During his feud with former Team Taz member “Powerhouse” Hobbs, “Absolute” Ricky Starks was fantastic on the microphone. You could hear and feel the energy and passion in his voice. I was at AEW Dynamite on Aug. 24 last year where Ricky called out Hobbs for a match at ALL OUT. Ever since then, Starks has become my favorite wrestler in AEW.
He thinks he’s a badass, and it shows on the screen. I really like his style of wrestling. At times, he can be calculated in his approach, but he can also rev it up to 100 mph when he needs to. Plus, there’s something about his personality I connect with. I’m not sure what it is; he just has IT.
Ricky should be the one who dethrones current AEW World Champion MJF, and I think that’s going to happen at FULL GEAR (which I really hope takes place at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio.). Whoever is going to dethrone MJF not only needs to be able to match him in the ring but also be able to go toe-to-toe with him on the microphone. The three guys who have the ability to hang with MJF on the microphone and ring are Adam Cole, CM Punk, and Ricky Starks.
Leading up to their match at “Winter Is Coming” last year, Starks and MJF engaged in a great mini-feud. There was no way Starks was going to take the title from MJF at that point because MJF had just won the strap at Full GEAR, but I think the reason Tony Khan booked the mini-feud between Starks and MJF was to gauge the interest level of the fans and also to see what a full-fledged feud between Ricky Starks and MJF would look like.
Coming out of his mini program with MJF, Starks then entered into a feud with Chris Jericho. This was a feud that I had been waiting to see for a while because I’ve always been a big Jericho fan, and Starks is my favorite wrestler in AEW. Unfortunately, the Jericho-Starks feud didn’t live up to the hype or my excitement level because of the annoying Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS). Throughout the feud, members of the JAS were throwing Starks through tables and dressing up in masks in order to attack Starks from behind. There was no need for the JAS to be part of the story; they could’ve built a simple storyline centered around Starks and Jericho.
After beating Jericho twice, including at REVOLUTION, I thought “Absolute” Ricky Starks was going to continue climbing up the ladder until eventually taking the AEW World Championship from MJF at FULL GEAR,. However, on the Dynamite following REVOLUTION, March 8, Starks was cutting a promo when he was jumped from behind by Juice Robinson of Bullet Club Gold (BCG). Ever since then, Starks has been stuck in this pointless feud with BCG- Jay White and Juice Robinson. It’s never been explained why Starks is in this storyline with Bullet Club Gold, so I haven’t been able to get invested in it.
Ricky Starks and Jay White have had two matches so far, both of which have gone in favor of White, but neither match had a clean finish. The first match ended in a disqualification when Starks slammed White in the back with a steel chair. Since it was a couple of weeks away from Double Or Nothing, I thought that would lead to Starks and White having a “chairs match” at the Pay-Per-View (PPV), but that didn’t happen. Instead, Robinson, White, and Starks got placed in the 21-person Blackjack Battle Royale. Starks eliminated both Robinson and White in the Battle Royale, however, he was eliminated by “Big Bill.”
A couple of weeks later, Starks and White had another singles match. Starks had the match won, but when he went to hit the Roshambo (his finisher), the referee got knocked out, allowing Austin and Colten Gunn, the “Gunn Club”, to come out and hit the 3:10 To Yuma on Starks. Magically, the official recovered just in time for White to hit the Blade Runner and get the win, continuing the pointless feud.
It’s a shame Starks is stuck in this meaningless feud with Bullet Club Gold because his mini-feud with MJF was absolutely fantastic, and he got two wins over Jericho, including at REVOLUTION but perhaps they’re rehabilitating Starks now because on the June 21 episode of Dynamite, Starks, FTR (the AEW World Tag Team Champions) and CM Punk came out to fend off BCG and The Gunns. On the June 24 episode of Collision. Starks teamed with FTR and CM Punk to face BCG and The Gunns in the main event, Jay White ended up pinning Starks for the win, which I completely disagree with the booking. I would have had Starks hit the roshambo on White to get the win.
It was also announced Starks will take part in the Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament, I wouldn’t be surprised if Starks wins that tournament. Punk will also be in the Owen Hart Foundation Cup Tournament, so it wouldn’t be surprising in the least if it’s Punk vs Starks in the finals. Punk just came back on the debut episode of Collision on June 17, so he shouldn’t be losing matches yet, but in this case, Starks should defeat Punk because he would benefit more from it since Punk is already established while Starks is on the rise.
“Absolute” Ricky Starks should be the one who dethrones current AEW World Champion MJF. He’s got the swagger, charisma, and passion to hold the belt, and it wouldn’t feel like a drop-off following MJF’s title reign. Starks is clearly over with the fans, so he should continue his ascent toward becoming a star. He has IT in him to become a star and to hold the AEW World Championship.