Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-06-2021) – New Year’s Smash Night 1

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

After things were so tragically derailed at the end of the year, it’s time for AEW to get things back on track and to hopefully start the New Year off with a bang!  With a solid card, celebrity cameos, and a main event with Kenny Omega and Rey Fénix, do they bring enough bang for your buck, or is this a fireworks show that consisting of three sparklers and half a cherry bomb?  Let’s find out!!

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Young Bucks & SCU Vs. The Acclaimed & TH2 – Eight Man Tag Match

This definitely feels like a filler match which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but despite there being a baked in storyline here with all four teams in some sort of feud it’s mostly just to show off some cool moves and for Kazarian to cut a promo at the end.  There are some fun spots here (mostly from The Bucks who clear the ring at least TWICE in this match) and I like that they’re foreshadowing SCU’s promo by having Daniels be the one on the receiving end of the heat segments, but it also means that none of it particularly stuck with me.  Jack Evans has a really cool looking spin kick from the apron, There’s a BTE trigger with Nick Jackson and Kazarian, and Angélico is definitely someone who should get more of the spotlight (much like Kazarian), and eventually Matt Jackson and Christopher Daniels finish off Jack Evans with a Meltzer Driver.  Short, sweet, and to the point; certainly a solid enough way to start off a show.  It’s then time for Kazarian to grab the mic and confirms what was announced on Being The Elite.  The next time he and Daniels lose a tag team match, SCU will dissolve and they will be a team any longer.   I’m pretty sure Kurt Angle had a similar deal going on in 2010 that eventually went sideways, but it was at TNA and I’m pretty sure AEW can do a better job than them with this kind of story.  If nothing else, it’s a chance for Daniels to get the spotlight again before he puts his career to an end.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-30-2020)

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

This is going to be a rough one, so forgive me if I’m not as “in depth” as I usually am with these things.  With the untimely passing of Brodie Lee, AEW decided to put everything on hold; no angles, no storylines, no nonsense as we’re here to pay respect to a man who was taken from us all too soon.  It’s still a pretty raw nerve and I’m sure the people who are out there tonight to have matches are fighting against a lot of sadness, but in confronting it and facing it head on with this show… well I can only hope it brings some measure of peace to everyone who now has to move forward without him.  So let’s see what they did.

The show begins and the ENTIRE locker room is out on that stage with Tony Khan and Brodie’s family in the front.  Justin Roberts calls for the audience to rise as they ring the bell ten time for Brodie as his picture is on the titantron.  It’s simply haunting as the bell rings in utter silence and the grief stricken faces of everyone are on full display.  At one point some people in the crowd start to try a BRODIE chant, but they swiftly realized it was utterly inappropriate and the bell continues to ring.  Once the ten count is done, we cut to a video of Jon Moxley who is the first to speak on Brodie Lee, and while I’m not here to start rating things, his sad promos are just as believable as his fired up ones as the guy’s sheer authenticity (however much of it, if any, is just good acting) comes across whenever he speaks.  And with that, we head back to the ring to prepare for our first match of the night.  Jericho is on commentary and he is definitely on hand to make sure the air never gets too heavy because anytime there’s a moment of silence he starts saying the quiet part out loud which is that we’re here because Brodie is gone and we need to let it all out here in the ring; that people will be crying this night and that it’s okay to grieve.  It’s an interesting form of levity that, along with the crowd, do a lot to keep this show moving despite how morose everyone is.

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Young Bucks & Colt Cabana Vs. Hardy Party – Six Man Tag Match

Cabana comes out with The Dark Order who all stand on the ramp and give the Dark Order sign as Cabana enters the ring.  The state of The Dark Order in the wake of this is a discussion for another time, but one of the questions that will hopefully be answered soon is where Colt Cabana fits into them as he seems to still be a “potential recruit” rather than a full-fledged member.  I guess the concern has always been that Cabana is such a sunshine-happy looking dude that “officially” joining a heel faction wouldn’t fit right, but we’ll see where everything stands in a few weeks.  The match itself is good with a lot of high spots for The Bucks and Cabana while Private Party and Matt are bumping all over the place.  They eventually start getting the heat on Matt Jackson by isolating him in the corner and taking turns bashing him with strikes, but he manages to get the boot up to kick Matt Hardy in the face and follows up with a cross body for a two count.  Jackson starts crawling to the corner but Hardy keeps cutting him off until he takes a swing at Cabana which misses and eats a knuckle sandwich in return.  Matt Jackson hits Hardy with a Twist of Fate and finally gets to the corner to tag in Colt BOOM-BOOM Cabana who lives up to his name with an amazing comeback that is probably his most impressive flurry of offense since he first showed up at AEW; ironically to help SCU fight AGAINST The Dark Order!  Hardy Party manages to rally and Cabana ends up eating some offense from all three of them before Nick Jackson gets the hot tag and runs wild for a bit as well.  He then eats a Gin and Juice from Private Party, a Twist of Fate from Matt Hardy, and TWO Shooting Star Presses, but thankfully Matt Jackson and Colt Cabana break up the pin in time.  Matt Hardy is not satisfied with the way things are going and tries to bring a chair in, but Private Party refuses to play along and this gives Bucks and Cabana the opening they need to win the match with an Indie Taker on Quen followed by a Superman pin from Cabana to get the three count! 

While The Bucks and Cabana are celebrating in the ring, The Acclaimed come out and it looks like they’re there to rain on everyone’s parade, but SCU run from the back and toss them into the ring to eat a few Superkicks from The Bucks and some BIG elbows from Cabana.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-23-2020)

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

There was zero chance of me getting this recap out in a reasonable amount of time considering they put the episode on Christmas Eve Eve, but with the tragedy that happened over the weekend it got even harder to just sit down and get this recap done.  Heck, I didn’t even finish watching the episode until last night with less than 2 days to go before the next one!  Still, AEW Dynamite, even during the times where it’s hardest to sit down and watch, is still a genuine highlight of my week and they’ve definitely had a solid string of shows during the holiday season.  Is their Christmas episode so good we’ll want to revisit it every Christmas, or is it one of those OTHER Christmas specials we only watch once and try to pretend never existed like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer or December to Dismember?  Let’s find out!!

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Top Flight (Darius Martin & Duante Martin) Vs. Jericho & MJF

Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager

I’ve been a bit down on Top Flight, but it looks like AEW has a lot of faith in them to carry the company if given enough seasoning; otherwise why would they have been put up against not just The Bucks but JERICHO within weeks of debuting on Dynamite?  Jericho to his credit gives A LOT up to Top Flight right off the bat as they beat the ever loving crap out of him with a series of flippy moves, but they’re not about to outmatch the Demo God just yet because despite the relentless assault they can only manage to get a one count.  That’s perhaps what makes this match a LITTLE bit weird.  Jericho and MJF will bump all around for these two, but as soon as its time to get the heat it’s a complete 180 reversal; and they’re the dominate heels again bullying the fresh faced youngsters.  Sure, there’s SOME of that in any tag team match, but the turns feel a bit more jarring.  The ending was also a little bit much for me, but I guess I can buy it.  Top Flight are on the verge of winning the match after Daunte takes out Jericho by the time keeper’s table and Darius has MJF to himself, but Jake Hager manages to sweep Darius off the apron and smash his face on the way down; giving MJF the chance to pile drive the man and get the three count.  On the one hand, Jericho and MJF, two of the most protected people in the company, had to cheat to beat these two.  On the other hand, they are untested as a tag team so perhaps a lack of cohesion here or a strong defense against this kind of tag team is to be expected.  It wasn’t bad or anything and it definitely had some great spots; I just found it a bit curious just how hard they were trying to make sure EVERYONE looked good even if it made the selling look a bit silly.   

After the match, Hager grabs the mic to congratulate his fellow Inner Circle members, but there’s something that’s been perplexing him for two weeks now.  WHERE IS WARDLOW!?  He’s upset that Wardlow has been away on “family business” and so he had Tony Khan schedule a friendly little spar next week on Dynamite between the two of them and Wardlow better show up!  Hager actually has some good delivery here and it’s nice to hear him take the mic again, but I’d be cautious of using Wardlow’s absence in a storyline; especially if the family business in question is SERIOUS business.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-16-2020)

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

Tis the season for things to get lost in the shuffle as the holidays approach and these recaps get more and more delayed, but I’m not about to give up gosh darn it!  December has been full of stress and scrambling, but the AEW show each week is something I always look forward to even if they don’t always knock it out of the park.  Was this episode another reminder of why I keep doing this week in and week out, or is it a confusing mess that’s practically begging for me to skip a week?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Page & The Dark Order (Reynolds & Silver) Vs. Hardy Party (Matt Hardy, Isaiah Kassidy, and Marq Quen)

Page and the Geeks come out first with Reynolds and Silver wearing matching (and VERY adorable) cowboy outfits.  Seems like an innocent enough homage to me, but Page seems particularly annoyed when Silver tries to throw up his hand sign so perhaps he’s not ready to embrace his new buddies just yet and form a new faction.  Speaking of hand signs, what is that supposed to be?  As far as I can tell, it’s just Hangman throwing up a Loser “L” which doesn’t seem particularly cowboy, but he’s also a 90’s kid so I’ll let him have it.  As for that match itself, it was pretty darn good; especially for an opening match.  It’s a bit odd that neither teams are truly faces or heels which means that there isn’t much DRAMA there, but it also means that they focus on spots and big moves which I like to see in the first match of a show.  The opener doesn’t have to be advancing the most important storylines but it has to POP and this match definitely does that with some impressive work from all involved.  If I had to pick an MVP it might be Marq Quen because he is in this several times and does a GREAT job with everybody.  He starts off the match with Page and they have a great exchange for a bit before the rest of Hardy Party tries a triple team.  Page manages to avoid it however and Silver & Reynolds rush in to make the save and look like superstars while doing it!  With Silver soaking up so much spotlight it’d be easy for Reynolds to get lost in the shuffle (much like Other Dude in WHAM), but he’s a good worker and balances out Silver’s overwhelming exuberance and he has possibly the best moment in the match towards the end of it.  If anyone is a heel in here, it’s Hardy as he’s the only one getting any sort of heat; in this case on Silver with submissions and beatings which eventually leads to a hot tag for Page who explodes out of the corner and runs wild!  Even this however is brought to an end by Matt Hardy with a Side Effect and a two count on Page.  He goes for a Twist of Fate but Page gets out of it and the two tag in Reynolds and Quen who are so great in these brief moments that I want to see them have a singles match!  Reynolds probably isn’t as athletic as Marq Quen (who possibly could be?) but he holds his own and their brief confrontation is topped off with that RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME combination that he and Silver does with a Powerbomb from Hangman for good measure.  The ending is a BIT of a disappointment for me and the only thing close to a sour note in the whole match.  Silver takes a Twist of Fate on the apron that ended up hurting his knee which was concerning to see, though he later confirmed that it’s fine and he just has a bruise which is a relief considering how injury prone people have been at AEW, but the point is that this is what takes Silver out of the match which leaves Page and Reynolds at a disadvantage.  Page takes a kick from Isaiah that knocks him over the barricade and Private Party finishes off Reynolds with a Gin and Juice, but instead of pinning him themselves they go to the effort of letting Matt tag in so that he can make the pin and win the match.  Perhaps I’m overthinking it, but the kick and tumble that Page took REALLY shouldn’t have taken him out of the match long enough for Private Party to land their super move and then have someone else run in and make a three count, but I guess we can’t have Page win with these two goofballs just yet so they had to find a way for it to make sense that Page couldn’t make the save.  Aside from that, which isn’t TOO big of a deal, this was a fun match and a GREAT way to start the show!  My only hope is that Page’s loss here doesn’t discourage him from teaming up with these two again, because they made a fantastic team and I want to see them each and every week!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-09-2020)

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

So after the surprise ending of last week’s show that saw Kenny Omega winning the title under duplicitous circumstances, not to mention Sting showing up to blow all the wrestling nerds away, what can AEW possibly do to give us an episode as good as that!?  Probably nothing short of having John Cena show I imagine, but even if it’s not as good as last week’s blowout show, do they still manage to capitalize on all the good will they built up and give us something worth watching?  Let’s find out!!

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The Young Bucks Vs. The Hybrid2

TH2 has been on a hot streak recently with some solid promos and a great match two weeks ago, so now they’re here to get some shine from the Bucks, though perhaps this match is a bit TOO wacky for that to happen.  It’s not BAD, but it is a bit on the silly side with spot in particular standing out like a sore thumb.  TH2 Whip the two bucks towards each other, but instead of crashing they lock their right arms, spin around on the axis crated by their crossed biceps, and let go when facing the other direction; now RUNNING towards TH2 and landing spears.  I don’t think that’s how physics works, but PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING is probably not the place to bringing up concerns like that, and the match is pretty solid all the way through.  LOTS of flips (some of which don’t do anything other than show off) and plenty of kicks to give the match a lot of flair, and there’s one spot where Matt Jackson Powerbombs Jack Evans into The Acclaimed; the team that were taunting them last week and who JUST SO HAPPENED to be in the crowd this week.  There were actually quite a few big moves with TH2 managing to kick out of a bunch of The Bucks super moves and there’s one spot where Matt Jackson has Jack Evans in the Electric Chair (basically have the other guy sitting on your shoulders) so that Nick can give him a flying clothesline from the top rope to the ramp!  Evan manages to get up after that one, but taking a Spike Piledriver on the floor proved to be too much which left Angélico alone in the ring to eat a BTE trigger which was finally enough to end the match.  Perhaps it went on too long for the opener and I think they overdid it on the super moves early on which didn’t leave a lot of room to escalate for the ending, but it was still a fun match.  The Acclaimed try to rush the ring after the match ends, but Kazarian and Daniels (the latter STILL wearing his dad clothes) spring to the ring from the back and keep them at bay.  I hope we’re not dropping The Hybrid2 completely to make room for The Acclaimed, but it would be interesting to see if The Hybrid2 joined forces with them and cost the Bucks a match.  See, The Bucks are still kind of on their own and still acting like jerks, so where I would have them LOST against FTR and come to that revelation for the rematch, it could work here if they’re facing challengers who have back up and need to make amends with some team before the title match so they can get backup as well.  It looks like it’ll be SCU as they’ve made the save twice now, or maybe they’re just angling for their own title shot as well.  There are a few directions they can take this story, but I get the feeling they’re going to go with the most straightforward where they face Acclaimed and win yet again before moving on to something else.

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