AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely gotten ANY sleep this week and this whole “wrestling” thing feels a bit small and inconsequential given what’s going on in the US right now. Hopefully by the time we get to the PPV on Saturday the votes will be tallied and we can all focus on fun things again, but there’s no doubt that AEW has a big uphill battle here with this Go Home show leading into Full Gear. Do they manage to put on something memorable despite the world being laser focused on politics this week, or will it get lost in the shuffle like everything else? Let’s find out!!
We begin the episode with Dasha interviewing Jericho (flanked by Jake Hager and Santana) who spends a good few minutes praising Jake Hager for his win at Bellator last week which hey, good for him! It was certainly better than in his last match where he punched a dude in the groin and it got called a No Contest, but before Jericho can finish singing his praises, MJF comes in and interrupts them to tell him how much he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given. Jericho, not too happy about being interrupted, doesn’t share this enthusiasm and in fact claims that MJF lacks something vital to be part of The Inner Circle; a Killer Instinct. The same Killer Instinct that got Jake fifteen stiches in a fight he ended up winning and earned Santana his reputation as a ruthless fighter in the world of wrestling. MJF? Well until he proves otherwise, Jericho believes he’s just soft, and that’s just not going to work for them. MJF doesn’t like any of these accusations and storms off; leaving Jericho to head to the announcers desk as he’ll be calling matches all night. I kind of wish they’d also let Santana and Hager get sit at the desk too, but too many heels running the show and with Eric Bischoff having JUST shown up last week, people might start getting flashbacks to Souled Out and nobody wants that.
Sammy Guevara & Ortiz Vs. MJF & Wardlow
Okay, quick question. Perhaps I’m just hearing things, but they played the Inner Circle’s theme song here for Ortiz and Sammy’s entrance… and doesn’t it kind of sound like a knock off NWO theme? I don’t recall ever hearing it before as they always used Jericho’s song Judas, and it just reminded me of that; especially when it starts with a deep voiced dude saying THE INNER CIRCLE which is not unlike how the NWO’s theme starts. In any case (before I go on any OTHER weird tangents), let’s talk about the match itself. More than any other story line for this upcoming PPV, including the Moxley match, the tag titles, and ESPECIALLY Sammy’s feud with Matt Hardy, the unrest within The Inner Circle brought about by MJF’s attempts to join them has been rather compelling so far and this match being the first flare up of this tension means it will certainly have consequences for the story on Saturday and going forward. Now this might be a tag match, but for the most part it’s really all about Sammy and MJF with Wardlow and Ortiz being there to give the other two an opportunity to strut their stuff. Sammy in particular looks VERY good here with an early hot tag that has him overcoming both Wardlow and MJF with relative ease. The guy has had a ROUGH time of it the last few months with controversies, botches, and injuries overshadowing everything else, but his performance here is a strong first step for him to regain his clout as one of wrestling’s rising young stars. MJF looks good here as well, but for most of the match he’s fighting with the upper hand and isn’t really pushing himself. He’s has had his share of rough matches, but by design he’s never really excelled at that as he gets desperate way to quickly and resorts to cheap tricks at the slightest hint of a disadvantage, which goes towards Jericho’s assessment of him being soft. He’s not to be discounted however even if he starts to waiver under pressure, and once it’s Sammy and MJF alone in the ring, the both of them start to work out their frustrations on each other in an excellent display of acrobatic violence. Sammy ends up proving himself here as he actually manages to get the advantage and nearly gets a pin on MJF, and even though Wardlow breaks it up its clear that Sammy might just be the better fighter. Ortiz gets back in the ring after dealing with Wardlow on the outside and him and Sammy get MJF on the turnbuckle. They are setting up a tandem Superplex, but Wardlow comes in and suplexes all three of them with his mighty muscles, and the best part of this is MJF’s over the top selling as he seems to have taken the brunt of the damage while Wardlow poses for the audience. All of this is fun and it does a good job of setting up the important dynamics between these wrestlers, but sadly things start to go off the rails at the end. Sammy seems poised to win this if he can just get back himself and MJF back into the ring, but then Matt Hardy attacks him with a chair and not even a minute later MJF gets Ortiz into his Salt of the Earth arm bar where he taps out almost immediately. MJF and Wardlow win the match and start heading for the back, but then MJF breaks off and sprints towards Jericho at the announce table; spearing him in his seat and having to be dragged away by Wardlow as Jericho gingerly gets up and smiles at his assailant. Perhaps this man DOES have a Killer Instinct and Jericho will be surprised at what happens on Saturday! The ending drags the match down considerably for me, but I liked the performances of everyone involved and MJF proves once again just how good he is at playing a character while also putting on a great wrestling match. Presumably he’s going to win on Saturday or some other shenanigans will ensue as I doubt they’re going to drop this storyline with a clean Jericho victory, and I can only hope a long convoluted character drama already set up for all five (soon to be six!) members of the Inner Circle; like Shakespeare but with more chair shots!Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-04-2020)”