AEW WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Kenny Omega & Adam Page(c) vs. Private Party (w/Matt Hardy) - 6.75/10
This was a fine spotty opener.
JOEY JANELA vs. LANCE ARCHER (w/Jake Roberts) - 4.75/10
Joey looked around like he was expecting Sonny Kiss to be right behind him but he wasn’t. It turns out Archer has beaten Sonny up and is carrying him to ringside. So… what happened? Did Archer manage to sneak up behind Sonny and take him out without making a sound and without allowing Sonny to make a sound?
This is exactly the sort of stuff that drives me nuts, because you know that the way this came about was “wouldn’t it be cool if Archer started the match by throwing Sonny onto Janela?” “Yeah! And we’ll have Joey turn around during his entrance like he doesn’t know where Sonny is to foreshadow it and acknowledge Sonny’s absence!” And at that point they patted themselves on the back for having such a great idea instead of actually thinking through the logic of the situation they were going to create.
The announcers pointed out that Jake has a big canvas bag with him.
Tony: We all know what that is.
Ross: I don’t think that’s his lunch.
Me: I don’t know, J.R. Have you seen Jake lately?
This was very meh. There was a lot of Archer being the big monster, but it was totally destroyed by the fact that the f*cking babyfaces kept cheating!
When Archer was about to hit a big move on Janela and Sonny jumped up onto the apron to distract him, Tony put him over for being “a good tag team partner.” Dude… that’s CHEATING. A babyface announcer should not be okay with this! On the bright side, at least Tony didn’t complain when Jake hopped up onto the apron in a similar situation. Unfortunately, while Jae was distracting the referee, Sonny Kiss ran in and interfered. You’re a f*cking babyface, Sonny! STOP. CHEATING.
Fortunately, Archer was able to kick out. Unfortunately, the next spot was Archer cutting Joey off while Joey was on the top, setting him up for the Blackout and walking over to a table and putting Joey through it, right in front of the referee. I’ve been pretty loose on bumps off the apron through a table not being a DQ because there is usually at least some minimal amount of plausible deniability that the wrestler just did the move and didn’t know that the table was there. In this, that cannot apply because Archer very deliberately walked over to the table to do the move.
Of course, Paul Turner did not call for a DQ because that wasn’t the planned finish, and thus apparently the rules don’t apply, I guess. Is it rally that f*cking hard to not do a table bump in a match that has DQs? Really? And if someone can’t manage to do that, that person should not be signed to a deal by any wrestling promotion of any size. That person is a backyard garbage wrestler and out to stay in backyard feds and garbage indies. And the newsletters report that Tony Khan is a “detail guy?” F*ck off.
DARBY ALLIN VIDEO PACKAGE - He’s doing Coffin Drops off of a very high tower into a pit of foam sponges to… help him get his aim better, maybe? But if that were the case, shouldn’t he have some sort of target he’s aiming for in the middle of the sponges?
He said that he hasn’t forgotten that Brian Cage was the one who injured him, so that was good.
TAZ PRESENTS BRIAN CAGE WITH THE FTW CHAMPIONSHIP - Didn’t like it. I’m not going to say that Taz didn’t cut a good promo here, but I thought this was a HUGE waste of a very precious resource. This is the sort of thing you can only do rarely as an angle in general, but with an already-established unrecognized championship with the history that the FTW Championship has, you can really only do this once. And they’re wasting it when Moxley is going to be back and we’re getting the title match NEXT WEEK. This is something you do to avoid stripping your champion of the title if he’s going to be out for MONTHS.
THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE & LUCHA BROS. vs. FTR & THE YOUNG BUCKS - 8/10
You can’t talk about a “difference in philosophy” of tag team wrestling between the Bucks and FTR if you’re not going to explain it in kayfabe, because until you give me a kayfabe explanation of what you mean (because I can’t think of one), all you’re doing is damaging people’s suspension of disbelief by bringing up the fact that these people disagree on the proper way to artificially create the maximum drama and excitement in pre-planned wrestling matches.
Action-wise, I thought this was pretty awesome, but it definitely felt like they squandered the storyline here. The storyline has been this tension between the teams and the idea of an argument over philosophy… so show us that! They just had the usual multi-man tag spotfest when they should have spent time showing us the difference between the Bucks and FTR. Have FTR always following the rules (which was, if you’ll remember, one of the first things they said FTR could stand for) while the Bucks are just running in whenever they want and not staying on the apron or obeying the ten count… and have FTR yell at the Bucks about that because they don’t want to lose if the referee decides to DQ the Bucks, which he’d be well within his rights to do.
BIG SWOLE IS NOT BEING ALLOWED INO THE BUILDING TONIGHT - Bad. I was hoping this would be because she showed up to a two-hour show more than half way through, but no. Instead it’s because of… something. The closest we got was Swole being told she has been served because “we take our code of conduct very seriously here” in AEW. Tony then tells us that Britt Baker has “petitioned AEW management to suspend Britt Baker for kidnapping and harassment.”
1. Lance Archer goes around and attacks random people, Jake Robers molests Brandi Rhodes, Pac at one point kidnapped Riho and also assaulted Michael Nakazawa, and any other number of things happen on Dynamite or Dark and AEW management gives a grand total of zero f*cks… but this time they take action?
2. Big Swole is absolutely right to be upset by the fact that they waited at the door of the arena for her to show up so they could just order her to turn around and go home instead of sending her a fa or a letter or calling her on her cell phone to tell her not to come to the building.
Nyla Rose vs. KiLynn King & Kenzie Page - squash
So does this count as a single match for Nyla’s record and a tag team match for the other two? If you’re going to have records, you need to explain how they work in situations like this.
NYLA ROSE MAKES AN ANNOUNCEMENT - Her delivery was fine, but announcing a secret manager was dumb. Also, her claim that everyone with a manager is a champion is pretty clearly false. There are actually more people with managers who aren’t champions than who are.
Why would I want to win a Zoom chat with Chris Jericho? He seems like a mean guy who will just insult me if I don’t agree with everything he says.
COLT CABANA IN THE TRAINER’S ROOM (filmed earlier today) - Mostly good. Something happened to Colt and he’s got this REALLY nasty bruise. The trainer shows it to us, but says he is still cleared to wrestle. Brodie Lee comes by and thanks the trainer for letting Cole wrestle. He then tells Colt that they don’t know who did this to him, but if Colt sticks with them, they’ll make sure it never happens again.
I think they forgot to tell us that this “trauma” Colt suffered was due to some sort of backstage attack or something, as he didn’t seem too hurt during last week’s match, and it allows us to read Brodie’s statement is a veiled threat if we’d like, and wonder if it was the Dark Order who attacked Colt.
Colt called Brodie “Mr. Brodie” at the end, which the announcers seized on, but it’s also totally within Colt’s personality to find Brodie’s demand entertaining and call him “Mr. Brodie Lee” like he wants, even if Colt doesn’t feel any particular need to do so the way Brodie’s disciples do. I think it would have been nice for the announcers to bring this up as a counter-balance, because otherwise it seems like a weird thing for Colt to do unless the angle is going to result in him being a believer very soon.
SCU vs. COLT CABANA & THE DARK ORDER (Brodie Lee & Grayson) (w/the Dark Order) - 6.75/10
The match was good, but I don’t like the way they’re handling this Colt Cabana thing. Basically, the Dark Order did all of the work for Colt and then let him get the pin in a way that was clear to Cabana that they were letting him get the pin. It makes Colt look really bad for not seeing through it.
Jim Ross this match: Who’s a better athlete in AEW than Scorpio Sky?!
Jim Ross two matches ago: Nick Jackson is the best pure athlete in AEW!
Next week’s card looks pretty strong.
BIG SWOLE HAS MaNAGED TO SNEAK INTO THE BUILDING - Bad.
1. This makes AEW look like sh*t.
2. Swole wound up throwing the balled-up suspension notice at Rebel’s face, which hit her in the eye, causing her to flail her arms, which one of which hit Britt in the nose. Why are we doing Three Stooges comedy?
ORANGE CASSIDY vs. CHRIS JERICHO (w/Santana & Ortiz) - 8/10
This was an awesome match, and that is NOT an endorsement of Orange Cassidy. Just the opposite, in fact. It’s an indictment of Orange Cassidy, because 98% of this match didn’t involve Orange Cassidy at all. This was Chris Jericho vs. Fire Ant without his mask on. No one has ever argued that James Cipperly isn’t talented. It’s just the gimmick that we detractors think is moronic.
And I don’t want to hear any of that “he cares now! The character is growing. It’s a story!” bullsh*t, because this is the exact same thing that happened in the Pac feud… and then he went right back to not caring again. AT BEST he’s a one-trick pony and they’ve already told that same story twice now. By definition, that’s not development because you’re going back to exactly the same place to tell the same story.
This was a very good show from AEW in the ring, but I really don’t like the booking on most of it. Hopefully Fight for the Fallen will deliver on both fronts.