Tag Archives: Britt Baker

Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear

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

While technically being the fifth AEW PPV (sixth if you count All In which was basically AEW Zero), this is the first one since they’ve gotten the TV series and have started to focus more on long term storylines.  Not only that, but it’s coming off of a MASSIVE amount of success from Dynamite which has consistently beaten NXT in the ratings, so there’s a lot of hype and high expectations surrounding this PPV which is always a double edged sword as it means more people are interested in seeing it but that they’re also much more easy to disappoint.  Can AEW continue their streak of high quality wrestling action with their latest PPV?  Let’s find out!!

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Britt Baker Vs. Bea Priestly

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The only match they had on the pre-show for Full Gear was this match against Britt Baker and Bea Priestly which I GUESS is supposed to be the blow off to a feud, but they never HAD a feud to begin with.  They had one match all the way back before they got on TV and I think they were on a tag team match a few weeks ago, but at no point did they interact in any meaningful way to sell this supposed rivalry between them.  There’s a video package before the fight where Britt talks smack about Priestly and I just don’t think it works because Britt brings up stuff we’d NEVER heard of until now about her being possibly injured in the Fight for the Fallen match and it’s also completely one sided as Priestly doesn’t even show up in the video, so for all we know she’s just out there doing her thing and being respectful towards everyone while Britt is off to the side seething for no good reason!  Now all that having been said, when the two of them actually DO get in the ring they are fighting like this match means something.  Britt is definitely all scowls and fury which is a far cry from the babyface she often portrays, and Priestly is definitely relishing just how much she’s gotten under her skin.  The moves as well are less coordinated and flashy as they are just slugfests and pain clinics which is how you definitely want to pay off a feud even if this particular one still didn’t feel properly set up.

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“How many fingers am I holding up?  HOW MANY!?”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-23-19)

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

We’re back with another episode of WWE’s Worst Nightmare! For three weeks straight, this upstart little company with just one measly billionaire behind it managed to outdo NXT in the ratings and it doesn’t look like that momentum is about to stop anytime soon!  Ratings momentum is just one piece of the puzzle however as a terrible show can still get good ratings for at least a little bit before everyone gives up on it.  Can AEW maintain its high quality as well as its high viewership?  Well let’s take a look at the latest episode to find out!!

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Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) Vs. Lucha Bros (Pentagón Jr and Fénix) – Tag Team Championship Semi-Finals

Right off the bat, with zero preamble or even ring entrances, both teams are in the middle of the ring as the show begins.  Now sure, I’m a huge fan of the pomp and circumstance so it’s a bit disappointing that we don’t even get to see them walk to the ring, but we’ve got a full card ahead of us so I’m not really bothered by it.  Besides, if it means we get more of these two teams fighting it out, then I’m fine with it as long as they don’t do it TOO often.  Quen and Kassidy are still somehow impressing more and more with every match as their chemistry only gets better and better.  Now I will pump the breaks just a LITTLE bit here as I wonder where the ceiling ultimately is for these guys as they are starting to take some really rough bumps.  They’re professionals of course and I trust them to know what they’re doing, but I do worry that with this promotion (and particularly its tag teams) burning so brightly right out of the gate that they’ll eventually burn themselves out either through injury or just straight fatigue.  I mean Quen takes what I can only describe as a flying pile driver from Pentagon Jr, and it was absolutely terrifying to watch.  Even with tha though, it couldn’t have been too bad (hopefully) since the match went on for several minutes after that with Quen taking even MORE bumps throughout.  Lucha Bros eventually won after Quen takes some sort of stomp/pile-driver combination, but that was to be expected considering how much they’ve built up their feud with SCU.  Both teams looked great here and Private Party has a bright future ahead of them as long as they don’t shatter their spines before year’s end!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-16-19)

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

We’re back with even more AEW action!  With Chris Jericho’s stable running roughshod over the AEW locker room and the Tag Team Tournament well underway, AEW already has a lot of balls in the air to keep track of this early into its run.  Can they keep up this balancing act while continuing to put on great matches?  Let’s find out!!

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SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) Vs Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) – Tag Team Tournament

You may be wondering why I listed Scorpio Sky as a competitor when he made it clear he would NOT be in the match last week.  Well before the match can even begin, SCU gets jumped by The Lucha Bros before they can even make it to the ramp.  Christopher Daniels gets injured badly enough that Scorpio Sky has to sub for him.  I’m sure I made this clear before, but I really don’t like injury spots on wrestling shows.  It’s VERY clear here that it’s a work and that Daniels isn’t injured, but I really don’t think it makes for good television to have a guy being dragged out on a stretcher like this.  Sure, if you’re REALLY goofing it up you can get away with it, but it just feels too real in an industry where that kind of thing can ACTUALLY happen.  The match itself is as solid as AEW tag matches tend to be.  SCU is one of my favorite teams there and their presence alone is enough to overcome the utter apathy I have for The Best Friends.  The former team definitely come off as the underdog considering Kazarian was attacked just before the match and Scorpio Sky wasn’t prepared to fight tonight, and sure enough the get the hot tags and then ear falls while The Best Friends are the somewhat incompetent heels (Chuck Taylor dives right on top of Trent Beretta by accident) and it ends with SCU going to the next round of the tournament.  While I would have preferred a straightforward match with Daniels instead of putting him out of the tournament so early (at least save it for round two!), it was the ending I wanted and I’m glad that we’ll see more of SCU in the coming weeks.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-09-19)

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

We’re back with even more AEW!  After Jericho revealed his heel faction last week, will Cody and the rest of THE ELITE band together to face this latest threat?  More importantly though, WILL LUCHASAURUS SHOW UP THIS TIME!?  Seriously, he wasn’t on LAST week and that’s one too many weeks without Luchasaurus!  Let’s hope for the best and take a look at the second episode of AEW Dynamite!

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The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) Vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy) – Tag Team Tournament

Now THIS is a great way to start the show!  I’m a bit cooler on the Young Bucks than a lot of people but there’s no doubt that they are IMMENSELY popular, and I really like what I’ve seen of Private Party so far as they already look poised to be the fan favorites of the company.  Hopefully AEW (unlike what WWE does with a lot of their more talented tag teams) won’t let these two sit on the sidelines for half of their career with this match is a good indication that they won’t.  The match itself was pretty great as both teams are so absolutely fantastic as tag team wrestlers, and Private Party being a lot more straightforward in their style helped to minimize some of the issues I tend to have with The Young Bucks when they’re up against teams like The Lucha Bros.  In fact, what I found particularly interesting is that The Bucks fought like heels for the most part as Private Party were the ones fighting earnestly with big moves and lots of effort while The Bucks come off as much more cocky and taking their time to show off.  Heck, they even use a few underhanded moves like when Nick does a blind tag and another instance where Matt drops Kassidy on the steel ramp.  When they were doing the PPVs, it was a bit hard to tell where they would fall with their endless feud against the Lucha Bros (pretty much being baby faces by default), but I’m all for it if they real are planning on being heels.  They don’t have to be the nastiest players in this (I’m pretty Jericho and his crew have that covered), but being part of THE ELITE has always felt more like a heel position and it’s what has made Cody’s status as a face always feel a bit questionable.  Surprising absolutely everyone (myself included), Private Party actually won against The Young Bucks which puts them in a VERY good position in the tournament taking down the odds on favorite so early.  Like I said, AEW seems to know what to do with young talent like this and I’m glad that The Bucks are willing to step aside to give them such a huge push right now.  It’s probably my favorite thing they’ve done since I’ve started watching AEW!

After the match, Jericho comes out with his merry men of bad guys (Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, and LAX) and takes a good ten minutes to jabber on the mic and make sweet audible love to the teeming masses.  A lot of it is exposition to make sure everyone is up to speed on the title picture, but he can make reading a thesaurus look good and I’m glad that AEW hasn’t COMPLETELY abandoned larger than life characters who are allowed to just talk in the ring.  What we learn from all this is that Jericho’s faction is called THE INNER CIRCLE (so far it’s reminding me of Ric Flair’s faction in TNA known as Four-tune) and that Jake Hager’s collared shirt from the last episode was not a one off; apparently that’s his look going forward which is a shame because it makes him look like a TOTAL dork.  Look, maybe this is yet another unbridled talent that will finally have a chance to shine in a promotion that knows what the heck to do with him, but I don’t know who Jack Swagger or Jake Hager is, and him just staring blankly into the camera with a silly shirt on doesn’t scream AMAZING WRESTLING TALENT as it does I FORGOT ALL MY LINES.  Aside from that though, it was a great way to solidify them as the big heel faction of the company which will certainly keep things interesting in the weeks leading up to the next PPV.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out

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

Well here it is!  After months of trial and error, big announcements, and no real response from WWE, it’s the last show before the AEW experiment goes to prime time television!  Starting in October we will be getting a weekly show from them on TBS and while I doubt they could IMMEDIATELY crash and burn considering how much money there is behind them, it’s still something of a risky venture to go into Vince’s backyard and try to claim a piece for yourself.  WCW failed, TNA failed, and the other guys just kept off of TV altogether.  It’s kind of a big deal, but we’re not really here to talk about all that!  We’re here to find out if this show had any good wrestling on it and if it’s worth your time and money to see it!  Can AEW end their PPV run on a high note as they head to the big leagues, or will this end up as a foreboding vision of things to come?  Let’s find out, and we’ll start with the pre-show!!

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Casino Battle Royale

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We start the night off with another Casino Battle Royale, but unlike the one in Double or Nothing this one is with the women’s division.  What IS like last time however are the overly complicated rules for how the groups are populated and ordered which amount to absolutely nothing because we don’t end up seeing the process; just the result.  With WWE’s Royal Rumble, they don’t make a big deal out of it and just make it a simple lottery system which is easy enough to get across to an audience but also allows for a bit of drama and tension as well; especially if someone tries to cheat it.  The wrestlers here have to draw from a “special deck” but we don’t see the drawing which determines their group, and apparently the don’t determine the group order prior to the match; they shuffle the deck right when the timer goes off and whatever suit is selected goes next.  Again, we don’t actually SEE anyone draw a card to determine the next group, but I like to imagine Cody’s in the back after having called 2 suits and has to pick the third one, but he keeps getting the first two suits over and over and over again until half the deck is on the floor before a new one comes up.  See, THAT might have justified this nonsense!  Anyway, that’s all rather immaterial as it basically boils down to a staggered Battle Royale match, so how is it?  Well I think the problem here is that it’s a Battle Royale that FEELS like it should be paced like a Royal Rumble because of those staggered entrances which are the defining feature of a Royal Rumble.  Sure a Royal Rumble can go on for a rather long time which is whole PPVs are built around them, but the benefit is that the pacing allows for multiple storylines to play out in the ring.  Contrast that with a Battle Royale which are MUCH better for pre-shows where everyone is in the ring at the start and it usually devolves into chaos until the last five or so competitors are left.  The latter is basically what happens here; it’s not until everyone has made it to the ring that it stops being about random spots and constant eliminations to play out into something more substantive; all of which is fine, but the fact they stagger the entrances makes it feel like more should be happening throughout.  It also isn’t helped by the camera work which missed a few eliminations, and while I would normally cut them some slack considering how chaotic this was (some of the more prominent wrestlers got thrown out with little fanfare during other team’s entrances), this is a problem that ended up persisting throughout the entire show and I’ll make sure to point it out when it happened during other matches.

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Look!  They brought in ODB!  See in the corner there?  Yeah, she’s already eliminated, but she still showed up!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Fight for the Fallen

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

We’re back for Part 3 of the AEW saga which will hopefully be better than Alien 3, but probably not as good as Back to the Future Part 3.  Will it be better than the last PPV Fyter Fest?  Well we’ll find out soon enough, but can I point out that twice in a row now they’ve given these shows out away FOR FREE which, even with the TNT deal approaching fast, STILL feels like it’s riding the line between confidence and foolishness.  All I’m saying is that I came to peace with having to pay money for these things, and it’s feeling kind of weird that the moment I do they decide to give them away!  I’m usually not that lucky with these kinds of things, but I guess I’ll ride this no charge train until it derails!

So before we get started, let’s talk about the setup of the show itself.  There’s a slight change to the ring here in that there’s a ramp leading directly to it rather than a ramp to the outside where they have to then climb in.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of a raised platform on the outside of the ring, but I never noticed it hindering anyone and they managed to sue it effectively a few times throughout.  The open air theater is fine even if I’m usually not a big fan of it as natural lighting feels a bit dull, but they do it late in the day so most of the matches are at night under controlled lighting anyway so it works out fine and it ends up feeling like a casual affair rather than a full on Double or Nothing production.  It’s good that they kept things on a much lighter note here because I’ll tell you right now, this is the worst show they’ve done so far even if it’s still a solid wrestling program.  We’ll get to why soon enough, but if it has an edge over Fyter Fest they at least set the tone right with this almost picnic vibe to keep it all feeling more casual.  That also extends to the announce table though as our three announcers feel like they’ve regressed back to Double or Nothing; struggling to find things to talk about; especially in the lower key matches that really could have used the boost.  Matches like, just for example… the first one on the preshow!

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Peter Avalon “The Librarian” vs Sonny Kiss

AEWFFTF1“The Librarian” is accompanied to the ring by Leva Bates “The Librarian”

First things first!  The last time we saw Sunny Kiss was when he was shoving her butt into Tommy Dreamers face back in the Double or Nothing Battle Royale and on top of that, I referred to him as a woman.  I did in fact assume their gender and it turns out that I was wrong.  According to a tweet from Sonny Kiss, he uses He/Him pronouns so I will use those going forward.  ANYWAY!  The Librarians have gotten quite a bit of flak in the short amount of time and while I DO appreciate what they’re going for and just how much heat they’re willing to take from the audience, I honestly I don’t think this match is doing them much favors.  First major problem is that Peter Avalon shouldn’t take off his librarian costume.  Wearing traditional wrestling trunks as he does in this match, he looks like a dork and not in the good way.  Certain heel gimmicks need to carry into the ring for them to work; particularly ones where the gimmick is that they are not in fact wrestlers.  Just look at Baron Corbin who is a pretty effective heel and never takes off his “manger” outfit when he’s in the ring, at least as far I’ve seen, and it helps convey his status as a sniveling authority figure.  Sonny Kiss on the other hand projects style, grace, and attitude through every costume choice, every move he makes in the ring, and every appeal to the audience whenever Peter’s on the ground.  I think the gimmick can work, but there’s certainly room left to tweak it.

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“Can I join your team?”     “Only if you can look half as good as I do.”     “Dang it…”

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing

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

Welcome to all you Marks, Smarks, and everything in between, to my very first recap of a wrestling show!!  Now I’ve been watching WWE pretty consistently for the past year as wrestling is something I’ve always been interested in but I always felt there were barriers to entry that kept me away from it.  Well thankfully WWE solved that problem right away with the amazing WWE Network that only costs ten bucks a month, had more or less up to date content (the shows there are a month behind the live broadcast) AND it had the ENTIRE BACKLOG OF CONTENT stretching back to its earliest broadcast days in case you wanted to catch up on anything that you didn’t know the full story of!  Even so, becoming a fan of this stuff has also let me in on some of the more pernicious things about the company that can sometime temper my enthusiasm.  Vince is still a MASSIVE jerk, the Saudi Arabia deal is a total disaster, healthcare for the talent is still a problem, and the company keeps scumbags like Hulk Hogan and Randy Orton on their payroll.  It’s almost like there should be a viable alternative brand out there or something, but where are we gonna get one of THOSE!?  Anyway, let’s take a serious look at what Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, and a couple of billionaires managed to put together in what is no doubt the most hyped and anticipated wrestling show of the year!!

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First Impressions

Before we get to any of the matches, I wanted to point out two key points that apply to the show as a whole.  First, the production is FANTASTIC!  I’ve seen a couple of TNA shows and a bout or two of Ring of Honor, and they always looked like the lesser version of what WWE can put together; what with their massive screens, multi-camera setup, and detailed set design to really give them a flashy and professional presentation.  Fortunately AEW has realized that this is gonna be a key thing to figure out right off the bat because if they LOOK like a second rate company then people will TREAT THEM like a second rate company, and after this show I don’t think anyone will be doing that!  Sure, it’s not WRESTLEMANIA or even some of the higher end PPVs as far as production, scope, and sizzle, but its right up there with what Raw and SmackDown pulls off each week.  Where it DOES lag behind WWE however, is the commentary; particularly that Excalibur guy who doesn’t have a particularly commanding voice and seems to fumble over his lines a fair bit.  It’s not just him though; the other guy (I don’t even remember his name) and even JR seemed a bit rusty here and they seriously need to work the kinks out of this before they get to their television deal.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s start with the Pre-show matches!!

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Casino Battle Royale

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The Clubs: Dustin Thomas, MJF (Maxwell Jacob Friedman), Sunnny Daze (James Dylan), Brandon Cutler, and Michael Nakazawa
The Diamonds: Brian Pillman Jr, Orange Cassidy, Jimmy Havoc (James Mcahren), Shawn Spears
The Hearts: Billy Gunn, Glacier (Raymond Lloyd), Jungle Boy (Jack Perry), Marq Quen, and Ace Romero
The Spades: Luchasaurus (Austin Matelson), Marko Stunt, Sonny Kiss, and Tommy Dreamer
The Joker: Adam “Hangman” Page

Now the thing about Battle Royale matches is that while they can be flashy and fun, they’re also kind of a mess to stage and so a lot of the time you have people hanging out in corners for a long time or someone getting a bit of momentum before being stopped in their tracks so someone ELSE can have the spotlight.  With the right timing and a lot of flexibility on the participants though, it CAN be great.  This one?  Eh… I wasn’t all too into it.  The first thing that felt odd was that they set up these rules about people going out in waves and how it was ALL random, but it still felt incredibly staged so why not just say that AEW management set up four groups themselves?  Why the elaborate explanation about a deck of cards; especially when we don’t SEE anyone draw from it?  I guess that’s the benefit of a weekly show where you can spend ten minutes having your wrestlers dramatic draw cards and set up the dynamics for each bracket, but on a PPV it felt needlessly complicated.  Ignoring that though, the Battle Royale itself felt like it moved at a snail’s until at least three of the brackets came in, but there were some highlights!  MJF cemented himself as the de-facto heel right off the bat by kicking Dustin Thomas in the face and calling him Lieutenant Dan.  In case you didn’t know, Dustin Thomas is a wrestler with no legs, which proves that MJF hasn’t seen a movie since the late nineties.  I bet at some point he’s gonna shout RUN FOREST, RUN at someone who’s running to the ring or maybe even do a SHOW ME THE MONEY gimmick.  The other great thing that happened very early in this match is Michael Nakazawa busting out a bottle of baby oil and just COVERING himself with the biggest smile you could ever imagine!  I mean it DID help him out of a jam at least, but you’d think someone would want to do that BEFORE they got into trouble!

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I wish I could enjoy ANYTHING in life as much as Michael Nakazawa loves being covered in baby oil…

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