VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

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VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:48 pm

This week on the Voices of Wrestling Flagship Podcast: Joe Gagne pinch hits for Joe Lanza and joins Rich for a review of NJPW Destruction in Kobe, previews of NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed, ROH Death Before Dishonor and PROGRESS in Wembley.

Additional topics include pro wrestling video games, the upcoming WWE 2k19 and last but not least, listener questions!

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:11 am

Rich damning WWE for not picking up the slack for NJPW pulling guys from PROGRESS may be the most VOW moment of the year.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by thecubsfan » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:49 am

my hot take is I totally don't think the Atheltic model is sustainable but pro wrestling was actually ahead of them at pivoting to a heavy pay wall system.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:23 am

re: the Lanza TV Weekly rant

Its one thing to say WWE TV isn't for you...but I'm curious who WWE TV is even for these days. When the WWE is at its worst, I lack the words to quantify what the shows purpose is.

The round of "WWE stinks" is the most puzzling, since the in-ring product under their own umbrella is probably as good as its ever been with NXT, 205 Live, and the tournaments they have on the Network. In yesteryear, you could just say they were lacking creative and we'd just have to wait for this cycle to end or for a star to rise, etc. But, right now, they are doing some of their best work in the subsidiaries.

Which leads me to...its on Vince...and its the biggest indictment on Vince as a creative mind in this contemporary era.

Listen...he runs a Sports-Entertainment product that is neither sport nor pure entertainment so he doesn't have to deal with the idea of a union or the Screen Actors Guild. He's still running the product like a true carny. Its just a weekly side show of all things Vince finds entertaining. Its why you see everyone weekly on every show. He thinks he is running shit under the big top when its clear at this point, very few people from former high end marketshares of the product actually enjoy the shit he's peddling.

Its a shame, because I'll disagree with Lanza on the quality of wrestler...its still good...but I do agree, the results are telling. The best in the world they have, once called up to the main roster, struggle to find motivation to succeed in ring. I would love to be a fly on the wall to some conversations the BOYS and the GIRLS have about wtf they are doing out there. I have to imagine this group of wrestlers are incredibly unmotivated to make the best of what they are given.

Will also agree with Lanza on too many people PLAYING pro wrestler. We should be beyond this. You can't have Ronda Rousey in the ring with Alexa Bliss and actually think anyone can suspend their disbelief when Alexa is controlling a match against a woman that beat most women in a real sport in under 3 minutes. I've said in another thread, WWE needs to double down on Joshi wrestlers and MMA chicks while sprinkling in the gymnasts and occasional technical wrestlers. We need to be beyond the Carmella types.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Danwaka » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:46 pm

mlev76 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:11 am
Rich damning WWE for not picking up the slack for NJPW pulling guys from PROGRESS may be the most VOW moment of the year.
In a sense sure, even though NJPW isn't doing anything WWE hasn't done. I get that the VOW boys don't put that sort of heat to NJPW's feet, which I guess is because they're firmly on the position of "ICW and PROGRESS are hamstringing themselves working with the WWE".

Which is true., because PROGRESS look like fucking goofs who get nothing out of their relationship with the WWE besides a few photo op opportunities and a couple of darkmatches, same as WWN or ICW. I think it is very credible to say "WWE, you're not helping these guys when helping them would chip away at your challengers".

I mean shit, EVOLVE / WWN can eat a dick because they'll probably never draw over a thousand without it being a special circumstance and WWE now has 205 Live and NXT for that indie appeal. But the UK is their second or third biggest and oldest market. WOS just launched and failed. REV Pro is going for television. NXT UK is trying to get off the ground after so many stops-and-starts. The WWE's refusal to play hardball consistently to maintain that market in the face of native and outside interest baffles me. Airdrop Balor or a couple of NXT guys onto a Progress show. Send Galloway to work an ICW show. Maybe even let them eat a loss or two, because whoever is getting that push is probably gonna end up with WWE in the long run given their acquisitional tendencies.

Also, Kraestch missed out on the dream matches bit, but yeah, I couldn't really visualize anyone as part of NWO All Japan so I had to pass the buck. A part of me was thinking guys like Yoshihiro Takayama and Yoshinari Ogawa, but I couldn't think of an equivalent to Scott Norton. Maybe Johnny Ace like you suggested, but I'd have to rank Norton above and away from Ace.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:13 pm

1. I think you need to separate Raw from SDLIve because I do think they are not one and the same in terms of watchability and quality. This week was a down week for SDL, but you generally get an entertaining straightforward show with decent to good wrestling (and an occasional great match). Raw is more dicey because of the three hours and so, it is really a show that DVR is meant for. Weeks like this you can skip to the highlights (the tag title match, the six man main event) and pick and choose whether you want to watch anything else.

2. I find the "playing pro wrestler" trope stupid and insulting to those applied to. I mean, everyone is 'playing' pro wrestler. I understand Joe meant that certain wrestlers don't feel genuine, but sometimes, that fakeness IS part of the character. For Miz, it definitely is especially when programmed with a "real" wrestler like Bryan. As for Ronda, I think pairing her with someone like Bliss actually works because the former is from a legitimate fighting background while the other has succeeded despite not having such a background. You cant do this type of story forever, so I do agree they need to give her more 'legit' opponents soon.

3. I would extrapolate Joe's point to say you don't need to watch any wrestling that doesn't entertain you. Like, I will probably skip most New Japan matches beyond those I watch live (which will be few and far between) or those that get hype or those that involve guys I like (pretty much Ishii, Ibushi and some Tanahashi). The rest? Not watching and not feeling bad about not watching.
BoxingRobes wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:23 am
re: the Lanza TV Weekly rant

Its one thing to say WWE TV isn't for you...but I'm curious who WWE TV is even for these days. When the WWE is at its worst, I lack the words to quantify what the shows purpose is.

The round of "WWE stinks" is the most puzzling, since the in-ring product under their own umbrella is probably as good as its ever been with NXT, 205 Live, and the tournaments they have on the Network. In yesteryear, you could just say they were lacking creative and we'd just have to wait for this cycle to end or for a star to rise, etc. But, right now, they are doing some of their best work in the subsidiaries.

Which leads me to...its on Vince...and its the biggest indictment on Vince as a creative mind in this contemporary era.

Listen...he runs a Sports-Entertainment product that is neither sport nor pure entertainment so he doesn't have to deal with the idea of a union or the Screen Actors Guild. He's still running the product like a true carny. Its just a weekly side show of all things Vince finds entertaining. Its why you see everyone weekly on every show. He thinks he is running shit under the big top when its clear at this point, very few people from former high end marketshares of the product actually enjoy the shit he's peddling.

Its a shame, because I'll disagree with Lanza on the quality of wrestler...its still good...but I do agree, the results are telling. The best in the world they have, once called up to the main roster, struggle to find motivation to succeed in ring. I would love to be a fly on the wall to some conversations the BOYS and the GIRLS have about wtf they are doing out there. I have to imagine this group of wrestlers are incredibly unmotivated to make the best of what they are given.

Will also agree with Lanza on too many people PLAYING pro wrestler. We should be beyond this. You can't have Ronda Rousey in the ring with Alexa Bliss and actually think anyone can suspend their disbelief when Alexa is controlling a match against a woman that beat most women in a real sport in under 3 minutes. I've said in another thread, WWE needs to double down on Joshi wrestlers and MMA chicks while sprinkling in the gymnasts and occasional technical wrestlers. We need to be beyond the Carmella types.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:19 pm

1. My comment was mostly a joke derived from me listening to the show and laughing out loud when I realized what Rich was saying. But, yeah, NJPW is no more a white knight than WWE.

2. PROGRESS and Evolve seem to get different things from the relationship, but I think ultimately both want to be eventually on the Network and they assume that will happen eventually. I feel like PROGRESS gets far more from the relationship because some of their top guys get regularly featured on WWE tv and make fans who like their guys their seek out more content from them. They also get a decent amount of exposure on WWE.com when they book WWE UK guys (there's an article on the WWE website about the Wembley show right now.

Evolve seems to be getting far less as there is no similar usage of current talent and WWE uses them like an unaffiliated OVW. And even when they get WWE guys in to face their guys, they aren't allowed to release those matches ever. Which is messed up when you consider Gabe WORKS FOR WWE and can't cut a better deal while PROGRESS gets free reign to use not only WWE UK guys, but also used Ohno on released shows. Very odd dichotomy there.
Danwaka wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:46 pm
mlev76 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:11 am
Rich damning WWE for not picking up the slack for NJPW pulling guys from PROGRESS may be the most VOW moment of the year.
In a sense sure, even though NJPW isn't doing anything WWE hasn't done. I get that the VOW boys don't put that sort of heat to NJPW's feet, which I guess is because they're firmly on the position of "ICW and PROGRESS are hamstringing themselves working with the WWE".

Which is true., because PROGRESS look like fucking goofs who get nothing out of their relationship with the WWE besides a few photo op opportunities and a couple of darkmatches, same as WWN or ICW. I think it is very credible to say "WWE, you're not helping these guys when helping them would chip away at your challengers".

I mean shit, EVOLVE / WWN can eat a dick because they'll probably never draw over a thousand without it being a special circumstance and WWE now has 205 Live and NXT for that indie appeal. But the UK is their second or third biggest and oldest market. WOS just launched and failed. REV Pro is going for television. NXT UK is trying to get off the ground after so many stops-and-starts. The WWE's refusal to play hardball consistently to maintain that market in the face of native and outside interest baffles me. Airdrop Balor or a couple of NXT guys onto a Progress show. Send Galloway to work an ICW show. Maybe even let them eat a loss or two, because whoever is getting that push is probably gonna end up with WWE in the long run given their acquisitional tendencies.

Also, Kraestch missed out on the dream matches bit, but yeah, I couldn't really visualize anyone as part of NWO All Japan so I had to pass the buck. A part of me was thinking guys like Yoshihiro Takayama and Yoshinari Ogawa, but I couldn't think of an equivalent to Scott Norton. Maybe Johnny Ace like you suggested, but I'd have to rank Norton above and away from Ace.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:23 pm

mlev76 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:11 am
Rich damning WWE for not picking up the slack for NJPW pulling guys from PROGRESS may be the most VOW moment of the year.
First off, it was Joe who brought it up and I merely said: "oh yeah, why didn't they?"

NJPW gives quite a bit of talent to their partners. RevPro, CMLL, ROH are flush with top talent whenever they need it and are able to promote their top shows with those talents. What has WWE done for their partners? Give them Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole and Cedric Alexander for a dark match. They've done very little to help PROGRESS as well but have at times yanked their talents to participate in WWE-ran events on last minute notice.

I'm not like actually mad but I think it's a decent point to bring up.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:01 pm

mlev76 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:19 pm
2. PROGRESS and Evolve seem to get different things from the relationship, but I think ultimately both want to be eventually on the Network and they assume that will happen eventually. I feel like PROGRESS gets far more from the relationship because some of their top guys get regularly featured on WWE tv and make fans who like their guys their seek out more content from them. They also get a decent amount of exposure on WWE.com when they book WWE UK guys (there's an article on the WWE website about the Wembley show right now.
You're a smart guy, Mike. You know your history, particularly with WWF. Tell me how well the "hey, we'll feature YOUR guys on OUR TV and it'll be great exposure for you" worked during the All American Wrestling-era.

It was sold as a way to cool tensions between the territories and WWF but eventually was just a way for WWF to make their audiences aware of talents they would eventually scoop up. Don't fool yourself into thinking they are trying to benefit anyone but themselves by "featuring" PROGRESS talents.

And since everything these days is "YA BUT U LIKE DA NEW JAPAN!" they do the same with their Lions Gate shows in scooping up guys like Yoshida and they've done the same in the past with DDT.

It's pro wrestling predatory nature but let's just call it what it is.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by cbacon87 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:18 pm

I dunno. Lending out Riddle seems fair enough, with the card the way it is I'm not sure who else you'd send and where you'd put them anyway.

Plus, we don't even know if Smallman wanted more WWE guys or not. You stick a Velveteen Dream or even another PROGRESS alum like Ohno on this big "PROGRESS's biggest show ever" line-up, PROGRESS fans probably get salty about it anyway. I don't necessarily think more NXT loans is something that's going to work for them.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 4:17 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:01 pm
mlev76 wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:19 pm
2. PROGRESS and Evolve seem to get different things from the relationship, but I think ultimately both want to be eventually on the Network and they assume that will happen eventually. I feel like PROGRESS gets far more from the relationship because some of their top guys get regularly featured on WWE tv and make fans who like their guys their seek out more content from them. They also get a decent amount of exposure on WWE.com when they book WWE UK guys (there's an article on the WWE website about the Wembley show right now.
You're a smart guy, Mike. You know your history, particularly with WWF. Tell me how well the "hey, we'll feature YOUR guys on OUR TV and it'll be great exposure for you" worked during the All American Wrestling-era.

It was sold as a way to cool tensions between the territories and WWF but eventually was just a way for WWF to make their audiences aware of talents they would eventually scoop up. Don't fool yourself into thinking they are trying to benefit anyone but themselves by "featuring" PROGRESS talents.

And since everything these days is "YA BUT U LIKE DA NEW JAPAN!" they do the same with their Lions Gate shows in scooping up guys like Yoshida and they've done the same in the past with DDT.

It's pro wrestling predatory nature but let's just call it what it is.
You're misreading what I meant to be "Progress does better than Evolve" to be "Progress gets more from the relationship than WWE." That was certainly not my point and I obviously would never suggest WWE was doing this without ulterior, self serving reasons behind it. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

In that context, you can also say Progress hasn't been hit quite as hard by WWE acquisitions as Evolve has. It's not unfair to say that WWE basically decimated much of the Evolve roster over the last two years.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:06 pm

Oh no doubt. EVOLVE has 100% been poached right down to Gabe getting an office job.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:05 am

Haven't listened to the discussion you guys are talking about yet, but I do find it interesting that WWN has to run dark matches with WWE talent but PROGRESS has WWE wrestlers on their streaming service, like Kassius Ohno's appearance at SSS16

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by Danwaka » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:08 am

Have to wonder what Sal Hammoumi thinks of it all, given Gabe is pretty much hindering their company to get his foot in the door with the WWE. Also while I've got you Joe, if you have any thoughts on NWO All Japan or AJPW-WCW dream matches that'd be great.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Destruction in Kobe, WWE 2k19, Questions & more!

Post by mlev76 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 12:23 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:05 am
Haven't listened to the discussion you guys are talking about yet, but I do find it interesting that WWN has to run dark matches with WWE talent but PROGRESS has WWE wrestlers on their streaming service, like Kassius Ohno's appearance at SSS16
Yeah and Riddle at Wembley too. I wonder if it's a US vs. international issue or just some weird power issue since Progress hasn't fully coopted itself to WWE while WWN sortof has.

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