SoCalAndy wrote:I'd try to find your comments on it, but I'm tired and can't find your review and don't want to go through random threads and want to watch these It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia episodes I just downloaded.
Fair enough. That show rawks. Fuckin' love the slave episode.
But I did feel that he gave off the vibe of being a champion in a way that nobody else has. Frankie worked hard and did a good job with it, so did Pearce, and Steen certainly did; Joey's had his moments. But of all of them, AJ was the only one who really made his title matches feel intense and important every time out. He just carries himself like a star, which is why I like him, his bad habits notwithstanding.
I also think you're underestimating his drawing ability a little bit. You could tell, even in his brief reign, that PWG knew AJ could draw decent crowds even without loaded undercards behind him. The AJ-as-champ shows were the first regular (non-Anniversary, non-All-Star) shows to near the 300 mark in attendance, and it happened just as Danielson and Joe stopped appearing for a couple months. Looking at the cards, I think you have to primarily credit AJ and Daniels for that. On the relative scale of PWG crowds (none of which are enormous), AJ seemed like a draw as champion.
I didn't know you weren't a Pearce fan.
But I have to say that I also thought Dragon's championship reign was a bit of a disappointment. Guy's awesome, of course, but it just didn't come off as special as it should've. Part of the problem was the sort of offhand way in which he won the belt from Frankie, in the middle of a show, without any real build.
Part of it was that he often defended against non-built up guys like Steen (1-3 and 1-4 in PWG when he got his shots), Generico (1-3) and Jonny Storm (0-2).
Even in SD/Joe II, my favorite PWG match ever, you really don't get the vibe that he's the champ. That was the right story for that match, but in general his reign just felt like a string of SD singles matches, nothing more. I hope he gets a better run with it sometime.
AJ wasn't a big draw. Around the time Dragon started his title run PWG was starting to draw 200-250 people at shows. Crowds were starting to get bigger slowly and AJ just so happened to be champion at the time PWG started to get like 50 more people. And at the time, Kevin Steen and Super Dragon were starting to get the biggest pops at shows.
Dragon had a flight to catch(he was wrestling at a CZW show the next day during the afternoon), hence why the match went on before intermission.
Plus there was build up. The Ironman match was a number one contender's match and used in a way to help make the match with Joey seem more important. Plus many fans considered this a dream match of sorts(even though they faced eachother before) between two PWG icons.
The pop for Dragon's win was really huge too. If anything, AJ's win was a lot more disapointing. It didn't get a good build, and it didn't even get a good reaction as several fans booed pretty loudly.
The Jonny Storm match was meant to be a way to play off their match in England and as a way for Dragon to face some international names and help build up the title.
The first Steen title match was built up in one night and he went over two of the most over people in the US indy scene and a popular babyface who already defeated him.
Plus Tony Stradlin was going to face Dragon, but when he got his WWE contract PWG had to quickly book something else.
The Joe match had a big fight atmosphere, and the fact that it was for the title added to that. Not only was Dragon fighting for his pride, but he was also fighting for the title he worked so hard to get and did almost anything to try and beat Joe to keep it.
And Dragon also was the first person to defend the PWG title in another promotion(SCCW) and outside of the US(Germany).
Had Dragon's title run lasted longer, it could of been one of the best title runs in indy wrestling. All the things you said about Dragon's run could be applied to AJ's run, word for word, with more examples thrown in.
True -- that was bad luck. (Is he still in Deep South? Seems like he's real stuck in developmental limbo...)
AJ wasn't a huge draw by any means, but as I see it, he's the closest thing to a draw that PWG's ever had.
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