title. I can't believe I'm rooting for JTG, but I am. Fred Rosser claims to have his back against Strictly Business, but as JTG has beat him twice now, does he really?

Aron Stevens and Kratos finally appear to be on the same page, thanks to Bestia 666 and Mechawolf calling them out. The War Kings (Crimson and Jax Dane) seem to be coming apart after Jax stopped Crimson from using a chair on Slice Boogie (who really deserved a chair shot for all the crap he's done to both of them).

Thunder Rosa is becoming the Mexican equivalent to Asuka, switching between English and Spanish. Serena Deeb was doing an interview at the same time Rosa was, and Rosa accused Deeb of "stealing my shine". I want to see these two go at it again!
 

Malleustein

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The JTG we're seeing now is the one I wish we had seen all those years ago. WWE's attitude with hiring and pushing guys way too young, then losing interest and releasing them seems so counter productive. The same thing happened to Chris Masters and so many others besides.

This JTG knows what he's doing, looks the part and carries himself well. He could get over with a bigger audience. JTG from (bloody hell) 15 years ago didn't have much chance, especially not with the Cryme Tyme gimmick, which had a short shelf life.
 

urbwar

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This JTG knows what he's doing, looks the part and carries himself well. He could get over with a bigger audience. JTG from (bloody hell) 15 years ago didn't have much chance, especially not with the Cryme Tyme gimmick, which had a short shelf life.
Cryme Tyme had one chance for the big time, when they were teamed with Cena. Then, iirc, Cena got hurt, and that fell apart. Right before that, that was the most over Cryme Tyme was. Even so, the JTG of today is a more polished performer.
 

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Cryme Tyme had one chance for the big time, when they were teamed with Cena. Then, iirc, Cena got hurt, and that fell apart. Right before that, that was the most over Cryme Tyme was. Even so, the JTG of today is a more polished performer.

Agreed, but I still suspect the gimmick itself could only ever go so far and WWE's overall lack of interest in tag teams would have stopped them getting any bigger.
 

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Agreed, but I still suspect the gimmick itself could only ever go so far and WWE's overall lack of interest in tag teams would have stopped them getting any bigger.

Depends. As long as they were aligned with Cena (who was the top face at the time), the future for them was bright. Sure, once that ended, they'd go back down the card, but at the time, there were big plans for them. Mostly because Cena was pretty clear he wanted to work with them because he saw their potential. Given Cena had some pull backstage, they could have had a really good run with some top guys for awhile. Even if it had lasted six months, it would have helped their careers. Sadly, Cena getting injured killed that, so we never got to see what CTC could have done. But the short time they were together, it was pretty awesome.
 

E-Rocker

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I've barely watched any wrestling this year, but I did get Impact Slammiversary 2021 last night. I found the main event kind of underwhelming, although it involved two wrestlers I usually find very entertaining, Sami Callihan and Kenny Omega. Overall I enjoyed the show, though.

My favorite part was actually the pre-show because
Rosemary and Havok won the Knockouts Division tag team titles, and I'm a total sucker for wrestlers with supernatural gimmicks.
 

urbwar

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I was thinking about checking that out. I also want to see RoH Best in the World. I'm making my way through the last NXT Takeover, so I'm pretty behind on NXT. I'm just a week behind on NXT UK

NWA has been interesting. Adonis beat JTG to get the National title back. It was a decent match which made JTG look pretty good. It looks like they might be setting him up to team with Fred Rosser.

It looks like Kratos and Stevens, while still not having their differences, are more united than they've been thanks to La Rebellion (who had a six man with Homicide as their partner).

Austin Idol continues to make the worst promos on Powerrr. I fast forward because he makes little to no sense, and drags on too long.

It looks like Deeb and Rosa are having an actual feud now, and Kylie Rae keeps siding with the heels (but isn't acting like one herself).
 

E-Rocker

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It looks like Deeb and Rosa are having an actual feud now, and Kylie Rae keeps siding with the heels (but isn't acting like one herself).

I didn't realize Kylie Rae had un-retired! I guess I will have to start watching Powerrr now.
 
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