WWE is known for its over-the-top storylines, but the company has been making a push to appeal to more mainstream audiences. With that in mind, WWE hosted an event this week with some of the biggest names in gaming present.
#19 of Another Week of Wrestling (27th September 2021)
The Owen Hart Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Owen Hart, WWE Extreme Rules, Finn Balor, AEW Grand Slam, and more!
I talk about WWE Extreme Rules 2021, the AEW Dynamite & Rampage Grand Slam, the Owen Hart Foundation, and much more! Thank you for visiting Geeks + Gamers, and welcome!
—From last week’s episode of Another Week of Wrestling!
I’m here mouthing off on a Monday about happenings in the wrestling industry that grab my attention, in addition to giving you That’s Not Wrestling, screaming about PPVs on YouTube, and teaching people how to play video games on my own website. This is Another Week of Wrestling, and I’m Danny Damage, writing for Geeks + Gamers.
The Demon Makes a Comeback at WWE Extreme Rules
Here’s a link to all the results from WWE Extreme Rules 2021 if you’re curious about what occurred last night.
Roman Reigns defended his championship against Finn Balor’s devil persona in the night’s main event. It had been a while since Finn had painted his face black and worn his demonic garb to fight, and many were waiting to see what would happen.
After all was said and done, Roman Reigns walked away with his belt in his hands. After Roman’s chest caved in, the Usos (Drunky and Jay) rescued him, but Finn killed both of them. Everyone was on the ground as Reigns speared Finn through the barrier outside the ring. That is when it occurred.
The arena went red, and Balor’s pulse from his theme music started to play, in what seems to be leftover concepts from WWE spoiling The Fiend. Balor, who had been knocked out, convulsed and then regained his strength, making him the sole man standing. Finn was planning to throw Reigns into the ring and ascend to the top to do his finish, but the rope/turnbuckle snapped, the red light went out, and Finn plummeted to the ground. It was finished when Roman speared him and earned the three count.
The Usos and Reigns did a lot of pointing skyward, and the commentary led us to think there was some sort of supernatural intervention to blame, but they didn’t go into detail. My assumption is that it has something to do with Alexa Bliss’s predicament earlier in the night, or that Finn could only sustain his pumped-up form for so long; just don’t give The Undertaker another excuse to ride again… please.
WWE seems to be paying more attention to AEW lately. They know AEW can hire people as tiny as Balor, so this attitude may be seen as a concession. Balor didn’t win, but he was in the main event, which meant he got to perform all of his amazing body-painted, supernatural nonsense. Balor did, however, need to bring all he had to ALMOST defeat Roman Reigns at WWE Extreme Rules. If he was going up against the likes of Big E, Bobby Lashey, or Brock Lesnar, he’d have to bring a lot more.
Grand Slam Week at AEW
We seem to have come full circle with AEW, and we’re back to where we were not long ago.
There are a few jewels among the marketing and television programs, but there is also a lot of fluff. Although the general quality of the most fun parts has improved, it remains inconsistent throughout both Dynamite and Rampage.
I predicted AEW would have too many hours to fill on television a few weeks ago, and my prediction has come true. Last week’s four hours of television time might have been trimmed down to two hours of absolute brilliance. Both Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega and CM Punk vs. Powerhouse Hobbs started their performances, and neither got much better after that.
The main event for Dynamite was a tag match pitting Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston against Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki, while the main event for Rampage was a tag match pitting Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston against Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki. On Dynamite, the women’s bout was good, but not main event caliber. The “lights out tag match” at the conclusion of Rampage was exactly as wacky as you’d imagine, and it functioned as a display of “wrestling moves” that anybody could learn. You know the drill: weapons, jumps, and wacky tricks/spots.
Normally, I’m not too concerned about a TV show’s ratings. It doesn’t matter whether it’s popular or not; I’m still going to enjoy it. I bring up the ratings solely because AEW (and its cultists) insist on using them as a yardstick whenever it helps them, so it’s only right that they receive the same scrutiny when it doesn’t.
They didn’t get out as much as they put in, considering these “Grand Slam” events were supposed to be upgraded versions of the weekly presentations with all the bells and whistles. The next week, Dynamite only managed to improve its viewership by 6%. On September 22nd, they had 1,273,000 viewers and on September 15th, they had 1,175,000. On the 8th of the previous week, 1,319,000 viewers tuned in. So Dynamite Grand Slam wasn’t even AEW’s finest show from the previous month.
The ratings for AEW Rampage have added to the quiet. The show’s premiere on August 20th attracted 1,129,000 viewers, but those figures have been declining since then. Since then, they’ve earned 740,000 on August 27th, 696,000 on September 3rd, 670,000 on September 10th, 642,000 last week on September 17th, and 640,000 this week on September 24th for the Grand Slam version of Rampage. Ouch.
This week, what will it be? #WrestlingWithExcuses pic.twitter.com/XCvNh6HKng #WrestlingWithExcuses
September 27, 2021 — Danny Damage (@BluntDamage)
Perhaps it’s time for AEW and its ardent fans to look in the mirror and listen to constructive criticism instead of focusing on WWE.
The Owen Hart Foundation
Tony Khan was recently interviewed on Busted Open Radio on his collaboration with The Owen Hart Foundation.
“This is going to be a huge occasion. Martha Hart and the Owen Hart Foundation have formed a fantastic relationship. To say the least, Martha is a principled lady. She is a lady of great intelligence. She gave it a lot of consideration, and we spoke about it for a long time. I spoke to Martha about it on a regular basis for over a year. She gave it a lot of consideration, and we gave it a lot of thought as well. That’s how it all came to be. She’s a wonderful person, and I believe she wanted to make sure we were as well. Martha is one of my favorite characters. You can’t say enough good things about Owen Hart’s legacy, how much it means to so many of us, and how wonderful this chance to honor his life is. This has been in the works for quite some time.
The Owen, I believe, has the potential to be a really unique award in wrestling. People will want to win The Owen, I believe. I think that we will make it a really unique event at AEW, as well as a very wonderful yearly tradition. I’m looking forward to telling others more about it. I’ve got a couple of match announcements and some major booking ideas up my sleeve that I can’t wait for folks to hear about. That will all happen in due time, I believe, and the Owen Hart news is huge for us. When we get through tonight’s massive Friday Night Rampage, I believe we’ll have a lot of great things next week when the dust settles.” Tony Khan is one of the most well-known actors in the world (via WrestlingNews.co)
As the discussion has moved on to philanthropic causes, I typically bring up Stephanie McMahon’s notorious remark, but I’m fairly confident I can avoid doing so this time.
“Philanthropy is the future of marketing; it’s how companies will succeed,” says one expert. @twitter #WWEBPS @biz Stone co-founder pic.twitter.com/KEI3i4zdbg
March 28, 2015 — Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon)
Never worry, it’s now there. I tried my best to stay away as much as possible.
Having said that, the connection between AEW and The Owen Hart Foundation is much more than just agreeing to put each other over and exchanging money. It seems to me that it is a great match for the memories of a gifted young guy who was gone much too soon. When the AEW title belt was introduced a couple of years ago, his brother, Bret Hart, had already set foot in the ring; I’m sure some reconnaissance went place at the time, before, and subsequently. I can also imagine AEW being a better location for members of the Hart family to rekindle their friendship. WWE is probably not the greatest place to be while attempting to heal and move on after being the site of numerous atrocities.
It’s natural that Martha wouldn’t want her late husband’s name added to the Compassion-a-Tron 5000 of the WWE Marketing Department. That’s the machine where you tell a terrible tale or circumstance, and an over-produced, guilt-tripping marketing campaign manages to pat you on the back for change and extract your checkbook from its hiding place. I’m not against charity work or anything like that, but when the WWE’s efforts are so clearly forced/fake, I’m going to call them out.
There was a time when doing something good for the sake of doing something nice was the norm. Word would spread, perhaps through news reporters, and you’d ultimately get comment on your actions. Because WWE is so aggressive, competitive, and impatient, it sends its Hollywood cameras down to a soup kitchen to film themselves doing good while informing everyone they’re doing it. They are familiar with the lyrics, but not with the music.
Owen’s legacy would clearly reach a bigger audience if it was remembered on a greater stage, but at what cost? Is it possible to be overexposed to the point of annoyance? More rewriting of the past of WWE’s wrongdoings? Blue Blazer plushies and masks?
As someone who values balance, it’s safe to conclude that AEW is the third bowl of porridge for this scenario; it’s neither too hot nor too cold. I’m excited about the tournament they’re putting up, and I think Brian Pillman Jr. would benefit from being the first to win it.
That concludes this week’s activities. Think about it and talk about it! On Friday, keep an eye out for “That’s Not Wrestling!” For the time being, it will be the series’ 20th and last issue. As a consequence, this weekly roundup will be given a good kicking and sent to the gym. For WWE Extreme Rules, there will also be a PUTTING IT BLUNTLY video; stay tuned. Take care, and I’ll catch up with you next Monday to talk about #AnotherWeekOfWrestling!
BONUS ARTICLE: HOW TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES IN A BLUNT MANNER. AEW All Out 2021 Review – BONUS VIDEO – PUTTING IT BLUNTLY
Rachael Hope created the background artwork.
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