SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
TOP TIER FEUDS…
(1) THE PINNACLE vs. THE INNER CIRCLE
New Developments: Tony Schiavone conducted a parlay in the ring between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle. Schiavone explained the rules of the Blood and Guts match on May 5th, 2021. Schiavone was about to flip a coin to determine which team would get the 1-man advantage throughout the match. Before Schiavone could do so, Shawn Spears slapped the coin to the mat and took the mike. He said The Pinnacle deserves the advantage because they were lured into the Blood and Guys match. He turned his attention to Sammy Guevara and told him Jericho was misleading him. Guevara took the mike and said he didn’t believe Spears because Spears was a failure since joining AEW. He said Spears was also a failure where he used to work. Guevara said if the Pinnacle wanted the advantage, they could have it because Sammy would start the match and fight everyone.
Cash Wheeler took the mike and said the current version of Santana and Ortiz wasn’t going to cut it. He called them “Jericho lapdogs” before Dax Harwood took the mike. He told Santana and Ortiz to say goodbye to their families, especially their children, before the match because they might not make it home. Ortiz calmed Santana down and said he knew what Wheeler and Harwood were trying to do. Santana asked FTR if they had ever been locked up because he and Ortiz had been. Santana threw the mike down and said he was going to let his fists do the talking next week.
MJF took over and said “thank you” to Jericho. He said Jericho has been waiting to hear those two words from everyone since AEW started. MJF said without Jericho, there would be no AEW. He said Jericho brought the “lapsed fan” back and then called The Inner Circle the “best group in all of pro-wrestling”. He said he couldn’t imagine the pressure Jericho felt because of how much Jericho meant to the company. MJF said every time Jericho goes to the ring, he looks exhausted and has bloodshot eyes. MJF concluded by saying after Blood and Guts, MJF was going to take Jericho’s spot and would once again tell him “thank you” after he beat him.
Jericho called MJF an entitled prick because he thought he deserved a spot in AEW. Jericho said he was once “curtain jerking” in WCW at 25 years old, but that he was damn proud of it. He said he had also been headlining around the world, including Japan and Mexico, and earned respect while doing it. Jericho said MJF could take his spot if The Pinnacle won at Blood and Guts. Jericho touted the attributes of the members of The Inner Circle. He told MJF they would have to kill them to get them to surrender and lose the match. He concluded by saying if 1969 was the summer of love, 2021 was the summer of violence, and summer was going to start early.
Highs & Lows: This was a tremendous segment, and possibly the best segment since AEW’s inception. There was no comedy or silliness to speak of here. Each promo felt real and unrehearsed. The Pinnacle further established themselves as heels and The Inner Circle cemented themselves as babyfaces. As a wrestling fan, there isn’t anything else you could ask for before a big match. While not every AEW feud can have this level of intensity, this should serve as the blueprint for how to make matches feel important and “must-see”. Less comedy. More personal issues that result in hard-hitting, violent matches.
Length of Feud: March 10th, 2021
Forecast & Prediction: The issue between Jericho and Guevara feels unsettled. The ending of the match could lead to a feud between a babyface Jericho and a heel Guevara. There isn’t much The Inner Circle would gain from winning and carrying on as they have been. The Pinnacle is a new faction and needs to establish itself as a serious heel threat on the AEW roster.
(2) JON MOXLEY & EDDIE KINGSTON vs. THE BULLET CLUB
New Developments: Eddie Kingston challenged Omega to a match but Omega refused and sent Michael Nakazawa to the ring. Kingston walked to the ring and said they needed to stop the “sports entertainment crap”. Omega walked out on the stage with Callis. Omega said Kingston didn’t deserve “the champ” as Nakazawa attacked Kingston from behind. Kingston took control and knocked Nakazawa out with a back fist. Kingston put a chair around Nakazawa’s ankle and said he was going to break it if Omega didn’t come to the ring. Omega said Nakazawa knew what he signed up for. Omega called out Brandon Cutler. Moxley attacked Omega and threw him into the ring. Kingston put the chair around Omega’s ankle. Callis interrupted Kingston and said ]he and Moxley would get whatever they wanted if they let Kenny go. Moxley said they wanted a tag match between Omega and Nakazawa next week. Callis agreed as Kingston and Moxley left the ring.
Highs & Lows: The tone of this feud continues to feel all over the place. If Moxley and Kingston were able to get whatever they wanted by force, why would they request a tag match? Why wouldn’t one of them request a title match? It doesn’t feel like AEW knows where this is going. They want to keep Moxley around the champion, but they don’t want to give him the belt. I think Moxley’s time would be better spent working with younger talent at this point.
Length of Feud: April 7th, 2021
Forecast & Prediction: It doesn’t matter who wins the tag match on May 5th, because the feud will likely carry on throughout the summer. We can’t see Moxley vs. Omega again so soon, so what is the endgame? Keep the title on Omega until there is a new, red hot babyface to beat him.
CONCLUDED AND FORGOTTEN OR DORMANT FEUDS…
Hangman Page vs. The Elite – Dormant
Chris Jericho vs. Mike Tyson – Forgotten
Cody vs. Jake Hager – Concluded
Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford – Concluded
Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage – Concluded
Britt Baker vs. Tony Schiavone – Dormant
Darby Allin vs. Brian Cage – Dormant
Brodie Lee vs. Cody – Concluded
Jon Moxley vs. Lance Archer – Concluded
Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston – Concluded
The Young Bucks vs. FTR – Concluded
Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega (2) – Concluded
Hikaru Shida vs. Abadon – Concluded
Dustin Rhodes vs. The Dark Order – Forgotten
Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa – Concluded
FTR vs. Jurassic Express – Dormant
Chris Jericho & MJF vs. The Young Bucks – Concluded
Cody & Red Velvet vs. Shaq & Jade – Concluded
Sting & Darby Allin vs. Team Taz – Concluded
Matt Hardy vs. Hangman Page – Concluded
Miro & Kip Sabian vs. Orange Cassidy & Chuck Taylor – Dormant