Greetings on and all to another edition. You may have spotted in the past couple weeks I've sneakily transitioned from a Tuesday to a Wednesday. There's method in that madness to build a schedule, it allows me to speculate about topical points right before AEW Dynamite. Just to share with you, this week has been panic, so much so, I'm writing the Verbal Brainbuster as a breather.
An enjoyable break in the week, I love writing and wrestling. Merge the two together, I am a happy bunny.
Let's get down to brass tacks.
Cody as TNT Champion and the mystery opponent
I like Cody, he doesn't know who in the blue hell I am, though these days my appreciation for him is running a little thin. You can see a similar vibe pouring onto social media. As an executive vice president you're bound to face stigma over time. Only natural, to say the least. Place a person in control and responsibility, actions are easily criticised by the masses.
Many a spoken word has shed light on Cody being a "mark" for himself. His passion for the business one cannot fault. Out of the other wrestlers in an executive position, I'd imagine he formulates the better ideas. This doesn't discount the questionable decision making as of late. Whether this is directly him or not, All Elite Wrestling needs to re-evaluate focus on the show.
If we see another TNT title main event on Dynamite, I'm going to be further convinced that Cody's ego is proving to be an issue, creatively speaking. The ongoing emphasis surrounds this title and not the heavyweight championship. Yes, there is a drama developing between Moxley and Cage. But it isn't taking centre stage and being presented as the prime focus.
Not meaning to delve into the murky deeps of fantasy booking ideology, I focus the activity directly in the middle of the episode. A variable booking approach once in a while is healthy. What is currently going on isn't really doing the main event title scene any justice. Let's put this into perspective, the only main event spot the Moxley/Cage feud has been featured in, is Dark.
The Jericho and Tyson confrontation is responsible for one of those weeks. A huge publicity stunt is justifiable, as well as the first ever TNT title defence on the TNT network. Maybe I'm jumping the gun a little. A nagging feeling is telling me this won't shift any time soon, not with Cody holding the strap. You can tell he's desperate to build up a legacy and strive to live up to his father's name. Almost living vicariously in Dusty's memory, in a business that's significantly evolved since the golden era of wrestling.
We can draw inspiration from the past, yet our own paths are unique and should be perceived in such a manner. Trying to live a personal fantasy is fine in a contained scenario. This may be leading a step too far. Take into account in addition to this, that Cody continuously shot down the idea of a secondary championship added to the promotion.
Listening is one thing, making it all about you is another. I'd hoped Jungle Boy may have had a surprise victory. A transitional period where the former champion retained shortly thereafter. What we're seeing is someone holding an object of significant importance, laying down a clear path to building the prestige and centralising themselves around the methodology of doing it.
I've seen an announcement that Arn Anderson has scouted a challenger for Cody tonight. A decent hook to attract interest. We'll see a decent match, the champion is a solid worker and brings out great results out of whoever he's in the ring with.
Who is this mystery opponent? Your guess is as good as mine. I'd hasten a suggestion they may be introducing the element where a wrestling outside the promotion has an opportunity. The conditions for a challenger not signed under contract is logically relevant to the teaser they've provided.
I shall be keeping a close eye on this TNT championship situation as it progresses. Whatever transpires this evening will give a telling sign of what is yet to come. No doubt about that.
Le' Champion vs Orange Cassidy
The Best Friends are going over tonight, for the most part, their tag team title opportunity is to remain intact. If 'Le Sex Gods' win, feel free to heckle my intuition in the street. Despite the notion Chris Jericho would be an interesting addition to the tag division drama, now is not a good time. There's too much going on already and is gaining momentum.
Chris Jericho is going to work wonders with Orange Cassidy. On a personal level, he 'gets' the character. You're mixing arguably one of the greatest wrestlers of all time (a strong argument), to feud against a unique threat. A calculating heel fighting a lazy babyface. AEW did say we'd see something special out of Cassidy at Revolution during his match with Pac. I think we're about to see another impact made and may lead to 'Freshly Squeezed' pulling off a near upset. In a heated display of tenacity.
Not everyone likes Orange Cassidy. As stated in the above, he is unique and getting over. The connection with the audience should never be perceived as having made it. Or the pinnacle point of finalising an act and considered a success. The people are drawn to him and are susceptible to being lead along a journey of character development. Slowly executed to prime Cassidy to be considered a more serious competitor.
I didn't think much of the assault on Dynamite last week. Using oranges is the insult to injury choice for weapon. It wasn't actually an ambush. There's no logical way to expect such a brawl to occur there and then to prepare. I realise I'm looking to far into this. The problem is the booking has been a lot sharper, so these inconsistencies not only stand out but take away from what you're supposed to be immersed in.
Mike Tyson, the other element.
At Fyter Fest, the beginning of July, we may see Mike Tyson play a role into the Jericho and Cassidy outcome. The relationship established between All Elite Wrestling and the boxing legend is a great publicity tactic. So far, bringing a celebrity has panned out well.
The AEW Youtube channel saw a massive surge in viewership when the brawl broke out between Jericho and Tyson. A previous incident from the past, in a different promotion, gave more informed fans a reason to take an interest. It didn't alienate the audience. For a fresh pair of eyes could find something meaningful in that segment. Hell, the viewership speaks for itself.
I'm intrigued whether a match is going to occur. Whether Mike is going to wrestle Jericho, or Jericho to put on a pair of boxing gloves. It is a wrestling show, yet the latter is the more attractive option out the two. Not just so 'Le Champion' gets decked. Fans don't want to see inexperienced personalities inside the squared circle. The lack of knowledge and experience protrudes through the screen.
A boxing match is logical to promote Tyson's return to the sport. I don't think an AEW bout is going to discredit the legend in anyway. This partnership offers the promotion what it needs the most, an expansion, a flare to draw new eyes. The Wednesday night ratings are at a plateau, a little third party intervention is among the better ways to help break such a trend.
What do you think?
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Until we meet again next week, take care.
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