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AEW - SEP 2021


The Natural
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Ok, let's see how far we get here. I imagine this ends up in two parts. Let's try to sprint to the FTR match.

Dark 9/21/21 Part 1:

JTX vs Wardlow: JTX had some pretty good strikes actually, and Wardlow leaned into them. I like how Wardlow's methodological pace stands out in AEW. I'm not entirely sure about his overall presence. He seems a little dopey for a monster maybe? He can work on that to a degree. Power Bombs looked great. His stupid corner knee thing didn't. Ref should have called the match between the fourth and the fifth one. I get that you want to put over finishers in these enhancement matches but maybe he could have hit that after power bomb two and kept powerbombing until the ref called it? Because as it was, he called it once the violence seemed to be over and not when it seemed to be escalating/continuing.

Big Swole vs Allie Katch: Definitely not a cat. I have a lot of time for Big Swole's entrance. Real high energy and again something that feels a little different. Katch's offense looked pretty nasty. I also have a lot of time for Dirty Dancing as a finish, as much for the name as anything else, but you do get the sense she can end a match at any point with it, which will serve her well in years to come. I have less time for the rest of her offense, but she's got time. Taz bitching about having to call the stips on the 2/3 falls match was funny.

Santana/Ortiz vs Chaos Project: Yeah, look, Santana and Ortiz have a problem where they do six things when they should have done three. I liked the early bits where they were controlling the arm and theoretically using that as a bridge to hit their tandem stuff but it was all just too much (and quickly dropped anyway). I like Serpentico in theory and think he could get a Fuego type run at some point because of his little bits of enthusiasm and connection. I absolutely love how Luther uses him as a weapon and think it's just wildly creative and original and interesting and I think, contradicting what I said about Santana/Ortiz, he should do almost no offense that isn't using Serpentico as a weapon. It's all they have going for them; lean into it to stand out. The use of him to block the dive was lovely. I didn't love the transition where Santana just ducked Serpentico running to whack him with a clothesline, but later on Serpentico did the same thing on Ortiz with a kick instead so I can forgive it because there's some inherent build there (earned spot). The finish was really funny to me since it was Santana hitting a move on his own partner, just like Luther! with the mare on Ortiz to hype up the Cutter. I do like how Ortiz and Santana have enough stuff that they have a couple of finishers but if they grounded their big spots in actual tag team wrestling, the world would be a better place. I could see myself skipping them more and more in the months to come.

Janela vs McQueen: Ok, I get McQueen's a student and paying his monetary dues but JTX was more over with the crowd and he didn't get an entrance and a robe and a crown. I'd like to be nice to these kids, so I'll say that McQueen's movement in the ring looked good, but I had absolutely no idea what he was trying to be character-wise. Ozymandias? I kind of hope so as that'd be a fun gimmick. Anyway, I know Janela's been around the block but it kills me that he doesn't make all of his errors enforced errors. The knees up on the senton was a good little bit of hope for young, hopeless McQueen but it would have fit Joey's character and the match up until there so much better if Janela ran into it because he was taking his time posing or celebrating or being the bad boy or calling out to Kayla for emotional support blanket moments to reassure him or something. Not only would it lead to a better, more character-driven narrative, but it actually protects Janela's other stuff and makes him look better because the only way anyone is getting one up on him is because of his personality, not his wrestling. The spot where McQueen went over the top right into Kayla's arms was very good.

Conti vs Tucker: Half of Conti's stuff looks really good. The other half is a little too collaborative and really depends upon her chemistry with her opponent which wasn't quite there here. I thought Tucker had some unique gear and that one really great knee in as a spot. I also thought she went over REALLY well for the throws early on. My favorite thing in this match was one of them figuring out that the fans were clapping up for Conti and Tucker did an audible into a chinlock to feed into it and cut it off with a hair pull and then go back into it for the "Let's go Tay" chants for the comeback. It wasn't the smoothest thing in the world but it was appreciated. DDTay is just a horrifically bad name. There was good and not so good here, like the do-si-do and some molasses moments but they're honing their craft.

Johnson/Anderson vs Stewart and his partner Luke something: Sorry Luke. Lots of matches here. I liked Stewart's thing with the sunglasses. That's why I remember his name and not the other guy. Johnson looked pretty good in there for his experience level. I would have liked him timing his punches to the fans clapping along when he was fighting from underneath because that sort of gives them a cookie for being part of the show (I very much liked the walk over the back callback of course; this stuff is in basically every AEW match and good for them). Anderson is very new at this but doing what he should be doing. Obviously he was going to be a little ginger between moves and some of the angles would be off but it's ok. Early days. I liked how this match could have been taken from 1994 without any deviation. Good pacing. Good, solid ringtime for these guys. Learn how to do this and then the more complex stuff will come. Hell, in a perfect world, it'd almost barely even have to.

FTR vs Greene/Rogers: I loved the first five minutes of this, no question. That sort of stuttering heel control where  the faces get shine. The balance is tricky here as you don't want FTR to stooge too much or to have to rely 100% on cheating and really, it was more like them having to rely 50% on cheating, so it was very good. I've been watching so much French wrestling that there were times here I wanted the faces to hang on to an arm during a power slam and keep the hold going but that works in a 30 or 20 minute match and not in a ten minute one. The whole appeal of the Revival was that they took traditional tag structures and overlaid 2010s move and combos onto them and frankly, other than the finishing moves out of Cash, there was much less of that here and they leaned even more into very, very plausible and logical offense, including creative double teams that were not at all cooperative. Cash's back elbow in the corner was great and the miss to set up the extended (see: earned) hot tag really worked. I'm not super familiar with Greene but I knew he worked a sort of uber 80s gimmick on the 80s. I was surprised by the athleticism here. The dive by Rogers at the end was crazy and worked to set up the finish. I thought it was interesting how so much of the finishing stretch (either the pin exchanges or the final bit) were straight one on one. I don't think anyone puts more thought (maybe equal but not more) into what they do than FTR and it's great that they're able to have a canvas like this to experiment with game opponents. I'm much more interested in seeing them work matches like this than against a lot of the top of the tag division.

Edited by Matt D
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Wardlow’s Casualty of War is 100% dependent on hisn opponent’s willingness to sell out for it. Either looks like absolute death or absolute shit. Very few in-betweens.

Here’s a solid one:

wardlow-knee.gif

Best one I ever saw, the guy kept his feet hooked on the rope the whole way down and face planted on the mat. Hats off to...whoever that was.

Edited by EVA
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Re: TSN. It's fucking ridiculous. Its been almost two months and it doesn't seem like it's happening. Yeah they got the CFL on most of their channels at that time but one channel was playing PFL and another random archival bullshit. Dynamite does at worst decent numbers and should be gaining viewers with the roster additions. Why wouldn't they want another show that will bring viewers? 

And at what point do Turner executives think about moving Rampage out of such a death slot? 

Edited by Jiji
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3 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Thank god.  I don't want her hopping around the ring and pooping everywhere.  Though that may get over in some circles.

Now that  Plane Ride From Hell has aired and we're all understanding all things misogynistic and whatnot, hey, maybe we can go after gendered insults next.  Unless he's complimenting Cage for being flexible, able to take a pounding, and good at giving life to the world.

Maybe Cage has taken over Allie Kat's gimmick and Buddy is just breaking the news to us?

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1 hour ago, Jiji said:

Re: TSN. It's fucking ridiculous. Its been almost two months and it doesn't seem like it's happening. Yeah they got the CFL on most of their channels at that time but one channel was playing PFL and another random archival bullshit. Dynamite does at worst decent numbers and should be gaining viewers with the roster additions. Why wouldn't they want another show that will bring viewers? 

And at what point do Turner executives think about moving Rampage out of such a death slot? 

They're regularly pulling in 600k+ every Friday at 10 pm. Unfortunately, I think they're more than happy to keep it at that time and day. It's just easy money for them at this point. 

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Re: Wardlow's finish: Too many lift up knee things now, especially with Punk there now. Someone else (Avalon maybe?) did something like that too. Wardlow doesn't need that.

Dark 9/21/21 Part 2:

Bunny vs Kay: Maybe my favorite Bunny squash so far. She portrays deranged viciousness well most of the time. There's probably a limit on how far you'd want to push her, but as a second and mid-card heel act, she's good at what she does. Kay was ok. The back handspring for the shoulder in the corner looked fine and not contrived. She took stuff well enough though I don't think I ever fully bought most of her little bursts of offense. While I liked Bunny's knee usage, I think she needs some more interesting/stylized cutoffs maybe? It's not one-size fits all. What might work for FTR wouldn't work for her and etc.

Archer vs Kross: Fun beating. Kross got some hope to begin and I wish he didn't. It'd have been more funny if he did some of his usual goofiness and just got crushed for it. The way Archer starts his matches (carrying or chasing his opponent) is part of the appeal right now, so here was a prime opportunity wasted. Kross sure threw himself into all of Archer's offense though.

Wingmen vs Dark Order: Avalon's facial expression after Silver's huge beale was the best part of the match. Second best was the fact that you KNEW after he couldn't hit the double suplex that it would turn into the big transition to set up the hot tag. It was 100% the right move. You can't tease it and not deliver and there's no reason to get too fancy with the structure here, on Dark, with the comedy heels and the Dark Order. I liked how Nesmeth's double neckbreaker then completely failed later, as he deserves. I wonder if the overarching dissension angle should have been played up more and they decided not to do that because -1 was there? Nothing to dwell too much on. I'm glad he got to spend some time at Universal. Just a thought. Other highlight was Taz's commentary about Hook and how he'd do whatever and didn't listen to him. Funny stuff.

Garcia vs Angels: Garcia is an extremely natural jerk in there. You don't get the sense he's some guy playing pro wrestler. I'm not sure what sort of trajectory these guys will take over the next many years, but as much as Moriarty and Garcia could have years of feuding in front of them, Angels and Garcia could too. I thought they had very good chemistry here. Angels' big dive was great though you really felt the absence of the Dark Order with all the 2.0 interference. They could have played that up more on commentary. I'd like to see Angels in an odd couple tag team with a bigger and higher positioned babyface (like a Kingston or Mox) at some point. I don't know; these guys are all new to me.

Factory trios: Better use of QT here as he came in after Comoroto destroyed Carter(?) and snuck in at the end to claim the victory. Comoroto's one arm powerbomb out of the corner was awesome. Match was laid out fine with the enhancement guys getting a shot in each and then getting crushed.

Drake vs Cabana: This was good. Again, too many faction distractions to create transitions on this show. Here Uno and -1 were ineffectual out there. Drake is one of my favorite guys in AEW so far (and I badly need to watch that Cobb match that was suggested to me; I'll get there as I only just saw Punk vs Darby today) and he played into Colt's comedy stuff well early and had some big cut offs later. He has a different body type than anyone in the company and is pretty good at leaning into that. He knows his place on the card and the meaning behind his stature and gives pretty appropriately accordingly. I'd like him as FTR's heater personally. Colt's like watching an old friend. This one would have been a good place to have the Dark Order (even -1) play into the finish by halting Wingmen interference and make everything on the show so far pay off, but you can't really do that with the dissension angle, so they were stuck. I think a little more thought could have been given on a show where you were going to have FOUR Dark Order matches.

Kingston vs Bear Bronson: I would have probably placed Drake vs Cabana earlier in the show because there was a little bit of overlap in body types and some moves (like the somersault avalanche in the corner). Plenty of differences too though. They really went at it here. Kingston's got that quality of a lot of wise folk heroes in pro wrestling history to always get shots in and fire back when you're eating offense. Here he was shooting chops in while he was getting picked up. He knew what he was in there with and he knew the opportunity inherent in having him as an opponent and how to put him over and make himself look all the better in the process, down to the post-match promo where he talked him up for a second before getting on to business. And nothing about this hurt Bear because he's in a tag and not used to wrestling singles and because he took everything Kingston through at him and dominated a lot of the match, even though Kingston was never even close to being out of it.

Edited by Matt D
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8 hours ago, The Natural said:

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CM Punk meets the fan at AEW All Out 2021 who was mocked for crying at Punk's AEW Rampage: The First Dance debut. Cool something good come from it. There was no need to take the piss out of said fan reacting the way he did.

Ironic there's a Coca-Cola bottle.

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Just a random shower thought I had the other day, Miro's kryptonite being the DDT should totally run into someone being tutored by Jake in order to finally put him down.

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If I had to guess what is going on with Jake, it’s that they are back on the road, and he probably doesn’t feel like traveling state to state. COVID might’ve also spooked him too.

Remember he only did a few Pre-COVID shows before everything was locked down. So who knows, maybe AEW stationed in Jacksonville made it easier for him to commit to more dates. Now not so much now that they are on the road. Also AEW is super secret about every possible injury or illness. So you won’t here a peep until the person is ready to reveal it.

To be honest, Lance is better off without Jake. Which is a very sad thing to say. Hopefully we get more Suzuki-Gun lead team now with Archer.

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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3 hours ago, Jiji said:

And at what point do Turner executives think about moving Rampage out of such a death slot? 

I mean, the show has been on the air for a month.  If Turner execs were concerned about the time slot, Rampage wouldn't be on at 10 PM on a Friday in the first place.

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24 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Oh that's another thing about Archer.

Call him the Monster. Call him the Murderhawk. Even call him the Murder Monster.

Don't call him the Murderhawk Monster.

I've always assumed that "Murderhawk" is whatever he calls his hairstyle, which doesn't make things any better. 

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Also, who has Excalibur's e-mail address?

I need to write him a thousand word e-mail about the importance of no longer calling the move the La Magistral and calling it La Casita instead as they've done in CMLL for decades because of Negro Casas. If AEW is all about righting the great wrongs in wrestling, that's definitely one of them. This is one of my goals for the next 12 months.

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