When i was a kid wondering about why I liked this fake fighting show and whether I was being silly or not, one of the things I struggled with was the babyface winning the match after being dominated throughout. John Cena and Shawn Michaels were particular offenders. The idea of babyfaces having almost superhuman abilities of endurance while their opponents would be downed by a well placed finishing move was difficult to accept at times. Even though I was an unusually big Cena fan even as a teenager.
So today we look at how winners and losers were presented/presented themselves in the ring on AEW Dynamite in Virginia this week. But it's not always that simple. Babyface flurries often cause Total Offence numbers to misrepresent the actual presentation of the match. This is where Big Offence comes in; Big Offence is all offence excluding simple strikes that is strikes that don't result in strikedown, or short submissions which are holds that do not last at least 10 seconds.
Below you will be able to see how each wrestler/tag team was presented in relation to how much of the match's Total Offence and Big Offence share they used. How this occurs is more mysterious; it seems doubtful that wrestlers count them out but do they plan it ahead or is it a natural result of the way wrestler's put each other over through their understanding of what works and what creates what in terms of presentation.
Match Split: Total Offence vs Big Offence
The above chart shows how much of each match's Total Offence and Big Offence each wrestler used. Using Bryan Danielson as an example; against Sammy Guevara his Total Offence was 84 compared to Guevara's 68, and his Big Offence was 20 compared to Guevara's 13. Therefore:
- Danielson's Total Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = Danielson's Total Offence - Guevara's Total Offence
- Danielson's Total Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = 84-68
- Danielson's Total Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = 16
Danielson's Total Big Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = Danielson's Total Big Offence - Guevara's Total Big Offence
- Danielson's Total Big Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = 20-13
- Danielson's Total Big Offence Difference vs Sammy Guevara = 7
All this calculates the strength of Danielson's performance in kayfabe, and leaves him in the most favourable quadrant on the chart. He out-did Guevara in terms of quantity and quality. For a full explanation of how offence is collated there is a comprehensive walkthrough here.
Claudio Castagnoli/Wheeler Yuta vs Chris Jericho/Daniel Garcia
Using the above chart to reveal the strength of in-ring presentation of the two teams using their Total Offence Difference and their Big Offence Difference, we see a very obvious booking strategy here; build up Claudio and Yuta. They were the most extremely put over act on the show in terms of these metrics with them occupying the strongest quadrant most strongly in comparison to the other acts on the show.
FTR vs Swerve in Our Glory
This match was the most complexly booked out of the five on Dynamite, based on the metrics we are using here. FTR almost doubled SIOG's Total Offence. but Swerve and Lee achieved two more Big Offence moves. This mirrors the complexity of the narrative throughout the match, an incredibly strong and deserving team losing out to a team that was partially sneaky and partially destructive.
Bryan Danielson vs Sammy Guevara
The previously mentioned clash between Danielson and Guevara was another tale of one act being presented as dominant in order to rehabilitate an act that has lost a couple high profile matches recently. And yes, I am referring to Bryan Danielson! Guevara was able to maintain his credibility despite going under in such a big manner via a strong and memorable start to the match and impressive and again memorable moves such as his Standing Spanish Fly counter and Springboard Moonsault to the outside.
Riho vs Jamie Hayter
Smaller margins in this one due to the smaller amount of strikes or people in this one. Hayter joining Danielson and BCC in the strongest quadrant with a sizeable enough share of the Big Offence and a very slight advantage in the Total Offence.
Jon Moxley vs Penta El Zero Miedo
Another slightly more complex one here. Moxley with a notable enough share of the Total Offence but with Penta getting a slight edge in the Big Offence. Moxley getting the lion's share of the match via a striking advantage, numerically, and the use of submissions. Whereas Penta gets more of the bigger moves via downing strikes and a couple dives.
To conclude, this week the BCC, Danielson and Hayter were put over in the ring to push them into championship contention or begin to rehabilitate recent losses. Moxley and SIOG also won but in a way that showed their opponents; FTR and Penta, as more competitive. However Riho, JAS and Guevara gave up significantly more to their opponents in order to put them over this week.
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