Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (12-31-2021) – New Year’s Smash

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

Yes, we are still WOEFULLY behind here, but I’ll catch up on everything soon enough!  Where the last Dynamite (at least the one I saw) was the final one on TNT, Rampage isn’t going anywhere is just gonna keep trucking along on that network to give us quick and easy wrestling action to balance out the more plot-heavy shenanigans on Dynamite!  Is this another week of Rampage picking up the slack from Dynamite, or will we start to see the cracks in their formula, and perhaps they should try to shake things up as well?  Let’s find out!!

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Darby Allin Vs. Anthony Bowens

Allin is accompanied to the ring by Sting while Bowens is accompanied by Max Caster

Caster I can take or leave, but I really like Anthony Bowens and I kind of wish they’d give him a bigger push.  Now obviously AEW is pretty tightly packed so not everyone gets a real shot at the spotlight, but Bowens has got something special and I’d like to see him become a powerhouse; not unlike Wardlow, Hobbs, and Brian Cage.  Tonight is not his night to win since he’s up against Darby, but he does put on a decent performance here.  Darby gets an early lead that leaves Bowens frustrated and anxious, but that’s why Heels have guys on the outside to run distractions as Max Caster eats a punch from Darby which gives Bowens JUST enough time to land a punch of his own and toss Darby into the ring post.  This starts the heat segment which comes to an end when Darby escapes a Vertical Suplex, but the fight is much more even as Bowens lands a few moves on Darby that are mostly there to show off how much damage Darby is willing to inflict on himself.  Caster tries to run a few more distractions, but Sting finally gets up off his butt and takes care of him which allows Darby to land a Code Red followed by a Suicide Dive.  He throws Bowens back into the ring, hits the Coffin Drop, and gets the pin to win the match.  It would have been a fine match on its own, but then they do a post-match angle which kind of sours it a bit for me.  Andrade El Idolo’s music hits and he starts walking out.  He does nothing at all, but this is enough for Darby and Sting to gob at him for several seconds, so OF COURSE The Acclaimed sucker punch them and gang up on Darby!  It’s not like AEW doesn’t know how to book Baby Faces as the feud between Hangman Adam Page and Daniel Bryan has been pretty solid, but too often they rely on old tropes about foolish Baby Faces and it gets old pretty quickly.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (12-17-2021)

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

It’s another night of AEW action during a week that pretty much all people dread.  Sure, the Holidays can be fun and all that, but this is a stressful time for a lot of people, including me, so fitting in my usual output has been a challenge.  I’m still going to do it, but I think Rampage is going to go by a lot faster than usual if you catch my drift.  Is this a fun boost to get us ready for the final week of rushing and shopping, or is it less a reprieve and more of a grim specter of things to come?  Let’s find out!!

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The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, and Bobby Fish Vs. Best Friends, Orange Cassidy, and Rocky Romero – Eight-Man Tag Match

The Young Bucks are accompanied to the ring by Brandon Cutler while Best Friends are accompanied by Wheeler Yuta

The Young Bucks and Best Friends feud continues unabated, and while it does feel like we’re spinning our wheels, it’s never a bad idea to get these two groups in the ring as often as possible.  The matchups certainly haven’t gotten stale yet, and it even manages to make an Eight-Man Tag Match not feel overly excessive or drawn out.  The Best Friends get a lot of offense in early on as Cassidy and Cole stare at each other from opposite corners, but when the opportunity arises for them to meet in the ring, Cole keeps to himself and lets the Bucks deal with Cassidy.  The Heels eventually take control of the match with some sly beatings outside the ring, but The Best Friends didn’t call themselves that for nothing and take several opportunists to save Cassidy from being pinned.  Cassidy eventually fights back and gets the hot tag to Trent who runs wild over everyone; fighting the Bucks and Cole by himself, giving Bobby Fish a spear on the outside, and even hitting Brandon Cutler with a Backdrop.  It’s good to see Trent back in action again and he looks pretty good, but it doesn’t last forever as the Heels isolate him in the ring and take turns utterly destroying him!  He’s yanked off the turnbuckle by Nick and lands neck first on the top rope, he eats Brain Busters and Superkicks from the Super Clique, and he even gets hit by a Diving Headbutt from Fish!  Even with all that, Trent manages to kick out at two, so the only logical thing is to take the guy coming back from spinal surgery and give him an AVALANCHE FALCON ARROW!  This should have been the end of the match, if not the death of Mr. Trent, had Cassidy not run in to break up the pin, and that’s when the match devolves into the usual Eight-Man shtick where everyone runs in to hit a big move until it’s just the legal men alone in the ring.  After a spectacular flurry of moves that ends with Cassidy hitting a Springboard Flip to everyone on the floor below, Trent manages to land the Crunchy on Bobby Fish to get the pin and win the match!  It was a pretty fun opening bout!  Perhaps there was a bit too much chaos in the second half as no one is even trying to follow the rules, but even with that, it managed to stay comprehensible and kept everyone looking strong!  The feud will surely continue from here, but with matches like this, it’s clear they haven’t run out of things to do just yet!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-08-2021)

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

We’re back with another week of AEW action and drama as the Winter is Coming special is only one week away!  Last year we saw the title change hands on the Winter is Coming show, and this year we have Danielson and Hangman in the main event!  Could there be another upset in the making?  Well, we’ll have to wait until next week to find out, but we’ve got a lot more in store for that show that this episode needs to set up!  Is this the perfect Dynamite to get everyone invested in the big show next week?  Let’s find out!!

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The episode starts on a rather odd note that somewhat encapsulates the entire show.  MJF’s music hits and the hometown crowd is excited to see him… but then CM Punk comes out.  I mean hey, CM Punk is great and all, and I’m sure the crowd wanted to see him, but he tricked them into thinking MJF was coming out, and this also means they don’t get to see him come out to Cult of Personality!  For probably the first time since he got to AEW, CM Punk is getting booed by the Long Island crowd, and while he seems to be fine with it, going so far as to antagonize them and begging them to boo louder, it’s not a great start to a promo that is kind of all over the place.  I still don’t know what this whole Britt Baker thing is and I don’t think the crowd gets it either, and then he starts talking about nineties basketball which is starting to wear on the crowds’ patience.  Eventually, he throws down the gauntlet and even says he’s willing to face MJF tonight, but the guy never comes out and Punk goes to the back as Cult of Personality FINALLY plays.  Not a great start to the show as we didn’t even get a brawl between Punk and one of MJF’s stooges, but I guess we were saving the guy for what comes next which is…

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Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale

The last two in the ring will have a match on next week’s show for the Dynamite Diamond Ring

Since MJF is the hometown boy, he’s the only one who gets an entrance while everyone else is already in the ring like jobbers.  He also gets a full entrance video with a narration done by a guy who sounds a lot like Barry Scott who used to do TNA promos.  The guy starts listing off all of MJF’s high school accomplishments as he’s walking on a high school football field, which is funny because that’s what you expect sad losers in their forties to do.  In any case, here’s who we’ve got for this match! 

MJF, Wardlow, Lio Rush, Dante Martin, Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, Matt Hardy, Frankie Kazarian, Jay Lethal, Matt Sydal, Lee Johnson, and Lee Moriarty.  Also, Shawn Spears is outside the ring with an MJF branded folding chair.

Now the best way to do a Battle Royal is to not just focus on who’s going to come out on top but to seed future matches and expand on existing feuds.  Sure, you can throw a few guys in there just to get tossed out like Lee Moriarty who felt the wrath of a rampaging Wardlow, but then you’ve got Team Taz in there with their newly added member Dante Martin.  They’re working together to try and ensure that someone in Team Taz gets into the match (much like how Wardlow is protecting MJF), and they have to go through all people that Dante has burned along the way.  The first one out is Matt Sydal who gets tossed by Will Hobbs, and while I THINK that one was unintentional (it looked like he was trying to grip the middle rope to hold on, and the announcers don’t even acknowledge his elimination), it was bound to happen at some point and it’s always good to make Hobbs look strong!  We’ve got Matt Hardy who gets some brass knuckles from The Bunny that he uses to bash Jay Lethal and toss him out, but then he gets eliminated by Dante Martin right after; thinning the herd further of non-Team Taz members.  Wardlow is not liking this and so he goes to confront Will Hobbs where they trade shoulder tackles for a bit until Wardlow gets the upper hand and sends Hobbs to the apron.  Wardlow can’t finish him off, but then Lio Rush comes in with a Running Senton looking thing and eliminates Hobbs.  Things settle down for a bit as we go to commercial with the only thing of note being MJF who takes cheap shots on Dante before running back to the corner protected by Wardlow.  I bring this up because it’s another example of the show not quite gelling with the crowd as THEY are popping for it but the announcers spend half the match chiding MJF like a bunch of pearl-clutching moralizers.  I guess you can’t let the storylines and tone be entirely dictated by how one specific crowd is reacting, but the commentary just had me rolling my eyes throughout.  Things start to pick back up when Lio goes after MJF but faces the wrath of Wardlow instead.  With a well-timed Drop Kick from Dante Martin, Wardlow is on the ropes and Lio along with Lee Johnson try to throw him over.  Seeing an opportunity, MJF lifts ALL THREE of them over the ropes; eliminating Rush and Johnson but also taking out his bodyguard.  Oh, and Kazarian charges after MJF only to go sailing over the ropes.  Thanks for coming, buddy!  MJF’s feeling pretty good about himself having just eliminated four guys… but then he realizes he’s all alone in the ring with Ricky Starks and Dante Martin.  The two members of Team Taz approach MJF with the utmost of menace… AND THEN DANTE DUMPS RICKY STARKS!  That’s right!  Dante has betrayed Team Taz in some sort of long con to get this match against MJF at next week’s show; something that MJF finds quite amusing as he raises Dante’s hand before walking out.  That’s when Ricky starts to beat up on Dante and MJF takes a moment to consider helping the little punk.  He hems and haws before finally rushing to the ring to confront Ricky… and then starts to beat up Dante because MJF is a jerk and you better not forget it!  The only one to come down and make the save for Dante is CM Punk who chases off MJF and confronts Ricky.  Dante gets up and lands a Drop Kick that sends Ricky right into CM Punk for a GTS which knocks Ricky out cold and surely sends a chill down MJF’s spine!  I want to be a little bit annoyed by the commentary team and guys like Kazarian and Jay Lethal were brought in to do absolutely nothing, but the good parts of the Battle Royale were REALLY good, and the ending was a fantastic swerve that was perhaps the best ending for this!  I would have liked to see Dante have at least one match under the Team Taz banner, but this will no doubt lead to some serious fallout in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to see it!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-10-2021)

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

It’s the last Dynamite before Full Gear and AEW’s last chance to sell to us on their main show!  We of course have Rampage the night before, but with two hours of TV time, this is the show that will get the most done and tie up the most loose-ends!  Is it a satisfying Go Home show to give Full Gear the hype it needs, or are we just fumbling our way through this until we get to the other side and can start fresh?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Rocky Romero

Romero is accompanied to the ring by Best Friends and Orange Cassidy

Before we get into any of this, I want it to be clear that I’ve never seen a Rocky Romero fight and I have no idea what Chaos is; nor do I fully understand what Orange Cassidy’s role in it is.  I’m glad that AEW is working well with a bunch of companies and that we get Forbidden Door matches like this every once in a while, but I’m a guy who covers this show pretty consistently and even I felt a bit out of the loop on this.  Perhaps I’m overstating the case, but AEW already has a problem with their YouTube shows intermingling with Dynamite and Rampage, and adding New Japan stuff to that mix isn’t the best idea unless they REALLY take the time to go into it.  In any case, this is pretty much just a warm-up match for Danielson to get ready for his fight against Miro at the PPV, and unlike the Omega match that opened on the last Dynamite, I think this did a solid job of building him up and getting fans excited to see what happens on the big show.  For the most part, it’s a submission battle as both go back and forth trying to get some leverage with Romero focusing almost exclusively on the arm.  He proves to be a wily competitor as Danielson has some big moves to show off and gets some serious damage in, but there’s always the threat that Romero will grab the arm out of nowhere and try to break it such as when Danielson lands an Elbow Drop on the dude’s leg and ends up having to scramble his way to the ropes as Rocky locks in the Cross Arm Breaker.  At one point Danielson is tossed through the ropes and ends up face to face with Cassidy who puts his hands in his pockets; effectively distracting Danielson as Romero charges from the ring and lands a Suicide Dive.  This gives Rocky an opening for a few good moves and to crush Danielson’s arm some more, but they both end up pretty worn down by German Suplexes, Hurricanrana, and a whole lot of punches and kicks in the middle of the ring.  Eventually, the two start trading submissions and Romero gets the full extension of the Cross Arm Breaker, but he doesn’t get him to tap as Danielson forces Romero to break up his hold by pinning his shoulders and getting a two-count.  Danielson is still in this manages to stop a Sliced Bread attempt in its tracks which leaves Rocky on the ground, and he eats a bunch of stomps from Danielson who goes in for the LaBelle Lock.  He can’t quite get the move on as Romero is fighting back, but he swiftly switches tactics and locks in the Tequila Sunrise which is finally enough to get Romero to tap out.  It was an old-school bout between two guys who know how to work that kind of match, and while it was perhaps a BIT too competitive for Danielson who’s going into a big match on the PPV; it still worked better than the Omega match.  Romero is a guest of the show and guests are usually portrayed to be VERY tough, and the stakes in Danielson’s match aren’t as high as in Omega’s.  Frankly, I’m about as interested in seeing Danielson go up against Cassidy as I would Omega or Hangman Adam Page, so I think I might be pulling just a LITTLE bit more for Miro to win the tournament at Full Gear!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (11-05-2021)

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

We’re back with more Rampage Action as Full Gear is getting closer and closer!  The last episode of Dynamite built some of the groundwork for the angles that will play out in the PPV, but I found it to be a bit of a mixed bag and not terribly exciting.  Can Rampage, with its shorter run time and focus on payoffs rather than story-building, be the fun and engaging spectacle that I felt was missing from Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Anthony Bowens

Bowens is accompanied to the ring by Max Caster

I always liked Bowens more than Caster as he had a bit more enthusiasm to him while Caster can come off and UNBEARABLY obnoxious.  It’s a shame that so often he’s playing the supporting role in this group, but tonight is his chance to take the spotlight and lock it up with one of the greats of the business!  Bowens has a decent start as his strength over Danielson and is immediately apparent!  He tosses Danielson around which is impressive to see, but it isn’t doing a WHOLE lot except stroking Bowens’ ego; neither is the Crucifix pin for a quick two count on Danielson that he tries WAY too early in this match.  Danielson doesn’t get a word in edgewise for a while but he’s clearly biding his time and finally gets an opportunity to land a high kick to Bowens before grabbing his arm and manipulating it to keep him under his control.  Danielson uses this advantage to toss Bowens in the corner and the two trade blows there for a bit before Bowens goes for a Suplex, only for Danielson to somehow smash his knee into his head on the upswing.  Not missing a beat, Danielson flips him over and goes for an Arm Bar which is only causing more damage to the arm, and while Bowens gets to the ropes to break the hold, he lingers too long on the apron and Danielson kicks him right out of the ring.  It’s not looking good for Bowens whose relative lack of experience is making him an easy target for Danielson, but he does catch a break when Danielson goes for a Running Kick, only for Bowens to catch him and drop him onto the apron.  If that wasn’t enough, Caster gives Danielson a clothesline while the ref isn’t looking which starts the heat for Bowens.  Danielson eventually fights his way out with a series of Uppercuts, and a big elbow strike from Danielson knocks Bowens to his knees where he then lands a bunch of Yes Kicks for a two count.  Danielson drags Bowens to the corner and starts hitting his Running Knee Strikes, but Bowens dodges one of them that leaves Danielson stuck in the corner, and he hits a Big Enziguri as well as a move called The Arrival (basically a Draping DDT), that gets him a two count.  Bowens tries to keep up the heat on Danielson, but he escapes and takes out Caster.  He then tosses Bowens over the ropes onto Caster and then lands a Cross Body from the top turnbuckle onto both of them.  With Caster effectively dealt with Bowens softened up, Danielson tosses his back into the ring and hits a Missile Drop Kick that practically knocks him out.  Instead of going for the pin though, he starts stomping on his face and puts him in the LaBelle Lock.  Bowens taps out and Danielson wins the match ahead of the TNT Title Tournament Finals that will be on Full Gear.  It was a fun match and giving Danielson a bit of juice ahead of the big show isn’t a bad idea.  That said, it’s just kind of THERE without much drama involved which is why I hope they do the same for Miro as I think he has a MUCH more interesting story to tell and a much more interesting match to make out of it.

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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 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!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)

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

We’re back once again… for the fourth time in a week… with more AEW action.  Needless to say that after Dynamite, Dark, and All Out last week that I’m a little burned out on wrestling and had to drag myself to the computer to get this thing done.  Still!  The show must go on, and AEW is not about to slow down when they have this much momentum behind them!  Can they capitalize on the success of All Out with a fantastic episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Malakai Black

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t hold this off for one more week to do a face to face interaction prior to the match as I’d love to hear what Dustin has to say about Blacks’ gimmick to his face, but this was still a pretty fun match.  Dustin gets a strong lead early on and lands a GREAT German Suplex in the corner, but eventually the fight goes outside the ring and Dustin is cut off with a Back Suplex through the time keeper’s table.  Black drags Dustin back in the ring and removes the turnbuckle pad before getting the heat for a while and a knee to the guy flips Dustin over for a two count.  At some point (it looks to have been the Back Suplex spot), Dustin’s knee got injured and during the heat segment he falls over from the pain which Black found HIGHLY amusing, but Dustin grits his teeth and gets back up for some back and forth action before Dustin gets his momentum and again and hits some impressive moves.  There was one weird spot during this segment though where Dustin throws Black into the ropes and expects him to bounce off.  He doesn’t though as Black gripped the ropes but Dustin can’t seem to figure that out and straight-up does an invisible Power Slam in front of everyone.  I can’t tell if that’s a botch and that Black was SUPPOSED to take it or if that’s what you should expect to happen if someone unexpectedly cuts on the breaks, but seeing him MIME the move kind of felt like one of those EXPOSING THE BUSINESS moments and it took me out of the match for a moment.  Black tries to follow up this spot with a kick to the head, but Dustin dodges and THEN gets a proper Power Slam for a two count.  Things go back in Black’s favor however when Dustin gets on the middle rope to bash him over the head in the corner only for Black to slip away and land a kick to the back of Dustin’s legs that sends him crashing to the mat.  Instead of finishing Dustin off though, Black goes to the effort of pulling Cody’s boot out from under the ring in an attempt to anger Dustin… and I GUESS he got what he wanted because Dustin is SUPER heated now and starts to kick his butt; even landing a Canadian Destroyer for a two count!  Not sure what the point of that was other than I guess to show us that Black underestimates his opponents, but regardless it’s time for him to finish this match once and for all.  He’s in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle and Dustin goes for a Bulldog but Black fights him off and then trips him into the corner when he tries to come back for him.  Dustin is dazed after taking that direct hit to the turnbuckle and he eats a Spinning Heel Kick as soon as he turns around which gets Black the pin and wins him the match.  There were a few spots in here that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy and didn’t exactly make sense to me, but both of these guys are good workers and provide an interesting contrast to each other.  I’d have liked to see this particular match on a bigger stage with a bigger build, but what we got here was still pretty fun!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2021

Double or Nothing and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan

AEW deciding to put a Friday night show right before the PPV made things a LITTLE difficult this weekend and sure enough it ended up taking me much longer than I anticipated to finally get this recap out for you all to see.  Still, they were nice enough to move THIS weeks’ Dynamite to Friday as well which means I can get this thing out a LITTLE later than I anticipated and still not technically be behind on the show!  Hopefully things will ease back into a more familiar formula by next week, but for now we’re going to discuss the Double or Nothing PPV that aired on Sunday and everything that resulted from it!  Was it a show worthy of the Double or Nothing name, or is their first PPV back in front of a live audience a much bigger disappointment than any of us expected?  Let’s find out!!

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Serena Deeb Vs. Riho – NWA Women’s Title Match (Buy In)

As usual, AEW has at least one match on YouTube that you can watch before the PPV itself, but this time they do something a bit odd.  Last Friday I mentioned that they moved the hard camera 90 degrees counterclockwise so that it was no longer facing the stage.  The Hard Cam is back to facing the stage.  For this match AND ONLY THIS MATCH, they put the camera back where it was before.  Seems a bit odd as they would have had to SPECIFICALLY move it back there before returning it to the place it was already moved to, but that’s perhaps a bit too much minutia for this kind of recap so let’s get to the match itself!  For the most part it’s Deeb trying to grab Riho and overpower her while Riho is flying around the ring with Spectacular moves, and for the first half it looks to be Riho’s match to win.  However, Deeb’s strength looks to be too much for her cross body dives and running drop kicks to overcome, and Deeb grounds her with a Dragon Screw that leaves her vulnerable for most of the match.  It’s not until Deeb puts her on the top turnbuckle that she starts to fight back and lands a Diving Stomp from the top rope which is soon followed up by a 619 and leads to a two count.  For whatever reason they called the 619 a “Tiger Feint Kick” and I’m not sure why as it hasn’t been an issue before.

As long as she doesn’t shout BOOYAKA-BOOYAKA while doing it, I think AEW is in the clear.
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-19-2021)

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

Double or Nothing is only a week away!?  Didn’t I JUST pay for All Out like two weeks ago!?  Despite things slowly turning back to normal, things are still kinda blurring together week in and week out, but Double or Nothing promises to be a return to the old days of wrestling with big crowds and big events.  Whether this will prove to be a health disaster is yet to be seen (we’re still at less than fifty percent for full vaccination) but AEW has done a solid job in the last few weeks building up to it.  Will this prove to be even more hype for the big return show, or will it take a bit more than what they’ve been doing for the last year to get people excited enough to return to Daily’s Place?  Let’s find out!!

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Christian Cage Vs. Matt Sydal

Taz joins the commentary team for this match

AEW had a reputation about a year ago of being injury heavy as lots of guys would take bumps they shouldn’t have and got taken out of action for a while with perhaps no better example than the excruciating journey Matt Hardy had with his feud against Sammy Guevara.  That reputation might be returning as at least two big names had some SERIOUSLY rough matches recently with Orange Cassidy taking a bad Powerbomb on last week’s show that required AEW to quickly rebook the match on the spot, and Ricky Starks who got a neck injury in his match against Hangman Adam Page which is why Cage is fighting Sydal instead of him tonight.  Still, Sydal is no slouch and him being an understudy in a match like this is by no means a step down as they put down a pretty great match!  Cage is starting to come into his own and shake off that ring rust and is showing a lot more here than he had before.  Where the Kazarian match completely winded him and the Will Hobbs match was almost all about selling, this one shows off what he can really do at what seems like peak condition as his offense is strong and well-paced while his selling is just as good as ever!  Cage gets a strong advantage early on and keeps Sydal guessing, but Sydal eventually a few high flying moves and some close nearfalls; especially this one pretty amazing move where he jumps over a charging Christian Cage and turns it into a Canadian Destroyer which Cage kicks out of SO HARD that he comes FLYING off the mat entirely!  Despite not getting the pin here, Sydal does stay competitive and gets a few more close calls on Cage, but as soon as Cage gets his knees up for Sydal’s Moonsault, it gives him just enough room to land the Killswitch and get the win!  Despite Sydal’s harsh words for Cage last week, they do hug it out at the end to the consternation of Taz who doesn’t like either one of them.  He’s the only one down on this match however as this was a fun, explosive, and well-paced opener that did its job and didn’t overstay it’s welcome!  I’ve been a bit skeptical of Cage, but he’s proving himself more and more each week and I’m very interested to see what he does at the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing which the commentary team was plugging throughout the match.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-19-2021)”