Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Rhodes to AEW: "The Road to Fight for the Fallen" Episode 1


-The first segment features AEW Vice President of Business Operations Nik Sobic talking about Tony Khan and the Madden shooting and the VAAC. According to Sobic, Tony Khan has had the idea for AEW in his head for over three years now, which I thought was pretty cool and interesting. Makes me wonder how the idea has evolved and what his vision may have been then and now and what Cody, Matt, and Nick may have brought to that vision. 

Sobic also speaks a bit about the August 2018 shooting at the Jacksonville Landing where a gamer opened fire on fellow gamers in a Madden video game tournament, killing three (including himself) and injuring ten others. He talks about how it affected the Jacksonville community and how Tony lives just a few blocks away and how important it was for them to use the proceeds from Fight for the Fallen to give back to the Jacksonville-based Victim Assistance Advisory Council (VAAC), which, in the words of Tony Khan, "helped so many people during that incredibly tragic time."

-Next we have a short segment featuring AEW Associate Producer Michael Cullari (aka "the guy with the apple") talking about training with Brandi, including some nice clips of her training and looking pretty great in the ring. He particularly highlights that he's never seen her so motivated despite how busy she is as AEW's Chief Brand[i] Officer. Also, as if you needed reason to love Brandi even more: that Empire Strikes Back t-shirt omg y'all...

-The next segment is Hangman Page's response to MJF's video from a recent episode of "Being the Elite" (crap, am I gonna have to start watching that too? at least they're only like a half hour long instead of 3 hours every Monday and 2 hours every Tuesday ;D) of him "training" with a "perfect copy" of Page. It's honestly a pretty good promo. I dunno how much this might turn me around on Page--who I am kind of ambivalent about but admittedly haven't seen much of what he can do--but it was pretty good. I also thought it was interesting how insistent Page was here that his knee is 100% because that's kind of a dead giveaway that it isn't--because, logically, if it was, why would he want MJF to know that? However, the best part of all of this by a mile was: "First of all, if you don't like horses, well, f*ck you..."

-Finally, we close with a pretty epic hype video for Cody & Dustin vs. The Young Bucks featuring Tony Schiavone and Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Interlaced with clips of Cody asking Dustin to be his tag team partner after their match at Double or Nothing are clips of Jake and Tony hyping up the match Schiavone calls a dream match--and it really is for a lot of reasons that Schiavone points out: it's brothers vs. brothers, it's two top shelf tag teams (Schiavone takes great care to remind us of the amazing run Cody and Dustin had as a tag team in WWE a few years ago, taking on The Shield and The Authority, winning their jobs and Dusty's job back, and even winning the WWE tag titles), not to mention it's four of the best wrestlers there have perhaps ever been. Jake the Snake also gives some insight into tag team wrestling (which he hated, interestingly) and the importance of trust and connection in tag team wrestling which is the perfect way to build a brothers vs. brothers tag team match. 

One other interesting tidbit was Schiavone talking about how this match might be a bit more grounded than the Young Bucks might be used to. He allows that if it starts getting fast paced, Cody and Dustin might not be able to keep up with the Bucks but says that if they go in with a strategy to keep the match grounded, it will definitely be in their favor. So already we have a TON of great setup for both the story and the psychology of the match itself which, if they follow through on it (and why bring it up here if not to follow through on it?) will make for a really great, compelling match in Jacksonville next month!

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