What’s Large Programme doing in the AEW zone?
The Big Show revealed he’s got plenty more heel and face turns in him yesterday, when AEW shockingly announced they had signed Paul Wight, aka the Big Show, to a “long-term deal”, which the press release described as having an “extensive role” in the company, which will involve him providing commentary for their new YouTube show on Monday nights, AEW Dark: Elevation, alongside Tony Schiavone – because that’s exactly what I wanted from Dark, for it to be longer! – and also a return to the ring.
Man, he… he really wants to wrestle Shaq.
Dave Meltzer confirmed this, tweeting Show “will wrestle some.”
Mick Foley agreed, saying that Show “still had some gas left in the tank” – and congratulated his friend Paul Wight for signing with AEWing4Cbeath. Which is the wrong AEW tag. According to Foley’s tweet, Big Show has signed with Scottish National Party candidate Annabelle Ewing. Who’s also followed by former ECW original Justin Credible. Do you think he’s sending her DMs to get booked on Dynamite?
Meanwhile AEW star Trent looked forward to bullying Big Show, simply tweeting “gonna haze him.”
So why did Big Show suddenly leave WWE?
Show was prominently featured on Raw last year, technically main eventing WrestleMania, being part of the Randy Orton and Drew McIntyre title feud, and even showing up at January 4th’s Legends Night special. But according to PWInsider, Show was openly unhappy backstage at that taping as he wasn’t able to come to terms financially on a new WWE deal.
Fightful Select have added that while higher ups in WWE found out Show would be leaving this month, “Most of the WWE talent that we spoke with had no idea of the Big Show leaving, and said there wasn’t a chorus of “goodbyes” that they recall.”
The AEW roster were just as surprised, although very excited.
One source close to Wight told Fightful he’d had a series of “major life events” over the past few months – “between selling his house, his WWE deal expiring and his Netflix show being canceled” – and they felt a “major career move” was going to happen.
More WWE Stars To AEW?
Just the previous day, Tony Khan told Wrestling Observer Live there would be “old and new faces” turning up on Dynamite very soon, which will shake up the landscape of All Elite Wrestling. I thought that meant their many working relationships with IMPACT and New Japan, but now with Big Show jumping ship, it kind of feels like anyone could now suddenly leave WWE for AEW.
Who do you think could be next to defect? Let me know in the comments down below, where I’ll be replying to people FROM OUTTA NOWHERE.
Marty Scurll Returns To NJPW
It could be former Bullet Club and Elite member Marty Scurll, who Fightful Select is reporting was present for the most recent tapings of New Japan Strong, and has shown interest in working with the company again. Emily Pratt of Fanbyte then confirmed with a source that Scurll appeared in an on-screen role during an angle with Rocky Romero – but the source didn’t seem pleased about the appearance, stating:
“I thought we were going to be the company that wasn’t booking these guys to get some buzz. They’re going to get buzz alright, but probably not the kind they’re looking for. And it just reeks of letting things slide because these people are all friends or whatever.”
Scurll last worked for New Japan in June 2019 in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, and is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but had allegations made against him in last year’s Speaking Out movement. Ring of Honor released him from a reportedly huge contract last month.
Undisputed Era Over
Speaking of the Bullet Club, another former member in Adam Cole completely broke up his Undisputed Era faction in NXT, also turning on Roderick Strong. Kyle O’Reilly will be out for 4-6 weeks after Cole brutally beat him up so well, many fans and other NXT wrestlers themselves were convinced he’d been injured for real.
But as it’s Thursday, you know what that means – my review of last night’s AEW Dynamite… in about 5 minutes.
AEW Dynamite Review
On paper, sandwiched between the recent Omega vs Moxley main events and next week’s Shaq vs Cody episode, this week’s Dynamite on paper seemed like, weeeeeeeeell, just an average show.
But, as always is the way with AEW, weeeeeeeell, it turned out to be a bloody fantastic show.
The episode opened with Jon Moxley squashing Ryan Nemeth in a fun back and forth few minutes, and then cutting a promo on Omega sitting backwards on a chair boyband style, saying he knows the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch he agreed to last week is a trap, but he’s addicted to violence, and he can’t resist it. It was a great promo, it gave me tingles, and it’s also a neat mirror of Eddie Kingston’s line the previous week, where he admitted he’s addicted to Mox.
This seemed to be setting the stage for Moxley taking time off from AEW, as he said the Deathmatch would be a hell of a way to go out.
Kenny Omega, meanwhile, has become a coked up mad scientist, where Alex Marvez found him working in a metal shop on electrified weapons. Coked up mad scientist Omega is now the best Omega.
Team Taz’s Brian Cage and Ricky Starks took on the Varsity Blondes of Brian Pillman Jr and Griff Garrison next in another great enhancement match, that somehow also gets over the guys who are doing the job. Cage won with the Drillclaw, which is such a cool move, but this was all about what came next.
The lights cut out and a black and white film played of Darby Allin sitting up out of his bodybag totally fine. He even smiled. You’re no emo, you can feel joy!
Sting then walked out onstage with a bodybag, but in a great bit of misdirection, it wasn’t Darby inside – it was Taz’s beaten up son Hook – because Allin was sailing down on a freaking zipline.
Darby and Sting took out everyone, with Sting even hitting a Stinger Splash and Scorpion Death Drop on Cage. This storyline has been repetitive, and has overexposed Sting, but this angle 10 days from the match has made me really excited.
Speaking of repetitive storylines, the Best Man vs Best Friends feud is still going on. Miro, Kip and Penelope did a sitdown interview with Tony Schiavone, where they were challenged to a tag match at Revolution. Miro then ate the piece of paper it was written on, which presumably meant he accepted.
Jake Hager then threw Brandon Cutler around a lot. It was another entertaining enhancement match to set up the following pay-per-view building angle. The Inner Circle ran down to beat up Cutler, so the Bucks saved their childhood friend – but then MJF and Chris Jericho appeared on the Tron with Matt and Nick’s bloodied dad, Old Buck. They threw him into the production truck we’d seen him pose alongside for some family photos earlier on, smearing his blood on both Matt and Nick’s pictures. It was some great symbolism, and a solid 80s way to add an extra layer of blood feud to their match.
In another masterpiece of booking, AEW has taken Hangman Page vs Matt Hardy on pay-per-view, which I was Hardly interested in last month, and turned it into probably my most anticipated match of the show.
In addition to the fun big money stakes, Hardy went full on supervillain here, throwing Alan Angels through a table off the stage, and vowing to hurt every single member of the Dark Order Page loves so much.
Before then came a great bout between Page and Isiah Kassidy, where Kassidy brutally targeted Hangman’s arm. It was an incredibly effective way to create a dramatic competitive match right now, while also putting Page at a big disadvantage going into Revolution. Page’s selling was otherworldly, where he adjusted his offence on the fly as his arm wouldn’t work, and he eventually won with a one-armed Deadeye.
Nyla Rose then beat Britt Baker in another great TV match to advance to the US finals of the Women’s Eliminator tournament. The first half was full of heel spots from Reba and an exposed top turnbuckle, but it really worked in making the final sequence of Beast Bomb kickouts really exciting.
Unfortunately there’s an undertone of frustration again, as AEW is putting the other US semi final of Riho vs Thunder Rosa on a Sunday B/R special stream – which really deserves to be on Dynamite.
FTR and Jurassic Express both put over Tully Blanchard, a man who hasn’t wrestled since 1989, ahead of their six man next week. If all goes well, expect him to be challenging for the WWE title early next year.
A Casino Tag Team Battle Royale was announced for Revolution.
And the main event was one of the best Dynamite matches of the year: Lance Archer vs Rey Fenix, with the winner qualifying for the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match next Sunday.
This was just 15 minutes of mad action. Fenix diving into the crowd, Fenix diving over Jake the Snake, Fenix doing a tightrope run PK, Fenix hitting a top rope Spanish Fly. It should always be Fenix.
And Archer was no slouch too, being just the right amount of monster to make you believe Fenix had a chance. Ultimately, he didn’t, with a just headtucked in time Blackout for Lance to win, where he picked up Rey’s limp body for a respectful fist bump afterwards.
What did you think of this episode of Dynamite? Let me know in the comments down below, and vote in our Poll on a Pole match on the Community tab, where 76% of you voted for WEEEEEELLLL, where was the Big Show?
There was no Big Show appearance on the episode – with his signing just mentioned on commentary, and then confirmation that his AEW Dark: Elevation show would begin on YouTube from Monday 15th March. I can see the argument that if Show wasn’t going to be on this episode, why announce his signing in advance at the expense of a surprise debut. And I probably would’ve agreed with you, if this Dynamite wasn’t so much fun. Come for the Big Show news, stay for the excellent wrestling, storylines and character. Anyway, surely he’ll be involved in next week’s Cody vs Shaq match. This week’s Dynamite was a cracking four out of five.