Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D, Sebastian, and other friends write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Monday, May 16, 2022

AEW Five Fingers of Death: Week of 5/9 - 5/15

AEW Dynamite 5/11

CM Punk vs. John Silver

MD: Interesting match due to the crowd not quite being as anti-Punk as was likely expected. While there were clearly some planned callback spots, namely Silver hitting the backslide early and then rolling through when Punk tried it later and the tornado DDT spots (two attempts tossed off, the second with Silver landing on his feet and then a back twisting one that Silver fudged a little but not hugely to the detriment of the match), a good chunk felt called too. Punk made sure to give everything impressive and impactful in the match to Silver. When he had Silver beat him to a pulp in the corner, the fans stopped being so split and got behind Silver. Later on, during the break, when it was Punk's time to be in charge, it was with slow and methodological offense and he drew chants about Chicago pizza being terrible and PG Punk, which he reacted to, garnering more heat. Still, the crowd wanted to cheer for him and by the time he'd fought back in the end and was hanging out on the apron, things were split again, which makes it all the more impressive the boos he got for using the Buckshot. It was never about Punk being an over the top heel, just the little things that shifted the hearts of the crowd.

Jeff Hardy vs. Darby Allin 

Phil covered this over at the Ringer.

MD: Even with that in mind, I'm not entirely sure what to say about a match like this in 2022. It was weirdly minimalist in as there were not that many spots, not that many interactions, but every single one had a huge impact. It went maybe twelve minutes but it felt somehow infinite and instant at the same time. My favorite part of the Fish vs Hardy qualifying match was Matt working the apron as a corner man and keeping the crowd focused and on point. There was none of that here. It was all climbing and set up and then payoff. 90% of the harm done in the match was self-inflicted. That said, even in a promotion full of big stunts, and big Sting stunts at that, the leap off the ladder stood out and should be memorable for at least months to come if not years. The first replay angle was remarkable. Jeff didn't catch as well as you'd hope but it was like losing a fly ball in the lights. That was Jeff's body language. That was the height differential between them. Jeff's physical charisma and his full body selling has been developed and honed over decades and Darby's one of the best today in emoting the impact of damage done; that combination meant that everything resonated and meant something even if it never coalesced into an overall story. You believed that they would try to one-up each other until the end of the world or until their joints and bones turned to dust, and you sort of believe the finish, that Jeff realized that nothing was going to stop Darby and the only way to save both of them was to break the code of daredevils and sneak in a pin, pressing Darby against the ladder after the coffin drop. I don't know. The match was a pretty good trick but I never need to see them do it again.

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