Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest no.107: A way too late look at the road to Double or Nothing, Part 4 (AEW Spark Episode 8 Review)

This set of way behind coverage looks at Orange being Orange, Aussie Open getting TV time, and the shit happening in the TNT division. I'm doing it in a quicker format than usual in the interest of time and your sanity.

Orange beat Buddy, Bandido, Garcia. His reign as champ has been fantastic, folks. Each defense was a high quality affair with little touches, like his hand issues, added in subtly for good measure. His opponents looked good in defeat each time but he continues to be one of the most entertaining dudes in the game and I am honestly all for this reign lasting as long as Roman's.

Buddy, and I agree with End here, is one of the best dudes on the roster. I have been big on the dude since his underrated 205 run and was psyched when he signed with AEW. If he remains a workhorse on the undercard, he'll be far underdelivering on his potential.

Bandido is Bandido. He did Bandido things and was an awesome throwaway challenge. If you're not into this dude, you'll hate it. You are likely not very fun at parties, either.

Red Death and Orange's encounter was debatably the weakest of the bunch. Just a bit rough around the edges in which it could've done better to represent the talent that was in the ring. Shit happens. Either next time they'll land it a bit better or we'll just see that they aren't a super pair. I still think this made the challenger look good in that he came off as a dick. That's the point. Old school in many ways and the endstretch was enjoyable.

I'll get to the last challenger in a moment.

Wardlow destroyed Hobbs' car and then beat down his buds after the champ retained in quick fashion against one of the whiniest fuckers I've ever heard call themselves a man before. The next week, the lava spud changed hands in a big man showcase as the modern Goldberg would defeat Hobbs in an okay, but far from great, sub-ten defense. Indeed, the short time provided for them was fine for the circumstances. The endstretch was circus act stuff but entertainingly so. I don't usually care for such things and didn't really here, but I know some of y'all likely ate this up and that's honestly fine. We all have preferences. The entire division has been a mess. Christian and his dino came out after. A week later, Goldberg killed a jobber and officially issued an open challenge for his TV strap. After, he claimed he hadn't broken a sweat while he breathed heavy and indeed glistened. The obvious challenger appeared as Captain Charisma made it clear he was craving gold.

Christian was kind of a mess during an in-ring interview spot the following week. He was trying to be a dick, which he tends to be fantastic at, but he stumbled more than usual. It got good heat, either way. I just wasn't feeling it as much as I thought I would.

Wardlow begged for Cage to come out and back his words up in our next look. Lucha and the champ would brawl. Cheap heel stuff, low blow and all. Christian looked tiny as he beat down on the big man. A ladder would be pulled out and utilized to end the segment. Cheap? Yup. Entertaining? Yup. The interview was rough but this was exactly what you'd want from a Christian seed.

Aussie Open defended gold in a Rampage throwaway. Good shit if nothing else. Kyle took on Action next Remember Action? Pepperidge Farm remembers. After, Fletch would give the Orange thumbs up while staring at the camera.

As mentioned previously, we next would see Kyle challenge for the International Championship. I'm glad they finally changed the name of the belt. They weren't booking it in a way that made the previous name logical. I'm also glad they ran this as it was a good use of Kyle given the circumstances at the time this aired. Hell, they actually had some sold on the idea of a switch here. The flash pins are really working.

Yeah, have the dude just keep defending and winning forever.

The last match I watched for this digest was a tag match meant to preview the Blackjack match set for the ppv.

Big Bill, which is such a stupid fucking name for a dude that I think might be the best 7+ foot dude in the game, and Lee Fucking Moriarty took on The Best Friends. A fine enough matchup that felt like such a weak main event. The match set to OPEN a pay-per-view being the sell for a main says everything about Rampage, doesn't it? Folks set to work the match were sprinkled in the crowd. Cute shit, I guess. The heels took the W and were fun enough. The Best Friends ate yet another L. Average overall, but fine.

A big brawl occurred after to at least help end this one on a fun note. Lots of angles are involved in the Blackjack, which is a good thing, at least. The cameras didn't do super well to cover things here, though.

I'm almost done with this road to set that I've already allowed to be far more bloated than necessary. Luckily it's almost all been enjoyable. The next one looks at stuff with LFI and the Bullet Club program. I ultimately decided to skip the TBS and World Tag division programs during this period.

Check out AEW Spark Episode Eight, featuring the matches and segments covered in this entry, HERE. If it's embedded here in the digest, you can just watch those if you'd like and skip the episode itself as those are the high points.

The highest points were pretty good and the rest was meh.

Match Ratings

  1. AEW International Title: Orange(c) vs Buddy ***1/2
  2. IWGP Tag Titles: Aussie Open(c) vs Best Friends ***
  3. AEW International Title: Orange(c) vs Bandido ***1/2
  4. TNT Title: Hobbs(c) vs Wardlow **1/2
  5. AEW International Title: Orange(c) vs Garcia ***
  6. Action vs Fletcher ***
  7. AEW International Title: Orange(c) vs Fletcher ***1/2
  8. Best Friends vs The Firm **3/4

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