Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-29-2020)

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

We’re back with another week of Wednesday Night ACTION as AEW has one of their most impressively stacked cards in recent memory; even against their big sorta-PPV events as far as I’m concerned!  Luchasaurus, The Dark Order, big stars like Omega and Moxley; what more could you ask for in a two hour show!?  Is this the episode I’ve always wished to see, or will I find myself gripping a monkey’s paw by the end of it?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasarus, Jungle Boy, Chuck Taylor, Trent, and Orange Cassidy Vs. The Inner Circle – Ten Man Tag Match

Hey, I’m as surprised as you are!  I would have bet money this would be the main event instead of the opening match, but I guess Jon Moxley is still the biggest draw which is why this is going first; none of which I’m sure the Demo God isn’t pleased about.  It starts off with Jake Hager and Orange Cassidy in the ring with the latter not the least bit afraid; keeping his hands in his pockets as Hager fails to menace him.  Within two minutes of them squaring off, The Inner Circle jumps Cassidy and EVERYONE is in the ring in an instant.  The match is absolute chaos at that point as everyone just runs to the outside and starts pounding on each other, including Marko Stunt who is thrown by Luchasaurus like a lawn dart at The Inner Circle.  You’ve got to feel for Ref Aubrey here.  This isn’t a No DQ match or even a Falls Count Anywhere match, but what are you supposed to do?  Try to corral TEN FREAKING DUDES IN FUNNY OUTFITS at the same time!?  She has the right idea of just staying in the ring and watching EVERYONE instead of setting herself up for obvious distraction spots, and for what it’s worth it’s at least a FUN descent into chaos which does eventually lead back to being a proper match.  Honestly though, I like it better when it’s not trying to follow the rules because it feels like kind of a waste otherwise.  Trent ends up having the worst of it as he gets stuck in the middle of the ring taking beatings from every member of The Inner Circle in turn and when there are FOUR people who could be making the save it just feels a bit tedious.  Eventually, Luchasaurus gets the Hot Tag and runs wild on everyone; leaving him and Hager to smash each other over the head with fists and BIG clotheslines.  For a moment the match has its momentum back, but then things get a bit off track when Luchasaurus’s mask threatens to fall off and Cassidy has to run in to make the save while Luchasaurus puts his face back on.  The match devolves into chaos again with Jungle Boy getting his first big moment in the match by giving Jericho a Backbreaker which I thought was a Code Breaker at first just in case you were wondering how qualified I am to be doing these recaps.  Sammy and Luchasaurus are left in the ring again and Sammy does manage to rally for a bit, but just as he’s about to jump from the top rope, Matt Hardy’s music hits for the distraction.  While Aubrey is looking to see if someone comes out, Hardy sneaks up on Sammy and hits him in the back; knocking him to the floor and leaving him to get pinned by Luchasaurus.  I’d have pegged this as the best match of the night, but in hindsight, it was probably doomed to being a mess.  The thing is that if you’re going to have THIS many people in the ring you need a match type that is suitable for it, and a one-person-at-a-time tag match is not a good use of the immense talent there.  Chuck Taylor did like one dive from the apron, but that’s it; I don’t think he even tagged in!  They’ve been holding off on Blood and Guts for MONTHS now, and frankly this would have been a good candidate for the first one of those matches, but instead we got this.  It’s not BAD, but I could have seen it be so much better.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-29-2020)”

Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #29

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Sonic the Hedgehog (the comic book series) and all the images you see in this recap are owned by IDW and SEGA of America

I don’t know about you, but this is a day to celebrate because IT’S FINALLY OVER!!  The Zombot arc certainly had its high points early on, but the longer it continued the more repetitive it all felt which was not helped by an ACTUAL pandemic happening that not only delayed the book for a few months but made the overwrought narrative a bit TOO real.  This is it though; no more Zombots for the foreseeable future because the war is coming to an end as our heroes make our last stand!  Will this story end with a bang that makes up for a lot of its missteps, or is this the final hurdle we just need to get over to move on to new and hopefully better things?  Let’s find out!!

The issue begins with our heroes in dire straits.  They may have collected MOST of the Chaos Emeralds, but they’re one short and are facing own an endless hoard of Zombots as well as Zavok who’s gone full Kaiju and is spitting atomic breathe at Angel Island.  For a story arc that had no problem taking its sweet time getting anywhere, these last few issues have certainly picked up the pace with this one in particular trying to do about five issues worth of content all in one go to finally bring this arc to a close.  Hey, I’m not complaining considering how much I grew to loath the Zombot arc (would have been MUCH better if they cut the number of issues in half), but that means there’s WAY too much going on for me to give proper context to here so I’ll try to explain.  We’ve essentially got one story going on with Metal Sonic, Regular Sonic, and Silver trying to attack Zavok and get that final crystal while everyone else on the Island gets to have their last-minute hero moment or tragic ending.  Knuckles starts having a fistfight with Zombot Shadow, Whisper confronts Zombot Tangle (though at least this time they don’t give her an over the top reaction), and Eggman acts like the total jerk-bag you see in every zombie movie; down to the humiliating death scene to punish him for his utter hubris!

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“NOT THE FROGS!!  MY GRANDMOTHER SAID IT WOULD END LIKE THIS!!”

Continue reading “Super Comics: Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) – #29”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-22-2020)

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

We’re back with another episode of Dynamite, and after the very odd feelings I had for last week’s show I went into this one a bit wary.  Not dreading it as there are PLENTY of worse shows you could be watching right now (*cough* Extreme Rules *cough*), but perhaps a bit unsure as to where all this was going now that we’ve had our three weeks of big event matches.  Do they pick up the plot threads from last week and take them in interesting directions, or are things looking bleak for this upstart company?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Vs. Eddie Kingston – TNT Championship Title

So… who the heck is Eddie Kingston?  I mean I’m out of the loop as far as Indie Superstars, but the way this guy comes out and starts talking before the show can put its metaphorical pants on, you’d think that he’s been on Dynamite at least once, but as far as I can recall this if the first time the guy’s shown up and spends several minutes talking mad smack on Cody before confirming that this title defense will be a No DQ match.  For the most part, this is a pretty standard match that doesn’t take much advantage of its gimmick for the first half or so.  It starts rather basic with a few weight belt shots a few minutes into the match followed by Kingston tearing up the floor mats just to take a bump on the concrete moments later.  Speaking of whom, after the initial shock of this dude coming out of nowhere and talking like he’s cock of the walk, I can say that Kingston does have a way with words in a manner much like Taz does with just how viciously he can deliver his speeches with utter conviction.  His in-ring performance, while not quite up to his mic skills is solid for what he has to do and comes off like a mid-card Hardcore kind of guy; not exactly a superstar but with enough authenticity between the over the top WRESTLING antics to make his straightforward style compelling in its own right.  What I found pretty odd though were the commentators who kept bringing his recent weight loss up for seemingly no reason; first, because there’s a match going on that they could be calling instead, and second for anyone who’s never even HEARD of this guy (like myself) it’s not something that we’re inclined to notice.  In any case, the match is going along until at one point Kingston’s knee gives out and he’s on the ground utterly helpless for whatever Cody has planned next.  At least you’d THINK that, but since this is no DQ he manages to keep Cody at bay with a low blow which leaves HIM on the floor now, and after a moment or two Kingston manages to get back up and grabs a back of tacks from underneath the ring.  The tacks are strewn across the mat and normally what would happen is the Babyface would find a way to get the Heel to fall into his own tacks, but not this time!  Kingston works over Cody a bit and then manages to POWERBOMB HIM INTO THE TACKS!  You can’t say that Cody doesn’t suffer for his company, but it seems to have the opposite effect that Kingston was expecting as being stuck with the tacks has only pissed him off and he’s pushed into OVERDRIVE; not selling for any of Kingston’s strikes and manages to lock him into a brutal Figure Four Lock which he taps to; giving Cody the win and continuing his reign as TNT Champion.  I’m not the biggest fan of Hardcore matches, but the right spot at the right time will give the match the edge it needs, and this was a REALLY great tack spot that gave the finish the oomph it needed to make this opening match pop and set us up for a great episode!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-22-2020)”

Cinema Dispatch: Fatal Affair

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Fatal Affair and all the images you see in this review are owned by Netflix

Directed by Peter Sullivan

I’ve seen my fair share of Black Romance Thrillers in my time, even Tyler Perry’s… interesting take on the genre, and if nothing else they tend to be ENGAGING if not always GOOD.  Well… maybe not The Perfect Guy which I recall being rather dull on top of being not especially well made, but in any case, as soon as I learned that Netflix was releasing one of these under a suspect title (if The Asylum hasn’t already made a knock-off thrill with this same name, I will be VERY disappointed) and starring Omar Epps, I was there ready to see it unfold!  Heck, one of my biggest regrets from last year is that his theatrical film Traffik came and went before I got a chance to see it, so perhaps this is my chance to redeem myself and give this man the credit he so rightfully deserves!  Does Netflix have yet another hit to brag about in this era where streaming is king, or is this just another mediocre outing that’s sole purpose is to bolster Netflix’s catalog?  Let’s find out!!

The life of Ellie Warren (Nia Long) has turned a corner and there’s nothing but blue skies ahead!  Her husband (Stephen Bishop) was hurt recently but is finally recovering, they got the big beautiful beach house they’ve always wanted, and as soon as this big case is over at the law firm, she’s going to start her own practice so she can finally be a literal Girl Boss instead of just being the figurative one at the office!  Heck, things get even better when an old college friend of hers named David Hammond (Omar Epps) is hired by the law firm and they get to catch up on old times!  Boy, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  It’s like a whole lot of life has slipped away between her carefree college days and her grown-up life where her own daughter (Aubrey Cleland) is the one in college now.  In fact, things are getting kind of stale, aren’t they; especially with her husband who’s kind of a mope ever since the accident.  Maybe David has something to offer Ellie… IS WHAT I WOULD BE SAYING IF SHE WASN’T A PERSON OF SUCH HIGH VIRTUE!!  Sure, she makes out with him at a dance club, but she regrets it immediately and cuts all contact with David just to make it clear that she’s NOT INTERESTED!  That’s not good enough for David though who’s got a chip on his shoulder and a degree in Information Security, so for the next few weeks, he makes her life a living hell; calling her constantly, finding ways to ingratiate himself into her social circle, and even making fake screenshots of text conversations that apparently everyone would be willing to believe in a heartbeat.  Will Ellie be able to escape from the tightening grip of David’s obsession?  Why has he chosen now to make his big move on her, and is there something in his past that’s even darker than what we’re seeing now?  Who wants to bet this dude’s Twitter feed has more red flags than a MGTOW forum?

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“When you look at me, what do you see?”     “A collection of molecules arranged in such a way that you arbitrary get more rights than I do as a man.”     “Uh…huh.”     “Want to subscribe to my YouTube channel?”     “I’m gonna pass on that.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: Fatal Affair”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-15-2020) – Fight For The Fallen

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

Fyter Fest may be over, but this company’s got ONE more week of near-PPV level content that they want to give us (especially on a week without a competing NXT special event) so now we’ve got Fight For The Fallen to raise money for COVID-19 relief in Florida!  With John Moxley finally returning to the ring to face Brian Cage as well as a bunch of other well booked matches on the lineup, can this be the show that turns the ratings back into AEW favor while also making money for a good cause?  Let’s find out!!

First and foremost, AEW got the message and has everyone at ringside wearing a mask.  The announce team isn’t wearing any masks and neither is MJF and Wardlow for some reason (I hope their refusal to wear masks isn’t some sort of Heel flex because now is a REALLY bad time to be pulling that nonsense), but at least they’ve done SOMETHING about it.  Also worth noting is that Taz is filling in for Tony Schiavone; not because he tested positive but because his test results haven’t come back yet so they aren’t taking any chances.  It’s like AEW is ninety percent there with doing this the best way they can, but they just can’t take that extra step of making sure EVERYONE is covering; particularly the broadcasters who are still scrunched up together at a single table.  In any case, we’re starting things off on a bang with the first match being Cody’s TNT Title defense, so let’s see how that goes.

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Cody Vs. Sonny Kiss – TNT Title Championship

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

It goes without saying that Sonny Kiss, who’s barely been on TV since Dynamite started almost a year ago, is far from the strongest opponent for Cody to be facing right now, but even if the match’s outcome is incredibly obvious (despite the protestations from commentary), I’m glad that he’s getting a chance at the spotlight.  Sadly the match isn’t exactly what you’d hope it be, and it’s kind of serendipitous that Sonny and Joey are working together now because my feelings on this one are similar to the Omega/Joey match from a few months ago.  Sonny is a great talent and he has such a magnetic personality that I think he has a very strong place in this company, but I’m not really feeling it when he’s up against a guy like Cody.  Cody’s at the top of the pecking order and is a unique talent in a traditional style, so while I wouldn’t say that they SHOULDN’T have a match ever, trying to make it a competitive one and seeing Cody try to sell it as such strains credulity a bit; especially when Kiss’s offense looks kind of green.  Sure, he’s got athleticism and flexibility, but his strikes need a bit more of a punch to them for Cody not to look foolish at taking the hits.  He does a spinning kick that has less impact than if I tried to do it, and really the only place where his move set looks convincing are when he gets to show off his athleticism; your Hurricanranas, Scissor kicks, and even a solid but kinda stiff-looking 450 which gets him a two count.  Cody is Cody, so it’s about what you’d expect from the guy with more teases of him going heel with just how brutal he is towards Sonny Kiss at points, and for me, it was a bit much when Cody for no reason rips off the turnbuckle.  Even less convincing is how Sonny manages to reverse a move so that Cody flies into the exposed metal, but I’ll give him credit for somehow reversing a Cross Rhodes; that looked pretty good and was probably the highlight of the match!  Cody does eventually win the match by landing a Cross Rhodes, though the major development coming out of this is that Cody only seemed to BARELY win the match which might spell doom for either his title run or his status as the top Babyface.  He’s getting a lot meaner and more desperate in the ring which indicates an upcoming heel turn, but he also hugs Sonny at the end of the match which probably means we’re doing the long game with this.  Not the best way to open the show as Sonny didn’t look great and Cody couldn’t do much to make it work, but it’s certainly a change of pace to start the show with a title match and I can only hope that the Cody storyline is truly developing towards something instead of just keeping us in suspense for months on end before pulling the plug on it.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-15-2020) – Fight For The Fallen”

Super Comics: James Bond 007 9-10

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James Bond 007 and all the images you see in this recap are owned by Dynamite Entertainment and Ian Fleming Publications

We’re back with two more issues of Goldfinger 2: Nostalgia Never Dies!  After Bond and best buddy John Lee were captured by the sinister Auric Goldfinger, mostly on purpose so that Lee can try and rescue Agent Kim from his diabolical terrorist organization, all three are now being forced to carry out the bidding of ORU to maintain their cover; but how far will they be willing to go to keep Goldfinger from suspecting too much, and will MI6 be able to look the other way if things turn ugly?  It’s certainly an intriguing premise that you’d want from a spy series, but with the book’s strongest points being Bond and Lee working together to fight bad guys, can the book keep things interesting when they’re working together to HELP them?  Let’s find out!!

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Issue 9 (July 2019)

The issue begins with our three mind-controlled agents (James Bond, (), and ()) along with a VERY evil looking scientist dude arriving at the diamond mine that they’ve been instructed by Goldfinger to blow up.  Their cover is a group of delivery people for some sort of Environmental Remediation group and they agents manage to talk their way past the security guard; earning themselves a little bit of happy juice in the process!

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“I also think you look good with your head shaved.”     “Why Mr. Bond!  Flattery will get you everywhere!”

Continue reading “Super Comics: James Bond 007 9-10”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-08-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 2

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

We’re back for another week great matches as AEW and NXT fight tooth and nail with their in-between-PPV spectaculars!  Last week had some really great matches on hand, though suffered from a comparably less exciting main event that probably led to NXT just barely edging them out on the ratings.  Can AEW improve upon the already great showing they had last week and make a great show for the ages, or are they just gonna hand another week of bragging rights to the other show?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Private Party – Tag Team Championship Match

Private Party are accompanied to the ring by Matt Hardy

The big problem with the Omega/Hangman tag title run is the lack of tension; both in terms of the matches themselves as there aren’t many teams who seem to stand a chance against them, and as far as the storytelling as there’s no real beef between them or any of their recent opponents.  Belt chases are fine and enough justification for SOME title matches, but Omega and Page as champions simply don’t have anything else going on.  Heck, everyone in the division seems to LIKE them as the champs, and they’ve only fought nominally face tag teams these last two weeks, so where are the bitter rivalries; the reasons to fight OUTSIDE of just the belt?  Heck, this would have been a good chance for Private Party to heel out just a bit as Omega and Page seem to be taking them lightly (Omega starts the match by giving Marq Quen a lot of room to strut his stuff, but it’s clear that he is in control the entire time), so a few mean spirited shots or even a low blow could be enough to take Omega and Page into overdrive; giving Private Party the proper challenge they deserve and making this match have some genuine pop to it.  Instead, it’s just a VERY well done match between the two teams which I guess is more than you’d get from tag team matches at other companies, but it still feels like they could have done more with this.  The ebb and flow start to even out a bit as the match goes along, but you still don’t get the sense the Private Party is on an equal level; especially when Page and Omega take turns fighting both of them off on their own.  Frankly, the only time I was concerned for the champs here was when Omega takes a bump to the outside and grabs his shoulder which is troubling as the guy MIGHT have been fighting hurt for a while now and I don’t want him to burn himself out only one year into AEW.  In any case, Private Party go for the Gin and Juice on Page, but Kenny interrupts with the V-Trigger which allows Page to reverse his predicament into an Avalanche Liger Bomb on Kassidy.  With Marq Quen outside the ring, Kenny and Omega land the Last Call on Isiah Kassidy which gives Page the pin and continues the team’s unbeaten streak.  Like I said, the in-ring action was fine, but I’m having trouble caring about the individual matches these two have when they feel rather arbitrary and without a compelling story to tell.  Also, why was Matt Hardy even there!?  You get Matt Hardy to show up at ringside, and then don’t do anything with him!?

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-08-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 2”

Cinema Dispatch: My Spy

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My Spy and all the images you see in this review are owned by Amazon Studios & STXfilms

Directed by Peter Segal

The New Mutants is STILL the reigning champ of movies repeatedly missing their release dates (perhaps only being outdone by Amityville: The Awakening), but this film just kept getting pushed further and further back, so much so that I remember seeing posters for this in probably APRIL of last year; back when movie theaters were still open and the world only had a hundred things bringing us to the brink of destruction instead of a hundred and one.  As much as I love Dave Bautista as a character actor (GO SEE HOTEL ARTEMIS ALREADY), he hasn’t quite found his groove as far as starring roles with him threatening to make the same KID-FRIENDLY mistakes The Rock did early on in his career and that John Cena is already kicking butt at right now.  Is this a surprisingly fun take on a tired formula fueled by another great performance from Dave Bautista, or will this be yet another movie to put on WORST MOVIES STARRING A WRESTLER lists that I’m sure are all over YouTube already?  Let’s find out!!

JJ (Dave Bautista) is a hotshot young (I guess?) CIA agent who has the kind of special forces background they’re looking for but doesn’t have the finesse or spycraft to make the most out of his role there.  When a mission in Russia goes bad where JJ has to kill everyone in a very clichéd action scene, his boss (Ken Jeong) sends him and one of the techies Bobbi (Kristen Schaal) on a do-nothing assignment as his last chance to prove that he’s cut out for this.  All they need to do is keep an eye on A young girl named Sophie (Chloe Coleman) and her mother Kate (Parisa Fitz-Henley) who recently moved to the States after Sophie’s father was murdered under suspicious circumstances that could be connected to an arms dealer in the region, but no sooner have they set up shop do they get found out by the girl and so to keep his job JJ has to do whatever the girl wants him to do so she’ll keep quiet about all this; including teaching her how to be a spy which seems like a dubious prospect considering how bad JJ clearly is at it.  Can JJ keep this house of cards from falling over by keeping Sophie entertained and keeping an eye on the family?  Will JJ be the kind of spy his government needs him to be, or will he get to close to the targets and endanger their lives in the process?  If you got made by a nine-year-old, shouldn’t that be a sign that you should be looking for a new career path?

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“I was thinking about becoming a wrestler.”     “They won’t pay for your health insurance.”     “Dang.  You’re right.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: My Spy”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-01-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 1

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

The day has finally come for AEW’s much-hyped in-between PPV event Fyter Fest!  With a stacked card of top tier talent and three belts on the line, will they come out on top this week against NXT who JUST SO HAPPENED to be hosting their own two-week in-between PPV event!?  Let’s find out!!

We’re greeted to Fyter Fest with lots of crowd shots where no one is wearing masks), bikini babes who aren’t wearing masks either, and Chris Jericho joining the commentary booth where NO ONE IS WEARING A MASK!  We JUST had a massive outbreak of COVID at WWE which included Renee Young, Jon Moxley’s wife, so seeing the AEW crowds laxer then they have been in recent weeks feels REALLY badly timed; even if they’re doing full COVID testing on everyone there and have the benefit of an open-air arena!  They haven’t had an outbreak yet, but it sure feels like they’re tempting fate!

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Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) Vs. MJF & Wardlow

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt

MJF starts this off with one of his best promos in a long time; perhaps since he gave his demands to Cody for their match at Revolution and what stings about it is how much truth is in buried within his caustic words.  Yes, AEW did get beat in the ratings last week, and while this match was scheduled BEFORE those came in it certainly helps to have MJF and the Jurassic Express start off the show since both have proven to be quite popular even if we’re basically repeating a PPV match and the Lumberjack match from last week.  The match itself is really solid work from all four involved with some impressive move as you’d expect from such professionals, but what sets it apart is that they do tell a compelling story within it.  MJF and Wardlow have been so dominate that the hardest thing to sell about this match is that Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus have a chance of winning since you know at some point MJF will get the diamond ring, will go for a low blow, or will distract the ref during a pin.  Because of that, the story throughout is that MJF and Wardlow go for all the cheap shenanigans you’d expect, but they don’t work because Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus either see it coming or are able to kick out of it.  Perhaps the biggest moment in the match is when Luchasaurus ducks a shot from MJF who’s wearing the ring and almost hits Wardlow instead; only to ACTUALLY hit Wardlow when Luchasaurus kicks him in the back.  CLEARLY, MJF needs to switch up his strategy if he wants to protect his unpinned streak, but for now, he’s going to have to eat another loss as Luchasaurus Chokeslams Wardlow, Kicks him in the face, and does a Standing Shooting Star Press before getting the pin; giving MJF only his second loss of the year.  I’m glad that Jurassic Express has found a solid niche to fill as the thorn in MJF’s side and I hope they keep this feud going as long as we keep getting matches this good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-01-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 1”