Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-20-2021)

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

Yes, this one is a tad on the late side which by now shouldn’t be a surprise for any of you, but it was a busy week for the rest of the site which, if you haven’t been perusing lately, is full of delightful articles and reviews for you all to enjoy!  In any case, we’re in a bit of an odd situation where we’re just coming off of their New Year’s Bash even and we’re already closing in another special in just a few weeks with their similarly titled Beach Bash.  The episode is certainly not in the most envious position as the very deliberate nadir between two big shows, but can AEW make even their slower and less explosive episodes pop like a PPV main event?  Let’s find out!!

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The Dark Order (Silver, Reynolds, and Colt Cabana) & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Chaos Project & The Hybrid2 – Eight Man Tag Match

This match was set up in celebration of Negative One’s birthday (Brodie Jr) and the best part is that they brought a cake out and tried to light it; only to realize that Daily’s Place is an OUTSIDE venue and so Grayson and Angels had to cover the candles while Anna Jay tried to light them.  Silver then leads the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday which is as endearing as it is out of tune.  Then Chaos Project come out so that Dr. Luther can heckle the birthday boy, and I didn’t know what I was expecting his voice to sound like but he kinda sounds like an off brand Chris Jericho which is perhaps why they get along so well.  Luther gets all up in this kid’s face and tells him that he’s going to RUIN his birthday which sets The Dark Order off as they start hammering this Mr. Burns wannabe, but then TH2 come out from the back to even the odds and the brawling makes its way to the outside of the ring.  Then Adam Page’s music hits and he has perhaps the BEST entrance of his entire AEW career!  He runs out and jumps from the stage onto the crowd below which is pretty standard, but the camera man was SO on point here that Page should send him a fruit basket.  Dude was right there below the stage so that he was pointing his camera UP at Page and followed him as he sailed through the air; making it look like he was straight up flying before crashing down like a meteorite!  As for the match itself, it’s pretty good and more or less a chaotic mess of dudes jumping around and taking bumps, but it definitely goes with super hero themed birthday party atmosphere of it all; right down to Dr Luther taking a bump into a cake.  Well he KINDA took the bump.  He instinctively put his arm between him and the table which is a good thing, but it also left his face about an inch over the cake so he had to mash himself into it to get the spot right.  With Luther out of the way and TH2 indisposed, Serpentico is alone in the ring which leaves Reynolds, Silver, and Hangman to do that awesome combination move that I love so much!  Forearm, Step Up, Stunner, Buckshot Lariat, and a bridged German Suplex for the pin!  Oh, but they aren’t done with him yet!  Negative One, the presumptive new leader of The Dark Order, has Stu Grayson hold up Serpentico so that he can wail on him with a Kendo Stick and then follows up with a stack of papers to the face that Serpentico sells like a face full of hydrochloric acid!  The match itself was probably shorter than all the shenanigans going on around it and I’m sure that’ll annoy a lot of people.  I certainly do hope that the Dark order retains at least some of its menace even if they are going in this lighthearted direction, but as a way to start off the show, it’s fun, it’s lighthearted, and how you can be mad about a kid getting to celebrate his birthday with a bunch of wrestlers?  So now that the match is over with Negative One getting his revenge and The Dark Order stand tall once again; it’s time for the big question and Jon Silver gets down on one knee to ask it!  Will Adam Page join The Dark Order!?  Well, the answer is… no.  Clearly The Dark Order wasn’t expecting that because before he can even get the full answer out they prematurely set off a pre-planned celebration; complete with confetti, titantron graphics, and cheesy fanfare to make the moment all the more tragic!  They even got a bunch of shirtless creepers in jeans and hats to boot scoot out from the back before being chased off by Stu Grayson!  Look it’s not them, it’s him!  He’s done the group thing before and he’s just not in a place in his life where he wants to do that again.  They can still be friends, right?  Well everyone looks utterly crushed about this and Page sheepishly heads to the back so maybe its choppy waters going forward as Page managed to tick off yet another faction in AEW.  Gotta feel sorry for the guy as he keeps getting himself stuck in these situations he’s just not equipped for.  A month ago I would have said this was a great time for the Dark Order to reassert themselves as bad guys and start feuding with Page, but it doesn’t look like we’re heading in that direction any time soon so we’ll have to wait and see what the plan is going forward.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-23-2020)

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

There was zero chance of me getting this recap out in a reasonable amount of time considering they put the episode on Christmas Eve Eve, but with the tragedy that happened over the weekend it got even harder to just sit down and get this recap done.  Heck, I didn’t even finish watching the episode until last night with less than 2 days to go before the next one!  Still, AEW Dynamite, even during the times where it’s hardest to sit down and watch, is still a genuine highlight of my week and they’ve definitely had a solid string of shows during the holiday season.  Is their Christmas episode so good we’ll want to revisit it every Christmas, or is it one of those OTHER Christmas specials we only watch once and try to pretend never existed like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer or December to Dismember?  Let’s find out!!

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Top Flight (Darius Martin & Duante Martin) Vs. Jericho & MJF

Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager

I’ve been a bit down on Top Flight, but it looks like AEW has a lot of faith in them to carry the company if given enough seasoning; otherwise why would they have been put up against not just The Bucks but JERICHO within weeks of debuting on Dynamite?  Jericho to his credit gives A LOT up to Top Flight right off the bat as they beat the ever loving crap out of him with a series of flippy moves, but they’re not about to outmatch the Demo God just yet because despite the relentless assault they can only manage to get a one count.  That’s perhaps what makes this match a LITTLE bit weird.  Jericho and MJF will bump all around for these two, but as soon as its time to get the heat it’s a complete 180 reversal; and they’re the dominate heels again bullying the fresh faced youngsters.  Sure, there’s SOME of that in any tag team match, but the turns feel a bit more jarring.  The ending was also a little bit much for me, but I guess I can buy it.  Top Flight are on the verge of winning the match after Daunte takes out Jericho by the time keeper’s table and Darius has MJF to himself, but Jake Hager manages to sweep Darius off the apron and smash his face on the way down; giving MJF the chance to pile drive the man and get the three count.  On the one hand, Jericho and MJF, two of the most protected people in the company, had to cheat to beat these two.  On the other hand, they are untested as a tag team so perhaps a lack of cohesion here or a strong defense against this kind of tag team is to be expected.  It wasn’t bad or anything and it definitely had some great spots; I just found it a bit curious just how hard they were trying to make sure EVERYONE looked good even if it made the selling look a bit silly.   

After the match, Hager grabs the mic to congratulate his fellow Inner Circle members, but there’s something that’s been perplexing him for two weeks now.  WHERE IS WARDLOW!?  He’s upset that Wardlow has been away on “family business” and so he had Tony Khan schedule a friendly little spar next week on Dynamite between the two of them and Wardlow better show up!  Hager actually has some good delivery here and it’s nice to hear him take the mic again, but I’d be cautious of using Wardlow’s absence in a storyline; especially if the family business in question is SERIOUS business.

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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!!

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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!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-18-2020)

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

Another week means another two hours of AEW wrestling goodness!  Well actually it’s THREE hours, but I’m still not caught up on Dark which is proving to be more and more of a problem as angles and storylines that affect Dynamite play out on that show.  Look, I’m a busy man!  I can’t be watching more wrestling AND keep up my absurdly tight schedule of a wrestling recap and a Sonic comic every week!  In any case, Does AEW have a fantastic night of Dynamite action in store for us or are they still finding their path after the big blow offs from the PPV?  Let’s find out!!

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Young Bucks Vs. Top Flight (Darius Martin & Duante Martin) – AEW Tag Team Title Match

They aren’t exactly taking my advice of vacating the titles while Matt Jackson heals his leg, but at least they took a week off to give them a bit of rest before jumping right into a match mere days after their thirty or so minute bout with FTR.  Now it seems like they might be going the Cody route and use the title as a chance to bring up some new talent with Top Flight getting not just a chance at the titles but also an extended video package explaining their backstory and why they want to wrestle in AEW.  Now it sounds like they have in fact signed with AEW which is a good thing for all involved; not just because it means a return on investment on all this TV time they’re giving them, but Top Flight seem to be a PHENOMENAL team!  A little green to be sure, but they put on a heck of a performance here against The Bucks.  Back when The Bucks were facing off with The Lucha Bros during those early PPVs, I was of the opinion that they were too spot heavy and didn’t tell a story or had any weight to it.  I don’t know if I’d feel the same way watching them again, but I definitely got that feeling watching this match with Top Flight.  They have spot on physicality and their gymnastic skills rival that of The Bucks, but you can tell which team is following a script and which one’s leading the show.  After an early flurry of flips and spins from Top Flight, The Bucks work to ground Top Flight with big moves and submissions, but the fresh young go getters prove to be more resilient than they expected and make a valiant rally to even things.  This is where they show a bit more of their technical side instead of just their flips and kicks which is solid but still could use some fine tuning, though perhaps the most impressive and devastating spot being a Hurricanrana onto Matt Jackson that takes him from the turnbuckle to flat on the mat for a two count.  What they do have down though (Duante in particular) is selling as the Bucks regain control and just tear these two apart.  Darius keeps getting swatted off the apron over and over again which leaves Duante in the middle against both Bucks who basically turn him into a crash test dummy.  A spear from Matt, an Assisted Sliced Bread off the top rope, and finally he eats a BTE trigger before getting pinned by Nick Jackson.  The Hybrid 2 for whatever reason start attacking Top Flight as soon as the match is over, but they get chased off by The Bucks rather quickly.  I guess I don’t mind that they’re building up a feud here so that Top Flight doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, but it does kind of come out of nowhere and Top Flight are not the ones who look good by the end of it.  Still, it was a really fun and really impressive match from Top Flight with a good amount of help from The Bucks.  It definitely feels like there’s room for Top Flight to grow and I’m very interested to see where they go from here.

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