Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-15-2020) – Fight For The Fallen

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Fyter Fest may be over, but this company’s got ONE more week of near-PPV level content that they want to give us (especially on a week without a competing NXT special event) so now we’ve got Fight For The Fallen to raise money for COVID-19 relief in Florida!  With John Moxley finally returning to the ring to face Brian Cage as well as a bunch of other well booked matches on the lineup, can this be the show that turns the ratings back into AEW favor while also making money for a good cause?  Let’s find out!!

First and foremost, AEW got the message and has everyone at ringside wearing a mask.  The announce team isn’t wearing any masks and neither is MJF and Wardlow for some reason (I hope their refusal to wear masks isn’t some sort of Heel flex because now is a REALLY bad time to be pulling that nonsense), but at least they’ve done SOMETHING about it.  Also worth noting is that Taz is filling in for Tony Schiavone; not because he tested positive but because his test results haven’t come back yet so they aren’t taking any chances.  It’s like AEW is ninety percent there with doing this the best way they can, but they just can’t take that extra step of making sure EVERYONE is covering; particularly the broadcasters who are still scrunched up together at a single table.  In any case, we’re starting things off on a bang with the first match being Cody’s TNT Title defense, so let’s see how that goes.

.

Cody Vs. Sonny Kiss – TNT Title Championship

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

It goes without saying that Sonny Kiss, who’s barely been on TV since Dynamite started almost a year ago, is far from the strongest opponent for Cody to be facing right now, but even if the match’s outcome is incredibly obvious (despite the protestations from commentary), I’m glad that he’s getting a chance at the spotlight.  Sadly the match isn’t exactly what you’d hope it be, and it’s kind of serendipitous that Sonny and Joey are working together now because my feelings on this one are similar to the Omega/Joey match from a few months ago.  Sonny is a great talent and he has such a magnetic personality that I think he has a very strong place in this company, but I’m not really feeling it when he’s up against a guy like Cody.  Cody’s at the top of the pecking order and is a unique talent in a traditional style, so while I wouldn’t say that they SHOULDN’T have a match ever, trying to make it a competitive one and seeing Cody try to sell it as such strains credulity a bit; especially when Kiss’s offense looks kind of green.  Sure, he’s got athleticism and flexibility, but his strikes need a bit more of a punch to them for Cody not to look foolish at taking the hits.  He does a spinning kick that has less impact than if I tried to do it, and really the only place where his move set looks convincing are when he gets to show off his athleticism; your Hurricanranas, Scissor kicks, and even a solid but kinda stiff-looking 450 which gets him a two count.  Cody is Cody, so it’s about what you’d expect from the guy with more teases of him going heel with just how brutal he is towards Sonny Kiss at points, and for me, it was a bit much when Cody for no reason rips off the turnbuckle.  Even less convincing is how Sonny manages to reverse a move so that Cody flies into the exposed metal, but I’ll give him credit for somehow reversing a Cross Rhodes; that looked pretty good and was probably the highlight of the match!  Cody does eventually win the match by landing a Cross Rhodes, though the major development coming out of this is that Cody only seemed to BARELY win the match which might spell doom for either his title run or his status as the top Babyface.  He’s getting a lot meaner and more desperate in the ring which indicates an upcoming heel turn, but he also hugs Sonny at the end of the match which probably means we’re doing the long game with this.  Not the best way to open the show as Sonny didn’t look great and Cody couldn’t do much to make it work, but it’s certainly a change of pace to start the show with a title match and I can only hope that the Cody storyline is truly developing towards something instead of just keeping us in suspense for months on end before pulling the plug on it.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-15-2020) – Fight For The Fallen”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-08-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 2

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back for another week great matches as AEW and NXT fight tooth and nail with their in-between-PPV spectaculars!  Last week had some really great matches on hand, though suffered from a comparably less exciting main event that probably led to NXT just barely edging them out on the ratings.  Can AEW improve upon the already great showing they had last week and make a great show for the ages, or are they just gonna hand another week of bragging rights to the other show?  Let’s find out!!

.

Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Private Party – Tag Team Championship Match

Private Party are accompanied to the ring by Matt Hardy

The big problem with the Omega/Hangman tag title run is the lack of tension; both in terms of the matches themselves as there aren’t many teams who seem to stand a chance against them, and as far as the storytelling as there’s no real beef between them or any of their recent opponents.  Belt chases are fine and enough justification for SOME title matches, but Omega and Page as champions simply don’t have anything else going on.  Heck, everyone in the division seems to LIKE them as the champs, and they’ve only fought nominally face tag teams these last two weeks, so where are the bitter rivalries; the reasons to fight OUTSIDE of just the belt?  Heck, this would have been a good chance for Private Party to heel out just a bit as Omega and Page seem to be taking them lightly (Omega starts the match by giving Marq Quen a lot of room to strut his stuff, but it’s clear that he is in control the entire time), so a few mean spirited shots or even a low blow could be enough to take Omega and Page into overdrive; giving Private Party the proper challenge they deserve and making this match have some genuine pop to it.  Instead, it’s just a VERY well done match between the two teams which I guess is more than you’d get from tag team matches at other companies, but it still feels like they could have done more with this.  The ebb and flow start to even out a bit as the match goes along, but you still don’t get the sense the Private Party is on an equal level; especially when Page and Omega take turns fighting both of them off on their own.  Frankly, the only time I was concerned for the champs here was when Omega takes a bump to the outside and grabs his shoulder which is troubling as the guy MIGHT have been fighting hurt for a while now and I don’t want him to burn himself out only one year into AEW.  In any case, Private Party go for the Gin and Juice on Page, but Kenny interrupts with the V-Trigger which allows Page to reverse his predicament into an Avalanche Liger Bomb on Kassidy.  With Marq Quen outside the ring, Kenny and Omega land the Last Call on Isiah Kassidy which gives Page the pin and continues the team’s unbeaten streak.  Like I said, the in-ring action was fine, but I’m having trouble caring about the individual matches these two have when they feel rather arbitrary and without a compelling story to tell.  Also, why was Matt Hardy even there!?  You get Matt Hardy to show up at ringside, and then don’t do anything with him!?

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-08-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 2”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-06-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back, not only with AEW Dynamite but with AEW Dynamite LIVE.  Yes, it’s their first live show in quite some time despite circumstances REALLY not changing since they decided to stop doing them, but I guess they want to get things as close to normal as soon as possible so with the return to Florida they’ve got quite a stacked show for us.  Is it a return to form after a few weeks of good but compromised episodes, or are we in for the same matches we were already getting; just in a bigger room?  Let’s find out!!

So first thing’s first, we’re back at Daily’s Place in Florida since they’ve lifted restrictions on wrestling shows; calling them an “essential service” despite there being nothing essential about it, and with the way these empty arena shows are done, almost no benefit to the local economy.  Now sure, I’ll admit that the BIGGER stadium looks better than shoebox they were using for all those taped shows, but it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth that this is only happening because local, state, AND the federal government are all acting irresponsibly for short term gain, and the fact that they are doing this live instead of taping a whole bunch of content only makes it that much worse.  Yes, I know Tony Khan sent out a tweet saying EVERYONE WAS TESTED NEGATIVE, but even if we assume those tests are accurate (they aren’t always), it just feels like a bad precedent to set for everyone else who wants to reopen business before it’s safe to.  In any case, they’ve got pyro, a big screen, more room for the wrestlers on the sidelines to distance themselves (I guess we can count that as a plus), and Jericho is off announcing duty to be replaced by both Excalibur and JR.  I’m certainly glad that they’re back, but Jericho’s hilarious commentary, as well as his chemistry with Schiavone, was something special and we should definitely see more of it in the future.  Anyway, onto the first match!

.

Cody Vs. Joey Janela

I actually do not remember if we’ve seen these two lock-up before.  Joey fought Moxley in a really good match and Kenny Omega in a not so good one, but Cody?  Not ringing a bell.  I’m certainly interested to see how this will go with Janela playing a decidedly mid-card role at the company and Cody’s a pretty big star to put him against, but then again the lines between A-List talent and the B-Team have started to blur now that everyone’s fighting in empty arenas (and QT Marshall’s back yard), and I’ll be darned if Joey doesn’t look GREAT here so maybe I was a bit too harsh on the guy!  Joey tends to come off as a jokey guy where funny expressions and painful spots take precedence over… big moves and physicality, but he takes this match seriously and pulls off a lot of decent offense with quite a bit of speed.  Still, it looks like a bit of a mix up when Joey takes the advantage and Cody’s stuck on the floor.  That feels a bit unbelievable where something more competitive throughout would have probably come off a bit better.  The Colt Cabana Vs. Lance Archer match is a good example of someone looking AMAZING all the way through a match despite never truly having the advantage, and I think it would have served both men if Cody stayed in control for more of this.  Things eventually even out in the match after he dodges a run from Joey and follows it up with a Disaster Kick to the face, and after some decent moves from both sides, Cody eventually snags the win with a surprise Cross Rhodes out of nowhere.  It dragged a TINY bit due to Cody overselling for Joey, but this was a solid match to start off with and I’m glad that they reestablished the Cross Rhodes as such a devastating move.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-06-20)”