Skilled wrestling is the one sport the place you’ll be able to present up on horseback, throw your opponent right into a pool, and dive off an NFL goalpost. This week, James Dator and Hector Diaz look again at AEW’s Stadium Stampede Match, which featured 10 wrestlers dealing with off in an empty TIAA Financial institution Discipline.
James Dator: Every little thing in regards to the Stadium Stampede Match was so completely ridiculous. I’ve been watching wrestling for damn-near 30 years, and I can’t recall the final time I had a smile from ear-to-ear for a whole match.
Hector Diaz: Having a wrestling match in an empty NFL stadium is inherently absurd, so I’m glad they dedicated to the bit. We had one crew, Chris Jericho’s Interior Circle, stroll out as in the event that they had been soccer gamers full with matching uniforms. The ring was arrange on the 50-yard line with the tip zones painted with the crew logos. The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot, Jaxson de Ville, confirmed up and get overwhelmed up by a wrestling legend. And we even had one wrestler, Adam Web page, make his grand entrance by strolling out of the tunnel on horseback.
Professional wrestling is prospering.
JD: I really like how the whole lot was damaged up into vignettes. We had all these bizarre sub tales baked right into a wrestling match — and whereas a few of them didn’t make sense (like Web page and Hager having a drink collectively) my perception was sho wholly suspended I simply loved the journey. Having a hoop in the midst of the sphere felt prefer it was there as a result of it had to be. Not like anybody needed it there. That is all earlier than we get to the fourth-wall chattering “Matt Details” chyron, which by some means Santana and Ortiz might learn.
HD: Your entire match is incredible for that motive. It had one thing for followers who sustain with the whole lot professional wrestling and for informal followers who might benefit from the zaniness of all of it. Matt Hardy getting dunked into the TIAA Financial institution Discipline swimming pool and rising as reincarnated variations of himself works nicely if his begin as one of many Hardy Boyz and his evolution into Matt Hardy Model 1 in WWE. However should you don’t know Hardy’s profession, you’ll be able to nonetheless snicker at his maniacal breaking of the fourth wall whereas he gave the underwater digital camera a thumbs up whereas his Santana and Ortiz stick his head within the water. Studying the on-screen graphics labored so nicely by itself too.
On that notice, the comedic MVP of this match is definitely Sammy Guevara, proper?
JD: Oh, completely. Let’s face it, they’ve struck gold with Sammy Guevara. It took a little bit little bit of time for them to discover a place for him, however trying again, inserting him in The Interior Circle is likely to be their MVP transfer as an organization. Not solely has he grown a lot from working with Chris Jericho, however he’s the overall package deal. Superb within the ring, and actually “will get it” outdoors of it. At 22 years previous he has the talents of somebody twice his age — and that’s a testomony to his improvement. They’ll preserve him within the understudy function for YEARS if wanted, and every time he emerges he’ll be a high star.
Actually, I see all of the Eddie Guerrero comparisons, which I perceive, however to me his profession trajectory is nearly an identical to The Rock when he was put in “The Nation of Domination” early in his profession.
HD: That’s a fairly honest comparability although I’ve to say The Rock by no means acquired ran over by a golf cart on two separate events, ran away from a dang horse, or was dragged 100 yards on a soccer discipline through a collection of Northern Lights Suplexes.
JD: Effectively sure, positive … if we’re going to get choosy about it. What was your single favourite second of the match?
HD: My favourite half must be the extremely tacky second between Adam Web page and Jake Hagar. The 2 had been purported to be preventing it out and as an alternative ended up at a bar to drink collectively in silence — till they realized they had been purported to be enemies. Then they really threw arms and we acquired the incredible second of Hagar actually dragging Web page throughout the bar counter as if it was a Slip N’ Slide. This was one thing out of a corny western and I couldn’t find it irresistible extra.
After which there’s the added bonus of Kenny Omega displaying up. He and Web page stored grabbing close by glass bottles and breaking them on Hagar’s head. Sure, the bottles had been apparent film props however that’s the purpose. The wrestlers know that is all ridiculous, so why not let the followers in on it only a bit extra.
What was your favourite a part of the match?
JD: It needed to be Matt Hardy. It gave me the nice and cozy and fuzzies. We all know he loves bizarre stuff. We all know he loves to interrupt aside wrestling and lampoon himself within the course of — and whereas nothing he did we new, it was lovely to see it on such a big stage with so many individuals who clearly purchased in. It didn’t really feel like he wanted to persuade the blokes working with him to go together with the weirdness, they had been thrilled to. The seems to be of shock on Santana and Ortiz’s faces studying the Matt Undeniable fact that he might maintain his breath for over 300 seconds was simply lovely.
It makes me excited to see what the longer term brings for his character in AEW — and he has a brand new drone good friend!
HD: As a lot as we’ve been lauding the tacky moments from this match, you even have to present credit score to the wrestlers who did some high-flying strikes. Matt Jackson climbed the goalpost and did a moonsault to the tip zone. I by no means thought I’d see one thing like that. And he did it with a damaged rib!
That plus the match-ending transfer the place Kenny Omega hit the One-Winged Angel on Sammy Guevara from the highest of the tunnel to the sphere was large.
JD: That One-Winged Angel was so terrifying and so good. You’re proper although. We bear in mind the cheese, as a result of it’s uncommon — however the wrestling itself was actually stable on high of all of it.
This wasn’t a sloppy, old-school hardcore match we noticed in the course of the Monday Night time Wars. It was a very well wrestled match, which occurred to have all of the B-movie moments weaved in.
HD: And the B-movie moments are what has made professional wrestling stand out in the midst of this pandemic. Simply look to what WWE did at WrestleMania with its cinematic Boneyard Match. Professional wrestling already consists of some choreographed preventing, so the extension of that’s remodeling into an motion film. Having stated that, it’s going to be arduous to high the Stadium Stampede match.
JD: It was one thing actually particular. When you may have a wrestling match you need to present to non-wrestling followers you’re onto one thing. I watched with a gaggle of associates, one among whom doesn’t care about wrestling in any respect, and he or she got here away from that match laughing uncontrollably and saying “I get it now.” That’s precisely what you need.
High to backside it was a very nice present. Tales are arrange for months now, and I’m dying to see what Brodie Lee does subsequent, the place the TNT title goes, and the way the ladies’s division shapes up with Shida as champion. It was all *chef’s kiss.*