Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-12-2020)

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

Did you all know that the next PPV All Out is going to be on September 5th!?  That feels WAY too soon, doesn’t it!?  Then again, who knows anymore?  What does time even MEAN when we’re all cooped up in our houses and alternating between sleeping, eating, and binge watching?  Well if we’re stuck in these rote rituals for the foreseeable future, we may as well keep recapping these AEW shows until things get better which by my estimation should be what, fifteen years?  In any case, let’s see what AEW has for us on this show which has a greatly hyped main event and some sort of tag team celebration!  Let’s get started!!

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The Young Bucks Vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

Before The Bucks can finish doing their poses and get in the ring, three Creepers come out from the back and start pounding away at them; softening them up as Grayson and Uno casually saunter to the ring!  The Dark Order has REALLY come into their own in the last few weeks and has become one of the most pervasive elements in the show.  Considering how much of a joke they were just a few months ago, it’s a testament to AEW and their foresight in seeing what The Dark Order could become if given enough time to work out the kinks.  After Nick Jackson gets unceremoniously tossed into the ring, Matt Jackson goes to take out the Creepers outside the ring, but in doing so opens himself up for a devastating Suicide Dive from Grayson.  Uno and Grayson then proceed to brutalize and tenderize poor Nick Jackson and look darn good doing it!  I may not have used these exact words in the past, but I find Evil Uno to be one of the most magnetic personalities in the company; a guy who imbues his character into all of his actions and has a great rapport with his partner Grayson.  He’s also a genuinely good worker even if he’s not exactly THE BEST wrestler at the company and does a great job selling for The Bucks once they get their comeback.  The only thing that’s kind of throwing me off a bit is that Uno has some sort of gimmick going on with the tape he has wrapped around his wrist.  He’s at his best when he’s being clever and this feels like an attempt at that, but I’m just not getting it.  In any case, The Bucks’ comeback is cut short and Matt finds himself outside the ring surrounded by three Creepers with a very intense looking Evil Uno waiting for him to jump back in the ring.  Matt’s ingenious move to escape is to dive under the ring itself and come out the side which was a fun little spot.  Another fun spot was when Evil Uno did that thing where he grabs Matt Jackson’s leg, tossed it to the ref, and then gave him a Cutter.  It seems to be his new thing, and I certainly still enjoy it!  Sadly it’s not enough to secure victory for my favorite Spooky Perverts, and the turning point back to the Bucks is when Matt lands a hellacious spear on Evil Uno which gives him enough time to give Nick the hot tag.  Nick runs wild; throwing Grayson into the crowd and Super Kicking Uno in the head.  After The Bucks land a Risky Business on Uno, Matt goes for the pin but only gets a two count.  Undeterred, the duo lands a draping Swanton Bomb onto Uno and would surely have gotten the pin if Uno hadn’t gotten his foot on the ropes.  See, this is why special moves should be in the middle of the ring!  You’re just wasting your EX meter if you do it near the edge!  Grayson comes out of NOWHERE and gives Matt Jackson a Huricanrana from the top ropes at which point the two start trading big moves and near falls.  Grayson takes Matt Jackson and throws him into the entrance tunnel; leaving the Creepers to guard it while the two of them finish off Nick Jackson.  It looks like they’re about to win, but Nick Jackson manages to wriggle out of Uno’s hold and turns it into a pin.  Grayson runs as FAST as he can and is FLYING through the air to break up the pin, but he is a second too late and Nick Jackson gets the win to the shame and consternation of The Dark Order.  This was an AMAZING opening match and was a GREAT example of what I want to see in tag team matches like this!  We’ve gotten quite a few tag matches the last few weeks and while some of them have been good, this one blows the rest out of the water as far as I’m concerned, and I cannot wait to see what Uno and Grayson do next.  Maybe they’ll even WIN a match on Dynamite!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-05-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another week of exciting wrestling action!  Well, at least I HOPE it is, because last week’s show was a pretty big disappointment all things considered.  Certainly not as bad as SOME shows I could mention (I’m STILL reeling from that Extreme Rules PPV…), but far below the expectations I had for the card they advertised and certainly below the expectations I have for AEW in general.  Have they fixed whatever issues prevented last week’s show from being all it could be?  Let’s find out!!

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The Elite & FTR Vs. The Dark Order – Twelve-Man Tag Match

Now if you read my recap of last week’s show which, why wouldn’t you (it’s so convenient and easy to find on this website!), you’ll recall that I was rather disappointed by the ten-man tag match from last week and I didn’t think that adding TWO more people into the mix was going to solve anything.   Needless to say that my expectations had been lowered significantly for this one, but to my surprise, they pulled it off here and gave us a solid show opener!  I remember a LONG time ago that there was like a four-team tag match that was a beautiful display of over the top violence and spots, and while this wasn’t quite up to that level, it was still a fun spectacle that fixed many of the problems I had with last week’s match.  I think a drawback with this (as well as last week’s) match is that these are two teams of twelve instead of six teams of two (or even four teams of three if they’re feeling spicy) because you want a match like this to have variety; to see how all these disparate parts react when allowed to bounce off of each other which is somewhat lost when so many of the competitors are just standing off to the side waiting for their turn.  The action ultimately feels limited with just so many people hanging onto the ropes with the same objective in mind, but they do their darnedest to compensate for this with a really fast pace and enough leeway from the ref to basically let them do whatever the heck they want.  For example, the match basically starts with Brodie Lee facing off against both of The Bucks and it’s basically two guys trying to take down one giant monster; not necessarily the most ORIGINAL setup, but usually this happens so that the one monster can squash the tag teams which always feels silly (*cough* WrestleMania 34 *cough*) but this makes it more of an even fight which is far more interesting to watch.  It does perhaps slow down a bit too much when they get Nine The Creeper in there to essentially take move after move after move from the good guys without getting pinned, but this is all compensated by just how explosive everyone is in the match and how much effort they’re putting into every move.  So a lot of stuff happens with both sides getting their chance to show off some moves until the bald member of FTR ends up hurting his knee, and so both FTR members along with Page head to the back; leaving The Bucks and Kenny to face all six members of The Dark Order.  The Bucks certainly put up a valiant effort, especially since Kenny is nowhere to be seen for whatever reason, and Matt Jackson in particular eats six consecutive corner splashes before Cabana goes up to the top rope; smashing into him and going for the pin but only getting a two count off of Matt.  Probably my favorite individual spot in the match, at least on the heel side, is when Evil Uno catches a kick from Matt Jackson and tosses the leg to the ref who is perplexed and just sits there holding it; allowing Uno to go for a Cutter but only getting a two count.  See, THAT’S what I want from Evil Uno; a guy who’s just fine in the ring but comes up with clever moments like that to really set him apart from everyone else there.  It’s why I was so annoyed at Brodie Lee for treating him and Grayson like mere jobbers when they lost their match last week because those two are a genuinely talented pair when given the chance to shine.  In any case, Matt Jackson goes to give Nick the hot tag, but Uno snatches him from the corner and he and Grayson take him out.  I still don’t know where Kenny is, but Matt is all alone taking on all the Dark Order members, and sure enough he manages to rally and takes them ALL out before going for the corner again to find no one.  Stuck with Five The Creeper, he fights valiantly until Page finally shows back up and Matt makes the tag to the Hangman.  The fresh Page runs roughshod over everyone as I’m sure he has no idea who he can actually pin (I’m right there with him), but eventually, it comes down to him Brodie Lee; both legal and ready to rip each other’s head off.  Brodie Lee, GIANT MO-FO that he is, does a SUICIDE DIVE and destroys Hangman Page.  They feed him to Colt Cabana who gives Page a Chicago Skyline (where he drops Page onto the top ropes) and is about to get the pin before Kenny runs in out of nowhere and breaks it up.  Oh, so NOW he shows up!  TOOK HIM LONG ENOUGH!  Despite Kenny making the save, Page is still the legal man and in bad shape, but he’s not about to quit even after taking a top rope splash from Stu Grayson which gives The Elite JUST enough time to jump the rest of the Dark Order and team up on Brodie Lee.  Lee takes a surprising amount of punishment from The Elite, but it’s not going to be enough to put him away unless Page musters up his strength and gives him a Buckshot Lariat.  Kenny’s got him in a Full Nelson, The Bucks are off to the side, and Page flips over the rope… but then the Creepers in a beautiful display of teamwork drag Kenny and The Bucks out of the ring at the same time; freeing Brodie Lee who ducks the Buckshot, and follows up with a Discus Lariat of his own; sending Page flying through the air and giving Lee the pin when he comes back down to Earth!  That was a really fun match with the right level of goofiness and the kind of energetic tone you want for an opening match.  I PROBABLY would have shortened it a bit and I think twelve people is a bit excessive (something they must have realized when they contrived for FTR to leave the match), but I LOVED the ending and overall it was better than any match we got last week!

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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.

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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!

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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.

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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!?

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-24-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It’s been a heck of a week in the wrestling world, hasn’t it?  Needless to say that my already drained enthusiasm from last week’s recap took a very significant hit with all the news coming out, but the show must go on and it’s of some comfort to me that I have something locked in a scheduled every week to try and keep my brain puttering along during these less than ideal times.  So then!  Does AEW still have what it takes to put on a good series of wrestling matches and entertaining promos, or is the world in a funk that even the very best the industry has to offer can’t drag us all out of?  Let’s find out!!

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Wardlow Vs. Luchasaurus – Lumberjack Match

Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF while Luchasaurus is accompanied by Marko Stunt and Jungleboy

In case you didn’t know, a Lumberjack match is one where wrestlers stand outside of the ring and if either wrestler in the match gets thrown out of the ring or tries to run away, the lumberjacks will put them back in the ring.  Seems like an odd match for two guys who WANT to fight as you usually do a Lumberjack match to wrangle a cowardly heel, not to mention that these two being as big as they are won’t likely be stopped from leaving if they REALLY want to, and on top of that it’s not the best look in the world to have THIS many people participating in a match and being this close to each other in the middle of a pandemic.  On the other hand, it’s become clear this week that AEW’s testing policies have been pretty effective as no one at their company has wrestled positive while WWE just had a huge outbreak due to the incredibly lax testing that they’ve done.  Frankly, though, I wouldn’t even call this a Lumberjack match as they don’t REALLY do their job and it’s more of a Rumble.  No, not a Royal Rumble; more like a West Side Story Rumble where the ones on the outskirts are there to antagonize the other side, and Luchasaurus or Wardlow getting tossed over the wrong side of the ropes will certainly mean bad news and a few cheap shots.  It also comes off a bit like an attempt to drill it into everyone’s heads that THEY NEED TO CATCH PEOPLE because there are so many dives in this and it’s not like they couldn’t use a refresher course considering how many people have gotten hurt recently!  So the two of them fight all over the place occasionally having to toss off the lumberjacks and throw people over things, but eventually, Luchasaurus gets a chokeslam and goes for the pin… when MJF manages to distract the ref.  SERIOUSLY!?  The ONE THING you need to look for is pinfalls, and when one happens you stop to instead chat with this dude?  Luchasaurus should have gotten the win as he’s got Wardlow for more than a three count, so in retaliation, Jungle Boy spears MJF off the apron and into a crowd of heel lumberjacks waiting below.  Unfortunately, this gives Wardlow enough time to do a low blow behind the ref’s back and gets the pin with an F-10; an impressive feat considering how big Lucahsaurus is.  The scene then devolves into chaos as the Sharks and the Jets… I mean the Heels and the Faces, all storm the ring and start hitting each other for a few minutes before things calm down and Tony Schiavone announces that at Fyter Fest it will be MJF & Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.  This was a great match and I really enjoyed the interplay between these two competitors as both are way more flexible and agile than their size would lead you to believe; with Wardlow landing a Hurricanrana on Luchasaurus and Luchasaurus doing some sort of clothesline reversal where he flips around the arm and forces Wardlow into a near fall.  I’d be interested to see if they do more Lumberjack matches like this in the future, especially since we won’t be having fans for a while longer, but all in all, it was a great way to start the show; just as long as everyone used hand sanitizer afterward.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-24-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-17-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It is week… I don’t even know anymore, of the COVID era of wrestling and like everything else things are starting to blur for me.  I USED to be able to at least keep up with the WWE PPVs, but Backlash looks about as interesting as a symposium on paint drying and NXT is only faring slightly better.  That’s not to say that AEW has been above reproach in recent weeks as I’ve found the most recent episodes a bit of a chore to get through at times, but they’ve at least kept things afloat for me as a wrestling fan while the rest of the country (and the government in particular) is doing everything they can to prolong this crisis.  Gee, I’ve been getting on my soapbox a bit much lately!  Let’s just try to forget the world for a bit and focus on another fun show of dudes beating the crap out of other dudes and yelling into microphones!  Can this week’s AEW get me out of my lockdown lethargy and get excited for this noble sport once again!?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall)

The Natural Nightmares are accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes

Not wasting any time, the show begins with The Natural Nightmares already in the ring while Omega and Hangman get their full entrance.  Seriously, I can believe Dustin got the Jobber treatment!  QT Marshall, sure, but they couldn’t give freaking DUSTIN the airtime to play his song!?  If it wasn’t clear from the lack of buildup last week and the entrances here, Dustin and QT Marshall don’t have much of a chance at winning these belts, but even if they spent the time to make this seem like a legitimate challenge before entering the ring, the match itself would give away how unlikely The Natural Nightmare’s chances are within the first few minutes.  I don’t know, Dustin doesn’t look his best in this match and Kenny is bumping like a mo-fo which makes it all feel a lot faker than it should.  There’s something about Kenny that I first noticed in his match against Joey Janela where it’s hard to buy some people fighting against him.  Dustin is looking worse than he ever has working against Kenny as it just looks so fake for him to sell this damage of moves that don’t look like they’re doing that much.  It’s not much better for QT Marshall who is certainly more athletic than Dustin and manages to look okay against Adam Page, but there’s just not enough here to invest in the bout as it feels far too scripted.  The match heats up eventually once Marshall pulls off this awesome flip kick, and Dustin eventually does that amazing Canadian Destroyer of his, so from that point on the match feels a bit more even handed.  QT Marshall even gets the advantage with a Diamond Cutter and it’s at that point that Allie comes out from the back to cheer for him who if you recall has been dating him for a few weeks now.  Her encouragement spurs him to try and take out Omega with a jump from the top rope… and he totally whiffs it, so good job Allie!  They go for a bit after that but it’s clear that Marshall’s momentum has been lost and he eventually eats a Last Call from Omega and Hangman to end the match.  It took a while to get there, but I ended up enjoying it by the end.  I think Kenny’s one fatal flaw is his ability to sell for lesser opponents, and it’s not like he isn’t TRYING but it seems he has trouble making it convincing in certain circumstances and it was the case for at about half of this match.  Aside from that it wasn’t the best match from any of the wrestlers involved, but it ended up being an alright way to start the show.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-17-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-10-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with even more AEW goodness, though for whatever reason I’m just not feeling it going into this episode.  Last week we had the big main event that was built up in the week prior while this week’s match was just thrown out at the end of last week’s show.  I mean sure, the Orange Cassidy and Best Friends Vs. The Inner Circle match will be fun, but other than that I’m hard pressed for an episode that has less going on heading into it.  That said, hype is far from the most important part of a wrestling show and AEW has done far more with far less, so I’ve little doubt that this will be yet another outing from them.  Will this be yet another collection of solid matches to the week that much more bearable to get through?  Let’s find out!!

Before the first match begins we are informed that Jericho will be joining Jr, Tony, and Excalibur in the booth tonight.  Jericho doesn’t JUST walk to the booth and do commentary!  Dude comes out with his FULL entrance and theme music just to walk to the right and put on a headset.  THAT’S how you get a show started!  I know that JR has his own theme, but why doesn’t everyone else?  I’d LOVE to see what Excalibur’s entrance is like!

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FTR Vs. The Butcher & The Blade

The first showcase for the former Revival is something that fans have anticipated for months, so can they live up to those expectations?  Heck, it’s been a while since we’ve seen The Butcher and The Blade in action so you could argue they have as much to prove as FTR does, and thankfully both teams manage to bring their A-game here for a very satisfying opening bout.  I still don’t really GET The Revival the way that apparently everyone else does (I still don’t know which one is which), but they are a VERY good team here and pull off some impressive moves; especially this one part where one of them grabs Blade out of mid-air and slams him to the mat which looked brutal and a spot later where the bald one superplexes The Blade to the mat and is soon followed by the one with hair landing an elbow drop from the top rope.  There’s also a great bit of storytelling here where a lot of the big wigs at the company, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Jake Roberts, you could even count Jericho since he’s calling the match, have come out to see what happens.  Everyone wants to know what FTR are about and are hoping to recruit them to whatever faction they represent; whether they’ll join The Nightmare Family, help Lance Archer get another stab at the belts, or join The Inner Circle which frankly would be the BEST option.  I’d love to see Santana and Ortiz get super passive aggressive at them like a bad sitcom plot.  The match eventually comes to an end when FTR lands a Goodnight Express on The Butcher (kinda looks like a Jackhammer only with two people) which gets him out of the match and they immediately follow it up with a Mind Breaker (a pile driver thingy) onto The Blade for the win.  FTR are then being interviewed in the ring when The Young Bucks come out form the back.  They tell FTR how great the match was and they thank them for helping fight off The Butcher & The Blade two weeks ago.  However, they are a LITTLE bit salty that FTR has kind of been avoiding them up to that point and makes it clear that THEY are the best tag team at AEW and FTR can sit comfortably in second place.  It looks things are about to spark between them when The Butcher comes back and takes out The Bucks.  FTR tries to make the save but are overwhelmed by Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc who come out… for some reason, but are soon run off by Kenny Omega and Adam Page who come out to ACTUALLY make the save.  Once the heels are gone, the three teams are left to stare at each other; a teasing of things to come as these three times will no doubt clash in the near future.  In a company full of really great tag teams, I’m not convinced that they are at the TOP of the heap (especially with the Omega/Page Vs. Bucks match still fresh in my memory), but they’re gonna have lots of chances to prove themselves so perhaps I’ll change my tune soon enough.  In any case, this was a fun match and a solid introduction for these two.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-10-2020)”