Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-13-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

With the fallout of Full Gear fresh in our minds, this week’s episode of Dynamite has a lot to live up to as well as a lot of storylines to start building back up.  Will Cody live up to his word and not challenge for the AEW title again?  Will MJF be able to explain himself for his betrayal of Cody?  Will Jericho continue to be a smarmy jerk that we all love to hate?  Hopefully the answer to all three is a HECK YES, but let’s find out!!

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Before our first match, we get an update on Kenny Omega who (in storyline; I’m pretty sure it’s just a work) is not cleared for tonight’s show due to the injuries he sustained in the Light’s Out match he had with Jon Moxley at Full Gear. We also learn that Michael Nakazawa is a friend of his which is relevant because…

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Jon Moxley Vs. Michael Nakazawa

You know a Nakazawa match is serious business when he foregoes the baby oil!  Right off the bat he just tosses it away and starts coming after Moxley with everything he’s got to avenge his bleeding buddy, but to no avail as Moxley makes short work of him in a match that barely goes on longer than a minute.  I didn’t mind it though!  I like being showed that Nakazawa can have a serious side to him and it’s important to make Moxely look as strong as possible if he’s going to continue being a top guy in the company; neither of which requires a whole lot of time and is a refreshing change of pace for a promotion known for REALLY long matches.  Besides, the real point of all this is to give Moxley the mic afterwards who proceeds to gloat as hard as he can and promise to destroy EVERYONE at AEW until the company itself is destroyed and he is the only one left remaining.  He issues an open challenge to the locker room for anyone to take a shot at him which at this point may be just as prestigious a challenge as going for the title itself.  Jon Moxley is THAT good at being pissed off, aggressive, and in complete control of his surrounds.  Surprisingly the crowd is pretty mixed on the guy which is great because it shows that the audience is willing to play their part in the story because of how invested they are in the product.  What’s even MORE surprising though is that no one from the locker room takes him up on the offer which either means that everyone backstage is scared or that they want to drag this story out a bit more so we that fans can speculate on who would be the best person in the company to try and take Moxley down a peg.  I prefer it if a show like this doesn’t drag things out early on and this was a great start right off the bat!

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Dark Order (Stu Grayson & Evil Uno) Vs. Jurassic Express (Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy)

We talked about the Dark Order last week and the problems with their gimmick aren’t gonna be fixed overnight, so instead let’s talk about the OTHER tag team which is similarly having trouble getting traction, albeit for much more understandable reasons.  Right before Dynamite began, Luchasaurus got injured and hasn’t been able to come back yet which is a shame considering just how over that guy was in the PPVs and now the tag team built on his shoulder’s has been left to stay back and wait for his return.  Sure they’ve shown up here and there, and both Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy are genuine talents, but you can tell that they’re basically just on hand for filler roles and that AEW is waiting for Luchasaurus to come back before giving them a legitimate push.  So with two teams that are just kind of struggling to find their place at the moment, how is their match?  It’s actually pretty great, which makes me wonder the solution to both of their problems is staring us right in the face.  There was one botch where Marko Stunt stumbles off the top rope and has to awkwardly get back up there to do the planned spot while Stu Grayson had to stand awkwardly in HIS spot, but other than that I really liked what both teams did here.  It’s kind of on the goofy side as they’re playing up Marko Stunt’s small size for all it’s worth, and I found myself realy getting into it even if didn’t have the as much high flying antics or involved the big superstars of the company.  A feud between these two teams given time to develop and a few promos here and there could really improve their status in the company; not enough to overshadow the top talent, but a solid mid card staple each week or so.  What I’m finding more and more is that there aren’t really ay bad wrestlers on this show; it’s just been some awkward booking while they’re still finding what works and what doesn’t.  Then again, The Dark Order have decidedly NOT worked for long enough that it’ll take some work to get the crowd to turn on them (I’m not expert at reading crowd reactions, but these still felt like BAD boos instead of HEEL boos), but AEW has never been afraid to trust in its talent and the audience has been quite receptive to their booking up to this point, so maybe there’s a chance for them yet!

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After the match, they give Evil Uno the mic, and uh… maybe not the best idea.  The mask is REALLY not helping him here and he sounds really muffled, BUT the message is loud and clear even if the words are not so much.  He praises Marko Stunt for his heart and determination as the small guy in a BIG MAN’S world, and offers him the opportunity to join the Dark Order and become a creeper!  Uno even has a mask ready for the guy and is clearly relishing every moment he has to play Darth Vader here which makes this easily the most I’ve enjoyed ANY of the Dark Order’s shtick up to this point.  Marko Stunt ACTUALLY seems to consider it and starts to reach for the mask, but Jungle Boy jumps in and slaps it out of Uno’s hands; at which point Stu and the creepers start pounding the ever loving crap out of both of them.  Eventually the creepers have Jungle Boy on his knees and Evil Uno is about to put the mask on him when someone’s music hits… AND IT’S LUCHASAURUS!!  HE’S BACK!!  WOOOO!!  Luchasaurus has returned  to AEW and he starts cleaning HOUSE!  The Creepers don’t stand a chance, Stu Grayson doesn’t stand a chance, and Evil Uno KNOWS he doesn’t stand a chance and just scampers off like the cowardly jabroni he is!  Excalibur makes the comment that it’s a surprise Luchasaurus is here since he’s supposedly out on injury until January, so I’m gonna assume that this was a one off deal to bring a bit of heat to these two teams before going back to finish healing his injury which is frankly fine by me.  While I LOVE seeing the big guy back again, his health is more important and I’d rather him take his time than rush to the ring in the hopes of popping a few ratings.  If this is really the start of something much bigger, then I’m as excited for it as any other storyline that AEW is telling right now!

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Shawn Spears Vs. The Librarian Peter Avalon Vs. Darby Allin

Shawn Spears is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard and The Librarian is accompanied by The Librarian Leva Bates

We’re three for three here because this is yet another match that I liked and for reasons other than strictly the action.  The fight is just kind of a nothing brawl with a few nice spots here and there (I love how Peter Avalon tries to get the drop on both of them by jumping from the top rope and then misses completely), but the two key points of this match are the interference and the post-match promo.  Not long into the match Joey Janela comes down to the ring and starts beating the crap out of Shawn Spears and they end up brawling out into the crowds; pretty much confirming that their feud will continue even after all the matches they’ve had so far.  I’m not against it, but I hope they come up with a bit more for them to do than just fight one another because we’ve seen it at least twice now.  While those two are going at it, Allin manages to pin to Avalon and then he takes the mic… and accepts Jon Moxley’s challenge!  Yup!  We’ll be getting a Darby Allin Vs. Jon Moxley match at some point which sounds like a darn good idea to me, though with having one of the hardcore dudes going up against Jon Moxley, I worry that it’ll be ANOTHER garbage wrestling match like the one at Full Gear.  That kind of stuff has its place, but that was too much and to do it again anytime soon would be pushing it even further.  Still, I like how they’ve wasted no time building up storylines following the PPV and I’m quite interested to see where all of this is going!

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Nyla Rose Vs. Dani Jordan

PROBABLY the least interesting match of the show so far, but it felt necessary and was VERY quick so I did appreciate it.  Nyla Rose just kind fell off the face of the earth for a while there, so giving her a one minute squash match is a good reminder of how awesome she can be when given the chance to shine, and Dani Jordan does a GREAT job of making her opponent look good.  There were no promos or angles set up after the match, but it kept things short and sweet!

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While Nyla Rose didn’t get an angle, we did get an interview with Kylie Rae who’s being interviewed by Tony S on the ramp, but then all of a sudden the lights go out!  When they come back on, there’s Awesome Kong and Brandi; staring menacingly and walking down the ramp.  Kylie knows what’s up and starts pounding on Awesome Kong before she does anything which is kind of like when DeCaprio shot the bear before it mauled his face off.  I’m sure it felt good to try, but it was all for naught as Kong beats her down and cuts off a lock of her hair to add to Brandi’s collection.  Well… I guess they’re at least COMMITTED to the gimmick at this point, but there really has to be some forward momentum (at the very least an upcoming match) for this to mean anything.

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Chris Jericho’s EPIC Promo

Jericho is scheduled for a match later tonight, but I don’t think anything on this show up to and including that match is going to be as amazing as this extended segment where he comes out to gloat about how awesome he is while sticking it to the crowd!  As much as him being an arrogant jerk claiming to carry this company on his shoulders, he’s not too far off as he’s been in some of the best stuff the company has produced so far and he can command a crowd like nobody else!  During his speech however, the lights go dim and someone rises up from the stage.  You’d THINK it’d be Cody considering that’s how he always comes in, but NO!  It’s MJF who even has the audacity to come out to Cody’s music as well!  He starts to claim that Cody only cares about himself and that behind closed doors he’s just a lying manipulator who strung MJF along all this time.  It seems that MJF is legitimately mad about SOMETHING instead of just being a self-centered jerk, and I’m curious if they actually want to throw some shade on Cody by the end of this; maybe we’ll find out that MJF is somewhat justified in his betrayal.   An interesting idea, but while I’d never say that AEW would NEVER do something, it probably isn’t gonna go down that way.  Cody is just WAY too over for them to start tarnishing his reputation now, but you never know.  That’s not nearly as important though as MJF just KILLING it on the mic and his interplay with Jericho is some of the best promo work I’ve seen in quite some time!  The two of them are in such perfect sync with each other throughout the segment and the dialogue just POPPED!  So much good stuff that I can’t possibly convey here, and as far as I’m concerned it only further cements MJF as one of the biggest up and coming superstars!  The basic idea of this interplay is that MJF is teasing about his desire to join the Inner Circle while Jericho is teasing his desire to have MJF join him, but they can’t get past their macho ego and just say what they feel, so this arrangement is left unresolved for the moment.  Eventually Cody comes down to the ring and tries to beat the crap out of those two, but here’s where the segment somewhat dipped for me because some dude jumps in the ring and starts beating up on Cody.  Apparently this dude is named Wardlow?  And I guess this isn’t the first time we’re supposed to have heard of him?  I don’t know.  I’m sure he’ll find his place in the company the same way Jake Hager did, but having this guy come out of nowhere to beat up Cody was something of a sour note to end such an AMAZING segment on.

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Pac

I’ve said before that right around the middle of a given AEW episode is when I start to tune out, and this is that match for this week.  There’s nothing WRONG with the match!  It’s actually quite good to be honest.  It’s just that I’ve seen it before and I’ve seen it done a little bit better; quite recently too.  We JUST saw the amazing blow off match these two had at Full Gear, so seeing them lock it up again so soon felt a bit repetitive.  Maybe in a few weeks they can fight and it will blow my mind all over again, but doing it right now it’s just a solidly constructed bit of filler.

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After the match, we cut to the back where The Young Bucks are beating up on Proud N’ Powerful.  It’s your standard backstage brawl only with a bit more pizazz considering who’s involved, but the best moment by far is when they brawl into the bathroom to find Orange Cassidy just standing there; sunglasses on, hands in pockets, decidedly not doing what you’re expected to do in a bathroom.  Santana slowly closes the door which is for the best; once again showing that Orange Cassidy is one of the best things this company has going for it.  The brawl eventually ends up on the ring ramp with Santana and Ortiz power bombing Matt Jackson through the stage the same way they did to Ricky Morton from the Rock and Roll Express.  Brian Cutler tries to make the save for Nick Jackson and utterly fails to do so, but then Private Party come out and… well they don’t do much either BUT that’s because security FINALLY came out to break up the fight.  Similar to the Page/Pac match, I’m not sure what the point is of having these two teams fight AGAIN so soon, but at least this had the novelty of being a backstage fight instead of inside the ring, so it gets points for that as well as the Orange Cassidy appearance.  Love that guy!

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Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara Vs. SCU(Scorpio Sky & Frankie Kazarian) – Tag Team Championship

Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager and SCU is accompanied by Christopher Daniels

I had an uneasy feeling about this one going into it.  I didn’t think that they would have Jericho lose his winning streak right after his defeat of Cody in the PPV, but if he DIDN’T lose then that would mean striping SCU of their titles two weeks after earning them.  Thankfully AEW continues to prove that they have a good head on their shoulders as I’ll go ahead and spoil it; Jericho and Guevara do lose to SCU.  On a one off tag match on regular TV, their champion lost and lost cleanly.  I like it!  It’s unpredictable because it’s so straightforward, and wrestling (WWE especially) has taught us that straightforward is never interesting enough when you could be swerving instead.  It was a solid match, though SCU was CLEARLY outmatching Jericho and Guevara, so if they HAD lost I would have freaking rioted; especially where Jericho pulls a Britt Baker and tags the wrong corner.  Jericho and Sammy have some fun bits where they taunt the audience, Hager tries to interfere again but thankfully Daniels gets the drop on them, and overall it was a solid little fight!  Maybe not the most EXCITING way to end an episode, but we don’t need to burn the place down every single time we see these guys, so I’ll go ahead and give it a thumbs up!

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I get the feeling this might be a controversial episode of the series since they did things VERY differently from every other episode so far, but I think this is my second favorite one!  I’ve always been a bit more into the stories and theatrics than anything else (hence my love of MJF and his forefather The Miz), so an episode that knew when to get in and out of the matches, set up some interesting storylines, and had an AMAZING promo from two of the best talkers in the business?  Well I could hardly ask for anything more!  There are things that could use a bit of tweaking here and there, and it’ll be REALLY disappointing if they don’t do a good job of following up on the stories they’ve started here, but it felt like the right move to make after the big PPV that blew off so many of the feuds.  The next PPV has to start building up somehow, and this episode gets it off to a great start!

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