MJF vs. Danielson Carrying AEW, Becky Lynch at WWE WrestleMania 39, More Quick Takes
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The rivalry between MJF and Bryan Danielson has reached an apex heading into AEW Revolution.Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Of the several matches slated for AEW Revolution this Sunday, MJF vs. Bryan Danielson has been the best built bout of them all, with nothing else coming remotely close.
The inconsistent quality of Dynamite in the past two months has caused the hype for the event to suffer considerably. Although it should deliver, as almost all of All Elite Wrestling’s pay-per-views have, the AEW World Championship main event is the only match to receive significant and consistent creative effort and attention.
WWE will need to avoid this issue with WrestleMania 39 fast approaching. Three matches have already been confirmed for the card with many more teased and expected, but Becky Lynch—arguably the company’s biggest female star on the roster—doesn’t have an obvious path to the The Show of Shows.
The Man and Lita will challenge Damage CTRL on Monday’s Raw, but nothing else is set in stone for her beyond that. The conclusion to that contest should give us a better idea of what WWE (hopefully) has in store for her as well as where it makes the most sense to slot her in the loaded lineup.
This installment of Quick Takes will discuss Lynch’s WrestleMania role, how to ensure Bianca Belair remains an interesting character, how a returning FTR can be a big boost to AEW’s stagnant tag team division, and more.
MJF and Bryan Danielson Highlight an Otherwise Rocky Road to Revolution
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The builds to the last several pay-per-view main events in AEW have been all over the place, regardless of whether the matches themselves delivered.
However, MJF vs. Bryan Danielson has been effectively furthered for months now with a clear direction in place. AEW has taken the time to tell a compelling story with them and leave fans wanting to see their 60-minute Iron Man match at Revolution.
It started with MJF betraying Danielson’s mentor, William Regal, in November, before having Danielson wrestle a stellar string of matches in order to earn his opportunity at the title. In recent weeks, they’ve focused more on the mic work and have excelled in that area as well.
The rest of the Revolution lineup has potential, most notably the Texas Death match between Jon Moxley and “Hangman” Adam Page, but the storylines haven’t been nearly as strong. That is what AEW has been struggling with as of late more than anything else.
The PPV is guaranteed to feature top-notch wrestling across the card, but AEW should be more mindful in the future when it comes to developing exciting and intriguing angles that make the weekly shows must-see television.
LA Knight Deserves Proper Showcase at WrestleMania 39
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Ultimately, Bray Wyatt’s rivalry with LA Knight from November through late January was a waste of time and accomplished little aside from getting fans familiar with The Megastar and everything he brings to the table.
This past Friday marked his first time back in the ring on WWE TV since his Pitch Black match loss at the Royal Rumble. He was challenged to an impromptu contest by Kofi Kingston and came up short, though it was fairly competitive and a ringside distraction from Xavier Woods cost him the win.
Under no circumstance should Knight have lost that bout, especially with WrestleMania right around the corner and him needing a matchup on the card.
Most of WWE’s top talents are accounted for, but instead of leaving the 40-year-old off the show entirely, having him show up and run down the crowd would be a perfectly acceptable use of him. That could be where “Stone Cold” Steve Austin returns and lays him out with a Stunner after a brief back-and-forth on the mic.
Knight belongs on the billing for WrestleMania this year and should be racking up victories to bounce back from his failed feud with Wyatt, rather than losing inconsequential matches with zero direction.
Bianca Belair Ready for New Chapter to Avoid Growing Stale
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Bianca Belair is far and away one of WWE’s greatest success stories from the past few years and has been booked to look stronger than just about anybody since becoming Raw women’s champion at WrestleMania 38.
From Becky Lynch to Bayley to Sonya Deville to Alexa Bliss, she has knocked off all comers on multiple occasions and done so in phenomenal fashion. She’s one of the promotion’s most popular performers as a result but has lacked in the character development department for some time now.
It becomes increasing difficult to remain interesting while unbeatable, and although Roman Reigns has mastered that as part of his ongoing angle with The Bloodline and Sami Zayn, the Belair act hasn’t evolved much from where it was a year ago.
Of course, there’s no reason to fix something that isn’t broken, but she’ll definitely need a change in direction coming out of WrestleMania 39, whether that be the loss of her Raw Women’s Championship to Asuka or a heel turn.
The EST of WWE retaining at SoFi Stadium on April 1-2 would leave her with no compelling challengers to defend against, unless the idea is to have her revert to her roots as a heel with The Empress of Tomorrow playing the babyface role.
Whatever WWE does with Belair next should mark a major turning point for her, and WrestleMania is as perfect of a place as any for that new chapter to begin.
FTR Can Inject New Life into AEW’s Depleted Tag Team Division
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It’s a sad state of affairs right now in the once-prosperous AEW tag team division, with The Gunns and the duo of Jay Lethal and Jeff Jarrett continuing to bog down the title picture.
The Gunns dethroning the uber-popular Acclaimed as AEW world tag team champions remains a questionable call all these weeks later. If they regain the gold in the Four-Way match at Revolution, interrupting their reign to begin with would prove to be pointless.
The only reasonable solution is FTR returning in the Tag Team Casino Royale on Wednesday’s Dynamite and earning entry into the Revolution title match with a win. From there, they can begin their quest to avenge their loss to The Gunns and get their belts back.
FTR alone aren’t enough to salvage AEW’s tag team ranks, but not focusing on the same several teams would be a welcome change. The storytelling has been subpar and the matches haven’t been memorable, so change is certainly needed.
It’s just as likely FTR doesn’t intend to stick around once their current contracts expire, but AEW should still look to make the most of them before they leave while also starting to build other teams worthy of competing for the championship.
Booking Becky Lynch’s Road to WrestleMania
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The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship picture hasn’t received this much attention in years, and Becky Lynch is the sole reason for its resurgence.
The Man and Lita have their sights set on the gold and will get their shot on Monday’s Raw. The outcome is genuinely unpredictable as there are several different directions WWE can go heading into WrestleMania.
Ensuring Lynch is involved in a prominent match at The Show of Shows should be a priority given her level of star power. The same can be said for Bayley, who has been forced to sit on the sidelines for the last two installments of the marquee event.
The smartest route to take would be The Man capturing the tag titles on Monday night and going on to team with Lita and Trish Stratus against all of Damage CTRL at ‘Mania. On that same night, a No. 1 Contender’s match can be held to determine Lynch and Lita’s opponents on Night 2.
That could pave the way for Lynch and Lita vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. In this instance, everyone wins and the women are well-represented across the two nights.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham “GSM” Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.