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!!

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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!

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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!!

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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.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-12-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Did you all know that the next PPV All Out is going to be on September 5th!?  That feels WAY too soon, doesn’t it!?  Then again, who knows anymore?  What does time even MEAN when we’re all cooped up in our houses and alternating between sleeping, eating, and binge watching?  Well if we’re stuck in these rote rituals for the foreseeable future, we may as well keep recapping these AEW shows until things get better which by my estimation should be what, fifteen years?  In any case, let’s see what AEW has for us on this show which has a greatly hyped main event and some sort of tag team celebration!  Let’s get started!!

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The Young Bucks Vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

Before The Bucks can finish doing their poses and get in the ring, three Creepers come out from the back and start pounding away at them; softening them up as Grayson and Uno casually saunter to the ring!  The Dark Order has REALLY come into their own in the last few weeks and has become one of the most pervasive elements in the show.  Considering how much of a joke they were just a few months ago, it’s a testament to AEW and their foresight in seeing what The Dark Order could become if given enough time to work out the kinks.  After Nick Jackson gets unceremoniously tossed into the ring, Matt Jackson goes to take out the Creepers outside the ring, but in doing so opens himself up for a devastating Suicide Dive from Grayson.  Uno and Grayson then proceed to brutalize and tenderize poor Nick Jackson and look darn good doing it!  I may not have used these exact words in the past, but I find Evil Uno to be one of the most magnetic personalities in the company; a guy who imbues his character into all of his actions and has a great rapport with his partner Grayson.  He’s also a genuinely good worker even if he’s not exactly THE BEST wrestler at the company and does a great job selling for The Bucks once they get their comeback.  The only thing that’s kind of throwing me off a bit is that Uno has some sort of gimmick going on with the tape he has wrapped around his wrist.  He’s at his best when he’s being clever and this feels like an attempt at that, but I’m just not getting it.  In any case, The Bucks’ comeback is cut short and Matt finds himself outside the ring surrounded by three Creepers with a very intense looking Evil Uno waiting for him to jump back in the ring.  Matt’s ingenious move to escape is to dive under the ring itself and come out the side which was a fun little spot.  Another fun spot was when Evil Uno did that thing where he grabs Matt Jackson’s leg, tossed it to the ref, and then gave him a Cutter.  It seems to be his new thing, and I certainly still enjoy it!  Sadly it’s not enough to secure victory for my favorite Spooky Perverts, and the turning point back to the Bucks is when Matt lands a hellacious spear on Evil Uno which gives him enough time to give Nick the hot tag.  Nick runs wild; throwing Grayson into the crowd and Super Kicking Uno in the head.  After The Bucks land a Risky Business on Uno, Matt goes for the pin but only gets a two count.  Undeterred, the duo lands a draping Swanton Bomb onto Uno and would surely have gotten the pin if Uno hadn’t gotten his foot on the ropes.  See, this is why special moves should be in the middle of the ring!  You’re just wasting your EX meter if you do it near the edge!  Grayson comes out of NOWHERE and gives Matt Jackson a Huricanrana from the top ropes at which point the two start trading big moves and near falls.  Grayson takes Matt Jackson and throws him into the entrance tunnel; leaving the Creepers to guard it while the two of them finish off Nick Jackson.  It looks like they’re about to win, but Nick Jackson manages to wriggle out of Uno’s hold and turns it into a pin.  Grayson runs as FAST as he can and is FLYING through the air to break up the pin, but he is a second too late and Nick Jackson gets the win to the shame and consternation of The Dark Order.  This was an AMAZING opening match and was a GREAT example of what I want to see in tag team matches like this!  We’ve gotten quite a few tag matches the last few weeks and while some of them have been good, this one blows the rest out of the water as far as I’m concerned, and I cannot wait to see what Uno and Grayson do next.  Maybe they’ll even WIN a match on Dynamite!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-08-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 2

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back for another week great matches as AEW and NXT fight tooth and nail with their in-between-PPV spectaculars!  Last week had some really great matches on hand, though suffered from a comparably less exciting main event that probably led to NXT just barely edging them out on the ratings.  Can AEW improve upon the already great showing they had last week and make a great show for the ages, or are they just gonna hand another week of bragging rights to the other show?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Private Party – Tag Team Championship Match

Private Party are accompanied to the ring by Matt Hardy

The big problem with the Omega/Hangman tag title run is the lack of tension; both in terms of the matches themselves as there aren’t many teams who seem to stand a chance against them, and as far as the storytelling as there’s no real beef between them or any of their recent opponents.  Belt chases are fine and enough justification for SOME title matches, but Omega and Page as champions simply don’t have anything else going on.  Heck, everyone in the division seems to LIKE them as the champs, and they’ve only fought nominally face tag teams these last two weeks, so where are the bitter rivalries; the reasons to fight OUTSIDE of just the belt?  Heck, this would have been a good chance for Private Party to heel out just a bit as Omega and Page seem to be taking them lightly (Omega starts the match by giving Marq Quen a lot of room to strut his stuff, but it’s clear that he is in control the entire time), so a few mean spirited shots or even a low blow could be enough to take Omega and Page into overdrive; giving Private Party the proper challenge they deserve and making this match have some genuine pop to it.  Instead, it’s just a VERY well done match between the two teams which I guess is more than you’d get from tag team matches at other companies, but it still feels like they could have done more with this.  The ebb and flow start to even out a bit as the match goes along, but you still don’t get the sense the Private Party is on an equal level; especially when Page and Omega take turns fighting both of them off on their own.  Frankly, the only time I was concerned for the champs here was when Omega takes a bump to the outside and grabs his shoulder which is troubling as the guy MIGHT have been fighting hurt for a while now and I don’t want him to burn himself out only one year into AEW.  In any case, Private Party go for the Gin and Juice on Page, but Kenny interrupts with the V-Trigger which allows Page to reverse his predicament into an Avalanche Liger Bomb on Kassidy.  With Marq Quen outside the ring, Kenny and Omega land the Last Call on Isiah Kassidy which gives Page the pin and continues the team’s unbeaten streak.  Like I said, the in-ring action was fine, but I’m having trouble caring about the individual matches these two have when they feel rather arbitrary and without a compelling story to tell.  Also, why was Matt Hardy even there!?  You get Matt Hardy to show up at ringside, and then don’t do anything with him!?

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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!!

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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.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-27-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Now that Double or Nothing is in our rearview mirror, this week’s dynamite has the unenviable task of trying to pick things up where the big payoff of the show left off and start things fresh, all while making an entertaining wrestling program in the worst time to be running wrestling shows!  Is this a successful follow-up enticing us with things to come, or are they gonna need another week or so to get their wind back?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with The Inner Circle at their lowest point; commiserating their lose in the Stadium Stampede match at Double or Nothing.  It’s not just because this latest failure is yet another hit to their ego (and even more broken bones for Sammy), they had purchased boxes upon boxes of INNER CIRCLE STADIUM STAMPEDE CHAMPIONS shirts in anticipation of their victory, and now they won’t be able to sell them.  I’m not sure why as I’d certainly buy one of those shirts, but in any case, this is yet another hilarious segment from The Inner Circle and really got the show off on the right note!

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Young Bucks & Matt Hardy Vs. Private Party & Joey Janela – Six Man Tag Match

Speaking of great comedy segments, Matt Hardy and The Bucks have a promo before the match where they cycle through Hardy Personas to find the right fit for the match which is one upbeat pop song away from a Trying On Clothes Montage in an eighties film.  I’m actually not sure which personality the settle on as it’s implied to be an even earlier version of Matt Hardy than the Hardy Boyz persona and I didn’t realize there was such a thing, but regardless of that it’s always fun to see what he comes up with and how he changes his style and presence depending on what side of him he settles on.  It’s actually kind of a brilliant gimmick that I’m surprised more wrestlers don’t do!  We were certainly begging for Christopher Daniels to be the Fallen Angel again during his feud with The Dark Order, right?  As far as the match itself… well, it’s fine but perhaps a bit too straightforward.  We haven’t seen The Bucks team together in some time and Matt Hardy is really hot right now, so Private Party and Joey Janela are once again on hand to make the other talent look good.  Sure the whole thing is in no way a squash match as AEW is not about burying its talent, but it feels a bit too much like they’re just going through the motions to shake off the ring rust after The Bucks’ long sabbatical.  Still, Isiah, Marq, and Joey put a lot of heart into this match and certainly hold their own against The Bucks and Hardy even if we know where it’s all headed.  The match comes to an end when The Bucks land a Bang For Your Buck on Isiah Kassidy (which basically means they jump on him three times), and Matt Hardy pins whatever’s left for the win.  As soon as the bell rings, Matt Hardy jumps down and helps Marq Quen to the back with the ref and a very bruised Isiah Kassidy in tow; leaving The Bucks alone in the ring and Joey… somewhere else I guess.  They are then immediately jumped by The Butcher & The Blade, presumably still upset about the Superkick, when out of nowhere a car rolls up on Daily’s Stadium and none other than the former Revival who are now referred to as FTR get out and head to the ring.  Initially, they feign assisting The Butcher & The Blade… but instead they turn around and whoop their butts; saving The Young Bucks from the savage beating they were in the middle of.  After the ring is clear and it’s just FTR and The Bucks, FTR walks out of the ring and out of Daily’s place without a word but definitely making their mark.  These guys have been MISERABLE for the past year or so under their WWE contract and I’m glad to see them on TV again and clearly enjoying what they’re doing!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-13-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite: Miami!  Okay, it’s actually in Jacksonville, but with Florida very thoughtlessly opening its doors again, AEW is back in Daily’s Stadium to film their weekly wrestling shows, and while I’m a bit unclear on if this week was live or not they DID make a point of saying that everyone was tested and they’re wearing yellow wristbands to prove it.  The tests, of course, are not one hundred percent accurate, but I guess we’ve all decided that that doesn’t matter for some reason.  ANYWAY!  Will this be another fun serious of matches as we inch ever closer to the Double or Nothing PPV!?  Let’s find out!!

We begin with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts getting into the ring so that the former can look scary while the latter talks trash.  He goes after Brandi Rhodes in particular and gets SUPER misogynistic about it, which… I don’t know; does this kind of heel promo still play well?  I know he’s supposed to be a BAD GUY and therefore is supposed to say BAD THINGS, but his talk about a woman’s place is in the kitchen is dated and cheap in a way that promos from more clever guys like MJF don’t, and frankly, there are still enough people out there who legitimately think that way for it to not feel more like a surly uncle grabbed the mic at the wedding and is embarrassing everyone there.  Thankfully Jake’s YouTube VLOG gets interrupted by the revving of a mighty engine as Cody has arrived in his F150 and is looking to make good use of it!  Said F150 has his silly Nightmare Family logo emblazed across its hood which is only slightly less silly than putting it on your neck, and what he ends up doing with the truck is smash like one trashcan which feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity; especially since Jericho and Sammy got blasted by a golf cart in the last episode.  The ensuing brawl is at least really good as Cody proceeds to kick Archer right in the balls and goes to take a swing at Roberts without missing a beat.  However, his arrogance proves to be his folly as Archer is no mere mortal man and has balls of pure steel, so before Cody can even get to the ring Archer has recovered and smashes him onto the apron.  From there they proceed to try and hit each other with their special moves and neither manages to land them which is a great way of building up the PPV match between them; teasing the moves and making both guys look very strong in the process.  It was a bit flabby at the beginning with Jake’s bad Andrew Dice Clay impression and Cody’s car stalling out after hitting a waste paper basket, but after a few minutes, the segment got its groove and proved to be a solid start to the program.

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Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) Vs. The Best Friends

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Mark Stunt while The Best Friends are accompanied by Orange Cassidy

This is DEFINITELY the kind of match that I should be whooping and hollering about, but something felt a bit off here.  There’s a lot of decent work here (especially in the second half when things really start to heat up), but some of the spots just felt contrived.  There’s a spot where Jungle Boy is on the top ropes with Trent on Chuck Taylor’s shoulders, and for whatever reason Chuck WON’T JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY and just stands there while Jungle Boy SLOWLY stands up and does a dropkick on Trent.  That was the really bad one and there are a few other odd spots throughout (mostly on Chuck’s end) but they do manage to tell an interesting story here between Trent and Luchasaurus which does a lot to salvage the match.  Trent starts out getting completely overpowered by Luchasaurus and he spends most of his time in the ring trying to find a way to cut the big man down to size which he eventually does with a hellacious spear followed by a Swinging DDT later in the match.  Unfortunately the ending kind of sucked the momentum out of that story because Fenix comes flying out of nowhere with a kick to Orange Cassidy and in the confusion, MJF smashes Jungle Boy into the ring post.  Seemingly unaware of what just happened, Chuck sees Jungle Boy dazed and lands his terrifying pile driver which he calls an Awful Waffle on the poor kid and gets the pin.  On top of all that, Wardlow takes a swing at Marko Stunt once the bell rings, so I guess they’re setting up some shenanigans for the MJF/Jungle Boy PPV match in just over a week.  I don’t mind when shenanigans happen in the ring to set up a future match, but they’re better served for matches that could use the extra bit of spice rather than ones that are going towards an interesting conclusion.  Hopefully, we’ll follow up on what’s being built up between Trent and Luchasaurus, but aside from that, I thought the match was fine.  Nothing special, but it’s always fun to see a dinosaur wrestle!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-06-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back, not only with AEW Dynamite but with AEW Dynamite LIVE.  Yes, it’s their first live show in quite some time despite circumstances REALLY not changing since they decided to stop doing them, but I guess they want to get things as close to normal as soon as possible so with the return to Florida they’ve got quite a stacked show for us.  Is it a return to form after a few weeks of good but compromised episodes, or are we in for the same matches we were already getting; just in a bigger room?  Let’s find out!!

So first thing’s first, we’re back at Daily’s Place in Florida since they’ve lifted restrictions on wrestling shows; calling them an “essential service” despite there being nothing essential about it, and with the way these empty arena shows are done, almost no benefit to the local economy.  Now sure, I’ll admit that the BIGGER stadium looks better than shoebox they were using for all those taped shows, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this is only happening because local, state, AND the federal government are all acting irresponsibly for short term gain, and the fact that they are doing this live instead of taping a whole bunch of content only makes it that much worse.  Yes, I know Tony Khan sent out a tweet saying EVERYONE WAS TESTED NEGATIVE, but even if we assume those tests are accurate (they aren’t always), it just feels like a bad precedent to set for everyone else who wants to reopen business before it’s safe to.  In any case, they’ve got pyro, a big screen, more room for the wrestlers on the sidelines to distance themselves (I guess we can count that as a plus), and Jericho is off announcing duty to be replaced by both Excalibur and JR.  I’m certainly glad that they’re back, but Jericho’s hilarious commentary, as well as his chemistry with Schiavone, was something special and we should definitely see more of it in the future.  Anyway, onto the first match!

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Cody Vs. Joey Janela

I actually do not remember if we’ve seen these two lock-up before.  Joey fought Moxley in a really good match and Kenny Omega in a not so good one, but Cody?  Not ringing a bell.  I’m certainly interested to see how this will go with Janela playing a decidedly mid-card role at the company and Cody’s a pretty big star to put him against, but then again the lines between A-List talent and the B-Team have started to blur now that everyone’s fighting in empty arenas (and QT Marshall’s back yard), and I’ll be darned if Joey doesn’t look GREAT here so maybe I was a bit too harsh on the guy!  Joey tends to come off as a jokey guy where funny expressions and painful spots take precedence over… big moves and physicality, but he takes this match seriously and pulls off a lot of decent offense with quite a bit of speed.  Still, it looks like a bit of a mix up when Joey takes the advantage and Cody’s stuck on the floor.  That feels a bit unbelievable where something more competitive throughout would have probably come off a bit better.  The Colt Cabana Vs. Lance Archer match is a good example of someone looking AMAZING all the way through a match despite never truly having the advantage, and I think it would have served both men if Cody stayed in control for more of this.  Things eventually even out in the match after he dodges a run from Joey and follows it up with a Disaster Kick to the face, and after some decent moves from both sides, Cody eventually snags the win with a surprise Cross Rhodes out of nowhere.  It dragged a TINY bit due to Cody overselling for Joey, but this was a solid match to start off with and I’m glad that they reestablished the Cross Rhodes as such a devastating move.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-29-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another week of AEW Thunderdome where the wanders of the empty world battle it out for supremacy, at least that’s I how I figure Lance Archer sees it whenever he steps into the ring!  The last few weeks have been quite solid with Jericho’s commentary bringing a lot of life to the show and the TNT Tournament giving us something to grab onto while all the other storylines are put on hold, but with the announcement that AEW will be going live next week (despite PLENTY of reasons not to), this is perhaps the end of an era for this show.  Do they go out on a high note or will we be begging for the changes that next week will bring?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Vs. Darby Allin – TNT Tournament Semi-Final

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Cody Rhodes

The TNT tournament by all accounts has been a success.  The matches have been solid, they’ve worked hard to sell the belt as something worth chasing, and having Lance Archer in the background as an unstoppable monster like Toguro has certainly raised the stakes in every one of these matches.  The only real problem is that the one that no one can control; namely that the matches feel undercut being in such a small arena with such a small crowd.  Then again, it MIGHT help the rest of us not notice if they didn’t try to recreate PPV matches like the Darby/Sammy match from last week or even this match right here, but they have to work with what they’ve got and if nothing else the show starts with a REALLY solid promo for the match.  It’s not Darby Allin’s usual black and white shtick, but there is some genuine artistry on display here with some serious mood lighting as the two talk portentously about how much they want to win the belt.  It puts us in the best possible mindset for the upcoming match

The match starts off with a band as both of them want to end it as soon as possible; trading blows and zero count pins faster than Jericho can throw out wiseacre jabs.  There’s a spot early on where Darby charges at Cody who dodges it easily, but Brandi what RIGHT in front of him when he did and so Darby smashes right into her.  Come on dude, what did you THINK was gonna happen?  Even Jericho calls Cody out for putting his wife in the path of destruction like that!  However, it does seem to get Cody all fired up and he maintains control of the match for a good bit which allows Darby to do the one thing he’s best at; namely take an obscene amount of damage and look darn good doing it!  There is a weird spot later in the match where it LOOKS like Darby is distracting ref Aubrey while Cody is outside the ring and he gets bashed over the head by Britt Baker wielding a sandal.  I’m not sure what that’s about as Darby may not be exactly a GOOD guy, but I’ve never known him to be a straight up cheater, nor a particular friend of Britt Baker.  Maybe she just felt like hitting someone and Darby JUST SO HAPPENED to have something important to say to the ref, but in any case it manages to even things out between them as we head into the final stretch of the match.  They start trading finishers, Cody teases the weight belt but doesn’t use it, and Darby even nails Cody with the Cross-Rhodes which got a nearfall so close that I genuinely thought for a minute there that they were gonna swerve us!  T’was not to be however as Cody kicks out of it, and after a few more moves from both men including a Cross-Rhodes from Cody himself, the match does come to a close in an… interesting fashion.  Cody goes for a Moonsault off the top rope but Darby gets his knees up and follows it up IMMEDIATELY with the Coffin Drop.  From the angle they showed it, looked like Darby actually got the pin off of this, but it turns out that Cody was able to grab him and twist him slightly backwards so that HIS shoulders were on the mat and Cody did indeed just barely get the pin!  Admittedly the ending looked a BIT silly, but this match was GREAT because despite the ending feeling rather pre-determined it did manage to feel competitive.  Letting Darby get THAT close to victory and having him do Cody’s own move against him created genuine drama that Cody MIGHT just lose the match which made it one of the better matches we’ve gotten in the last few weeks!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-29-20)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-25-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We back with week two of AEW Aftermath: The Post-Apocalyptic series where the whole world is gone except for these brave heroes putting on shows in an empty arena for all the zombies and mutants still roaming the wastelands!  I mean good on them for putting out another episode, but I’m not sure how much longer they’re gonna get away with doing this live every week as things seem to only be getting worse in this country.  Still, as long as we have Dynamite I’ll be here to let you know about it!

The episode begins with Cody, Kenny, and Tony in the announcer’s booth.  Apparently JR and Excalibur couldn’t make it for whatever reason; though we are assured that they everyone is fine.  In addition to the lack of announcers, we also don’t have a crowd of wrestlers outside the ring like we did last time.  Instead we have like five dudes in some sort of back room watching the show that we occasionally cut back to.  I don’t want to dock the show for things it can’t control as they clearly had trouble getting as many people as they did, but the people outside the ring cheering and jeering as the matches went on was such a big part of what made last week’s episode work as well as it did.  Thankfully Tony and our rotating cast of announcers try talking AS MUCH as possible during the matches so that it never gets too quiet.

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Cody Vs. Jimmy Havoc

I haven’t been keeping up with Dark, so maybe Jimmy’s been showing up there a few times, but damn has it been a long time!  I remember he was getting a decent enough storyline with Tony Kahn, but I get the feeling that his drunken scuffle with Excalibur halted that right in its tracks.  Still, desperate times call for desperate measures, so I guess Jimmy’s back in good graces for now.  The story of the match is that Cody isn’t really taking Jimmy seriously, and frankly neither is Kenny who’s calling this match with Tony.  They see him as nothing more than a sparring partner to keep Cody in shape between now and the eventual Blood and Guts match which is not a bad idea for a story, but I still don’t feel like Jimmy is proving Cody wrong ENOUGH for him to really start taking him seriously.  Still, Jimmy is a good worker and is willing to get rough and dirty with the biggest Face at the company which is not nothing, and I think a less flashy style works better in an empty arena when there isn’t a crowd to play to.  Cody didn’t get that message however as he does that thing where he runs to the back and then runs back at full speed to do a lariat on his opponent.  It’s a good move, but without a crowd it doesn’t hit as hard.  What DOES hit hard though is when Jimmy takes something called a Reverse Suplex from the top rope which to ME looks an attempt to MURDER the guy by dropping him on his head that he just barely escapes from.  Cody follows that up with two Cross Rhodes which feel rather muted since there was no applause when he hit it, and then he gets the pin to similarly muted effect.  Not a bad match given the circumstances, but just didn’t have the same oomph to it like the matches from last week.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-25-20)”