By: Frank Hyden
This was their 1-year anniversary show so all 4 titles were on the line. The show was really good in some ways and not so good in others. Let’s get to the rundown.
GOOD- FTR beat Best Friends to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles
This match started building and building towards the finish with a series of double team moves by FTR. They isolated Trent by taking out Chuck Taylor. However, Taylor returned to stop FTR’s finisher, only to get blasted with one of the belts and pinned himself. During the part where they fought in the crowd, Trent was thrown into an arcade cabinet. Because of this, Miro came out and laid out both Trent and Taylor after the match.
GOOD- Miro and Kip Sabian beat Sean Maluta and Lee Johnson
This was just a quick squash to show Miro’s dominance. That’s fine. After the win, Miro and Sabian cut a promo toward Best Friends, blaming them for the broken game. So this appears to be Miro’s first feud in AEW.
BAD- MJF announcement with Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle
MJF called out Jericho for a big announcement he’d been teasing on social media all week. He meandered around for a while and then finally said he might possibly be interested in joining the group. The other members didn’t want him to join but Jericho said he’d think about it and they could meet for steaks next week. I like these guys but JFC, this was way too long. I don’t mind talk-heavy segments but only if they’re entertaining or serve a higher purpose. This was somewhat entertaining because of the guys involved but it served no purpose. All it did was set up that we’ll get a damn vignette next week with these guys at a fake restaurant eating steaks. What the hell? This is likely leading to a Jericho vs. MJF feud, which is heel vs. heel. Wow, great. Yeah, the fans cheer Jericho and sing along with his theme but that doesn’t mean they need to turn him face.
And I’ll bring up again that AEW completely screwed the pooch by having MJF lose to Jon Moxley. That’s yet another name to add to the pile of guys who’ve been used to try to elevate Mox and it’s torpedoed their careers. Remember when Brian Cage was being pushed hard and it looked like they would push him to the moon? He loses to Mox and now he’s a background guy at best in a feud hardly anyone knows. Remember when they had built up Jake Hager and it looked like he was going to get a monster push? He lost to Mox and now serves as the tall guy standing in the background for Jericho promos. I suppose you could argue that Brodie Lee has fared better, but that’s only because Cody wanted a short break as TNT Champion and had nothing to do with Mox. It if wasn’t for that, he’s another name you’d add to the list. Which brings us to MJF. They spent weeks building up the match between Mox and MJF, who had never been pinned. Well, MJF lost and has suffered the same fate so many others have. I know you have to build guys up to try to make them credible challengers but you shouldn’t just discard them afterwards. Lance Archer lost tonight and will likely go back to beating up jobbers in the backstage area. It’s just frustrating because Archer, Cage, Hager, etc., any of those could have been fun and interesting champions. And MJF would have been a great champion. Eddie Kingston is the guy Mox is also feuding with now, Eddie’s already lost to him, but the feud continues and I’m sure they’ll wrestle again later down the line. Kingston would be an interesting champion. But instead, what’s going to happen is Mox is going to beat him as well, and then Kingston will be relegated to lower mid-card guy. I imagine Kenny Omega will be the one to finally dethrone Moxley, but who knows when that will be?
I can handle Archer, Hager, Cage, etc being passed over. I think they would be fun and interesting as champion but I get it, maybe they’re not main guys, though I would argue that’s what makes them fun and interesting. However, MJF has it. He has the main event, top level it factor. If AEW didn’t want MJF as the top guy yet, why in the hell would you put him in there with Mox and have him lose? Wouldn’t the better plan be to have MJF keep winning and keep winning and building himself up then, whenever AEW felt he was ready or whatever, you have him go take the belt from whomever has it. I don’t know, it just really bothers me that MJF is one of the most talented guys in the company and AEW doesn’t seem to be interested in pushing him all that hard.
GOOD- Cody vs. Orange Cassidy ended in a Time Limit Draw
This was a really good match. I could understand some being upset at the draw but I like it, as it helps reinforce that they have time limits and they’re there for a reason. You don’t want to do it too often, but I think it’s very effective occasionally. These guys went back and forth with some beautiful wrestling. Cody looked good but man, Cassidy looked great. He was pinning Cody as time expired and they kind of teased that he would have won if not for the time limit but that’s just to help protect OC even more. This was really good and hopefully they have more matches in the future.
GOOD- Hikaru Shida beat Big Swole to retain the AEW Women’s Title
The match got sloppy in places but it was still pretty good. They gave a lot of effort and were trying hard. Shida finished her off with a running knee. I would like to see Big Swole change her name, though. She can keep Big Swole as her nickname but I’d like to see her cut a promo once about how she wants to go by her real name or something. I feel the same way about these YouTubers, though, so maybe that’s just the Walt Kowalski in me?
GOOD- Jon Moxley beat Lance Archer to retain the AEW World Title
This was a good match, despite my feelings about Mox beating everyone. I would have really liked to have seen Archer win here because it would have been unexpected. It would have gone against “wrestling logic”. I think AEW should try to go against wrestling logic as much as they can, just as long as they don’t go stupid with it. You want the best of Vince Russo as opposed to the worst of Vince Russo. Unpredictability is a good thing, it adds excitement to things. That said, sometimes being predictable is a good thing. Sometimes people like things they know and they want things to play out a familiar way. It’s why some people like romantic comedies, even though they know exactly what’s going to happen. You can insert action movies, slasher films, etc. into that as well. Sometimes people want the expected. But other times, people want the unexpected. That’s why sports are so popular, because they can be unpredictable. Yeah, a lot of times things play out the way you think they will. But there are plenty of times where the opposite happens. A huge underdog pulls off the upset, a star player chokes in the spotlight, things like that add to the fun and excitement. Wrestling needs to embrace that sometimes. I’m not saying all the time, but sometimes.
Anyway, this was a fun brawl that ended when Mox reversed a pin attempt by Archer and got the win. After the win, Eddie Kingston and the Lucha Bros. came to the ring from commentary and congratulated Moxley before attacking him and choking him out. That’s a bad predictable, as it made Mox look stupid for not immediately attacking but whatever. Kingston is really good on the mic but I’d like to see him get into a bit better shape if he can. Not a huge thing but I think it would help him a bit. But also, his gimmick is the everyman kind of gimmick so maybe that works for him?
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