When I sit down to think critically about AEW, there are two things that I always try to remember. The first is that All Elite Wrestling has a deep and crazy talented roster to draw from. The second is that they have two hours of television time every week. While these seem like positive attributes of the promotion(two hours of television time is more than some older companies can boast), when combined with the size of the AEW roster, it can become tricky to feature some of your best talents on a regular basis. While AEW does have their weekly YouTube series, Dark, the show has yet to be seen as essential viewing for the average fan.
So this will essentially serve as five mini fantasy bookings. We'll take a look at some wrestlers that I think need something to sink their teeth into and what I think would work best for that wrestler. I don't expect any of these to be long term stories, but rather something to build momentum and push these wrestlers to spots where they can thrive.
The Bad Boy was a huge early signing for AEW back in 2019. For years Janela had avoided signing with a major promotion, and now he finally had a home Tony Khan's shiny new toy. As we enter into 2021, it has become clear that Janela hasn't quite found his footing in the company. His tag-team with Sonny Kiss has provided us with a handful of entertaining matches, but fans are still waiting for him to have his AEW break-out moment.
So, here is what I would do with Joey Janela. I think his name still carries enough weight that you could drop him right into a TNT title program with Darby Allin. After months of back and forth between Allin and Team Taz, it seems like the TNT Champion is ready to move on to new challengers. Janela's hardcore style and over the top persona would pair well with Darby Allin's in-ring style and character. At this point in time, I wouldn't put the belt on Janela just yet, but I think this feud could highlight the best attributes of both Darby and Joey.
Matt Sydal didn't have the best AEW debut. His surprise appearance at the Casino Battle Royal had him slip off the top rope and botch his shooting star press finisher. That being said, Sydal is a veteran of the business and has won championships all over the world. So it is strange that he has been relegated to mostly appearing on Dark and occasionally wrestling in tag matches or one-off title matches on Dynamite. So what should the former Evan Bourne do to establish himself as a star in AEW?
I think a program opposite The Dark Order could do the trick. The combinations are endless. He could team with someone to take on Evil Uno and Stu Grayson or have singles matches against John Silver. If Adam Page does end up joining forces with The Dark Order, a series of matches between Page and Sydal could have major drawing power for AEW. The Dark Order had a massive year in 2020 and is looking to continue that into 2021. A feud with Matt Sydal could be exactly what both need in the new year.
Dustin Rhodes is a legend in the business, and while he seems to be ok with taking a backseat role in AEW, I think he needs something to work with during what seems to be his final run in the ring.
His tag-team with QT Marshall has been fairly successful throughout 2020, so I think that is a great place to start. One of the most interesting stories in the tag division right now is the relationship between The Young Bucks and SCU and how that relates to AEW World Champion Kenny Omega and his relationship with The Good Brothers and Don Callis. Dustin and QT could do a great job of representing loyalty to AEW and the AEW locker room. SCU had recently said they have The Young Bucks backs, but how does that play out if the Bucks align themselves with Kenny and the invaders from Impact. AEW loves to do massive tag matches, so I'd love to see The Good Brothers and Young Bucks teaming up against SCU and The Natural Nightmares.
While I don't know how much this would do to get Dustin as an individual over, it seems like the kind of spot that suits the natural as he beings to move out of the ring and into his role as a trainer and producer.
AEW knows that Ford is a reliable worker, as evidenced by the fact that she has been called upon to fill in for Nyla Rose on this week's Dynamite. She had some fantastic matches in the first half of 2020, but her in-ring appearances have dropped off since her match against Shida at Fyter Fest. So what can we do to put a spotlight back on this fantastic worker?
The answer here is a bit straight forward considering how the AEW women's division operates. Just put her in an actual program with Women's Champion Hikaru Shida. Let's get a series of matches between the two leading up to a blow-off title bout at a pay per view. These two have shown that they can have a good match in the ring. Let's just make a bigger deal out of it.
Scorpio Sky had an awesome promo a few months back talking about how he should be in the main event of Dynamite and not only appearing on Dark. He was right. Sky can hold his own in the ring against the best that AEW has to offer, and it really is a shame that he hasn't had the opportunity to shine ever since he began to focus on his singles career.
Admittedly this was the idea that sparked this entire article, but I think Scorpio Sky needs to enter into a program with Orange Cassidy. The set up for a pretty standard Orange Cassidy feud is there. Sky comes out and says that his spot on Dynamite is being taken by a guy that puts his hands in his pockets. As we saw over the Summer, Cassidy can go hard in the ring, and pairing him with someone like Scorpio Sky could lead to the kind of matches that really stand out against the rest of the offerings on a typical Dynamite.
So there you have it, 5 AEW wrestlers that need something to do and what I think AEW should do with them. Did I miss anyone? How would you book these feuds? Let me know by tweeting at me @robbydeshazer!
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