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

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

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

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Max Caster

Caster is accompanied to the ring by Anthony Bowens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Penta El Zero M

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

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

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-03-2021) – Crossroads

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

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

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Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet Vs. Shaq & Jade Cargill

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

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-24-2021)

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

Revolution is creeping up on us each and every week and the last episode was a particularly awkward attempt to jam in as much storyline as possible and to the expense of the otherwise great matches on the show.  Now that so much of the groundwork for the PPV has been set, does this episode find a better balance between the stories they wish to tell and the matches they want to put on?  Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Hollywood Hunk Ryan Nemeth

Not even gonna save him for the main event?  Considering the GIANT news (nyuk-nyuk-nyuk) that broke before the show, I’m guessing AEW was anticipating a larger than usual audience at the start of the show and they wanted to give the people their money’s worth.  Now Ryan Nemeth gave Pac a darn good squash match last week and it’s basically the same thing here.  Moxley is so overpowered for this that he gives Nemeth a slap and the dude flops over like he got speared by a truck.  Nemeth is tenacious though and he gets a few knees in as well as a good looking Drop Kick, but Moxley just needs a few suplexes to put Nemeth away less than five minutes into the show.  I kind of wish they had done a bit more here as Nemeth could have DEFINITELY sold for longer and Moxley could have done a few more super moves, but the point here is less to put on a memorable match as it is to set the stage for Moxley’s post-match promo.  He needs to address Kenny Omega’s challenge to an EXPLODING BARB WIRE DEATH MATCH and frankly he just seems tired and exasperated.  He knows this is utterly ridiculous and that there are better ways to handle this, but he doesn’t have it in him to turn it down.  In his own words, he’s an addict and even if he knows this is a bad idea he can’t stop himself from diving headfirst into it.  In this way, Kenny may have an advantage as there are ample opportunities for chicanery in something as ludicrous as an EXPLODING BARB WIRE DEATH MATCH, but as he says to everyone who tries to step up to him, the most important thing is to not miss.  If Kenny bungles this and doesn’t finish Moxley off, he’s gonna regret it and may even lose his belt in the process.  Moxley’s character is exactly who he’s always been so even if the promo feels like a lot of his other promos, it’s still quite compelling to hear.  I’m very skeptical about something called an EXPLODING BARB WIRE DEATH MATCH which APPARENTLY includes land mines outside the ring (yeah, sure. Whatever you say), but Moxley and Omega are two of the best guys at this company and hopefully the gimmicks don’t get in the way too much of what will surely be a great match.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-17-2021)

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

With the Revolution PPV only a few weeks away, it’s time for AEW to kick things into gear and get us excited to pay for one of their shows instead of watching it for free on TNT or on YouTube!  There are definitely a few plates that AEW have dutifully been spinning for the last few weeks, but the card still feels a bit underweight especially without an announced Main Event, so will this week prove to be the jumping off point for THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION, or will we be getting more of the same old same old?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & Matt Hardy Vs. The Hybrid2

So this was supposed to be an eight man tag match with Hardy Party and Page going up against TH2 and Chaos Project, right?  I haven’t found any word on WHY this was changed (AEW is usually good about letting people know about COVID cancellations) but I guess that Private Party is busy with their Impact storyline which is  a bit disappointing as I’d like to see how Page works with the duo, but we’re still in for a good match regardless.  TH2 have certainly come into their own in the last month or so becoming regulars on the program where before they were stuck on Dark, and while I don’t like Hardy’s gimmick right now (I guess I should stop calling him Huckster Matt and use his proper name Big Money Matt) he’s definitely gotten back into the groove of things after his disastrous feud with Sammy Guevara.  TH2 prove to be worthier foes than Chaos Project so Matt Hardy spends most of the time taking moves from Evans and Angélico while Page is on the sidelines waiting for the hot tag.  Angélico once again is a standout for some of his inventive mat work, and while Jack Evans is no slouch and definitely shows off his acrobatics here, he’s the one who eventually screws up and allows Page to get the hot tag and runs wild over both of them.  Elbows, suplexes, Powerbombs, the only reason I didn’t expect this onslaught to actually end the match is that we’re barely five minutes into it!  Now I said Jack Evans was no slouch and I DO mean that, but the one thing that people will remember about this match is his botched Phoenix Splash.  He has Matt Hardy on the mat and jumps up to do his twisty thing, but he doesn’t get enough distance and just lands on the mat; having to fall over to pretend that he actually HIT Matt Hardy with the movie.  I can’t imagine this would have been the ending of the match in any case, but thankfully Hardy gets his shoulder up and a minute later Hangman lands a Buckshot Lariat on BOTH of TH2 at the same time.  With both men down and Page keeping an eye on Jack Evans, Hardy gets the pin on Angélico to get the win.  After the match, Matt Hardy is ecstatic about his thirty percent contact with Page because apparently Matt Hardy doesn’t watch the show, and Page has to give him the heartbreaking news that the contact is not what he seemed.  The revised contact is brought by the Jaguar’s mascot Jaxson de Ville for some reason and we learn that it was NOT for a management contract but for a match at Revolution between Page and Hardy which, after a bit of negotiation (and baby face teasing), has their first quarter earnings on the line.  Hardy is not happy that he’s literally going to have fight for his pay and promises that Page is going to regret this at which point Jaxson de Ville starts attacking him!  Oh no!  It was Isaiah Kassidy the whole time!  Well not to be outdone by Hardy Party, The Dark Order along with Negative One run out to fend off Page’s attackers and show that they are still on his side even if he ditched them a few weeks ago!  I guess they don’t give homework these days considering how often Negative One is on national television, but in any case this was a fun segment.  The match was okay but ultimately perfunctory as it was all about the post-match angle which was a pretty excellent build up for a Revolution match.  The PPV has been a bit anemic as far as booked matches (especially with the Shaq match getting moved to Dynamite), so it’s impressive that they managed to do so much in this one angle.  Heck, I was VERY down on this whole storyline for weeks now, and this is one of the more interesting matches on the PPV card!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-10-2021)

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

We’re back with another week for Dynamite action!  Beach Break was a PRETTY big disappointment all things considered, but it did end on a particularly high note with a great main event and a HUGE surprise for anyone who’s a fan of New Japan.  Will they capitalize on this buzz and give us an episode worthy of this new union, or will we have to wait for the Revolution PPV for something interesting?  Let’s find out!!

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Darby Allin Vs. Joey Janela – TNT Title Match

So is it just me or is Joey’s role here to be a tune-up guy for champions?  Granted it’s better than being a jobber for mid-carders, but he really seems to LOSE a lot despite getting all these opportunities!  I guess I shouldn’t complain as long as it means Darby gets to spend five minutes focusing on something other than Team Taz, and frankly Janela does a darn good job making him look good!  Allin’s strength is not in his… well strength, but his endless tenacity so Joey gets to do a lot here and looks like a genuine competitor for Allin’s title; particularly an early flurry of offense including a drop onto the apron and a Suicide Dive.  Darby essentially has to outlast Janela as he’s one of the few people that Janela could physically intimidate, so he waits for his opportunities to strike and does what he can to survive devastating moves such as when he goes for a Coffin Drop but Janela catches him into a German Suplex followed by a Thrust Kick for a two count!  If there’s one thing that felt a bit disappointing about the match, it’s the ending which of course ends with a Coffin Drop.  Considering that the last few moves prior to that were a surprise Pile Driver from Janela and an Avalanche Code Red from Darby, neither of which were enough to finish the other guy off, it feels a bit anti-climactic that Joey stayed down because Darby dropped down on him.  It works as an ending in some matches, but in something this focused on endurance and devastating moves, it felt a bit underwhelming. Aside from that though, this was a GREAT match that did a darn good job of making both of them look like superstars!  Maybe you don’t want Darby having matches EVERY week because you know he’ll insist on destroying himself whenever he gets in the ring, but we definitely need more title defenses like this.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-03-2021)

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

We’re finally here at AEW’s Beach Break which feels a bit out of place as we just got done with a Special Show only a few weeks ago and Revolution is about a month away, but with last week’s episode being as fantastic as it was you couldn’t ask for a better lead in to get me excited to see what they have to offer!  Is it a culmination of the great stories they’ve been building up for weeks, or should last week’s show have been the special event instead?  Let’s find out!!

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Number One Contender Tag Team Battle Royale

The Young Bucks, Private Party, Jurassic Express, Top Flight, The Acclaimed, Proud N Powerful, Chris Jericho & MJF, John Silver & Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson & Evil Uno, and Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager

Well so much for that Inner Circle tag match deciding who would be the tag team representative for the group!  They’re all in this match anyway!  Seems like they could have just waited for this, but I guess the thinking is that they would protect each other in the match and then graciously give Jericho and MJF the win; something that DIDN’T happen and frankly nothing much happened in this match.  Oh, there were moves, eliminations, and a few awesome Hope Spots, but where AEW can sometimes put on a BRILLIANTLY planned out and perfectly executed Battle Royale where everything feels important, they instead just went with your standard Battle Royale; a lot of confusing yet energetic nonsense for the first half until we get to the last few competitors and it becomes a REAL match.  The Bucks start things off by attacking everyone before they get in the ring and things immediately devolve into chaos.  There’s a fun spot early on where Isaiah Kassidy goes for a splash, screaming all the way down, but ends up missing as everyone jumps out of the way; a spot that THE CAMERA COMPLETELY MISSED!  WHAT!?  BOO!!  SOMEONE caught it and we got to see it on an instant replay, but how do you miss a spot like that on the live feed!?  In any case, the first half is a lot of decent spots, but also a lot of dudes lying in the corners. 

Early eliminations are Dante Martin, Jake Hager, Matt Jackson, and Anthony Bowens. 

It’s at this point that Luchasaurus takes control and has a few awesome spots with everyone; particularly The Dark Order as he eliminates Stu Grayson, but then Uno and Silver manage to toss him over the ropes.  Sadly this isn’t the start of The Dark Order’s comeback as MJF eliminates Evil Uno soon after; a running theme throughout the match being MJF spoiling everyone’s fun.  Silver isn’t long for the match either as Proud N Powerful pick him up and toss him clean over the ropes.

Private Party goes for the Silly String, but Darius interrupts the move and Quen falls out of the ring.

The Good Brothers decide to stroll in and help Nick Jackson take out Isaiah Kassidy, not that they asked them to, and for some reason, the refs aren’t able to do anything about this?  Sure, they didn’t get in the ring, but they pulled down the ropes in front of what, FIVE refs?  Ultimately it doesn’t make much of a difference as this chaos distracts Nick Jackson long enough for MJF, professional spoilsport, to toss him over the ropes; eliminating The Bucks and ensuring that The Good Brothers WON’T be facing them at Revolution.

So now we’re down to the final six; Jungle Boy, Max Caster, Darius Martin, MJF, Jericho, Sammy.  The Inner Circle does their best to overwhelm Jungle Boy and push him out the ring, but the little guy is tenacious and he’s got the love of the fans backing him up!  Either that or they like his new theme song (Tarzan Boy by Baltimora; a song twelve years older than the boy himself) and just feel like singing it to the world!  Sadly it was not meant to be as MJF makes his biggest heel move yet by tossing Jungle Boy over the ropes and mocking him with a Tarzan chest bump of his own!

Caster has had enough of this nonsense and manages to eliminate MJF to the cheers of everyone before getting himself eliminated by Darius.  Perhaps no THE BEST idea as it leaves him all alone with Sammy and Jericho.  He manages to hold his own well enough and he and Sammy are fighting in the ropes when Jericho comes in trying to save the day but instead, he ends up eliminating Sammy by mistake.  Sammy is clearly annoyed by this which is probably the only real storyline being told in this whole match, but with only two in the ring this Battle Royale is about to come to a close.  Darius does his best against Jericho, but he eats a Judas Effect while on the apron and drops like a bag of hammers.  After all of that, MJF and Jericho will be facing The Bucks at Revolution!

I’ve certainly seen Battle Royales that were less interesting than this one, but from AEW I was kinda hoping for more.  It would have been one thing if it was a bunch of unknowns or cameos to add a bit of novelty to the proceedings, but with everyone there being an established guy, it feels a bit deflating that it was just a bunch of dudes tossing each other out; especially when AEW has done far better in the past.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-27-2021)

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

AEW’s schedule has been rather wonky these last few weeks, hasn’t it?  It’s not just that the New Year’s special had to be pushed back a week due to unfortunate circumstances, we’re already coming up on their next special episode which is called Beach Break (not Beach BASH as I’m pretty sure I called it last week) and they also moved their Revolution PPV back a week for reasons that are still not entirely clear.  Perhaps things getting moved around so much is why last week felt like a bit of a letdown and frankly it doesn’t bode well for this episode as they’ll probably save everything REALLY good for next week’s special, but is that the pessimism of an overly cynical jerk or the wisdom of a perfectly calibrated cynical jerk?  Let’s find out!!

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Eddie Kingston Vs. Lance Archer

I still have no idea where this story is going, but I’ll be darned if this isn’t the most fun I’ve had with one of these matches!  It’s basically that one Three Stooges short where Curly has to box against the champ Killer Kilduff with Kingston playing the part of the darn fool stuck in the ring with a monster and honestly it’s a pretty darn good comparison considering how he works in the ring.  Eddie Kingston is one of the best floppers in this business because he doesn’t just sell the hits; he makes his opponents look like the biggest bullies imaginable with over the top flailing, great facial expressions, and the nerve to take some seriously nasty bumps.  The most terrifying was when Archer lifts him up for a Chokeslam, but then drops him over the ropes and onto the apron which SHOULD have shattered his spine but luckily enough he was just fine.  Can’t imagine Jerry Howard going for something like that, but then he did take his fair share of abuse at a time where OSHA would have been considered Communist propaganda.  What the heck am I even on about?  In any case, Archer takes his sweet time knocking Kingston all over the place and it’s definitely his match to win… but then Butcher & Blade drag Jake Roberts out from the back which distracts him and the ref long enough for The Bunny to hand Kingston a pair of brass knuckles which he uses to clobber Archer across the temple and get the pin.  I’ve been waiting for weeks for this faction to figure out what it was going to be and this feels like they’ve finally figured it out.  Kingston is not a killer and frankly neither are The Butcher & The Blade.  What they are though are scheming jerk wads who can take advantage of a situation and come out on top, so as long as their opponents have someone they wish to protect, Kingston and company can take advantage of that and score a cheap win.  The match was a lot of fun even though I did worry about Kingston’s health throughout, and it definitely feels like they’ve got an angle to build off of instead of just bouncing between ideas and matches until something sticks.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-20-2021)

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

Yes, this one is a tad on the late side which by now shouldn’t be a surprise for any of you, but it was a busy week for the rest of the site which, if you haven’t been perusing lately, is full of delightful articles and reviews for you all to enjoy!  In any case, we’re in a bit of an odd situation where we’re just coming off of their New Year’s Bash even and we’re already closing in another special in just a few weeks with their similarly titled Beach Bash.  The episode is certainly not in the most envious position as the very deliberate nadir between two big shows, but can AEW make even their slower and less explosive episodes pop like a PPV main event?  Let’s find out!!

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The Dark Order (Silver, Reynolds, and Colt Cabana) & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Chaos Project & The Hybrid2 – Eight Man Tag Match

This match was set up in celebration of Negative One’s birthday (Brodie Jr) and the best part is that they brought a cake out and tried to light it; only to realize that Daily’s Place is an OUTSIDE venue and so Grayson and Angels had to cover the candles while Anna Jay tried to light them.  Silver then leads the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday which is as endearing as it is out of tune.  Then Chaos Project come out so that Dr. Luther can heckle the birthday boy, and I didn’t know what I was expecting his voice to sound like but he kinda sounds like an off brand Chris Jericho which is perhaps why they get along so well.  Luther gets all up in this kid’s face and tells him that he’s going to RUIN his birthday which sets The Dark Order off as they start hammering this Mr. Burns wannabe, but then TH2 come out from the back to even the odds and the brawling makes its way to the outside of the ring.  Then Adam Page’s music hits and he has perhaps the BEST entrance of his entire AEW career!  He runs out and jumps from the stage onto the crowd below which is pretty standard, but the camera man was SO on point here that Page should send him a fruit basket.  Dude was right there below the stage so that he was pointing his camera UP at Page and followed him as he sailed through the air; making it look like he was straight up flying before crashing down like a meteorite!  As for the match itself, it’s pretty good and more or less a chaotic mess of dudes jumping around and taking bumps, but it definitely goes with super hero themed birthday party atmosphere of it all; right down to Dr Luther taking a bump into a cake.  Well he KINDA took the bump.  He instinctively put his arm between him and the table which is a good thing, but it also left his face about an inch over the cake so he had to mash himself into it to get the spot right.  With Luther out of the way and TH2 indisposed, Serpentico is alone in the ring which leaves Reynolds, Silver, and Hangman to do that awesome combination move that I love so much!  Forearm, Step Up, Stunner, Buckshot Lariat, and a bridged German Suplex for the pin!  Oh, but they aren’t done with him yet!  Negative One, the presumptive new leader of The Dark Order, has Stu Grayson hold up Serpentico so that he can wail on him with a Kendo Stick and then follows up with a stack of papers to the face that Serpentico sells like a face full of hydrochloric acid!  The match itself was probably shorter than all the shenanigans going on around it and I’m sure that’ll annoy a lot of people.  I certainly do hope that the Dark order retains at least some of its menace even if they are going in this lighthearted direction, but as a way to start off the show, it’s fun, it’s lighthearted, and how you can be mad about a kid getting to celebrate his birthday with a bunch of wrestlers?  So now that the match is over with Negative One getting his revenge and The Dark Order stand tall once again; it’s time for the big question and Jon Silver gets down on one knee to ask it!  Will Adam Page join The Dark Order!?  Well, the answer is… no.  Clearly The Dark Order wasn’t expecting that because before he can even get the full answer out they prematurely set off a pre-planned celebration; complete with confetti, titantron graphics, and cheesy fanfare to make the moment all the more tragic!  They even got a bunch of shirtless creepers in jeans and hats to boot scoot out from the back before being chased off by Stu Grayson!  Look it’s not them, it’s him!  He’s done the group thing before and he’s just not in a place in his life where he wants to do that again.  They can still be friends, right?  Well everyone looks utterly crushed about this and Page sheepishly heads to the back so maybe its choppy waters going forward as Page managed to tick off yet another faction in AEW.  Gotta feel sorry for the guy as he keeps getting himself stuck in these situations he’s just not equipped for.  A month ago I would have said this was a great time for the Dark Order to reassert themselves as bad guys and start feuding with Page, but it doesn’t look like we’re heading in that direction any time soon so we’ll have to wait and see what the plan is going forward.

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