​​


'Fall Cycle'
Grade Rankings

By The Meltdown Mod Team.
(we don't split credits here)

The first ever Meltdown rankings are here! We’re not reinventing the formula here, two promos were needed to qualify for the top ten, with no shows essentially guaranteeing that the characters would be unable to make the list. Matches on the Fallout side of things were not counted in the grade average although they are counted on the records. Unfortunately, that meant that New Breed, Aka Yurei, Sawyer Xavier, and Chris Kennedy’s respective absences more or less kept them off the list. Many spoiler tags are botched and I will not be subjecting myself to the task of fixing it. Shoutout to SS because I ripped off his format. Work smarter not harder, kids.


The Top Ten

Pos. Character Average Record Comments
10.
25.55 2-3 At #10 is the man everyone loves to see get his ass kicked - Reagan Cole. It’s been a rocky road for The British Apprentice. After getting his hands on Legends Evolved at Lights Out, he found himself betrayed by his then-partner Tommy Bedlam. While Reagan was offered some reprieve from the underhanded assaults with the help of Big Mack Marcus McClain, the Singapore Cane match won over the now departed Legends Evolved proved to be the sole highlight for Reagan against some tough competition in Deathswitch Initiative members Crowe & Bedlam as well as his own partner Marcus McClain. Despite a few failed contendership matches for the NA Championship, Reagan did end the cycle on a high note with a victory at the Secular Spectacular and the upcoming Tag Warz offering him a path forward after Mile High. Gip’s promos have been characterized by a pretty grounded focus on the dynamics between Cole’s family members as well as well as his gym members. One can hope he will tap into the schadenfreude and appeal to his viewership with more promos centered around Cole’s suffering.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Last Minute [Meltdown 8].
vs. Chris Crowe.
GRADE: 26.67.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle) -
Spoiler:

Reagan Cole uses the contrasting upbringing both he and Chris Crowe have as the somewhat central focus of this promo. While I enjoyed that the story seemed to be about Crowe, I felt that the connection between the story of Cole having to come out to support The British Kid and Crowe didn’t seem that strong. Arguments like Crowe didn’t have to struggle to get to this point because he was in a single company don’t feel very legitimate given Crowe’s journey towards Lights Out was highlighting how much of a shitshow working for that individual company was (and that he nearly had to die to get out of its grip). It ultimately made the few arguments Cole had towards Crowe feel superfluous because they were mostly inaccurate. I think instead I would've emphasized the similarities in dealing with shite management like Jeff/Carnivale instead of positioning them as being different. That aside, it was interesting to see the smaller stories brought up here with Xavier missing in his partnership w/ The British Kid (I hope there is a follow up to this and it wasn’t just a reason to have Cole in that position) and Reagan looking forward to Ramon being there to help him on Meltdown… allegedly. Am I wrong in remembering British Kid not wanting to help Reagan at Lights Out because he didn’t want to jeopardize future contract opportunities xD Also good to hear Reagan Cole would be a fan of talking more, there’s always a free seg slot for him (which he did take this week) B) My big suggestion for the promo is to have a stronger connection to your opponent. Although I did appreciate that you had Crowe in mind & brought him up now and then, the story itself & the points made about Crowe could stand to be stronger/clearer. The ultimate conclusion of Reagan being a star in the present and Crowe being a star in the future should have been built on more since it seemed to be the statement you were ultimately trying to make but didn't really come across obviously throughout the promo - though on the flipside, was that the right way to push the story given Crowe’s champion-status and Cole’s lack thereof? I appreciate the effort on this promo, I just think the story of Cole filling into help out his friend didn't connect me strongly to what Cole was saying about his match with Crowe.
9.

25.76 2-3 One third of FWA’s hottest newest stable Deathswitch Initiative, James Douglas started his run on Meltdown hot with a Gauntlet Championship victory over El Demente and the debuting Aka Yurei. Although his run was short thanks to a loss to a tremendous Joe Burr Gauntlet promo, he was able to rebound with a victory over Sawyer Xavier, and then become the talk of Melt-Town by joining Deathswitch Initiative, a partnership which has so far seen Marcus McClain and Captain Fantasy off to the (temporary?) retirement homes. He ended the Fall cycle by partnering with Tommy Bedlam, and although they weren’t able to find success against Hollywood Saints or in the Mile High Massacre, they’ve already shown a lot of potential with a creative Thanksgiving promo, and a unique war promo at Mile High. They’ll continue pairing up in Tag Warz and testing themselves against tough competition. On an individual note, we’ll also be interested in seeing how Douglas family bourbon company gets on, rumors are we might see a brand partnership with Meltdown.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Untitled [Meltdown 7].
vs. Joe Burr.
GRADE: 26.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle)
Spoiler:

Tough luck losing on the first defense. Seeing as I’ve lost my share of matches to Man, and Man was clearly going into this with a strategy in mind, I wouldn’t take it to heart too much and I think fun times are ahead for Douglas anyhow. I enjoyed the early bit of this promo where you start to build Douglas’s backstory and relationship with his restaurant. I enjoy that you’re doing work on developping him beyond being a monster, that was clearly something you had in mind since day one and that you’ve continued to explore with each promo. You might regret that you went this way, but it got you a .5 extra in character development & story within QoC that you may not have necessarily gotten if you went full monologue. Going further into that, I dug that you talked against the possibility of underestimating Burr or looking down on him to avoid the obvious expectations one would have for him. I’m interested in seeing what you’ll be able to do without having to worry about the word count & also how his own personal story with the bourbon company will go. My one suggestion (and I don’t think you should 100% take this to heart because you can still win if you don’t do this)
8.
28.02 2-3 Another member of Deathswitch Initiative, Tommy Bedlam walked into Meltdown 6 with some momentum from his victory at Lights Out carrying over. After defeating Reagan Cole, Bedlam found himself falling short in a tightly contested North American Championship match that saw his future DI partner Chris Crowe win his first championship in the FWA. Bedlam went on to pick up a win over Marcus McClain before turning his focus on the FWA World Tag Team Championships by teaming up with fellow newcomer James Douglas. Although they haven’t found a win so far against some tough competition in Hollywood Saints and four other teams at Mile High, they’ve got a chance to turn things around in Tag Warz and continue stretching their creativity as well as perhaps having the opportunity at redemption. With the dynamic between Bedlam’s managers Rocco Sullivan and Sammy Bedlam getting increasingly muddied, we’ll see if both men manage to stick around Tommy’s side for another cycle.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Off the Turnbuckle with Tyler [Meltdown 7].
vs. Chris Crowe & Captain Fantasy.
GRADE: 29.50.
REVIEW: No review submitted.
7.
28.46 2-2 After taking a short break from the FWA, Saint Sulley made his return to the FWA with an unfortunate partnership with the now departed Eclipse. Despite the unfortunate circumstances of that match, which included Sulley’s first rant against masked gimmicks, we were treated to the debut of the Hollywood Saints, the pairing of Saint Sulley & Joe Burr. A victory over the PONI BOI jobber team was followed by a close victory over the debuting Deathswitch Initiative pairing. Although they came up short at Mile High Massacre, we were treated to another rant against masked gimmicks as well as some very fun character progression and story development for both Joe Burr and Saint Sulley. It’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic evolves over Tag Warz and whether the honey moon phase for this team is over after the loss at Mile High. We’re also all watching to see if we might see Saint Sulley take the bait and go after the bounty on Krash at Meltdown 10.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Memories [Meltdown 8].
vs. PONI BOI.
GRADE: 29.17.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle).
This was a really good first promo for Sulley & Burr and fun sign of things to come! I enjoyed the complicated feelings both guys had about the partnership with Burr being young & having a chip on his shoulder due to his size and Sulley having to reconcile with past tag team struggles & the vast difference in status. It was fun to see those concern come to life and somewhat be validated by the other in small moments at the gym. The elevator bit accentuating Burr’s insecurities, and the flashback bits all added to it. Purely in terms of developping their dynamic and the prospective issues they bring to the table, I thought this promo did a really good job and is at the level you’d hope for in a tag team title match. Obviously match selling would need to be upped with an actual opponent but given you’re facing jobbers, that’s irrelevant and you’ve already set a good standard for what’s to come out of the partnership. I also dug the tie-in with Sulley’s connections with the Gang Stars coming into play. We did get a taste of Dreyer tendencies with the broken down gym & elevator but I can’t help but admit it would’ve been fun to see even more Dreyer hijinks messing their first training together up some more.
6.


28.69 4-0 The newly crowned FWA World Tag Team Champions gained a lot of publicity out the door with their first match against Saint Sulley & Eclipse by impersonating former FWA tag teams The Olympians. They continued on in their impersonations as speculation increased as to who they actually were, though some keen eye quickly figured out that the Crazy Bears Custos and Ocissor were actually the pairing of Randy Ramon and Devin Golden. Although there’s some debate to be had about the circumstances of their reunion, they nevertheless proved they were still the best on the block by going on to win the Mile High Massacre match and becoming three time FWA World Tag Team Champions on the back of a creative musical promo (shitty Hamilton bit aside) on Golden’s journey to e-fed heaven. Now it’ll be interesting to see if Golden Rock can survive what is undoubtedly to be a tough time back on Fallout. One half of this team, Devin Golden, will be getting a chance to challenge for the bounty at Meltdown 10, whereas we’ll have to say farewell to Ocissor aka Randy Ramon.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

The Dog Should've Barked Instead of Talked [Meltdown 9].
vs. Chris Kennedy & Cyrus Truth.
GRADE: 28.75.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle) -
The final Osos Locos promo before the masks come off??? This was a fun promo and starts off nice with the teaser that Osos Locos might be impersonating The Division this time around but ultimately deciding against it without forgetting to toss a few passing shots at the former champs. Instead, they decide to go the Ghost Dog route this time around. If I saw someone in a white sheet in the middle of the night, my first impression would not be ghost, to be quite honest with you. I thought the Ghost Dog impersonation was very fun (and kinda made me sad that this is a one off thing), particularly Dog who was the highlight of the promo. The initial Elite bit, as well as the Ghost Dog bit, and finally the unmasking all made this feel like while it was another Osos Locos promo (in terms of what the gimmick appears to be), it was also one with a decent step forward in terms of where this story is actually heading with teases at a reveal in this promo and arguably a guaranteed reveal at the PPV. Alexander felt like just a means for introducing the super hero tag team & became mostly irrelevant once Ghost Dog popped out. I thought maybe the part where he seems to interpret the barking would’ve given him an in to being a bit more prominent but it was only used once. As far as the match itself goes, I think enough was done addressing Kennedy/Truth but likewise there was also plenty of room for more. Solid promo overall, can’t wait to see what we’ll get out of them for Mile High.
5.
28.77 5-3 Believe it or not, Man has managed to turn Rawr’s joke character named after a play on words on jobber, and turned him into one of Meltdown’s top 5 stars and a character I personally enjoyed torturing at Mile High. Burr started off the Fall cycle hot by challenging James Douglas for his Gauntlet Championship and then dropping my favorite Gauntlet promo in it’s history to win it. He would go on to successfully defend the belt on Fallout, only losing it at Mile High against the best promo’er in the game. Tough luck. On Meltdown he’s been able to keep the momentum going with his new partnership with Saint Sulley as the Hollywood Saints. Although his journey ended with a failure to win the FWA World Tag Team Championship, we were treated to the sad ending of the Natalia love affair, and the sad knowledge that he may just be a tool for Saint Sulley after all. Tag Warz is on its way, and a part of me loves the thought that we could see Joe Burr be a FWA World Champion by The Grand March. You can do it, Man!

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Untitled. [Meltdown 7].
vs. James Douglas.
GRADE: 29.
REVIEW:(Commie Uncle) -
Spoiler:

I’ve obviously praised this enough already. I thought this was basically a GOAT-tier Gauntlet promo as far as the 1K limit is concerned. You came in with a gameplan and you executed and I think JB should’ve adjusted his strategy to try and outdo this one. The character portrayal I thought was really solid and you’ve got a good handle on Burr. The pre and post Russnow bits were good but you also have Burr’s actions accentuating that portrayal throughout Russnow’s run-ins with his subconscious manipulations. And of course, that was the creative bit that won it for me (I gave it an 8 total which is a big difference maker in the Gauntlet division where creativity tops out at 6 generally). The match selling is still present throughout with the focus on both the gauntlet through the crossword puzzle & match maker in Russnow, but also through Douglas in in the various gags. I’m interested in seeing what you do with the rest of the five defenses, and you’ve definitely inspired me to try something different if I ever find myself squabbling for the loser belt again. Great stuff Man!
4.
29.89 3-2 Cyrus Truth’s Fall cycle has been at once a very tough one, but based on his placement here, still a very well fought one. After beating then-World Champion MvH at Meltdown 5, he lost the FWA North American Championship in a triple threat match at Lights Out before finding himself in a Best of Five series with MvH. The FWA’s global tour treated us to more peripheral characters from across the world and Truth’s consistently top notch monologues throughout. Aside from the Best of Five series, he also teamed up with Chris Kennedy against Osos Locos, alas a no show kept him from a victory in what was a low-key star studded match. The series with MvH may not have gone the way he would have wanted, but with the bounty against his old friend Krash waiting for him at Meltdown 10 as well as an attempt at a partnership with Chris Kennedy, we’re excited to see if Truth may finally find a brother-in-arm after all these years.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Who, What, Where, and Why [Meltdown 8].
vs. Michelle von Horrowitz.
GRADE: 31.
REVIEW:(Commie Uncle)
Spoiler:

- A very focused promo from Cyrus Truth here in a mostly monologous format. While the concept itself was relatively simplistic, you made the most of Cyrus Truth’s dialogue by digging into the central focus of MvH’s recent promos (including the latest one) where she’s been delving into Truth’s past. I did not expect Truth to take the cheap victory to heart so deeply but it added a layer of intensity to the rivalry that was probably lacking until now. MvH hasn’t really had any strong feelings towards Truth thus far, so it was good to see Truth begin to have strong feelings towards MvH (although we saw signs of that from his Meltdown 6 promo) and those feelings evolve from Truth's original assessment of MvH. I thought, particularly in the recent context of a lot of FWA guys being willing to do whatever it takes for victory, Truth’s standing up for a victory won with integrity and not by whatever means was refreshing. Furthermore, the central focus of the promo being around MvH not knowing herself while Truth is quite the opposite and has worked his whole life to understand himself worked out especially well with regards to MvH’s promo very much validating this theory. All in all, thought this was a very good promo in terms of pure match-focused content though a very straightforward promo that sort of limits itself as well.
3.
PICTURE
NOT
AVAILABLE

CAPTAIN FANTASY
30.90 1-1 R.I.P. After a singles victory over Chris Crowe at Meltdown 6 which allowed him one successful defense of the FWA North American Championship, there was nothing Captain Fantasy could do to retain against him a second time in a triple threat match that also involved Tommy Bedlam. With Captain Fantasy up to the e-fed pearly gates, this will be the one & only time we see him pop up here. Leave the memories alone.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Captain Fantasy Stands Up Against Bullying [Meltdown 7].
vs. Chris Crowe & Tommy Bedlam.
GRADE: 34.86.
REVIEW: (SS) - PROMO OF THE YEAR.
2.
31.12 4-1 BattleTank proved to be another newcomer to the e-fed section who transitioned from the BTB section seamlessly. After an impressive first Summer cycle, and a near-victory at the Gunfight Battle Royale, Chris Crowe found himself challenging for the FWA North American Championship on Meltdown 6. He was unable to win it in a tight affair, but redeemed himself at Meltdown 7 by winning in a triple threat that also involved Tommy Bedlam. He continued his good run with victories over Reagan Cole and a huge win over Michelle von Horrowitz at Meltdown 9, before concluding it with a strong title defense at Mile High over Marcus McClain. BT’s promos have been creative, and it’s been interesting seeing the sort of magical realism world he’s created around his cast of characters in the Badlands and that’s without mentioning the fact that he’s also a part of Deathswitch Initiative. That said, he’s already got a tough challenge ahead of him with a title defense against Gerald Grayson set for Meltdown 10.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

Dream On [Meltdown 9].
vs. Michelle von Horrowitz.
GRADE: 32.25.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle) -
Spoiler:

It was only a matter of time until Chris Crowe had to go head to head with one of the many former World Champions and I think you had a good account of yourself here. Excellent job with the match focus with Crowe feeling nervous heading into a match with MvH, a sentiment that’s been building up since he won the NA title. This anxiety pushing him to study so hard, he starts dreaming up the lyrics from In Dreams and wondering if it’s some sort of secret message from his subconscious through his dreams. The tape of his only other intergender match bringing back his anxieties was a good tie into MvH although I thought the whole “calling an audible” stuff just reads weird given the context of Crowe not viewing wrestling as a work but an actual competition he has to work and study for. Still, I don’t think that overshadowed the larger intentions of that tape which worked well in contrasting to how low Crowe was then & how high he is atm. On a smaller note and less notable in the grand scheme of things, I’m glad Marina Bay is sticking around and learning some english Know that I’ll be happy anytime she pops up in your promos. I also continue to enjoy the friendship of Crazy Harry & Chris Crowe which feels very wholesome. While I thought the promo was overall good, especially in the match focus aspect, I’d say that the setting of the promo itself could’ve been a bit more fun. Having his obsession with MvH fucking over his dreams was for sure creative enough (& works for Dreamer), but on the flipside Crowe hanging at the Badlands & having dream sequences is also sort of what you come to expect from Crowe. I’m not saying you need to step away from that because a lot of people (Truth, Kennedy, MvH) have their trademark stuff & can consistently win with them, just that you might find this holding you back against an opponent going the extra mile in terms of creativity in the future. The other bit I wasn’t SUPER sure about was Chris Crowe finally getting over his anxieties over MvH by discovering it was Megan that was dropping off the cookies. I still think you had good character development throughout, and in a sense, Crowe’s love for Meg may be so overwhelming that he’s not necessarily no longer anxious over MvH so much as so thrilled by the fact that Meg still possibly cares about him, that he can’t bring himself to care about his MvH worries. So while it’s something I’m uncertain of, it’s still something I can buy knowing Crowe & Meg’s dynamic. Lastly, the last montage scene I wasn’t too sure about. Conceptually a good idea, particularly for unfamiliar readers, but if you’ve been reading/keeping up, it feels like reading a recap and may be a bit more superfluous.
1.
31.70 3-1-1 Still at the top of the food chain despite not having the FWA World Championship around her waist to prove it, is Dreamer. We saw MvH go head to head with Cyrus Truth for four of her last five matches in which we got to see MvH interact with the ghost from Cyrus Truth’s past, hangout in the Badlands, and eventually channel the gift of Uncle into a meta conversation on the nature of grading with the Meltdown executives. On-screen, we saw MvH become increasingly desperate and misbehaving in her quest to win the Best of Five series over Cyrus, and though she did win it, it seemed to be the calming presence of the brand-switching Gerald Grayson that kept her from going completely over the edge. MvH did not just beat Cyrus at Mile High, but she also laid out challenges to both Chris Kennedy and Jon Snowmantashi for the FWA and CWA respectively. With Meltdown 10 on the horizon, MvH will without a doubt be setting her sights on the FWA World Championship bounty, but she’ll also find herself splitting her attention with the reunion of the MvH & GG Connection as they try to find the magic that characterized their 2020 run.

MELTDOWN PROMO PICK:
Spoiler:

WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? WHEN? [Meltdown 6].
vs. Cyrus Truth.
GRADE: 32.75.
REVIEW: (Commie Uncle) -
With how much consistent success you have with MvH, it’s not often you get these post-defeat promos out of you. Though given how much MvH likes to linger on defeats, there’s always a somewhat defeatist element to her demeanor. It’s in full display here obviously, she’s as miserable as can be after losing to Chris Kennedy and it seems like there is the barest amount of begrudging respect for him now. From a fanboy perspective, disliking Kennedy (because I’m not much for alpha males) & enjoying MvH, I was a bit saddened at the end of part one with the “be gentle, chris” line. In any case, MvH now knows that the title is going to be out of her hands till MHM and after Meltdown 6, it’ll be interesting to see how she pivots in her promos. Was she putting up a front at Meltdown 6 and we’ll see her sulking about some more again or does she find a true purpose in having to face off with Cyrus 2/3 more times. I rated Dan Maskell being brought into the promo, it’s always a treat to see how you deal with other characters and you usually have a knack for execution and I think you kept it up here. Dug diving into Cyrus’s past. I thought this kinda felt like a proper spiritual sequel to the Citizen Kane promo since that also saw MvH interacting with alt-versions of people from Truth’s past so she could learn about him. I found the ending dialogue from Maskell interesting because it seemed to imply MvH would have to do Maskell-level things to be able to beat Cyrus. I didn’t really think this was shown in the match itself given the sunset flip result so I’m curious to see if MvH will genuinely explore the need to go beyond to beat Truth or if she decides not to act on it or decides that she doesn’t need that to win. To be honest, I dont think MvH would be too hesitant to do reprehensible things for her own sake really so I dont see it being a moral quandary sort of thing, but especially after losing to Kennedy, maybe she’d have even less reservation about it now. One of the small bits I enjoyed the most about the promo was MvH shitting on her metaphor for Snowmantashi and Bell given how long its been a trend in these promos. We’ll see if that’s a spur of the moment thing or if she really gives up on that Bell is the sea stuff. Sweet promo overall and I think I just gave it the win. I actually had this edging on character development more than anything since I thought that took the shine here. I’m not sure how much I agree with the lack of convincing the reader MvH could win because I feel like that final Maskell bit worked in that regard in showing the reader that MvH can win… if she goes ahead and applies those tactics.