How do we feel about NXT Callups?

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Serujuunin
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Serujuunin » Feb 21st, '19, 11:22

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:11
It's super jank, but I feel like Black and Ricochet will get over organically. They're too cool of characters not to.
Yeah... I legitimately stopped for a moment upon hearing this because my brain literally couldn’t put it together. He has a fantastic roster but because none of them have gotten over DESPITE his dreadful booking, he’s disinterested and stole Hunter’s four best guys to ruin them too.

I know WWE is the only wrestling company I follow, but... I hate this company.

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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 11:36

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:11


It's super jank, but I feel like Black and Ricochet will get over organically. They're too cool of characters not to.
I agree with this, although with Black it will take a lot longer without a good booking plan.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by NWK2000 » Feb 21st, '19, 11:42

Serujuunin wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:22
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:11
It's super jank, but I feel like Black and Ricochet will get over organically. They're too cool of characters not to.
Yeah... I legitimately stopped for a moment upon hearing this because my brain literally couldn’t put it together. He has a fantastic roster but because none of them have gotten over DESPITE his dreadful booking, he’s disinterested and stole Hunter’s four best guys to ruin them too.

I know WWE is the only wrestling company I follow, but... I hate this company.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:36
I agree with this, although with Black it will take a lot longer without a good booking plan.
Are we seriously lamenting people's ability not to get over when, in basically a month, KOFI KINGSTON became a top babyface? And that people still pop for Finn winning even though he's a midcarder? And that people still adore Boss-Hug connection despite them being booked TERRIBLY. Proof positive that people can get/stay over despite poor booking is happening right in front of our eyes, and yet, we lament the futures of people who have had TWO matches on main roster TV? Give me a break. And, while I see where the uneasiness of DIY being a thing again comes from, the point remains, they've had TWO main roster matches. Let's wait until after the opening credits roll to decide if we don't like the movie,, shall we?
Last edited by NWK2000 on Feb 21st, '19, 11:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 11:45

Dave and Garrett Gonzales compared the Ciampa/Gargano situation to Damaja and Basham being called up from OVW in the middle of a long feud and being made a tag team on TV and Cornette having to come up with a kayfabe for this (which, if I remember correctly, was that Basham's valet traded sexual favors to the corrupt head of talent relations, Johnny Ace, in order to force Damaja to be his tag team partner on the main roster because, while he hated his guts, he respected his abilities in the ring).
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by NWK2000 » Feb 21st, '19, 11:51

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:45
Dave and Garrett Gonzales compared the Ciampa/Gargano situation to Damaja and Basham being called up from OVW in the middle of a long feud and being made a tag team on TV and Cornette having to come up with a kayfabe for this (which, if I remember correctly, was that Basham's valet traded sexual favors to the corrupt head of talent relations, Johnny Ace, in order to force Damaja to be his tag team partner on the main roster because, while he hated his guts, he respected his abilities in the ring).
That's exactly what it is, except unlike Cornette and Ace, this was a genuine communication fuck up, and at least Vince respects Hunter enough to not give guys completely different looks/gimmicks like Ace would do to Cornette.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by KILLdozer » Feb 21st, '19, 12:00

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:42
Serujuunin wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:22
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:11
It's super jank, but I feel like Black and Ricochet will get over organically. They're too cool of characters not to.
Yeah... I legitimately stopped for a moment upon hearing this because my brain literally couldn’t put it together. He has a fantastic roster but because none of them have gotten over DESPITE his dreadful booking, he’s disinterested and stole Hunter’s four best guys to ruin them too.

I know WWE is the only wrestling company I follow, but... I hate this company.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:36
I agree with this, although with Black it will take a lot longer without a good booking plan.
Are we seriously lamenting people's ability not to get over when, in basically a month, KOFI KINGSTON became a top babyface? And that people still pop for Finn winning even though he's a midcarder? And that people still adore Boss-Hug connection despite them being booked TERRIBLY. Proof positive that people can get/stay over despite poor booking is happening right in front of our eyes, and yet, we lament the futures of people who have had TWO matches on main roster TV? Give me a break. And, while I see where the uneasiness of DIY being a thing again comes from, the point remains, they've had TWO main roster matches. Let's wait until after the opening credits roll to decide if we don't like the movie,, shall we?
Man....WHO ARE YOU and where are you from ? Because you're obviously new here...that's just how shit works around these parts lol.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by KILLdozer » Feb 21st, '19, 12:01

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:45
Dave and Garrett Gonzales compared the Ciampa/Gargano situation to Damaja and Basham being called up from OVW in the middle of a long feud and being made a tag team on TV and Cornette having to come up with a kayfabe for this (which, if I remember correctly, was that Basham's valet traded sexual favors to the corrupt head of talent relations, Johnny Ace, in order to force Damaja to be his tag team partner on the main roster because, while he hated his guts, he respected his abilities in the ring).
"Garrett Gonzalez'???

I can see why he's not a wrestler with a name like that...
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 12:59

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:42


Are we seriously lamenting people's ability not to get over when, in basically a month, KOFI KINGSTON became a top babyface? And that people still pop for Finn winning even though he's a midcarder? And that people still adore Boss-Hug connection despite them being booked TERRIBLY. Proof positive that people can get/stay over despite poor booking is happening right in front of our eyes, and yet, we lament the futures of people who have had TWO matches on main roster TV? Give me a break. And, while I see where the uneasiness of DIY being a thing again comes from, the point remains, they've had TWO main roster matches. Let's wait until after the opening credits roll to decide if we don't like the movie,, shall we?
There is a history with Kofi, though. Think of that mid-2000s group of call-ups: Kofi, Punk, Swagger, MVP, Anderson, Ziggler, Mike Knox, Dibiase, Cody, Miz, Morrison, Masters...
Kofi is the only one who feels like he did great work on a consistent basis and yet also never got the chances some of the others got. Most of the others- even guys like Swagger who got the world title- felt like they either flamed out and were jobbers by the end, or left out of frustration (or, in Anderson's case, another reason).
Of that group, the only ones who are left are Kofi, Miz, and Dolph. Miz almost doesn't feel like he belongs in the same category because he's so much of an "entertainment" guy (which isn't a knock on him in any way. It's just me saying that his utility to the company is mostly based on his talking skills, both in terms of promos, acting gigs, and how well he does on talk shows). Dolph has had the runs on top, and yet has also hit that stigma of "Vince tried him on top and didn't like him so he'll never be there again," coupled with his own frustration over it that results in his try-hard promos that come off as grating. But Kofi...
Kofi has never had that top run. The one time it looked like he was going to get it was a decade ago and he got cut off harder than anyone else save Anderson, and for a less legitimate reason (botching spots in a big match isn't good, but it's not a reason to decide someone can't ever be a top guy). Meanwhile, as a midcarder, he has performed at an excellent level, and been a babyface almost the entire time (and never a heel as a singles wrestler). For the past few years Kofi has been in this odd role of New Day's where they are heavily featured and do excellent work in the ring, but it's in a division we all know Vince doesn't care about, and while he has been heavily featured and excellent in the ring, the comedy (and I use that word generously) in the promos still create this feeling that he is still being underutilized.

I'm not a fan of the "YOU DESERVE IT!" *clap*clap* *clap*clap*clap* culture that has emerged in wrestling fandom (and in WWE in particular), nor am I a fan of the Lifetime Achievement Award world title reign... but there is a real opportunity here! It's hard to judge things comparatively without knowing their full planned Mania card (or at least the SD side of it), but they don't have anything clearly in the works at the moment other than whatever happens with Miz and Shane, so why not take the opportunity to tell that story that we almost never get from the main roster. Someone gets over and the fans want to see him/her win the belt, so you put the f*cking on him/her... and unlike with Becky, this time they'd be putting the title on someone the crowd wants because that is their plan rather than because the crowd is fighting against their plan so hard. The pieces are in place (the crowd is totally behind Kofi, we've got a great heel for him to take the belt from, plus a wonderfully symbolic WM opponent to defend against in Orton) for a memorable story of a lifetime of climbing the ladder to finally pay off.
But I don't think those pieces exist if it's not Kofi Kingston in that spot. (Mustafa Ali might have gotten equally over, but it would have been a "can the new guy do it?" type of thing, not a "finally reaching the top after all of these years of hard work" kind of thing like it is with Kofi).

The DIY thing isn't just "uneasiness." It's full-blown anger that instead of the long-laid plans for the culmination of a wonderful story that NXT has been building up for over two years, we now have to watch these characters in the hands of the same clumsy f*ckhead who has been booking his own ratings into the tank because he can't f*cking remember what he did from week to week!

Yes, you mentioned that some people have gotten hotter recently, but I'll give you some counter-examples of guys who are colder (and, in some cases, WAY colder) than they were a mere six months ago, even if they have been consistently pushed:
- Drew McIntyre
- Braun Strowman
- Seth Rollins (Seth was MUCH hotter now than he was even back in May when there was no Shield reunion going on, and Seth just won the f*cking Royal Rumble)
- Rusev
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Elias (what a ridiculously ill-conceived heel turn this has been!)
- Dean Ambrose (if you don't think now is a fair comparison, look at pre-Rumble Ambrose compared to him before he turned. And he never even got hot as a heel in between).

(And that's not counting people who have been mysteriously removed from TV for long periods of time like Ziggler, or people who got hurt and then came back but WWE has totally bungled the potential opportunities provided by their returns like Alexa.)
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Big Red Machine
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 13:19

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:51
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:45
Dave and Garrett Gonzales compared the Ciampa/Gargano situation to Damaja and Basham being called up from OVW in the middle of a long feud and being made a tag team on TV and Cornette having to come up with a kayfabe for this (which, if I remember correctly, was that Basham's valet traded sexual favors to the corrupt head of talent relations, Johnny Ace, in order to force Damaja to be his tag team partner on the main roster because, while he hated his guts, he respected his abilities in the ring).
That's exactly what it is, except unlike Cornette and Ace, this was a genuine communication fuck up, and at least Vince respects Hunter enough to not give guys completely different looks/gimmicks like Ace would do to Cornette.
He shouldn't have taken Ciampa and Gargano AT ALL! Even if he doesn't watch NXT (which is feels like criminal negligence if he is making decisions on who should get called up), he should at least know the basics of what's going on, and he should have been able to f*cking guess that calling up Hunter's two male singles champions might be problematic! And when Hunter got to TV he should have said "NO! Not these two." The time could have easily been filled with a Roode & Gable vs. Revival match or giving Roode & Gable a win over some other tag team, or a combination of things like making Lucha House Party vs. Hawkins & Ryder Longer and segments explaining why Ruby Riott is getting another title shot and why Lashley and Rush are back together, and some sort of confrontation between Vince and Hunter/Steph over Vince suspending Ronda! You know... sh*t that would actually HELP the storylines they already had going.


And Vince is giving them a different gimmick. These were not two people with personal goals and two and a half years of complicated history between them. They were a random tag team who wanted to "show the world what NXT is all about," and "take over" WWE or whatever.

Also, the idea that "Rollins wasn't cleared so we had to scramble to rewrite the show" is such a bullsh*t excuse for them to be making. This a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING PROMOTION, with a roster including (and I'll keep it only to people know for a fact were in the building that night and cleared to wrestle): Dean Ambrose, Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nattie Neidhart, Lucha House Party, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Tyler Breeze, Jinder Mahal, the Singh Brothers, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Sarah Logan, Ruby Riott, Finn Balor, Ricochet, Lio Rush, The Revival, and Bobby Roode (I've left Aleister Black off the list due to the argument that his match shouldn't even have gone as long as it did). All of these people are either veterans of the wrestling business or at least have enough indy work under their belts that they should know how to call a match in the ring to extend it. FILL TIME WITH SOME F*CKING WRESTLING MATCHES!
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by NWK2000 » Feb 21st, '19, 13:59

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 12:59




Yes, you mentioned that some people have gotten hotter recently, but I'll give you some counter-examples of guys who are colder (and, in some cases, WAY colder) than they were a mere six months ago, even if they have been consistently pushed:
- Drew McIntyre
- Braun Strowman
- Seth Rollins (Seth was MUCH hotter now than he was even back in May when there was no Shield reunion going on, and Seth just won the f*cking Royal Rumble)
- Rusev
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Elias (what a ridiculously ill-conceived heel turn this has been!)
- Dean Ambrose (if you don't think now is a fair comparison, look at pre-Rumble Ambrose compared to him before he turned. And he never even got hot as a heel in between).

(And that's not counting people who have been mysteriously removed from TV for long periods of time like Ziggler, or people who got hurt and then came back but WWE has totally bungled the potential opportunities provided by their returns like Alexa.)
I'm not saying there isn't evidence o the contrary because there is, but if we were having this conversation 6 months ago, Finn, Sasha, Bailey, and Kofi could've represented the argument you're making here. I think that a few people have plausible reasons for being less over. Dean is publicly on his way out, so of course he's less over than he was a year ago. Nakamura's (and maybe Rusev)'s only crime is that he's on a roster that's so top heavy. I'm pretty sure if either were drafted to Raw, they would be main eventing and putting on good matches against Seth or Finn. Braun's case I think is similar on the other end, he's a big dude in the land of big dudes. Draft him to Smackdown, and you have the inherent feud of a big country boy from North Carolina versus persnickety vegan Bryan, or Braun vs Joe, or Braun vs Miz. Seth's case is unfortunate as well because, being injured in his Mania build up means he can't put on amazing matches on a consistent basis, which is what I think his bread and butter is, so of course he's cooled down. Everyone else is in that place where, if they had one good match against somebody like Seth or Bryan, they would be catapulted from there. Specifically, I think Drew will be main eventing by the time Summerslam rolls around.

Furthermore, as I've said I'm not comfortable projecting the four call ups' careers when they've had two main roster matches, on different brands,
Assuming there's going to be a Superstar Shakeup sometime before the year's end, let's see where everybody lands around Survivor Series time. If they're in the same places they are now, or in programs unbecoming of them, even as soon as Summerslam 2019, I will concede that you are correct. I just have a gut feeling that a lot more people are one match away from greatness than you think.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Serujuunin » Feb 21st, '19, 14:18

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:42
Serujuunin wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:22
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:11
It's super jank, but I feel like Black and Ricochet will get over organically. They're too cool of characters not to.
Yeah... I legitimately stopped for a moment upon hearing this because my brain literally couldn’t put it together. He has a fantastic roster but because none of them have gotten over DESPITE his dreadful booking, he’s disinterested and stole Hunter’s four best guys to ruin them too.

I know WWE is the only wrestling company I follow, but... I hate this company.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:36
I agree with this, although with Black it will take a lot longer without a good booking plan.
Are we seriously lamenting people's ability not to get over when, in basically a month, KOFI KINGSTON became a top babyface? And that people still pop for Finn winning even though he's a midcarder? And that people still adore Boss-Hug connection despite them being booked TERRIBLY. Proof positive that people can get/stay over despite poor booking is happening right in front of our eyes, and yet, we lament the futures of people who have had TWO matches on main roster TV? Give me a break. And, while I see where the uneasiness of DIY being a thing again comes from, the point remains, they've had TWO main roster matches. Let's wait until after the opening credits roll to decide if we don't like the movie,, shall we?
I’m not lamenting that at all. I love it, in fact. What I am lamenting is that Vince doesn’t seem to believe that anyone has the potential to get over this way and he wants to throw the baby out with the bath water.

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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by NWK2000 » Feb 21st, '19, 14:25

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 13:19
He shouldn't have taken Ciampa and Gargano AT ALL!

I'll give you this. But...

And Vince is giving them a different gimmick. These were not two people with personal goals and two and a half years of complicated history between them. They were a random tag team who wanted to "show the world what NXT is all about," and "take over" WWE or whatever.
I understand that Gargano vs Ciampa was the feud of the year. I rated some of their matches on this very forum higher than I've rated any other. But let's be honest NXT is to Marvel Comics what Raw and Smackdown are to the MCU. Are Marvel comics helpful to understanding the MCU and it's characters? Yes. Are tropes similar across both? Yes. Should Marvel comics be required reading for understanding Marvel movies. They could be, but you alienate the casual audience that way because that's a huge backlog. In the month to month storytelling of WWE, 2 years is a long ass time, so I think the reboot of the story of DIY might be a positive thing for that reason, and if spoilers I've read are any indication there's a plot twist coming for them in NXT.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by cero2k » Feb 21st, '19, 15:59

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 11:42

Are we seriously lamenting people's ability not to get over when, in basically a month, KOFI KINGSTON became a top babyface? And that people still pop for Finn winning even though he's a midcarder? And that people still adore Boss-Hug connection despite them being booked TERRIBLY. Proof positive that people can get/stay over despite poor booking is happening right in front of our eyes, and yet, we lament the futures of people who have had TWO matches on main roster TV? Give me a break. And, while I see where the uneasiness of DIY being a thing again comes from, the point remains, they've had TWO main roster matches. Let's wait until after the opening credits roll to decide if we don't like the movie,, shall we?
they'll get as over as Balor, they're beautiful looking people that are really spotty and fans, as we saw on Monday, love flippy shit and tables breaking. Problem is that WWE doesn't need over people, they need larger than life superstars that can turn the ratings fall around and get people back to buying tickets. Becky Lynch is the arguably the hottest act right now (I think, WWE fans' attention span sucks), but she is insignificant to ratings since ratings went up this week and she wasn't there, and ratings went down when she was announced. Kofi is a flavor of the month, but he won't move ratings either, he's just another Zack Ryder, another Dolph Ziggler, another Rusev Day.

I think your point actually proves something bigger here. WWE thinks that they need new flippy faces, but the truth is, wrestlers are getting over despite WWE and people still care for some old faces, ut WWE doesn't know how to capitalize on that properly.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by cero2k » Feb 21st, '19, 16:07

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 14:25


I understand that Gargano vs Ciampa was the feud of the year. I rated some of their matches on this very forum higher than I've rated any other. But let's be honest NXT is to Marvel Comics what Raw and Smackdown are to the MCU. Are Marvel comics helpful to understanding the MCU and it's characters? Yes. Are tropes similar across both? Yes. Should Marvel comics be required reading for understanding Marvel movies. They could be, but you alienate the casual audience that way because that's a huge backlog. In the month to month storytelling of WWE, 2 years is a long ass time, so I think the reboot of the story of DIY might be a positive thing for that reason, and if spoilers I've read are any indication there's a plot twist coming for them in NXT.
should you completely kill the XMen because you want to benefit the main roster's inhumans and make more money? WWE doesn't really have casuals anymore, they're down to their hardcores. Takeover Phoenix oversold the main roster RAW and Smackdown that weekend, and if they're trying to capitalize on the NXT fandom, then respect the NXT product so that fandom will be happy to follow. We are a month and a half from Wrestlemania, I think complains like BRMs and such are why couldn't we wait until then for Hunter to finish up their stories?
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by NWK2000 » Feb 21st, '19, 16:49

cero2k wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 16:07
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 14:25


I understand that Gargano vs Ciampa was the feud of the year. I rated some of their matches on this very forum higher than I've rated any other. But let's be honest NXT is to Marvel Comics what Raw and Smackdown are to the MCU. Are Marvel comics helpful to understanding the MCU and it's characters? Yes. Are tropes similar across both? Yes. Should Marvel comics be required reading for understanding Marvel movies. They could be, but you alienate the casual audience that way because that's a huge backlog. In the month to month storytelling of WWE, 2 years is a long ass time, so I think the reboot of the story of DIY might be a positive thing for that reason, and if spoilers I've read are any indication there's a plot twist coming for them in NXT.
should you completely kill the XMen because you want to benefit the main roster's inhumans and make more money? WWE doesn't really have casuals anymore, they're down to their hardcores. Takeover Phoenix oversold the main roster RAW and Smackdown that weekend, and if they're trying to capitalize on the NXT fandom, then respect the NXT product so that fandom will be happy to follow. We are a month and a half from Wrestlemania, I think complains like BRMs and such are why couldn't we wait until then for Hunter to finish up their stories?
My example was more akin to starting the story of Captain America at the beginning so that new fans didn't have to hunt down the origin story themselves. Also if hardcore's are WWE's only audience then why is Roman Reigns the top merch seller?
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 17:11

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 13:59
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 12:59




Yes, you mentioned that some people have gotten hotter recently, but I'll give you some counter-examples of guys who are colder (and, in some cases, WAY colder) than they were a mere six months ago, even if they have been consistently pushed:
- Drew McIntyre
- Braun Strowman
- Seth Rollins (Seth was MUCH hotter now than he was even back in May when there was no Shield reunion going on, and Seth just won the f*cking Royal Rumble)
- Rusev
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Elias (what a ridiculously ill-conceived heel turn this has been!)
- Dean Ambrose (if you don't think now is a fair comparison, look at pre-Rumble Ambrose compared to him before he turned. And he never even got hot as a heel in between).

(And that's not counting people who have been mysteriously removed from TV for long periods of time like Ziggler, or people who got hurt and then came back but WWE has totally bungled the potential opportunities provided by their returns like Alexa.)
I'm not saying there isn't evidence o the contrary because there is, but if we were having this conversation 6 months ago, Finn, Sasha, Bailey, and Kofi could've represented the argument you're making here. I think that a few people have plausible reasons for being less over. Dean is publicly on his way out, so of course he's less over than he was a year ago. Nakamura's (and maybe Rusev)'s only crime is that he's on a roster that's so top heavy. I'm pretty sure if either were drafted to Raw, they would be main eventing and putting on good matches against Seth or Finn. Braun's case I think is similar on the other end, he's a big dude in the land of big dudes. Draft him to Smackdown, and you have the inherent feud of a big country boy from North Carolina versus persnickety vegan Bryan, or Braun vs Joe, or Braun vs Miz. Seth's case is unfortunate as well because, being injured in his Mania build up means he can't put on amazing matches on a consistent basis, which is what I think his bread and butter is, so of course he's cooled down. Everyone else is in that place where, if they had one good match against somebody like Seth or Bryan, they would be catapulted from there. Specifically, I think Drew will be main eventing by the time Summerslam rolls around.
I don't buy your arguments here at all.
- Dean stopped being over when he turned heel and they had him do stupid goofy sh*t.

- I think Smackdown actually has more large guys in use (and probably per capita, too) than Raw does. Raw has Braun, Corbin, Lashley, Drew, and AoP as guys who are portrayed as being larger/more massive than the average or who break a cut-off point of, let's say, at least 6'4 and 250lbs (Raw also has Mojo, Jinder, Titus, Konnor, and Goldust, but they rarely make TV). SD has Joe (he fits into the AoP category), Orton, Sheamus, Cesaro, Harper, and Rowan (plus Killian Dane, Big Show, and Luke Gallows not being used) (we'll leave Cena, Kane, Taker, and Hunter out). You're not wrong that a Bryan vs. Strowman feud would work, but them not doing feuds like that is not the reason why Strowman has cooled off so much.

- Is the SD roster top-heavy? Yes, and especially per-capita when compared to Raw, and even more so when you look at the women's divisions, which on SD after the Shakeup had Asuka and Charlotte (with Becky added to the top mix later) while Raw really only had Ronda as someone who could be an actual main eventer (Bliss is there personality-wise but usually needs someone to carry her to real main-event level matches and Nia was not there at all but they just put her there because of marketing reasons) and Ronda was only there because of starpower and wasn't really going to be able to carry a main event workload in the ring.
That being said, there are a few reasons this felt like a problem on SD and not Raw, and a lot of them are issues that WWE has created for themselves. The first one (the one that isn't WWE's fault) is that Raw got bitten by the injury bug a lot more than SD did. I can't think of a single SD top level guy that had any real injury problems this year other than Harper & Rowan (who really only count as one because they took both off TV the moment one got hurt), Sin Cara (who I think was feuding with Almas when he got hurt but otherwise no one would have noticed), Nakamura's dog-bite and Becky's concussion (more on that in a moment). Raw, on the other hand, had injuries to Dean, Strowman, Roman, Owens, Zayn, Bliss, Sasha Banks, Jason Jordan, and Matt Hardy (and that's not including undercard people who could have been something if pushed like Ember Moon or bit-players like Liv Morgan, or Tye Dillinger on SD). While a lot of Raw's injuries are things it is tougher to use for an angle, I think the fact that they have missed a clear opportunity to make something of Alexa's return
But when Becky got injured, they were able to at least make some hay out of it in storyline, where as Raw couldn't. In a lot of cases this was due to Raw's injuries being harder to do this with, but at the same time, the fact that SD was able to while Raw completely failed to (other than the Corbin/Strowman disaster and "how the f*ck did you possibly think this was a good idea?!" Ambrose turn) shows that the SD team is just plain better.
Two other reasons that SD feels more top-heavy than Raw are that where SD has pushed it's tag division to the point where it can main event a TV show and the top teams (New Day, Usos, arguably The Bar and Bludgeon Brothers) could come off as stars, Raw booked there into the ground, and then spent most of the year with it and the IC Title all tangled up together in a feud that eventually merged with the feud over the Universal Title. There was good six-month period where the only possible main events Raw had were the Rollins (& later Dean) vs. Drew & Dolph feud and Roman vs. X #1 contendership/Universal Title feud... which was only made worse when Roman won the feud agaisnt Lashley and started to feud with Braun, only to have that feud merged with Seth & Dean vs. Drew & Dolph, meaning that there was only one main event feud and it tied up all three men's championships (and, as described above, Ronda couldn't carry a main event feud in the ring on TV). If Raw had instead been building up a real tag division (Lucha House Party, AoP, Revival, Titus Worldwide) instead of focusing on jokes like the B-Team and Matt/Bray or getting the belts lost in the Shield/Anti-Shield feud, or if they had put Ronda in the ring with vets who could carry her like Sasha, Nattie, Mickie, or Ruby, or if they had ACTUALLY PULLED THE F*CKING TRIGGER ON SASHA VS. BAYLEY, Raw would have had more main eventers and it wouldn't feel like there was such a disparity between the number of top acts per show.


My point is that this top-heaviness is all a problem of WWE's own making. After all, they could have done the Superstar Shake-up differently so that things weren't so top-heavy on one side. And they themselves exacerbated things, too. If SD is already too top-heavy, don't compound the problem by adding Rey when he signs. Instead, put Rey on Raw, and when you want him to feud with Almas, have Almas demand a trade (or, you know... do what they always do and just have him sow up non the other brand without any explanation). And don't add Mustafa Ali to the mix, too! Let him stay on 205 Live and do his thing over there and make him a face of that brand. If the men's singles division is so top heavy then take two singles guys and make them a tag team instead of adding TV-time eating Shane McMahon to the mix.

All of that being said, I think the real problem is that their booking just plain sucked. And I'm not even talking about stuff that "could have been done better" like the Ronda/Bellas turn. And I'm not even talking about issues of logical consistency. I'm talking about storylines going on in circles for months and months and months! AJ vs. Joe, Orton vs. Hardy, Joe vs. Hardy, Seth & Dean vs. Drew & Dolph, Roman vs. Lashley, the post-TLC part of AJ vs. Bryan, Strowman vs. Corbin (and, by extension, Strowman/Lashley/Drew vs. Corbin/Drifter/Seth or Balor). Even Seth vs. Dean went on a lot longer than they actually had new ideas for. How many months- or, more importantly, how many pointless RESTARTS- did it finally take them to get from "asking is Lana's or Aiden's presence at ringside detrimental to Rusev's career to actually turning one of them because of it?! How many months did we get Owens vs. Strowman or Corbin vs. Balor for without anything new actually happening?! How many MONTHS of repetitive "will they?/won't they?" crap did we get with Sasha and Bayley?
There is only so long that people can keep caring about a character if they realize he/she is caught in an infinite loop of the same exact sh*t week after week and month after month.
Combine that with mistakes that should have been obvious MILES AWAY due to the well-documented history of such things cooling characters down such as quick turns and turn-backs (Braun, Drifter, Alexa), confusing moral stances (Charlotte at the end of the year), and constantly putting a group back together after what seems like a clear turn (Sasha & Bayley are the most obvious example, but Alexa & Mickie and Alexa & Nia have both had this problem, plus one or two more recent quick "yeah... we just dropped that storyline. We're not doing it anymore" situations with Mandy & Sonya, Drew & Dolph, Revival & Lucha House Party, Jeff & Joe), etc. it's no wonder people stop caring about the wrestlers because you're telling them that anything they try to get invested in could disappear the moment you decide to change your minds, which you do on a weekly basis.

Yes, fans have been able to care about wrestlers after terrible mismanagement, but for the most part this only happens with people who have developed a hardcore support base (the new version of an "indy darling" type of thing). People will care about a Finn Balor or a Jeff Hardy or a Samoa Joe or an AJ Styles no matter what you do to them. Kofi was an extenuating set of circumstances, aided by some VERY un-WWE-like booking. With Becky the issue was more that fans were angry that she didn't win and (wrongly, IMO) had decided that Charlotte is a female Roman Reigns and that's why she won, so they revolted (in reality, I thought Becky's heel turn was a rare example of WWE telling a story competently). But a Braun Strowman or a Rusev or even a former indy darling who is seen as corporatized (Rollins) can be damaged by this bad booking because there are the casuals who won't see them the same way for a long time.
With Sasha & Bayley I honestly think them getting cheered is from a segment of the audience that has somehow bought in to WWE's crap and thinks these women's tag team titles are the best idea ever and some sort of great leap forward. This is the "YOU DESERVE IT!" crowd. The people who actually think that Big Boss Man and Ivory and and Jacqueline and Godfather have had Hall of Fame careers. The marks. The ones who are happy to buy absolutely everything WWE shoves down their throats. You could have put The IIconics or Nia & Tamina or Mandy & Sonya and it would have gotten the same response (although the promo wouldn't have been as good).

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 13:59
Furthermore, as I've said I'm not comfortable projecting the four call ups' careers when they've had two main roster matches, on different brands,
Assuming there's going to be a Superstar Shakeup sometime before the year's end, let's see where everybody lands around Survivor Series time. If they're in the same places they are now, or in programs unbecoming of them, even as soon as Summerslam 2019, I will concede that you are correct. I just have a gut feeling that a lot more people are one match away from greatness than you think.
This is fair, but if you look at the evidence for the past few years, the vast majority of call-ups have been flops (cheap plug for an article that I swear I will actually write. And this time I really mean it).
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 17:25

cero2k wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 16:07
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 14:25


I understand that Gargano vs Ciampa was the feud of the year. I rated some of their matches on this very forum higher than I've rated any other. But let's be honest NXT is to Marvel Comics what Raw and Smackdown are to the MCU. Are Marvel comics helpful to understanding the MCU and it's characters? Yes. Are tropes similar across both? Yes. Should Marvel comics be required reading for understanding Marvel movies. They could be, but you alienate the casual audience that way because that's a huge backlog. In the month to month storytelling of WWE, 2 years is a long ass time, so I think the reboot of the story of DIY might be a positive thing for that reason, and if spoilers I've read are any indication there's a plot twist coming for them in NXT.
should you completely kill the XMen because you want to benefit the main roster's inhumans and make more money? WWE doesn't really have casuals anymore, they're down to their hardcores. Takeover Phoenix oversold the main roster RAW and Smackdown that weekend, and if they're trying to capitalize on the NXT fandom, then respect the NXT product so that fandom will be happy to follow. We are a month and a half from Wrestlemania, I think complains like BRMs and such are why couldn't we wait until then for Hunter to finish up their stories?
THIS!
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by cero2k » Feb 21st, '19, 17:39

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 16:49
Also if hardcore's are WWE's only audience then why is Roman Reigns the top merch seller?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alfredkonu ... john-cena/
because hardcores actually like Reigns. Hardcore fan doesn't mean angry internet smark. Hardcores are fans that will be with WWE regardless of literally anything, they're WWE fans, not wrestling fans, not Cena fans, they're WWE fans. Those who defend WWE going to Saudi Arabia, those who discredit AEW selling out Double or Nothing, those who think nothing matters until you make it to WWE
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 17:56

NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 14:25
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 13:19
He shouldn't have taken Ciampa and Gargano AT ALL!
And Vince is giving them a different gimmick. These were not two people with personal goals and two and a half years of complicated history between them. They were a random tag team who wanted to "show the world what NXT is all about," and "take over" WWE or whatever.
I understand that Gargano vs Ciampa was the feud of the year. I rated some of their matches on this very forum higher than I've rated any other. But let's be honest NXT is to Marvel Comics what Raw and Smackdown are to the MCU. Are Marvel comics helpful to understanding the MCU and it's characters? Yes. Are tropes similar across both? Yes. Should Marvel comics be required reading for understanding Marvel movies. They could be, but you alienate the casual audience that way because that's a huge backlog. In the month to month storytelling of WWE, 2 years is a long ass time, so I think the reboot of the story of DIY might be a positive thing for that reason, and if spoilers I've read are any indication there's a plot twist coming for them in NXT.
Your analogy is incorrect because the MCU and the Marvel Universe are not the same continuity. Both exist within Marvel's multiverse, but the MCU is Universe-199999 while the regular comic universe (as opposed to various alternate realities) is Universe-616. The founding members of the Avengers in Universe-199999 are Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. The founding members of the Avengers in Universe-616 are Thor, Hulk, Iron Man Ant-Man, and The Wasp, as they have been since 1963. Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are not Mutants in the MCU because Mutants do not exist in the MCU (because Sony owns the word for movie purposes). In Universe-616 they are Mutants, as they always have been.

You are correct that one does not (and should not) have to read Marvel comic books in order to understand what is happening in an MCU movie. If that is the case then the movie has failed to tell its story well. That being said, if you are writing an MCU movie, you should not name a high-ranking politician (or really any character) Dell Rusk if that character is not going to turn out be the Red Skull in disguise. You should not a take character in Coleson's role and name him Henry Peter Gyrich. That name is a loaded term that will only create confusion and anger among comic-readers, and if the movies do succeed in getting new people interested in the comics, they'll be surprised and confused when they pick up an X-Men comic and Henry Peter Gyrich is a douchebag bigot who hates Mutants rather than the nice S.H.I.E.L.D. agent they saw in the movies. If someone saw the NXT guys on Raw and SD this week and thought they were really cool and thus decided to tune in to NXT this week and saw this well-functioning babyface team all of a sudden not liking or trusting each other, he/she would be really freakin' confused.

Furthermore (and perhaps most importantly) you cannot argue that the continuities are not shared and the same if Michael Cole is going to tell me that these two "won Feud of the Year" in NXT and that they had awesome awesome matches with The Revival a few years ago. The continuities are either the same or they are not. You can't pick and choose as suits your needs.

"Rebooting" a previously successful storyline is just about the worst thing that you can do. The people who have already seen it will be less interested because they've already seen the same thing with the same people, and every last thing you do will be compared to the previous version (and with a previous version as good as this one, it will almost always be a negative comparison for the new version). If they wanted to do Ciampa vs. Gargano on the main roster, they had pretty much all of the pieces in place TWICE over the past year: first with Sasha and Bayley, and then later with the idea of an Ambrose heel turn being upset about the idea of being "replaced" with Jason Jordan and others. But they f*cked both of those up royally.
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Re: How do we feel about NXT Callups?

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 21st, '19, 17:59

cero2k wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 17:39
NWK2000 wrote:
Feb 21st, '19, 16:49
Also if hardcore's are WWE's only audience then why is Roman Reigns the top merch seller?
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alfredkonu ... john-cena/
because hardcores actually like Reigns. Hardcore fan doesn't mean angry internet smark. Hardcores are fans that will be with WWE regardless of literally anything, they're WWE fans, not wrestling fans, not Cena fans, they're WWE fans. Those who defend WWE going to Saudi Arabia, those who discredit AEW selling out Double or Nothing, those who think nothing matters until you make it to WWE
I'd revise your definition a bit to include those of us who watch WWE out of force of habit and/or because on the rare occasion you meet another fan, you're most likely to have some sort of common basis of discussion with them if you can watch WWE. If someone only watches main roster WWE, you can't have much of a discussion about your love of pro wrestling with them if you only watch AAA, CHIKARA and All Japan.

But the basic idea of "hardcores" as "people who will watch the show regardless" is correct. It has nothing to do with "internet vs. non-internet" or "smark vs. mark." It's about your tolerance for the product despite it's various missteps (be they political, moral, economic, or artistic).
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