SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOP TIER FEUDS…
(1) Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage
New Developments: Taz cut an in-ring promo after Cage won a squash match. Taz called out Moxley opting to say home after being directly exposed to COVID-19. Taz said Moxley had a “bull shit excuse” and accused Moxley of fearing Cage.
Highs & Lows: Taz continues to shine on the mike, so much so that continues to outshine Cage. With Moxley making the right move and opting to stay home, there wasn’t anything new added to the feud.
Length of Feud: May 27th, 2020
Forecast & Prediction: It’s apparent that Cage is not ready to be the AEW World champion. He cannot rely solely on Taz to speak for him. His promos need to improve before he should be considered for that role in the future. Still, his size makes him an interesting challenge for Moxley, as he is unlike any opponent Moxley has faced in AEW so far.
SECOND TIER FEUDS…
(1) The Young Bucks vs. FTR
New Developments: Butcher and The Blade challenged FTR and The Young Bucks to an 8-man tag match. Butcher and The Blade then revealed their partners to be The Lucha Brothers, who attacked FTR from behind. The Young Bucks charged the ring and made the save.
Highs & Lows: The alliance between FTR and The Bucks continues to gain momentum. The Bucks have made the save for FTR several weeks in a row, which has started to feel somewhat redundant.
Length of Feud: May 27th, 2020
Forecast & Prediction: The obvious direction would be for FTR to turn on The Bucks after faking a friendship. However, The Bucks need a new direction. The Bucks should turn on FTR and establish themselves as the number one heel tag team in AEW.
(2) Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy
New Developments: Jericho and Cassidy confronted each other in the closing segment of Dynamite. Jericho said when he first heard of Cassidy, he thought his name was stupid and he was an embarrassment to pro-wrestling. Jericho said he called Tony Khan and asked him why he signed Cassidy to a contract. Kahn said it was because the audience loved Cassidy. Cassidy took the mike and teased a promo, and then proceeded to kick Jericho with his signature, laid-back, shin kicks. This resulted in brawl around ringside. Cassidy bled heavily from his ear but was able to knock Jericho through a table in the production area.
Highs & Lows: Cassidy continues to show his range and is a great compliment to Jericho’s heel persona. Jericho has ditched much of his comedy and has acted as a true heel by demeaning Cassidy’s connection with the fans. While intense, this feud should not have been the go-home segment before Fyter Fest. It’s not the main event and doesn’t draw outside viewers to the bigger show.
Length of Feud: June 17th, 2020
Forecast & Prediction: Jericho should beat Cassidy at Fyter Fest by using heel tactics. Cassidy would be more over by suffering a loss after fighting his heart out, and a win would re-establish Jericho as a top heel.
(3) Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford
New Developments: After winning a squash match against Red Velvet, Shida and Ford brawled around ringside. The confrontation was intense and chaotic, and it took several wrestlers to break them apart.
Highs & Lows: Penelope Ford has been elevated several levels in the last few weeks. She carries herself like a star and looks like a threat. Whether or not she can compare to Shida in the ring is yet to be seen. It will be up to Shida to carry the match and validate Ford as a credible member of the women’s division.
Length of Feud: June 25th, 2020
Forecast & Prediction: AEW should continue to establish Shida as a dominant champion, and her win over Ford should be decisive.
(4) Cody vs. Jake Hager
New Developments: A Fyter Fest press conference was held. Cody, alongside Arn Anderson, Brandi Rhodes, and Dustin Rhodes, answered questions from attendees. Hager was absent for the first several minutes of the press conference. Cody was asked how it felt to be the first AEW TNT champion. Cody said it felt like “hope” and it defined his yearning and desire to be a competitor. Hager and his wife interrupted Cody and stared him down. Hager’s wife threw a glass of water in Cody’s face and the press conference was cut short to avoid further confrontation.
Highs & Lows: There is a palpable tension between Cody and Hager giving the match a “must-see” feel. Usually, a staged press conference would feel contrived, but it was effective in this case. It stood out from other segments on the show as it wasn’t simply two wrestlers cutting promos on each other in the ring. Neither wrestler is known for top-tier ring work, so there is a chance the match won’t live up to the hype.
Length of Feud: June 25th, 2020
Forecast & Prediction: Cody should go over Hager definitively. As a heel, Hager can suffer the loss, while Cody needs to establish himself as a dominant TNT champion.
(1) Britt Baker vs. Tony Schiavone
New Developments: Baker, now being driven around in a vehicle resembling the one belonging to The Pope, remained parked by the commentary desk. She passed Schiavone several degrading notes throughout the course of Dynamite.
Highs & Lows: There was no involvement from Big Swole this week. Hopefully, she will remain a part of this feud and eventually challenge Baker in the ring. Baker is still sprinting across the line between obnoxious heel and a likable, entertaining heel. This makes it easier for Baker to turn face in the future, but she needs to do something to get legitimate heat quickly.
Length of Feud: January 2020
Forecast & Prediction: If Baker can return quickly, a match needs to take place between her and Big Swole. Baker should beat Swole with heel tactics and solidify herself as an obnoxious challenger for the AEW women’s title.
CONCLUDED AND FORGOTTEN OR DORMANT FEUDS…
Hangman Page vs. The Elite
The tension between Hangman Page and The Elite has seemingly subsided for now. Page won over the fans with his loose, fun-loving persona and stalled any plans to turn him heel. While the feud is on hold, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the dissension, especially between Page and Omega. This is the perfect opportunity to give Omega his edge back by having him turn on Page. Omega is desperately in need of something new and Page already has the support of the audience. The added layer of the tag team title could add a lot of this potential feud. Page would gain so much by defeating Omega, while Omega could suffer the loss while maintaining a cocky, arrogant attitude.
Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara
Guevara’s indefinite suspension has stopped this feud completely. If Guevara returns soon, the feud could easily be picked back up again. If he’s out for an extended period, it should be saved for a later time.
Chris Jericho vs. Mike Tyson
What was once AEW’s top feud has been completely forgotten about. There is been no mention of the altercation between Tyson and Jericho. If the plan were to bring in Tyson for a match at a much later time, the audience should at least be reminded by the announcers of what transpired. If there was never a plan for a match between the two, Tyson’s involvement was an odd creative decision.
RECOMMENDED: 7/1 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT (UPDATED ANALYSIS): Keller’s report on Fyter Fest Week 1 special edition including Cody vs. Jake Hager for TNT Title, Page & Omega vs. Best Friends for AEW Tag Titles, Shida vs. Ford for Women’s Title