AEW FEUD TRACKER: Assessing and grading Joe vs. Swerve vs. Hangman, Sting & Darby vs. Young Bucks, Blackpool Combat Club vs. FTR, Soho vs. Saraya, Storm vs. Purazzo, more

By Zach Barber, PWTorch contributor


Tonight, Dynamite is live from Tulsa, Okla., former home of Black Wall Street. (If you don’t know what that is, Google it because it’s a story of triumph and tragedy.) The highlights of the card are what should be a very physical violent tag match and a strange trios match. Before we examine the state of the feuds in AEW, just a reminder in the words of the great Gil Scott-Heron: “The Revolution will be televised” (live in two weeks)!

Samoa Joe vs. Swerve Strickland vs. “Hangman” Adam Page

One the better built triple threat matches in recent memory produced another really good segment. Samoa Joe is so good as the confident no-nonsense champion. He was righteously frustrated with the fact that he has to defend his title against two guys because of a draw. Swerve came out and he was super over. He carried himself like star and made it clear that he believes now is his time. He was interrupted by “Hangman” Page. Hangman wasn’t mad (according to him), but he was delusional believing it should be him versus Joe despite the fact that he didn’t win the match against Swerve, either. Hangman is easing into this heel role nicely, changing almost nothing about himself yet still getting vociferously booed just for being opposite the uber-popular Swerve. This week the three men will be part of weird a trios match (Swerve & Joe & Brian Cage vs. Hook & RVD & Page). I think there’s a way that they can avoid touching each other and, if I were Tony Khan, that’s what I’d do.

Grade: A

Darby Allin & Sting vs. The Young Bucks

The match is official. Matthew & Nicholas Jackson will challenge Darby & Sting for the AEW Tag Team Titles in the Sting’s final match. The Bucks had a good match with Top Flight. Afterwards, during an interview with Tony Schiavone, they declared themselves number one contenders. They then turned their ire to Schiavone. Nicholas berated him, fined him for “disparaging the EVPs,” and shoved to the mat. Matthew “apologized” and extended a hand as if to help him up when in reality he was setting him up for an EVP Trigger. Darby made the save and then proceeded to cut a controversial promo. I didn’t have an issue with Darby being meta given the Bucks entire characters are tied into their backstage roles. I didn’t even mind the reference to Cody Rhodes as I don’t think they should pretend he never existed. I just wish that Darby had mentioned the attack on himself, Sting, and Sting’s sons. They attempted to mitigate that with a video package on Rampage, at least. I’ll be interested to see how Sting reacts to the attack on his sons which I’m sure anger him more than the attack on himself.

Grade: B+

Toni Storm vs. Deonna Purrazzo

This story continues chugging along nicely. Storm released her latest film and it was a talkie this time. In the movie, Storm discussed her history with Purrazzo, calling Purrazzo her “young girl” and dropped some one-liners, most notably that Purrazzo “suckled on her teet of talent.” The movie concluded with Storm revealing that she got a dagger through her duck tattoo. As I predicted, Purrazzo immediately responded and kept it short and sweet. “I’m gonna break your arm, bitch,” Purrazzo said. The last word felt somewhat gratuitous. After years of WWE overusing that word with the women’s promos, it’s lost its luster, especially when it’s just dropped at the end of a promo. This week both women will be in action looking to one-up the other and show off their technical prowess. By the way, Storm’s ankle lock being called Break a Leg is just *chef’s kiss*.

Grade: A-

Blackpool Combat Club vs. FTR

This is my kind of old-school physical, smash mouth wrestling kind of feud. Jon Moxley and Dax Hardwood wore each other out before Mox finally forced Dax to tap out to the bulldog choke. He held onto the hold after the bell which prompted Cash Wheeler to run out. That in turn brought Claudio out. Mox and Claudio proceeded to lay out the best tag team in the world. There’s been discussion about who to cheer for. In my opinion, the crowd can choose who they want. In every other feud on this list, the face and heel are pretty clear. It’s perfectly fine if this one is a pick’em. Given that the tag team match is happening tonight, it’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for the PPV.

Grade: B+

Adam Copeland & Daniel Garcia vs. Christian Cage

Adam Copeland and Daniel Garcia were having a great match to determine who got a shot at Christian’s TNT Title. Copeland looked to have things well in hand until The Patriarchy hit the ring and caused the match to get thrown out. Christian set up a Conchairto on Garcia. Copeland made the save but wound up taking one himself instead. This could turn out to be a pretty shrewd booking move by Tony Khan. With Copeland sidelined from the Conchairto, that leaves Garcia to challenge Christian one-on-one. If Garcia beats Christian for the title, Copeland can then return to get his revenge without a title involved. It’ll be even sweeter if he returns at Revolution and evens the playing field for Garcia.

Grade: A

Ruby Soho vs. Saraya

Well, there was an attempt to make some sense of this storyline, in particular how foolish Ruby Soho has looked not catching on to Saraya’s manipulations. Ruby told Saraya she knew the whole time that it was Saraya. I don’t necessarily think that jives especially when you consider the match with Anna Jay, but “E” for effort. We did find out that Ang sent the note but didn’t actually find out its contents. There was hook set for this week, though; Ruby and Angelo made a date for a drink Wednesday. They each tweeted about and Saraya ominously quote tweeted one of them. Clearly, she’s plotting something. I just hope it’s not one of those contrived staged date fiascos that were a staple of Vince McMahon for decades. Just have Saraya interfere before they ever leave.

Grade: B-

Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale vs. Julia Hart & Skye Blue

Stokely Hathaway distracted the referee when Skye had Willow pinned following a Code Blue unbeknownst to Willow. That allowed Willow to hit Black Girl Magic (okay, she calls it The Girl with the Powerbomb, but c’mon Black Girl Magic sounds better) for the win. In a backstage segment on Rampage, she was upset but tried not to swear in an adorably Nickelodeon fashion. Statlander made Stokely promise not to cheat on their behalf again. She also wondered aloud why Julia and Skye had targeted them again. I’d sure love an answer to that one myself.

Grade: B

Orange Cassidy vs. Roderick Strong

OC looked to gain revenge on behalf of Chuck Taylor and Rocky Romero who were taken out by the Undisputed Kingdom. This revenge came in the form of a match against Matt Taven that was a made a Texas Deathmatch for no other reason than that they happened to be in my home state. I don’t think that’s a sufficient for that kind of match. That stipulation should only be pulled out for the most personal of blood feuds. Nonetheless, Cassidy and Taven went all out, with Cassidy bleeding like stuck pig and Taven taking an insane header over the top rope through a table. Strong got involved but Cassidy was still able to pull out the win. It seems like a near certainty that Strong is winning the AEW International Title at Revolution, but man does the Undisputed Kingdom feel like it’s just limping along. Adam Cole needs to get out of that wheelchair ASAP.

Grade: C+

Note: With no Collision this last weekend, the Mark Briscoe vs. House of Black and Eddie Kingston vs. Bryan Danielson feuds saw no progress. It was announced on TwitterX, however, that Danielson will face Kingston’s idol Jun Akiyama on Saturday night so that should be really good.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply