It was long before an admittedly goofy-looking destruction of a skull-adorned prop throne that I realised the first shots had been fired. Even before one brother tried to murder the other, before the Awesome Kong reveal, before MJF’s derisiveness or Orange Cassidy executed the most lackadaisical run-in in wrestling history – hell, even before all the events leading up to Hangman Page becoming the first challenger to AEW’s World Title – it had bec0me clear that a new player was in town. And all it took to legitimise everything we witnessed this past weekend was one word. One little throwaway line uttered during a meaningless Hall of Fame induction speech. The shot that was nevertheless heard around the world.
In hindsight, perhaps it wasn’t the smartest move for the ‘Cerebral Assassin’ to pull. Normally so astute, Triple H must’ve known that launching the first volley at AEW wasn’t wise under those circumstances. After all, the last thing Tony Khan and the Elite needed was any more motivation. Another jab to stoke the already burgeoning fire growing beneath the fledgling promotion.
Yet, make it he did, unwise or not. And on Saturday night, AEW responded. If Double or Nothing is anything to go by, that response was resounding. “We aren’t just a low-level alternative to your product. And we won’t be content to live in your shadow.”
I have a pretty good sense of the future. Everyone last night, save your ticket stubs.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 26, 2019
AEW put on an incredible pay-per-view showing this past weekend. One that’s sure to live on in many a memory, and one which may prove to be a watershed moment in this industry. Because on Saturday night, the pissant emerged from its well-produced, exciting cocoon a glorious piss-butterfly. Or whatever it is that pissants become later in life.
So the marker has been laid down. And with Double or Nothing the talk of the wrestling community, the question was whether Raw would answer in kind. Did it even need to? With decades of history, billion-dollar TV deals and an incredibly talented roster, what possible reason could the titan of the wrestling industry have to fear an upstart bunch of nobodies?
Contracts are up in 3 weeks. Just saying…
— MariaKanellisBennett (@MariaLKanellis) May 27, 2019
She was talking about their gym memberships, right? Let’s get to the review of last night’s Raw.