Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-17-2021)

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

With the Revolution PPV only a few weeks away, it’s time for AEW to kick things into gear and get us excited to pay for one of their shows instead of watching it for free on TNT or on YouTube!  There are definitely a few plates that AEW have dutifully been spinning for the last few weeks, but the card still feels a bit underweight especially without an announced Main Event, so will this week prove to be the jumping off point for THE ROAD TO REVOLUTION, or will we be getting more of the same old same old?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & Matt Hardy Vs. The Hybrid2

So this was supposed to be an eight man tag match with Hardy Party and Page going up against TH2 and Chaos Project, right?  I haven’t found any word on WHY this was changed (AEW is usually good about letting people know about COVID cancellations) but I guess that Private Party is busy with their Impact storyline which is  a bit disappointing as I’d like to see how Page works with the duo, but we’re still in for a good match regardless.  TH2 have certainly come into their own in the last month or so becoming regulars on the program where before they were stuck on Dark, and while I don’t like Hardy’s gimmick right now (I guess I should stop calling him Huckster Matt and use his proper name Big Money Matt) he’s definitely gotten back into the groove of things after his disastrous feud with Sammy Guevara.  TH2 prove to be worthier foes than Chaos Project so Matt Hardy spends most of the time taking moves from Evans and Angélico while Page is on the sidelines waiting for the hot tag.  Angélico once again is a standout for some of his inventive mat work, and while Jack Evans is no slouch and definitely shows off his acrobatics here, he’s the one who eventually screws up and allows Page to get the hot tag and runs wild over both of them.  Elbows, suplexes, Powerbombs, the only reason I didn’t expect this onslaught to actually end the match is that we’re barely five minutes into it!  Now I said Jack Evans was no slouch and I DO mean that, but the one thing that people will remember about this match is his botched Phoenix Splash.  He has Matt Hardy on the mat and jumps up to do his twisty thing, but he doesn’t get enough distance and just lands on the mat; having to fall over to pretend that he actually HIT Matt Hardy with the movie.  I can’t imagine this would have been the ending of the match in any case, but thankfully Hardy gets his shoulder up and a minute later Hangman lands a Buckshot Lariat on BOTH of TH2 at the same time.  With both men down and Page keeping an eye on Jack Evans, Hardy gets the pin on Angélico to get the win.  After the match, Matt Hardy is ecstatic about his thirty percent contact with Page because apparently Matt Hardy doesn’t watch the show, and Page has to give him the heartbreaking news that the contact is not what he seemed.  The revised contact is brought by the Jaguar’s mascot Jaxson de Ville for some reason and we learn that it was NOT for a management contract but for a match at Revolution between Page and Hardy which, after a bit of negotiation (and baby face teasing), has their first quarter earnings on the line.  Hardy is not happy that he’s literally going to have fight for his pay and promises that Page is going to regret this at which point Jaxson de Ville starts attacking him!  Oh no!  It was Isaiah Kassidy the whole time!  Well not to be outdone by Hardy Party, The Dark Order along with Negative One run out to fend off Page’s attackers and show that they are still on his side even if he ditched them a few weeks ago!  I guess they don’t give homework these days considering how often Negative One is on national television, but in any case this was a fun segment.  The match was okay but ultimately perfunctory as it was all about the post-match angle which was a pretty excellent build up for a Revolution match.  The PPV has been a bit anemic as far as booked matches (especially with the Shaq match getting moved to Dynamite), so it’s impressive that they managed to do so much in this one angle.  Heck, I was VERY down on this whole storyline for weeks now, and this is one of the more interesting matches on the PPV card!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-10-2021)

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

We’re back with another week for Dynamite action!  Beach Break was a PRETTY big disappointment all things considered, but it did end on a particularly high note with a great main event and a HUGE surprise for anyone who’s a fan of New Japan.  Will they capitalize on this buzz and give us an episode worthy of this new union, or will we have to wait for the Revolution PPV for something interesting?  Let’s find out!!

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Darby Allin Vs. Joey Janela – TNT Title Match

So is it just me or is Joey’s role here to be a tune-up guy for champions?  Granted it’s better than being a jobber for mid-carders, but he really seems to LOSE a lot despite getting all these opportunities!  I guess I shouldn’t complain as long as it means Darby gets to spend five minutes focusing on something other than Team Taz, and frankly Janela does a darn good job making him look good!  Allin’s strength is not in his… well strength, but his endless tenacity so Joey gets to do a lot here and looks like a genuine competitor for Allin’s title; particularly an early flurry of offense including a drop onto the apron and a Suicide Dive.  Darby essentially has to outlast Janela as he’s one of the few people that Janela could physically intimidate, so he waits for his opportunities to strike and does what he can to survive devastating moves such as when he goes for a Coffin Drop but Janela catches him into a German Suplex followed by a Thrust Kick for a two count!  If there’s one thing that felt a bit disappointing about the match, it’s the ending which of course ends with a Coffin Drop.  Considering that the last few moves prior to that were a surprise Pile Driver from Janela and an Avalanche Code Red from Darby, neither of which were enough to finish the other guy off, it feels a bit anti-climactic that Joey stayed down because Darby dropped down on him.  It works as an ending in some matches, but in something this focused on endurance and devastating moves, it felt a bit underwhelming. Aside from that though, this was a GREAT match that did a darn good job of making both of them look like superstars!  Maybe you don’t want Darby having matches EVERY week because you know he’ll insist on destroying himself whenever he gets in the ring, but we definitely need more title defenses like this.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-03-2021)

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

We’re finally here at AEW’s Beach Break which feels a bit out of place as we just got done with a Special Show only a few weeks ago and Revolution is about a month away, but with last week’s episode being as fantastic as it was you couldn’t ask for a better lead in to get me excited to see what they have to offer!  Is it a culmination of the great stories they’ve been building up for weeks, or should last week’s show have been the special event instead?  Let’s find out!!

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Number One Contender Tag Team Battle Royale

The Young Bucks, Private Party, Jurassic Express, Top Flight, The Acclaimed, Proud N Powerful, Chris Jericho & MJF, John Silver & Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson & Evil Uno, and Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager

Well so much for that Inner Circle tag match deciding who would be the tag team representative for the group!  They’re all in this match anyway!  Seems like they could have just waited for this, but I guess the thinking is that they would protect each other in the match and then graciously give Jericho and MJF the win; something that DIDN’T happen and frankly nothing much happened in this match.  Oh, there were moves, eliminations, and a few awesome Hope Spots, but where AEW can sometimes put on a BRILLIANTLY planned out and perfectly executed Battle Royale where everything feels important, they instead just went with your standard Battle Royale; a lot of confusing yet energetic nonsense for the first half until we get to the last few competitors and it becomes a REAL match.  The Bucks start things off by attacking everyone before they get in the ring and things immediately devolve into chaos.  There’s a fun spot early on where Isaiah Kassidy goes for a splash, screaming all the way down, but ends up missing as everyone jumps out of the way; a spot that THE CAMERA COMPLETELY MISSED!  WHAT!?  BOO!!  SOMEONE caught it and we got to see it on an instant replay, but how do you miss a spot like that on the live feed!?  In any case, the first half is a lot of decent spots, but also a lot of dudes lying in the corners. 

Early eliminations are Dante Martin, Jake Hager, Matt Jackson, and Anthony Bowens. 

It’s at this point that Luchasaurus takes control and has a few awesome spots with everyone; particularly The Dark Order as he eliminates Stu Grayson, but then Uno and Silver manage to toss him over the ropes.  Sadly this isn’t the start of The Dark Order’s comeback as MJF eliminates Evil Uno soon after; a running theme throughout the match being MJF spoiling everyone’s fun.  Silver isn’t long for the match either as Proud N Powerful pick him up and toss him clean over the ropes.

Private Party goes for the Silly String, but Darius interrupts the move and Quen falls out of the ring.

The Good Brothers decide to stroll in and help Nick Jackson take out Isaiah Kassidy, not that they asked them to, and for some reason, the refs aren’t able to do anything about this?  Sure, they didn’t get in the ring, but they pulled down the ropes in front of what, FIVE refs?  Ultimately it doesn’t make much of a difference as this chaos distracts Nick Jackson long enough for MJF, professional spoilsport, to toss him over the ropes; eliminating The Bucks and ensuring that The Good Brothers WON’T be facing them at Revolution.

So now we’re down to the final six; Jungle Boy, Max Caster, Darius Martin, MJF, Jericho, Sammy.  The Inner Circle does their best to overwhelm Jungle Boy and push him out the ring, but the little guy is tenacious and he’s got the love of the fans backing him up!  Either that or they like his new theme song (Tarzan Boy by Baltimora; a song twelve years older than the boy himself) and just feel like singing it to the world!  Sadly it was not meant to be as MJF makes his biggest heel move yet by tossing Jungle Boy over the ropes and mocking him with a Tarzan chest bump of his own!

Caster has had enough of this nonsense and manages to eliminate MJF to the cheers of everyone before getting himself eliminated by Darius.  Perhaps no THE BEST idea as it leaves him all alone with Sammy and Jericho.  He manages to hold his own well enough and he and Sammy are fighting in the ropes when Jericho comes in trying to save the day but instead, he ends up eliminating Sammy by mistake.  Sammy is clearly annoyed by this which is probably the only real storyline being told in this whole match, but with only two in the ring this Battle Royale is about to come to a close.  Darius does his best against Jericho, but he eats a Judas Effect while on the apron and drops like a bag of hammers.  After all of that, MJF and Jericho will be facing The Bucks at Revolution!

I’ve certainly seen Battle Royales that were less interesting than this one, but from AEW I was kinda hoping for more.  It would have been one thing if it was a bunch of unknowns or cameos to add a bit of novelty to the proceedings, but with everyone there being an established guy, it feels a bit deflating that it was just a bunch of dudes tossing each other out; especially when AEW has done far better in the past.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-27-2021)

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

AEW’s schedule has been rather wonky these last few weeks, hasn’t it?  It’s not just that the New Year’s special had to be pushed back a week due to unfortunate circumstances, we’re already coming up on their next special episode which is called Beach Break (not Beach BASH as I’m pretty sure I called it last week) and they also moved their Revolution PPV back a week for reasons that are still not entirely clear.  Perhaps things getting moved around so much is why last week felt like a bit of a letdown and frankly it doesn’t bode well for this episode as they’ll probably save everything REALLY good for next week’s special, but is that the pessimism of an overly cynical jerk or the wisdom of a perfectly calibrated cynical jerk?  Let’s find out!!

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Eddie Kingston Vs. Lance Archer

I still have no idea where this story is going, but I’ll be darned if this isn’t the most fun I’ve had with one of these matches!  It’s basically that one Three Stooges short where Curly has to box against the champ Killer Kilduff with Kingston playing the part of the darn fool stuck in the ring with a monster and honestly it’s a pretty darn good comparison considering how he works in the ring.  Eddie Kingston is one of the best floppers in this business because he doesn’t just sell the hits; he makes his opponents look like the biggest bullies imaginable with over the top flailing, great facial expressions, and the nerve to take some seriously nasty bumps.  The most terrifying was when Archer lifts him up for a Chokeslam, but then drops him over the ropes and onto the apron which SHOULD have shattered his spine but luckily enough he was just fine.  Can’t imagine Jerry Howard going for something like that, but then he did take his fair share of abuse at a time where OSHA would have been considered Communist propaganda.  What the heck am I even on about?  In any case, Archer takes his sweet time knocking Kingston all over the place and it’s definitely his match to win… but then Butcher & Blade drag Jake Roberts out from the back which distracts him and the ref long enough for The Bunny to hand Kingston a pair of brass knuckles which he uses to clobber Archer across the temple and get the pin.  I’ve been waiting for weeks for this faction to figure out what it was going to be and this feels like they’ve finally figured it out.  Kingston is not a killer and frankly neither are The Butcher & The Blade.  What they are though are scheming jerk wads who can take advantage of a situation and come out on top, so as long as their opponents have someone they wish to protect, Kingston and company can take advantage of that and score a cheap win.  The match was a lot of fun even though I did worry about Kingston’s health throughout, and it definitely feels like they’ve got an angle to build off of instead of just bouncing between ideas and matches until something sticks.

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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 (01-13-2021) – New Year’s Smash Night 2

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

We’re back with night two of AEW’s New Year’s Spectacular; a good two weeks after the New Year came and went!  Yeah, look at me of all people pointing out that someone is late on something; glass houses and all that.  In any case, last week’s show didn’t really land for me, but I still found a lot of it to be quite entertaining.  Do things come together more smoothly this week, or will it somehow be an even bigger mess!?  Let’s find out!!

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Pac Vs. Eddie Kingston

Pac is accompanied to the ring by The Lucha Bros while Kingston is accompanied by The Butcher, The Blade, & The Bunny

I think the problem with Kingston lately is that he needs a real ace in the hole; not mid carders like Butcher & Blade but a big unstoppable beast that will do anything he says, or better yet maybe a tag team that is truly unstoppable and respected!  TOO BAD HE LOST THE LUCHA BROS, but I guess with Pac returning, AEW thought they were better off with him.  As for the match itself, Pac takes a deceive lead off the bat and it’s not until interference from The Bunny that Kingston starts getting the heat.  Pac definitely looks stronger here than he has in a while; even during the heat where he’s practically egging Kingston on and it’s ultimately a short lived advantage as he soon regains control of the match.  However, Pac’s fatal flaw seems to be that he takes his time; not in a sportsmanlike baby face way where he makes sure his opponent is okay to continue, but to admire his own work and these are the spots where Kingston can get a few shots.  He’s quickly put back down by Pac, particularly one spot where Eddie eats a VERY crisp kip up while sitting on the top turnbuckle and looks directly in the camera with a face like a cartoon character (only missing the tweeting birds circling his head), but Pac could have finished this a lot sooner if he just went for it at full force and didn’t give Kingston a chance to breath.  Pac ends up getting a Superplex off of the cartoon spot and Kingston sells his arm and neck which means he’s on borrowed time.  He goes for a DDIT spot but fails to land it due to his injury,  and he eats a Black Arrow from Pac which leads to the pin.   Pac, living up to his bad guy bona-fides, immediately puts Kingston in the Brutalizer after the bell rings.  Before it can turn into an all-out brawl, Lance Archer and Jake Roberts hit the ring to break it up… for some reason.  There’s something about Pac needing to be on the same page, but I don’t know what he’s talking about.  After all is said and done, not a bad opener!  The Bucks didn’t start things off this this week as Nick is healing from a pretty bad bruise, but it was still fun and definitely showed the strength of these two men better than their other recent matches have.  Kingston’s got the mouth, and there are few with a better mouth than him, but he doesn’t have the muscle to back it up and I hope someone else notices this if they plan on continuing this feud.

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