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411 Wrestling Fact or Fiction: Should Will Ospreay Main Event AEW All In?

June 28, 2024 | Posted by Jake Chambers
AEW Dynamite Will Ospreay Swerve Strickland 6-12-24 Image Credit: AEW

Welcome back to the 411mania Wrestling Fact or Fiction. I’m your host Jake Chambers.

We’ve got some fallout from the big PLE in Scotland to discuss, among other things, so I’ve invited along two absolute FoF legends, whether it be in the comments section or in the main column! You know them, you love them: Ryan and D2Kvirus are storming the castle!

It’s been a while since we’ve had these two have clashed, so let’s not waste any more time.

Statement #1: You were disappointed that Drew McIntyre lost in the main event of the first ever PLE in his home country of Scotland.

D2Kvirus: FACT – There’s plenty of reason to feel aggrieved about this, which the Glasgow crowd clearly did given they jeered Samantha Irvin after the show when she was giving the safe travels message at the end of the night, not least because he lost in a way that would have had Vince Russo slap his forehead and say “I wish I thought of that!” that just so happens to also have an obvious logic gap in how Punk would rather cost Drew the title instead of, oh I don’t know, let the chips fall where they may and if Drew happened to win the title then Punk could goad him into a title match which makes an awful lot of this thing called “sense”.

But for me the main issues are twofold: first of all, Drew is now 0-2 in title matches at UK PLEs and the best thing you can say about him losing in Scotland is at least he didn’t engage in a mass sing-along afterwards like the loss didn’t even matter unlike the last time he lost a title match at a UK PLE, and secondly it’s hard not to spot that of the three matches on the CitC card featuring Scottish performers they lost in two of them which means that 40% of the results of the entire card had Scottish talent looking at the lights which is the sort of stick/carrot ratio you would have expected from Vince, but for some reason bringing this little detail up is verboten and likely to get a similar response as Jacob Rees-Mogg walking into a Govan pub and mentioning the score of Scotland’s match with Germany last week… which, now that I mention it, I would really like to see that take place.  From a safe distance, obviously…

Ryan: FICTION – So, to get to the end game of where we need to get to, I feel like that included Drew NOT winning the World Title at Clash at the Castle. You see, while it would have made for a feel-good moment for McIntyre (that was saved for Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn instead), Drew doesn’t need the title because he has an already revolving and ever-changing feud with CM Punk. And while that doesn’t necessarily make up for not having become World Champion again for The Scottish Warrior/Psychopath, he does maintain a very strong feud and has a major beef with Punk, even more so than before.

Also, I feel that, had McIntyre won the title back from Priest after Damian cashed in on him at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia, that it simply would have been playing hot potato with the title. And I personally feel that Priest has been doing both good in-ring and character work since he won the belt, especially to keep the Judgment Day on the right path and focused.

So, no, I would say that if there was any shred of disappointment that Drew didn’t win the World Title, rest assured that he still has a very big and prominent storyline moving forward. And sometimes, feuds as dynamic as Punk and McIntyre doesn’t need a world title (more on that later).

Statement #2: Will Ospreay is currently the best wrestler in AEW, he should win the AEW World Title and then be in the main event at the All In PPV in London.

D2Kvirus: FICTION – As this is technically two questions, I’ll start with the second one about whether Ospreay should win the AEW title and then headline All In, and to that I can honestly say I don’t think that he should win the title at All In, as if he is going to win the AEW title this year then surely it makes far more sense for that to happen at All In and not before – and this leads onto a second point, namely that Swerve absolutely should not be dropping the title to Ospreay at Forbidden Door as Swerve has only held the title a couple of months and certainly deserves a longer reign, so AEW painted themselves into a corner by booking Swerve vs Ospreay at Forbidden Door and they’re going to need a lot of paint thinner to get out of it, especially as a non-finish off an Elite run-in may be the most logical way to dodge a decisive finish but that would likely less deflate the crowd than have them impersonate the R101 disaster.  Zeppelin tragedy jokes: I got ’em!

So with an outright fact off the table, that leads me to the first point, namely about whether Will Ospreay is the best wrestler in AEW.

…aaaaand approximately fifteen minutes later, after a lot of umming and ahhing to try and reach a consensus with myself (no, most people who know me, this isn’t about which t-shirt/shirt combo I’ll be wearing when I leave the house) I’m going to have to say that as incredible a wrestler as Ospreay is, the blackened clump of sarcasm, bitterness, League of Gentlemen quotes and Nine Inch Nails lyrics within my chest is telling me that Bryan Danielson is still the best wrestler that AEW have for least for a little bit longer – but it’s a close-run thing, though as nobody would lend me a Rizla I cannot give an accurate measure as to how close the gap between the two is.

Ryan: FICTION – The FICTION doesn’t stem from calling The Willy Goat BRUV the best wrestler in AEW, and it doesn’t stem from saying that BRUV Core shouldn’t be in the main event, because the former is debatable, but many a fan will say BRUVSPREAY is the best wrestler in AEW, and he should be in the main event of All In. However, the FICTION comes from the fact that the statement says, “he should win the AEW World Title and then be in the main event at the All In PPV in London”.

See, I am a firm believer that two hot commodities such as Swerve Strickland and BRUV LUV should not be facing off this soon, but since we have booked ourselves into this corner, I honestly feel that a win for Strickland at Forbidden Door is a greater benefit for Swerve and lends validation to his world title run. So, we are going to play this by ear and assume that Strickland and the BRUVNOR have the rematch at All-In, and this is where BRUVGOAT wins the World Title.

Also, keep in mind that, to help with said decisions, it is not Will the BRUV Goat’s title that is on the line at Forbidden Door, only Strickland’s, and so I think that caveat makes this one a little easier to figure out. It could be a MOTY candidate for the company, but Strickland wins now so BRUV Dove wins in his home country.

Statement #3: CM Punk will be World Heavyweight Champion in 2024.

D2Kvirus: FICTION – Working on the presumption that Gunther steamrolls Priest for the belt at SummerSlam, that alone discounts Punk from winning the WHC in 2024 because your would have to believe that, barring Gunther picking up some kind of catastrophic injury, Gunther will be holding the belt into 2025 and that will likely set the stage for Gunther and Drew beating the ever-loving piss out of each other in a title match at WM next year.  Although just to be safe, on the off chance that somebody has decided that Punk should win the belt at the first time of asking against somebody who had been built up to win the title for a couple of years up to that point (and who does something like that…?), Gunther should make an unscripted crack about worker’s rights in a promo and wait for nature take its course.

Ryan: FICTION – For reasons that I stated above when discussing any possible disappointment with Drew not winning the title, we have the other side of coin with CM Punk. Will CM Punk be the World Heavyweight Champion in the year 2024? Absolutely not, because he went out of his way to screw McIntyre in his home country, and I feel as if Drew will make it his mission to screw Punk out of the same opportunity despite Drew “quitting” on this past episode of Raw.

Also, there are a couple of other guys that I feel could be given the rub by winning the World Title from Priest, and one of them is GUNTHER, who won the King of the Ring and has a guaranteed World Title shot at Summerslam already. I feel like the title belongs to someone who can boost his profile by winning the title and not the other way around, and I don’t see any way that the title would make Punk more popular than he has been since he returned.

You can always have a Summer of Punk (insert the proper number here) without him having the title in the year-to-end future, and it would merely be a proper for the fun ahead.


Statement #4: You wouldn’t mind paying hundreds of dollars (or currency equivalent) to see a live WWE PLE that is 3 hours long with only 5 matches.

Ryan: FICTION – I think that the WWE should be applauded for going to more countries and stretching out their appeal as it pertains to their international fanbase. I think that, in time and if possible, the expansion of wrestling as a whole outside of North America could work, with WWE at the forefront as they find more countries to have their PLE shows take place.

However, having said that, I understand that the business module for the company (and, for many years, NXT and their Takeover shows) was to have a five-match card and to not exceed more than three hours in show length. And, while I feel like the shows that they run within North America for their PLE fit that module well, I am often wondering why they don’t expand the palate when they went to, say, France and Scotland.

So, no, for that short of a show and for as much money as what they were charging for tickets to Clash at the Castle, I wouldn’t be paying for that kind of show. Buy a ticket for a three hour RAW, especially if it’s outside of the US, because you’ll get equal hours of sports entertainment for less money!

D2Kvirus: FICTION – Not sure if it got reported on 411, but it does have to be said that the ticket prices for CitC drew such a negative response that it was even reported on the BBC due to the ticket prices costing between £300-2000, which is quite remarkable given the BBC seem to have a blind spot with Scotland’s existence most of the time and especially now with a General Election on the horizon, and when you consider that the average salary in Glasgow is around £31k a year (or, for the non-Brits reading this, $38k in the US, $59k in Australia, $54k in Canada, and for Liz Truss that’s roughly what her Premiership cost the country per minute) it can certainly be suggested that a certain amount of urine extraction is taking place considering WWE were charging London prices for a show in Glasgow, especially considering that for those sort of prices you could get a season ticket at either Rangers or Celtic (though other Scottish teams are available…and much cheaper, for obvious reasons).

But that’s enough from Consumer Advice with D2Kvirus.  Now as for the question itself: given I live in London, what would I be willing to pay for a five-match, three-hour WWE PLE?

Well let’s start with the obvious: I tend to drop in the ballpark of £80 to go to a Tottenham match, which I do a handful of times a season and I continue to marvel at how a pint at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is still cheaper than my local pub, though that number of times I go per season may vary depending on whether or not we’re coached by a past-it dinosaur having a prolonged mental breakdown in public because he can’t admit his tactics are as easy to predict as the dates of his next trip to the hair transplant clinic and that’s why the players obviously downed tools because they got sick of being blamed for him coaching the football out of them.  Good luck with him, Napoli fans…

So given the exclusivity of a WWE PLE in the UK I can certainly see myself dropping £80-120 for a ticket as that seems about right for London prices, maybe £150 tops if it’s a good venue (which rules out Wembley Arena, which is an aircraft hanger with crap acoustics and security who dream of working outside a high street pub on a weekday evening to see if they can go an evening without letting a single person inside) though the matches would have a lot to do with whether I was willing to pay that, though that is helped significantly by the threat of a show being headlined by a HHH vs Kevin Nash street fight being removed entirely, which is why we should always offer an arm around the shoulder and a sympathetic ear for those who shelled out to attend the Insurrextion PPV back in 2003 who had to sit through that (let alone the rest of the dreck on the card, best summed up by the fact Teddy Long wrestled in one of the matches)

Statement #5: Without any AEW/NJPW inter-promotional “dream matches” left, Forbidden Door is still a good idea for an annual PPV.

Ryan: FACT – I don’t feel that the “dream matches” will have an end, at least in its entirety. Given the fluid movement of wrestlers between not just AEW and New Japan, but their working relationship with both CMLL and AAA, there will probably never be any lack of “dream matches”. I mean, heck, look at Forbidden Door later this month and you’ll find the Strickland and Ospreay match as a “dream match”, and both guys wrestle in the same company.

And, if we’re being completely honest, the idea of the Forbidden Door can continue and have crossover matches between companies just to have some crossover appeal. It doesn’t need to always be a “dream match” and check that box to be a great match and a great show that fans of multiple companies can enjoy.

D2KVirus: FACT – The addition of CMLL and Stardom to this year’s show does freshen up the Forbidden Door concept enough to give it legs for maybe another couple of years, something which affected ROH’s War of the Worlds shows as they burned through the pick of the matches in first couple of shows, though what stands out to me is that (at the time of typing, anyway) the show has just the seven matches announced, where the previous Forbidden Doors featured thirteen and fourteen matches respectively, which suggests that either there’s a half dozen matches yet to be announced or that AEW blew their proverbial load on the first two shows and are now being more selective to avoid burning out the concept after two or three shows.

Statement #6: Despite all the terrible matches, award-winningly bad feuds, and nonsensical promos in the past, you are still excited for this new Uncle Howdy incarnation of the Wyatt Family.

Ryan: FACT – Things feel a little bit different this time around, and I feel like we should give it a chance. The sentiment behind this being not just a revamp of the Wyatt Family (no matter what we’re calling it now) but a tribute and in remembrance to a great man who originally spearheaded this Family makes it feel like this could be treated as something important and not just some throw away stable. At the very least, it is going to employ some members of the roster who have not been seen or heard from in a long time, and when you have more people involved, it is always a good thing.

I lamented my concern about the group in a post the other day, saying that, simply put, I want the group to not turn out to be Retribution 2.0. I understand that this is setting a VERY low bar (literally, the bar is on the floor), but I feel like this could work out if they stick to something for the group and they make it a bigger deal than anyone should expect it to be. What they will be doing or who they will be involved with remains to be seen, but I am here for whatever they want to do with them.

And, if you don’t want to do it for the fans and for the people who casually watch the show, then damn it, make it work for Wyatt and Luke Harper/Brodie Lee.

D2KVirus: FICTION – The issue with so much of the Wyatt Family’s booking (and indeed Bray’s solo booking) was they always started white hot with a perfectly-executed match or angle and the follow up was…well the opposite of that, going right back to their main roster debut where Wyatt needed Harper & Rowan to interfere to beat Kane in his debut match that did a bang-up job of presenting the Wyatt’s as a threat (note sarcasm…) which unfortunately set the tone for so may occasions where Wyatt and/or the Wyatts sank in as undignified a manner as the Andrea Doria.  Liner tragedy jokes – I got ’em!

But my main issue with the New Wyatts isn’t to do with the booking as it is likely they will get better support than in The Before Times, even if it has to be said Sanity were one of Trips’ biggest fumbles in NXT and they were Wyatts-adjacent in their presentation, but the issue is that the original incarnation had a damn good central core as Bray could deliver the character beats while Luke Harper could hold things down in the ring, but this incarnation does seem to have a few (for lack of a better phrase) lesser talents starting with Bo Dallas as he just doesn’t have Bray’s ability to make a character fully realised and authentic, and while Dexter Lumis (and to a lesser degree Joe Gacy) can deliver the character work if given the opportunity yet the group is missing somebody who can hold down matches and that could become an issue when they progress beyond destroying people in segments which, contrary to the opinions of some utter weirdos on Twitter, did not best the nightclub shot in Goodfellas.

Though I do have one question about whether or not they will wrestle in the masks, which may well be the case with Bo as the Uncle Howdy mask has been significantly streamlined compared to what it was before, because if that will be the case going forward that may unfortunately lead to me getting ‘Nam flashbacks about Retribution that I thought I’d chased away with a few Berlin Mules.

So I hope for the best, but I won’t be shocked if inky tendrils of the not-best slither into view.

Amazing stuff, thanks again to Ryan and D2Kvirus for bringing the goods this week. Be on the look out for Ryan’s AEW PPV preview columns and… D2Kvirus, well, I think if you say his name in any comment section, he appears!