AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
Welcome back to another episode of AEW Dynamite where we’re partying like its 1997!! Despite WWE basically owning everything wrestling related in the US prior to 2000, they let their trademark for Bash at the Beach expire which allowed Cody Rhodes to get it for AEW; a fitting change of hands considering his father Dusty Rhodes was the one who created the concept in the first place! Does this revival of an old school wrestling tradition still hold up twenty years later, even with a BEACH show taking place in the middle of winter!? Let’s find out!!
The big thing to note about this show is that the major angles are put on the back burner a bit to focus on a new round of tournaments for the belts; presumably as a way to make this BASH AT THE BEACH thing feel like something other than another episode of Dynamite shot in a slightly different way. To that end, the Tag Match is a Number One Contender match, and there’s a two bracket tournament tonight (Jon Moxley Vs. Sammy Guevara & Pac Vs. Darby Allin) with the two winners of this week’s matches facing off next week for a shot at Jericho. Fair enough I suppose as there could certainly be a bit more excitement around the belts themselves which haven’t changed hands once since AEW started, and we start things off with that GINORMOUS tag match!
Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. Proud N Powerful Vs. Best Friends Vs. The Young Bucks – Four Way Tag Team Match for Number One Contender
Best Friends is accompanied to the ring by Orange Cassidy
The best way that I can describe this match is that it has as much in common with an actual sporting contest as It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World has with actual racing. For twenty minutes these eight dudes did their best to recreate the mad cap of Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin in that the physicality of their bits are just as impressive to watch as it is hilarious. No, you don’t really buy it as a REAL wrestling match, but the timing and the spectacle were out of this world and I enjoyed every minute of it once it kicked into high gear! It actually took me a minute to get what they were going for, especially when JR just blurted out that it was a non-DQ match two minutes after the bell ring which calls into question why anyone is even bothering to tag in and out, but honestly that’s always going to be a thing in wrestling where if the goal is to knock someone into submission then why are they doing high flying moves and whatnot instead of MMA beat downs. I can understand that going THIS far into wackiness will be past some people’s suspension of disbelief and that’s a fair criticism as it really does descend into chaos multiple times here, but if you can groove on that understand that it’s all one elaboarately planned out showcase of moves, spots, and well timed interference, then there’s a lot of wacky fun to be had in this opening match. The match does eventually have to come to an end though with Kenny and Page landing that combo V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat on Chuck Taylor which knocks him out cold and leads to the three count. They’re definitely playing the long game here with Page’s heel turn as they’ve made it ALL the way to the number one contender slot, so hopefully next week in their match against SCU they’ll finally pull the trigger on it. I’m guessing they’re going to lose relatively cleanly against SCU and that’s when Page finally turns heel on Kenny which will set up a feud for those and possibly a match at Revolution; possibly a Triple Threat if they wanted to get Pac in there as well.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW action on one of the few days of the year I really don’t feel like having AEW action! I spent the WHOLE time this show was on frantically cooking things for today and I can’t imagine all the workers there were too happy to be doing this instead of spending time with their families, but maybe I’m wrong about that. I mean that crowd was pretty good for a night before Thanksgiving wrestling show, and this particular holiday is kind of nonsense anyway, so maybe they’re exactly where they want to be! In any case, I think we can probably cut each other a bit of slack here if I missed anything or didn’t fully grasp the DRAMA with what was happening, okay? Let’s get started!!
Chris Jericho’s Thanksgiving Thank You Spectacular
As announced last week after Jericho’s heartfelt apology, the episode started with a Thanksgiving Party in the ring that no one was invited to but we were all more than welcome to spectate as Jericho just chews up the scenery with more voracity than most people have eating the stuffing and creamed corn on National Turkey Day. Before he even gets into the ring someone named Soul Train Jones (I’m pretty sure he was in one of The Inner Circle’s video packages) introduces Jericho who then comes down to the ring accompanied by a marching band because you don’t get Le Champion to do anything half assed. The crowd is totally marking out for the guy with chants of THANK YOU JERICHO before starting to boo him the moment he starts speaking, and this really did add a lot to the segment; especially when Jericho offers them fifty cents off his T-shirts and they react like they won a car. The inner Circle eventually comes in after Jericho has pimped out all his new merch, and they proceed to give him various gifts to show their appreciation for the dude who made them the biggest names in wrestling. Sammy Guevara gives him a standee of the two of them hugging while Proud N Powerful give him a basket full of… stuff I guess. Vicks Vapo-rub, a box of dominos, booze, basically everything you would need to survive in a fallout shelter once the bombs start to drop. Even Jake Hager gets in on the revelry as he comes out with a very uncooperative goat named Chris Jeri-goat which is the second best name for a goat right after Benedict Cumber-BAAAAAA-tch. I don’t know why any of this is happening and I hope that animal wasn’t TOO distressed, but it seemed to be all in good fun and Hager could not keep a straight face in the slightest. The last gift however was the best one of it all because it reminded me of the only wrestler better than Jericho (The MIz) which turned out to be his dad who is a former hockey player and proceeds to hometown team; Like father like son I supposed. I did like this segment, but I feel they should have cut it a bit shorter or made them more of heels throughout as they come off as fun loving and kind of dorky dudes celebrating how much they appreciate each other which is not exactly the image you want for your dominate heel faction. I mean even if you wanted to argue that they were self-centered and cocky, it’s still not particularly THREATENING, and the one thing about all these guys is that they know how to cause damage when you least expect it; not just waste time giving each other pats on the back. EVENTUALLY though, there comes a point where he has the ring announcer read a thank you note from TNT to the crowd, but the guy doesn’t read it in as nice a tone as LE CHAMPION would have wanted and so they Inner Circle curb stomps him. FINALLY they start to act like heels but then out of nowhere three dudes in the marching band rush the ring, turn out to be SCU in disguise, and start cleaning house; INCLUDING knocking Soul Train Jones right no his ass! I don’t know how much you can claim to be good guys if you’re clothes-lining dudes in their late fifties, but it did end the segment on a high note which is good enough for me.
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!!
Casino Battle Royale
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.
Look! They brought in ODB! See in the corner there? Yeah, she’s already eliminated, but she still showed up!