Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-16-2020)

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

We’re back with even more Dynamite action to bring a brief glimmer of joy to our otherwise monotonous existence!  How many Netflix shows did YOU watch this week?  Trick question!  If you can remember, you haven’t seen enough.  Anyway!  Last week got things off to a great start following the All Out PPV, and hopefully they’ll continue to build on that momentum to give us another fantastic excuse to yell at the TV in joy and terror… other than when watching the news of course.  Let’s find out!!

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Jurrassic Express Vs. FTR

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt while FTR is accompanied by Tully Blanchard

Before the match even begins, The Young Bucks come out and Superkick Ref Posey; just for the sake of being jerks!  He didn’t even DO anything, and The Bucks just come out here to not play by your daddy’s rules!  They head to the pack to throw a stack of bills at Tony Khan as they will SURELY be fined for this, and they pass by FTR who find this whole thing quite amusing.   I’m not sure I’m on the same page with them, but I guess this is just to keep us reminded that they’re going bad so that people aren’t confused when they REALLY do something terrible!  Now before we were so RUDELY interrupted, how is the match itself?  It’s actually pretty good!  The story of this match is ALL about Jungle Boy who continues to impress whenever he’s in the ring; so much so that I can only assume he’ll be getting a Singles push soon, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  His initial flurry of offense against FTR was very impressive to see, but soon enough FTR manages to ground him and they generate heat for quite a while with Jungle Boy trying desperately to get to the corner.  Jungle Boy stays resourceful however as Wheeler tries to do a drop kick on Jungle Boy who’s up against the ropes, but he dodges at the last second and Wheeler’s legs get caught on the top rope; flipping him over in a VERY hilarious looking fashion!  Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans house with the efficiency of an actual dinosaur, but it’s clear that this as well is part of the bigger story they are trying to tell.  Luchasaurus is always great whenever he enters the ring, but he’s pretty easily overwhelmed when the other team starts working together.  Compare this with when Jungle Boy gets the tag back in, and while he may not have the immediate offensive power that Luchasaurus has, he has the resilience to fend off both members of FTR at the same time; to the point that Wheeler and Harwood have to keep tagging in and out just to keep up with the kid!  The turning point comes when Luchasaurus goes for something on the outside… (I guess it was supposed to be a really high spear?) and misses Wheeler by a mile; crashing into the crowd and effectively out of the match.  Jungle Boy manages to fight on valiantly and has Dax in a solid pin, but Cash flips them so that Jungle Boy is the one getting pinned, and with Cash applying additional pressure on the pin they just barely manage to get the three count.  Perhaps in a one on one match Luchasaurus would be unstoppable against either one of FTR, but Jungle Boy clearly has the better skills for this particular challenge, and they only way the champs were able to win here is by cheating in a way that in all honesty the ref REALLY should have seen.  Despite it being Jungle Boy’s night to lose, he really came into his own here and it was a strong story being told.  A GREAT way to open the show

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Backstage, Matt Hardy is laid out with Private Party standing over him looking concerned.  It’s implied that Chris Jericho used Floyd The Bat to smash Hardy’s knee in, but if Private Party was there the whole time, shouldn’t they have seen it?  It’s just kind of a filler segment to transition us from one match to the next.  Nothing all that great, but not around long enough to stand out.

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Frankie Kazarian

Kazarian is such a great worker that you kind of wish he’d get a bigger push than he does.  As it stands, he’s doing quite well making OTHER wrestlers look good with solid matches like this one here.  They might as well subtitle this match HOW HANGMAN GOT HIS GROOVE BACK, because the story here is that Hangman isn’t quite into it and is fighting with a fog over his head, but with enough punishment from Kazarian and a few pops from the crowd, he’s back to his old self.  Heck, it doesn’t even matter at that point if he wins as he already won in his own way, but he’s not about to let Kazarian take home the victory without a serious fight!  A springboard DDT from Kazarian comes close to doing it, but The Hangman is determined and kicks out at two.  They trade big moves back and forth for quite a while here with the only awkward point being a sloppy looking Death Valley Driver from Hangman, but he makes up for it soon enough as Kazarian tries a springboard move, but Hangman catches him and lands a Powerbomb.  Eventually Kazarian goes for a leg drop but misses it which gives Hangman enough time to land his Buckshot Lariat and that is what finally gets him the pin.  As great as this victory must feel for Adam Page, it ultimately ends on a bittersweet note.  Kenny Omega was on commentary, and tried to stay professional the whole time, but after Page got the pin Omega left without congratulating him.  Clearly Hangman was hoping that this victory would be the first step to their reunion, but it’s clear the journey is going to be much longer than he had hoped.  This was ANOTHER very good match with an engaging story being told!  It’s almost like it’s as simple as getting TWO things right (good action and a good story) to have an amazing and memorable match, and it certainly left me with more feelings about this whole Hangman storyline than that rather inconsequential interview he gave last week.

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MJF Vs. Shawn Dean

MJF is accompanied to the ring by Wardlow

It’s yet another squash match as MJF manages to make this Dean dude tap out within, what?  Six seconds at the most?  He then cuts a promo afterward where he winges and whines about how Moxley cheated during their match; all of which falls upon the unsympathetic ears of the audience who spend the entire time shouting YOU’RE A LOSER while MJF powers thru to try and make his point.  With the delusions of grandeur that you’d expect from the man, he then forces the ring announcer Justin Roberts, under threat of a wedgie from Wardlow, to announce him as the UNDEFEATED AN UNDISPUTED CHAMPION OF AEW to nothing but boos from the crowd who are not having any of his nonsense today!  MJF proves once again how great he is at being an absolutely fun pain the butt, and it’s even MORE fun that we get to sit here and ignore his legitimate point.  It’s like… he’s right that Moxley cheated, but screw him anyway!  He then concedes one point which is that he may not be living up to his full potential as a one man act, and that the TRUE path to success around here is to join a faction.  Fair enough point I suppose, but wasn’t he ALREADY part of a faction when it was him and Wardlow with The Butcher and The Blade?  In any case, he’ll be doing his homework to find out which faction he should join, but make no mistake that wherever he ends up, success will follow because he’s better than you, and you know it!  Good promo

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Eddie Kingston is in the ring with his crew (the Lucha Bros and The Butcher and The Blade) to make three points… and boy does he take his time making them.

NUMBER ONE!  He never lost the Battle Royale.  As it turns out, and from what I can tell it was unplanned, Eddie Kingston was not officially eliminated per the rules of match as he got to the apron BETWEEN the ropes and not over them.  This means when he was tossed off the apron a few minutes later, it wasn’t an official elimination.  I’m not sure if anyone actually CARES at this point because he clearly didn’t have a chance against Archer, but he just wanted to make that point clear.

NUMBER TWO!  We’re family.  Well not WE per se; him and his crew are, and it’s straight up Fast and Furious Vin Diesel shtick there.  On top of that they are a family of VIOLENCE, and to prove it they grab a few people from the crowd to start beating up in the ring.  Well alright I guess.  I mean I know these guys were tough already, but beating up a bunch of jobbers REALLY hit the point home!

And finally, NUMBER THREE!  The Blade needs to get his house in order, which I GUESS means he needs to get his wife Allie back on their side… but it’s left as an implication and not spelled out.  They never did explain why she stopped being the Bunny, did they?  Heck, considering she’s dating QT Marshall, I had just assumed they WEREN’T married in the fake wrestling world of AEW, but I guess him and The Blade are gonna star feuding soon.

This whole angle with Kingston till isn’t PERFECT, especially since they don’t seem to have a plan to DO anything, but Kingston’s a good personality on the mic.  I just worried that this will be one of those team ups where all the elements are in place to be amazing, but the pieces just don’t end up fitting together.

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Private Party Vs. Jericho & Jake Hager

Sadly there’s not as much going on here as in the other matches, but it was still a solid showcase for both teams.  Private Party are BY FAR the better tag team as their energy and synchronized move sets manage to put these two against the ropes, but eventually their overwhelming power is too much and they start getting the heat on Quen for quite a bit.  Cassidy does manage to get the advantage once again as soon as he gets the hot tag, going so far as to get a two count on Jericho, but Hager manages to smash him in the back with Floyd the bat while the ref isn’t looking.  They go to commercial at that point as Kassidy eats more and more damage from Jericho and Hager, and right when it’s starting to feel too long, Private Party hit the Silly String on Hager which is when the match kicks into overdrive for its big finale.  Quen gets a REALLY good offensive flurry against both men for a bit, but Jericho just won’t stay down no matter what they do.  Quen takes Hager to the outside of the ring leaving Kassidy alone with Jericho who puts on a great show, but all it takes from Jericho is ONE Judas Effect to completely knock out Kassidy and get the win.  I don’t think this was a BAD match because Private Party looked great and I’ll even give credit to Hager for being a convincing monster that the baby faces have to cut down, but the bat shot so early in the match just kind of took the wind out of it, and I this is one of the few times where Jericho just didn’t seem to earn the win.  I get that the Judas Effect is SUPPOSED to be an unstoppable finisher, but considering it’s just a back elbow that ended this match while Quen and Kassidy were flipping all over the place and landing some big moves, it just felt a LITTLE bit cheap here.

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Ivelisse Vs. Thunder Rosa – NWA Women’s Title Match

Ivelisse is accompanied to the ring by Diamanté

Ivelisse and Diamanté are going to be big stars here, at least I hope so.  There’s genuine fire and heat coming off of them when they fight, and it makes the matches SO much more exciting to watch.  Ivelisse and Thunder Rosa piss each other off throughout the match and everything in the match seems to escalate that tension.  They are pretty evenly matched at first, but Diamanté is pulling a few distractions which manage to give Ivelisse the upper hand, though Ivelisse’s Achilles heel is that she gets a big head and in her smug sense of superiority she gives Thunder Rosa a few chances to turn things around.  At one point Ivelisse lands something called a Tiger Driver which looks like the most dangerous move imaginable as it’s basically a Powerbomb where the person taking it has to do a flip, but they manage to pull it off and Ivelisse only gets a two count.  Thunder Rosa on the other hand manages to land a very good Death Valley Driver (certainly better than the one Hangman landed), but she only gets a two count as well.  The match doesn’t end until Thunder Rosa catches Ivelisse while running the ropes and puts her in a Tombstone Piledriver which looked VERY good (Ivelisse’s long hair covered any space between the mat and her head), and Thunder Rosa gets the pin; winning the match and retaining her title.

Almost as soon as the bell rings, Diamanté jumps Thunder Rosa from behind and tosses her out of the ring.  Ivelisse then holds up the NWA belt in blatant act of poor sportsmanship which Hikaru Shida cannot abide by, so she runs into the ring and dispatches of both of them before giving the belt back to Thunder Rosa.  I’ll be honest; I think I liked this match more than the one Thunder Rosa had with Shida on the PPV.  Ivelisse and Diamanté have a FIRE coming off of them whenever they get in the ring, and it felt like Thunder Rosa worked on that emotional wavelength better than she did with Shida who TRIED to make it feel like a grudge match of sorts but it just never really came across there.  I still need to hear what they sound like on the mic, but they could be two of the biggest rising stars at the company if given a proper push.

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We cut to Miro and Kip Sabian who are both lifting weights.  Well… MIRO is lifting weights while Kip is running his mouth at the camera (he’s not even spotting him as Penelope Ford is doing that) but Kip’s words of in-ring action and winning matches is more than enough to fire up the former Rusev!  The problem that he had working at WWE is the same problem that basically EVERYONE had which is how little management had faith in the wrestlers themselves developing the characters and working off their own innate gifts.  Having Rusev be the SCARY FOREIGN DUDE for so long wasn’t great, but the guy was brimming with so much charisma and charm that people loved seeing him anyway; not to mention the genius that was RUSEV DAY!  We can only hope that like Brodie Lee, Jon Moxley, Dustin Rhodes, FTR, and basically everyone else who jumped ship to be here, that we’ll finally see his potential realized now that he’s no longer being held back by management.

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Jake Roberts & Lance Archer – What Do They Have Planned For Jon Moxley!?

Jake Roberts and Lance Archer are in the ring with Roberts rambling in his usual compelling affectation, but his promos as of late have become more and more disjointed.  There are times where the dude seriously sounds like his scripts are coming from an AI generator or something that was translated into a foreign language and then translated back using Google, but darn it does he sound confident no matter what it is he’s saying!  Eventually he manages to stay coherent enough to call out Taz for… what I can only describe as an offer to merge Team Taz with Team Roberts.  It was announced earlier that there would be a Six Man Tag match between Archer and Moxley, so I GUESS this Roberts recruiting Starks and Cage to join them, but why would AEW set up a match before the wrestlers were able to get sufficient team mates to back them up?  Heck, what if Taz told Roberts he’s not interested!?  WHAT THEN!?  Well Taz DOESN’T say that and agrees to loan his boys to Archer’s cause on the condition that when Lance wins the belt from Moxley that Cage is the first one to get a title shot.  However, before the ink can dry and the handshakes are finished, Jon Moxley comes out… BUT IS IMMEDIATELY JUMPED BY CAGE AND STARKS!!  They beat on him for a bit, presumably to soften him up for their match next week… BUT THEN OUT OF NOWHERE, WILL FREAKING HOBBS COMES OUT WITH A CHAIR AND CLEANS HOUSE!!  YES!!  I’ve loved EVERYTHING I’ve seen about this guy since he first showed up, and this was a FANTASTIC save!  Moxley grabs a mic and starts shouting at everyone down in the ring to let them know that he will be teaming up with Will Hobbs next week, and if that wasn’t enough he ALSO announces that their third man will be none other than Darby Allin!  Despite a rocky start with Roberts’s very odd monologue, this was an absolute firecracker of a segment and I absolutely can’t wait to see that Six Man Tag match with Will Hobbs!  The guy has something there and I hope that AEW gives him the push he needs to send him straight to the top!

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Best Friends Vs. Proud N Powerful – Parking Lot Street Fight

The feud between these two teams has felt pretty underwhelming so I guess they felt there had to pull out all the stops to end this feud on a high note which is why they’ve circled the cars and threw a bunch of random painful stuff in the middle; not to mention Santana and Ortiz wearing face paint to show that this is SERIOUS BUSINESS!  The whole match is an absolute cartoon from beginning to end which I guess is exactly what you should expect from these two teams letting loose, but the whole thing is less about a coherent narrative than it is just doing spots.  Fun spots to be sure but there isn’t much of a flow to the match itself as neither side seems to get much of an advantage despite how devastating their moves are.  This includes Ortiz eating a Senton Bomb while on an engine block, Trent being catapulted into the bed of a truck, and PLENTY of bombs, throws, and smashes into the cars all around them.  It looked like it was done safely for the most part, but there were two spots that left me a bit uneasy.  First was a when Ortiz throws a REAL and VERY HEAVY sledgehammer in Chuck’s direction who had to narrowly avoid it, and it went right thru a windshield behind him which could have just as easily been his skull.  The other spot ALSO involved a windshield where Trent took a Double Powerbomb into one that shattered as he landed on it.  Not exactly an unexpected move in a match like this, but the dude’s back just kept bleeding from that point on.  As fun as this meandering nonsense is, it does manage to stick the landing with a fantastic wrap up to the match and the feud itself.  Santana’s got a lead pipe and is about to MURDER Chuck Taylor, but the trunk of the car that Chuck is lying against opens up and out pops Orange Cassidy who gives Santana a Superman Punch (I guess they’re calling it an Orange Punch) with a chain in his hand that knocks Santana out.  Oddly enough this in and of itself doesn’t lead to the ending as Ortiz is the one who ends up getting pinned, but it was a great spot nonetheless.  Chuck takes the dazed Santana and gives him a Pile Driver on the hood of a car while Trent gives Oritz a Crunchy (a different kind of Pile Driver) onto a truck to get the pin and win the match.  The three of them leave the parking lot and are picked up by Trent’s mom Sue in her minivan which brings the feud full circle, and Sue gives everyone the finger before driving off just as the episode comes to a close.  It was entertaining for the most part, but it wasn’t until the ending that the match REALLY came into its own and was a heck of a lot more than I was expecting out of this feud that otherwise has been rather uninteresting.

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Now THAT was a darn good show!  Not everything in here was great, but the last two weeks of shows have succeeded mainly because the matches told stories that I GENUINELY cared about!  Last week it was Dustin getting revenge for his brother, and this week they upped the ante with almost every match having SOMETHING going on between the wrestlers; sometimes overt, and sometimes simply implied by the way they wrestled it.  They still need to make Eddie Kingston’s faction feel like it MEANS something, but all the other angles on this show, particularly the World Title picture, was top notch and exactly what I’m looking for in a quality wresting show!  Keep up the good work AEW, and make sure to give Hobbs LOTS of time next week!

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