Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-30-2020)

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

This is going to be a rough one, so forgive me if I’m not as “in depth” as I usually am with these things.  With the untimely passing of Brodie Lee, AEW decided to put everything on hold; no angles, no storylines, no nonsense as we’re here to pay respect to a man who was taken from us all too soon.  It’s still a pretty raw nerve and I’m sure the people who are out there tonight to have matches are fighting against a lot of sadness, but in confronting it and facing it head on with this show… well I can only hope it brings some measure of peace to everyone who now has to move forward without him.  So let’s see what they did.

The show begins and the ENTIRE locker room is out on that stage with Tony Khan and Brodie’s family in the front.  Justin Roberts calls for the audience to rise as they ring the bell ten time for Brodie as his picture is on the titantron.  It’s simply haunting as the bell rings in utter silence and the grief stricken faces of everyone are on full display.  At one point some people in the crowd start to try a BRODIE chant, but they swiftly realized it was utterly inappropriate and the bell continues to ring.  Once the ten count is done, we cut to a video of Jon Moxley who is the first to speak on Brodie Lee, and while I’m not here to start rating things, his sad promos are just as believable as his fired up ones as the guy’s sheer authenticity (however much of it, if any, is just good acting) comes across whenever he speaks.  And with that, we head back to the ring to prepare for our first match of the night.  Jericho is on commentary and he is definitely on hand to make sure the air never gets too heavy because anytime there’s a moment of silence he starts saying the quiet part out loud which is that we’re here because Brodie is gone and we need to let it all out here in the ring; that people will be crying this night and that it’s okay to grieve.  It’s an interesting form of levity that, along with the crowd, do a lot to keep this show moving despite how morose everyone is.

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Young Bucks & Colt Cabana Vs. Hardy Party – Six Man Tag Match

Cabana comes out with The Dark Order who all stand on the ramp and give the Dark Order sign as Cabana enters the ring.  The state of The Dark Order in the wake of this is a discussion for another time, but one of the questions that will hopefully be answered soon is where Colt Cabana fits into them as he seems to still be a “potential recruit” rather than a full-fledged member.  I guess the concern has always been that Cabana is such a sunshine-happy looking dude that “officially” joining a heel faction wouldn’t fit right, but we’ll see where everything stands in a few weeks.  The match itself is good with a lot of high spots for The Bucks and Cabana while Private Party and Matt are bumping all over the place.  They eventually start getting the heat on Matt Jackson by isolating him in the corner and taking turns bashing him with strikes, but he manages to get the boot up to kick Matt Hardy in the face and follows up with a cross body for a two count.  Jackson starts crawling to the corner but Hardy keeps cutting him off until he takes a swing at Cabana which misses and eats a knuckle sandwich in return.  Matt Jackson hits Hardy with a Twist of Fate and finally gets to the corner to tag in Colt BOOM-BOOM Cabana who lives up to his name with an amazing comeback that is probably his most impressive flurry of offense since he first showed up at AEW; ironically to help SCU fight AGAINST The Dark Order!  Hardy Party manages to rally and Cabana ends up eating some offense from all three of them before Nick Jackson gets the hot tag and runs wild for a bit as well.  He then eats a Gin and Juice from Private Party, a Twist of Fate from Matt Hardy, and TWO Shooting Star Presses, but thankfully Matt Jackson and Colt Cabana break up the pin in time.  Matt Hardy is not satisfied with the way things are going and tries to bring a chair in, but Private Party refuses to play along and this gives Bucks and Cabana the opening they need to win the match with an Indie Taker on Quen followed by a Superman pin from Cabana to get the three count! 

While The Bucks and Cabana are celebrating in the ring, The Acclaimed come out and it looks like they’re there to rain on everyone’s parade, but SCU run from the back and toss them into the ring to eat a few Superkicks from The Bucks and some BIG elbows from Cabana.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-23-2020)

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

There was zero chance of me getting this recap out in a reasonable amount of time considering they put the episode on Christmas Eve Eve, but with the tragedy that happened over the weekend it got even harder to just sit down and get this recap done.  Heck, I didn’t even finish watching the episode until last night with less than 2 days to go before the next one!  Still, AEW Dynamite, even during the times where it’s hardest to sit down and watch, is still a genuine highlight of my week and they’ve definitely had a solid string of shows during the holiday season.  Is their Christmas episode so good we’ll want to revisit it every Christmas, or is it one of those OTHER Christmas specials we only watch once and try to pretend never existed like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer or December to Dismember?  Let’s find out!!

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Top Flight (Darius Martin & Duante Martin) Vs. Jericho & MJF

Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager

I’ve been a bit down on Top Flight, but it looks like AEW has a lot of faith in them to carry the company if given enough seasoning; otherwise why would they have been put up against not just The Bucks but JERICHO within weeks of debuting on Dynamite?  Jericho to his credit gives A LOT up to Top Flight right off the bat as they beat the ever loving crap out of him with a series of flippy moves, but they’re not about to outmatch the Demo God just yet because despite the relentless assault they can only manage to get a one count.  That’s perhaps what makes this match a LITTLE bit weird.  Jericho and MJF will bump all around for these two, but as soon as its time to get the heat it’s a complete 180 reversal; and they’re the dominate heels again bullying the fresh faced youngsters.  Sure, there’s SOME of that in any tag team match, but the turns feel a bit more jarring.  The ending was also a little bit much for me, but I guess I can buy it.  Top Flight are on the verge of winning the match after Daunte takes out Jericho by the time keeper’s table and Darius has MJF to himself, but Jake Hager manages to sweep Darius off the apron and smash his face on the way down; giving MJF the chance to pile drive the man and get the three count.  On the one hand, Jericho and MJF, two of the most protected people in the company, had to cheat to beat these two.  On the other hand, they are untested as a tag team so perhaps a lack of cohesion here or a strong defense against this kind of tag team is to be expected.  It wasn’t bad or anything and it definitely had some great spots; I just found it a bit curious just how hard they were trying to make sure EVERYONE looked good even if it made the selling look a bit silly.   

After the match, Hager grabs the mic to congratulate his fellow Inner Circle members, but there’s something that’s been perplexing him for two weeks now.  WHERE IS WARDLOW!?  He’s upset that Wardlow has been away on “family business” and so he had Tony Khan schedule a friendly little spar next week on Dynamite between the two of them and Wardlow better show up!  Hager actually has some good delivery here and it’s nice to hear him take the mic again, but I’d be cautious of using Wardlow’s absence in a storyline; especially if the family business in question is SERIOUS business.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)

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

With another PPV just two weeks away (literally this time due to the schedule change), AEW has to kick things into overdrive to get people pumped for the big show!  No more of this back and forth where one week is good and the next week is meh!  Nope, just good matches, good stories, and lots of exciting angles so that people drop their fifty bucks to see it all play out!  Does this show manage to create the right kind of buzz to sell All Out to the fans at home, or will it take more than one good show to get things back on track?  Let’s find out!!

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Private Party Vs. FTR

Already in the ring and with no introductions, both teams are in the ring and this match is underway.  Not only that, Tully Blanchard is in FTR’s corner wearing an FTR jacket so I guess they’re teaming up with him and the conspicuously absent Shawn Spears.  I thought they were going to go with Arn, considering the meeting they had a few weeks ago, but I guess his and Cody’s heel turn isn’t happening any time soon.  FTR gives a lot to Private Party in this match, and they look pretty good!  Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy can be a bit hit or miss at times, but they seem to have brought their A game here, and FTR continue to be consummate professionals in whatever they do.  Still, there’s not much TO this match even though both teams are doing a great job in it.  We get some Superkicks from Private Party, FTR beats up Quen in the corner for a while, and Private Party tries to fight back with high flying and flashy maneuvers; my favorite probably being when Kassidy flipped over the ropes into a Stunner on Dax Harwood.  The only part that felt a bit off was some not especially great looking Leapfrogs from FTR, but other than that it’s a solid match between two teams.  At some point Quen is down and Kassidy is trying to make the save by diving onto Harwood on the outside.  At the last moment, Tully Blanchard pulls him away and Kassidy lands on the floor; leaving Quen alone in the ring and so both members of FTR bring this to a close with the Goodnight Express for the pin.  So, yeah; it was a good match, but not one that had a lot of highs and lows for me.  Nothing stood out all that much despite both teams putting in the effort.

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