Welcome to the weekly AEW Roundtable, where Pro Wrestling Musings' contributors share their thoughts on the biggest talking points arising from Dynamite, Rampage and beyond in the world of All Elite Wrestling. Please note writer's views are their own.
This week's contributors are:
1) The AEW World Tag Team Championship eliminator tournament concluded on Rampage with Lucha Bros getting the win over Jurassic Express, setting up a match with champions Young Bucks at All Out in a steel cage. Are these the right winners? What did you think of the tournament as a whole?
[Joe] The tournament was just fine; the final was spectacular. Lucha Bros were always going to be the team that would win this tournament the way I saw it, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
[Sergei] Seeing the agile, high-speed offense of Jungle Boy and Rey Fenix play off one another was an absolute thrill. It will be amazing to see the latest chapter of Young Bucks / Lucha Bros play out in the environment of a steel cage. I am content. Santana & Ortiz at Arthur Ashe, though.
[Peter] Considering we are getting another Bucks-Lucha Bros match, I was very happy with the winning team. The tournament as a whole was very fun even if the Lucha Bros vs Varsity Blondes match ended up being a little sloppy, which was a theme of the night tbf.
2) After a couple of weeks of asking, Miro got through to Eddie Kingston on AEW Rampage, ripping off Fuego Del Sol’s mask before super kicking him. Eddie Kingston came out with a mic, but dropped it and brawled with Miro, setting up a TNT Championship match between the two at All Out. What are your thoughts on Miro’s reign thus far, and should he drop the title to ‘The Mad King’?
[Joe] Miro’s reign has been a good one, I think the character work and the promo work sets him apart from previous champions, who were more traditional TV champions. I still feel like we’re just getting started with “God’s Favorite Champion”, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I think he should retain against Eddie Kingston.
[Sergei] God’s Greatest Champion is the best thing since sliced bread #2. I’d love to see Eddie Kingston pin him and take the TNT title, but... Maybe not yet?
[Gareth] If this was going down at Arthur Ashe, I’d know Eddie Kingston was surely winning. At All Out I’m not sure. You could have Eddie win and have his first defence in his hometown, at Arthur Ashe Stadium. It could also be a way to have this match but keep the belt of Miro. I’d be happy either way.
I’ve loved Miro’s title reign, but it is time to step-up the level of opponents and I feel like Miro has a lot left in him. Also, a loss for Eddie could help fuel a heel turn I believe could be on the cards for him and Moxley.
[Peter] Miro’s character has been a lot of fun in the last 4 months and the custom TNT belt is gorgeous. As much as I adore Eddie Kingston, he should not win at All Out. The perfect person to win the TNT Title is one of the young stars of the company. Let’s say Jungle Boy or Sammy Guevara.
3) After losing in ‘The Labours of Jericho’, Chris Jericho has decided to put his AEW career on the line against MJF at All Out. Do you want to see these two face off one last time? Who should win the match?
[Joe] No, I have no interest in seeing MJF vs Jericho again, and I have even less interest in seeing Chris Jericho defeat MJF. Which he will. This match is going to happen, I will witness it happen, and I’ll move on from it. Low expectations to say the least, so at least I can only be positively surprised. MJF should win.
[Sergei] At this point, this match-up seems a bit overplayed to be a PPV match, but it should still be perfectly entertaining, as these two really always are together. On the one hand, Jericho losing to MJF this time with his career at stake almost feels like overkill, but on the other, how does a Jericho win put a final end to this feud, which really does need to end?
[Gareth] I’m not even sure MJF vs Jericho for a third time will be entertaining, as Sergei suggests. They’ve told stories in their other matches, but the action is so sluggish that any narrative sort of gets lost in boredom. I don’t like to be mean, but Jericho’s matches have seriously got worse and worse in the last year. His grasp of psychology is great, but his body is simply aging.
From MJF’s perspective, not just taking Jericho’s spot, but retiring him, would be a huge boost for MJF’s character and might just justify the nearly year-long story between these two.
[Peter] This match should have been the fifth labour. It’s the ultimate stakes for Jericho at All Out and it really should have been dictated by MJF. I’m not a fan of the retirement stipulation with Cody’s tease of hanging up the boots the other week already a story at the moment, it feels very samey.
Jericho should win for the fact that I really would rather watch him wrestle than listen to him on commentary exclusively. Also, I feel Jericho hasn’t got retirement in him and losing would probably mean they end up reneging on the stips down the line, which we’ve seen enough of in WWE.
4) Who was your AEW stand-out performer of the week?
[Gareth] Red Velvet really stood out in a week where she was blasted on social media for a botch. She sold really well for Jamie Hayter and made her look like an absolute star. The botch didn’t even hurt the match because Velvet didn’t shake it off and no-sell it, instead she lay flat on the ground and Hayter got her up to finish the match. She had a fantastic performance and deserves recognition for it.
[Joe] Not really a great week for wrestling in AEW, one of the weakest in company history from my personal rankings. I’ll have to award it to The Lucha Bros for their performances on Dynamite and Rampage. These two will always deliver the goods for AEW, this was their week.
[Sergei] This is still the week of Punk! Kicking off the Autumn of Punk, and quite possibly the year of Punk. It’s surreal to be able to say: the stand-out performer of the week for AEW was CM Punk. I won’t be a bit surprised if I’m saying it every week.
[Peter] Brandon Cutler. I love the fact that he is so lame. His dance moves remind me of myself in Popworld at 2am on a Saturday night. I’ve watched the clip of the elbow sequence on Kaz from Rampage a bunch of times. He’s done a complete 180 in my opinion of him since he became the Elite’s stooge.
5) What was your AEW match of the week?
[Joe] Lucha Bros vs Jurassic Express, Rampage. Not a difficult decision this week.
[Sergei] Let’s be real. Joe already said the only match that makes sense to say this week.
[Gareth] Yeah, Joe’s got it right. But I just want to give a shout to Dante Martin vs Alan ‘V’ Angels. It was a great mini banger on AEW Dark this week in which Dante really showed off his versatility as a performer. He’s way more than an incredible high-flyer. He’s intelligent, utilises reversals and blocks so well, strikes great strikes and has a really underrated technical wrestling game.
Angels is also super underrated and if this match was on Dynamite instead of some of the “meh” level matches we got, both guys would be seen in a new light by most of the audience. Go and check it out!
6) Overall, what did you make of AEW’s shows this week? Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
[Joe] Dynamite was incredibly mediocre. And that’s not the standard they’ve set for themselves. Gunn Club vs The Factory on TV was a criminal offense on a still reasonably short criminal record for this company. Rampage continued its streak as a really fun hour of wrestling.
[Sergei] Other than a couple of low lights, I found AEW programming perfectly fun and entertaining this week, but I can well understand it being a let-down for others. Punk’s mere presence raises already-high expectations!
[Gareth] Dynamite was okay, they’ve just set themselves such a high bar, particularly of recent, that fans expect that every time. Rampage was a lot of fun, nothing overly brilliant outside of the tag match, but a lot of fun. Overall, this was a fine week for AEW, and I know it’ll be one of the worst they’ll do this year. That’s just how this company is operating at the moment.
[Peter] It wasn’t the disaster some people said it was. It was just meh. Not every episode from a wrestling promotion is going to make perfect music. 1983 World Class had the odd average show, as did 1985 Mid-South. 2000 WWF had some bad shows too. Average happens from time to time in creativity and while the timing wasn’t great for the first average show since full crowds are back, it isn’t the end of the world like twitter would make you believe.
I will say this as well, the Darby/Mox/Kingston 6-man not kicking off the show was very a strange idea. The potential Punk fanbase that might have been watching for the first time would have got a look at Punk’s opponent for All Out and the match would have been a great showcase for Darby.