Last night on AEW Dynamite, we saw both the good and the bad of AEW’s philosophy on keeping won-loss records for its wrestlers.
First, let’s start with the good.
Scorpio Sky challenged Chris Jericho for the AEW World Title in a hard-hitting main event. Sky, as it was pointed out on the broadcast, had won six matches in a row, albeit as part of a tag team with Kaz. Sky, who is one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions, pinned Jericho on Dynamite in a tag team match a few weeks ago.
Continuity is key in pro wrestling, and no one does continuity better than AEW.
Sky felt like a legitimate challenger to the world title and that was helped by the announcers building up his pinfall win over Jericho, as well as his record as a tag-team wrestler. It worked. Sky’s record legitimized him as an opponent for Jericho.
On the flip side, we’re seeing the negative of record-keeping in AEW’s tag team division. Outside of Kaz and Sky, who have dominated the division, most of the other tag teams are booked 50/50 at best.
Kaz and Sky are the champions and they’re 5-1 as a team. Of teams that have wrestled more than just a couple of matches, everyone else is around .500. The Dark Order (3-2), Private Party (4-3), Pentagon & Fenix (4-4), Young Bucs (3-3) and Best Friends (4-3) could all be challengers for the tag titles, but none of them have impressive records.
The Best Friends picked up a win over the Lucha Bros. last night. That dropped the Lucha Bros. down to .500 as a team in AEW, and yet they’re talked about as being one of the toughest teams in the division. Are they one of the best tag teams in the world if they lose as much as they win?
AEW’s record-keeping idea is a good one, but wrestlers that they want to protect need to be protected, and the booking team needs to be disciplined with it. If not, you end up in WWE’s vortex of 50/50 booking where no one feels like a star, and no one feels like a legitimate champion.
From a singles standpoint AEW has done better, protecting Chris Jericho (5-0), Jon Moxley (3-0-1), Cody (4-1-1), Kenny Omega (4-2) and Pac (4-2-1). But others, like Adam Page (4-4) are feeling the same effects as the entire tag division.
The records are actually a way for AEW’s creative team to hold itself accountable. For the purpose of putting on the best television they can, that’s a good thing. If they follow the numbers.