This episode of That’s Not Wrestling tackles the topic of professional wrestling and whether it can be considered a sport.
The That’s Not Wrestling #20 (AEW Commentary) Geeks + Gamers is a commentary for the AEW show that aired on December 1st, 2018.
That Isn’t Wrestling #20: Wipe That Damn Table!
ExcaliBORE, Jim Ross, CM Punk, Tazz, Chris Jericho, and more! AEW Commentary teams, ExcaliBORE, Jim Ross, CM Punk, Tazz, Chris Jericho, and more!
Thank you for visiting Geeks + Gamers, and welcome! This week, I talk about the AEW Commentary teams, ExcaliBORE, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, CM Punk, Tazz, Chris Jericho, and Mark Henry, among other topics.
A few years ago, the stars seemed to be aligning for a major change in the world of professional wrestling. Everyone was talking about a huge new company with a television contract and “real, sport-based wrestling.” The contemporary wrestling fan’s existence of “eating crap and learning to enjoy the flavor” has finally come to an end. Wasn’t it? Meet me here to dissect the acts of the foolish, dangerous, and desperate in professional wrestling… well, in AEW.
This week marks the last (at least for the time being) issue of That’s Not Wrestling. We’ve looked at some of the worst stains Tony Khan and AEW have left on the carpet since a promise was made to alter the world… of wrestling, over the course of these 20 issues.
Things may be slowing down after two years, but we’re still not out of the woods. WWE seems to be a less difficult opponent to overcome, but given the way WWE is presently presenting itself, AEW must be wary of seeming to be kicking someone who is ill. I understand that this might be on Vince McMahon’s part – we all remember the neck brace that came out of nowhere while he was in court!
Anyway, it’s usually better to focus on your own issues before casting blame on those who have the same faults… particularly when you claimed you wouldn’t act like that, but did, on many occasions, and then some. So, one final time, join me as I put on my Dr. Peterson hat and urge AEW to clean their stupid room table!
The Crowded Table and Excalibore
The main problem I have with the AEW commentary table is the same one that folks used to have with the WWE commentary table: three’s a crowd! On AEW, four or even five individuals are sometimes attempting to speak at the same time. It’s as easy as that: less is more. Since Rampage initially debuted, they’ve had a rearrangement, but there are still a lot of butts in chairs at that desk, and the incorrect guy has been pushed to the front.
When Chris Jericho comes in and begins screaming for no apparent reason, he can be very annoying. But, strangely, he isn’t the biggest offender on trial today; someone else makes more unnecessary noise than The Ayatollah of Cake and Cola.
Ugly Bob, Excalibore, Excrement, Sock Face, Marc Letzmann, and Excalibur are among the characters included in the upcoming AEW commentary problem. His mask serves as a reminder that he previously attempted to become a professional wrestler. His continued use of his mask in AEW while working with Jim Ross serves as a reminder to everyone that he attempted to be a professional pro-wrestling commentator at this time.
He like to call things by names that aren’t the same as everyone else’s, such as a foreign variation or an independent name. Of course, this is done to seem experienced, educated, knowledgeable, and cool. If someone has a certain finish in mind, such as “Pete’s Piledriver,” then go ahead and call it. During a televised American wrestling event, however, no one wants to hear some bell-end screaming the names of fundamental techniques in Japanese, Spanish, or dumb. You’ve made it to the big leagues, kid; start behaving like it. It’s almost as if he were a kid, and his parents were too preoccupied with being his buddy to reprimand him for the last 40 years.
The observer is immediately removed from the discussion if AEW catches them channel surfing or checking out the offer for the first time. Because of all the screaming of the secret club-house history, regulations, and language, they have no idea what’s going on. So, although Excalibore does an excellent job calling The Hardy Soyz and Kenny Omega’s bouts precisely as they want them called, he seldom does much for the rest of the roster, or the company in general.
Like the rest of the Extra Value Performer gang, it seems that he’s just concerned in putting himself and the core group over, rather than contributing whatever “expertise” he may have to improve the program as a whole.
There’s something more he does that gets in the way of everything, but it’s not entirely his fault. Excalibore will remark, “Before we go too far into the action,” and then continue to promote the AEW ticket dates and website, which is OK. But the issue with his delivery is that he simply skips right over whatever’s on the screen, even screaming ticket information over dual audience shouts and trash talk in the ring.
As a consequence, the ticket information and whatever is occurring on-screen mash up and cancel each other out, necessitating a re-summary with “Check out the website for details.” This is most likely due to inexperience, or because, like Michael Cole, he has someone in his ear telling him to ignore his instincts. Apart from this point, he does a lot of screaming at inopportune moments; I’m simply giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I proposed sending him to YouTube or just firing him, but he’s a pet enabler buddy of management, and his position seems to be safe. Fortunately, the appearance of CM Punk seems to provide a ray of optimism. I mean, if Jon Moxley can act like a grown-up for long enough to have a legitimate wrestling bout, I’m sure that something can be done with this erratic jerk.
CM Punk, on the other hand, can’t do it alone…
A Knowledge Fountain
I’ve already seen a few of intriguing exchanges between CM Punk and The Masked Blunder, Excalibur, before I get into the other talent on the AEW commentary teams. Punk said a few weeks ago that he anticipated Excalibur to refer to the armbar in front of them by its Japanese name, and I’ve heard Punk clear his throat and “hmm” a few times when Excalibur gets too enthusiastic and/or waffles.
It’s also clear to me that when Punk is there, Excalibur tends to tone it down a notch. This may open the door for Excalibur to listen to counsel from those he’s previously dismissed or overlooked.
It’s not like Excalibur isn’t surrounded by a wealth of knowledge to learn; someone should double-check that his ignorance mask isn’t blocking his ears.
Tony Schiavone and Jim Ross have both been in the wrestling industry for a long time, and there is a lot to learn from them, especially Jim Ross. Jim’s main goal seems to be to level Excalibur up as much as possible after his primary purpose of being the voice of AEW and putting the marketing across.
Mark Henry was on the AEW commentary table for Rampage for a short time until being replaced by Ricky Starks lately. And if there wasn’t enough diversity in experience and views, Tazz, like Paul Wight and Chris Jericho, spends a lot of time wearing a headset. Unfortunately, as I have said, Jericho shares Excalibur’s mindset and believes that screaming should be the default option.
Despite all that is going on around him, he seems to be the same announcer from day one. This is a big disappointment. Excalibur is running out of time to change some pretty terrible habits, and Jim Ross isn’t going to be around for much longer.
Unmask Marc the Chocolate Fireguard instead of Tony Khan if he isn’t going to get rid of him. Make an angle out of it about him having anxiety or whatever; it’s an easy way to get someone in trouble for harassing him and pulling his mask off. If he wants, he can have a later “Look how courageous I am talking to people without my blanky” moment.
The funny thing is, if my sources are correct, without the mask, he appears more like a professional commentator than a pro wrestler… which is clearly why he wore the mask in the ring. That made some sense for him to do. I’m oblivious to the fact that when he “wrestled,” he was built similarly to me when I was ten years old. Wearing the mask in his new job, however, does not hide his flaws as well as it did previously.
Second, make a lengthy list of all the moves he calls wrong and the proper names for them. If he and his co-commentators don’t speak the same language (both metaphorically and physically in this instance), they’re not on the same page, and they’ll struggle to take the audience on a trip that makes sense.
Finally, every week, place Tazz next to Excalibur. Tazz may give Excalibur a small “tsst” on a nerve or pressure point if he begins screaming for no reason or over-jerking himself/one of his pals. With that kind of drive, he’ll be able to train himself out of the habit in no time.
Excalibur seems to be placing a lot of confidence in AEW and Tony Khan to lead the commentary crew into the future. But, as things stand now, it is a completely absurd wish that borders on hallucination.
Excalibur might learn from the veterans and sages around him and one day become one of pro wrestling’s most important voices… alternatively he could keep making people yearn for an other audio track on AEW, all because he and his pals are exploiting the platform to promote themselves, and everyone else is a jerk!
With all of this in mind, I find myself grateful as a viewer/fan. At the very least, we aren’t at rock bottom yet.
Keep in mind that things might become a lot worse…
That concludes this week’s episode, as well as the whole series! Thank you for visiting, and I hope to see you again on Monday for #AnotherWeekOfWrestling!
If you like watching wrestling videos, check out my PUTTING IT BLUNTLY: WWE Extreme Rules 2021, AEW All Out, and NXT Takeover 36 reviews on YouTube.
If you’re looking for additional reading material, I just published PUTTING IT BLUNTLY: How To Play Video Games on my own website.
Rachael Hope created the background artwork.
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The That’s Not Wrestling #20 is the first show of All Elite Wrestling. It was a mixed match that had some great moments, but it also had some not so great moments. Reference: south park wrestling oh my god.
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