I’m catching this show a day late and have so far avoided almost all commentary of any kind and all substantive spoilers. Here’s a repeatedly updated post as I make my way through it.

  • The opening promo package was well-produced, but it’s discouraging to hear this screamy rage-rock soundtrack. It’s one of the elements that WWE seems to have permanently anchored to 1998, and an area where AEW could’ve immediately differentiated themselves.
  • First match is SCU vs Jurassic Express. I love Luchasaurus but I don’t like people (and promotions) having to pretend a guy is really a dinosaur. The camera shakes, SCU selling fright — that’s kind of lame. Why can’t he just be a real guy dressed as a dinosaur?
  • There’s something about the production of AEW’s hard camera that makes it look like there’s a light haze in the arena, which really reminds me of WCW.
  • I would go easy on the commentary saying SCU has a combined 64 years of experience. To me that falls on the wrong side of the “celebrating a career” vs “these guys are old” line.
  • Surprised they’re going to Omega-PAC so early in the show.
  • Another thing AEW needs to fix is the quality of their music going to the audio feed. It sounds like we’re just getting the audio from the arena sometimes, and not well-mic’ed at that. It makes the experience of watching on TV so much less immersive. WWE does a great job of mixing the entrance themes well so that you hear them in full quality.
  • Great match between PAC and Omega, even with some botched spots. They’re both big enough pros to cover for those mistakes. Kind of surprised by the finish; at some point they’re going to need to protect Omega, and hopefully that’s soon.
  • Darby Allin looks like he didn’t finish his makeup before the match.
  • This three-way garbage match is embarrassing. They’re spending all this time on this awful chair-tape-tacks scene and nothing is really going right. Allin and Janella both appear to have never used tape before. Havoc kept his thumbtack-filled mouth taped shut for like 10 minutes until he needed the opportunity to spit tacks.
  • Ok, so I wonder if maybe I’ve just never watched good garbage matches; I actually ended up finding myself enjoying that and getting into the finish. In spite of that, I would still rather never see another of these matches ever.
  • (more…)