offical wwe thread

Taiso

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Silliness. He's more than paid for himself in merch sales alone since he resigned with WWE. That's not even up for debate, it's documented. For someone as number obsessed as you, it surprises me you aren't aware of this.
Even if he were to produce statistics, I'd dismiss them. I'm sure WWE has their own set of statistics that show Punk is eminently marketable and one of their top stars right now.

A guy in WWE that hasn't wrestled in months and comes with a world of baggage is more over than anyone in AEW as we speak.

That's not a testament to Punk's ability as much as it is a eulogy on AEW's lack of same. I don't want AEW to suck. But right now, they do and picking the Elite over Punk hasn't done anything good for them. It's a business, and business isn't good right now.

I base my praise of Punk on the reactions of the sold out crowds in attendance and the organic connection he has with the fans no matter how angry he might be at any given time. I have eyes. When the audience is popping for you that big, you are drawing and people are buying your t-shirts. I've been watching wrestling since the late 70s. I personally don't need statistics to know Punk is making both himself and WWE a lot of money right now.
 
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jro

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Seeing Gunther lined up for a top-two title and Breakker in the mix for something along those lines and then Punk and Drew and Jacob Fatu all in line for the main event, good stuff.

Meanwhile TK is making Swerve into a mid-carder who's going to obviously going to lose to Ospreay at FD while he books Jack Perry as invincible. I do really like Ospreay but there's no one in the fucking company outside of Okada that's a decent challenger. [Okada looks like a UPS driver. Work the fuck out dude.].

I honestly think there's room for another company to horn in here. AEW is trash, it's TNA 2020 level. TK has crazy $ but shit viewership because his product sucks. Swerve jobbing his title to Ospreay in a couple months, eh. Swerve was never a main-eventer, TK just adjusted things to allow for it (read in as applicable).
 

Taiso

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AEW doesn't have any legitimate stars that can transcend the business or elevate the product beyond its current status. They are an indie fed with money mark backing.

And I'm not sure what they do at this point to bring it back to that era where it had so much potential to be a real challenger.

Okada took a payday and he's relaxing. The puroresu scene is probably grueling with little return on investment. This is probably why Shinsuke is so comfortable with his role as a midcarder as well. They are making money without having to destroy themselves in the process and this is likely the only situation where they've felt like this. I get it but I'd still like to see some of that fire. Okada will never bring AEW back to the promised land.

It just sucks that they aren't even a good alternative product right now. The Young Bucks really need to go away. They are not useful.
 
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GohanX

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On Cornette's podcast, they went over numbers revealing that Punk was also AEW's top merch seller in the month after resigning with WWE.

There was a brief period when Punk first came back to WWE where he was the top merch seller in both companies at the same time. Kinda hilarious.
 

Taiso

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But you know...he hasn't done anything in a decade.
 

Arcademan

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WWE Clash at the Castle PLE Results: 6-15-24

Results courtesy of PWTorch.com (complete link to Keller's real-time report).

(1) CODY RHODES vs. A.J. STYLES – I Quit match for the WWE Undisputed Title

Cody hugged his mom Michelle at ringside who flew in for the event. (Uh oh.) Cole noted this is Cody’s first I Quit match. Cole said the first WWE I-quit match was Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund at WrestleMania 11. Graves said the I-quit back in 1985 between Magnum T.A. and Tullly Blanchard for the U.S. Title is considered the match that popularized the format. Cole said the last time a WWE Title changed hands in an I-quit match was John Cena vs. Randy Orton in 2009. Fans were singing loudly early throughout ring introductions. The bell rang 12 minutes into the hour.

Cody went after Styles at the bell aggressively, whipping him face-first into the middle turnbuckle. Fans continued to sing Cody’s name. Styles blocked a Disaster Kick and took over at 1:00. Graves said this match is about breaking your opponent’s spirit. Cody made a comeback and took it to Styles at ringside at 4:00, He pulled a table out from under the ring. Fans cheered and it interrupted their singing. He threw Styles into the ringside steps and then fought him into the crowd and then into a narrow back hallway.

At 7:00 back in the ring, Cody put Styles in a figure-four. Styles grabbed the bottom rope to pull himself out of the hold. Cole said critics question whether Cody has the grit to do what it takes to survive and win this type of match. Styles suplexed Cody over the top rope and then Cody held on and they both tumbled to the floor together. Styles gave Cody a Death Valley Driver from the floor onto the announce desk. He followed with a brainbuster suplex onto the table. When Styles hit Cody with the mic, Cole said it’s legal but he’s not sure it’s ethical. Graves asked if he really just said that. Cody’s mom yelled “Asshole!” at Styles as Styled yelled at her at ringside. That distraction gave Cody a chance to blade. He came up bleeding.

Back in the ring, with Styles in control, Cole said Styles was enjoying it. The ref held the mic up to Cody and asked if he quit. He said, “Absolutely not!” Fans cheered. At 12:00 Cody teased a comeback, but Styles cut it off. As Styles took it to Cody at ringside, the crowd chanted “F— you, A.J.!” Graves said the fans in Scotland have “potty mouths.” Styles set up a Styles Clash on the ringside steps, but Cody backdropped out of it.

At 16:00 Styles began bashing Cody with a kendo stick in the ring. Then he began whipping him with his belt. He oddly wrapped the belt across Cody’s forehead and it slipped. Not sure what he was going for there, but he knew choking him with it isn’t WWE-approved. He settled into a crossface. The ref asked Cody again. Cole said in a normal match, Styles would’ve won since Cody appeared to be passed out.

Cody dumped a chain and handcuffs out of a black sack. He handcuffed Cody’s arms behind his back. Then he bashed him repeatedly with a kendo stick. The ref asked again and Cody said, “No!” Cole said Cody is a proud and defiant champion. Barrett said he’s prolonging the inevitable. Styles got in Cody’s mom’s face at ringside. He poked her in the chest. She slapped him several time and sat down.


Styles returned to the ring and bashed Cody with a chair. Graves said that was Styles taking out his frustrations with Cody’s momon Cody. He wrapped his forearm with a chain. Cody had moved his chained arms from behind his back to the front since there was enough slack. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Cody hit him with a chair. Styles bounced backwards and fell head-first through the table that Cody set up at ringside earlier.

Cody crawled over to the key and uncuffed his wrists. Cody then landed a Cody Cutter. He got fired up and the crowd popped huge and stood and cheered. Cody yelled at a bloodied Styles’s face and delivered a Crossroads. He delivered a third Crossroads onto a chair in the ring. Cody then cuffed Styles’s wrist to the bottom rope. Cody then battered Styles with the chair over and over. The ref asked Styles if he quit. Styles seemed to pause to consider it, but then said “Screw you, Cody Rhodes!” Cody brought the ringside steps into the ring and threatened to hit Styles with it. Styles then burst out with, “I quit!” Graves said it was self-preservation.

WINNER: Cody in 28:00.
-As Cody’s music played, they cut this mom celebrating. Cody ended up hitting Styles with the ringside steps anyway. Cole said that was a message. Cole wondered what was next for Cody, which foreshadowed Solo Sikoa walking out to stare down Cody in the entrance area as he celebrated. Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa attacked him. Randy Orton and Kevin Owens ran out for the save and quickly sent The Bloodline retreating to the back.

(Really good I quit match. Sometimes this type of match can have some belabored stretches of wrestlers with a mic held up to them or prolonged redundant beatdowns since there isn’t the usual cadence-freshening near falls to pop the crowd and reset the drama. This avoided those. I wasn’t a fan of Cody hitting Styles with the steps after the match. He won and got what he wanted, so it felt a bit cheap and gratuitous given that Styles had conceded the match. That wasn’t the most intimidating Bloodline appearance since they didn’t last long at all once the odds were even. They seem to be setting up a six-man tag match which could then lead to Cody vs. Solo or a turn by KO or Orton that leads to Cody versus one of them.) [

(2) BIANCA BELAIR & JADE CARGILL vs. ISLA DAWN & ALBA FYRE vs. SHAYNA BASZLER & ZOEY STARK – Triple Threat for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles

The bell rang 57 minutes into the hour. Jade gave a Samoan Drop / Fallaway Slam combo on Fyre and Stark in a big spot that popped the crowd early. Fyre and Baszler threw Belair into the ringpost and then turned to attack Cargill basically four-on-one. Dawn landed a Meteora off the ring apron onto Jade at ringside. Back in the ring, they went back on the attack on Belair. The crowd popped when Fyre leaped onto Baszler and Stark at ringside. She leaped off the top rope with a dropkick in the ring. Belair broke up the cover.

Belair and Stark battled on the top rope. Belair landed a superoplex, but she appeared to have a hard landing also. Jade rose from ringside and stood in her corner. Cole said she was trying assert herself back into the equation. Belair leaped and hot-tagged her. Jade springboarded on th top rope, but slipped. Fans “ohhhed!” Graves said that’s why they call it high-risk. Jade recovered and went on the attack with a flurry of moves against each of her four opponents. Baszler broke up a cover with a kick to Jade’s face. Baszler then put Jade in a Kirafuda Clutch. The ref didn’t have an angle on it, but it appeared Jade tapped. Baszler held on. Jade collapsed to the mat. Belair broke it up with a top rope 450 knee to Baszler’s back. Dawn got cheers when she re-entered the ring and gave Jade a German suplex. She then covered Baszler for the three count. Cole said, “Hometown ladies make good.”

As Fyre celebrated at ringside, Cole alluded to a recent family tragedy. Her mom was struck by a car and killed a few weeks ago.

WINNERS: Dawn & Fyre in 12:00 to capture the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

(Well, I sure didn’t expect that, but it was a crowd-pleasing moment. The match was the usual cluster of multi-person sequences that were exciting and felt sometimes higher risk than intended. It’s not the most prestigious way to begin a title reign when you pin someone other than the champs. This should set up a rematch and I suspect Jade & Belair regaining the tag team titles. I wonder if the death of Fyre’s mom played into the decision to book her to have this moment in her career. Or perhaps it’s a sign there’s not another title change coming later.)
 

Arcademan

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WWE Clash at the Castle PLE Results: 6-15-24

(3) SAMI ZAYN vs. CHAD GABLE (w/Otis, Maxxine Dupree) – Intercontinental Title match


As Sami made his entrance, the QR code on the screen flashed and the words “Massacre is Coming” appeared. Graves said that isn’t comforting. Fans, of course, sang Sami’s song. The bell rang 22 minutes into the hour. Gable applied an early side headlock. Sami sent Gable to the floor seconds later and set up a dive, but Gable moved, so Sami backflipped back into the ring and landed on his feet. Gable chatted with Otis and Maxxine. Sami dropped to ringside and walked up to Otis. Fans cheered loudly. Sami had a few words with Otis before returning to the ring to reengaged with Gable. Gable applied an anklelock, but Sami reached the bottom rope.

Gable applied a wristlock as Cole talked about Sami’s history or wrist and elbow injuries. Gable gave Otis a talk about staying focused at ringside. Cole said he doesn’t want Otis to listen to the fans begging him to do the right thing. Gable had sustained offense for several minutes, scoring a near fall after a top rope headbutt to Sami’s shoulder. He went into a German suplex sequence next. Sami reversed Gable into back suplexes. Gable blocked a third one. Sami persevered and landed a half-and-half suplex for a near fall at 13:00. Sami applied a crossface mid-ring a minute later. Gable countered into a standing anklelock. Sami rolled up Gable for a two count to break the hold.

Gable handed Maxxine the title belt and then held Sami over the middle rope as a target. She wound up, but didn’t go through with it. He told her he is sick of her never listening. Sami went for a Helkuva Kick, but Gable moved and Sami almost his Maxxine. Gable then gave Sami his Chaos Theory suplex for a near fall. Maxxine pleaded for forgiveness. Gable got in her face. Otis stepped up and got in Gable’s face. Sami then flip dove toward them. Gable moved and Sami landed on Otis. Gable then leaped off the top rope and flipped onto Otis and Sami. Back in the ring, Gable went for a moonsault, but Sami moved. Sami gave Gable an exploder into the corner.

Gable applied an anklelock at ringside. Sami powered out and sent Gable into Maxxine’s legs. Otis saw that Maxxine was down and he got angry. He turned to Gable, who backed off. “Make him pay, Otis!” exclaimed Cole. Gable rolled into the ring as fans chanted, “You f—ed up!” Cole said Otis is conflicted again. Maxxine tried to stand on her leg, which was already in a brace. Otis picked her up and carried her. Gable yelled down at him, asking what he was doing. Otis continued on. Sami then delivered a Helluva Kick to a distracted Gable for the three count.

Gable snarled in the ring as Sami slapped hands with fans at ringside.

WINNER: Sami in 22:00.

(Very good match, although as was expected, so much of it revolved around the story of Otis’s continued but tested loyalty to Gable. They didn’t go through with Otis’s full turn, so maybe they’re saving that for TV.)

(4) BAYLEY vs. PIPER NIVEN (w/Chelsea Green) – WWE Women’s Title match

Niven got some cheers as she entered with Green. Green tried to trip Bayley at 2:00 as she ran the ropes,. Bayley stomped on her hand. Green complained to the ref, Charles Robinson. He heard enough of her screeching and kicked her to the back. She threw the obligatory fit as fans sang her to the back. She apologized to Niven as she made her way up teh aisle. Niven leaped off the ring apron with a flip splash onto Bayley. (If this was televised, they’d cut to a break here.) Niven threw Bayley into the ring and landed a running senton and then scored a soft two count. Barrett said Niven showed a softer side of herself this week on her media tour, but she’s turning back to her violent side. Graves noted that Niven’s deliberate pace could be costing her. Barrett said Niven is trying to avoid making a mistake that could cost her against someone with Bayley’s experience.

Bayley leaped through the ropes onto Niven. Niven drove Bayley back-first into the ring apron, then threw her back into the ring. Bayley made a comeback and landed a leaping senton onto a standing bent-over Niven. She then landed a top rope elbowdrop for a near fall. A “Piper Niven” chant broke out as she climbed to the top rope. Bayley gave her a Bayley-to-belly off the ropes. Green ran out wearing a mask. “Who is this masked woman?” asked Barrett. Bayley had her arm draped over Niven, but the ref was late to count because of Green. Bayley attacked Green at ringside in frustration. She went for a Roseplant, but Niven escaped and delivered her Piper Driver finisher for a believable near fall that popped the crowd.

Niven went for a splash in the corner, but Bayley lifted her knees. Niven slammed Bayley at ringside seconds later. Back in the ring Niven blocked another Rose Plant attempt, but Baylor followed with a Crucifix Driver for the win.

WINNER: Bayley in 14:00 to retain the WWE Women’s Title.

(Solid match throughout. They pulled the crowd into some near falls for Niven. Green was entertaining in her role.)

 

Arcademan

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WWE Clash at the Castle PLE Results: 6-15-24

(5) DAMIEN PRIEST vs. DREW MCINTYRE – WWE Heavyweight Title match


A parade of bag pipe players marched out. Drew then came out to a huge pop. Cole said Drew has “K” on his wrist because his wife is back in the United States and couldn’t be at the match because she is dealing with some health issues. The decibel meter topped 100 and peaked at 107 according to the new on-screen graphic measuring crowd noise. Cole said Drew wants to exorcise past demons. Priest came out next. Cole said Gunther is lurking for his title opportunity the first Saturday in August.

The bell rang 33 minutes into the hour. Drew won a test of strength and shoved Priest to the mat, then flexed. He took Priest down with two clotheslined, then clotheslined him over the top rope. He then landed a running flip onto Priest at ringside. He played to the crowd, then chopped away at Priest’s chest. Priest ranked Drew’s eyes and shoved him into the ringpost. Graves wondered if the raucous crowd could distracted Drew in a detrimental way.

They fought back and forth for a few minutes. Priest went for a running dive on Drew at ringside, but his boot got caught in the ropes and got tied up. He was hanging from there. Drew kicked away at him and then pounded the announce desk. The camera focused on Drew who watched the Priest tried to get out of the predicament. Cole said he might have a broken ankle. Drew pulled Priest free. Graves said Drew knew he couldn’t win the title that way. Barrett called it one of the most disgusting things he’s seen in his decades watching wrestling. He said he was millimeters away from a catastrophe. (I assume that wasn’t planned, and Priest is fortunate he didn’t have a more serious injury.)

Drew whipped Priest into the ropes, and Priest held on and kicked Drew. He then landed a hard lariat to Drew. He shook out his right ankle, then played to the crowd. Drew surprised Priest with a Future Shock DDT for a two count. Graves said Priest was beginning to limp badly. Barrett said swelling can kick in and that’s why it’s important to ice injuries like that right away.

Drew set up a White Noise off the second rope, but Priest slipped free and landed a Razor’s Edge for a near fall. Priest lifted his right support leg mid-move and still managed to pull it off. They stood and exchanged rapid-fire swings mid-ring at 12:00. Drew caught Priest with a Glasgow Kiss. Priest fired back. They were both groggy. Drew ducked a Priest kick and then landed a neckbreaker. Both were down and slow to get up. Fans applauded. Drew then kipped up. Fans popped. Drew shook the top rope and signaled for a Claymore. Priest rolled to the floor. Drew landed another Glasgow Kiss and then landed a running boot, sending Priest into the time keeper’s area, collapsing the barricade.

Drew rolled Priest into the ring and signaled for the Claymore. He charged, but Priest intercepted him and landed a South of Heaven for a near fall. Fans popped the kickout. Both were down and slow to get up again. Fans finally chanted, “This is awesome!” Priest threw a high roundkick, but then cried out in pain and grabbed at his right ankle. Priest then delivered a huracanrana off the ropes. When he stood, Drew landed a sudden Claymore for a dramatic near fall at 17:00.

Priest inadvertently knocked the ref off the ring apron to the floor. Priest blocked another Claymore. Drew avoided a South of Heaven and then landed a Claymore. He made the cover, but the ref was down. Fans counted. A second ref ran out, but he stopped his count at two. The ref was C.M. Punk. (Okay, that was stupid. How did he know to dress up as a ref? Geesh.) Drew shoved Punk into the corner. Punk kicked Drew in the crotch, then left. Fans booed. Priest then gave Drew a South of Heaven chokeslam. The original ref entered and counted Priest pinning Drew. Barrett said WWE management should show some balls and fire him. He said he is ashamed to be associated with this.

WINNER: Priest in 20:00 to retain the World Hvt. Champion.

(I strongly dislike that finish. Strongly. It was so phony, even with WWE putting up a video of Punk grabbing a ref shirt backstage at the last second when the ref went down. The camera angle was overly trying to hide it was Punk until the reveal as he stopped his count. It took the wind out of the sails of the crowd. It made Punk out to be a heel not just in Scotland, but everywhere. Drew did nothing to deserve that other than take verbal digs at Punk. If they wanted to add heat to the Drew-Punk rivalry, there had to be better way than this nonsense. The match itself was really good.)
 

famicommander

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Going for that retarded supernatural shit again on Raw. Yikes.

It's sad that Wyatt died and all but he was never in any good matches or segments. All he ever had was a cool entrance.
 

deviljin102

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Going for that retarded supernatural shit again on Raw. Yikes.

It's sad that Wyatt died and all but he was never in any good matches or segments. All he ever had was a cool entrance.
I heard they weren't going to all in supernatural like wyatt did. More like creepos that can beat people up approach. But either way, if they do the hokey stuff, they will just fizzle out and people will forget about it eventually.
 

famicommander

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Now TNA is jobbing out all its wrestlers to NXT people.

They learned absolutely nothing from the Jericho AEW shit.
 

Syn

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Their owners don't care. The TNA guys/gals and whatever the quintessential diva is, might as well try to impress TKO.
 

Hot Chocolate

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I dunno, the TNA guys are clearly over with the crowd and Joe Henry got a "bullshit" chant after he was eliminated. Since he also got a backstage segment with HBK there is clearly something planned with him, which is the opposite of when they sacrificed their entire male main event scene to Omega on both AEW and TNA tv or the IWGP title now being a midcard title on AEW tv
 

famicommander

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I dunno, the TNA guys are clearly over with the crowd and Joe Henry got a "bullshit" chant after he was eliminated. Since he also got a backstage segment with HBK there is clearly something planned with him, which is the opposite of when they sacrificed their entire male main event scene to Omega on both AEW and TNA tv or the IWGP title now being a midcard title on AEW tv
Just having their roster interacting with the C brand of WWE is a mistake from the jump. It makes the viewer wonder why they're not just watching WWE instead if the best of TNA has to fight for scraps on the developmental show. It's not like there's going to be a huge influx of WWE viewers jumping over to watch Impact, so all they're doing is giving TNA viewers homework and making them follow another company's product. A product they're telling their own viewers is better than what they offer.

I figure most of the people still bothering with a promotion like TNA after all these years are doing it specifically because the bigger, more visible WWE and AEW aren't to their liking. So making TNA more like what WWE and AEW do, or worse yet crossing over directly, is counter-productive. TNA is never going to be able to offer a WWE/AEW-like product with the same talent and production budget so why invite the comparison to begin with?
 

Hot Chocolate

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Just having their roster interacting with the C brand of WWE is a mistake from the jump. It makes the viewer wonder why they're not just watching WWE instead if the best of TNA has to fight for scraps on the developmental show. It's not like there's going to be a huge influx of WWE viewers jumping over to watch Impact, so all they're doing is giving TNA viewers homework and making them follow another company's product. A product they're telling their own viewers is better than what they offer.

I figure most of the people still bothering with a promotion like TNA after all these years are doing it specifically because the bigger, more visible WWE and AEW aren't to their liking. So making TNA more like what WWE and AEW do, or worse yet crossing over directly, is counter-productive. TNA is never going to be able to offer a WWE/AEW-like product with the same talent and production budget so why invite the comparison to begin with?
Some would say it's WWE as a whole and that is a plus in itself, there is also a crowd reaction and that the clips are the highest viewed that doesn't involve Roman or Cody. There are a bunch of wrestlers on the roster who are clearly past the development phase with some reuniting in the back pocket as Vic on commentary has mentioned Wes Lee's Rascals connection and since they have brought anyone on Raw/Smackdown to NXT it opens things up. If it gets me Gable vs Gresham I'm good and claps for everybody.

I don't think it is more of making TNA more like WWE/AEW and more of folks for years have said they wanted company cross promotion and well now we have it, I don't watch TNA regularly but what I have watched has been both fun and head scratching but that can be said about any promotion *looks at NJPW/Noah.
 

famicommander

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Cross promotion is always better in theory than in practice.

It works best when all companies involved need each other the same amount, like at the peak of the NJPW/CMLL/ROH relationship. Each promotion had something that the other two didn't and they could all reasonably present themselves and each other as regional variations of the same "level" of wrestling.

When one promotion is begging for scraps and the other literally doesn't need it in any fashion and for any reason it always ends up with the bigger promotion burying the fuck out of the smaller one. 100% of the time.
 

Hot Chocolate

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Cross promotion is always better in theory than in practice.

It works best when all companies involved need each other the same amount, like at the peak of the NJPW/CMLL/ROH relationship. Each promotion had something that the other two didn't and they could all reasonably present themselves and each other as regional variations of the same "level" of wrestling.

When one promotion is begging for scraps and the other literally doesn't need it in any fashion and for any reason it always ends up with the bigger promotion burying the fuck out of the smaller one. 100% of the time.
True but so far TNA isn't begging for anything. Folks who have stuck with TNA are still going to and those who stopped watching for various reasons are still going to not watch and think TNA are sell outs/still in the mud. It's the same with NJPW as folks who left when Omega and them left in 2017 haven't come back outside of Forbidden Door while pretending to follow the G1, since all the NJPW wrestlers Tony likes( and probably wants to poach ) appear on AEW tv semi regularly now Forbidden Door is a watered down episode of Dynamite he's convinced people to pay $50 for.
 

wataru330

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You bunch of beer bellied sharecroppers! Why isn’t everyone flipping their lid over the Samoan Werewolf finally getting a crack at the bigtime?
 

jro

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True but so far TNA isn't begging for anything. Folks who have stuck with TNA are still going to and those who stopped watching for various reasons are still going to not watch and think TNA are sell outs/still in the mud. It's the same with NJPW as folks who left when Omega and them left in 2017 haven't come back outside of Forbidden Door while pretending to follow the G1, since all the NJPW wrestlers Tony likes( and probably wants to poach ) appear on AEW tv semi regularly now Forbidden Door is a watered down episode of Dynamite he's convinced people to pay $50 for.
It's sort of nice to know that TK won't be able to ruin Jordynne Grace's or Moose's or Gresham's (again) or Joe Hendry's or Josh Alexander's careers all by himself like he has for the entire AEW roster on long-term contracts.
 
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