Put That Over, Excalibur!

Hey, kids.  Better late than never.  No, I mean the show.  It aired late because of the Milwaukee/Boston game so it didn’t begin until 10pm.  That was fine by me as I could watch NXT live and be in the DD with everyone else (most are in there; only a couple of us are in AEW’s DD).  I’m promotion-agnostic so I love it all and I’m totally happy to be in AEW’s DD and more than happy to write this blog now that it’s all on me.

Anyway, let’s get to this Journal entry, shall we?

 

Top Flight (Darius & Dante Martin) vs. Chris Jericho & MJF

Nice speed here at the onset.  I love that Jericho wasn’t afraid to make Top Flight look good at first and he let them get their stuff in right away.  MJF did too.  They made Top Flight look fantastic in there.  Great storytelling.  JR shoots so much on wrestling and now, he’s going after the ref’ing too.  He’s not wrong but dag.  It’s said that the powers that be in AEW don’t exactly love that and I can see why they wouldn’t.  I’m gonna do some too.  I really hate seeing wrestlers stand there waiting to catch the person who’s about to dive on them.  Jericho did that with Dante and it looked really silly.  A favorite between Darius and Dante is emerging for me and it’s Dante.  He’s adjusted to his recent unmasking really well.  Dante isn’t adjusting quite as well but he’ll get it.  There’s just something about Darius that screams “star” even now.

Jericho has absolutely slowed down a bit but anyone would at his age.  He’s only slightly my senior and I couldn’t come anywhere near to doing what he does.  Heck, most half his age couldn’t.  Hagar got involved at just the right moment and it ended the match nicely.  Great double DDT.  Both Eleazar and I just loved it.

Hagar is not a good talker and they put a mic in his hand.  Like…why?  He did kinda okay here…until he almost said “Raw”.  He even cursed a little.  How edgy.  So we’re getting Hagar vs. Wardlow next week.  So not the match the Inner Circle – especially MJF & Jericho – want.  Loved seeing their reactions to it.

 

Cinéma de Video – The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)

Caster is a total star.  He just nails. Fun stuff here and he’s definitely carrying the charisma for this team. I used to watch him periodically on CZW and he just hits so totally different.  He’s very much is own thing and he has buckets of “it”.  Bowen just feels like he’s trying to get on Caster’s level rather than organically just connecting.  He’s nowhere near as natural.  Still, fun segment mostly driven by Caster.

 

Interview – Sting, Tony Skeeavone, Taz, Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, & Darby Allin

Sting’s Dusty impersonation was absolutely dead on.  Like…even the tone was perfect.  Wow.   This was fine until Taz came out.  I feel so bad for the guys who are with him.  As is always the case, Taz was in the way.  He’s not needed.  He also stumbles a little bit and gets caught in his words.  Starks and Cage can do this themselves.  Hobbs never really talked so he likely benefits from having a mouthpiece; it just doesn’t need to be Taz.  It appears Sting is gonna play the role of Darby, Sr and Darby is set to benefit.  If that’s the case, I think I can get with that.

 

Backstage segment – Proud and Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) & MJF

Nice stuff here.  I am nearly speechless.  Nice nuance from all three of them.  Nice acting chops all around.  Couldn’t have been done better.

 

Colt Cabana & Dark Order 5 & 10 vs. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt, Jungle Boy, & Luchasaurus)

So nice to see them back!  Jurassic Express are so much fun together.  For someone as large as Luchasaurus is, his athleticism can’t be denied.  Jungle Boy is just a star.  I’m just waiting for him to really break out.  They use Marko really well too.  He’s on 5″2′ but his heart is that of a 7 footer.  You just have to love him.  The problem here is Dark Order.  I just don’t care bout them. Colt fits with Dark Order and he doesn’t all at the same time.  5 and 10 really feel like minions (as they should) but there’s no definitive leader or face for the Dark Order stable.  Brodie is missing and we have no clue where he is (in kayfabe or in reality) and there’s also no clear mission statement for the stable.  All this adds up to something that I can’t care about.  They’re kind of like a slightly more successful version of WWE’s Retribution.

I’m so glad the Jurassic ones are in a feud with FTR.  That match is going to be fire.  Tully was pretty good on the mic here.  He’s been at it for decades so he better be.  ‘Course, Taz has too and we know how good he isn’t.  Tully has managed to not lose a step in that department so I can handle him talking for Cash & Dax.  Marko trying to run to the back to get his hands on Tully was a riot.

 

Backstage segment – Don Callis & Kenny Omega

Don is so hate-able.  Kenny has become that too and it didn’t take him long.  Fenix vs. Omega should be an absolutely blast.  Well done all around.

 

Butcher (w/ Blade, Bunny, & Eddie Kingston) vs. Pac (w/ Penta El Zero Miedo)

I love that Skeeavone doesn’t take Kingston’s garbage.  Fun stuff on commentary.  Kingston even called out Excalibur’s notes.  It’s entertainment, folks!  The match itself was a lot of fun too.  Pac has been great for years and he was here too.  His selling has always been good but it was really solid here tonight.  Bunny is absolutely nowhere.  She shows up and I just can’t care.  They need to make her matter.  ‘Course, it’s AEW so they don’t know how to do that.  That Shotgun Driver is just vicious.  Nice distraction from Blade by knocking out Penta.  Loved the Goodnight Irene/Adrian Adonis shout out from Kingston – even if it wasn’t intentional.  Archer’s interference kept Kingston at bay so that Pac could hit his Black Arrow.  Fun match and with the stuff going on outside the ring, we had real entertainment there.

 

Backstage segment – Jade Cargill

Honestly, this was pretty stiff.  She’ll get better with more experience doing this.  Oh, she was edgy too.  So much edginess.  I wish I could be that cool.  I also don’t care that she’s feuding with Brandi.

 

Ramp segment – Miro, Kip Sabian, & Penelope Ford

Nah.  These three are absolutely nowhere.  I honestly don’t care about any of them.  Kip & Penelope have been around long enough that I should too.  Miro has absolutely flopped since coming to AEW.  He’s just not fitting in.  Their feud with Best Friends is continuing so maybe the Best Friends can make me care about them.  So far, I just don’t.

 

Dustin Rhodes (w/ Shotty Lee Johnson) vs. Evil Uno

 

They want Dustin for Dark Order and he isn’t going, hence this match.  Evil Uno’s Senton Atomico was really beautiful.  I also really liked hearing commentary tell the story of Dustin.  Dustin shouldn’t be able to work this well in the ring but he does.  He’s also acting at the service of others all the time.  He’s there purely to put others over in the long run.  Yeah, he won here abut I think it’s likely for the ultimate end of the Dark Order.  We’ll see how this goes.  QT came in for the save but couldn’t get it done.  Shotty, the one who really needs some exposure and movement, did get it done.  Let’s see if anything comes of it.

 

Backstage segment – Shawn Spears

Yawn.  He says he came in “hot”.  Bad memory.  He certainly didn’t; he merely came in.  We actually cared more about him in WWE than we do here…and we didn’t care all that much then either.  Skeeavone mentioned to Spears that the issue was likely him and, in reality, it totally is.  This was nothing.  Segments featuring Spears never are.  Next…

I think this may be my first skull for anything AEW.  Am I wrong?

 

Backstage segment – Hikaru Shida vs. Abadon/Hikaru Shida vs. Alexa Gracia

Very, very short promo but that’s all for the best as Hikaru can’t talk.  Let’s just go straight to the thrown-together match.  Commentary tried to sell me on Gracia but it didn’t work.  As usual, I just didn’t care.  I love that the qualifying match to get Gracia into this position happened…on YouTube.  If you don’t watch “Dark” (and I can only cherry-pick it because of time constraints), you wouldn’t know that.  In a move that really did make sense, Hikaru went after Abadon outside the ring.  Once back in the ring, she made short work of Gracia.  The fight between Abadon & Shida at the end after the match made some sense too so this wasn’t a total throwaway.  Abadon is a truly bizarre character and Shida sold the attack really well.  Maybe I’ll finally care about next week’s women’s match.  Imagine that…

 

The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

Eleazar and I went into this thinking this could be a lot of fun and we weren’t wrong.  That Risky Business on the outside to Caster looked painful for all involved.  Commentary really sold the new aggression from the Bucks and it’s really apparent.  I really like how selfless the established talent is with the new guys.  Matt & Nick really made sure Caster & Bowens looked like a million…um…bucks in there.  I love that Matt didn’t break the Scorpion Deathlock when Max showed up and hit him.  Matt yelling, “Is that all you got?” was really fun.  I also loved the Doomsday Device.  Bowens “electric chairs” well.  A few near finishes too.  Poor Knox.  He fell victim to a particularly unfriendly Superkick from Nick.  The boombox should have been the decision-maker but Turner came in too late and it wasn’t.  The end of this thing moved faster than I could type (and I’m about 100 WPM).  The Trigger ended this.  What a fantastic match!

 

Really nice way to end the show.  Man, those two teams tore it up!  Great chemistry and great storytelling throughout.  There were some definite issues here.  Why they keep trying to get Spears over is entirely beyond me.  We don’t care and it doesn’t matter how they try to get him over.  The insipid Chairman thing didn’t work at all and nothing else will either.  Miro has really stiffed badly so far.  He’s absolutely nowhere.  That he’s with two people who are also nowhere doesn’t help matters.  The wrestling here totally won the night – especially the last match with the Bucks & Acclaimed.  Such good stuff!  Can’t wait for next week!  See you then!