It’s Saturday…no wait, it’s Sunday and you know what that means! Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the AEW Week in Review here at TJRWrestling.
We are a day later than normal with this week’s review as Dynamite was pushed to Saturday night once again. Rampage took place in Miami again as it was taped last week in advance of the majority of the roster being on the Jericho Cruise. Saturday’s Dynamite was live from Orlando, Florida. It’s the first time the company has been there. I was surprised at the lack of “inside baseball” jokes towards NXT since they were in Orlando. I guess maybe they felt it would’ve been too easy. Let’s discuss how I felt the week went for AEW.
This wasn’t the best week for AEW in terms of in-ring product, so it came down to two options. Pac vs. Andrade on Rampage, and Bryan Danielson vs. Dustin Rhodes on Dynamite. Our fearless leader John Canton went with the Rampage match as his best match, as he gave it 4.25 stars, just above the 4 stars he gave the Dynamite match. I have to say I disagree with John on this one, which wouldn’t be the first time considering our choices in sports teams.
I was not that big a fan of the Andrade/Pac match. I can’t put my finger on why either. I thought their first matchup was better for sure. I’m sure we’re headed to a 3rd matchup, maybe at Full Gear, which would be the first time it’s a live match as the first two have been taped for Rampage. On the flip side however, I thought the Danielson/Rhodes match was absolutely incredible. I understand I come across as a little bit of a hypocrite as my critique of the week last week was the fact that we had the likes of Dustin Rhodes, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Dark Order’s 10 in the tournament who clearly aren’t World Title contenders. My counter to that is, good wrestling is good wrestling, and Danielson vs. Rhodes was really good wrestling. Two veterans in the prime of their careers, which is beyond incredible in the case of Dustin Rhodes being in his 50’s and having some years taken away from him due to substance abuse. There were some points that Dustin believably looked like he could win, which is something special that not every wrestler can do, making a crowd think for sure one thing is going to happen, but then give them a sense of disbelief that it might not actually happen. Just fantastic work from both men. I’m sure they enjoyed it just as much as we did.
"I'm gonna win this whole damn thing!"@JonMoxley's road to winning the #AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament starts THIS WEDNESDAY on #AEWDynamite when he faces #DarkOrder's @Pres10Vance – Tune in NOW for Saturday Night #AEWDynamite LIVE on @tntdramapic.twitter.com/salaOAdAdh
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 24, 2021
Much as the match of the week, to me there weren’t very many blow away moments this week. I had a lot more critiques this week than moments of thinking, “wow, this is awesome.” I decided I wanted to spotlight the backstage promo that Jon Moxley did, as I feel a little bit under the rader, he’s actually the most compelling character right now behind Hangman Page. Moxley carried the company through the pandemic as a damn good World Champion. He had a couple bumps in the road after losing it to Omega, and then hasn’t gotten back in that top title picture again. He’s done some great stuff helping New Japan Pro Wrestling, which I certainly appreciate.
This tournament is the first time he’s getting a shot to get back the title he lost though. This promo on Dynamite had elements of Walter White from Breaking Bad. If you watched the show, his whole reasoning for starting what he did, was for his family. Moxley pulling from that a little bit, makes me wonder if he’s thinking about turning heel. This is actually the second time recently that made me think this, as there was something to that absolute squash of Wheeler Yuta that came across heelish as well. Preston “10” Vance is a bit of an internet darling right now, and also beloved due to his relationship with Brodie Lee Jr, aka -1. I’m very interested to see how they book Moxley against him this week on Dynamite. Pay attention to how that plays out and we might get more insight on if Moxley is planning a big turn. Don’t forget either, if he were to win the tournament (it’s gotta be him or Danielson), he would be taking on “Hangman” Adam Page conceivably, so that would be an interesting dynamic in its own right.
Critique of the Week
There were a lot. I really can’t narrow it down to just one, so I’m just going to touch on the top three that stood out to me. The first two are the booking of MJF/Wardlow and the overall booking for Dynamite this week. I really think they’re taking too long with the inevitable split between MJF & Wardlow. There was another layer added to that story this week with the “accounta-buddy” but I hope they’re not missing their moment on turning Wardlow face. Also, did we really need Bobby Fish vs. Anthony Greene on Dynamite when you already had Jungle Boy vs. Brandon Cutler? Those are both very much Dark level matches, and even with a lot of the roster on the Jericho Cruise, there’s more than enough talent left to come up with better matches than this. There’s a better way to make the CM Punk/Fish match possible for next week. Not to mention, that even with two squash matches and an Archer/Kingston match that clearly stopped early, we somehow still ran out of time in the main event, which now has everyone accusing Cody of no-selling the Black Mass kick because they had to rush the finish.
Speaking of Jungle Boy, since I’m using it for the video in this segment, my last critique is the booking of Jungle Boy. On August 18th, Jurassic Express had a Tag Team Title match against the Young Bucks, a match that they should’ve arguably won. Yes, the Lucha Bros moment at All Out was brilliantly done and not taking anything away from that, but Jurassic Express and specifically Jungle Boy were red hot at this time. Including that match, Jungle Boy is 4-6 in his last 10 matches. And that’s only including the 1 minute “win” over Brandon Cutler on Dynamite, which ultimately just led him to getting destroyed by The Elite again.
In the MJF/Darby storyline they talk about the four pillars of AEW, that being those two along with Sammy and Jungle Boy. You look at where the other three have been though compared to Jungle Boy and it’s almost like he doesn’t belong in that category. He always wins the big match LEADING to the big match, but has yet to hold AEW Gold still, despite multiple opportunities. It would be one thing if I thought this would lead to a big win for him at Full Gear, but I don’t see any scenario where that happens as it stands right now. He’s very young and has a lot of time left in the business, but I still think they need to do better by him compared to the other pillars he’s being mentioned with.
#AEWDynamite is back LIVE on Wednesday this week at 8/7c on @tntdrama and @CMPunk will make his #AEWDynamite in-ring debut against @theBobbyFish! Plus, #AEWRampage is this Friday at 10/9c on TNT! pic.twitter.com/MWQ9lPLbQT
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) October 24, 2021
Thankfully we’re back on our regularly scheduled broadcasts this week. Dynamite returns to Wednesday night as they will be live from Boston. With a full group this week, we have a much better lineup scheduled. A big 8-man tag between The Dark Order & The Elite, the aforementioned Moxley vs. 10 Tournament match, CM Punk vs. Bobby Fish, Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida in a TBS Title Tournament match, and Sammy Guevara will defend the TNT Title against Ethan Page, furthering the Inner Circle vs. A.T.T. storyline. Our main event on Rampage this week should be a banger, as it’s Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston. Here’s to hoping with that many good matches, my column will look a lot more positive next week.
This week in Vlogs
BTE mailed it in this week. It’s a 14-minute episode and you only need to watch the first three minutes. A very funny bit with Adam Cole & Silver/Reynolds again. After that though, it’s all recap from last week’s TV and another Ryan Nemeth bit.
Meanwhile on Sammy’s vlog, after an off week of sorts for them and not being the best show of the week, this week they return as the much more entertaining of the two. Granted, it wouldn’t have taken much this week. Clocking in at 34 minutes, this is definitely one of the longer Sammy vlogs. A lot of it is between two segments, one being the Sammy Vlogs title tournament with a matchup between QT & Charlie. The other being some cool post-show footage from Miami with Cody Rhodes & The Vlog Crew in the ring. There’s a funny bit with Tazz & Charlie, along with a lot of funny and cool stuff revolving around Fuego Del Sol’s birthday which was last week.
That’s it for this week! Once again, we’ll be back to a Saturday posting next week with everything back to normal. Be sure to hit me up on Twitter, @KTankZamora, and let me know what you think and what you want to see discussed in these weekly recaps. Thanks for checking out the column once again. As always, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.