The video that was released recently is exactly something that I mentioned that the company would benefit allowing vignettes to build up some anticipation for returning or debuting talent. The video showing teasing a return of House of Black is one of the more well produced vignettes we have seen in a while. It's not everyday when a non WWE produced video is actually a very well produced video that has me thinking about the possibilities of what will happen if House of Black returns.
Following the All Out event we saw what looked to be the end of the House of Black with Malakai Black and Buddy Matthews stepping away from wrestling for a time. It was unfortunate with Julia Hart finally finding her footing as the evil and darker character. Seeing her be positioned in the forefront of the video alongside Malakai makes me intrigued.
The House of Black needs to be brought back slowly let the anticipation build for a return and allow the development of the characters to take hold. Keep them away from Death Triangle and rebuild the image of the group from the ground up. One thing that would be working for the House of Black is not being featured on programming every week. But if they make promises they need to keep the promise to build the reputation and I would even consider moving the House of Black to Ring of Honor this way they can stick out a bit more in a smaller pond.
I haven't spoken much about the Brawl Out from All Out as coined by certain media sites and the reason for that is just having nothing to say. However, it would be wrong to not offer a bit of praise to certain AEW stars that have taken the reigns so to speak and have chosen to lead by example. Right after All Out current AEW World Champion Jon Moxley was suppose to go on vacation, but that all changed after the brawl out. Chris Jericho and Bryan Danielson stepped in talent meetings as veterans alongside Moxley to lead the AEW roster back to being a company that settles the scores in the ring. Jericho has been quoted as well expressing his opinion on CM Punk to his face following the altercation.
Jericho is currently being rewarded holding the Ring of Honor World Championship which is in fact something I don't think I'd ever say though I do understand it now. Think about the fact that Jericho has held the WWE, WCW, AEW and now ROH World Championships. With rumors abound that Ring of Honor will finally be receiving a stand alone television show the likely question is does this mean that Jericho will move off Dynamite and join the ROH Television show instead. Using the logic that of course the World Champion would appear on the brands TV show would of course be at the forefront. However, think about how much this would help Jericho once he does reappear on Dynamite as the old saying goes how can I miss you if you don't go away.
In my opinion, Jericho and other veterans should be getting rewarded for how they've helped AEW move forward past the altercation at All Out. Also I believe that Jericho should be moved to the ROH television show alongside other ROH wrestlers once the brand is given it's stand alone broadcast which we hope to see very soon.
With the rumors swirling that a weekly television show could be coming soon for Ring of Honor the question remains the effect it's having on AEW. It is unquestionable the benefits that would come about if Ring of Honor is able to secure its own television show as it would give the AEW roster more to breath. But should ROH pull away from AEW without something being put to use on television. Think about it jealousy is one of the strongest selling points in any profession, especially in wrestling.
The size of the AEW roster is built to force some talent to end up getting lost in the shuffle; it's just bound to happen. The infusion of talent that will likely be moved over to the ROH roster once the brand has a standalone show doesn't help matters. Why not have someone like Ethan Page appear to be angry on an episode of Dynamite or even better on the YouTube channel complaining that instead of being given the spotlight on television for even interview time he had to go to the YouTube channel. Following week let him put something on his Twitter playing up the lack of time and opportunity. Ethan should then blame the excess talent taken on from Tony Khan tossing a life raft to the failing promotion. Tony should've just let Sinclair take ROH behind the woodshed and put it out of its misery doing us all a favor.
These two weeks of insulting the history of Ring of Honor catches the ire of former ROH President and the man that kept the company afloat Cary Silken giving some words to Ethan Page. Carey implores Tony Khan to allow him to confront Ethan Page on television. Cary requests Caprice Coleman & Ian be present being the former ROH announce team. Cary gives an impassioned speech about the history of ROH and what it meant to the wrestling business and legacy that Tony Khan saved. The only thing Ethan says is "you are just proving my point" and walks away.
Ethan goes back to social media and points that Tony allowing Cary to appear again proves that he's more willing to be seen as a hero then someone who knows how to handle business. Page continues to stir the pot and catches the attention of a new free agent former ROH Champion Nigel McGuinness who is retired but is willing to silence the ego of the man who is bad mouthing the history of the company that made Nigel famous. This can escalate the feud to be something talked about during the early days of ROH's new television deal. Ethan could appear in the audience during an ROH event as a fan which would prevent the wrestlers from attacking him. Leading to Nigel picking an opponent to finally silence "All Ego" Ethan Page.
The logic from this would be to play up the jealousy that I'm sure some in AEW might feel seeing ROH stars occupying valuable TV time that they would be having had a TV deal been in place. Personal beefs draw money is what I believe that sign said on the wall in Memphis. Ethan Page is extremely talented and deserves to put in a spot to flourish. Nigel has the history with ROH to be someone that could get attention but not overpower Ethan Page. A feud like this would also allow for some form of connection between the brands to be maintained even after ROH is given a separate television show.
Following the media scrum at All Out the talk has been about the backstage issues happening within the backstage area of All Elite Wrestling. The Elite, CM Punk, and Ace Steel have been suspended since the week after All Out. Since then though we have seen various events take place specifically centering around Sammy Guevara and Andrade El Idolo. In recent months a number of former WWE stars have returned to the promotion thanks in part to the change in creative direction. It's become pretty clear that Andrade may want to move on and head back to the WWE.
Sammy and Andrade have both acted extremely unprofessional, airing their issues in a personal manner instead of keeping the issues behind closed doors. From my understanding there has been both a heated altercation and a fight between Sammy and Andrade. I've heard some fans mention that AEW is in desperate need of a PR Team to handle situations that seem to continue to appear. Allowing the professional to handle the situation would be the ideal way to handle keeping a lid on bad behavior. I would note as well that Tony needs to step up and acknowledge the bad behavior dealing with it promptly.
It does seem like Tony has dealt with Andrade accordingly, suspending him for the foreseeable future after a physical altercation between Andrade and Sammy with Andrade the only one getting physical. Sammy does need to be reigned in a bit as I believe he knew that Andrade was on edge and his actions didn't help matters. Unfortunately, it is events like this that overshadow the success the company has in the long run. AEW's first goal should be to put a lid on the tension and allow fans to just focus on the positives and let go of the negatives.
Based on what we saw at the end of All Out it seems likely that the MJF promo from a few months ago was planned from the beginning just maybe the words used were not planned. The promo lit a fire under MJF and fans interest in him turning to the good side. How things ended at All Out number one it is clear that Punk and MJF aren't finished yet and second the fans might be more willing to support Maxwell. Punk spoke about MJF during the media scrum calling him out for s*** where he eats and telling him the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
With his return at All Out in full scope it was clear that Max had never intended on leaving All Elite Wrestling and it seems more likely this was the plan from the outset. In an earlier article I mentioned Tony Khan sitting down and coming up with a long term plan for the promotion. The MJF/Punk saga should be the long term plan and shouldn't be blown off right away or on a small program for a ratings boost. Tony did well and made a smart decision with the booking of Moxley vs Punk now he needs to redeem that decision.
Punk's actions were unprofessional due to the timing of the expression no matter how true his statements where it wasn't the right time. Obviously Max isn't perfect and still has a lot to lean, but he's only 25 years old and has a lot of time left in the wrestling business or he can. Tony needs this be the cornerstone and to redeem the drama at Full Gear in November.
It seems that 2022 is the year of backstage drama in top wrestling promotions. In my opinion, the fact that we are having a hard time differentiating between work and shoot is a problem in itself. Working the boys can work if you don't do it often, but trying to always work the boys prevents anyone from truly knowing what is real and what isn't which isn't a good thing. Seven years ago Phil Brooks walked away from the world of wrestling and many of us thought he would never return.
Last year the moment most thought would never happen actually happened when CM Punk returned to the world of wrestling. Since then Punk has attempted to reestablish himself as a top draw in wrestling and prove even after seven years he still is one of the best. However, problems and drama have arose in recent weeks stemming from his previous rivalry with Hangman Page and a certain promo. Over a decade ago Punk had a falling out with his long time friend Colt Cabana who had been a very well liked member of the All Elite roster for a long time. Recently, Cabana was moved from AEW to the Ring of Honor roster which was the start of the drama.
Last night at the media scrum Punk had a lot to say including running down Hangman Page and EVP's ripping them apart (a breakdown can be found below). Punk didn't hold back on his opinion and instead of stepping in Tony sat there and just waited for his chance to speak. Clearly, Tony wants to be friends with his employees and not a strict boss. Punk's actions at the media scrum were unprofessional and completely unnecessary. It wasn't the proper environment for Punk to express his opinion and should've been done in private.
Tony should've cut the scrum short and instructed Punk to keep the question professional instead of allowing him to air dirty laundry in front of the media. Tony himself handled the question about Black's contract in a very professional manner and the situation with Punk should've been handled the same. As the World Champion CM Punk should be held to a hire standard and not allowed to act as he pleases. Tony needed to step in and not allow his World Champion to act unprofessional and should've cut him off. Jericho said it later on himself that it's best to keep somethings in house and yet this will not be handled in house.
A microscope will now be held on not only CM Punk, but Tony Khan, and All Elite Wrestling as a whole. This will be the toughest test the company has had to endure since the advent of the promotion as it involves wrestlers in positions of power. I believe to a point Tony Khan might be in more of a similar position to Eric Bischoff then some might've first thought. Below is again the breakdown of Punk's verbiage:
"Punk continued by saying, “There’s people who call themselves EVPs that should have fucking known better. This shit was none of their business. I understand sticking up for your fucking friends. I fucking get it. I stuck up for that guy [Colton] more than anybody. I paid his bills until I didn’t and it was my decision not to. When somebody [Page] who hasn’t done a damn thing in this business jeopardizes the first million-dollar house that this company has ever drawn off of my back and goes on national television and does that, it’s a disgrace to this industry. It’s a disgrace to this company. Now, we’re far beyond apologies. I gave him a fucking chance. It did not get handled and you saw what I had to do, which is very regrettable, lowering myself to his fucking level, but that’s where we’re at right now.”
Earlier today various disciplinary actions have been taken following the media scrum last weekend. Everyone who had been present during the altercation that has been in the news has been suspended. The only people that have yet to be disciplined are CM Punk and Ace Steel as the discipline is still in question as there is a possibility they might not be suspended. Tonight the uncertainty surrounding the World Championship and Trios Championship will be addressed by Tony Khan. Thus far I will praise Tony Khan for his handling so far of the incident, but that praise could easily dissipate depending on his decision of how to discipline the World Champion and Ace Steel.
It has since been reported that CM Punk has sustained a serious injury and will miss a prolonged period of time. Either way Punk still deserves a suspension for his part, because it will not make Tony look good if everyone else is suspended and Punk isn't disciplined just because he sustained an injury. The one thing that would be off the table in my opinion is termination due to his injury. If I was Tony I would suspend Punk until he is healthy and then decide what to do once he is 100%. As far as the AEW World Championship is concerned, we don't need another interim champion. I don't mind the intern concept, but you don't know when or if Punk will return to crown a real World Champion.
As far as the Trios Championship it is a shame that the future is in doubt for The Elite as champions considering the fact that The Elite are the first champions. Again there is no need for an interim champion here either. I would maybe hold a battle royal with various trios to set up a six man match the following week. It is unfortunate that this had to happen, but much like the World Champion should be held to a higher regard so should the EVPs.
Side note due to the fact that All Elite Wrestling just held as many tournaments as they've had this past year I think they should lighten up a little bit. I'm also a big supporter of the benefits of a battle royal and how many feuds can come out of a battle royal. It is understandable that you can't hold a battle royal for the Trios titles but you can for the World Title. If a battle royal isn't in the cards then a four way based on the rankings could also work.
Former Undisputed Era member and multiple time Tag Team champion Bobby Fish has fallen off the radar and is according to reports a free agent. Bobby made his AEW debut last October as one of many free agents to answer the open challenge of then TNT Champion Sammy Guevara. Bobby has been a featured star during his nearly long run in AEW alongside Adam Cole, Kyle O' Riley and Young Bucks. In my opinion, ReDragon is one of the best tag teams in wrestling and are capable of carrying a division like they did in NXT.
Fish has very sparingly been a featured singles star even though he is a very gifted in ring competitor it seems that he fits better as one half of a tag team. Bobby Fish isn't a free agent just yet as his contract with AEW is set to expire, but has yet to expire. I do believe that Bobby could be another person on the never ending list of corrections that Triple H would like to make to WWE I mean Roddy needs a partner.
Currently, AEW does have a bloated roster and even though they will be splitting some talent off to ROH until then though we will likely see some other stars walking away. The former Undisputed Era were suppose to be included in the Trios tournament, but were taken out of the tournament due to the trio not being fully healthy to be included.
With the biggest PPV event of the year right around the corner for All Elite Wrestling it is time for Tony to take a step back and reevaluate a few things. Think about this for a second management wise WWE structure is the best in the business. For example, Triple H might be head of creative also each show has a head writer with Ed Koskey & Jonathan Baeckstrom the head writers for Smackdown and Raw respectively. In my opinion, everyone shouldn't follow WWE and AEW has started taking steps forward fixing the structure issues, but there are still problems.
Clearly Tony can't handle creative by himself and if anything he should be maintaining it while delegating some duties to members of the company. Honestly, Road Dogg would've been a perfect hire for them to help with the creative structure. The reason for delegating being important is it would allow Tony the chance to focus on the day to day operations.
Side note the fact that Tony made the remarks against the Women's champion Thunder Rosa not being as important as CM Punk. It's not only inappropriate for the owner to make such a remark, but it's his fault that she doesn't have as much of an effect on the ratings as she could. Tony delegating is important, because you can't just keep having quarterly PPVs for Ring of Honor and expect the company to remain relevant. Also occupying time on Dynamite and Rampage with ROH is taking time away from AEW employees to get TV time.
I'm not perfect and I'm not trying to criticize AEW or Tony Khan as I'm more just trying to point out how important delegating is for a company and that Tony should spend a bit more time working on the structure of AEW. Right after All Out this weekend would be the perfect time to step back and come up with a plan for the rest of 2022 and maybe even a plan up until Double or Nothing in May.
I might actually try to put together a series of ideas that come to mind looking forward for the remainder of the year. Giving the Women's division their own show by the way will not fix the problem especially considering the fact that ROH would be better off with a show. Character development, long term planning and investing are still the most important aspects of the wrestling business even with how much the business has changed.
I've been focusing a lot on WWE recently for obvious reasons that doesn't mean I haven't been paying attention to AEW. Aside from the clear issue of needing to refocus and maybe put one person in charge of the women's division who can come up with a clear plan for the division. There is another pressing issue that is at the forefront of everyone's mind the amount of talent that the company has who lack a direction. In my opinion, I know the brand split has it's detractors especially because of the battles for brand supremacy there are advantages to the split though. This isn't where I say I think AEW needs a brand split because Rampage is not a comparable show to Dynamite.
Instead why not allocate certain talent for either show on a week to week basis so one week you see Hook on Rampage then in two weeks maybe a video package of a Hook match on Dark. I don't know that Hook has ever been on Dark, but you get the point. Long term planning is a massive part of any wrestling company's success. Planning on featuring a certain star on one show weekly and not the other would condition fans to be aware of the stars they might see on one program as oppose to the other. I'm not saying that top stars shouldn't be featured on Rampage and it should just be the B-Show as AEW doesn't have the same luxury as WWE to a point.
All I'm saying is planning the shows around talent you want to feature and even keeping that talent on the same brand would be an easy way to allow for more talent to be featured on a week to week basis on television. For example, I don't mind the Trustbusters as long as they don't become the weekly enhancement talent and actually have a reason to be seen as often as they are even if it is to elevate Parker. It is clear that AEW has been experiencing some growing pains especially recently which is expected, but how they handle the growing pains will be the real test.
The part of the site where you can find information about the newest wrestling promotion.