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Thread: The Shield

  1. #81
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    I guess this thread might make more sense for the next couple of months so might be worth resuscitating it rather than cramming Shield stuff into their solo threads....

    So, how's the group second time around for you?

  2. #82
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    Boring, and is completely a far cry from the original. The group lost its magic.

  3. #83
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    They have great matches still (though not nearly as many as the first time), and they're still over, so I would not say they have lost their magic completely, though they are not as significant or over as the first time, and nor do they have the killer aura of domination. And the fact that this is yet another transparent attempt to buoy Reigns further negatively impacts the situation.

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    They don't really do anything as a unit anymore.. i mean sure they'll come together when they need to but they're not cutting promos together when they don't have to, they come out to their own music. its just a label and that's fine if it sells t shirts. I'm not like upset about them being aligned but its not a Shield run to me if that makes sense. Its Dean and Seth supporting Roman where and when he needs it.

    it also doesn't help that there's no big force for the Shield to take down.. which is what a face Shield run should be. There's no credible stable to be so dastardly that the Shield are needed.. its just a bunch of guys not on The Shield's level.. no offense to the Bar or Joe.

  5. #85
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    They're alot cuter this time around. Just can't figure out why they changed their name to Absolution.....
    I think it's awesome that the word lisp has an "s" in it.

  6. #86
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    It's naturally less impactful this time around because the initial run was completely based on the element of surprise. Nobody expected their debut, nobody expected the impact they then had, and certainly nobody expected that those three would ride The Shield to the very very top as a trio.

    So this time they've lost that surprise element - we know what we could/should expect from a Shield appearance and that's what we're getting.

    I kind of wish we still had The Authority around, or something similar, to give them an antagonist that would really work in their favour.

    I do like that they're (hopefully) just going to play it out whereby they are loosely connected and doing their own things for a bit, only coming together when the situation calls for it more organically. I mean, it's pretty obvious we're getting The Shield vs Joe Bar next week, but at least they've told the story to go from A to B to C.

  7. #87
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    The biggest thing about their first run that can never be recreated was the "worked shoot" aspect of them really being three guys who were put in the main event scene immediately with them being aware that meant endearing some locker room heat from day one. It was so easy to invest in their storyline because you knew there were guys backstage who actually viewed them as a group of punks who hadn't paid their dues and didn't deserve the spot they had.

    Does anyone else view the Shield as the single greatest influx of talent since OVW '02?
    I think it's awesome that the word lisp has an "s" in it.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smart_Mark View Post
    Does anyone else view the Shield as the single greatest influx of talent since OVW '02?
    Are you including the women? Because in one night, the WWE had Charlotte, Becky, and Sasha all debut. And 2 weeks ago there were 5 women all called up in 2 days. Let's see how those 5 women pan out, but that could be just as big.

    Let's compare the stats between Sasha, Charlotte, and Becky to the Shield.

    Charlotte 6 time champ - 1 Divas, 4 RAW, 1 Smackdown
    Becky - 1 Smackdown
    Sasha - 4 Raw

    Yes, the RAW Women's title was hot potato between Charlotte and Becky, but stats are stats, and in 20 years from now we won't remember....

    Reigns - 1 IC, 1 US, 1 Tag, 3 WWE
    Rollins - 2 Tag, 1 US, 2 WWE
    Ambrose - 2 IC, 1 Tag, 1 US, 1 WWE

    The three women have 11 combined Championship runs, to the Shields' 6 Major title runs. However the Shield has 16 combined title runs, but you cannot hold that over the women as there are no lower titles, nor tag titles for the women to vie for. So you could argue that the women are more impressive, and a greater influx of talent.

  9. #89
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    I wouldn't use titles to try and come to a decision at all.

    Instinctively I thought The Shield would have that hands down, but it's not a bad point about the women.

  10. #90
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    If you're talking stats, I think Roman closing out the last three 'Manias is more impressive than his title count. I know you can't use this argument against the women, but it's still damn impressive.
    I think it's awesome that the word lisp has an "s" in it.

  11. #91
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    Agreed on closing out Manias, but the WWE has not, and from what I can tell will not give the women that opportunity to do the same. Lita vs Trish could have closed a Mania, also the HIAC match between Charlotte and Sasha main evented a PPV, first time in history that happened, so a Mania is primed to be closed by women.

    I would bet that with the proper build, over the next year, WM35 could realistically close with Charlotte vs Asuka for either RAW or Smackdown title.

    But still the debut of 3/4 of the Horsewomen is still a damn impactfull class.

  12. #92
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    The thing that you can factor in is that the class of 2002 debuted over the course of about 3-4 months.

    So if you extend the same logic to the women in the current crop, or even push it beyond that to consider it an NXT call-up crop in the 2016 draft, then you'd have in the space of one week:

    Charlotte, Sasha, Becky Lynch, Finn Balor, Nia Jax, American Alpha, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Mojo Rawley.

    Some of them haven't set the world alight as yet, but you add Finn and the women who went up a couple of days after the first three, and you've a fairly serious contingent. Right now it's probably still the Shield in terms of importance, but if the women can continue to turn perceptions around then it might not be in the final reckoning.

  13. #93
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    I think the thing with The Shield, and something that probably can't be taken away from the three guys in it, is that their call-up (arguably, but I'll run with it) has turned the way WWE presents itself on its head over the last 4/5 years.

  14. #94
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    If we are going to group Cena, Orton, Batista, and Lesnar as the "Class of 2002" as we have done for the past 15 years, then we also have to say the "Class of 2015". This "Class of 2015" includes the following:

    Charlotte
    Becky
    Sasha
    Kevin Owens
    Braun Strowman
    Neville
    Sami Zayn
    Kalisto - to an extent

    This class is damn impressive. Especially when Neville makes his inevitable return to the WWE.

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    Hmm. Open it up to the whole year and The Shield are joined by the Wyatt family, and probably some others that are escaping me right now.

    I think what we can probably say is that they are both major moments of talent replenishment, and I wonder if Oli's point isn't coming out more strongly in the fact that ever since that point, there seems to have been a far greater level of replenishment at the top of WWE. I wonder if the Shield didn't change the game.


    Of course, it was usually thought of the OVW class of 2002 as opposed to the WWE class of 2002, so it's not really a like for like comparison as both The Shield and the current generation have mostly come through from other sources, rather than being more homegrown talents. So it isn't strictly speaking a like-for-like comparison. But the way they pick up talent has changed in the intervening 15 years.

  16. #96
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    The "Class of 2012"

    Reigns
    Ambrose
    Rollins
    Big E
    Cesaro

    The Wyatt Family did not debut on the Main Roster until 2013.
    Last edited by Powder; 12-07-2017 at 11:35 AM.

  17. #97
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    No, fair enough. But actually opening up to a whole year and multiple sources brings 2010 into the game.

    Daniel Bryan (ignoring his jobber status earlier in the decade), Wade Barrett, Darren Young, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, and the guys who went on to be Bray Wyatt, Curtis Axel and Ryback all came in just to do with the Nexus, and then Alberto Del Rio, The Usos, Tamina, all have to be added to that. I know there's some gimmick switches in there but as the question is about talent those are irrelevant, and I think that's a huge number of people and they've all held at least a tag title in their time. Bryan and Bray are the only legit main eventers of the lot but there's been a lot of talent through various midcard positions to consider.

  18. #98
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    I think you have to eliminate Wade Barrett, Darren Young, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Curtis Axel and Ryback. All of those guys went on to become nothing of substance. Ryback had his time, but he burned his bridge and will never be back IMHO. Barrett also had a few moments, but he is also done.

    The rest of the talent listed all became glorified enhancement talent. A few title runs, but nothing of note, and nothing of substance. Every year we get some debuts that do not have lasting power.

    2012 also had the debut of Damien Sandow, but in the big picture, he will not be anything or note.

  19. #99
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    To be fair, Wade Barrett did at least as much as some of the guys on your 2015 list (Neville, Sami), and there's nothing wrong with having the kind of midcard career that Slater or Axel still have. I can see how you'd scrub out some of the guys like Darren Young but saying all that list is now irrelevant is horseshit, frankly. They may have had their time and gone, but they still played their part on the show for the years they were/are around.


    As for scrubbing the non-Nexus guys, you can't get rid of ADR just because you don't like him. Four time world champion, Rumble winner, MITB winner. He ain't nothing, and if you can scrub him because he's not good, well, I'm scrubbing Orton and Reigns, too.

    And The Usos - five time tag champs and a constant of the division for more than half a decade? That has to match up against the likes of Neville and Sami, too.


    If we're only counting main event then you're back to The Shield vs. Brock, Bats, Orton and Cena (though I still say Bryan, Bray and ADR ain't too shabby for one year). Once you open up the others, people like this come into it.

  20. #100
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    I wasn't scrubbing ADR or the Usos. You are right that I do not like him, but if he ever patches things up with the WWE, then I can see him being (gasp) inducted into the Hall.

    The Usos are already Hall of Famers.

    Daniel Bryan is also Hall of Famer.

    I wouldn't consider Wyatt debuting in 2010 even though he technically did. Wyatt's debut was 2013 as Wyatt. Husky Harris is and will always be forgettable, like Justin Hawk Bradshaw, John Layfield didn't become anything until he was part of the Acolytes/APA and then JBL.

    The rest are career midcard guys, Wade Barrett, Darren Young, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Curtis Axel, Ryback and Tamina none of them are Hall of Fame worthy. Yes you need midcard guys, and wrestlers that will be there to get beaten for the bigger stars. There will always be a place for them. Some won titles and had main event pushes, but that does not make them worthy of the Hall. The bottom of the barrel is being scraped pretty deep to indict any of this list.

  21. #101
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    Hall of fame worthy is irrelevant. The fact he changed gimmick. It's a question about talent and it's volume and how concentrated it is when they come through. Hall of fame worthy is as much a question of how they've been used.

    And if you want to make it hall of fame worthy, you can't have a discussion about the 2015 lot because no one knows how they'll play out.

  22. #102
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    From the Class of 2015, I would go so far as saying that Charlotte, Sasha, KO, Strowman will be definite Hall of Famers, but Zayn and Becky have a strong possibility and most likely will, but we have to watch the rest of their careers to truly determine.

    Changing gimmick is usually what makes the wrestler into someone. Look to Kane, he went from Isaac Yankem DDS to fake Diesel, but he was nothing until he became Kane. And He is a Hall of Famer as Kane and that is his "debut" is in 1997, not 1995.

    Same for Austin. he was NOT a Hall of Famer from WCW nor as the Ringmaster, but once he became SCSA. Gold.

    And the Rock. Rocky was a waste and utterly forgetable and would have died a horrible death, but the Rock. Priceless.
    Last edited by Powder; 12-07-2017 at 12:37 PM.

  23. #103
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    OK, let's try this again.

    The whole point of the OVW class of 2002 was that those four guys came together through the same system at the same time. That's why it was noteworthy. Their gimmicks were irrelevant. Otherwise you've gotta rub out Batista as the fucking Deacon, and maybe even Orton as the blue chipper. The point is the talent came through in the same way, at the same time.

    So, in much the same way you got those four guys in a year and you got the three Shiel guys in a year and the group of women and Finn/KO in a year, you got a barrel full of talent in 2010. That's it. No codicils added.

    You're actually even contradicting yourself in that post, because Rocky and The Rock are the same fucking character. The name change comes Way after the fact. It's actually just a heel turn that becomes a nickname, something that rules out... Well, almost all of the options from 2002, 2012, and 2015. Cena, for example, had been through at least a gimmick change and two turns before he was HOF worthy if you wanted to use that rubric.

    Fact is, the Hall of Fame is a shitty measuring stick anyway, because when did any wrestling fan worth their salt ever take the WWE hall of fame seriously anyway?

    The one thing this whole conversation has established for me is that there's no real comparison between calling up guys from NXT who have years of experience in the field and the 2002 group of rookies who were main event in two years.

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    Even people that are fresh out of the performance center have way more advantages than that 2002 class had. A world class facility to train, its basically a 7 days a week job, then you either impress enough to bypass NXT or you go to NXT and are in front of crowds, million people watching on the network. I wouldn't compare even the rawest rookies coming out of the PC to that 2002 class.

  25. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smart_Mark View Post
    If you're talking stats, I think Roman closing out the last three 'Manias is more impressive than his title count. I know you can't use this argument against the women, but it's still damn impressive.
    I don't think Roman closing out those Manias is impressive at all. All 3 of those Manias had really lackluster build and hype, and only one - by a pure miracle - turned out to fantastic (WM 31). The others were forgettable matches and feuds. And we all know that Roman was placed in those main event slots not because of his merit, his ability, his draw, or his overness, but solely because of Vince's whim and no other reason. In the Network Era, where the PPV model has been upended and you can pretty much put whatever main event you want and the brand will draw a consistent number of people regardless of the talent. It no longer has the meaning it used to, to headline a show.

    That is different than having earned the main event slot of Mania pre-2015 when it really meant something and spoke to your ability or overness.

    And the OVW class of 2002 is still the best. Those were guys they took from complete scratch and made them into the top stars of the era: Cena, Batista, Lesnar, Orton, Lashley. In contrast Roman excepted, the other two Shield guys were stars of some name who had already honed their craft on the Indies, and the WWE just poached them.

  26. #106
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    But do stars on the Indies really count?

    That is like comparing someone who hits 65 HRs in one season in the Minor League of MLB. Does it count? Yes, the Minors has a following, and yes, they have a large fanbase, but they are not stars. Being a good/great player in the Minors will result in a call up to the big league, but if you can't perform you will either get sent back down, traded, or released. The WWE finding talent from the indies is essentially the same thing, but you got to also be good in the Majors.
    Last edited by Powder; 12-08-2017 at 09:31 AM.

  27. #107
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    I disagree. Indies count, they definitely count. It is not like actual sports where skill, particularly skill that has been progressively tested, alone - or mostly - is the determining factor of how far you can go. Wrestling is a subjective art-form, and often the Indies have had people who were far better performers with enormous potential whom the WWE never picked up because of Vince's limited and outdated conception of what a true star looks like. Joe, AJ, Danielson, Punk, were in the Indies for how long before WWE gave them a shot?

    And the Indies have always had great performers. They may not have the 'big time' shows that the WWE has, but that does not mean that wrestlers on the Indies have not honed their craft and abilities.

    It's not as if Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins became better wrestlers after coming to the WWE, or learned how to be better talkers or become more charismatic. They already had developed all of those skills on the Indies. Whereas guys like Cena, Batista, Lesnar entered OVW with no experience or training and were built up from the ground there.

  28. #108
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    Yeah, it counts. The major/minor thing is a false analogy, though I have heard it before. At least in terms of the bigger indy promotions, where guys like Punk, Ambrose etc all cut their teeth and learned their craft, it's more like the relation between the Yankees and teams in the smaller markets who have to get people in who can do a job, and if they overachieve they generally lose them to better wages and the bright lights.

    Short and long of it, is that the vast majority of people who have come in over the last few years have already had the chance to learn their craft and experience what it is like to carry a show. It might not have the eyes of the world on them the way that the WWE has, but they are still polished performers by the time they get on to WWE TV. Allystare's last paragraph above hits the nail on the head. In fact, it's actually a lot more like the raiding of the territories in the 1980s than like the OVW batch.

    One thing is for sure, I doubt you'll find one day with more top talent debuting than The Shield. Before that I might have said the Radicalz but I think they've eclipsed Eddie and Benoit, at least in WWE terms, and the other two... well, Dean was getting old and Saturn had his problems.

  29. #109
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    I agree that when you take guys like Cena, Bats, etc with no experience and make them into the biggest stars, that is different than learning on the indies, but that is still similar to the guys who go straight from college to the majors and skipping the minors vs the guys who spend a few years in the minors before hitting the majors.

    BUT you also have to agree that back in the late 90s/early 2000s there wans't this entire Indy scene. Batista got turned down by WCW and their Powerplant, so he tried the WWF and they took him. The major indy promotions only started to take hold around 2002ish, i.e. Ring of Honor started in 2002.

    So all of the wrestlers of today who are former indy guys, HAD that Minor League option to go to learn when the Majors were NOT calling. For all of the success stories from the Indies: Punk, Bryan, Owens, Rollins, Ambrose, Zayn etc, there are thousands of guys who did not and thousands more who will not make it, just like the Minor leagues.

    Also, once a guy is signed from the Indies, they are put into NXT to learn the WWE way, or learning how to play in the Bigs, but as always, there will be a few who make the jump right away. Just look at Asuka and Nakamura, they were HUGE stars in Japan with years of experience, but that spent 2 years each in NXT learning who to be a WWE wrestler, not a Japanese, or "Indy" guy.

    AND Joe and AJ are NOT Indy success stories. Yes, both are Ring of Honor vets and major players in Ring of Honor, but they are TNA guys. TNA is NOT the WWE, but is it a Major Promotion like it or not. Because if you do not consider TNA a major promotion, then Sting, Angle, and Bully Ray became some of the biggest Indy Stars of all time. If Vince ever decided to buy TNA like he did with WCW, then all of AJ and Joe's (and Booker T's for that matter) stats would come into play, and AJ becomes a 7 time champion and not a 2 time champ.
    Last edited by Powder; 12-08-2017 at 10:01 AM.

  30. #110
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    Whilst I'm not saying this to pierce your baloon, Ally, but I would 100% say that Dean Ambrose is a much better wrestler than Jon Moxley ever was.

  31. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    I agree that when you take guys like Cena, Bats, etc with no experience and make them into the biggest stars, that is different than learning on the indies, but that is still similar to the guys who go straight from college to the majors and skipping the minors vs the guys who spend a few years in the minors before hitting the majors.

    BUT you also have to agree that back in the late 90s/early 2000s there wans't this entire Indy scene. Batista got turned down by WCW and their Powerplant, so he tried the WWF and they took him. The major indy promotions only started to take hold around 2002ish, i.e. Ring of Honor started in 2002.

    So all of the wrestlers of today who are former indy guys, HAD that Minor League option to go to learn when the Majors were NOT calling. For all of the success stories from the Indies: Punk, Bryan, Owens, Rollins, Ambrose, Zayn etc, there are thousands of guys who did not and thousands more who will not make it, just like the Minor leagues.

    Also, once a guy is signed from the Indies, they are put into NXT to learn the WWE way, or learning how to play in the Bigs, but as always, there will be a few who make the jump right away. Just look at Asuka and Nakamura, they were HUGE stars in Japan with years of experience, but that spent 2 years each in NXT learning who to be a WWE wrestler, not a Japanese, or "Indy" guy.

    AND Joe and AJ are NOT Indy success stories. Yes, both are Ring of Honor vets and major players in Ring of Honor, but they are TNA guys. TNA is NOT the WWE, but is it a Major Promotion like it or not. Because if you do not consider TNA a major promotion, then Sting, Angle, and Bully Ray became some of the biggest Indy Stars of all time. If Vince ever decided to buy TNA like he did with WCW, then all of AJ and Joe's (and Booker T's for that matter) stats would come into play, and AJ becomes a 7 time champion and not a 2 time champ.
    Still not a convincing metaphor. NXT, FCW, OVW can be seen as the minor leagues in that parallel, because they are an affiliated entity and you can move easily between the two, based on how ready the decision makers think you are. And plenty of people drop out of there in the first place, so it still works better as the 'minor league'.

    Other promotions exist outside of the WWE so there isn't that shared relationship. You're not in developmental, even if you are developing. You are there to put asses in seats now, and you are actually carrying the promotion. The people making the decision about whether you can or not are different people, with a different vantage point on wrestling. It's a whole other thing.

    The better way of looking at it - at least with any promotion of a decent size - is that WWE is the biggest team around, with the big money. You've got other promotions like TNA and NJPW who are probably a level below that. And then your RoH, CZW style promotions are the teams in the smaller markets. Not everyone who plays for those teams get a move to the Yankees or the Red Sox, but their stars might well do. Because they've proven they can do it. Sure, Vince likes everyone to work his style, so you've got the spell in NXT to soften off the edges, but generally speaking it's just a different relationship - and again, it's way more like what happened in the old territories when Vince would take the top talent from each one.

  32. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allystare View Post
    It's not as if Dean Ambrose or Seth Rollins became better wrestlers after coming to the WWE, or learned how to be better talkers or become more charismatic. They already had developed all of those skills on the Indies. Whereas guys like Cena, Batista, Lesnar entered OVW with no experience or training and were built up from the ground there.
    Having watched a substantial amount of FCW recently, I can safely say that both Ambrose and Rollins were better workers upon their call-up than when they were first signed by the company. They are better now than they have ever been, but they were better the day they graduated from NXT than they had ever been before that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Still not a convincing metaphor. NXT, FCW, OVW can be seen as the minor leagues in that parallel, because they are an affiliated entity and you can move easily between the two, based on how ready the decision makers think you are. And plenty of people drop out of there in the first place, so it still works better as the 'minor league'.

    Other promotions exist outside of the WWE so there isn't that shared relationship. You're not in developmental, even if you are developing. You are there to put asses in seats now, and you are actually carrying the promotion. The people making the decision about whether you can or not are different people, with a different vantage point on wrestling. It's a whole other thing.

    The better way of looking at it - at least with any promotion of a decent size - is that WWE is the biggest team around, with the big money. You've got other promotions like TNA and NJPW who are probably a level below that. And then your RoH, CZW style promotions are the teams in the smaller markets. Not everyone who plays for those teams get a move to the Yankees or the Red Sox, but their stars might well do. Because they've proven they can do it. Sure, Vince likes everyone to work his style, so you've got the spell in NXT to soften off the edges, but generally speaking it's just a different relationship - and again, it's way more like what happened in the old territories when Vince would take the top talent from each one.
    You're being obtuse man. The metaphor doesn't have to fit perfectly to be valid.

    The difference between WWE vs ROH isn't the Yankees vs Oakland. It's literally the Yankees vs a AA team. They are playing the same sport, guys are getting paid, and they are both drawing crowds...but they aren't playing in the same league.

    Listen, I wish ROH would pick me up, that would be like me going from my regional semi-pro team to a AA team. But don't have any illusions that it would be like getting signed to NXT.

    What I think that a lot of people forget is ROH isn't the indies. ROH, drawing 3,500 as their attendance record, is the peak of North American indies. They are the tops. They are not the rule. Those guys, when they aren't working for ROH are working on my level in front of hundreds, not thousands or tens of thousands. And I got news for ya, as a booker I can safely say that outside of traditional "smark cities", they don't put asses in seats on their names alone. In fact, arguably the guys that I pull from my region put more asses in seats in my territory. TNA guys don't draw, ROH guys don't draw, NJPW guys don't draw...Attitude Era guys and 80s/90s guys draw. And my company drawing in the hundreds is a step up from the companies regularly drawing in the tens (and even when we break in to a new town, 100 is my smashing success point).

    I'm not trying to discount the great work that ROH is doing, but they are not just a lower income MLB team. They are AA to WWE's MLB to my regional semi-pro team to the next indy down the road's local minor league team.

    Ultimately, though, the indies matter but only as much as they matter, if that makes any sense.

    It's a great breeding ground for the next generation of wrestler, it's where you get your reps in in hopes of getting looked at by ROH or TNA or getting snapped up into the WWE farm system. But at the end of the day it's completely unnecessary. Yeah, if you come up through ROH or EVOLVE, or go to the majors in NJPW or Mexico, you'll have an edge with hipster fans...but anyone can catch on. Two of the biggest stars in history, the guys responsible for the term "Road Warrior Pop", were bouncers that got pulled off the street. Braun Strowman is tearing it up and arguably the most over babyface in the biggest company in the world, and he's a strongman that cut promos after his meets that WWE plucked from the ether.

    I love being an indy wrestler. But I don't wear it like a badge of honour. If I was good enough, I wouldn't be an indy wrestler anymore. I try to look and act and carry myself like a big league guy, and maybe one day I will be, but for now I've got to get better on the indies.
    Last edited by Team Farrell; 12-08-2017 at 11:54 AM.

  33. #113
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    OK, if stuff like RoH doesn't count as 'the indys' then I'm being terminologically inexact, because those were the kinds of promotion I was thinking about, and not anything much smaller than that. Once you do go beyond that I can see how you might not want to put too much stock in it. But that's really a semantic difference.

    I'll bow to your knowledge about what draws at that level. Not having that first hand experience it's not like I can challenge you on it. I'm a bit surprised, though, that there's no difference to speak of, but that's maybe a general wrestling thread kinda discussion.

    I do still think, though, that there's a world of difference between ten years of working Japan and RoH/TNA, and the guys who came through in 2002 with very little experience other than in a company where the whole thing is about development. Because this has all spun out of the class of 2002 OVW being kinda remarkable. But picking up talent in the same year from multiple sources, all of whom have been showing what they can do elsewhere, just isn't the same thing. And that's why I don't like the metaphor, because sure, people might be looking to make it to the WWE, but it's just a fundamentally different relationship than when you're actually signed on a development deal working somewhere like OVW or FCW. So no, I don't think it's being obtuse to say it's not valid. It's at best clumsy.

    Edit: worth adding that I can see how the same metaphor could feel more apt to make a different point.

  34. #114
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    I don't even know what you'd consider ROH. Technically they're still an indy I guess, they're just the very peak of the indies. It's almost like AWA, they're a modern territory company...but they tour the whole country. I mean, if you want go based on touring ROH is a national without hesitation and TNA is...a TV show I guess?

    The primary difference between coming right in to WWE or working the indies for a decade, outside of experience obviously, is you come in with a built-in fan base. You come in with people who want to see you succeed and that's an advantage for sure. You walk through the doors a better wrestler (and if you don't than you never will be). But even then, like I said, Rollins and Ambrose became far better performers in NXT than when they walked in the door.

    There's a difference in knowledge, and in most people you'll see a difference in confidence. I mean, you could visibly see the lack of confidence in Braun Strowman's eyes when he started with the Wyatts. Compare that to if they called up Adam Cole today and he'd just appear like he fits in because he's been there and done that and it's just a larger building, he has that confidence.

    I actually think that there's less of a difference today than there was 15 years ago when those OVW guys came in because of the Performance Centre. I've been working just about a decade and I hit the gym daily and train in the ring a few times a week and work shows on weekends...while still holding down a full time job and promoting (someone kill me). My attention is pulled a million different ways because that's life, as I'm sure is the same with every indy worker even in ROH/NJPW.

    But at the PC you can focus on wrestling all day every day. You train in the gym and in the ring and work training matches and work the Florida circuit and have promo classes and talk psychology with HBK and pro wrestling is your life every single moment of every single day. It's a luxury that most pro wrestlers don't have, and I feel like it's like cramming years of indy work into months. Maybe I'm off base, but I can't help but feel that the total immersion is why a guy like the Velveteen Dream, with only two or three years of total experience seems as polished as some of those guys who came through the indys.

  35. #115
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    To be fair, I saw some veterans getting better as they got older. If they wanted it badly enough Ambrose and Rollins should continue to get better just by experience. I remember Sting, of all people, upping his promo game in TNA, so you're never too old to improve if you still want to.

  36. #116
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    Ambrose and Seth are early 30's, so there is lots of time. They are hitting their prime. They should only get better over the next 4-6 years. That's a lot of time.

    Has Vince McMahon Lost Confidence in Roman Reigns.

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