AEW’s second Stadium Stampede match had a noticeably different feel than the first.
Part of that was likely because they had more time to plan. The 2020 version was brainstormed as part of adjusting to the then just two month old COVID lockdown. Part of it was because the feud leading up to The Pinnacle/Inner Circle version was much more intense, right up to the stipulation Chris Jericho’s group would have to disband if they lost at Double or Nothing last night (May 30).
And part of it was because they brought in a stunt coordinator from the action movie game-changing John Wick franchise to help lay things out. Chris Jericho revealed as much when talking Stadium Stampede 2 during his post-PPV media scrum:
“I think because it [last year’s match] was such a success — it’s like any big movie that makes money that’s a success and then you figure out a way to do it again.
“I think the fact it’s like, ‘How’re you going to do another one?’ is probably the same question that they asked us after the first Elimination Chamber. Now there’s been 30 of the things. So, we were able to, like I said, change the tone.
“We actually brought in one of the stunt coordinators who works on the John Wick movies to help us with some of the fight scenes to make them a little bit more like an action movie. Because we think like wrestlers, and he thinks like a cinematic fight scene guy, so putting it together was tremendous.
“Then the craziest part was actually repelling down that scoreboard. Which was absolutely insane, it was about 100 feet off the ground and they made us sit there for about 30 minutes as they were getting ready. So it pretty scary, but once we took that little leap off the edge, it was super exhilarating, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any other five guys in wrestling crazy enough to do that.”
Jericho doesn’t name names, so don’t go thinking it was Chad Stahelski or anything. But that’s a very cool detail, and not just because (as old Cageside Live listeners will recall) we’re Wick superfans around these parts. The extra work made for a different kind of Stadium Stampede, accomplishing Jericho’s goal of changing the tone.
Le Champeon also dished other details on the production of the match. Much of it was filmed and edited over four days. Jericho said they were very pleased with the reaction to the pre-taped portions, but they were very glad they opted to finish it live in the ring at Daily’s Place - another aspect that differentiated the 2021 version from last year’s.
He also praised Jacksonville Jaguar’s coach Urban Meyer, who was more than happy to say “Holy $#!+”.
Does any of this change your appreciation of Stadium Stampede 2, Cagesiders?