AEW FEUD TRACKER: Assessing and final grades for MJF vs. Samoa Joe, Copeland vs. Christian, Starks & Bill vs. Jericho & Omega, Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue, more

By Zach Barber, PWTorch contributor


MJF has a new opponent (and a new injury). Christian Cage officially has a challenge to answer. The House of Black is on a roll. All of this and a whole lot more in this week’s Feud Tracker. To quote the Black Eyed Peas, “Let’s get it started in here.”

MJF vs. Samoa Joe

Not going to lie. I was genuinely nervous when MJF came to the ring last week with Adam Cole. He and Cole don’t exactly bring out the best promos in each other. On top of that, MJF tends to play to the crowd more when he doesn’t have an opponent to focus on so I didn’t have high hopes for the promo. I think it went about as well as could be expected.

MJF played to the crowd but he also put over Jay White. He kept it short enough to not be overkill. Cole’s part was largely about how he is still going to be out recovering for a while and then he talked about how worried he was for MJF with everyone gunning for him, particularly the Devil.

MJF said he wasn’t scared of the Devil and then we got something interesting: The Devil appeared on screen again and laughed. I haven’t heard anyone else mention it, but the laughed sounded high-pitched, almost feminine. A voice modulator disguises your voice, but not your gender. If you’ve ever watched The Masked Singer, you know you that you can immediately tell when a performer is male or female as soon as they start to speak.

To me that says the Devil is a woman, quite possibly Britt Baker. I know they’ve been laying breadcrumbs for the possibility of Adam Cole, but I think it would be great if Britt masterminded the whole thing. Cole would be left to choose between his best friend and his girlfriend and it would be easier to explain than Cole being the Devil.

Anyway, Joe came out after that and, despite MJF’s initial protest, the match was made official for World’s End. Now MJF has something to focus on which is always when he’s at his best.

Elsewhere, The Kingdom officially challenged Max for the ROH Tag Team Titles, a match I assume takes place at Final Battle. The question is: Who will MJF’s partner be and does the Devil cost him those titles?

Grade: B

Adam Copeland vs. Christian Cage

This feud greatly intensified this week. Christian rechristened Luchasaurus into Killswitch (an objectively better name) and Nick Wayne into “The Prodigy” Nick Wayne. He did it in a way that demeaned Killswitch, though.

Nick’s mom, Shayna Wayne, came down to the ring and immediately got dressed down by Christian. He was pretty brutal with the things he said; so brutal, in fact, that Killswitch got between Christian and Shayna. Christian wound up shoving Killswitch into Shayna who took a bump into the ropes that got an audible reaction out of me.

A Conchairto on Shayna was then set up initially with Christian wielding the chair and then with him attempting to force Killswitch to do it before Adam Copeland made the save. In the end, Copeland wound up giving the Conchairto to Nick Wayne in front of his mother. Props to commentary throughout this for painting Nick Wayne as a scumbag for not coming to his mother’s aid when she initially took the bump and for covering for Copeland’s Conchairto by saying he was paying attention to Shayna or that he “blacked out.”

On Collision Killswitch had a brief squash after which Copeland laid him out with several chairshots before hitting him with a Conchairto. In one of the cooler moments of the week, Killswitch started to rise like a horror movie monster until Copeland put him down with a stomp and a second Conchairto.

Copeland then cut a fantastic backstage promo. If you haven’t seen it, go watch on YouTube right now. He challenged Christian to a TNT Title match on Dynamite in Montreal next week.

Cue the Shayna Wayne heel turn. Both of Christian’s backups have been neutralized. Shayna had to watch Copeland smash her son’s head with a chair. It seems clear as day she’s turning heel and joining up with Christian. That might be the best thing for her. She tends to get a little hammy as a babyface especially with her facial expressions so maybe as a heel she won’t feel the need to over act.

Grade: B+

Toni Storm vs. Skye Blue

This isn’t an official program, but it certainly seems like where things are headed. Toni cut another fun promo framed as an award acceptance speech for her title win. It was short enough not to overstay its welcome and we got a delightful reference to Jack Warner.

At the end, Skye Blue walked past an outraged Toni on her way to the ring, clearly setting up something between the two. Skye won a very busy three way match with her, Anna Jay, and Ruby Soho. I don’t know how I feel about this match. Skye is improving and her heel work is fine, but it still feels weird for her to be a heel away from Julia Hart. Toni needs a good first opponent whom she can beat easily; Skye fits that bill. I really want to see what Mariah May can do, so if we could get her in the ring ASAP, that would be nice.

Grade: Incomplete

Golden Jets vs. Ricky Starks & Big Bill

Ricky Starks and Big Bill jumped Chris Jericho backstage after Full Gear and further injured his already damaged arm. On Collision, Starks and Bill cut a very entertaining promo featuring a reference to The Golden Girls (bonus points for that and for Ricky quoting the theme song) and Bill talking about his journey back from the depths of addiction.

These two playing up the fact that they’re singles wrestlers who don’t know each other that well but work together for their common interest is a unique presentation for tag champions but I like. Incidentally, Kenny Omega was nowhere to be found this week. I’m definitely interested in this feud, though.

Grade: A-

FTR vs. House of Black

So this was messy. First Malaki Black & Buddy Matthews beat Komander & Gravity in a match that went on for too long, honestly. It was nothing against the luchadors, but I think five minutes could’ve been shaved off this match. After that, FTR took on The Righteous. This one went just about as long as it should have and FTR won, of course.

This is where things got weird. Malaki and Buddy came through the crowd with Malaki cutting a promo then the lights went out and they disappeared. I’m glad both of these teams have something to do and I’m sure the eventual match will be good but this wasn’t great.

Grade: B-

Julia Hart

Julia doesn’t have a specific feud yet, but she was on TV getting a win over a game Lady Frost. Julia has come so far and continues to improve so good on Tony Khan for continuing to feature her especially now that she’s TNT Champion

Grade: N/A

Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Martinez & Diamante

This was an unexpected feud added to the fix and it’s really a rehash of a feud from over the summer. These two teams feuded while Statlander was TNT Champion and Mercedes was coming for the belt. It got sidelined when Ruby Soho was booked against Stat at All Out. Now, out of the blue, it’s back. I’m not complaining. I’m all for more women’s feuds and Willow being on TV.

Grade: B

Keith Lee vs. ???

Keith Lee had a good little match against Lee Moriarty. My one qualm was that this match was an extension of Keith Lee’s feud with Shane Taylor and we haven’t seen much of that feud on TV in weeks. There should’ve been some build to this.

Anyway, Lee cut a frustrated promo after his win during which he said he was coming after someone he only referred to as “him.” The assumption is that it’s Shane Taylor, but that seems like an overly vague reference to someone he’s already been feuding with. I think there’s a chance he could be coming for Orange Cassidy and the International Title but we’ll see.

Grade: B

Ruby Soho and Angelo Parker

I might be the only person enjoying this story, and that’s okay. I think they crammed into the wrong place. During the three-way match, Ruby was knocked off the apron and into Angelo’s arms. Once again, they started making goo-goo eyes at each other. Saraya physically pulled Ruby away from Angelo, then she and Daddy Magic chastised their respective partners.

I enjoyed this, but I don’t think it should’ve been a part of this match. It was just too much. Ruby shouldn’t have been in the match at all. During a pre-match promo we saw Ang’s phone ring and her photo pop up. That would’ve sufficed for this week but oh well.

Grade: A-

RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW COLLISION HITS & MISSES (11/25): Copeland’s Copious Conchairtos, Keith Lee, Continental Classic, Julia Hart, Eddie Kingston, Killswitch, more

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Swerve Strickland on the AEW home invasion angle, NXT frustrations, Prince Nana and his dance

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