Tonight (Oct. 2) All Elite Wrestling finally debuts live on TNT! It’s been months of wondering and speculating, but the wait is over and tonight we get some answers.
Advertised for tonight:
- Cody vs. Sammy Guevara
- MJF vs. Brandon Cutler
- PAC vs Hangman Page
- Jon Moxley appearance
- AEW Women’s Title Match: Riho vs Nyla Rose
- The Elite (Young Bucks & Kenny Omega) vs. Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz
As AEW is in direct competition with NXT it only feels right to stick with our “five questions” model. Wrestling wars and all that.
Will Chris Jericho finally feel respected?
Chris Jericho may be AEW’s champion, but he sure doesn’t feel like it. Since All Out Jericho has done nothing but complain on social media that he has been overlooked and taken advantage of by AEW’s Executive Vice-Presidents, The Elite & Cody Rhodes. Constantly calling out The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega, Jericho has found himself two people to team with that also feel disrespected by The Elite - Santana and Ortiz.
Yes, this match will be excellent, but what happens afterwards? My guess is that Omega and Jericho eventually resume their feud while Ortiz and Santana mess up The Bucks chance at gold during the tag team tournament. Jericho being giving a proper feud, whether it’s Kenny or his likely Full Gear challenger Rhodes, is sure to make him feel like a respected champion, right?
What exactly will Jon Moxley be doing?
Jon Moxley was out for All Out due to injury so AEW fans are rabid for anything and everything Jon Moxley. Mox doesn’t have a match scheduled, but they certainly couldn’t have their epic debut without the mad man himself now could they? But what is he going to do? Is he going to refocus his energy back at Kenny Omega? Seems unlikely if Omega’s match tonight rekindles his issues with Jericho, but then again a three way for the belt between Omega, Jericho and Mox down the road sounds pretty nice... Does Moxley even care about gold though or does he just want to spread his own brand of violence? Could we see a Moxley vs. Jimmy Havoc dream match? Lot’s of questions, but one thing is for sure when his music hits the crowd is going to lose their mind.
Will PAC vs. Hangman be worth the wait?
We were promised PAC vs. Hangman all the way back at Double Or Nothing, but due to some alleged booking decisions PAC pulled out of the show and Hangman got a number one contendership instead (not a bad trade off for Hangman). PAC debuted at All Out and had one of the best matches (the best if you ask me) of the entire night. He beat Kenny Omega and proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with. Now PAC has a reputation to keep up. He can’t exactly lose to a loser now can he? But Hangman is looking for redemption (and maybe a little payback) and a man with nothing left to lose is a dangerous man. All bets are that yes, this one will be worth the wait - I would even argue that it’s likely the one that steals the entire show.
Who will be our first AEW women’s champion?
Nyla Rose was one of the first women they announced as signing with the company and immediately drew the attention of wrestling media and wrestling fans. AEW made a big deal about inclusion and pushing an open trans woman to the top of their division is a great example of putting your money where your mouth is. But this isn’t just a diversity hire, Nyla has proven that she is a powerhouse in the ring that deserves the accolades that she has been given. Putting the belt on her as their first ever women's champion would be such a positive statement and would really set the tone for the entire division right off the bat.
Riho, on the other hand, was a relative unknown that stole the hearts of the AEW audience at Double or Nothing. Putting the belt on her wouldn’t be quite the statement as it would with Nyla, but it would still prove that AEW listens to and cares about the reactions of the crowd. This match should be interesting since both competitors have very different styles -Riho is small, fast and high flying, while Nyla is pure power - and whoever takes the belt home will say a lot about the direction of the women’s division going forward.
Will this be a good episode of television?
It’s a basic question, but arguably the most important one. This company is still an infant. Yes, they have had a few successful PPV’s and, yes, they have managed to keep their name in the news and keep their fan base excited with the promise of what’s to come, but now that it has come they have to deliver. Not only do the matches have to be entertaining, but they have to craft a two hour television program that will leave viewers (hopefully lots of new viewers) coming back for more. It’s a balancing act between introducing their product to new viewers while not loosing their fan base, telling stories that have both excitement and longevity and, frankly, just being entertaining. Plus, it’s live. ANYTHING can happen on live TV - can AEW handle that?
It’s a very exciting night for wrestling, but there is a lot on the line for AEW! Tune in tonight on TNT at 8e/7c to hopefully see all these questions answered and more!