Planet Kayfabe: WWE Releases, More AEW Thoughts
By: “KCA” Paul Matthews
Hello everyone and welcome to Planet Kayfabe. If you’ve recently been given your walking papers by WWE, you must have plenty of time on your hands for the next 90 or so days, so I hope this piece gives you some joy.
Other than those releases, which I will get more into, there isn’t much else in terms of news. Ratings are in the trash across the board, largely due to the NBA playoffs, but they’re even worse than I would have expected and I expect pretty bad these days. If you still think AEW Dynamite going to TBS next year is a bad thing, just look at how they did on Friday. This is how it’s going to be for AEW until July.
Quick Tony Khan Thoughts:
Last week, I missed out on commenting on Tony Khan’s latest cringe promo. This time going after WWE’s executive president Nick Khan calling him the “Connecticut Con-man” over the news of WWE possibly developing a working relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Conveniently dropped on social media as Smackdown was going on air.
Like any bad promo, all I can say is you have to see it yourself, and chances are you already have. Tony needs to drop this “character”. He just comes off as a cringe message-board mark cutting YouTube promos. Also, he comes off as incredibly bitter and petty that AEW may be NJPW’s side-bitch in America.
It was well-timed and got people talking, but it’s not a good look for Tony Khan. One, he’s not a good promo. Two, he tries to come off like Paul E. in ECW like some leading motivator that the promotion and fans will all gather around like he’s some wrestling cult leader who can do no wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what Tony wants since he was a big fan of ECW. The problem is, Paul was a great talker. Actually, not only was he great, but he was one of the best and by the time he was even running ECW he had already been a veteran on-screen personality with a lot of experience with speaking to audiences. Heyman was also seen as one of them, a man of the street. When he shot from the hip you believed it and he had the gravitas to back it up. Tony Khan, despite all his efforts, is not going to shake his nerdy son-of-a-billionaire personality and change how people see him. Maybe if he starts jumping off shit like an idiot then he will pull off in 20 years what Shane McMahon finally pulled off when he came back and actually had a segment of fans taking his wind-sucking, grey-haired ass seriously as a tough guy.
Of all the releases, the only one that really surprised me was Braun Strowman. I’m only going to comment on him and Aleister Black.
Aleister Black baffles me. It’s funny because on TV and social media he tries to present himself as some edgy, free-thinking individual who us peasant sheep are just not advanced enough to understand. Instead, he’s like a lot of people. Phony tough-guy tattoos to mask his geeky Dungeons and Dragons obsession. Since getting released he’s been kissing Vince McMahon’s ass hard. I’m not sure why. Either not to burn a bridge or as a way to beg for his job back.
I can understand not wanting to burn a bridge, but he’s either delusional if he thinks that Vince was high on him and had plans for an IC title run in the works before his release. Dude, I thought this was common sense, but if Vince was high on you, you’d be on TV and on TV a lot and high on the card. You’d also still be with the company. You’re out because Vince decided you weren’t worth whatever the company is paying you and had no real plans for you in the future. Don’t kid yourself. Now, go out for a walk showing off your tough guy tats while listening to anime show themes or video game songs on your phone you edgy corporate ass kiss geek.
As for Braun Strowman, his release may be more a matter of getting his big contract off the books. If that’s the case it’s pretty ridiculous and only furthers the narrative that WWE contracts are barely worth the paper they’re printed on. You can sign this big huge deal and think you’re all set until one day you get a text saying it’s been terminated. Everyone in this company must get shit sleep at night knowing they all could wake up to finding out they’ve been released.
AEW might be interested in Braun Strowman. I’ve heard people like Dave Meltzer say that he may not be right for their audience and I see where he is coming from, but I think that’s also a good reason to bring him in as a heel. Yeah, it would be another WWE re-tread, but at least he’s 37 and not 47 or 63. There are still some good prime years in Braun who is seen as a current guy, not some “legend” or relic of a past era. I could also see him being re-signed by WWE under less money.
The big rumor now is that WWE is setting up a sale of the company by letting go of big contracts to make the deal more attractive to potential buyers. If you asked me 10 or 12 years ago, I’d say there’s no chance the McMahons are selling the WWE but in recent years I absolutely 100% believe we will see a day where WWE is sold and it feels that day is coming closer and closer. Right now WWE as it is is barely the “family” business it once was. It hasn’t been that way for a while. Perhaps since Linda McMahon stepped down as CEO and Shane left his executive position to lose his ass in China. These days Triple H pretty much runs NXT and is a high-ranking executive. Stephanie has an executive role, but is largely a figurehead and spokeswoman with control of the company even though she’s doesn’t actually make any of the big deals we all read about. Vince McMahon has remained on top. Those are the last shreds of this being a “family” business. In the 1990s and 2000’s, we all thought this would be Shane’s company someday. Then we thought it would belong to Triple H and Stephanie. It doesn’t appear to be that way anymore.
I’ll say this much, Vince sure missed an opportunity to fire Braun Strowman on TV Jeff Jarrett style by saying his name is now going to be spelled “G-a-u-n”.
Thanks again for reading, everyone. As for the rest of those recently released by WWE, I hope they land on their feet. Even Asskiss Aleister who I buried a bit. I won’t question his in-ring skill. Ruby Riott would be another good addition to AEW. They could use some actual decent female workers. Lana, I’m sure will end up in AEW with Miro. Again, perhaps another WWE re-tread, but they were good together so I don’t think anyone will mind.
Enjoy your weekend, everyone. For NoDQ, I’m Paul Matthews. God bless, take care and go outside.