One of the main problems that All Elite Wrestling has faced since the start of Dynamite is really allowing the less established talent the opportunity to stick out and grow. Other than Sammy Guevara and MJF very few names have really stuck out as talent that have been given opportunities to really grow into superstars. Darby Allin has a start and stop push since the start of Dynamite, but the reputation seems to finally be turning toward something good. After winning the TNT Championship it seems like Darby finally will be given a bigger platform to shine and move up the card and with Ricky Starks getting consistent television time it is only a matter of time before his natural charisma shines making him into a star.
Speaking of Ricky Starks his new stablemate has been given a massive opportunity and his name is Will Hobbs who just joined Team Taz on the most recent edition of Dynamite. Hobbs only debuted for AEW back in July on AEW Dark and was given contract based on his performance in the Casino Battle Royal back at All Out in September. Now fast forward two months and he has found himself in one of the featured rivalries on Dynamite feuding with Cody and Darby Allin after aligning himself with Team Taz (Brian Cage & Ricky Starks.) I haven't seen much of Hobbs, but at 30 years old and after ten years in the business it is always nice to see feel good story where someone is on the cusp of realizing their potential after finally getting one big break.
It has been a long time since I looked into this series, but after seeing the article about Cody discussing bringing back safe chair shots to the head. The interview can be found at the link provided here! I will not be discussing that subject and instead will talk about how I would've booked Shawn Spears vs Cody from last year. Cody was attacked at Fyter Fest last year by the debuting Shawn Spears who surprised him with a chair shot to the head sparking what should've been a heated rivalry between the two former friends.
I would've kept the chair shot to the head, but I would've changed how it was treated by AEW and keep in mind Dynamite hasn't started at this point. Cody would disappear from the company after the attack and we wouldn't hear from Shawn Spears until the revel of Tully Blanchard as his manager which would happen in September on PPV at Full Gear. At this event we'd have an impromptu match with Q.T Marshall and Shawn Spears as he'd Cody's friend stepping forward to defend him.
The reality is we should drum up the intensity and craziness that should've been made of from the chair shot. Basically the chair shot should've been made a bigger deal as it had been a long time since we had last seen a chair shot of that magnitude. Following his match with Q.T we need to have Shawn about to grab a chair but be stopped by Dustin which in turn sets up his next match. In the weeks leading to the debut of Dynamite we get the build for Dustin Rhodes vs Shawn Spears. Everything continues to revolve around the Fyter Fest attack being the straw that broke the camels back. In the "Road to Dynamite" we have Tony Khan show up announcing that Dustin vs Shawn Spears will be an unsanctioned contest. Tony also mentions that "I've spoken with Cody and he will be in the building for the first episode of Dynamite."
On the first episode of Dynamite we will see Dustin and Shawn in a bloody battle to end Dynamite. After the match which Spears would win we have Cody's theme start, but no Cody. This would make Tully and Spears brag about Cody being afraid of them and unwilling to show his face that he went back on his word. Shawn would main event again the following week against Hangman Page which would end in count-out with Cody's song starting and a figure appearing on stage which makes Spears run from the ring thinking it's Cody. This is where the episode ends leaving us to wonder if it was Cody or not.
In the week between episode two and three we see part of "Road to Dynamite" dedicated to finding Cody. For example, other wrestlers talking about if they think it was Cody last week or not. As well we see Dustin talking to someone assuming it is going to be Cody. However, for answers to these mysteries we need to wait for part two of this series.
It has been interesting and unexpected to watch the build to what has now become a match at Full Gear in less than a week. For the last few months Jericho has been trying to elevate the unproven stars on the All Elite Wrestling roster. Even though MJF is by far one of the top stars in the company he is still an unproven commodity in the world of wrestling. This feud will allow Max to further raise his stock in wrestling which has been something that AEW has needed to do since the start of Dynamite last year.
Possibly next to Moxley it is clear that Jericho is the biggest box office draw in the company which allows him to try and elevate the other members of the AEW roster. Though I think they could've gotten more mileage out of putting off the match, but considering this is the last PPV of the year for AEW as they do quarterly events. Jericho and MJF have put together segment gold in recent weeks and have been able to show off the talent they have.
In my opinion, Jericho will need to keep his stock high to be able to elevate other talent on the AEW roster to help stabilize a roster that needs a bit more direction. We saw a glimpse of his skills when he worked with Jungle Boy last year and then again with Orange Cassidy earlier this year who wasn't someone worth investing in before his feud with Jericho. Truthfully I looked at Cassidy as a joke and just comedic relief prior to Jericho, but that feud change my opinion on him as a talent as we were able see a more serious side of him. As far as MJF his feud with Moxley wasn't needed as they wanted to protect Max from losing to much momentum in a feud with the World Champion instead of just having a clear winner. It will be interesting to see what comes at Full Gear on the 7 of November.
One of the many things that WWE is guilty of has been their over reliance on the previous generation and seemingly fearing giving the spotlight to the new generation as the ratings aren't as high as they once were. Since the debut of AEW Dynamite though we have seen a number of legend appreciation night including a few appearances from the Rock N Roll Express and honoring Memphis Wrestling. Recently though they honored Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard as well as Rock N Roll Express. This was sight to behold as Tully had been out of the limelight for many years and this was the first time these two teams were together in the last two decades on national television.
This was the first time that Tully really put on display his rare skills on the microphone and the passion that he delivers one promo. Following that with emotions on a high FTR jump Ricky & Robert effectively turning heel and they end up spiking Ricky with a piledriver shades of Arn and Tully from back in the day. One move makes FTR more interesting then they have been since they were members of the NXT roster years ago before making the move to the main roster in WWE. Now all we need to know is will AEW be able to ride this wave of interest or will they mess it up like WWE did when they had their chance with FTR.
First off I feel like All Elite Wrestling has done a better job of using AEW Dark to give other talent an opportunity that doesn't always get a chance to shine on the main show. Comparing WWE Main Event to AEW Dark it's almost like WWE doesn't care if you watch it, but AEW doesn't hide the fact that Dark exists like WWE does with Main Event. It's like Main Event doesn't matter, but Dark actually has been used to get wrestlers attention or test someone new in a commentary spot.
One thing that has seemingly tailed off due to the current situation in society is the status of the National Wrestling Alliance. I will be breaking down that aspect of the situation at a latter date due to that not being the focus of this article. Ricky Starks was one of the highlights of the NWA from the beginning and got to put his potential on display with an endorsement from NWA Worlds Champion Nick Aldis it was clear that management had big plans for Starks, but everything changed when the Pandemic began. Now Starks has his chance to show his worth on a bigger stage and on national television. Ricky does fit very well in All Elite Wrestling especially since he has made the move to being a heel which fits a lot more then him as a good guy, but either way it's Starks chance to really shine in AEW and as a part of one of the top feuds in the company.
Considering I have done this series on and off for a while I haven't touched anyone from All Elite Wrestling that came over from WWE. Some major names like Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, The Revival, Cody, and various others could've been booked better in the major company then they have been in AEW. Jericho and Cody will be two people exempt from the series due to there status in the company and how much they've done since leaving WWE.
The focus of this edition will be focused on Jon Moxley who was made to be looked as a fool in WWE near the end with the only depth his character was given is either a germaphobe or a poor excuse for a lunatic. They never allowed Dean to take a step into a darker lunatic and only allowed him to be a comedic excuse for a lunatic. It seemed like at one point they could've given him room to grow or show actual personality, but that ship sailed a long time ago at least in WWE.
I remember Moxley from his pre-WWE career and he spoke slow, had personality, and reminded me a lot of Jake Roberts or Arn Anderson. In WWE he quickly became a neutered version of those legends, because they wouldn't let him have freedom at all. Since arriving in AEW you can see that Moxley is a lot happier and has more freedom to give his character the depth it deserves. Even without the nickname he's more of a lunatic in AEW then he ever was in WWE. I mean he fought the Inner Circle with an eye patch and won, in a year AEW and Moxley have given his character more identifying qualities then he got in six years with WWE. The only comparison here is how badly WWE missed the boat on someone who could've been a big draw for them when they needed someone new on top.
I for one have liked the fact that AEW has ranking system since the first time they announced it as it gives the company an easy to crown a number one contender without just giving someone a title shot. Though it might point out some one sided booking in favor of certain talent it also shows who the company chooses to protect and keep strong. For example, World Champion Jon Moxley hasn't a lost a match thus far in 2020 and neither has Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega and Adam Page when they're a team. Even though we will be getting an updated rankings on Wednesday there are points to be made on this one.
Mainly the fact that Cody and Moxley shouldn't share one ranking system as the TNT Championship shouldn't be considered to be on the same level as the World Title and instead should be sort of like Cody's answer since he can't challenge for the World Title. This would then also allows other talent to be seen as contenders for the TNT championship and not for the World Title, because what makes someone qualified for one title and not the other if they share rankings list.
Both Brain Cage and MJF seem to hold the top spot on the list right now and both men seem to want a shot against current World Champion Jon Moxley. This again prompts the question why would either man challenge Cody for the TNT Championship and not Moxley. Lance Archer as number three makes sense due to his record but he lost to Cody in the finals of TNT Championship tournament. Luke Harper just lost to Moxley and though he could take a step down to the TNT Championship stacking the odds against Cody. In my opinion, Cage vs Moxley, MJF vs Moxley and even Wardlow vs Moxley could be money and they can't save every match for when fans are back, because it's not possible. The writing is wall at this point though that soon enough MJF will become World Champion in All Elite Wrestling.
After months of a never ending feud between the Inner Circle and The Elite it is nice to see Jericho finally feuding with someone new. I'm not sure the reasoning behind the rivalry between he and Orange Cassidy, but either way it is a breath of fresh air seeing him pair off with an unproven youngster. Jericho was the one who helped kick off Jack Perry's potential after the match the two had last year and now maybe he can help changed the perception that has plagued Orange Cassidy.
In my opinion, Orange Cassidy seems like someone who is meant to have a chill demeanor, but if you push him to his breaking point his attitude changes and he will show why he shouldn't be taken lightly. Cassidy has something to prove at Fyter Fest against Jericho and win, lose or draw he will prove exactly that, because even though I'm not a fan he can go when he wants to. For those unaware Fyter Fest will be a two night special starting next week on TNT instead of on PPV like last year. Then night two will happen the following week as another special edition of AEW Dynamite. Jericho and Orange Cassidy will collide on Night two of Fyter Fest on July 8 which is in two weeks. It will be an interesting two weeks for All Elite Wrestling!!!
At first I thought that Brian Cage winning the Casino Ladder Match at Double or Nothing to earn a shot at the AEW World Title was rushing him into the title picture. However, this is before I really knew that Fyter Fest was set to take place in the future, but at this point the date is still to be determined. Moxley has really hit his stride since joining All Elite and even though it took him a few months to find his footing in the new company. Speaking of someone finding their footing in a new company that's where Tazz has something in common with the current World Champion.
Initially, Tazz would appear as a guest commentator from time to time before signing with All Elite and then would assume a spot at the broadcast table joining Tony, JR, and Excalibur. Fact is unless the company was going to switch up commentary to make the show have a more constant sound then Tazz wasn't going to fit in the company and needed a new spot. The only time that Tazz was given the opportunity to manage was early on in his run with Impact Wrestling, but it was only for a short time. At this point it seems like Tazz will finally get the chance to do something very different and in turn it is a breath of fresh air especially hearing him use his old catchphrase to describe the "Machine." Let's hope that the company will take the in between time and they allow Cage find his footing in the new promotion.
I don't know how it has taken me this long to write about the events of last week on Dynamite when the first former WWE stars arrived in AEW. For years the former Revival have claimed that they are the best tag team in wrestling with only the Young Bucks fighting back the claim. Dax and Cash are one of many stars that were underrated in the WWE and now that they have a new home it is time for them to step up. Since the start of All Elite it seems like the Young Bucks have been booked similar to Cody in a way to make them seem less over hyped.
The one thing I don't know if I agree with is if they wanted to figure this in down the road instead of doing right out of the gate. At the same time I think getting this marquee match of the way to begin with could be the right thing to do. Overall though Dax Hardwood and Cash Wheeler's names are more similar to porn stars then wrestlers and they could've picked better names to start with. Either way though it amazing to see them in a place where they might be taken seriously.
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