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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is back in your face here at LordsofPain.net. On Saturday night, I was kickin’ it at the retirement home and watching the All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Fyter Fest FREE show on Bleacher Report Live and I got a little sick. In fact, I was planning on reviewing the show for LoP on Saturday Night and then I watched that “Hardcore” match. Ugh…
NOW, before you read this column and think that I’m a “AEW Hater”, LET ME REMIND YOU that my AEW – Double or Nothing review gave that show an A+ grade. The main reason why I “retired” during October 2018 was due to me being fed up with the WWE and lack of alternatives. AEW forming to start 2019 and then signing Jim Ross peaked my interest as a wrestling fan again. In fact, 100% of my wrestling budget is going to AEW as I haven’t had the WWE Network since the “Superstar Shake-up”. I’m giving AEW my full time and attention as a wrestling fan…
For my AEW – Double or Nothing review, I did not catch the Pre-Game show. Therefore, I did not see that goofy Battle Royal that was actually helping to determine a #1 contender spot for the new AEW World Title. I started watching the event at its main time and loved it. Days later, after hearing many negative reviews about the show that were specifically bashing the Battle Royal and its participants, I tried watching that very Battle Royal. Yikes… Some of the gimmicks and wrestlers weren’t exactly what you should have in a match that helps determine who could become World Champion.
IN MY OPINION, All Elite Wrestling has a nice core group of wrestlers such as Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Hangman Adam Page, and MJF… Honestly, if I compared that group with the WWE’s top 7, I believe that I’d select AEW’s top guys. However, it’s not the very top that is the problem… The rest of the roster has its faults and the booking has been a poor attempt at comedy. WWE’s Creative Team laughs at some of the stuff that AEW tries.
What I’m going to give you, my readers, and All Elite Wreslting (AEW) are the problems that I see for AEW following this Fyter Fest event. I proudly consider myself as part of the wrestling media and I pride myself on holding promotions accountable. I only do this out of love as a wrestling fan. I WANT AEW to legitimately challenge the WWE as a competitor because wrestling is more entertaining with more good options to choose and wrestlers have more opportunity to shine in their profession with competition.
Yes, I understand that Fyter Fest was a FREE event and there were proceeds from it going to charity (I think?). However, AEW took this event seriously enough to air it for FREE for the whole world to see on Bleacher Report Live. This is event #2 that AEW has aired for wrestling fans worldwide to see… If you put something on television or video, then it is a real event. After all, the show had some storylines moving forward as a sequel to the Double or Nothing event.
I am only doing this to be helpful… I’m giving them until the end of the year to give me something worthwhile to stick around as a wrestling fan to enjoy. Double or Nothing was a good start (if you don’t watch the Battle Royal) but Fyter Fest has some issues that need resolved. The FACT is that the WWE is finally scared of a competitor, hence why Vince McMahon has changed up his RAW/Smackdown brands by bringing back Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff. Vince is also trying to lock down his entire roster, lower midcarders included, with 5 year deals with raises in pay. AEW should give them more reasons to remain scared!
Therefore, here are the problems that I am currently seeing with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and from the AEW – Fyter Fest event.
DON’T HALF-ASS THE PRE-GAME SHOW
The “Buy In” shows for Double or Nothing and Fyter Fest have been absolutely terrible. AEW has to realize that these are “doormats” for whether or not wrestling fans want to choose to enter the AEW house. In the case of the Double or Nothing event, this was to determine whether or not fans wanted to pay $59.99 to see the main event. Having a goofy Battle Royal match that was going to determine a #1 contender for a title probably turned many fans off. Then, having 2 wrestlers perform a backyard wrestling match before Fyter Fest could also turn off wrestling fans from even trying the big event. Think about a retailer who has a hazardous doorway even though the inside of their store can be nice.
FINGER OF SHAME TO THE YOUNG BUCKS
We’ll get into the chairshot to the head later… But I want to point the “FINGER OF SHAME” at Young Bucks for openly admitting that “they gimmicked the chair” at the AEW Fyter Fest press conference outside the conference. Huh? You are EVPs of a company that needs to sell its product to the wrestling fans. Instead of exposing the business, they should have sold how real that chairshot was and how hurt Cody was afterward… I know, many will tell me that “kayfabe is dead for the last 20 years”. Well, that was when the WWE was openly admitting how staged their product was via interviews, Tough Enough & Divas Search television specials, and letting wrestlers talk openly about the business with media outlets instead of protecting it. The FACT is that chair busted Cody open and it didn’t look “gimmicked” to most wrestling fans. But now we know because the EVPs of the company just told everyone.
CODY RHODES TOOK A CHAIRSHOT TO THE HEAD… SO WHAT?
This UPROAR about Cody taking a chair to the head is hilarious among the Internet Wrestling Community. The WWE Corporation has you so conditioned on their way of wrestling… There are many wrestlers who took chairshots to the head ranging from the Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Sting, Hulk Hogan, and many, many others aren’t suffering from memory loss or CTE. Why? Because they knew how to work. Guys like Mick Foley, Chris Benoit, Tommy Dreamer, and other wrestlers who either worked violent matches or took high impact risk have head injury problems… Wrestlers are trained how to take bumps and appear to take punishment by their profession. There is a clean, mostly safe way to take a steel chair to the head if it hits flush in the head, if the metal on the chair is thinner, and the hinges have a give (the “gimmicked part”).
Cody is a grown man and a professional… He is also the EVP of the company who probably wants chairshots to the head to be an occasional part of the promotion to add realism that is missing from today’s wrestling product. YES, it went horribly wrong based on the part of the chair that got him and busted Cody open. I’m not rooting for chairshots often, but when you need to get heat on something, why not if it is safe?
That said, Cody should maybe wait to take a chairshot when his opponents are more introduced and widely known.
HARDCORE MATCH WAS AWFUL!
The Michael Nakazawa vs. Alex Jebailey was a brutal watch, period. For one, Alex Jebailey looked highly inexperienced as a wrestler. Thus, it made many of the hardcore elements sloppy. Secondly, what is the point of the baby oil with Michael Nakazawa? Why isn’t the referee stopping him from openly bringing it to the ring and sticking it in his shorts? I understand that his first 2 matches were in a Battle Royal and Hardcore Match where maybe he could away with some foreign object use, but are we to expect baby oil usage in ever match? Funny thing is that Nakazawa seems to have natural charisma and appears to be a good athlete but for the last 2 events, he has relied on comedy too much in his matches. The stuff with the baby pool, come on man! Just sloppy.
I personally have liked both Tag Matches involving the Best Friends tag team. No problems there… But after each of their matches, the “Dark Order” has attacked… My question is this: WHY? In our early days with AEW, why does the Dark Order and their many masked men have a problem with the Best Friends tag team? Fans in attendance actually chanted “who are you” after their appearance at Double or Nothing. For some of the guys in the masks, hopefully, you have no other matches with AEW because your tattoos are easily noticed in case you get a future AEW spot.
GIVE US MORE JIM ROSS
When Jim Ross is on commentary, I want to HEAR Jim Ross on commentary. With a 3 man booth, I can’t hear the Hall of Fame broadcaster when 2 other voices drown him out. Eliminate the 3rd… I could tolerate Jim Ross and Excalibur by themselves. Less is more, especially in the announcer’s booth. Learn from the WWE who has tried the 3 man (now women too) booth for a decade now and it has SUCKED.
NYLA ROSE SHOULD DOMINATE THE AEW WOMEN’S DIVISION
I’m being consistent here, as I say the same thing when an obviously heavier Nia Jax wrestles much smaller WWE women’s wrestlers. Nyla Rose is billed as 169 lbs compared to her opponents at Fyter Fest and seriously has a 50-60 weight advantage against her 2 much smaller opponents. That is why weight classes exist in Boxing or MMA fighting. It should take an act of God for either Riho or Yuka Sakazaki to defeat Rose… Yet, Riho, with time, defeated Nyla Rose.
Let’s get to the elephant in the room…. First and foremost, it is All Elite Wrestling who is broadcasting her as a “transgender wrestler” as you can see in various media outlets. Honestly, had AEW never mentioned that about Nyla Rose, I would have never known! It is only because of AEW openly advertising her as “the first out transgender wrestler signed by a U.S. wrestling promotion” that it would make me think about her that way. Right now, there is an ongoing debate about allowing transgender athletes in the Olympic games by comparison. Regardless of the gender that the person identifies with, the Y Chromosome cannot be erased. Therefore, the strength, bone structure, and muscular development will still exist in some fashion.
Now, I want to emphasize that I’m OK with Nyla Rose as a wrestler in All Elite Wrestling, and again, I wouldn’t have known or noticed that Nyla was transgender if AEW didn’t publicly state it. What I’m saying is that she should use AEW’s acceptance of her as an advantage. You could see it in brief glimpses when Nyla would powerbomb the living crap out of either lady at Fyter Fest… Yet, those 2 ladies quickly recovered from what should have been devastating to them. Weight Class + Genetics should make Nyla Rose a complete force in the AEW Women’s Division that should take a serious opponent to defeat her. NOT someone 50-60 pounds lighter than her, especially 2 wrestlers whom we barely know. If I were booking the match, Nyla would have damn near squashed both of them!
I personally have no problems with Nyla Rose’s existence in AEW. Remember, it is AEW advertising her as the “first transgender of a major promotion”. OK, use that to your advantage in a wrestling context. Nyla is going to be difficult to defeat because she is naturally stronger than the others. If you have ever seen the Australian prison show, Wentworth (currently on Netflix), you’ll understand what I mean… They have a character named Maxine who is a transgender character in a female prison. She is obviously used as a bodyguard and the rest of the women in Wentworth want NO part her because she is physically superior to all of them.
I’ll probably catch hell for this, but what I’m saying is that I have ZERO problems with Nyla Rose being in the Women’s Division. What I’m saying is that she should DOMINATE because of her size and strength, much like Nia Jax does and should in the WWE because of her size and strength. AEW advertising her as a transgender only emphasizes this dominance more and makes it even more impressive when someone pins her… It HURTS her character when she (a) gets overwhelmed by 2 smaller wrestlers at Double or Nothing and (b) gets pinned by a much smaller wrestler at Fyter Fest. Just doesn’t make sense!
WHY IS JON MOXLEY WRESTLING IN VIOLENT MATCHES?
While I’ll defend Cody Rhodes taking a chair to the head, I question why Jon Moxley wrestles in a violent match for his first AEW match. He Tweeted a picture of himself all scratched up and I wondered “why”? He is too valuable of an asset to risk injury from working a violent match. Guys like Hogan, Flair, Sting, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and many others have worked into their early 50s because they didn’t spend their lives working in violent matches. What is MORE IMPORTANT is remaining healthy to perform matches on a bigger stage against bigger stars. No offense to his opponent on Saturday, but I just don’t see Moxley packing houses with this kind of match. Save this kind of match for a bigger name opponent to go all-out and violent, like maybe Omega instead in a few months.
STICK TO WRESTLING, NOT COMEDY
For 2 straight events now, comedy bits tried during the “Buy In” shows by the Young Bucks and Kenny Omega have fallen flat on their faces. At Fyter Fest, they made all kinds of corny jokes about the Fyre Festival, which was a concert attempted to be held during 2017 but was quite fraudulent. Please watch the documentaries on this festival on both Netflix and Hulu, you’ll thank me later… But the Young Bucks and Omega trying to use this festival in a wrestling context? The jokes just weren’t funny, especially as they re-arranged the entrance and swapped out the models. Treat pro wrestling like a sport, guys… I’m sensing a pattern that this stuff is what the Bucks and Omega like about pro wrestling and all 3 men are EVPs of this company. Here to stay, unfortunately.
INVEST IN BETTER ENTRANCE MUSIC
I have to credit my buddy Dave on this one… AEW needs to work on unique theme music for their wrestlers. Jim Johnston made amazing and unique wrestler themes that you could easily identify with the wrestlers. Nowadays in the WWE, the theme music is sterile and in my opinion, that has hurt the presentation fo their stars. AEW needs to learn from this mistake and hire a decent composer who has a good vibe for marketing. Hell, you could hire Johnston whom the WWE released almost 2 years ago.
TWO LIBRARIANS IN AEW?!?
1995 WWE called and they are LAUGHING at the fact that AEW has freakin’ 2 wrestling Librarians. One would be bad enough, though I think it could work well for a female competitor. But two? And doing dueling shhhhhh’s? Get out of here… Just complete nonsense.
KING OF THE UK DEATH MATCH?
The 4 way match between MJF, Adam Page, Jungle Boy, and Jimmy Havoc was fun but Jimmy Havoc stuck out like a sore thumb. The other 3 wrestlers looked like athletes and were in amazing shape… Jimmy Havoc, on the other hand, looks like he just hopped over the railing. THAT SAID, he was hitting some good stuff in the ring, but it’s my exact argument over the looks of certain WWE wrestlers not looking the part (Kevin Owens with his basketball shorts and t-shirts). Advertising him as “King of the UK Deathmatch”… What does that do for him in AEW if there are no death matches for him to wrestle? Can’t bring that staple gun to all matches. I don’t know, I’d work on his look a little bit to make him look rougher and tougher.
WHAT ARE WE DOING WITH THE YOUNG BUCKS ANYWAY?
Just curious what we are doing with the Young Bucks, long-term, in AEW. They are an accomplished tag team worldwide, yes… The last 2 Pay Per Views have featured them in Tag Matches, which have been OK… I’m sure that they’ll be the first ever AEW Tag Champs… But then what? Both guys are under 6 feet in height and lighter than 180 pounds… What happens when 1 of the wrestlers gets hurt? Unless you are going to have like a Cruiserweight or Junior Heavyweight title, what is the long-term plan for both? I just don’t know how well they’d do, long-term, as singles wrestlers if that were to ever happen. I’ve seen enough of them in Ring of Honor to wonder what else they have left as Tag wrestlers.
I don’t know, folks… If I were an EVP of All Elite Wrestling (AEW), I’d lean on Jim Ross for some advise on talent signings, development, and creative. I just worry that we’re not getting the best out of this roster or opportunity.
But I’ll keep watching and hoping… Until the end of this year if nothing changes.
So just chill… Until the next episode!
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