For the regular audience of AEW Dark, we have watched two performers struggle week in and week out with getting their first victory. Whether it be in singles competition or as a tag team. That will change on the September 15th edition of Dark as Brandon Cutler meets Peter Avalon in 1 on 1 action. Both men are frustrated, both men are talented, but who will walk away with the W?
I’ve compared both individual and tag team stats when comparing the two competitors. All stats are the “per hour” variety.
TAUNTS – That is no typo, the team of the Initiative had zero taunts recorded. It’s hard to taunt when you’re constantly behind and trying desperately to ice skate uphill. As a single, Avalon had more taunts per hour. If he starts taunting during his showdown with Cutler this could be a sign that momentum is on the Librarian’s side. Conversely it could also provide an opening for Cutler to capitalize. DRAW
FOULS – The feud between these two is a battle of personalities in addition to being a physical contest. Avalon is willing to play dirty while Cutler stoutly refuses to debase himself. My guess would be that the increase in taunts as the Initiative is due mostly to Avalon. ADVANTAGE: AVALON
PIN ATTEMPTS – With Avalon leading in pin attempts this indicates his frustration sets in quickly and he tries to make pins that have a low probability of success. The wrestling equivalent of throwing everything at a wall and hoping something sticks. Still, he only needs a three count on one of the attempts. ADVANTAGE – AVALON
REVERSALS – The most even category. No clear advantage for either. DRAW
SUBMISSIONS – Avalon dominates (how often can one say that?). The clearest advantage going into Tuesday’s match-up is Avalon’s submission ability. His best strategy looks to be grounding Cutler often and going for a tap-out. ADVANTAGE: AVALON
DIVES – Here is where Cutler is the clear favorite. Provided he lands these big moves of course. ADVANTAGE: CUTLER
GRAPPLES – Another close category that results in a push. DRAW
STRIKE DOWNS – Another category where they were able to get worse numbers as a team. DRAW
STRIKES – While lacking the power to result in many strike downs, Avalon has been able to make more contact overall. ADVANTAGE: AVALON
The Initiative are not a strong team. They are the bottom of the rankings when it comes to both offense given, and the top of the list for offense taken. A rare feat. A blocking dummy in the ring would result in the same ranking. Interestingly the team of Omega-Page just barely beat out the Initiative for offense given by a mere four points. As singles Cutler-Avalon are close to equal in offense taken. Avalon does have the advantage in offense given. ADVANTAGE: AVALON
PREDICTION: PETER “THE LIBRARIAN” AVALON
Going into this I thought more categories would be tied. Avalon has the advantage in five categories while Cutler can claim the edge in only one. Avalon also has the advantage in loose morals as he will not hesitate to cheat to win. To quote Spaceballs, “Now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”
Aside from the statistics I’ve found this angle to be very engrossing. We’ve all felt at one time or another that we should be doing more. That things would be better if we could just achieve that win. The frustration that Cutler and Avalon have gone through is relatable. I can’t relate to someone wanting to take my eyeball or ruin my wedding. This layer of realistic storytelling has elevated the whole feud. It has been Dark’s most engaging storyline and I’m looking forward to what comes next.