The Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match was the worst I’ve ever seen, in all the best ways –

The Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match was the worst I’ve ever seen, in all the best ways

John Moxley and Kenny Omega participate in the healthy event.

John Moxley and Kenny Omega participate in the healthy event.
Photo: AEW

In fact, they did.

That was my primary thought when I saw Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega enter the ring last night at AEW’s “Revolution” PPV. For weeks they had billed this “Barbed Wire Explosive Death Match” and yet my mind could not get to the place to fully accept that it would happen. How could something be so blatantly ridiculous …?

For the sake of full disclosure, I’m still a relatively new wrestling fanatic. Or just entering my third phase as one, at least. I was a fanatic when I was a kid. Then back to college. And again. It’s been a few years, but I’m still not at the level where I can list various independent promo matches where things got cartoony like this. This kind of thing, barbed wire and explosives, is for the truly hardcore and possibly the truly broken. The stories of matches like this with Mick Foley or Terry Funk or Atsushi Onita, are like modern reinterpretations of the Odyssey. I don’t know if they happened, and if they happened, it couldn’t have been the way tradition describes it. And if they happened that way, I’m glad they got out of sight. I know the names, and I even saw Foley quite a bit in my college years, but they are basically ghosts and legend stories.


The Death Match Barbed Wire Blast was pretty much as you imagined.
Photo: AEW

Deathmatches were for the true fanatics / lunatics. The fan of a normal match no longer did anything, because he could not break his numbness. They did not see the fight but they used it. A fix. The one who needed this level of violence and blood to feel again, or something like that. Increasingly successful is what they were. They are not supposed to be in the pay-per-view of a major company with a network television contract. They are not supposed to be out in the open, so to speak. The deathmatches take place in a dark warehouse, two buildings down from where the cockfighting takes place. This is supposed to be a corner of society that never sees the sun.

And yet there they were. The very idea of ​​all this is just crazy. It is not enough that the strings are wrapped in barbed wire. No, they also have to cause an explosion. And the floor was also littered with explosives under wooden planks adorned with barbed wire. Here’s what would happen if a Las Vegas hotel designer got the wrong mushrooms (or the most suitable mushrooms, depending on your point of view). This was a match conceived without ever hearing “no” or “that’s too much.” Basically, it is the wrestling version of capitalism with no restrictions.

And until it started, I couldn’t believe it was happening. “They’re not actually going to do this, are they?” I’m not a horror movie guy, but I think for the first time in my life I understand why people are. The twisted emotions and the journey of not wanting to see something and yet not being able to look away. That was this. I knew what was coming: fire, blood, pain, basically what your parents thought metal shows were, and still couldn’t quite understand when it happened. I was turning and leaning at the same time.


The referee appears to be wearing a Tyvek suit.
Photo: AEW

The appeal of this, at least to begin with, is who takes first place in the barbed wire and the blast. You know they’re going to tease that for a while, which only made me curl up more into a ball. It was Moxley after about five minutes, and then it turns into a study to try to figure out what you’ve become. I can only imagine what it would have been like in a crowded arena, if it were possible in a crowded arena. Perhaps the sheer amount of space between the ring and the fans AEW has had to deal with during the pandemic is the only way they could do something like this.

But after the first explosion, I couldn’t help but want more. And I can hear the crowd at Daley’s Place yelling their approval. Seriously, what are we? Who turns this around? Why is someone talking to us? Why haven’t they locked us up? We are clearly a detriment.

And then you accept it. This is who you are, you’re too deep now. Those whispered corners of society that you never thought you’d see where this kind of thing happens? Yes, you are there now. I am part of it. And I love it. He is too silly and too much to not fully embrace. Once I let go and let the current carry me, it became a joy. If I’m going to lose connection with the right society, leave it wrapped in barbed wire and explosives. More guns, more big spots, all the blood, whatever. I have nothing left to hold on to. I know what I am.


Jon Moxley lies on the eponymous barbed wire from the Death Match Barbed Wire Explosion.
Photo: AEW

Sadly, for the second time in a couple of months, the talk will poke fun at how a massive AEW show ended. On “Winter Is Coming” was his announcement that Omega’s heel twist would be explained on another promo’s show, Impact. This time it will be erectile dysfunction the final blast.

The ring was ready to explode at once at the 30 minute mark. Until that moment, they had played everything perfectly. The match itself was an excellent double-track showcase of Moxley and Omega’s wrestling prowess and unmatched chemistry alongside the sheer brutality and surrealism of the match. The post-match beating centered on Eddie Kingston, who had his own epic fight with Moxley, stepping out to save Mox from the final blast, a brilliant narrative between two old friends in the indies who had pushed themselves to the limit. when they were together on television for the first time and yet they couldn’t shake the old bonds.

And later… duuuuhhhhhh. The ring “exploded” with a couple of flares and an explosion or two that wouldn’t get over your friend’s beer farts. Something clearly went wrong, because both Kingston and Mox, at least at first, were trying to sell as if they were part of something that is all-encompassing and it’s really scary.

It’s a shame that this is the narrative that will come out of this pay-per-view event, because AEW managed to get something out of dark corners and back alleys to a massive audience, and it did so excellently. And even though the pay-per-view as a whole was overloaded in a very WWE-like way, it also contained some great matches, like the women’s championship match or Sting’s cinematic return to action.

But if you don’t make the landing, the judges won’t give you the perfect score. If you are going to get into these waters, you cannot go back. This is how the last floor of a stunt face felt. Whether it was a malfunction or planned, it seemed like AEW couldn’t finish. Could not commit. After all, they brought us here, turned us into this desperate, howling horde for 30 minutes. You have to take us all the way.


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