- Pre-Show: Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent to become No. 1 contenders to the AEW Tag Titles.
Tonight on PPV. $50.
I haven't watched an entire episode of AEW in awhile, but I'm mildly interested in the PPV. Not enough to buy it.
Think they rushed to Moxley/Lee way too fast. The guy has been in the company, what two months? Now someone has to lose, and neither need to.
I don't know how well the matches have been built, but you could probably trim Rhodes/Spears, Ford/Statlander and MJF/Jungle Boy and have a better show. I'd prefer a tight, laser focused 2 hour (or 2 and a half) PPV priced at $25 or $30 over a $50 with unnecessary filler.
So I'll give some brief bullet thoughts on each match followed by some general thoughts
-Pre Show match was decent hurt only by numerous botches on the part of Private Party. I think these last few months a lot of credit needs to go to Trent as the guy has really been on fire.
-Casino Ladder match. Some good spots, some sloppy spots. Rules were a bit Russo like in that it was built in a way that technically you could have a winner without all the participants even making it into the match. Multi matches like this to me always suffer from the fact that you have a guy laying around on the outside like he's been shot from a basic move that never would keep in damn in a regular match. Just one example, Scorpio Sky missed an attack in ring to Orange Cassidy and went to the outside with minimal impact but spent several minutes just laying on the floor. Brian Cage as the surprise was very nice and I think he can be a big star in AEW I just don't know if him winning was the right choice. I think they had a good out with the other wrestlers burying him so he could have lost but been protected.
-MJF vs Jungle Boy. MJF is a star plain and simple, it's only a matter of time before he's a top heel but I like that they aren't rushing him into the main event. Even though there wasn't a ton of story for these guys to work off of I thought they had an excellent match and I love the little things MJF does. His finisher is an arm submission so he works the arm, and not just a minute before he goes for the finish but through the whole match. An art that is lost on a lot of newer talent. Also always good to see a heel in the vein of MJF win clean, bad guys shouldn't always cheat as it kills the impact it has when they do.
-Penelope Ford vs Kris Statlander. A shame that Baker got hurt and was pulled from this match as I suspect it was going to be used to work her back towards the title. That said this match actually surpassed my expectations. Good match that didn't overstay it's welcome but made both look strong. I also thought Kip Sabian coming out with multiple body parts wrapped up and two crutches also was a fun thing for the character.
Cody vs Lance Archer. I wasn't sure what they were going to do here but the booking was the right call. I can appreciate Cody putting so much of the talent over but you have to pick and choose your battles. Strange spot for Lance since he's newer but he had a strong enough showing that he won't lose too much and can bounce back.
Spears vs Rhodes - Fun for what it was but honestly could have been on the pre-show. I did laugh at the Tully reference though.
Nyla Rose vs Hikaru Shida. I'm sorry but I just really don't care for Rose's in ring work. Basically the Nia Jax of AEW. Nyla is one of those talents that can cover up their faults in shorter matches and look solid but the longer the match goes her cardio seems to start to fade fast. Once that happens her bumps get sloppy, her kickouts are almost non existent and in some cases her moves get reckless. I fully expected this to be a successful defense for Rose but was happy to see Shida get the clean win.
Moxley vs Lee. Like Riot I was really worried that AEW had painted themselves into a corner with this one. Moxely was unbeaten in singles matches in AEW and early into his title reign, while Lee was new to the company and made to look dominant. Yet if they went for a screwy non finish then they would be doing something that they said early on they would not. That said the match was a fun brawl with both men hitting some good spots. One thing I'll point out that AEW needs to address overall; they need to formally talk about that the ref being more lenient with counts in title matches. Wasn't exclusive to this match but seems like every time there is a title match the wrestlers spend a ton of time outside without the ref counting. I'm fine with there being leniency in those matches but just let the fans know. That said I liked the Bigelow/Taz like spot on the ramp. I even liked the story of Lee refusing to stay down and literally having to be choked unconscious. I just wonder what the direction for Lee is going to be following this. Was also surprised to not see Uno/Grayson make their return to the group.
Stadium Stampede. Holy crap was this match fun. Shooting this beforehand and editing it to keep it tight was a great decision. I can easily say for me this has been the most entertaining bout I've seen during the pandemic at this point. Countless fun spots and even though the rest of the show was good even if it had been crap this would have match the PPV worth the watch.