AEW Title Tuesday LIVE REVIEW | Red's Pro-Wrestling Digest 149


Predictions: Danielson, Hobbs, White, Fenix, Copeland

We start with Christian Cage in the truck talking some shit about all of his, and his crews, enemies. A nice move for sure. 

This show sparked Tony Khan in a way that we don't see very often these days. WWE loaded up NXT to help them in their ongoing negotiations, as well as to attempt to get payback for the years of L's that they ate. Hell, they are bringing in Jade just to be dicks. It's great. Competition creates entertainment, folks. Just check Khan's tweets from the past day or so. I honestly don't see this show winning the ratings game this time, though.

Why the fuck is this called Title Tuesday, though? Two defenses and a #1 contender match is enough for that name? I'm being a prick, but whatever. Note that I'll add my thoughts on the Buy In later. Keep an eye out for Digest 149.5.

After the opening package, we move straight into The American Dragon's banger of an entrance theme. This match is going to be fire, folks. They remind us of Danielson's victories over Sabre and Fletcher, as well as the drama in post of the latter, before Prince Nana's favorite song ran in response.

Strickland's victory over Page is ran back.

The American Dragon vs Swerve Strickland

The winner gets a shot at Cage on Collision. They start slow, trading holds nicely to set the tone. They're going for a marathon, folks. The best US wrestler of all time is on his retirement tour and is putting out hits and here he was up against one of AEW's most underrated performers.

What's that equal?

Gold. It equals gold.

The tone and pacing were rather well done in execution and they were given enough time to truly make it special. The nearfalls in the endstretch were especially solid and Danielson's selling of liver pain really added nicely to the package.

Strickland went for a crown shot, but Page interrupted. Dragon would win moments later. Captain Charisma will slay him in a few days. This one was great.

Rating: ***3/4

Winner: Danielson

A Samoa Joe package runs before Jericho's music hits and the singalong began.

Powerhouse Hobbs vs Chris Jericho

This started fast with brawling. I thought it wasn't gonna last long. I was wrong. Still, Chris wanted to put the dude over and worked a squash for the big dude. My only issue was that it ran a lot longer than needed. I get that Jericho is a legit legend, but did it need to have this much meat on the bones? Did Chris need comeback sparks?


Just have the dude that they've booked like shit so often go over quick and clean as a statement. Instead, they ran it this way and the finish felt more abrupt and less important than it would've if they had ran it differently.

After, Hobbs added some pain before cutting to the back with Don.

Rating: *1/2

Winner: Hobbs

This is a new thing coming to The Update soon. Stay tuned for more info.

Cole mowed Strong's grass while pushing around a leg scooter and Taven talked about giraffes. Oh, and Roderick doesn't have a television. I'm happy to see more of this BTE style shit on TV, to be honest.

International Title: Rey Fenix(c) vs Orange Cassidy

With Mox being unable to appear, Orange Cassidy stepped up to face Rey Fenix. Considering the fact that Cassidy made this belt worth something, I'm all in on the switch. I still think they handled Orange's post-reign run properly, but it is what it is.

Fenix sold his back injury early, setting the tone. If this had been against Mox I think they would've went a different route, but instead it felt more likely we'd see the masked standout retain instead despite the back stuff. They leaned into it for sure, with Cassidy working the injury mechanically with intent on getting back the strap and putting Rey in the under position.

A lot of these title defenses for this belt see the champ working from underneath, don't they...

Either way, I was wrong.

Orange continued the offense, largely controlling the contest and eventually won back the belt.

As the confetti fell, he and Penta shared a moment. Good shit, folks, but the injury certainly held this back quality-wise. I'm stoked to see Orange's run.

Rating: **3/4

Winner: Orange NEW CHAMP

Toni Storm's segment ran next. Comically, it was interrupted by commercials. She acted insane in black and white as a bunch of ads ran for a while before a few full-screens ran. IF that was intentional to set up something in her current gimmick, it was poorly done and made the show look bad. Also, now my fatass is hungry because Olive Garden was promoted and I am on a diet.

Update: It was apparently intentional.

Wardlow vs Matt Sydal

Wardlow came out after the break and powerbombed the soul out of Sydal, then he left through the crowd again. Alright, I mean at least it's something.

Rating: NR

Winner: Wardlow

Renee checked in on Chris backstage. Garcia wanted to check in, too, but drama with his 2point0 bud was tacked on for good measure because wrestling in America is always a bit of a soap opera.

Adam Page vs Jay White

White came out with the newest member of Bullet Club Gold alongside his Bang Bang Gang, on tiny tricycles, and his cutout because Jay and crew are amazing. 

Did you know Frasier is coming back? 

I didn't. 

Damn these commercials are distracting. At least the match went PIP for most of the break. Another Olive Garden ad ran though but carbs are my enemy. I have to remind myself of that.

Anyway, the question here was always who needed this most. Considering the trajectory of both, it was clear that Jay was the best choice. Adam might benefit from a big bounce back, but the title program was priority. The only other option was a shit finish with MJF getting involved.


Well, we'd have to wait, because we went to break again and only part of it was PIP again.

The first ad promoted the return of Rick and Morty and had Motorhead playing. That feels intentional. It's not, but feels it.

Anyway, it actually stayed PIP throughout this time.

When they went full screen again, the two were working the superplex position leading to an avalanche blockbuster suplex from Hangman. Jay's tactics managed to get him back into it, quickly, though.

This was worked very evenly and saw both trading blow and spot after blow and spot, helping them as they painted their picture well and played a simple game nicely due to sheer work ethic and skill. A visual victory for Adam was fucked thanks to a momentary ref distraction from BCG, then Prince Nana got involved giving us the protected finish.

Adam hobbled after Nana to the back and MJF's music hit in post.

Rating: ***3/4

Winner: White

MJF responded to White's match request from last week and said they were on, then asked for his belt back. Jay got shut the fuck up chants for his efforts and then declined the request to return the strap to the people's scumbag as a response.

MJF wants to be a better man and hates it but also loves it because he's a face now. He'd get censored a bit and rambled on a bit, but tried to essentially plead with White to return the strap because he hadn't earned it.

Oh, and Cole is not injured.

White says he'll think about giving it back if MJF can get some pals and are able to beat them.

Oh, and Juice wants the diamond ring and has a roll of quarters for him.

That was a bit bloated, too. I'm sure a lot of fans didn't like this very much, to be honest, and it was certainly not the best work of either. White seemed borderline concussed, in fact.

During the break, another silent film segment of Storm ran in PIP.

Women's Title: Saraya(c) vs Hikaru Shida

This felt like something that didn't need to exist. I'm not huge on Saraya as champ right now and didn't appreciate Shida getting a transitional reign, either. In fact, the way she has been booked for most of her time in AEW has done little for me, in general.

So, I really didn't need to see her eat an L here against Knight but knew that was what was destined to happen.

Quickly in, Ruby, in all black, tried to get involved with a can of spray paint but the challenger caught her before she could. Storm ran out and beat her ass out of the scene. Saraya took advantage of the chaos and started dropping offense on Hikaru on the outside as we headed into yet another PIP experience.

I admittedly missed the content during the break as I tried to hobble myself into the other room for a moment so that I could get something. My left foot is fucked up beyond reason right now and my right one is starting to get mad at picking up the other one's workload so getting around takes me forever right now.

I made it back just in time for the match to return to full screen. The german to the hardest part of the ring followed by a meteora off of the hardest part of the ring followed by a running knee made for a sweet nearfall, folks.

Knight would get a nice nearfall of her own moments later.

Then, she'd get another; this one following a teased shit finish including Holy Shida getting spray paint in the eyes.

The real finish came as the two traded rollups, but eventually saw Hikaru win the belt and become the first 3x holder of the strap.

While my expectations were low for this one, I will say it was better than expected, even with the baggage.

Confetti fell as Saraya looked on, pissed.

I'm going to wrong a bit tonight, I see.

Hopefully this reign has some real weight.

Rating: ***

Winner: Shida NEW CHAMP

Excalibur announced that Jericho had been taken to the hospital, then Tony announced the company was giving a lot of toys to kids for Christmas. The voice of PWG ran down some cards then we got to see Don Callis and Soup giving us the Sammy Guevara treatment in PIP.

Good shit.

That Cena's Wipeout ads kept running tonight was funny, too.

When we returned, MJF declined an interview with Renee then he tried to call Cole, but the call kept cutting out. Platinum Max offered to help MJF with his BCG issues but was declined, pissing off his boys in the process.

Max was weird as fuck during that segment.

A look back at the Collision drama, including Darby getting his arm fucked up like his name was Grendel, ran as the dino and crew came out. Cage got some mic time before the main event could start, including a shot at the Chiefs.

Fuck the Chiefs.

He's a daddy, folks, and he made it clear that he doesn't want an Edge and Christian reunion. He called out Adam not caring about teaming up when he was in the middle of a push while Cage was middling in the midcard, adding that he doesn't need him at all but that Adam does need him. He name dropped Adam's wife and kids, eventually causing Edge to run out and b-line to the ring.

Wayne held him so that The Mesozoic Monster could get a cheap shot. Edge would sell his neck while the ref checked in. Eventually, the crowd sparked him to life and he'd demand the bell to be rang.

Luchasaurus vs Adam Copeland

An early tombstone made it clear that Adam's in-ring debut for AEW was going to see him working the underdog role. Like the Hobbs/Jericho match earlier in the night, this saw the big man of the match in control, piling on punishment.

Cage watched, sitting in a chair, from the stage.

When the clock hit 10, Excalibur basically introduced fans that chose NXT to the show before we went PIP. Not a lot happened during the break, but when we returned Lucha was in the middle of dragging the ringsteps around to set up a later spot that saw Adam, in the middle of his comeback stretch, jumping from the hardest part of the ring, onto the steps, and into a diving spear to Cage's big goon.

Also, a bit earlier, Nick placed a chair in the corner between the ropes, leading to Edge missing a spear and hitting it headfirst. You know the spot.

The finish was a bit convoluted, but saw Adam get the win off of a distracted dino. After, the heels attacked. Danielson tried to make the save, but failed. Claudio and Yuta came out in assist of their bud. Then, Swerve and crew. Then Page. The sides would brawl, then Cage tapped out to Danielson to sell their Collision match as we faded to black.

Rating: **3/4

Winner: Copeland


AEW loves to close shows like that. This was midrange stuff, to be honest, but not really bad by any metric.

Honestly, this wasn't anywhere close to a must-see episode despite the circumstances. This will do absolutely nothing to wash away the idea that the company is cold right now, as a result. What the episode was, though, was a good representation of the current product.

For better or for worse.

There were several things here to enjoy, but it didn't have the same spark and energy of Dynamites of old if I'm being honest. A lot has changed since the days of the Wednesday Night Wars and while I still think AEW is pumping out a lot of great content, it's hard to deny that shit needs to change in some big way.

Can Tony figure it out?

Who fuckin' knows, but I'm hoping he can for the sakes of all of the talented folks on his payroll that are depending on it.

That quarter thing is going to get a lot of heat, either way.

Episode Rating: 70%

Post a Comment