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!!
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!