BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 12th, '19, 22:14

OPENING SEGMENT- didn't like it
Shane comes out to the ring and they’ve got the Best in the World trophy there and Shane is throttling the ring announcer while ordering him to introduce him as “the best in the world” with “more conviction!” over and over again. No nuance. Someone just flipped the switch in his head from “good” to “evil” (well… it’s Shane, so it’s not so much “good” as “smarmy hypocritical douchebag who a lot of fans seem to like for some reason,” but you get what I’m trying to say).
Shane is apparently not just angry at Miz, but he is “tired of all of the people who have ever been in my life.” And he specified that that includes every single WWE employee and every single fan. Shane is upset that everyone comes to him and asks him how he can help them “get ahead in life.” Shane then said that he was now going to start only doing things for himself, and he was going to start by booking himself against Miz at WrestleMania so he could kick Miz’s ass again.
This whole thing is just so backwards and so frustratingly typical of WWE. Shane’s portrayal of his relationship with everyone in his life completely flies in the face of his portrayal over the past few years where he was always so proud of how he constantly lectured people about how they had to “earn” opportunities and then praised them when they earned said opportunities. 99% of people weren’t asking Shane for help getting ahead and Shane was so insistent that he wasn’t going to help anyone get anything he/she hadn’t earned, so what is he going on about now?
The big mistake that WWE made here was trying to make this broad instead of specific. Shane shouldn’t be angry at everyone. He should be angry at Miz and just Miz. His promo shouldn’t have mentioned anyone else. He should have spent the whole time talking about Miz was a “parasite” who struck up a friendship with him just to get a title shot and get the benefits of being friends with the boss.
And Miz’s response to this should be to admit that this was, in fact, his plan… at first. But then he began to see Shane as an actual friend, and all of that stuff about his father… that was all real. That was all Miz opening himself up to someone he thought was his friend- one of the first real friends he has made in the wrestling business, because knows he has a tendency to use people, whether consciously or not. But Shane’s acceptance helped him turn a corner and he didn’t want to be that guy anymore.
The problem, unfortunately, is that WWE is either unwilling or incapable of booking a nuanced story. For WWE it is all or nothing. If Shane is now evil then he must be evil to everyone. If Miz is the babyface in this story then he must have been a babyface from the moment the story began (because there was no actual turn that we saw on the screen).
I will admit that we are now only one promo into this turn, but I’ve been watching WWE long enough to be able to make an educated guess that Shane is just going to be a generic heel from now on, and as I pointed out above, that doesn’t fit here. There is a clear path from where Shane is to being a mostly generic heel and Shane even laid it out in his promo, but we need to be shown him travelling down that path first. If Shane is “only going to do things to help me,” then that Shane should not be favoring a heel without a reason. Maybe that heel has some cool famous friends Shane wants to be introduced to. If that Shane is going to give The Bar a title shot, he’s going to want them to protect him from a vengeful Miz first. That Shane isn’t going to give Mandy Rose a title shot just because he doesn’t like Asuka for some random reason, he’s going to want Mandy to give him something first (I’m not suggesting that they actually book that; just illustrating a point. But, for the record, I would totally mark out if they did something like that and then had Sonya Deville be disgusted with Mandy and they used that to turn Sonya babyface. It’s an angle that would definitely work, but it’s something I can only see happening in a more risqué company than WWE is right now… or likely ever will be again).
I also really don’t like the idea of Shane just booking himself against Miz at WrestleMania right now. As far as Shane is concerned, he already beat the sh*t out of Miz and should be done with him. The story from now until Mania should be about Miz’s need to get revenge on Shane and showing us what he is willing to do and what he is willing to suffer through in order to convince/force/trick Shane into booking the match to give him that chance at revenge. (Yes, I know that’s similar to Hunter/Batista, but they blew that part of that story off in one night, so why not tell it properly on the other show?)



Someone in the crowd has a “Vince hates pancakes” sign, which shows you how much damage the years of f*cking around with pancakes have done to New Day. Kofi is getting a big serious babyface push now, and some people still can’t separate it from the f*cking pancakes.

ALEISTER BLACK, RICOCHET. & THE HARDY BOYZ vs. SHEAMUS, CESARO, NAKAMURA, & RUSEV (w/Lana)- 6.25/10
They were having a pretty darn good tag team match until New Day ran in and caused a DQ. If they were pissed about the dirty and obviously coordinated assault on them at Fastlane why didn’t they run out at the beginning of the match? This made it look like they were waiting for the other babyfaces to do most of the work for them. Also, doing the run-in right away meant I wouldn’t have had to sit through over ten minutes of a match and get excited about it as it started to build to a finish only to have the possibility of having a satisfying conclusion taken away from me. Also, you would have had all of the extra time to distribute to your other matches to make those matches better.
New Day put quite the beating on the heels. One would think that if the powers that be would disapprove of this action and that they would send security out to put a stop to it but apparently not.

USOS PROMO- great!

RANDY ORTON & AJ STYLES SEGMENT- F*CKING FANTASTIC!
A battle of verbal haymaker after verbal haymaker, weaving kayfabe and reality together perfectly and full of “I didn’t think they’d go there” moments. In just one segment they’ve made me want to see this match more than any other match or the card, both rumored and confirmed. This has to be one of the better verbal back-and-forths in WWE in a very long time. This is the first thing that WWE has done since that first Ronda/Becky face-off that had a real “WrestleMania is coming” atmosphere.

ASUKA vs. SONYA DEVILLE (w/Mandy Rose)- 3.75/10
They did stuff. The finish aw Mandy get knocked down on the outside and so she tried to pull herself up using the ring skirt but her pulling on it made Sonya trip, allowing Asuka to easily finish Sonya off with the Asuka Lock. My guess is that this was supposed to be an accident but it looked a little too on purposeful for my taste. I’m all for Mandy being the spiteful jerk of the two, but everything she did afterwards makes me think that the idea is that it was an accident. Mandy tried to apologize to Sonya afterward but Sonya wouldn’t have it so Mandy left without her.

IICONICS PROMO- fine for what it was
They made fun of Mandy and Sonya a bit, then said they wanted a tag title shot. They reminded us that Sasha and Bayley said they be defending the titles across all brands but noted that they haven’t actually appeared on SD yet. Perhaps whoever is in charge of the show could book The IIconics in matches so they could accumulate some wins before they go around making challenges for title shots.

BECKY LYNCH PROMO-
She threw her crutch away and limped down to ringside instead. Like with Ronda last night, Becky came out to the ring, then just stood there while the announcers pitched to a video package that went well over a minute. Again: Why not just play the video before you have Becky come out?
She claimed to have manipulated Ronda into doing exactly what she wanted at the PPV. That’s a specious claim at best, especially when you consider that on Raw, Ronda pretty much mauled her and I don’t see any reason to believe that Becky knew Ronda wouldn’t do so again. The “one punch and Ronda walks away” bit feels a lot more like dumb luck on Becky’s part to me.
Otherwise, her promo was very good. She was predictably interrupted by Charlotte, because G-d forbid we have these two not interact for one whole week. Charlotte cut a great promo as well, to which Becky’s response sounds great in theory until you think about it for a second. Becky said that when Charlotte was the top star in the women’s division she “did nothing with it.”
Did nothing with it? I distinctly remember being told it was a HUGE deal when Charlotte and Sasha engaged in “the first-ever women’s Hell in a Cell Match/PPV main event/main roster Ironman Match” and when Charlotte was involved in the “first-ever women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match” and set an all-time record for consecutive PPV victories. You know… all of that stuff that WWE told us to celebrate because it was evidence of how successful the Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution is. Is Becky saying that none of that means anything? That seems pretty heelish to me.

KAYLA BRAXTON CATCHES DANIEL BRYAN LEAVING VINCE’S OFFICE- didn’t like it.
Bryan apparently went to talk to Vince about Kofi, and the end result was Vince booking Bryan & Rowan vs. Owens & Ali for later tonight. He also mentioned some big announcement Vince is making later tonight, which, unless I missed something, is the first we have heard about any such announcement. This whole thing, from them cutting to Kayla seemingly for no reason to her just happening to be in the spot to see Bryan leaving Vince’s office to her not being phased one bit by the news that Vince is making some sort of big announcement tonight to her uncanny ability to guess what Bryan was talking to Vince about made this all feel very forced. Any one of these things I could let go, but all four together make the contrived nature of it much harder to ignore.

Corey Graves asked “when did Kayla Braxton become April O’Neil?” A few months ago when she started being a “backstage correspondent.” Duh. Have you not noticed that she’s been doing this for weeks now?

REY MYSTERIO JR. & R-TRUTH (w/Carmella) vs. SAMOA JOE & ANDRADE “CIEN” ALMAS (w/Zelina Vega)- 6/10
The announcers keep insisting to me that Rey and Andrade’s rivalry is “very personal” but it really hasn’t been portrayed that way at all. If it’s personal, I should be hearing them tell me why. “Almas thinks Rey can’t beat him” is not enough for a rivalry to be considered “personal.”
And now, tonight, we had Rey pin Joe while Truth and Almas’ managers once again had a physical altercation, so it looks like they’re going in separate directions for WrestleMania.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Joe was angry that he lost so he beat up Truth and Almas.

KEVIN OWENS & MUSTAFA ALI vs. DANIEL BRYAN & ERICK ROWAN- 6.75/10
Heels win clean when Rowan pins Ali after a claw-slam, which is now being called the “Iron Claw,” which is a bad idea because the “Iron Claw” is the name of the face-grabby submission. The slam version, which is not a submission, should have its own name.

VINCE MCMAHON OFFERS KOFI KINGSTON A “WRESTLEMANIA OPPORTUNITY”- didn’t like it
Vince prattled on for a while about the “teachable moment” at the PPV that was Kofi getting put in a Handicap Match. New Day interrupted him. Woods and Big E. had a great back-and-forth with Vince. One nit-pick I would have is that while I liked that Xavier did point out that when they say Kofi “deserves” something it is because he has done things to earn it, I think it would have been more effective if they had just said “Kofi has earned X” from the beginning because “earned” is both a better word free of negative connotations that can be twisted by Vince, but also because it fits in with the rhetoric that has been especially prevalent among SD authority figures since this brand split began.
One major problem I had with this was that it was very weird that Woods and Big E. did all of the talking for Kofi while Kofi seemingly stood there, seemingly on the verge of tears. I felt that Kofi needed to stand up for himself rather than having his friends do it.
Once Big E. and Xavier were done, Vince simply said that Kofi hasn’t been given a title shot because he’s not talented enough to get one. Vince said that Kofi would be a Hall of Famer one day, but the only as a member of New Day (which I honestly think is a fair statement, but then again, the f*cking Godfather is in there and Kofi has won several thousand more championships in WWE than Godfather did, so I guess he deserves to go in a as a singles wrestler, too).
Vince says that Daniel Bryan told him- and Vince agreed- that Kofi is a “B+ player.” This finally got Kofi to speak up, and he cut a promo during which he talked about how he is so happy and proud to be able to work for WWE and has never complained and has done everything Vince wanted and missed all of these family occasions and he just wants Vince to tell him what he needs to do to earn a title shot.
I really didn’t like this because it came off like begging. Kofi shouldn’t be begging. He should be telling Vince “f*ck you! I earned this and you’re going to give it to me. If you care one bit about the legitimacy of your beloved WWE Championship then you’re going to give me the title shot I earned by pinning the champion. If you care one bit about the WWE Universe, you’re going to give me the title shot they’ve been demanding that you give me ever since I pinned the WWE Champion.”
Then Orton came out and Vince said Kofi could have a title shot if he beat Orton. Then Joe came out, and Vince said Kofi would have to beat him, too. Then Sheamus & Cesaro, then Rowan, then Bryan. Vince told Kofi he’d have to win a Gauntlet Match next week. The heels all ran down to attack New Day six-on-three. If would have been nice if some of the other babyfaces actually came out to stand up for Kofi (Owens in particular, as doing so would validate his claims at really being a babyface now, but having Ali come out as well would be a nice little symbolic nod of approval that Ali bears no ill will towards the man who capitalized on his injury and took his spot. It turns out that New Day didn’t need any help, though, as they dispatched the heels, and we closed with a shot of Bryan and Vince standing on the ramp together, looking very unhappy.
Going back to a Gauntlet Match here is the sort of thing that strikes me as Creative thinking they’re being really clever when really they’re not. There is a difference between a motif and forced repetition. This is the latter. It’s also going to result in a large majority of next week’s show being dedicated to a match where the result is a foregone conclusion, and in which both male singles champions will be doing jobs- one of them to a guy he’s not facing at WrestleMana, and one of them to a guy he’s already lost cleanly to twice, meaning that the job won’t prove anything (there is no “Bryan can’t beat Kofi” story here because Bryan did beat Kofi at Elimination Chamber).
The other part I didn’t like was how involved Bryan seems to be with Vince. I certainly don’t buy that this Daniel Bryan snotty environmentalist would be able to be chummy with Vince, and I… well… I guess I just have trouble believing that Bryan would be willing to use the “B+ player” label to try to dissuade Vince from giving Kofi a title shot. This Daniel Bryan is an egotist who hates the fans and believes that he needs to be champion for the good of the planet, but his style is a very up front one. He’s not a guy who politics to keep contenders away from his title. He’s the guy who has his gigantic friend interfere in the title match to make sure he keeps the titles.
Also- and it’s entirely possible that this is by design- but there is something extremely annoying about seeing Vince working together with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan in the built to Bryan defending his title at Mania while so much of the product over the past few years has been Vince’s complete and total inability to just give us what we want instead of fighting us every step of the way. The very fact that he’s standing there with Daniel Bryan as a major star and world champion should tell Vince that we know what we f*cking want, but on the other show he couldn’t keep his f*cking hands off of things and has completely ruined Becky vs. Ronda by forcing Charlotte in and using this completely cockamamie, hole-ridden “story” (if one can be so generous as to call it that).

Anyway, this was a pretty good episode of Smackdown, despite the stuff I really didn’t like. It was easy to sit through and extremely newsworthy, so it’s worth your time to watch it.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 12th, '19, 22:41

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 22:14
OPENING SEGMENT- didn't like it
Someone in the crowd has a “Vince hates pancakes” sign, which shows you how much damage the years of f*cking around with pancakes have done to New Day. Kofi is getting a big serious babyface push now, and some people still can’t separate it from the f*cking pancakes.

And so, because Kofi is a big serious babyface now we can't acknowledge the comedic elements of his character, even though he's wrestling serious matches? That would be like saying Kurt Angle fans can't chant "You suck" something that spawned from a largely comedic feud with Edge, while still simultaneously acknowledging he's an incredibly intense and credible athlete.

Also, I'm sure that's a true statement. I'm sure Vince despises pancakes.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 12th, '19, 23:21

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 22:41
Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 22:14
OPENING SEGMENT- didn't like it
Someone in the crowd has a “Vince hates pancakes” sign, which shows you how much damage the years of f*cking around with pancakes have done to New Day. Kofi is getting a big serious babyface push now, and some people still can’t separate it from the f*cking pancakes.

And so, because Kofi is a big serious babyface now we can't acknowledge the comedic elements of his character, even though he's wrestling serious matches? That would be like saying Kurt Angle fans can't chant "You suck" something that spawned from a largely comedic feud with Edge, while still simultaneously acknowledging he's an incredibly intense and credible athlete.

Also, I'm sure that's a true statement. I'm sure Vince despises pancakes.
When someone thinks about this feud, they should not be thinking about the f*cking pancakes. Kofi got screwed. He earned something and then this spiteful old bastard took it away form him for no f*cking reason. Bring a sign about that.

Also, fans shouldn't be chanting "YOU SUCK!" at Kurt when he's a babyface. It's dumb. "You suck" is never a term of endearment. It's something we say to people we don't like.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 12th, '19, 23:51

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 23:21
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 22:41
Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 22:14
OPENING SEGMENT- didn't like it
Someone in the crowd has a “Vince hates pancakes” sign, which shows you how much damage the years of f*cking around with pancakes have done to New Day. Kofi is getting a big serious babyface push now, and some people still can’t separate it from the f*cking pancakes.

And so, because Kofi is a big serious babyface now we can't acknowledge the comedic elements of his character, even though he's wrestling serious matches? That would be like saying Kurt Angle fans can't chant "You suck" something that spawned from a largely comedic feud with Edge, while still simultaneously acknowledging he's an incredibly intense and credible athlete.

Also, I'm sure that's a true statement. I'm sure Vince despises pancakes.
When someone thinks about this feud, they should not be thinking about the f*cking pancakes. Kofi got screwed. He earned something and then this spiteful old bastard took it away form him for no f*cking reason. Bring a sign about that.
"*X* fears *Y*" is an absurdist wrestling sign that's existed for goddamn ever, "Vince doesn't like pancakes" is just an inversion of that.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by cero2k » Mar 13th, '19, 08:11

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 23:51

And so, because Kofi is a big serious babyface now we can't acknowledge the comedic elements of his character, even though he's wrestling serious matches? That would be like saying Kurt Angle fans can't chant "You suck" something that spawned from a largely comedic feud with Edge, while still simultaneously acknowledging he's an incredibly intense and credible athlete.
to be fair, that 'You Suck' chant is pretty stupid, especially since he came back as the big legend and hero

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 13th, '19, 08:37

cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 08:11
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 12th, '19, 23:51

And so, because Kofi is a big serious babyface now we can't acknowledge the comedic elements of his character, even though he's wrestling serious matches? That would be like saying Kurt Angle fans can't chant "You suck" something that spawned from a largely comedic feud with Edge, while still simultaneously acknowledging he's an incredibly intense and credible athlete.
to be fair, that 'You Suck' chant is pretty stupid, especially since he came back as the big legend and hero
You're right. It could unintentionally bury someone when the crowd chants stupid crap (See Tye Dillenger and the crowd ruining dramatic count out spots with "Ten"), But it doesn't bury Kurt because he's a serious wrestler in the ring despite his comedic elements, same with Kofi
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by cero2k » Mar 13th, '19, 09:14

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 08:37


You're right. It could unintentionally bury someone when the crowd chants stupid crap (See Tye Dillenger and the crowd ruining dramatic count out spots with "Ten"), But it doesn't bury Kurt because he's a serious wrestler in the ring despite his comedic elements, same with Kofi
Except Kofi isn't a serious wrestler, he's never been. Kofi has ALWAYS been the happy-go-lucky "likes to have fun" look at me jump high wrestler. He shrugs off loses with his buddies playing trombone and cosplaying DBZ. He has no history or aura of a combat athlete.

You're right that it's not going to hurt him, because WWE fans are more excited for pancakes than wins and loses. His run right now is because WWE fans like to give out participation medals if you make it 10 years in the company. Everyone is dying to chant 'you deserve it' at him.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 13th, '19, 09:49

cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 09:14
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 08:37


You're right. It could unintentionally bury someone when the crowd chants stupid crap (See Tye Dillenger and the crowd ruining dramatic count out spots with "Ten"), But it doesn't bury Kurt because he's a serious wrestler in the ring despite his comedic elements, same with Kofi
Except Kofi isn't a serious wrestler, he's never been. Kofi has ALWAYS been the happy-go-lucky "likes to have fun" look at me jump high wrestler. He shrugs off loses with his buddies playing trombone and cosplaying DBZ. He has no history or aura of a combat athlete.

You're right that it's not going to hurt him, because WWE fans are more excited for pancakes than wins and loses. His run right now is because WWE fans like to give out participation medals if you make it 10 years in the company. Everyone is dying to chant 'you deserve it' at him.
THIS.

The fact that Kofi was booked so strongly once they decided to go with him in Ali's spot and the fact that he delivered so damn well in the ring- like we all knew he could but he never got the chance to show (remember when he and Cesaro got in trouble for having too good a match on Main Event?)- is just a happy coincidence that makes fans like me scoff at the "YOU DESERVE IT!" chant a lot less than we would for someone else (especially when combined with Kofi's legacy as the first guy who really felt unfairly cut off at the legs in the "you get punished for getting over if it's not part of our plan" era which, when combined with JoMo leaving because he didn't feel like he was getting the opportunities he had earned, the immediate Sheamus push, and one or two other things is really the beginning of today's period of general fan revolt- the Punk push and them temporarily acknowledging Ryder's popularity put this off for a bit, but Bryan jobbing to Sheamus in 12 seconds at Mania, combined with their immediate destruction of Ryder reignited it).

Fans chanted "YOU DESERVE IT!" at f*cking Naomi when she won the women's title for the first time, after being completely cold for months at a time. Wrestling fans in general- but WWE fans in particular- have deluded themselves over the past few years into thinking they're workers who have certain "spots" they're supposed to hit. There was one year (this year, I think) where they did Survivor Series, Raw, and then SD all in the same city and fans cheered on Raw when the Raw guys talked about Raw beating SD, then on SD the same fans booed when Shane talked about SD losing to Raw. And this applies to even the supposedly "smart" crowds like Mania weekend. Remember in 2017 where they chanted "F*CK YOU, ROMAN!" and for him to "SHUT THE F*CK UP!" "GO AWAY!"... and then when Vince came out they all cheered for him?
These people are total marks for themselves and don't even realize it. It's sad. They've forgotten that their job is to enjoy the matches and react to the stories. They treat promos like every line is a prompt for them to chant something rather than the wrestler trying to tell them something.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 13th, '19, 11:02

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 09:49
cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 09:14
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 08:37


You're right. It could unintentionally bury someone when the crowd chants stupid crap (See Tye Dillenger and the crowd ruining dramatic count out spots with "Ten"), But it doesn't bury Kurt because he's a serious wrestler in the ring despite his comedic elements, same with Kofi
Except Kofi isn't a serious wrestler, he's never been. Kofi has ALWAYS been the happy-go-lucky "likes to have fun" look at me jump high wrestler. He shrugs off loses with his buddies playing trombone and cosplaying DBZ. He has no history or aura of a combat athlete.

You're right that it's not going to hurt him, because WWE fans are more excited for pancakes than wins and loses. His run right now is because WWE fans like to give out participation medals if you make it 10 years in the company. Everyone is dying to chant 'you deserve it' at him.
THIS.

The fact that Kofi was booked so strongly once they decided to go with him in Ali's spot and the fact that he delivered so damn well in the ring- like we all knew he could but he never got the chance to show (remember when he and Cesaro got in trouble for having too good a match on Main Event?)- is just a happy coincidence that makes fans like me scoff at the "YOU DESERVE IT!" chant a lot less than we would for someone else (especially when combined with Kofi's legacy as the first guy who really felt unfairly cut off at the legs in the "you get punished for getting over if it's not part of our plan" era which, when combined with JoMo leaving because he didn't feel like he was getting the opportunities he had earned, the immediate Sheamus push, and one or two other things is really the beginning of today's period of general fan revolt- the Punk push and them temporarily acknowledging Ryder's popularity put this off for a bit, but Bryan jobbing to Sheamus in 12 seconds at Mania, combined with their immediate destruction of Ryder reignited it).

Fans chanted "YOU DESERVE IT!" at f*cking Naomi when she won the women's title for the first time, after being completely cold for months at a time. Wrestling fans in general- but WWE fans in particular- have deluded themselves over the past few years into thinking they're workers who have certain "spots" they're supposed to hit. There was one year (this year, I think) where they did Survivor Series, Raw, and then SD all in the same city and fans cheered on Raw when the Raw guys talked about Raw beating SD, then on SD the same fans booed when Shane talked about SD losing to Raw. And this applies to even the supposedly "smart" crowds like Mania weekend. Remember in 2017 where they chanted "F*CK YOU, ROMAN!" and for him to "SHUT THE F*CK UP!" "GO AWAY!"... and then when Vince came out they all cheered for him?
These people are total marks for themselves and don't even realize it. It's sad. They've forgotten that their job is to enjoy the matches and react to the stories. They treat promos like every line is a prompt for them to chant something rather than the wrestler trying to tell them something.
Again, neither of you are wrong (especially you BRM about the fans), but I fail to see how the fans liking Kofi's fun gimmick subtracts from the impact if going nearly an hour in a gauntlet match in which he pinned the WWE Champion, going hell for leather in an Elimination Chamber match that you, BRM, gave a 10/10. I'll admit that the storyline of Kofi being replaced is barely a storyline, and not needed in the grand scheme, but beyond that it honestly sounds like you're both complaining to complain
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by cero2k » Mar 13th, '19, 11:09

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:02

Again, neither of you are wrong (especially you BRM about the fans), but I fail to see how the fans liking Kofi's fun gimmick subtracts from the impact if going nearly an hour in a gauntlet match in which he pinned the WWE Champion, going hell for leather in an Elimination Chamber match that you, BRM, gave a 10/10. I'll admit that the storyline of Kofi being replaced is barely a storyline, and not needed in the grand scheme, but beyond that it honestly sounds like you're both complaining to complain
I personally didn't care for Kofi's performance. never have, he's a geek to me. i'm not really complaining either, just pointing out that he's never been a serious wrestler, he's just the flavor of the month, but indeed, that's what people want to see, so of all things, I don't blame WWE for running with him right now.

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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 13th, '19, 11:49

Yeah, I'll admit, and you all know what I think about the New G-Oh sorry, The New Day, but I'm excited and somewhat intrigued for the fresh change of pace of the actual new possibility of him winning it. It's so sudden it actually stirs up the "what if he actually finally wins it?", feeling. I can't believe I'm saying this...but it would be....


.....

Alright....to see happen.

I'd rather someone else like Almas win it but whatever.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 13th, '19, 11:55

cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:09
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:02

Again, neither of you are wrong (especially you BRM about the fans), but I fail to see how the fans liking Kofi's fun gimmick subtracts from the impact if going nearly an hour in a gauntlet match in which he pinned the WWE Champion, going hell for leather in an Elimination Chamber match that you, BRM, gave a 10/10. I'll admit that the storyline of Kofi being replaced is barely a storyline, and not needed in the grand scheme, but beyond that it honestly sounds like you're both complaining to complain
I personally didn't care for Kofi's performance. never have, he's a geek to me. i'm not really complaining either, just pointing out that he's never been a serious wrestler, he's just the flavor of the month, but indeed, that's what people want to see, so of all things, I don't blame WWE for running with him right now.
I feel like I might just be a Kofi mark then. Because I watched Raw RELIGIOUSLY in the true darkness, the guest host era of Raw, and on almost every Raw the one of the few (sometimes the only) things resembling good wrestling was Kofi in the midcard with someone. And like, I don't even mind The New Day comedy thing all that much. They took a dead in the water trio and made it a merchandise machine. And if three of the most talented people in WWE are making money while being goofballs but wrestling serious matches when the time comes, then RAD.
I guess what defines wrestling for me is "Do wrestlers I like get to put on good matches that I enjoy?" And the answer, more consistently than not, has been "yes" (at least watching PPV to PPV)

Also, thank you for this. This has been brewing around in my head for a while and I've not had the inclination to explain it.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 13th, '19, 12:08

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:55
cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:09
NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:02

Again, neither of you are wrong (especially you BRM about the fans), but I fail to see how the fans liking Kofi's fun gimmick subtracts from the impact if going nearly an hour in a gauntlet match in which he pinned the WWE Champion, going hell for leather in an Elimination Chamber match that you, BRM, gave a 10/10. I'll admit that the storyline of Kofi being replaced is barely a storyline, and not needed in the grand scheme, but beyond that it honestly sounds like you're both complaining to complain
I personally didn't care for Kofi's performance. never have, he's a geek to me. i'm not really complaining either, just pointing out that he's never been a serious wrestler, he's just the flavor of the month, but indeed, that's what people want to see, so of all things, I don't blame WWE for running with him right now.
I feel like I might just be a Kofi mark then. Because I watched Raw RELIGIOUSLY in the true darkness, the guest host era of Raw, and on almost every Raw the one of the few (sometimes the only) things resembling good wrestling was Kofi in the midcard with someone. And like, I don't even mind The New Day comedy thing all that much. They took a dead in the water trio and made it a merchandise machine. And if three of the most talented people in WWE are making money while being goofballs but wrestling serious matches when the time comes, then RAD.
I guess what defines wrestling for me is "Do wrestlers I like get to put on good matches that I enjoy?" And the answer, more consistently than not, has been "yes" (at least watching PPV to PPV)

Also, thank you for this. This has been brewing around in my head for a while and I've not had the inclination to explain it.
I saw every one of those Raws as well, but i don't feel the same way. That man ain't nothin' special. Do I like the idea of a new champion? Yes. Am I crazy it's gonna be Kingston?

Fuck no.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 13th, '19, 12:53

NWK2000 wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 11:02
Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 09:49
cero2k wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 09:14


Except Kofi isn't a serious wrestler, he's never been. Kofi has ALWAYS been the happy-go-lucky "likes to have fun" look at me jump high wrestler. He shrugs off loses with his buddies playing trombone and cosplaying DBZ. He has no history or aura of a combat athlete.

You're right that it's not going to hurt him, because WWE fans are more excited for pancakes than wins and loses. His run right now is because WWE fans like to give out participation medals if you make it 10 years in the company. Everyone is dying to chant 'you deserve it' at him.
THIS.

The fact that Kofi was booked so strongly once they decided to go with him in Ali's spot and the fact that he delivered so damn well in the ring- like we all knew he could but he never got the chance to show (remember when he and Cesaro got in trouble for having too good a match on Main Event?)- is just a happy coincidence that makes fans like me scoff at the "YOU DESERVE IT!" chant a lot less than we would for someone else (especially when combined with Kofi's legacy as the first guy who really felt unfairly cut off at the legs in the "you get punished for getting over if it's not part of our plan" era which, when combined with JoMo leaving because he didn't feel like he was getting the opportunities he had earned, the immediate Sheamus push, and one or two other things is really the beginning of today's period of general fan revolt- the Punk push and them temporarily acknowledging Ryder's popularity put this off for a bit, but Bryan jobbing to Sheamus in 12 seconds at Mania, combined with their immediate destruction of Ryder reignited it).

Fans chanted "YOU DESERVE IT!" at f*cking Naomi when she won the women's title for the first time, after being completely cold for months at a time. Wrestling fans in general- but WWE fans in particular- have deluded themselves over the past few years into thinking they're workers who have certain "spots" they're supposed to hit. There was one year (this year, I think) where they did Survivor Series, Raw, and then SD all in the same city and fans cheered on Raw when the Raw guys talked about Raw beating SD, then on SD the same fans booed when Shane talked about SD losing to Raw. And this applies to even the supposedly "smart" crowds like Mania weekend. Remember in 2017 where they chanted "F*CK YOU, ROMAN!" and for him to "SHUT THE F*CK UP!" "GO AWAY!"... and then when Vince came out they all cheered for him?
These people are total marks for themselves and don't even realize it. It's sad. They've forgotten that their job is to enjoy the matches and react to the stories. They treat promos like every line is a prompt for them to chant something rather than the wrestler trying to tell them something.
Again, neither of you are wrong (especially you BRM about the fans), but I fail to see how the fans liking Kofi's fun gimmick subtracts from the impact if going nearly an hour in a gauntlet match in which he pinned the WWE Champion, going hell for leather in an Elimination Chamber match that you, BRM, gave a 10/10. I'll admit that the storyline of Kofi being replaced is barely a storyline, and not needed in the grand scheme, but beyond that it honestly sounds like you're both complaining to complain
Opportunity cost. I think the response to this would be bigger and more special if Kofi was someone we had seen trying to climb up the singles ranks over the past few years rather than off being a goofball throwing pancakes and cereal. There is something special about watching a guy climb his way up the ladder, being a midcard belt-level guy for a few years and then moving up to world title level and being in the hunt for a while but not quite getting there and then finally winning the big one (Jeff Hardy in 2008 is the best modern example I can think of, but Shawn, Bret, and Cena's first title wins all fit the mold, as to many other's I'm a little too lazy to think of right now).
Kofi did that for a while... but then he went off and became a tag team guy and a goofball up until the moment Mustafa Ali bumped his head and they needed someone to plug into his spot on two day's notice.
WWE and it's crowd responses are in a place that has been shaped by the combination of the "no one is allowed to be bigger than the brand" and "wins and losses don't really matter" booking philosophies and then the confluence of Dave putting over the PWG crowd so heavy and then wanna-be smarks (including many in those PWG crowds) deciding that Dave was just putting them over for their attempts at being funny (which fit PWG's tone at the time, but don't fit in elsewhere) with some of the fan backlash the Vince's decisions (particularly Sheamus beating Bryan at Mania and Punk dropping the title to The Rock so Cena and Rock could have a title on the line in their rematch when they didn't need it at all) and then the way that WWE themselves put over that first post-Mania crowd in 2013 in a way that made fans think they should be emulating that crowd, which crapped on the show and took stupid things like Fandango's music well past the point of sensibility (which you can see in the way that one good angle took Rusev from a hot heel and turned him into a total joke who goes around telling you that every single day is his special personal holiday because fans wouldn't stop chanting "RUSEV DAY!" and WWE didn't know how to run with it in an intelligent manner). Combine that with a general movement towards kitsch rather than things hat are actually intelligent in our culture and you've got yourself a crowd whose likes and dislikes feel completely random, but once they've decided they like something, they'll latch onto it 100%.

Are the fans now all supporting Kofi because of his performance in the gauntlet and in the Elimination Chamber? Or are they supporting him because of the pancake sh*t and this is just the position he happens to be in now?
I'm not saying his booking over the course of the week from the gaunt to the chamber to pinning Bryan again on SD didn't help. What I am saying is that it seems to me that if you took someone in a semi-similar card position to Kofi's and who is about as good a worker but didn't have a gimmick some people decided they loved because they like stupid goofball crap, would that person have gotten the same reaction as Kofi, or would these same fans have given him a much smaller reaction.
I will admit that I'm having trouble finding someone who is currently approximately at Kofi's level and has a tenure of a similar length and also doesn't currently have a goofy gimmick that people love for reasons that I find incomprehensible (Matt Hardy is the only one of similar tenure without a world title run, but he has his dumb gimmick, Cesaro and Rusev haven't been around as long as Kofi by a factor of several years, the rest of the guys who are at or above Kofi's level as workers- Crews, Roode, Harper, Anderson, Shelton- are nowhere near his level on the card and mostly not close to his tenure or level on the card). But you get my drift, right? If Shelton Benjamin had stayed around as the consummate midcarder instead of going to NOAH or if Tyson Kidd hadn't gotten injured, or if Chad Gable had been around for a lot longer than he has been, or if Sheamus hadn't ever gotten a world title push, and you stuck one of them in this spot, would he be getting the same sort of reaction as Kofi did just off of the booking of that one week and in-ring ability? Or for maybe a more manageable comparison, if Big E.- who does not have anything resembling Kofi's history- either in terms of tenure or in terms of the whole Orton situation- were chosen for this spot instead of Kofi and booked the same way, would the reaction be any different? I don't think so.

The people who seem most excited to me about this Kofi push fall into two major (although obviously sometimes overlapping) categories:
1. Fans like myself and a lot of the major wrestling analysts who hate the goofball stuff and are excited to see Kofi finally being featured in a role where the level of his push in the overall landscape of the company will actually correspond to his ability instead of being stuck as a midcarder or a goofball tag team guy (as great New Day's matches often are, Vince doesn't push the tag team division at all. The Usos and The Revival should be megastars, but they're not allowed to be).
2. African-American/Afro-Canadian fans who are finally glad to see one of their own pushed to this level (and the fact that they don't seem to count Mark Henry and Booker T's runs with the World Heavyweight Title is evidence of exactly how terrible a job WWE did of making that belt seem equal to the one Hunter, Cena, and Orton got to have).
I haven't heard one person talk about how they are so happy that the guy that plugs pancakes is getting a title shot because they like pancakes so much.

I understand what you're saying, and maybe Vince deserves credit for grooming a fanbase that is just happy to like the thing of the moment without any desire to think or pay attention to details and just wants to be a part of the group at that moment. He has- at least partially purposefully- created a system that will mostly accept whatever he gives them at some level or another, allowing for the occasional big glitch like Roman, the WM30 plans along the way, but basically allowing him to put minimal effort (or, perhaps more fairly, minimal competence) into his work and still succeed financially.
But as someone who views pro wrestling as an art form from whom I derive enjoyment based primarily on the quality of the art, I don't think that's something we should really be giving people credit for. Vince has had some great ideas, but so has Mike Quackenbush. But Vince has enough money that no matter how bad his ideas get, he'll wind up fine for however-many years he needs to fix it, solely off of rights fees and then his existing bank account, but if Quack has too many bad ideas, he'll go out of business. That irks me.
I realize that the world isn't fair and I accept that. But those same feelings compel me to point out when someone is putting out quality art and when they are not. Good art, no matter how ambitious, is better than ambitious art that is not good, but bad at least when someone is failing to put out ambitious art I can usually respect their effort even if I can't respect the finished product. But when someone sets up a system designed to allow them to succeed even while putting out art that is both unambitious and bad, I feel that the least I can do is call them out on their BS.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by NWK2000 » Mar 13th, '19, 13:48

Big Red Machine wrote:
Mar 13th, '19, 12:53


Opportunity cost. I think the response to this would be bigger and more special if Kofi was someone we had seen trying to climb up the singles ranks over the past few years rather than off being a goofball throwing pancakes and cereal. There is something special about watching a guy climb his way up the ladder, being a midcard belt-level guy for a few years and then moving up to world title level and being in the hunt for a while but not quite getting there and then finally winning the big one (Jeff Hardy in 2008 is the best modern example I can think of, but Shawn, Bret, and Cena's first title wins all fit the mold, as to many other's I'm a little too lazy to think of right now).
Kofi did that for a while... but then he went off and became a tag team guy and a goofball up until the moment Mustafa Ali bumped his head and they needed someone to plug into his spot on two day's notice.
WWE and it's crowd responses are in a place that has been shaped by the combination of the "no one is allowed to be bigger than the brand" and "wins and losses don't really matter" booking philosophies and then the confluence of Dave putting over the PWG crowd so heavy and then wanna-be smarks (including many in those PWG crowds) deciding that Dave was just putting them over for their attempts at being funny (which fit PWG's tone at the time, but don't fit in elsewhere) with some of the fan backlash the Vince's decisions (particularly Sheamus beating Bryan at Mania and Punk dropping the title to The Rock so Cena and Rock could have a title on the line in their rematch when they didn't need it at all) and then the way that WWE themselves put over that first post-Mania crowd in 2013 in a way that made fans think they should be emulating that crowd, which crapped on the show and took stupid things like Fandango's music well past the point of sensibility (which you can see in the way that one good angle took Rusev from a hot heel and turned him into a total joke who goes around telling you that every single day is his special personal holiday because fans wouldn't stop chanting "RUSEV DAY!" and WWE didn't know how to run with it in an intelligent manner).
Brother, you best believe if I woke up next to Lana every day, every day would be NWK Day in my head. But continuing on.

I understand what you're saying, and maybe Vince deserves credit for grooming a fanbase that is just happy to like the thing of the moment without any desire to think or pay attention to details
I want to state for the record that this is me to a tee. I think of pro wrestling promotions like hamburgers, and in that line I think of WWE as a hamburger from Burger King. Hamburgers are nice, and what Burger King produces is good to my taste buds most of the time, reminds me of the happy times in my childhood. and always there when I need a hamburger. But if I go to a more expensive restaurant (let's say New Japan ) where they use super rich sauces and fresher ingredients overall, or if I learn about the secret recipe for a long since discontinued hamburger (retro ROH) I'm not going to appreciate Burger King any less, I'm gong to appreciate those other hamburgers more for going so above and beyond Burger King in unique and special ways. And while I enjoy hamburgers, I'm not particularly interested in how a hamburger is made or what the chef could've done differently , as long as it tastes good and looks good.

And yes, I understand that makes me a bad consumer but although I appreciate my hobbies , a specific way they are executed isn't central to my enjoyment of them.
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Re: BRM Reviews the 3/12/2019 Smackdown

Post by KILLdozer » Mar 13th, '19, 14:06

I'm NOT a New Day supporter. At all. They do seem to have been much more serious and legitimate acting lately, which is a good thing. Regardless, Kingston got organically crazy over from nowhere and they ran with it. Does anything else matter ?
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