Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021

All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan

After weeks of buildup, the start of a new Friday night show, and the arrival of one of wrestling’s biggest names, this could be the most anticipated PPV that wrestling has seen for quite some time; certainly as far as AEW who already have a high bar for these shows but those expectations have been shot into the stratosphere after everything they’ve promised and the stuff they’ve heavily hinted at!  Is this a show for the ages that will be a turning point for AEW, especially given their recent boost in popularity, or will the house of cards finally come down after all those unrealistic expectations give way to reality?  Let’s find out!!

.

Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta and Lucha Express Vs. Hardy Family Office – The Buy In Ten Man Tag Match

So in case you hadn’t heard, there was a last-minute complication that forced AEW to drop the Pac and Andrade match and move the original Buy In match to the main card; leaving a spot in the Buy In that needed to be SWIFTLY filled in.  I couldn’t tell you exactly which match was pushed to the main card (if I were to guess, MAYBE the TNT Title match) but for a match that had to come about at the eleventh hour, they managed to put on a VERY good show!  With this many guys in the ring it mostly devolves into a spot fest where all the Baby Faces get to show off while the Heels dampen their momentum, but there are some fun thru-lines throughout.  The most obvious one is between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy where Matt is INSISTENT on getting him in the ring to face him!  The match starts with Chuck Taylor, and he just kicks him back to the corner!  Nope!  Orange Cassidy!  Wheeler Yuta comes out and Hardy just grabs him by the head and shoves him back to his side!  NO!  ORANGE CASSIDY!  NOW!!  Then Luchasaurus comes in… and Hardy suddenly feels the urge to tag in Jack Evans who’s not happy about this but gives it his all… before getting crushed.  Things get a bit more straightforward from there with a few different lock ups that are more evenly matched until Luchasaurus gets swarmed and does the Big Man RAARRRGHHH spot to send them all flying.  It’s not until Hardy distracts Luchasaurus that Private Party are FINALLY able to cut him down, and it’s now time for Cassidy to make his move as he gives Lousy Kicks to all three of them before throwing Hardy out of the ring.  There are spots all over the place and chaos has completely taken over as I don’t think anyone GENUINELY knows who’s the legal competitor, but eventually everyone is effectively killed which leaves just Jungle Boy and Angelico in the ring.  Jack Evans jumps in and is on Angelico’s shoulders so Jungle Boy gets on Luchasaurus and they play a game of chicken that ends in Jurassic Express’s favor.  Private Party tries to take advantage of this goofiness by jumping at the precariously balanced Jungle Boy, but his flexibility allows him to dodge a Cross Body from Quen and SOMEHOW catches Kassidy then flips over backwards and lands so that Kassidy takes the brunt of the fall!

You had ONE job, Kassidy!
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-04-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

So after a week of nonstop action with two shows more or less back to back, it’s time for things to return to normal as we move forward from the events of Double or Nothing to see what AEW has planned for the future!  Is this the start of a bold new direction for show, or did they use up all of their good ideas on the PPV?  Let’s find out!!

Before getting started, it’s worth noting that the hard cam is back to facing the Titantron and the small crowd of people sitting there on the stage which is the position it’s been in since the Pandemic except for last Friday’s show and the PPV.  With that new section of crowd it’s probably the best place for it, and it least it doesn’t have the DAILY’S PLACE sign shining brightly in the background.

.

The Young Bucks Vs. Death Triangle (Pac & Penta El Zero M)

The Bucks are accompanied to the ring by Brandon Cutler

I was expecting this to be the main event of the show considering all four guys were in big matches at the PPV (three of whom in title matches), but The Bucks like to go on first and you really couldn’t ask for a better matchup to hook views in for the rest of the show.  During The Bucks’ entrance which is as obnoxious and heelish as you’d expect, Frankie Kazarian moves through the crowd and attacks Michael Nakazawa for seemingly no reason other than to terrorize The Bucks.  I’m not sure they’ll care all THAT much as no one seemed to care when he got his butt handed to him by an army of six year olds, but it’s clear that Kazarian is not done being The Bucks’ biggest pest!  It does accomplish one thing however as The Bucks are momentarily distracted by all the commotion which allows Pac and Penta to take a bunch of shots at The Bucks before the bell rings which is a trope I STILL don’t like, but whatever it takes to get this match started.  To their credit, Death Triangle does get an early advantage and it looks like they might run away with this, but it’s not long before The Bucks are in control and are doing their usual goofy heel shtick.  The best moment is when Nick has Pac held outside the ring, but instead of Matt doing a Suicide Dive he exits on the opposite side and does a Braun Strowman like run around the entire ring just to land a clothesline which they celebrate as if they had hit Pac with a freight train.  The Bucks continue to get the heat on Pac for a while, but he eventually escapes with a German Suplex and gets the hot tag to Penta who throws out Slingblades like they’re going out of style!  It’s as good run of offense to be sure, but for me they kind of overdid the tags as Penta’s barely in for a minute before he’s tagging Pac back in and then Pac does little more than a Pop Up Powerbomb before he tags out once again!  From there things descend into chaos as everyone is throwing out big moves and I lose track of who’s the legal man for each team.  Some highlights include a nut shot Pac delivers to Matt from the top rope, Penta landing a Canadian Destroy on Nick who then eats a Canadian destroyer from matt right after, and Matt Jackson ripping off Penta’s mask only to find… ANOTHER MASK!  The biggest move however was a Fear Factor from Penta followed by a Black Arrow from Pac that ALMOST gets them the win if Matt Jackson hadn’t broken it up.  This failed pin attempt was the last one that Penta and Pac would get as Pac goes up for another Black Arrow but Brandon Cutler comes from behind and bashes Pac in the leg which knocks him off the post and into the waiting arms of Nick Jackson who rolls him up to get the pin and win the match.  That’s not good enough for The Bucks however who try to take off Penta’s remaining mask and set him up for a Superkick party, but they are chased off by a very furious Eddie Kingston running to the ring.  No appearance from Jon Moxley tonight with the storyline reason being that he’s too injured from the PPV match, but what’s really going on is that his daughter is going to be born soon so he’s back home for the foreseeable future.  It was a pretty good match that maybe got a bit out of hand with everyone running in and out, but with The Bucks and Penta it’s kinda what you should’ve expected in the first place.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-04-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-16-2020)

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

Tis the season for things to get lost in the shuffle as the holidays approach and these recaps get more and more delayed, but I’m not about to give up gosh darn it!  December has been full of stress and scrambling, but the AEW show each week is something I always look forward to even if they don’t always knock it out of the park.  Was this episode another reminder of why I keep doing this week in and week out, or is it a confusing mess that’s practically begging for me to skip a week?  Let’s find out!!

.

Hangman Page & The Dark Order (Reynolds & Silver) Vs. Hardy Party (Matt Hardy, Isaiah Kassidy, and Marq Quen)

Page and the Geeks come out first with Reynolds and Silver wearing matching (and VERY adorable) cowboy outfits.  Seems like an innocent enough homage to me, but Page seems particularly annoyed when Silver tries to throw up his hand sign so perhaps he’s not ready to embrace his new buddies just yet and form a new faction.  Speaking of hand signs, what is that supposed to be?  As far as I can tell, it’s just Hangman throwing up a Loser “L” which doesn’t seem particularly cowboy, but he’s also a 90’s kid so I’ll let him have it.  As for that match itself, it was pretty darn good; especially for an opening match.  It’s a bit odd that neither teams are truly faces or heels which means that there isn’t much DRAMA there, but it also means that they focus on spots and big moves which I like to see in the first match of a show.  The opener doesn’t have to be advancing the most important storylines but it has to POP and this match definitely does that with some impressive work from all involved.  If I had to pick an MVP it might be Marq Quen because he is in this several times and does a GREAT job with everybody.  He starts off the match with Page and they have a great exchange for a bit before the rest of Hardy Party tries a triple team.  Page manages to avoid it however and Silver & Reynolds rush in to make the save and look like superstars while doing it!  With Silver soaking up so much spotlight it’d be easy for Reynolds to get lost in the shuffle (much like Other Dude in WHAM), but he’s a good worker and balances out Silver’s overwhelming exuberance and he has possibly the best moment in the match towards the end of it.  If anyone is a heel in here, it’s Hardy as he’s the only one getting any sort of heat; in this case on Silver with submissions and beatings which eventually leads to a hot tag for Page who explodes out of the corner and runs wild!  Even this however is brought to an end by Matt Hardy with a Side Effect and a two count on Page.  He goes for a Twist of Fate but Page gets out of it and the two tag in Reynolds and Quen who are so great in these brief moments that I want to see them have a singles match!  Reynolds probably isn’t as athletic as Marq Quen (who possibly could be?) but he holds his own and their brief confrontation is topped off with that RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME combination that he and Silver does with a Powerbomb from Hangman for good measure.  The ending is a BIT of a disappointment for me and the only thing close to a sour note in the whole match.  Silver takes a Twist of Fate on the apron that ended up hurting his knee which was concerning to see, though he later confirmed that it’s fine and he just has a bruise which is a relief considering how injury prone people have been at AEW, but the point is that this is what takes Silver out of the match which leaves Page and Reynolds at a disadvantage.  Page takes a kick from Isaiah that knocks him over the barricade and Private Party finishes off Reynolds with a Gin and Juice, but instead of pinning him themselves they go to the effort of letting Matt tag in so that he can make the pin and win the match.  Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but the kick and tumble that Page took REALLY shouldn’t have taken him out of the match long enough for Private Party to land their super move and then have someone else run in and make a three count, but I guess we can’t have Page win with these two goofballs just yet so they had to find a way for it to make sense that Page couldn’t make the save.  Aside from that, which isn’t TOO big of a deal, this was a fun match and a GREAT way to start the show!  My only hope is that Page’s loss here doesn’t discourage him from teaming up with these two again, because they made a fantastic team and I want to see them each and every week!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-16-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-14-2020)

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

Did you know the PPV is less than a month away!?  Doesn’t it feel like we JUST got done with a PPV a month ago?  Oh who even knows anymore; it’s not like time MEANS anything at this point.  We’re all just barreling through this ridiculous world at ten billion miles per hour, and hey if nothing else, since it’s happening the Saturday after the election (PLEASE GO VOTE!!) it’ll be either a nice treat for a world that just saved itself from the brink of destruction or it’ll be the last spot of joy before this country inevitably crumbles into a fascist dictatorship.  In any case, I hope that Will Hobbs gets a title shot on that show!  Before we look towards the future however, let’s keep our eyes squarely on the present and take a look at this show right now.  Will this episode start building up to the PPV in fun and exciting ways, or do they need a bit more time to get everything into place?  Let’s find out!!

.

FTR Vs. Best Friends – AEW Tag Team Title Match

FTR is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard

Look, we know that both teams are good and that they can have great matches, so I don’t want to sound negative about this on the outset.  It’s not a bad match, but BOY is it a non-descript one for what’s supposed to be a title defense!  Trent is in command for a good chunk of this match before FTR get the upper hand and start generating heat for what feels like an hour before Trent eventually gets the hot tag on Chuck who goes wild for a bit.  Things at least get a bit interesting there when Tully interferes and Chuck retaliates by chocking him with his own jacket, and there was a pretty impressive nearfall where Best Friends land a Soul Food on Cash to get a two count, but there’s just not a whole lot going on here.  Aside from the nearfalls, the only move that really stuck out for me was when Cash dropped Trent’s leg onto the ring ropes which was an interesting visual, but Trent doesn’t sell the leg at any point in the match (he even uses the knees to counter a Vader Bomb), so what was the point of specifically targeting it?  Speaking of nearfalls, FTR manages to regain the advantage and are getting the heat on Trent with a series of suplexes, but Trent won’t stay down for the three-count and tries to fight his way out of this rough spot.  They eventually brawl to the outside where Kip Sabian is playing away on an arcade cabinet, and Cash throws Trent right through it; destroying it utterly and leaving Kip with nothing but a fight stick to entertain him.  The match eventually returns to the ring and Trent manages to get the tag to Chuck, but it’s ultimately futile as Cash manages to smash Chuck in the face with the title belt while the ref was distracted which is enough for Dax to get the pin and retain their titles.  Like I said, there wasn’t a whole lot going on with this match and the stuff at the end, while entertaining, wasn’t exactly the most THRILLING directions for a match to take and I’d honestly take the match they had last week with TH2 than this one.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-14-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-07-2020)

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

We’re back with more explosive wrestling action, but this week isn’t just ANY episode of Dynamite!  For a month now they’ve been advertising this show as the CHRIS JERICHO THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION to commemorate his three decades of butt kicking and smack talking in this business!  Does this mean the bubbly will flow thru sprinklers?  Will there be a song and dance number or an impromptu Fozzy concert!?  We’ll we’re not going to find out by speculating about it, so let’s get started!!

The episode begins with a sincere out of kayfabe segment where the wrestlers of AEW explain just how important Chris Jericho was to them and to making this company what it is today.  Of course they can’t show ninety percent of his career because despite wrestling outside of WWE quite a bit that footage STILL ended up in WWE’s hands, but it was still a nice little moment for the promotion!  Jericho doesn’t come out to start the show however.  Instead we get an unrelated but still pretty darn awesome match!

.

Brian Cage Vs. Will Hobbs – FTR Title Match

Taz and Ricky Starks are on commentary

Will Hobbs has been the talk of AEW for weeks now and our appetite for some WILL POWER has only grown more desperate as his big match was canceled due to Lance Archer getting sick.  Fortunately Brian Cage is on hand to have a hell of a Big Man fight with this rising talent, and unsurprisingly the end result is a fantastic opening fight!  Will definitely comes out of this looking strong as Cage doesn’t squash him right away (pour one out for Pineapple Pete), and both are VERY athletic while projecting so much power in everything they do.  It’s almost like watching a Kaiju film on fast forward as all of their moves feel big and heavy, but they can still pull off an impressive amount of speed and dexterity when the need arises.  It’s not too complicated of a match as far as the moves.  Chops, body checks, suplexes, it’s all very standard and very well executed, but moments like when Cage does a Standing Moonsault or when Hobbs does a Jumping Shoulder Tackle punctuate the action and keeps it exciting all the way through.  The only part where things felt a bit off was a moment where Hobbs and Cage seem to forget what they were supposed to do as they just stare at each other before Brian Cage jumps up and takes a Powerbomb from Hobbs.  Other than that I found this match to be close to perfect in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish with the wrestlers they have to work with.  Cage does something that I THINK was an F5 and only gets a two count, they start trading German Suplexes before giving each other simultaneous clotheslines that knock them flat on their backs, and as soon as they get up from all that they just start trading blows to try and annihilate the other; piece by piece.  Hobbs’s fatal mistake in this match however comes after he lands his finisher, The Last Will and Testament, but only gets a two count.  Instead of pressing the advantage that he has, he goes for something risky to try to put the match away quickly, namely a Frog Splash from the top rope, but Cage rolls out of the way with easy and with Hobbs on the ground he picks him up to land a Drill Claw for the win.  Hobbs may be an exciting talent for the company, but his inexperience showed in that moment and Cage made him pay dearly for it!  It was a very simple story with very straightforward action, but the two men did a PHENOMENAL job here and I loved every minute of it!  It’s not just a revelation for Will Hobbs who looked amazing; Cage as well managed to look like more than just a big scary guy which is where he’s kind of been stuck at ever since his debut; a little bit above Wardlow, but not quite as compelling as Lance Archer.  A great match that did a lot for both men; and really what more could you ask for?

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-07-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2020

All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

The last few weeks of television have been disappointing as AEW is stumbling their way towards not just to this PPV but having a live audience again and doing it in a way that’s safe while also enhancing the show.  It hasn’t been an easy journey and they’ve made some mistakes, but the buildup to this show has been solid if nothing else, and with so many marquee matches to watch… well, let’s just hope that they can pull it off better than they’ve been pulling off Dynamite; and CERTAINLY better than from what I heard went down in that women’s Tag Tournament.  Is this show a culmination of all the stumbling effort they’ve been putting in the last few weeks, or has all that bad luck spilled over to the PPV itself?  Let’s find out!!

.

Joey Janela Vs. Serpentico – Buy In Match

Serpentico is accompanied to the ring by Luther while Janela is accompanied by Sonny Kiss

Serpentico is one of those dudes who I’ve seen A LOT standing on the outside of the ring these last few months, but this will be the first I’m seen him in a match.  According to the announcers, he and Luther have formed a tag team on Dark which is why he’s out here sticking his tongue out like he does, and Luther if you recall was the dude who was hanging out with Brandie Rhodes when she was doing her Nightmare Collective Shtick.  Well whoever these guys are, Joey comes out the gate with gusto as he’s still upset about having lost his match against Jericho as badly as he did (complete with giant bandage on his forehead in case you forgot what happened), and in his rage he manages to shake off whatever offense Serpentico can muster… at least until he gets pushed off the top rope and takes a real nasty looking tumble.  It doesn’t look like he got injured, but it was definitely not a fun ride down!  Serpentico takes over for most of the match after that and the guy seems like a decent wrestler with some solid gymnastics to his repertoire, but the story of this match is that Joey has more stamina and strength; so whatever ten moves Serpentico dishes out can’t seem to match the impact of one of Janela’s.  Now usually the one who has to fight from underneath is the babyface in a match like this, but Serpentico is also a dirty cheater as he’s constantly distracting the ref so that Luther can take cheap shots at Janela, and with this strategy Serpentico is able to stay in the game and even get a few near falls, but it’s just not enough to secure victory.  Janela’s building up speed for a big attack on Serpentico, but Luther grabs his legs from the outside while the ref is distracted.  Sonny Kiss, who’s been holding back this entire match, decks Luther in the face and Janela finishes him off with a Diving Drop Kick.  With Luther no longer a factor, Janela knocks Serpentico down with a running clothesline before landing a top rope elbow drop to get the pin.  It was a fine match though I think Janela is one of those guys who works WAY better when he’s got a story to build off of.  Even something simple as his feud with Shawn Spears led to that AMAZING Santa Claus match, so if this is the start of something with Serpentico then I’m all for it!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2020”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)

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

By the time this goes up we’ll be just one day away from the All Out PPV, and like any good wrestling company AEW is clearly trying its best to get us to buy the darn thing with a show filled with angles and cliffhangers!  Do they manage to make the most out of their Go Home show, or will this be just as disappointing as last week’s episode which I will remind you had like a six minute main event?  Let’s find out!!

.

Best Friends Vs. Proud N Powerful

I’ve been rather lukewarm on the Proud N Powerful/Best Friends feud, and I guess AEW was as well because they’re blowing it off here as the opening match on the Go Home show instead of saving it for the PPV.  The two teams brawl for like ten minutes before the bell even rings so at least they’re TRYING to make look like they’re out for blood, and the two teams are talented wrestlers if nothing else.  Then again, I’m not sure why Chuck spends several minutes making a mountain of chairs if he just wanted to beat the hell out of his opponent, but he does just that and of course Santana ends up tossing him into it.  The bell finally rings right after that spot and its Trent basically all alone out there as Chuck is still knocked out from the mountain of chairs.  Trent and Santana manage to have a pretty good back and forth for a few minutes there, but with Ortiz on the outside running interference it doesn’t take long for Trent to be overwhelmed.  He’s a survivor though, and manages to stay in this match long enough for Chuckie to crawl his way to the corner and make the hot tag who at which point Chuckie runs wild on the two of them.  He sends both Santana and Oritz to the outside of the ring, and he does a flip Senton Cannonball over the top ropes onto both of them.  If there’s one thing notable about this match it’s the solid teamwork that both of them display.  Trent gets back in the ring but is almost just as quickly sent flying onto the steel steps after Ortiz holds him on the apron, and just a moment later Chuckie manages to cut Ortiz’s legs out from under him which gives Trent enough time to pull off a pile driver.  THEN Santana manages to get Ortiz to the ropes during the pin which kept them in the match.  It’s still not the aggressive and sadistic match up I was hoping for, but they both definitely have their game faces on and are not afraid to do what it takes to win the match.  Sadly for the Best Friends though, Proud N Powerful wanted it just a little bit more as Santana sneakily attacks Trent with a baton which lays him out.  The two of them land a street sweeper right after, and get the pin on Trent which I guess means they DON’T have to apologize to Trent’s Mom Sue for wrecking her car.  Does that mean insurance won’t cover it?  In any case, it was a decent match to start off with and definitely had some high points for both teams, but the feud still doesn’t feel all that IMPORTANT despite how much time they spent building it up.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-27-2020)

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

Okay, so I had thought I posted this thing like three days ago but I guess with all the New Mutants and Bill & Ted excitement that I forgot to finish this darn thing and so here I am trying to put this thing together right before the next episode of the show is supposed to air.  I’ve forgotten what it’s like to actually be BUSY doing this stuff which is in its own way a comforting bit of nostalgia (remember when we all got to DO things before the world came to a screeching halt?) and I’ll hopefully won’t be making this mistake again in the future; especially since we not only have another episode of Dynamite this week but a PPV on Saturday!  Let’s get started!!

There was an announcement that AEW would be selling tickets to fans and I think this is the first week where that’s the case.  The opening moments spend A LOT of time focusing on all the people in the crowd, and while it IS outside and they DO seem to be separated into clusters, it still makes me very nervous.  In any case, Chris Jericho is on commentary tonight and gets a full entrance, while the wrestlers in the opening match to the Tag Team Gauntlet are already in the ring, so I guess AEW knows whose entrance is the money maker.

.

Tag Team Gauntlet Match – Number One Contender for the Tag Team Championship

Now I didn’t quite get what this was when they announced it (I thought it would just be a four way between the four teams) but thankfully the give us a quick rundown of the rules.  It starts with The Nightmare Family and The Bucks, then the winner of that match immediately has to face Best Friends and then the winner of that has to face FTR.  These kind of matches never really made sense to me as it doesn’t REALLY show who the best team is as one the freshest team will obviously stand the best chance and I think it works better in a Royal Rumble where you DON’T have to wrestle a full match to advance and there are ways to strategically recuperate if needed.  Still, it should be fun to see all these teams go at it; especially with FTR as the final boss!

First Round – Natural Nightmares Vs. Young Bucks

QT Marshall is a great wrestler but is even better at making everyone else look good and he does a great job eating a bunch of moves from The Bucks before Dustin jumps in and runs wild for like a minute before gassing out completely and taking a prolonged breather.  The Bucks though are polite competitors and give him a chance to catch his breath which proves to be a pretty big mistake because Dustin comes back very strong and he and QT take control of the match for a bit.  Now in most tag matches this would simply be getting heat for The Natural Nightmares, but because this is a gauntlet match, it means that every minute The Bucks take punishment means they’re going into the next match that much worse for wear.  QT Marshall has both Bucks in the ring and goes for a QT special which as far as I can tell is a flip in the ring followed by a back elbow, but The Bucks duck the blow and follow up with Superkicks.  At this point The Bucks are in full control of the match and after a minute or two of moves Nick gets the pin on QT after both of them land a BTE Trigger.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-27-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-05-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-05-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-24-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It’s been a heck of a week in the wrestling world, hasn’t it?  Needless to say that my already drained enthusiasm from last week’s recap took a very significant hit with all the news coming out, but the show must go on and it’s of some comfort to me that I have something locked in a scheduled every week to try and keep my brain puttering along during these less than ideal times.  So then!  Does AEW still have what it takes to put on a good series of wrestling matches and entertaining promos, or is the world in a funk that even the very best the industry has to offer can’t drag us all out of?  Let’s find out!!

.

Wardlow Vs. Luchasaurus – Lumberjack Match

Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF while Luchasaurus is accompanied by Marko Stunt and Jungleboy

In case you didn’t know, a Lumberjack match is one where wrestlers stand outside of the ring and if either wrestler in the match gets thrown out of the ring or tries to run away, the lumberjacks will put them back in the ring.  Seems like an odd match for two guys who WANT to fight as you usually do a Lumberjack match to wrangle a cowardly heel, not to mention that these two being as big as they are won’t likely be stopped from leaving if they REALLY want to, and on top of that it’s not the best look in the world to have THIS many people participating in a match and being this close to each other in the middle of a pandemic.  On the other hand, it’s become clear this week that AEW’s testing policies have been pretty effective as no one at their company has wrestled positive while WWE just had a huge outbreak due to the incredibly lax testing that they’ve done.  Frankly, though, I wouldn’t even call this a Lumberjack match as they don’t REALLY do their job and it’s more of a Rumble.  No, not a Royal Rumble; more like a West Side Story Rumble where the ones on the outskirts are there to antagonize the other side, and Luchasaurus or Wardlow getting tossed over the wrong side of the ropes will certainly mean bad news and a few cheap shots.  It also comes off a bit like an attempt to drill it into everyone’s heads that THEY NEED TO CATCH PEOPLE because there are so many dives in this and it’s not like they couldn’t use a refresher course considering how many people have gotten hurt recently!  So the two of them fight all over the place occasionally having to toss off the lumberjacks and throw people over things, but eventually, Luchasaurus gets a chokeslam and goes for the pin… when MJF manages to distract the ref.  SERIOUSLY!?  The ONE THING you need to look for is pinfalls, and when one happens you stop to instead chat with this dude?  Luchasaurus should have gotten the win as he’s got Wardlow for more than a three count, so in retaliation, Jungle Boy spears MJF off the apron and into a crowd of heel lumberjacks waiting below.  Unfortunately, this gives Wardlow enough time to do a low blow behind the ref’s back and gets the pin with an F-10; an impressive feat considering how big Lucahsaurus is.  The scene then devolves into chaos as the Sharks and the Jets… I mean the Heels and the Faces, all storm the ring and start hitting each other for a few minutes before things calm down and Tony Schiavone announces that at Fyter Fest it will be MJF & Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.  This was a great match and I really enjoyed the interplay between these two competitors as both are way more flexible and agile than their size would lead you to believe; with Wardlow landing a Hurricanrana on Luchasaurus and Luchasaurus doing some sort of clothesline reversal where he flips around the arm and forces Wardlow into a near fall.  I’d be interested to see if they do more Lumberjack matches like this in the future, especially since we won’t be having fans for a while longer, but all in all, it was a great way to start the show; just as long as everyone used hand sanitizer afterward.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-24-2020)”