Any WWE fans in the audience?

Paul Wight, fka The Big Show, has joined AEW! He will be an announcer on the upcoming AEW Dark: Elevation, but the announcement made sure to mention he is also a “licensed” wrestler (whatever that means).

That’s one Big Show turn I never saw coming.

They’re being attracted to AEW’s creative freedom. Vicki Guerrero said on AEW Unrestricted it wasn’t like WWE where they expect you to say every word in the script and lecture you for an hour if you improvise.

Bobby Lashley is now WWE champion, which is certainly a step up from this point last year when he was still playing third wheel in Rusev/Lana cuckold angle #5. I’m guessing Drew gets his rematch against Lashley as main event on one night of 'Mania, with Edge/Roman headlining the other.

That would certainly make sense, with Lashley/McIntyre on night 1 and Reigns/Edge on night 2. But that only works if Edge is going over. The face will have to win one of these matches, and that will close WM.

In other news, the painfully obvious happened (Flair v Asuka) and while it was handled rather clunkily (is that a word?), Flair did the best she could with the promo and the situation handed them. I think that this is better than whatever they were planning with Lacey Evans (probably Flair v Evans at Fastlane with some stupid angle leading to F v A at WM). If she is cleared by Fastlane, WWE would be insane not to have Asuka v Basler at Fastlane. Those two have never really been given time to show what they can really do 1-on-1, but they work pretty well together in their limited interactions. Another Fastlane prediction, Miz v Lashley rematch.

NXT is supposedly moving to Tuesday nights. While I’m glad WWE finally has competition again, I would have preferred RAW suffer the consequences, not NXT. NXT is fine the way it is. We don’t need Vince thinking he’ll have to step in and apply his winning formula like he did 205 Live.

so i take it pauls sitcom on netflix isnt getting renewed… not suprised as it was c+disney channel material and created by the people who did good luck charlie and zack and cody…

Paul Wight said there would be a major signing TBA. I suck at predictions, but I’m going to take a guess anyway. Spoilered for your protection.

Everybody’s expecting another WWE dangling fruit, but I’m going with Marty Scurll, because he’s no longer with RoH, his NJPW contract fell through, and he was tight with Bullet Club before AEW formed.

Influential promoter Jim Crockett Jr. has passed away at the age of 76. He led Jim Crockett Promotions (which later became World Championship Wrestling) from 1977-89, and was also president of the National Wrestling Alliance.

In other news, I was reading through the 205 Live results, and Saudi wrestler Monsoor is now 41-0. Is he really good enough to be getting the Goldberg push, or is Vince just sucking up to the Saudis? Honest question. I’ve not seen him wrestle but once or twice.

Oh, ho, WWE lied about it! He’s lost at least once before.

Yep, I was wrong. Christian “Out Work Everybody” Cage was the mystery signee who made his debut in AEW Revolution. He was pretty much the running favorite. His last WWE appearance was in Edge’s shadow and it’s about time he grabbed the spotlight for himself. Another debut was Ethan Page, having recently jumped the Impact ship, emerging as the mystery last entrant in the Ladder Match.

But, there was another debut that captured my fancy, Maki Itoh. She was Britt Baker’s partner and came to the ring singing her own theme song, wearing bright red petticoats and portraying a really annoying pop princess. She was hilarious. She’d act like the cheery exuberant babyface and then do heel attacks, like raking eyes and blatantly cheating. She also had a sideways headbutt drop, where she’d tilt and flop down like a slamming door and miss. She’d overact and squeal like a spoiled baby whenever she missed her signature moves. It was like if Tinkerbell went all Freddie Kruger.

I’m still holding out for Marty Scurl, dammit.

I’d say Revolution was pretty good. The street fight was done as a cinematic match in an abandoned warehouse, which both gave them time to set up for the main event and allowed Sting to not have to work a whole match in one take. Sting wound up getting the win with a Scorpion Deathdrop on Starks after a rather impressive stunt where Darby Allin did an elbow drop onto Cage from two stories up.

The tag team battle royal was kinda confusing at first, but it picked up as it went along. Fenix was the final survivor, which means he and either Pentagon Jr. or PAC get a title shot at the Young Bucks. Scorpio Sky won the ladder match, and he gets his title shot at Darby Allin on Wednesday.

The main event wasn’t a total gorefest like some of the deathmatches of yore, but it was probably the bloodiest match you’ll see in a major promotion these days, and it was pretty entertaining… up until the very end. The entire match, commentary kept bringing up a 30-minute time limit, at the end of which all the explosives would go off at once and “whoever survives” would win. Omega got the win (with an assist from Gallows and Anderson) before that, but everyone started panicking when there was no way to turn off the timer. The Good Brothers handcuffed Moxley and left him lying alone in the ring while everyone else booked it. Eddie Kingston ran out to try and drag Mox to safety, but as the timer, was running out he lied down over him to shield him from the blast.

Then the timer hit zero… and some sparklers went off on the ringposts and there was one teensy bit of pyro that wouldn’t have hurt anything but your eardrums. I wasn’t expecting a massive fireball, but at least they could have collapsed the ring or something cool - instead it landed with a thud that left me saying “There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!” It was probably the low point of the night and definitely ended the show on a sour note.

I think the reason Kingston stayed on top of Moxley for so long is because he was trying to conceal himself laughing.

Worst match ending explosion ever.

Fairly good show otherwise. The intro fight with Dr. Britt Baker DMD was pretty good. Her wrestling has been improving steadily since she started playing a heel, which she is a natural at. Maki Itoh, whose name means Sushi Roll Itoh in English was a hit. She started out a little rough but that falling head butt is a winner. The show still needs work, too many big teams, not enough talent in the bigger men. They’re getting steadily better.

Forgive me if I’m not laying awake at night regretting not watching AEW because of the debuts of The Big Show and Christian. I feel like AEW is trying to be WCW back in the day and poach the well-known names, except they’re doing it with wrestlers who are a decade past their prime and are still expecting me to be impressed. I know there is talent on the roster, but you aren’t swinging my Wednesday night wrestling vote with starts from 20 or more years ago.

Right now the relationship between the WWE and AEW is like the Packers and Vikings. The Packers will have a good player for 5 or 6 years and eventually cut him when he gets old…and 9 times out of 10 he’ll go to the Vikings. The 'Queens always have a good player or two on their roster, but they’re surrounded by Packers cast-offs so it’s recognizable…but not impressive.

I’m sure they’ll land someone big eventually though…good things come to those who wait I guess

Exactly what I thought. Whatever is left in Christian’s tank will be fine for teaching the younger talent, but to portray him as some huge signing was ridiculous.

Maki Itoh, I guess, is an acquired taste. I’ve seen maybe 8-10 of her matches. She’s portrayed as a J-Pop idol, and maybe she is (you couldn’t pay me enough to listen to K- or J-pop*), but as a wrestler, I’m not impressed.

*Actually, you could pay me enough to do almost anything, including root for the Boston Red Sox, and I’m pretty cheap

I get your point, but at the same time I’m thinking this is really no different from the territory days. Nobody stayed in one wrestling fed forever. Oftentimes bookers wanted to bring in fresh meat to revitalize audiences, and if they had proven experience in other territories, that was a bonus. Sometimes the new guy would capture lightning in a bottle. Other times he could be a dud. Ox Baker comes to mind. In the AWA and WWWF he was a terror, but in NWA he was a jobber.

In WWE Christian will always be in Edge’s shadow. When he was in TNA, he stood out on his own and a lot of talent he worked with learned tremendously from him. AEW benefits from the presence of old school legends, but doesn’t otherwise think that nostalgia is what brings in viewers. I’m betting they see Chris as a positive influence backstage, as well as a booking asset. He’s got a massive brain for the business.

For anyone who cares, which maybe just me, Asuka is back tonight.

Jordan Devlin, who’s been stuck in the UK since shortly after winning the NXT Cruiserweight Title, will be back on NXT this Wednesday, and will no doubt have words for “interim” NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar. No doubt a unification match will happen soon.

WWE has announced Randy Orton vs. Alexa Bliss for Fastlane. If they actually go through with it, it’ll be the first intergender singles match the company will have done since Chyna was around.