Since his match with Jericho ended in forfeit back in November at Full Gear it has been all MJF and very little retribution from Cody. For those who may not remember Cody lost the match after MJF tossed in the towel costing Cody the match and the ability to ever challenge for the AEW World Title again. At first it looked like MJF was trying to be a good friend, but then he kicked Cody low officially turning heel. Now MJF has always been a significantly better heel then face cause he is easily hated and now he could be very easily. Following his official turn AEW has focused on developing MJF into a top star and a more known commodity. It is for this reason that Maxwell would win the AEW Diamond battle royal giving him something else to brag about other than screwing Cody out of the AEW World Title.
Since the beginning it was always the heel MJF having forced Cody to agree to stipulations in order to even consider getting a match with his former protege. One of these stipulations is that Cody couldn't touch Maxwell or he would lose his chance to have a match with Maxwell. At this point AEW has four PPV events which means one every quarter and there first PPV of 2020 will be in February. I don't expect Cody to fight Max in February based on the slow burn they are going for with this rivalry and they will likely save this match or try to save it for later in the year. In my opinion, I would expect Cody vs MJF to be a top match at All Out in September or Double or Nothing in May and they will likely not meet in the ring before then to allow things to draw out and truly build.
This week AEW had a very special edition of Dynamite as a part of the Jericho Cruise and with that landscape it allowed Cody to finally get one over on his former protege. Take a look!!
Back in the day Bash at the Beach was one of the more prominent events of the year for World Championship Wrestling. At first I thought that Bash at the Beach would be a PPV event, but with it being a special episode of Dynamite instead makes things a bit more interesting. It's still early and I think that if anything All Elite Wrestling will adopt a more realistic PPV schedule for a modern wrestling fan which just means not having 12 PPV events a year to give the promotion more time between events.
Focusing on tonight's show Sammy is the best place for Jon Moxley to start as he heads to Chris Jericho and the All Elite Wrestling World Championship. At this point I'm more interested in the Dark Order then the current rivalry between MJF and Cody only, because of how little time they have spent making us care or fear The Butcher & The Blade. The Bash at the Beach brand has a long legacy in pro-wrestling and tonight All Elite Wrestling has a chance to add another chapter to this historic wrestling event. I know that Cody and MJF is the type of feud that I thought Shawn Spears vs Cody could've been and I'm excited to see where they will go and how long AEW will let this feud simmer.
Either way after last week's step in the right direction I would like to see if the year old company can continue to step in the right direction. I have criticized All Elite Wrestling a lot mainly, because the way AEW presents wrestling normally isn't my cup of tea, but sometimes I will admit that they've hit a home run a number of times in the last year. Mox vs Jericho, Cody vs MJF, and intrigue from the Dark Order all this together shows the potential that All Elite has for the upcoming year to come.
For what feels like months at this point they have been building for this night and was a lot more talked about then I thought it would be. There is no doubting at this point that Chris Jericho is the hottest ticket in wrestling right now. Building the company around Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle was the smartest decision that AEW could've made. In my opinion, this was done well, because for once the good guy made the bad guy look like a fool this way the heels need retribution as oppose to the normal formula.
At first I thought that AEW was going to hold the turn back for a few weeks or even months setting up for an eventual Moxley turn to push this feud for the long term as oppose to jumping in right away. Jon and Jericho have all the momentum and things seem to be working very well as far as fan interest in seeing Mox stack up against the numbers within the Inner Circle. Jericho has hit another prime for his career becoming a must see champion and a top figure once again. For one Jericho has never been the flag bearer of a promotion which is amazing to think about him always being a complementary player before the arrival of "Le Champion" and his Inner Circle. Think about how things have changed in two years it has been quite a paradigm shift!!
It is hard to believe at this point that it has been a year since we received the arrival announcement of All Elite Wrestling. It was a small press conference in Jacksonville that started it all when the announcement that a lot of saw coming finally happened and "The Elite" became All Elite. With the financial backing of the Khan Family things looked very promising for the new promotion. Fast forward a year later and the new promotion is still on the upward trend at least as we approach the new year.
The week before Christmas we had our last episode of AEW Dynamite for the year with the holiday break. Now we look forward to the first edition of Dynamite of 2020 and the return home for All Elite Wrestling with some big matches and moments planned for the event. The main question heading into tomorrow's event is what happens between Jon Moxley and the Inner Circle as this could be the breakthrough rivalry for Moxley in a major wrestling which didn't come while he was with WWE.
The most underrated part of the show in my opinion, is Dustin Rhodes upcoming match with Sammy Guevara. Since the very first event under the All Elite banner Dustin hasn't always been a very prominently featured member of the roster, but that was almost expected due to the elder Rhodes advanced age. However, every time Dustin gets in the ring we consistently see that he more than still has what it takes to keep up with modern wrestlers. I firmly believe that Sammy having a short program with Dustin while working with a legend like Jericho it will more than benefit this incredibly talented youngster.
I do think though that AEW needs to give a little to get a little back and that would be letting Dustin try and teach Sammy a lesson or something like that. In a similar fashion Cody can play a similar role to Dustin can with Sammy in his feud with Darby Allin. Both kids are similar youngsters that are still finding their footing on the big stage and in my opinion, there are no better selections to help with this process then Cody & Dustin.
One of the problems from the start of All Elite Wrestling is the amount of random rumors that have been popping up since the start of the company. It makes it hard to differentiate between what is worth believing in and what actually isn't worth investing in, because with a new company everything has become news worthy. I'm not going to say that certain things have been very news worthy and deserves a lot of the spotlight, but the same could be said on the other side that sometimes certain things aren't as news worthy.
This comes off recent rumors that the former "Big Guy" Ryback could be joining the young promotion after a picture surfaced of him and Cody on social media. Yes! It is possible that this could lead to Ryback joining All Elite, but this could also just be a case of two friends being seen together in public. Near the end of his run with WWE it became clear that neither of the parties were really as interested as they were even a year before. Now with Ryback spending time out of the spotlight and away from the public eye it could be a great time to jump back into the wild world.
Overall I'm not sure if more than just a short term deal would be something worth pursuing for AEW as Ryback could be a draw and based his past does have untapped potential. Reality is like a lot of his fellow wrestlers he normally benefits the most from having the right dance partner in the ring. I also think that maybe having him appear under a mask to start and build to his debut instead of jumping right into it could add a layer to his character and star him on the right foot in his new promotion. However, it is possible that nothing comes of this and Ryback continues to watch from a far, at this point things can go either way. The only thing that needs to happen is that the parties need to agree, but we don't even know if they are talking all we can do is wait and see what's next. There is no proof or clear sign that Ryback is headed to AEW this just discussing the possiblity of him joining the company since he is a free agent as of this writing.
After waiting a little while to allow for the spoiler period to wear away. This week the main event of Dynamite saw SCU compete against Sammy G & Chris Jericho for the AEW Tag Titles. I liked this match more then the three way match from Full Gear as it made more sense from a logic point of view considering Lucha Bros just lost the finals two weeks ago yet got another title shot. The reason this made more sense was that Jericho was trying to prove he is the best by grabbing the other AEW championship.
The end of the match saw Scorpio Sky pin Chris Jericho opening the possibility of a Jericho vs Sky match in the next couple of weeks. With Cody out of the way it is possible that it's time to at least move Jericho onto a new feud and even though this could be only a few weeks at least it would be something of a bridge feud between Full Gear and the next PPV. Think about this though So Cal Uncensored could be a new feud for the Inner Circle the only problem is there would be a little bit of a numbers disadvantage unless Santana and Ortiz are going to stick with Young Bucks for the time being in which case SCU vs the remaining Inner Circle members would be perfect. Also consider this SCU has went on record saying that they will not be doing the Freebird rule which means Daniels is open to challenge Jericho also for the World Title.
Some minor criticisms with the PPV was that the Women's division comes out looking like a lesser part of the promotion. Based on the lack of build up for the match between Riho and Emi Sakura it is clear that AEW needs to work on sharing the attention they give to the feuds in between the PPV events. The main issue I have with the division is that not many people in America know about Riho or Emi and could benefit from being given the opportunity to learn more about both women and their history.
As for the top matches on the card between Cody and Jericho as well as Moxley and Omega. Both these matches more than lived up to expectations and more then tore down the house because these two guys made things work. For one not getting the match between Moxley & Omega at All Out and instead getting it at Full Gear. The anticipation and tension that built over the last few months gave us the match that we all wanted to see.
Overall I am extremely happy with result of Cody vs Jericho partially because it lived up to the build and the other reason is that I was right. Not only can Jericho move into a feud with either Moxley or Page now, but Cody is now in a feud with the greatest heel in wrestling MJF. This feud with MJF and Cody will be exactly what I thought the feud between Cody & Shawn Spears should've been but wasn't. Jericho is showed why he is still one of the best and this does raise and interesting dynamic of where does MJF fall on the heel hierarchy now, because he needs to be kept away from Jericho & the Inner Circle.
Full Gear 2019
Dr. Britt Baker vs. Bea Priestly
Joey Janela vs Shawn Spears
Neither guy has really found their footing in AEW just yet, but seeing them both together it could help them find their footing. It is difficult to predict what happens from this match other than it could be a solid opener or at least something to give us a break from the insanely anticipated matches on the night. Shawn Spears gets the win as he has a chance to find his footing as a top heel in AEW just needs to keep momentum and find his heat again.
Hangman Page vs PAC
In my opinion, very few people have impressed more since the start of AEW than PAC and Hangman Page. In all likelihood this could set up the next #1 contender for the World Championship. PAC has seemingly reinvented himself today and showed really what the WWE could've had if they just given him a little space. Page has been growing since the very beginning and next to MJF is one of the few clear up and coming future stars in AEW and will not just be World Champion, but a top star before very long in the promotion. PAC gets the win he has been unbeatable since arriving in AEW.
AEW Women's Championship:
(c) Riho vs Emi Sakura
I don't know a lot about these two women, but from what little I've seen they are both very athletically gifted young ladies who will put on display why AEW's Women's division has a very bright future ahead of it after the foundation has been put in place. Riho will retain the title.
AEW World Tag Team Championship:
(c) SCU vs Lucha Brothers vs Private Party
The one criticism I have about this is why should the Lucha Brother be in the match if they lost the finals to SCU two weeks ago. How did they earn another chance to win the titles they just had a shot to win two weeks ago? Private Party belong in the match and even if they are trying to protect a team there is a better way to do then having an unneeded triple threat tag match. Either way I don't see SCU having such a short reign with the gold and they will retain.
Young Bucks vs Santana & Ortiz
Two of the best tag team in wrestling lock horns in the first high profile match for Santana and Ortiz in AEW. This will be only the third match for the former LAX in AEW so there could be some ring rust for the team, but I think they will do fine against the Bucks. The Young Bucks are the only reason I believe that tag team wrestling could still be in the main event of a major event as they have proven time and again with the right opponents it works. Depending on which way the main event goes that will effect this match, but I'm going with Santana and Ortiz lifting the win as there first big victory in AEW. Remember the numbers game!
AEW World Championship:
(c) Chris Jericho vs Cody
Even with the unneeded stipulation Cody and Jericho will be set to have the type of match I expected to see when Cody locked up with Shawn Spears a few months ago at All Out. The amount of tension and energy that has gone into this feud is incredible in my opinion. It has produced some can't miss moments and has been a perfect way to start the AEW Dynamite era on TNT. Either way though Cody will fall short as the Inner Circle will keep the power as again remember the numbers game.
Lights Out: Unsanctioned Match
Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley
It has been years since I remember anyone running an unsanctioned match especially at a major event like this. For those who may have forgotten Moxley was suppose to fight Omega back at All Out, but the match was cancelled due to Moxley sustaining an injury a few weeks before the event. I didn't expect that the match would gain such intensity in the weeks since they started to rebuild now that it was official, but they showed how intense the match will be. The winner will likely move into a tie with the winner of PAC and Page as a top contender for the title which makes things a little harder. Moxley will get the win as this is his first shot in a marquee match in AEW in place of his injury.
One of the problems with wrestling today is that promos lack the emotion and energy that went hand in hand with the promos of yesteryear. It didn't matter if it was emphasizing a specific word or just showing feeling to indirectly build fans interest through talking them into the arena. The main difference is that when the idea of a script came to the forefront instead of talent fending for themselves and could really believe in the promo as they were talking for themselves.
The last couple of weeks Cody has promised a career altering announcement and has been interrupted by Chris Jericho. This week he promised that he would get to it without being interrupted and looking back he did exactly that this week. Cody delivered one of the best promos in recent years to the point watching him speak at points gave me goosebumps. The amount of raw emotion that Cody had in his promo put on display exactly what is missing in wrestling today, because there is no emotion, nobody tries to stick out anymore they all just are the same and don't raise the intensity. Cody put his heart on his shoulder, and showed the passion that he has for this business that other people are missing what wrestling use to be.
Overall all it use to take was Austin Idol, Roddy Piper, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, or a number of other talent talking about their upcoming match and it would make fans want to attend the event. Nowadays wrestling has drifted so far away from where it use to be that promos like this make think why can't do this more. They can it's just that the emotion, the passion, the feeling has been gone for so long that fans aren't asking for it to come back when we should. Logic, Passion, Emotion are all traits that make it easier for us to invest in what we are watching. I'm investing in All Elite Wrestling especially if things like this keep happening.
It only took me about month to join in on the wrestling Wednesday craze and I honestly felt so much like my childhood during the Monday night wars switching the channels between NXT and AEW. I really didn't know what to expect watching All Elite Wrestling for the first time and I can say that I was impressed. I just never really thought about sitting and watching it until I started watching NWA Power weekly recently it got me interested in watching weekly wrestling again.
I have to say that the Inner Circle are a great faction and are in a way a throwback to stables of old. All this means is that they are dangerous, hated, and what a stable should feel like. I think that for the most part a lot has been lost in modern wrestling from what worked in the past, but this feels like how stable use to be like it benefits everyone involved and there is a purpose. Seeing LAX attack Rock N Roll Express and then power bomb Ricky Morton through a portion of the stage was an incredible sight. Watching the crowd cheer for Rock N is also something I never thought I would see in my generation.
I almost forgot that we also saw the finals of the tag team title tournament and I thought that the Lucha Brothers would get the win, because they fit the modern wrestling appeal, but I was surprised to see Kazarian & Scorpio Sky win. I feel like they gave the veterans an early thank you for giving as much to AEW as anyone has and that they chose them to lead AEW during their formative time while they establish the rest of the division. Either way this is the start of something new and I will be watching AEW again not sure if it will be weekly, but more often I can guarantee.