In that movie I should have been a part of, we had a scene where a killer robot is chasing a family in an underground parking garage. The robot uses the same trick as an early James Bond villain, where it hides in the shadows and chases the family with an air hose, pumping out high pressure blasts of air in an attempt to knock them into the street below. In this case, the robot is programmed to run ahead of the family and then pull them towards an air compressor in the garage. And I can’t explain why, but in the middle of filming, I was running in front of the robot, pretending to chase the family, when I realized I was going to get blasted by the air hose.
Films are always going to be a tricky beast. Walking into a cinema is always a life changing experience. You never know what you’re going to see. Sometimes you see a film that changes your life and sometimes you see a film that doesn’t.
Many of you are probably already aware of the misconception that wrestling is an old man’s sport and that a lot of pro wrestlers are past their prime. But if you think about it, a lot of pro wrestlers are in their 30s or 40s and are still going strong. Take for example Mark Henry, he’s 41 years old and has been wrestling for 16 years. As for other wrestlers, they are in no way past their prime. While there are a lot of great wrestlers in their 30s and 40s, there are even more in their 20s and 30s.
That Isn’t Wrestling #14: They Can’t Walk Before They Can Run
Thank you for joining me, and welcome! A few years ago, the stars seemed to be aligning for a major change in the world of professional wrestling. Everyone was talking about a huge new company with a television contract and “real, sport-based wrestling.” The contemporary wrestling fan’s existence of “eating crap and learning to enjoy the flavor” has finally come to an end. Wasn’t it? Every Thursday, join me here to dissect the acts of the stupid, dangerous, and desperate in pro wrestling… well, in AEW.
This week’s look at AEW/Tony Khan’s effort to unseat Vince McMahon’s sports entertainment empire comes at a time when things seem to be moving at a breakneck speed. Things have been moving so quickly recently that nothing is fixed in stone or consistent – to say nothing of the fact that no one knows what we’ll be getting more of with the addition of a fourth weekly AEW program. I’ve stated before that AEW has no idea what it’s doing, and with all these toys on the table at once being utilized inappropriately, it’s almost as if someone in control is having trouble concentrating.
Anyway, let’s get started!
Tony Khan’s AEW Dynamite is his modern-day Monday Nitro, his version of Monday Night Raw. Dynamite is (now) AEW’s main program, on which all of the company’s attention and resources are concentrated. We’ve already had 22 months of Dynamite and Tony Khan’s Booker of the Year attitude. It’s been a whirlwind of sloppy clusterfucks, amateur wrestling, nostalgic rehashes, and tribute performances.
We didn’t get the “serious sport-based” wrestling that AEW promised, and AEW didn’t keep their word when they said “we’re searching for new.” Every week, Dynamite became a smack in the face that hammered this reality home. I’m not sure what will be the top priority once Friday Night Rampage begins, but we’ll have to wait and see. Most likely, the new program will get all of the attention, leaving Dynamite to fall behind.
AEW Dark is a fantastic concept — at least in theory. When NXT was just an hour long and before The Vultures of Television ripped it up, it was great. WWE has also proven that smaller organizations like OVW and FCW were effective in supplying, maintaining, and retraining talent. It’s understandable that AEW would desire a place where individuals could learn, develop, and grow that wasn’t shown live on national television… but they’d still do that.
Dark matches outside of a live broadcast environment are an excellent method to gain experience and subsequently elevate players on the squad and in the eyes of the fans. I’m not going to trash the whole idea, but the execution, yes, take a step back, this might get nasty. On Dark, many individuals seem to be trying a lot of things for the first time, which I suppose is the purpose, but even old video from OVW didn’t have as many people looking confused as Dark does.
The same may be said with Dark Elevation. The goal of the program, as the name implies, is to elevate talent, but AEW Dark already accomplishes that. Please choose one and stay with it. Unless, of course, they’d never construct a whole program around the need for additional space/reps for their commentary teams, would they?
In my opinion, “not quite ready for television” is charming, but “not even not quite ready for television” is not. Making a full performance out of dark bouts was one thing; making two was another…and making each of them almost two hours long is excessive. I attempted to include Dark and Dark Elevation in my weekly wrestling practice, but I never did. Maybe if there weren’t any other promotions going on, I’d be as excited about AEW as I am now, but I’ll simply be grateful that Tony understands when enough is enough and is content with three weekly shows.
AEW Rampage, sometimes known as AEW Thunder, is Tony’s newest toy. Monday Night Raw began in January 1993, and Smackdown launched in April 1999, to put my worries about haste into context. This means WWE waited over six years to determine that Raw was bursting at the seams and that more TV time was required…well, that and the necessity to compete with WCW’s second program, Thunder. They have enough material to complete another two-hour program, but do they have enough quality?
Dynamite has been on the air since October of this year. In less than two years, AEW believes it is ready to produce a second weekly program… okay, fourth weekly show, but second weekly broadcast show. Two hours of AEW per day for four days out of seven is going to become old, quickly. Maybe I’m speaking for myself, but I think that even die-hard AEW supporters will eventually find this excessive.
If the typical AEW fan wants a dose of laughing/crying at someone leaping off of something or generally doing something stupid for a fast yuk or a cheap pop, they don’t have to wait till a certain hour. AEW will almost certainly be on somewhere, and users will be able to receive their fast fix for around 30 minutes before moving on. If on-demand/YouTube/social media doesn’t get there first, there will be some more on tap shortly.
AEW likely assumes they won’t fall into that trap with the time Kenny Omega is given to stumble through his promos. WWE is known for repeatedly overdoing something to death for long periods of time; AEW likely assumes they won’t fall into that trap with the time Kenny Omega is given to stumble through his promos.
To top it off, I haven’t even mentioned how the AEW video games may hurt the company’s TV ratings, and how this impact will compound with having too many weekly programs, but I’ll save that for another time!
That does it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out the Putting It Bluntly: AEW Double or Nothing & WWE Money in the Bank reviews on my YouTube channel.
Rachael Hope created the background artwork.
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The Olympics are a great opportunity to bring an obscure film to the attention of everyone who watches the Games. This week’s theme is a Russian film from the 1960s that is now available on YouTube. I don’t know much about the film itself, but I do know that it features one of the best-known scenes in all of Soviet cinema: the long-jumping dog.. Read more about south park wrestling characters and let us know what you think.
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