3 AEW/WWE matches worth a rewatch (Week of Aug. 14-Aug. 20)


So, did any big wrestling news develop this week? Between the backstage conflict that boiled to the forefront in All Elite Wrestling and WWE announcing that it is rebranding NXT UK to NXT Europe, wrestling fans had plenty of things to talk about.

Oh, and they got to consume another week of quality wrestling programming between RawSmackDownDynamite, and Rampage.

As good as those overall shows were, though, there were several matches that particularly stood out.

These three WWE/AEW matches from this week are worth a rewatch.

Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia- 2 out of 3 Falls Match (AEW: Dynamite, 8/17/2022) (****1/2)

If a 2 out of 3 Falls match between one of the best young technicians in wrestling and arguably the best wrestler of all time doesn’t interest you, perhaps pro wrestling isn’t the genre of entertainment for you.

When AEW announced this Bryan Danielson vs. Daniel Garcia, the two knew they had high expectations to live up to, and to say that they met those expectations is like saying that the sun is kind of bright.

Premised around the simple story of Garcia wanting to force his idol into retirement (making a name for himself in the process) and Danielson attempting to bring the “pro wrestler” out of the self-professed “technical sports entertainer”, these two brought the intensity in this near-26-minute masterpiece while incorporating timely, crisp counter-wrestling.

“The American Dragon” ultimately overcame a 1-0 deficit — Garcia tremendously turned a triangle choke into a great piledriver and made him pass out to a dragon sleep to score that fall — and beat Garcia with a roll-up that shrewdly played off of the first fall and the LeBell Lock to clinch it via stoppage.

With Danielson offering his hand to Garcia after the match and Garcia keeping Chris Jericho from attacking Danielson, it appears that a Danielson vs. Jericho match for the soul of Garcia is coming at All Out.

Sheamus vs. Sami Zayn vs. Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss vs. Ricochet- Intercontinental Championship Number One Contender’s Fatal-5-Way Match (****)

To be clear, these five men brought the goods in this match to determine who faces GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Championship at Clash at the Castle, but the rowdy Montreal crowd took this one up a notch, especially with hometown hero Sami Zayn participating in the proceedings.

The fans loved everything Zayn did in this match and booed anyone who executed an offensive move against him, even if it was a babyface like Ricochet or Madcap Moss. It reached a point where calling an audible and booking Zayn to win this match (and impress his new pal, Roman Reigns), would’ve made sense.

WWE would tease that by booking Zayn to leave mid-match with an “injury” only to return and nearly pin Ricochet after hitting the Helluva Kick before longtime avatar-for-the-company heel Happy Corbin yanked him out of the ring. So, that was disappointing.

On the plus side, Sheamus picked up the win, setting up a much-anticipated match with the IC Champ in the UK.

The Elite (The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega) vs. La Faccion Ingobernable (Andrade El Idolo, RUSH, and Dragon Lee)- AEW Trios Championship Tournament Match (****)

We’ve already discussed the potential long-term story that could be in play with the returning Kenny Omega and how much that added to the enjoyment of this match and future Omega matches, so we’ll dedicate this section to talking about the other combatants.

The story with Omega possibly being carried while he shakes off the ring rust wouldn’t have worked as effectively if the Young Bucks weren’t the Young Bucks. It also helps to have amazing opponents to push you. Dragon Lee made his AEW debut in this match and the former Ring of Honor World Television Champion quickly reminded everyone why he’s so fun to watch when the bell rings. Andrade El Idolo and RUSH played their roles well, too.

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After getting the win after Omega hit a weak-looking One Winged Angel (again, part of the story) and pinning Dragon Lee, The Elite move on to face the winner of the Will Ospreay and Aussie Open vs. Death Triangle match.