Segunda Caida

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Monday, January 17, 2022

AEW Five Fingers of Death Week of 1/10-1/16

AEW Dark 1/11 (Taped 1/8)

Eddie Kingston vs. Joey Janela - GREAT

MD: The leg selling here. Kingston teased it early. Janela capitalized later on by catching him with a dragon whip as he was coming back in. And the moment of comeback was Kingston stuttering midway through a tope run only to sell for a second and then finishing the motion. It was a little thing but it told the audience everything they needed to know about Eddie in one moment. He was hurt. He was in pain. He was taking a risk and was too hurt to manage it. He did it anyway and it worked. That's Eddie Kingston in a nutshell. Sometimes he pays for it later. Sometimes he doesn't. Janela tried to steal the show here, bumping big, including bumping himself off the top rope to distract the ref so Rossi could hit her big standing moonsault on the floor. He stooged for Eddie, chopping and posing and getting killed, going for the Flair strut in NC before getting kicked out of the ring when he went for the figure-four, etc., but he still managed to come off as a compelling if not convincing threat. Also nice to see Eddie dig into the 90s Japan bag of tricks for a finish he doesn't use as often. Good TV match.

PAS: I really enjoyed this. People assume Janela is one of the guys whose contract is going to expire, but I really like him as a Rip Rogers flamboyant enhancement guy, really a perfect Dark wrestler. This was a Northeast indy main event somewhere, so Kingston gave him a bunch of moments to shine, but of course this is another brilliant bit of Eddie. All of the leg selling totally ruled and I loved the standstill tope, where he just says fuck it and flings himself at Janela. I also really liked the contempt he showed for Janela's striking, firing back with a nasty slap on the outside in response to a chop, and powering though his superkicks. Janela can finds ways to work an advantage on Kingston, but the idea of him trading shots with him in a fight is silly, and Eddie treated it that way. Too many times in wrestling everyone sells every shot by every guy like it drops them for a back bump. I like when people have strengths and weaknesses, and Kingston isn't going to act like Janela can out punch him even a little. 

AEW Dynamite 1/12

CM Punk vs. Wardlow

MD: This worked better on a second watch for me, though the ending was overwrought and, despite the crossing of the legs, the finish was a little hard to buy. Otherwise, it was Punk doing everything he could to help put Wardlow over and Wardlow holding up his end. When Wardlow managed to catch Punk, Punk paid. When Wardlow overreached or gave Punk an opening, Punk used it. It was a strange match as MJF's distraction hurt both wrestlers. Punk continuously had Wardlow's number anytime he went for the powerbomb right up until when MJF distracted him after the corner knee, allowing Wardlow to wrench Punk out of the corner with the first bomb. Everything after that could have lost about two whole minutes, which doesn't sound like much but when it's pure drama and power bombs, it really was.

ER: I really liked this up through powerbomb number five, loved all of it. Wardlow was really running over Punk and Punk was really good at building sympathy and then laying it in stiff when trying just to budge Wardlow. I really loved when Punk started throwing everything he had at him, throwing several stiff arm lariats off Wardlow's chest and back, and a solebutt that drops Wardlow to a knee. The story of Punk avoiding the powerbomb was simple, and I thought once Wardlow caught him in the corner and hit the first one, then planted him with the second one, that this was getting great. Punk sold the powerbombs really well, splaying out his limbs and rolling to his side and getting dragged back up to his feet. The MJF extended finish felt too overindulgent and the more powerbombs Punk took the more silly I knew the eventual finish was going to look. I would have gotten a kick out of Wardlow taking the victory for himself, and then when Punk won with a real sad small package, I wanted that finish even more. The bulk of the match was still a success, and a good confident Wardlow performance that he'll get a chance to do even better. 

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