SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•The Young Bucks vs. Top Flight – HIT
I’ve been very fortunate to be able to watch Top Flight break into the independent scene in Minneapolis. They worked as Air Wolf (Darius Martin) and Angel Dorado (Daunte Martin) for many independents in and around Minnesota including Arik Cannon’s F1rst Wrestling. Darius Martin was the first graduate of The Academy School of Pro Wrestling headed by Ken Anderson. Top Flight looked every bit of a promising young act against The Young Bucks as they have on the independent scene. The Bucks have proven they can get a good to great match out of any opponent regardless of their skill level. In their first match post championship win, I’m not a fan of the Bucks having a competitive match against a team mostly unknown to the AEW audience. Still, they had a great match and got over Top Flight as a tag team to watch out for.
•The Inner Circle Slays Vegas – MISS
These two video segments were pleasantly on the higher end of what I was expecting. It’s hard to know exactly what the audience will get with these pre-taped out of arena segments, but one guarantee with Jericho and MJF is that it’s going to be wacky. There was a continuation of the friction between MJF and Sammy Guevara as well as Jake Hager and Wardlow. However, if you guessed that this would be a parody of the 2009 film, The Hangover, you could book these segments! Unfortunately, the Vegas theme allowed them to fallback on an outdated comedy that has been recreated in some form for every adventure involving a group of men going to Las Vegas. Still not the direction I want for this feud, but this helped to move the ball down the field.
•Orange Cassidy vs. Kip Sabian – HIT
Good match between these two. Orange Cassidy continues to adapt his style into being something less gimmicky and more accepted within the current wrestling landscape. The build towards the The Best Friends, Miro, and Kip Sabian match has been good. Despite some of the comedy that just goes with the character involved, AEW has made the audience want to see the match.
•Moxley-Omega Contract Signing – HIT
Mox is going to be a dad! In Jon Moxley’s promo before the contract signing, he slipped in the fact that his wife at home is pregnant. This fact does alter the conversation as whether or not Moxley keeps the title on December 2nd. Kenny Omega was introduced first by Tony Schiavone. Moxley’s music hit, then the camera went backstage to reveal he had been knocked out. Omega blew off the fact that Moxley had been attacked and proceeded to sign the contract. Omega is leaning towards being a heel again after wavering against Hangman Page. AEW has worked hard to make this match feel important with only three weeks build, but next week will be a bigger challenge to get as many non-regular AEW fans to watch on December 2nd.
•Pac vs. The Blade – HIT
Great match to see Pac back in action. It still seems like he is moving towards a face role while feuding against Eddie Kingston, but we know in AEW that a role can change depending on the opponent. In the post-match, Pac was beat down by Kingston, The Butcher, and The Blade before Fenix came out to make the save. Penta El Zero Miedo came strutting to the ring with a chair. He teased attacking Pac before reuniting the Death Triangle. Bringing back the Death Triangle without conflict feels like the right move. The group only had a short time together before the pandemic split them up. The three of them need a direction going three on three versus The Fam feels like a ready made feud going into December.
•Serena Deeb vs. Thunder Rosa – HIT
Thunder Rosa is turning herself into a star. She has an “it factor” and legitimacy as a fighter. She had an excellent match with veteran, Serena Deeb. The route of bringing in higher level workers to make stars appears to be working for the women’s division. I had thought Britt Baker was being groomed for another title match, but she will be taking a detour to go against Thunder Rosa. They’re good opponents for each other at this point. Baker had been working on her character while she was out with a knee injury and now feels like a good test to pit her against the ever improving Thunder Rosa.
•Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks – HIT
Will Hobbs was late to the party for a reason. Good on AEW to pay off that attention to detail that Hobbs was continually late for save because it was leading to an eventual turn. Team Taz with Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, and now Will Hobbs is a collection of future stars. Taz has invested in the right talent. Before the run-in both teams put on a solid match that got over Team Taz. They picked up the major victory while Ricky Starks shined with his athleticism. Cage ultimately got the victory with an Avalanche Drill Claw on Allin for the pin.
RECOMMENDED: 11/18 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Sage’s “alt perspective” report on Cody & Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks, The Inner Circle goes to Vegas, The Young Bucks vs. Top Flight, Serna Deeb vs. Thunder Rosa, Pac returns, More.