Wrestling Review: AEW Road Rager (2021)

The All Elite Wrestling (AEW) Tag Team Championships will be defended in the main event of AEW Road Rager, in AEW’s first live event outside of Jacksonville in well over a year as the company heads to the James L Knight Center in Miami, Florida. After suffering their first loss in over a year last weeks, the Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) must face the best friends turned dangerous tag team partners, Eddie Kingston and Penta El Zero Miedo in a street fight for the tag team gold. Also on the show, the in-ring debut of Andrade El Idolo (the former Andrade “Cien” Almas and La Sombra) against Matt Sydal, and Three members each of the Inner Circle and the Pinnacle will clash. Kicking the show off will be a South Beach Strap Match between Cody Rhodes & QT Marshall, and Road Rager will feature interviews with Darby Allin/Ethan Page, the AEW World Champion Kenny Omega, and a face off between Chris Jericho and MJF.

+ The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) vs Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero Miedo (Street Fight for the AEW Tag Team Championships): this was great. Penta is just so damn good, and the Bucks are the top team on a show of great tag teams for a reason. Kingston is still such a surprise to watch, because he just doesn’t look like he should be as good as he is, and I am all for that kind of visual dissimilarities in my wrestlers. This match a a lot of more common street fight stuff – tables, chairs, interference and the special surprise that often gets poured out – but I still really enjoyed it
+ Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander vs The Bunny & The Blade: I love everything about the trio of the Butcher, Blade and Bunny and truly believe they could be running roughshod through the alread stacked tag division. The live crowd absolutely loved Orange Cassidy, so it was a shame that the women did most of the in-ring action. Still, I enjoyed this because I am a big fan of all four people
+ The Inner Circle (Santana, Ortiz & Jake Hager) vs The Pinnacle (Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler & Wardlow): I really liked this match. Santana and Ortiz and FTR are two of the best tag teams in the world right now, Hager has an aura about him in AEW, and Wardlow is only going to get better and better. The Hager/Wardlow cage fight may prove to be a turning point in Wardlow’s character, but for now I am more than okay with these six going back and forth for a long time to come
+ Cody Rhodes vs QT Marshall (South Beach Strap Match): this started off relatively slowly, but it picked up towards the end. The final stretch was a real testament to the addition a live crowd can have on a wrestling show, but I just have such a hard time getting invested in anything Cody Rhodes does these days. Overall this was still a positive

Andrade El Idolo vs Matt Sydal: I am really disappointed to say that this was not a good showing for Andrade. Matt Sydal looked fantastic in everything he did (as of course we all know he can), but Andrade appeared to be just going through the motions which is not going to cut it in my mind

> all of the interview segments were fantastic; Jim Ross sitting down with Darby Allin and Ethan Page felt real and important; the Kenny Omega interview with Tony Schiavone was so, so good and I cannot wait for where it is clearly going; and the MJF/Jericho face off had a few moments sure to be talked about more than other, but these two are such good talkers it was worth every second

Should you watch this event: This was a hell of a show. I know that AEW won’t be putting on shows like this every week, but as a way to kick off the touring schedule, and as well in a lead in to the new show starting in mid August, this was everything you could hope for.


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