Episode 5 of what is proving to be an intriguing and well done wrestling television show, with the emphasis on “wrestling”.
1) The picking Cody and Dustin up at the airport opening was very Flair-like. And the Moxley stuff behind the door with Khan, putting the win-loss record there as something actually important. That is something I love about AEW – wins means something! And all this before the show ID!
2) Sammy Guevara v Hangman Page
A decent little match between these two. Some nice moves and Guevara shows he does have some talent and some potential. This was also a good outing for Hangman, who showed some really good skill. Hangman won with the buckshot lariat. Page on the mic afterwards wasn’t too bad, either. But the thing about the match for me was the commentary – they put over how much the win was needed by both, but especially Page. They didn’t have a snark-filled feud, they put across a story, and doing it well. Talk of JR not being happy on commentary is out there, but when he is this good at selling a story without beating you over the head with it (as is Excalibur and Shiavone, although Tony was out with Rhodes), then I think those stories might be exaggerated if not out and out BS.
3) Shanna v Hikaru Shida
A decent match between these two. Shanna is apparently “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete” and we’ve seen Shida before in AEW. A strong match. I do agree with JR that the referee was lenient in this match. Shanna sold really well, and her moves were crisp – I hope she hangs around. Not sure who was face and heel, but I am really sure that apart from The Inner Circle, that does not matter in AEW. Good! Shida ended up winning with a running knee. Good match.
4) We recount the Brandi Rhodes strange face thing from last week, and this week we have a video where she’s putting on make-up and a hat and her eyes are glowing green. And she’s cutting blonde hair with a cleaver. And making more weird facials. Seriously – WTF?
5) The Rock’n’Roll Express – Ricky & Robert – come out (they’re presenting the tag team titles to the winners tonight) and the crowd loves them! Santana and Ortiz come out and beat Robert with a loaded sock, then kill Ricky with the same sock before double power-bombing the old, old, old man through the stage. The Young Bucks make the save. Well, the cheers Santana and Ortiz were getting are gone – they are definitely heels now. Short, sharp and shiny – good segment.
[5a) You need to see this Tony and Cody are in the limousine sharing memories of Dusty. Not bad, but felt like it went on a little long.]
6) John Silver, Alex Reynolds & QT Marshall v The Best Friends & Orange Cassidy
Rick And Morty cross-over time. Blergh. A jobber squash match. It was what it was. And a comedy match. Breaks the tension, which is not a bad thing. Cassidy is loved by the crowd, but he is coming across to me as a comedy guy. The drop kick, kip up, then tope suicida with the hands in the pockets looks cool and that, but put him in the ring with Kenny Omega and see how far he gets. Not long, inoffensive, and entertaining for the most part.
7) Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes contract signing. They signed the contracts, said some stuff, made a point of not having an altercation or powerbombing anyone through the table, then had the intense handshake staredown. Then, outside, Dustin is attacked with a car door (welcome to 1986!) by Jake Hager, until MJF and Cody make the save. Good segment, and the intensity between these two should make for a good match. But this so felt like something old school and I loved it!
8) Kip Sabian & The Hybrid 2 (Jack Evans & Angelico) v The Elite (The Young Bucks & Kenny Omega)
What a weird Elite opening… I don’t think it was supposed to feel this way, but this felt like a slightly higher level jobber match. There was no doubt at all who the winners were going to be. Look, it was certainly a fun match with a lot of the high flying you’d expect considering the competitors. Yeah, I liked it. And then, post-match, Santana and Ortiz, in Ricky and Morty masks, attack the Young Bucks. I hope their match lives up to the hype…
9) The worst gimmick in AEW, the Librarians, are out. Goody. (Note: sarcasm.) Jon Moxley is now the biggest face in the company as he comes through the crowd and hits the paradigm shift DDT on Peter Avalon. Moxley talks about the match he’s got with Kenny Omega at the Full Gear PPV. The fact its win/loss won’t count annoys him. The crowd is firmly on his side. Good, intense promo. But win-loss records meaning so much is good. I hope they keep it up. “Be careful what you wish for.” This was a hype promo that sold the match and its stipulation well. And it did not drag on.
10) The AEW World Tag Team Championship Final: The Lucha Brothers v SCU (Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)
This should have been saved for the PPV. This match went for a while, but could have done with the pace being slowed a fraction and more time given. Still, I cannot complain with what we got – a superb end to the tournament. And, in the end, SCU pulled out the win! Did not see that coming. There were some great moves, some great double team stuff, some nasty stuff (Kazarian being powerbombed through the time-keeper’s table) and yet Sky continued to be the MVP of the tag team division by taking a licking and keeping on ticking. He came into his own as a genuine star in this tournament. I thought the Lucha Brothers would do it easily, but I am pleased they went with the not expected route. This, I hope, means some different and new tag team match-ups in future. And a damn fine way to end the show. Just a shame Ricky and Robert couldn’t present the titles to the winners.
Another good show in a string of them. With a great debut from Shanna, a fine opening match, a good Elite match and a really good main event in the ring to two fine promos, this was decent television. However, there are some things appearing that are making me shake my head. I’ll wait to see where they go, but something tells me that the old adage of into every wrestling show some crap must rear its ugly head is going to prove true for AEW as it has for everyone else.
Still, worth watching.
Tags: #elite, AEW, alex reynolds, Best Friends, Brandi Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Dynamite, Hangman Page, Hikaru Shida, hybrid 2, John Silver, Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, Kip Sabian, Lucha Brothers, October 30, orange cassidy, QT Marshall, rock'n'roll express, Sammy Guevara, SCU, shanna, Tag Team, tournament, Young Bucks