Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-29-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW action, though this is something of a special episode.  Not in the USUAL AEW sense of adding a subtitle and a few marquee matches, but because this show takes place in Rochester where Brodie Lee is from and where he was supposed to debut before the Pandemic put everything on hold.  Because of this, AEW has put together a stacked card to not only continue their ongoing storylines but to celebrate and the people he affected during his time at the company.  Is it a proper celebration for the Exalted One who was taken from us far too soon?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk comes out at the start of the show and he once again joins the commentary team on this episode.  I’m starting to wonder if he’ll actually do all that much wrestling as he seems perfectly content to sit in the booth and talk about everyone else.  I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it as I think he’s got a lot of potential for that kind of role, but I’m guessing the checks Tony Khan had to write to get him aren’t about to go to someone who stays OUT of the ring.

.

Jungle Boy Vs. Adam Cole

Something we’ll run into a few times in this episode (which was also a bit of an issue on the last episode) is crowd reactions as the place goes unglued for Adam Cole despite being the heel in this conflict.  I gut that everyone is happy he’s here instead of at the other place, but it always feels off when someone is going above and beyond to be a heel and just gets the opposite reaction for it.  Then again, if you could argue one thing in favor of Paragon Cole, he does seem to have the experience advantage in this match and most of the time when he gets the lead it’s from outsmarting Jungle Boy which means that the young guy has to learn on the fly to outmaneuver the veteran.  Cole tries to keep Jungle Boy grounded with headlocks and mat work while keeping him off his game with feints and misdirection; particularly when he puts on the brakes on a charge Jungle Boy had scouted and had started flipping over; only to find Adam Cole behind him and is dragged to the mat for a one count.  Still, you can’t count the Jungle Boy out as he uses the same trick on a Cole a minute later and ends up knocking him out of the ring with a Springboard Arm Drag followed by a Drop Kick.  Cole needs to slow him down, so he baits him to go outside the ring with him before rushing back in and attacking Jungle Boy when he tries to get into the ring behind him.  Jungle Boy manages to escape the beating and goes to the turnbuckle, but Cole pushes him off and he tumbles to the floor in a bump that looked PRETTY bad but doesn’t seem to have caused an actual injury.  In any case, Jungle Boy is hurting and so Cole gets the heat during the commercial.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight back and tries to even the odds by landing a Basement Drop Kick on Cole followed by a BIG Lariat that sends him flipping in the air before landing on the mat.  The gamble pays off as the match gets VERY even at that point with them trading blows and pulling off big moves to try and wear the other one down.  Jungle Boy gets a German Suplex into a bridge for a two count and puts Cole in the Tree of Woe to land a Drop Kick, but then Cole follows up with a Backstabber and the Last Shot for a two count as well.  Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise from the apron to the floor, but Jungle Boy rolls away, runs into the rings, hits the ropes, and goes to dive… only to eat a Step Up Enziguri to the face.  Not to be outdone, he lands a Hurricanrana from the apron to the floor and tosses Cole back into the ring.  However, his follow-up of a Springboard Cutter fails to hit its mark as he eats a Superkick instead, and Cole uses this to land the Panama Sunrise… ONLY TO GET A TWO COUNT!  Shock and awe fill the arena as Cole’s finisher didn’t do the job and he tries to follow-up with THE BOOM, but Jungle Boy ducks and locks him in the Snare Trap.  Cole crawls to the ropes so Jungle Boy breaks the hold to drag him back to the center which gives Cole an opening to kick him in the face.  Cole gets up with Jungle Boy right behind him and it looks like Cole is grabbing the ropes with Ref Aubrey sandwiched between them, and while she’s unable to see what’s going on Cole lands a kick to the groin.  Seeing as neither one of their finishers ended the match, he took the path of least resistance and cheated with a move that knocked  Jungle Boy down which allows Cole to land THE BOOM, and gets the pin to win the match.  This was yet another fantastic showing from Adam Cole who is clearly proving himself to be a valuable addition to AEW.  I think the crowd is making things a bit awkward though because they LOVE this guy despite being a clear Heel, but aside from that I definitely want to see more matches with him!

.

The Elite comes out for a promo to brag about the belts they’ve got AND that they have Adam Cole on their side!  It sounds like a typical Elite promo, but what makes it a little bit different is that it’s the Good Brothers doing all the talking; I guess because they ACTUALLY still have belts to brag about which is no longer the case for The Young Bucks.  Cole gets the mic next and tries to cut another Heel promo which the crowd only KINDA plays along with (again, they like Cole TOO much at this point) though they do play along a bit better when Michael Nakazawa is given the mic to give THE GREATEST PROMO EVER!  They start chanting CM Punk and so Nakazawa just gives up before he even starts, so that was fun!  The real point of this however is so that Danielson can confront them all directly and declare that his challenge has extended not just to Kenny Omega who really SHOULD give the people a rematch, but to ANYONE in the Elite who wants to take his place since Kenny is a giant coward who hides behind his friends.  In a move that kinda proves this point, Kenny tries to get The Elite to bum rush Danielson, but the attack is halted when Danielson calls out Jurassic Express, Christian Cage, and Kazarian to back him up.  It was a fun promo with a few good lines and I’m glad that Danielson is now going to be facing more people in his quest to get a rematch with Omega which certainly sounds like better television than if they had held off the first Omega/Danielson match for a PPV.

.

The Lucha Bros are in the back for an interview, but Andrade crashes it and challenges them for their titles.  Oh no, not the AEW Tag Titles, but for their AAA Tag Titles which apparently they still have!  I’d certainly be interested in seeing Andrade in a tag match, but I have no earthly idea who he would even get as his partner. 

.

Dante Martin & Matt Sydal Vs. Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson

Cody and Lee are accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes and Arn Anderson

I’m gonna be honest, this is where the show just started to fall apart for me.  The work in this match isn’t BAD, but there’s just a bad atmosphere to everything and I just don’t like the story in this match.  Perhaps the issue is that they’re trying to spin too many plates at once as this serves as yet another chance for Dante Martin to show what he can do but is also a slow-motion breakdown of the Nightmare Family.  Perhaps a bit TOO slow-motion if you ask me as the destination is VERY clear but the path we’re taking is wonky and filled with inconsistencies.  The idea is that Cody is acting like a jerk.  Not a PROPER HEEL by any stretch, but just kind of a jerk which could be the first step in a Heel turn (something Cody has teased before in a similar manner), but the crowd is picking up on it SO strongly and are booing this guy out of the building.  Perhaps the was the intent, but it feels we’re jumping five moves ahead as the crowd has no patience to see it play out.  Cody goes in first instead of Lee Johnson, and he has to be dragged to the corner at one point so that Lee Johnson can tag back in and finish the match.  THAT’S IT!  As far as I can tell he doesn’t actively fight like a Heel and he’s actively THERE for Lee Johnson, going so far as to check if he’s okay after a big flip to the floor, and yet the crowd is just jumping to him being the next bad guy on the show.  It’s a weird dynamic in the match to be sure and I just couldn’t get into the action because it felt like the crowd and the company were on opposite pages.  Dante Martin lands some impressive high flying maneuvers throughout the match which I GUESS is another reason why people saw Cody as such a heel, and they are still impressive as all heck, but Cody and Johnson are able to keep up with him and ground him for a good chunk of this match.  It eventually comes to a head after Cody starts fending off both Matt Sydal and Dante Martin while Lee Johnson is waiting for the tag, so he just drags him by his trunks to the corner and tags himself into land a Superkick and a Neck Breaker on Dante to get the pin and win the match.

Tony Schiavone comes into the ring to interview Cody, who the crowd is still booing vociferously,  and he calls Malakai Black to get in the ring so they can finish this, which… well at least it’s something the crowd wants to see as they start cheering, but Arn Anderson tells him to shut the heck up and reminds him of how badly he beat him the first time.  Arn’s also upset that Cody went to check on him in their second fight instead of finishing Black, and it goes COMPLETELY off the rails as Arn goes on this hypothetical Second Amendment Solutions rant which was a complete non-sequitur… and then drops Cody as his coach; preferring to be in Lee Johnson’s corner instead.  Yeah… this was not good and I don’t know what the plan is from here.  MAYBE it will all work out once Cody’s a proper Heel, but this journey to get there is INCREDIBLY bumpy!

.

Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, and Darby Allin Vs. Bear Country & Anthony Green

Darby is accompanied to the ring by Sting

If you want to pull me back in after such a thoroughly alienating angle in the last match, it’s probably best to NOT give me a Bear Country match.  I don’t particularly like these guys and honestly, I’m getting a LITTLE tired of the Moxley/Kingston/Darby trio being trotted out whenever they’ve got time to kill; especially when it’s not even a pretext to something that’ll happen later.  The best way to describe this is a House Show match; something goofy to get some of the bigger names out there in front of the audience and a few crowd-pleasing moments that won’t factor into anything that happens next.  It starts with Moxley and Kingston brawling with Bear Country outside the ring while Darby fights this Green guy who’s never been on Dynamite before, and for the most part, the Baby Faces run away with it.  They tell a LITTLE bit of story as Moxley tries to get Boulder Bronson up for a German Suplex but can’t do it because the guy is too heavy, and then a few minutes later he throws Boulder into the ropes and grabs him on the rebound for a German; using momentum to his advantage.  That was fun I guess and Darby manages to wipe out Bear Country with a Coffin Drop outside the ring which leaves Kingston and Moxley alone in the ring with Green.  They are unfazed by this new guy’s lackluster offense and land a Violent Crown (the Lariat into a German Suplex) to get the pin and win the match.  To put the cherry on top of this, Sting comes into the ring to land a Scorpion Death Drop for the crowd while Kingston holds up a Brodie Lee sign.  I guess it’s better than the last match in that it seems to have GENUINELY accomplished what it was trying to do, but I’m not gonna remember this five minutes after I finish writing about it which isn’t exactly how you should describe a match with three of the biggest stars in the company.

.

Orange Cassidy & The Dark Order Vs. Hardy Family Office – Sixteen Man Tag Match

Yeah, you heard that right!  SIXTEEN DUDES IN THE RING!  I honestly think it gets excessive after six, but SIXTEEN!?  Look, with that many guys in the ring (including one dude I’ve NEVER SEEN BEFORE on HFO), there’s only so much you can talk about as nothing is there long enough to stick in your mind and too much is happening to keep track of.  Instead, we’ll try to go with the overall theme of the match which is the continued disintegration of The Dark Order despite this match being in the hometown of Brodie Lee.  Angles is peeved at Uno and even goes so far as to take his mask off before eating a bunch of heat from the Heels, but Alex Reynolds and Orange Cassidy get a bit of offense and things are looking in their favor… when Evil Uno just walks out.  Stu Grayson and Colt Cabana are following him up to try and talk him into coming back when Anna Jay, Tay Conti, Negative One, and even Amanda Huber (Brodie Lee’s widow) come out to yell at Uno and get him back in the ring which, wouldn’t you know it, gets Uno to run back in and this inspirational sight stars The Dark Order’s comeback!  Silver runs wild for a bit on EVERYONE before getting back in the ring and dodging a charge from Jora Johl (the new guy in HFO) who then eats a Spine Buster from Preston Vance and an Orange Punch from Orange Cassidy.  Silver and Reynolds land their awesome combination (Forearm, Enziguri, Stunner, and German) and then Uno and Grayson finish with a Fatality to get the pin and win the match.  Not only that, The Dark Order shake hands in front of Amanda Huber and it looks like The Dark Order are back together which is a lot sooner than I expected them to be, but if this was the ultimate goal of that angle then I’m at least glad they’re gonna go back to normal.  I will give this a pass that it was in Brodie Lee’s hometown and the whole Huber family was there to have a good time, but it just wasn’t for me.  It was just too much chaos and it undercut a storyline that I THOUGHT had the potential to be something interesting, but the fans seemed to have liked it so I’ll let it slide.

.

The bizarreness of this episode just keeps on going as we cut to a video promo of none other than LIO RUSH who supposedly retired earlier this year but I guess he’s just back now and doing some sort of Wall Street Stonks gimmick.  I don’t know, I was excited when he FIRST showed up, but now that he’s coming out of retirement less than a year after doing so, I think I’m gonna have to see it to believe it.

.

After all that weirdness that just did not connect to me, it turns out the one thing to bring me back to reality is Dan Lambert who is in the ring with Men of the Year talking smack about Chris Jericho.  If you had asked me even TWO weeks ago if I wanted to see another Dan Lambert promo I probably would have been iffy about it, but you know what?  He’s in the ring with two wrestlers talking about another wrestler to build up a feud, and the wrestlers themselves deliver some great promos of their own that make me interested to see what they do next!   The only complaint is that I feel like someone should have come out to confront them as the promo just kinda ends when they’re done talking, but even so, I thought it was a pretty good promo in an episode that otherwise felt incredibly weird and off-balance.

.

Penelope Ford & The Bunny Vs. Tay Conti & Anna Jay

I honestly don’t know how Hardy Family Office became the biggest faction in AEW as they just were part of a SIXTEEN MAN TAG MATCH and still had another spot on the card with The Bunny showing up here.  I think the work is fine and both teams are full of people I do like in the women’s division, but I feel like we’re on a treadmill at this point; burning through matchups and finding more excuses to continue it instead of finding a story to build towards or a final match that will mean something.  The only thing of note here is that Jay and Tay are much more in control and wise to the games that the Heels like to play, so they manage to keep a strong advantage throughout.   They avoid a pre-bell assault from the Heels, Anna gets a good start on The Bunny, and Tay doe a bunch of Judo Flips on Ford to keep the pressure up.  Fortunes change when Tay misses a charge at The Bunny and falls out of the ring which gives Ford an opening to land a Back Stabber on Jay followed by a Knee Drop.  This leads to the heat throughout the commercial break, until Conti gest the hot tag and wipes the floor with Ford.  She quickly tags Anna back in for an Assisted Suplex and goes for the pin, only for it to be broken by The Bunny.  There’s this fun spot where Jay goes for a Lariat, but Ford leans back to dodge like she’s in the Matrix and she bridges back up into a Stunner!  I liked that a lot as I’ve always thought Ford was much better than she usually gets credit for, and this leads to a Double Knee Gutbuster for a two count.  She goes to the top turnbuckle for a Moonsault to finish Jay off for good but misses as Jay rolls away while Tay keeps The Bunny from interfering by landing a Tay-K-O outside the ring.  With The Bunny dealt with and Ford reeling from her missed Moonsault, Anna Jay locks in the Queen Slayer and after a minute of AMAZINGLY horrified expressions on the face of Ford, she eventually passes out and the Baby Faces win the match.  This wasn’t a GREAT match but honestly it’s probably my second favorite on the card so far as all four of them hit their moves and told the story they needed to in a fun and concise manner.  If I wasn’t burned out on seeing these four together I probably would have been even more positive about it, but for what it was I thought it was just fine.

.

MJF comes out for a promo which would typically be a highlight of the show, but it felt like way too many of his promos I’ve heard lately, and frankly I could have used a bit more to bring me back into the episode at this point.  He’s good as ever on the pic and I have very little doubt that will ever change, but he just kinda runs through the same talking points he’s made before about being the best at this company; even among its biggest new stars like Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, and Darby Allin.  Of those three, the one who ends up coming out to confront him is Darby Allin who doesn’t say a whole lot other than a vague challenge to him, and then MJF goes too far and too real again by bringing up his uncle dying in a car crash.  I’m just not a fan of MJF doing this kind of shtick, especially when it involves people outside of this wacky world of wrestling, and I can’t say I’m too excited for this feud based on this promo.

.

Miro Vs. Sammy Guevara – TNT Title Match

As negative as I’ve been about this show, I will say that it started strong and it sure as heck ENDED strong!  Sammy tries to outpace Miro, but the champ is a lot swifter than his bulky frame would indicate and so Miro gets a strong start.  Sammy’s first offensive hit is when he threw himself at Miro and they both go tumbling out of the ring and now it’s Sammy’s term to show off how fast he is by dodging a charge from Miro that sends him into the ring steps.  Sammy throws Miro back in the ring and lands a Shooting Star Press on the still-standing Miro, but it doesn’t look like it did much damage and Miro is able to transition that into a Belly to Belly Suplex which starts the heat.  Once we’re back from commercial, we see Miro has him in a headlock on the ground but Sammy manages to fight to his feet and drops down into a Stunner.  Sammy starts running the ropes to build some momentum, but Miro catches him and tosses him halfway across the ring with a Release German Suplex; once again showing that Sammy’s speed is not going to be enough to overcome Miro’s own speed and his more impressive strength.  To prove this point further, Miro clocks Sammy in the face with a MIGHTY FIST that leaves Sammy seeing stars and gives Miro an outsized sense of his own superiority.  As punishment for this folly, Miro runs at Sammy to bowl over him but Sammy turns it into a Spanish Fly and follows up with a Superkick and a Running Knee.  He goes for the Pump Kick, but Miro dodges and throws him with another Release German Suplex which he hopes will restart his momentum.  However, Miro charges at Sammy only to MISS and he goes tumbling over the turnbuckle and to the floor.  Sammy vaults over the turnbuckle and crashes into Miro which was VERY impressive to see, and he drags Miro into the ring and goes for a Shooting Star Press, but Miro gets up very quickly and has to bail out.  He tries a Running Cross Body, but once again Miro is too strong for something like this and he slams him down for a two count.  Miro waits for him to get up and goes for the big Pump Kick, but Sammy dodges and hits TWO Knee Strikes to the neck which gives him the best chance he has to put this away and so he tries to climb the turnbuckle.  Miro tries to fight him on his way up, but Sammy pushes him over and lands a Middle Rope Cutter which only furthers the damage to Miro’s neck.  Sammy wants the GTH, but Miro is too heavy and escapes; following up with the big Pump Kick and gets a VERY close two count.  Where Miro makes his fatal mistake and succumbs to fear is that instead of pressing the advantage he rips off ALL the turnbuckle pads with the intent of bashing Sammy into one of them.  None other than Fuego Del Sol comes in from nowhere to save the day as he starts to taunting Miro on the apron in the middle of ripping off the pads.  Miro knocks him off which I’m sure was immensely satisfying, but it creates enough of a distraction for Sammy to shove him into the exposed turnbuckle.  He follows up with a Swinging DDT, he ACTUALLY manages to lift him up for and lands the GTH, and then he goes up top and lands a 630 Senton.  Miro stays down for the three count and Sammy is your new TNT champion!  The confetti starts to fly, Fuego goes to the ring and celebrates with him along with a bunch of other Baby Faces, and the episode comes to an end as Sammy’s run as TNT champion sets to begin!

.

The best way I can describe this is a house show done as a love letter, and while I appreciate the sentiment behind that, it just didn’t make for a great show.  The fact that Brodie Lee never got to wrestle in his hometown while at AEW was a tragedy and they wanted to do something here to try and make up for that, but where the original Brodie Lee memorial show was brilliant, exciting, and sentimental, this just felt hammy and clunky.  We got two GREAT matches to bookend the show, but I expect more than that from AEW, and this along with the two-hour Rampage that was similarly clunky, well let’s just say that they need to get back on track sooner rather than later.  Perhaps they hit their peak after all and things will go back to the AEW we knew before Punk, Danielson, Cole, and even Soho gave this company a shot in the arm, but we’ll see if they can right the ship in the coming weeks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s