Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-05-2021) – Blood & Guts

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

Well the day is finally here; someway feeling very late and way too soon at the same time.  The original plan for Blood & Guts seemed to be The Inner Circle Vs. The Elite, and boy how things have changed since then with The Elite fractured into becoming a Heel faction and The Inner Circle finding their way to being the Baby Faces in this feud against The Pinnacle.  There’s no doubt that they kind of sprinted to this match instead of taking their time with it as The Pinnacle only arrived on the scene a few weeks ago, and with us being so close to out of the woods of this Pandemic it hardly seems like it would have been TOO much to ask for them to wait for the crowds to return, but this is the plan they went with and they tried their darnedest to make it work.  Is this show as well as the match itself worth all the buildup, or was all this just to give us a mediocre War Games rip off?  Let’s find out!!

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that the arena is already set up for the Blood and Guts match as there are two rings next to each other throughout the show.  It’s a bit of a shame that none of the undercard matches make use of this fact, but I guess you want to save the more fancy stuff for the main event.

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Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston Vs. Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa

Omega is accompanied to the ring by Don Callis

Things don’t start off well for Moxley and Kingston as Callis comes out and says Omega won’t be showing up for the match and of course he appears out of nowhere to blindside them during their entrance.  Eddie is left alone to fend off both Omega and Nakazawa, but eventually Moxley gets back up and starts running wild.  Eventually it settles into a very straightforward back and forth tag team match.  Some fun stuff like Omega’s over the top Heel expression and Nakazawa landing a low blow that knocks the wind out of Kingston, but I’m just not feeling the urgency for a match that should have a lot of weight to it.  If it was me, I wouldn’t have Omega give Kingston an inch.  Just devastating move after devastating move instead of an extended heat segment where he does SOME moves but Kingston is definitely given a lot of room to breathe and fight back.  They get it right with Moxley and Nakazawa as he’s barely a minute into the hot tag before he goes for the Paradigm shift which only doesn’t land because Omega runs in to break it up.  Nakazawa tries to use this moment of confusion to his advantage, but his forearms are no match for Moxley’s beefy chest and ends up eating a Pile Driver for his efforts.  Seeing the writing on the wall, Omega just bails to leave Nakazawa to his fate, and so Moxley lands a clothesline while Kingston holds him in place which is enough to get the win.  Not a bad opener, but I think with Kenny now the proud owner of FOUR belts (apparently he won TWO at the Impact PPV) I feel like there should have been a bit more menace from him.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-28-2021)

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

Blood and Guts is only one week away, and while it REALLY feels like it should be at least a month down the road, AEW has done their darnedest to try and make it as big a spectacle as they can.  Will this final week of hype be enough to make it a huge success, or will the rushed build in this show mean that few will care to tune in next week?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Brian Cage

Before the match can properly start, Cage and Team Taz bum rush him and stomp him into the ground before The Dark Order rushes out to make the save.  They at least manage to chase off Hook, Hobbs, and Starks, but Page is still alone with THE MACHINE who gives him a Powerbomb on the ramp before tossing him into the ring and continuing his assault.  Page tries to fight back and gets a very brief hope towards the end, but it’s ultimately a losing proposition a Cage lands the Drillclaw and wins the match in about five minutes.  It may not have been the most EXCITING match as it was essentially an extended squash, but there are several things about this that made it FANTASTIC!  Team Taz has been on a losing streak for a while and Page has been on a winning streak, so this kind of shake up is perfect for setting up a feud with some real stakes to it as Cage so effortlessly destroyed Hangman and it’s unclear if he can beat him even without getting Powerbombed at the start.  On top of that, you have Taz on commentary selling not just this one match but the story of Team Taz up to this point and how Adam Page ultimately fits into it which only adds to the tension as to what’s going to happen next.  In less than ten minutes, AEW managed to set up a new feud and give it some real weight which is impressive for any show to pull off, and even as a squash match it was fun to watch.  Not a bad start to the show if you ask me!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-21-2021)

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

Another week, another episode of AEW action, though things have definitely changed now that WWE NXT is on a new night and AEW is going unopposed.  So far it has meant a pretty sizable bump in the ratings (no doubt helped by Mike Tyson’s recent appearances), but with a growing audience to satiate, can AEW put on a show that will keep the new fans coming back without losing the audience that got them here in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Ricky Starks

Ricky Starks has NOT had a good go of it lately.  He came in strong with a show stealing match against Cody, but since then he’s been become kind of a joke by virtue of being the smallest guy in Taz’s stable.  Here he manages to show some great moves and hold his own against Hangman, but even then he’s fighting from underneath for most of the match.  Page is bigger, he’s faster, and even ends up fighting smarter as Starks can never seem to keep an advantage for more than a moment before Page stops his momentum in its tracks; at one point even hurting his ankle which only makes things that much more difficult for Starks.  Still, he gets in some good moves towards the end; especially a Sitout Powerbomb where he pretty much deadlifts The Hangman which was an impressive feat of core strength, before dropping him back down.  Sadly it only gets him a two count and Hangman manages to fight him back to the corner where he lands an Avalanche Fallaway Slam followed by a Lariat which gest him a two count in return.  Of course, there’s only one way to end this and so Hangman goes for his Buckshot Lariat, but Spears dodges the move and lands a hellacious looking Spear on the Hangman that gets him a VERY close two count!  Rethinking his strategy, Hangman doesn’t go for another Buckshot and instead gets Starks into a submission hold that focuses on the bad ankle which Starks is forced to tap out to; giving Hangman the win.  Starks looks good in almost every match he has and this is perhaps the best he’s looked in a while, but I’m left wondering what his role is at AEW and if Team Taz is ever going to get a significant win on this show.

Taz, seemingly just as frustrated, starts yelling at Page which allows Hook to run in and Chop Block him which gives him, Starks, and a fast arriving Brian Cage, to stomp a mud hole into the Hangman.  Before any serious damage can be done, The Dark Order rush out to chase Team Taz away; once again proving their loyalty to The Hangman who, as far as I can tell, STILL isn’t a member of the group and probably won’t be for some time.  It was a good opening match to be sure that gave Starks a bit of shine even in defeat, and if nothing else it was a MUCH better showing from The Hangman than his match against Max Caster two weeks ago.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-07-2021)

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

AEW has been knocking it out of the park in recent weeks with last week’s show being one of the best episodes they’ve done in some time!  Still, it’s going to be a rough week for AEW to win the night as NXT’s final show, which is ALSO one of their Takeover events, is stacked from top to bottom with PPV caliber matches.  Can AEW put on something to compete with NXT in their final head to head week before NXT moves to Tuesday nights, or are they gonna call this one a loss from the get go?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Max Caster

Caster is accompanied to the ring by Anthony Bowens

A few days ago, Dave Meltzer made a very good examination of AEW’s booking and the flaws that have crept up the last year; mostly due to the inflating roster leading to stories that are much more thinly spread.  It was a good point and Dave made it well, but for me the bigger problem is Dark and Elevation and how they affect the ranking system.  As Max Castor entered the ring, a guy we haven’t seen in weeks and rarely if ever wins matches on Dynamite, is announced as the NUMBER THREE CONTENDER.  I checked the website after the show, and he is right below Jon Moxley and two spots above Cody Rhodes; something that simply DID NOT translate in this match as even the commentators kept referring to him as a rookie.  Dark and Elevation are GREAT for getting some of these new guys ring time and for putting on some fun matches that may not have worked on Wednesdays, but using matches on there for the TV rankings ends up being jarring for us who only keep up with Dynamite.  Perhaps wins and losses should only count if they’re on Dynamite, or maybe should book people on Dynamite BEFORE they’re in the top five.  In any case, Caster ends up proving the flaws in this system as he gets systematically destroyed by The Hangman with his only moments of dominance due to Anthony Bowens’ interference.  The match is fine I suppose as a one sided beat down, but I’m just not sold on Caster as a particularly interesting heel; either when he’s getting beat up or when he’s cheating his way to the top.  That said, it could be that the match itself is kind of booked blandly and even Hangman seems kind of boring in this.  There’s this overly convoluted spot where he puts Caster crotch first on the guard rail before SLOWLY getting up on the guard rail himself to do a jumping clothesline, and yet it’s PROBABLY the most interesting spot in the whole match?  I mean what else is there?  Caster working over Hangman’s arm?  Using a chain to get a cheap shot that only gets a two count?  It just never had much of a spark for me and by the time Hangman got the Buckshot Lariat I was ready for it to be over.  AEW almost always delivers on the opening match and while this wasn’t TERRIBLE, it just wasn’t up to their usual standards.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-31-2021)

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

We’re back with another week of Dynamite action and frankly I’m excited to see what they do!  They’ve been on something of a hot streak lately with great matches from top to bottom with this week looking to be no different!  Can they keep up the momentum they’ve worked hard to build, or are they running out of steam sooner rather than later?  Let’s find out!!

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Christian Cage Vs. Frankie Kazarian

We start things off with the self-proclaimed Work Horse of AEW finally lacing up his boots and getting in the ring with the ACTUAL workhorse of the company.  Frankly, that’s the big issue I had with this match; Christian Cage is good, but I just don’t buy the gimmick.  Now they DO seem to be playing with that a little bit as Kazarian is the heel who just keeps overwhelming the Baby Face, but it’s not exactly the first match I would have if my gimmick is that I’m the best worker around.  Still, Cage isn’t here to coast as he takes a NASTY bump early on from the top turnbuckle to the ground (managing to smash his side on the apron on his way down) and even though he looks COMPLETELY exhausted by the halfway point he manages to make his way to the end of the match without missing a step.  Well… maybe a LITTLE bit.  There’s an awkward looking escape from here where he rolls over Kazarian’s back at one point, and there are a couple of submission holds that look suspiciously like rest holds, but it’s still a solid match with a decent arc to it. Kazarian knows he’s running away with this as he gets in Cage’s face during his advantage, and even when Cage fires back Kazarian is always ready to reverse his fortunes.  To make matters worse, Kazarian starts choking out Cage and the guy nearly passes out which is not doing much for his stamina.  Cage EVENTUALLY manages to fight back to a standing position, but Kazarian knocks him back down to further cement his domination this early on in the match.  Eventually Cage mounts a comeback with a Swinging DDT from the middle rope that Kazarian bumps big for but still kicks out at two, but even with that he’s finally gets his second wind and starts fighting off Kazarian with a bunch of chops followed by a Diving European Uppercut which also gets a two count.  The rest of the match is not unlike Kenny Omega’s usual shtick where Cage keeps going for his finisher The Killswitch but Kazarian finds more and more ways to slip out of it and continue his offensive with moves like a Springboard Leg Drop, the Flux Capacitor, and a the dreaded Crossface Chicken Wing.  To Cage’s credit he manages to survive by fighting smart and using rules like rope breaks to his advantage, but Kazarian seems to barely be fazed after all this time while Cage is hanging on for dear life.  The tide finally turns when Cage manages to snap his neck on the top rope and lands a Frog Splash from the top turnbuckle.  With Kazarian nice and softened up and with the match’s time limit looming, Cage finally lands the Killswitch and gets the pin; winning his first match at AEW.  It was a solid match to be sure, but after watching it I think they need to rethink Christian Cage’s character.  I like what I saw of Cage, but not in terms of OUT WORKING EVERYONE.  Out SMARTING Everyone?  Maybe even Out WRESTLING Everyone?  Perhaps those would work better because WORK has a specific connotation in wrestling and I just didn’t see Cage as the best exemplar of it; especially when there’s no better example of someone who works harder than Kazarian who proved it here even in giving Cage the win. 

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-24-2021)

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

Last week’s episode wasn’t exactly a barn burner for the first half or so, but it definitely managed to come together by the end with one of the most spectacular women’s matches in quite some time as Thunder Rosa just barely won out against Britt Baker in a Lights Out match at the end of the show.  Fortunately they aren’t trying to recreate that magic this week (you throw in THAT many hardcore matches, you’re liable not to have a roster before long), but with so much hype following that match can AEW put on a fantastic show to keep everyone’s interest despite a more modest card?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega Vs. Matt Sydal – AEW World Title Match Qualifier

They do a good job of recapping the events that led up to this which were on AEW Dark Elevation, as Matt Sydal beat Micahel Nakazawa to get this match which is NOT for the title but if he wins this match he WILL get a title fight.  I guess when your win-loss record is as spotty as Sydal’s that having to win TWICE is a fair compromise for jumping over everyone else, and it means that Kenny gets to open the show which is certainly a good way to start things off!  Despite Sydal’s inability to win ANY match on Dynamite, the guy is an unbelievable talent and proves to be a good foil for Omega as Sydal proves to have him beat in agility and coordination while Omega has the power to stop him in his tracks.  It goes back and forth between Sydal doing fun flippy stuff that leaves Omega befuddled and Omega bashing Sydal so hard that it nearly knocks him out of his wrestling boots.  Sydal eventually starts to get some momentum and gives Kenny a run for his money; even getting a two count off a Hurricanrana that launched Kenny from the middle rope to the middle of the ring followed by a Brain Buster that left Kenny flat on his back.  This failed pin attempt leads to Kenny’s slow, methodical, and downright sadistic comeback where he starts playing the greatest hits for the crowd, but he fails to land the V-Trigger and Sdyal gets a VERY close two count out of it.  Kenny then throws Sydal in a way similar to a Buckle Bomb to soften Sydal up and lands a few V-Triggers for good measure.  However, he pushes his luck and tries to land a One Winged Angel which Sydal reverses out of; giving him a momentary retrieve and one last chance to win this.  Kenny goes for the One Winged Angel again and Sydal manages to once again escape to somehow get an even CLOSER two count!  Third time proves to be the charm however as Kenny gives him a V-Trigger as soon as he pops out of the pin and finally lands the One Winged Angel to get the win.  Sydal’s a guy who looks good even in defeat and there’s really no reason for him to have won this match considering he has nothing to do with the bigger title picture, but seeing him here only reinforces how great it’ll be once he FINALLY gets that big win on television; especially if the match is even half as good as this one!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-17-2021) – St. Patrick

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

So if you haven’t noticed, things have been pretty quiet on the website and I’m several days late on this recap.  It turns out moving from one place to another is REALLY DIFFICULT and REALLY TIRESOME, so I’ve gotten myself woefully behind on just about everything including my weekly wrestling schedule, but fear not for most of the boxes have been unpacked and I was able to squeeze a few hours into the wee hours of the evening to finally watch this episode of Dynamite!  Was it worth the effort after a week of strenuous box lifting and stair climbing, or was I better off calling this week a loss and sleeping for more than a few hours?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Penta El Zero M

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

AEW likes to start their show strong and for a lot of storylines it’s all about setting up that opening match.  Last week’s confrontation between Cody and Penta was all it took for a grudge match to be set up between these two, and for what it’s worth they definitely wrestle like there’s something big at stake here.  For the most part, Penta is working Cody’s arm who manages to grit his teeth and fight through the pain to keep Penta from running away with this.  Cody early on lands a Top Rope Hurricanrana on Penta which is the last straw for him and he starts working Cody’s shoulder EXTRA hard with a lot of kicks and stomps that leave Cody writhing in pain, but Penta once again lets his ego get in his way and eats a kick from Cody while taunting Arn Anderson.  This cycle repeats a few times with Penta getting the lead only to lose it to Cody either from sheer hubris or an explosive comeback from Cody, and he even gets close to losing the match when he does his Zero Fear taunt which allowed Cody an opening to fight back and land a Canadian Destroyer which get a two count.   Cody is firmly in control now and even lands a Cross Rhodes on Penta, but he just won’t give up on this match; even after Cody gets dirty and smashes Penta’s knee into the post before putting him into a Figure Four Leg Lock.  In retaliation for this, Penta gets Cody to the ground and snaps his arm back, but while celebrating his dastardly deed Cody rolls him up and gets the pin.  Yeah, the match just kinda ends which was a bit odd considering how much each guy was kicking out of big moves, but Penta doesn’t let it end on a high note for Cody as he starts pounding on him after the bell rang and has to be chased out by the Gunn Club.  The setup last week was very basic and the match itself reflected that straightforward attitude with a classic Heel/Face dynamic, but while there aren’t really any surprises to be found the two guys fought with a lot of heart and pulled off some very impressive moves.  A fun way to start the show, even if not an incredibly memorable one, and I’d definitely like to see a much longer program between these two in the near future.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-10-2021)

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

The Revolution PPV, for all its faults (and lack of explosions), was a fun and certainly impactful show with a lot of stories coming to a close, a few new alliances made, and the debut of Maki Itoh who is THE BEST WRESTLER EVER!  With such a big show behind them, there’s a lot of weight on this episode of Dynamite; not just to build on the good stuff but to course correct on a lot of its mistakes.  Does this right the ship and give us a fantastic follow up to the PPV, or will they simply be unable to salvage the disappointing ending of that show?  Let’s find out!!

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Rey Fénix Vs. Matt Jackson

Rey is accompanied to the ring by Pac and Matt is accompanied by Nick Jackson

Okay, so was I the only one confused for the first few minutes?  Perhaps I’m just bad at paying attention to things, but I thought that AEW was jumping right into the title defense just FOUR DAYS after Death Triangle earned their shot!  Thankfully that’s not the case as it would have been WOEFULLY rushed, and as you’d expect from these two, they do put on a great match.  Starts with a bit of feeling out as no one is going all out to start with, but Fénix is the first to start putting some weight behind his moves and gets the early advantage.  So many dives, so many flips, and Matt Jackson just gets caught up in the middle of it without much defense to speak of.  Perhaps Jackson is selling an injury as I have no doubt that SOMETHING hurts on the guy, but it’s not until he somehow reverses a Top Rope Hurricanrana into an Avalanche Powerbomb (yes, those are real moves and these guys are pulling them off) that he gets an edge in the match.  They go back and forth for a bit, but Jackson manages to land a Canadian Destroyer not once but TWICE on Fénix back to back (and the second one was on the floor!) which knocks him dead for a solid nine count before barely managing to roll back in.  It looks like its Jackson’s match to win as he keeps one step ahead of Fénix for the rest of the match, but Fénix manages to reverse a Pile Driver from Jackson into a Pile Driver of his own (don’t ask; these guys are wizards) and Fenix manages to get the pin.  It was a good match, but I couldn’t help feeling that it was just way too soon to see this.  I mean we’re not gonna wait until Double or Nothing to do the tag match, but there’s got to be a big TV event they’ll want to build up to in the next few weeks and there’s no reason that this match had to be done RIGHT NOW, right?  The Bucks like to start the show off strong and in most cases I’m in favor of them having a fun opening match, but this felt like a waste as they have definitely simmered this for at least a week or two with a few decent promos for AEW to get the most bang for their buck out of seeing these two go at it.

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After the match, we cut to a video of Moxley and Kingston; the former wearing wrap-around hangover shades to disguise the fact that he’s asleep, and the other wearing a DMX hoodie like the old man that he is.  Now apparently Tony Khan DID use my idea and the story now is that the explosion at the end of the match was in fact a giant dud because Kenny Omega sucks at making bombs.  Because they’re going with that story, they now have to come up with a way for it to make sense that Kingston sold it the way he did.  It turns out the dude has an anxiety disorder and so he had a panic attack while waiting for the explosion to go off.  Yes, apparently Eddie Kingston is part fainting goat and he’s ready to fight anyone who has a problem with it.  The two of them spend the rest of the video roasting Kenny Omega for his lousy bomb and reaffirming that they are friends again which is frankly the most interesting outcome that could have happened in that match!  I’ve been saying for over a year now that Moxley needs some friends to watch his back as his loner attitude is holding him back, so while I don’t know where Butcher & Blade & Bunny are gonna fit into all this, I’m genuinely excited to see a Baby Face leaning Kingston teaming up with Moxley.  They have genuinely good chemistry as this video and several of their promos in the past have demonstrated, and bonding over the disappointing explosion is the kind of closure I’m sure some people needed after the end of the PPV.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution 2021

Revolution and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan

The big day is FINALLY upon us, and while it may be missing a Shaq match, it’s not lacking in quality fights as this card is stacked from top to bottom with grudges, title bouts, and even a few novelty matches just to keep things interesting!  With the somewhat wonky build up to this show and some tediously overdone storylines, does this PPV manage to put it all together into one excellent evening of wrestling action, or are you better off saving your money and watching the highlights on Twitter?  Let’s find out!!

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Riho & Thunder Rosa Vs. Britt Baker & Maki Itoh – Buy In Match

Now originally this was supposed to be Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) teaming together, but the latter supposedly got “hurt” and comes out on a crutch, so Baker signed a Doctor’s note and Tony Kahn allowed her to choose someone else to be her partner and frankly she couldn’t have gone with anyone better!  As much fun as Rebel (Not Reba) can be as an instigator, having Maki Itoh show up as a surprise on this show is an AMAZING way to kick the show off!  She got some attention when she was announced for the women’s tournament, but it was her very fun social media made that made her a fan favorite right off the bat.  She was knocked out in the first round unfortunately, but now she’s here proves without a doubt that AEW needs to signer her yesterday!  Why is she so great?  Well first, she comes out here and singes her ENTIRE entrance theme which is definitely a good start, and as soon as she gets in the ring with Thunder Rosa she flips her The Bird with both barrels.  Yeah, I think she’s going to be my favorite wrestler of all time!  Now admittedly she looks a LITTLE bit stiff at first as the initial minutes against Rosa feel a bit stop and start, but as soon as they get a flow going Itoh proves to be an absolutely BRILLIANT professional wrestler!  She’s got by far the most expressive face in the women’s division here at AEW, and she reminds me a little bit of Eddie Kingston of all people.  It’s just an overall presence of nastiness and a flair for the comedic as she puts on a CUTIE POP IDOL image but she fights like a total heel and takes cheap shot whenever she can; going so far as to fake cry so her opponent lets their guard down.   And yet, despite being such a craven and obvious bad guy, I don’t know WHO could possibly boo her!

“I CAN SEE THE LIGHT!  THIS MORTAL COIL IS BEING SHED, AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!  Hold me as I go slowly into that good night.  WILL YOU DO THAT FOR ME!?”
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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-03-2021) – Crossroads

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

It’s the Go Home show for AEW’s first PPV of the year, and it’s been an interesting journey; the least of which because of Shaq of all people entering the ring on this episode of Dynamite!  Still, AEW is nothing if not flexible and they’ve turned bad situations into pure gold in the past!  Will they manage to wrangle all their disparate pieces and wonky storylines into a cohesive final sendoff to get us all hyped for the PPV?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet Vs. Shaq & Jade Cargill

Starting things of with the feud that would not die, no matter how many things went wrong!  First Brandi had to be replaced by Red Velvet due to her and Cody getting pregnant which isn’t a BAD thing, but then Cody got hurt recently in one of his matches, the NBA All Star game happening on Sunday which meant the match had to be moved off the PPV, and more than anything else it feels like Shaq is barely even involved in this feud.  He’s not made a single live appearance on television and the few taped moments we got were rather underwhelming.  It just feels like something that AEW has to do; trading off Shaq’s popularity and the eyeballs this match will get versus what a mess it could easily turn into.  So after ALL that build up and after all the missteps, the match itself… is just fine.  It’s decent enough given the fact that they’ve got one (arguably two) untrained competitors in there and it helps that both Shaq and Jade have enough personality to not seem COMPLETELY lost in the ring while Cody and Red Velvet do a fine job selling for them. Cody knocks Shaq off the apron at which point Austin Gunn tries smashing him in the back with a chair which Shaq no sells and proceeds to suplex both him and his brother which was perhaps the biggest pop of the match.  Red Velvet then does a darn good Moonsault from the top rope to the floor, but it WAS a bit strange is just how much collateral damage there was as she took out not just Jade but Cody and QT Marshall as well.  Frankly the best aspects of this match are like that; all spots no smarts.  The moments that do feel more like a real wrestling match such as when Jade tries a Figure Four Leg Lock don’t look great, but then they start pulling out tables for absolutely no reason and you know that SOMEONE is going through them at some point which keeps the excitement and the momentum up; even though this isn’t a No-DQ match and there shouldn’t even BE tables.  In any case, they’re holding off on that for now as Shaq and Cody jump back in with the former landing a decent Power Bomb on the latter, but Cody follows up with His Kitty Cat Uppercut and he actually manages to just barely slam Shaq onto the mat which was pretty impressive, but the sloppiness kind of undercut the impact.  He goes for a pin but is tossed off with great force which looked a lot better than the slam, and he realizes it’s time to get Red Velvet back in there before he injures himself further.  There’s a Spine Buster from Jade that looked good (not as good as Will Hobbs’s, but still decent) which forces Cody to break up the pin and he finally decides it’s go big or go home as he dives at Shaq and they both tumble through the two tables from earlier.  It’s a huge pop from the crowd that forces Jade and Red Velvet to kind of stand around while waiting for everyone to calm down, and when they do Red Velvet gives Jade a Spear that the camera almost missed.  They start trading Suplex attempts as neither one can hold onto the other long enough to execute am over, but finally Jade hits Red Velvet with a move that I’m assuming is her finisher and gets the three count.  I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it kind of looks like a Sit-Out Powerbomb only with the opponent facing the other way so their face hits the mat instead of their back.  In any case, Jade and Shaq won which I’m sure the latter is going to be quite please about once he wakes up in the hospital.  Yes, apparently two particle board tables aren’t enough to break Shaq’s fall and so he’s wheeled out on a stretcher to an ambulance where, and I’m not making this up, the dude just DISAPPEARS!  Like a freaking wizard, or perhaps like Bray Wyatt, he’s apparently brushed up on his magic and just poofed out of existence as soon as he was in the ambulance!  I don’t know what the heck any of that means or frankly what this match was supposed to accomplish, but I had a decent time with it which is SO much more than I had expected.  I was prepared to write this match off completely as nothing more than a publicity stunt, and while the focus on big spots and flashy moves still kind of makes it one of those, everyone ended up looking good in it and no one embarrassed themselves.  Red Velvet is a fine worker, Jade Cargill is someone who can be darn good with some seasoning, and even Shaq managed to pull this off despite his clear lack of experience!  I don’t want to see another one of these anytime soon, but it was a better payoff to this boring story than it had any right to be.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-03-2021) – Crossroads”