Unusually late to catch up on this episode but thought I’d leave some thoughts here related to the discussion John and Wai had about Cody/Mania and the anticipation and potential pop he will get.
I don’t disagree with the discussion but I present a different angle to consider:
Cody was getting 50/50 at best reactions in AEW before leaving and many “Pro Wrestling” fans will likely continue that in WWE
Cody is a big return but how many WWE fans actually care about him since he was cast off as a less-than guy initially by WWE and then made his name on the Indy circut which WWE does not believe its core fanbase care about
The heat at this point in the build is Cody’s return and Rollins having a match. How much of the reception will be Rollins getting his match (pro Rollins) vs. Cody returning (pro Cody, or pro surprise return); in theory, what a confusing build because I’m rooting for the heel Seth to get what he wants which is a marquee match at Mania. Why was it positioned that the fan needs to root for the heel to get what he wants…(i know, i know, so the babyface can beat him up, except in this case the babyface isn’t even part of the show right now)
I keep going back to how CM Punk and AEW handled their version of this. No leaks to the media. Just pure hype and anticipation. Great fan service, but not just overtly a promotional tactic to string fans along for weeks.
Am I rooting for Rollins to get a match (and therefore we get Cody) or am I rooting for him to continue to fail as a heel on the show, and when he gets Cody, I’m cheering for Cody returning AND Rollins getting what he wants. Cody brings with him NO WWE babyface heat. All babyface reactions are from his life outside of WWE over the past 5 years. A life that WWE has pretended didn’t exist or was nothing more than pissants. So just very confusing how WWE wants me to interpret this, either as a WWE-casual viewer or a seasoned-pro-wrestling-fan
First Bold: I agree this is a potential problem. Having Cody debut at mania, then have his second appearance and like first promo on the Raw after mania will likely really help, but I do wonder how much star power AEW guys are going to have in WWE rings. This will truly be the test.
Second Bold: What do you mean no leaks to the media? Meltzer reported it, and Meltzer and Tony Khan talk to each other all the time, it really doesnt get any more leaked the that, or am I misunderstanding you?
@kliq rumors and innuendo vs confirmed reports. I could be wrong but I don’t recall any confirmed report for Punk, whereas this is now confirmed for Cody. Or am I missing something. Maybe it’s all the same, but the clues for Punk were so on the nose without it ever being openly confirmed. Maybe this isn’t either. From a public perception: many thought the Punk thing would be a swerve whereas everyone knows Cody is re-debuting at Mania.
It could very well just be me and my consumption of wrestling rumor innuendo and news and therefore I could be very wrong about the status of news
I’m pretty sure Meltzer 100% confirmed it on SNME, but I’d have to go back and listen to know for sure. AEW themselves didn’t though, but I’m pretty sure when khan was asked in an interview he said something like “people won’t be disappointed”.