One year ago, I wrote a post here about how my 65 year old mother loves AEW Dynamite. I knew she was hooked when her interest level in the product remained very high throughout April 2020. The AEW roster was shorthanded due to COVID and Shawn Spears was headlining Dynamite, but she thoroughly enjoyed every single episode nonetheless.
My mother turned 66 years old this week, and I feel very confident in stating that she loves the AEW product even more now.
She doesn’t follow wrestling on the internet at all. She doesn’t watch any of the AEW YouTube shows. She doesn’t know entry level insider terms like heel, work, shoot, jobber, etc. She doesn’t know the name of this here blog that I write for, nor has she ever heard of longtime wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer. Despite these facts, even she knew that Christian’s AEW debut was nothing close to “the biggest scoop ever.”
Her favorite wrestler last year was Jon Moxley, and his reign as world champion was a big part of why she enjoyed AEW programming so much in 2020. She still loves the guy and proudly wears his shirt, but she doesn’t want anything to do with Eddie Kingston. She finds their promos together as a team to be awkward, and she far prefers to see Mox in a singles role.
Last year I wrote that she initially didn’t get Orange Cassidy, but I suspected he was growing on her. Well that indeed turned out to be the case. She is very entertained with him now and pretty much enjoys all of his silliness. The recent match where he walked the ropes like Undertaker does but then stuck his hand in his pocket made her laugh out loud. She says he doesn’t wrestle like anybody else she has ever seen, and that’s a very good thing.
Hikaru Shida is one of my mom’s favorite wrestlers, and she was frustrated when Shida disappeared off television right after losing the AEW women’s world championship to Britt Baker. When I told her that AEW was getting an additional hour of TV time in the form of Rampage starting in August, she was very happy because it meant potentially more time to see some of her favorites like Shida, Jungle Boy, Rey Fenix, Matt Sydal, and Dante Martin.
Yes, my mom loves Dante Martin and is always extremely impressed with his arsenal of moves in the ring.
My mom thought Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa on St. Patrick’s Day was one of the best matches of the year. I think my mom does secretly enjoy Baker’s banter with Tony Schiavone, but she definitely wants to see Baker get her ass kicked. Speaking of women’s wrestling, my mother doesn’t really get what the big deal is with Ruby Soho. She’s more of a Thunder Rosa fan, and she’s hoping Leyla Hirsch will get more TV time going forward. My mom has no idea why AEW does the short squash matches with Jade Cargill and she doesn’t get why they book her to win every match.
What about the 60 minute time limit draw between Bryan Danielson and Hangman Page? My mom thought it was incredible and said it was unlike anything she’s ever seen before in wrestling.
Moving on, let’s talk about Adam Cole. My mom can’t stand this guy. He comes out during his debut at All Out, says his own name like an obnoxious jackass, and kicks Jungle Boy right in the face. Nope, she’s done with him from that point on, and is waiting for someone to finally beat his ass. She would love to see someone like PAC just destroy this guy’s stupid face.
Miro? My mom doesn’t want to hear this goof rambling on about his God. She thinks he is a complete waste of time and was very happy when Sammy Guevara defeated him for the TNT title. She doesn’t really know what the hell Malakai Black is going on about either, but he makes up for it with his more interesting gimmick and better matches in the ring.
I found her reaction to Bryan Danielson to be the most interesting of all. She was never a fan of his in WWE. But it didn’t take long for her to realize that he was a different kind of wrestler in AEW. She actually told me that she never realized he was such a good wrestler, because all he did in WWE was that silly Yes chant. I laughed at the premise that she never considered Bryan to be a great in-ring worker in WWE, and that he was someone who just coasted by with a cheap gimmick. My mom now loves his no-nonsense asskicker attitude. The guy says he will kick your head off and then proceeds to do just that; my mom can respect that. The cherry on top though is that she hated his match with Minoru Suzuki, which I sent her a YouTube link to and told her to watch. She thought it didn’t make any sense that two wrestlers would just stand there and willingly invite the other man to smack him as hard as he can. She is adamant that this is Danielson’s worst match in AEW.
Finally, there is CM Punk. Punk was by far her favorite wrestler in WWE from the pipebomb in 2011 until he left the company in January 2014. She has been waiting so long for him to return. My mom doesn’t follow wrestling on the internet and had no idea about the reports and rumors circulating in July about both Punk and Danielson signing with AEW. But you’re damn right she knew what Darby Allin was referring to when he talked about the Best in the World coming to Chicago for Rampage in August. I tried my best to withhold what I knew from her and just played along with her speculation, doubts, guesses, and rising anticipation. I wasn’t with her in person when she watched Punk appear at The First Dance, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this was the happiest moment of her pro wrestling fandom.
There are too many wrestlers, matches, and angles from 2021 to cover in one post, but the bottom line is that my mom still loves the AEW product. I can’t recall one time where she ever said an episode of Dynamite or Rampage wasn’t good. I talk to her on the phone twice each week to discuss the shows; she keeps notes on the show as she watches and goes through it all with me on the phone. I can tell that her eyes are unwavering on the matches as she watches, because she tells me details that I didn’t pick up in my less than 100% attentive viewing of some of the segments. She does have questions sometimes about insider references in promos, she doesn’t understand why HOOK is a big deal, and she doesn’t know who Kyle O’Reilly is. She sometimes boos Cody Rhodes, but might cheer him if she doesn’t like his opponent.
There’s no single correct way to be a wrestling fan, and my mom remains proof of that concept. Whatever AEW is doing is working extremely well for her, just as it did in 2020. So here’s to one more year of getting to bond with my mom over pro wrestling, where if she has things her way, CM Punk will be the AEW world champion, Jungle Boy and Darby Allin will win every single match, QT Marshall will stop wasting Dynamite TV time, Britt Baker will lose her championship to Riho in January, and Hangman Page will finally break away from the Dark Order.