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Lack Of Build Sucks The Air Out Of Andrade El Idolo’s AEW Rampage Match

AEW has developed a nasty habit of jagged, uneven storytelling, with Andrade El Idolo’s upcoming match on Friday Night Rampage serving as the most recent example. Rumors have been swirling around the 32-year-old for several months, indicating that he isn’t too happy with his current role with All Elite Wrestling. His interactions with those on Twitter have only added fuel to that fire, with him occasionally dropping likes on tweets from fans who are unhappy with his usage.


It’s not difficult to figure out why El Idolo would be upset with how Tony Khan has booked him as of late. His career vs. mask match on the October 7 episode of Rampage will be his first singles bout since June 22. It’d be one thing if he were injured, but there’s been no indication from El Idolo or AEW that was the case. If he had been hurt, it stands to reason he wouldn’t be getting so firmly behind the #FreeElIdolo hashtag movement online. Now, amidst reports that Tony Khan has zero intention of releasing talent from contracts, El Idolo will put his AEW career up against The Dark Order’s 10 and his mask.

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The storyline here is that El Idolo has been trying to recruit 10 during backstage segments over the last several weeks. 10 has rebuffed him repeatedly… and that’s it. That led audiences to this career vs. mask bout. These blink-and-they’re-gone segments are being used as the foundation for what should be the blow-off match of a physical, show-defining rivalry. Masks being put on the line might not have the same impact that they used to, but it’s still a pretty big stipulation for those who wrestle with their faces covered. El Idolo’s career being put on the line should also be a massive deal. Instead, AEW jumped the shark, failing to give any meaningful build towards one of the few stipulation matches left that they haven’t produced.

How Could Fans Be Invested In El Idolo Vs. 10?

This feels like a stipulation tacked onto a show that AEW is trying to build up as an important one. The company expects fans to care about Rampage after months of neglect, and that’s a booking shortcoming. There’s nothing else to blame the lack of interest on. Before All Out, Tony Khan admitted that Friday nights required more care and attention and promised to deliver. He’s yet to do so, and fans are voting with their feet.

Moreover, holding El Idolo off television for a quarter of a year and expecting audiences to suddenly care that his career could be over doesn’t make any sense. There’s been virtually no chance for fans to engage with this “feud” beyond backstage segments. 10 and El Idolo haven’t had any one-on-one matches to build suspense or a story. 10 just asked El Idolo to put his career on the line, and he agreed. Which doesn’t seem like a very heelish thing to do in the first place. If this is Tony Khan‘s way of releasing El Idolo from AEW, and this was the best he could do, then that’s the only way this random Ramage match is logical. Even that is a stretch. If there’s television time for Luigi Primo, The Firm, and The Trustbusters, there should have been time for El Idolo. And if the semantics of “El Idolo leaves AEW” means that he’s simply going to pop up in ROH in two months, that’s even worse.

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