Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-29-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW action, though this is something of a special episode.  Not in the USUAL AEW sense of adding a subtitle and a few marquee matches, but because this show takes place in Rochester where Brodie Lee is from and where he was supposed to debut before the Pandemic put everything on hold.  Because of this, AEW has put together a stacked card to not only continue their ongoing storylines but to celebrate and the people he affected during his time at the company.  Is it a proper celebration for the Exalted One who was taken from us far too soon?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk comes out at the start of the show and he once again joins the commentary team on this episode.  I’m starting to wonder if he’ll actually do all that much wrestling as he seems perfectly content to sit in the booth and talk about everyone else.  I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it as I think he’s got a lot of potential for that kind of role, but I’m guessing the checks Tony Khan had to write to get him aren’t about to go to someone who stays OUT of the ring.

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Jungle Boy Vs. Adam Cole

Something we’ll run into a few times in this episode (which was also a bit of an issue on the last episode) is crowd reactions as the place goes unglued for Adam Cole despite being the heel in this conflict.  I gut that everyone is happy he’s here instead of at the other place, but it always feels off when someone is going above and beyond to be a heel and just gets the opposite reaction for it.  Then again, if you could argue one thing in favor of Paragon Cole, he does seem to have the experience advantage in this match and most of the time when he gets the lead it’s from outsmarting Jungle Boy which means that the young guy has to learn on the fly to outmaneuver the veteran.  Cole tries to keep Jungle Boy grounded with headlocks and mat work while keeping him off his game with feints and misdirection; particularly when he puts on the brakes on a charge Jungle Boy had scouted and had started flipping over; only to find Adam Cole behind him and is dragged to the mat for a one count.  Still, you can’t count the Jungle Boy out as he uses the same trick on a Cole a minute later and ends up knocking him out of the ring with a Springboard Arm Drag followed by a Drop Kick.  Cole needs to slow him down, so he baits him to go outside the ring with him before rushing back in and attacking Jungle Boy when he tries to get into the ring behind him.  Jungle Boy manages to escape the beating and goes to the turnbuckle, but Cole pushes him off and he tumbles to the floor in a bump that looked PRETTY bad but doesn’t seem to have caused an actual injury.  In any case, Jungle Boy is hurting and so Cole gets the heat during the commercial.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight back and tries to even the odds by landing a Basement Drop Kick on Cole followed by a BIG Lariat that sends him flipping in the air before landing on the mat.  The gamble pays off as the match gets VERY even at that point with them trading blows and pulling off big moves to try and wear the other one down.  Jungle Boy gets a German Suplex into a bridge for a two count and puts Cole in the Tree of Woe to land a Drop Kick, but then Cole follows up with a Backstabber and the Last Shot for a two count as well.  Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise from the apron to the floor, but Jungle Boy rolls away, runs into the rings, hits the ropes, and goes to dive… only to eat a Step Up Enziguri to the face.  Not to be outdone, he lands a Hurricanrana from the apron to the floor and tosses Cole back into the ring.  However, his follow-up of a Springboard Cutter fails to hit its mark as he eats a Superkick instead, and Cole uses this to land the Panama Sunrise… ONLY TO GET A TWO COUNT!  Shock and awe fill the arena as Cole’s finisher didn’t do the job and he tries to follow-up with THE BOOM, but Jungle Boy ducks and locks him in the Snare Trap.  Cole crawls to the ropes so Jungle Boy breaks the hold to drag him back to the center which gives Cole an opening to kick him in the face.  Cole gets up with Jungle Boy right behind him and it looks like Cole is grabbing the ropes with Ref Aubrey sandwiched between them, and while she’s unable to see what’s going on Cole lands a kick to the groin.  Seeing as neither one of their finishers ended the match, he took the path of least resistance and cheated with a move that knocked  Jungle Boy down which allows Cole to land THE BOOM, and gets the pin to win the match.  This was yet another fantastic showing from Adam Cole who is clearly proving himself to be a valuable addition to AEW.  I think the crowd is making things a bit awkward though because they LOVE this guy despite being a clear Heel, but aside from that I definitely want to see more matches with him!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam

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

We’re back with more (and more, and more, and more) Rampage action as AEW’s attempt to fill every waking moment of my life with wrestling is moving forward unabated!  Hopefully things can slow down a bit and we can get back to our standard three hours of TV a week, but the Dynamite episode of Grand Slam was pretty excellent and they’ve got a solid card lined up for this EXTRA LONG episode of Rampage, so perhaps a little fatigue is worth it if it means a few more fantastic matches!  Is this a satisfying conclusion to the Grand Slam event that started on Wednesday, or will I be far from the only one wanting to go back to a one hour Rampage by the time this episode is done?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Hobbs is accompanied to the ring by Hook

CM Punk more or less proved he could still have solid matches when he went up against Darby Allin, but now we’re gonna see if he can put some shine on the talent who aren’t already at the top of the pecking order.  Hobbs came on the scene in a BIG way and was signed almost immediately, but he’s not really lived up to his potential; mostly due to a lack of marquee matches if you ask me.  That’s probably why they went with him to go up against CM Punk as you can’t ask for a better match-up to get eyeballs on you, and for what it’s worth they both do a solid job here.  Punk hits Hobbs with a Drop Kick as soon as the bell rings and starts working over the left leg which proves that at least SOMEONE knows what you’ve got to do to take a big man down!  Still, even with Punk’s fancy tactics, it’s hard to overcome the sheer POWER of Hobbs who knocks him to his knees with ONE Headbutt from Hobbs sends Punk to his knees.  On top of that, Hobbs has Hook in his corner so even when Punk gets the advantage through better technique he can’t always capitalize on it like when he puts Hobbs on his shoulders for a GTS very early in the match only for Hook to get up on the apron.  You’d think Punk would be able to just finish the move despite a guy looking at him funny, but that’s one of those quirks about the wacky world of wrestling and sure enough, he puts Hobbs down to go after him only to eat a Running Cross Body from Hobbs that knocks him flat on his back.  Hobbs gets the heat for a while and milks the crowd for as many boos as they can give him, and despite a few hope spots from Punk like a quick roll up for a two count, Hobbs remains firmly in control up to and throughout the commercial break.  Punk finally escapes with a few elbows to the face, and a Spin Kick followed by a Swinging Neck Breaker gets him some momentum.  He lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop for a two count and gets Hobbs on his shoulders once again for the GTS.  Punk actually finishes the move this time but it doesn’t connect as Hobbs blocks the knee on his way down, and hits him with one of his HELLACIOUS Spine Busters!  Hobbs gets him up on his shoulder for his finisher Town Business, but Punk wriggles out and puts him in a choke which nearly knocks him out.  He fights back and breaks the hold with a Back Drop which he follows with a Stampede that only gets him a two count.  After Punk gets an Avalanche Hurricanrana for a two count of his own, he tries to put Hobbs in a Triangle Choke which is a HUGE mistake as the number one rule of Big Guys is don’t leave their legs free, and as you’d expect Hobbs lifts up Punk and lands a Sit Out Powerbomb.  Punk kicks out at two and so Hobbs just tries hammering Punk in the middle of the ring to wear him down, but this allows Punk to land a Roundhouse Kick that sends Hobbs Reeling.  Punk signals for the GTS when Hook jumps on the apron once again, and of course Punk goes to deal with him which allows Hobbs to charge from behind.  BUT WAIT!  This is all a misdirection as Punk sees this coming from a mile away and sidesteps the charge so that Hobbs knocks Hook into next week which is perhaps the biggest bump Hook has taken since he started showing up in Team Taz!  With Hobbs distracted, Punk gets him on his shoulders and FINALLY hits the GTS to get the pin and win the match to the utter delight of the fans!  It was a pretty good match for the most part and I think I liked it more than the Darby Allin match.  Hobbs just seems to be bringing a lot more out of Punk so that he’s less the Elder Statesman of Wrestling looking to play to impress the crowd and more of a down and dirty fighter that I find much more entertaining and I suspect is the kind of wrestling that CM Punk fans want to see from the guy.  This Team Taz feud is far from over and I can only hope that the rest of the matches Punk has with them will be just as good!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-15-2021)

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

It feels like we JUST got done with the PPV, and already we’re building up to ANOTHER big show; in this case the Arthur Ashe Stadium show on the next episode which has been a huge feather in AEW’s cap since they started selling tickets for it, and everyone originally assumed that Danielson would premiere there.  Instead, it looks like we’re gonna get a match which is much more exciting, and it looks like a pretty stacked card all things considered!  Does this episode bring enough energy to get us pumped for yet another AEW event, or are we still all too exhausted from All Out for this to get us all that excited?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with CM Punk coming out for his entrance and to hang out with the crowd before eventually finding his way to the broadcast booth and he joins the announce team for most of the episode.  I’m not sure if he has a lot of experience in that role, but he came off pretty well!  A little green perhaps, but he’s got a lot of the strengths that Jericho brings to the table by having that in-ring experience that he can articulate well during matches.

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Adam Cole Vs. Frankie Kazarian

Not wasting any time in getting this guy in front of the crowd, we start off with Adam Cole’s first match since joining AEW; helped along by none other than Frankie Kazarian who once again is the most underrated guy in the whole industry!  A very good choice as you couldn’t ask for a better sparring partner for what is easily the best chance he’ll ever have at a first impression with a new audience!  It starts with a good back and forth with Frankie getting a slight edge, but things start to go a bit sideways when Cole tosses him over the ropes to the floor and it looks like he slipped when he landed.  It looks like he broke his fall with both his elbows and possibly his face, but he managed to get through the rest of the match just fine and I haven’t heard anything about an injury so it seems that he’s okay.  That was the only rough spot in the match though and everything else looked REALLY solid with a lot of cool moves from both of them.  Kazarian fends off Cole with a Leg Drop through the ropes before going for a Springboard Sunset Flip, but Cole rolls out and kicks him in the face before Grounding Kazarian with a headlock on the mat.  Kazarian gets to do the Baby Face spot of slowly fighting out of the headlock before getting a surprise roll up on Cole that he transitions into a submission that Cole has to kick his way out of.  From there it’s just great moves back and forth, a Neckbreaker from Cole, a German Suplex into a bridge from Kazarian, there’s even this one great spot where Kazarian is trying to put him in the Cross Face Chick Wing, but they are close to the post so Cole runs up and kicks off of it to knock Kazarian on his back and roll into a two count!  It’s not as flashy as a true high flying match, but it finds a great balance between athleticism, technique, and strength that makes it feel really old school but with enough sizzle to not feel outdated.  My favorite spot was probably when Cole lands a Super Kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise only for Kazarian to reverse it into an Alabama Slam which looked cool and made Kazarian look like the strongest dude on the planet for one shining moment there!  Kazarian follows it up with a Springboard Leg Drop for a two count and they start trading blows back and forth.  Kazarian gets the better of the exchange and goes for a Suplex, but Cole reverses it into an Ushigoroshi and gets a VERY close two count.  Undeterred, Cole charges at Kazarian who tosses him onto the apron; throwing blows back and forth but neither one can land a hit until Kazarian goes for another Leg Drop through the ropes but Cole is ready for it this time and dodges it which leaves Frankie flat on his butt and he’s forced to roll away from the ropes.  In doing so however, he gives Cole time to get to the top turnbuckle and he finally lands the Panama Sunrise followed by a Running Knee to get the pin and win the match!  Cole proved himself in this to be a darn good wrestler which I’m sure most of the AEW audience didn’t need to be convinced of, but there are those in out there who needed something like this to really understand why everyone else is so excited for him, and honestly just as much credit goes to Kazarian who is always fantastic and will hopefully one day be TRULY recognized for it!

Cole gets the mic after the match and calls out Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy before confirming that at the Grand Slam episode of Rampage, he and the Young Bucks will face them in a Six Man Tag match!  If it’s even half as good as the match here then I’m all for it, but with so much talent I’m sure it’ll be much better than that!  Maybe even four fifths as good!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021

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

After weeks of buildup, the start of a new Friday night show, and the arrival of one of wrestling’s biggest names, this could be the most anticipated PPV that wrestling has seen for quite some time; certainly as far as AEW who already have a high bar for these shows but those expectations have been shot into the stratosphere after everything they’ve promised and the stuff they’ve heavily hinted at!  Is this a show for the ages that will be a turning point for AEW, especially given their recent boost in popularity, or will the house of cards finally come down after all those unrealistic expectations give way to reality?  Let’s find out!!

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Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta and Jurassic Express Vs. Hardy Family Office – The Buy In Ten Man Tag Match

So in case you hadn’t heard, there was a last-minute complication that forced AEW to drop the Pac and Andrade match and move the original Buy In match to the main card; leaving a spot in the Buy In that needed to be SWIFTLY filled in.  I couldn’t tell you exactly which match was pushed to the main card (if I were to guess, MAYBE the TNT Title match) but for a match that had to come about at the eleventh hour, they managed to put on a VERY good show!  With this many guys in the ring it mostly devolves into a spot fest where all the Baby Faces get to show off while the Heels dampen their momentum, but there are some fun thru-lines throughout.  The most obvious one is between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy where Matt is INSISTENT on getting him in the ring to face him!  The match starts with Chuck Taylor, and he just kicks him back to the corner!  Nope!  Orange Cassidy!  Wheeler Yuta comes out and Hardy just grabs him by the head and shoves him back to his side!  NO!  ORANGE CASSIDY!  NOW!!  Then Luchasaurus comes in… and Hardy suddenly feels the urge to tag in Jack Evans who’s not happy about this but gives it his all… before getting crushed.  Things get a bit more straightforward from there with a few different lock ups that are more evenly matched until Luchasaurus gets swarmed and does the Big Man RAARRRGHHH spot to send them all flying.  It’s not until Hardy distracts Luchasaurus that Private Party are FINALLY able to cut him down, and it’s now time for Cassidy to make his move as he gives Lousy Kicks to all three of them before throwing Hardy out of the ring.  There are spots all over the place and chaos has completely taken over as I don’t think anyone GENUINELY knows who’s the legal competitor, but eventually everyone is effectively killed which leaves just Jungle Boy and Angelico in the ring.  Jack Evans jumps in and is on Angelico’s shoulders so Jungle Boy gets on Luchasaurus and they play a game of chicken that ends in Jurassic Express’s favor.  Private Party tries to take advantage of this goofiness by jumping at the precariously balanced Jungle Boy, but his flexibility allows him to dodge a Cross Body from Quen and SOMEHOW catches Kassidy then flips over backwards and lands so that Kassidy takes the brunt of the fall!

You had ONE job, Kassidy!
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-03-2021)

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

It’s always fun trying to find time to watch everything on a PPV weekend, but I managed to do it and am eagerly anticipating how it all shakes out on the big show!  Does AEW’s last show before All Out prove to be the last burst of energy they need to finish the build and kick up the hype for the PPV, or do they stumble at the one-yard line?  Let’s find out!!

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Malakai Black Vs. Lee Johnson

Black has been an unstoppable and terrifying force for the last few weeks, but at some point he was gonna have to fight more than a minute or two and Lee Johnson gets the honor of being in his longest match by far.  Black starts off by mocking him and not taking Johnson seriously which is honestly a pretty fair assessment as Johnson looks ABSOLUTELY terrified, but Johnson’s got a lot of speed that Black isn’t expecting and this gives him SOMETHING of an opening to get a few shots in.  He even lands a fury of punches and a Dropkick that sends Black out of the ring and follows up with a Suicide Dive, so Black is not invulnerable and even eats a Frog Splash from Johnson after getting thrown back into the ring.  It’s all for naught however as Black just needs to land a few kicks to stop Johnson in his tracks and even gives Johnson a chair at one point to even the odds.  Johnson is barely in enough shape to hold the darn thing, let alone use it, and Black finishes him off with a Roundhouse Kick to the face; knocking him out and getting the pin.  It was fine as a match, but there was something missing in it to justify the length.  Johnson got some offense in and Black sold for him, but there was never anything that made you think that this guy had a chance and so adding extra minutes to the match just felt like diminishing returns.  Still, Black is great to watch with a theatricality to his performance that few can replicate, and Johnson got a bit of shine here as well so not a bad way to start the show.

Dustin comes out to attack Black, but Black once again ignores their next would be competitor and leaves them to stew in their own hatred.  Dustin then cuts a promo backstage where he confirms that they will have a match on the next Dynamite and that while Black may come from a place of darkness, he THRIVES in Darkness!  Has done so for five decades in fact, though I’d skip over the whole Seven thing, and honestly Black Reign can probably go as well.  I’m certainly excited to see it as Dustin is ALWAYS great whenever he shows up, and I’m willing to bet that he’s gonna bleed like a pig for Black to really push his Heel credibility to the moon if he’s not there already!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-03-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-01-2021)

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

It’s the last Dynamite before the All Out PPV and AEW is frantically trying to put all the pieces in place!  Sure, they’ve got the in-ring return of CM Punk that’s gonna sell the show to a whole lot of people, but have they done a good enough job of building the card outside of their gigantic acquisition, or is this Go Home show just confirming that everything rests of CM Punk’s shoulders?  Let’s find out!!

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FTR Vs. Proud N Powerful

FTR is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard

The last time these two teams met in the ring was kind of a disaster; not just because of the injury to Cash Wheeler’s arm that cut the match short, but even before that it was kind of a nothing match.  Not a BAD match but one that didn’t live up to the hype of seeing two of the best tag teams working today lock it up in the ring.  Thankfully they pull off a MUCH better match here with an engaging story being told throughout it.  At first it starts off a bit slow and cautious, but eventually things start to pick up with Proud N Powerful in firm control of the match; so much so that I started to wonder if we were supposed to be cheering for FTR.  I mean Dax Harwood IS pretty much fighting on his own as his recently injured partner stays on the apron, but eventually Cash DOES get the blind tag starts throwing the unaware Ortiz into the posts, and the team starts to get the heat.  If that wasn’t enough to reconfirm their Heel status, Cash rips a turnbuckle pad off while Dax is working over Ortiz and they seem to be trying to injure Ortiz’s arm as retribution for what happened to Cash.  It’s at this point that it hardly even feels like a wrestling match as no one is going for pins and are just trying to hurt one another, but eventually Ortiz gets the hot tag to Santana who hits the Three Amigos (three rolling Suplexes) and follows with a Frog Splash for a two count which was the first near fall of the night.  The story then shifts to one of both teams trying to land their tandem finishers but narrowly missing the window or getting it reversed by the other team.  Santana and Ortiz set up for something in the corner but Dax knocks Santana off the top turnbuckle and Cash lands a Gory Special for a two count.  FTR get the Big Rig on Ortiz but Santana jumps on them to break up the pin.  Back and forth the two teams go until Santana and Ortiz get a big combo and get the pin on Cash to win the match.  I liked the story in this and the match was genuinely growing on me as it went along, so good on them for bringing some closure to this storyline, and hopefully they will have SAFE matches like this in the future.  After all, there are three things you can always count on in life; death, taxes, and the unending nature of this feud between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (08-27-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of Rampage Against The Machine as The Elite are up facing some stiff competition at the PPV and this week and this episode is here to prove that to them as well as the viewing audience!  Is this the perfect tee up for the big title matches at the PPV, or are we gonna need the next two shows to really get the hype machine going for All Out in September?  Let’s find out!!

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Jurassic Express Vs. The Lucha Bros

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt while Lucha Bros are accompanied by Alex Abrahantes

It’d almost be redundant to say that both of these teams had a FANTASTIC match here, but DANG was this match awesome!  Jungle Boy and Rey start things off with some great athleticism between the two with this one Cazadora into an Arm Drag from Jungle Boy that looked like wizardry and this great spot from Rey which was ADMITTEDLY a bit convoluted, but still very cool to see!  For whatever reason he’s walking the ropes in Jurassic Express’s corner which I’d think would be the LAST place you’d want to be, and sure enough Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus try to shove him off.  Of course Rey Fenix, being a wizard himself, bounces off the ropes instead of tumbles over and is right side up again to land a kick and a flipping arm drag.  Showing off a bit?  Sure.  Still awesome anyway?  ABSOLUTELY!  Jungle Boy tries to go for the Snare Trap to end things quickly but Fenix rolls out of it and both guys tag in their respective partners which gives us Luchasaurus Vs. Penta for a bit, and I don’t know how to phrase this exactly but Penta’s got a STRONG presence to him that’s both very hammy and EXTREMELY menacing.  His slow walk followed by taking off his glove is over the top, but ALSO belies a confidence that his opponent can’t do anything to stop him, and even when they try they regret it immediately!  Luchasaurus learns this first hand when he grabs his hand mid-ZERO MIEDO, and Penta just DESTROY his left leg with a series of kicks!  Luchasaurus doesn’t take it for long though and goes for the throat which prompts Fenix to come in with a top rope kick that looks like something from a Jackie Chan movie and the whole thing descends into chaos as we go to commercial!  Now I can’t go over everything here move by move so we’ll speed things up a bit, but that was only like four minutes of action and the rest of the match is at that level!  We get a few big moves and some swift tags back and forth (including a Frog Splash from Fenix onto Luchasaurus, but the next big spot was a Jungle Boy tag that led to a BIG Lariat followed by a Poisonrana for a two count.  Fenix kicks out but Jungle Boy then finally locks in the Snare Trap right in the middle of the ring which is bad news for Fenix.  Penta runs in to break up the hold, but instead of just kinda jumping on them like wrestlers usually do, Penta hauls back and gives Jungle Boy a freaking GOALIE KICK right into the skull!  Now I watched it again and Penta DOES slap the leg so that terrifying CRUNCHING sound was NOT due to direct contact, but I still couldn’t tell you if he ACTUALLY kicked him or not and I wouldn’t think a swift kick to the temple is in Jungle Boy’s best interest.  In any case, Fenix tags in Penta who starts tearing Jungle Boy apart, and the Bros go for Fear Factor but Jungle Boy escapes and tosses Penta out of the ring.  Jungle Boy is now on the top turnbuckle with Luchasaurus holding Penta on the floor below… but in comes Fenix who rope walks his way to the corner and gives Jungle Boy a Top Rope Hurricanrana THAT SENDS HIM TO THE FLOOR!  Thankfully, Luchasaurus, Penta, and even Marko Stunt were there to save him from landing right on his head, and Penta drags him to the ring and gets a two count.  After all that we’re finally heading into the finish as Luchasaurus tags in but immediately eats a Hurricanrana which is enough to keep him down for quite a bit while which gives Lucha Bros time to finish off Jungle Boy with a Canadian Destroyer on the apron.  Luchasaurus is all alone now and eats a bunch of Superkicks from both guys and do some sort of… I guess half a Canadian Destroyer which led to a pin where BOTH guys were on Luchasaurus.  Not sure why the ref even bothered counting because there is NO way that was a legal pin!  Luchasaurus kicks out, but The Lucha Bros follows up with an Assisted Pile Driver and that’s finally enough to keep him down for the three count.  Lucha Bros win the match and will face The Young Bucks at the PPV!  Speaking of whom, the Bucks run in to try and beat on the Lucha Bros, but Jurassic Express chase them off; showing mutual respect for their opponents who they just had a PHENOMENAL match with!  I had my concerns about a spot here and there, but there’s no doubt that this was a show stopping match that made everyone look like super stars and is exactly what AEW needed to sell us on the title match at the PPV!  Remember, this tournament was announced TWO WEEKS AGO which back then felt like WAY too little time to try and start building a story, but in three matches these four teams have done a fantastic job of making the PPV match feel important and like a genuine highlight to look forward to!  I doubt the Lucha Bros are gonna win as they have that thing with Andrade to focus on while The Elite should probably stay as the top heel faction for a while, but whatever happens at the PPV there’s no doubt that it’s got more momentum behind it than anyone could have hoped for!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (08-27-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-25-2021)

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

When we’re this close to a PPV you can almost hear the Jaws theme in the background of every episode.  This constant mounting pressure to get everything ready and ship shape for the big show (which coincidently will include The Big Show) and it can be quite a juggling act between all of that and just putting on a good show for the TV audience.  Does AEW manage to keep spinning these plates as we move ever closer to All Out, or are some of them REALLY starting to wobble now that we’re in the home stretch?  Let’s find out!!

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Orange Cassidy Vs. Matt Hardy

We start things off as most Dynamite shows do with a straightforward crowd pleasing match.  Sure you could say that the Hardy/Cassidy storyline has been fleshed out over the last few weeks, but honestly it’s just an excuse to get a bunch of very over people in front of the crowds as often as possible to do their shtick and warm up the audience.  Said shtick by the way gets over quite big as it’s a war between Cassidy’s Lousy Kicks and Hardy’s Deletes with things taking a turn as Cassidy winds up for the big one.  Hardy implores him to wait a moment so that he can put his own hands in his pockets… ONLY TO PULL OUT WADS OF CASH!  He tries to punch Cassidy with these fistfuls of greenbacks but ends up eating a drop kick that sends the bills flying!  Unfortunately that ends up being the highlight as the match slows down quite a bit after that, and this is something that I’ve noticed with Orange Cassidy matches.  For whatever reason, the guy likes to have these long stretches where he just sells and sells and sells which I guess is to build up to his eventual comeback but as is usually the case (and is certainly the case here) it seems to deflate the crowd more than anything as Hardy just runs through him and keeps beating on him over and over again.  It’s not until Hardy starts signaling for the Twist of Fate that Cassidy gets his bearings and fights back in usual Cassidy fashion.  He throws Hardy out of the ring and follows up with a Suicide Dive, he lands a Swinging DDT for a two count, and he lands a Cross Body from the top rope.   The last of those seems to have broken his nose which was DEFINITELY not the plan and certainly made the rest of the match a bit hard to watch despite it REALLY picking things up.  It’s a much stronger back and forth bout with the two of them trading big moves; starting with them fighting on the middle rope.  Cassidy wins with a bunch of stomach shots, so he pushes Hardy off and Cassidy goes for a Senton with his hands in his pockets.  Cassidy then goes for the Twist of Fate, but Hardy just shoves him into the corner before landing an Elbow drop from middle rope for a two count.  Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate, but Cassidy spins out of it and lands a Twist of Fate of his own which Hardy just barely manages to kick out of.  Not deterred, Cassidy goes for an Orange Punch, but Hardy dodges and tries to put him in The Leech.  It’s a hard fight, but Cassidy escapes and pins Hardy’s shoulder’s to the matt by putting his hands in his pockets and locking Hardy’s legs between them which is enough to get the three count and win the match.  It was somewhat tedious and Hardy getting busted open didn’t help things at all, but there was some fun at the start and some big moves at the end.  Far from my favorite Cassidy match and not the best way to start the show, but hopefully things can pick up from here.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-25-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (08-20-2021) – The First Dance

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

Welcome back to the CM Punk show where the fans came to see one thing and thing only; and BOY do they let you know it! As soon as the audio from the arena is turned on, all you hear is CM Punk chants as loud as any you’ve heard at an AEW show and the first thing you see are signs that promise to riot if he doesn’t make an appearance. This episode is going to be remembered for one thing and one thing only which is Punk’s return to the world of wrestling after seven years! Now all that said, does being a significant chapter in wrestling history mean that what we saw today was any good, or will this be remembered along the debuts of The Shockmaster and The Gobbledy Gooker; certainly SIGNIFICANT moments, but for all the wrong reasons? Let’s find out!!

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The Return of CM Punk – Is this the happy ending the fans have been waiting for?

The show wastes no time in giving us Punk and letting him address the crowd who as I said are ELATED beyond belief that the guy is here at AEW; they simply couldn’t wait another minute for it! Punk spends about five minutes making his way down the ramp and it’s clear that he’s really enjoying himself and the adulation he’s getting from the crowd (some of whom are in fact crying over this moment), and he eventually makes his way to the center of the ring with a mic in hand and starts to talk. Personally, I’m just not invested in Punk as a wrestling personality and I’m just not fully caught up on the history that makes this as meaningful as it is for lots of other people. What I took away from the speech is that he doesn’t make everything about him and spends time praising AEW, talking about the people in the back, and even talks directly to Darby Allin to confirm that they will have a match at the All Out PPV in a few weeks. For me, that’s what mattered most. He can talk about his struggles and animosity towards the WWE as much as he wants to because it’s part of the story that these fans have been waiting to see resolved for almost a decade now; as long as it’s in the context of the AEW story. My concern (probably misplaced) is that his presence would overwhelm everything else at AEW and just make it that much more of a traditional “WRESTLING WAR” when AEW has done quite well for itself without overly indulging in sniping back and forth with the competition. They let their product speak for itself and Punk doesn’t take away from that, so I’m very happy with this segment and I’m actually quite excited to see that match between him and Darby Allin. Oh, and everyone at the stadium got free ice cream bars. I’m told that’s a reference to something he did, so if you got it I hope it made you smile!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (08-20-2021) – The First Dance”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-18-2021)

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

We’ back with another week of AEW action, and not only are we one week closer to the All Out PPV, it’s the first Dynamite since the premier episode of Rampage and all the fallout that came from that! Can AEW prove they can manage three hours of television without things getting spread too thin or storylines getting too big and sprawling? Let’s find out!!

We begin with episode with Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston who have some sort of announcement to make. Of course, being wrestlers, they can’t just simply do that and are gonna go through their full entrances in the crowd before saying a word; little do they realize that that’s what THEY are expecting! Who are THEY? Why, none other than 2.0 and Daniel Garcia who bash the two of them with pipes in the middle of the crowd and run to the ring to call out Darby and Sting who oblige the request, and so we begin…

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Sting & Darby Allin Vs. 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) – Texas Tornado Tag Match

2.0 is accompanied to the ring by Daniel Garcia

The former Ever Rise going from NXT castoffs to big TV stars in just a few short weeks on AEW, going so far as to beat up the former champ and one of the most over guys at the company, will no doubt a thorn in WWE’s side for months on end, especially with the latest batch of releases from the company, but regardless of that, both Matt and Jeff have proven themselves to be great additions to AEW and their association with Daniel Garcia has been one of the better things about the last two weeks of the show. As for the match itself, they keep it short and sweet with a lot of selling from the Heels and a lot of big Baby Face spots for Sting. Also, I guess the TEXAS part of this means No DQ because the bell has barely rung before they take things to the top of the stadium to duke it out there with Daniel Garcia backing up 2.0. The Baby Faces aren’t running away with this however as they do eat a bunch of offense from 2.0, particularly this one spot where 2.0 basically threw Darby up into the top part of an entrance way (google says it’s called a jamb) and then falls back down to Earth onto his back which frankly isn’t the WORST bump I’ve seen Darby Allin take. However, they eventually get the upper hand and make their way to ring while a freshly recovered Kingston drags Daniel Garcia away to presumably take a beating for his part in all this. There are a few more rough spots that the Baby Faces take like when Darby is Suplexed into his skateboard (wheels up) and when Sting eats a Powerbomb into a table, but the Baby Faces are resilient and Sting basically No Sells the table spot to the utter dismay of 2.0. Sting lands a Double Scorpion Death Drop on the two of them and THEN puts them both in a Scorpion Death Lock; both of whom tap out immediately; winning the match and once again putting 2.0 right in their place! It was definitely a fun opening match, and while I still don’t LOVE everything that Darby is willing to do in the ring, this was comparatively a less intensive match and the sheer power of THE ICON STING at the end of the match got the crowd in a great mood for the rest of the show!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-18-2021)”