Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-08-20)

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

We’re back with another episode of House Show of the Dead, where our valiant heroes try to put on an indie wrestling program in the middle of our present day apocalypse!  Now I was pretty down on last week’s show for whatever reason and perhaps that’s more on me because I heard that a lot of people enjoyed it; especially with the return of the live crowd to make some noise.  Perhaps I was overly critical and just need to find the good in what they can put on instead of hoping for what they can’t.  Will this week be another success for the scrappy billionaire funded company, or will my skepticism from last week prove to be prophetic?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with a promo from Jake Roberts who starts rambling about how awesome Lance Archer is, comparing him to standing in front of a train or jumping out of a plane without a parachute, and he even takes shots at Marko Stunt for getting his ass kicked last week!  I’m still not sure if he WANTS Cody to face him or not.  I’m pretty sure he calls him an idiot for even entertaining the idea of facing Lance but the calls him a coward if he doesn’t!  Damned if you do I guess.  In any case, the first match has already started.  Wait, what!?

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Lance Archer Vs. A Jobber

Yeah, before we can even get properly started introducing the show, letting us know that Jericho is gonna be on commentary this week (yay!) and recapping Archer’s match from last week, he’s already beating the snot out of some dude who I THOUGHT was Brandon Cutler at first but is some guy named Alan Eagleson.  We’re what, four minutes in before Archer does that Blackout move and wins the match?  This match is so fast and so furious that Jericho and Tony Schiavone just wait for him to be done with his little squash match before running down the card!  It may not be the most EXCITING or ENGAGING match in the world, but I appreciate just how quickly they got in and out; starting the show off with a BANG instead of a twenty-minute slugfest like we saw last week.  It was a DECENT slugfest to be sure, but I tend to feel that brevity is key when setting up an opening match.

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

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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!!

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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.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-13-19)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

With the fallout of Full Gear fresh in our minds, this week’s episode of Dynamite has a lot to live up to as well as a lot of storylines to start building back up.  Will Cody live up to his word and not challenge for the AEW title again?  Will MJF be able to explain himself for his betrayal of Cody?  Will Jericho continue to be a smarmy jerk that we all love to hate?  Hopefully the answer to all three is a HECK YES, but let’s find out!!

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Before our first match, we get an update on Kenny Omega who (in storyline; I’m pretty sure it’s just a work) is not cleared for tonight’s show due to the injuries he sustained in the Light’s Out match he had with Jon Moxley at Full Gear. We also learn that Michael Nakazawa is a friend of his which is relevant because…

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Jon Moxley Vs. Michael Nakazawa

You know a Nakazawa match is serious business when he foregoes the baby oil!  Right off the bat he just tosses it away and starts coming after Moxley with everything he’s got to avenge his bleeding buddy, but to no avail as Moxley makes short work of him in a match that barely goes on longer than a minute.  I didn’t mind it though!  I like being showed that Nakazawa can have a serious side to him and it’s important to make Moxely look as strong as possible if he’s going to continue being a top guy in the company; neither of which requires a whole lot of time and is a refreshing change of pace for a promotion known for REALLY long matches.  Besides, the real point of all this is to give Moxley the mic afterwards who proceeds to gloat as hard as he can and promise to destroy EVERYONE at AEW until the company itself is destroyed and he is the only one left remaining.  He issues an open challenge to the locker room for anyone to take a shot at him which at this point may be just as prestigious a challenge as going for the title itself.  Jon Moxley is THAT good at being pissed off, aggressive, and in complete control of his surrounds.  Surprisingly the crowd is pretty mixed on the guy which is great because it shows that the audience is willing to play their part in the story because of how invested they are in the product.  What’s even MORE surprising though is that no one from the locker room takes him up on the offer which either means that everyone backstage is scared or that they want to drag this story out a bit more so we that fans can speculate on who would be the best person in the company to try and take Moxley down a peg.  I prefer it if a show like this doesn’t drag things out early on and this was a great start right off the bat!

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Super Wrestling: AEW – Fyter Fest

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

We’re back with another PPV brought to you by the throne smashers themselves, AEW!  Things have certainly changed since Double or Nothing, haven’t they?  For one, WWE has completely lost the plot from what I’ve heard and responded to AEW with nonsense, bad story lines, and an overabundance of Shane McMahon.  With their primary rival of sorts doing such a poor job of responding to the new challenger, which is surprising in its own right, it only got stranger when AEW announced that THIS PPV would be completely free; a move that still baffles me considering how successful they’ve been up to this point.  Sure, Double or Nothing MIGHT have been a bit pricey at fifty bucks, but they could have at least charged twenty or even ten for it which would have gotten them a heck of a lot more money than ZERO!  I guess TBS and the Khan family have the money to throw around, and I’m not about to complain TOO much about not having to pay for a show like this.  The bigger question is what’s different in this show and have they improved since Double or Nothing?  Eh… sort of.  As far as commentary, Excalibur has improved but JR still sounds a bit rusty and out of touch; especially when he referred to Cima as “an Oriental.”  I mean look, we can argue about how much of a slur that is or whether JR has any genuine ill feelings about Asian wrestlers (and I can think of WAY worse people they could have gotten as an announcer where the answer to those questions wouldn’t even be debatable), but it really does make him seem like an awkward fit for what is supposed to be a very modern and forward thinking wrestling company.  While the announcing has improved, sadly the camera work still has a few rough patches that will hopefully get ironed out before they go to TV.  I only mentioned this very briefly in my last recap, but the editing sometimes misses spots or more often will miss whenever there’s drama at the end of a match.  Someone does a low blow, someone else enters the ring, stuff like that will almost go by unnoticed because whoever is running the cameras is focusing on something else an nearly misses the action.  Again, this is the kind of thing that can be easily fixed with experience and I’m not gonna begrudge them this learning curve, but it is even more noticeable here than it was last time. In fact, I’d say that’s the overall vibe I’m getting from Fyter Fest.  It’s still really good stuff, but I think the high from Double or Nothing has started to wear off and so it’s easier to see and evaluate its flaws.  The big one that MOSTLY stayed in the pre-show but kept coming back to annoy me was the show’s theme where they didn’t JUST name it after something topical but had to do little skits to make sure we ALL KNOW that they saw the documentaries too.  Kenny Omega is trying to find instruments for bands that don’t exist, The Young Bucks lost their luggage and need to find new costumes, and they even brought models out before swiftly replacing them with mannequins.  It all just felt so corny and unnecessary when they could have used that time to put up a few promos for the matches which frankly were desperately needed as many of them seemed to have a story but one that we weren’t informed of ahead of time.   Let’s put all that aside though and just focus on the matches!  So how did the pre-show kick things off?

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Six-man Tag Team Match

AEWFF1Private Party: Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen
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SoCal Uncensored: Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky (Schuyler Andrews)
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Best Friends: Chuck Taylor and Trent Beretta

There’s a lot going on in this first match which is good because you want to get the crowd on board right away so they can carry that energy for the rest of the show.  We’ve got Private Party as the newcomers who I think AEW is trying to push as future superstars of the company considering they got a whole episode of Road to Fyter Fest dedicated to them.  We’ve got two thirds of SCU who had one of the best matches in all of Double or Nothing, and while I wasn’t really impressed with The Best Friends last time (definitely a victim of the last show running long), they get a pretty good pop from the crowd so I was willing to give them another chance.  The only thing that I didn’t like right off the bat was the fact that this was a Triple Threat tag match and they always use this weird rule where only two compeitors can be in the ring at a time; leaving one team to just sit on the sidelines while the other two actually fight.  I don’t understand why they don’t have one member of each team in the ring like say… an ACTUAL Triple Threat, but we’ll get back to this later on in the match.  For now, I just want to point out that everyone in this looks great and does some very impressive acrobatics!  SCU continues to be the best tag team as far as I’m concerned as they can take already impressive wrestlers like Private Party and Best Friends and make them look even better than they already are!  There’s this really impressive spot where Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen go back to back on Kassiran in beautiful and brutal fashion!  If I could say one thing about the match it’s that it FEELS a bit too much like an exhibition; like everyone is here to help the other team show off their moves instead of win the fight, but frankly that’s a rather minor complaint when the moves are THIS impressive!

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He should change his name to Mark QUAIL!!  …  Because he’s flying through the air?  …  Really, nothing?  Is this thing on?

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