Our first show back after a massive Double or Nothing pay-per-view was a newsworthy one. I broke down what worked and what didn’t from the pay-per-view.
Andrade El Idolo is All Elite
The guy is a superstar and a complete no-brainer signee for AEW. The fact that it was even a discussion on whether or not they should sign him is ridiculous. He adds immediate legitimacy and star power to any program he’s added to and provides a unique look/work combination that just doesn’t occur that often.
Now, to be honest, I thought the debut was a massive missed opportunity. There’s always something that can be done to make a segment more compelling, but this appearance felt like there wasn’t any thought put into it at all. It started with Mark Henry, transitioned through a deeply contrived heel Vickie Guerrero promo, and then led to Andrade walking out to a cheering crowd, of course, which contradicted everything Vickie, and to no music, either. Everything in this segment could have been accomplished with an “Andrade El Idolo is All Elite” post on Twitter, meaning it was a missed opportunity.
Still, the important part is that Andrade is part of AEW. Luckily, he already has a match set up with Kenny Omega for AAA. I’m interested in seeing what they have planned for him in the near future.
Interference in literally every match
What’s going on, here? Isn’t this the promotion that’s supposed to have the best wrestling in America? Is the idea that all the TV matches have distractions, so we get the clean matches at pay-per-views?
Whatever the justification, it’s actively detracting from the show. Literally every match tonight featured interference, distractions, ref bumps, you name it, with only one match having it not lead directly to the finish.
In most cases, this type of stuff makes the match actively worse than a clean one. Therefore, the potential benefit (heating up a program) must outweigh the harm towards match quality. Unfortunately, I rarely feel like AEW shenanigans reach that standard. And beyond that, it’s just not what I want out of a wrestling show and company.
Distractions and interference become less effective the more they’re done, and that’s evident by the live crowd’s indifference to it. Because fans are back, we’re finally beginning to see what they buy into. AEW had an incredible run of awesome, (mostly) clean main events to start the year; let’s hope they get back to that soon.
Britt Baker’s lame championship celebration
I feel like I’m on an island in that I don’t see any of this supposed star potential in Baker. She had that incredible match with Thunder Rosa, helped out with the blood, but beyond that, I can’t remember anything of note Baker’s done in AEW. Now, her first AEW show as champion was a disorganized, amateurish mess.
The presentation of it was absurd. You have your new champion, her obnoxious valet, a stand with McDonald’s Big Mac burgers, and a group of jobbers, aside from Nyla Rose, so it was patently obvious from the start where this segment was going. Baker said nothing beyond repeating her “D.M.D.” catchphrase and Rose laid down the challenge by, ahem, throwing the burgers all over the place and popping balloons.
How any of this can create a superstar is beyond me. There’s something there, but after Hikaru Shida’s excellent run and with Riho, Thunder Rosa, Red Velvet, and Jade Cargill waiting in the wings, Baker’s suddenly got a lot to prove.
Pay-per-view storylines still without a payoff
The whole point of a pay-per-view is to blow off storylines, isn’t it? However, just about everything on this show continued a program from the PPV – not in a way that put a bow on the story, but in a way that kept it going even further.
That’s okay for programs like Hangman Page vs. Team Taz and Kenny Omega vs. Orange Cassidy, but those storylines didn’t start until mere weeks before Double or Nothing. But stuff like Cody vs. the Factory, the Young Bucks vs. Eddie Kingston, and Sting/Allin vs. Sky/Page? It’s time to move on.
Hopefully this is remedied by the time AEW’s quarterly TNT begin, meaning we’d only get six weeks of turnaround instead of three months.