BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

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BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 26th, '20, 00:03

WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (10/25/2020)- Orlando, FL


I QUIT HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE IN WHICH IF ROMAN REIGNS WINS, THE USOS AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL BE BECOME ROMAN REIGNS’ “INDENTURED SERVANTS”: Roman Reigns(c) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso- DUD!
Do they always keep a strap under the ring in case of an impromptu strap match? I’m impressed.
Anyway, they wind up both in the strap, so now we’ve got an I Quit stamp match inside of Hell in a Cell, for the world title, and also if the babyface loses, he and his family become the heel’s slaves… because without the strap, it just wasn’t enough, I guess.
The beginning of this was fine, but the last twenty minutes or so were boring as hell, with all of the double-downs and the pacing around saying “I don’t want to hurt you, cuz” and “it didn’t have to be like this” and similar. That sort of thing can work- and, in fact, did work- spectacularly in the first match of the feud, but we’re past that point now. This is the second match, and yet they’re doing the exact same thing as the first match. Roman beats on Jey and won’t end the match until Jey says the predetermined phrase of submission.
And unlike last month’s match, this match had no hope of the match ending any other way, as an I Quit match has no pinfalls where no matter how much you’re sure of an outcome, that certainty slips away more and more as the milliseconds go by between two and three and the ref’s hand gets lower but the favorite hasn’t gotten the shoulder up yet. In this match I was just sitting there, waiting for Jey to just give up already.
The finish saw Roman beat Jey half to death, but Jey wouldn’t give up. The referee went to stop the match but Roman didn’t want it so he beat the referee up. The “outside referee” then came into the ring (why the f*ck would you need an “outside referee” in a cage match?), followed by a bunch of WWE officials, all of whom begged Roman not to murder Jey while not taking any physical steps to stop him. Why didn’t the second referee call for the bell? Or Adam Pearce? Surely if Pearce can book matches then he has the power to end a match via referee stoppage.
Eventually Jimmy Uso came out and we got more of the “what’s wrong with you, cuz?” stuff. Jimmy started using shoot names, because apparently someone in WWE still thinks that that will make people think it’s real here in 2020. Roman got all agonized and then offered Jimmy a handshake, and then, in a move that everyone other than Jimmy Uso saw coming, used the handshake to pull Jimmy in and lock in the guillotine. Jimmy pulled on Jey’s leg and Jey woke up and saw his brother in danger so he quit, meaning that even in a Hell in a Cell I Quit match, we couldn’t even get a real finish with one guy proving he’s better than the other.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Roman posed with the belt and Jey was upset. That part I liked.
Roman then went up the ramp and Afa and Sika came out and presented Roman with the ceremonial lei of leadership and hugging him like they’re proud of him. Why? He’s been nothing but an asshole and cheater, and this is two guys who are theoretically babyfaces like all WWE legends are portrayed as, coming out here and endorsing him when they have no reason to.

Jey got the strap around Roman’s neck and kept choking him unconscious, even though, as the announcers constantly told us, you have to say “I quit” or else the match doesn’t end, so why is Jey wasting his time just choking Roman unconscious time after time instead of beating on Roman, or using the time when he’s unconscious to tie him up so he can threaten him or something?
Jey finally got the idea and went for a chair but ate a Superman punch, and now it’s Roman trying to choke Jey out. That’s not going to help you! Roman choked Jey out but Jey wouldn’t quit. Roman went back to his common refrain of “it didn’t have to come to this,” and in doing so, he accidentally said “I quit,” but the referee didn’t stop the match. Still, Jey Uso is technically your rightful WWE Universal Champion. Congratulations, Jey!

JEFF HARDY vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON- 5/10
They were having a fine match until the finish, which was a DQ. If you want to do this crap, you should have done this match on tomorrow’s Raw and given this spot to some other match. And if you didn’t have any other feud ready for a match on this PPV, that’s your fault for not having anything ready.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS OTIZ DOZOVIC- A rare good promo by Otis. This was a fine go-home promo.

SINGLES MATCH FOR THE MONEY IN THE BANK CONTRACT: Otis Dozovic(c) (w/Tucker Knight) vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison)- 4.5/10
This was vaguely enjoyable until Otis started his goofball comeback with the gyrations. He needs to knock that sh*t off. He’s already a goof without it. It adds nothing and only annoys people who want the matches taken seriously. Morrison eventually got ejected from ringside. Miz was distracted by this, allowing Otis to hit his finisher and have the match won but Tucker turned on him. They’re on different shows, so I’m not really sure how they’re going to feud, but this seems like something done just for shock value. If Miz was in on it and Tucker is going to join him that then would be one thing, but based on Miz’s reaction, he had no idea this was coming.
I do like Miz having MITB, simply because… well… Otis is a joke and a good and he shouldn’t even be close to the title. Also, we all know Roman isn’t losing the belt to Otis and that Roman isn’t losing it anytime soon, whereas I can actually see Miz cashing in on Drew and them having Drew chase Miz for a month or two before getting it back as a way to keep Drew’s reign still feeling fresh by the time Mania rolls around.

KAYLA BRATXON INTERVIEWS THE MIZ- great!
She asks him if his victory was worth the cost of “destroying Otis’ life.” Has she not met Miz before? He doesn’t give a sh*t about Otis. Miz cut an excellent promo on both Otis and the importance of MITB. Tucker Knight showed up, so Kayla went to interview him.

KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS TUCKER KNIGHT- good
She asks Tucker why he turned on Otis. Tucker explains that he turned on Otis because he was the workhorse but Otis got all of the glory, even though Otis can’t function without him. Otis showed up and attacked first Miz (who apparently didn’t actually leave) and then Tucker.

HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE: Bayley(c) vs. Sasha Banks- 9/10
Sasha kicking the chair out of Bayley’s hands and outside of the cage as it was lowering was a great spot. This is one of those matches where you could tell that they put A LOT of thought into what they were going to do, as they kept coming up with these clever new spots to do. It backfired on them once with whatever Bayley was trying to do with the Kendo sticks and duct tape, but everything else here was awesome. I think Sasha might have come up with a list of every possible way to hit a Meteora and then worked them all into this match. This was vicious and brutal, and these two (especially Sasha) are absolutely crazy. This was everything this needed to be to blow off this feud.

CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS THE HURT BUSINESS- awesome.
Apparently on the pre-show Mustafa Ali issued a challenge for one member of the Hurt Business to face one member of Retribution. MVP offered to raise the stakes by having Lashley put the US Title on the line and making it one on one, with no back-up. MVP was f*cking tremendous here. It’s a real shame the Hurt Business’ shirt is so lame. If they weren’t, I would buy ten. That’s how much I love these guys.

WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Slapjack- no rating, bad segment
Lashley pretty much squashed Slapjack. The match went less than four minutes. Retribution attacked him after the match, but he fought them off on his own and was in total control even before the rest of the Hurt Business hit the ring. This served no purpose other than to once again make Retribution look like total chumps.

They aired a Survivor Series commercial that was all about The Undertaker, so hopefully this means no “battle for brand supremacy” bullsh*t this year.

HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Drew McIntyre(c) vs. Randy Orton- 8.25/10
The whole trip up to the top of the cell and then the bump through the table off the side felt extremely forced. I guess we’re supposed to believe that Randy somehow hid the pipe on top of the cell, but even if we buy that, it doesn’t make sense that he’d start to climb down when he has just gained a major advantage by hitting Drew in the knee with the pipe. Also, those little footholds for them to stand on will never not make any fighting anyone does on the side of the cell and any bumps anyone takes off of them feel scripted. It makes the cell feel like something that was designed for wrestlers to do spots on rather than what it’s supposed to be, which is a cage meant to contain the violence until the hated rivals conclude their war. Everything else these guys did was good- especially incorporating things like the injured jaw and finish of their first match into the feud, but that series of spots on the outside and on the roof really detracted from this match for me.
Randy won here, which completely baffles me. Drew is THE GUY right now. He should be going on to defend the belt against the likes of AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, and Sheamus. Having him lose to Randy Orton feels like it’s setting him back down the card, which is the worst thing you can do. If he’s losing it to Randy just to win it back, it’s better for the belt and for Drew to just not do the title change. Even if Randy is winning the belt so he can drop it to Keith Lee, I still think it would be better to just leave the belt on Drew and let Lee be the one to take it from Drew (maybe at Mania, or a few months after that).


This was a bad show from WWE, propped up by one really awesome match. At this point the Hell in a Cell gimmick feels completely burned out and I don’t want to see it again for a long time (more than one year). The Roman/Usos stuff was just plain bad, the booking in the main event was baffling, and two of the three non-HIAC matches felt like pointless filler unworthy of a PPV spot. Hopefully things start to change soon.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by XIV » Oct 26th, '20, 01:14

How you have called Reigns vs USO a dud is beyond me. Legit some of the best story telling WWE has produced in years, both guys delivered something that was awkward to watch, emotionally driven and well executed.

It wasn’t perfect, there were bits that missed the mark and the ending could have definitely been done better (especially if they’re looking for a Part 3, where I’m expecting The Rock to appear to set up Reigns vs him at WM).

But for you to give it a “dud” rather makes me think you have missed the point of the entire feud.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 26th, '20, 07:33

XIV wrote: Oct 26th, '20, 01:14 How you have called Reigns vs USO a dud is beyond me. Legit some of the best story telling WWE has produced in years, both guys delivered something that was awkward to watch, emotionally driven and well executed.

It wasn’t perfect, there were bits that missed the mark and the ending could have definitely been done better (especially if they’re looking for a Part 3, where I’m expecting The Rock to appear to set up Reigns vs him at WM).

But for you to give it a “dud” rather makes me think you have missed the point of the entire feud.
I gave last month's match a 9/10. This was the same match idea of a match, but in a more boring enviornment (I Quit), done in a more boring way (a lot more double-downs) and the fact that they're doing the same match shows that the story hasn't moved forward.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 28th, '20, 07:13

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 26th, '20, 00:03 WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (10/25/2020)- Orlando, FL




POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Roman posed with the belt and Jey was upset. That part I liked.
Roman then went up the ramp and Afa and Sika came out and presented Roman with the ceremonial lei of leadership and hugging him like they’re proud of him. Why? He’s been nothing but an asshole and cheater, and this is two guys who are theoretically babyfaces like all WWE legends are portrayed as, coming out here and endorsing him when they have no reason to.

I actually liked it for that reason, because they weren't propped up as babyfaces as all legends are. Old men heelishly backing their douchey children (grandchildren?) is a woefully underrated character trope. (Cowboy Bob being Randy's manager circa 2005 comes to mind.) Much like Cowboy Bob, the Wild Samoans were career heels in their day, so it makes sense.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 28th, '20, 08:07

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 07:13
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 26th, '20, 00:03 WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (10/25/2020)- Orlando, FL




POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
Roman posed with the belt and Jey was upset. That part I liked.
Roman then went up the ramp and Afa and Sika came out and presented Roman with the ceremonial lei of leadership and hugging him like they’re proud of him. Why? He’s been nothing but an asshole and cheater, and this is two guys who are theoretically babyfaces like all WWE legends are portrayed as, coming out here and endorsing him when they have no reason to.

I actually liked it for that reason, because they weren't propped up as babyfaces as all legends are. Old men heelishly backing their douchey children (grandchildren?) is a woefully underrated character trope. (Cowboy Bob being Randy's manager circa 2005 comes to mind.) Much like Cowboy Bob, the Wild Samoans were career heels in their day, so it makes sense.
Yeah... but the Wild Samoans were also kayfabe barely civilized, and every time they've been brought up since their retirement (especially in the efforts to push Roman as a babyface) has always framed them as the typical babyface legends. I don't think WWE wanted us to think of them as heels. I think they wanted us to think of them as shoot elders of the family bestowing this honor on Roman, and any time someone has been portrayed as a shoot family elder (especially a legend) other than Cowboy Bob and on rare occasions Flair, they have been portrayed as a babyface. I don't think you can take only part of kayfabe and ignore the rest.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 28th, '20, 08:54

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:07

Yeah... but the Wild Samoans were also kayfabe barely civilized, and every time they've been brought up since their retirement (especially in the efforts to push Roman as a babyface) has always framed them as the typical babyface legends. I don't think WWE wanted us to think of them as heels.
In terms of the "savages" thing, we know that they ran a training school, so it's not illogical that they assimilated with western society since the late 70s.
As far as them being portrayed as a babyface because Roman is, we want to think of our heroes as having a nice family, nice upbringing etc, so why complicate that narrative with "Oh I'm a cool guy you should like but my grandparents are douchebags." Especially if the aim is to make a white meat babyface superhero. It's also not too big of a logic leap to imagine that in reality they could be total douchebags behind the scenes. K The Wild Samoans haven't done anything babyface since they retired, it's all implied. People thought Bernie Madoff was a perfectly nice fella before the other shoe dropped...

I think they wanted us to think of them as shoot elders of the family bestowing this honor on Roman, and any time someone has been portrayed as a shoot family elder (especially a legend) other than Cowboy Bob and on rare occasions Flair, they have been portrayed as a babyface. I don't think you can take only part of kayfabe and ignore the rest.
You're making a logical assertion that "legend=babyface" and then citing exceptions to the rule. I fail to understand why the wild samoans couldn't be exceptions, especially because they bestowed this honor on heel douche Roman
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 28th, '20, 11:25

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:54
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:07

Yeah... but the Wild Samoans were also kayfabe barely civilized, and every time they've been brought up since their retirement (especially in the efforts to push Roman as a babyface) has always framed them as the typical babyface legends. I don't think WWE wanted us to think of them as heels.
In terms of the "savages" thing, we know that they ran a training school, so it's not illogical that they assimilated with western society since the late 70s.
1. I don't think the timeline works out. You're forgetting that the Headshrinkers also had Samoan savage gimmicks, and had Afa as their manager as such in their 92-94 WWF run. In fact, during that run, Captain Lou was shown as trying to "civilize" them. Roman would have been almost ten by that point. I don't personally know any savages of any ethnicity, but I'm willing to bet that they're not really people who take a lot of pictures, so how, then, do you explain the pictures of the Usos and Roman as kids?
2. Them making this whole "tribal chief" thing into an official thing rather than just a nickname- and especially the idea of these elders bestowing the title upon Roman opens up a whole new set of kayfabe problems. If Peter Maivia was a previous chief and he was always a babyface, why were Afa and Sika taking their marching orders from the heel Captain Lou? Surely such "savages" who clung to their traditional ways would listen to their cousin and Tribal Chief instead of Captain Lou, and a babyface like Maivia wouldn't let his tribesmen and cousins be taken advantage of by this scumbag.
Are Nia Jax and Tamina now bound to obey Roman because he's the official Tribal Chief, recognized by the apparent current heads of the family? It would have been better to not have them show up and give this thing any veracity, and let the "indentured servitude" stipulation be Roman's ego run amuck.
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:54 As far as them being portrayed as a babyface because Roman is, we want to think of our heroes as having a nice family, nice upbringing etc, so why complicate that narrative with "Oh I'm a cool guy you should like but my grandparents are douchebags." Especially if the aim is to make a white meat babyface superhero. It's also not too big of a logic leap to imagine that in reality they could be total douchebags behind the scenes. K The Wild Samoans haven't done anything babyface since they retired, it's all implied. People thought Bernie Madoff was a perfectly nice fella before the other shoe dropped...
1. This is wrestling. When people are kayfabe douchebags behind the scenes, it usually winds up broadcast on national TV. I don't think Madoff is a good example because white-collar criminals are often perfectly nice to people in person while stealing their money (and, with Madoff in particular, it was part of allowing him to do what he did). Pro wrestling heels are more the blue-collar asshole kind. They're the douchebag quarterback in high school or the street thug or the racist redneck or the ostentatious supervillain. On the scale of Batman villains, they're more like Bane than they are Ra's al Ghul, and they're certainly not Sal Maroni or Hugo Strange.
2. With all of the kayfabe pieces we've gotten on Roman and all of the ways the announcers have tried to make him a babyface, if his father and uncle were supposedly encouraging him to be a bad person, don't you think he would have mentioned it as one of the many struggles he overcame?
I'm not saying that they can't still go that direction, but there needs to be a promo explaining to us that the Wild Samoans had been urging Roman to be more vicious for years and he had always resisted, but only now does he listen. And I don't think we'll ever get that promo.
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:54
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 08:07I think they wanted us to think of them as shoot elders of the family bestowing this honor on Roman, and any time someone has been portrayed as a shoot family elder (especially a legend) other than Cowboy Bob and on rare occasions Flair, they have been portrayed as a babyface. I don't think you can take only part of kayfabe and ignore the rest.
You're making a logical assertion that "legend=babyface" and then citing exceptions to the rule. I fail to understand why the wild samoans couldn't be exceptions, especially because they bestowed this honor on heel douche Roman
I'm quoting exceptions to show that if you're going to do it, there is a way it has to be done in order to make it work. Flair is a bit of an outlier in that even as a babyface in WWE, he was always a bit of an egomaniac, so him living vicariously through his daughter's success works. What made it work with Cowboy Bob was:
1. He was a heel from the moment he showed up
2. We had never gotten anything portraying him as a babyface in the interim. He was never venerated the way that WWE does to their legends/Hall of Famers now. When they put a guy like Dibiase or IRS or Iron Sheik on TV, they always talk about them like they're these big babyfaces, and the fact that it gets in the way of moments like this is part of what makes it so problematic.

Like I said above, I'd be more okay with it if we got a promo with Roman saying he Wild Samoans had been urging him to be more vicious for years and he had always resisted, but only now has he decided to listen... but I think we both know that promo is never going to happen, because you and I have already put more thought into the implications of this thirty-second moment on WWE TV than all of Creative has together.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 28th, '20, 11:50

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:25

Yeah... but the Wild Samoans were also kayfabe barely civilized, and every time they've been brought up since their retirement (especially in the efforts to push Roman as a babyface) has always framed them as the typical babyface legends. I don't think WWE wanted us to think of them as heels.


1. I don't think the timeline works out. You're forgetting that the Headshrinkers also had Samoan savage gimmicks, and had Afa as their manager as such in their 92-94 WWF run. In fact, during that run, Captain Lou was shown as trying to "civilize" them. Roman would have been almost ten by that point. I don't personally know any savages of any ethnicity, but I'm willing to bet that they're not really people who take a lot of pictures, so how, then, do you explain the pictures of the Usos and Roman as kids?
I know that Lou tried to civilize the Headshrinkers, but did he ever try similar tactics on Afa, or did Afa just follow them around? Not even trying to be a shit here, genuinely curious? If so, maybe Afa was just putting up a front?

2. Them making this whole "tribal chief" thing into an official thing rather than just a nickname- and especially the idea of these elders bestowing the title upon Roman opens up a whole new set of kayfabe problems. If Peter Maivia was a previous chief and he was always a babyface, why were Afa and Sika taking their marching orders from the heel Captain Lou?
That's what separates babyface Maivia from the heel Roman. Either it was just a name, or if it wasn't, Peter respected free will. Roman clearly doesn't. I know this requires retroactively changing decades of booking but honestly that's the kind of thing I live for whenever wrestling enters my mind palace..

Are Nia Jax and Tamina now bound to obey Roman because he's the official Tribal Chief, recognized by the apparent current heads of the family? It would have been better to not have them show up and give this thing any veracity, and let the "indentured servitude" stipulation be Roman's ego run amuck.
I hope the answer to this question is "yes." If Roman gets a whole gang of unwilling soldiers, go all the way. Hell, clean out your checkbook to bring in The Firing Squad from New Japan. Just go apeshit


This is wrestling. When people are kayfabe douchebags behind the scenes, it usually winds up broadcast on national TV. I don't think Madoff is a good example because white-collar criminals are often perfectly nice to people in person while stealing their money (and, with Madoff in particular, it was part of allowing him to do what he did). Pro wrestling heels are more the blue-collar asshole kind. They're the douchebag quarterback in high school or the street thug or the racist redneck or the ostentatious supervillain. On the scale of Batman villains, they're more like Bane than they are Ra's al Ghul, and they're certainly not Sal Maroni or Hugo Strange.

You aren't wrong here, but as every wrestler is human being capable of lying, deceiving, and, misreading situations just as you or I. it isn't illogical to think that it's been an act, or that the public hasn't misread some red flags that they've (kayfabe) put out over the years Like, I get what you're saying that, in kayfabe, they wouldn't be likely to pull off an elaborate con job, but I still find that more sensible than "every legend is a babyface until proven otherwise" (and I consider them embracing Roman's "tribal chief" nonsense as "proven otherwise" so that part of the argument is rather circular at the moment)

With all of the kayfabe pieces we've gotten on Roman and all of the ways the announcers have tried to make him a babyface, if his father and uncle were supposedly encouraging him to be a bad person, don't you think he would have mentioned it as one of the many struggles he overcame?
Again, I hope the answer is yes. I really hope they go back and retroactively explain this stuff. I would also like to argue that Roman isn't exactly a pillar of moral fiber as he tried to kill Braun Strowman via vehicular manslaughter in their feud. Any babyface that does stuff like that isn't on the same level as John Cena, and something more akin to Steve Austin, where heel turns aren't as unjustifiable as one would think based on actions that a sane person would justify as heelish..

I'm quoting exceptions to show that if you're going to do it, there is a way it has to be done in order to make it work. Flair is a bit of an outlier in that even as a babyface in WWE, he was always a bit of an egomaniac, so him living vicariously through his daughter's success works. What made it work with Cowboy Bob was:
1. He was a heel from the moment he showed up
2. We had never gotten anything portraying him as a babyface in the interim. He was never venerated the way that WWE does to their legends/Hall of Famers now. When they put a guy like Dibiase or IRS or Iron Sheik on TV, they always talk about them like they're these big babyfaces, and the fact that it gets in the way of moments like this is part of what makes it so problematic.
Again, not wrong, but I'm still of the belief that them embracing Roman at the end of the match instead of yelling at him, like disappointed grandparents would do is the heel turn, and I'm just using my imagination to fill in the gaps, and honestly,. that's the most fun part of wrestling for me.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 28th, '20, 12:20

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:50
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:25

Yeah... but the Wild Samoans were also kayfabe barely civilized, and every time they've been brought up since their retirement (especially in the efforts to push Roman as a babyface) has always framed them as the typical babyface legends. I don't think WWE wanted us to think of them as heels.


1. I don't think the timeline works out. You're forgetting that the Headshrinkers also had Samoan savage gimmicks, and had Afa as their manager as such in their 92-94 WWF run. In fact, during that run, Captain Lou was shown as trying to "civilize" them. Roman would have been almost ten by that point. I don't personally know any savages of any ethnicity, but I'm willing to bet that they're not really people who take a lot of pictures, so how, then, do you explain the pictures of the Usos and Roman as kids?
I know that Lou tried to civilize the Headshrinkers, but did he ever try similar tactics on Afa, or did Afa just follow them around? Not even trying to be a shit here, genuinely curious? If so, maybe Afa was just putting up a front?
I'm not sure, either. I saw it in YouTube clips. But I know Afa was managing them originally as savages and Lou came in later, and that Lou trying to civilize them turned them babyface. That was 1994, so even if the "civilizing" process was completed after they disappeared from TV (which was, I think 1995), Roman still would have been nine or ten.

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:50
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:252. Them making this whole "tribal chief" thing into an official thing rather than just a nickname- and especially the idea of these elders bestowing the title upon Roman opens up a whole new set of kayfabe problems. If Peter Maivia was a previous chief and he was always a babyface, why were Afa and Sika taking their marching orders from the heel Captain Lou?
That's what separates babyface Maivia from the heel Roman. Either it was just a name, or if it wasn't, Peter respected free will. Roman clearly doesn't. I know this requires retroactively changing decades of booking but honestly that's the kind of thing I live for whenever wrestling enters my mind palace.
If it's about free will then someone needs to say that, just like you did. But just based on the fact that being "tribal chief" seems to have become a real thing now but wasn't at first, my bet is that they haven't put any thought into it at all.

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:50
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:25Are Nia Jax and Tamina now bound to obey Roman because he's the official Tribal Chief, recognized by the apparent current heads of the family? It would have been better to not have them show up and give this thing any veracity, and let the "indentured servitude" stipulation be Roman's ego run amuck.
I hope the answer to this question is "yes." If Roman gets a whole gang of unwilling soldiers, go all the way. Hell, clean out your checkbook to bring in The Firing Squad from New Japan. Just go apeshit
1... You know those guys are Tongans, right?

Or are you proposing an entire "Roman Empire" that spans all of Polynesia?

2. In the angle you're proposing, doesn't Samoan culture then become the villain? If these people all don't want to help Roman with is misdeeds but are required to do so by some unbreakable cultural oath, isn't that making this aspect of their culture heel? (And I'm not saying I'd completely object to a story like that, but I certainly don't think WWE has the spine to even think about it).
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:50
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:25This is wrestling. When people are kayfabe douchebags behind the scenes, it usually winds up broadcast on national TV. I don't think Madoff is a good example because white-collar criminals are often perfectly nice to people in person while stealing their money (and, with Madoff in particular, it was part of allowing him to do what he did). Pro wrestling heels are more the blue-collar asshole kind. They're the douchebag quarterback in high school or the street thug or the racist redneck or the ostentatious supervillain. On the scale of Batman villains, they're more like Bane than they are Ra's al Ghul, and they're certainly not Sal Maroni or Hugo Strange.
With all of the kayfabe pieces we've gotten on Roman and all of the ways the announcers have tried to make him a babyface, if his father and uncle were supposedly encouraging him to be a bad person, don't you think he would have mentioned it as one of the many struggles he overcame?
You aren't wrong here, but as every wrestler is human being capable of lying, deceiving, and, misreading situations just as you or I. it isn't illogical to think that it's been an act, or that the public hasn't misread some red flags that they've (kayfabe) put out over the years Like, I get what you're saying that, in kayfabe, they wouldn't be likely to pull off an elaborate con job, but I still find that more sensible than "every legend is a babyface until proven otherwise" (and I consider them embracing Roman's "tribal chief" nonsense as "proven otherwise" so that part of the argument is rather circular at the moment)

Again, I hope the answer is yes. I really hope they go back and retroactively explain this stuff. I would also like to argue that Roman isn't exactly a pillar of moral fiber as he tried to kill Braun Strowman via vehicular manslaughter in their feud. Any babyface that does stuff like that isn't on the same level as John Cena, and something more akin to Steve Austin, where heel turns aren't as unjustifiable as one would think based on actions that a sane person would justify as heelish..
I'd be fine with the argument of "this is the heel turn" if the announcers had portrayed it as such, but they didn't.

Like I said, maybe I'll be proven wrong, but:
1. With WWE, I'm far past the point of giving them the benefit of the doubt
2. I'm also fine with the con idea, but I think an even better way to go about things would be to avoid lionizing someone you might want to bring back as a heel.

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 11:50 I'm just using my imagination to fill in the gaps, and honestly,. that's the most fun part of wrestling for me.
I think that's the difference between you and me. You're happy for them to leave you holes to fill in. I want a fully polished story to watch develop and appreciate, and when I don't get it, I have fun figuring out how the story could have been told in a better way. It's kind of ironic, because we're both looking at the same sort of thing ("what's missing here?") and doing the same sort of thing with it ("how can I make this work?") but you consider it a sign of success for the storyteller whereas I consider it a sign of failure.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 28th, '20, 16:06

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 12:20
1... You know those guys are Tongans, right?

Or are you proposing an entire "Roman Empire" that spans all of Polynesia?
I could've sworn there was a Tongan who became a blood brother to Samoan at some point? I could've been wrong, but fuck it, yeah, let's just bring everybody in.
2. In the angle you're proposing, doesn't Samoan culture then become the villain? If these people all don't want to help Roman with is misdeeds but are required to do so by some unbreakable cultural oath, isn't that making this aspect of their culture heel? (And I'm not saying I'd completely object to a story like that, but I certainly don't think WWE has the spine to even think about it).
No, the bastardization of it does. Or rather, the aping of supremacy for ones own gain. See: The Nation of Domination


I'd be fine with the argument of "this is the heel turn" if the announcers had portrayed it as such, but they didn't.
One of my pet peeves with wrestling commentary is that their meant to just deduce everything going immediately even things that have an air of mystery. I don't mind that there was really nothing to say but "Oh my gosh, The Wild Samoans are here and are endorsing Roman" Leave Roman and Paul Heyman to fill in the pieces.

Like I said, maybe I'll be proven wrong, but:
1. With WWE, I'm far past the point of giving them the benefit of the doubt
2. I'm also fine with the con idea, but I think an even better way to go about things would be to avoid lionizing someone you might want to bring back as a heel.
Totally understandable, but in terms of #1. I enjoy trying to make WWE make sense. It's like a 1000 piece jigsaw that only I find enjoyment in.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 29th, '20, 15:44

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 16:06
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 12:20

2. In the angle you're proposing, doesn't Samoan culture then become the villain? If these people all don't want to help Roman with is misdeeds but are required to do so by some unbreakable cultural oath, isn't that making this aspect of their culture heel? (And I'm not saying I'd completely object to a story like that, but I certainly don't think WWE has the spine to even think about it).
No, the bastardization of it does. Or rather, the aping of supremacy for ones own gain. See: The Nation of Domination
I don't think the NOD comparison works because I think most people understand that the Black Panthers are a fringe group within African-American society. With Samoan culture, most non-Samoans aren't too familiar with it, and in the context of WWE in particular, the Anoa'i are 90% of the ones we've seen. I don't think the audience has the preexisting knowledge to be able to say "that's not authentic Samoan culture" when the people who have always been portrayed as the proud adherents of Samoan traditions are insisting on them. To lift from your other example, there is no High Chief Peter Maivia to come out and authoritatively say "Roman Reigns, you are bastardizing our culture!"


NWK2000 wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 16:06
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 28th, '20, 12:20I'd be fine with the argument of "this is the heel turn" if the announcers had portrayed it as such, but they didn't.
One of my pet peeves with wrestling commentary is that their meant to just deduce everything going immediately even things that have an air of mystery. I don't mind that there was really nothing to say but "Oh my gosh, The Wild Samoans are here and are endorsing Roman" Leave Roman and Paul Heyman to fill in the pieces.

I totally understand your gripes with commentary, but commentary doesn't have to be that way. Yes, WWE's "beat you over the head with it" style is very bad, and the Mike Tenay/Tony Schiavone "what's going on here?! Wait a minute! Do you think...?" style is equally bad. What you need, sir, is some Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman in your diet. I know they haven't been great in the past, but over the past year or so, they've been pretty darn great, and are easily the most human and subdued commentary team in all of wrestling.

But this is WWE we're talking about, so we're not going to get commentary like that. Having Roman/Heyman fill in the blanks is fine, but I do think that the commentators need to at least ask a leading question at the end of the PPV, or at least express some mild shock that they are endorsing Roman, because that helps plant the seed that Roman is doing is not an authentic/rightful interpretation of Samoan culture.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 30th, '20, 01:23

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 29th, '20, 15:44

I don't think the NOD comparison works because I think most people understand that the Black Panthers are a fringe group within African-American society. With Samoan culture, most non-Samoans aren't too familiar with it, and in the context of WWE in particular, the Anoa'i are 90% of the ones we've seen. I don't think the audience has the preexisting knowledge to be able to say "that's not authentic Samoan culture" when the people who have always been portrayed as the proud adherents of Samoan traditions are insisting on them. To lift from your other example, there is no High Chief Peter Maivia to come out and authoritatively say "Roman Reigns, you are bastardizing our culture!"
I kinda panicked on a comparison, so that was my bad.
The audience being unfamiliar with Samoan culture has a couple easy fixes. Have a non-Uso come out (Tamina, Rikishi are two examples that come to mind) and talk about. Have a man on the street interviewer interview people in a place with a heavy Samoan population, ask them what they think, and the joe schmos can talk about why people like Roman make them angry with the things they say. You don't have to know a lot about a culture to understand what it feels like to have a culture used for self-aggrandizing egotism.
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 30th, '20, 08:59

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 01:23
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 29th, '20, 15:44

I don't think the NOD comparison works because I think most people understand that the Black Panthers are a fringe group within African-American society. With Samoan culture, most non-Samoans aren't too familiar with it, and in the context of WWE in particular, the Anoa'i are 90% of the ones we've seen. I don't think the audience has the preexisting knowledge to be able to say "that's not authentic Samoan culture" when the people who have always been portrayed as the proud adherents of Samoan traditions are insisting on them. To lift from your other example, there is no High Chief Peter Maivia to come out and authoritatively say "Roman Reigns, you are bastardizing our culture!"
I kinda panicked on a comparison, so that was my bad.
The audience being unfamiliar with Samoan culture has a couple easy fixes. Have a non-Uso come out (Tamina, Rikishi are two examples that come to mind) and talk about. Have a man on the street interviewer interview people in a place with a heavy Samoan population, ask them what they think, and the joe schmos can talk about why people like Roman make them angry with the things they say. You don't have to know a lot about a culture to understand what it feels like to have a culture used for self-aggrandizing egotism.
Your first scenario is the sort of thing that I think has to happen in advance for it not feel like an "oopsies! We realized that we should have done this beforehand and we're doing it now because we realized that not enough people were getting the angle.

The second scenario is a good one, but I don't quite know the right way to fit it into the shows. It seems a weird to do for a TV show. Maybe you do it on YouTube and then have the announcers pitch to it on the next week's show because of all of the kayfabe criticism of Roman from these regular-Joe Samoans (and then you set up an interview with Roman where he gets to respond to the criticism by heeling on the common folks).
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Re: BRM Reviews WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 (bad)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 30th, '20, 10:05

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:59
The second scenario is a good one, but I don't quite know the right way to fit it into the shows. It seems a weird to do for a TV show. Maybe you do it on YouTube and then have the announcers pitch to it on the next week's show because of all of the kayfabe criticism of Roman from these regular-Joe Samoans (and then you set up an interview with Roman where he gets to respond to the criticism by heeling on the common folks).
A show like The Bump would be a perfectly plausible place for such segments to air. Considering The Bump has always had a "talk show about sports" vibe, it wouldn't be illogical for someone affiliated with it to do a man on the street interview segment. Then have Roman and Paul start a Smackdown Muhammad Hassan style. Have Paul read an article, or throw to the interviews, and have them bitch about it. And it can't be framed as "You people are wrong" it has to be "I'm the Tribal Chief so therefore I'm right about everything." Really rub that in in petty ways where as a framing devise it's conceited and obnoxious.
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