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Thread: How Are They Doing?

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    Main Eventer Sasori's Avatar
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    How Are They Doing?

    Throughout 2019, we've seen a bunch of guys getting pushes to one degree or another. They looked on the verge of reaching the next level and becoming actual stars, but for one reason of another, they couldn't stick the landing. Was it an injury, not connecting with the crowd, poor booking decisions, or were they just in over their heads and not cut out for that spot?

    Mustafa Ali



    A guy with allot of potential. It seems like he's so close to breaking through, but just can't quite make it. Did he just miss his window due to injury or is there still time to grab that brass ring? He still seems like a fan favorite so I'm not writing him off just yet.

    Ricochet



    This seemed like a no-brainer. Just strap on the rocket pack and push him to the moon. It seemed like he was going to win the US title from AJ and go on a long reign. That didn't happen. In the ensuing feud, Ricochet got beat. Allot. As was seen on this past week's RAW, he's still getting beat. For whatever reason, the shine is off the apple and his push is gone. What happened?

    Eric Rowan



    Eric was featured in one of the most high profile storylines of 2019. The "Who Tried to Kill Roman Reigns?" saga unfolded over the course of the summer, culminating in Rowan being revealed as the perpetrator. After working with two big stars in Roman and Daniel Bryan, Rowan seemed positioned to be a big player following the Draft. Since then, he's barely been used, and has been talking to an as yet unseen creature in a cage he's been carrying around. What's the end game for this, and was Rowan's push a one and done?

    Aleister Black



    His debut on the main roster was highly anticipated. However, after WrestleMania, Black retreated to a darkened room and delivered cryptic promos while asking for someone to "pick a fight with me". Meanwhile, the rest of the roster said, "Nah, bro, we're fine" and promptly ignored him. At long last, Buddy Murphy has stepped up to Knock on Aleister's door and we're finally going to get a real feud. Considering 2019 has been fairly uneventful for Black, let's hope that 2020 will be a big year for him.

    Chad Gable



    Probably the guy who got the longest sustained push out of the ones I've listed, Gable managed to win fans over with his incredible wrestling ability during the KOTR tournament. Unfortunately, WWE went all in with him "owning" the short jokes Baron Corbin leveled at him and now Gable has become the joke. This gimmick is straight out of 1993 and may have completely killed all the work that was put into building Gable over the summer. I don't know if he can come back from this or not.

    Is there anyone else who looked promising this year, but WWE dropped the ball with? I apologize for not including any women in this list, but I could probably make one just for them.

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Ali-Blessing in disguise that he was hurt because honestly I didn't see him doing jack shit beyond being filler for a match that always has the 1 filler guy. Kofi Kingston better be sending Ali more than Booty O's and pancakes for how Kofi's 2019 turned out. I don't think Ali was ever going to get a real big push and he's a young talent, plenty of time.

    Ricochet-See the last 7 words of my thoughts on Ali. He definitely needs to get some wins but his style is so magical. Another guy who probably will feel the sting by Vince for bigger guys but Riochet IMO is a game changer like AJ Styles and Rey Misterio. Nobody moves like Ricochet in the WWE that's for damn sure.

    Black-A guy who comes up while still in NXT and sits in a room for 8 months lol. I think he's another example of don't randomly call a dude up if you have no idea what you're going to do especially one of your top tier players in NXT.

    Gable-Gable's "sustained push" was a long ass lame feud with Corbin and now he's probably wishing Elias didn't get hurt and that half of the bracket altered because he'd still be Chad Gable and not Zack Efron and John Cena's little brother playing dress up.

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    Aleister Black feels like the one who is going to ultimately rise to the top over this group. Ricochet feels like a can't-miss but it does seem to take a hit when he talks and the fact they try to hammer home the point he's like a superhero. Andrade (and now after Monday) Humberto need to be added to the mix. Prior to Monday, Andrade was the obvious choice for me, but they seem to indicate they want to see mileage they can get out of Humberto.

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    where.is.dexter? mth's Avatar
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    Ali feels like he's been treading water for awhile. He came to SD hot and dropped right into the main event, then the injury screwed things up, and he's become a fairly solid fixture still rubbing elbows with top guys but not really looking like he's on the same lvel like when he beat Bryan. But he's young and I think once there's an opportunity, they'll do more with him. The breaking barriers/stereotypes stuff is good PR for WWE, too, so I could see them raising his status in part just to make themselves look good in addition to the actual message he's representing. I think we'll see an IC title reign first half of 2020 and then maybe some main event level stuff later in the year.

    Ricochet has pointed out himself that he's got the best win record on RAW so he's hardly doing pporly. He's also regularly featured and generally hovering high on the card. Like Ali, Opportunities have to become available and they've got things tying up the top of the card but I think next year could be big for him, too. US Title run again, main event dabbling, I think it'll happen. Another young guy early on just getting some legs before they really invest.

    Rowan's stuff on SD did well to re-establish him after looking fairly jobberish in the Family and the silly Bludgeon Bros. gimmick. He comes to RAW looking for formidable and now they're doing something to add layers to the character so he's not just another big man. I'm digging it. The mystery of the cage is a good hook and it adds depth to his character that he's got "somebody" he's protecting and loves in there, whatever it may be. The reveal might be a letdown or it might really give Rowan something that keeps him itneresting and that can be worked into feuds once he moves on from no-name jobbers.

    Black's door promos may have dragged on a bit too long and seemed a bit nonsensical at times given he's on a roster full of professional fighters and there was goddang KOTR and Survivor Series, plenty of fights to be picked, but it did well to establish his character and give it direction, made his actual matches seem a bit more like special occasions, and made it feel like a big deal when a guy actually knocked on the door. Hasn't hurt his overness at all, either. best approach is to have the knockers gradually be bigger names until you get a main event level dude picking a fight with him...which is an interesting twist as it'll be the main event asking him to step up, rather than him asking the main event if he can. I dig it.

    Gable's new gimmick is still iffy. On the one hand, he's gotten a lot of spotlight from KOTR onward and he's become a regular fixture and it's made him a lot less generic but on the other hand...well, it's Shorty G and his outfit is goofy. I wouldn't say it's "killed all the work" or that he's got to "come back from this" as it's hardly stalled his momentum, quite the opposite really, he's been rolling on just fine, maybe even doing slightly better for it. My real concern is whether or not creative sticks with him longterm or if it's like a Mojo Rawley thing where they build up a dude's new look/character and then don't know what to do with him after. But I feel like he's similar to Ali/Ricochet where a midcard title is potential for 2020 though I can't see Shorty G main eventing, unlike the other two.

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    World Champion Donald's Avatar
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    Gable should have won the KOTR, I don't think Corbin needed that win.

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Gable should have won the KOTR, I don't think Corbin needed that win.
    I agree 100%. For one, it's kind of lame that the majority of the winners were heels simply to do that tired King gimmick. I don't know why they want to have Corbin as some weird authority figure. Constable, King, fuck knows what's next? Adolf Corbin? Baron Trump? Wait.....

    I mean, Gable is a former Olympic wrestler so being KING of the ring and making that about skill level would have been dope. I know Angle won it and rocked the crown shit for a very very brief period. They could have done a gradual heel turn for Gable where he let the win get to his head, he keeps wearing the shit and eventually does the routine heel King of the Ring gimmick, just with a completely original approach.

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    That all insinuates that they really want to push Gable. It doesn't really seem like they want to do that. Unless they changed course, Corbin was their pick from the jump and they wanted to create a compelling character that could be an underdog that ultimately fell short to the presumed winner. The Short G stuff screams of getting Vince's jollies off.

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    That all insinuates that they really want to push Gable. It doesn't really seem like they want to do that. Unless they changed course, Corbin was their pick from the jump and they wanted to create a compelling character that could be an underdog that ultimately fell short to the presumed winner. The Short G stuff screams of getting Vince's jollies off.
    And I think Gable getting as far as he did wasn't even in the plans. Kind of like Kofi getting the super mega push this year due to Ali getting hurt. Imagine the landscape if Ali never got hurt........

    Shorty G.....I mean, it could be worse....Maybe. Remember "Slam Master J"?

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    @Donald I'm pretty sad that you have yet to make an ENZO joke about the thread title. Come on dude!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    And I think Gable getting as far as he did wasn't even in the plans. Kind of like Kofi getting the super mega push this year due to Ali getting hurt. Imagine the landscape if Ali never got hurt........

    Shorty G.....I mean, it could be worse....Maybe. Remember "Slam Master J"?
    I actually think Gable did get as far as they wanted him to (the Finals). If Ricochet, Ali, Joe weren't going to be in the mix because it's Corbin then you need a face that can get steam. They leaned into the fact that everyone was making fun of him prior to the tournament. That lends itself to making a surprise run and then tilting the audience to get more heat on who Vince wanted to win.

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    where.is.dexter? mth's Avatar
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    When i heard the Shorty G name got trademarked, i assumed it was leading to a Slam Master J type gimmick. This is marginally better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    @Donald I'm pretty sad that you have yet to make an ENZO joke about the thread title. Come on dude!
    I'm not going to lie, I did think about that earlier, but then I thought "I don't really care how Enzo is doing"

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    Main Eventer Sasori's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    I agree 100%. For one, it's kind of lame that the majority of the winners were heels simply to do that tired King gimmick. I don't know why they want to have Corbin as some weird authority figure. Constable, King, fuck knows what's next? Adolf Corbin? Baron Trump? Wait.....

    I mean, Gable is a former Olympic wrestler so being KING of the ring and making that about skill level would have been dope. I know Angle won it and rocked the crown shit for a very very brief period. They could have done a gradual heel turn for Gable where he let the win get to his head, he keeps wearing the shit and eventually does the routine heel King of the Ring gimmick, just with a completely original approach.
    It would have been a breath of fresh air to have a technical wrestler like Gable win KOTR. He's like the love child of Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle with a little Bret Hart mixed in for good measure. That's the embodiment of what the tournament should be about: celebrating great wrestling, not trotting out some goof with a crown and scepter to get heat.

    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    That all insinuates that they really want to push Gable. It doesn't really seem like they want to do that. Unless they changed course, Corbin was their pick from the jump and they wanted to create a compelling character that could be an underdog that ultimately fell short to the presumed winner. The Short G stuff screams of getting Vince's jollies off.
    After watching the Tag Team elimination match on Smackdown, I thought Gable and Ali had great chemistry. It's the perfect balance of technical and aerial ability. They might have a better chance together than separately.

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    What the fucks up Dennys! Nash Diesel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BGMaverick View Post
    I actually think Gable did get as far as they wanted him to (the Finals). If Ricochet, Ali, Joe weren't going to be in the mix because it's Corbin then you need a face that can get steam. They leaned into the fact that everyone was making fun of him prior to the tournament. That lends itself to making a surprise run and then tilting the audience to get more heat on who Vince wanted to win.
    It makes sense. But I'm trying everything in my power to look at alternate reasons as to why on Earth KOTR 2019 went down the way it did. Corbin went into that thing a complete afterthought to the point where I was thinking they finally wised up and realized the guy is dogshit. Nope.

    I wouldn't be shocked if Corbin won simply because King Corbin rolls off the tongue better than King Ricochet lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nash Diesel View Post
    It makes sense. But I'm trying everything in my power to look at alternate reasons as to why on Earth KOTR 2019 went down the way it did. Corbin went into that thing a complete afterthought to the point where I was thinking they finally wised up and realized the guy is dogshit. Nope.

    I wouldn't be shocked if Corbin won simply because King Corbin rolls off the tongue better than King Ricochet lol.
    To be fair, Corbin was bearable on the mic during the tournament and the matches he had were the best I've seen of him in quite some time so I would say he delivered in the moment. It's just everything after that where it's hit the fan. It always boils down to the same thing with me for him: placement. He's perfect in the midcard and occasionally bubbling up to the top. They have the opposite mindset, it seems. The KOTR was perfect for his utilization as well because it wasn't the focus of the episodic scheme each and every week. It was just there and he wasn't the focal point each week.

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    The problem with Corbin winning KOTR is that they didn't know what to do with him. He did better than expected in his KOTR matches and the stuff with Shorty seemed like he was just getting more and more comfortable with the gimmick, but then they had to remind everyone where he really stacks up - so on the Fox debut they had him look like a chump against the Rock and the Man. Then, they had to put him up against Roman Reigns, who everyone knows is Vince's chosen leader. The problem is, Roman can do his best to get a watchable match out of Corbin, but everyone knows Roman is not going to lay down easily for Corbin, even if Corbin steals a cheap win after a lowblow with the king's scepter, Roman is eventually coming out on top. We just won't buy Corbin as Main Event level talent. Corbin should have laid out the Rock instead - it would have gotten him so much more heat, and the Rock isn't around anyway.


    Ali, Shorty, Ricochet, Rowan and Black are all still just there. None of them are coming out to huge crowd reactions. I'd argue that Shorty Gable has had the better matches, and gotten the better crowd reactions by the end of his matches, with Ricochet being close behind. I don't have confidence in the WWE due to the 50/50 booking, to let any of them stand out and become deserving of a sustained title run.

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    - Mustafa Ali is a guy who needs to be on Smackdown! (wait, is he on Smackdown!?) - He's a small fish in a small pond kind of guy who WWE could really strap a rocket to. He's a Middle Eastern guy who isn't played as an Iron Sheik terrorist or an anti-American prick. He's a good wrestler, he's a pretty charismatic guy, and he's already crested the top of an arch, before he got hurt. If WWE isn't going to give him a serious singles push, put him with Cedric Alexander as a regular team and let those two tear shit up.

    - Ricochet is a can't miss prospect as long as they don't let him talk. The dude's a super nerd and people aren't going to dig that. Unless they put him under a mask and call him "Puma Man".

    - Eric Rowan getting pushed just makes me glad Kane isn't around anymore for the inevitable "clash of the midcard giants" feud we'd have to get if he was. Rowan isn't a bad wrestler, but there's no interest there. He's a fat, dumpy guy in heavy metal band shirts with Bad News Brown's sewer rats in a cage. WWE has no equity built up in him. Honestly, I'd send him to NXT and have him work with The Undisputed Era as their muscle. He'd be a big fish in a small pond there and get to make a big impact down there.

    - Alestier Black - Turn him heel, send him to Smackdown!, have him kick babyface Daniel Bryan's dome in. He's good at everything, but he needs to be a heel. He's MMA Satan and he should be murdering guys with that Black Mass kick. D-Bry would be perfect, dude's even had real life concussion issues. Otherwise, he's just some Hot Topic Dutch prick waiting for somebody to come knock on his door and ask him to have a match.

    - Shorty G - Good fucking Christ. Chad Gable, as Chad Gable has an incredibly high ceiling and a ton of upside. Back when he had Shawn Michaels hair and Scott Steiner's body and working style, he was incredible. But they humbled him by jobbing him to Boring Asshole, cutting his hair, and dressing him up like a middle-aged office worker at the YMCA who's there on Saturday morning for a pick-up Basketball game. They're killing this kid. Send him to NXT, call him by his real fucking name, put him in a program with Roderick Strong over the North American title, and when his hair is grown back out long enough that people can tell him and Roddy apart, send him back to the bigs and pretend that Shorty-G bullshit never happened. Otherwise, the dude's sunk.

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