Thanks for joining me. There’s so much more wrestling to watch than a few years ago, and I can’t possibly write about and scrutinise it all!
So, let’s be smarter with our time.
I am a huge proponent of balance. It’s all too easy to let the online world remove the grey areas and middle-grounds that offer us perspectives other than the two extremes. I wouldn’t want the internet to become a platform for me to purely rant or rave about something I loved or hated respectively. So here I am, mixing it up by appraising something I enjoyed and something I didn’t care much for this week in the wrestling world.
#GWvsBW – Good Wrestling vs Bad Wrestling.
Good Wrestling: Empty AEW Dynamite
If dynamite goes off and there are no fans around to hear it, does it make a noise?… Evidently, it does!
Despite the niceties I’m about to throw at you, that episode of Dynamite was far from perfect. That women’s match was like watching drunk kids trying to fight. Less of that, please. Please don’t argue with me for the sake of it. Yes, there was a nice poison-rana AFTER the botch, but it shouldn’t have been attempted when a more basic move failed mere minutes earlier.
Just about everything else was golden!
Cody’s spotlit monologue was an intimate, powerful and haunting way to open the show. Brandi Rhodes has pulled back into her lane and broken her “I’ll never ring-announce again” claim. Good for her.
MJF & Shawn Spears’ ringside banter was fantastic. Fair play to AEW for catching on (or listening to Jim Cornette’s advice/podcast) and sitting their non-competing talent on the front row for the night. Sammy Guevara being the entire crowd and singing Chris Jericho’s theme was both painful and wonderful in the same breath.
Brodie Lee’s Debut was satisfying enough. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful here. I’m a huge fan of Brodie, but the lack of a live crowd during the reveal left me sad and wondering how much of a roar he would have received from an audience in attendance. No one to blame though. It can’t be helped.
Matt Hardy appearing at the end was brilliant. Hearing and then seeing Vanguard 1 was a nice touch too. A couple more points are awarded to Chris Jericho for shitting a brick at the sight of Hardy up in the rafters.
I don’t feel the absent crowd were as noticeable here like they were in the Brodie Lee un-hooding. There were a lot of things going on and I suspect it would be difficult for a lot of the regular minds in the crowd to focus on the right thing and react in a timely manner. Having the camera follow what’s important and cutting to Jericho realising it’s “Matt fucking Hardy” was spot on!
It was only a week ago that I was slating AEW for their inability to debut talent. Hopefully, this is a sign that things are getting better.
Because there were no dirty, sweaty, love-blind marks to constantly pander to, this made all the difference for me. The temptation to immediately follow up a high spot with 10 more high spots was removed and the work in the ring reflected this massively. Good wrestling!
Bad Wrestling: Rest in peace already
I touched upon this a couple of weeks ago with regard to nostalgia booking. This is obviously the driving force behind the decision to wheel The Undertaker out every now and then with a guaranteed appearance come WrestleMania season.
It’s especially sad for me to see him like this as I was a huge fan of The Deadman from an early age. I remember the awe and spectacle of his arrival and initial run, getting over by ploughing through top names the roster had at the time. Imagine if Jake Roberts or Jimmy Snuka hadn’t given this young kid a chance and put him over. At the time of his debut, he looked like an extra from The Addams Family; I can imagine a few of the older chaps on the roster thinking it was a bit too hokey for their liking.
“The End of an Era” match between The Undertaker and Triple H (with Shawn Michaels referee’ing) would have been a thing of beauty if the claim within the name actually held any weight. All three guys would go on to wrestle again, NOBODY shut up about the Attitude Era, and they ended up ruining what started off as a good thing.
I predicted Brock Lesnar beating The Undertaker and ending the streak as soon as Brock beat Triple H at the Summerslam before it. Brock being the one to accomplish this task made absolute sense and it was more than believable.
However, Brock was established enough without this badge of honour. It looked like WWE was looking for a legitimate monster to devour and replace The Undertaker. Undertaker was knackered way before the finish and it seemed apparent to me that it wouldn’t be long before he hung up his hat and coat. This was a bag of bollocks as the only take away was the reel full of sour-faced fan reactions and the hype around the end of the streak.
The year after The Streak was broken, The Undertaker flattened Bray Wyatt. The year after that, he beat Shane McMahon and avoided a stipulation where he wouldn’t be able to compete at WrestleMania again if he lost. For some reason, WWE did a 180 soon after this and gave Shane-O the spoils from the match (control of Raw) anyway and just went on their merry way.
How is AJ Styles wrong with any of the apparently antagonistic comments he’s made regarding The Undertaker taking someone’s spot and sticking around way longer than he should?
Part of me is hoping that The Undertaker is putting AJ over at WrestleMania before going away somewhere else…but another part of my brain is laughing hysterically at my attempt of applying logic.
Undertaker’s involvement with the AJ Styles vs Aleister Black match at Elimination Chamber didn’t help make the younger talent he was “helping” look better. The Undertaker was helping himself and he made Aleister Black look weak. Instead of The Deadman simply neutralising AJ’s pair of pals from interfering with the match, ‘Taker also knocked Styles silly. Black hit his finishing move on a corpse for the win. Thanks a lot, ya dusty old bastard!
But I don’t know what to do with those tossed salads and scrambled eggs, it’s bad wrestling.
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