AEW continues to march toward its Revolution pay-per-view on March 7th, and there sure seems to be a lot of moving parts in the promotion right now.
The week started off with the surprising announcement that AEW had signed former WWE star The Big Show, now known by his real name Paul Wight, and was followed by an episode this week that featured plenty of build-up for their upcoming event.
This week's show was highlighted by Jon Moxley vowing to get the AEW World title back, an assualt on the Young Bucks' father, and another pretty solid womens' match. There was certainly plenty of action and storyline progression in the All Elite galaxy.
Here are some quick hits that stuck out from this week's episode of AEW Dynamite:
#1 - The Varsity Blondes could be a sleeper duo in the AEW tag team division
The pairing of Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison is an intriguing one, as both young men are two of the brightest young prospects in all of wrestling today.
Obviously, Pillman brings an impressive pedigree, and has the look, style and attitude of his famous father, but puts his own twist on things in the ring. Garrison, a former high school football standout, is a protege of promoter and agent Bill Behrens, the same man who discovered AJ Styles.
Despite the defeat, these two looked solid together. Hopefully, they can find some space for themselves in the already jam-packed ranks of the AEW tag team division.
#2 - AEW did a much better job of hyping the Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet vs. Shaquille O'Neal and Jade Cargill match this week
After airing a somewhat weak vignette that showed Shaq and Jade inexplicably working out for their March 3rd match on a basketball court, this week's show featured a much better build-up.
This time, AEW showed Shaq and Cargill actually working out in the ring, and was shot in a more dramatic, grittier way. It's still not enough to get many fans fired up about this obvious PR stunt, but it was definitely an improvement on the initial advertisments. What will come out of this showdown is anyone's guess, but at least the hype packages have gotten better.
#3 - If you didn't get a little emotional over seeing Sting perform the Stinger Splash, check your pulse
Anyone who was a fan of WCW in the 90's has to be happy to see the dark warrior return to action, albeit on a limited basis. While the Stinger can't possibly be epected to perform at the level he did in his prime, the idea that we might get just a few more matches out of The Icon is one of the brighter stories in AEW right now.
At the same time, major injuries are what led to Sting retiring just a few years ago, so hopefully the promotion handles any physicality he is asked to perform with kid gloves on.
AEW has been able to use a less-is-more approach thus far with Sting, and that seems to be the correct formula in handling the legend. Seeing him get in some real, old school offense for the first time on Dynamite felt special, and limiting his in-ring time will make it feel special going forward.
#4 - The attack by Chris Jericho and MJF on Papa Buck is further proof that you should never bring your family members to the arena
Didn't The Young Bucks learn anything from The Miz and his father in WWE? These things almost always end badly.
In all seriousness, while it was a good way to get some cheap heat on the Inner Circle members, this scenario has become a played-out trope. Not just in AEW, but in pro wrestling, in general.
AEW has played the 'vulnerable victim' card a lot - with not only the Senior Buck, but also Darby Allin, Marko Stunt, and others being put in peril by some vicious villians.
Storyline wise, one would think these babyfaces would start to get the hint and leave their loved ones at home.
#5 - While an exploding, barbed wire death match sounds like it completely favors Jon Moxley? Kenny Omega should not lose the AEW World Championship at Revolution
The Omega heel character has been just what the doctor ordered for AEW, and having him go on a prolonged run with the belt sets up for a lot more intriguing match-ups down the road.
While Moxley's character is over with the AEW audience, he's not the in-ring performer that The Cleaner is. And now that there is a lot of potential crossover — with stars from IMPACT Wrestling and New Japan possibly challenging the champ — there's absolutely no reason to move Omega from the top spot in the promotion.
The Best Bout Machine has a great mouthpiece by his side in Don Callis, and could be poised to put on some classic matches in AEW (and around the world) for the duration of 2021. He should do it with the gold around his waist, and finally prove to the American audience what Japanese fans saw in him years ago.