Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (08-20-2021) – The First Dance

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

Welcome back to the CM Punk show where the fans came to see one thing and thing only; and BOY do they let you know it! As soon as the audio from the arena is turned on, all you hear is CM Punk chants as loud as any you’ve heard at an AEW show and the first thing you see are signs that promise to riot if he doesn’t make an appearance. This episode is going to be remembered for one thing and one thing only which is Punk’s return to the world of wrestling after seven years! Now all that said, does being a significant chapter in wrestling history mean that what we saw today was any good, or will this be remembered along the debuts of The Shockmaster and The Gobbledy Gooker; certainly SIGNIFICANT moments, but for all the wrong reasons? Let’s find out!!

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The Return of CM Punk – Is this the happy ending the fans have been waiting for?

The show wastes no time in giving us Punk and letting him address the crowd who as I said are ELATED beyond belief that the guy is here at AEW; they simply couldn’t wait another minute for it! Punk spends about five minutes making his way down the ramp and it’s clear that he’s really enjoying himself and the adulation he’s getting from the crowd (some of whom are in fact crying over this moment), and he eventually makes his way to the center of the ring with a mic in hand and starts to talk. Personally, I’m just not invested in Punk as a wrestling personality and I’m just not fully caught up on the history that makes this as meaningful as it is for lots of other people. What I took away from the speech is that he doesn’t make everything about him and spends time praising AEW, talking about the people in the back, and even talks directly to Darby Allin to confirm that they will have a match at the All Out PPV in a few weeks. For me, that’s what mattered most. He can talk about his struggles and animosity towards the WWE as much as he wants to because it’s part of the story that these fans have been waiting to see resolved for almost a decade now; as long as it’s in the context of the AEW story. My concern (probably misplaced) is that his presence would overwhelm everything else at AEW and just make it that much more of a traditional “WRESTLING WAR” when AEW has done quite well for itself without overly indulging in sniping back and forth with the competition. They let their product speak for itself and Punk doesn’t take away from that, so I’m very happy with this segment and I’m actually quite excited to see that match between him and Darby Allin. Oh, and everyone at the stadium got free ice cream bars. I’m told that’s a reference to something he did, so if you got it I hope it made you smile!

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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 (08-04-2021) – Homecoming

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite and things are definitely looking up for the company!  The last episode was definitely a mixed bag of highs and lows, but the ratings the last few weeks have been consistently excellent and there’s no sign of it slowing down; especially with the talent that should be arriving in the next few weeks!  Does this episode keep the momentum going as we head towards the debut of Rampage and the big PPV show to follow not long after?  Let’s find out!!

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Chris Jericho Vs. Juventud Guerrera – The Third Labor of Jericho

For Jericho to win, he must land a move from the top rope

Not everyone has enjoyed the whole Labors of Jericho thing, and for me this MIGHT be the match that pushed things a little bit too far.  It’s by no means the fault of the two guys in the ring as they are GREAT here (and I have to find out what Juvy does to still look so young!) but the stipulation doesn’t make a lot of sense and is not very well explained.  I honestly thought that all he had to do was land one move from the top rope to win and the rules weren’t clear until we saw it play out in the match.  Apparently he has to land a move from the top rope AND THEN either pin or submit him; the latter of which by the way being a pretty goofy looking spot where Jericho drops from the top rope onto Juvy and just puts him in the Walls of Jericho.  Juvy eventually gets out of it and they go back and forth for a bit with Juvy getting a close nearfall after landing a Juvy Driver, but then Jericho hits the Judas Effect and Juvy is down.  HOWEVER!  He landed it while on the ground and can’t cover him to which Jericho looks right into the camera with a dumbfounded expression on his face before going up top and landing a Flying Judas Effect to finally get the pin and win the match.  I’d honestly have much preferred a simple match between these two or perhaps a more straightforward stipulation as the top rope stuff kinda dragged things down throughout, but it was nice to see Juvy again and the Jericho storyline is still one of the most enjoyable things that AEW has going on right now!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen

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

We’re back with even more AEW action and frankly the company has been on a real hot streak lately!  With solid episodes the last few weeks, lots of news about possible signings from Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, and even outpacing WWE for live ticket sales, their return to the road has been an overwhelming success and some of the best publicity the company has had.  Can they keep up that momentum all the way to the All Out PPV in September?  Lets’ find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & The Dark Order Vs. The Elite – Ten Man Elimination Tag Match

Don Callis  joins the commentary team for this match

Considering this match the biggest names in the company working through the biggest storyline they have (If Hangman and The Dark Order win, they ALL get title shots), it makes sense that they start the show with it, and to the surprise of no one it ends up being a darn good match!  Now I’m not about to go blow for blow here considering how long it is and how many people are involved, so just assume that everything filling the gaps of what I talk about is solid work and that the crowd was into this the entire time!  On one side we have Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows, while on the other side we have Hangman Adam Page, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and the returning John Silver who’s in his first match since his shoulder injury and his first match in front of a crowd in over a year.  Needless to say that the crowd is completely behind this dude and a good chunk of the match is trying to make him look as good as possible.  He and Reynolds do that awesome combination that really SHOULD have a name by now (Forearm Strike, Inzuguri, Stunner, German Suplex, Jackknife pin) but it’s not enough to put Karl Anderson away.  Gallows tries to even the odds a bit and rushes the ring and Reynolds knocks him over the ropes with ease, only for Anderson to come from behind and pin him by pulling on the trunks.  With blatant interference and an illegal pin within seconds of each other, it’s probably time to mention that the one drawback to this match is that none of the rules are enforced as people are running in CONSTANTLY without a peep from the ref which isn’t NECESSARILY a bad thing if it leads to great action, but I felt that for a match with such high stakes it’d have been nice if they could have either kept it a bit cleaner or just declared it No DQ.  This lack of adherence to the rules goes for both sides by the way as Uno and Grayson eliminate Karl Anderson soon after with a Fatality.  Stu and Uno actually get quite a lot in this match as they seem to be even more in-sync than the two tag teams on the other team as they pull out some impressive tandem moves and give The Bucks a run for their money.  However, this also leads to probably the worst spot in the match which is when Stu Grayson lands a Sky Twister Press from the apron to the ground and ends up SMASHING his head on the floor because no one caught him!  Now he claims to be fine, but there was NO way anyone knew that at the time and he and Doc Gallows brawl in the crowd including ANOTHER diving spot from Grayson.  I don’t THINK he hit his head on that one, but he definitely rolled on the ground.  Thankfully he and Gallows were eliminated due to count out which MIGHT have been the plan all along or something they had to call at the moment so that Grayson could get out of there and get checked on.  Either way, that was BRUTAL.  Uno and Omega are the only ones still standing at this point and they brawl it out in the ring for a bit while everyone else tries to recover outside the ring.  Uno does his best but when he goes for the Senton, Omega gets the knees up and hits him with the V-Trigger as well as the One Winged Angel which is MORE than enough to eliminate him from the match.  That just leaves Hangman and John Silver against The Young Bucks and Omega.  Not looking good for the Baby Faces, but John is NOT deterred and hits a BIG spear on Matt Jackson for a big pop from the crowd.  It doesn’t take long though before The Bucks start getting the heat on Silver with all the goofiness that entails.  This match is APPARENTLY a promotional cross over with that Space Jam sequel so all the Heels are wearing basketball jerseys and there’s a hoop nearby which I’m not sure if getting the most out of this brand synergy; nor would I expect it to be in the middle of a match this important.  Still, there is a spot where The Bucks do an Indie Taker on Silver underneath the Basketball hoop while Nick Jackson is trying to dunk a basketball, and while Silver does eat the Indie Taker, Nick Jackson COMPLETELY fumbled the spot and the ball goes bouncing off the rim which made it all the funnier!  The Bucks may be goofballs, but they are still good wrestlers and not only did they tear Silver apart here, they also took some cheap shots at Hangman to soften him up once he’s the last one in there as John is fighting valiantly but it’s clearly just a matter of time.  The Bucks finally land a BTE trigger on Silver and he stays down for the pin which leaves him alone to face Omega and The Bucks; two of whom he betrayed, one he disappointed, and ALL looking to destroy this man once and for all!  What follows is a fantastic match in its own right as Hangman manages to hang with all three of them and everyone starts hitting their biggest moves; especially Hangman who gets a Pop Up Powerbomb on Kenny and even lands a DOUBLE BUCKSHOT LARIAT on both of the Bucks!  Kenny eventually gets tired of all of this and tries to bash him over the head with one of his belts, but is stopped in his tracks when Ref Knox takes it away.  However, since he’s the BELT COLLECTOR, he just gets another one while the ref’s back is turned and goes for Hangman, who ducks and manages to hit him with the Dead Eye… only to get a count.  Hangman then goes for the Buckshot but its Omega’s turn to duck and he finally hits Hangman with a belt… only to get a two count as well.  Kenny is back in control now however as he hits a few V-Triggers and a One Winged Angel which Hangman stays down for and the match is over; giving The Elite the win and preventing Hangman from going for the title.  I’m mixed about the ending to be sure as Hangman losing any momentum here is probably not a good thing considering how much the crowd is behind him, but I do like the idea that The Dark Order in a sense has failed him here and we’ll get to see the fallout of that; if he turns his back on them or if he’s grown enough to not take failures like this so personally as to blow up his relationships.  It’ll be an interesting few weeks to see what direction they’re going in and this was a heck of a match to see, though perhaps I wouldn’t have started with this as it’s kind of a downer and the rest of the show is gonna have to work hard to get out from underneath it.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-21-2021) – Fyter Fest Night 2

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

We’re back for night two of AEW’S Fyter Fest special event which comes right after their Road Rager event and will most assuredly be followed by like five other events.  Well you can hardly blame them for trying to make every episode feel like something monumental will happen since they’re still establishing themselves on the road, and to their credit they have been stacking these shows with a lot of great matches!  Will that trend continue for this episode, or are they about to run out of gas?  Let’s find out!!

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Chris Jericho Vs. Shawn Spears – First Labor of Jericho

Shawn Spears can use a chair but Chris Jericho cannot

MJF is on commentary

The idea of Jericho having to face four opponents in wacky stipulation matches before getting a crack at the biggest snot nosed heel at the company is the kind of booking I like to see and is also exactly what you want to do if you’re looking for something other than a title chase to get fans invested.  We’re certainly starting things off well with MJF’s obnoxious commentary and Shawn Spears coming out with a personalized chair that he uses to menace Jericho with, but it’s not long before he gets it away from them and gets a strong lead in the match.  It’s not until Jericho tries for a Springboard Forearm that Spears surprises him with a chair to the face and from there the match is a lot more even between them.  Jericho would get some momentum, but then Spears would stop him in his tracks with either a big move or another chair shot which kept the crowd on edge and they popped big time whenever Jericho gets control again.  At some point, Spears wedges a chair into one of the corners with the intent of throwing Jericho into it, but Jericho manages to fight back and puts Spears in the Walls of Jericho.  Just a moment before Spears starts tapping out in the middle of the ring, Tully gets on the apron and distracts Ref Aubrey so that she doesn’t see the submission.  Sammy comes out to yank him off the apron, but it’s too late as Spears has crawled his way to a chair and manages to bash it over Jericho’s head to break the submission.  Seeing a chance at victory, Spears gets Jericho up on his shoulders for a C4 along with a chair to make it more painful, but Jericho escapes and shoves Spears into the chair that was wedged in the corner.  As Spears bounces back he eats a Judas Effect from Jericho and stays down for the three count; giving Jericho the win and passing the first of his Labors.  It was certainly a solid match to start the show with, and the gimmick added a lot to it; especially for the crowd who reacted to every chair shot with a chorus of boos and exploded with every comeback from Jericho with thunderous applause!

As soon as the match is over, MJF comes to the ramp to congratulate Jericho on his victory but to also admonish him for letting Sammy come to his rescue.  Because of such blatant interference (ignoring of course Tully’s involvement), he has declared that Jericho cannot have ANYONE ELSE come out during any more of his labors or else the deal is off.  I’m not sure if he can make changes like that since they already signed the contract, but in any case MJF also announces the NEXT challenge that Jericho will face.  It will be a No DQ match against none other than Nick Gage!  For those of you who don’t know (like me), he is a top star in the independent wrestling scene, and is perhaps most known for his hardcore style which on at least one occasion nearly killed him in the middle of a match.  I doubt Jericho, AEW, or TNT are gonna be okay with THAT kind of DQ match, but it should be interesting all the same!

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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 (06-04-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

So after a week of nonstop action with two shows more or less back to back, it’s time for things to return to normal as we move forward from the events of Double or Nothing to see what AEW has planned for the future!  Is this the start of a bold new direction for show, or did they use up all of their good ideas on the PPV?  Let’s find out!!

Before getting started, it’s worth noting that the hard cam is back to facing the Titantron and the small crowd of people sitting there on the stage which is the position it’s been in since the Pandemic except for last Friday’s show and the PPV.  With that new section of crowd it’s probably the best place for it, and it least it doesn’t have the DAILY’S PLACE sign shining brightly in the background.

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The Young Bucks Vs. Death Triangle (Pac & Penta El Zero M)

The Bucks are accompanied to the ring by Brandon Cutler

I was expecting this to be the main event of the show considering all four guys were in big matches at the PPV (three of whom in title matches), but The Bucks like to go on first and you really couldn’t ask for a better matchup to hook views in for the rest of the show.  During The Bucks’ entrance which is as obnoxious and heelish as you’d expect, Frankie Kazarian moves through the crowd and attacks Michael Nakazawa for seemingly no reason other than to terrorize The Bucks.  I’m not sure they’ll care all THAT much as no one seemed to care when he got his butt handed to him by an army of six year olds, but it’s clear that Kazarian is not done being The Bucks’ biggest pest!  It does accomplish one thing however as The Bucks are momentarily distracted by all the commotion which allows Pac and Penta to take a bunch of shots at The Bucks before the bell rings which is a trope I STILL don’t like, but whatever it takes to get this match started.  To their credit, Death Triangle does get an early advantage and it looks like they might run away with this, but it’s not long before The Bucks are in control and are doing their usual goofy heel shtick.  The best moment is when Nick has Pac held outside the ring, but instead of Matt doing a Suicide Dive he exits on the opposite side and does a Braun Strowman like run around the entire ring just to land a clothesline which they celebrate as if they had hit Pac with a freight train.  The Bucks continue to get the heat on Pac for a while, but he eventually escapes with a German Suplex and gets the hot tag to Penta who throws out Slingblades like they’re going out of style!  It’s as good run of offense to be sure, but for me they kind of overdid the tags as Penta’s barely in for a minute before he’s tagging Pac back in and then Pac does little more than a Pop Up Powerbomb before he tags out once again!  From there things descend into chaos as everyone is throwing out big moves and I lose track of who’s the legal man for each team.  Some highlights include a nut shot Pac delivers to Matt from the top rope, Penta landing a Canadian Destroy on Nick who then eats a Canadian destroyer from matt right after, and Matt Jackson ripping off Penta’s mask only to find… ANOTHER MASK!  The biggest move however was a Fear Factor from Penta followed by a Black Arrow from Pac that ALMOST gets them the win if Matt Jackson hadn’t broken it up.  This failed pin attempt was the last one that Penta and Pac would get as Pac goes up for another Black Arrow but Brandon Cutler comes from behind and bashes Pac in the leg which knocks him off the post and into the waiting arms of Nick Jackson who rolls him up to get the pin and win the match.  That’s not good enough for The Bucks however who try to take off Penta’s remaining mask and set him up for a Superkick party, but they are chased off by a very furious Eddie Kingston running to the ring.  No appearance from Jon Moxley tonight with the storyline reason being that he’s too injured from the PPV match, but what’s really going on is that his daughter is going to be born soon so he’s back home for the foreseeable future.  It was a pretty good match that maybe got a bit out of hand with everyone running in and out, but with The Bucks and Penta it’s kinda what you should’ve expected in the first place.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-04-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite”

Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2021

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

AEW deciding to put a Friday night show right before the PPV made things a LITTLE difficult this weekend and sure enough it ended up taking me much longer than I anticipated to finally get this recap out for you all to see.  Still, they were nice enough to move THIS weeks’ Dynamite to Friday as well which means I can get this thing out a LITTLE later than I anticipated and still not technically be behind on the show!  Hopefully things will ease back into a more familiar formula by next week, but for now we’re going to discuss the Double or Nothing PPV that aired on Sunday and everything that resulted from it!  Was it a show worthy of the Double or Nothing name, or is their first PPV back in front of a live audience a much bigger disappointment than any of us expected?  Let’s find out!!

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Serena Deeb Vs. Riho – NWA Women’s Title Match (Buy In)

As usual, AEW has at least one match on YouTube that you can watch before the PPV itself, but this time they do something a bit odd.  Last Friday I mentioned that they moved the hard camera 90 degrees counterclockwise so that it was no longer facing the stage.  The Hard Cam is back to facing the stage.  For this match AND ONLY THIS MATCH, they put the camera back where it was before.  Seems a bit odd as they would have had to SPECIFICALLY move it back there before returning it to the place it was already moved to, but that’s perhaps a bit too much minutia for this kind of recap so let’s get to the match itself!  For the most part it’s Deeb trying to grab Riho and overpower her while Riho is flying around the ring with Spectacular moves, and for the first half it looks to be Riho’s match to win.  However, Deeb’s strength looks to be too much for her cross body dives and running drop kicks to overcome, and Deeb grounds her with a Dragon Screw that leaves her vulnerable for most of the match.  It’s not until Deeb puts her on the top turnbuckle that she starts to fight back and lands a Diving Stomp from the top rope which is soon followed up by a 619 and leads to a two count.  For whatever reason they called the 619 a “Tiger Feint Kick” and I’m not sure why as it hasn’t been an issue before.

As long as she doesn’t shout BOOYAKA-BOOYAKA while doing it, I think AEW is in the clear.
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Double or Nothing 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-14-2021)

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

So last week’s show was a real disappointment, especially coming hot on the heels of a FANTASTIC episode, but I’ve never expected AEW to knock it out of the park each and every week and they always find a way to get back on track.  Heck, remember how bad things got immediately after the disappointing fireworks show at the end of the Exploding Barb Wire Death match?  They managed to turn that around in three days, so I’m more than confident they can turn around last week’s show when given seven.  Let’s find out!!

So in case there was ANY confusion over the end of the last episode (honestly, that includes me), the Bucks start things off by saying point blank that they are now Heels and will be throwing their weight behind Kenny Omega and Don Callis, and for good measure the whole group has a segment towards the end of the show to declare their commitment to one another and their utter dominance of AEW.  Also, in case you were wondering about this as well, we get a brief video of Mike Tyson and MJF to confirm that Tyson is all in on the Baby Face Jericho and there’s a segment later where Jericho and Tyson shake on their truce in preparation for the Jericho/Dax Harwood match which will have Tyson as a Special Enforcer.  I’m actually kind of glad that they just get this all up front because The Bucks being wishy-washy tweeners has been an issue on the show before, and Tyson has been gone for so long after such a brief appearance that seeing him again this week and interacting with people gives me hope that this run is not going to be as perfunctory.  Now last week started with a match that didn’t make a lot of sense as Max Caster was apparently the third ranking guy in AEW, but thankfully this isn’t an issue with this opening match which is…

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The Young Bucks Vs. Death Triangle (Pac & Rey Fénix) – AEW Tag Team Title Match

I can’t say that I love the idea of The Bucks being more or less brow beaten into joining up with Professional Gas lighter Don Callis, but however they got here they are truly relishing in their Heel status.  They’re wearing white suits to the ring to the raucous booing of the crowd, they start playing around and showboating in the ring, and Matt Jackson even runs away in terror of getting in the ring with Rey.  Those two getting in the ring is what REALLY starts the match as both are evenly skilled and can’t seem to land a move on the other.  They throw a lot of flashy kicks and flips at one another (the best was probably when Jackson back flipped of the apron to avoid a 619), and yet despite Nick Jackson ultimately getting the upper hand in this exchange it’s not long before Matt Jackson ends up alone with him and he and Pac take their sweet time destroying this guy!  Chops to the chest, suplexes to the mat, and Death Triangle’s own variation on The BTE Trigger which consists of simultaneous kicks followed by stereo Drop Kicks which should leave Matt with a MASSIVE headache but was sadly not enough to keep him down for a three count.  Matt takes a bit more abuse from Pac, but after The Bucks manage to land simultaneous Powerbombs onto the apron, Pac is left to take the heat for quite a while.  Perhaps too long as Matt gets WAY too much time to show off his drama skills, but Pac eventually turns him inside out with a clothesline and brings in Rey to save the day.  He has a freaking AMAZING comeback with more of his phenomenal rope walking skills, but it’s not enough to put Nick Jackson away; not even when he brings in Pac to slam him a few times for good measure!  Things only get more ridiculous from there as both teams show off some amazing skills and it does genuinely come down to the wire as to who is going to come out on top.  Pac manages to land a Black Arrow on Matt Jackson which should be the end of the match, but even with Rey running interference on Nick he still manages to slip through and break up the pin at the last possible moment, and sadly that is more or less the last chance that Pac and Fénix had as The Bucks go straight to cheating after that; first with a low blow to Pac and then removing Rey’s mask.  Sure enough, as soon as the mask is off and Rey’s covering his face, The Bucks land a Superkick and get the pin.  It was such a fantastic match up to that point that I’m really disappointed at the mask ending being used once again.  At this point, the might as well follow Mexico rules and make it a DQ; not JUST because it is such a scumbag thing to do that someone who does it shouldn’t be rewarded, but because it’s always a GET OUT OF MATCH FREE car whenever Rey is in there kicking butt.  All I’m saying is that if they want Rey Fénix to lose than they need to come up with a better reason than that.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-14-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-07-2021)

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

AEW has been knocking it out of the park in recent weeks with last week’s show being one of the best episodes they’ve done in some time!  Still, it’s going to be a rough week for AEW to win the night as NXT’s final show, which is ALSO one of their Takeover events, is stacked from top to bottom with PPV caliber matches.  Can AEW put on something to compete with NXT in their final head to head week before NXT moves to Tuesday nights, or are they gonna call this one a loss from the get go?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Max Caster

Caster is accompanied to the ring by Anthony Bowens

A few days ago, Dave Meltzer made a very good examination of AEW’s booking and the flaws that have crept up the last year; mostly due to the inflating roster leading to stories that are much more thinly spread.  It was a good point and Dave made it well, but for me the bigger problem is Dark and Elevation and how they affect the ranking system.  As Max Castor entered the ring, a guy we haven’t seen in weeks and rarely if ever wins matches on Dynamite, is announced as the NUMBER THREE CONTENDER.  I checked the website after the show, and he is right below Jon Moxley and two spots above Cody Rhodes; something that simply DID NOT translate in this match as even the commentators kept referring to him as a rookie.  Dark and Elevation are GREAT for getting some of these new guys ring time and for putting on some fun matches that may not have worked on Wednesdays, but using matches on there for the TV rankings ends up being jarring for us who only keep up with Dynamite.  Perhaps wins and losses should only count if they’re on Dynamite, or maybe should book people on Dynamite BEFORE they’re in the top five.  In any case, Caster ends up proving the flaws in this system as he gets systematically destroyed by The Hangman with his only moments of dominance due to Anthony Bowens’ interference.  The match is fine I suppose as a one sided beat down, but I’m just not sold on Caster as a particularly interesting heel; either when he’s getting beat up or when he’s cheating his way to the top.  That said, it could be that the match itself is kind of booked blandly and even Hangman seems kind of boring in this.  There’s this overly convoluted spot where he puts Caster crotch first on the guard rail before SLOWLY getting up on the guard rail himself to do a jumping clothesline, and yet it’s PROBABLY the most interesting spot in the whole match?  I mean what else is there?  Caster working over Hangman’s arm?  Using a chain to get a cheap shot that only gets a two count?  It just never had much of a spark for me and by the time Hangman got the Buckshot Lariat I was ready for it to be over.  AEW almost always delivers on the opening match and while this wasn’t TERRIBLE, it just wasn’t up to their usual standards.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-07-2021)”