CZW had a lot of good guys for a while in the mid-2000s (it's mostly the crew you'd expect, Steen, Generico, Hero, Super Dragon, Quack, Kingston, Claudio, Roddy, Ruckus, and also Sonjay Dutt). Yeah, the early days were just blood and guts, but things changed a bit when they started booking Red and his crew (Maximos, Brian XL) there were a few years in the mid 2007s where they had a lot of good stuff, and it was mostly the booking holding them back (other than when Mike Burns was booking).cero2k wrote: ↑Jun 18th, '20, 14:01ROH had word of mouth mostly, and it was mostly because TNA had a lot of their guys, and WWE started picking up guys like Punk. I don't think CZW has ever been popular at all, aside from people hearing that someone died or almost died.Big Red Machine wrote: ↑Jun 16th, '20, 15:48They had the documentaries and they were putting them out on Social Media. They were doing a lot of the YouTube stuff first (remember that Jimmy Jacobs coming to EVOLVE teaser video?). I'll agree that their promoting wasn't the best, but it was no worse than ROH's or CZW's.
The thing with Dave is the way Dave talked PWG up. You can't tell me you don't think that drove DVD sales up for them, with Dave putting out LIVE ratings (which he never did for anyone else; he'd always wait to watch a show back on tape) so that there is "OMG EVERYTHING WAS SO AWESOME" buzz for weeks before the show. Every PWG show got a big write-up in the Observer, complete with star ratings, like it was a PPV. ROH only got that for PPVs and maybe Mania weekend. EVOLVE, CZW, CHIKARA, and so many others never got it, despite being bigger and more influential than PWG who were just doing super-indy sh*t with basically no storylines. Dave spending the six hours a month to watch EVOLVE and then write about it in his newsletter would have brought some spotlight to the product and could have convinced people to at least give it a try, but he never did. And for a guy who is supposed to be the wrestling journalist, there is no excuse to not cover promotions as big as EVOLVE and CHIKARA were at that point.
I completely agree with this. I just think it's a shame that he wastes his time watching UFC undercards and NJPW "Road to..." shows instead of watching EVOLVE, AAW, Beyond, All Japan, NXT UK, wXw PROGRESS, etc. The dude should know that 90% of the matches on the "Road to..." shows are intentionally meh and only the main events even have a chance at being good, and that his time is better spent on other promotions.cero2k wrote: ↑Jun 18th, '20, 14:01Dave raving about PWG helped, as did Sofia Vergara and Ronda Rousey going to the show, but Dave wasn't there from the beginning, you and I have followed PWG longer than Dave has; Dave wasn't working for Super Dragon to talk nice about the show or anything, being there is really awesome. PWG just happens to be the promotion that he goes with his friends, and you and i can agree that PWG had some awesome years. If Dave lived in Chicago, maybe he go watch EVOLVE or AAW, or maybe he'd go watch DEFY if he lived near Seattle, but he goes to PWG cuz it's what's close and his friends go to.
The same argument you say about EVOLVE, I can say it for 10 other more relevant promotions around the world, so why EVOLVE, if they weren't even making noise? It's not like PWG was running weekly shows either, it's a big piece every other month, it doesn't really take time away from other promotions.
cero2k wrote: ↑Jun 18th, '20, 14:01I do feel confident to say that the plan was there at one point, I used to get a ton of surveys about it when I was still subbed to their survey list, and you're right, ICW and PROGRESS got that offer too, and neither are doing particularly good either.Big Red Machine wrote: ↑Jun 16th, '20, 15:48Do we know that the Network promise was ever actually made, or was that just internet speculation. It's not just EVOLVE with that one, either. We've been hearing rumors for YEARS about PROGRESS, ICW, and EVOLVE (and, to a lesser extent, OTT and wXw) and aside from the one EVOLVE show last summer, it has never happened.
We don't even know that they promised to help EVOLVE grow. Why would they want EVOLVE to grow that much if they're taking NXT on tour, and when EVOLVE runs a lot of shows in Florida, which would make them competition with the NXT B loop? A much more likely scenario to me is that they promised to help EVOLVE merely stay alive, like with ECW, and Gabe has now come to the point where he's making the same decision that Heyman did in 2001 and Cornette did in 1995 where it's just not worth the effort and stress to continue.
Except that it's been YEARS of those WWE surveys, and nothing has ever happened with any of it. Not just the "other promotions" stuff, but a lot of the changes, too. We're only getting a tiered WWE Network now, and that has been on their list for years.
I feel like that "we'll put you on the Network" stuff was all just speculation, and people bought into it primarily because it makes a hell of a lot of sense, but if it hasn't happened in the five years since those rumors first started flowing, I'm skeptical it was ever an actual promise.
Because Gabe wanted money that he could use to keep the promotion alive.cero2k wrote: ↑Jun 18th, '20, 14:01Why would Gabe join WWE if he wasn't thinking that the future looks like growth? WWE had to paint a good enough picture to Gabe to argue signing up with them. They were not going to allow EVOLVE to be bigger than NXT of course, but surely the plan was to help EVOLVE grow over ROH and PWG.
Even if 'staying alive' was the promise, they still failed EVOLVE if they indeed never come back from the hiatus.
If EVOLVE comes back, we'll see. Apparently the issue is that they were betting a lot of stuff on Mania weekend and used a lot of fly-ins and haven't been able to get their money back. Maybe WWE will help them out. Hell... maybe WWE will just turn EVOLVE into their NXT house show circuit if the rumors of WWE cutting house-shows post-COVID are true. If EVOLVE was holding steady with WWE's help and then die because of COVID, that's not WWE's fault.