Tag Archives: Excalibur

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-19-20)

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

AEW has done a great job of building up its shows; not only by actually letting us know what’s coming up in the week head but by planting the seeds of big ideas long before they get around to doing them.  We heard about that Cage Match WEEKS ago and they kept reminding us of it every episode, so now that the day is finally here, well I found myself getting REALLY excited to see it for myself which is exactly what you want in a wrestling show; a reason to come back to it!  Does the match live up to the weeks of hype, and is the rest of the episode just as good?  Let’s find out!!

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Tag Team Battle Royale

Starting the show off in highest gear possible, we’re not even a minute in before the Battle Royale is on and like twenty dudes are beating the crap out of each other in the ring.  It is a RIDICULOUS amount of guys that are in here taking abuse and doing wacky spots that are pretty much all great but is far too much to try and recap in its entirety, but I’ll hit the highlights.  The first one for me was when Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and that turtle neck guy in those Dark Order promos started to taunt SCU which was enough of a distraction for John Silver and Alex Reynolds (representing The Dark Order in this match) to knock them out of the ring and eliminating them from the Battle Royale.  Don’t worry though!  The Young Bucks IMMEDIATELY Superkick the both of them out of the ring, just in case you thought The Dark Order were gonna win at some point, though they WERE the two clear jobbers of the group.  SCU start brawling with Stu Grayson right after they’re thrown out of the ring who manages to hold his own, so while The Dark Order may not have had MUCH success, they’ve been doing a good job of building up its key members with Evil Uno as the brains behind the operation and Stu Grayson being the one always ready for a fight.  Later on in the match, Cima of Strong Heart (yes, they’re in this too!) gets tossed out and Evil Uno offers him a mask to join The Dark Order.  It LOOKS like he accepted it, but we’re left unsure as to what’s going on there.  Other big standout moments include Orange Cassidy saving Trent from being eliminated by carrying him on his shoulders, some REALLY fun spots with Luchasarus who unfortunately gets eliminated with the combined effort of four dudes, and of course Santana and Ortiz as the heel group refuses to get in the ring for the first few minutes.  This is a really common thing with Battle Royales and frankly I’m wondering why they can’t just institute a ten count for those who didn’t go over the top but are outside the ring as a way to prevent these shenanigans.  So they all fight and fight and fight until it’s down to Santana and Ortiz alone with Matt Jackson.  The dude is getting a beating on both sides within an inch of his life, but he manages to take out Ortiz with a Superkick leaving just him and Ortiz.  Sammy Guevara, sensing a need for his particular set of skills goes into the ring, climbs to the top rope, and jumps at Matt like a missile, before Matt Superkick’s him out of midair; leaving him a crumpled and presumably DEAD mess on the mat. In the confusion Santana is gasping for air on the ropes and Matt charges at him with a clothesline; knocking him over the ropes and winning The Young Bucks their shot at the Tag Team Titles at Revolution.  This was a really great match in terms of Battle Royales which are always a bit messy and all over the place, but a lot of the spots really connected and they managed to tell a few stories within it to build up a few matches in the following weeks; not the least of which being The Young Bucks getting a shot at the Tag Team Title at Full Gear.  The only thing that’s kind of disappointing about it is that they start it off so quickly when I really would have liked a roll call; especially when teams like Strong Heart are back for this which should feel like a big deal.  Other than that, it was a great way to start the show!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-12-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another episode of The Revolution Pre-Show as the next few weeks will be all about building up the Pay Per View at the end of the month!  Will we get some good matches and decent storylines in the buildup, or are we merely setting ourselves up for disappointment?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. SCU (Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)

SCU is accompanied to the ring by Christopher Daniels

Before the match begins, The Dark order hacks into the big screen and delivers a cryptic warning to BOTH teams about how they’re closer than any of them realize.  This threat is SO terrifying that Christopher Daniels decides to leave ringside to go “investigate” and we’ll see how well that goes soon enough.  Anyway, the match itself is REALLY good with Omega and Page being PHENOMENALLY over with the crowd as both get huge pops for everything they do; and credit to SCU for playing the heels here just to give them that much more of a pop.  I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work with them being the light that keeps their partner Daniels from going to the dark side, but for the purposes of this match it worked out great as Kenny and Page both got hot tags which led to them showing off their super moves to get the crowd in a great mood for the rest of the show.  It ends as it should with Kazarian eating both a Buckshot Lariat and a V Trigger at the same time, and since there was zero friction between the two in this match they may have just kicked Page’s heel turn WAY down the road.  What kind of soured the ending just a bit is that Kazarian grabbed the rope at the very last second of the pin which you really only want to do to justify a rematch, but the thing is SCU already HAVE a rematch of sorts lined up because whoever lost THIS match is going to be part of a Tag Team Battle Royale NEXT week where the winner of THAT gets a title match at Revolution!  So… what did this accomplish other than confusing the finish?  In any case, Kenny and Page are happy with their victory and quickly leave the arena presumably since The Dark Order comes out not three minutes after the bell rang.  This was great as The Dark Order surround the ring like usual, but then ALL the freaking tag teams (who will presumably be part of the Battle Royale) come out as well; The Best Friends and The Young Bucks backing up SCU while The Butcher, the Blade, and The Bunny as well as The Hybrid 2 come out to get in on the action too. Good job by the way on the part of Christopher Daniels!  While he’s in the back presumably walking around with a flashlight and a magnifying glass, The Dark Order managed to give him the slip and end up right where he had left ten minutes ago!  I don’t buy the theory that Daniels is secretly the leader of The Dark Order, but this ridiculous little ruse might just be a point in its favor.  It all devolves into a pull-apart brawl with The Young Bucks stealing the spotlight after a few well-placed Super Kicks, and even if it is mostly chaos it at least does a decent job of selling us on the upcoming Battle Royale.  However, despite how good ALL of this is it does end on a sour note; one we’ll be hearing throughout the episode.  The picture in picture during the commercials has always been something of a mixed bag as it at least gives you something to look at while being advertised to, but whenever something IMPORTANT happens there it can be really annoying because it’s super tiny and there’s no audio.  This was the case here as the picture in picture had ORANGE CASSIDY come out to confront Evil Uno and Stu Grayson who were walking up the ramp when all the fighting was going on.  Cassidy does his classic HANDS IN POCKET maneuver which the crowd always loves, and this is a big enough distraction for The Bucks to land simultaneous Super Kicks on them!  Yes, this is the first time Evil Uno and Stu Grayson have legitimately been bested since their reimagining, and it happened during a commercial.  Not only that, but Orange Cassidy is given a Young Bucks headband for being such a good sport; all of this would have drove the home audience wild but instead comes off as an afterthought due to the way it’s being presented!  WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT!?

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-05-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another episode of Wednesday Night Modern Warfare with a particularly spicy bout between NXT and AEW!  For the most part, AEW has been leading NXT in the rating EXCEPT when a SmackDown or RAW superstar graces the Full Sail arena, and with Charlotte Flair’s victory at The Royal Rumble she might just be challenging Rhea Ripley for the NXT title.  Sounds like a pretty hard act to compete against, but AEW has put on some amazing shows in the past and from the look of the announced card they may just have a shot here as well!  Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Ortiz

AEW has found a winning formula and by god they are going to stick to it!  Jon Moxley once again kicks off the show by working his way through the crowd to his music while wearing an eyepatch, though instead of getting on the mic and talking smack towards Jericho, he instead is here to face Ortiz in a one on one bout.  Well… about as one on one as you can get with Santana skulking outside the ring AND the rest of The Inner Circle butting in on commentary!  This was a great match with a lot of great moves and smart storytelling which is what you want from the biggest angle they have going right now.  They play up the eye, they play up Ortiz’s ego, and they even play up how much of an asset Santana is being outside the ring and covering Ortiz’s back.  Moxley is still flying solo on his quest here and I hope they find a way to work that into a genuine fault for the guy rather than just a self-imposed restriction to make him look more badass which frankly seems to be what they’re going for.  If I could say one thing about Moxley that’s negative, it’s that he’s just SO unflappable that he becomes a BIT hard to take seriously; especially when it comes to selling other people’s moves which he struggles with just a LITTLE bit.  Sure he can stumble and look a bit groggy, but he never screams, flails, or holds body parts in pain despite the amount of damage his opponents lay on him.  I was paying attention to the pin falls in particular and he looks like he’s WAITING to kick out rather than nearly incapacitated, so that’s one place where things could be a BIT better here, but like I said it was a great match overall and one heck of a way to start off the show!  It comes to an end when Jon Moxley avoids a running strike from Ortiz who then accidently hits Santana off of the ropes (this will be something of a running theme by the way) and so  Ortiz tries to rush Moxley again, but Moxley is prepared for it and lands a Paradigm Shift for the pin.  After the match Santanta tries to rush Moxley as retribution for the defeat of his tag team partner but ends up eating a Paradigm shift just like Ortiz, and then Moxley pulls out the car keys to the Ford GT that Jericho “gave him” as a gift for joining The Inner Circle which he ultimately didn’t do, and Jericho is great here as he freaks the heck out on commentary yelling about how it’s his car and that Moxley is a THIEF!  A THIEF I SAY!!  If that wasn’t bad enough, Moxley sticks the key between the fingers of his hand as he makes a fist, he picks up Santana who is still dazed from the Paradigm Shift, and then jabs the poor sucker in the eye; taking his revenge for what The Inner Circle had done to him a few weeks ago.  The Inner Circle rushes the ring at this point but Jon Moxley is long gone; having made his escape in the crowd.  Moxley is second only to Cody as far as people over with the crowd, and while this definitely feels more like a heel move than anything a face would do, the crowd was into it and cheered him endlessly for his Eye For An Eye stunt here.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Fyter Fest

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Fyter Fest and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

We’re back with another PPV brought to you by the throne smashers themselves, AEW!  Things have certainly changed since Double or Nothing, haven’t they?  For one, WWE has completely lost the plot from what I’ve heard and responded to AEW with nonsense, bad story lines, and an overabundance of Shane McMahon.  With their primary rival of sorts doing such a poor job of responding to the new challenger, which is surprising in its own right, it only got stranger when AEW announced that THIS PPV would be completely free; a move that still baffles me considering how successful they’ve been up to this point.  Sure, Double or Nothing MIGHT have been a bit pricey at fifty bucks, but they could have at least charged twenty or even ten for it which would have gotten them a heck of a lot more money than ZERO!  I guess TBS and the Khan family have the money to throw around, and I’m not about to complain TOO much about not having to pay for a show like this.  The bigger question is what’s different in this show and have they improved since Double or Nothing?  Eh… sort of.  As far as commentary, Excalibur has improved but JR still sounds a bit rusty and out of touch; especially when he referred to Cima as “an Oriental.”  I mean look, we can argue about how much of a slur that is or whether JR has any genuine ill feelings about Asian wrestlers (and I can think of WAY worse people they could have gotten as an announcer where the answer to those questions wouldn’t even be debatable), but it really does make him seem like an awkward fit for what is supposed to be a very modern and forward thinking wrestling company.  While the announcing has improved, sadly the camera work still has a few rough patches that will hopefully get ironed out before they go to TV.  I only mentioned this very briefly in my last recap, but the editing sometimes misses spots or more often will miss whenever there’s drama at the end of a match.  Someone does a low blow, someone else enters the ring, stuff like that will almost go by unnoticed because whoever is running the cameras is focusing on something else an nearly misses the action.  Again, this is the kind of thing that can be easily fixed with experience and I’m not gonna begrudge them this learning curve, but it is even more noticeable here than it was last time. In fact, I’d say that’s the overall vibe I’m getting from Fyter Fest.  It’s still really good stuff, but I think the high from Double or Nothing has started to wear off and so it’s easier to see and evaluate its flaws.  The big one that MOSTLY stayed in the pre-show but kept coming back to annoy me was the show’s theme where they didn’t JUST name it after something topical but had to do little skits to make sure we ALL KNOW that they saw the documentaries too.  Kenny Omega is trying to find instruments for bands that don’t exist, The Young Bucks lost their luggage and need to find new costumes, and they even brought models out before swiftly replacing them with mannequins.  It all just felt so corny and unnecessary when they could have used that time to put up a few promos for the matches which frankly were desperately needed as many of them seemed to have a story but one that we weren’t informed of ahead of time.   Let’s put all that aside though and just focus on the matches!  So how did the pre-show kick things off?

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Six-man Tag Team Match

AEWFF1Private Party: Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen
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SoCal Uncensored: Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky (Schuyler Andrews)
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Best Friends: Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta

There’s a lot going on in this first match which is good because you want to get the crowd on board right away so they can carry that energy for the rest of the show.  We’ve got Private Party as the newcomers who I think AEW is trying to push as future superstars of the company considering they got a whole episode of Road to Fyter Fest dedicated to them.  We’ve got two thirds of SCU who had one of the best matches in all of Double or Nothing, and while I wasn’t really impressed with The Best Friends last time (definitely a victim of the last show running long), they get a pretty good pop from the crowd so I was willing to give them another chance.  The only thing that I didn’t like right off the bat was the fact that this was a Triple Threat tag match and they always use this weird rule where only two compeitors can be in the ring at a time; leaving one team to just sit on the sidelines while the other two actually fight.  I don’t understand why they don’t have one member of each team in the ring like say… an ACTUAL Triple Threat, but we’ll get back to this later on in the match.  For now, I just want to point out that everyone in this looks great and does some very impressive acrobatics!  SCU continues to be the best tag team as far as I’m concerned as they can take already impressive wrestlers like Private Party and Best Friends and make them look even better than they already are!  There’s this really impressive spot where Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen go back to back on Kassiran in beautiful and brutal fashion!  If I could say one thing about the match it’s that it FEELS a bit too much like an exhibition; like everyone is here to help the other team show off their moves instead of win the fight, but frankly that’s a rather minor complaint when the moves are THIS impressive!

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He should change his name to Mark QUAIL!!  …  Because he’s flying through the air?  …  Really, nothing?  Is this thing on?

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