AEW FEUD TRACKER: Assessing and grading MJF vs. Jay White, Sting’s Squadron vs. Christian’s Crusaders, Shida vs. Storm, Statlander vs. Hart, Miro vs. C.J., more

By Zach Barber, PWTorch contributor


If you’ve been following my AEW Collision Feud Tracker since June and you’re wondering what happened to it, have no fear as you have found it.

Ever since the departure of C.M. Punk, the lines between Collision and Dynamite have become blurred. My Collision columns shrunk as the number of Collision-exclusive feuds shrunk and the number of feuds that traveled across shows increased. Therefore, our esteemed editor-in-chief and I have decided to expand the Feud Tracker to include all of AEW.

Yes, this will be your one stop shop to keep track of all the developments in all of the various feuds within All Elite Wrestling. So, to quote the late Great One, Jackie Gleason, and away we go!

MJF vs Jay White

The main feud for the main championship. I think Jay White has looked pretty strong throughout this feud thus far. He’s looked like a credible threat to MJF on one hand and an arrogant, unlikable jerk on the other.

During last week’s eight-man tag match, physical interaction was teased between the two but ultimately it was Jay White who hit a sneaky Blade Runner on MJF for a pin leaving the crowd wanting to see Max get his hands on Switchblade.

For his part, MJF has been all over the place of late. The feud with Jay has largely grounded him in seriousness after months of entertaining but unproductive friendship with Adam Cole. It’s also been a part – albeit the biggest part – of the multifarious world of MJF which has seen Samoa Joe offering protection for a price, Wardlow seeking revenge as well the title, a potential threat from Powerhouse Hobbs, a magnificent match with Kenny Omega, a challenge for his and Cole’s ROH Tag Team Titles, The Kingdom hovering, an ill-advised association with The Acclaimed, and of course someone posing as Max in his Devil mask.

There’s a lot going on, a lot of it good. I do worry that any continued association with The Acclaimed beyond his special video message for Max Caster on this past Saturday’s Collision could be damaging. These last two weeks headed into Full Gear, MJF needs to be at his best. He needs to cut strong promos, be presented as the world champion focused on the task at hand and not the extraneous stuff, and be denied the chance to get his hands on Jay White. Leave us wanting to see that.

Grade: B+

Sting’s Squadron 2.0 vs Christian’s Crusaders

What started as a feud between Darby Allin and Luchasaurus for the TNT Title has expanded to include a whole lot of personal elements. Nick Wayne turned on Darby Allin in order to align with his new “father figure” (cue George Michael) Christian Cage. Adam Copeland debuted at WrestleDream saving Sting from a Con- chair-to, while also wanting to reconnect and reform the team with his longtime best friend but Christian wasn’t interested.

Sting announced his intent to retire at Revolution 2024 but Christian wants to speed up the process so he challenged the Icon and Darby to a six-man tag team match at Full Gear. An initially-reluctant Adam Copeland agreed to join Sting and Darby after Christian attempted to give him a Con-chair-to. Darby and Sting will be essentially having a squash match against the Great Value Beverly Brothers on Dynamite after which Christian and his crew might get involved.

There’s also the extra wrinkle that Darby is in the crosshairs of the legendarily devious Jake “The Snake” Roberts and his “army” consisting of Lance Archer and The Righteous. Will the “The Snake” and his “army” strike? Will Jake and Sting cross paths for the first time since their infamous coal miner’s glove match at Halloween Havoc 1992? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out.

Grade: A+

Hikaru Shida vs. “Timeless” Toni Storm

When Hikaru Shida defeated Toni Storm on Dynamite 200 over the summer, it sent Toni spiraling into simultaneous madness and greatness. Toni visibly began to depart further and further from reality, coming to believe that she’s an old Hollywood starlet.

As “Timeless” Toni Storm, she has been one of the top two best parts of any show she’s on. Her silent movies that played during the breaks were hysterical.

Shida, meanwhile, lost the title at All In when Saraya pinned Toni but regained it on Title Tuesday a few weeks ago. Since then, Shida’s been besieged by Toni making random appearances during her matches. Her facial expressions in reaction to Toni have been spot on. Last week she finally had enough and absolutely ran through Toni with a knee strike.

The no-nonsense Shining Samurai and the whackadoodle “Timeless” one make for a fun pairing so I’m excited to see the two play off of each other in their sit down with Tony Schiavone on Dynamite.

Grade: A

Hangman Page vs. Swerve Strickland

Initially Swerve saw Hangman as unmotivated and unworthy of his place on the card and sought to use Hangman to elevate himself. The two men had a great match at WrestleDream that Swerve won mostly clean although Prince Nana did get involved.

Hangman didn’t take too kindly to that and he didn’t want to see the same thing happen to Bryan Danielson which is why he got involved in that match which led to Swerve losing. That made it personal for Swerve, a man we’ve seen is capable of great depravity. Just ask Nick Wayne.

Swerve broke into Hangman’s house with Nana, skulked about, and ended up taunting the crib of Hangman’s baby. Ultimately this got a mixed reaction from various analysts. I think they walked the line well enough. Swerve violated the sanctity of Hangman’s home but it wasn’t over the top. I think the fact that the house was clearly empty made all the difference.

Hangman immediately going after Swerve the minute he saw him last week is exactly as it should be given the major escalation in this feud. It’s possible that we get a stipulation added to the match at Full Gear this week. It would certainly be justified. Either way, I still fully expect Hangman and Swerve to require physical separation again.

Grade: A-

Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho vs. The Don Callis Family

Don Callis has the spent the last few months building a Family of top athletes, most recently adding Kyle Fletcher. The Don Callis Family has been booked dominantly. They’ve had Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho’s numbers at every turn. Still, the self-proclaimed Golden Jets just keep coming after them.

Last week we learned that Omega had once again called on his best friend Kota Ibushi for help and that Jericho enlisted old friend Paul Wight. An eight-man tag street fight is set for next week’s go-home show, so expect some strong promos to sell that match which I expect to have much the same result – The Callis Family emerging victorious.

Grade: A+

Orange Cassidy vs. Jon Moxley

I believe that a rematch between Mox and OC was always the destination, but boy they had to take the scenic route to get there. Mox is back from his concussion and wants his title back.

OC finally found not one but two things he cares about – the International Title and beating Jon Moxley. This is a super simple, yet super entertaining feud.

Grade: A

Kris Statlander vs Julia Hart

Well, this one took a turn. The booking zigged when I expected it to zag. Instead of officially joining up with Julia Hart, Skye Blue spit blue mist at her and in one fell swoop confused this entire story. Julia is wrestling on Dynamite so it definitely seems like she’s coming back after Kris Statlander. I can’t see her being outnumbered three to one in the feud, so someone has to join her side.

It seems like Skye made her choice. Willow never actually put her hands on Julia so maybe the twist is her turning but she’s such a natural babyface that her turning would be a huge mistake. That leaves us in a strange place. I’m not sure what’s going to happen but I suppose we’ll get an answer soon enough.

Grade: B-

HOB vs. The World

The House of Black came roaring back with a vengeance two weeks ago. They looked like a serious destructive force taking out Bryan Danielson and FTR separately. Last week LFI was added to their list of adversaries. This past Saturday they once again targeted FTR. Malakai’s promo before their attack didn’t make a ton of sense, though.

LFI, who had just finished teaming with FTR, didn’t make the save this time. Instead, Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta of the BCC made the save.

Given what I think FTR are going to do at Full Gear, my guess is we get Claudio & Wheeler against the Kings of the Black Throne. I’m not sure where this leaves LFI, though. There are a lot of moving parts here. I’m just not sure they’re all moving in concert with one another.

Grade: B-

Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs. FTR

So, this has been a weird feud. FTR initially said they would work their way back up to a title shot, but they’ve been intertwined with the twosome that dethroned them for weeks. My expectation is that we get an official match announcement this weekend.

Grade: N/A

Miro and C.J.

Neither C.J. nor Miro were on Collision this last week, which is not okay. That said, Andrade was there and he promised to give his answer to C.J.’s proposal. I fully expect him to accept her managerial services which would put him in direct conflict with Miro. That’s a match I can get behind.

Miro’s not going to walk through Andrade like he did Action Andretti and Andrade’s finally going to feud with someone who doesn’t have two or three other guys backing him up.

Grade: B+

RECOMMENDED NEXT: POLL: Should AEW stick with MJF as World Champion going into 2024, and if not, who should beat him for the title?

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