You read the headline, and you’re wondering who the heck is Action Andretti. Is he a famous wrestler from a different promotion using a new name? Is he a hot prospect on the independent wrestling scene? Is he related to the famous race car driver?
A shroud of dishonor enveloped the ROH Championship when Chris Jericho defeated Claudio Castagnoli at Grand Slam to capture the title. Last Wednesday, Jericho kicked off his 8th world title reign with a successful title defense over former ROH Champion Bandido.
It was a fantastic main event that prompted AEW to immediately offer Bandido a full-time contract. However, the show ended with a despicable decree.
Jericho announced the “Ring of Jericho” mission statement. Simply put, he will desecrate the legacy of ROH by beating every former champion, commentator, referee, and ring announcer.
It’s time to hop on my wrestling soapbox and discuss AEW’s latest pay per view offering, Revolution. The Chicago crowd was on fire for the entire show as they witnessed seven matches and one significant title change. AEW has had some hits and misses since their debut on Wednesday nights. Besides one match, this was a fun show worth the price of admission. Continue reading “AEW Revolution (Review)”→
This Saturday night, Chris Jericho and “Hangman” Adam Page will headline AEW’s All Out pay-per-view to crown the promotion’s first World Heavyweight Champion. This is not only a crucial outing for Jericho and AEW; it is the biggest match of Page’s career. There are many storytelling avenues to travel. However, the big questions remains, who should be the first AEW Champion ?
AEW is a new wrestling company who will introduce the world to a new cast of wrestling characters. Some we already know, like Chris Jericho. Others most will meet for the first time, such as Adam Page. AEW is going with a sports-centric presentation for their product. This means the world champion will be their most essential character. Should AEW’s first champion be a rising star or an established superstar?
Adam Page was pegged for success from the moment he made his professional debut in 2011 for Ring of Honor. Page entered New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2016 as a member of the Bullet Club. It was during his time with the popular stable where Page began to find his footing as a top-level performer while adopting the “Hangman” ring-name.
“Hangman” Page is a favorite among diehard fans. However, there will be more casual viewers watching AEW’s television show, debuting October 2nd on TNT. Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks will be introduced to a mainstream audience and will have to get over based on their character and talent. If Adam Page is the champion, his role will have instant credibility to the uninitiated.
From Monday Night Jericho all the way to the man with the infamous clipboard, Chris Jericho has been a wrestling superstar on television for twenty-three years. He’s reinvented himself repeatedly over the course his career and is one of the best to ever do it. At forty-eight years old, the work Jericho’s produced with his current Clock Work Orange inspired persona has been some of the best of his career.
Jericho being the inaugural AEW Champion could be a double-edged sword. If AEW comes off as a major league wrestling product, Jericho is the exalted king of the new hot promotion. However, if AEW comes off as bush league, Jericho would become the big fish in a small pond.
Some would say Jericho vs. Page represents the past colliding with the present to dictate the future. To many, AEW will hopefully be the future of wrestling, and perhaps Page will be its representative. Jericho has been there and done that. However, he’s not a veteran who’s past his prime. Jericho’s career renaissance since leaving WWE has made him more relevant than ever.
While the title could bring credibility to Adam Page, Chris Jericho will bring credibility to the title. Jericho became the first undisputed world champion in 2001, and it’s only fitting he becomes the first AEW World Champion in 2019. All signs point to AEW coming out of the gate with a strong wrestling product. TV shows need popular characters to thrive, and there are none bigger on the roster than Jericho.
The best scenario is to build up Hangman Page for a few months on television following a Jericho title win on pay-per-view. Then, pick a date, hype of the episode, and have Page go over on Jericho for the belt. TNT is going to get more viewers than any AEW pay-per-view will garner. The key to a successful Hangman title reign is to have the largest audience possible withness his journey and capture the gold.
As for August 31st, Chris Jericho is the man who should be champion.
After months of speculation, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), which launched in January, has landed a TV deal with TNT. The press release issued by AEW and Warner Media announced that AEW will begin airing live weekly matches on TNT in primetime later this year.
Details on when the show will air, timeslot and title have yet to be revealed. It was also announced that AEW’s inaugural event, Double or Nothing on Saturday, May 25 at the MGM Grand Graden Arena in Las Vegas will air live on traditional pay-per-view and BR/Live streaming platform.
The media rights deal was negotiated by AEW president and CEO Tony Khan and Bernie Cahill, co-founder of Activist Artists Management, LLC, an entity where Khan is also an investor and partner. Khan is the son of billionaire Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
All Elite Wrestling is describing themselves as a talent-forward, fan-first league whose inclusive approach to creating a high-quality sport-based product with less scripted, soapy drama, and more athleticism and real sports analytics.
This announcement echos the ghosts of wrestling’s past with TNT being the former home of WCW Monday Nitro. This will be the first time professional wrestling will be on a Ted Turner owned network since WWE bought WCW in 2001.
Dusty Rhodes was a creative force behind the scenes for NWA/WCW in the ’80s and ’90s. His son, Cody Rhodes is an Excitive Vince President for AEW, allowing him to serve as a key decision maker.
AEW has a talented roster featuring Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, Cody, The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), “Hangman” Page, Brandi Rhodes, Brit Baker and SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky). Jim Ross will be the lead commentator along with Alex Marvez and PWG’s Excalibur.
AEW will undoubtedly sign some more high profile names before their debut television show in the fall. Dean Ambrose recently left WWE and has already gone back to his original moniker, Jon Moxley. Of course, CM Punk is always a possibility and being able to sign Pentagon Jr. and Fenix to full-time contracts will bring a lot of depth to an already stacked roster.
For years, wrestling fans have always wondered if a wrestling centered pro wrestling show can be successful on a mainstream level. WWE is not just the biggest name in the wrestling genre, but to many, they are the genre.
It’s similar to the music industry where fans feel there are more talented performers on the independent level than there are on a commercial platform. However, sometimes, talent isn’t enough, and it takes commercial appeal and presentation to become vastly popular.
Great professional wrestling action, on its own, is not going to make AEW accessible to the masses. Ring of Honor has been using that formula since its inception in 2002. While they have grown over the years, they have already reached their ceiling.
This is the best opportunity the industry has had in years for a second company to gain a significant piece of the wrestling market share. A compelling mix of wrestling and story with a little something different. Something that is not being done in wrestling right now is what AEW needs to present.
Because if they don’t, and it comes off as a retread of every other promotion that has tried and failed before them, professional wrestling might genuinely become, in the abstract, sports entertainment.
After weeks of speculation, All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and All In sequel “Double or Nothing” has been officially announced. The announcement came at the end of the latest episode of the popular YouTube show Being the Elite (BTE).
There is a “Double or Nothing” rally at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida on Tuesday, January 8 at 5:00 pm. A special announcement is expected to be made at this rally, which is free to the public.
Jacksonville Jaguars co-owner Tony Khan is President of the company and the money behind AEW. Tony is a longtime wrestling fan and the son of billionaire Shahid Khan.
Wrestling Observer reported earlier today Cody Rhodes has officially signed with the company and The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson), while not signed yet, are expected to sign within the next 48 hours. All three wrestlers reportedly turned down offers from WWE.
Hangman Page, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky are all staples of Being the Elite and are also expected to sign with AWE. All four wrestlers turned down offers to resign with Ring of Honor as their contracts expired at the end of December. Page reportedly turned down an offer from WWE back in October.
The final three members of the BTE crew are spoken for to various degrees. “The Villain” Marty Scrull is reportedly under contract to ROH until the end of April. Flip Gordon recently signed a new two-year contract, which takes him off the board for the foreseeable future.
Then there is Kenny Omega who is under contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling until January 31st. It will be interesting to see what happens on Friday when Omega defends the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 13.
Omega is highly regarded by many as the best wrestler in the world. He is in the driver’s seat from a financial standpoint. New Japan, under their new leadership, is offering more significant money contacts than ever before. WWE wants zero competition, has more money to play with than ever before due to their massive TV contracts beginning this year, and are signing anyone with name value.
WWE traditionally doesn’t offer high six or seven figure contracts to wrestlers who made their name outside of the company. The last time they did was for AJ Styles, and it worked out exceptionally well for both parties. Omega can command such a dollar amount. While AEW would be the emotional favorite to sign Omega, WWE could very well sweep in with an offer too good to refuse.
Make no mistake about it, from a talent perspective, Kenny Omega is the ace in the deck While it wouldn’t derail AWE if they couldn’t sign him, it would be a big blow that would almost have them walking uphill coming out of the gate.
Wow, I almost forgot about Chris Jericho.
Y2J has done a fantastic job of reinventing himself in New Japan Pro Wrestling. He holds their Intercontinental Title and will defend it against Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 13. Jericho wrestles on per date basis and is currently not under contract to any promotion.
Over the last year, Jericho has lessened the reigns on his self-imposed restriction to not work for any other promotion except for WWE. He worked for New Japan, appeared at All In, did guest spots on Being the Elite, and helmed a successful wrestling cruise. AEW being able to land both Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho will make it a lot easier for the company to get a television deal, which is already rumored to have several offers.
It is an exciting time in the wrestling industry. AEW could be the first promotion to compete with the WWE in eighteen years. It will be interesting to see where everything ends up between now and when the first bell rings on the inaugural episode of AWE television.
This Sunday’s Royal Rumble card appears to be finalized with eight matches that will be rounded out by the 30-Man Rumble match. The Kick-Off show will begin at 5:00 pm EST with the official pay-per-view beginning at 7:00 pm EST.
What I’m digging about this year’s Rumble is that I have absolutely no idea who is going to win. Normally, it’s easy to figure out the winner well in advanced based on story-line direction or if a particular wrestler is getting a main event push.
WWE FastLane2016 | Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland Ohio
– Kalisto defeated Alberto Del Rio in a 2 out of 3 falls match to retain the U.S. Championship
It’s a shame this match was on the pre-show because these two worked very hard to put on a great match. Del Rio sacrificing the first fall by hitting Kalisto with a chair was something a true villain would do. Del Rio’s intensity was on point and Kalisto sold everything like he was getting killed. Del Rio showed even more frustration after Kalisto scored the second fall. Strategy turned to frustration as the steel chair that served Del Rio well could have been his undoing if he can’t keep his emotions in check.
The match was a little clunky at first, but got better as it went along. Lynch is a lot better of a wrestler than the casual audience gives her credit for. Banks kicked out of Naomi’s Rear View in a good near fall spot. The finish was a double submission with Banks applying the Bank Statement and Lynch locking in the Dis-arm-her for the win. This keeps both women strong should one or both get placed in the Diva’s title match at WrestleMania. Continue reading “WWE Fastlane 2016 Review”→
The main event of this Sunday’s TLC pay-per-view is scheduled to unify Randy Orton’s WWE title and John Cena’s World Heavyweight title. While one unified champion may emerge, they will not be the first. Twelve years earlier, Chris Jericho became the first undisputed champion at WWF’s year end event. There is a stark contrast, however, between Orton and Cena’s current status on the card and that of Jericho’s in 2001.
The Rock is your new WWE champion and John Cena is the 2013 Royal Rumble winner. The two are on a collision course for their rematch at WrestleMania 29 on 4/7/13. While folks online are ragging on the predictable nature of the card, you have to remember that sometimes, predictable is what’s best for business.