There’s a pretty famous clip of Kevin Owens, back when he was a freelancer as Kevin Steen and on the original “Kevin Steen Show,” where he tells a hilarious story about playing with his wrestling toys. . I won’t spoil you, watch this till the end:
Well I am [redacted] years, and for the past few days instead of sleeping like I’ve increasingly desperately needed, I’ve been staring at the ceiling wondering how MJF is going to steal the AEW title tonight at AEW Grand Slam at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
It has to happen, doesn’t it? It’s too perfect. Bryan Danielson or Jon Moxley who just won the tournament is too clean. Too simple. And yet, AEW has made a name for itself by doing the simple, but doing the simple better than everyone else. Mox-Danielson is going to be an absolute one game banger. Their first was, and ended with William Regal slaps them both as if he were a father who came home from work to find his two sons fighting over the video game controller. It would be totally in the AEW mold for these two to put on an even better match than before, in front of 20,000 barking fans, and Danielson win the title. AEW needs someone to carry the top of the division after the mishegas of the past few weeks who can pull the company past that and get it to refocus on what makes AEW special, that is. say the action between the strings. There’s no one better than Danielson to do that because all he’s done since he showed up just over a year ago is have classic game after classic game. . It would also come full circle, perhaps his greatest moment, which was his match with Kenny Omega at the same spot exactly a year ago.
Or you could easily do it with Moxley for the third time. Wipe away this month’s stupidity, realize Mox has been the centrifugal force of AEW since its inception, and reset it again with him at the top. It works, although we all know he prefers to be on vacation for a bit. There’s no greater symbol of what AEW is meant to be than Mox. You can’t go wrong there.
But…come on. It’s just too easy, isn’t it? At some point, AEW is going to pull shenanigans on a grand scale. It must be tonight, right?
The show is in New York, and technically Queens is Long Island. The MJF appearances on Long Island were meant to be historic events. It’s supposed to be a historic event, the biggest free-to-air TV show. If 20K is going to shit a chicken just for a Moxley-Danielson championship match, imagine the reaction if MJF somehow hijacks the title. His reaction to Chicago was bigger than that of CM Punk. If it descends – well, given its current imagery, rises from the depths of hell at some point during the game – the building will come loose from the foundation. It will be the smirk that launched a thousand ships.
For the second year in a row, AEW Grand Slam show is a marker of where the business is located. But it’s different from last year. They couldn’t have had more boogers falling from their noses last year. They had just introduced Adam Cole and Danielson, Punk had had their first match in seven years a few weeks prior, Ruby Soho had given the women’s division some juice for once (which has since sadly dissipated), and Grand Slam was the step to rolling out Danielson-Omega in the company’s ultimate “balls on the table” movement. It was the kind of game no one else could put on, and the 30-minute draw that ensued was just a reinforcement of that feeling. They just put this game that no one could imagine before on cable TV. AEW specialized in giving fans what they wanted, and it filled them with what they wanted until it got away from them. It was perhaps the pinnacle of AEW so far, a real scorer in that they could put on this match in front of this crowd in this venue in just two years of existence, one of those years being hit by a pandemic.
This time it’s not so rosy. As has been the case for a long time now, AEW is without a host of A-list stars, and there are some questions (albeit very slight of doubt) as to how Tony Khan can handle the rocky waters for the first time. Not everyone is happy, not everything goes as planned, and while AEW will always make its audience happy, again, by giving people what they want and putting on great matches, there’s some curiosity to see how they come out of the last month or so. Grand Slam can spoil all the crap that came before it, a show of such scale and weight that if done right – and AEW almost always pulls off the shows themselves – it will leave the punk silliness behind and start over with new energy.
And it doesn’t even need a big story around the title to kick it off. The Acclaimed and Swerve In Our Glory are going to have their revenge, and an Acclaimed victory will collapse the roof, much the same as an MJF heist. Or a denial of The Acclaimed’s rise will boil the place. A sneaky explosive moment could be Orange Cassidy topping PAC for the All-Atlantic title, giving OC its first gold medal in the company. But it feels like it takes a bigger track to be in the moment.
No, it must be MJF. A moment that has the wrestling world talking for days. Something that puts the spotlight back on AEW. But how? The “casino chip” that MJF essentially boosted for All out was never used as a cash-out at any time, such as the Money in The Bank briefcase. It has always been used in a pre-booked match with build time. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be. Nobody said it wasn’t possible. If anyone had to use it as the title ending, it’s MJF.
Does MJF show up during Mox-Danielson, waylay Mox (his promo from last week was only for Mox and never mentioned Danielson), which sees Mox win by DQ then immediately call his match against a severely handicapped Mox ? It’s the easiest path, and AEW likes the simplest, perfectly executed patch.
Does he bring The Firm back to destroy everyone and walk around in the end? Does he participate at the start of the match? It can’t be the latter. This is MJF we’re talking about! He must be sneaky, he must be sneaky. But I can’t understand. It upsets me. What didn’t I think of? Would MJF want his minions to flatten both Mox and Danielson, walk away with the belt, and simply declare themselves champions? There are so many possibilities and yet none of them seem quite right.
That’s the beauty of AEW. No matter the issues behind the curtain, they have endless possibilities ahead of them. From the simplest route to the most complicated, fans are eager to see what it will be. What is the purpose of business in the end, after all.