AEW Booms and Duds: The Elite reunite!

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The advertised go-home show before AEW Double or Nothing was another stacked card. For many, the most intriguing segment heading into the show was the sit-down interview with Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson, two of the best promos ever. Let’s review that and more for this week’s “booms” and “duds.”

AEW should take some time to congratulate themselves a little bit after the string of Dynamite’s the company has aired the past few weeks. The ratings may be down overall, but AEW has done everything they can to build hype for this Saturday’s Double or Nothing pay-per-view.

One big caveat to take into consideration when grading the build to and the actual PPV itself is that some stories that were initially leading to the event were halted or needed to be altered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With AEW already showing us in their short existence that long-term stories are crucial to their booking, the pandemic caused AEW to readjust a PPV that most likely had 90 percent of the matches and paths to those matches set.

The good news is by having four PPVs a year, AEW had some time to reset their stories and fill Saturday’s card. It’s probably not considered the best PPV of the year on paper, but again, considering the circumstances, it should, at the very least, be decent.

Also, remember WWE’s Stomping Grounds event from, well, my old stomping grounds in Tacoma, WA? It was much maligned heading into the event, but a tremendous night of matches coupled with the enthusiastic fan response of my fellow Tacoma and Washingtonians made it one of the more memorable PPVs for WWE in the past few years.

Who’s to say this won’t happen with Double or Nothing (sans the live crowd)?

With many viewing the finals of the TNT Championship Tournament between Cody and Lance Archer as the veritable main event, last night’s show had a sit-down interview between each competitor’s manager, Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson. Just how did these two legends of the business (and on the mic) affect the intrigue of the match on Saturday night?

Continuing his quest to reclaim possession of what’s rightfully his in the AEW World Championship, Jon Moxley faced “10” (or Pres10 Vance as listed on the AEW roster page), the newest emissary for “The Exalted One” Mr. Brodie Lee. As Lee continues to goad Moxley, was Moxley able to garner a measure of revenge against 10?

AEW Women’s Champion Nyla Rose has issues with #1 contender and challenger on Saturday night Hikaru Shida; Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. has issues with Kris Statlander, who she performed the Lockjaw on while Shida was winning the #1 contender’s match last week (also facing each other Saturday night). In a preview of Double or Nothing, what happened when Rose and Baker teamed against Shida and Statlander?

Lastly, Sammy Guevara sought some vengeance against Matt Hardy after the latter drove a golf cart into the former a few weeks ago. With the Stadium Stampede match between Inner Circle and The Elite on the horizon, did either side gain “momentum” heading into Saturday night?

(Just wanted to commend commentary last night. All three really did an excellent job in putting over talent. Also, I hope Rey Fenix is doing alright after flat backing to the floor from 17 feet in the air. It was scary.)

As a reminder of my criteria, I’m not going to run through each match/segment. Rather, I will identify a couple of segments that either worked (“boom”) or didn’t for whatever reason (“dud”).

My criteria includes quality of match/segment and how it starts and/or builds stories. After all, we watch partly to be caught up in the stories. If a great work-rate match happens with no context or bearing on the stories, it’s going to be a miss.

Also, just because something is a hit/miss doesn’t mean it was an overwhelming choice. The selection could be 51 percent hit, 75 percent miss, and so on.

There are other subtleties to my criteria, but those are pretty much the parameters.

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