I watched this live at “Heartbreak” Biz’s house, alongside No-Sell Drew and “Bayley” Bailey the dog. I didn’t have the ability to write my minutia-infused thoughts, but here are some general mini-thoughts on a show that essentially HAD to be a gigantic home-run with a major TV debut on the horizon:
Pre-Show: Casino Women’s Battle Royale & Private Party vs Angelico & Jack Evans
- The AEW women’s division is a fucking disaster. Nyla Rose is not Nia Jax. I don’t care that he’s a transsexual. He’s hideous to look at and he’s awful in the ring to boot. They have Britt Baker. That’s it. Pretty sure Tenille (Emma from WWE) was just a loaner.
- The women’s division is so awful that I would honestly scrap the whole thing. Not saying you don’t let women wrestle ever, but I would scrap it for a full year and bring it back after you’ve developed talent.
- AEW has too many “WWE Dollar Store Varieties”, as I call them. Private Party comes off as a dollar store Street Profits. They also have a dollar store Bayley, dollar store Viking Raiders, and I can go down the list.\
- Casino Women’s Battle Royale was about 0.25 Bobs and the Private Party/Angelico & Jack Evans match was about 1.00 Bobs. Very uninspiring start.
SCU vs Jungle Express
- Another stroll down the aisle of the pro wrestling dollar store as SCU is a dollar store Undisputed Era. First off, the bald guy is 50. The other bald guy looks close to it. The black guy is here for the ride.
- Jungle Express, which is an atrocious name, once again is the type of pro wrestling shit that makes you embarrassed when other adults come into the room.
- And who in the flying fuck was that little boy who looked like Son of Jungle Boy? For Christ’s sake.
Kenny Omega vs Pac
- I used to think “Pac” was pronounced like 2-Pac. Apparently it’s like Pac-Man? Who cares.
- A fine match but I think they are sort of overestimating Kenny Omega’s starpower. I bring up this example often, but I have a friend at work who loves WWE. He has no fucking idea who Kenny Omega is. No clue who the Young Bucks are. In fact, he has no idea who is even in NXT. Yet he knows WWE like the back of his hand. I get that they are probably doing some kind of “redemption” angle with Omega losing a bunch of times, but to the average dude, he probably looks like a jobbing geek at this point.
Jimmy Havoc vs Darby Allin vs Joey Janela in That Stupid Cracker Barrel Shit
- The paper cut shit disturbs me, even if they accidentally focused on the fact that the paper was laminated.
- Jimmy Havoc SCREAMS JOBBER TO THE FUCKING HIGH HEAVENS yet they put him over here.
- Joey Janela = Dollar Store Edge.
- Darby Allin should be on 205 Live.
- A match that was a mach. Really did nothing for me and the cheap cracker barrel as a prop hurt the match.
Riho vs Hikaru Shida
- Nobody knows or cares who either of these two are.
- This was boring and never got going. I barely remember it.
- A reminder, if some WWE female jobber like Sarah Logan or Dana Brooke stepped into AEW, they would be the top female star TODAY.
- Now this poor Little Japanese girl has to get dropped on her head by a man in a dress.
The Best Friends vs The Dark Order
- The only person in this match who looks like they belong in a professional wrestling ring outside of a local New Jersey high school is Chuck Taylor.
- The fat guy is embarrassing. Absolutely embarrassing. He isn’t “thick and intimidating” “fat” like Killian Dain. He’s a fat-ass with rolls who can barely move. Who the fuck put these people on a show called “All Elite Wrestling”?
- Dark Order also look like Dollar Store Viking Raiders.
- I popped huge for Orange Cassidy.
Cody vs Shawn Spears
- Cody has one of the few legit theme songs in AEW. Jericho has one. And Young Bucks is at least recognizable.
- Man that dog really didn’t want to be out there for that entrance.
- Great start as Cody leaps at Spears instantly. “Cowboy” Bob loves blood feuds that start out brawling.
- Absolutely love how million-years old Tully Blanchard is still up to dastardly heel tactics.
- Credit to where it’s due for Spears – he looked like a legit guy out there and not the “10” jobber.
- However, jobbing clean as clean can be to Cody did not help him at all.
- A fun brawl overall.
The Young Bucks vs The Lucha Bros
- It is what it is. The Young Bucks do spotfests. They are fun.
- The flippy piledriver through the table was awesome.
- The gasping-out-loud reaction from my two friends in their mid-30’s at the Mexican getting his lucha mask ripped off was absolutely, positively priceless.
- It was easily the best match on the card, but nothing you won’t see at NXT Takeover or a WWE ppv that they actually give a shit about.
“Hangman” Page vs Chris Jericho
- The right decision was made. You need a champion that a babyface can chase. You need a legitimate name to draw in viewers. You need somebody with mic skills to carry promos.
- It’s not the time yet for Page. He might be decent, but asking the crowd to get behind a babyface, against a known legend, was a major stretch.
- Jericho is out of shape and bald.
- That collective groan you heard round the world was CM Punk’s music not hitting.
It wasn’t bad or anything. It had some decent matches. But for a 5 hour long run-time, a lead-in to your TNT show in a month, and as a shot across the bow to WWE? Has to be considered underwhelming at the very least. An incredibly mild THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE for a show that needed to be a major thumbs up.