Tag Archives: Hikaru Shida

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-15-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Welcome back to another episode of AEW Dynamite where we’re partying like its 1997!!  Despite WWE basically owning everything wrestling related in the US prior to 2000, they let their trademark for Bash at the Beach expire which allowed Cody Rhodes to get it for AEW; a fitting change of hands considering his father Dusty Rhodes was the one who created the concept in the first place!  Does this revival of an old school wrestling tradition still hold up twenty years later, even with a BEACH show taking place in the middle of winter!?  Let’s find out!!

The big thing to note about this show is that the major angles are put on the back burner a bit to focus on a new round of tournaments for the belts; presumably as a way to make this BASH AT THE BEACH thing feel like something other than another episode of Dynamite shot in a slightly different way.  To that end, the Tag Match is a Number One Contender match, and there’s a two bracket tournament tonight (Jon Moxley Vs. Sammy Guevara & Pac Vs. Darby Allin) with the two winners of this week’s matches facing off next week for a shot at Jericho.  Fair enough I suppose as there could certainly be a bit more excitement around the belts themselves which haven’t changed hands once since AEW started, and we start things off with that GINORMOUS tag match!

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Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. Proud N Powerful Vs. Best Friends Vs. The Young Bucks – Four Way Tag Team Match for Number One Contender

Best Friends is accompanied to the ring by Orange Cassidy

The best way that I can describe this match is that it has as much in common with an actual sporting contest as It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World has with actual racing.  For twenty minutes these eight dudes did their best to recreate the mad cap of Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin in that the physicality of their bits are just as impressive to watch as it is hilarious.  No, you don’t really buy it as a REAL wrestling match, but the timing and the spectacle were out of this world and I enjoyed every minute of it once it kicked into high gear!  It actually took me a minute to get what they were going for, especially when JR just blurted out that it was a non-DQ match two minutes after the bell ring which calls into question why anyone is even bothering to tag in and out, but honestly that’s always going to be a thing in wrestling where if the goal is to knock someone into submission then why are they doing high flying moves and whatnot instead of MMA beat downs.  I can understand that going THIS far into wackiness will be past some people’s suspension of disbelief and that’s a fair criticism as it really does descend into chaos multiple times here, but if you can groove on that understand that it’s all one elaboarately planned out showcase of moves, spots, and well timed interference, then there’s a lot of wacky fun to be had in this opening match.  The match does eventually have to come to an end though with Kenny and Page landing that combo V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat on Chuck Taylor which knocks him out cold and leads to the three count.  They’re definitely playing the long game here with Page’s heel turn as they’ve made it ALL the way to the number one contender slot, so hopefully next week in their match against SCU they’ll finally pull the trigger on it.  I’m guessing they’re going to lose relatively cleanly against SCU and that’s when Page finally turns heel on Kenny which will set up a feud for those and possibly a match at Revolution; possibly a Triple Threat if they wanted to get Pac in there as well.

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Cody’s Decision – Will he agree to MJF’s stipulations?

Before we get into this segment, I’ve heard some people criticize last week’s show for Cody not coming out during MJF’s promo which happened right after Cody and Dustin’s match against The Lucha Bros, and here’s why that didn’t bother me.  First, if he had come out he would have HAD to take some physical action otherwise he would have looked like a dweeb, and therefore would have broken the No Hitting stipulation that MJF had laid out.  You may then ask, well doesn’t it make Cody look bad that he wants his match more than helping out DDP?  To answer that, think of who came out to make the save as well as who would have been backstage with him.  His brother and QT Marshall probably insisted that he not come out and that they could handle it themselves, and on top of that Cody has put a lot of trust into Arn Anderson in recent weeks who was probably telling him the same thing.  They didn’t SHOW us Arn, Dustin, and QT talking Cody down from charging the ring, but I could infer as much and it’s a good enough explanation for me.  This week however, Cody DOES come out and he is sporting a BEAUTIFUL white leisure suit, because if he’s going to tell MJF to shove it, he’s going to do it in STYLE!  So just to reiterate, the stipulations are the following; Cody will not touch MJF until their match at Revolution, Cody will submit to ten lashes from MJF on a live episode of Dynamite, and Cody will face Wardlow in a cage match before Revolution.  Cody’s final decision is… YES!  After considering the cost of what is being asked of him by MJF, he decides that it is worth accepting these ridiculous stipulations because no matter how much humiliation MJF may THINK he can extract from Cody with those lashings or how much he can infuriate him with the No Touching rule, it will pale in comparison to the righteous fury that will be unleashed up on him the moment they are in a fair fight.  So let him have his whippings!  Let him sic Wardlow on him in a cage match!  None of that will matter when MJF is on his back and Cody is standing over him victorious at Revolution!  This was a great segment where Cody proves once again how great he is on the mic and what a babyface he is for the audience who clearly had mixed feelings on these stipulations (particularly the whipping), but Cody managed to get them all on his side and cheering for him which goes to show how much of a natural he is in this role and how well he understands the theatrical angle of this business.  The only thing that felt a bit off is that Cody actually referred to MJF as a heel, and I tend to not think it’s a good idea to break the fourth wall like that within the sacred ropes of the ring, but other than that this was a great segment!

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After Cody is done talking, we get a brief promo from Joey Janela as he talks smack at Penelope Ford who punched him in the nuts last week and is apparently his ex-girlfriend, so he challenges Kip Sabian to a match, lets everyone know that he will be wrestling Rey Fenix next week, and promises to be the baddest bad boy at AEW for 2020!  I’m not sure why they’re pushing Sabian and Ford so hard especially considering how few matches they’ve had, but hopefully it’s building towards something and doesn’t just kind of peter out like Janela’s feud with Shawn Spears.

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Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida Vs.  The Nightmare Collective (Brandi Rhodes and Mel)

The Nightmare Collective is accompanied to the ring by Luther

I could have sworn this match was announced as Mel and Awesome Kong instead of Mel and Brandi, but regardless this is the big chance for THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTIVE to prove themselves as a legitimate force to be reckoned with at AEW.  Now I was one of the few people who didn’t outright hate THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTIVE nonsense from last week’s show, but it was definitely a starting point that they really needed to build off of here… and they don’t really do that unfortunately.  The match got off to a rocky start as Statlander looked pretty green on a few moves and Shida had a hard time convincingly selling some of Brandi’s moves, but the match itself was fine overall; it was the enduing that I had an issue with.  Based on everything we’ve seen so far of THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTIVE, they are a bunch of cheating jerks who will use their cult like mentality to win or influence matches in a dirty way, and yet they fight a more or less clean match here and lose cleanly.  You’d think that if nothing else THIS would be the perfect time for someone to get a DQ as Luther could have jumped in and punched Statlander or something when The Nightmare Collective were starting to lose, but no!  They just have a regular old match where one side wins and the other loses… so where does that leave THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTIVE?  They’ve proven that they’re not that formidable and they also aren’t willing to cheat to get the win despite everything we’ve seen up to now, so what purpose do they serve?  They didn’t even bother to beat up Statlander and Shida after losing the match, so why can they possibly intimidate!?  I don’t know, like I said it was a decent enough match, but there was a definite lack of drama and story building here to make anything more than just okay which isn’t a good thing for a faction who’s having trouble justifying their own existence.

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The Dark Order Promo

I’m a big fan of what they’ve done with The Dark Order in the last few weeks which is a testament to how good it is considering they were my least favorite thing in the entire company just a few months prior, but this promo was not the best they’ve done.  They’ve got that one motivational speaker looking dude talking to the mysterious leader of The Dark Order (not Evil Uno or Stu Grayson), and the guy is laying out who they feel are vulnerable targets for recruitment.  I don’t know, it feels almost like spoilers for them to just lay their targets out like that when I think it would work better if they came out as some sort of surprise.  We see a guy that we like who loses over and over again and you wonder if the company really has any plans for them… and then BOOM!  Evil Uno comes out with an offer they’d be foolish to refuse!  THAT’S how The Dark Order should be portrayed; as someone we like going to the dark side rather than a bunch of pestering proselytizers.  In any case, their newest targets are Michael Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler, and Hangman Adam Page.  No mention of Christopher Daniels who I STILL feel is in a vulnerable enough spot for them to go after (and I still REALLY think he should have joined them last week), and frankly I don’t know if getting the oil guy, the DnD guy, and the drunk guy are going to be the key pieces on this overly elaborate chess board for taking over AEW.

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John Moxley Vs. Sammy Guevara – Number One Contender Match Qualifier

Like with the women’s match, the problem with this is that it was JUST a match.  Given everything that happened last week with Moxley declaring open warfare on The Inner Circle (he even showed up to the ring driving the car he sort of stole from them), this shouldn’t have been a straight up, clean as a sheet, competitive match.  Moxley either needed to bury this dude as quickly as possible to keep him looking unstoppable, or Sammy should have cheated his way through the match.  The wrestling itself was pretty good overall, but the context made everything feel off as I had a hard time believing that Sammy, a guy who’s ONLY ever won a match due to interference, was able to hold his own against Moxley like this, and that The Inner Circle chose this to be the ONE MATCH they didn’t bother to get involved with.  Those guys LOVE to interfere and no one has given them a better excuse to do so than Moxley, and yet the match just went off without a hitch.  Jon Moxley eventually wins after putting Sammy in… a headlock I guess, and Sammy taps out immediately so at least we have Sammy going out like a punk if nothing else, and then AFTER the match The Inner Circle rush to the ring and jump Moxley; giving him the unholy beat down that was by all means coming to the guy after what he did last week.  See, THIS should have happened halfway through the match instead of after it had already ended!  On top of curb stomping the guy, Chris Jericho takes one of the spikes off of his jacket and jabs Jon Moxley in the eye with it; possibly blinding him and stymying his chances at the championship.  This actually shows a clever bit of writing as I was wondering why this tournament was even going on with Moxley in it considering he said in no uncertain terms that he will not face Moxley, but if it was all a set up to blind the guy then it works even better as a revenge because you gave the guy a taste at the championship before ripping it away from him, and on top of that, Jon Moxley, being the loner that he is, had no one coming out to back him up so maybe this will lead to him making a few friends down the line or even make his own stable; one that I would call The Mox Box!

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The Butcher and the Blade & MJF Vs. QT Marshall & Dustin Rhodes & Diamond Dallas Page

The Butcher and The Blade are accompanied to the ring by The Bunny Allie

MJF is accompanied to the ring by Wardlow

There’s usually one match that I kind of tune out in the show and for this one I had to take a phone call so I don’t remember EVERYTHING that went on here, but I remember it being a pretty good match; basically a more constrained version of the opener where people were following the rules but the spots were all over the top nonsense.  Dustin Rhodes proves that he’s still one of the best performers at this company and still carries a lot of weight in the ring, while MJF is almost as good as Sammy at wrestling like a heel instead of just talking like one.  The big gimmick here of course is that DDP who’s over sixty years old, was one of the competitors in this match, but they did a good job using him as the match didn’t rely on his performance and when he DID get tagged in he basically cleaned house.  Unrealistic?  Obviously, but it was still fun to see MJF and the other two selling almost as hard as HBK did against Hogan back in 2005.  If that wasn’t enough DDP action for you though, the foolish bastard gets up on the top rope, and JUMPS to the outside of the ring!  Thankfully ALL FIVE of the other people in this match were there to catch him, but it was still scary as heck to watch this dude risk life and limb doing something that would hurt a man less than half his age!  Sadly the ending is pretty disappointing because while we’re getting replays of DDP’s massive jump, MJF just rolls up QT Marshall for the three count; one that they had to THEN show in replay because it happened while ANOTHER replay was going on!  Not the best note to end the match on, but it was still a lot of fun!

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Pac Vs. Darby Allin – Number One Contender Match Qualifier

DAMN was this match hard to watch, but in a REALLY good way!  What happens when you take the man who fights like a monster and pit him against the man who wants nothing but pain?  You basically get a horror movie as Pac does some truly inexcusable things to Darby Allin who in turn takes it like a champ and even manages to get a few near falls on the guy despite how much punishment he has to endure!  I’ll bring it up once again that I think Darby Allin is way too willing to put himself in harm’s way and that he’s lucky he hasn’t gotten any serious injuries so far, but as long as he understands the risks and as long as we works with guys as good as Pac, he’ll hopefully be alright and I certainly enjoy seeing him whenever he shows up.  Despite the most valiant of efforts, Pac ends up winning after landing a Black Arrow on Allin.  Pac then starts gloating to Tony Schiavone and declares that he’s going to be the one to face Jericho since Moxley is most assuredly out with an eye injury after what The Inner Circle did to him.  All of a sudden we cut to Jon Moxley in the back of an Ambulance and PRESUMABLY he was able to hear Pac talking smack because he jumps out of the thing, goes through the back stage to the ramp, and ends the show to tell Pac he’s gonna kick his ass next week despite the fact that he’s now wearing a Snake Plissken eyepatch and only has a week to get used to it!

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Halfway through this episode I thought that this was a PPV quality show as it may not have contained my FAVORITE matches they’ve ever done but it had that big SCOPE to it.  The Bash at the Beach branding along with the fact that most of the matches were part of some sort of tournament definitely made this feel like more than just another episode of Dynamite, and while I have my quibbles here and there about what ended up going down in this episode, a lot DID happen that’s going to set up future shows.  As much as my wallet is thanking them for not doing monthly PPV shows I have been a bit worried that it would mean things would move at too slow a pace as you still want to do the payoffs on the shows you pay for, but with this I think they’ve struck a great balance between moving angles forward and letting other stuff simmer for a few months that companies like WWE should learn from.  Next week is going to be the Jericho Cruise episode which I was already very curious to see as I wasn’t sure how wrestling would work on a boat (wouldn’t the ring be rocking the whole time!?) but now I’m even more invested as they did a great job building up that show with everything that happened here!  If nothing else, I want to see Jon Moxley with his spiffy new eyepatch try to shanghai Chris Jericho’s ship!  Maybe he can stick a sail on top of his new car and call it the SS Go Mox Yourself!

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-08-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Welcome back to another week of TNA Impact! … Wait, that’s not right. Welcome back to WCW Thunder! Nope! Try again! Welcome back to… AEW? There we go! Seriously, trying to fight the WWE is like one of those rouge likes with perma-death where you have to start over with a brand new character from scratch. Thankfully this just might be our best specced character yet as AEW has kept on chugging with quality content and management seems to have a good head on its shoulders for what are reasonable expectations for the brand. Is this week’s episode another memorable and fun entry in the already venerated wrestling promotion? Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)

The big in-ring story for AEW going into 2020 is where The Elite stand as the de facto Face faction and whether they will break their losing streak anytime soon, but the thing is I’m not as bothered by Kenny Omega’s losing streak as I am by his utter directionless at the moment. Where Cody has his one big storyline and a few other things simmering in the background that we’ll get to later, everything with Omega feels like it’s stuck in the background and it’s hard to really sink your teeth into his character when even he doesn’t seem to have a clear set of priorities. At least Kenny has those background things going on though. While stuff like his feud with Pac and whatever he has going on with John Moxley aren’t front and center, they’re at least THERE in some capacity. Adam Page really has nothing going on other than his own frustration at having nothing to do, so if nothing else putting him in matches with Omega has at least dragged him a bit forward as well. So how is the match this week? It’s pretty good, but a bit plodding. Kassidy is in that ring for a LONG time and is basically the whipping boy for the entire first half of the match as Omega and Page work him over to show how tough they are, but Quen at least makes a comeback and does a good job of keeping Page and Kenny from running away with it. There just wasn’t a whole lot to really excite me in this however, at least until the end when Page and Omega start working together and lay some SERIOUSLY painful combo attacks and Kassidy. That’s pretty late into the match though and I’ve always been of the opinion that an opening match should get in and out to pump up the audience. We do eventually get a spot where Kenny has Quen in a hold and Page tries his Buckshot Lariat where he once again accidently hits Kenny, but it’s like the third time we’ve seen it so it doesn’t mean a whole lot. The only thing that’s KIND of surprising is that Page (aside from the whole Lariat thing) is actually trying to be a good teammate as he protects Kenny at points and even breaks up a near fall to save the match. It seems to be done rather begrudgingly, but it at least shows that Page isn’t some One Dimensional Sourpuss who will screw over his own teammates for no reason. Kenny ends up winning the match by landing a One Winged Angel on Marq Quen for the pin, and afterwards we see Pac on the big screen doing some sort of submission on Michael Nakazawa (I’m guessing it’s the Brutalizer?) who then once again says that it’s Kenny’s fault and that he wants his rubber match. Ultimately this match and this angle felt like a holding pattern rather than an advancement of the storyline as we’re just repeating the angle from last week. Not bad, but not how I’d start things out.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-01-20)

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

Happy New Year and TGI Wednesdays! It’s the start of a new year and AEW is ready to bring us some more of that great wrestling action, only now they’ve reset everyone’s win lose records from 2019 so everyone is now at zero-zero and they can all start fresh! Only everyone is still ranked exactly where they were last year… and they still show each wrestler’s CAREER win lose records instead of just this year’s… but I guess it’s still important! Somehow! Aside from that odd little lurch in year change, does AEW come out on New Year’s Day swinging for the fences, or is this just another day ending in Y for them? Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Darby Allin

The match starts off a bit odd as both guys come out with dudes who just seem to be there to be eye candy; Allin with some guy from some band I’ve never heard of and Arn Anderson who I highly doubt is going to get in the ring or interfere in the match, but whatever; it’s the new year so they wanted to add a bit of pizazz to their first match! Once they get to the match it’s actually quite great as both guys show off a heck of a lot of athleticism even if neither one of them come off as big powerhouse. I mean they’re not quite at Lucha Bros level of raw acrobatic athleticism, but the amount of twists, spins, rolls, and flips is quite impressive here and works to Darby Allin’s strengths which are NOT inflicting huge amounts of pain in a single punch. I think one of the things about Cody is that he’s so… right down the middle I guess that he can work with almost anyone and it can come off as believable. He doesn’t have the over the top physiques of Kenny Omega or Pac, and he isn’t as nimble as small guys like Allin or Jungle Boy, but his move set is dynamic enough that he can more or less adapt to any opponent he’s facing. The turning point in the match is when Allin knocks Cody right on his shoulder on the apron which Cody sells like a broken arm, and so now Allin has a chance to pull off some bigger moves on the guy like his famous Coffin Drop on the apron as well as working the arm for maximum damage. However, the match does come to an end with Darby Allin going for a second coffin drop on Cody who’s ready for it this time and gets his legs up way in advanced; destroying Allin’s back on impact and getting pinned by Cody immediately after he lands. I like this because it plays into Allin’s character and doesn’t necessarily make him look bad. Darby Allin is definitely a risk taker; always willing to put his body on the line at the drop of a hat. In a lot of case this is good because he’s willing to do the big dangerous moves that no one else will, but it’s also his fatal flaw as Cody so aptly exploited here. It was a solid match to start the show out on and best of all it didn’t wear out its welcome or burn out the crowd; preferring to leave them wanting more to get them hyped for the rest of the show.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-04-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

So apparently last week’s show had some frighteningly low ratings which kind of surprised me. No, not that the ratings were low but that anyone besides me DID watch it last Wednesday as I myself, watching the show for this recap series as much as for its own sake, couldn’t dedicate the full two hours to just watching it as I had about a dozen other things to do that night before Thanksgiving. Look, I’m a millennial and TV as a thing you had to make time for on a fixed schedule is about as outdated to me as landline phones, so I’m surprised the ratings have been as good as they are; especially with TNT initially projecting about half a million viewers per episode which last week’s show still managed to clear easily despite being such a big dip. To me, that’s not as important as the quality of the show itself which has been pretty solid the last few weeks even if the last one felt like they were phoning it in a bit considering they were basically working on a holiday. Now that we’re back on a regular schedule with nothing else to get in the way, does AEW come back stronger than ever? Let’s find out!!

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The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) & Dustin Rhodes Vs. Proud and Powerful (Santana & Ortiz) & Sammy Guevara

The show begins with a six man tag match which had a bunch of wrestlers we haven’t seen in the ring for quite some time. The Young Bucks as well as Dustin Rhodes have been showing up here and there for brawls and what not, but it’s been close to a month since they’ve actually had a match and maybe even longer for Dustin. Yeah, maybe getting your arm slammed in the door by the muscle bound mo-fo in a polo known as Jake Hager was NOT the best idea since the dude still has a cast on now, but regardless of that how was the match? Actually pretty good! Despite being more or less the “old man” of the promotion (even though he’s only a year older than Jericho) Dustin is still a superstar who the crowd will put over at the drop of a hat. He manages to land a tandem Super Kick on Sammy with The Young Bucks, he does that worn out gimmick he’s been trying out that’s actually pretty endearing, and he is still fast, tough, and agile with some impressive snap suplexes and some sort of front flip dive from the apron. The other standout however is Sammy who takes SO much abuse in this match but makes it all look easy. He may not have the mic skills of MJF, but he may be the second most talented “new guy” in the promotion after him; especially after landing some very impressive moves. Dude does this AMAZING 630 splash from the top ropes, looking like Sonic the Hedgehog doing a Spin Dash, which was amazing to see but still not enough to put Dustin away who only gets more and more love from the crowd because of it. Now this isn’t to say that The Bucks and Proud and Powerful didn’t hold their own as Dustin and Sammy wouldn’t have looked quite as good with them, and they certainly do have the more refined tag team repertoire to fill in the gaps of the match. The finishing move was utterly ridiculous where Dustin and Nick were holding Santana and Ortiz upside down with Sammy on the mat. Matt then jumps from the top rope, kicks Proud N Powerful on his way down, and then lands on Sammy. Excessive to be sure since they didn’t NEED to damage Santana and Ortiz to get the win, but if you CAN show off you might as well do it. I really did enjoy this match quite a bit and everyone in it looked REALLY good, but I always prefer the opening matches to be a bit shorter and this one could have ended during the comeback following Dustin kicking out of the 630 instead of going on for another five to ten minutes or so. It also advances the storyline a bit as THE ELITE Vs. THE INNER CIRCLE is definitely an angle they’re building up steam towards, but I was really hoping Dustin would grab the mic after the match and challenge Jake Hager (the guy who fractured his arm) right then and there like when Darby Allin accepted Jon Moxley’s challenge. A few tweaks here and there might have improved it, but still a good way to start the show.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-27-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with even more AEW action on one of the few days of the year I really don’t feel like having AEW action!  I spent the WHOLE time this show was on frantically cooking things for today and I can’t imagine all the workers there were too happy to be doing this instead of spending time with their families, but maybe I’m wrong about that.  I mean that crowd was pretty good for a night before Thanksgiving wrestling show, and this particular holiday is kind of nonsense anyway, so maybe they’re exactly where they want to be!  In any case, I think we can probably cut each other a bit of slack here if I missed anything or didn’t fully grasp the DRAMA with what was happening, okay?  Let’s get started!!

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Chris Jericho’s Thanksgiving Thank You Spectacular

As announced last week after Jericho’s heartfelt apology, the episode started with a Thanksgiving Party in the ring that no one was invited to but we were all more than welcome to spectate as Jericho just chews up the scenery with more voracity than most people have eating the stuffing and creamed corn on National Turkey Day.  Before he even gets into the ring someone named Soul Train Jones (I’m pretty sure he was in one of The Inner Circle’s video packages) introduces Jericho who then comes down to the ring accompanied by a marching band because you don’t get Le Champion to do anything half assed.  The crowd is totally marking out for the guy with chants of THANK YOU JERICHO before starting to boo him the moment he starts speaking, and this really did add a lot to the segment; especially when Jericho offers them fifty cents off his T-shirts and they react like they won a car.  The inner Circle eventually comes in after Jericho has pimped out all his new merch, and they proceed to give him various gifts to show their appreciation for the dude who made them the biggest names in wrestling.  Sammy Guevara gives him a standee of the two of them hugging while Proud N Powerful give him a basket full of… stuff I guess.  Vicks Vapo-rub, a box of dominos, booze, basically everything you would need to survive in a fallout shelter once the bombs start to drop.  Even Jake Hager gets in on the revelry as he comes out with a very uncooperative goat named Chris Jeri-goat which is the second best name for a goat right after Benedict Cumber-BAAAAAA-tch.  I don’t know why any of this is happening and I hope that animal wasn’t TOO distressed, but it seemed to be all in good fun and Hager could not keep a straight face in the slightest.  The last gift however was the best one of it all because it reminded me of the only wrestler better than Jericho (The MIz) which turned out to be his dad who is a former hockey player and proceeds to hometown team; Like father like son I supposed.  I did like this segment, but I feel they should have cut it a bit shorter or made them more of heels throughout as they come off as fun loving and kind of dorky dudes celebrating how much they appreciate each other which is not exactly the image you want for your dominate heel faction.  I mean even if you wanted to argue that they were self-centered and cocky, it’s still not particularly THREATENING, and the one thing about all these guys is that they know how to cause damage when you least expect it; not just waste time giving each other pats on the back.  EVENTUALLY though, there comes a point where he has the ring announcer read a thank you note from TNT to the crowd, but the guy doesn’t read it in as nice a tone as LE CHAMPION would have wanted and so they Inner Circle curb stomps him.  FINALLY they start to act like heels but then out of nowhere three dudes in the marching band rush the ring, turn out to be SCU in disguise, and start cleaning house; INCLUDING knocking Soul Train Jones right no his ass!  I don’t know how much you can claim to be good guys if you’re clothes-lining dudes in their late fifties, but it did end the segment on a high note which is good enough for me.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-20-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

With the last episode doing a lot differently and doing it well in my opinion, I’m pumped to see how AEW follows up on it and hope they continue to try new things going forward, because if I’m being honest here there’s been a lot of great stuff but it’s been a lot of the SAME great stuff for weeks now; all of it still good, but a little variety never hurt anyone (unless you have a hereto unknown allergy) and even if they go back to some of the same stuff in this episode they at least have the ideas set up last week to make it all feel fresh again!  Let’s get started!!

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Nick Jackson Vs. Rey Fénix

Following the brawl from last week, it seems that Matt Jackson (in storyline at least) has been injured and so Nick is fighting in his first singles match since AEW began against Rey Fénix who ALSO hasn’t had a singles match since AEW began!  Sure, it’s Young Bucks vs The Lucha Bros yet again, but at least they’re mixing it up again by making it one on one which, if nothing else, means they won’t even have a CHANCE to fail to tag correctly!  I actually did manage to get into this match a lot easier than I had with other Young Buck Lucha Bros matches even though they’re both still doing basically the same thing.  There are a billion moves pulled off between the two of them, but the fact that they don’t have someone to tag with makes each move feel like it has more impact because they can’t switch out once they get tired to recuperate.  They clearly start to get tired after a while and the moves become more simplistic while the flashier ones come fewer and further between.  Contrast that with some of their tag team matches where that sense of progression and (degradation?) just never came across even when it was time to come to an end.   Speaking of endings, Rey Fénix eventually gets the pin when he does this terrifying looking pile driver thing where he carries Nick on his shoulders, drops his head down and drives it right into the mat.  They don’t REALLY set anything up at the end of this as Rey Fénix refuses to shake Nick’s hand in a show of good sportsmanship, but The Lucha Bros being cocky heels is about as surprising as the sun rise.  The match went on maybe a bit TOO long and maybe a bit TOO hard for an opening match (I’m also starting to get annoyed with just how often they use hard hits on the apron), but it’s still a lot of fun and certainly got the crowd going!

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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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