The Left Hand of God
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Taking my ball and going home
AEW have sort of wasted the biggest match in the wrestling industry haven't they?
We're all rooting for AEW but this was a massive cock up wasn't it? This thread will be a bit of a wide ranging critique of how AEW has handled it's two most important talent, to their detriment and how it's a really poor way to be getting the promotion off the ground.
So what match am I referring to, specifically?
Kenny Omega vs Dean Ambrose. And for the purposes of this thread I'm gonna call him Dean Ambrose a lot because that's the name that won the WWE title, wrestled Roman Reigns, John Cena, Brock Lesnar and Seth Rollins. Dean Ambrose is a massive wrestler. He's a member of the SHIELD during the 5 year SHIELD Era. And during his entire WWE career, people have talked about his creative ceiling and how far below it he was being presented.
So this incredibly famous wrestler becomes the most high profile WWE departure in forever. He comes to AEW and absolutely shakes up the wrestling world for two reasons.
1) Because that's a massive middle finger to the Vince McMahon empire and a surprise to millions of fans.
2) Because he's now ostensibly the biggest star in the company, and at his age is the viable face of the company. There's only one problem
Kenny Omega. An internationally famous wrestler who isn't on Ambrose's level of starpower but who's own star power, charisma, personality and leadership directly led to the creation of this new promotion. He is the presumptive Ace of AEW until Ambrose hops the barricade.
Kenny Omega vs Dean Ambrose. A match few people thought they'd see. A dream match on the cusp of reality, out of absolutely nowhere. One of the biggest names produced by Vince McMahon's empire vs the biggest name existing outside of that empire. What's on the line? The world heavyweight championship. The FIRST one in company history and along with that, the presumptive title of Ace. The stakes couldn't be higher. They couldn't POSSIBLY be higher. Omega is the SOUL of AEW but Moxley is smart MONEY. Who wins?
Except we didn't get that did we? We got... What? Chris Jericho vs.... Hangman Page. That's the main event. That's the title fight. A contest that is essentially a foregone conclusion between an unknown wrestler and one of the WWEs oldest still active former wrestlers....
Ambrose vs Omega is relegated to the midcard, an instant hit to the lustre of this match. Instantly losing the unprecedented Big Fight Feel that it possessed. And in the intervening months, the match has only lost more of it's lustre. Due to three reasons -
1. Dean Ambrose's booking has diminished his global standing. When Ambrose first jumped ship, he was the presumptive biggest wrestler in the world outside of the WWE. He held on to that aura until the moment he debuted in NJPW. The smart thing to do would have been to keep Ambrose out of a wrestling ring until the match with Omega. Instead, he's been involved in midcard matches with Joey Janela and Shota Umino. The biggest star in the world steps to Kazuchika Okada if he really is. And to wrestle for a different company and not even be presented as important enough to challenge their champion.... The fact that Ambrose essentially competes as a midcarder right now, in both promotions, has rubbed off all the aura he had of feeling like a big deal. That's gone now. Ibushi, Naito, Okada seem bigger. Cody and the Bucks and even Page are presented as more important
2. Dean Ambrose's character has been meh. One of the key appeals of Dean Ambrose was always the Jon Moxley character. That was the creative ceiling that drove interest in seeing him outside of the WWE. Seeing him do something grittier, more interesting, different - everything that AEW is supposed to be. But we're not getting Jon Moxley. We're getting Dean Ambrose under a different ring name. And that's not the worst thing ever, because Dean Ambrose is famous and Jon Moxley isn't. But that character has a lot more potential and had he debuted that character, would have generated a lot more buzz. But essentially for the past couple of months we've seen midcard Dean Ambrose, in midcard feuds, in different promotions. What's really changed, then? What's the paradigm shift?
3. Kenny Omega's character has been meh. He's also been presented as a midcarder. He has a redemption arch storyline but for someone who should be the top star, the match along that arch needed to feel bigger, to have the same thought and time and promotion put into them as Cody's matches. He seems like an after thought. And his presentation as a white meat babyface when Omega is a pureblood heel or anti-hero has really depressed the buzz around him just as much as seeing plain old Dean Ambrose has done for him.
Well, that's it. It was a cock up all around. A MASSIVE mistake from AEW and that's reflected in how unbelievably bad both choices are for their first world champion right now. A rock and a hard place