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AEW Worlds End Review

Reverse Hipster's World End Review


Daniel Garcia, Bryan Danielson, Claudio, Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal, Jay White, Rush, and Brody King 7/10 C-

The first match of a PPV is really important. It sets the tone for the PPV. If you knock the first match out of the park, then the rest of the card gets a boost from the momentum created. This match could have been on TV. Everybody got their stuff in, and Daniel Garcia won. But I don't like the way AEW treats Jay Lethal. He did nothing in the tournament, and now he's the guy who takes the pin. What trait does Jay have that makes him so expendable? I don't even know why he's in AEW at this point. Jay is so wasted.


Andrade vs. Miro 7.5/10 C

I have no idea what's going on in this CJ Perry Miro story. It seems like a diet version of the WWE Cuck story without the spicy, exciting parts and more jumbled confusion. This match wasn't good enough from a ring perspective to overcome the story, and the story didn't justify the match. I had no reason to care who won this match. I bumped the match up to a passable grade because Perry turning on Andrade added some flair and excitement.


Timeless Toni Storm vs. Riho AEW Woman's Title 8/10 B-

Toni Storm

The match started out with Toni dominating Riho and not selling Riho's offense cause she was too small. I know that the size difference between the two is about a Gazelle ( I did some research), but functionally and visually, the size difference isn't enough to play off. It is like playing off the size difference between Orange Cassidy and Adam Page.


Luckily, they got away from that angle, and Riho started a flurry after Luther was thrown out of the match. But Riho took some hardcore shots, like being flipped to the floor on the outside. She's small, but she bumps hard. Now, Toni Storm eventually stopped the flurry and won the match, and the match itself was good, but Riho was never really believable as a threat to win tonight, and she needed to be built up enough for the fans to root for her. The crowd cheered for Toni even when she cheated, and Toni felt like the driver of this match.


Swerve vs. Dustin Rhodes 7.6/10 C

Swerve wins

This match didn't make any sense. Swerve destroyed Dustin's ankle by stomping it through a center block. The announcers then told us that it could end Dustin's career only for him to come back to the ring, fight on the ankle, and actually control the match for a while, which also makes Swerve bad. Swerve ultimately got a dominant win, but he shouldn't be having a match with Dustin, let alone a competitive one after Dustin was handicapped. The crowd didn't even care. They cheered for Swerve to kick Dustin's head off. Swerve said it best after the match:" Don't ever waste my time like that again. That will be the last time I do some shit like that. I am coming for the title. "


Sting, Darby, Sammy, and Jericho vs. Don Callis Family 7.2/10 C

Seth and Chris

This is another big tag match on this card, and once again, I have no reason to care about who wins this match. Sammy got the win over Ricky Starks, which was a baffling choice, given Ricky was supposed to be a big deal. The ring work was fine, but when you are playing against the story, you have to be great, and this match wasn't.


Adadon vs. Julia Hart TBS Championship 7.9/10 C+

Julia Hart TBS

This was a big test for Julia Hart. Could she take down a challenger this strong? Well, yes and no; she could control the match most of the time, which was surprising, but she couldn't put Abadon away. Abadon would always kick out and fire back harder. Then Skye Blue interfered, and Abadon beat her up for it, but it gave Julia the opening to get the win. I don't think Julia needed Skye's help, which took away from the match and Julia's aura of dominance. Also, Julia messed up her moonsault, which was the final move of the match.


Adam Copeland vs. Christian 7.8/10 C+

Sammy Guevara

Adam won the TNT title, and it makes sense storywise, but I didn't like this match. Adam is a violent guy, and I've seen him have this match. It reminded me of his Randy Orton match at WrestleMania, which was just way too long. This match felt like it just went on way too long. Adam hitting Christian with the Killswitch to win the title was poetic, and a lot of the false finishers were good, but this match was on the upper end of alright.


Christian vs. Edge Cash in 9/10 A-

Christian took the title contract from Killswitch after whispering something in his ear. Then Christian cashed in on Killswitche's beatdown of Edge with Killswitches's contract, and he made Edge the shortest reigning TNT champion of all time when he beat him with a single spear. This worked very well because I was fuming. This segment was so infuriating. Christian stole Killswitche's moment just like he stole his title many months ago and just did it again. Plus, he ruined Adam's first title win in AEW, and it was just so upsetting watching him act like he won that title. Great heel work. I haven't seen too many things at this stage of me watching wrestling that can piss me off by design.

Eddie Kingston vs. Jon Moxley Continental Classic Final 6.1/10 D

Styles make fights, and I did not like this match-up at all. Both of these wrestlers are opponent-dependent, with Jon being less so lately. Still, there were way more dynamic wrestlers that could have made a better match; instead, we have two bruisers with some technical skills. This match was everything that I feared it would be.


The match was slow plotting and boring. I wasn't interested in watching these two have a battle of wills. It is like two guys about to have a bar fight, and then instead of fighting, they have a slap contest. Eddie Kingston won with a back fist in one of their test of wills, and it was super predictable. He puts his titles on the line and wins the whole tournament. How is that exciting? The man has three titles. It's clear he's good, but this moment didn't prove that.


MJF vs. Samoa Joe 8.6/10 B

samoa joe

This was easily the best real match of the show, and it was the draw of the entire show. Joe worked MJF's arm, which was severely injured from Joe's attack on Dynamite. MJF tried to fight back, getting in some surprisingly good shots, but no matter how long the flurry, Joe would always come back with a devastating maneuver like the muscle buster on the edge of the ring or the kick to the head when MJF tried to skin the cat. MJF's best moment of the match was when he hit Samoa Joe with an F5 injured arm and all, after failing to even pick him up before.


But Adam Cole cost MJF the match. The ref went down. MJF went for the Dynamite Diamond Ring, Adam Cole got it to him too late, and Samoa Joe got there first. Joe choked MJF out, which was shocking to see MJF's arm not come up and his title reign be over. Even the ref seemed surprised. Joe won the match, and he's a good wrestler, but this feels like a baffling choice. MJF is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, AEW champions, and having Joe take the belt seems odd. He doesn't seem like the guy to carry that load. He was a TV champion for a long time, but that belt didn't seem super relevant when he had it. It was like a prop.


After the match, Adam and MJF were attacked by the Devil and his squad. MJF begged them to hurt him instead of Cole, but it turned out it was Cole all along. This is a surprising yet predictable result. I think Adam Cole did a great job playing Max. He took everything from Max, the tag titles, and his world title(in his hometown). But worst of all, he made MJF, of all people, trust him, and then he betrayed him. Time will tell how good this truly is, but right now, it looks like a damn good story.


Rob’s Review


All-Star 8-man Tag Match

Daniel Garcia AEW

This match saw 8 of the Continental Classic participants face off. As it stood, this felt like a pre-show match, and the talent involved could have been utilized better. The teams were arbitrarily split into “people we boo” and “people we cheer” because you can’t quite call Bryan Danielson’s current character a babyface, right? I think it would have made more sense to split them into the Gold League and Blue League in a Survivor Series style elimination match and let the story be who had the tougher side of the bracket. The best part of this match was Daniel Garcia getting a moment and picking up the win for his team after only getting 3 points in the Continental Classic. The downside is that it came at the expense of Jay Lethal, the only competitor to get 0 points in the Continental Classic.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average


Miro vs. Andrade El Idolo

This was a payoff of a weird story where CJ Perry debuted in AEW but couldn’t get on the same page with their husband, Miro. Perry came out as the manager of Andrade El Idolo. The action in-ring was good, but the big payoff came when Perry helped Miro break out of Andrade’s figure eight. Miro ended up winning the match. If rumors are true, Andrade is WWE-bound, so his loss is the best thing for AEW. Miro has had a very weird AEW career that sees him shine in big spots, but he seems to be used sparingly on shows. Miro feels like he is constantly on an island from AEW’s other big stars. Perhaps if he aligns with Perry and with some new booking, that will change. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average


Toni Storm vs. Riho (AEW Women’s Championship)

Toni Storm

It was never really believable that Riho would end Toni Storm’s championship reign, but they had great chemistry in-ring that allowed Storm to showcase powerful offense against the much smaller Riho. Storm’s new gimmick is really getting over with fans, and it showed here. She desperately needs AEW to book the women’s division better. They need a fresh, new challenger or one of their existing talent to be built to the point that a Women’s Championship match can be a feature on a future show. 

Final Grade: 5/10 Average


Swerve Strickland vs. Dustin Rhodes

Dustin Rhodes Swerve

It’s unfortunate that Keith Lee wasn’t cleared to compete. As much respect as I have for Dustin Rhodes, he was not a credible replacement here. Swerve Strickland looked dastardly attacking Rhodes during the entrance, but after that, Rhodes got in far too much offense. Strickland should be AEW’s next champion for my money, so I’m glad he won, but it wasn’t a dominant win or a good enough showcase for Strickland here.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average


Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and Sting vs. Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Konosuke Takeshita

Sting

This match was really thrown together to cover up for Kenny Omega’s injury. As is typical from AEW, a lot of the in-ring action was excellent, especially from Konosuke Takeshita, one of the bright spots from these types of matches. In the end, Sammy Guevara got the win for his team, and I’m just not really buying into his quick turn back to aligning with Chris Jericho. This gets a pass for in-ring action, but matches like this really should not be on a PPV card. 

Final Grade: 5/10 Average


Julia Hart vs. Abadon (TBS Championship)

Abadon

Julia Hart and Abadon earned chants of “This is spooky!” to start their match, which never really hit a great in-ring pace. Completely unique from any star, I am intrigued by Abadon, but she hasn’t really ever captivated me in-ring. Like Toni Storm earlier, Hart feels like she is operating on her own level in the AEW Women’s midcard. With help from Skye Blue, Hart won the match, which was the right call, but the match was skippable.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average


Christian Cage vs. Adam Copeland (TNT Championship, No DQ)

Edge wins Title

Christian Cage and Adam Copeland lived up to their feud and the match stipulation with crowd dives, kendo sticks, and flaming tables. They had callbacks to their historic TLC matches and Copeland’s no-DQ match with Mick Foley. There were a few botches with the flaming table, but it didn’t impede the match itself as Copeland got an emotional win over Cage, the first championship he has won since retiring from WWE as the World Heavyweight Champion in 2011. Unfortunately, all that was undone shortly after, as Killswitch attacked Copeland, giving his TNT Championship opportunity to Cage, who cashed in on Copeland and regained the championship. While a great heel moment, it made the whole segment feel like a waste of time. The better question is, where does Copeland go from here? While Copeland and Cage have made great segments, I would love to see them both in novel matches against younger stars in AEW, building the future of the brand.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average


Eddie Kingston vs. Jon Moxley (Continental Classic, Triple Crown Championship)

Kingston

This was the official payoff of the tension between Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley building up since the summer. They had a brutal, bruiser-style match. The biggest story of this match was Kingston getting his big win and paying off his gamble to put his championships on the line in the Continental Classic. This was a well-booked tournament. In the middle, it didn’t look like Kingston had a chance. By the end, it was just Kingston and Moxley in the finals, as Kingston hit a spinning back fist to win, and the crowd went crazy. 

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average


MJF vs. Samoa Joe (AEW Championship)

MJF entrance

MJF came out with a fun Long Island video package that made this match in his hometown feel special. Adam Cole came out as a special surprise to accompany MJF. Samoa Joe looked dastardly as usual, and he hit some brutal offense on MJF. Prior to this match, MJF wrote a great piece in the Player’s Tribune about how he was working hurt. You wouldn’t know it here. MJF and Joe put on a great match, and it came as no surprise that Joe won and ended the longest-reigning AEW Champion and the heart of AEW in 2023 at its last PPV of the year. The end of the event saw an attack from the Devil’s Masked Men and a final reveal that Adam Cole has been the devil all along with masked men Roderick Strong, the Kingdom, and Wardlow. 

Final Grade: 7/10 Good


Reverse Hipster's World's End Final Grade 77.7/100 C

This was the first PPV in a long time for AEW that was a real slog. This might be the lowest grade for a PPV that I have given out. The women's matches were a highlight and were middle of the road. There were too many meaningless multi-man matches, and the final of the tournament wasn't good. This entire PPV really could have been two matches, the TNT title one and the AEW Title, and even then, the TNT title could have been a main event on TV. This felt like a filler PPV with one major event to sell tickets. But the one thing that made this PPV worthwhile, the reveal of the Devil, does give this PPV a one-point boost.


Rob's Final Thoughts

Adam is the devil

AEW has been hurt badly by injuries in the second half of the year, and that was no exception here. Injuries to Keith Lee and Kenny Omega forced them to morph the card, and it made the overall card feel lackluster. Injuries to MJF meant it was time for him to lose the championship, and the reveal of the devil as Adam Cole is lame because Cole is still hurt and can’t capitalize on it. Still, the reveal of the devil and turn on MJF was the payoff of the MJF/Cole story and can hopefully be picked up when they are both healthy. While Samoa Joe likely wasn’t AEW’s first plan as champion, Joe is a healthy veteran who can hold AEW steady and solid as champion. Still, for what played out on this PPV, it frankly wasn’t worth the money, and it was a bad payoff to a bad half of the year for AEW. Here’s hoping for a 2024 turnaround.

Overall Grade: 4/10 Below Average

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