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Deep Dive 5 | Saturday Night’s All Right...

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

Check out other Deep Dives!

5/15/22, Re: MJF's contract dispute

3/14/23, Re: Danielson vs MJF

4/1/23, Re: the Build to Wrestlemania 39

6/4/23, Re: the Future of AEW Rampage?

Dive 5: Saturday Night's All Right 

6/17/23, Re: Anticipating AEW Collision

11/18/23, Re: the AEW Devil and tropes!

12/11/23, Re: Helping Understand Round Robins







Deep Dive is an opinion and analysis series where I go RIDICULOUSLY deep (whether that be statistically, or with trope analysis, or with something,) into some pro wrestling issue of the momentusually relating to All-Elite Wrestling, but sometimes regarding other promotions. The goal iswhile it does involve my opinionsto add some value beyond "that's just, like, your opinion, man," by genuinely exploring the issue at hand deeply.

 

Lucy's Football?


“Give it a chance!” That’s a phrase that’s burned me rather a lot, of late. Much like Charlie Brown with Lucy’s (US) football, I keep thinking: “this time! This time… I think she means it!”

A couple months ago, I decided (in spite of having been burned MANY times before) to give the WWE a chance to deliver a commensurate pay off on the two big stories they had managed to get me invested in in the lead up to WrestleMania 39. (And to very publicly endorse that view.)


And on Night 1, it looked like I had been right, with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens getting the best storybook-ending of a match anybody could have asked for. But on Night 2, Cody Rhodes… Oh, Cody…

And a couple of weeks ago, I even made the Quixotic case that maybe, MAYBE, AEW Rampage could get good again, on account of an episode featuring Vikingo, Zack Sabre Jr, and Shibata. But while last night featured Takeshita facing Bandido, it also featured a referee facing off with Karen Jarrett!


So, let’s face the worst case right off the bat: tonight’s debut episode of AEW’s new two-hour Saturday-night prime-time program, Collision, may very well suck balls, and be a massive disappointment that settles a miasma of doom and impending failure around the entire enterprise.


AEW’s track record with new regular shows that AREN’T Dynamite hasn't been so good, a point Trevor Dame made a very good case for, and for why that leaves him concerned that Collision may also underwhelm, in a free post on his Patreon.


So why do I believe in my heart of hearts that Collision will be the exception to all of this, and knock this one out of the park? The answer comes in a roundabout way:


Dynamite's Full, Man!


This Wednesday's Dynamite closed with a fantastic and chaotic brawl. In case anybody somehow missed it, here, watch:

The Blackpool Combat Club's Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli storm the ring and attack the Elite to avenge the match they had just lost, when the most surprising person interrupts: Eddie Kingston, only coincidentally defending the Elite, actually just going after his long-term enemy Castagnoli. His divided loyalties, alternating between defending his old friend Moxley and attacking his old enemy Castagnoli are both funny and filled with dramatic potential.

Then Konosuke Takeshita comes to the aid of the BCC, and then Kenny Omega comes to the aid of the Elite. And finally, at the moment Kenny hits Konosuke with a climactic V-Trigger, Will Ospreay attacks Kenny out of nowhere and leaves him laying to close out the show.


What does this have to do with Collision? This closing segment is very emblematic of the Dynamite main-event mix right now: Fun, Exciting, Chaotic, Busy, Full. And that's not even mentioning the World Champion, or Bryan Danielson, or the always tantalizing possibility of Kota Ibushi returning to Kenny's side.


And there are several massively charismatic talents NOT in that mix who would make the case that they have been underutilized, OR that they have been pushed aside by talents worried for their spot.


The Bad News Bears


CM Punk


Thunder Rosa


Miro


Andrade



Many fans and observers of the scene would make the claim that these names who are now so closely linked with the nascent Collision show are troublemakers, or difficult to work with. But nobody makes the case that they aren’t incredibly charismatic and talented storytellers in the medium of pro wrestling. And that’s what makes all of this so fascinating. This is THEIR opportunity, in many cases quite possibly their last, to prove themselves right and their detractors wrong, or… to do the opposite.


How many sports films have used this premise: troublemakers and outsiders written off as more trouble than they’re worth come together to prove their value by winning. The Bad News BearsMajor League… CM Punk fave, Slapshot!


It’s not Rocky, but it’s still a fine premise for a story.


It's Seven O'Clock and I Wanna Rock


All that’s very well and good, but a show isn’t going to be able to stand separate-but-equal if it doesn’t have the institutional support from within the organization. If there were any doubts that Collision is a project that owner Tony Khan is genuinely behind, rather than something he is giving enough rope to hang itself, (like half the stuff that makes Rampage, I suspect,) the announcement that they had licensed the rock classic “Saturday Night’s All Right” as the theme should lay those doubts FIRMLY to rest!

Don’t get me wrong, willingness to shell out for a great theme is hardly a guarantee of success: while a great theme will get the crowd going, wrestlers from Jack Perry to Bobby Roode have devolved to become more theme than man. But it’s a hell of a sign that the office, at least, believes in you. And that's an important good start, because Collision will need all the help it can get! They start with a lot of strikes against them already on the board: Saturday isn’t exactly a strong day for TV… AEW’s track record with second shows as mentioned above… their top stars’ reputation for self-immolation…


But all the more reason to watch in fascination as they struggle, Icarus-like, towards greatness or destruction!






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