Overreactions: AEW/Impact Wrestling Partnership, Sting's Return and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2020

Overreactions: AEW/Impact Wrestling Partnership, Sting's Return and More

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    Credit: Impact Wrestling

    Kenny Omega's AEW World Championship victory and subsequent appearance on Impact Wrestling shook the wrestling world to its core and created a fair share of exclamatory remarks.

    But did any of them flirt with overreaction?

    Sting's return to a major wrestling promotion by way of his appearance on AEW Dynamite's Winter Is Coming special certainly did, but just how much?

    Find out now with this look at the week that was in pro rasslin' overreactions.

AEW/Impact Wrestling Relationship Will Change Pro Wrestling for the Better

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    Any time one wrestling promotion can put new eyes on another it is best for the business as a whole.

    Wednesday night, Impact saw exponential growth in Twitch viewership based on the crossover between it and All Elite Wrestling. Kenny Omega's appearance, and the followup to a red-hot angle from last Wednesday's Dynamite, helped drive fans to a product that has been consistently solid all year but has not had nearly enough attention placed on it.

    Now, fans who may not have tuned into Impact since the days of AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle and Abyss have an understanding of what that promotion is about and an appreciation for its talent, such as Rich Swann, Chris Bey, Moose, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan and Deonna Purrazzo.

    And Impact fans who, for whatever reason, had not seen anything from AEW are now very aware of the top angle in the company and have a tease for this week's TNT broadcast.

    Crossovers create new fans, genuine excitement and bring a sense of unpredictability to an industry that is sorely in need of it.

    More importantly, two executives coming together to make it happen while leaving egos at the door only helps enhance an oftentimes cutthroat business.

    While it is early in the AEW/Impact relationship, their partnership has already changed the industry for the better.


    Overreaction: Not even a little

AEW Bringing in Sting Was a Brilliant Move for the Company

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    Sting is awesome. His presentation on AEW Dynamite: Winter Is Coming was phenomenal. The staredown with Darby Allin was chill-inducing.

    But that doesn't mean his debut in the company was a brilliant move by Tony Khan and the rest of the management team.

    There is no denying Sting's star power and the attention he can help bring to AEW. He is a rare icon in the industry and a performer fans both young and old have a connection with. His name still means something in an industry that has oftentimes overused, abused and thrown away legends who no longer serve a purpose, so it is difficult to suggest that AEW would have been better off without him.

    That still does not mean bringing in the face-painted legend was the right call.

    AEW has a young nucleus, a core group of stars who are in the prime of their careers. Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and Jon Moxley make up a roster that also includes Orange Cassidy, MJF, Sammy Guevara and countless others whose television time is relegated to AEW Dark because there is no room for them on the main broadcast.

    And that number grows with every signing the company makes. There is a wealth of young, exciting, fresh talent who cannot make it on to Dynamite because there is no room for them. Young talent that was with the company from the beginning who watch on as AEW reaches out to established stars from the past to help boost their standing in the wrestling world.

    Sting is 61 years old. For argument's sake, if WWE had brought him in right now and given him a prominent place on Raw or SmackDown, the backlash on the company for holding its young stars back in the name of presenting another over-the-hill legend would have been intense. It would have been passionate.

    We have seen it every time The Undertaker comes back. The backlash has been vocal every time Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart, Steve Austin or even The Rock makes an appearance. WWE has all of this young talent, after all, and pushing them off of television to highlight a legend is a sacrilege.

    Even Brock Lesnar, at only 43, is harshly criticized for taking the spotlight away from those deemed more deserving.

    So, as awesome as it was to see Sting walk through the tunnel and to hear Tony Schiavone call "It's STIIIIIIIING" for the first time in two decades, let's not act like it was some revolutionary return that will not result in the same issues it did for WWE, even if he elevates Darby Allin in the process—remember, WWE used him to put Seth Rollins over, too. 


    Overreaction: Yes, and a somewhat hypocritical one at that

Undisputed Era vs. Team McAfee Is a Contender for Match of the Year in WWE

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    The main event of NXT TakeOver: War Games featured a brutal, physical battle between The Undisputed Era and Team McAfee that appropriately concluded a months-long rivalry. There were bruises, blood and broken bodies as the competitors did their absolute best to live up to the War Games gimmick.

    But was it a legitimate Match of the Year candidate, as has been suggested following the show?

    It is, but not by any means the front-runner.

    That honor belongs to Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre, who delivered a good, old-fashioned hoss fight in the main event of Survivor Series and reminded fans of the magic of two big guys just exchanging heavyweight blows in the marquee spot on the card.

    The War Games match had great spots and sequences that were expertly set up over the course of the match, and the heat spots within made sense. The work of all involved was superb, particularly McAfee, who never once looked like an outsider in there.

    Was it one of the better matches of the year from any promotion? Sure, but when it comes to the most exemplary example of in-ring excellence and captivating storytelling this year, that belongs to Reigns and McIntyre.


    Overreaction: Yes, but just slightly


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