Tag Archives: Kris Statlander

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-10-2020)

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

We’re back with even more AEW goodness, though for whatever reason I’m just not feeling it going into this episode.  Last week we had the big main event that was built up in the week prior while this week’s match was just thrown out at the end of last week’s show.  I mean sure, the Orange Cassidy and Best Friends Vs. The Inner Circle match will be fun, but other than that I’m hard pressed for an episode that has less going on heading into it.  That said, hype is far from the most important part of a wrestling show and AEW has done far more with far less, so I’ve little doubt that this will be yet another outing from them.  Will this be yet another collection of solid matches to the week that much more bearable to get through?  Let’s find out!!

Before the first match begins we are informed that Jericho will be joining Jr, Tony, and Excalibur in the booth tonight.  Jericho doesn’t JUST walk to the booth and do commentary!  Dude comes out with his FULL entrance and theme music just to walk to the right and put on a headset.  THAT’S how you get a show started!  I know that JR has his own theme, but why doesn’t everyone else?  I’d LOVE to see what Excalibur’s entrance is like!

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FTR Vs. The Butcher & The Blade

The first showcase for the former Revival is something that fans have anticipated for months, so can they live up to those expectations?  Heck, it’s been a while since we’ve seen The Butcher and The Blade in action so you could argue they have as much to prove as FTR does, and thankfully both teams manage to bring their A-game here for a very satisfying opening bout.  I still don’t really GET The Revival the way that apparently everyone else does (I still don’t know which one is which), but they are a VERY good team here and pull off some impressive moves; especially this one part where one of them grabs Blade out of mid-air and slams him to the mat which looked brutal and a spot later where the bald one superplexes The Blade to the mat and is soon followed by the one with hair landing an elbow drop from the top rope.  There’s also a great bit of storytelling here where a lot of the big wigs at the company, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Jake Roberts, you could even count Jericho since he’s calling the match, have come out to see what happens.  Everyone wants to know what FTR are about and are hoping to recruit them to whatever faction they represent; whether they’ll join The Nightmare Family, help Lance Archer get another stab at the belts, or join The Inner Circle which frankly would be the BEST option.  I’d love to see Santana and Ortiz get super passive aggressive at them like a bad sitcom plot.  The match eventually comes to an end when FTR lands a Goodnight Express on The Butcher (kinda looks like a Jackhammer only with two people) which gets him out of the match and they immediately follow it up with a Mind Breaker (a pile driver thingy) onto The Blade for the win.  FTR are then being interviewed in the ring when The Young Bucks come out form the back.  They tell FTR how great the match was and they thank them for helping fight off The Butcher & The Blade two weeks ago.  However, they are a LITTLE bit salty that FTR has kind of been avoiding them up to that point and makes it clear that THEY are the best tag team at AEW and FTR can sit comfortably in second place.  It looks things are about to spark between them when The Butcher comes back and takes out The Bucks.  FTR tries to make the save but are overwhelmed by Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc who come out… for some reason, but are soon run off by Kenny Omega and Adam Page who come out to ACTUALLY make the save.  Once the heels are gone, the three teams are left to stare at each other; a teasing of things to come as these three times will no doubt clash in the near future.  In a company full of really great tag teams, I’m not convinced that they are at the TOP of the heap (especially with the Omega/Page Vs. Bucks match still fresh in my memory), but they’re gonna have lots of chances to prove themselves so perhaps I’ll change my tune soon enough.  In any case, this was a fun match and a solid introduction for these two.

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2020

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Double or Nothing and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan

It’s been a rocky few months to say the least since AEW’s last PPV Revolution.  It’s almost as if the world changed at the very moment, with Revolution happening at the end of February; the same time as the first cases of COVID-19 in Washington turned fatal.  AEW has done what it can to keep the lights on as the months wore on and more and more people got sick, but nothing has been the same since then and whether or not it’s possible to pull off a great PPV in this environment.  Will this be a great show that we’ll remember despite the prevailing circumstances, or is this yet another part of this period in history that we’d all just like to forget?  Let’s find out!!

The Buy In kicks off with Lance Archer beating the hell out of a tire with a sledgehammer while Tony Schiavone is trying to get an interview with Jake Roberts.  In response to whatever question Schiavone is asking, Roberts instructs Archer to beat the crap out of whatever half-demolished run down building they happen to be training in, and Archer proceeds to destroy a toilet; presumably a call back to Cody destroying the throne at the first Double or Nothing.  Seems a bit hokey to me, especially since I’m pretty sure that even I could mess up a toilet give a hammer that big, but it gets the point across well enough.

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Private Party Vs. Best Friends – Buy In Match For Number One Contender Spot

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen Private Party who became one of the biggest success stories in those early AEW PPVs, so it’s somewhat fitting that they not only return on Double or Nothing but manage to put on one HECK of a show with the Best Friends.  Kassidy does a bunch of flippy kicks and stuff, Quen does his ridiculously awesome Moonsault, and despite a few hiccups here and there in the execution, the two of them do some great tandem maneuvers that give The Best Friends a run for their money.  However, Best Friends have been around kicking butt and taking names for months now (not to mention their connection to the EXTREMELY hot Orange Cassidy) so there was little doubt who would be going home with the win here; especially with Trent giving some amazing Suplexes and a HELLACIOUS spear to Isaiah Kassidy.  The Best Friends are frankly better than they’ve ever been and while the can sometimes slip in gimmicky slapstick mode, they are all business here and look like genuine threats to the rest of the division.

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The beard looks good on him!  Not as good as Trent’s, but baby steps!

In any case, after smashing Kassidy into a post on the outside, Trent and Chuck land a Strong Zero on Marq Quen (which looks a bit like a Meltzer Driver) and get the pin for the victory.  Not sure when they’ll get their shot at the title, especially if Adam Page is only here for the PPV, but I’m certainly looking forward to that match!

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

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

It seems like yesterday and also a million years ago that we were watching Jon Moxley win the title at Revolution; belt raised, the crowd cheering, and all was right with the world.  Now we’re just days away from Double or Nothing and things have certainly changed since then, but AEW has been doing their absolute best to put on good shows and get us pumped for the card this weekend.  Is this go-home show the capstone to weeks of goodwill and excellent content that will make Double or Nothing a big hit for the company?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with The Inner Circle arriving at the stadium in a limo which SOUNDS extravagant, but I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of people chopping at the bit right now to rent one of those (you know, what with the WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC and everything), so they probably got a good deal on it.  Still; there’s nothing quite like watching Jericho in sunglasses and a branded bandana climb out of one of those with a bat named Floyd in his right hand.  This is also probably a good time to correct something I said last week.  I thought that when Jericho announced the Stadium Stampede match that it was going to be the main event of this episode and not a part of Double or Nothing.  They’ve since made it VERY clear that that is not the case, but if the Inner Circle isn’t fighting The Elite tonight, then what do they have up their sleeves instead!?  ANYWAY!  On to the first match!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Ten The Creeper

Before the match begins, Brodie Lee comes out with Ten The Creeper along with Alex Reynold and John Silver who we haven’t seen in quite a while and are carrying the title belt that Lee stole from Moxley as well as a few other Creepers for good measure.  It’s clear that despite Ten being the one who’s actually going to fight, this is still all about Brodie Lee and John Moxley so the fight itself is almost immaterial to what happens before and after it.  Brodie gives a pep talk to Ten The Creeper and the AEW locker room, and despite a few hiccups in his delivery (he seems to stumble a bit here and there on his word choice), he does a lot of great work here to build up The Dark Order and his match at Double or Nothing.  My favorite part was when Brodie Lee admits that he HAS to win his match at the PPV, not for his own sake but for the sake of his followers; to prove to them that The Dark Order isn’t a joke and that they shouldn’t regret their decision to join.  I’m glad that he’s getting to the point where he’s talking about more than just himself as it’s a bit difficult to understand why ANYONE would become a Creeper if it didn’t benefit them at all and if the leader was a one-dimensional jerk bag.  Sufficiently pepped for the task at hand, Ten The Creeper is left in the ring while the rest of The Dark Order leaves him to his task of softening up Jon Moxley for the match on Saturday.  Still seems a bit optimistic considering that Moxley makes short work of the guy as soon as he gets in the ring!  Oh sure, Ten gets a couple of moves in including a decent looking Rip Cord, but it doesn’t take long for Moxley to land a Paradigm Shift which leaves Ten The Creeper more winded than if he’d been blasted in the stomach with a bowling ball.  Moxley easily picks up another win but he’s not done yet!  In perhaps his biggest heel move since he became champion, Moxley puts Ten The Creeper’s arm in a chair and gives Brodie Lee ten seconds to come out and give the belt back or else his precious follower is going to pay the consequences.  Now unfortunately this doesn’t go where I had hoped it would.  What happens is that Brodie Lee gest on the big screen, calls Moxley a jerk, and then leaves the building with the belt; leaving Moxley to do exactly what he promised to in the middle of the ring without even the slightest bit of resistance from The Exalted One.  To me, this would have been a really good opportunity for Brodie Lee to show that he ACTUALLY cares about his men by having his Creepers try to stop Moxley, or even for him to outsmart Moxley in some way by threatening to destroy the belt which might have made Moxley decide NOT to break Ten The Creeper’s arm.  Instead, he’s still being written as rather one-note and is yet another sign that The Dark Order needs a guy like Evil Uno who can thread the role a bit better and would certainly be a huge asset to Brodie Lee’s development of this character.  I’m sure the match will be fine on the PPV and it’s clear they’re working with what they have since MJF was taken out of the picture for so long (I’m guessing that he was in line for a title shot next), but there are still ways to make this even better than it already is.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-13-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite: Miami!  Okay, it’s actually in Jacksonville, but with Florida very thoughtlessly opening its doors again, AEW is back in Daily’s Stadium to film their weekly wrestling shows, and while I’m a bit unclear on if this week was live or not they DID make a point of saying that everyone was tested and they’re wearing yellow wristbands to prove it.  The tests, of course, are not one hundred percent accurate, but I guess we’ve all decided that that doesn’t matter for some reason.  ANYWAY!  Will this be another fun serious of matches as we inch ever closer to the Double or Nothing PPV!?  Let’s find out!!

We begin with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts getting into the ring so that the former can look scary while the latter talks trash.  He goes after Brandi Rhodes in particular and gets SUPER misogynistic about it, which… I don’t know; does this kind of heel promo still play well?  I know he’s supposed to be a BAD GUY and therefore is supposed to say BAD THINGS, but his talk about a woman’s place is in the kitchen is dated and cheap in a way that promos from more clever guys like MJF don’t, and frankly, there are still enough people out there who legitimately think that way for it to not feel more like a surly uncle grabbed the mic at the wedding and is embarrassing everyone there.  Thankfully Jake’s YouTube VLOG gets interrupted by the revving of a mighty engine as Cody has arrived in his F150 and is looking to make good use of it!  Said F150 has his silly Nightmare Family logo emblazed across its hood which is only slightly less silly than putting it on your neck, and what he ends up doing with the truck is smash like one trashcan which feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity; especially since Jericho and Sammy got blasted by a golf cart in the last episode.  The ensuing brawl is at least really good as Cody proceeds to kick Archer right in the balls and goes to take a swing at Roberts without missing a beat.  However, his arrogance proves to be his folly as Archer is no mere mortal man and has balls of pure steel, so before Cody can even get to the ring Archer has recovered and smashes him onto the apron.  From there they proceed to try and hit each other with their special moves and neither manages to land them which is a great way of building up the PPV match between them; teasing the moves and making both guys look very strong in the process.  It was a bit flabby at the beginning with Jake’s bad Andrew Dice Clay impression and Cody’s car stalling out after hitting a waste paper basket, but after a few minutes, the segment got its groove and proved to be a solid start to the program.

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Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) Vs. The Best Friends

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Mark Stunt while The Best Friends are accompanied by Orange Cassidy

This is DEFINITELY the kind of match that I should be whooping and hollering about, but something felt a bit off here.  There’s a lot of decent work here (especially in the second half when things really start to heat up), but some of the spots just felt contrived.  There’s a spot where Jungle Boy is on the top ropes with Trent on Chuck Taylor’s shoulders, and for whatever reason Chuck WON’T JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY and just stands there while Jungle Boy SLOWLY stands up and does a dropkick on Trent.  That was the really bad one and there are a few other odd spots throughout (mostly on Chuck’s end) but they do manage to tell an interesting story here between Trent and Luchasaurus which does a lot to salvage the match.  Trent starts out getting completely overpowered by Luchasaurus and he spends most of his time in the ring trying to find a way to cut the big man down to size which he eventually does with a hellacious spear followed by a Swinging DDT later in the match.  Unfortunately the ending kind of sucked the momentum out of that story because Fenix comes flying out of nowhere with a kick to Orange Cassidy and in the confusion, MJF smashes Jungle Boy into the ring post.  Seemingly unaware of what just happened, Chuck sees Jungle Boy dazed and lands his terrifying pile driver which he calls an Awful Waffle on the poor kid and gets the pin.  On top of all that, Wardlow takes a swing at Marko Stunt once the bell rings, so I guess they’re setting up some shenanigans for the MJF/Jungle Boy PPV match in just over a week.  I don’t mind when shenanigans happen in the ring to set up a future match, but they’re better served for matches that could use the extra bit of spice rather than ones that are going towards an interesting conclusion.  Hopefully, we’ll follow up on what’s being built up between Trent and Luchasaurus, but aside from that, I thought the match was fine.  Nothing special, but it’s always fun to see a dinosaur wrestle!

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

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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!

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

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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

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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!?

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

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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.

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“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.”

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

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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!!

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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