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Old 07-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #986
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Join Date: Jun 2002

A pretty fair review of the latest AEW card by Mr Tito over at Lord's of Pain. Tito has been around forever and is probably one of the better columnists in terms of wrestling columns. He goes way back to the Monday Night Wars. He's also become pretty critical of the current WWE product to the point where he describes it as torture to write about it.

Like I said there are some good points and bad points to AEW which is to be expected. But its hard when you have a audience that as he's said is screaming take our money.

Just some high low lights of his column

Which brings us to AEW… AEW’s biggest flaw is trying to mix guys who could be serious top draws in the business (Cody, Omega, Jericho, MJP, Page, Moxley) with bunch of guys who did goofy or violent stuff on the indy scene. AEW, however, treats them as equals! Just look at Cody Rhodes vs. Darby Allin. Cody is an accomplished wrestler with an impressive resume worldwide yet he tried to make a 5’8″ Allin appear to be on the same level as him. No, he’s not. Allin couldn’t start up his own promotion and convince 10,000 fans to fill it. MJF is one of your top talents and easily the best talker in the promotion. Yet, for the last 2 events, he has to sell for “UK’s Death Match King” named Jimmy Havoc. Jon Moxley is the biggest Free Agent STEAL since Kurt Angle bolted on WWE to join TNA wrestling during 2006. Yet, he’s wrestled a hardcore match against Joey Janela.

^^^ Right THERE is your problem. You aren’t treating your best wrestlers as stars and you’re treating guys who should be midcard acts as top guys. AEW is like the socialist model for pro wrestling where they try to make everybody appear equal… WWE has tried this model for years and it has killed them, as their NXT call-ups are pushed like instant World Title contenders.
And I don’t know WHAT AEW is doing with their Women’s Division. Super heavyweight wrestlers are easily harmed by women half their size and AEW appears to have their own version of Stephanie McMahon.

et, this is your 3rd show as an upstart wrestling promotion. I completely understand that a new promotion has trials and errors… But the Creative and the Talent decisions has me questioning the decision by Tony Khan to let wrestlers become EVPs as well. However, AEW has 1 massive show in Chicago to set things straight… Otherwise, their debut on TNT could be underwhelming.

Between Sonny Kiss and the impressive efforts of the Women’s Tag match, we finally had an AEW “Buy-In” show that wasn’t insulting. The Battle Royal for the #1 contendership from Double or Nothing and the Hardcore match from Fyter Fest were the worst ways to sell your products to fans. However, Sonny Kiss and the combined efforts of Bea Priestley, Shoko Nakajima, Dr. Britt Baker, and Riho made for a highly entertaining pre-game show. Bea Priestley looks like a legitimate fighter and athlete. I could believe in her defeating Rose or Kong in a match… Nakajima is tiny but damn, she has a ton of athleticism and unique moves to offer. Britt Baker and Riho were solid, as always, and were good selling against Nakajima/Priestley. I can imagine that both are very sore today. Some timing issues here and there, a few blown spots… But for the first time of these team pairings and working together, I was entertained.

Honestly, no issues with the Dark Order vs. Angelico/Jack Evans vs. Luchasaurus/Jungle Boy. It was fast moving with all of the wrestlers having high energy on display throughout the match. I really like Luchasaurus… He has a crazy unique look, great size, and moves like a Cruiserweight yet can mix power moves in as well. I’m not fully sold on the Dark Order yet, as they had 4 great bumping opponents tonight… But we’ll see. The thing I do like about AEW is that they give their Tag Wrestlers freedom to do whatever in the ring and it allows for the wrestlers to push their own creativity. So far, I’ve enjoyed the other Tag Teams more than what Alex Marvez called the “greatest tag team in the world” in the Young Bucks.

I really enjoyed Lucha Brothers vs. So Cal Uncensored. In my opinion, this showcased the Lucha Brothers the best out of the 3 nights with AEW. SCU members sold their stuff more convincingly than the wrestlers in the previous events. Probably the “Match of the Night” for me…

Some of the New Japan matches deserve the praise, yes… But Okada and Jericho work well with everybody they encounter. I’ve had multiple chances now to see Kenny Omega work for the past 2 years… He’s a great athlete and can pull off some interesting stuff in the ring… But the lack of psychology and selling just bothers me with his matches. When a wrestler hits a big move or works on a limb or other body parts, you gotta sell it. Omega wrestles as if he doesn’t feel pain, as he quickly recovers from everything that should devastate any performer in combat sports. New Japan seemed to know how to better market Kenny Omega as a star than Omega knows how to market himself. The match against Cima was fine but it didn’t jump off the page for me. Maybe his matches with Okada have pumped up our expectations too much as if everything he tries could be a “6 star match”? I’m just not seeing that greatness yet in AEW…

We’ve had 3 matches with the Young Bucks now and I’ve seen them for years on Ring of Honor. I’m just not that impressed with them. Both are undersized and instead of pushing the traditional tag team psychology, the Bucks are spot machines and then reduce the seriousness of a tag match by pushing comedy. Cody and Dustin are an actual proven tag team and have many years of experience in that ring. As seen in the WWE, you could put them with any tag team and it produce a consistently good match. Put them with a great team, and you have serious “Match of the Year” contenders. The Young Bucks are EVPs of this company and push themselves as if they should be the absolute top acts of the company… But what they don’t realize is that they were part of Ring of Honor and New Japan’s several attempts to grow their business in the United States that didn’t go over well. They aren’t the draws that they personally believe that they are and are pushing themselves as. Cody Rhodes took the pin in this match. Yikes… He should be your top star of this promotion yet he’s looking weak against wrestlers under 6 feet tall for the last 2 events.
And there was a better need for a “Sense of Urgency” for this match. Young Bucks are the strongest pushed tag team in AEW yet Cody/Dustin were an accomplished tag team in the WWE. This should have really been for a First Round Bye in the tag division, if not for the AEW Tag Titles themselves. Instead, it was just a match put together for this one show.

I don't disagree with Tito on any of his review. AEW has a lot of work to do. They have a strong upper card, but the mid card talent is a bit of a mess.

I also stated at the start, that I've always had a serious problem with promo's that have wrestlers in key booking and wrestling positions. It just turns to consistently bad booking decisions. We saw it here in Stampede with Bruce Hart running the book and becoming the main face of the company. We really saw it in WCW when Nash and Hall and Hogan were on the booking committees. Even in the modern day indies where you have the owner of a fed as a 10 year champion. Having wrestlers in EVP positions or recruiting positions is bad if you want to be taken seriously as a Fed. We saw it in WWE as well, with the HHH shovel of death.

If AEW wants to take the next step they need to bring in a proper booking committee of out of ring members who can protect the wrestlers from themselves.

I do want to add on that yeah, I was never a fan of the Young Bucks, I thought they were ok, but they were just like the early day Hardy's in that they just threw as many spots into a match as possible and had no idea how to tell a story. I also thought that giving Brandi Rhodes the position in ring that they did was silly because it truthfully was too much Stephanie.

AEW has a great upper card. They need to take better advantage of that. But they can't do the everyone is equal thing.

Like I said and even Tito said, these are problems that are fixable and probably easily, but its up to Kahn to decide if he wants to be a wacky indy with a TV deal or something serious.
You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere. Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16…
Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!
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