AEW Top 25 of 2023 – #13 & #12

  1. ‘Nice try dumbass!’

Adam Copeland promo & Christian Cage’s response, Collision 11/25/23 & Dynamite 11/29/23

Meltzer: N/A

I wasn’t a big fan of the Adam Copeland signing.  And still am not convinced featuring he and Cage at the top of the card is in the company’s best interests.  So was totally out on this feud.  Not helped by Copeland’s venom-less character after arriving at WrestleDream.

However, credit to them, they realized it wasn’t working.

So on the last Collision in November, they corrected things.  Copeland smashing through Luchasaurus before cutting an excellent promo.  Resetting his perspective towards Cage by saying everything he now did was on him.  He’d tried to be a good guy, tried to be his friend but Cage’s ego got in the way.  So now he’s taking everything, starting with his lackies and ending with his TNT Title.

It’d seemed only a heel turn could save Copeland; turns out edgy (NPI) babyface worked just as well.

While Cage’s response the following Wednesday was just gold.  Absolutely top-notch slimy heel work as he tried to worm his way out of things by tugging at Copeland’s heart-strings, bringing up their background, their long friendship and relationships with one-another’s parents.  Including, of course, Copeland’s deceased mother.  It’s almost comedic at this point.

Until inevitably revealing himself to be the scumbag he truly is by moving from a figurative to literal cheap shot.  And, importantly, Copeland was not a dumb babyface, ready with a nut shot and a feisty response which mirrored Cage’s when they’d first crossed paths: ‘Go f*** yourself’.

It’s just a shame he wasn’t prepared the next week for the time-honoured heel’s-teenage-understudy’s-mom-interferes routine.

  1. Probably Controversial

Top Flight vs Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson, Rampage, 01/06/23 

Meltzer: 4*

I just loved this.  Loved it at the time, loved it watching it back, and love watching wrestling in Portland.  Electric, scorching crowd; nasty, stiff veterans; young, high-flying babyfaces who showed fight as the match progressed, what more could you want?

And this was brought to life immediately as the youngsters flew out the blocks with dives the second the heels arrived through the barricade, zooming around into slick double-teams.  They brought the finesse; BCC the violence, perfectly blended as Dante finally reached his brother for an awesome hot tag – fists, chops, enziguri to Mox off BD’s back – more fighting than flying now.

An important part of what made this so good.

The brothers looked tough and spirited in not backing down from two of the biggest badasses in the company.  Actually getting down in the mud with them, stiff chops and kicks, fighting back and kicking out repeatedly from king kong lariats and busaiku knees.  Firing up when Danielson challenged them.  The crowd with them all the way.

Even showing fight in defeat, Darius passing out rather than tapping in the LeBell after a vicious head-kicking from Danielson.

It’s the sort of nearly moment AEW are very good at.  They just need to have up-and-comers separate themselves from the rest of the mid-card by beating guys on their level in addition to going close against guys above them.

Couple of singles involving top stars tomorrow for Day Eight.

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Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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