Thumbs up for me, MJF vs Cody was more wrestling less bar room brawl after someone insulted someone else's mother then I was hoping for, but the main event and the tag match more than made up for any short comings.
Worth watcing if you missed it.
The womens match was sloppy and went 2~4 minutes too long, the Dustin match was fine and went 2~4 minutes too long as well. Nothing was following that tag match.
Somewhere Jim Cornette is furious and has no idea why.
Outside of Cody vs MJF, I enjoyed the show. The Tegan Nox vs Dakota Kai match from the last NXT show has raised the bar on what I expect from a proper grudge match, and Cody / MJF utterly failed to deliver. Both went through full entrances, both stood around waiting in the ring, and it was too much of a wrestling match. Now, all of that I'll forgive of MJF, he didn't want to be there, but Cody was supposed to be chomping at the bit to get his hands on MJF, and that just didn't happen. Then it took too long to get to where it needed to be. Hell, Darby and Sammy felt more a grudge match than this did.
Again, this match is now the bar that I'm going to be holding this sort of match too, and it's high.
Other than that, I enjoyed the show. Statlander and Rose was maybe a little long and flat, but it was okay. Same with the opener, but that has the excuse of being an opener. Like everyone else in history I loved the tag match, the main event was pretty hype, but PAC vs Orange Cassidy was my favourite, because I love the dumbness of it all, and it felt like everyone else did, even JR and Tony.
Also, every match didn't feel like the exact same thing, which is what a wrestling show should be.
my big points of the night:
Statlander was a bit sloppy in this one but I am a fan. Nyla however I do not find entertaining to watch wrestle or as a character. They usually just have her go overboard with violence and that's about it. Nothing impressive in the ring to me. Statlander, even still sick apparently, had the stand out moments.
Dustin v Hager had moments but overall rather lackluster match. I also hate them playing up the MMA thing so much to make Hager use a arm triangle in a pro wrestling match. Simply not a good pro wrestling move.
Cody v MJF.... fuck Cody what the hell are you doing with that tattoo. No lie the tattoo took me out of the entire match almost, just checking twitter to see if it was real and all that and it is. What a bad choice lol. In ring I think MJF is not the most compelling wrestler and the whole thing just didn't live up to the build up. But I can't lie the tattoo really took me out of it.
Now, onto the better:
Moxley v Jericho was pretty fun. I personally am not too big of a Moxley guy so it all was a little meh for me but I am really happy for the guy and obviously he's loved by many. However, the eye stuff was fucking stupid. The eyepatch came off at some point every week up to this. We knew his eye was fine. And past that, so the guy wore an eyepatch... why? to just take it off for one second to shock jericho but otherwise it just actually gave him the disadvantage an eyepatch would for weeks.... what? really dumb angle lol.
now onto the best parts:
PAC v Orange Cassidy was as cool as I'd hoped it be. PAC did such a good job as a foil to Cassidy and getting him over... and boy is he over. Its crazy to see this kind of wrestling weirdness get such a huge reaction but I truly love it. i thought the Lucha Bros part was a downer to the match that it didn't need (even tho I love me some Lucha Bros).
Allin v Sammy rocked! I loved this match. Two guys doing some truly insane shit in the ring. Sammys jump off the top rope to the outside with the 540 splash or whatever was an insane spot. Then Allin doing the dive with Sammy on the guard rail.... that was insane! he missed it and landed short but can you fucking imagine if he hadnt? it would have been brutal. Both guys are such rising stars.
Omega and Hangman v the Bucks was great. I thought the dynamics of their relationship was well acted in the ring and I was still swerved by the Omega and Hangman win since it seemed like the Bucks were gonna take that. I really do hope they go full heel for a while tho. To me they are clearly not as oveer with the crowd, I think simply due to their long presence in wrestling and how iconic their moves and stuff are. I think this kind of heel turn could do a lot for them.
The tag match was masterful, and the Hangman/Omega story is the best of the brand's history so far in my opinion. (Which is only speaking to how strong it is, I think.)
Hangman Page is so ridiculously over, and I love it, especially considering the rumbles of doubt when AEW first started. The Bucks played their part in the story to perfection, and Kenny is low key the glue to the whole thing.
And that's not even mentioning how fantastic the match was.
Moxley and Jericho are bringing the eyes, Cody is the foundation, but the long game is building new megastars. It seems to me Hangman, Omega, and Darby Allin are being built and positioned as the cream of the crop, and it is SUPER working. MJF isn't too far behind but he needs a little more refinement I think. A little.
All signs point to Hangman vs Omega at Double or Nothing and its going to be brilliant.
I liked most of the show. What's notable is that the show's pacing was superb. They knew how to have slower matches and faster matches in a way that the watcher/crowd didn't get worn out.
Some scattered thoughts:
Orange Cassidy is pure Fire.
As mentioned, Nyla Rose needs to go. She's just way too green and not charismatic enough to pull off what they're trying to pull of with her. I just keep on getting a female Takashi Yoshida vibe from her and that's not a good thing.
Cody... what the fuck is that tattoo. Also, Cody still manages to make any match that's supposed to be great on paper into just a mediocre match. He truly is the 3 star savior. Sammy and Darby completely outshined them in what a grudge match should look like.
The Dark Order vs. SCU match was once again excellent and shamefully isn't getting attention because it was on the pre-show. I'm guessing the Exalted one reveal will happen on Dynamite.
Dustin/Jake - I didn't think it downright sucked, but it was absolutely more of a flat opener. I did like the random story telling of Jakes wife at ringside and the spot they played with Dustin. And while I totally get why some aren't as high on the idea of him using a arm triangle/ezekiel choke, I think it can be a fine finish if they did it properly. Pacing was just odd, and he did it standing should of started standing and dragged him down. Aleksei Oleinik Hager is not. A passable if disappointing opener.
Sammy/Darby - Such a smart grudge match. Darby is over as hell, continues to get over by how he's utilized in the ring. I really liked how they decided to do the outside stuff before the bell, just an example of how they try to tell different stories with their matches instead of just running through. Either could of won here and still looked strong but Jake saving Sammy from Darby getting full vengeance works to end. Fun well paced match.
Page/Omega vs Bucks - YES! Sorry I'm just happy Bucks didn't win. I really think everyone assumes it's going to be a Page/Omega feud and this will run it's course soon but I'm telling you your all wrong. Page/Omega are going to slowly evolve into a team with more unity. I think Kenny leaves the elite and has enough of the Bucks, as he realizes they are the ones who keep trying to push his attention to their problems, their battles etc. Plus the Bucks adjusting to work heel in this match as the crowd was way hotter for Page/Omega made sense. Yeah it was a bit crazy with lots of false finishers but I think they earned that. The crowd really thought Page was turning and that Bucks would win, so they played with that very well. I hope we see Omega/Page hold the tag belts for months yet, it's such a good way to stretch this story out.
Nyla/Statlander - Yeah this one was a bit sloppy no denying that. It had a few good moments, I thought Nyla's spear through the ropes was good and she had some good facial reactions to sell the seriousness of Statlander. But both are green so there was some spots and moves just hit wonky. I really do like both, I think Nyla has the promo skills and has shown she can get better that she'll grow into the championship role. But this was not the epic match I think they were hoping for here.
MJF/Cody - Color me confused. I'm kinda curious why so many people hate this match? Like, I get the idea that it didn't feel like a "grudge match" per se especially compared to Darby/Sammy but the storytelling is everything here. Cody had to work and claw to get MJF to agree to wrestle him, so there was no doubt Cody didn't want to get DQ'd in his first match. Commentators did a great job to me selling that Cody was trying to work within himself to get what he wanted. Even as the match opened Cody was house of fire and MJF rolled to the outside. The manager stuff on the outside was also fine and helped set up some stories and justify how so much was going on at points when MJF cheated to win. I think Cody's story is far more dense than one feud match with MJF, and for that reason I felt this was actually a solid match story wise. Cody and MJF need better finishers though. Cross Rhodes/Double Cross is starting to wear thin, even when either hit it a little better.
PAC/Cassidy - HYPE HYPE HYPE! This was equal parts hilarious as it was amazing. I have yet to see OC in singles so this was my first exposure and man was it amazing. Rolling from one side of the ring to the other as a counter was great storytelling and a logical way to counter moves/frustrate an opponent. The idea that Cassidy slowly played on Pacs nerves was smart. Crowd was super hot for Cassidy. Placement of this was good too to let crowd wind down from Cody/MJF to the comedy fun match. What is with the Lucha Bros though? Like everyone "loves them" but they are CLEARLY heels. They do nothing but run in on face tag teams, yet people have them over as hell. Doesn't make any sense to me, they should be booked as straight heels so AEW can finally justify their awful use of the tag rules. (Not that the tag title match was much better with that tbh.)
Jericho/Moxley - I thought it was fine, but just fine. Mox's entrance from the outside was great as was Jericho's little opera stunt. Could tell in general they were trying to treat this as their Mania with those type of entrances, Cody had a live one too. Match itself was simply fine though. I agree that the eyepatch storyline stuff wasn't well telegraphed and kind of fell flat. Should of happened at a less pivotal point in the match, maybe after Jericho lost his posse but not directly leading to the finish. Mox winning is also, just fine. Crowd was into it once they realized he was going to win, but the post celebration had a lot of people looking to the ramp for a run in or a debut or something. It's odd to say this but I don't know despite the record if Mox like story wise, has done enough to justify a long face run right now. Other than have a fun feud with Omega he hasn't done anything story wise in AEW. I really hope they don't plan on settling into a year plus Mox run right now, not unless they have something planned to keep things up.
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