OK, kiddies, the time has officially arrived – AEW’s first pay per view of 2021 is here….It’s been a long time since I did one of these prediction things, so let me put it this way – are these actual predictions of what I think Tony Khan and company are actually going to do? No. Trying to think in the absolutely incomprehensible way Khan and his team have been thinking lately is giving me a headache. So rather than that, let me outline what they’ve been doing a bit, along with where I think they should go with things.
SO HERE WE GO!
TAG TEAM BATTLE ROYALE
There are way too fucking many teams involved with this thing! However, there is one team glaringly missing from the line up – FTR isn’t included, and seeing how they pitched a major bitch about not being in the last one of these, and sunk to kidnapping Marko Stunt along the way because of it, one would think they would be making a huge stink about not being included here either. Strangely, they aren’t doing so. So obviously, they’re not going to be involved with the tag titles for a while. Unless…they are. And their feud with Jurassic Express isn’t over as many people (myself included) are thinking after the utterly atrocious way they seemingly ended it on last week’s Dynamite – that conclusion to the story left a sour taste in many fans’ mouths, and that’s not a wise way to end this…and since Jurassic Express was added to the match over the weekend, now it all gels…
RESULT – Jurassic Express wins the battle royal, followed immediately by a beatdown by FTR and Shawn Spears after their victory, with Marko Stunt and Tully Blanchard thrown in for good measure somewhere, launching round two of their feud
MIRO/KIP SABIAN VS CHUCK TAYLOR/ORANGE CASSIDY
Let’s be honest here – does anyone – outside of the inexplicable Miro poppers out there – really give two shits about this match? Or about this ENTIRE FEUD? Not really, no. I don’t know what they’ve been thinking here, but to relegate two of AEW’s most popular faces like Taylor and Cassidy to the likes of this incredibly blase feud has been a joke from day one; it has served to elevate NO ONE. And it needs to end for good tonight.
RESULT – Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy win, possibly with an assist from the on-the-mend Trent (or even perhaps Trent’s mother…heh heh heh)
FACE OF THE REVOLUTION LADDER MATCH
First off, an observation – Max Caster is being pushed WAY WAY WAYYYYY too soon. The man is one of the sloppiest wrestlers I’ve ever seen. In several of his matches that I’ve seen thus far, he’s botched a major move so badly it could have caused serious injury. If AEW isn’t careful, they’re gonna have a Nia Jax situation on their hands with this guy. They need to put the brakes on The Acclaimed and put them back on Dark for the next six months until they can get his sloppiness under control, because if they can do that, he’s going to be huge. But all the heel poppers who just for some unknown reason utterly adore this guy, you can forget it. He’s not winning this match. They’re using this match to introduce someone new to the AEW fulltime ranks, and I am pretty sure I know who it is at this point. I won’t spoil my thoughts on who it is here, I could be wrong, but if they go with past “introductions” in matches like this, the new guy is likely to take the prize.
RESULT – TBA COMPETITOR (there’s a reason that’s in all caps, heh heh) takes the win and the shot at TNT champ Darby Allin on a future date.
ADAM PAGE V MATT HARDY
As I said in part two of my recent op-ed, Matt Hardy’s time in AEW has been utterly abysmal. And while the heelpoppers and hardcore fans have adored this new persona of Matt’s it is utterly falling flat with the general fandom from what I’ve seen. This would have been evident weeks ago had they been playing to full crowds, but of course they are not. Having Hardy win this match would be foolhardy at best, and destructive to other talents at the very worst.
RESULT: Adam Page takes the win, and finally accepts the leadership of the Dark Order…and a nice end result would be removing Matt from ANY involvement with Private Party, because that whole angle has been getting increasingly uncomfortable in so many ways…
STREET FIGHT: STING/DARBY ALLIN V BRIAN CAGE/RICKY STARKS
Speculation has been that this is likely going to be a “cinematic” match, and I’m cool with that. We know that Hobbs, Taz, and Hook are likely to get involved somewhere, and it wouldn’t surprise me that one or two other people might get involved as well. But Taz and his team need to take a HARD fall here. Taz in particular needs to take some serious crap here, because like most fans, I don’t take kindly to heel leaders that won’t take their medicine – if he’s “hands off” medically then he shouldn’t be leading this team. And I pray to the wrestling godz out there that even Tony Khan realizes that jobbing Sting and one of his top draws like Darby Allin would be an utter disaster here.
RESULT: Sting and Darby finally beat the f’n snot out of Cage, Starks, and hopefuly, Taz as well
TAG TEAM TITLES MATCH – YOUNG BUCKS VS CHRIS JERICHO/MJF
I’ve been reading what some of my fellow online columnists have been saying about this match. While I don’t agree with all of them on this, I agree with the minority on this one – it’s too soon to cause problems with Jericho and MJF. They’re just starting to gel as a team, and they have mad sick chemistry together. But the Bucks are still Charlie Brown-ing all over the place, as wishy washy as you can get. They showed a tiny spark of their true form on Dynamite this past week, but I’m not sure they are truly back to form yet. We’ll see. And everyone knows that the Good Brothers are likely to be involved somewhere, but where, I’m not sure.
RESULT – Interference from a returning Sammy Guevara backfires, allowing Le Champion and MJF to take the tag team titles, finally fully pulling the trigger on the feud between Jericho and Guevara that’s been a long time coming, and giving MJF the chance he needs to undermine Jericho’s influence inside the Inner Circle.
WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH – HIKARU SHIDA VS RYO MIZUNAMI
Shida and Mizunami have history in Japan wrestling, and it shows in the small little attack that happened on Dynamite on Wednesday night. Both women are terrific performers, and could come out on top, and either way, AEW wins with this one.
RESULT – after a hard fought battle, Shida retains her Women’s championship
AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – EXPLODING BARBED WIRE DEATHMATCH – KENNY OMEGA VS JON MOXLEY
OK, I’ve seen some of these from japan, and they are utterly insane. One would hope they pretaped this to make it the best it could possibly be, but I haven’t heard anything about that yet. Omega and Moxley have heat going back over a year, and the truth is, they obviously love knocking the shit out of each other, so this one is going to be super entertaining either way. A match like this has never been successfully pulled off on US Soil, so here’s hoping AEW can do it and do it well. The less we see of Don Callis during the match, the better. And don’t be surprised if the Good Brothers get involved here either.
RESULT – Omega retains the title, and Mox takes time off to become a dad…returning sometime this summer
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for….and the ONLY thing (outside of a few mentions of the street fight and the exploding barbedwire cage match) anyone is talking about on social media this weekend:
WHO IS THE BIG NEW NAME ABOUT TO BE DECLARED “#ALLELITE” ?
Anyone expecting it to be someone on the top of the lists that have been circulating is bound to be disappointed. If you go back to Dynamite, Paul Wight NEVER SAID anything about this “hall of fame caliber” person being a WRESTLER. Not once. However, over the weekend on a podcast interview, Tony Khan DID, and also said they were under fifty years of age.
We know who it’s NOT – It’s not Batista, it’s not CM Punk, and most likely, it’s not Brock Lesnar. And despite the trolling he’s been doing over the weekend, It’s not Kurt Angle either. And the “under 50” remark also means it’s not Mick Foley or Rob Van Dam. So WHO does that leave?
Well, the odds on favorite in that group is Christian Cage. But he’s 47. So he’s not much under 50 years of age, but he fits, and Moxley has openly stated he’d love to work a program with him.
But…and this question will linger until the announcement – is Tony Khan trying to swerve everyone? Could it be someone other than a wrestler?
That answer, given the way Tony’s been thinking these days, is a resounding “yes”, it could. But I doubt there would be much excitement from fans about the idea of one of WWE’s or Impact’s announcers jumping to AEW.
But…could it be someone from a RELATED field, such as UFC? Yes, it could. It very well could.
The truth is, no matter WHO it turns out to be, because it’s not Batista, Angle, Lesnar, or Punk, it’s likely going to be a true PR nightmare…the expectations are running into overdrive, and whomever it is is bound to disappoint some section of the fandom out there…
But just for shits and giggles, what about these three names? All are working and all are hall-of-fame-worthy. But are all of them able to do a full program with AEW?
What about Sean “X-Pac” Waltman? Or Amazing Red? Or (god help us all) Conor MacGregor?
My point in all this – the hype surrounding an announcement like this should NEVER EVER overshadow the matches being featured on the same pay per view. And in this case, it has. And could be setting everyone – AEW, TNT, the Fans – for a MAJOR letdown…
OK People, have at it! See you after Revolution 2021!