Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-01-2021)

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

So the last Dynamite was a pretty rough slog to get through which means I’m in JUST the right mood for what AEW themselves are calling THE FASTEST HOUR OF WRESTLING and at least until last week that was usually the case.  Does Rampage get us back on track with a light and fun episode of wrestling action, or will it be bogged down as much as the last Dynamite and even the last Rampage?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson is accompanied to the ring by Matt Jackson and Brandon Cutler

So now that Danielson and Omega got their first big match out of the way, we can start going through some of the other dream matches while building up towards the rematch; a win-win situation if you ask me even if the crowd didn’t like their first match ending in a draw.  Nick Jackson is also a good opponent to put him up against in his quest to face off with the ENTIRE Elite as people are still talking about his singles match with Rey Fenix, and it should come as no surprise that these two have a great match!  Danielson may not have Nick Jackson’s high flying abilities, but he’s good at keeping him grounded and has a pretty sizable advantage throughout the match.  Jackson’s case isn’t helped by the fact that he isn’t taking this seriously at first opting to show off and play around with cold spray rather than face Danielson directly, and he pays for this several times with Yes Kicks, brutal submissions, and a Dragon Sleeper that he only manages to escape by thumbing Danielson in the eye.  The only reason he gets the heat during the commercial break is that he throws Danielson outside and starts distracting the ref while Matt Jackson tackles and hammers him on the floor.  Still, he can’t help himself and starts to play around by giving Danielson his “unique” variation on the Yes Kick that only serves to tick Danielson off; so much so that he’s starting to FEED off the force of those kicks until he’s finally standing tall!  He spits in Nick Jackson’s face and just goes WILD on the guy!  STRIKE!  KICK!  STRIKE!  KICK!  A nonstop barrage of offense from Danielson as he makes Nick Jackson PAY for giving him such puny kicks!  Nah, he’s gonna show him what REAL kicks look like and gives him a bunch of Yes Kicks for a two count!  It’s time for Nick Jackson to put up or shut up, so after taking a few Running Knees from Danielson, he stops him in his tracks with not one but TWO Super Kicks that net him a two count.  Nick Jackson then goes for the 450 Senton, but Danielson gets the knees up and he instantly transitions into the LeBell Lock.  Jackson rolls to the apron and Danielson follows with even more Yes Kicks, but Jackson ducks after the first few and Danielson hits his shin on the ring post.  Jackson follows up with a German Suplex on the apron and an Escalera to the floor before he tosses Danielson into the ring to put him in a Sharpshooter where he just barely gets to the bottom rope to break the hold.  It’s starting to look bad for Danielson who rolls out of the ring, but luckily for him, Nick calls his shots and shouts SEE YA before charging at him with a kick and he’s able to duck it only for Brandon Cutler to eat he move instead.  In the confusion, Danielson lands a German Suplex on the floor and rolls Nick Jackson in which could spell the end of this match, so Matt Jackson gets on the apron to distract the ref.  Danielson gives him a forearm that sends him to the floor so naturally Nick Jackson gives him a surprise roll-up, and even if it only got a two count, it at least leveled the playing field between them as we head into the finish.  Jackson lands a Superkick and goes for a Roundhouse to follow, but Danielson dodges and lands a Tiger Suplex into a bridge for a two count.  Still holding Nick Jackson he starts HAMMERING on the dude’s chest to the delight of the crowd, and once he’s done he locks him in the Cattle Mutilation.  Nick Jackson taps out which gives Danielson the victory to the consternation of The Elite who come out to look after Nick Jackson while Jurassic Express come out to look after Danielson.  A brief brawl breaks up as it naturally should, and Jurassic Express gets the upper hand in anticipation of an upcoming Eight Man Tag Match between the two factions.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-29-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW action, though this is something of a special episode.  Not in the USUAL AEW sense of adding a subtitle and a few marquee matches, but because this show takes place in Rochester where Brodie Lee is from and where he was supposed to debut before the Pandemic put everything on hold.  Because of this, AEW has put together a stacked card to not only continue their ongoing storylines but to celebrate and the people he affected during his time at the company.  Is it a proper celebration for the Exalted One who was taken from us far too soon?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk comes out at the start of the show and he once again joins the commentary team on this episode.  I’m starting to wonder if he’ll actually do all that much wrestling as he seems perfectly content to sit in the booth and talk about everyone else.  I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it as I think he’s got a lot of potential for that kind of role, but I’m guessing the checks Tony Khan had to write to get him aren’t about to go to someone who stays OUT of the ring.

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Jungle Boy Vs. Adam Cole

Something we’ll run into a few times in this episode (which was also a bit of an issue on the last episode) is crowd reactions as the place goes unglued for Adam Cole despite being the heel in this conflict.  I gut that everyone is happy he’s here instead of at the other place, but it always feels off when someone is going above and beyond to be a heel and just gets the opposite reaction for it.  Then again, if you could argue one thing in favor of Paragon Cole, he does seem to have the experience advantage in this match and most of the time when he gets the lead it’s from outsmarting Jungle Boy which means that the young guy has to learn on the fly to outmaneuver the veteran.  Cole tries to keep Jungle Boy grounded with headlocks and mat work while keeping him off his game with feints and misdirection; particularly when he puts on the brakes on a charge Jungle Boy had scouted and had started flipping over; only to find Adam Cole behind him and is dragged to the mat for a one count.  Still, you can’t count the Jungle Boy out as he uses the same trick on a Cole a minute later and ends up knocking him out of the ring with a Springboard Arm Drag followed by a Drop Kick.  Cole needs to slow him down, so he baits him to go outside the ring with him before rushing back in and attacking Jungle Boy when he tries to get into the ring behind him.  Jungle Boy manages to escape the beating and goes to the turnbuckle, but Cole pushes him off and he tumbles to the floor in a bump that looked PRETTY bad but doesn’t seem to have caused an actual injury.  In any case, Jungle Boy is hurting and so Cole gets the heat during the commercial.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight back and tries to even the odds by landing a Basement Drop Kick on Cole followed by a BIG Lariat that sends him flipping in the air before landing on the mat.  The gamble pays off as the match gets VERY even at that point with them trading blows and pulling off big moves to try and wear the other one down.  Jungle Boy gets a German Suplex into a bridge for a two count and puts Cole in the Tree of Woe to land a Drop Kick, but then Cole follows up with a Backstabber and the Last Shot for a two count as well.  Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise from the apron to the floor, but Jungle Boy rolls away, runs into the rings, hits the ropes, and goes to dive… only to eat a Step Up Enziguri to the face.  Not to be outdone, he lands a Hurricanrana from the apron to the floor and tosses Cole back into the ring.  However, his follow-up of a Springboard Cutter fails to hit its mark as he eats a Superkick instead, and Cole uses this to land the Panama Sunrise… ONLY TO GET A TWO COUNT!  Shock and awe fill the arena as Cole’s finisher didn’t do the job and he tries to follow-up with THE BOOM, but Jungle Boy ducks and locks him in the Snare Trap.  Cole crawls to the ropes so Jungle Boy breaks the hold to drag him back to the center which gives Cole an opening to kick him in the face.  Cole gets up with Jungle Boy right behind him and it looks like Cole is grabbing the ropes with Ref Aubrey sandwiched between them, and while she’s unable to see what’s going on Cole lands a kick to the groin.  Seeing as neither one of their finishers ended the match, he took the path of least resistance and cheated with a move that knocked  Jungle Boy down which allows Cole to land THE BOOM, and gets the pin to win the match.  This was yet another fantastic showing from Adam Cole who is clearly proving himself to be a valuable addition to AEW.  I think the crowd is making things a bit awkward though because they LOVE this guy despite being a clear Heel, but aside from that I definitely want to see more matches with him!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam

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

We’re back with more (and more, and more, and more) Rampage action as AEW’s attempt to fill every waking moment of my life with wrestling is moving forward unabated!  Hopefully things can slow down a bit and we can get back to our standard three hours of TV a week, but the Dynamite episode of Grand Slam was pretty excellent and they’ve got a solid card lined up for this EXTRA LONG episode of Rampage, so perhaps a little fatigue is worth it if it means a few more fantastic matches!  Is this a satisfying conclusion to the Grand Slam event that started on Wednesday, or will I be far from the only one wanting to go back to a one hour Rampage by the time this episode is done?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Hobbs is accompanied to the ring by Hook

CM Punk more or less proved he could still have solid matches when he went up against Darby Allin, but now we’re gonna see if he can put some shine on the talent who aren’t already at the top of the pecking order.  Hobbs came on the scene in a BIG way and was signed almost immediately, but he’s not really lived up to his potential; mostly due to a lack of marquee matches if you ask me.  That’s probably why they went with him to go up against CM Punk as you can’t ask for a better match-up to get eyeballs on you, and for what it’s worth they both do a solid job here.  Punk hits Hobbs with a Drop Kick as soon as the bell rings and starts working over the left leg which proves that at least SOMEONE knows what you’ve got to do to take a big man down!  Still, even with Punk’s fancy tactics, it’s hard to overcome the sheer POWER of Hobbs who knocks him to his knees with ONE Headbutt from Hobbs sends Punk to his knees.  On top of that, Hobbs has Hook in his corner so even when Punk gets the advantage through better technique he can’t always capitalize on it like when he puts Hobbs on his shoulders for a GTS very early in the match only for Hook to get up on the apron.  You’d think Punk would be able to just finish the move despite a guy looking at him funny, but that’s one of those quirks about the wacky world of wrestling and sure enough, he puts Hobbs down to go after him only to eat a Running Cross Body from Hobbs that knocks him flat on his back.  Hobbs gets the heat for a while and milks the crowd for as many boos as they can give him, and despite a few hope spots from Punk like a quick roll up for a two count, Hobbs remains firmly in control up to and throughout the commercial break.  Punk finally escapes with a few elbows to the face, and a Spin Kick followed by a Swinging Neck Breaker gets him some momentum.  He lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop for a two count and gets Hobbs on his shoulders once again for the GTS.  Punk actually finishes the move this time but it doesn’t connect as Hobbs blocks the knee on his way down, and hits him with one of his HELLACIOUS Spine Busters!  Hobbs gets him up on his shoulder for his finisher Town Business, but Punk wriggles out and puts him in a choke which nearly knocks him out.  He fights back and breaks the hold with a Back Drop which he follows with a Stampede that only gets him a two count.  After Punk gets an Avalanche Hurricanrana for a two count of his own, he tries to put Hobbs in a Triangle Choke which is a HUGE mistake as the number one rule of Big Guys is don’t leave their legs free, and as you’d expect Hobbs lifts up Punk and lands a Sit Out Powerbomb.  Punk kicks out at two and so Hobbs just tries hammering Punk in the middle of the ring to wear him down, but this allows Punk to land a Roundhouse Kick that sends Hobbs Reeling.  Punk signals for the GTS when Hook jumps on the apron once again, and of course Punk goes to deal with him which allows Hobbs to charge from behind.  BUT WAIT!  This is all a misdirection as Punk sees this coming from a mile away and sidesteps the charge so that Hobbs knocks Hook into next week which is perhaps the biggest bump Hook has taken since he started showing up in Team Taz!  With Hobbs distracted, Punk gets him on his shoulders and FINALLY hits the GTS to get the pin and win the match to the utter delight of the fans!  It was a pretty good match for the most part and I think I liked it more than the Darby Allin match.  Hobbs just seems to be bringing a lot more out of Punk so that he’s less the Elder Statesman of Wrestling looking to play to impress the crowd and more of a down and dirty fighter that I find much more entertaining and I suspect is the kind of wrestling that CM Punk fans want to see from the guy.  This Team Taz feud is far from over and I can only hope that the rest of the matches Punk has with them will be just as good!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-17-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of Rampage; or as I like to call it, the quiet before the storm!  The next Dynamite is one of those shows with a subtitle to it which means it’ll be stuffed with big matches and important storylines, and the Rampage after that is going to be TWO hours long instead of the usual one!  As if All Out didn’t exhaust me enough already!  Well in any case, we’ve got this nice one hour show to get through between now and then, so is another action packed fun-sized wrestling show, or did they move everything worth watching to the Arthur Ashe Stadium shows?  Let’s find out!!

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The Lucha Bros Vs. The Butcher and The Blade

The Lucha Bros are accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes while The Butcher and The Blade are accompanied by HFO

I wouldn’t say that The Butcher and The Blade are a BAD tag team, but they do need the right opponents to make them shine which is why their most memorable match was against The Young Bucks; one of the best teams out there when it comes to carrying a match.  The Lucha Bros easily prove themselves to not just be great workers but great champs as well as they put on a darn good show with The Butcher and The Blade here who give them a decent run for their money; mostly through cheap tricks and overwhelming force.  Actually facing them in a fair fight is pretty much a non-starter as The Blade starts things off by trying to keep up with Fenix, but just can’t get a hold of him and tags in The Butcher.  His strength makes him a bit tougher to overcome, but Penta and Fenix’s teamwork cuts him down to size, so it’s time for the Heels to get dirty.  Penta has a hold of The Butcher and Fenix goes up for a top rope move, but The Blade knocks him off the ropes; giving The Butcher a chance to get some offense on Penta.  Fenix tags himself in to cut The Butcher’s momentum, but then he ends up on Butcher’s shoulders for an assisted Knee Strike with The Blade.  So far so good for The Butcher and The Blade, but once things settle to a more civilized tag match, The Lucha Bros get the advantage again with some good strikes from Fenix, Sling Blades from Penta, and dives from both of them to The Butcher and The Blade who had rolled outside the ring.  It’s not until a MASSIVE Cross Body from The Butcher that their momentum is halted and the Heels can finally get some heat.  Penta eventually gets the hot tag to Fenix and both teams start trading some big moves.  A Fear Factor from The Lucha Bros, some sort of Backdrop move from The Butcher and The Blade (looked kind of like FTR’s Big Rig), and eventually Penta is trying to get to the corner for a tag when The Butcher and The Blade make their most dastardly move yet!  Fenix DOES get the tag, but The Butcher is there immediately to knock him out the ring while The Blade TIES PENTA’S MASK TO THE RING POST!  Penta is forced to sit there and watch as The Butcher and The Blade start to overwhelm his brother and he is ultimately forced to remove his mask and land a Super Kick while covering his face!  The kick lands squarely on Butcher’s jaw, and Fenix gets the pin to win the match!  It’s not over yet however as Private Party run in and attack Penta and Fenix, the former still without a mask and covering his face, when Proud N Powerful run in to make the save.  The masks are always a soft spot for me and a quick way to get me to boo someone, so having this work into the finish of the match was a pretty solid way to cap it off.  It’s not even in the same LEAGUE as the Bucks match at the PPV, but for a title defense on the B Show it was pretty good!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)

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

We’re back once again… for the fourth time in a week… with more AEW action.  Needless to say that after Dynamite, Dark, and All Out last week that I’m a little burned out on wrestling and had to drag myself to the computer to get this thing done.  Still!  The show must go on, and AEW is not about to slow down when they have this much momentum behind them!  Can they capitalize on the success of All Out with a fantastic episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Malakai Black

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t hold this off for one more week to do a face to face interaction prior to the match as I’d love to hear what Dustin has to say about Blacks’ gimmick to his face, but this was still a pretty fun match.  Dustin gets a strong lead early on and lands a GREAT German Suplex in the corner, but eventually the fight goes outside the ring and Dustin is cut off with a Back Suplex through the time keeper’s table.  Black drags Dustin back in the ring and removes the turnbuckle pad before getting the heat for a while and a knee to the guy flips Dustin over for a two count.  At some point (it looks to have been the Back Suplex spot), Dustin’s knee got injured and during the heat segment he falls over from the pain which Black found HIGHLY amusing, but Dustin grits his teeth and gets back up for some back and forth action before Dustin gets his momentum and again and hits some impressive moves.  There was one weird spot during this segment though where Dustin throws Black into the ropes and expects him to bounce off.  He doesn’t though as Black gripped the ropes but Dustin can’t seem to figure that out and straight-up does an invisible Power Slam in front of everyone.  I can’t tell if that’s a botch and that Black was SUPPOSED to take it or if that’s what you should expect to happen if someone unexpectedly cuts on the breaks, but seeing him MIME the move kind of felt like one of those EXPOSING THE BUSINESS moments and it took me out of the match for a moment.  Black tries to follow up this spot with a kick to the head, but Dustin dodges and THEN gets a proper Power Slam for a two count.  Things go back in Black’s favor however when Dustin gets on the middle rope to bash him over the head in the corner only for Black to slip away and land a kick to the back of Dustin’s legs that sends him crashing to the mat.  Instead of finishing Dustin off though, Black goes to the effort of pulling Cody’s boot out from under the ring in an attempt to anger Dustin… and I GUESS he got what he wanted because Dustin is SUPER heated now and starts to kick his butt; even landing a Canadian Destroyer for a two count!  Not sure what the point of that was other than I guess to show us that Black underestimates his opponents, but regardless it’s time for him to finish this match once and for all.  He’s in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle and Dustin goes for a Bulldog but Black fights him off and then trips him into the corner when he tries to come back for him.  Dustin is dazed after taking that direct hit to the turnbuckle and he eats a Spinning Heel Kick as soon as he turns around which gets Black the pin and wins him the match.  There were a few spots in here that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy and didn’t exactly make sense to me, but both of these guys are good workers and provide an interesting contrast to each other.  I’d have liked to see this particular match on a bigger stage with a bigger build, but what we got here was still pretty fun!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021

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

After weeks of buildup, the start of a new Friday night show, and the arrival of one of wrestling’s biggest names, this could be the most anticipated PPV that wrestling has seen for quite some time; certainly as far as AEW who already have a high bar for these shows but those expectations have been shot into the stratosphere after everything they’ve promised and the stuff they’ve heavily hinted at!  Is this a show for the ages that will be a turning point for AEW, especially given their recent boost in popularity, or will the house of cards finally come down after all those unrealistic expectations give way to reality?  Let’s find out!!

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Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta and Jurassic Express Vs. Hardy Family Office – The Buy In Ten Man Tag Match

So in case you hadn’t heard, there was a last-minute complication that forced AEW to drop the Pac and Andrade match and move the original Buy In match to the main card; leaving a spot in the Buy In that needed to be SWIFTLY filled in.  I couldn’t tell you exactly which match was pushed to the main card (if I were to guess, MAYBE the TNT Title match) but for a match that had to come about at the eleventh hour, they managed to put on a VERY good show!  With this many guys in the ring it mostly devolves into a spot fest where all the Baby Faces get to show off while the Heels dampen their momentum, but there are some fun thru-lines throughout.  The most obvious one is between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy where Matt is INSISTENT on getting him in the ring to face him!  The match starts with Chuck Taylor, and he just kicks him back to the corner!  Nope!  Orange Cassidy!  Wheeler Yuta comes out and Hardy just grabs him by the head and shoves him back to his side!  NO!  ORANGE CASSIDY!  NOW!!  Then Luchasaurus comes in… and Hardy suddenly feels the urge to tag in Jack Evans who’s not happy about this but gives it his all… before getting crushed.  Things get a bit more straightforward from there with a few different lock ups that are more evenly matched until Luchasaurus gets swarmed and does the Big Man RAARRRGHHH spot to send them all flying.  It’s not until Hardy distracts Luchasaurus that Private Party are FINALLY able to cut him down, and it’s now time for Cassidy to make his move as he gives Lousy Kicks to all three of them before throwing Hardy out of the ring.  There are spots all over the place and chaos has completely taken over as I don’t think anyone GENUINELY knows who’s the legal competitor, but eventually everyone is effectively killed which leaves just Jungle Boy and Angelico in the ring.  Jack Evans jumps in and is on Angelico’s shoulders so Jungle Boy gets on Luchasaurus and they play a game of chicken that ends in Jurassic Express’s favor.  Private Party tries to take advantage of this goofiness by jumping at the precariously balanced Jungle Boy, but his flexibility allows him to dodge a Cross Body from Quen and SOMEHOW catches Kassidy then flips over backwards and lands so that Kassidy takes the brunt of the fall!

You had ONE job, Kassidy!
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-01-2021)

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

It’s the last Dynamite before the All Out PPV and AEW is frantically trying to put all the pieces in place!  Sure, they’ve got the in-ring return of CM Punk that’s gonna sell the show to a whole lot of people, but have they done a good enough job of building the card outside of their gigantic acquisition, or is this Go Home show just confirming that everything rests of CM Punk’s shoulders?  Let’s find out!!

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FTR Vs. Proud N Powerful

FTR is accompanied to the ring by Tully Blanchard

The last time these two teams met in the ring was kind of a disaster; not just because of the injury to Cash Wheeler’s arm that cut the match short, but even before that it was kind of a nothing match.  Not a BAD match but one that didn’t live up to the hype of seeing two of the best tag teams working today lock it up in the ring.  Thankfully they pull off a MUCH better match here with an engaging story being told throughout it.  At first it starts off a bit slow and cautious, but eventually things start to pick up with Proud N Powerful in firm control of the match; so much so that I started to wonder if we were supposed to be cheering for FTR.  I mean Dax Harwood IS pretty much fighting on his own as his recently injured partner stays on the apron, but eventually Cash DOES get the blind tag starts throwing the unaware Ortiz into the posts, and the team starts to get the heat.  If that wasn’t enough to reconfirm their Heel status, Cash rips a turnbuckle pad off while Dax is working over Ortiz and they seem to be trying to injure Ortiz’s arm as retribution for what happened to Cash.  It’s at this point that it hardly even feels like a wrestling match as no one is going for pins and are just trying to hurt one another, but eventually Ortiz gets the hot tag to Santana who hits the Three Amigos (three rolling Suplexes) and follows with a Frog Splash for a two count which was the first near fall of the night.  The story then shifts to one of both teams trying to land their tandem finishers but narrowly missing the window or getting it reversed by the other team.  Santana and Ortiz set up for something in the corner but Dax knocks Santana off the top turnbuckle and Cash lands a Gory Special for a two count.  FTR get the Big Rig on Ortiz but Santana jumps on them to break up the pin.  Back and forth the two teams go until Santana and Ortiz get a big combo and get the pin on Cash to win the match.  I liked the story in this and the match was genuinely growing on me as it went along, so good on them for bringing some closure to this storyline, and hopefully they will have SAFE matches like this in the future.  After all, there are three things you can always count on in life; death, taxes, and the unending nature of this feud between The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-11-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW, and this one is a special one because, ironically, it’s NOT a special episode!  Yes, for the first time in six weeks, this does NOT have a subtitle attached to it, but considering how strong the show has been lately I wouldn’t take it as a sign that they are resting on their laurels.  Do they continue their upward momentum in anticipation for the PPV and the arrival of some big name stars?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the show with a promo from MJF and Wardlow about the latter’s upcoming match against Jericho which as far as I can tell is NOT a stipulation match.  Sure, MJF is gonna be at ringside but pretty much EVERY match on this show has a bowling team’s worth of extra dudes just hanging around.  As you’d expect MJF is his usual smarmy self, a smarminess further accentuated by him eating an apple while talking, and Wardlow is standing behind him flexing and pouting his lips.  He seems pretty confident about his chances tonight, but MJF reminds him of his cage match against Cody which turns the atmosphere to ice.  The Wardlow/MJF breakup has been a thread for almost as long as the Hangman’s downfall has been playing out, but chances are that they’re gonna stick it out for quite a while longer as their feud with The Inner Circle shows no sign of slowing down.

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Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks Vs. Daunte Martin & The Sydal Brothers  – Trios Match

I don’t know what it is about Pittsburgh, but AEW has to go here more often because they pulled out ALL the stops; especially with this opening bout which MIGHT be one of the best matches of the year!  If nothing else, it’s EASILY a PPV caliber bout and I just love what this match manages to do and what it AVOIDS doing.  We have three AEW champions just showing up for a trios match against three guys who aren’t exactly the biggest stars at the company, and they’re just wrestling because it’s a fun match to do; nothing more, nothing less!  It’s a non-title match obviously because they have to preserve the existing storylines at least a LITTLE bit, but The Elite are not afraid to give these three lower tier dudes a lot of room to show what they can do, and while the Sydal brothers have always been great and look great here as they get an early lead on the Bucks, the real star is Daunte Martin.  The guy has a vertical leap that is truly something to admire, and he lands a Drop Kick to the face of Matt Jackson with ease; jumping so high that it almost looks like he’s floating as he turns in midair to land the kick!  Both teams go back and forth with the Baby Faces getting pretty solid advantages that are undercut by the devious machinations of The Elite, and EVERYONE looks good in the process!  The Bucks get to do their Cocky Heel shtick, Kenny Omega cleans house whenever he’s in the ring, and The Baby Faces work together with brilliant efficiency; not that The Elite don’t work well together as they land a Face Buster/Kotaro Crusher on Mike Sydal that leads to hot tags from both Matt and Daunte.  They land a bunch of big moves, the crowd is going wild, and they go for pinfalls and submissions, but it’s never quite enough to put the champs away.  Eventually it devolves into that perfect wrestling chaos where everyone is just running in and doing moves, but there’s an elegance to the timing that makes it look like a spectacle instead of a violent mess; all of which leads to Daunte and Omega in the ring alone.  Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but Daunte manages to flip his way out of it and the two trade moves for nearfalls until Omega gets a V-Trigger right to the face of young Daunte.  The Bucks keep the Sydals from running in as Kenny goes once again for the One Winged Angel and FINALLY lands it!  He doesn’t go for the pin though as he and The Bucks don’t appreciate being shown up like this and so the three of them land a BTE-V-Trigger (basically all three of them land knees to the face), and NOW Kenny deigns to pin the kid to win the match and bring this fantastic spectacle to a close!  There’s always a danger in putting something THIS good up front as it’s a hard act for any match to follow, but you couldn’t ask for a better way to get people to tune in as this was an amazing Trios match from beginning to end that left everyone looking even better than they did before!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-30-2021)

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

The Pandemic is not over yet despite what many will have you believe, but as far the Wrestling business and other live events, it’s at a point where enough people are vaccinated that they can fill arenas without worrying about super spreader events; at least not to the degree of risk there was even a few months ago.  Because of that, AEW will be returning to the road with next week being their first show out of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville Florida since more or less the start of the pandemic.  Do they give us a fantastic sendoff to the city of Jacksonville for all it’s done to keep AEW afloat, or are they already half-way out the door and just threw something together?  Let’s find out!!

Before we start the opening match, Jericho comes out to a raucous rendition of Judas as he is joining the announce team for this show; mostly to call the Sammy/MJF match in the main event, but he’s always a fun presence whenever he shows up in the booth!

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Young Bucks Vs. Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero M – AEW Tag Title Qualifier Match

Penta is accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes

AEW will rarely resemble WWE, and the few times it does it’s usually the GOOD parts like getting wrestlers from the past that people like and the occasional goofy celebrity spot.  This feud between The Bucks, Kingston, and Penta though resembles some of their worst tendencies which are its incessant 50/50 booking and running matchups into the ground as these two teams have been fighting back and forth since the PPV; longer if you count the fact that Kingston and Moxley were fighting with them before that!  To their credit though, the matches have been improving and The Bucks are only getting more fun in their utter contempt for good taste; case in point, the diseased rats they’ve glued to their face that they are calling facial hair with Nick in particular is sporting a very bushy Hogan-stache that seems to be drawing heat from the crowd all by itself.  Aside from that, it’s a pretty straightforward match with the Heels getting the heat and the Baby Faces breaking free to run wild.  Its good wrestling to be sure, but they aren’t doing anything I didn’t see the last few times they locked up; even the really cook stuff like Penta’s roll up into a DDT or when Kingston starts no selling a bunch of kicks feels like diminishing returns.  The best moment was probably the nearfall where Kingston throws Nick up onto the turnbuckle, Penta follows up with a kick, Kingston then lands a German Suplex, and Penta catches him into a Backbreaker.  The Bucks get a similar nearfall when they land The Lucha Bros own finisher (Fear Factor) onto Penta which Kingston breaks up at the last second, and this leads to The Good Brothers coming out to heckle Kingston and Penta as well as distract the ref while Cutler runs out for the cold spray spot.  Matt Jackson has Penta in position, but Penta comes up with the BRILLIANT tactic of… ducking, and instead Matt eats a bunch of cold spray to the face!  Frankie Kazarian runs out to take out Cutler which leaves Penta and Kingston to finish off matt Jackson with a Pile Driver and a back fist to get the pin and win the match; earning their chance to challenge for the Tag Team title!  If I hadn’t seen The Bucks versus Kingston and Penta for the last few weeks this would have hit a lot harder as the moves work was solid and the ending had a lot of fun spots to it; especially with Kazarian living up to his name as the Elite Hunter to just spoil The Bucks endless attempts to cheat.  This does set us up for yet another match between the two teams, but with the title being on the line it will hopefully bring enough gravitas to make it feel not as much like every other match we’ve seen so far from them.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-11-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

We’re back with another episode of Dynamite and frankly I’m ready for these Friday shows to end.  Not because of anything to do with the show itself (though last week was PRETTY bad) but because it throws off my entire schedule!  I would have wrestling during the week and then the weekend for other stuff, but NOW everything is all crammed into two days!  We only have a few more weeks of this strange timeslot so I’ll grin and bear it, but they’re gonna have to put on a GREAT show to make up for last week’s and for making my weekends that much more stressful!  Let’s take a look!

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Christian Cage Vs. Angélico

So apparently Matt Hardy has a bug up his butt about Christian Cage tossing him out at the Casino Battle Royale, and so he’s hired Angélico from TH2 to have a match with him.  I mean I’m sure he was going to have a match with SOMEONE this week so I’m not sure why this particular matchup is so dastardly, but Angélico is one of those people on the roster like Joey Janela, The Varsity Blondes, and Penelope Ford who are around every once in a while and probably have had a bunch of matches on Dark or Elevation but REALLY should be getting more of a spotlight on Dynamite.  The guy definitely has a unique physique looking like the handsome brother of Slenderman (dude has some SERIOUSLY long limbs!) and he’s so good at giving us a kind of match we don’t see enough of at AEW which focuses on submissions instead of high spots or big guy brawling.  Every time Cage gets an advantage with a flashy strike or some sort of throw, Angélico is ready to cut him off and start working over his arm again until finally he has him in some sort of Arm Bar right in the middle of the ring!  Cage is desperately trying to fight back against Angélico’s move as the crowd chants PLEASE DON’T TAP, and he finally makes it to the ropes to break the hold but is far from out of the woods.  He makes a comeback with a reverse DDT, a Missile Drop Kick, and a Flying Headbutt, but none of it is able to keep Angélico down for a three count who himself is starting to lose steam after all these near falls.  He makes a big mistake by trying to match Cage’s style and goes for a spot on the ropes only to get kicked out of midair and eating another two count.  From there it’s mostly desperate flailing from the two of them which Christian proves to be the better one of the two and manages to finish off Angélico with the Kill Switch.  As soon as the bell rings, Angélico’s partner Jack Evans runs in to attack Cage which goes rather poorly all things considered as he’s tossed ut of the ring with little effort.  However, this does distract Cage long enough for Matt Hardy to sneak in from behind and land a Twist of Fate on him that leaves Cage dead in the middle of the ring.  Angélico and Hardy are about to kick him some more when Jungle Boy runs out from the back and chases off Hardy and his two flunkies; leaving Cage and Jungle Boy to celebrate this victory in the middle of the ring.  It was certainly a nice change of pace to start out with a match like this and I certainly hope it’s a sign that things are going to be MUCH better this week!

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