SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s episode of AEW Dynamite has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.
-C.M. Punk appears to be getting his groove back. Timing, crispness, and flow in the ring were noticeably stronger against Bobby Fish. This is significant as major matches with Kenny Omega, Cody, Adam Page, Jon Moxley, and others loom large.
-Bobby Fish going into business for himself with the kick out at three and a quarter just doesn’t pass the logic test for me. Surely he isn’t that out of touch with reality, right? More than likely, he went to sleep for a bit thanks to Punk’s finish. Ouch.
-The MJF squash match was accompanied by perfect announcing. In alerting the audience that it was a struggle to get him in the ring and that it was “one of his quarterly appearances,” MJF came across as an arrogant star heel that does what he wants and isn’t dictated to by the company. Perception is reality and MJF looks like a bigger star every time out.
-Sammy Guevara vs. Ethan Page was really good. Exciting all the way through with both guys seemingly looking to steal the show. When Guevara’s babyface character catches up with his babyface in-ring work, look out.
-Eddie Kingston is the master of saying only what needs to be said in his promos. Cody, take a few notes. Bryan Danielson paused just long enough to let the limited words linger with the audience and then put them over in his reaction to them. Wrestling. Does. Not. Have. To. Be. Difficult. This was simple, but incredibly effective in building their match for Friday night on Rampage.
-Serena Deeb won’t get the credit she deserves for being a core anchor of the AEW Women’s Division. She doesn’t have bad matches. Shida won, but Deeb continues to be a force. She won’t be the woman AEW builds around, but in the end, her fingerprints will be on a lot of the stars of that division.
-The Jon Moxley heel turn is afoot. Because he’s so likable, AEW will need to make sure he continues this journey of destruction opposite sympathetic babyfaces, so as to emphasize his newly minted dark nature. Danielson vs. Moxley is a logical endpoint for Full Gear and Moxley vs. Adam Page for the championship works well also.
-Cody, Cody, Cody. Shhhhhh. You’re doing too much. There was a lot being flung around in his promo Wednesday night, but two things stuck out like sore thumbs. One, Cody is turning heel. He may not like it and he may actively be attempting to pivot the audience with wild soliloquies like what we heard from him this week, but going meta and telling a booing crowd “I’m never going to turn,” only generates more boos. That booing audience isn’t of the mindset to say, “oh, you’re not? Well, I’ll be damned. Oh well, back to cheering.” Cody has to be self-aware enough to recognize that what he’s doing only leads down one path. Which brings me to point number two. I’m not sure he is self-aware enough and that’s a problem. The art of wrestling is rooted in engaging back and forth with your audience to manipulate their emotions. Lacking self-awareness hurts a wrestler’s ability to paint their pictures in the most effective way possible. So, it’s simple. Either Cody is or isn’t accepting what’s going on and the results will either be very strong for him or continue to set him back as a central star inside the bank that he built.
-Sorry to spoil all the fun. Look, there’s nothing wrong with a Halloween themed main event during Halloween week — nothing at all. You don’t do it with your world championship program though and you don’t do it coming out of the single best mission defining babyface promo in company history either. Did I chuckle? Sure. Was it fun? Sure. AEW has more at stake than just chuckling fun. They are on the cusp of crowning their first homegrown, babyface champion and segments like this drag down the seriousness and importance of that endeavor.
CATCH-UP: 10/27 AEW DYNAMITE TV RESULTS: Keller’s detailed report and analysis of Punk’s debut on Dynamite against Fish, Shida vs. Deeb in TBS Tournament, Guevara vs. Ethan for TNT Title
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