Thursday, May 5, 2022

AEW Dynamite (May 4th, 2022): Does Anyone Actually Care About Ring Of Honor?

Yeah, it's one of those shows. I think I'm going to use this banner for AEW programming that I actually didn't care for. It was bound to happen, sooner or later, I suppose.

So this was a rather uneventful Dynamite show with a rare heel promo from Hangman Page, a couple Owen qualifiers, and another Blackpool Combat Clubberin' on display being the highlights of sorts... and then there was that main event, which was such a "just there" match that even the normally hot AEW crowd was like, "What the fuck?"

Further musings after the break...

I found Hangman's promo veering towards a more fan-unfriendly vibe to build to his next title defense against CM Punk to be a novel choice. Somehow, the thought process is that CM Punk is going to be getting the bigger reaction and so rather than try to fight it, you might as well have Hangman go a bit heelish in this run. Besides, if you're going to have two dueling babyfaces going at it for the World Championship and one of them has to steer slightly towards the dark side, it may as well be the champ.

Either that, or Hangman is still recovering from the "covid snot" he got last week and he's in a foul mood.

Serena Deeb challenging Thunder Rosa for the Women's title at Double Or Nothing? I'm down with that.

Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin for next week should prove very interesting and I'm surprised that they're blowing that match already... more importantly, will Jeff Hardy show up in any condition to perform or is Sting going to have flashbacks to Victory Road? Poor dude's fucking 60.

In other Owen tourney news, they finally gave us brackets for the men's tournament; I presume the women's brackets will follow once the last couple spots are filled. Apparently, Joe is going to be facing a surprise opponent. I expect said opponent to get hyped up in advance and end up being a disappointment to most.

So they bring back the Death Triangle to deal with the Black House, who also have to settle their thing with the Varsity Blonds and their misting of Julia Hart... and I am struggling to find anything of merit with this House of Black thing. They're big scary monsters and have the physicality to back that up, but beyond that, what's their whole purpose? AEW is usually good at giving their ancillary characters something to do or at least provide them with some merit, but I am not feeling this thing. If anything, I'm getting that Bray Wyatt vibe from the House Of Black and it ain't the good kind.

I have a feeling that wrestling fans fall in love with these over-the-top gimmicks because they have a cool presentation that they're willing to overlook the very glaring, very obvious flaws in said presentation. It's happened with Bray and it's happening here too. Maybe they can course correct and turn me around on this, but at the moment, I am simply bored to tears with this whole thing.

Speaking of bored to tears... when the fuck is Christian Cage turning on the Jungle Boy? It seems like they've been teasing this forever and it's going nowhere fast. Come on, man. Beat the Jungle Jack to submission and do the turn. You're not FUCKING BIG SHOW. You can afford a turn or two along the way and be just fine.

And then there was the main event, which saw Interim ROH Women's Champion Mercedes Martinez defeated Pre-Existing ROH Women's Champion Deonna Purazzo to unify both belts in a nothing happening main event that killed the crowd dead. I don't want to come across as a total downer because both women tried - and I mean TRIED - but the fact of the matter is that you have a main event featuring a female talent from another promotion going up against a female talent from the home promotion who isn't featured frequently enough for the wider audience to care, and they're competing for a championship that isn't AEW... on an episode of AEW Dynamite. If the star power was there, it would've been enough to carry it, but it clearly wasn't and all I'm left with is wondering why is this stone cold (no pun intended) match is the main event.

Again, I'm not blaming the women for this; they were put in a tough spot and they tried, but at the end of the day, this people want to see AEW main events and they clearly didn't care about Ring Of Honor, which makes me wonder if anyone truly cares about Ring Of Honor that warrants it being featured as a regular thing on AEW television. I get Tony Khan wanting to keep Ring Of Honor alive in some form or fashion and I wish him all the best in that regard, but there has got to be a better way to go about it than giving ROH title bouts main event slots on AEW programming with a largely apathetic crowd. Whatever you're going to do with ROH, you better do it soon or else you're not only going to ruin that brand, but you may also taint AEW as well.

Yeah, send it the bots. This Dynamite was anything but. Better luck next time.

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