Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-19-2021)

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

Double or Nothing is only a week away!?  Didn’t I JUST pay for All Out like two weeks ago!?  Despite things slowly turning back to normal, things are still kinda blurring together week in and week out, but Double or Nothing promises to be a return to the old days of wrestling with big crowds and big events.  Whether this will prove to be a health disaster is yet to be seen (we’re still at less than fifty percent for full vaccination) but AEW has done a solid job in the last few weeks building up to it.  Will this prove to be even more hype for the big return show, or will it take a bit more than what they’ve been doing for the last year to get people excited enough to return to Daily’s Place?  Let’s find out!!

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Christian Cage Vs. Matt Sydal

Taz joins the commentary team for this match

AEW had a reputation about a year ago of being injury heavy as lots of guys would take bumps they shouldn’t have and got taken out of action for a while with perhaps no better example than the excruciating journey Matt Hardy had with his feud against Sammy Guevara.  That reputation might be returning as at least two big names had some SERIOUSLY rough matches recently with Orange Cassidy taking a bad Powerbomb on last week’s show that required AEW to quickly rebook the match on the spot, and Ricky Starks who got a neck injury in his match against Hangman Adam Page which is why Cage is fighting Sydal instead of him tonight.  Still, Sydal is no slouch and him being an understudy in a match like this is by no means a step down as they put down a pretty great match!  Cage is starting to come into his own and shake off that ring rust and is showing a lot more here than he had before.  Where the Kazarian match completely winded him and the Will Hobbs match was almost all about selling, this one shows off what he can really do at what seems like peak condition as his offense is strong and well-paced while his selling is just as good as ever!  Cage gets a strong advantage early on and keeps Sydal guessing, but Sydal eventually a few high flying moves and some close nearfalls; especially this one pretty amazing move where he jumps over a charging Christian Cage and turns it into a Canadian Destroyer which Cage kicks out of SO HARD that he comes FLYING off the mat entirely!  Despite not getting the pin here, Sydal does stay competitive and gets a few more close calls on Cage, but as soon as Cage gets his knees up for Sydal’s Moonsault, it gives him just enough room to land the Killswitch and get the win!  Despite Sydal’s harsh words for Cage last week, they do hug it out at the end to the consternation of Taz who doesn’t like either one of them.  He’s the only one down on this match however as this was a fun, explosive, and well-paced opener that did its job and didn’t overstay it’s welcome!  I’ve been a bit skeptical of Cage, but he’s proving himself more and more each week and I’m very interested to see what he does at the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing which the commentary team was plugging throughout the match.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-12-2021)

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

Last week may have been the big TV show, but we’re only weeks away from Double or Nothing so this episode has to work double duty in giving us the fallout from the Blood & Guts event as well as setting up whatever is going to happen for the PPV.  Not only that, but this is also something of a big show in its own right as we’ve got three title defenses with some big implications behind them!  Can this episode of Dynamite carry all that weight and spin all those plates without collapsing, or will the most interesting thing about this be the giant mess that they make?  Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Yuji Nagata – IWGP United States Title Match

Moxley is accompanied to the ring by Eddie Kingston while Nagata is accompanied by Ren Narita

Before we can get to my utter lack of knowledge of New Japan, before we can get to my utter lack of knowledge of Yuji Nagata, before we can get to ANYTHING else, we have to talk about one thing.  Wild Thing by The Troggs!?  Look, Where Is My Mind for Orange Cassidy is starting to grow on me, but I’m thinking that Tony Khan is getting a bit TOO pop happy with his music because this is a VERY jarring change of pace!  Moxley’s music may not have been a recognizable song, but it definitely fit him and his energy where Wild Things is just… not that.  I don’t know, maybe I’ll find a way to get used to it or maybe it’s just a one off.  In either case, let’s talk about the match itself, shall we?  Now as I’ve said I don’t follow New Japan and don’t know who most of the guys on that show are, so having Yuji Nagata show up here doesn’t mean a lot to me, but I still like the concept of having matches outside of AEW’s world take place on the show.  Wrestling is a BIG world and trying to close yourself off from everything else the way WWE does is what’s help make it feel like a weird little isolated planet of a thing, so I’m happy to see New Japan, NWA, or even Impact show up every once in a while to spice things up!  Then again, I can’t say this was THE BEST match to debut the IWGP title for the Dynamite audience because… well I don’t think the match was particularly exciting.  Look, I’ll fully admit that I can’t speak for all wrestlers and I know there are a few old timers that I still like to see even if they aren’t at their peak, but Nagata is just kinda slow here and Moxley has to slow himself down to make the match look competitive.  Then again, I tend to prefer a quicker high flying style to something more methodical, and there ARE moments where Nagata shows what he can do; particularly as we get to the end when he gives Moxley an Avalanche Exploder before kneeing him in the face to get a two count.  Moxley kicks out of it and manages to put Nagata into the Rear Naked Choke which can usually take out anyone, but Nagata wriggles out of it and puts him in an arm breaker that Excalibur is completely marking out for so it must be one of his signature moves, but Moxley makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold and the two start slugging it out once again.  Moxley starts bleeding at one point which I think happened from one of Nagata’s elbows smashing him right in the cheek, and it makes for a very compelling image as he goes back for the choke to finish Nagata off.  He fights out once again, but after a minute of back and forth Moxley manages to land the Paradigm Shift and gets the pin; winning the match and retaining his IWGP United States title.  There was a lot about this match that didn’t click for me, from the fact that this is the first time I’ve ever seen Yuji Nagata wrestle to Moxley’s new theme music, so while it didn’t do a lot for me specifically I can still acknowledge that both guys put a lot into this match and that it will definitely work for those who know what to expect going in.

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