CM Punk is doing commentary tonight.
The graphic described Punk as a “6-time world champion.” Presumably that’s his five with the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles… and what’s the six? Are they counting ROH or are they counting his WWECW Title run? It doesn’t really matter. I’m just curious.
ADAM COLE vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN- 7.25/10
Jim Ross immediately exposes his ignorance by saying that he presumes that CM Punk knows Adam Cole very well. They’re from two very different indy “generations” and Cole didn’t sign with WWE until well after Punk was gone. I don’t think they would have ever even shared a locker room before Cole came to AEW.
Excalibur said that FTR were “one of the best-ever AEW World Tag Team Champions,” which really isn’t that impressive when you consider that there have only been six of them. And of those the five who have already lost the belts, they are almost certainly in the bottom tier.
Excalibur managed to call Adam Cole’s brainbuster onto the knee wrong twice in one move. He first called it the “Complete Shot” (it’s the Last Shot. The Complete Shot was a Reverse STO/leg sweep thing) and then called it an Ushigoroshi, which is dropping the neck onto the knee from a Fireman’s Carry, not dropping the head onto the knee with a brainbuster.
Cole won clean, as he should have, in a great match. And obviously Cole had to win clean, but this is yet another loss to the Elite for Kaz, which makes me wonder what the endgame is for his story… although even calling it a “story” feels kind of generous. He wants revenge on the Elite for making him and Daniels disband their team (although that only happened because of a stipulation they themselves imposed for no reason), so he… occasionally interferes in their matches and sometimes wrestles them, when he’s booked to do so? Shouldn’t he be going backstage and demanding matches against them from Tony Khan, or running around with a big lead pipe and trying to injure them and end their careers as revenge for them doing the same to Daniels (in Kaz’s eyes, at least, as Daniels’ exile has also been completely self-imposed)? Kaz doesn’t feel like a person at the moment so much as he feels like a tool the booker has sculpted to have a logical reason to run in any time they need more babyfaces to stand against the Elite, and to function as a credible opponent for any new Elite member to beat. I mean… most of his heat should be with the Bucks, but he’s barely gone near them.
ADAM COLE PROMO- very good
He wants a six-man tag with him and the Young Bucks against Jurassic Express and Christian Cage.
LUCHA BROS. VS. BUTCHER & BLADE VIDEO PACKAGE- meh
The Butcher has only been back for about ten days, and I don’t think I’ve seen him on either Dynamite or Rampage since, but apparently he and The Blade have already climbed their way to the top of the tag division rankings and are getting a title shot on Friday. Mind showing your math on that one, Tony?
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS FUEGO DEL SOL & SAMMY GUEVARA- TERRIBLE!
Fuego del Sol- you might remember him as the loser who was given a title shot on the first Rampage for no reason and couldn’t even beat Miro even though he cheated by jumping the bell on Miro, but then Tony Khan gave him a contract?- has a new car. He says he loves his new car so much, but he’s willing to trade it away for another shot at the TNT Title, so he makes that offer to Miro.
First, just to make sure this clown has actually beaten someone, I checked Cagematch.net. He’s beaten two nobodies. Why should we think he stands any chance against Miro, especially now that we’ve seen that Miro’s “weak neck” managed to last quite a while against Eddie Kingston, who, unlike Fuego del Jobber, has some actual credibility. And, to make matters worse, this completely undeserving loser is now doing something that is essentially one step away from bribing Miro into giving him another title shot.
Why would Miro even want his car? As a champion, and someone who has been under contract for longer and who actually wins a match more than once in a blue moon, Miro surely has a lot more money than this clown. He probably has a much nicer car, and if he wants the same car, he could just go out and buy it? But, of course, Miro will accept the match and then we’re supposed to care so much that Fuego del Sol might lose his beloved car that we heard him talk about a grand total of once. This whole thing comes across like Tony or Cody got some new Memphis tapes in the mail and saw an angle and decided to copy it for their own promotion, but have no understanding of the context that made the angle work.
MJF PROMO- GREAT!
Cheap heat time. He insults New Jersey, but messes up a bit by complementing the Devils by calling them “mid.” They’re much worse than that.
He then told us he was going to have a talk with Brian Pillman. He did a tremendous thing that I’m not going to spoil, and continued to say mean things about the Pillman family, eventually bringing out Brian Jr.
MJF sent Wardlow up the ramp to get Pillman, but Pillman came through the crowd instead. He brought a chair with him, too, which he wasted time hitting the crowd with to psych the crowd up instead of just hitting MJF. They’re going to pop if you hit him whether you smack the chair on the ground or not, dude (I understand the psychology behind doing it. I'm just saying that you look dumb doing it if you don't actually get to hit the heel with the chair, too).
He wasted more time not hitting MJF with the chair, allowing Wardlow to get back to the ring and rip the chair out of his hands. Pillman managed to get the best of Wardlow via leverage, but then didn’t continue on to try to get revenge on MJF.
JIM ROSS INTERVIEWS BRIAN PILLMAN JR.- bad
Ross talked about last week’s segment, then told us that for the sake of Pillman’s family, he must beat MJF up next week. Then he asked “is that what you’re planning on doing?” How did this make air? Where was Tony Khan to jump in and shout “CUT!” and then say “Jim, ask a question that’s less dumb!?” What does he expect Pillman to say? “No, I was planning on just lying down and letting MJF pin me?”
Pillman pushed the “MJF is a rich kid but I had to struggle” story. And that’s certainly kayfabe true, but he was so f*cking vague as to make it feel phony. “everybody knows that adversity I’ve faced.” No, not everyone does! And don’t tell me “well, it was on Dark Side of the Ring” because 1) you shouldn’t assume your whole audience is watching that show, and 2) according to that show, all of this is fake and this is just a pre-planned storyline, so who cares?
Also, as someone who just bought new sheets for my new bed in my new apartment, Egyptian cotton isn’t all that expensive, so Pillman Jr. using it as a metaphor for wealth came off as very outdated and out of touch.
ALEX MARVEZ INTERVIEWS CHRISTIAN CAGE & JURASSIC EXPRESS- bad
Jungle Boy began to cut a promo but Christian interrupted him. I’m certain this was supposed to come off as him being rude, but Jungle Boy’s promo felt like total Kenny Omega goofball crap, so Christian was really doing the kid a favor. Christian then proceeded to cut a promo completely burying Adam Cole. I get that we’re supposed to dislike Christian for saying mean things about a guy who we know is talented, but… well… he REALLY buried the guy.
Oh, yeah. And they accepted the challenge.
MATT SYDAL & DANTE MARTIN vs. FTR (w/Tully Blanchard)- 6.5/10
I feel like there was a story to be told with Martin and Sydal coming together as a team. A missed opportunity there.
LANCE ARCHER & MINORU SUZUKI PROMO- meh
Archer, who, when we last saw him, was a babyface… is suddenly now a heel again, making bullsh*t excuses for Suzuki’s loss to Jon Moxley last week, including claiming that the referees were biased. Also, Jake Roberts was nowhere in sight now that AEW suddenly wants to play up Archer being part of Suzuki-Gun. That’s the sort of thing that makes relationships on a show feel fake.
MALACHAI BLACK PROMO- bad
He calls attention to Rosario Dawson in the front row, wearing a Nightmare Family jacket. Remember when Q.T. Marshall gave Allie one of those and Brandi Rhodes went nuts over it? I eagerly await seeing Brandi going nuts over this, too, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be waiting forever.
Cody’s celebrity friend hopped the guardrail. No security tried to stop her. She showed absolutely no fear of the trained fighter scary man. Why didn’t anyone tell the actress to f*cking ACT SCARED?!
Who is going to save her? Why it’s Cody, of course. He comes from the crowd, with a spotlight on him. And not the front row, either. He’s coming down a staircase. Were they out of popcorn in catering so he had to go to the concession stand to get some?
Like a coward, Rosario Dawson jumped Aleister Black from behind. Would she stand a chance in a fair fight? No. But that doesn’t justify this, especially when she was the one who hopped the f*cking guardrail, and by doing so, in essence, picked the fight. Anyway, the non-trained-fighter actress hung on long enough for Cody to get the ringside area and attack Black with and advantage because Black had just had someone else on his back.
They brawled through the crowd. No one came out to try to break them up, even though fans were in danger. This was a fine example of an angle that felt like an attempt at an attention-grabbing angle in a spot that shouldn’t have had it, and as a result, it came off feeling forced. The story works much better in my opinion if we have no idea where Cody’s head will be at going into next week’s match. Also, the actress getting the better of Aleister Black was bad. Very bad. On the bright side, the little bit Black spoke was very good. He’s got the Satanic/pagan/whatever evil cult leader thing down perfectly.
ANNA JAY VS. THE BUNNY VIDEO PACKAGE- good, but…
They’re still calling Anna Jay “the Queenslayer,” which was a nickname she earned by assaulting Brandi from behind after Brodie Lee had just obliterated Cody. But, of course, they flushed all of that down the memory hole when Brodie Lee died and was transformed into a kayfabe saint, so where does the nickname come from? You can’t have it both ways with continuity!
ALEX MARVEZ’S INTERVIEW WITH ANNA JAY IS INTERRUPTED BY THE DARK ORDER BICKERING- bad
Yes, Uno is a jerk for interrupting her, but that doesn’t mean that I am willing to ignore either the community theater-level acting, or the fact that any camaraderie they have with Anna Jay feels like bullsh*t because she was either the stoic evil chosen second in command of their evil leader, or she was injured and didn’t interact with them. She was never a member of their whiny, dorky little clique of goofs who latched onto Adam Page.
Being genre-savvy, Anna Jay tells them that if they are going to bicker, she doesn’t want them out there for her match on Rampage against The Bunny.
DAN LAMBERT’S PROMO IS INTERRUPTED BY CHRIS JERICHO & JAKE HAGER- bad
Again, why is AEW giving Dan Lambert time on their show when all he’s going to do is insult the company, the wrestlers, and the fans. I’m also finding it hard to hate Lambert because he manages to be so entertaining.
Jericho and Hager eventually came out to interrupt him. Lambert demanded that they stop playing Judas over the speakers… and the sound technician obeyed him. Why?
Jericho said that Lambert had a song called “I’m a Fat-Faced Dipsh*t” but no one could sing along because they didn’t know the words… and then Jericho apparently knew the words. Oops. On commentary, Punk asked “is that a Fozzy song?” I was rolling.
Jericho cut a promo in which he mentioned his “shoot fight” with Goldberg backstage. Yes, a “shoot fight,” because all of the other fights are fake. He said he and Hager would come down and beat everyone up… and at this point I was begging to see them try to do so and get obliterated by the seven people in the ring. Lambert said they could have a match next week.
Jericho called the heels a “pussy,” so he’s not up on the times. That “which one of you is on top?” comment probably wasn’t the best line, either. It kind of undermines the point of Lambert being a stand-in for Jim Cornette when the guy opposing him is the one saying things that will have people calling for your cancellation. (For the record, I don’t see Lambert’s “Inner Circle-Jerk” line as problematic because a circle-jerk, colloquially, is used to described people putting each other over more than they deserve, so I don’t see it as homophobia because it’s not the homosexual connotation from which the insult is being derived. Also, let’s reflect on how awesome it is that the internet is in a place where I can type the words “circle-jerk” and “colloquially” right next to each other).
GUNN CLUB VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- good words, bad booking
They explain that they turn heel because they’ve been overlooked and thus disrespected. And then they did something that most heels don’t do: They backed it up with facts. They are undefeated in pretty much any combination, and also undefeated as a trio. If that’s true, then they have a pretty damn good reason to be upset. When you consider how little you seem to have to do to earn a title shot or get ranked, it’s utterly ridiculous that these guys have been undefeated and not gotten anything. The problem with that, though, is that it’s really hard for me to be upset with them if they actually are getting screwed by a management that is either incompetent or playing favorites. And this is far from the first time that this has been an issue in AEW.
LEYLA HIRSCH vs. JADE CARGILL (w/Mark Sterling)- 4/10
I feel like I saw this pretty much every time I see her, but Leyla needs to either hit that moonsault occasionally or stop doing it.
ANDRADE EL IDOLO VIDEO PACKAGE- meh
TAZ AND HOOK COME TO THE COMMENTARY TABLE TO CONFRONT CM PUNK- GREAT!
First of all, I LOVED that almost none of this was mic’ed. We didn’t hear what was said, but that’s because we didn’t need to in order to understand the gist of it.
Hook and Taz served as the distraction for Will Hobbs to run in and attack Punk from behind. Punk got beaten down and then Hobbs put him through the announcers’ table. I don’t think this is a first for AEW, but the fact that I can’t say that for certain speaks to how rarely they’ve done it, which is a very good thing.
SHAWN SPEARS VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO ON DARBY ALLIN- good
This was probably the best promo I’ve ever heard Spears cut. He reminded us that he handed Darby Darby’s first loss in AEW and told us that he would beat Darby once again in…
DARBY ALLIN (w/Sting) vs. SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard)- 5.5/10
They stared off with Darby getting tossed to the outside and Spears following him out. They remined there forever while the referee made no effort to count them out. The referee then let Spears go to ringside and get a towel and rub it in Darby’s face. It turns out that he was just trying to rub Darby’s face-paint off, but he could well have used it to try to smother him. He could have even covered it in ether beforehand. The ref should have intercepted this, not just stood there and let it happen, then yelled at Spears about it. Darby eventually overcame all of this bullsh*t and won cleanly.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- didn’t like it
FTR came out and they brawled with Sting and Darby. Tully hit Sting with a chair but he no-sold it. He went after Tully but FTR took him out. Sting ate a spike piledriver, and they wiped his face-paint off, too. I get what they were trying to do here, but I think wiping Sting’s face-paint off doesn’t work as well as it does with Darby because we’ve seen Sting’s face of Sting’s own volition so much over the years. And, with me not thinking this works as well, doing it then dilutes them doing it to Darby and pulls the attention elsewhere, instead of enhancing it, which was their goal.
BRYAN DANIELSON VIDEO PACKAGE/POROMO ON KENNY OMEGA- great!
TONY SCHIAVONE INTERVIEWS BRYAN DANIELSON- great!
What was the point of doing that video package if you were just going to do this right afterwards?
Dragon was immediately interrupted by Don Callis and Kenny Omega. They went back and forth. If anyone was wondering how great Bryan Danielson is, he got a room full of fans to still cheer for a potential match while specifically telling them the title wouldn’t be on the line. Danielson goaded Omega into agreeing to a match against him.
MIRO PROMO- meh
He accepts Fuego del Sol’s challenge because… um…
MATT HARDY PROMO/VIDEO PACKAGE ON ORANGE CASSIDY- bad
This was SOOO lame.
JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON vs. 2.0 (w/Daniel Garcia)- 2.5/10
2.0 in another main event. Really. On a show with Adam Cole’s first AEW match.
2.0 and Daniel Garcia jumped the babyfaces on their way to the ring. The babyfaces won what was basically a squash.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- dull
Suzuki came out as a distraction, allowing Archer to come from behind and yank Kingston out of the ring. Everyone brawled. This felt like a segment that happened because the booker decided that next week’s match needed to be hyped rather than something that any of the wrestlers had any real reason to initiate.
This was… an episode of Dynamite. The stuff that is good continues to be good, the stuff that is usually bad continues to be bad. At this point I think that’s how it’s going to be with AEW, and when stuff that is usually good (Danielson) crosses with stuff that is usually bad (Omega) you just hope that the good pulls the bad up instead of the other way around.
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