The PG Era Recap for AEW Dark, Episode 71 (No Doomies, No Problem), January 19, 2021.
From the AEW Arena as always.
Your hosts are Excalibur and Taz, also as always. Ricky Starks joins the opener. Your adjective: “Gargantuan.”
TONIGHT! Chaos Project has a unique style they use to play headgames but can it work on the Lucha Bros, a team whose motto is “Cero Miedo”? And Brandon Cutler hasn’t lost since his first AEW win – can he keep it going with his toughest singles challenge yet in Luchasaurus?
In addition, we have Private Party, Sammy Guevara, Butcher and Blade, Shanna, Ivelisse and Diamante, Sonny Kiss, Big Swole, Scorpio Sky, Top Flight, Gunn Club, The Acclaimed, and Santana and Ortiz in action!
Opening ma… wait, there’s no Dark Order on this show? When was the last time that happened?
After allowing for a two week voting period, the 2020 Doomie Awards have been decided.
This year saw a marked increase in voting over the previous year, with a record seventy-eight ballots submitted. That more than tripled last year’s voting, which saw twenty-three ballots cast. So thanks to everyone for voting (and for several of the Doomie campaigns for raising awareness).
Into 1988, the last year that the AWA had anything approaching decent talent or a hope of hanging on before two more years of circling the drain. Introduced by Larry Nelson, in what looks like someone’s living room.
And now, finally we get some classic 80s era syndicated shows! Superstars of Wrestling is still untouchable for the bullshit legal reasons we’ve already detailed a million times, but Wrestling Challenge, the B-version of that show which launched along side it in 1986, has finally come to the WWE Network.
Monday Night Raw Date: January 18, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Samoa Joe, Byron Saxton
We’re less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble and that means it is time to start adding in some new names to the lineups. There are several spots still available and that means we can fill in a few more of them over the next two weeks. And there’s the whole Randy Orton getting hit with a fireball deal. Let’s get to it.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Howdy Blog O’Doomers!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. It’s a pretty slow Monday and there’s a good chance tonight’s RAW will once again be a little different thanks to COVID and some other injuries. I see there’s an Asuka vs. Alexa Bliss match and that’s a surprise because I didn’t think Alexa was working many matches, if any, these days.
No football out there. A full slate of NBA and NHL games started this afternoon and continue into the evening. The Nets-Bucks and Lakers-Warriors games are on TNT, while the Sabres-Flyers and Coyotes-Golden Knights are the nationally televised games for the NHL.
AJW TV (Feb. 27th, 1994):
* Here’s another AJW TV show, though I could only find two matches from it, making this a shorter review. One match missing off of what was taped is Bull Nakano beating Etsuko Mita- another thing is Numacchi’s retirement. So Saemi Numata had been jobbing throughout most of 1993 and engaging in some pretty horrible matches (and one miraculously “pretty good” match by Mayumi Ozaki), including jobbing big-time to both Akira Hokuto & Reggie Bennett, losing in 10 seconds and 3 minutes, respectively (in a promotion where it can take ten minutes to kill off a rookie). Her last bunch of bouts were in Oct. 1993, and one match in Jan. 1994, so I dunno what happened. Either injures or “you know what? There’s no future as a comedy jobber in AJW” and she was done. A few years later we’d get Tanny Mouse in a similar role.
Other, unaired matches: Chikako Shiratori & Kumiko Maekawa d. Rie Tamada & Tomoko Watanabe (that’s kind of a shocker- Tomoko way outranks everyone), and Suzuka Minami d. Mima Shimoda.
Steve Austin cuts his famous promo that denounces his treatment in WCW and puts over how he is now in an environment where no one can hold back his wrestling abilities. The segment marks the end of the “Stunning Steve” character as Austin promises to reach new heights because no one can stop him any longer. And what makes this promo so great is Austin would later become one of the most famous wrestlers in history and helped bring down the company that cast him aside.
Amid terrible camera work that keeps shaking, Lance Wright hypes the October 28 ECW Arena show which will feature the Sandman defending the ECW Championship against Mikey Whipwreck in a ladder match.
Hard To Kill 2021 Date: January 16, 2021
Location: Skyway Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Matt Striker, D’Lo Brown
We’re back on pay per view with this one and that means it is time to step things up. This time around, the big story is AEW’s Kenny Omega coming in to team with the Good Brothers against Rich Swann/Moose/Chris Sabin (as Alex Shelley is out due to some personal circumstances). The card isn’t looking great but Impact can do some good pay per views. Let’s get to it.
They sort of go over it on the Rise and Fall of ECW, but they try to like it half kayfabe it. What actually happened? Who did they actually steal if anyone?
I don’t know if “steal” is even the right word and a lot of it is based on Heyman’s POV but I think Raven and Richards going to WCW were the biggest acquisitions through Tod Gordon. Others can probably tell the story better because as always ECW is not really my area of expertise.
So Vince- with Hogan, the territorial stars, and tapping into the pop culture of the 80s- cultivated a huge collection of casual wrestling fans that stayed with the product until the scandals of the early 90s hit the WWF.
Then in '96, because of competition, use of mainstream sports icons like Dennis Rodman and Mike Tyson, and the rise of Steve Austin and The Rock, we had another mainstream period that lasted until about 2001.
Do you think we're ever seeing another one?
Use of mainstream celebrities doesn't work any more (for either WWE or AEW), and ever since John Cena, Vince McMahon has shown absolutely no interest in creating a star that can become bigger than his company and then leave.
AEW meanwhile, while a great success so far, is a success with baked-in wrestling fans. They haven't presented anything that has run the fanbase off to this point, but they haven't really grown it either. We're in this period that Dave Meltzer has often described as “the fewest amount of wrestling fans ever, who are willing to spend the most money on the product ever.”
So with WWE uninterested in creating the next megastar, and the very legitimate question of whether AEW can create one (I like watching Omega and Moxley work, but they 'ain't Austin or Rocky) do you think we ever see an explosion of casual fandom again? Or is the wrestling audience the size it will always be in perpetuity?
Wrestling is, as always, the snake that consumes its own tail to survive. Every time we say “Man there’s no more Hogan and Savage to save the business” then suddenly some crazy new guy comes from the indies or football or a jobber tag team and gets over. I think the boom will come again. It might not look the same and might not be what we want as fans but it’ll come.