Okay, extended feedback...
Match and Seg Notes
- Like opening with the champ addressing the crowd in his usual insulting manner... and getting Castor and Impulse into the mix just made it better. Good move to get the World Title participants in the ring together, considering they weren't listed for action. The announcement of the mixed-gender tag match I think makes up for that, though. Going to be a really interesting match for Aggression 76. All around, good segment to start off the show.
- My bit... in terms of self-critique, probably too seg-heavy. The stuff with Fear and Dalkichev really should have been the RP contribution; would have erased the need to reintroduce the older characters to a new audience, which was the idea behind the backstage interview. Actually liked dusting off old-school Crimson Calling, with Ivan pulling the Drago shtick, and Fear just being a slimeball in general. Credit goes to Brusch for the direction and writing contribution of MJ2's epic beatdown on Rezin (Ben: DOPE ass response on the stick, bro!). For the match itself, tried showing some inner conflict within Team VIAGRA... figured it would be a good lead in to the two appearing in the main event later. I hope Davis doesn't come off so much heel as much as an opportunist, not looking to get the spotlight stolen by Harmen (Ford: Hope I got this right... if not, will pay back with a job). Otherwise, uhh... hope people liked it?
- Oh yeah, my OTHER bit... the last minute one. Sent this in after I wrote the entire previous match and realized I forgot to introduce Caitlyn as Rezin's new manager... which would have made information in Billy's later segment come up seemingly at random. Angle I was going for here was Caitlyn pretty much being the vamp manager, leeching off the rising success of others... a trend carried over from her time with Stalker, and also a clear statement to her ex-husband. Stay tuned, loyal Strawsmaniacs, for the details on how this gruesome twosome came to be.
- I haven't really seen a match start in a manner of coming in immediately after commercial, like these guys don't give a damn about waiting for the TV break... so that was pretty cool. I imagine MJ2 instigating it, still steaming after Rezin called him out, taking out his rage on Light... and Haughton, justifiably, stepping up to put a stop to that no-good swagger. Match itself went by pretty quick, but felt pretty balanced and competitive... all three involved had some pretty good spots.
- I really dig Billy's work with the Daymon's in Castor's office. For one, it reminds us that Castor is running things in Dan Ryan's absence. For another, he captures the animosity between the estranged two better than I do. I figured Rezin would be the guy listening to Sleep records as he snoozes... but on second thought, I highly doubt he could afford a vinyl collection in the first place. So, my commendations to Billy... my only fan of the Daymon Divorce Saga and YouTube embeds!
- Battle royal is something I can only describe as Strawsmassive. Action was covered at a pretty balanced pace... it jumped around a lot, but the hectic style I feel is pretty fitting for the hectic environment of fourteen guys in the ring together. Everybody involved had a point of standing out from the others. Enjoyed the ways Magnus Destructo and Olvir Arsvinnar were involved, and how they were respectfully eliminated. Aaron Jones really stood out to me in this match especially... when it was getting down to the end, I found myself hoping he'd be the guy to pull out the win. For a moment, it looked like he and Eli would join forces in order to accomplish that. Flair's elimination surprised me in how early it was, as I figured he'd at least make it to final three; then again, I imagine it's more logical he goes out when there are enough people left in the ring to join forces to get a man that big and destructive over the ropes and out of their hair. MJ2 also looked especially dominant, making it into that third spot after pretty much walking to the ring and kicking ass two times earlier in the night. The finish, honestly, left me really surprised. Did not see that coming. Granted, for some reason, I was also expecting that when it got to the final two, the match would be over. Cruise making it into that main event title opportunity was a given, because Tommy really hit it out of the park in that thread. Rocko coming out with a win was a unexpected delight. A Cruise vs. Daymon match with an interesting twist... two former champs fighting for redemption. Really good story-making elements there.
- Overall... pretty solid card. Didn't feel like the monumental "75TH AGGRESSION OMFG" event I was expecting... like one of those WWE Anniversary RAW where they drag out a couple random guys from the 80's and 90's to job for a paycheck in a battle royal. I guess we had Olvir and Ivan representing some old school personnel... but as I mulled it over, I came to the depressing realization that expecting old faces to pop up is a far-fetched hope, given that a lot of those guys simply aren't in the game any more. The battle royal pretty much gave the show it's "special" quality in that respect... not so much focused on looking back on ten years of EPW, but keeping the spotlight on the present generation of athletes. I think that's what makes the Empire unique... not so much rooting itself on longstanding legacy, but always looking forward. Probably the message I've been missing for a while, pulling unnecessary stunts like dragging out Ivan Dalkichev and Nathan Fear. But hey... I think there's always a place for seedy, power-hungry manager and silent giant Russian enforcer.
- My one criticism for this card is the lack of presence of the Intercontinental Title. Still unsure on what's in store for Wrestleverse on that end.
Other than that, yeah... enjoyed the card, dominated mostly by the main event. Contributions were good... there wasn't really a weak part in this show, from my perspective. Keeps the ball rolling toward WV5, and definitely set the stage for Aggression 76.