Write Forever: Big Business, After The Shakeup
Tony Khan, I had to stop the I've Never Thought of Installing Such a Huge Threshold in a Raised Room video I was watching before I could finish it, so this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT better be worth it! At this point I'm simply confused as to how excited I should be since the graphic refers to the announcement as "big", the commentators have repeatedly called it "major" on television, and tweets have called it "huge".
I already set myself up for disappointment by making two baked potatoes tonight and only being able to eat one, so let's light the fuse and bring the boom and doot doot doot Dynamite.
Tony's big announcements are typically just okay, but it brings us in the Ganso Bomb household a special kind of joy watching him be completely awkward on television.
Big Bad Business Name
lol c'mon Tony. Big Business is such a goofy name. You could have thought of a thousand better names.
Anyway, it'll be cool seeing Mercedes Moné and Kazuchika Okada in AEW.
The in-between is scant! And it's honestly again just nitpicking, because the content itself wasn't bad it's just a character arc I've been growing weary of over the past several weeks.
A Timeless Placeholder
This isn't a condemnation of Toni Storm or Red Velvet because I like both of them a ton. But, Toni Storm vs Red Velvet wasn't much more than a placeholder to keep Toni and Deonna Purrazzo in vicinity of one another.
What I do enjoy is that Deonna seems to have already pulled out some of the old Toni Storm, with Toni wrestling a little more aggressively than she has at times with this "Timeless" gimmick. Breaking out an ankle lock submission to tap out Red Velvet while staring daggers at Deonna on commentary was a nice touch, perhaps letting Deonna know that the "old Toni Storm" she used to know still lives and breathes.
The match itself was fine! I think I'm simply over the whole "Timeless" thing and have my fingers firmly crossed that Deonna upends Toni for the Women's World Championship at Revolution.
With the scuttlebutt being Mercedes Moné being on her way to AEW, we have a nice chance of reestablishing the women's division with a fresh new champion in Deonna at a time when more eyes than ever could be on the promotion.
In My Mind Off My TV
As much as I've tired of Toni Storm's current character arc, I'd still very much enjoy seeing her beat ass on TV as a normal human being rather than this Hollywood starlet gimmick.
To Chris Jericho, though, I am ready to bid adieu. His feuds always go on for way too long with his opponents and allies getting stuck in his orbit far beyond the shelf life of whatever story was being told. It was this way with the Jericho Appreciation Society in each of its incarnations leaving people like Santana & Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, Kenny Omega, Don Callis, and anyone else Jericho blinked in the direction of stuck in Jericho storyline hell.
Konosuke Takeshita is there now and while I appreciate seeing him get a win over Jericho, since there was interference from both Guevara and Callis during the match I'm sure this thing still isn't over. I'd much rather see Takeshita having killer matches with dudes who can still go hard instead of having to carry Jericho the way he had to on Dynamite.
Again, the match itself wasn't terrible which is why it's In-Between and not Bad – it's just too much Jericho all of the time with a lot of the same people over and over again.
Takeshita is strong as fuck and cool as hell, though.
We were reminded multiple times by the commentators that this was the biggest Dynamite of the year so far, and they weren't wrong! Everyone delivered tonight, making this as difficult as last week's Collision to things to complain about.
The Assassination of The Time Limit by Swerve Strickland and Hangman Page
Swerve Strickland has been getting babyface reactions for about as long as I can remember in AEW. There may have been a dip during the whole Mogul Affiliates fiasco, but otherwise crowds have been pretty rabid for Swerve whether he was meant to be a face or a heel.
Things were no different in Phoenix where the crowd was solidly behind Swerve, raining down boos on the mustachioed Hangman Page – none louder than when the ole cowardly cowboy struck a completely innocent Prince Nana with a chair at ringside.
This match didn't have the same brutality as their last encounter but, of course, it was never going to. These two still beat the hell out of each other, though, and made it clear why they deserve to be alongside Joe as two of the faces of AEW.
I've seen a couple of Deadeyes through tables by this point and I don't think I've seen anyone's head go directly through a table the way Hangman's did tonight when Swerve hit him with a Deadeye off of the apron and through a table.
Having already gone up two in the series against Hangman, this was Swerve's match to win... if not for that damned TV time limit.
I'm not sure if this was setting up a long-term heel turn for Hangman, a double turn, or just playing into the positive reactions for Swerve in the moment but Hangman playing a bit of the coward post-match was a pure delight. Shouting "YOU LOSE!" to Swerve as he backed up the ramp like an insane Willy Wonka trying to banish Charlie Bucket from the chocolate factory was the icing on the cake.
After a fantastic thirty minutes, Tony Schiavone informed us all of what my expectation was from the start of all of this – a three-way match between Swerve, Hangman, and Joe at Revolution for the AEW World Title. It's the best choice out of all of them because neither Swerve or Hanger should be eating a loss to each other in a singles match right now.
The three-way with Joe offers some more variety in outcomes, since literally anyone can be pinned or submitted to end the match and crown a winner. If you rubbed me like a Magic 8-Ball, I'd say Samoa Joe pins Hangman at Revolution leading to Swerve demanding a 1-on-1 match since he was never technically beaten in the match.
Then, we all get where we want to be in just a few more months: AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland.
Give me every luchador and give them to me all of the time
Obviously I could just watch CMLL, but I only have so much time in a given week. This recent influx of CMLL guys is scratching my lucha libre itch big time so far.
Some of these names I've been familiar with for a while, but Hechicero? Hechicero is brand new to me and I still love this fucking wrestling wizard. It's a shame he didn't have his fireballs tonight, but life goes on.
There's something about this CMLL crossover that is so nostalgic for me. Growing up a basic-ass WWF kid, when some luchadores started showing up in ECW my little mind was blown. It opened up an entire new world of wrestling I didn't know existed.
When luchadores started showing up in 90s WWF I was equally stoked. Hector Garza and his corkscrew plancha blew my little mind.
Then, of course, luchadores on WCW Nitro became a favorite part of the show for me until they became a joke the way most other things did in WCW. Nonetheless, it was still awesome being able to see luchadores on a regular basis long after WWF had abandoned the idea of highlighting anyone who wasn't 6'4" and white.
I have high hopes that AEW can maintain focus on the CMLL contingent and that they continue to be involved in actual storylines, unlike some of other luchadores we've seen weave in and out of AEW in the past year or two.
Dirty Dirty Claudio resorting to a low blow on Hechicero to pick up the win leading to a 6-on-3 face-off with the advantage to CMLL certainly gives me promise that the seeds being planted here are only now beginning to bloom.
Sting's whole family got their ass kicked
I'm 40 and my legs are still sore from doing leg day today. Sting is 62 and jumping off of balconies. Tell me your secrets, Stinger.
Sting dove off of the top of an entrance in the crowd and sharp-eyed viewers will have noticed that while there was padding cleverly laid out in the entry way, Sting absolutely overshot all of it. Safety be damned, IT'S STIIIIIIING! (and son)
As with the opener, this match could have really gone either way! If Sting and Darbo win, they head into Revolution with the belts to face The Young Bucks in Sting's final match. Or, The Bucks could do shenanigans to give Absolutely Big the win and further build the tensions leading into the PPV.
I think either outcome is equally good, but if Darby Allin takes another Boss Man Slam on the floor like he did from Big Bill I don't think he's gonna live to see March 3! Sting and Darby being equally insane fuckers at opposite ends of their careers is one of the most delightfully organic things to have happened in AEW.
Leading into the end of the match, Starks pulled the turnbuckle pad off of the top turnbuckle leading to Sting hitting a Stinger Splash on the steel turnbuckle. We got a little bit of character building with Starks looking conflicted to end Sting's winning streak this way until seeing Sting beat his chest and recharge himself.
Starks hit the spear for just a two count before Sting countered a second spear into the Scorpion Death Drop to give Sting the win making Sting & Darby Allin the new AEW Tag Team Champions!
Post-match, Nicholas & Matthew Jackson bloodied at least Darby and maybe Sting in a brutal attack with baseball bats. It was a little hard to tell if the blood on Sting's face was his own or dropped off of the white, blood-soaked suits of The Young Bucks. Nicholas did hit a pretty gnarly punt to ole Stinger's noggin which could have busted him up pretty good, but either way – The Bucks beat the piss out of Sting, Darby, and Sting's Large Sons in a pile of confetti.
Now, the question remains – do The Young Bucks win the titles at Revolution, or does Sting retire as champion leaving the World Tag Team Titles in limbo?