To summarize what people love about AEW (and Tony Khan performs it)the’s that the company and he usually just do the simplest thing. Just give people what they want. It sounds like it should go without saying, but there are many ways to think about it.
Bryan Danielson just wants to wrestle with someone he likes in all sorts of ways? Okay, they just let him do that. Jon Moxley actually wants to declare war on Japan? They just let him do that. CM Punk wants to make MJF the biggest star in the industry? OK Go through.
And they do the same with the wrestlers who have been sacked by WWE. Malakai Black Wants To Be A Weird Gothic Kickboxing Demon Monk? Okay, he just can. We won’t touch it. His fans love it, we don’t have to explain it, just give them what they want.
The same goes for Keith Lee, who made his debut with the company last night. It’s still incomprehensible that “New York” didn’t know what to do with this man, because in reality, you don’t have to do anything with him but let him be KEITH GODDAMN LEE. He’s a 300lb acrobat who can bulldoze through a backhoe with all the magnetism you could ask for. He couldn’t be more ready-made. Open the box, you have a star, no assembly required.
So that’s all AEW made him do in his first game. Look at this shit:
Lee threw Isiah Kassidy just in front of the court. And he always can. The mind is already spinning as we know Lee will eventually be in the ring with better high flyers like Dante Martin or Darby Allin. Because Tony Khan knows people want to see that. And he’s going to throw them in dumpsters a football field away, because he can. And Lee didn’t even have to pull out the entire bag of tricks for this match, and he still had fans almost foaming with joy. We didn’t see much of his own air skills and strong sales. That has yet to be excavated.
After the match, Kassidy and his usual tag team partner Marq Quen attempted a surprise attack on Lee. Watch how that went (stick around until Quen tries to moonsault over the top rope to Lee):
That’s a grown man running at full speed, leading from a height of about two to three meters to Lee. Lee catches him like he’s in the garden and his buddy just threw him a beer. The woman at the end who can’t contain her laughter or disbelief, that’s all of us.
Wrestling matches can get complicated and go in many directions. You can have your technical wizardry, your pathos-rich stories, your bloody violence. But sometimes I just want to watch a big guy throw another guy in the damn sun.
We’re going to get a lot of them with Lee in AEW. Simple and great, as it can be.