5. Opener Sets Inessential Tone
The Acclaimed, Daddy Ass and Orange Cassidy Vs. Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal, Satnam Singh and Sonjay Dutt was a house show match promoted when AEW needed to unleash its prime episodic TV form.
In and of itself, the opener was a fun enough match for which your mileage will vary (subjectively, there's been a lot of zany material on TV of late, and it's growing a bit thin). The problem is that, combined with a card bereft of real anticipation and quality, and a poorly attended arena that the production crew could not hide, the match set a suboptimal tone. AEW - with Revolution really not too far away at this point - felt like the irreverent, distant number two promotion. There was a hard-to-place smugness about this.
AEW, once the most well-booked promotion on the planet, is losing the battle of perception - and this cutesy opener felt like it was sneering at the critics and not showing them up. Elements of it were fun - how could you not guffaw at the sight of Satnam Singh doing the Jarrett strut on the apron? - and Jarrett himself did well to get through it, God love him. But it was a piss about when the show needed to get serious about making you pay $50.
The finish felt like the US adaptation of the Snowman, edited to remove the heft from last week.
The Acclaimed: they're OK, folks!
They'll be right back.