Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Talk about shows from the Voices of Wrestling podcast network and argue with us here.
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Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:06 pm

Voices of Wrestling returns with a very spirited edition of the flagship podcast as Joe and Rich officially declare victory on the long-running Roman Reigns debate, discuss a newsworthy edition of Monday Night RAW and recap Sunday's WWE Fastlane PPV. The conversation then moves to Japan as Kota Ibushi's new promotion and freelance career is discussed, what it means for New Japan and where we may see Ibushi in the future. Sticking with Japan, Joe and Rich review the two ROH/NJPW Honor Rising shows before signing off with a truncated version of Bouncin' Around Japan.


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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by ceftaxias » Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:21 am

Just started the show. You guys are discussing the political hit and bring up "what about the rest of the roster" as in where's the conspiracy for everyone else not getting over. The difference there is that literally no one else is being pushed except for Roman, who has been pushed harder than anyone else in the past decade besides Lashley. There's no undermining necessary for anyone else.

In just about every conceivable way they are fucking it up with Reigns. They know how to book Cena, they know how to book Brock, and Taker, and HHH, and Steph. Lashley's push for the Trump feud was him on all three shows winning clean and dominantly. Yet they do practically everything wrong with Roman.

I honestly think it's more ridiculous to think that the majority of the more prolific power players in WWE want Reigns to be the next guy. Because personally there's very little I've seen in the last year that would suggest that. Which probably sounds absolutely nuts because obviously he has been "pushed", and you guys seem pretty no nonsense about the whole deal. But I'm kinda shocked at how Monday's angle was just glossed over and it was written off as innocent HHH inadvertently babyfacing himself as much as humanly possible while totally burying the guy he's supposed to be anointing as the next ace. But after another five weeks of Reigns being portrayed as unlikable as possible meanwhile Paul gets portrayed as the coolest, most badass guy on the show and not to mention the god of the indies and the savior of the business, I would think it won't be written off as innocent Paul just doing that thing he can't help not doing.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Jeff Hawkins » Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:04 pm

there's no alternative "guy" unless you beleive it's HHH himself, which few do.

It's why I dismiss the political hit theory. It's the perfect combination of bad storytelling and performer not having the tools to grab the spotlight

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:07 pm

There's still such a thing as a "Bella Curve"? Odd.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by cherrylimeaid » Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:37 pm

Couple thoughts on the Reigns thing, and then I as well have the rest of the podcast to listen to.

IMO yes the booking has been messed up. After the Rumble he kicked ass if he could of won that and strapped a rocket to him...who knows. Book him like Goldberg and when his time was done with that its fine. When he is tailing down after a long undefeated dominant streak you make the next guy with him. Ziggler wasn't the guy until the SS he won 1 on 3 and everybody thought he could be "the guy", till he was booked to lose in a tag match the next night, in a losing effort with Rowan. There is still turning him to a kickass heel. He is the first I hope they don't waste a clean win over Cena to get over. For the most part though, yes since he has done longer matches, since they haven't strapped the rocket to him, since he has cut lousy promos, since since since.....he is NOT the guy. Absolutely. Which brings me to the next point.

"They sort of have to go with Reigns vs. HHH now"

Now first let me make a verbal difference. There is a difference between NEEDING to go with that and KNOWING that WWE will go with that or think they need to. I think with Lesnar vs Ambrose, if you heat up Ambrose some, and the chance that Shane gets control of the company, you can actually have Reigns out of the picture, injured beyond chance for Mania and go with a mystery opponent to face HHH. You can make a star in a night, or HHH can, since he knows how to put a match together if an NXT guy comes up (Zayn, Balor, Joe, or Nakamura) and beats him for the title at Mania, even in the middle of the card. Or have the NXT guy about to win and have Reigns ruin it for them for mega heat heel turn. How much buzz and how many subscriptions to the network will they sell if you heard HHH made "x" in a night. Think of the new direction.

Yes dream booking. Yes I absolutely don't believe that is the direction that WWE is going. BUT....I'm just saying right now there is no NEED to go with HHH vs Reigns.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:59 pm

You actually mentioned the comparison I have for Reigns...its Hirooki Goto.

He doesn't have a connection with the fans at the top of the card. They just don't believe him, they just don't want him. I do think, there is enough there for people to get behind him in a reduced role...like Goto. Be the badass of a tag team. Be an "IC" level type contender when you're being pushed.

For Reigns...he went from being the three moves of doom in a trios to getting the rocketpack put on him for going to back to back Manias and featured in all of the key stories. He missed some vital steps of development that are usually required to become that star. Fans want to see the journey, man...they want to connect to you on your way up. They don't want to love you if you're already there. Its why there is a connection with the Indy guys...people feel connected to them...they were there with them when they were nothing. Guys being given their spot at the top? That's a heel, brothers.

Reigns would have benefited from working mid-card with mid-card workers. He's got three hot moves...great...he can also sell a little bit...great...unfortunately, he doesn't have the experience to be in a good match unless he's with a superstud workhorse so unless he's working with top guys, he's going to produce terrible matches bell to bell.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:28 pm

Jeff Hawkins wrote:there's no alternative "guy" unless you beleive it's HHH himself, which few do.

It's why I dismiss the political hit theory. It's the perfect combination of bad storytelling and performer not having the tools to grab the spotlight
The bold is nailing in one sentence what we tried to say in 45 minutes. Perfect.

Reigns just isn't the guy, and never was going to be the guy. And the booking did him no favors in overcoming that.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:29 pm

BoxingRobes wrote:You actually mentioned the comparison I have for Reigns...its Hirooki Goto.

He doesn't have a connection with the fans at the top of the card. They just don't believe him, they just don't want him. I do think, there is enough there for people to get behind him in a reduced role...like Goto. Be the badass of a tag team. Be an "IC" level type contender when you're being pushed.

For Reigns...he went from being the three moves of doom in a trios to getting the rocketpack put on him for going to back to back Manias and featured in all of the key stories. He missed some vital steps of development that are usually required to become that star. Fans want to see the journey, man...they want to connect to you on your way up. They don't want to love you if you're already there. Its why there is a connection with the Indy guys...people feel connected to them...they were there with them when they were nothing. Guys being given their spot at the top? That's a heel, brothers.

Reigns would have benefited from working mid-card with mid-card workers. He's got three hot moves...great...he can also sell a little bit...great...unfortunately, he doesn't have the experience to be in a good match unless he's with a superstud workhorse so unless he's working with top guys, he's going to produce terrible matches bell to bell.
This is a great post, and people should be directed to it in regards to this topic. Fine work, Larry.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:33 pm

ceftaxias wrote:Just started the show. You guys are discussing the political hit and bring up "what about the rest of the roster" as in where's the conspiracy for everyone else not getting over. The difference there is that literally no one else is being pushed except for Roman, who has been pushed harder than anyone else in the past decade besides Lashley. There's no undermining necessary for anyone else.

In just about every conceivable way they are fucking it up with Reigns. They know how to book Cena, they know how to book Brock, and Taker, and HHH, and Steph. Lashley's push for the Trump feud was him on all three shows winning clean and dominantly. Yet they do practically everything wrong with Roman.

I honestly think it's more ridiculous to think that the majority of the more prolific power players in WWE want Reigns to be the next guy. Because personally there's very little I've seen in the last year that would suggest that. Which probably sounds absolutely nuts because obviously he has been "pushed", and you guys seem pretty no nonsense about the whole deal. But I'm kinda shocked at how Monday's angle was just glossed over and it was written off as innocent HHH inadvertently babyfacing himself as much as humanly possible while totally burying the guy he's supposed to be anointing as the next ace. But after another five weeks of Reigns being portrayed as unlikable as possible meanwhile Paul gets portrayed as the coolest, most badass guy on the show and not to mention the god of the indies and the savior of the business, I would think it won't be written off as innocent Paul just doing that thing he can't help not doing.
The thing about Monday, is if people cared about Roman, he would have gotten sympathy, and Trips playing to the crowd would have been seen as being an asshole heel egging them on.

A lot of these angles and such where Roman gets over like a wet fart that are framed as CONSPIRACY~! are angles that have worked in the past for other babyfaces. I mean, his entire push is Bryan2.0, and I think they genuinely think/thought that eventually it would work just as it did for Bryan. As discussed on the show, that's the wrong way to push this particular guy, and in my view, and I've been very consistent on this from day one, he just doesn't have it anyway so to me it wouldn't have mattered how they pushed him. I stand by statement that Randy Orton level was (and still is, to be fair) his ceiling.

No conspiracy. Wrong guy. Wrong push.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:01 am

The sad part about all of this is...Reigns is actually a likable guy...but he's not so overwhelmingly likable ala John Cena where it overcomes the rejection. He's also not overwhelmingly charismatic like The Rock where he can turn heel on a dime and turn DIE ROMAN DIE into something that makes him into a star.

He's been in the business for such a short time, and while he was protected and hidden for a good year and a half of that run, he's been shoved down your throat for so long without acceptance...he's essentially dead, burned with fire, chopped up into a million pieces, and put into a vat of acid. At this stage of the game, he desperately needs to just go away, like was said on the podcast.

And, when he comes back, he just needs to work with these guys that can work circles around him and make him look good. Kevin Owens would be an outstanding program for the guy. Owens is the modern day Mick Foley. He'll get himself AND the guy he works with over if you just get out of their way and let them work in a similar way that everyone Mick Foley ever worked with did. He'd benefit from working with Neville. He'd benefit from working with AJ Styles. He'd benefit from mid-card 5m squashes against veteran savvy types like Sin Cara, Kofi that'll make him look good. He'd benefit from mid-card hoss fights against Big E, Titus, etc. where they just beat the shit out of each other for 5m.

If one thing this post and the rise of Roman has really put a spotlight on, is the real lack of quality depth the company has. The roster is great...maybe all-time great top to bottom...but they've really struggled segmenting the roster, creating enhancement level talents, etc. NXT does a great job with this FWIW, so I know there are people that work for them that know this structure exists, but there isn't a natural rise up the card for Roman to benefit from and its killed him dead.

Unfortunately, WrestleMania is the final nail in the coffin for Reigns, win or lose. Triple H, not as shitty a worker as I'd otherwise say, is just not capable of making Reigns look good. The match is going to be bad. Its going to be 20 minutes of the prolonged Triple H cerebral assassin beatdown followed by a comeback that may or may not be thwarted depending on what Vince comes up with on the cocktail napkin at 9:45pm EST on that Sunday. And...that'll be the end of him. There will be no coming back from that, if there wasn't already.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Robareid » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:11 am

Fish is in the Ishii-Strong match because he had a TV title shot already set for that show and that's a long running storyline.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:31 am

Robareid wrote:Fish is in the Ishii-Strong match because he had a TV title shot already set for that show and that's a long running storyline.
I know, but I still feel like he was shoehorned in when a straight rematch would have sufficed. Fish isn't going anywhere, Ishii is more than likely gone for the next year at minimum after this.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:38 am

BoxingRobes wrote:The sad part about all of this is...Reigns is actually a likable guy...but he's not so overwhelmingly likable ala John Cena where it overcomes the rejection. He's also not overwhelmingly charismatic like The Rock where he can turn heel on a dime and turn DIE ROMAN DIE into something that makes him into a star.

He's been in the business for such a short time, and while he was protected and hidden for a good year and a half of that run, he's been shoved down your throat for so long without acceptance...he's essentially dead, burned with fire, chopped up into a million pieces, and put into a vat of acid. At this stage of the game, he desperately needs to just go away, like was said on the podcast.

And, when he comes back, he just needs to work with these guys that can work circles around him and make him look good. Kevin Owens would be an outstanding program for the guy. Owens is the modern day Mick Foley. He'll get himself AND the guy he works with over if you just get out of their way and let them work in a similar way that everyone Mick Foley ever worked with did. He'd benefit from working with Neville. He'd benefit from working with AJ Styles. He'd benefit from mid-card 5m squashes against veteran savvy types like Sin Cara, Kofi that'll make him look good. He'd benefit from mid-card hoss fights against Big E, Titus, etc. where they just beat the shit out of each other for 5m.

If one thing this post and the rise of Roman has really put a spotlight on, is the real lack of quality depth the company has. The roster is great...maybe all-time great top to bottom...but they've really struggled segmenting the roster, creating enhancement level talents, etc. NXT does a great job with this FWIW, so I know there are people that work for them that know this structure exists, but there isn't a natural rise up the card for Roman to benefit from and its killed him dead.

Unfortunately, WrestleMania is the final nail in the coffin for Reigns, win or lose. Triple H, not as shitty a worker as I'd otherwise say, is just not capable of making Reigns look good. The match is going to be bad. Its going to be 20 minutes of the prolonged Triple H cerebral assassin beatdown followed by a comeback that may or may not be thwarted depending on what Vince comes up with on the cocktail napkin at 9:45pm EST on that Sunday. And...that'll be the end of him. There will be no coming back from that, if there wasn't already.
The idea of getting him in there with better workers made me think of this.

I'm still baffled by the people who ranked Reigns among the top 20 best wrestlers of 2015. It sounds completely ridiculous on the surface, and it looks like complete and total nonsense when you stop to think about it for thirty seconds. He improved over the course of the year, but he was downright terrible early on, and then made his entire working reputation being carried by Bryan, selling for Brock at WrestleMania, holding his arm for 15 minutes in a RAW match, and two good bouts vs Sheamus at the end of the year. People really went overboard on "Roman is great!" and it looks pretty silly in hindsight to have ranked his year above so many legitimate world class workers.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by suplexberry » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:53 pm

I think the problem with Ibushi wasn't so much that he was working a lot of dates, but that he was working so damn hard, pulling out all the stops in nearly every match. It gave us a fantastic 2014/2015 where he worked both promotions and was delivering fantastic, mind-blowing matches left right and centre, to the point where you could arguably make a Best of 2015 list composed solely of Ibushi matches and not have an argument there (kind of like how I joked about making all 10 spots on my MOTY list in 2014 Ishii matches). He really worked hard, and while he wasn't pushed all that hard he was one of my favorite guys in last year's G1. That's why I'm not sure I buy that NJPW saw something in him that made them sense this was coming around the corner. I think they were just hesitant to give the guy a megapush, still being lulled into the (now false) security that they still had Tana, Okada, Nakamura and Styles to rely on in 2016. I don't of course have Gedo's Book of Secrets at hand, either, but that's my guess. You can see guys phoning it in or wrestling matches like it's pulling teeth for them, like they'd rather be anywhere else and Ibushi never ever gave me that vibe in either of his former promotions.

There's been some talk of him adjusting his style, which is hopefully a bit easier on his body. I'm a huge Ibushi mark, so I've already started to ease myself into thinking that his most prominent and best matches may be behind him, and for all we know he could be entering into a new phase in his career which is more focused on teaching or doing Japanese variety shows or martial arts or whatever the hell else is out there for him to pursue. It's a bummer we may see him again at the Dome, but with a certainty that he won't win the match, but ah well. Everything from hereon out, I'll consider a bonus on a great run he's had so far, because it's too early to tell where this thing is going and I don't want to get my hopes up too much.

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Re: Declaring Victory on Reigns, WWE Fastlane, Kota Ibushi & more!

Post by Robareid » Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:00 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
Robareid wrote:Fish is in the Ishii-Strong match because he had a TV title shot already set for that show and that's a long running storyline.
I know, but I still feel like he was shoehorned in when a straight rematch would have sufficed. Fish isn't going anywhere, Ishii is more than likely gone for the next year at minimum after this.
I dunno, I imagine he'll be back in May and then once more in the second half of the year.

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