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Full Gear 2021

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  • Full Gear 2021

    I didn't know where else to put this...so here it is!

    I've seen the first half of Full Gear so far. But I watched some of it with my new girlfriend. She was a fan during the Attitude Era, and has become a full fledged wrestling fan after I brought her out to a show I was working. But I've gone out of my way not to smarten her up (you can only ruin the illusion once) and she doesn't know shit about shit.

    So, her completely uneducated "casual wrestling fan that doesn't exist anymore" opinion was:
    -Luchasaurus has a cool look and a good name and was pretty impressive.
    -"How did you know Adam Cole was going to come up bleeding?"
    -Having every silly name of every move ever invented called on commentary made her confused when they called something that wasn't a move with a sentence that sounded like the name of a move.
    -"Oh, those people don't like Cody."
    -Bryan Danielson looks really small next to Miro (but then Miro doesn't look as big next to Ref Aubrey) but she was generally amazed by both guys and the match.
    -Tay Conti makes too many shocked faces when she should be pinning the other girl.

    She also asked why I cringed at Conti's moonsault to the floor when she did a full 360 and came down knees first on Rebel and Hayter like that time Zima Ion broke the guy's neck, or why I sighed at Birtt's super lazy whips and other basics.

    One thing I've noticed with the card in general is that guys' basics -- the things that take it from assholes in spandex playing pro wrestling and make it professional wrestlers having a match -- are sometimes awful. MJF and Darby can do anything (MJF is a lot more athletic than they make him out to be) but can't take a proper bump off a Steamboat armdrag. Britt can do it all, but her whips look like she's lazily going through the motions.

    You know where you don't see that kind of shit? When Bryan Danielson and Miro are making every single motion in their match count.
    https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
    My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

  • #2
    I didn't watch, but concerning your comment about the basics lacking, I see that all too often. NXT is a good (or bad) example of this, especially the women. It's one of those things that really stands out about good workers being great workers. There are plenty of reasons the 4 horsewomen are in constant rotation at the top of the WWE main roster, and while Sasha isn't as strong at it as the others, these 4 women know the basics more than 90% of the rest of the roster.

    I didn't watch AEW Full Gear, but when I recently watched MLW, NWA, the last times I watched ROH and Impact, I noticed less and less workers being able to connect the moves together. Wrestling is becoming less and less a scripted drama, and more of a sketch show where nothing connects. This doesn't mean they don't have psychology (though there is a discussion to have there) but that workers seem more concerned with the big moments, and less about getting to those moments.

    Stone Cold vs Hitman - submission match, still holds up today for a variety of reasons, but a big one is every strike, or whip, or "transition move" was executed as big as the big bumps or moments. It's also the big difference between Hart and Michaels in their work. Both are all time greats, but where Bret stands out is that he made all the little things matter as much as the big things, whereas Shawn concentrated just a little more about the spots. He wasn't brazen about it like wrestlers of today in all promotions, but he was one of the first wrestlers to lose concentration on the transitions, and his influence ripples through all of wrestling today. When NXT had that 1-2 year stretch of Gargano vs Cole type main events (I would say Gargano vs Almas was the end of the previous era, and after that match we started getting the Takeover main event spot match formula on repeat), you could tell everyone was really crisp, but that no one could throw a strike or transition if their life depended on it.

    Reverting back to AEW, that match style was more common throughout the card the last time I watched. From what I gather, not much has changed since then. So COACH's assessment doesn't shock me.

    I'll end this rant by saying again that I know I'm an old man, and I know I'm yelling at the clouds in many ways. If today's wrestling is going to evolve to more of this style, then there's no shock that I'm less invested in any promotion today, but enjoying eras of the past all the much more. I haven't quit by any means, but the more there is Young Bucks and Omega influence on wrestling, the less I'll be interested.

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    • #3
      There's so many of those small things that separate a wrestler that's good and probably over with that fanbase for whatever particular reason they're over, and someone that's really, really great.

      When Bret would take a buckle, he wouldn't just hit it and stay there. He'd take the buckle and drop to a knee or grab at his back or turn and drape over the top rope for a moment. He'd show the fans that hitting the buckle (which is one of the things that sucks the most to do) actually hurt in and of itself, and wasn't just a motion that he had to get through to get to the next spot. He'd always be back where he needed to be in time for what was coming next because he was so good at everything, but he wanted you to know that "Hey! This part hurts, too!" Those tiny little basics make everything feel more "real" and make every part of the ring feel that little bit more punishing and unforgiving.

      Every time Miro sent Bryan from corner to corner, he followed Bryan 3/4 of the way with his throw. He put everything that he had in to each throw. He's trying to use that corner where the ropes meet at a steel hook and a turnbuckle to hurt his opponent. The one time that I noticed he didn't follow all the way through? Bryan reversed it with his run up the buckle backflip. Almost as if Miro didn't put enough behind it, and Bryan was able to capitalize. It's little things like that, that the fans might not pick up on consciously, but which make everything look "better".

      Contrast that to often times Britt would take Tay by the wrist, put a hand on her back and halfheartedly step through before Tay was running across the ring at full speed. Again, it's not something that a fan watching is going to pick up on as "fake", but it's one of those little things that makes a match look sloppy and less-than. On some level it comes down to style. The Bucks to a lot of that kind of thing to A) keep themselves in position for whatever big thing they're doing next, and B) likely save on some motion to preserve energy and their cardio. When they do it, it's often followed up so quickly with something spectacular, that your brain barely has time to register.

      Britt doesn't work the Bucks style where she'd really have to be worried about either of those things. I've noticed Jericho does the same thing, likely to preserve his wind. But I think the difference is Jericho knows he's doing it, and for a reason. Britt has probably just seen it done by people "bigger" than her, and developed the habit.

      I was really surprised to see Darby and MJF both take awkward bumps off of armdrags right in succession. They'd been doing all this fluid, crisp chain wrestling only to have a basic wrestling school bump look strange. But then, I'm not sure many people are throwing classic, Steamboat-style armdrags anymore.
      https://youtu.be/wue-ZFnEta8
      My latest (and hopefully last) Covid-Era show

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