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 (09-23-2020)

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

It’s time once again for some DYNAMITE ACTION, and yes I am very late on putting this one up.  Things got a bit hectic around my schedule so I barely had a chance to watch this week’s show; let alone recap it!  Still, the extra time has let the events that played out simmer in my brain for a bit longer before throwing my brilliant opinions out into the world, so maybe this will be the most comprehensive and well-articulated critique of a wrestling show ever written!  Okay, probably not.  BUT, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a lot to say about this week’s episode as there were some… INTERESTING things that happened here!  Was it good?  Was it bad?  Let’s find out!!

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Kip Sabian & Miro Vs. Joey Janela and Sonny Kiss

Kip Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford

Wait, what?  We’re not going to build up to his first match on AEW; he just shows up on an unannounced opening match?  Well THAT feels like a wasted opportunity, but I guess it’s better than waiting a few months for whatever PPV they have next.  Miro straight up did the Rusev entrance with the jump and shout which was VERY cool, but they’re not gonna give us everything all at once as the match starts with Sonny and Sabian.  Before we get to Miro, I definitely want to point out that Sonny Kiss is getting better and better the more I see him.  He and Joey Janela are a very good team and I hope that something comes from it aside from a bunch of Dark Matches and one offs against bigger teams because they are a combo that you can tell great stories with even outside of a title chase.  Eventually they cause enough damage to Sabian that he finally gives Miro the hot tag and the guy comes out with all his fury; knocking Sonny right on his ass and utterly DESTROYING Joey Janela with a giant slam!  It’s great to see him in this match and look every bit as pumped to be here as we are pumped to see him, but sadly things don’t go as planned and the match ends up getting a bit ugly towards the end.  Miro takes a bump over the ring ropes and to the floor, but as soon as he’s down there he starts limping.  Reports are that he merely “tweaked” his ankle and that he’s fine now, but despite his best efforts to power thru it the match just kind of loses momentum and gets sloppy.  He manages to toss a charging Joey Janela over the barricade and immediately seems to regret it, but he waves Sabian to follow with the next move (something that is in FULL view of the camera and I’m not sure why they didn’t just cut to a different angle there) and tries to toss him over the barricade onto Janela.  However, he just doesn’t have the strength and I THINK Sabian falls on his head onto the concrete on the other side of the barricade.  THEN Janela tries for a cross body on Miro, but Miro can’t catch him and Joey just falls like a ton of bricks.  I haven’t heard anything about either of them having injuries so that’s good at least, but it was not a good look for the debut of such an anticipated talent.  Thankfully things get back on track after that with Miro seemingly recovering during the match (or at least having enough adrenaline pumping thru him to ignore the pain), and he finishes off Sonny Kiss with a kick, a stomp, and a Camel Clutch.  Look, things happen and even the best wrestlers don’t always have a good match so I’m not about to say anything negative about Miro, but this is certainly not the match anyone wanted to see from him right out of the gate.  Hopefully he’ll have a match next week and it’ll be as great as we were hoping this one would be.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-16-2020)

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

We’re back with even more Dynamite action to bring a brief glimmer of joy to our otherwise monotonous existence!  How many Netflix shows did YOU watch this week?  Trick question!  If you can remember, you haven’t seen enough.  Anyway!  Last week got things off to a great start following the All Out PPV, and hopefully they’ll continue to build on that momentum to give us another fantastic excuse to yell at the TV in joy and terror… other than when watching the news of course.  Let’s find out!!

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Jurrassic Express Vs. FTR

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt while FTR is accompanied by Tully Blanchard

Before the match even begins, The Young Bucks come out and Superkick Ref Posey; just for the sake of being jerks!  He didn’t even DO anything, and The Bucks just come out here to not play by your daddy’s rules!  They head to the pack to throw a stack of bills at Tony Khan as they will SURELY be fined for this, and they pass by FTR who find this whole thing quite amusing.   I’m not sure I’m on the same page with them, but I guess this is just to keep us reminded that they’re going bad so that people aren’t confused when they REALLY do something terrible!  Now before we were so RUDELY interrupted, how is the match itself?  It’s actually pretty good!  The story of this match is ALL about Jungle Boy who continues to impress whenever he’s in the ring; so much so that I can only assume he’ll be getting a Singles push soon, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  His initial flurry of offense against FTR was very impressive to see, but soon enough FTR manages to ground him and they generate heat for quite a while with Jungle Boy trying desperately to get to the corner.  Jungle Boy stays resourceful however as Wheeler tries to do a drop kick on Jungle Boy who’s up against the ropes, but he dodges at the last second and Wheeler’s legs get caught on the top rope; flipping him over in a VERY hilarious looking fashion!  Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans house with the efficiency of an actual dinosaur, but it’s clear that this as well is part of the bigger story they are trying to tell.  Luchasaurus is always great whenever he enters the ring, but he’s pretty easily overwhelmed when the other team starts working together.  Compare this with when Jungle Boy gets the tag back in, and while he may not have the immediate offensive power that Luchasaurus has, he has the resilience to fend off both members of FTR at the same time; to the point that Wheeler and Harwood have to keep tagging in and out just to keep up with the kid!  The turning point comes when Luchasaurus goes for something on the outside… (I guess it was supposed to be a really high spear?) and misses Wheeler by a mile; crashing into the crowd and effectively out of the match.  Jungle Boy manages to fight on valiantly and has Dax in a solid pin, but Cash flips them so that Jungle Boy is the one getting pinned, and with Cash applying additional pressure on the pin they just barely manage to get the three count.  Perhaps in a one on one match Luchasaurus would be unstoppable against either one of FTR, but Jungle Boy clearly has the better skills for this particular challenge, and they only way the champs were able to win here is by cheating in a way that in all honesty the ref REALLY should have seen.  Despite it being Jungle Boy’s night to lose, he really came into his own here and it was a strong story being told.  A GREAT way to open the show

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)

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

With another PPV just two weeks away (literally this time due to the schedule change), AEW has to kick things into overdrive to get people pumped for the big show!  No more of this back and forth where one week is good and the next week is meh!  Nope, just good matches, good stories, and lots of exciting angles so that people drop their fifty bucks to see it all play out!  Does this show manage to create the right kind of buzz to sell All Out to the fans at home, or will it take more than one good show to get things back on track?  Let’s find out!!

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Private Party Vs. FTR

Already in the ring and with no introductions, both teams are in the ring and this match is underway.  Not only that, Tully Blanchard is in FTR’s corner wearing an FTR jacket so I guess they’re teaming up with him and the conspicuously absent Shawn Spears.  I thought they were going to go with Arn, considering the meeting they had a few weeks ago, but I guess his and Cody’s heel turn isn’t happening any time soon.  FTR gives a lot to Private Party in this match, and they look pretty good!  Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy can be a bit hit or miss at times, but they seem to have brought their A game here, and FTR continue to be consummate professionals in whatever they do.  Still, there’s not much TO this match even though both teams are doing a great job in it.  We get some Superkicks from Private Party, FTR beats up Quen in the corner for a while, and Private Party tries to fight back with high flying and flashy maneuvers; my favorite probably being when Kassidy flipped over the ropes into a Stunner on Dax Harwood.  The only part that felt a bit off was some not especially great looking Leapfrogs from FTR, but other than that it’s a solid match between two teams.  At some point Quen is down and Kassidy is trying to make the save by diving onto Harwood on the outside.  At the last moment, Tully Blanchard pulls him away and Kassidy lands on the floor; leaving Quen alone in the ring and so both members of FTR bring this to a close with the Goodnight Express for the pin.  So, yeah; it was a good match, but not one that had a lot of highs and lows for me.  Nothing stood out all that much despite both teams putting in the effort.

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