WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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Trent vs. PAC – MISS: That was a bad finish. There must’ve been some miscommunication about the finish of the match because referee Bryce Remsburg stopped the three count when Trent was not going to kick-out. He forcefully said it was only 2 when the crowd started to boo. Pac quickly cinched in a submission for the victory. The action was good, but why is AEW allowing Trent who has been presented as a comedy act to go close to 15 minutes with Pac? While Pac dominated most of the match, the same story could have been told in half the time. The crowd continues to love Orange Cassidy. His spot against Pac was one of the highlights of the night in terms of crowd reaction.
Cody Promo – HOMERUN: We finally got a promo that was not cut off and it was great! Every week there has been something positive to say about the Cody character. We’ve seen him presented as a star and a badass, but tonight he showed his heart. Tony Schiavone reminded the crowd that Charlotte is Cody’s birthplace so he received a hometown reaction. Cody addressed the criticisms of him and The Elite also being management. He then announced that if he doesn’t win the championship at Full Gear, he will never challenge for the title again. That seems like an unnecessary stipulation for Cody to have put upon himself. He gave great passion and authenticity when referencing his father Dusty Rhodes then tying everything back to why he’s fighting Chris Jericho. Cody has been on fire every single week presenting something new about himself and channeling his emotions through the fans like we don’t typically see.
SCU vs. Private Party – HIT: Good action as expected. Private Party look more and more confident each week. AEW has really cooled on Dark Order after being setup for a big push out of the gate. Dark Order may be best served being put on the back burner for bit because they haven’t made that connection with the crowd yet. The three-way title match at Full Gear is sure to be a fun athletic match that will shine more light on what Private Party is capable of.
Chris Jericho Package – HIT: Well that was fun. Going back to Chris Jericho not taking his match with Cody seriously, this package was filled with hilarious content. It was pointed out that Jericho is the youngest AEW Champion at 48 years old. Jericho also had endorsements by Virgil and Patricia Bobski (Chris’ aunt’s friend from church). Jericho understands tongue-in-cheek comedy wrestling better than anyone else. When he won the title, I thought there was a good chance he’d be a long-term champion. With Cody vowing if he loses this is his last shot at the title and Jericho mocking the match, I’m starting to believe there’s a chance Cody might win at Full Gear. My instincts tell me there is no way because it could be a culmination of things down the road, but the build to this one match has blown everything else out of the water across promotions. Jericho and Cody are at the top of their game right now and it could not have come at a better time when they are kicking off the promotion on TV.
Jamie Hayter & Emi Sakura vs. Shanna & Riho – HIT: It’s worth taking note the the Riho match is at the top of the second hour. She continues to be a strong draw for younger females. Shanna and Jamie Hayter looked much better in this match than their previous singles bouts. Both were more confident and had a better sense of reading the audience. There was nothing incredible to go out of your way to see, but it continues the nice build of Riho and gives Sakura a pn over the champion going into her match at Full Gear.
Brandi Rhodes Vignette – HIT: These Brandi Rhodes vignettes are interesting, but I am not entirely sure what to make of her character. She wears a lot of different hats in AEW and at times it’s confusing as to whether you’re supposed to cheer or boo her. She’s akin to Triple H in that regard. It seems like she is going to be the mouthpiece for Awesome Kong more so than a tag team. Her promo on Road to All Out building up Cody’s match against Shawn Spears is a testament to her talking ability. When Kong arrives full time, she could be another anchor the women’s division sorely needs.
Brandon Cutler vs. Shawn Spears – HIT: A quick victory for Shawn Spears to get him back into the win column. Brandon Cutler looked more confident in this match. This is about the level that both guys should be at this point. Joey Janela came down for the save following up AEW Dark’s backstage segment when Spears and Tully Blanchard attacked Janela. It gives both guys a bit of a direction after being lost in the shuffle. Blanchard does a great job at ringside creating an unfair advantage, but again he would be best utilized talking into a mic.
Moxley Vignette – HIT: This was a really cool package to get over Jon Moxley. I would have liked to see something where Kenny Omega was featured more, but it’s hard to argue against this when it was so well done for Moxley.
Kenny Omega & Hangman Page vs. Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara – HIT: What a way to sell the pay-per-view. Tons of chaos involving the four big matches to close out the show. Chris Jericho continues to get over the Judas Effect with a pin over Hangman following interference by Pac. It wasn’t a clean pin, but I thought they should’ve pinned Sammy Guevara instead since he has nothing scheduled for Saturday. The crowd is eating up this feud between The Elite and The Inner Circle. There are so many possibilities with different match-ups where AEW can really take their time before going to the multi-person match.