Welcome back to the 411 Fact or Fiction – Wrestling EditionI’m your host, Jake Chambers.
We’re all coming down from an AEW PPV weekend high, so I thought it was time to decompress with a special All Elite Edition of FoF. So I’ve invited 411’s weekly Dynamite / Rampage reviewer Thomas Hall to enlighten us with some mathematics.
You should definitely stop by his Revolution PPV review first and then you’re ready to get it on!
Statement #1: CM Punk coming out to his old Ring of Honor entrance before the AEW Revolution match with MJF worked for you.
Thomas Hall: FACT – This entire feud has been built on emotion, with a big focus on Punk and MJF’s histories, both individually and together. MJF wanted to meet the original Punk from his Ring of Honor days and that is what he got on Sunday. It was a different kind of Punk because it was a different kind of match and that is how it should have been. That was a great moment for those who knew what it was and commentary was there to explain it to those who didn’t.
Jake Chambers: FICTION – “Cult of Personality” is just a better song than “Miseria Cantare”. Besides, Punk has used Cult of Personality more over the years, and it specifically connects better with the mainstream AEW audience who will forever remember his emotional return to pro-wrestling on Rampage last year. That mid-2000s Punk was awesome, and those entrances were legendary but they are not the same without that ROH context, those sweaty gym settings, the fans banging on the metal signs, and seeing him come out in the darkness on a grainy videotaped image . If those old Punk AFI-punctuated entrances were the Tobe Hooper classic then the AEW 2022 version was as glossy and hollow as the Netlfix Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Statement #2: Adam Cole should have won the AEW Championship from Hangman Page at the Revolution PPV.
Thomas Hall: FICTION – Cole showed up at All Out about nine months ago and made a splash, but then just kind of fizzled out. He had the long feud with Orange Cassidy and lost the blowoff, which isn’t exactly how you want to build up someone to win the World Title so soon thereafter. At the same time, Page has only been champion for a few months now and it would be a bit too soon for him to drop the title after so many months chasing the championship.
Jake Chambers: FACT – I am not an Adam Cole fan, but I just don’t find myself engaged at all by Hangman Page as a main event-er or brand top champion. I kind of respect Tony Khan following a booking tradition of forcing a champion on us until we like them, like we’ve seen with guys like Triple H and Jeff Jarrett in the past, but like those cases there’s so many better wrestlers on the roster . Adam Cole, for me, isn’t one of them, but at least if he’d won at Revolution it would have signaled that we were on the path to change rather than continuing with Adam Page for the foreseeable future.
Statement #3: You are glad AEW owner/booker Tony Khan purchased the ROH IP and video library instead of the WWE.
Thomas Hall: FACT – Absolutely, and you can tell this just by looking at what WWE has done with its other tape libraries. WWE already has more content than you could ever hope to see and you get about three months worth of Superstars every month uploaded to Peacock/the Network these days, plus maybe a Progress/Evolve event a week. Ring of Honor has 20 years worth of content and I wouldn’t want WWE sitting on it for the next 20 years and releasing a handful of events every few months. I’m not sure what Khan is going to do with the library and IP, but it almost has to be better than what WWE would have done.
Jake Chambers: FACT – Gotta agree with Thomas here, especially since I wish WWE was releasing old EVOLVE shows once a week instead of sitting on a bank of awesome events from ROH’s spiritual successor. Unlike most of the executives making the calls in WWE, we know Tony Khan as a super fan has at least watched some of this amazing content he just bought and that fills me with faith that he’ll want to preserve and present that experience in a meaningful way.
Statement #4: Among the four new AEW signings since last Sunday – including Regal, Swerve, and Jeff Hardy – Paige VanZant will end up eventually having the biggest impact in AEW.
Jake Chambers: FACT – She’s younger than those others, she’s got mainstream “real sport” and MMA popularity, and has many of the aesthetics that appeal to AEW’s key demo. If they can get out of VanZant even a fraction of what Rousey did in WWE for a year, then I think she’ll have the impact those other names won’t have in their likely mid-card matches and rivalries.
Thomas Hall: FICTION – Van Zant seems to have all of the tools, but she has no track record. Having her around her is a good thing and there is certainly a history of talented mixed martial artists turning into successful wrestlers, but she is up against some stiff competition. Regal already had a great promo and is put into a prime slot. Swerve has seemed ready to be a breakout star for years now. Hardy is a Hall of Famer. Van Zant very well could be a star, but I don’t think she is beating out those three.
Statement #5: You think AEW should play hot potato with the TNT Title next week and put it on Wardlow after Scorpio Sky just won it from Sammy Guevara this week.
Jake Chambers: FICTION – I think the introduction of Wardlow being “under contract” to MJF still will come into play here and keep him from actually challenging for the belt. Heel Scorpio Sky could use a slimy reason for getting past Wardlow and what better way than MJF pulling some rank over his former charge. Regardless of if this turns out to be true or not, I do prefer Sky over Wardlow and the workhorse feel of the TNT belt matches best with his style.
Thomas Hall: FACT – It screams of Raven winning the US Title and losing it to Goldberg in 1998 and that is not a bad thing. Wardlow is hot right now and the fans seem into him. I know Sky has worked hard to get here, but he has his championship win from him. Give Wardlow the title in the big moment by striking while the iron is hot. There is no reason to hold off and risk losing some of Wardlow’s momentum. Do what should be done and let the monster loose.
Thanks again to Thomas Hall for giving us his elite takes on an all-as-such wrestling promotion. Be sure to check out his AEW TV reviews seconds after they end every week right here at 411mania!
You can find more Thomas Hall takes and reviews over at: https://kbwrestlingreviews.com/
See you next week!