IT’S STING! (An AEW Review)

Hey, kids.  It’s the Botching one with another entry into the Elite Journal.  As I’m sure you’ve seen on social media, things HAPPENED tonight.  As usual, I will be very free with my opinions.  I’m open to dialog so if you disagree with me, let me have it in the comments.  I’m a big boy.  Okay, let’s get into this!

 

Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal

I literally forgot about that ring.  It’s never defended.  MJF did a quick, fun promo at the end.  They’re still trying to make Scorpio Sky/Shawn Spears a thing.  They don’t get what the problem is:  we like Scorpio and we don’t care about Spears.  We never did.  He’s utterly boring and no matter what they do, it all comes down to his inability to make us care.  There’s really no wonder why he didn’t get Vince’s attention in WWE.  He was removed about midway through but Tully handed Spears the steel slug and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..sorry…

Anyway, the match.  Fun seeing Wardlow protecting both MJF and Guevara.  Gotta love “the fix”.  Kind of interesting that Dark Order protected Page too.  Wonder what that could mean?  Interesting to see how long Lee Johnson managed to last.  Of course, he didn’t make it to the end but he lasted longer than a lot of them did.  Miro went on an elimination bender towards the end – taking out four people – one right after the other.  The Inner Circle members dispatched him near the end and we were left with Jungle Boy and the Inner Circle.  Sammy & Jungle Boy were a lot of fun on the apron and the uneasiness between Guevara and MJF continues.  Gotta love that.  I love that Cassidy was sent back into the ring, only for him to eliminate Wardlow.  The promos between MJF and Cassidy alone will be golden.  Miro came out to menace but I still don’t care.  He’s got work to do to make me care too.

 

Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Jericho

This is a first.  Both have been around forever, though of course Jericho has been light years more successful than Kazarian’s been.  The commentators decided to tell the story of all that Kazarian’s done and where he’s been.  This was a fun match and they both really made a show of this.  Jericho won this one but two of them worked pretty well together.  Loved the spot where Kazarian put on the Walls of Jericho and wouldn’t let it go despite the menacing of Ortiz.

Story took over the second half as the Inner Circle came out and showed all their lovely discord.  MJF and Sammy are decidedly NOT okay.  MJF showed up and Inner Circle is rotting from the inside.

 

Backstage segment – Young Bucks & The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens & Max Caster) & Hybrid2 (Angélico & Jack Evans)

Max Caster is a riot.  I’ve been watching him since he was in CZW.  Anthony Bowens did a quick thing in WWE a couple of years ago and has been on the indies for a while.  Caster is translating very well.  Bowens?  He’s not a disaster but he seems to be trying awfully hard and it’s nearly annoying.  Hopefully, he’ll settle into to something as time goes on.  Hybrid2 came out for the attack.  They wouldn’t be disrespected.  Fairly standard stuff but it was all well-done.

 

Dr. Britt Baker, DMD vs. Leyla Hirsch

Another women’s match that’s happening because…reasons.  You’d think they’d have figured this out by now.  I’m not gonna care about a match simply because it happens.  I need story to get me into it.

Britt had been doing better.  Tonight, it all fell apart.  “Straight kick to the face”.  Not really, JR.  Baker slightly touched Hirsch in the face with her boot.  Incredibly weak-looking.  Britt does an awful Sling Blade too.  Nearly everything Baker did varied from kinda sloppy to incredibly sloppy.  Leila did her best and she looked really good in there but Baker was just a train wreck in there.  Nothing looked good.  There is no excuse for Baker to be this bad after five years of experience.  They want us to care about Baker vs. Thunder Rosa so we got the attack from Rosa in the ring.  I don’t care.  You likely don’t either.  This is only getting the rating it’s getting because of Leyla.  Britt was just awful.

 

Darby Allin & Cody Rhodes vs. Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs

Darby is such a different character and I really like him. His ring name is taken from punk icons Darby Crash & GG Allin.  The skateboarding to the ring is a nice touch.  The botched commercial break throw was a riot.  I’ve never seen Starks in a situation where he has to take a lot of damage.  He did it really well.  Allin did too.  Starks is just so much money.   Hobbs is just absolutely beastly in there.  They’re building both Starks & Hobbs and doing it really well.  Hobbs menaces pretty well in there too.  Very powerful.  That overthrow ear throw from Hobbs onto Allin looked great and that was due in no small part to Allin resting his shins on Hobbs thighs so he could do it.  Nice cooperation from both.  Sadly, the final pin was really ugly.  I love Allin’s Coffin Drop but the pin…really wasn’t.  Starks’ shoulders weren’t down at all and the camera angle was unfortunately right on the money to show us that.  Still, the match really was solid.

 

After-match stuff

I have to split this off because it’s not fair to put this nonsense in with the match itself.  I absolutely HATE that Arn was in the ring.  I understand that they really want to get Hobbs over and I’m all for that but Arn is ENTIRELY TOO OLD and injured to be involved in things like that.  The people who watch AEW will know too much and we all know what made Arn retire.  Other chaos ensued and it made perfect sense.  I like the idea of Hobbs and Allin A LOT.  Should be fun.

Speaking of too old, why Sting?  I’m sure I’m supposed to “mark out” at his appearance.  There’s no denying all that he’s done.  I get that totally.  I was a huge Sting fan…in the 90’s.  Heck, he was even fun in TNA at times.  I’ll even let you have the “Vigilante Sting” thing, though it ended badly in the Mania match and then in the Buckle Bomb heard ’round the world.  No one thought Sting would ever sign to WWE and he actually did it!  That meant something.

Sting in AEW?  Like…why?  Of course, we don’t know why he came out and I’m fine with that.  Forgive me for appearing ageist but I really don’t want see a 61 year-old man in a wrestling ring.  He’s not even a year younger than Arn.  It appears Sting doesn’t know when to quit either.  I also appears that AEW is rolling back HARD on that “we won’t become another WCW”.  If the grade (for all it means) bothers you, please sound off in the comments.  I’m happy to engage in a dialog.  Heck, I’m even ready to debate and I’ll admit it if you can show me that I’m wrong.

 

Backstage segment – Hikaru Shida

Awful stuff.  Just awful.  The less said about this, the better.

 

Backstage segment – Jon Moxley

Nobody does segments like this better than Jon Moxley.  He is a master storytelling.

 

Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega

So Impact Wrestling will be collaborating with AEW now.  Got it.  This thing went everywhere as we knew it would.  Nasty little dragon screw using the outside was just nasty.  There is literally no one who sells better than Mox.  His face just tells the story incredibly well.  Omega may have largely failed as a character in AEW thus far but he NEVER fails in the ring.  Love the story that Mox wanted to inflict harm rather than just beat Omega.  This referenced the backstage attack nicely.  The spot with them sitting on chairs just going at it was inspired.  We also got the first instance of someone kicking out of the Paradigm Shift.  The V-Trigger while Mox was diving at Omega didn’t look good at all.  It just looked silly.

The silly Don Callis interference in the chain of events was quite silly.  There was no reason for him to be out there.  Excalibur lazily tried to explain why he was there but it still made zero sense from a storyline perspective.  ‘Course, we know that There’s an agreement in place between Impact & AEW now.

While I don’t really like the idea of Omega being the champ because he’s not as over as he thinks he is, I do like the idea of the title change here.  The title holders thus far have long and meaningful runs and the loss always a shock.  They tried to make this look like a screwjob but the story wasn’t told well enough for it to qualify, IMHO.  Callis had the refs attention and Omega took advantage.  It’s happened a thousand times before.  It’s not unique at all.  This wasn’t some grand “screwjob”.  LOL!

Guess we know what AEW’s second show is going to be now…

 

We got the good, the bad, and the ugly on AEW this week.  The battle royal really was fun.  The first-time match between Kazarian and Jericho was too.  All the Inner Circle drama makes for great TV.  Hikaru Shida is a mess on the mic and her run as women’s champ has been completely underwhelming.  Why she still has the belt is beyond me.  There have been numerous opportunities to take the title off of her and they haven’t done it.  Meanwhile. Swole sits in catering.  Like…why?  Oh, right, they don’t care about the women.  Mox/Omega was a fun match with a silly ending and the announcement of a partnership no one asked for between AEW and…Impact.  Apparently, Sting will get a mic next week.  We’ll see how that goes.  So far, I’m pretty dubious as you saw above.

See you next week for another Elite Journal entry!