Yes, it is okay to acknowledge it. I'm just saying this was only a name change. Nobody has seen anything further or given it a chance to play out before the whining begins. Name changes happen across the entire industry for decades, it isn't new.
When I talk to my Japanese friends about pro wrestling (not just NJPW but some of them follow Western companies too) they have very little to complain about because they don't take it so serious, they know it's just entertainment. If a match wasn't good, they will say so and that's the closest they will get to complaining. When I told them about Walter's name change one of them jokingly compared it to when a video game gets its name changed when ported to a different region.
edit: I guess what I am trying to say is if Walter's NXT run is a flop, it's because of how he was booked, nothing to do with what name they gave him. Dolph Ziggler is one of the stupidest names anyone could have been given, but he made it work for him.
Again, 1) there are literal Nationalistic implications behind the name change, which is worth criticism regardless of how your Japanese friends feel, and 2) just the way it was pulled off was terrible and out of nowhere. There's no justifying a random name change after a match when it's literally just switching from one first name to another. Without the blatant Nazi undertones, it's STILL goofy as crap.
But I mean yah, they did it for no other reason than to give an Austrian strongman a Nazi's name.
I do love the "just let it play out" argument that I constantly see on the internet though - as if something can't just be bad from inception so we need to give historically incompetent WWE writers a little more time to prove why it's so bad before we're allowed to criticize it.
Silliness. It's bad. It's not "whining" to say so.
And I mean, not to beat a dead horse here, but how could it EVEN "play out" in any real way to make a random first-name change be more than what it blatantly is on a surface level? It's them changing a name from one... to the other. What story line is going to justify that in any credible, logical way to make it "better"?
"My name is Gunther now, like my dad's before me. He was from SPACE!" I dunno, it's just a real stupid, boneheaded move for a guy who's already well-established both in and outside of the WWE bubble.
And yes, I'm aware it's all for entertainment. It's not a REAL issue, which is why I'm dogging on it in wrestling thread and not protesting in the streets about it. But on a relative scale, it's worth criticizing.
Lol also pretending people's "intelligence" is insulted for pointing out how dumb a decision it is. No one's doubting Walter will be fine, but it's objectively fudging stupid. No real way around that, sorry.
Helms is still the man though, he's a good follow on Twitter. Gotta remember that he's paid by WWE tho, and with all the releases, I'd tow the party line too.
I'm not disagreeing that it was a stupid decision, very few would. But way too many idiots on Twitter and elsewhere are legit mad about this and seem convinced the dude's career is ruined because of it. It's not. Walter is the type of dude where I don't care what they call him, his in-ring work can speak for itself.
One of the things I've tried doing is limit who I follow on Twitter that has a clear bias towards one promotion over another (with an exception of I follow an account that mocks AEW fanboys and to balance it out I follow an account that does the same for WWE fanboys, just to have some humor in my feed but I know not to take their opinions serious on anything).
I decided to watch Royal Rumble 2002 just for the heck of it. I will never not pop when hearing Mr. Perfect's theme hit, and the fact he made it to the final 4 that year. Overall one of my favorite Rumbles of all time along with Rumble 2001 (probably nothing will top '92, but that's mostly just nostalgia talking).
On WWE Network couldn't you just choose to watch individual matches when you searched for a show? I would gladly watch all of the past Rumble matches if I didn't have to fast forward through the rest of each show leading up to them on Peacock.
I'm really hoping Asuka returns and maybe Kairi being a surprise entrant. I know Kairi just opened up her own gym in Japan and is not interested in moving back to the US, but maybe she'd agree to a one off appearance.
Also not sure why Lesnar needed to win the Rumble. Don't rematch clauses still exist or did they drop that in their screwy universe logic where guys can just demand a title shot? Lesnar getting screwed already sets up that storyline. Should've let Big E or Drew win if the plan is for one of them to face Lashley.
To be fair, Brock has a built in story with both men already - we can't forget WrestleMania 31. I think either they keep Rollins in the mix and book a proper Triple Threat for Mania instead of an impromptu Cash-In Triple Threat. OR they simply treat it like all the best feuds in WWE's history - simply book the Rollins/Reigns rivalry the way they've done with several successful rivalries - book it as on/off feud while (hopefully) staying consistently good. Think Rock/Austin, Taker/Mankind, HBK/HHH, list goes on. All these rivalries are only so strong because they started, then stopped, then started again, then stopped, then started again. That way every time they hooked up, it was actually interesting and worth watching.
I think either of those could work but of course, WWE is certainly capable of absolutely destroying any good will they gain with fans so they could just poo poo all over it. Definitely a possibility.
Oof, I gotta disagree with "crapty celebrity appearances". I'll give you that for Johnny Knoxville, but I guess at least he got physical in there unlike Drew Carey 20 years ago. But Bad Bunny, gimme a break, the dude is in there bumping around as much as the actual full timers. I won't listen to his music but he got my respect after last year's WM appearance. He legit spent months training for that crap, it wasn't just him showing up for a payday or free publicity (as if he needs it). He raised the bar for what I expect when celebrities get booked in a high profile match.
I wanna know how Kofi's spot would've played out this year had he not botched it. These Rumble matches are planned out down to every little detail in advance, I'm glad they didn't just pretend both feet didn't hit the floor even though we clearly saw they did.
Supposedly there's a lot of heat on Shane O'Mac. Plans for the Rumble were changing throughout the day and he insisted he should be one of the last men eliminated. He had Seth Rollins in it at one point. Lots of people going to Vince to complain which lead to everything getting scrapped again.
@theJaw I can see them revisiting Rollins Reigns in the future, but I don't get why they even booked the last month the way they did.
Why put the Belt on Brock, only to lose at the rumble and then win the rumble? Brock already was feuding with Reigns and he didn't need to win the belt at Day 1.
If your theory is right, Rollins is going to disappear from the title picture/Reigns feud? It's honestly their best story line. I also don't want go see another triple threat main event. They've done this far too often and honestly diminishes the value of winning the rumble.
Same thing with Ronda Coming back. She didn't need to win. Have her show up after Becky's match, then have her tear down the wens division leading up to mania and basically forcing a match. Have someone else win the rumble to actually build another wrestler up.
I think everyone is sick of seeing the same handful of guys going after main championships over and over again... Reigns, Rollins, Lesner, Lashey, Big E.. give us some new blood already.. it's getting stale IMO..
> I think everyone is sick of seeing the same handful of guys going after main championships
> over and over again... Reigns, Rollins, Lesner, Lashey, Big E.. give us some new
> blood already.. it's getting stale IMO..
I agree with that (except for maybe Big E). But yeah, the Rumble match itself needs to be booked differently, imo. I want the winner to be someone that hasn't already had multiple world title runs in the past. This match needs to be used to elevate someone new, or else it feels pointless. They have a year to decide on one talent that hasn't been to the main event yet but that people can get behind.
Of the last 5 Rumble winners: Brock Lesnar, Edge, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura. I'd argue that Seth, Edge and Brock did not need those wins. It just doesn't feel as special to see someone get a guaranteed title shot for a title they've already held multiple times. Nakamura's win was special (though how they booked him after that wasn't). Drew's was too, even if you saw it coming a mile away. Riddle was (allegedly) supposed to have won this year's and I'd have preferred that over Brock.
> Supposedly there's a lot of heat on Shane O'Mac.
It must've been true. He's gone from the company. I guess it could've been a combination of how he booked the Rumble and the utter flop that Raw Underground turned out to be, maybe Vince thinks he's got nothing to offer on the creative side of things.