What’s this? A bunch of match predictions for a pay-per-view that, barring some unforeseen development, I’m almost certainly not going to be able to watch? Sure, why not? I’ll be providing some analysis to go with these picks, but since I slept like shit last night I’m gonna keep it quick and dirty (and, with any luck, coherent).
SCU vs. Dark Order
Is it Dark Order or The Dark Order? I feel like I’ve seen both. Anyway, they’re doing the thing with Christopher Daniels where, because most people are assuming he will join Dark Order (or has been their leader this whole time), they’re trying way too hard to make it not appear that way (and failing). Now is as good a time to pull the trigger, though, so expect Daniels to turn heel and thus swing the result.
Winner: Dark Order
Jake Hager vs. Dustin Rhodes
Dustin Rhodes is cool and all, but he’s also north of 50 and almost certainly best used as a jobber to the stars at this point. I don’t see a point in him beating much of anybody, especially a guy who is meant to be a scary, menacing enforcer type despite not having wrestled in the promotion to date. Also, from where I’m sitting it sure seems like the lesser Inner Circle guys have been losing a lot lately, and that needs to change. Hager may suck as a person, but if he doesn’t grab the win here his presence is a low-grade waste of time.
Winner: Jake Hager
Darby Allin vs. Sammy Guevara
Sammy Guevara, on the other hand, can probably remain over as a heel regardless of his win-loss record. Dude has a punchable face and has developed a truly wormy persona, so he’ll get his boos even if he’s not seen as a threat to anyone. Darby Allin is one of the very finest organic success stories AEW has had so far, but he’s still very much a rising star, and rising stars need to keep winning matches like these in order to keep uh, rising.
Winner: Darby Allin
PAC vs. Orange Cassidy
Speaking of organic success stories! Every gigantic pop Orange Cassidy gets for putting his hands in his pockets, putting on his sunglasses, or diving out of the ring while wearing sunglasses with his hands in his pockets warms my heart. Too bad he’s gonna get absolutely murdered here, but like Guevara, his being over has nothing to do with in-ring success so it’s fine.
The Young Bucks vs. Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page(c) – AEW Tag Team Championship
The real question of this match is whether they’re pulling the trigger on the inevitable Page/Omega split. If they do, the title is gonna change hands, and if not, the champs will retain. What’s not in question is whether or not they will tease such a split constantly; I fully expect Page to make all kinds of reckless, sub-optimal decisions (or maybe just one major reckless, sub-optimal decision) to draw Omega’s ire. If you ask me, the Bucks should really have been the champs this entire time. I get that they want to make new stars, but you can put over newer teams even in a win, and also it’s OK to book yourself as top stars if you’re actually top stars, y’know? No one is gonna assume the Bucks are tripping like Hogan in WCW just because they win all the time. Anyway, it’s time to get the Bucks the titles and give them a good, long run with them already.
Winner: The Young Bucks
Cody vs. MJF
Since I am unwavering in my beliefs regarding how this match should go, I’m going to keep this brief. The only logical endpoint to this storyline is a Cody victory. It will be competitive, and there will be many false finishes to make it look otherwise, but like I said, the only logical endpoint to this storyline is a Cody victory.
Kris Statlander vs. Nyla Rose(c) – AEW Women’s Championship
Again, not much to say here. Yes, Kris Statlander is cool, good at wrestling, and over, but Nyla Rose just won the title and needs a nice, long monster heel run at the top, both for her sake and the sake of the Women’s Championship itself.
Winner: Nyla Rose
Jon Moxley vs. Chris Jericho(c) – AEW Men’s Championship
It is justifiable for Moxley to win the title here. He’s a huge star and a huge get for the fledgling promotion, one who has gotten over on his own terms both as a character and as a wrestler. That said, I think the smart call is for Jericho to retain. He is also a big name that people recognize, and he’s been giving the promos of his life lately (and since it’s Chris Jericho we’re talking about here, that’s a high bar to clear indeed), can mostly go in the ring still, and is so over that the crowds have taken to singing along with his entrance theme. Also, it’s worth mentioning that while AEW is a new promotion and therefore this was unavoidable, all of their championships were conjured out of thin air, and lack any of the lineage from which wrestling titles typically derive their prestige. Therefore, it’s in everyone’s best interests for Jericho to hold onto the belt for a good, long while; I’d say at least a year and possibly more than that. (One more thing, which I’m putting in a sidebar because I acknowledge this is just my own speculation. This whole time, I’ve figured that the long-term plan is for Kenny Omega to ultimately win the belt from Jericho in their inevitable rubber match, and I have seen little to dissuade me from this idea. If anything, Omega’s prominent singles losses have reinforced this for me, because this way Omega will need to fight his way back to the top, thus drawing out his arc and assisting Jericho in getting that nice, long run with the belt that I think he needs.)
Winner: Chris Jericho