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  1. I hate to read too much into ratings, but isn't it something that the PPV where Danielson was expected to debut did a huge buy and now the title tournament he's expected to win is getting bigger weekly numbers...
  2. I'd say Jericho's understanding of the business is among the best of all time. He also has self-awareness which is extremely rare among top guys and the confidence to stand up for himself and pitch his own ideas. He knows when he's lagging behind and always makes the right adjustments to stay fresh. He isn't as athletically gifted as many of his peers, but he knows how to maximize what he has in the ring while using his promos and character work to keep fans engaged.
  3. Overall, this was a great reset show for AEW, and hopefully after Grand Slam, All Out 22 will be in the same landfill as the exploding barbed wire deathmatch. I kinda wish they had let MJF run with his shameless pandering babyface character until his cash-in. He was doing great with that. Mox's promo was straight fire and pretty much anchored the retcon efforts single-handedly. I feel a little bad for Best Friends who really could've used a signature accomplishment in AEW, but when you're looking to fill the role of "we need a good 6-man for no reason" on the card, it's tough to draw up a better group than Death Triangle. I'd like to see Danielson get a run as champ, but while his professionalism is much more reliable than Punk, I'm not sure his physical health is. Seems risky, but he deserves it and MJF would get mega-heat taking him down.
  4. There isn't an endgame for either of them, and it's actually one of AEW's best bits long-term booking. There are no immediate plans for Darby, but having him do a lot of the heavy lifting in Sting's special attraction work is a great way to keep him warm until he's ready for another big singles program. Overall, I have to agree that this was AEW's worst ppv since the exploding barbed wire deathmatch. Eddie and Ishii doing a dollar-store Kobashi/Sasaki ripoff was reasonably entertaining, the trios finals was good even if there missed opportunities abound, and the tag title match was great. SIOG is a great team, and even better as heels. Very weird to see people zeroing in on this match as the worst booking of the night, when it was actually the best and represents the best of AEW. This was the Acclaimed's "close but not quite" moment against 2 much higher-ranked guys where they were elevated in defeat. Circle back around with them in 6-9 months and you get your special payoff with build, the way wrestling ought to be. The rest of the show was thoroughly mediocre with a lot of the wrong people going over and an underwhelming payoff to the MJF angle. The clown show afterwards whether kayfabe or not reads like a chapter in the future "downfall of AEW" book. I don't understand how this is supposed to draw new fans or attract top free agents.
  5. Sheamus/Gunther ruled as expected. It reminded me of something in between Regal/Finlay and Kobashi/Sasaki. I love that Matt Riddle and Austin Theory got their first names back. Hopefully the trend of guys losing their first name is out the door with Vince. One thing I see hasn't changed is WWE losing their penchant for dogshit ppv main event finishes. Sadly, I don't see those going anywhere since that was pretty much all of HHH's peak.
  6. Malakai getting pinned off a music distraction roll-up last week was really bad. Not only should HoB been the first trios champs, but if you have them lose to the Dark Order, that's what Buddy is in the group for. Buddy could even get his heat back with a win in a showcase Dynamite match with Silver. In usual AEW fashion, they've scrambled and thrown together a solid ppv card at the last minute, but they've been playing with fire with some of these builds, and it's easy to see why some talent would be questioning their futures with the company, especially when the other option no longer involves working for Vince McMahon.
  7. So Bryan vs. Garcia was top-notch pro-wrestling. That triangle counter into the piledriver was beautifully dangerous. All the in-ring action was great really, but the big thing was the fully organic "You're a wrestler" chant at the end. That was one of the most heart-warming things in AEW history with Garcia, Danielson, and Jericho all playing their parts perfectly. They didn't have to force anything, the story just unfolded and the crowd went along with it in the best way possible. The rest of the show was very 2000 Nitro-ish. The "pissed off main event guy clobbers a jobber on the way to the ring," shooty promos, a couple short matches, the constant pull-aparts, family turning on each other (twice), announcing a ppv match on next week's show, the "we're outta time" turn on Dragon Lee that was not discreet in its setup. I enjoyed the change of pace, but I hope AEW isn't getting desperate between new network execs and HHH starting the arduous task of righting the WWE ship. AEW has historically been pretty last-minute with their ppvs, so I'm giving TK the benefit of the doubt that there's a plan here. MJF/Punk 3 is about the only thing I think could justify this. As far as Kenny goes, I'm assuming he's mostly healthy and working a "getting his groove back" angle. He looked like a great wrestler pretending to be bad and his selling of all his specific surgeries was a bit over-the-top. HOB should win it all anyway, and then it gives UE a way back in saying Kenny's washed, until he beats Adam Cole in a ppv epic (that many here are shuddering at the thought of) and goes back on the title chase.
  8. This is a lot of effort for a song that will probably be on tv less than 5 times this year, but I appreciate it. Kind of a Lacuna Coil vibe. AEW definitely has a great in-house music team.
  9. Jamie Hayter really should get that belt soon. I think she might be AEW's Sasha Banks in the sense that she was initially a supporting character that got organically over and progressively steals more and more spotlight each time she's out there. She's winning the fans over and hopefully TK realizes this is his real star in the women's division. When it comes to Rosa, I love her presentation, the wardrobe, and the effort and enthusiasm she brings, but yeah... She's kinda floundering right now. Luckily, AEW believes in cycling people out, so I think a break would do her good. Let her come back to a good spot and rebuild that momentum she had when she won the belt.
  10. Not quite as long or prolific, but I'd say Road Dogg. His shake rattle and roll punches were just a nearfall spot. The dry-hump and pumphandle slam thankfully never caught on, not that he won too many singles matches anyway. He never even had an established tag team finisher with Billy, which is pretty crazy. I'd agree that Edge isn't and shouldn't be the first to come to mind when you think spear, but he'll always have the one at Mania 17 on Jeff Hardy.
  11. Off the top of my head, I feel like Kawada was using the stretch plum and powerbomb finishers simultaneously in the early 90s, but I could be wrong. Either way, I think a lot of WCW guys started to incorporate multiple finishers in the the mid to late 90s, especially the ones that had worked in Japan. Jericho had the missile dropkick and lion tamer. Benoit had the diving headbutt and crippler crossface. Malenko had the top rope gutbuster and the Texas cloverleaf. Ultimo had the dragon sleeper and tiger suplex. Scott Steiner had screwdriver and the Steiner recliner, although I think he phased out the screwdriver during his heel run. Oddly, there aren't too many examples on the WWF side pre-merger. Only one I can think of is Foley with the double arm DDT and mandible claw. There were a couple guys with two credible pin finishers (Taker, Kane, and Rock) but not any other pin/submission combos.
  12. Agreed that he's average, but I think the crowd was mostly cheering for Stokely who was slowly walking down the ramp during Ethan's whole rant. Orange/Lethal was really good. If you want a "sell the leg" match, this was it. Women's tag was pretty good too, and I appreciated that they mixed up the formula ever so slightly by putting somewhere else on the card. I'm guessing the trios tourney is only going to be 8 teams because they haven't even started announcing matches yet.
  13. Cody is the only one that really makes sense to dethrone Roman. He's fresh, got the star power, and already looks like a tough SOB. No reason to mess with the classic formula of winning the Rumble and winning at Mania.
  14. I think they backed themselves into a corner with the stip for Yuta/Jericho. It would make perfect sense for BCC to do some light interference and give Wheeler a marquee win after Garcia got a marquee win last week. However, I don't think it does Wheeler any good to lose to Mox 4 times in a year even if the last 2 are highly competitive. Next time those two square off (which shouldn't be so soon), Wheeler needs to win.
  15. Gave this show a shot with low expectations, and I have to say it was quite enjoyable. I wasn't expecting direction-changing show, I was just hoping for some signs of life and to catch up on the roster in case WWE starts to get good again under HHH. Becky/Bianca was pretty good. Disappointed to see Dunn-style production still in full effect, but once my eyes re-adjusted to it, I was digging the match. Glad to see Dakota back and Io getting a featured angle on a main show. Probably would've played better as a sneak attack, but an angle with these 5 is definitely a sign of life I was looking for. Logan Paul is amazing for having what? 6 months of training? The early sell of that back elbow in the waist-lock where he made it Miz cracked him right in the orbital bone was some of the best selling on the show. He's also just incredibly smooth and has a sense of timing and stage presence of a 10-year vet. I know the cliche is we all want indy/international guys, but if WWE can find a D-List celebrity that can work like an indy guy, I'm all for it. On a side note, hopefully HHH with the book means Ciampa can get away from being the new Mizdow. Theory/Lashley was good for what it was. Theory is a great stooging heel, but doesn't feel like a serious MITB guy yet. He feels like a guy that cashes in at a B-ppv then jobs at the show before Mania, although I don't know how that fits into Roman's reign of terror. Not terribly impressed Judgment day, despite liking all the members. The presentation doesn't make a lot of sense. Match with the Mysterios was ok. McAfee/Corbin was fine, but a step below Miz/Paul. McAfee is a great athlete, but he kinda seems like a spots guy while Logan really seems to work on the in-between stuff. Corbin's also probably not quite as good as Miz for role like this. Rousey/Liv was pretty weird. They were obviously trying to turn Ronda, but it ended up as a botched double turn with each woman ending up in the opposite role they were going for. Liv was kind of working like an overmatched heel who gets lucky in all their defenses. Liv looked completely undeserving by the end, and Ronda came across as extremely justified in her post-match destruction. Show ended on a good note with Brock and Roman finally had their first good match in 7 years. Brock actually showed up to work and looked like he was actually enjoying himself for a change. Roman hit the right balance of being a credible threat but also looking vulnerable. The ring-lift spot was epic, mostly thanks to Roman's hilarious bump. Top-level performance from both guys.
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