Not watched the full show yet but seen clips and read quite a bit about it and it sounds promising. It's about time a promotion targeting the 18-35 market got off the ground and it's got every chance of succeeding with guys like Jericho, Cody Rhodes, JR and Dean Ambrose on board. Having Shahid Khan's cash helps as well...
WWE has needed a decent competitor for 20 years. TNA was never that because Dixie Carter knew fuck all about pro-wrestling and put her faith in a bunch of self-interested arseholes (Hogan, Jarrett, Bischoff, et al.). AEW has major financial backing and people who get what the modern wrestling fan wants but isn’t getting from WWE, so that’s encouraging.
Signing TV deals (TNT in the States; ITV over here) was crucial. The question now is whether they can maintain a high level of quality on a weekly basis. At present, their track record is producing two very good specials in an 8-month period. Competing with WWE means at least 4-6 specials per year (probably more) on top of a 2-hour show 52 weeks per year. That’s quite a step-up in production.
I’m cautiously optimistic. No doubt the promotion will be a magnet for the worst kind of pro-wrestling hipsters, but anyone who cares about pro-wrestling should want them to succeed.
i am personally very excited. i have paid the £9.99 for the network for the last 6 or 7 years and i dont have sky sports so minimal exposure to Raw and Smackdown, i was all about the NXT product, and the big PPVs
but even now i am getting bored, and am considering cancelling my sub.
I enjoyed Double or Nothing for the most part. Bits of it were great, some was meh and some was just shite.
The biggest highlight of the whole show for me is MJF. The guy looks set to be an absolute star. He's the only one who got himself over in that battle royal on the pre-show. (And later with his promo/Bret Hart interaction). The guy has so much charisma it's unreal.
As for that battle royal - wtf? You get a guy with no legs struggling to do a 619. A guy rubbing himself with baby oil to get out of a hold like the greased up deaf guy on Family Guy? 'Jungle Boy' and 'Marko Stunt' do not belong in a wrestling ring. Whatever the fuck Sonny Kiss is about, it isn't for me. Same can be said for Orange Cassidy. Tommy Dreamer should be embarrassed for the two spots he did with those guys. I get that a lot of this stuff got huge pops from the crowd and these guys are over with the smarks, but this is supposed to be their big 'look at me' show and, if you don't know who these people are or what they do - the stuff just looks corny and stupid. It only got worse after with that librarian shushing bullshit too!?
Luchasaurus looks like an intriguing character though - i'll give that a plus point from it. And them finding a way to get Adam Page involved following the issues with PAC was the correct way to go about things.
Really enjoyed the Rhodes match - they told the story brilliantly and fuck me did Dustin bleed! Also mental to see him doing the flips in the two big spots he did. Bet he was sore the next morning! This was one of the best matches I’ve seen from either guy. They had several months to prepare for it, so they used that time wisely. Cody did an excellent job of being a heel when he needed to be. Dustin had a very impressive performance as the grizzled veteran that wanted to prove he still had it and overcame all that blood loss to nearly win.
Quite enjoyed the Young bucks match, although they still seem a bit too much like circus act for me. If they can find the right line between the two i'd enjoy them more. Some of the spots/moves did look really good though, especially the brainbuster (i think?) on the turnbuckle.
Jericho - Omega is what it is, good solid match but the one form Japan was better imo. It was more all about what went down after the match though - Moxley onthe rampage is dare i say it: best for business.
I’m happy AEW is here (might be the kick up the ass WWE needs) and I am pretty sure most fans liked this show. They had five months to prepare for this show, so I’m not surprised that it was as strong as it was. The Jon Moxley surprise debut is what people are going to talk about the most, which is how it should be because they ended on a strong note.
I don’t think it was the best ever PPV or anything like that (especially with lots of production issues and a commentary team that needs more time to gel), but it was still fun to watch and I enjoyed most of the matches a lot.
There also wasn't that much in terms of storylines or introductions for some of these characters, so that hurt things a bit imo. Good match after good match is fine, but they could have furthered some angles/utilised some video packages a bit. I think this should be rectified once they get TV and there are storylines that we can be invested in with more clearly defined heels and faces. The last three matches were the best part along with Moxley’s debut. I hope the production and writing gets better. Continuing the WWE-bashing thing seems stupid for any new company so the quicker they get that out their system and concentrate on themselves the better.
Best thing to come out of it for me was MJF, he didn't look out of place at all and they are going to need to build their own stars quickly to a level where they can hang with the Elite/Jericho/Moxley in terms of fan reaction.