Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-06-2021)

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

I think I might be feeling Wrestling Burnout again as I haven’t been too excited about the last few weeks of Dynamite despite the reception being quite strong from everyone else.  I mean I COULD just have the most accurate opinion out of anyone else who covers these shows, but chances are I just need to give it a bit of time and to see the right matches for me to get back into the groove of things.  Will this episode manage to jumpstart my enthusiasm for AEW, or will I remain a sourpuss for a while longer?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and Bryan Danielson Vs. Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega – 8 Man Tag match

As much of a marquee match as this is, I’m always skeptical of throwing THIS many people in the ring as it’s either gonna have a lot of people doing nothing on the corners or descend into utter chaos.  In this match they manage to do both, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  For most of this match, it’s the Jungle Boy show as he spends most of the time in the ring and does a fair job fending off The Bucks and Cole.  Even when he tags someone in its usually to do a tandem move before the new guy tags out and puts Jungle Boy back in.  This works for a bit as Jungle Boy and Christian Cage bury Adam Cole under a flurry of offense, but Jungle Boy perhaps overstays his welcome once Nick Jackson tries the distraction on the apron which allows Cole to land a big kick and start the heat.  This is also the only time we see Kenny Omega in the ring during the first three-quarters of the match as he tags in to pick at the bones of Jungle Boy, before tagging back out a moment later while the Baby Faces can do nothing but watch him strut.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight off both Bucks and gets the tag to Danielson who goes after the legal man Matt Jackson with his Chops and Yes Kicks, and as soon as he simply LOOKS towards the Heels’ corner, Omega runs off like a scared chicken.  Danielson’s run is brief however as he tags in Luchasaurus who gets a HUGE pop from the crowd and keeps the pressure on Matt Jackson.  It’s not long before he tags in Jungle Boy, but in flagrant disregard of the rules they ALL hit the ring and knock the Heels off the apron so that all four can land corner splashes on Matt Jackson; ending with a Tail Whip/Face Buster combo from Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus that would have gotten the pin if the Heels didn’t break it up.  Now that all eight guys are in the ring, they just start hammering each other until Christian takes a Melzer Driver outside the ring.  With Cage out of the match and Jungle Boy taking a lot of damage from all four of them, it’s time for Danielson to get the Hot Tag and Jungle Boy is struggling to get to the corner.  The Bucks go for an Assisted Suplex on Jungle Boy, but this proves to be just the opportunity he’s looking for as he fights against the move and turns it into Stereo DDTs.  Omega tags in to try and stop him but is too late to stop Jungle Boy from tagging in Danielson and both are alone in the ring for the first time since their match at Grand Slam.  The crowd pops for it and they only get louder as the two start exchanging strikes!  Omega gets the best of it with a kick, but Danielson quickly recovers and starts landing his big moves on him.  Corner Splashes, Chop/Kicks, a top rope Hurricanrana, and even a Diving Headbutt all hit their target, but Danielson only gets a two count because the Bucks run in and break up the pin.  More chaos as everyone runs in until the ring is cleared and Danielson goes for the Tiger Driver followed by the Cattle Mutilation which also ends up getting broken up by The Bucks; this time from a Senton by Matt Jackson.  Danielson tags in Luchasaurus who cleans house in a VERY impressive and over the top manner; so much so that he gets ALL four of The Elite into the corners of the ring and starts doing splashes on each of them.  The one who escapes is Adam Cole who gets a kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise, but he is caught by Luchasaurus in one hand while Kenny gets caught in the other.   He tosses them both down which cues even MORE chaos as all seven remaining guys hit a bunch of moves, but it all leads to Luchasaurus eating a Low Blow and rolling out the ring while Jungle Boy eats a Panama Sunrise.  Danielson is up next and tries to fend off all four (which he REALLY shouldn’t NEED to do if the ref is paying attention), but is eventually overwhelmed and eats a Triple Super Kick.  He rolls out and Jungle Boy is the legal man who ends up eating a FOUR person Superkick Party and it’s finally enough to keep him down for the three count.  It was definitely a good match considering just how many moves they managed to fit in there, but for me, it was too chaotic.  I think the magic number for a tag team match is three, and once you get higher than that things start to get too long and the story gets lost in the shuffle of bodies; like the wrestling equivalent of too many cooks in the kitchen.  I’m sure everyone here will continue to have great matches with each other in the coming weeks, but I’d rather they be smaller matches spread over a longer period of time instead of trying to get everyone in the ring as soon and as often as possible.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-01-2021)

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

So the last Dynamite was a pretty rough slog to get through which means I’m in JUST the right mood for what AEW themselves are calling THE FASTEST HOUR OF WRESTLING and at least until last week that was usually the case.  Does Rampage get us back on track with a light and fun episode of wrestling action, or will it be bogged down as much as the last Dynamite and even the last Rampage?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson is accompanied to the ring by Matt Jackson and Brandon Cutler

So now that Danielson and Omega got their first big match out of the way, we can start going through some of the other dream matches while building up towards the rematch; a win-win situation if you ask me even if the crowd didn’t like their first match ending in a draw.  Nick Jackson is also a good opponent to put him up against in his quest to face off with the ENTIRE Elite as people are still talking about his singles match with Rey Fenix, and it should come as no surprise that these two have a great match!  Danielson may not have Nick Jackson’s high flying abilities, but he’s good at keeping him grounded and has a pretty sizable advantage throughout the match.  Jackson’s case isn’t helped by the fact that he isn’t taking this seriously at first opting to show off and play around with cold spray rather than face Danielson directly, and he pays for this several times with Yes Kicks, brutal submissions, and a Dragon Sleeper that he only manages to escape by thumbing Danielson in the eye.  The only reason he gets the heat during the commercial break is that he throws Danielson outside and starts distracting the ref while Matt Jackson tackles and hammers him on the floor.  Still, he can’t help himself and starts to play around by giving Danielson his “unique” variation on the Yes Kick that only serves to tick Danielson off; so much so that he’s starting to FEED off the force of those kicks until he’s finally standing tall!  He spits in Nick Jackson’s face and just goes WILD on the guy!  STRIKE!  KICK!  STRIKE!  KICK!  A nonstop barrage of offense from Danielson as he makes Nick Jackson PAY for giving him such puny kicks!  Nah, he’s gonna show him what REAL kicks look like and gives him a bunch of Yes Kicks for a two count!  It’s time for Nick Jackson to put up or shut up, so after taking a few Running Knees from Danielson, he stops him in his tracks with not one but TWO Super Kicks that net him a two count.  Nick Jackson then goes for the 450 Senton, but Danielson gets the knees up and he instantly transitions into the LeBell Lock.  Jackson rolls to the apron and Danielson follows with even more Yes Kicks, but Jackson ducks after the first few and Danielson hits his shin on the ring post.  Jackson follows up with a German Suplex on the apron and an Escalera to the floor before he tosses Danielson into the ring to put him in a Sharpshooter where he just barely gets to the bottom rope to break the hold.  It’s starting to look bad for Danielson who rolls out of the ring, but luckily for him, Nick calls his shots and shouts SEE YA before charging at him with a kick and he’s able to duck it only for Brandon Cutler to eat he move instead.  In the confusion, Danielson lands a German Suplex on the floor and rolls Nick Jackson in which could spell the end of this match, so Matt Jackson gets on the apron to distract the ref.  Danielson gives him a forearm that sends him to the floor so naturally Nick Jackson gives him a surprise roll-up, and even if it only got a two count, it at least leveled the playing field between them as we head into the finish.  Jackson lands a Superkick and goes for a Roundhouse to follow, but Danielson dodges and lands a Tiger Suplex into a bridge for a two count.  Still holding Nick Jackson he starts HAMMERING on the dude’s chest to the delight of the crowd, and once he’s done he locks him in the Cattle Mutilation.  Nick Jackson taps out which gives Danielson the victory to the consternation of The Elite who come out to look after Nick Jackson while Jurassic Express come out to look after Danielson.  A brief brawl breaks up as it naturally should, and Jurassic Express gets the upper hand in anticipation of an upcoming Eight Man Tag Match between the two factions.

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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 Dynamite (09-08-2021)

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

We’re back once again… for the fourth time in a week… with more AEW action.  Needless to say that after Dynamite, Dark, and All Out last week that I’m a little burned out on wrestling and had to drag myself to the computer to get this thing done.  Still!  The show must go on, and AEW is not about to slow down when they have this much momentum behind them!  Can they capitalize on the success of All Out with a fantastic episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Malakai Black

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t hold this off for one more week to do a face to face interaction prior to the match as I’d love to hear what Dustin has to say about Blacks’ gimmick to his face, but this was still a pretty fun match.  Dustin gets a strong lead early on and lands a GREAT German Suplex in the corner, but eventually the fight goes outside the ring and Dustin is cut off with a Back Suplex through the time keeper’s table.  Black drags Dustin back in the ring and removes the turnbuckle pad before getting the heat for a while and a knee to the guy flips Dustin over for a two count.  At some point (it looks to have been the Back Suplex spot), Dustin’s knee got injured and during the heat segment he falls over from the pain which Black found HIGHLY amusing, but Dustin grits his teeth and gets back up for some back and forth action before Dustin gets his momentum and again and hits some impressive moves.  There was one weird spot during this segment though where Dustin throws Black into the ropes and expects him to bounce off.  He doesn’t though as Black gripped the ropes but Dustin can’t seem to figure that out and straight-up does an invisible Power Slam in front of everyone.  I can’t tell if that’s a botch and that Black was SUPPOSED to take it or if that’s what you should expect to happen if someone unexpectedly cuts on the breaks, but seeing him MIME the move kind of felt like one of those EXPOSING THE BUSINESS moments and it took me out of the match for a moment.  Black tries to follow up this spot with a kick to the head, but Dustin dodges and THEN gets a proper Power Slam for a two count.  Things go back in Black’s favor however when Dustin gets on the middle rope to bash him over the head in the corner only for Black to slip away and land a kick to the back of Dustin’s legs that sends him crashing to the mat.  Instead of finishing Dustin off though, Black goes to the effort of pulling Cody’s boot out from under the ring in an attempt to anger Dustin… and I GUESS he got what he wanted because Dustin is SUPER heated now and starts to kick his butt; even landing a Canadian Destroyer for a two count!  Not sure what the point of that was other than I guess to show us that Black underestimates his opponents, but regardless it’s time for him to finish this match once and for all.  He’s in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle and Dustin goes for a Bulldog but Black fights him off and then trips him into the corner when he tries to come back for him.  Dustin is dazed after taking that direct hit to the turnbuckle and he eats a Spinning Heel Kick as soon as he turns around which gets Black the pin and wins him the match.  There were a few spots in here that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy and didn’t exactly make sense to me, but both of these guys are good workers and provide an interesting contrast to each other.  I’d have liked to see this particular match on a bigger stage with a bigger build, but what we got here was still pretty fun!

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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.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-11-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW, and this one is a special one because, ironically, it’s NOT a special episode!  Yes, for the first time in six weeks, this does NOT have a subtitle attached to it, but considering how strong the show has been lately I wouldn’t take it as a sign that they are resting on their laurels.  Do they continue their upward momentum in anticipation for the PPV and the arrival of some big name stars?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the show with a promo from MJF and Wardlow about the latter’s upcoming match against Jericho which as far as I can tell is NOT a stipulation match.  Sure, MJF is gonna be at ringside but pretty much EVERY match on this show has a bowling team’s worth of extra dudes just hanging around.  As you’d expect MJF is his usual smarmy self, a smarminess further accentuated by him eating an apple while talking, and Wardlow is standing behind him flexing and pouting his lips.  He seems pretty confident about his chances tonight, but MJF reminds him of his cage match against Cody which turns the atmosphere to ice.  The Wardlow/MJF breakup has been a thread for almost as long as the Hangman’s downfall has been playing out, but chances are that they’re gonna stick it out for quite a while longer as their feud with The Inner Circle shows no sign of slowing down.

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Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks Vs. Daunte Martin & The Sydal Brothers  – Trios Match

I don’t know what it is about Pittsburgh, but AEW has to go here more often because they pulled out ALL the stops; especially with this opening bout which MIGHT be one of the best matches of the year!  If nothing else, it’s EASILY a PPV caliber bout and I just love what this match manages to do and what it AVOIDS doing.  We have three AEW champions just showing up for a trios match against three guys who aren’t exactly the biggest stars at the company, and they’re just wrestling because it’s a fun match to do; nothing more, nothing less!  It’s a non-title match obviously because they have to preserve the existing storylines at least a LITTLE bit, but The Elite are not afraid to give these three lower tier dudes a lot of room to show what they can do, and while the Sydal brothers have always been great and look great here as they get an early lead on the Bucks, the real star is Daunte Martin.  The guy has a vertical leap that is truly something to admire, and he lands a Drop Kick to the face of Matt Jackson with ease; jumping so high that it almost looks like he’s floating as he turns in midair to land the kick!  Both teams go back and forth with the Baby Faces getting pretty solid advantages that are undercut by the devious machinations of The Elite, and EVERYONE looks good in the process!  The Bucks get to do their Cocky Heel shtick, Kenny Omega cleans house whenever he’s in the ring, and The Baby Faces work together with brilliant efficiency; not that The Elite don’t work well together as they land a Face Buster/Kotaro Crusher on Mike Sydal that leads to hot tags from both Matt and Daunte.  They land a bunch of big moves, the crowd is going wild, and they go for pinfalls and submissions, but it’s never quite enough to put the champs away.  Eventually it devolves into that perfect wrestling chaos where everyone is just running in and doing moves, but there’s an elegance to the timing that makes it look like a spectacle instead of a violent mess; all of which leads to Daunte and Omega in the ring alone.  Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but Daunte manages to flip his way out of it and the two trade moves for nearfalls until Omega gets a V-Trigger right to the face of young Daunte.  The Bucks keep the Sydals from running in as Kenny goes once again for the One Winged Angel and FINALLY lands it!  He doesn’t go for the pin though as he and The Bucks don’t appreciate being shown up like this and so the three of them land a BTE-V-Trigger (basically all three of them land knees to the face), and NOW Kenny deigns to pin the kid to win the match and bring this fantastic spectacle to a close!  There’s always a danger in putting something THIS good up front as it’s a hard act for any match to follow, but you couldn’t ask for a better way to get people to tune in as this was an amazing Trios match from beginning to end that left everyone looking even better than they did before!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-11-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-04-2021) – Homecoming

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite and things are definitely looking up for the company!  The last episode was definitely a mixed bag of highs and lows, but the ratings the last few weeks have been consistently excellent and there’s no sign of it slowing down; especially with the talent that should be arriving in the next few weeks!  Does this episode keep the momentum going as we head towards the debut of Rampage and the big PPV show to follow not long after?  Let’s find out!!

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Chris Jericho Vs. Juventud Guerrera – The Third Labor of Jericho

For Jericho to win, he must land a move from the top rope

Not everyone has enjoyed the whole Labors of Jericho thing, and for me this MIGHT be the match that pushed things a little bit too far.  It’s by no means the fault of the two guys in the ring as they are GREAT here (and I have to find out what Juvy does to still look so young!) but the stipulation doesn’t make a lot of sense and is not very well explained.  I honestly thought that all he had to do was land one move from the top rope to win and the rules weren’t clear until we saw it play out in the match.  Apparently he has to land a move from the top rope AND THEN either pin or submit him; the latter of which by the way being a pretty goofy looking spot where Jericho drops from the top rope onto Juvy and just puts him in the Walls of Jericho.  Juvy eventually gets out of it and they go back and forth for a bit with Juvy getting a close nearfall after landing a Juvy Driver, but then Jericho hits the Judas Effect and Juvy is down.  HOWEVER!  He landed it while on the ground and can’t cover him to which Jericho looks right into the camera with a dumbfounded expression on his face before going up top and landing a Flying Judas Effect to finally get the pin and win the match.  I’d honestly have much preferred a simple match between these two or perhaps a more straightforward stipulation as the top rope stuff kinda dragged things down throughout, but it was nice to see Juvy again and the Jericho storyline is still one of the most enjoyable things that AEW has going on right now!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-04-2021) – Homecoming”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen

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

We’re back with even more AEW action and frankly the company has been on a real hot streak lately!  With solid episodes the last few weeks, lots of news about possible signings from Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, and even outpacing WWE for live ticket sales, their return to the road has been an overwhelming success and some of the best publicity the company has had.  Can they keep up that momentum all the way to the All Out PPV in September?  Lets’ find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & The Dark Order Vs. The Elite – Ten Man Elimination Tag Match

Don Callis  joins the commentary team for this match

Considering this match the biggest names in the company working through the biggest storyline they have (If Hangman and The Dark Order win, they ALL get title shots), it makes sense that they start the show with it, and to the surprise of no one it ends up being a darn good match!  Now I’m not about to go blow for blow here considering how long it is and how many people are involved, so just assume that everything filling the gaps of what I talk about is solid work and that the crowd was into this the entire time!  On one side we have Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows, while on the other side we have Hangman Adam Page, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and the returning John Silver who’s in his first match since his shoulder injury and his first match in front of a crowd in over a year.  Needless to say that the crowd is completely behind this dude and a good chunk of the match is trying to make him look as good as possible.  He and Reynolds do that awesome combination that really SHOULD have a name by now (Forearm Strike, Inzuguri, Stunner, German Suplex, Jackknife pin) but it’s not enough to put Karl Anderson away.  Gallows tries to even the odds a bit and rushes the ring and Reynolds knocks him over the ropes with ease, only for Anderson to come from behind and pin him by pulling on the trunks.  With blatant interference and an illegal pin within seconds of each other, it’s probably time to mention that the one drawback to this match is that none of the rules are enforced as people are running in CONSTANTLY without a peep from the ref which isn’t NECESSARILY a bad thing if it leads to great action, but I felt that for a match with such high stakes it’d have been nice if they could have either kept it a bit cleaner or just declared it No DQ.  This lack of adherence to the rules goes for both sides by the way as Uno and Grayson eliminate Karl Anderson soon after with a Fatality.  Stu and Uno actually get quite a lot in this match as they seem to be even more in-sync than the two tag teams on the other team as they pull out some impressive tandem moves and give The Bucks a run for their money.  However, this also leads to probably the worst spot in the match which is when Stu Grayson lands a Sky Twister Press from the apron to the ground and ends up SMASHING his head on the floor because no one caught him!  Now he claims to be fine, but there was NO way anyone knew that at the time and he and Doc Gallows brawl in the crowd including ANOTHER diving spot from Grayson.  I don’t THINK he hit his head on that one, but he definitely rolled on the ground.  Thankfully he and Gallows were eliminated due to count out which MIGHT have been the plan all along or something they had to call at the moment so that Grayson could get out of there and get checked on.  Either way, that was BRUTAL.  Uno and Omega are the only ones still standing at this point and they brawl it out in the ring for a bit while everyone else tries to recover outside the ring.  Uno does his best but when he goes for the Senton, Omega gets the knees up and hits him with the V-Trigger as well as the One Winged Angel which is MORE than enough to eliminate him from the match.  That just leaves Hangman and John Silver against The Young Bucks and Omega.  Not looking good for the Baby Faces, but John is NOT deterred and hits a BIG spear on Matt Jackson for a big pop from the crowd.  It doesn’t take long though before The Bucks start getting the heat on Silver with all the goofiness that entails.  This match is APPARENTLY a promotional cross over with that Space Jam sequel so all the Heels are wearing basketball jerseys and there’s a hoop nearby which I’m not sure if getting the most out of this brand synergy; nor would I expect it to be in the middle of a match this important.  Still, there is a spot where The Bucks do an Indie Taker on Silver underneath the Basketball hoop while Nick Jackson is trying to dunk a basketball, and while Silver does eat the Indie Taker, Nick Jackson COMPLETELY fumbled the spot and the ball goes bouncing off the rim which made it all the funnier!  The Bucks may be goofballs, but they are still good wrestlers and not only did they tear Silver apart here, they also took some cheap shots at Hangman to soften him up once he’s the last one in there as John is fighting valiantly but it’s clearly just a matter of time.  The Bucks finally land a BTE trigger on Silver and he stays down for the pin which leaves him alone to face Omega and The Bucks; two of whom he betrayed, one he disappointed, and ALL looking to destroy this man once and for all!  What follows is a fantastic match in its own right as Hangman manages to hang with all three of them and everyone starts hitting their biggest moves; especially Hangman who gets a Pop Up Powerbomb on Kenny and even lands a DOUBLE BUCKSHOT LARIAT on both of the Bucks!  Kenny eventually gets tired of all of this and tries to bash him over the head with one of his belts, but is stopped in his tracks when Ref Knox takes it away.  However, since he’s the BELT COLLECTOR, he just gets another one while the ref’s back is turned and goes for Hangman, who ducks and manages to hit him with the Dead Eye… only to get a count.  Hangman then goes for the Buckshot but its Omega’s turn to duck and he finally hits Hangman with a belt… only to get a two count as well.  Kenny is back in control now however as he hits a few V-Triggers and a One Winged Angel which Hangman stays down for and the match is over; giving The Elite the win and preventing Hangman from going for the title.  I’m mixed about the ending to be sure as Hangman losing any momentum here is probably not a good thing considering how much the crowd is behind him, but I do like the idea that The Dark Order in a sense has failed him here and we’ll get to see the fallout of that; if he turns his back on them or if he’s grown enough to not take failures like this so personally as to blow up his relationships.  It’ll be an interesting few weeks to see what direction they’re going in and this was a heck of a match to see, though perhaps I wouldn’t have started with this as it’s kind of a downer and the rest of the show is gonna have to work hard to get out from underneath it.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen”