Welcome, and thanks for joining me! A couple of years ago, the planets looked to be aligning for a fantastic shift in the realm of pro-wrestling. Talk of a smashing new promotion with a television deal and “serious, sport-based wrestling” was on everyone’s lips. Finally, the modern wrestling fan’s life of “eating shit and learning to love the taste” was over. Or was it? Meet me here every Thursday to pick apart the actions of the daft, the dangerous, and the desperate in pro-wrestling… well, in AEW.
We’ve got time to play a game this week. It’s not a difficult game since the clue is in the issue’s title, but let’s see if you can figure out who’s asking the following questions and what the appropriate answers should be…
Children, the answer is no! I suspect that many on the AEW roster didn’t hear this word when growing up at all, which would, in turn, cause problems in adult life when they encounter OTHER PEOPLE and real-life situations. Now, I understand that sometimes people with overly strict parents will recoil and rebel against them too, but this often ends up being a phase they grow out of once they’ve maxed out their freedom a few times. The kids that spent their formative years being spoiled and allowed to shirk responsibility for things are the ones causing problems today.
I’m aware that working for Vince McMahon would be very similar to having those overly strict parents that I talked about, and that moving out of his grasp to a land of creative freedom would feel liberating. But, if we use the same lens I just mentioned then people should, in time, “get over” the need to do all the daft things that Vince wouldn’t allow and, eventually, they’d find a more balanced approach. However, that doesn’t seem to be happening for many that have made the jump.
Jon Moxley, the answer is no! I know you CAN have some decent wrestling matches WITHOUT needing to resort to doing shit that ANYONE can physically do; I’ve seen you do it! Alright, so you befriended a potted plant named Mitch and started hiding from germs while in WWE too, but you can cut that out and have great matches in AEW. I don’t entirely agree with the statement, but Jim Ross has even tried to put you over by saying you’re very “Stone Cold” Steve Austin-like. I hadn’t seen much of your pre-WWE work, so I would agree with JR if we were looking at the last days of Dean Ambrose. But we’re not; we’re talking about Jon Moxley in AEW, who presents more like ECW’s Sandman than anyone else.
If Moxley is really worried about getting caught up in all the bad comedy/rehashed Raw segments that AEW love, I’m sure he could stay away from them if he really wanted. He doesn’t have to get involved in AEW’s trip down memory lane of the Attitude Era and The Monday Night Wars. Instead of doing this and showing WWE/Vince that isn’t a joke, he’s resorted to taking steps back in his career and mucking around in the realm of thumbtacks, deathmatches, and non-exploding rings. That’ll show ’em!
Chris Jericho, the answer is no! Ever since you dropped the belt and didn’t go away on tour with Fozzy last year, you’d gone from being a blessing to becoming a burden. Now, I know that people still tuned in to watch you on a weekly basis, but your behavior will have certainly caused many “giving it a chance” to tune out. People should have been all, “Oh, wow, it’s Jericho; as a seasoned veteran, let’s see what he’s up to,” but instead, people thought they were watching that episode of The Simpsons where Bart has to help a fat, washed-up Krusty the Clown.
The Ayatollah of Cake and Cola obviously had a lot of ideas shot down by Vince McMahon, some possibly for good reason. But again, that’s no excuse to force the pendulum so far the other way into thinking everything is a good idea, just because there’s no one there to tell him, “No.” Again, I understand it’s frustrating that Vince didn’t like all of his ideas, even if some of them weren’t bad, but just not to Vince’s taste. Many people have said Chris has gone too far with this, and he’s enjoying the smell of his own farts, but Jericho doubles down and says his detractors are out of touch and that it’s obviously not him trying to cling to his youth.
Cody Rhodes, the answer is no! Especially the dog one, you fucking moron!
I know, I know, it’s the poorest quality picture I have of Cody, but I feel it captures the quality of his character oh so well. He and Brandi Rhodes are even baby-facing MJF here, the closest thing AEW has to a superstar heel! We all got the usual “Oh, we didn’t know” bullshit during the press scrum after the show, but it wasn’t long before we saw other animals being brought out into the arena. Adam Page’s horse didn’t look best pleased, and Jake Roberts stepped all over a snake in a bag. I know that he’s not THE top dog behind the scenes, but Cody cosplays as the locker-room leader in many ways, sadly, just not when it comes to taking responsibility and setting a good example.
Kenny Omega, the answer is no! Jim and Jim already told you that.
Matt Hardy, the answer is no. Hell no to that last one! I’ve said for years how much I’ve loved you in the past, that you’d always been my favorite Hardy Boy. #MyStupidExHuman only has two tattoos, one of which is the V1 logo, so there must have been something there. It’s just a shame Chris Jericho appears to have lured you over in the same way people were lured to WCW in its later days with the promise of fat checks and no rules or boundaries.
To be fair to him, for the last couple of months, I’ve seen less of him in the ring and more of him in managerial situations… regardless of the quality of said performances. I thought the near-injury on the concrete floor would have woken him up a bit sooner, but he continued wrestling and doing daft spots for some time. He recently put on a good match with Christian Cage on AEW Dynamite too, but it was really ten years too late, and a modern feud between them offers very little. Less is more for Matt, especially in the ring, but there’s certainly the opportunity for him to see out his career by helping others get better at their craft and over with the fans.
The Young Bucks, the answer is no! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you can’t just do everything, every time, all the time. You two are the worst culprits for having a checklist of moves/spots you need to get into every match and then just rushing through them like kids at a dress rehearsal. Not only do you dilute your own material by doing this 99.9% of the time, but the list of cool moves isn’t just in your hands; just about everyone else on the roster adheres to it too!
The fans may cheer this for now, but given time, I think they’ll get to a point where they want to know what comes after jumping the shark. When the rest of the tag-team and single competitors are doing the same things as The Bucks, the fan’s attention will eventually shift onto someone who can do their shit and more!
Tony Khan, the answer is no. Vince McMahon has been doing this forever. He’s ancient, and he still looks like he’s in better shape than you do now; you’ve only been doing this for two years! What you’re doing right now isn’t getting the desired result, and looking at the state of you, I think things may need to change a bit. Hitting the one-million-viewers mark from time to time is okay, I suppose, but you could (and should) be doing a hell of a lot better by now. If getting to this point alone has taken this much out of you, I think it’s time to step back and/or get some help.
Herein lies the main problem, in my opinion. If Tony’s going to play the part of owner and booker, he’s supposed to be the one to tell people “no” when they have a shit idea or take a good one too far. If he’s never heard the word, he’s unfamiliar with the language and possibly even the concept.
Perhaps others have figured this out and know there’s never going to be any resistance because “our friend Tony’s dad lets him do whatever he wants in their house, and they’re loaded, so we go ’round there to do whatever we want.” If anything, this needs to stop for the sake of injuries.
You’ve got people getting hurt for really stupid things almost every week now. So, if AEW isn’t going to begin to understand the concept of holding it back, or knocking a bad idea on the head, at least tell newbies in the ring that they can’t try and keep up with everyone else… before someone ends up in a wheelchair or a wooden box. This is a recipe for disaster.
That does it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out the Putting It Bluntly: AEW Double or Nothing & WWE Money in the Bank reviews on my YouTube channel. I’ll see you again Monday for #AnotherWeekOfWrestling and next Thursday for more #ThatsNotWrestling!
Background Artwork Designed by Rachael Hope.