AEW Blood and Guts - In-ring Statistics

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

AEW Blood and Guts - In-ring Statistics

At long last, it happened! Other a year later than it was originally scheduled to do, but on the 5th May 2021, The Pinnacle clashed with the Inner Circle. In a match that divided fans due to a mix of ungodly expectations and an interesting match structure, AEW Dynamite hit number one on cable in America for the very first time.

In this complex 5v5 match up, I've taken an ambitiously complex and in-depth approach. Below you will find a breakdown of the match befitting of the word break down. I have broken the match into 10 different phases based on the structure of the match rather than increments of time.

The ten phases of this match are the 8 phases of the alternating introductions of the competitors and the 'Match Beyond', in two parts. This has been split into two parts because after MJF and Jericho left the enclosure, it became impossible to track the action in the ring as it was off-camera, therefore the narrative frame of the match was focused on only Jericho and MJF.

I have also introduced the idea of 'Big Offence'. This is based around my findings that simple strikes rarely indicate narrative control or domination in wrestling matches. It is hard to prove any in-ring metric is linked to a winning performance, but strikes are often linked to losing performances.

Therefore, Big Offence refers to all offence out with simple/non-knockdown strikes. This encompasses Strikedowns, Grapples, Dives, every 5 seconds of Submission and all Weapon Attacks; including those that are non-knockdown Strikes.

Phase 1 - Sammy Guevara vs Dax Harwood

Sammy Guevara was a complete star in this match. He started the match and wrestled throughout, often very involved in the action. The first phase of this match was devoted to putting him over as he took 73% of the offence, with Dax only managing 2 hits that were not simple Strikes.

Guevara's numerical dominance was underscored by the heaviness of his offence. 21% of his Strikes were Strikedowns, and he hit a Grapple and 2 Dives as well. Alongside his 36% Reversal Rate, Sammy Guevara was a technical and explosive house of fire.

Phase 2 - Sammy Guevara vs Dax Harwood/Shawn Spears

With a 2 on 1 advantage, The Pinnacle did not take advantage of this advantage. I described it as having your serve broken on today's episode of the Pro Wrestling Musings' Podcast. Sammy Guevara managed to maintain his Match Offence advantage and only lost the Big Offence Total by 1.

Against a lone opponent, Spears and Harwood only managed 2 big moves. A grapple from Harwood and Spears' Strikedown chair shot. A potentially costly opportunity.

Phase 3 - Sammy Guevara/Ortiz vs Dax Harwood/Shawn Spears

Here's where we really see a difference between quality of offence. The Pinnacle achieved very little here, to the extent their 11 Strikes somewhat mask that in the Match Offence. Rather serendipitously, Inner Circle managed as many Big Offence as The Pinnacle's total. 8 big moves plus 3 additional weapon shots make up Ortiz and Guevara's total, here.

Phase 4 - Sammy Guevara/Ortiz vs FTR/Shawn Spears

If The Pinnacle missed the opportunity yo make their advantage really count the first time around, Cash Wheeler made sure that that was not to be the case on the second go round. He came in like a man possessed and set the tone for The Pinnacle to completely white wash Inner Circle in this period.

This 100% of the Match Offence and 15 Big Offence, FTR as a team were presented as an irresistible force.

Phase 5 - Sammy Guevara/PnP vs FTR/Shawn Spears

The combination of Santana and Ortiz had a big act to follow after FTR washed over Ortiz and Guevara. Although he thrust the advantage back into the hands of his team, he did not have quite the all encompassing affect of Wheeler.

With almost two thirds of the Match Offence and just over two thirds of the Big Offence, the Inner Circle took advantage of their fresh man but understandable did not hit the notes of their opponents in the previous period.

Phase 6 - Sammy Guevara/PnP vs FTR/Shawn Spears/Wardlow

Enter Wardlow.

Predictable, Wardlow had a similar impact to Cash Wheeler, as soon as he got involved his opponents got nothing. The one Strike/Strikedown the Inner Circle achieved occurred as Wardlow slowly entered the ring.

He did not have the sweeping effect of Wheeler with his team achieving 6 less Big Offence than the previous period that they held the advantage. An impressive feat however, considering the challenge Wardlow was presented with as the Inner Circle circled the wagons to attempt to subdue their opponent.

Phase 7 - Sammy Guevara/PnP/Jake Hager vs FTR/Shawn Spears/Wardlow

The theme of the fresh man swinging the pendulum back to the Inner Circle but without as much momentum as when it swings in the other direction. Jake Hager brought the Strikedowns as he came into the ring. He also hit a very impressive Vader Bomb in his opening salvo.

A 10-0 whitewash in terms of Big Offence, is a huge endorsement of Hager's presence and an indication that he may have a future if Jericho is not around for a while.

Phase 8 - Sammy Guevara/PnP/Jake Hager vs The Pinnacle

Another period of numerical advantage for The Pinnacle and another huge swing of the pendulum, again more so to their advantage than it swung to their disadvantage the previous period. However, not for the first time they did not take advantage of their offence in a big way. Instead taunting and unfocused simple Strikes, they neglected larger impacts.