Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-08-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of the quickest hour in wrestling, and honestly, I’m glad for it as I’m ready for a break.  The next Dynamite isn’t until the Saturday after the next Rampage which means that as soon as I’m done with this I’m good on wrestling for about a week!  Perhaps by then I’ll be back into the spirit of things, and perhaps this episode of Rampage is just what I need to get me headed in that direction!  Is it another breezy collection of fun matches that remind me why I love wrestling in the first place, or can my one week break not come soon enough?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Daniel Garcia

Garcia is accompanied to the ring by 2.0

Daniel Garcia has swiftly become one of my favorite up-and-coming guys in the company and I think he shares a lot of strengths with Punk which could make for a VERY interesting match.  What I like about Garcia is that he always finds a way to tell a story in the match and does at least ONE thing memorable in them.  Here, it’s simply that Garcia is scared of Punk despite all his bluster and has to rely on 2.0 to keep him the least bit competitive.  It starts with some lockups and tests of strength that Punk wins rather easily, and after giving Garcia a shoulder tackle the kid scrambles to the corner.  We will see him do this a few times as he can’t get a word in edgewise on Punk, and things are starting to look desperate when he eats TWO Body Slams back to back.  Punk goes for a third but Garcia escapes and lands an Elbow shot to the lower back which finally gives him an edge on Punk and Garcia gets a few moves in.  It’s a short-lived advantage however as Garcia charges the corner only for Punk lands a Back Elbow and gets Garcia on his shoulders for the GTS.  This is where 2.0 come in as they jump on the apron and Jeff Parker drags Garcia off Punk’s shoulders while Matt Lee distracts the ref.  Garcia then drags Punk to the apron and smashes his leg into it before going to distract the ref himself as 2.0 throw the leg against the post.  Garcia starts to get the heat by working the leg over during the commercial, and now that he has a clear advantage he’s back to being a smarmy jerk.  This is where Punk’s strengths come in as his authenticity adds a lot of gravitas to the action and his disdain for Garcia while ALSO selling the injury makes the story that much more compelling; especially with Garcia just CRANKING on that leg to the point that you start to wonder if Punk MIGHT be getting his first loss at the company.  Despite the disadvantage, Punk remains defiant and manages to get up to work Garcia in the corner for a bit, but the leg makes it impossible for him to land any big moves and a Suplex attempt ends with Garcia tackling the bad leg.  He stomps Punk into the corner and goes for another charge, but Punk gets out of the way and Garcia’s Drop Kick attempt ends with him landing on his back.  The two start to trade some big moves for near falls like a Roundhouse Kick and a Pepsi Twist from Punk as well as a Neck Breaker and Backdrop from Garcia, but then Punk is the one who gets too big for his britches as he signals for the GTS despite the bad knee.  Sure enough, Garcia escapes and puts Punk in the Sharp Shooter which only makes things worse for his injury, but thankfully he’s able to kick Garcia away who stumbles into Matt Lee and then when Garcia charges at Punk he tosses him into Jeff Parker so that they both tumble to the floor.  With all three outside the ring, Punk takes them out with a Cross Body from the top rope to the floor before throwing Garcia back into the ring for a Springboard Clothesline.  He doesn’t go for the GTS again, but he DOES manage to land a Pile Driver that he transitions into the Anaconda Vice and that is enough for Garcia to tap out!  A very fun opening match and once again shows us why Garcia is a great up-and-coming talent and that Punk still has a few tricks up his sleeve!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-06-2021)

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

I think I might be feeling Wrestling Burnout again as I haven’t been too excited about the last few weeks of Dynamite despite the reception being quite strong from everyone else.  I mean I COULD just have the most accurate opinion out of anyone else who covers these shows, but chances are I just need to give it a bit of time and to see the right matches for me to get back into the groove of things.  Will this episode manage to jumpstart my enthusiasm for AEW, or will I remain a sourpuss for a while longer?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and Bryan Danielson Vs. Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega – 8 Man Tag match

As much of a marquee match as this is, I’m always skeptical of throwing THIS many people in the ring as it’s either gonna have a lot of people doing nothing on the corners or descend into utter chaos.  In this match they manage to do both, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  For most of this match, it’s the Jungle Boy show as he spends most of the time in the ring and does a fair job fending off The Bucks and Cole.  Even when he tags someone in its usually to do a tandem move before the new guy tags out and puts Jungle Boy back in.  This works for a bit as Jungle Boy and Christian Cage bury Adam Cole under a flurry of offense, but Jungle Boy perhaps overstays his welcome once Nick Jackson tries the distraction on the apron which allows Cole to land a big kick and start the heat.  This is also the only time we see Kenny Omega in the ring during the first three-quarters of the match as he tags in to pick at the bones of Jungle Boy, before tagging back out a moment later while the Baby Faces can do nothing but watch him strut.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight off both Bucks and gets the tag to Danielson who goes after the legal man Matt Jackson with his Chops and Yes Kicks, and as soon as he simply LOOKS towards the Heels’ corner, Omega runs off like a scared chicken.  Danielson’s run is brief however as he tags in Luchasaurus who gets a HUGE pop from the crowd and keeps the pressure on Matt Jackson.  It’s not long before he tags in Jungle Boy, but in flagrant disregard of the rules they ALL hit the ring and knock the Heels off the apron so that all four can land corner splashes on Matt Jackson; ending with a Tail Whip/Face Buster combo from Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus that would have gotten the pin if the Heels didn’t break it up.  Now that all eight guys are in the ring, they just start hammering each other until Christian takes a Melzer Driver outside the ring.  With Cage out of the match and Jungle Boy taking a lot of damage from all four of them, it’s time for Danielson to get the Hot Tag and Jungle Boy is struggling to get to the corner.  The Bucks go for an Assisted Suplex on Jungle Boy, but this proves to be just the opportunity he’s looking for as he fights against the move and turns it into Stereo DDTs.  Omega tags in to try and stop him but is too late to stop Jungle Boy from tagging in Danielson and both are alone in the ring for the first time since their match at Grand Slam.  The crowd pops for it and they only get louder as the two start exchanging strikes!  Omega gets the best of it with a kick, but Danielson quickly recovers and starts landing his big moves on him.  Corner Splashes, Chop/Kicks, a top rope Hurricanrana, and even a Diving Headbutt all hit their target, but Danielson only gets a two count because the Bucks run in and break up the pin.  More chaos as everyone runs in until the ring is cleared and Danielson goes for the Tiger Driver followed by the Cattle Mutilation which also ends up getting broken up by The Bucks; this time from a Senton by Matt Jackson.  Danielson tags in Luchasaurus who cleans house in a VERY impressive and over the top manner; so much so that he gets ALL four of The Elite into the corners of the ring and starts doing splashes on each of them.  The one who escapes is Adam Cole who gets a kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise, but he is caught by Luchasaurus in one hand while Kenny gets caught in the other.   He tosses them both down which cues even MORE chaos as all seven remaining guys hit a bunch of moves, but it all leads to Luchasaurus eating a Low Blow and rolling out the ring while Jungle Boy eats a Panama Sunrise.  Danielson is up next and tries to fend off all four (which he REALLY shouldn’t NEED to do if the ref is paying attention), but is eventually overwhelmed and eats a Triple Super Kick.  He rolls out and Jungle Boy is the legal man who ends up eating a FOUR person Superkick Party and it’s finally enough to keep him down for the three count.  It was definitely a good match considering just how many moves they managed to fit in there, but for me, it was too chaotic.  I think the magic number for a tag team match is three, and once you get higher than that things start to get too long and the story gets lost in the shuffle of bodies; like the wrestling equivalent of too many cooks in the kitchen.  I’m sure everyone here will continue to have great matches with each other in the coming weeks, but I’d rather they be smaller matches spread over a longer period of time instead of trying to get everyone in the ring as soon and as often as possible.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-06-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-01-2021)

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

So the last Dynamite was a pretty rough slog to get through which means I’m in JUST the right mood for what AEW themselves are calling THE FASTEST HOUR OF WRESTLING and at least until last week that was usually the case.  Does Rampage get us back on track with a light and fun episode of wrestling action, or will it be bogged down as much as the last Dynamite and even the last Rampage?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson is accompanied to the ring by Matt Jackson and Brandon Cutler

So now that Danielson and Omega got their first big match out of the way, we can start going through some of the other dream matches while building up towards the rematch; a win-win situation if you ask me even if the crowd didn’t like their first match ending in a draw.  Nick Jackson is also a good opponent to put him up against in his quest to face off with the ENTIRE Elite as people are still talking about his singles match with Rey Fenix, and it should come as no surprise that these two have a great match!  Danielson may not have Nick Jackson’s high flying abilities, but he’s good at keeping him grounded and has a pretty sizable advantage throughout the match.  Jackson’s case isn’t helped by the fact that he isn’t taking this seriously at first opting to show off and play around with cold spray rather than face Danielson directly, and he pays for this several times with Yes Kicks, brutal submissions, and a Dragon Sleeper that he only manages to escape by thumbing Danielson in the eye.  The only reason he gets the heat during the commercial break is that he throws Danielson outside and starts distracting the ref while Matt Jackson tackles and hammers him on the floor.  Still, he can’t help himself and starts to play around by giving Danielson his “unique” variation on the Yes Kick that only serves to tick Danielson off; so much so that he’s starting to FEED off the force of those kicks until he’s finally standing tall!  He spits in Nick Jackson’s face and just goes WILD on the guy!  STRIKE!  KICK!  STRIKE!  KICK!  A nonstop barrage of offense from Danielson as he makes Nick Jackson PAY for giving him such puny kicks!  Nah, he’s gonna show him what REAL kicks look like and gives him a bunch of Yes Kicks for a two count!  It’s time for Nick Jackson to put up or shut up, so after taking a few Running Knees from Danielson, he stops him in his tracks with not one but TWO Super Kicks that net him a two count.  Nick Jackson then goes for the 450 Senton, but Danielson gets the knees up and he instantly transitions into the LeBell Lock.  Jackson rolls to the apron and Danielson follows with even more Yes Kicks, but Jackson ducks after the first few and Danielson hits his shin on the ring post.  Jackson follows up with a German Suplex on the apron and an Escalera to the floor before he tosses Danielson into the ring to put him in a Sharpshooter where he just barely gets to the bottom rope to break the hold.  It’s starting to look bad for Danielson who rolls out of the ring, but luckily for him, Nick calls his shots and shouts SEE YA before charging at him with a kick and he’s able to duck it only for Brandon Cutler to eat he move instead.  In the confusion, Danielson lands a German Suplex on the floor and rolls Nick Jackson in which could spell the end of this match, so Matt Jackson gets on the apron to distract the ref.  Danielson gives him a forearm that sends him to the floor so naturally Nick Jackson gives him a surprise roll-up, and even if it only got a two count, it at least leveled the playing field between them as we head into the finish.  Jackson lands a Superkick and goes for a Roundhouse to follow, but Danielson dodges and lands a Tiger Suplex into a bridge for a two count.  Still holding Nick Jackson he starts HAMMERING on the dude’s chest to the delight of the crowd, and once he’s done he locks him in the Cattle Mutilation.  Nick Jackson taps out which gives Danielson the victory to the consternation of The Elite who come out to look after Nick Jackson while Jurassic Express come out to look after Danielson.  A brief brawl breaks up as it naturally should, and Jurassic Express gets the upper hand in anticipation of an upcoming Eight Man Tag Match between the two factions.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-01-2021)”

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.

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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!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam

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

We’re back with more (and more, and more, and more) Rampage action as AEW’s attempt to fill every waking moment of my life with wrestling is moving forward unabated!  Hopefully things can slow down a bit and we can get back to our standard three hours of TV a week, but the Dynamite episode of Grand Slam was pretty excellent and they’ve got a solid card lined up for this EXTRA LONG episode of Rampage, so perhaps a little fatigue is worth it if it means a few more fantastic matches!  Is this a satisfying conclusion to the Grand Slam event that started on Wednesday, or will I be far from the only one wanting to go back to a one hour Rampage by the time this episode is done?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Hobbs is accompanied to the ring by Hook

CM Punk more or less proved he could still have solid matches when he went up against Darby Allin, but now we’re gonna see if he can put some shine on the talent who aren’t already at the top of the pecking order.  Hobbs came on the scene in a BIG way and was signed almost immediately, but he’s not really lived up to his potential; mostly due to a lack of marquee matches if you ask me.  That’s probably why they went with him to go up against CM Punk as you can’t ask for a better match-up to get eyeballs on you, and for what it’s worth they both do a solid job here.  Punk hits Hobbs with a Drop Kick as soon as the bell rings and starts working over the left leg which proves that at least SOMEONE knows what you’ve got to do to take a big man down!  Still, even with Punk’s fancy tactics, it’s hard to overcome the sheer POWER of Hobbs who knocks him to his knees with ONE Headbutt from Hobbs sends Punk to his knees.  On top of that, Hobbs has Hook in his corner so even when Punk gets the advantage through better technique he can’t always capitalize on it like when he puts Hobbs on his shoulders for a GTS very early in the match only for Hook to get up on the apron.  You’d think Punk would be able to just finish the move despite a guy looking at him funny, but that’s one of those quirks about the wacky world of wrestling and sure enough, he puts Hobbs down to go after him only to eat a Running Cross Body from Hobbs that knocks him flat on his back.  Hobbs gets the heat for a while and milks the crowd for as many boos as they can give him, and despite a few hope spots from Punk like a quick roll up for a two count, Hobbs remains firmly in control up to and throughout the commercial break.  Punk finally escapes with a few elbows to the face, and a Spin Kick followed by a Swinging Neck Breaker gets him some momentum.  He lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop for a two count and gets Hobbs on his shoulders once again for the GTS.  Punk actually finishes the move this time but it doesn’t connect as Hobbs blocks the knee on his way down, and hits him with one of his HELLACIOUS Spine Busters!  Hobbs gets him up on his shoulder for his finisher Town Business, but Punk wriggles out and puts him in a choke which nearly knocks him out.  He fights back and breaks the hold with a Back Drop which he follows with a Stampede that only gets him a two count.  After Punk gets an Avalanche Hurricanrana for a two count of his own, he tries to put Hobbs in a Triangle Choke which is a HUGE mistake as the number one rule of Big Guys is don’t leave their legs free, and as you’d expect Hobbs lifts up Punk and lands a Sit Out Powerbomb.  Punk kicks out at two and so Hobbs just tries hammering Punk in the middle of the ring to wear him down, but this allows Punk to land a Roundhouse Kick that sends Hobbs Reeling.  Punk signals for the GTS when Hook jumps on the apron once again, and of course Punk goes to deal with him which allows Hobbs to charge from behind.  BUT WAIT!  This is all a misdirection as Punk sees this coming from a mile away and sidesteps the charge so that Hobbs knocks Hook into next week which is perhaps the biggest bump Hook has taken since he started showing up in Team Taz!  With Hobbs distracted, Punk gets him on his shoulders and FINALLY hits the GTS to get the pin and win the match to the utter delight of the fans!  It was a pretty good match for the most part and I think I liked it more than the Darby Allin match.  Hobbs just seems to be bringing a lot more out of Punk so that he’s less the Elder Statesman of Wrestling looking to play to impress the crowd and more of a down and dirty fighter that I find much more entertaining and I suspect is the kind of wrestling that CM Punk fans want to see from the guy.  This Team Taz feud is far from over and I can only hope that the rest of the matches Punk has with them will be just as good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-22-2021) – Grand Slam

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

AEW is on a huge hot streak right now so I don’t begrudge them trying to ride it out for as long as they can, but having another BIG EVENT SHOW so soon after All Out and adding an extra hour to Rampage is starting to feel a bit excessive even if they are still putting on fantastic matches.  I guess I shouldn’t complain that AEW is giving us stuff we’ve always wanted to see just because we’re getting those things back to back, but can AEW keep up this momentum without burning out their audience; specifically ME?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega Vs. Bryan Danielson

Yeah, we’re not wasting any time here and are STARTING with what should be the main event of the show; a match that people have been waiting YEARS to see!  Now that’s not to say that they don’t have ANY sense of restraint as the first few minutes of this match are about milking this for all its worth as both guys won’t even touch each other, but it’s clear that AEW wants this to be the biggest show in Dynamite history and their strategy is to pack every minute with something that will make the fans go wild!  The two circle each other for a bit with swipes but no contact and even some sassy shenanigans with rope breaks, but they eventually start to hit each other and Danielson gets an early lead after twisting Omega’s arm in a Knuckle Lock.  With that, he starts to land a bunch of chops and kicks in the corner, tosses Omega over the ropes to then follows up with a Suicide Dive, and he even lands a Top Rope Knee Strike to Omega’s arm; all to soften him up and get him to the mat for a submission from Danielson, but he makes the mistake of NOT putting him in the LeBell Lock which Omega tapped to pretty quickly the last time they had a scrape in the ring.  Because of this, Kenny manages to fight back and gets a fair bit of offense in as the match goes back and forth between the two, and I’ve gotta say that Danielson has GOT to have the most sensitive skin in the entire business because Kenny turns his chest BEET RED with these chops and it only gets more pronounced as the match goes on.  Speaking of “going on” this is a LONG match and clearly done with the intent to give the people a PPV quality bout, so we won’t be going over EVERY move and will just hit some of the highlights in this VERY excellent match!  A Lot of big and risky moves throughout which made me nervous considering BOTH of their medical problems in the past (and present) with Omega going for a dive over the ropes to the floor where Danielson may NOT have completely caught him as Omega seems to have landed pretty hard on the floor.  If that wasn’t bad enough, Danielson eats a Snap Dragon Suplex on the ramp and takes a Buckle Bomb that was a bit off-center so he ended up tumbling through the ropes instead of landing his back on the buckle.  Thank goodness he only tumbled to the ramp and not to the floor, but these guys REALLY don’t need to be taking these kinds of risks.  The two men go back and forth, Moonsaults, V-Triggers, Yes Kicks, just nonstop violence being inflicted upon each other to the delight and horror of the crowd!  Both men are starting to show their weariness as they start getting near falls on one another, but it’s clear that Omega’s got a slight edge here and his cockiness rears its ugly head when he breaks up a ten count that would have won him the match but instead he wants to inflict more pain on Danielson.  He gets Danielson on the top turnbuckle for an Avalanche Dragon Suplex, but Danielson drops down and escapes only to get up behind Kenny on the turnbuckle and lands an Avalanche Back Drop!  Despite hitting such a devastating move, Danielson is not able to capitalize, but it’s clear that he’s far from done as they start trading blows once again.  Omega gets the advantage once again and manages to land that Avalanche Dragon Suplex he was denied moments earlier, but even that wasn’t enough to put Danielson away as he only gets a two count!  Omega tries to go for the One Winged Angel, but even in his current state Danielson is not about to take it and pulls Omega back into a Hurricanrana.  It’s clear that he’s not gonna win with that so he goes for a Phoenix Splash only for Danielson to roll away, and now Danielson has him!  They start trading blows and Danielson gets the better of the exchange and goes for the LeBell Lock… only for Omega to get the ropes!  It’s a desperate melee to see who comes out on top with the two of them trading big moves until…

*DING* *DING* *DING*

Time’s up.  The thirty minute time limit has been reached, Danielson appeared to be mere moments away from locking the LeBell lock back in, but it’s too late and the match is a draw!  Danielson keeps fighting and The Elite have to run down to break it up before The Bucks and Adam Cole give Danielson a Superkick Party at which point Christian Cage and the Jurassic Express run down to make the save.  This was probably the BEST way for AEW to end it given their long term plans, but I don’t think the crowd was too appreciative.  There was definitely a sense of being robbed as the crowd started to boo when the bell had rung, but I think the Pros of this kind of ending outweigh it’s rather glaring Con.  Yes, you don’t get a proper finish and yes the first match between Omega and Danielson ended in boos, but this definitely means we’re getting another match between these two and now that Danielson has done the one match he needed to do, he can have other matches with whoever else he wants to face in the lead up to the Omega rematch.  I think that’s ultimately the better option than just holding off Danielson for several months until the next PPV, and it’s not like the Time Limit rule shouldn’t be exercised every once in  a while just so you know it is a legitimate factor in a match.  It’ll probably get some pushback in some circles, but I thought it was a good ending to an already fantastic match!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-22-2021) – Grand Slam”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-17-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of Rampage; or as I like to call it, the quiet before the storm!  The next Dynamite is one of those shows with a subtitle to it which means it’ll be stuffed with big matches and important storylines, and the Rampage after that is going to be TWO hours long instead of the usual one!  As if All Out didn’t exhaust me enough already!  Well in any case, we’ve got this nice one hour show to get through between now and then, so is another action packed fun-sized wrestling show, or did they move everything worth watching to the Arthur Ashe Stadium shows?  Let’s find out!!

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The Lucha Bros Vs. The Butcher and The Blade

The Lucha Bros are accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes while The Butcher and The Blade are accompanied by HFO

I wouldn’t say that The Butcher and The Blade are a BAD tag team, but they do need the right opponents to make them shine which is why their most memorable match was against The Young Bucks; one of the best teams out there when it comes to carrying a match.  The Lucha Bros easily prove themselves to not just be great workers but great champs as well as they put on a darn good show with The Butcher and The Blade here who give them a decent run for their money; mostly through cheap tricks and overwhelming force.  Actually facing them in a fair fight is pretty much a non-starter as The Blade starts things off by trying to keep up with Fenix, but just can’t get a hold of him and tags in The Butcher.  His strength makes him a bit tougher to overcome, but Penta and Fenix’s teamwork cuts him down to size, so it’s time for the Heels to get dirty.  Penta has a hold of The Butcher and Fenix goes up for a top rope move, but The Blade knocks him off the ropes; giving The Butcher a chance to get some offense on Penta.  Fenix tags himself in to cut The Butcher’s momentum, but then he ends up on Butcher’s shoulders for an assisted Knee Strike with The Blade.  So far so good for The Butcher and The Blade, but once things settle to a more civilized tag match, The Lucha Bros get the advantage again with some good strikes from Fenix, Sling Blades from Penta, and dives from both of them to The Butcher and The Blade who had rolled outside the ring.  It’s not until a MASSIVE Cross Body from The Butcher that their momentum is halted and the Heels can finally get some heat.  Penta eventually gets the hot tag to Fenix and both teams start trading some big moves.  A Fear Factor from The Lucha Bros, some sort of Backdrop move from The Butcher and The Blade (looked kind of like FTR’s Big Rig), and eventually Penta is trying to get to the corner for a tag when The Butcher and The Blade make their most dastardly move yet!  Fenix DOES get the tag, but The Butcher is there immediately to knock him out the ring while The Blade TIES PENTA’S MASK TO THE RING POST!  Penta is forced to sit there and watch as The Butcher and The Blade start to overwhelm his brother and he is ultimately forced to remove his mask and land a Super Kick while covering his face!  The kick lands squarely on Butcher’s jaw, and Fenix gets the pin to win the match!  It’s not over yet however as Private Party run in and attack Penta and Fenix, the former still without a mask and covering his face, when Proud N Powerful run in to make the save.  The masks are always a soft spot for me and a quick way to get me to boo someone, so having this work into the finish of the match was a pretty solid way to cap it off.  It’s not even in the same LEAGUE as the Bucks match at the PPV, but for a title defense on the B Show it was pretty good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-17-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-15-2021)

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

It feels like we JUST got done with the PPV, and already we’re building up to ANOTHER big show; in this case the Arthur Ashe Stadium show on the next episode which has been a huge feather in AEW’s cap since they started selling tickets for it, and everyone originally assumed that Danielson would premiere there.  Instead, it looks like we’re gonna get a match which is much more exciting, and it looks like a pretty stacked card all things considered!  Does this episode bring enough energy to get us pumped for yet another AEW event, or are we still all too exhausted from All Out for this to get us all that excited?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with CM Punk coming out for his entrance and to hang out with the crowd before eventually finding his way to the broadcast booth and he joins the announce team for most of the episode.  I’m not sure if he has a lot of experience in that role, but he came off pretty well!  A little green perhaps, but he’s got a lot of the strengths that Jericho brings to the table by having that in-ring experience that he can articulate well during matches.

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Adam Cole Vs. Frankie Kazarian

Not wasting any time in getting this guy in front of the crowd, we start off with Adam Cole’s first match since joining AEW; helped along by none other than Frankie Kazarian who once again is the most underrated guy in the whole industry!  A very good choice as you couldn’t ask for a better sparring partner for what is easily the best chance he’ll ever have at a first impression with a new audience!  It starts with a good back and forth with Frankie getting a slight edge, but things start to go a bit sideways when Cole tosses him over the ropes to the floor and it looks like he slipped when he landed.  It looks like he broke his fall with both his elbows and possibly his face, but he managed to get through the rest of the match just fine and I haven’t heard anything about an injury so it seems that he’s okay.  That was the only rough spot in the match though and everything else looked REALLY solid with a lot of cool moves from both of them.  Kazarian fends off Cole with a Leg Drop through the ropes before going for a Springboard Sunset Flip, but Cole rolls out and kicks him in the face before Grounding Kazarian with a headlock on the mat.  Kazarian gets to do the Baby Face spot of slowly fighting out of the headlock before getting a surprise roll up on Cole that he transitions into a submission that Cole has to kick his way out of.  From there it’s just great moves back and forth, a Neckbreaker from Cole, a German Suplex into a bridge from Kazarian, there’s even this one great spot where Kazarian is trying to put him in the Cross Face Chick Wing, but they are close to the post so Cole runs up and kicks off of it to knock Kazarian on his back and roll into a two count!  It’s not as flashy as a true high flying match, but it finds a great balance between athleticism, technique, and strength that makes it feel really old school but with enough sizzle to not feel outdated.  My favorite spot was probably when Cole lands a Super Kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise only for Kazarian to reverse it into an Alabama Slam which looked cool and made Kazarian look like the strongest dude on the planet for one shining moment there!  Kazarian follows it up with a Springboard Leg Drop for a two count and they start trading blows back and forth.  Kazarian gets the better of the exchange and goes for a Suplex, but Cole reverses it into an Ushigoroshi and gets a VERY close two count.  Undeterred, Cole charges at Kazarian who tosses him onto the apron; throwing blows back and forth but neither one can land a hit until Kazarian goes for another Leg Drop through the ropes but Cole is ready for it this time and dodges it which leaves Frankie flat on his butt and he’s forced to roll away from the ropes.  In doing so however, he gives Cole time to get to the top turnbuckle and he finally lands the Panama Sunrise followed by a Running Knee to get the pin and win the match!  Cole proved himself in this to be a darn good wrestler which I’m sure most of the AEW audience didn’t need to be convinced of, but there are those in out there who needed something like this to really understand why everyone else is so excited for him, and honestly just as much credit goes to Kazarian who is always fantastic and will hopefully one day be TRULY recognized for it!

Cole gets the mic after the match and calls out Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy before confirming that at the Grand Slam episode of Rampage, he and the Young Bucks will face them in a Six Man Tag match!  If it’s even half as good as the match here then I’m all for it, but with so much talent I’m sure it’ll be much better than that!  Maybe even four fifths as good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-15-2021)”

Phenomenal Wrestling Podcast: Episode 9 (9-14-2021)

A lot has happened since our last episode and we just weren’t able to record again until very recently, so this is one big catchup episode that covers everything we missed leading up to the All Out PPV which will be getting its own episode very soon!

NXT Releases and the Change in Direction [00:45 – 08:59]
2.0 and Daniel Garcia [9:00 – 13:52]
The Labors of Jericho [13:53 – 26:24]
Malakai Black [26:25 – 36:39]
AEW Rampage [36:40 – 47:57]
The Tag Title Picture [47:58 – 1:00:54]
The Women’s Title Picture [1:00:55 – 1:05:16]
The World Title Picture [1:05-17 – 1:12:15]
Paul Wight Vs QT Marshall and The Gun Club [1:12:16 – 1:15:17]
Daunte Martin [1:15:18 – 1:17:05]
Pac and Andrade [1:17:06 – 1:18:44]
Miro and Eddie Kingston [1:18:45 – 1:20:50]
CM Punk at AEW [1:20:51 – 1:29:24]

My co-host Ryan can be found at the links below!
https://www.twitch.tv/profhandsome
https://twitter.com/ProfHandsome_

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-10-2021)

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

We’re back with even more AEW action, and I may be alone here but I’m glad that I’ll get to go a couple of days without ANY more wrestling!  It has been a busy week with four shows and a PPV to cover, but I powered through it and finally got caught up on the latest episode of Rampage!  Is it one last hurrah of great matches and fun promos before a very brief break, or is the final straw that broke the camel’s back?  Let’s find out!!

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Andrade El Idolo Vs. Pac

Andrade is accompanied to the ring by Chavo Guerrero Jr

The story of this match is kind of the story of Andrade’s run in AEW as both have had trouble getting off the ground and you start to wonder if something is going on that no one is telling us.  Fortunately those fears have been put to bed as the match FINALLY happened and Andrade FINALLY reminded us why we wanted him to be at AEW in the first place!  Andrade gets a pretty strong lead at the start, but unlike his other matches where he barely needed to try to win, Pac is one tough cookie (or I guess biscuit since he’s British) and it doesn’t take long for Pac to reverse his fortunes with a Hurricanrana that sends Andrade out of the ring followed by a Suicide Drive that wipes him out completely.  Pac then starts whipping him into the railing a few times before rolling him into the ring and despite all the damage he’s taking, Andrade is similarly unwilling to break and is practically BEGGING Pac to hit him harder while only giving him a one count on his pin attempt.  Andrade manages to escape the assault and lands a kick that sends Pac onto the apron which he follows up by flipping over the ropes and landing a DDT on Pac on the way down!  If that wasn’t enough, he ALSO gets back in the ring and lands a Plancha onto the still dazed Pac on the floor below… and yet all this gets him is a one count when he finally rolls Pac into the ring.  This is what Andrade needed more than anything else; not a bunch of tomato cans he can smugly tear apart, but a GENUINE challenger to bring out the best in him and remind us why it was such a shame that he was so underutilized in WWE!  I wouldn’t say he’s going full Lucha here as it definitely feels like a big heavy brawl, but he does show off some impressive moves here like the aforementioned Plancha, a Springboard Moonsault, and this ridiculous move on the top rope that got the crowd to pop right before the commercial break!  Andrade drags Pac to the top rope but of course it’s not as easy as he had hoped as Pac starts to fight back.  In the chaos however, Pac almost falls off the corner but manages to hook his leg around the top rope so that he’s kind of dangling there and is trying to pull himself up.  Andrade uses this precarious position to land a Double Stomp on Pac that sends him to the floor with Pac tumbling down only a moment later!  Oh, but Pac gets his revenge not long after that as Andrade gets on the top rope with Pac on his shoulders and is planning to spin him around for an Avalanche Power Bomb… only for Pac to reposition himself during the spin and lands an Avalanche Hurricanrana!  Both men are exhausted and take a minute to regroup before they start slugging it out again and Andrade is knocked through the ropes onto the apron.  Pac flips over the ropes and grabs Andrade for a Canadian Destroyer, but Andrade has the ropes and won’t fall backwards onto the floor.  Instead he manages to flip off the apron, but Pac hits him with a Pump Kick.  Pac is once again going to the top rope but Andrade knocks him off and somehow he hooks his leg in the same way as he did before and is dangling upside down.  Andrade goes for the stomp again, but Pac is ready for it this time and leans backwards so that Andrade whiffs the stomp and lands on the floor.  Despite all these ridiculous moves back and forth there’s only ONE spot where it looks like someone took a bad bump and that’s right after the failed Stomp where Pac gets up on the turnbuckle and lands a Moonsault on Andrade who is still on the floor below and Pac just kinda keeps going after he lands which means the back of his head hits the railing.  I haven’t heard anything about him being injured, but that must NOT have been fun to take; nor was it probably not fun to keep going with the match after that which STILL had like five more big moves before we got to the finish!  A 450 Splash, a Handspring Pele Kick, A Snap German Suplex, a Belly to Belly Suplex RIGHT into the corner, all great stuff from these two but eventually it has to come to an end; for their own sakes if nothing else!  Andrade catches Pac in a Springboard and has him in a Fireman’s Carry, but Pac SOMEHOW rolls off his back in such a way that he flips Andrade over into a pin!  Andrade kicks out, but Pac immediately transitions to the Brutalizer which threatens to end this match in a submission.  Andrade’s associate (the one with the glasses) tries to charge the ring with a stun gun, but The Lucha Bros run down and drag him out.  In the confusion however, Chavo runs in and bashes Pac over the head with an iPad.  By the time ref turns around, Andrade has Pac in a pin and counts it; giving Andrade the win to a chorus of boos from the crowd!  What’s weird about this finish though is that Andrade seems to be confused as to what actually happened, and that’s odd because he was looking RIGHT IN CHAVO’S DIRECTION WHEN HE HIT PAC!  What, was he in TOO MUCH PAIN to see what was going on right in front of him?  In any case, when the guy in the glasses (his name is Jose apparently) tells him about the finish, Andrade gives Chavo a quick forearm to the jaw and leaves him for dead on the ramp.  Chavo gets up and tries to argue with Andrade who’s already at the top, but The Lucha Bros come from behind and Superkick him; killing him for the SECOND time in the last few minutes!  Then Fenix tosses Chavo in the ring and Pac locks in the Brutalizer which Andrade does not seem to mind and the refs eventually have to come in and break it up.  Andrade didn’t win clean which was a BIT of a downer and frankly the explanation to kind of walk that back felt contrived at best, but DANG was this a fantastic match!  There were so many big moves from the two of them and they worked together AMAZINGLY well in what was clearly meant to be a PPV quality match that for circumstances outside of their control they had to give away for free on TV!  Andrade didn’t have the best start at AEW and honestly Pac’s return hasn’t been the most exciting thing in the world, but they brought the best out of each other here and gave us more than enough reason to feature them even more on the show!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-10-2021)”