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The AEW Week in Review – 9/11/2021

It’s Saturday, and you know what that means! Welcome one and all to the latest installment of the AEW Week in Review here at TJRWrestling. First and foremost, as I write this, it is the 20th anniversary of the World Trade Center attack in New York City. I send my best wishes to anyone and everyone affected by those tragic events. It’s one of the moments in my life where I can truly remember it like it was yesterday and remember every detail of that day. With that being said, this was a massive week for AEW. The All Out PPV on Sunday wasn’t just a home run, it was a grand slam as every match delivered as expected and it’s being reported that they did over 200K PPV buys, which would be the highest non-WWE wrestling PPV buyrate since WCW in 1999. That’s incredible for a company that is clearly running on all cylinders right now. Let’s get into the action of this week!

 

Best Match

In a week full of great matches, including the Pac/Andrade match that was scheduled for All Out but bumped to Rampage due to what I can only assume was time constraints on the PPV, there is one that stands out above the rest. The Lucha Bros (Rey Fenix & Penta) defeating the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) inside a Steel Cage for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Unfortunately, AEW hasn’t put any match footage up on YouTube from the PPV yet, so if you haven’t seen this match, go out of your way to find it.

For 22 minutes, these four men put on a clinic of storytelling, athleticism, absolute insanity, and the will to win. I’d argue that this match has THE best nearfall of all time, and if not number one, it’s definitely in the running. When The Bucks have destroyed The Lucha Bros with the Superkick of Death, followed by the Poisonrana on Fenix, then the BTE Trigger on Penta, that crowd is deathly silent. We all thought that was the end of the match. When Fenix, with literally every ounce of energy he had left, was able to BARELY break up the pin on Penta, that crowd comes unglued. Can you remember a pinfall breakup that elicited that type of response? I can’t. That tells you how good these guys are and how much the fans wanted the Lucha Bros to win. It was beautifully done and when it came time for Fenix to jump off the cage and take everyone out to set up the finish, they had everyone in the crowd on their feet and some people are calling it the loudest roar for a pinfall they’ve ever heard when The Lucha Bros won.

I have been a HUGE Penta fan since the first time I saw him on Lucha Underground. To see him have this moment with his brother Fenix and his family ended up coming to ringside afterward, while he’s covered in blood, there is just nothing better than that. Our fearless leader John Canton went five stars for it, and Dave Meltzer went 5.75 stars. I think it’s a little silly to go over five stars when your rating is based on five stars, but this match is definitely every bit of five stars.

 

Best Moment

There were plenty of great moments, as expected with such a huge PPV. I do want to give a shoutout to the finish of Rampage this week. After the Dark Side of the Ring episode on Brian Pillman aired earlier this year, it was obvious that Brian Pillman Jr. would be someone that you want to root for and could be a huge star. I was a sucker for him getting to have his hometown moment in Cincinnati, complete with Jon Moxley coming out and giving him the rub a little bit as Moxley is obviously from Cincinnati as well. That being said, the only real choice for this week is the finish to the All Out PPV. Everyone knew Bryan Danielson was coming in.

We were all waiting for it. Tony Khan though, decided to literally go All Out and gave us Adam Cole as well. The setup of the lights going out and Cole being the one to come out first was brilliant. The crowd would not have gone home disappointed if that was all they got at the end. The swerve of Cole deciding to join back up with his Elite brothers, which then led to the arrival of Danielson and the roof blowing off the NOW Arena, I can only imagine what it was like to be there live. Those are the moments we live for as pro wrestling fans. AEW truly could not have pulled that off any better.

 

Critique of the Week

As perfect as the week felt for AEW, there were some nitpicks to be had. I preface my decision for this week by stating that AEW has already announced that Minoru Suzuki is coming back to AEW, and this time he won’t be alone as his Suzuki-Gun teammate Lance Archer will be by his side. That being said, the use of Suzuki on Dynamite this week left a lot to be desired. They set it up great with his surprise appearance at All Out. The crowd treated him like a big deal, the announcers treated him like a big deal, and he came across as a legit threat to Jon Moxley. As he should, because he is one. However, in a jam-packed show, it was clear they were running long and so they first cut Suzuki’s entrance off. This is a big deal because that crowd in Cincinnati was clearly excited to see him and sing along with his theme. Then an underwhelming match took place, which seemed to get cut even shorter than it needed to be, when Suzuki got a cut above his eyelid that ended up requiring seven stitches. It all led to Moxley awkwardly going through the crowd for a couple of minutes as they tried to fill time.

I’m glad that AEW heard the complaints about Suzuki’s use on Dynamite and are bringing him back to fix that, however it’s clear that even though they were in Moxley’s hometown, this should’ve been the first match instead of the main event. When you have a match as special as this, put it on first so that it gets all the time it needs and then adjust the rest of the show to it, instead of having this match adjust to everything else.

 

Looking Ahead

AEW has two huge weeks in the NJ/NY area coming up. This week’s show in Newark is a rescheduled show from the Prudential Center that was originally supposed to host the Blood & Guts match last March before the pandemic hit. This will be a crowd of close to 15,000 that has obviously waited for this show for a long, long time. They may not be getting Blood & Guts, but I’m sure Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, & CM Punk being there will be a nice consolation gift. Cole is already announced to have his first AEW match against Frankie Kazarian. Darby Allin is taking on Shawn Spears in a match that seems to be hinting at a Sting vs. Tully Blanchard match down the road. I’m not quite sure that’s a match AEW wants to showcase given both men’s age and the fact that Tully has been out of the ring for years besides a Trios match he did earlier this year. He was very protected in that match. I’m going to give AEW the benefit of the doubt and see where it all leads.

We also know that that Dynamite Grand Slam in two weeks, which will be AEW’s highest attended show ever, Cody Rhodes makes his return in the rematch against Malakai Black. That show in particular should be absolutely loaded. Not to mention, Rampage will be taped at both shows for that week, so those should have some big matches as well since AEW will want to load these cards up.

 

This Week in Vlogs

This was a really good week for both vlogs, obviously coming off the PPV on Sunday. BTE especially was really good considering the work Brandon Cutler had to do to get it edited and uploaded in about 12 hours after the PPV. The show starts with a very funny skit of The Elite, and specifically Kenny Omega, feeling they need to bring Adam Cole back from the dead to help the group out. When Cole left for WWE four years ago, The Elite killed him off the show. So they ultimately don’t think it’s going to work bringing him back to life, but of course, as soon as they all leave, he shows up and realizes he’s been gone four years. There’s a lot of recap from last week’s Dynamite and some footage from the All Out Fan Fest. The video package they put together for the Steel Cage Tag Match was absolutely incredible, so if you’re one of those that haven’t seen the match, this would at least be a good start in getting a feel for how great the match was.

Sammy’s vlog has a lot of behind the scenes footage from All Out week. Videos from the gorilla position as both Cole & Danielson are ready to come out, footage from the AEW celebrity softball game, as well as Fan Fest. I really enjoy these behind the scenes looks. There’s a very funny skit of Dustin Rhodes meeting one of Fuego Del Sol’s daughters. The running gag on the vlog has become that Dustin is Fuego’s dad, so in this skit, Dustin feels he’s the grandfather to the little girl. It’s truly hilarious watching it all play out. Charlie Ramone is also teasing Sammy that he can bring Sting to the vlog, which would be Sting’s first appearance on either vlog. John Silver and Alex Reynolds had tried recruiting Sting to the Dark Order on BTE, but with no success.

That’s it for this week! I truly hope you enjoyed everything AEW brought this week, as it really was a great week. Be sure to hit me up on Twitter, @KTankZamora, and let me know what you think and what you want to see discussed in these weekly recaps. Thanks for checking out the column once again. As always, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do… but if you do, name it after me.