So, for many months leading up to and POST All In there was much talk about maybe something more regular coming out of it with Cody and The Young Bucks steering the ship from a wrestling side of things and now we all know the owners of The Jacksonville Jaguars NFL & Fulham Football Club the money behind the group there is a lot of excitement from some quarters about the prospects of AEW.
I skimmed through the rally that took place in one of the car parks at TIAA Bank Field (the Jaguars stadium). I was a bit taken aback by seeing Conrad Thompson being the host shall we say but I shouldn’t be I guess due to his involvement with the STARRCAST that was set around the All In show.
The Bucks & Cody made various announcements one being the venue of the first AEW show ‘Double Or Nothing’ and that will be in Las Vegas at the MGN Grand Arena but it’s not until May 25th. Now, I don’t know if there is anything in it but it’s after WWE’s Wrestle Mania show, could totally be unrelated but I do find it interesting.
So we had some roster announcements, along with the obvious ones, The Bucks, Cody & Adam Page other ‘Being The Elite’ stars SCU – Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky are also announced. While page was on stage announcing he wanted to be the first AEW champion in 2019 out came PAC in his wrestling gear with his Open The Dragon Gate title belt in hand basically saying that’s interesting as he’s already a champion. If that is a match for the first card it is different I know that, they could of gone down the road of having PAC face another ‘high flyer’ so as I said, this could be interesting.
Others announced were MJF, Joey Janela & Penelope Ford and Matt Jackson announced they would be working with a group out of China, for a split second I was pondering who is this group then soon as he said oWe it was obvious. This is a group headed by CIMA, someone who started off in the Toryumon group in Japan before the days of Dragon Gate and he also had a stint in WCW due to his relationship with Ultimo Dragon. Followers of PWG and Fight Club: PRO may of seen some of the oWe wrestlers like CIMA & T-Hawk more recently.
Then at the end, the main event so to speak, out blasted ‘Judas’ and out came Chris Jericho. This was another interesting one, Jericho has featured on Being The Elite a few times and has been in NJPW over the last 12 months and of course, he didn’t wrestle at All In but didn’t wrestle he was just involved in attacking Kenny Omega after his match with PENTA El 0M so although it’s not too much of a surprise to see Jericho turn up here I was surprised to learn he has signed to wrestle as he had once said “due to respect to Vince (McMahon) he wouldn’t wrestle for anyone else in the US”. No idea who his opponent may be if he wrestles on the first show but it’s an interesting one.
So, it’s going to be good going forward for us as fans and the wrestlers have another place to work, there is a lot of traction on websites and podcasts already and people are looking for the negatives due to some fans being excited by what lays ahead with AEW. The pro WWE fans want to dump on the project from a great height as they don’t look at AEW as being competition for the WWE, OK, if you feel like that, why worry about them?
The situation of Kenny Omega is one a lot are talking about. After losing his IWGP heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on Jan 4th he announced he was taking time away from not only NJPW but wrestling in general. He has had a gruelling schedule over the last year or so including 2 very long matches with Kazuchika Okada which I’m guessing has taken it’s toll on him along with all his other matches. many would expect he would sign with AEW after all, Being The Elite was basically the Bucks, Cody, Page, Marty Scurll & Omega. There is the talk of course of Omega maybe signing with WWE and with their Royal Rumble is soon upon us and many think he will do what AJ Styles did and debut in the Royal Rumble match itself. I am not sure one way or the other what will happen with Omega, he may not turn up in WWE, he may not go back to NJPW we’re just going to have to wait and see.
I am not sure of the format of AEW, will it just be one off shows as other than the May 24th show they have announced one for Jacksonville itself, there’s talk of a possible TV deal, I have heard TBS/TNT mentioned but not from anyone connected to AEW.
Overall, AEW can only be good for all, those involved and the fans, if you’re a fan on independent wrestling, get behind them.