SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROAD TO DOUBLE OR NOTHING
POSTED ON YOUTUBE.COM
MAY 4, 2020
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
– Cody Rhodes was walking down a hallway in his wrestling gear wielding a green light saber as dramatic music played. Tony Schiavone was shown holding a red light saber as he looked through a dark hallway. Through a window you could see Cody and Schiavone battling with the light sabers, with some generic light saber sounds. QT Marshall walks through a door at the end of the hallway and sees them fighting in the dark. He walks in and turns on the light to reveal Cody standing on the conference room table and Schiavone on the floor as the two whacked plastic light sabers together. QT laughed and said “Oh I get it, because it’s Star Trek Day. Which one of you is Sergeant Spock?”
– The Road To Double or Nothing was shown in the signature Star Wars style font.
– Cody, Schiavone, and Marshall were now sitting around the conference table. Cody yelled hello to Shida, who appeared on a Zoom video call next to them and waved. Cody asked her how she’s doing and she said she’s doing good. Shida was sitting in front of a piano and Cody said he and QT have heard her play, but Tony hasn’t so Cody asked if she’d be willing to play. Shida played a song on her piano for them for a solid minute, it was very good. Cody noted in the middle that she sings as well. All three marveled at her talent as she continued with her song. Schiavone said something in Japanese to her and she responded in kind. They thanked her and told her to have a great day.
– A package on QT Marshall aired. He said he doesn’t know what he’d do with his life if he didn’t have professional wrestling. He said when he started with AEW, in the back of his mind he knew he wanted to perform, but the biggest question was his neck. In 2016 he had six screws put in his neck, but deep down he knew he could do it. He acknowledged he knew where he was needed, though and that was behind the scenes. Clips aired of him producing during a taping were shown. The clip of him coming out with Cody for a match then aired with Justin Roberts announcing them to the ring.
Marshall said teaming with Cody was, by far, the greatest night of his professional career and the most stressful situation he’s ever been in as well. Commentary from Ross and Schiavone aired and marveled at him as he dove through the ropes in that match. A clip of Cody aired from an interview they did after that match and Cody said he’s sorry that he didn’t want him as a partner, but any time he wants to ride again he’s happy to do it. Marshall said becoming a member of the Nightmare Family isn’t something that happened overnight and Cody looks at him as somebody that he trusts.
Marshall said he does have some doubt about whether he belongs with them because their last name is Rhodes. He said Dustin pulling him aside to ask if he wanted to partner with him put a lot of pressure on him because he’s probably one of the best in the company still, so there’s a big gap between himself and Dustin with a lot of the roster in between them in terms of talent. Because of that, Marshall said there’s a lot of pressure on him.
– Luther said there are a lot of stars in the AEW dressing room who do not know their history, specifically the history of “the original death dealer.” Pictures of Luther tormenting opponents with barbed wire and chairs were shown, all of them showing both opponents covered in blood. Luther said they do not know the history of all the doomed souls that have laid beneath his feet withering in pain. He said “be warned, be very warned because those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.” He pointed and talked to a picture of Jimmy Havoc on the wall behind him. He said the original death dealer has not forgotten about Jimmy as video of his backstage attack on Havoc was shown. Luther said they started a fight that they have not yet finished. Luther said he’s been thinking a lot about life and about Jimmy’s life and it always ends in blunt force trauma. He said when Havoc least expects it, when he turns his back, he will attack.
– The TH2 entrance song played. Angelico popped up and said that TH2 are the most original, diverse, and unique tag team currently in pro wrestling, but of course you wouldn’t know that because the moment they got to AEW, they’ve been under used, undervalued, and underappreciated. He said that every other member of the AEW roster is sent a professional camera man to help them film their home segments during quarantine, but not them. He said that doesn’t surprise them because the yard stick for success has nothing to do with hard work or performance, but it’s about friendships and favoritism. He said there is no clearer example of this than the Best Friends.
Jack Evans said that everyone has lost faith so they must lead the All Elite Inquisition and he has named Chuck Taylor and “the other one” as heretics for their transgressions against “the two true hybrid gods of wrestling.” Evans said that their retribution shall be their humiliation until their names are forgotten from the very annals of wrestling history because it’s no longer worth remembering. Evans said “I knock out, by pin fall or submission, the heretic, the blasphemer, and the best friend alike just to be cleansed of the sin of existence.” Angelico said “before you go, just remember that when it comes to talent, there are many, when it comes to the best there are a few, but when you talk about the greatest, then there’s only TH2.”
– A black truck pulled up to a house and QT Marshall got out. He walked up to the front door and Diamond Dallas Page walked up to the front door. Without opening it, he yelled through the door and told QT to go around back. Marshall opened the back yard fence and entered the back yard. DDP mumbled under his breath “does he really think I’m going to let him come in the house?” Marshall stood at a window in the back yard and talked to DDP who sat down in a chair. DDP yelled and pointed at a chair outside telling Marshall to grab it, so he did and he sat down. DDP called him, but Marshall ignored it thinking it was someone else. DDP held up his phone and yelled “dude, it’s me.”
Marshall took out his phone and they talked through the phones. DDP sarcastically asked if he could hear him through the glass, obviously not, which is why he called instead because he’s taking “the COVID thing” very seriously. Marshall apologized and said that, with Dustin incapacitated right now, he’s just looking for a little mentorship. DDP said no more wrestling for him, he’s done. DDP asked if he was trying to tag and Marshall said no. DDP apologized for cutting him off before he could finish and said he’s not doing that (tag teaming) again and laughed. Marshall said he’s getting an opportunity with Archer on Dynamite, but people are discounting him right away.
Marshall said if he has Cody or Dustin with him at ringside, the fans are on board, but when he’s alone people think that “due to nepotism, he’s just on the show again.” DDP said you can’t talk to him about nepotism, Eric Bischoff was one of his best friends and the bottom line is, that didn’t help him at all, if anything it made it harder on him and he had to work five times harder.
DDP said he can’t really help Marshall with the part he’s asking him to, with the fans, because there are no fans right now, but he said they’ll react to his self-confidence. He said that Marshall will hit a move, then pop up and look surprised at what he just did, but he needs to come up and own it. DDP said when Page Joseph Falkinberg stopped trying to be Dallas Diamond Page, the over the top performer, Diamond Dallas Page started taking on the characteristics of him as a person. He said that’s when he career started taking off because he knew who he was and where he belonged and Marshall needs to do the same thing. Marshall thanked him and said “we’ll see what happens with Archer.” DDP said good luck and Marshall walked off. DDP said “you’re going to need it” to himself as he got up.
Here are some segment by segment thoughts as I don’t really have any cohesive thoughts this week:
– The nod to Star Wars was really well done and it didn’t overstay its welcome. If it was more than just that little Cody/Schiavone play fight and the Road To graphic, I think it may rub people the wrong way especially with the tone that the Road To series has had in the past. Given that it was so short, I think it’s fine even though it makes Cody and Schiavone look pretty ridiculous to some.
– I thought the Shida segment was utterly worthless. She’s a fantastic piano player and I thought her playing was great, but what purpose did it serve? She just played then Cody/Schiavone/Marshall said thank you and she left? What purpose did it serve? Maybe it will go somewhere, but it just felt so random I don’t know what you can do with it.
There was a ton of QT Marshall on this episode, it was almost jarring. He was with Cody and Schiavone for the Shida segment, he had a video package, and then he met with DDP at the end. I didn’t even know he had a match with Archer on Dynamite this week until he was talking to DDP about it. I assume that it’s happening this week? I guess I’m still not sure. The video package was well done, but kind of random. I’m not sure what purpose it served especially with his talk with DDP on the same episode. I like stuff like the video package and meeting with a wrestling legend for advice separately, but when it’s the same person doing both, I’m not sure why both have to be on the same show?
So the strangest thing on this show was the TH2 video. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around what Jack Evans was doing. He was speaking so strangely and then he started talking about heretics and blaspheming and I was almost disoriented trying to keep up with him speed talking as I wrote this report. I don’t know what the goal was in speaking like that, unless it was to seem crazy. If that was the goal, mission accomplished. I thought Angelico did a great job, until his cheesy tag line at the very end: “Just remember that when it comes to talent, there are many. When it comes to the best, there are a few. But when you talk about the greatest, then there’s only TH2.” Some may like that, I thought it was horrible. I hate cute catch phrases or tag lines like that. It conveniently rhymes and I just roll my eyes. If I just take out that final line, I loved Angelico’s message, but between that final line and the Jack Evans portion, it’s a disappointment for me.