After a long wait, AEW was finally able to hold the first-ever Blood & Guts match last week with The Pinnacle taking down The Inner Circle.
True to its name, it was a bloody, brutal match. Seemingly no one walked out without having bled in some fashion, or at least with many wounds to show off that will hurt for quite some time.
But that was just the first match. There will be many more to come, we can assume. Just like Hell in a Cell, Elimination Chamber and the WarGames match that preceded it, Blood & Guts should be here to stay.
With that being said, what else is AEW working with? What other teams could compete inside the two rings surrounded by steel?
Let’s take a look at the factions on the roster right now and try to match up some new groups.
Three Ain’t Enough. I Need Five.
First off, we have to address the numbers. Unlike Elimination Chamber’s necessity of six people (or six tag teams), there is no definitive number that WarGames, nor Blood & Guts has to stick to.
In the past, WarGames has had teams of five, four and three. WWE seems to be sticking to four as the magic number, but WCW had instances like 1998’s Team WCW (DDP, Roddy Piper and The Warrior) vs nWo Hollywood (Hogan, Bret Hart and Stevie Ray) vs nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Sting and Lex Luger) as just one example of the smallest group so far.
With AEW, there is a combination of influences. Tony Khan has his own way of doing things, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega have their ideas, etc. It’s clear Cody Rhodes tries to bring a lot of things from WCW’s past with his father’s influence, so I’m assuming he at least prefers the teams of five like the original concept.
They don’t have to stick with it, but let’s try to work that in as much as we can, rather than going with a bunch of trios options as “good enough” and calling it a day.
The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle
Obviously, these two teams can start feuds with others on this list. Just because they’ve already competed in this doesn’t mean they can’t be in the second, third or so on. Four years in a row, The Undisputed ERA fought in WarGames in NXT. Hell, this could be The Inner Circle’s thing, specifically.
I doubt it, but if either of these teams sticks around another year or two, there should be likely at least one more opportunity to have another Blood & Guts match.
From the start, it felt like The Elite was set up to have this match against The Inner Circle. The pandemic got in the way of that, which is a shame, but we might still see it in some fashion, or in another incarnation.
For example, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and The Good Brothers makes up one hell of a quintet. I doubt Michael Nakazawa would be someone’s go-to person to throw in the match, but he could get involved in some way from the outside to try to make the odds six-on-five.
It’s not the same as Omega, Young Bucks, Page and maybe Rhodes or someone else to fill in that spot, but it’s arguably better since there’s more of a Bullet Club feel to it.
The Dark Order
There is no shortage of members for The Dark Order, which makes finding a group of five very easy to do. Even with the unfortunate passing of Brodie Lee, the group is still seven members strong, not counting unofficial members like Hangman Page and Tay Conti, nor Anna Jay or -1.
You’ve got Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, John Silver, Alan Angels, Colt Cabana and Preston Vance.
The downside to this group is that there’s no true leader, so there’s no one to build up to seeing as the final member. However, if you put Page in the match, he serves that purpose. He’s friendly enough with The Dark Order that it wouldn’t be weird.
In my ideal scenario, the group consists of Page, Uno, Grayson, Reynolds and Silver. Angels is the runt of the litter in a lot of ways, Cabana seems to just hang out and I can’t picture him in that type of fight, and while “10” can certainly fill a spot, I think it’d be weird to boot one of the other guys.
The Hardy Family Office
To be honest, I don’t think this would ever happen, nor do I have any interest in this group taking up a spot in Blood & Guts. However, we should address them, since they’re a group of five already formed.
Matt Hardy, Private Party, The Butcher and The Blade (no need to count The Bunny) is already set. You’re done. There you go. That’s your team.
There isn’t a single possible feud I can imagine being worth building toward Blood & Guts for this group, though. For that matter, I don’t think this faction will be around all that much longer, anyway. My guess is we see this stable split by the end of the year and Matt’s switched off to a different gimmick.
The Nightmare Family / The Factory
Having split in two, The Nightmare Factory has a lot of members on the roster and many more that are associated with them. I’d go so far as to say it’s almost a guarantee we’re going to see at least one Blood & Guts match team led by Cody Rhodes at some point in the future. The same isn’t likely to be said about QT Marshall, especially since I can’t imagine this feud lasts that long.
As it stands right now, though, The Nightmare Family has Cody and Dustin Rhodes, Lee Johnson and the three members of The Gunn Club. Of course, Darby Allin and some others could just join their ranks temporarily to help with star power, rather than relying on Colten Gunn as a main guy and so on.
The Factory has QT Marshall, Nick Comoroto, Anthony Ogogo and Aaron Solow. They’d need a fifth member. My guess is there are plenty of people who can fill the role, but none of them would have the star power necessary for this match.
However, if you combine them again at some point in the future, then, you’re working with something. Assuming people progress naturally in their careers, you could have Cody and Dustin Rhodes, Comoroto, Ogogo and Johnson and that might be a great team.
Team Taz + 1 or 2
Brian Cage, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs make an impressive trio and the first of many on this list. Technically speaking, Hook is there and could be the fourth, but since he’s yet to wrestle a true match, I don’t think it’s fair to assume he’s a given.
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