AEW trend in the right direction, WWE experiment that needs to end, faster takes
0 out of 5
Credit: All Elite Wrestling
It was imperative that All Elite Wrestling hit a home run with its Full Gear pay-per-view to get back on track, and it’s fair to say it did just that.
Aside from the obvious behind-the-scenes drama, the on-screen product has been absent since September’s All Out. The absence of so many notable names has meant certain storylines have suffered, but AEW now has a chance to end 2022 strong after Saturday’s successful show.
In the meantime, WWE will look to keep the hot momentum going with an eventful PPV weekend of its own Survivor Series, though one of the biggest omissions on the card right now is Bray Wyatt vs. LA Knight.
Their feud has gotten off to a surprisingly comfortable start over the past two weeks, and a fight between the two on Saturday night would be a perfect fit for both at this point in their respective runs on SmackDown.
This episode of Quick Takes will talk about how Wyatt finds his first enemy, WWE’s failed experiment that must end, two AEW stars who could benefit from an extra direction after Full Gear, and more.
AEW regains lost momentum with 3 new champions and a cliffhanger ending
1 out of 5
In addition to being an excellent event overall, Full Gear was one of the strongest AEW shows of the year. In addition to the above-average games, many of the booking decisions made sense and provided compelling television for weeks.
Chief among them was MJF, who finally became AEW World Champion after beating Jon Moxley. The moment was obviously overdue but it was the manner in which he won that makes Dynamite a must on Wednesday.
MJF and William Regal have the potential to be a brilliant couple and that also raises the question of what will become of Blackpool Combat Club from now on.
Jamie Hayter, who crashed Toni Storm for the AEW Interim Women’s World Championship, was the second biggest highlight of the best. Hayter has been organic with audiences for many months and now has a belt underlining her popularity.
Samoa Joe, who stole the AEW TNT Championship from Wardlow, was also a fun surprise, and a necessary one given how memorable the reigning champion has been. Being put back into pursuit mode might prove best for his stagnant character right now.
All of these game-changing title changes add up to give viewers a greater incentive to invest back into the product.
Bray Wyatt and LA Knight are perfect first rivals for each other
2 out of 5
Bray Wyatt and LA Knight have been two of the best things to hit SmackDown in recent months, and while the idea of the two clashing has always been intriguing, no one expected them to bicker so soon.
We’re only two weeks into the program and it’s already proving to be captivating thanks to the great mic work from both men. It had a different dynamic as Knight was not afraid of Wyatt’s supernatural shenanigans and Wyatt did his best not to succumb to his demons.
Wyatt had been back on the blue mark for just over six weeks, and it took a formal feud before his promos began to lose their luster. The story is easy enough to follow and the eventual match should be entertaining.
Matching two people who need wins at the moment seems odd on paper, but Knight shouldn’t lose much in a loss depending on how it’s booked. He can be made to look competitive and will gain credibility by pushing Wyatt to the limit.
Survivor Series may be too early to book this fight, but there isn’t another major stage for it to take place until Royal Rumble in late January. Unless this is saved as a SmackDown attraction, Saturday’s first encounter would be a worthy addition to the map.
The Elite and the Death Triangle must find ways to keep the best of the 7 Series interesting
3 out of 5
The Elite returned to AEW after two months at Full Gear, pushing Death Triangle to the limit for the AEW World Trios Championship.
All indications were that the elite would regain their gold after having to vacate them in September, but it was best that Tony Khan resisted that urge and decided to keep the belts in the Death Triangle for a while longer. Rey Fenix finally cheating to win was a nice touch too.
It was announced at Full Gear that the two trios will be taking part in a best of 7 series for the titles leading into the new year. Because as fun and well-received as their match was at Full Gear, replaying it seven more times over the next two months can be considered overkill.
It also didn’t explain why the games will take place. They feel destined to kill TV time and employ six men without doing any actual action with them, apart from what we got on Saturday night.
It’s about time the Trios titles were given more priority and that should increase their value, but a Best of 3 or 5 Series might have been more appropriate, making it less likely to see audiences burn out by the end of the game is .
Jack Perry and Darby Allin are ready for the next big step as single stars
4 out of 5
AEW has what seems like a surplus of promising babyfaces on its roster at the moment, but it would be misconduct for “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry and Darby Allin not to be two of the more prominent stars to come out of Full Gear.
Perry had one of the best openers in AEW PPV history in a steel cage and emerged victorious. Later that night, Allin and Sting beat Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett in tag team action in hopes of ending this rivalry.
Perry has improved tremendously as a solo act over the past year and is poised for a run for championship gold, particularly the TNT title, even if he doesn’t win it. He will have to settle scores with Christian Cage when he does eventually return from injury, but in the meantime Perry should be raking in wins regularly on TV.
As for Allin, he’s contested for the TNT title often enough to a point where he’s due for something more significant at the top of the map. More heels need to be built up so they can work with the 29-year-old and get him where he needs to be.
Far too often, AEW gives someone a big win only to not show it much in the weeks that follow. Perry and Allin should be exceptions, as their victories at Full Gear will go to waste if they immediately start tapping again.
WWE’s Mustafa Ali experiment isn’t working and it might be time to pull the plug
5 out of 5
Despite his best efforts, Mustafa Ali just isn’t getting along with the WWE Universe, contemplating all the television time that has been devoted to him lately as much as he should.
Ali found himself in the mix for the US Championship last month, but baby-faced Seth Rollins ruined his chances of being embraced by the crowd as a brave underdog challenger. The losses he’d suffered prior to that point against Austin Theory, Bobby Lashley and others didn’t help either.
No matter how much heart he shows in his fights, it’s difficult to take Ali seriously when he loses far more often than he wins. Ali is also exceptionally talented, but his character’s booking and true lack of development hurt him more than anything.
WWE should let Ali finish his story before he pulls the plug, but after Survivor Series, a fresher face could benefit from his spot. The Ali experiment has largely failed so far, if crowd reactions are any indication.
While it’s commendable that the company has given him multiple chances, it’s clearly not working and turning to someone else after a few weeks of silence may be the best course of action.
Graham Mirmina, also known as Graham “GSM” Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website WrestleRant and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling related content.