Here is my Workrate report for this show, I am clearly a low voter on this show.
-The non-wrestling stuff in this show worked for me. I thought the Tony Schiavone limo ride with Cody was great old school stuff. The Dusty and Willie Nelson story was great and the whole presentation made the contract signing seem like a big deal. Jericho is pretty great as a bloated creep leading a pack of wolves, heel Rock of Love era Brett Michaels is a great fucking gimmick, I can just see him faking an OD mid ring only to roll up his opponent when he tries CPR. Dustin's broken arm is a great way to heat up the PPV main event, although that might mean we don't see in ring Dustin for a while, and this show could desperately use him.
-Similarly Santana and Ortiz beating down the Rock and Roll Express was simple pro-wrestling storytelling. Ricky Morton is an all timer at taking a beating and Santana and Ortiz are really great as out of control thugs, you can tell they are from that JAPW family tree (speaking of which, sign Homicide and Eddie Kingston already AEW, what are you waiting for). I liked them jumping the Bucks too, nice use of the Rick and Morty gimmick which actually gave that goofy thing some purpose.
- Moxley's promo was fine, and he is undoubtedly over. I miss the old Moxley promos where he was talking about his mom turning tricks where he came off like a real unhinged psycho, but he is clearly in a different place in his career. Don't love Tony Khan showing up as an on air character. AEW should stay far away from Authority Figure angles, it has been a stain on wrestling for two decades now, and no one is ever going to approach Vince as a performer. If you need a Jack Tunney for an angle, give it to Arn or Bob Armstrong or something and just have them make pronouncements and don't have them do anything else.
-The six man tag was the best of the car crash matches on this show. It isn't really my thing, but the Bucks have clearly mastered that formula, and Jack Evans is still breathtaking to watch. If they did one of these matches a show it would work great, unfortunately that isn't what is going on.
What Didn't Work
-God, is the ringwork on this show one note. Every match is worked at the same pace, with the same headdrops, 2.9 counts, dives and near falls. They need some fat guys, some mat workers, a couple of guys with good punches, anything to break this up.
-Why is Adam Page doing flips and dives? Isn't he your tough Cowboy character? A lariat does not need a fucking front flip. I liked Sammy faking a dive and instead slapping Page, but outside of that this was just white noise
-Why does your undercard women's match go 15 minutes with the same dramatic near falls as every other match. Is Shanna even part of the roster? If you have plans for Shida, why is her debut undercard squash worked like a main event title match. Outside of a couple of nice knees by Shida (and there were a bunch that looked bad too) the work didn't particularly move me, and there needs to be an agent telling people that they can't use up all of the tricks in every match.
-Why in god's name does your comedy squash have an insane headdrop finish? If your comedy guys are doing moves that look like they should lead to a stretcher job and six month hiatus what does that mean for your main eventers? Just insane escalation which is going to lead to someone breaking their neck trying to outdo the undercard. On the plus side, I think they may have tweaked the Orange Cassidy character enough to make it work for me, having those kicks be a taunt as opposed to something their opponent has to play along with, makes a big difference. The hands in the pocket tope stands out in a show with dozens of crazy dives. Shoot the Best Friends into the sun though.
- Fenix is really special to watch, on a show where everyone is working as some variation of his style, he still outshines them. I almost feel sorry for Kazarian and Scorpio, those guys are old, and they are still trying to work a gogo highspot style. Cut off the ring or something. No wonder Kazarian almost broke his neck on that rana to the floor, Vince Carter isn't still trying to thunder dunk every time he gets the ball. You guys are almost 40, work on a midrange jumper.