The part of the site where you can find information about the newest wrestling promotion.
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Even though I'm sure more will be known about the future of Ring of Honor in the coming days and weeks I thought it was worth talking about at least right now. At this time not all of the information has been released, but what we do know is that Ring of Honor Wrestling has been purchased by Tony Khan and All Elite Wrestling. It is very likely that the purchase was for a pretty penny, but it will be worth it in the long run for Tony Khan as buying ROH now gives him access to the Ring of Honor tape library. Within the twenty years of ROH's library the most important event in AEW is housed All IN which was the first event for AEW or at least the trail run for the promotion.
For those who may not remember in late 2021 it was announced by former ROH parent company Sinclair Broadcasting that following Final Battle the promotion would be taking a hiatus until April of 2022. The hiatus would be designed to allow ROH management to figure on a new direction for the promotion and effective immediately all contracts would either be terminated or allowed to expire. Some contracted ROH wrestlers will still be under contract until late March 2022 according to reports, but for the most part the roster that was once under the ROH banner is free to appear wherever.
A few questions come to mind though, what does this mean for the Supercard of Honor in April will the show still take place and be the official farewell for ROH. Will the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 for Ring of Honor be a way to keep the promotion alive. According to some reports it is possible that ROH will become a developmental of sorts for AEW. As I mentioned earlier not everything is known at this point and some questions still remain the one thing we do know is that Tony Khan has officially purchased Ring of Honor wrestling.
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Since the very beginning of AEW a lot has been made about the Women's Division and the lacking direction and push that the division had seen from time to time. More or less the biggest conversation was focused on the lack of development and opportunity for the women's division. From the start nobody within the division was very known by wrestling fans and AEW wasn't spending much time to invest developing much of the division outside of Britt Baker. Within the last year though a number of women have seen their stocks rise namely Kris Statlander, Thunder Rosa, Jade Cargill, and others. Seeing the ascension of Statlander this has opened the door for her friend Leyla Hirsh to start finding her footing the division and development as her friend.
It will take a lot of time though for the division to find its footing as they took a while to even start allowing women outside of Britt Baker to begin any form of development. With the arrival of Ruby Soho and the questions surrounding possible arrivals of others names like Toni Storm it is clear that the future is unquestionably bright for All Elite Wrestling. However, the promotion will still need to develop other talent to allow the depth of the division to take hold and not be a question.
Especially considering at this point that there are now two championships within the ranks of the AEW Women's division. Baker is on the chase for the record of the longest reigning Women's champion in history of AEW. In my opinion, until someone other than Thunder Rosa or Ruby Soho reaches Britt Baker's level then she belongs in the spot as the leader of the division. Jade Cargill is still under development, but has potential to become a star and still needs time to develop her place outside of her undefeated streak. Either way though with names like Rosa, Soho, Statlander, Rose, Cargill, Jay, Conti, Baker, and many others it is clear that AEW will have a healthy division for a long time, but continued development of those within the division is most important.
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Unique! Attention grabbing and oozes potential are all ways to describe Wardlow aka the hottest prospect within the ranks of All Elite Wrestling. A one man wrecking crew in recent months and the man who laid a beating on CM Punk unlike anything we had seen before he has become the most talked about member of the AEW roster. Every fan is asking one question though at this point when will the turn happen when does Wardlow turn on MJF and break out on his own escaping the shadow of his tyrannical boss. If it were me I'd let it simmer for a few more weeks and pull the trigger closer to the bigger events namely the summer time between All Out and Double or Nothing.
Right now, I would ease off the peddle a little bit and let videos like this do the talking for maestro of the powerbomb symphony. Allow the fans a chance to breath and give Wardlow a chance to think instead of sending him to the ring every week to fight some no-name. His stock rose by not only being featured in the same ring as CM Punk, but also by dominating Punk to the point of where he could've won the match if not for his boss MJF.
I said this recently in an article regarding Hangman Page that from the start I believed that AEW needs to invest time in building those name that the mainstream fans aren't aware of yet. Wardlow has shown exactly why he belongs on that list of talent AEW should push to the forefront of investment and make sure that when fans think AEW they think of the dominate powerhouse Wardlow. I don't believe 2022 will see Wardlow on a main event level, but I do believe 2022 should see Wardlow holding gold within the ranks of AEW and on his own from MJF which will allow to begin growing toward his potential. Amazing video though take a look below very well done by AEW simple and to the point!
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Since the very beginning of All Elite Wrestling, I have been on the idea that they need to invest time into building up the unknown talent. Prior to joining AEW the current AEW World Champion was still building his name in the wrestling business as a rising star for Ring of Honor and a fresh face for New Japan to test. Hangman Page is untested as a top star and now AEW needs to spend time now building his reputation as a recognizable top talent. Tony Khan has more of an ability to get his talent on the talk shows and in the public eye because of his reach and financial standing.
The list of AEW World Champions reads as a list of proven names and now the company needs to do the work to prove his worth. After waiting two years for the story to pay off now it's time to invest in Page which means that this reign will likely last for the foreseeable future. The first PPV of the year is set for March 2022 and that will be the next big title defense of Hangman Page the only is will Lance Archer be that challenger. Names like Frankie Kazarian, Christian Cage, Andrade El Idolo, and Miro are possible proven challengers that could be given the chance to help add credibility to the title reign of the Hangman. Right now Hangman needs to be put into a position to be seen as a credible main event talent, but that will take time.
Two names that I do believe could make for interesting foil against Hangman Page are Brain Cage and Eddie Kingston. However, both those names should be held back for the time being and allow for Hangman's title reign to simmer before he starts challenging talent that some fans may like to see defeat him for the title. I'm aware of the reputation that Brian Cage has right now due to many fans wondering what happen to the powerhouse, but I also agree with AEW's decision to give talent a break from time to time instead of keeping them around for the sake of it.
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Earlier this week All Elite made the move to TBS from TNT and this is the first episode of Dynamite on it's new home. It was huge episode with two title matches featured on the card including an AEW Tag and World Championships. The last time Danielson and Hangman Page met in the AEW ring they went for an hour draw. Which is insanely rare to not only happen, but it's even rarer for it to work the way this has. It is impossible to say that anyone expected Danielson's run in AEW so far to be as amazing as it has been and we aren't even a year into it yet. Page will likely have the title around his waist for the foreseeable future though with a new challenger on the horizon.
Speaking of a new challenger the World Tag Team Titles need a new challenger as we saw new champions crowned. The Jurassic Express are finally champions in All Elite Wrestling with the duo wrestling the belts away from Lucha Brothers. I am extremely happy about this, but we will put that aside and say that Jungle Boy has been ready for a title for a long time. Not exactly what I was expecting from this match, but I think that the Lucha Brothers don't need the gold to be over and Jurassic Express needed it more to take the next step forward.
One new champion and another retain, but both have something in common as they both need new challengers. I believe as long as they avoid the Hardy Family Office considering the long feud Jurassic Express and Christian just had with the stable the first challengers for the new champions will be the best team possible. The Acclaimed or Santana & Ortiz would be good choices for the first challengers to the new champions. As far as Hangman Page, I would like to see Eddie Kingston get his shot against the champion or Scorpio Sky (seeing Dan Lambert in a Main Event program would be nice). Either way if this episode of Dynamite is any indication this year will be an interesting year in 2022.
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I am both encouraged and discouraged by some of the booking styles from AEW as they both seem to have a long term direction in some cases but at the same time lack a long term direction. Looking back at 2021 it has been a big year to say the least for the young company and they should still be given the chance to gain a clear direction for top stars like Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, and CM Punk to name a few. In my opinion, the company should've had a bit of a plan in place before they signed some of those above named stars.
Question marks still exist with a number of top free agents still remaining on the free agent market from the various WWE releases. However, at this time AEW needed to lay out a plan splitting the year in two with May's Double or Nothing being the separating point. Considering the company will also be moving over to TBS in January there is another reason for a long term plan to be in place. The reason is that you need to make an impact from the very beginning on their new home.
It is clear that the company does have a long term plan to bring Thunder Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker back together for another instant classic. In recent months we have also seen the disappearance of both Moxley and Kenny Omega alongside the ascension of Eddie Kingston. There is no question that we have bridges yet crossed as we head into another calendar year. Below is a list of the main points which All Elite Wrestling should be focusing on in the new year. To clarify, I don't believe AEW needs to have a plan for everyone, but to know where they want to go with certain talent will help bring together the plan for other talent.
- The continued ascension of Wardlow (drawing out the feud with MJF)
- Undisputed Era vs The Elite
- Jurassic Express as Champions
- Thunder Rosa vs Britt Baker II
- Bryan Danielson or CM Punk as World Champion
- Embracing the new era of AEW on TBS
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With Full Gear right around the corner I thought it was time to take one last look at the card and see if we can the likely long term plan for All Elite Wrestling or at least a direction I would go if I was in a position to decide such a thing. Recently I explained my expectations for the main event of Full Gear so we will avoid that match.
In my opinion, as for the other two title matches set for the event which include the AEW World Women's Champion Britt Baker defending her title and the Lucha Brothers defending the tag gold. Since the beginning of AEW there has been person from the Women's division that has rose to the top and become a star and she is the current Women's Champion. At this point, Britt Baker should keep the title for the foreseeable future and chase down the record setting reign set by the former champion. Reality is there is no reason for Britt to drop the title right now unless there is a story we are missing.
The same could honestly be said for the Lucha Brothers who I believe just defeated the Young Bucks for the gold back in September at All Out. I don't mean to make it seem like everyone needs a long reign as champions, but the team shouldn't drop the gold at the first hurdle. At this point FTR has a ton of momentum and with the help of Pinnacle will likely maintain it's current momentum. Shawn Spears could find himself in the feud alongside Pac to make it an interesting six man rivalry. I don't know that Full Gear will be the end of the feud between the Brothers and FTR, but again like with Britt there is no reason to switch at this from the perspective I'm seeing.
Overall this event will likely be another home run for AEW and put on display why they not only should be taken seriously, but why people should pay attention. I'm not sure the status for Full Gear on the calendar, but being on the national scale it's the time the next generation to again show why AEW has the deepest roster in wrestling. Names like Jack Perry, MJF, Darby Allin, and others have shown they have what it takes to be the future of wrestling.
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It's only been two months since CM Punk made his in-ring return at All Out in September against Darby Allin. However, since then Punk has been moving around fighting anyone and everyone, but hasn't had a defined direction. Outside of short rivalry with Team Taz specifically Powerhouse Hobbs there really hasn't been much going on for Punk. It understood that they didn't want to rush into something and wanted to keep Punk's gimmick developing which is basically him showing that he can still go after seven years out of the ring.
After in many ways a random altercation between Eddie Kingston and Punk last week it seems like we might have an answer to that question. The altercation looked a bit spontaneous which makes it look real, but there needs to be more context to the feud before we judge the feud. Kingston had the best match of his career thus far against Danielson last week and was likely frustrated. It is possible that Eddie could feel a bit upstaged with the arrivals of the new marquee stars taking spots anyway from the founding members of the roster.
Honestly, they couldn't have picked someone better for Punk to have his first meaningful feud with then Eddie Kingston. It could help set the stage for a slow burn return to the main event picture for CM Punk and I agree with the route they were taking with Punk. Considering the fact Bryan Danielson moved into the title picture upon his arrival in the company there was no reason to have Punk move right into the title picture upon his return. Punk will likely be in the World Title picture or the main event scene at some point, but it likely will not happen for another year in any case. In either case I'm looking forward to see how this feud materializes.
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Ratings might be in a lull might that doesn't mean that All Elite will not deliver on PPV like they almost always do every single time out. I want to get this out of the way early Hangman Page wouldn't have been brought back in such a big way or at this time for him to lose at Full Gear. I would be dumbfounded to see Kenny Omega leaving Full Gear still AEW World Champion. Omega could stay the champion, but to a point they have been painted into a corner with holding off the momentum for Page. We saw it at the first PPV when Page fought Jericho to crown the first champion and knew the time would come eventually.
I've been watching Adam Page for more then a few years now and he's shown a ton more potential then he did when I first remember watching him in Ring of Honor years ago. Page has grown and matured so much over the years and at Full Gear it will be his moment in the sun. The main question is should Omega lose the title now or could the reign have lasted a bit longer. The old saying is run with the hot hand does Kenny's title reign still have life or would it be better to get the gold on someone knew after all this time in the spotlight.
Another question is persisting the rumors of Adam Cole already turning on The Elite and breaking away setting up a power struggle within the faction. It's not a bad idea, but it could be a little too soon to rush into what could be a money making storyline. Truth is maybe the best decision is to allow this to be the long term plan and wait out the turn until next year. Allow Adam Cole to find his identity in AEW and get his legs about him, because of all The Elite I do believe Adam is the only one people want to cheer might just be that believes this though. Cole should have no part in this main event at Full Gear the rematch fine, but if your doing a switch leave it clean and let Page have his moment.
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In the last few months, All Elite Wrestling has trumped WWE as far as finding ways for non-wrestlers to benefit the weekly program without upstaging the active wrestlers. To be fair various companies have struggled with the idea of not allowing outside stars upstaging there active talent. With the occasional appearances from American Top Team though getting better with every passing day it shows that the company is not just using the group to their advantage but building somewhere. Recently former UFC Heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos made his in-ring debut alongside the Men of the Year against the Inner Circle.
Dos Santos from the bit I saw did well! There is no doubt he was green and it showed, but he didn't try to do more then he was capable of and taking a bump through a table takes props. Especially with his selling of Hager's urange. One piece that needs to be acknowledged though is the bigger part that Jorge Masvidal seems to be playing in this ongoing saga due to his devastating flying knee attack. At one point, Jorge was a meal ticket in the UFC and seems to be making a seamless transition to the world of AEW.
With Full Gear around the corner and it being pretty clear that this rivalry isn't letting up any time soon and will likely be getting only more intense. The only question is will Masvidal meet Jericho in the ring at some point or will they stick with Dos Santos, Page, and Sky. If Rampage is any indication it seems as though Santana and Ortiz are back alongside the rest of the Inner Circle which even the odds a little bit more. Maybe we have a lumberjack match coming in the future with Jericho and Jorge in the ring and everyone else ringside. It is also possible to see the Inner Circle members swapping in and out to keep them busy with other things specially Sammy taking challengers for his TNT title.
I remember a few years back that Paige Vanzant had been debating about a career in wrestling likely after her UFC career had come to an end. However, the talk died down after a few months we hadn't seen anything to reignite the rumors until she started appearing with Dan Lambert. The main question with that would be would Paige competing draw an audience and if so against who could she wrestle?