The Post’s Joseph Staszewski brings you around the world of professional wrestling every Tuesday in his weekly column, the Post Match Angle.

AEW has some work to do with “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry — with themselves and some bad luck to blame.

What we saw Wednesday on Dynamite was a talented performer turning heel before the story and audiences’ anger with him had been fully cooked.

He and his loose tag-team partner Hook have only had three matches together, winning all of them. That’s not exactly the type of adversity that sparks the post-match betrayal we saw at Forbidden Door.

It left Perry, 26, in his promo coming off as unsure of who he is and who he needs to be to make this turn truly work because there is so little tangible story to pull from. Being unsure of who you are is pretty much the opposite of what a good heel needs to be.

Usually when this happens even the best performers turn to what they think a heel has to say, throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and hoping it sticks. That can come off as generic and forced and that’s exactly the feeling Perry gave off for much of his promo.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry gives a promo on AEW Dyanmite.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry attacks Hook at Forbidden Door.

On top of that, people seemed to equate his sunglasses and leather jacket outfit with Hyde from “That ’70s Show” instead of the nod to his famous “90210” dad, Luke. Other than maybe turning more “Hollywood,” references to his beloved father make more sense as a babyface, something Perry hasn’t fully leaned into and may not want to.

Perry threw a lot of Heel 101 out there by getting rid of his “Tarzan Boy” song, insulting the host city, touting his youth and his bank account. One of his big lines was that he’s “still banging the hottest bitch in this entire place” in reference to real-life girlfriend Anna Jay. It’s hard to see that having a lot of meaning to a good portion of the audience that is likely unaware of his relationship status as the two haven’t had any significant time together on AEW TV. (That’s something that needs to change.)

Things got a little better when he moved to Hook, whom the audience generally likes. This feud could end up really helping him more than Perry. But it’s hard to believe Perry’s line about the FTW champ flaunting his belt in his face with how little they have actually interacted. They might have made an excellent tag team if given a longer run.

But Perry is in this position because of some of AEW’s creative missteps and some bad luck.

It’s been a little over a year since Christian Cage turned on Perry at Road Rager as it appeared AEW had its young star on the right path. Perry was a well-liked babyface about to grow up feuding with a veteran heel. But things changed when Cage tore his triceps and his grudge match against Perry at All Out became a 20-second squash.

Instead of moving Perry onto something interesting and meaningful, he kind of treaded water outside of a steel cage match with Luchasaurus until Cage returned, losing some steam. Perry did look great and added some edge in his burial match win over Cage at Revolution.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry holds the FTW championship.

“Jungle Boy” Jack Perry dives through the ropes at Forbidden Door.

But thrusting him into the Four Pillars storyline for the AEW championship match at Double or Nothing revealed he wasn’t quite as ready for the main event as the other three. Losing to IWGP heavyweight champ SANADA at Forbidden Door feels like it was a means to an end of getting to the turn. Perry had vowed to win singles gold this year, and he is now left with trying to win the FTW championship, which is not an official AEW title.

Perry’s heel turn can be resurrected after his babyface run felt underwhelming and too short. It’s going to take some work, more layered creative and story and Perry digging deeper than the surface bad-guy stuff to make good on AEW’s faith in him.

A Rowdy Closing Chapter?

The abruptness of Shayna Baszler’s attack on Ronda Rousey at Money in The Bank makes a lot more sense with the potential context of the Wrestling Observer’s report that the former UFC champion’s time with WWE will be up soon. Fully explaining it in storyline was about the only thing missing from Baszler’s effective promo on Raw, which was capped by a brutal-looking knee to Rousey’s head.

The Queen of Spades brought the intensity needed as she ripped into her friend, insulting her long-criticized mic skills, Rousey debuting at WrestleMania while Baszler clawed her way into WWE, and saying she owed everyone “an apology for bringing you into this business.” Rousey tried to get Baszler to explain why she cost them the tag titles, but she started talking about times long before Rousey was even in WWE. While some of the logic wasn’t perfect, the crowd loved it as Baszler is on her way to babyface status.

Not in a Rush

I applaud WWE for letting the prospects of Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the WWE women’s championship marinate for a bit and not trying to jam it into Money in the Bank. Either do it as a huge TV main event or save it for SummerSlam as Belair getting in a ring with Flair is big deal. Their only clean singles finish was a 2020 match won by The Queen in NXT.

The good news for WWE was the frustrated Belair was still getting cheered for now when she stepped out of the stands and snapped to attack Asuka on Smackdown for a DQ, costing Flair a chance to win the title. A full heel against them would not be the best idea.

The 10 Count

Dark Order is in desperate need of a reboot and the contention with “Hangman” Adam Page and The Elite is the long-overdue vehicle. The question now is, can Hangman get them back on his side against the Blackpool Combat Club or will they turn full-blown heel? If it’s the latter, they may need another leader to make it feel big.

This Judgment Day storytelling around the Money in the Bank briefcase is really good, and you can see how the cash-in will fail and not hurt Damian Priest as Finn Balor will likely be the one to cost him.

The WWE women’s tag team division still feels like mess. While some new teams were formed for the tag team turmoil, having Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville win feels like wash, rinse, repeat as champ Raquel Rodriguez also looks like women’s world champion Rhea Ripley’s next challenger.

One thing you know you will get from NXT and Shawn Michaels is clear and logical booking, even if you see it coming. Charlie Dempsey and Drew Gulak’s diversion costing Thea Hail the NXT women’s championship and Andre Chase returning to team with Duke Hudson against them is the perfect example.

MJF’s patriotic ring attitude for Fourth of July weekend and to troll Canada Day really made him look ready to jump on the Lex Express.

MJF for the win on Collision on Saturday.

With Bryan Danielson injured and potentially sidelined until after All In, AEW has a chance to lean even harder into the Eddie Kingston-Jon Moxley-Claudio Castagnoli story. It doesn’t get more reality-based than the story they have to tell. Getting Renee Paquette involved this week was a nice touch.

First, can we stop encouraging Sting to do silly stunts like jumping off a ladder in the ring onto two tables on the outside? We want him to make it to his retirement match. Outside of that, let’s appreciate Sting, 64, and Chris Jericho, 52, giving us everything they had in their Dynamite match and long-awaited feud.

While I have been an advocate of the women getting more microphone time in front of a live crowd, Ruby Soho’s promo on Dynamite was all over the place with plenty of bad comedy. I’m a fan of Soho and the promo improved when she got more serious at the end. Some of it has to do with the feud itself having cooled off.

Yes, the “AEW: Fight Forever” video game feels a little bare at launch, needing more wrestlers, arenas and match types and that should change if Kenny Omega delivers on his promise of consistent updates. But at its core, the in-ring action is a ton of fun, it lived up to the pick-up-and-play style of “WWE No Mercy” and I feel like I’m learning new things about the game each day. It’s a 7/10 now with room to improve.

You can have a dream match with Cody Rhodes and CM Punk in “AEW Fight Forever.”
Joseph Staszewski

My trial of Roman Reigns prediction for SmackDown at MSG: He choses trial by combat in a match at SummerSlam — likely against Jey Uso — for control of The Bloodline.

Wrestler of the Week

Jey Uso, WWE

No one’s stock got a bigger boost than his this week as he became the first person to pin cousin Roman Reigns’ shoulders to the mat since Baron Corbin in December 2019 by doing so at Money in the Bank. Uso, who it all started with, now becomes even more likely to finally end Reigns’ historic title run or at least get another main event match with him at SummerSlam.

Jey Uso strikes Roman Reigns at Money in the Bank.

Match to Watch

CM Punk vs. Samoa Joe, Owen Hart Cup Tournament semifinals (Collison, Saturday, 8 p.m, TNT)

We are finally getting one of the dream matches we envisioned when CM Punk joined AEW. He and Joe will reboot their famous trilogy from Ring of Honor in 2004. The first two matches were draws and Joe won the third. Punk has never defeated his rival in a singles match. Joe leaving Roderick Strong needing a stretcher was a great way to show the danger Punk faces.