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AEW Dynamite Thoughts
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 868

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yohe perfectly encapsulated my thought process going thru Dynamite episodes. That's why I got sick of it and only sought out matches or other parts that were good or controversial.

I'm not a fan of the modern wrestling style, but AEW's booking is what bothers me the most. And it's why I think the industry is fucked in North America. There was little in the way of development of bookers in the 90's and with 20 years of a WWE dominated industry with offshoots like TNA under Russo, fans...wrestlers...management think that the Attitude Era and beyond is all there is to wrestling and the 'good WWE' is 'how wrestling is supposed to be done.'

A lot of AEW's booking reminds me of Russo's booking. There are some critical differences as AEW doesn't have the insulting gratuitous sexual innuendo, nor does it go out of the way to insult the fans' intelligence and they don't have those 2-3 minute matches. But it's very scatterbrained, not very well thought out and often just as uninspired and goofy.

I agree on the 4 man announce booth. It's starting to look like the baseball scene from the Naked Gun.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 868

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2021 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CM Punk's debut happened at Rampage. This was so incredibly well done by Punk. It didn't go too long, he aired his grievance against the WWE, but didn't sound like sour grapes. He mentioned how he cried when he left RoH because he was leaving pro wrestling and now he's returning to pro wrestling (differentiating AEW as being 'pro wrestling' vs. WWE being 'sports entertainment') and then he put over the rest of the roster.

Everything was succinct, but the fans got to hear what they wanted to hear and he put over the product as well.




YR
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 868

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rampage did an incredible rating, over 1.1 million viewers and a 0.53 in the main demo. Ridiculous numbers for a Friday 9pm time slot.

The interesting test will be how Dynamite performs this Wednesday as well as the first year booking Punk.

Brian Last mentions how Punk has great quality control over what he does which is really how wrestling was taken care of back in the territory days where the wrestlers would often veto storylines, promos and angles that didn't fit their character.

If there's a problem that could arise is that many of the original roster had ties to Chikara and CZW, two promotions that Punk was severely critical of in the past. And the Young Bucks have the reputation that if you don't want to do their silly stuff they look at you as 'not a team player' and have no use for you. So I could see the possible internal conflict brewing (as there are already rumors of YB and Omega not getting along with Cody for similar reasons).

I think the way I would book Punk is obviously as a babyface, but have him call out challenges to certain wrestlers on the roster like Darby Allin, Jungle Boy, etc. and get the matches and go 10-20 minutes and get the victory each time. Then have a heel (MJF or PAC) call out Punk for being able to pick and choose his opponents and Tony Khan being a bootlicker for Punk and then setup that feud.

I also believe they could turn Punk heel in the future and do it in a way where it splits the crowd between Punk fans and non-Punk fans and generate a lot of interest over a long time period.

At this point, they should really consider fading Jericho into the sunset. He looks awful and wrestles awful these days and they don't need his name credibility anymore with Punk in the mix.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 868

PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wednesday show did 1.175M, up 200K from the previous week. Bigger news is the jump in the main demo, going from 0.35 to 0.48.

Punk certainly moves the needle...+20% in total viewership and +37% in the main demo which shows he still has mass appeal to the main demo.

I haven't heard anything on the actual show though.




HoC
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Yakuza Rich



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Posts: 868

PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw Punk's Dynamite promo. Much along the lines of Rampage promo. Just really fantastic. Makes me wonder why they just don't do more interviews rather than vignettes. Vignettes are shot from a wider and more distant angle. The Punk promo was shot very close and it makes him look like a star while vignettes make them look small.



YR
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All Out appears to be well received, although that was primarily due to the debuts of Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson. The former was more important since nobody was sure if Cole was going to jump to AEW.

I will say that I saw the debut of both guys and it was a bit uninspiring from a booking perspective. It wasn't bad and gave the fans what they wanted, but once again it wasn't an alternative from what the WWE would do or has done over the past 20 years.

It's important to not do silly, off the wall stuff just to 'shock' the crowd and given them something completely different than what they were expecting just for the hell of it. But, the ole standoff between heels and newcomer and then the newcomer attacking the already beaten down face...we've seen this more times than I care to remember in the past 20 years.

Reports are that Kevin Owens' contract will run out in January. And I expect he'll go to AEW since he's good friends with those guys and lives in Orlando and can work 1x week for close to the same money.

If so, they'll need to clear out the roster and probably need to start considering greatly tapering the roles of Jericho and Orange Cassidy so they can get guys like Darby, Punk, Owens, The Elite, MJF, etc. all air time.

They key will now be the booking because outside of Darby and OC, they haven't created any of these stars that move the needle. Even OC was part of the lowest rated segment in AEW history at one point. But the rest of the players that everybody is hyped about or has moved the needle (Punk, Sting, Cole, Danielson, Moxley, etc) were all created elsewhere. Omega and Moxley came into the company white hot, but cooled down substantially due to poor booking.

For now, I would just be satisfied if they can create very standard, logical booking and not screw it up. They have to crawl before they can walk booking wise. But in order to really become a threat in terms of market share in the industry, they will eventually need some quality booking to keep the interest of fans in the established stars and turn the younger guys into legitimate stars of their own.






YR
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 868

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First time I've watched an entire Dynamite show in a long time. My interest was piqued by them being at Arthur Ashe Stadium as I'm a mark for stadiums and arenas and was curious how it would look for a wrestling show to be there.

Leading up to this show, my main complaints about AEW have been the booking and how they have struggled to develop and sustain momentum in their booking...case in point, their inability to develop a memorable feud by now. But the strength of AEW has been their business model and many of their business decisions and taking advantage of market inefficiencies.

In the past couple of months with all of the influx of talent, the promotion is finally showing how to gain some momentum and it all led nicely to this show and it feels like AEW is catching it's groove.

This was one of the best weekly TV wrestling shows from beginning to end that I can remember.

The strategy seemed to be to hit the audience with the kitchen sink in terms of what they have in star power. It started off with Danielson vs. Omega which was a really good match. Yeah, there's some modern day wrestling spots I don't like, but this was really good and I'd say about 4 stars. I liked the time expiration finish...none of that face has the heel pinned, but not in time. I felt that AEW should have done a Best of 7 series between Omega and Moxley when the company first started. They didn't and instead hotshotted and killed off their feud. But this seems to show the growth in the booking.

CM Punk did a bit of a weird interview because he went off on different tangents, but he's a star and looks like a star. Just like Omega and Danielson looked like stars. It's amazing when you take things seriously and do it with intensity you can look like a star.

Pillman Jr. vs. MJF was okay. MJF is way ahead of Pillman at this point. Pillman has promise, although his execution at many times was lackluster. He certainly 'gets it' and doesn't look green, maybe dark yellow, but not green.

Oh the fans in NYC hate Cody. This is so ripe for a quality heel turn. I'm guessing they won't with Cody's new show...but it's so there. He's getting poor man's John Cena heat.

FTR vs. Sting/Darby was very good. Better than almost every Young Bucks match I've watched since AEW started. It was just believable and didn't feel overly-participatory and choreographed. Given Sting's limitations, FTR did a whale of a carry job...and Darby continues to look like a star. Really good match, but the wrong team won.

I thought it was real ballsy to have a woman's main event, mainly because Britt Baker has disappointed in the past in big matches as she has a knack for getting injured. I wasn't overly nutty about the match. Too many false finishes that were out of the bag by the time the Omega vs. Danielson match happened. But this wasn't awful by any means and the crowd was really into it. I just think it could be much better.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see what the ratings will be like. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and the low rung indieriffic talent (Marko Stunt, The Young Bucks, The Dark Order, etc) were not on the show. And this will probably give me reason to give AEW a second chance. While the booking was fairly simple, it was extremely well done and they didn't get in the talent's way.




YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2021 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AEW Grand Slam did 1.273M/0.48. Meltzer had the over/under on the demo at 0.49.

I'm a little disappointed since it was a great show, but the number is very strong regardless. And now they've had 3 strong weeks in a row in the ratings with a show that wasn't *that* highly promoted or tied in with the gaming community. To do that with a strong quality show is a good thing.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but they need *something* to really get the mainstream public talking and bringing back the casual fan. Sort of a breakthrough moment. But in the meantime, they need to continue with quality shows.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/29 show did 1.15M/0.45, but more important was the #1 in cable shows for that night.

I forgot that it was on and only caught Miro vs. Guevara which was pretty good. Miro actually looks like a killer which is a good thing, but Guevara is mis-casted as a face. He's really the Tully Blanchard of modern wrestling, not MJF.

It's a good rating because the show wasn't heavily promoted and it came with no major stars like Punk, Cole, Danielson, Sting, etc. actually in action. From what I've read it was not nearly as good as last week's show, but it was a respectable episode.

I will say that they probably will need to follow a similar format of the last 2 weeks for the next upcoming months. Have a heavily promoted star laden show 1 week, then follow it up with a show using the rest of the talent to try and give them the rub from the previous week's star laden show.

I also think with the TV viewing landscape changing their previous week's show format is probably the better way to draw ratings. Start off with a big time, main event type match between 2 stars, then cool it down with an in-ring promo from one of your best mic workers. Then go to some of your better undercard feuds and finish it off with a quality main event.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Booking and in-ring action has been pretty solid lately from what I've seen. They've simplified a lot of things for the better and seem to get the point that in-ring action and promos/in-ring interviews work just fine, particularly for this audience.

However, they did a weak 878K/0.30 number on Wednesday. Even Meltzer had a difficult time spinning it as anything but disappointing.

I suspected this may happen with the previous week's show with the main event being the Dark Order vs. The Elite. I thought it was stupid, silly and ridiculous and so did a large chunk of the audience. And I was curious if it would carry over to the following week and it apparently did.

I think this creates some potential issues for AEW because The Elite have their core fanbase, but seem to be intent on making a mockery out of the business and what they do for their livelihood and it turns off too many fans. When they didn't book the goofy stuff, they got super high ratings and the shows were almost universally lauded. So booking the goofy stuff to show one's 'rebellion' is basically cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Unfortunately the name of the company is based off The Elite. I just think Tony Khan and The Elite need to understand that it's okay to alter your gimmick and in most cases, it's absolutely necessary to do it from time to time.



YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2021 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 11/13 Dynamite did ratings that didn't meet expectations, despite the show being fairly well liked overall. I think the entire Halloween show really put off a lot of the audience and then they had to regain some of the viewers again.

Full Gear received largely quality reviews, particularly the MJF vs. Darby match. I was surprised to read on Twitter that fans think MJF 'can't wrestle' and I think it brings up a possible issue in the future of the company...many fans think that 'wrestling' is about aerial high spots even if they look completely contrived, over-choreographed and are dangerous and wear out the crowd and can't be topped. Versus other fans who are more psychology based and more into things that look plausible.

Adam Page won the world title. I personally think it was a bit too soon, but I also think that Omega's title reign exposed his weaknesses working the western style of wrestling. He just doesn't have the mic skills to carry the World Champ spot and when left to his own devices, he'd rather jackoff and do goofy comedy rather than bring intensity. It's funny because perhaps the 3 most over wrestlers in the company right now are Darby, Punk and Kingston...all of whom are very intense and don't do much in the way of comedy.

Perhaps the answer is to allow for enough light hearted comedy in the undercard so the core audience doesn't think AEW is just another ROH, but have enough intensity on top of the card to create new stars.

Speaking of ROH, Jay Lethal made his debut. I'd like to see Tracy Williams and the Briscoe Brothers as well. I have doubts about the latter coming in given their past tweets which are not in line with the core values of the fanbase. But I think they'd be a helluva lot better than the Lucha Bros.

Tony Khan has said that there were plans for Bray Wyatt, but they decided to go elsewhere. Whether or not that means the plans fell thru is anybody's guess. I wouldn't be surprised if they decide to bring Wyatt in for Dynamite instead.






YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ratings are steadily climbing again. Meltzer has lost his mind and his crediblity with his match ratings. I always viewed them as subjective, but I appreciated Dave's ratings because they would provide me with matches that were exceptional and something to look out for. Now there is no difference when it comes to a great match and really just indie flippity flop stuff. Even his AEW Full Gear ratings made little sense giving Omega vs. Page the best rating...even better than MJF vs. Darby Allin.

I've long said that this isn't the same Dave I grew up reading. Now it's getting to the point where he's just embarrassing himself. He's starting to be as bad as Dave Scherer was for ECW.

The Dynamite shows are progressing in quality though. They still have some growing pains with the booking. They seem to better understand creating momentum and sustaining continuity, but there are even small things they miss out on. For instance, Eddie Kingston is massively over, but they had him put over Punk at Full Gear. Basic booking 101 when you have somebody that over that just lost a big match, you get them on TV and you have them put over to get their heat back. They didn't do that on Dynamite.

Still some real exciting things to come as we could see the Briscoe Brothers, Keith Lee, Kyle O'Reilly and Kevin Steen headed to AEW real soon. If they continue to progress with the booking, get rid of the indie dead weight and stop with the Young Bucks jerkoff fest, they could start hitting 1.5M in viewers by mid-2022.





YR
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