The show felt long. Zoomed out tho, they delivered plenty of good stuff.
Sometimes I wonder if the guys booking these shows have seen too much: attitude era, Cena era WWE, vintage nwa, best days All Japan, ROH workrate HOF stuff, recent resurgence New Japan stuff, and some anime mixed in just cuz. You can see all of in AEW..sometimes all in the same match. And, like a lot of people say as a negative, they assume the viewer knows it too. For me: I’ve seen plenty of that shit, so this approach doesn’t completely turn me off even when the kickouts and finishes get obviously a tad heavy.
The biggest crime is when they do two or more of the same type of match and/or finish on the same show. It’s bad booking straight up and down and there’s no excuse. That’s WCW, ROH and New Japan at their worst shit.
On the other hand, we’d all die if they just showed up with a non-NXTish WWE show on another channel. Yes we would! We can go back in time and look: we were mostly complaining our asses off about WWE’s main roster. I was saying NXT was better before AEW came around.
So what do they do? Do they TNA themselves by trying to be WWE lite? Ick. Don’t like that as mentioned above. We know they can’t go all ROH either where it’s ‘just wrestling’. NXT, as much as I loved it’s core run, it was kinda ROH with better cameras and occasional badass simple NWA storytelling. But they were smart enough to do shorter shows. 2.5 hours and stuff. 5 matches, video package breaks, different finishers, different match types, well booked shows. There wasn’t gonna be multiple chaotic tag matches with elaborate finishes on the same show like Full Gear had for instance.
Mix this all together and AEW kinda ends up where they are…trying to mix their favorite stuff from everything they’ve ever seen and done to make one big ass mega show every time out.
Half the roster damn near has been through WWE at some point so hey..that speaks very well of the last 20 years of WWE. Aka WWE has helped a lot of people become better wrestlers and characters than they were before. But logically, WWE couldn’t do right by all of these folks even if they wanted do. The shame on them is that they clearly don’t even kinda want to do right by everyone. They’re still on their ‘one huge star and everyone else is basically food’ shit.
So here we are. TK put the money up and we get an American alternative with a fuckton of folks who most of us claimed deserved better than being openly buried on WWE TV or being stuck in Japan getting elbowed in the face and neck a lot. This is good times and I can’t get over how cool it is even as they find their way and try to figure out everything without making all of the same mistakes as all of the shit they’re drawing their inspiration from. If you have a good roster, I’m going to try to give you a chance to work it out.
Oh, and now they have Jay Lethal in position to check off some cool matches for himself on his way to retirement. And he’s not Jericho/damn near done either. Ain’t that nice.
The super great thing from last night: they finished the fucking story with Hangman. He was their ‘gonna be the guy’ guy when they didn’t know if/when they’d ever get anyone else to join who was already a star. That’s adorable now considering they’ve gotten multiple workrate machines and stars from some of everywhere. And goddamn CM Punk! It’s insanely great! But anyway, they could’ve sold out Hangman, said ‘yeah, we have real stars now so fuck this cowboy shit’. But no. Kid got in shape (he looks GOOD), they told the story, Kenny and the Bucks went above and beyond to be assholes and bitches for a year, and then, when it was time: they didn’t bullshit. They did the finish they booked towards. Kenny tried everything but couldn’t stop the train. And the Bucks did the whole ‘it’s time for us to cut the shit and quit cheating for Kenny’ deal..I loved it. We can talk a bunch of shit about nuance but again..think of all of the damn times we got stuck with WWE (and WCW and TNA) booking towards a finish then fucking it off just to swerve everyone. Or to debut someone.
Wait, 3 great things: 2nd, Darby and MJF were excellent. They pretty much stole the show out of the gate. The rest of the night felt like almost everyone trying to outdo what they laid down. Lastly, holy moly CM Punk is a smart, dynamic, and excellent wrestling mind. I raised my eyebrows when he called EK a bum during the lead up..that’s heel shit. The match and promos had obvious callbacks to Punk/Cena. It’s gorgeously nerdy wrestling stuff. I loved it and hope they have a cool direction already laid out. We’ll see. And it’s easily worth checking into.
>To me , the stuff I enjoy and enjoyed most is the stuff with
>a More traditional pace and better established characters
>The best matches - by far - were Darby Allin/MJF, Miro/BD, and
>I agree that if they leverage this well enough they can get
>Eddie Kingston to another level.
>But then what? Then he gets to pal around with Pac and Andrade
>and other great guys who just don’t really ever do anything?
>It’s a legitimate concern and not just for EK but for anyone
>who’s on the ascent…how does AEW navigate these growing
>pains and come to terms with the fact that not every work rate
>horse can run every night? And the matches you DO put on the
>card…is there actual emotion there? Spots and spots and
>spots - cool, do we have a story here?
>Miro/BD finish was weird, Luchas/FTR finish was Vincetastic,
>and I felll asleep but it sounds like the Omega/Cowboy finish
>was off too?
>Lastly, I guess Adam Cole is having fun, but for how I feel
>about him this angle is so far beneath him. He should be where
>Omega is but maybe he doesn’t want to be.