I don’t know what she was thinking with whatever that finisher was supposed to be, but she looked great! I was really surprised to see so many people making fun of her hair cuz I think it looked awesome. But ya the crowd reaction was weak and that move looked awkward as fuck. Looked like she was going for an armbar or something but I don’t think that was the intent. Not prepared to call it the worst ever though.
Bret Hart had a pretty brutal debut in WCW, right?
I was thinking of the Bret WCW debut, too. Debuting one of the biggest stars ever as a ref for a joke match, then having an awkward/awful back and forth with J.J. Dillon and Bischoff about $$ before wrapping it up was ROUGH. Obviously disappointing segment, but looking back on it now, it set the tone for his time to come in WCW.
While the Mercedes move was clunky and/or fully botched, I wasn’t as disappointed with the debut as others seem to be. I thought her entrance and look (especially the hair) were strong, but think that the overall setup of a debut at Wrestle Kingdom after a match isn’t the easiest to pull off for a US-based star, who comes out and gives a promo in English.
I’m excited to see where they go from here as far as how often she is used in NJPW/Stardom, if she also signs with AEW, etc. Ultimately, she’s someone whose primary experience is in WWE/NXT who has a very particular way of doing things, so we’re seeing her spread her wings here, which isn’t always pretty or perfect.
I feel like she’s a very WWE performer, though obviously that may because that’s all she’s ever been. What I mean is a very carefully manufactured character (she nails it, but still), an ego that needs stroking, and wants to be a mainstream star.
But who knows? Maybe that’s just what being in the WWE system (more or less) from the beginning does to young stars, and she will be very adaptable now that she’s outside of it.
Everything was amazing except the promo. The move I wasnt sure what happened, but many female stars think it was the heels she was wearing. The promo was what it was, she has to adjust to a NJPW crowd, its not the same as the normal crowds. Plus the whole covid restriction plays a factor.
I don’t think you can call two bad promos an “indictment” of anything. But if you want to go down that road, why are you blaming their former company and not the one that sent them out on live TV to do something they can’t do?
What did Banks learn for three years in developmental and Saraya learn for four years? How can neither cut a competent debut promo without scripting?
The point is that WWE developmental creates robots who come out, do the same entrance every week, cut the same promo and wrestle the same match. There’s no room for improvisation and that either gets beaten out of you or it’s a skill you never learn.
Saraya is still struggling.
NXT products are passable for the bland WWE environment but anywhere else they are unprepared. Probably because it’s not really the wrestling industry they “teach” down there.
Anything is possible. I also know from WWE that they, basically, that they are very strongly under the impression that she will not wrestle for AEW. They think she is coming back [to WWE] at some point, she’ll get this out of her system, she’ll do her New Japan matches, because she’s only contracted for a couple of matches, and then come back. But if she’s going to AEW, she’s got to sign for three years minimum because why even bother if she’s going to go right back? For AEW, it would be really stupid to put her on TV if she’s going to go back in six months.
My gut tells me that if AEW would offer a 1 year deal, she’d be there. But I can’t see her wanting to sign a 3 year deal with a company that is so bad in the grand scheme of things at booking their women’s division unless they unload the Brinks truck which from all accounts they won’t be doing. If she was a guy in the same situation, I think she’s a lock because as bad as they are at the woman’s division, they are great at booking the men’s division.
I just don’t see Banks signing a long term contract anywhere, especially if NJPW is already using her. She has other projects going on so I don’t think she has much interest in locking in with WWE anytime soon either.
I’ll stick my beak in here. I don’t think it was The Worst™ (Mercedes looked like a million bucks and had superstar presence when revealed) but between the meh promo and miscalculated move, it sorta shattered the post-WWE mystique a little bit. Now I’m less excited and more cautiously optimistic.
She felt like a Star appearing in a new territory where the reactions are understandably understated. The part I did not like was her moniker as the CEO of the Women’s Division. Sounds like a bad moniker AEW would come up with that belittles the actual existing Stars of the territory.