Tag Archives: Frankie Kazarian

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-13-19)

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

With the fallout of Full Gear fresh in our minds, this week’s episode of Dynamite has a lot to live up to as well as a lot of storylines to start building back up.  Will Cody live up to his word and not challenge for the AEW title again?  Will MJF be able to explain himself for his betrayal of Cody?  Will Jericho continue to be a smarmy jerk that we all love to hate?  Hopefully the answer to all three is a HECK YES, but let’s find out!!

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Before our first match, we get an update on Kenny Omega who (in storyline; I’m pretty sure it’s just a work) is not cleared for tonight’s show due to the injuries he sustained in the Light’s Out match he had with Jon Moxley at Full Gear. We also learn that Michael Nakazawa is a friend of his which is relevant because…

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Jon Moxley Vs. Michael Nakazawa

You know a Nakazawa match is serious business when he foregoes the baby oil!  Right off the bat he just tosses it away and starts coming after Moxley with everything he’s got to avenge his bleeding buddy, but to no avail as Moxley makes short work of him in a match that barely goes on longer than a minute.  I didn’t mind it though!  I like being showed that Nakazawa can have a serious side to him and it’s important to make Moxely look as strong as possible if he’s going to continue being a top guy in the company; neither of which requires a whole lot of time and is a refreshing change of pace for a promotion known for REALLY long matches.  Besides, the real point of all this is to give Moxley the mic afterwards who proceeds to gloat as hard as he can and promise to destroy EVERYONE at AEW until the company itself is destroyed and he is the only one left remaining.  He issues an open challenge to the locker room for anyone to take a shot at him which at this point may be just as prestigious a challenge as going for the title itself.  Jon Moxley is THAT good at being pissed off, aggressive, and in complete control of his surrounds.  Surprisingly the crowd is pretty mixed on the guy which is great because it shows that the audience is willing to play their part in the story because of how invested they are in the product.  What’s even MORE surprising though is that no one from the locker room takes him up on the offer which either means that everyone backstage is scared or that they want to drag this story out a bit more so we that fans can speculate on who would be the best person in the company to try and take Moxley down a peg.  I prefer it if a show like this doesn’t drag things out early on and this was a great start right off the bat!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear

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

While technically being the fifth AEW PPV (sixth if you count All In which was basically AEW Zero), this is the first one since they’ve gotten the TV series and have started to focus more on long term storylines.  Not only that, but it’s coming off of a MASSIVE amount of success from Dynamite which has consistently beaten NXT in the ratings, so there’s a lot of hype and high expectations surrounding this PPV which is always a double edged sword as it means more people are interested in seeing it but that they’re also much more easy to disappoint.  Can AEW continue their streak of high quality wrestling action with their latest PPV?  Let’s find out!!

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Britt Baker Vs. Bea Priestly

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The only match they had on the pre-show for Full Gear was this match against Britt Baker and Bea Priestly which I GUESS is supposed to be the blow off to a feud, but they never HAD a feud to begin with.  They had one match all the way back before they got on TV and I think they were on a tag team match a few weeks ago, but at no point did they interact in any meaningful way to sell this supposed rivalry between them.  There’s a video package before the fight where Britt talks smack about Priestly and I just don’t think it works because Britt brings up stuff we’d NEVER heard of until now about her being possibly injured in the Fight for the Fallen match and it’s also completely one sided as Priestly doesn’t even show up in the video, so for all we know she’s just out there doing her thing and being respectful towards everyone while Britt is off to the side seething for no good reason!  Now all that having been said, when the two of them actually DO get in the ring they are fighting like this match means something.  Britt is definitely all scowls and fury which is a far cry from the babyface she often portrays, and Priestly is definitely relishing just how much she’s gotten under her skin.  The moves as well are less coordinated and flashy as they are just slugfests and pain clinics which is how you definitely want to pay off a feud even if this particular one still didn’t feel properly set up.

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“How many fingers am I holding up?  HOW MANY!?”

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-30-19)

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

We’re back with another week of AEW action, and with the Tag Team Tournament coming to a close as well as the ever closer PPV on the horizon, they’ve got more than enough momentum to put on a dazzling display of wrestling glory!  Will they continue to capitalize on their runaway successes, or will this be the week that everything starts to derail?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with SO much stuff before we even get to the opening credits!  Essentially they’re trying to build up the PPV Full Gear which will be on 11/9 with a couple of scripted promos, which is basically the opposite of last week which started out with a match that didn’t even get proper ring entrances, and I personally really liked this approach.  I’m all about the storylines when it comes to wrestling and while this might not be THE MOST AMAZING PROMOS OF ALL TIME, it’s just another example of AEW showing off that they are on top of EVERYTHING when it comes to the wrestling business.  Last week they started us with amazing tag team action and now they’re giving us a reason to care about the upcoming show.  So what exactly DID they show us?  Well there’s a scene with Cody Rhodes and Tony Schiavone chatting at the airport about his upcoming match against Jericho at the PPV where he will try to strip the heel champion and leader of the Inner Circle of his title.  Last week Jim Valley gave an interesting argument as to why Cody is the best wrestling at this period of time and I kind of see it.  He comes off like a genuine superstar; one who’s larger than life but not quite a cartoon.  He has a great balance of innate charisma and strong showman sensibilities that makes even the obviously staged action of this show come off as something much more real.  After that we get reminded that Pac and Hangman have a match as well with a montage of their interactions.  No new footage here, but it’s a solid enough package.  The BIG promo though comes with Jon Moxley who we see go into a room and we hear a conversation between him and Tony Khan where we learn that the match between him and Kenny Omega has been changed to a Lights Out match; i.e. an unsanctioned match which means that the results will not go on either person’s record and Moxley is VERY upset about this.  I think this is a good SETUP, but they definitely need to give Moxley and Omega more time to talk about it for it to really be something special.

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Sammy Guevara Vs. Hangman Adam Page

I liked this one right off the bat because it was telling a story other than the one about how awesomely two dudes can beat the crap out of each other.  Adam Page is the frustrated face going up against the cocky heel that’s getting a too big for his britches since joining up with the other bad guys.  They just let Adam Page go to TOWN on Sammy and it’s EXACTLY what the dude needs to be taken seriously at this point.  The reason I initially had a problem with Jericho winning the title is that it made Adam Page (and to an extent the newer guys on the roster) seem lesser than the old school legend they were elevating to the top which is a trap many bad wrestling promotions can fall into.  Since then Adam Page really hasn’t done much to impress me, but here it feels like they finally get it and are giving him a real chance to stake his claim.  He fights clean but aggressively while Sammy can only get an edge in with underhanded tactics.  It makes Adam Page look like an absolute BEAST (especially after two AMAZING spots where he lifts up Sammy like he’s a loaf of bread) but it also continues to show how smart Sammy is who has GREAT ring awareness on top of his already impressive athleticism.  Hangman eventually wins with a buckshot lariat (that is SUCH a devastating looking move!) and he gives a brief promo where he acknowledges his slump but vows to show us what he’s REALLY made of at Full Gear!  THAT’S how you sell a PPV, THAT’S how you tell a story in a match, and THAT’S how you turn a face into a superstar!  I still think they mishandled Page a bit leading up to this moment, but this has turned me around quite a bit on the Hangman!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-23-19)

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

We’re back with another episode of WWE’s Worst Nightmare! For three weeks straight, this upstart little company with just one measly billionaire behind it managed to outdo NXT in the ratings and it doesn’t look like that momentum is about to stop anytime soon!  Ratings momentum is just one piece of the puzzle however as a terrible show can still get good ratings for at least a little bit before everyone gives up on it.  Can AEW maintain its high quality as well as its high viewership?  Well let’s take a look at the latest episode to find out!!

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Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy) Vs. Lucha Bros (Pentagón Jr and Fénix) – Tag Team Championship Semi-Finals

Right off the bat, with zero preamble or even ring entrances, both teams are in the middle of the ring as the show begins.  Now sure, I’m a huge fan of the pomp and circumstance so it’s a bit disappointing that we don’t even get to see them walk to the ring, but we’ve got a full card ahead of us so I’m not really bothered by it.  Besides, if it means we get more of these two teams fighting it out, then I’m fine with it as long as they don’t do it TOO often.  Quen and Kassidy are still somehow impressing more and more with every match as their chemistry only gets better and better.  Now I will pump the breaks just a LITTLE bit here as I wonder where the ceiling ultimately is for these guys as they are starting to take some really rough bumps.  They’re professionals of course and I trust them to know what they’re doing, but I do worry that with this promotion (and particularly its tag teams) burning so brightly right out of the gate that they’ll eventually burn themselves out either through injury or just straight fatigue.  I mean Quen takes what I can only describe as a flying pile driver from Pentagon Jr, and it was absolutely terrifying to watch.  Even with tha though, it couldn’t have been too bad (hopefully) since the match went on for several minutes after that with Quen taking even MORE bumps throughout.  Lucha Bros eventually won after Quen takes some sort of stomp/pile-driver combination, but that was to be expected considering how much they’ve built up their feud with SCU.  Both teams looked great here and Private Party has a bright future ahead of them as long as they don’t shatter their spines before year’s end!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-16-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with even more AEW action!  With Chris Jericho’s stable running roughshod over the AEW locker room and the Tag Team Tournament well underway, AEW already has a lot of balls in the air to keep track of this early into its run.  Can they keep up this balancing act while continuing to put on great matches?  Let’s find out!!

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SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian) Vs Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta) – Tag Team Tournament

You may be wondering why I listed Scorpio Sky as a competitor when he made it clear he would NOT be in the match last week.  Well before the match can even begin, SCU gets jumped by The Lucha Bros before they can even make it to the ramp.  Christopher Daniels gets injured badly enough that Scorpio Sky has to sub for him.  I’m sure I made this clear before, but I really don’t like injury spots on wrestling shows.  It’s VERY clear here that it’s a work and that Daniels isn’t injured, but I really don’t think it makes for good television to have a guy being dragged out on a stretcher like this.  Sure, if you’re REALLY goofing it up you can get away with it, but it just feels too real in an industry where that kind of thing can ACTUALLY happen.  The match itself is as solid as AEW tag matches tend to be.  SCU is one of my favorite teams there and their presence alone is enough to overcome the utter apathy I have for The Best Friends.  The former team definitely come off as the underdog considering Kazarian was attacked just before the match and Scorpio Sky wasn’t prepared to fight tonight, and sure enough the get the hot tags and then ear falls while The Best Friends are the somewhat incompetent heels (Chuck Taylor dives right on top of Trent Beretta by accident) and it ends with SCU going to the next round of the tournament.  While I would have preferred a straightforward match with Daniels instead of putting him out of the tournament so early (at least save it for round two!), it was the ending I wanted and I’m glad that we’ll see more of SCU in the coming weeks.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out

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

Well here it is!  After months of trial and error, big announcements, and no real response from WWE, it’s the last show before the AEW experiment goes to prime time television!  Starting in October we will be getting a weekly show from them on TBS and while I doubt they could IMMEDIATELY crash and burn considering how much money there is behind them, it’s still something of a risky venture to go into Vince’s backyard and try to claim a piece for yourself.  WCW failed, TNA failed, and the other guys just kept off of TV altogether.  It’s kind of a big deal, but we’re not really here to talk about all that!  We’re here to find out if this show had any good wrestling on it and if it’s worth your time and money to see it!  Can AEW end their PPV run on a high note as they head to the big leagues, or will this end up as a foreboding vision of things to come?  Let’s find out, and we’ll start with the pre-show!!

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Casino Battle Royale

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We start the night off with another Casino Battle Royale, but unlike the one in Double or Nothing this one is with the women’s division.  What IS like last time however are the overly complicated rules for how the groups are populated and ordered which amount to absolutely nothing because we don’t end up seeing the process; just the result.  With WWE’s Royal Rumble, they don’t make a big deal out of it and just make it a simple lottery system which is easy enough to get across to an audience but also allows for a bit of drama and tension as well; especially if someone tries to cheat it.  The wrestlers here have to draw from a “special deck” but we don’t see the drawing which determines their group, and apparently the don’t determine the group order prior to the match; they shuffle the deck right when the timer goes off and whatever suit is selected goes next.  Again, we don’t actually SEE anyone draw a card to determine the next group, but I like to imagine Cody’s in the back after having called 2 suits and has to pick the third one, but he keeps getting the first two suits over and over and over again until half the deck is on the floor before a new one comes up.  See, THAT might have justified this nonsense!  Anyway, that’s all rather immaterial as it basically boils down to a staggered Battle Royale match, so how is it?  Well I think the problem here is that it’s a Battle Royale that FEELS like it should be paced like a Royal Rumble because of those staggered entrances which are the defining feature of a Royal Rumble.  Sure a Royal Rumble can go on for a rather long time which is whole PPVs are built around them, but the benefit is that the pacing allows for multiple storylines to play out in the ring.  Contrast that with a Battle Royale which are MUCH better for pre-shows where everyone is in the ring at the start and it usually devolves into chaos until the last five or so competitors are left.  The latter is basically what happens here; it’s not until everyone has made it to the ring that it stops being about random spots and constant eliminations to play out into something more substantive; all of which is fine, but the fact they stagger the entrances makes it feel like more should be happening throughout.  It also isn’t helped by the camera work which missed a few eliminations, and while I would normally cut them some slack considering how chaotic this was (some of the more prominent wrestlers got thrown out with little fanfare during other team’s entrances), this is a problem that ended up persisting throughout the entire show and I’ll make sure to point it out when it happened during other matches.

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Look!  They brought in ODB!  See in the corner there?  Yeah, she’s already eliminated, but she still showed up!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Fight for the Fallen

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Fight for the Fallen and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

We’re back for Part 3 of the AEW saga which will hopefully be better than Alien 3, but probably not as good as Back to the Future Part 3.  Will it be better than the last PPV Fyter Fest?  Well we’ll find out soon enough, but can I point out that twice in a row now they’ve given these shows out away FOR FREE which, even with the TNT deal approaching fast, STILL feels like it’s riding the line between confidence and foolishness.  All I’m saying is that I came to peace with having to pay money for these things, and it’s feeling kind of weird that the moment I do they decide to give them away!  I’m usually not that lucky with these kinds of things, but I guess I’ll ride this no charge train until it derails!

So before we get started, let’s talk about the setup of the show itself.  There’s a slight change to the ring here in that there’s a ramp leading directly to it rather than a ramp to the outside where they have to then climb in.  At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of a raised platform on the outside of the ring, but I never noticed it hindering anyone and they managed to sue it effectively a few times throughout.  The open air theater is fine even if I’m usually not a big fan of it as natural lighting feels a bit dull, but they do it late in the day so most of the matches are at night under controlled lighting anyway so it works out fine and it ends up feeling like a casual affair rather than a full on Double or Nothing production.  It’s good that they kept things on a much lighter note here because I’ll tell you right now, this is the worst show they’ve done so far even if it’s still a solid wrestling program.  We’ll get to why soon enough, but if it has an edge over Fyter Fest they at least set the tone right with this almost picnic vibe to keep it all feeling more casual.  That also extends to the announce table though as our three announcers feel like they’ve regressed back to Double or Nothing; struggling to find things to talk about; especially in the lower key matches that really could have used the boost.  Matches like, just for example… the first one on the preshow!

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Peter Avalon “The Librarian” vs Sonny Kiss

AEWFFTF1“The Librarian” is accompanied to the ring by Leva Bates “The Librarian”

First things first!  The last time we saw Sunny Kiss was when he was shoving her butt into Tommy Dreamers face back in the Double or Nothing Battle Royale and on top of that, I referred to him as a woman.  I did in fact assume their gender and it turns out that I was wrong.  According to a tweet from Sonny Kiss, he uses He/Him pronouns so I will use those going forward.  ANYWAY!  The Librarians have gotten quite a bit of flak in the short amount of time and while I DO appreciate what they’re going for and just how much heat they’re willing to take from the audience, I honestly I don’t think this match is doing them much favors.  First major problem is that Peter Avalon shouldn’t take off his librarian costume.  Wearing traditional wrestling trunks as he does in this match, he looks like a dork and not in the good way.  Certain heel gimmicks need to carry into the ring for them to work; particularly ones where the gimmick is that they are not in fact wrestlers.  Just look at Baron Corbin who is a pretty effective heel and never takes off his “manger” outfit when he’s in the ring, at least as far I’ve seen, and it helps convey his status as a sniveling authority figure.  Sonny Kiss on the other hand projects style, grace, and attitude through every costume choice, every move he makes in the ring, and every appeal to the audience whenever Peter’s on the ground.  I think the gimmick can work, but there’s certainly room left to tweak it.

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“Can I join your team?”     “Only if you can look half as good as I do.”     “Dang it…”

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