Hello AW Universe,
All Elite Wrestling is holding their second PPV under their official banner tonight, live from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, with a match card that is packed full of blood feuds, title matches, and in-ring debuts.
Here is a preview for the entire match card.
Though he lost the fantastic 30-minute Ironman Match to Kenny Omega on the go-home episode of Dynamite, “The Bastard” looked strong throughout the half-hour affair, mounting the vicious heel offence and building heat both for he and Kenny Omega as the babyface fought back to win in sudden death overtime.
Orange Cassidy is one of the most over wrestlers in AEW without having ever wrestled yet. This match is honestly pretty random, with Cassidy stepping up to Pac after the latter’s loss to Omega, only to get one-punched by Pac.
There might be a fear that what makes Cassidy do unique is his nonchalance and meta-commentary on the pro wrestling art form while be shattered once he actually wrestles. Hopefully it isn’t just a comedy spot for Pac as he’s proved that he deserves proper competition.
So… Rose cut a promo the week after defeating Riho for the belt on Dynamite, only to be confronted by both Statlander and Big Swole that degraded into a brawl. This would’ve seemed to be a natural way to set up a #1 Contender’s match between the two to determine who would be the challenger in this match. Well, if that’s what you thought, you’d be painfully wrong. Instead, AEW announced through social media that Statlander would be facing Rose at the PPV, while Swole
Well alright then.
Anyway, Statlander is a fine worker in a pretty thin division, but it’s too soon for Rose to already drop strap.
After floundering a bit to find a program following his AEW World title match against Chris Jericho, Allin got himself involved in the Jericho/Jon Moxley feud and took a shot to the throat with his own skateboard for his efforts. Now he finds himself in a match against the lamest member on the AEW roster; I just can’t understand what’s appealing about Guevara’s character.
As much as The Inner Circle looks to remain strong, Allin is just too over to do anything to stop his latest push. And honestly, if he is forced to eat a pin to Sammy Fuckin Guevara, he should have his contract voided.
So we finally get to see
Jack Swagger Jake Hager compete in a AEW ring. Wow, what a privilege…
Dustin Rhodes has had a nice reset in this late phase of his career, honouring his Goldust days while do it with an edge (and the coolest entrance music in promotion). As much as I would love to see Rhodes pick up a win here, it would seem like there is going to be some 50/50ish booking as far as The Inner Circle is concerned, so if Guevara’s (hopefully) doing the J.O.B. for Allin, then Rhodes is likely to eat the pin to Hager.
The commentators have been putting Hager’s shoot undefeated record in MMA, but if this match is anything remarkable it’ll be because of Rhodes’ veteran work-rate in the ring.
There’s a pretty clear division between the top and bottom of the card as far as storytelling goes. This match certainly has not suffered from a lack of brilliant character work and slow building. The fractures in The Elite spidered out slowly, with Adam Page’s annoyance and dissension (and drinking) leading to the group to slowly decay from the inside.
Kenny Omega proved once again in his 30-minute Ironman Match against Pac that he is, without a doubt, the best worker in AEW, bar-none. And while they certainly don’t do it for me– I’m mincing words: they annoy the living shit out of me– The Young Bucks are incredibly over with the crowd, and though they prefer to book themselves away from the title picture, it makes too much sense for them to go over here and have Page’s departure from the group be complete.
The question is whether this means Page will make a heel turn? It would seem like a strange booking choice, considering Page is over as hell, with him drinking beer with fans at the end of his matches and “COW-BOY SHIT!” chants thundering around the arena at the start of them. But it really, it doesn’t seem like AEW is interested in the concept of having true heels, anyway (save for maybe MJF), so it might not hurt Page’s standing with the fans.
And Omega just needs a solid singles program, for the love of god.
What else is there left to say about this feud? MJF turned heel on Cody during his AEW World Championship match at Full Gear, costing Cody the title and any future shot at the belt. Cody then fulfilled all his agreed-to stipulations in order to face MJF at this PPV.
The lash segment was one of the most visceral, intense, and cringe-worthy moments in recent pro wrestling history, and it accomplished that it set out to do: build tremendous heat for both men. Then Cody took it one step further: getting colour and moonsaulting off the Steel Cage in his match against Wardlow.
MJF has been built as a great cocky, chickenshit heel; the perfect foil to Cody’s whitest-meatiest babyface. And, like The Young Bucks, as much as Cody has notoriously done his best to keep himself away from being booked over younger talent, the payoff for him to win here is just too great.
This has been quite the unique story build, with eye gouges and beat downs. Mox has fought from underneath this entire way, mowing down everyone Jericho has put in his way thus far: Ortiz, Santana, and Jeff Cobb. Since his Lights Out match against Omega at Full Gear, Mox has been dead-set on wining the AEW World Championship.
Jericho is in a unique position. Yes, his gimmick is hilariously arrogant, and he can work a mic like no one else, save maybe The Rock. But he’s supposed to be a heel champion, while every crowd sings along to his theme any time he enters an arena, and they cheer him right up to the point where he starts insulting them, and even then the crowd seems to eat it up; it’d be like if your favourite roast comic threw one your way (“oh my god, he took time to insult me). Jericho is just so damn respected, crowds struggle with booing him.
Moxley is over as hell too, and as much as this might feel like a clear path to the babyface challenger overcoming everything to finally beat the dastardly heel in a moment of catharsis, I think the Cody victory is taking all the smoke for that angle on this card.
Plus, it also feels like there’s a little more juice left to be squeezed from this Le Champion title run.
It all goes down live tonight at 8pm EST on PPV and fite.tv