Tag Archives: Kris Statlander

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-18-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Welcome back to another week of AEW which will more than likely be the LAST one we get for a while!  I mean we’ll probably still have SOMETHING on Wednesday nights to fill that timeslot, but unlike WWE who’s got a performance center to keep the ship going with empty arena shows, AEW has no such facility to get them through this COVID19 outbreak and I doubt any arenas will be keen to letting them host another show; nor will the talent be all that jazzed about going to new states week after week in the middle of all this.  Personally I’d suggest TNT to just put on a mix of Dark and PPV matches for the new few weeks, but before we contemplate what the future holds for this company, let’s see what they’re putting on right now!

We begin the show in the middle of an empty arena with Cody under a spotlight in the middle of the ring.  He doesn’t dance around the obvious and gets right to the elephant in the room which is this virus that is affecting everyone and how we need to be aware of what we need to do to protect ourselves and others.  This segues from a pep talk to the audience at home to a direct message to both Adam Page and Matt Jackson; both of which have been bickering for the last few weeks and need to resolve their differences in light of these trying times and in the face of the upcoming Blood and Guts match between The Elite and The Inner Circle.  Matt, Page, and even Kenny Omega eventually come out and TRY to work on their difference with Matt Jackson going so far as to swallow his pride and asks Adam Page to stand with them, but Adam’s got some serious drinking to do, so he doesn’t give them an answer just yet.  Not exactly a surprise considering his behavior the last few weeks, and Kenny tries his best to lighten the mood by telling the crew to hit the lights, start the music, and fire off all that pyro they’ve got saved up to kick this show off right!  It was certainly an interesting segment and the empty arena did lend a lot of eerie gravitas to it all that made the realities of the day as well as the schism in The Elite all the more apparent.  Let’s hope that the matches find a way to work with the circumstances as well as this segment did.

Before that though, we HAVE to check on Tony Schiavone who’s interviewing MJF to find out what he’s even doing here.  It turns out that he’s not here to wrestle but is instead here to watch the undercard losers duke it out… as well as place some bets with Shawn Spears, but that’s on the hush hush!  Speaking of which, the setup is definitely unique and kind of ingenious given the circumstances.  I haven’t seen the WWE shows yet so I don’t know how they set things up in their empty arena, but here they had a very small audience mingling on the barricades made up of AEW talent like Sonny Kiss, Joey Janela, and even Jake the Snake Roberts with his new protégé Lance Archer; all hooting and hollering as much as possible to bring a bit of life to the show.  They also filmed the show at a very different angle as the primary camera is typically placed perpendicular to the ramp but they decided to move it to so that it’s facing both the ring AND the ramp.  I think it works for the most part as it covers up the fact that there is next to NOBODY there, and it’s certainly different from anything I’ve seen before on a wrestling show.  Anyway, onto the first match!

Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-11-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with even more of the Wednesday Night Wars and AEW’s weekly shot across the bow!  With Revolution behind us and the Blood and Guts special mere weeks away, do they succeed at building up the feuds and alliances that will define the next few months of their promotion?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with an Adam Page interview as Tony Schiavone asks him who his MYSTERY tag team partner will be.  Yeah, so as it turns out, putting on ONE OF THE GREATEST TAG TEAM MATCHES OF ALL TIME has left its mark on at least one of the competitors as Kenny Omega is out of action for a few weeks from a hand injury which means that Page has to team up with someone for this match and for some reason he felt the need to keep it a secret.  A mystery partner angle isn’t exactly hyping me up for the match, but then I’m watching this show every week come hell or high water, so maybe the gimmick works for someone else who was on the fence about seeing this week’s episode.  Perhaps one of the reasons the mystery isn’t doing much for me is that everyone kind of assumed that it would be Matt Jackson and sure enough The Young Bucks are on hand to stand awkwardly to the side while this interview is going on, but in a shocking twist of fate Page assures us that there is no way in HECK he’ll be teaming with Matt Jackson and that he’d rather go with Nick if he had to choose between them.  His beef with Matt Jackson has been clear for some time now, so it actually makes sense that he wouldn’t CHOOSE to work with him (Page’s current character is far from a “I don’t like you but I respect you” mindset) and he’s still keeping it a secret as to who he will be teaming up with later in the show.  It was a fun little segment that managed at least turn me around somewhat on the angle.  While I was skeptical at first, this at least made the whole thing kinda funny and I’m interested in seeing where this ultimately goes. Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution

AEWREVOLUTION0

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

Welcome one and all to the most exciting event of the year (at least if you’re an AEW fan) as it’s finally time for their biggest PPV to date!  A stacked card full of memorable bouts between bitter rivals, hated enemies, and whatever you’d call Orange Cassidy!  Will it be a glorious event worthy of its lofty title, or will this be an uninspired slog of a show?  Let’s find out!!

So first off, I had no idea what was going on with the pre-show. I didn’t see anything on BR Live other than the Countdown show which was on TNT Wednesday, and for the life of me I couldn’t find confirmation online that they were starting any earlier than 8pm.  Sure enough though, they had a match BEFORE the Revolution PPV, and so I had to catch up on it AFTER the fact when they posted it to YouTube.  Let’s hope they don’t make it THIS hard to find their matches in the future, but could it be because they knew the match was going to be bad and were trying to hide it from us!?

.

The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) Vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky)

AEWREVOLUTION1

The Dark Order is accompanied to the ring by The Creepers

Before the match begins we get an interview with Christopher Daniels promo-ing his heart out about The Dark Order’s empty promises and SCU’s in-ring superiority, which makes it all the more heartbreaking that Kazarian and Scorpio Sky ask Daniels to stay in the back and not be with them ringside.  The implication seems to be that they think Daniels might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing and really IS the Exalted One, but I’m not sure what sending him to the back is gonna do.  Frankly if he IS going to betray them it’d hardly matter if he was outside the ring already or had to run out from the back, but in any case Daniels agrees and looks very sad as the rest of SCU goes out for their match.  See, this is why I can’t understand why people think The Dark Order is hopeless.  I was SO negative about them in those initial PPVs, but they’ve done such a good job at playing mind games on the other wrestlers that even if they aren’t the MOST successful heel group out there, they’re still genuinely contributing to the drama of these matches.  This by the way is also the first Dark Order match that Evil Uno and Stu Grayson themselves are participating in in I don’t even know how long, so now that we’ve got our BIG NAME members out there, I do feel like they REALLY need to win here because the one thing I will definitely agree with people on is that The Dark Order come off like losers in the ring and they could use a few victories to make their menace that much more legitimate as well as their offers to other wrestlers more enticing.

AEWREVOLUTION2

“Hey, Creeper Number Two; does any of this seem silly to you?”     “Why do you say that, Creeper Number One?”     “I don’t know, just the whole CLAW thing seems a bit silly is all.”

Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-19-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

AEW has done a great job of building up its shows; not only by actually letting us know what’s coming up in the week head but by planting the seeds of big ideas long before they get around to doing them.  We heard about that Cage Match WEEKS ago and they kept reminding us of it every episode, so now that the day is finally here, well I found myself getting REALLY excited to see it for myself which is exactly what you want in a wrestling show; a reason to come back to it!  Does the match live up to the weeks of hype, and is the rest of the episode just as good?  Let’s find out!!

.

Tag Team Battle Royale

Starting the show off in highest gear possible, we’re not even a minute in before the Battle Royale is on and like twenty dudes are beating the crap out of each other in the ring.  It is a RIDICULOUS amount of guys that are in here taking abuse and doing wacky spots that are pretty much all great but is far too much to try and recap in its entirety, but I’ll hit the highlights.  The first one for me was when Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, and that turtle neck guy in those Dark Order promos started to taunt SCU which was enough of a distraction for John Silver and Alex Reynolds (representing The Dark Order in this match) to knock them out of the ring and eliminating them from the Battle Royale.  Don’t worry though!  The Young Bucks IMMEDIATELY Superkick the both of them out of the ring, just in case you thought The Dark Order were gonna win at some point, though they WERE the two clear jobbers of the group.  SCU start brawling with Stu Grayson right after they’re thrown out of the ring who manages to hold his own, so while The Dark Order may not have had MUCH success, they’ve been doing a good job of building up its key members with Evil Uno as the brains behind the operation and Stu Grayson being the one always ready for a fight.  Later on in the match, Cima of Strong Heart (yes, they’re in this too!) gets tossed out and Evil Uno offers him a mask to join The Dark Order.  It LOOKS like he accepted it, but we’re left unsure as to what’s going on there.  Other big standout moments include Orange Cassidy saving Trent from being eliminated by carrying him on his shoulders, some REALLY fun spots with Luchasarus who unfortunately gets eliminated with the combined effort of four dudes, and of course Santana and Ortiz as the heel group refuses to get in the ring for the first few minutes.  This is a really common thing with Battle Royales and frankly I’m wondering why they can’t just institute a ten count for those who didn’t go over the top but are outside the ring as a way to prevent these shenanigans.  So they all fight and fight and fight until it’s down to Santana and Ortiz alone with Matt Jackson.  The dude is getting a beating on both sides within an inch of his life, but he manages to take out Ortiz with a Superkick leaving just him and Ortiz.  Sammy Guevara, sensing a need for his particular set of skills goes into the ring, climbs to the top rope, and jumps at Matt like a missile, before Matt Superkick’s him out of midair; leaving him a crumpled and presumably DEAD mess on the mat. In the confusion Santana is gasping for air on the ropes and Matt charges at him with a clothesline; knocking him over the ropes and winning The Young Bucks their shot at the Tag Team Titles at Revolution.  This was a really great match in terms of Battle Royales which are always a bit messy and all over the place, but a lot of the spots really connected and they managed to tell a few stories within it to build up a few matches in the following weeks; not the least of which being The Young Bucks getting a shot at the Tag Team Title at Full Gear.  The only thing that’s kind of disappointing about it is that they start it off so quickly when I really would have liked a roll call; especially when teams like Strong Heart are back for this which should feel like a big deal.  Other than that, it was a great way to start the show!

Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-15-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Welcome back to another episode of AEW Dynamite where we’re partying like its 1997!!  Despite WWE basically owning everything wrestling related in the US prior to 2000, they let their trademark for Bash at the Beach expire which allowed Cody Rhodes to get it for AEW; a fitting change of hands considering his father Dusty Rhodes was the one who created the concept in the first place!  Does this revival of an old school wrestling tradition still hold up twenty years later, even with a BEACH show taking place in the middle of winter!?  Let’s find out!!

The big thing to note about this show is that the major angles are put on the back burner a bit to focus on a new round of tournaments for the belts; presumably as a way to make this BASH AT THE BEACH thing feel like something other than another episode of Dynamite shot in a slightly different way.  To that end, the Tag Match is a Number One Contender match, and there’s a two bracket tournament tonight (Jon Moxley Vs. Sammy Guevara & Pac Vs. Darby Allin) with the two winners of this week’s matches facing off next week for a shot at Jericho.  Fair enough I suppose as there could certainly be a bit more excitement around the belts themselves which haven’t changed hands once since AEW started, and we start things off with that GINORMOUS tag match!

.

Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. Proud N Powerful Vs. Best Friends Vs. The Young Bucks – Four Way Tag Team Match for Number One Contender

Best Friends is accompanied to the ring by Orange Cassidy

The best way that I can describe this match is that it has as much in common with an actual sporting contest as It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World has with actual racing.  For twenty minutes these eight dudes did their best to recreate the mad cap of Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chaplin in that the physicality of their bits are just as impressive to watch as it is hilarious.  No, you don’t really buy it as a REAL wrestling match, but the timing and the spectacle were out of this world and I enjoyed every minute of it once it kicked into high gear!  It actually took me a minute to get what they were going for, especially when JR just blurted out that it was a non-DQ match two minutes after the bell ring which calls into question why anyone is even bothering to tag in and out, but honestly that’s always going to be a thing in wrestling where if the goal is to knock someone into submission then why are they doing high flying moves and whatnot instead of MMA beat downs.  I can understand that going THIS far into wackiness will be past some people’s suspension of disbelief and that’s a fair criticism as it really does descend into chaos multiple times here, but if you can groove on that understand that it’s all one elaboarately planned out showcase of moves, spots, and well timed interference, then there’s a lot of wacky fun to be had in this opening match.  The match does eventually have to come to an end though with Kenny and Page landing that combo V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat on Chuck Taylor which knocks him out cold and leads to the three count.  They’re definitely playing the long game here with Page’s heel turn as they’ve made it ALL the way to the number one contender slot, so hopefully next week in their match against SCU they’ll finally pull the trigger on it.  I’m guessing they’re going to lose relatively cleanly against SCU and that’s when Page finally turns heel on Kenny which will set up a feud for those and possibly a match at Revolution; possibly a Triple Threat if they wanted to get Pac in there as well.

Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-08-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Welcome back to another week of TNA Impact! … Wait, that’s not right. Welcome back to WCW Thunder! Nope! Try again! Welcome back to… AEW? There we go! Seriously, trying to fight the WWE is like one of those rouge likes with perma-death where you have to start over with a brand new character from scratch. Thankfully this just might be our best specced character yet as AEW has kept on chugging with quality content and management seems to have a good head on its shoulders for what are reasonable expectations for the brand. Is this week’s episode another memorable and fun entry in the already venerated wrestling promotion? Let’s find out!!

.

Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)

The big in-ring story for AEW going into 2020 is where The Elite stand as the de facto Face faction and whether they will break their losing streak anytime soon, but the thing is I’m not as bothered by Kenny Omega’s losing streak as I am by his utter directionless at the moment. Where Cody has his one big storyline and a few other things simmering in the background that we’ll get to later, everything with Omega feels like it’s stuck in the background and it’s hard to really sink your teeth into his character when even he doesn’t seem to have a clear set of priorities. At least Kenny has those background things going on though. While stuff like his feud with Pac and whatever he has going on with John Moxley aren’t front and center, they’re at least THERE in some capacity. Adam Page really has nothing going on other than his own frustration at having nothing to do, so if nothing else putting him in matches with Omega has at least dragged him a bit forward as well. So how is the match this week? It’s pretty good, but a bit plodding. Kassidy is in that ring for a LONG time and is basically the whipping boy for the entire first half of the match as Omega and Page work him over to show how tough they are, but Quen at least makes a comeback and does a good job of keeping Page and Kenny from running away with it. There just wasn’t a whole lot to really excite me in this however, at least until the end when Page and Omega start working together and lay some SERIOUSLY painful combo attacks and Kassidy. That’s pretty late into the match though and I’ve always been of the opinion that an opening match should get in and out to pump up the audience. We do eventually get a spot where Kenny has Quen in a hold and Page tries his Buckshot Lariat where he once again accidently hits Kenny, but it’s like the third time we’ve seen it so it doesn’t mean a whole lot. The only thing that’s KIND of surprising is that Page (aside from the whole Lariat thing) is actually trying to be a good teammate as he protects Kenny at points and even breaks up a near fall to save the match. It seems to be done rather begrudgingly, but it at least shows that Page isn’t some One Dimensional Sourpuss who will screw over his own teammates for no reason. Kenny ends up winning the match by landing a One Winged Angel on Marq Quen for the pin, and afterwards we see Pac on the big screen doing some sort of submission on Michael Nakazawa (I’m guessing it’s the Brutalizer?) who then once again says that it’s Kenny’s fault and that he wants his rubber match. Ultimately this match and this angle felt like a holding pattern rather than an advancement of the storyline as we’re just repeating the angle from last week. Not bad, but not how I’d start things out.

.

Continue reading

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-18-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with yet another episode of Vince McMahon’s giant pain in the butt!  While last week’s episode left me a bit cold (possibly due to being sick at the time), I am still hopeful for what happens this week as we finally get the Jungle Boy match against Chris Jericho that they have been building up for weeks, and we can only hope the rest of the show is just as gret considering they are going off the air for two weeks; resuming on January first of next year.  I consider this to be a phenomenally good decision because I frankly don’t NEED a Christmas Day show and forcing wrestlers to work over the holidays like that is utterly heartless and I still want to have at least SOME hope that a heavily moneyed wrestling promotion isn’t entirely evil!  Is this a return to form for the series and the best way to end the first year of AEW?  Let’s find out!!

.

The Luchas Bros (Fénix & Pentagón Jr) Vs. Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega

DANG!  We’re not just starting off with a bang; we’re starting with a freaking CANNON as these are four of the biggest stars in the entire company and they’re coming out as the opening act!  The first part of the match is a bit of a clown show with both teams peacocking at each other, but the crowd was SO into it as it basically devolves into elaborate call backs like Pentagón’s glove thing which I still don’t fully get as well as prideful stare downs where they give their best smoldering intensity for no discernable reason other than everyone involved REALLY wanting to show off.  There is almost negative momentum here as no one is in any particular hurry to get the match going and I found it a LITTLE bit off-putting as I prefer matches to have some real flow and movement, but there’s genuine charm to watching the biggest hams in wrestling Kenny Omega and Pentagón Jr staring at each other for an almost uncomfortable amount of time; daring the other to be the first to break the tension.  The match does eventually pick up, and while it’s never a barn burner to bring the house down, it’s fun and has a lot of really hard hits that the crowd continued to eat up.  I particularly liked this one spot where Pentagón drags Kenny Omega out of the ring so that Fénix can follow up with a Suicide Dive.  THAT shows some real teamwork that you just don’t get when you throw two randos together in a match like this!  Now one of the things about last week’s tag match with Adam Page and Omega is that Page seemed to have some sort of resentment for Kenny that didn’t manifest into a full blown betrayal but definitely left things a bit more intense than they should have been considering they did get the victory.  This match continues up on that as it ends in typical tragic face fashion where Adam Page “ACCIDENTALLY” lands a Buckshot Lariat on Kenny Omega which opens him up for Pentagón’s finisher and subsequent pin; and now we have to wonder just how intentional Adam Page’s little screw up there really was.

Continue reading