As has been the case more than once lately, I had an idea for something to talk about but it was changed due to an update that happened during the week. That has a tendency to make things more interesting and that was the case again, which gave me a bit more to go on. This week it has to do with AEW, as believe it or not, they are adding in something to their already packed plate.
I have been watching AEW since the beginning and contrary to what some might believe, I like a lot of what they do. They have brought another wrestling promotion to the national stage and that is something that fans have been waiting to see for a long time. Impact Wrestling has long since established their foothold miles beneath relevancy and Ring Of Honor was never a top promotion, leaving WWE alone for so long. Now AEW is on that top level (not as top as WWE but far ahead of anything else) but there are still a fair number of problems.
If there is one underlying problem I have with AEW, it is that they try to cram in too much at once. The company has a really bad tendency to try to add in so many things on a regular basis, be it wrestlers, events or titles, and a lot can get lost in the shuffle as a result. It was the case coming into the summer, and then the focus shifted to Forbidden Door, followed by a shift towards Ring Of Honor. That left AEW itself a bit in the dust on its own program, but now things have settled down a bit. Unfortunately, now they have something else to take up their time.
A few weeks back, AEW announced the Trios Titles, with a tournament to crown the first champions. Not even counting Ring Of Honor/titles from other companies, that brings the total number of champions in the company to twelve (including the Interim Title, which is going away, and the FTW Title (spare me the “IT’S NOT SANCTIONED” as it’s only on AEW TV and defended on the company’s TV shows)). By comparison, on Monday Night Raw/SmackDown combined (meaning no NXT), there are ten champions (with Roman Reigns and the Usos counted as three total, plus the to be determined Women’s Tag Team Champions).
Now, while there is an argument to be made about AEW and WWE being equal in a lot of terms, there is one major difference between the two (for the purposes of this) and that is television time. WWE has five hours of Monday Night Raw/SmackDown, while AEW has three between Dynamite and Rampage. As you might guess, that gives WWE quite the advantage when it comes to being able to let things breathe a bit, and that is where the problem comes in.
The Trios Titles have been rumored since AEW began and when they were finally announced, my first reaction was “great, more stuff”. It is the latest example of AEW adding something new in and watering down what they have overall. The Trios Titles will be the third set of tag titles the company has on TV (along with the AEW Tag Team Titles and the set of titles that FTR holds) and….my goodness why in the world does a company need that many tag titles? I’m sure some of FTR’s titles will go away one day, leaving only five tag champions around (until the Women’s Tag Team Titles are probably introduced).
On top of that, the main story is likely going to be involving the Elite, because OF COURSE IT’S ABOUT THE ELITE. The Elite have been one of if not the top story throughout the company’s history and it is really hard to care about it anymore. Even this week, it was more of the Young Bucks with their “can’t we be friends” deal to Hangman Page and odds are it is going to get even more time that the company doesn’t really have because the Elite always gets the extra time.
However, before I get into a long winded rant about the Elite, there is another team that is getting a lot of television time this week, and that is the Trustbusters. Who the heck are the Trustbusters you ask? Well that would be Ari Daivari, Parker Boudreaux, Slim J and, as of Rampage, Sonny Kiss. That’s the entire lineup mind you, and yes, you really are supposed to be interested.
Let’s take a quick look at the Trustbusters. You have:
• Daivari (not even the best known Daivari in wrestling)
• Boudreaux (Joe Gacy’s lackey)
• Slim J (who looks like he would fit in great at any independent show in 2001)
• Kiss (who has never won a match on Dynamite/Rampage and until this week, hasn’t wrestled on either since October 2020)
Of everyone on the AEW roster, these people are the ones who warranted not only a spot in the tournament (fair enough, as most tournaments have an entrant with no chance of winning), but also a good portion of one of AEW’s shows this week. Not only did AEW introduce the team on Dynamite this week, but they added a new member and gave them two out of the four matches this week on Rampage (with Daivari losing in the show’s main event).
Just looking at the AEW roster, isn’t this kind of a perfect spot for the Factory? They have been around, the fans know who they are and they don’t need any kind of a build, at least for this spot. The Trustbusters are facing the Best Friends in the first round and it would be a heck of an upset for them to win there, so why not just cut out some of the excess and put the Factory in? Unless AEW thinks the Trustbusters are some kind of a brilliant idea and dark horses to become big stars (egads if that’s the case), I’m really not sure I see the need to put them in this spot.
Now no, the Trustbusters aren’t going to be a big deal in the tournament and the Trios Titles will probably produce some cool matches and moments down the line, but it continues AEW’s tradition of packing in as much as they can. I haven’t been interested in Trios Titles since they were first mentioned and having them be about the Elite/focusing on the Trustbusters for one of the two shows a week isn’t making this any more interesting. There are so many people on the roster who could use the time but instead, it comes off like focusing on WWE rejects and a reheated Kiss.
AEW has a stacked roster and some great things going for it, but they also need to slow down. If you keep jumping from one title to another with almost no room to breathe, nothing feels special because it is always about moving on to the next thing rather than letting it sink in. At the same time, the company needs to use some of the talent that it already has.
Maybe Tony Khan has the greatest eye in the world and the Trustbusters will be breakout stars, but with so much talent already on the roster, I’m really not sure why they needed to build up some more cannon fodder for the first round of the tournament. In other words, in answer to Jim Ignatowski’’s (look it up, and watch a lot of it) question, SLOW DOWN!
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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