And it was. There were some successes too. Among the angle issues. Same last week, which I thought was a blip. Can you have a double blip?
Success 1: The Owen Hart Tournament Is Great
It throws up great matches, which is when AEW succeeds, strangely enough. Here we had Darby Allin v Swerve Strickland and although it had the usual Darby overselling and I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up shenanigans, his over-the-top Stunner and odd leg crank for the pin were special.
Swerve continues greatness though, his work retains such pep, like that nasty kick to the back of the head, and the Suplex from inside to outside was lovely. AEW is bringing him on slowly, but the crowd loved him instantly.
Success 2: Samoa Joe Remains So Tough
But Trent Beretta didn’t make it easy for him in this ROH TV Title match, a belt Trent is constantly talking about winning.
Anyway, these two should be able to impress and they certainly did. Who could argue with a smooth Tornado DDT from Trent and a kick out of Joe’s rather weak-looking hung-on Powerbomb, he even withstood an STF.
He got too excited though and ran in, straight into a Eurinagi and although he countered the Muscle Buster for a roll-up, that just seemed to annoy Joe who applied a brutal-looking Rear Naked Choke for the pin.
A good, tight wrestling match that didn’t promise to blow our socks off but delivered more than enough.
Issue 1: Satnam Doesn’t Seem Like A Threat
He seems a bit like El Gigante. He isn’t a wrestler, that’s understood, but his lack of skills becomes a bit of an issue when we are supposed to be impressed.
Impressive height lasts for a couple of minutes. It needs to be backed up. But AEW has presented him in a WWE way – look at this monster!
And what can he do? Never mind that, he’s massive!
Here he was used as a distraction for Lethal to attack Samoa Joe; we had such a hullabaloo when he was introduced a few weeks ago.
Success 3: Santana & Ortiz Remain Brilliant
All they did here was suddenly attack Chris Jericho at the announce table. But as Santana laid in the punches, Ortiz stood by as if
a; a lookout
b; a guard to prevent any reprisals
He did it so well that when security arrived, they even showed him their laminates!
Issue 2: Hook Is Increasingly Harder To Like
A great chance to get rid of the odd couple feud that doesn’t work this week; Danhausen didn’t want to fight Hook, Hook told him they would fight, Jericho nearly wet his strides at Hook speaking – he spoke last week, Chris, did you miss it? – and then the walking abdominal area Tony Nese attacked.
It seemed simple. Two faces who have strong characters band together to fight the threat. The fans wanted it, even chanting ‘Hookhausen’, but Hook? He pushed past Danhausen and left.
When you do that to a rather liked character, there’s a chance you could look like a dick. And AEW Rampage doesn’t want that, they spent so long building him up, that they need to change tack here.
Or else he’ll be an unwanted Sami Guevara-type heel. Who wants that?
Success 4: Keith Lee Stays Strong
Have him pinned by another big man. Keep him out of the title pic. Put him together with Swerve and then have no idea why.
Do all of that and Keith Lee remains serene. Sure in his own ability. AEW has only just scratched the surface of his abilities and I fear they might not find them.
On AEW Rampage, he was facing Colten Gunn. Why? No idea. And this became a 2-on-1 as Austin was there to support his brother quite proactively.
It became a messy match but in a good way; Austin hit a nasty top rope Cutter from the outside and worked the ref’s distractions very well, Lee unpacked those excellent double chops and Colten did at least try. A Fameasser attempt. Picked up by Lee. A Swinging Neckbreaker attempt. Picked up by Lee.
Who planted the Death Valley Driver that second time for the pin.
Issue 3a: The Acclaimed Are Not Getting Enough Acclaim
We love Max Caster’s raps. We love the Acclaimed’s attitude. We love what they can do in the ring.
And yet AEW doesn’t seem to know what to do with them. Put them in singles matches for losses? Why?
And now on AEW Rampage, we have them asking to team up with the Gunn Club. What’s the point of that? They don’t need help. Well, except with the bookers and brass perhaps.
The Gunn Club going off to ask their dad was fun, but why do this to an over-heel tag team? It makes zero sense.
Issue 3b: Jade Has More Talent Thrown At Her
It’s 3b because there are lots who like Jade Cargill, I’m not one of them as I see her as an arrogant heel with muscles and not much charisma. But I know I stand in the minority.
Where I hope we can all agree is in the waste of talent which threw Trish Adora, Willow Nightingale, and Skye Blue at the ‘Baddies’ of Cargill, Kiera Hogan, and Red Velvet.
Skye Blue will continue as a trier who is well-liked, Willow already has her character over but Adora? She’s a great wrestler who showed quality in ROH in the title picture. On AEW Rampage? Given no real offense and tasted the pin.
What a waste of talent.
So There Are More Successes Than Issues?
Oh yes and usually many more. AEW Rampage this week? Not so many. This is not an issue as such, but there are things they need to watch, like the Hook and Keith Lee situations.
And ensure there are things we need to watch, like great wrestling. What a good idea!