Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-16-2020)

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

We’re back with even more Dynamite action to bring a brief glimmer of joy to our otherwise monotonous existence!  How many Netflix shows did YOU watch this week?  Trick question!  If you can remember, you haven’t seen enough.  Anyway!  Last week got things off to a great start following the All Out PPV, and hopefully they’ll continue to build on that momentum to give us another fantastic excuse to yell at the TV in joy and terror… other than when watching the news of course.  Let’s find out!!

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Jurrassic Express Vs. FTR

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt while FTR is accompanied by Tully Blanchard

Before the match even begins, The Young Bucks come out and Superkick Ref Posey; just for the sake of being jerks!  He didn’t even DO anything, and The Bucks just come out here to not play by your daddy’s rules!  They head to the pack to throw a stack of bills at Tony Khan as they will SURELY be fined for this, and they pass by FTR who find this whole thing quite amusing.   I’m not sure I’m on the same page with them, but I guess this is just to keep us reminded that they’re going bad so that people aren’t confused when they REALLY do something terrible!  Now before we were so RUDELY interrupted, how is the match itself?  It’s actually pretty good!  The story of this match is ALL about Jungle Boy who continues to impress whenever he’s in the ring; so much so that I can only assume he’ll be getting a Singles push soon, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.  His initial flurry of offense against FTR was very impressive to see, but soon enough FTR manages to ground him and they generate heat for quite a while with Jungle Boy trying desperately to get to the corner.  Jungle Boy stays resourceful however as Wheeler tries to do a drop kick on Jungle Boy who’s up against the ropes, but he dodges at the last second and Wheeler’s legs get caught on the top rope; flipping him over in a VERY hilarious looking fashion!  Luchasaurus gets the hot tag and cleans house with the efficiency of an actual dinosaur, but it’s clear that this as well is part of the bigger story they are trying to tell.  Luchasaurus is always great whenever he enters the ring, but he’s pretty easily overwhelmed when the other team starts working together.  Compare this with when Jungle Boy gets the tag back in, and while he may not have the immediate offensive power that Luchasaurus has, he has the resilience to fend off both members of FTR at the same time; to the point that Wheeler and Harwood have to keep tagging in and out just to keep up with the kid!  The turning point comes when Luchasaurus goes for something on the outside… (I guess it was supposed to be a really high spear?) and misses Wheeler by a mile; crashing into the crowd and effectively out of the match.  Jungle Boy manages to fight on valiantly and has Dax in a solid pin, but Cash flips them so that Jungle Boy is the one getting pinned, and with Cash applying additional pressure on the pin they just barely manage to get the three count.  Perhaps in a one on one match Luchasaurus would be unstoppable against either one of FTR, but Jungle Boy clearly has the better skills for this particular challenge, and they only way the champs were able to win here is by cheating in a way that in all honesty the ref REALLY should have seen.  Despite it being Jungle Boy’s night to lose, he really came into his own here and it was a strong story being told.  A GREAT way to open the show

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Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2020

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

The last few weeks of television have been disappointing as AEW is stumbling their way towards not just to this PPV but having a live audience again and doing it in a way that’s safe while also enhancing the show.  It hasn’t been an easy journey and they’ve made some mistakes, but the buildup to this show has been solid if nothing else, and with so many marquee matches to watch… well, let’s just hope that they can pull it off better than they’ve been pulling off Dynamite; and CERTAINLY better than from what I heard went down in that women’s Tag Tournament.  Is this show a culmination of all the stumbling effort they’ve been putting in the last few weeks, or has all that bad luck spilled over to the PPV itself?  Let’s find out!!

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Joey Janela Vs. Serpentico – Buy In Match

Serpentico is accompanied to the ring by Luther while Janela is accompanied by Sonny Kiss

Serpentico is one of those dudes who I’ve seen A LOT standing on the outside of the ring these last few months, but this will be the first I’m seen him in a match.  According to the announcers, he and Luther have formed a tag team on Dark which is why he’s out here sticking his tongue out like he does, and Luther if you recall was the dude who was hanging out with Brandie Rhodes when she was doing her Nightmare Collective Shtick.  Well whoever these guys are, Joey comes out the gate with gusto as he’s still upset about having lost his match against Jericho as badly as he did (complete with giant bandage on his forehead in case you forgot what happened), and in his rage he manages to shake off whatever offense Serpentico can muster… at least until he gets pushed off the top rope and takes a real nasty looking tumble.  It doesn’t look like he got injured, but it was definitely not a fun ride down!  Serpentico takes over for most of the match after that and the guy seems like a decent wrestler with some solid gymnastics to his repertoire, but the story of this match is that Joey has more stamina and strength; so whatever ten moves Serpentico dishes out can’t seem to match the impact of one of Janela’s.  Now usually the one who has to fight from underneath is the babyface in a match like this, but Serpentico is also a dirty cheater as he’s constantly distracting the ref so that Luther can take cheap shots at Janela, and with this strategy Serpentico is able to stay in the game and even get a few near falls, but it’s just not enough to secure victory.  Janela’s building up speed for a big attack on Serpentico, but Luther grabs his legs from the outside while the ref is distracted.  Sonny Kiss, who’s been holding back this entire match, decks Luther in the face and Janela finishes him off with a Diving Drop Kick.  With Luther no longer a factor, Janela knocks Serpentico down with a running clothesline before landing a top rope elbow drop to get the pin.  It was a fine match though I think Janela is one of those guys who works WAY better when he’s got a story to build off of.  Even something simple as his feud with Shawn Spears led to that AMAZING Santa Claus match, so if this is the start of something with Serpentico then I’m all for it!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)

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

By the time this goes up we’ll be just one day away from the All Out PPV, and like any good wrestling company AEW is clearly trying its best to get us to buy the darn thing with a show filled with angles and cliffhangers!  Do they manage to make the most out of their Go Home show, or will this be just as disappointing as last week’s episode which I will remind you had like a six minute main event?  Let’s find out!!

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Best Friends Vs. Proud N Powerful

I’ve been rather lukewarm on the Proud N Powerful/Best Friends feud, and I guess AEW was as well because they’re blowing it off here as the opening match on the Go Home show instead of saving it for the PPV.  The two teams brawl for like ten minutes before the bell even rings so at least they’re TRYING to make look like they’re out for blood, and the two teams are talented wrestlers if nothing else.  Then again, I’m not sure why Chuck spends several minutes making a mountain of chairs if he just wanted to beat the hell out of his opponent, but he does just that and of course Santana ends up tossing him into it.  The bell finally rings right after that spot and its Trent basically all alone out there as Chuck is still knocked out from the mountain of chairs.  Trent and Santana manage to have a pretty good back and forth for a few minutes there, but with Ortiz on the outside running interference it doesn’t take long for Trent to be overwhelmed.  He’s a survivor though, and manages to stay in this match long enough for Chuckie to crawl his way to the corner and make the hot tag who at which point Chuckie runs wild on the two of them.  He sends both Santana and Oritz to the outside of the ring, and he does a flip Senton Cannonball over the top ropes onto both of them.  If there’s one thing notable about this match it’s the solid teamwork that both of them display.  Trent gets back in the ring but is almost just as quickly sent flying onto the steel steps after Ortiz holds him on the apron, and just a moment later Chuckie manages to cut Ortiz’s legs out from under him which gives Trent enough time to pull off a pile driver.  THEN Santana manages to get Ortiz to the ropes during the pin which kept them in the match.  It’s still not the aggressive and sadistic match up I was hoping for, but they both definitely have their game faces on and are not afraid to do what it takes to win the match.  Sadly for the Best Friends though, Proud N Powerful wanted it just a little bit more as Santana sneakily attacks Trent with a baton which lays him out.  The two of them land a street sweeper right after, and get the pin on Trent which I guess means they DON’T have to apologize to Trent’s Mom Sue for wrecking her car.  Does that mean insurance won’t cover it?  In any case, it was a decent match to start off with and definitely had some high points for both teams, but the feud still doesn’t feel all that IMPORTANT despite how much time they spent building it up.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-27-2020)

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

Okay, so I had thought I posted this thing like three days ago but I guess with all the New Mutants and Bill & Ted excitement that I forgot to finish this darn thing and so here I am trying to put this thing together right before the next episode of the show is supposed to air.  I’ve forgotten what it’s like to actually be BUSY doing this stuff which is in its own way a comforting bit of nostalgia (remember when we all got to DO things before the world came to a screeching halt?) and I’ll hopefully won’t be making this mistake again in the future; especially since we not only have another episode of Dynamite this week but a PPV on Saturday!  Let’s get started!!

There was an announcement that AEW would be selling tickets to fans and I think this is the first week where that’s the case.  The opening moments spend A LOT of time focusing on all the people in the crowd, and while it IS outside and they DO seem to be separated into clusters, it still makes me very nervous.  In any case, Chris Jericho is on commentary tonight and gets a full entrance, while the wrestlers in the opening match to the Tag Team Gauntlet are already in the ring, so I guess AEW knows whose entrance is the money maker.

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Tag Team Gauntlet Match – Number One Contender for the Tag Team Championship

Now I didn’t quite get what this was when they announced it (I thought it would just be a four way between the four teams) but thankfully the give us a quick rundown of the rules.  It starts with The Nightmare Family and The Bucks, then the winner of that match immediately has to face Best Friends and then the winner of that has to face FTR.  These kind of matches never really made sense to me as it doesn’t REALLY show who the best team is as one the freshest team will obviously stand the best chance and I think it works better in a Royal Rumble where you DON’T have to wrestle a full match to advance and there are ways to strategically recuperate if needed.  Still, it should be fun to see all these teams go at it; especially with FTR as the final boss!

First Round – Natural Nightmares Vs. Young Bucks

QT Marshall is a great wrestler but is even better at making everyone else look good and he does a great job eating a bunch of moves from The Bucks before Dustin jumps in and runs wild for like a minute before gassing out completely and taking a prolonged breather.  The Bucks though are polite competitors and give him a chance to catch his breath which proves to be a pretty big mistake because Dustin comes back very strong and he and QT take control of the match for a bit.  Now in most tag matches this would simply be getting heat for The Natural Nightmares, but because this is a gauntlet match, it means that every minute The Bucks take punishment means they’re going into the next match that much worse for wear.  QT Marshall has both Bucks in the ring and goes for a QT special which as far as I can tell is a flip in the ring followed by a back elbow, but The Bucks duck the blow and follow up with Superkicks.  At this point The Bucks are in full control of the match and after a minute or two of moves Nick gets the pin on QT after both of them land a BTE Trigger.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)

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

With another PPV just two weeks away (literally this time due to the schedule change), AEW has to kick things into overdrive to get people pumped for the big show!  No more of this back and forth where one week is good and the next week is meh!  Nope, just good matches, good stories, and lots of exciting angles so that people drop their fifty bucks to see it all play out!  Does this show manage to create the right kind of buzz to sell All Out to the fans at home, or will it take more than one good show to get things back on track?  Let’s find out!!

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Private Party Vs. FTR

Already in the ring and with no introductions, both teams are in the ring and this match is underway.  Not only that, Tully Blanchard is in FTR’s corner wearing an FTR jacket so I guess they’re teaming up with him and the conspicuously absent Shawn Spears.  I thought they were going to go with Arn, considering the meeting they had a few weeks ago, but I guess his and Cody’s heel turn isn’t happening any time soon.  FTR gives a lot to Private Party in this match, and they look pretty good!  Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy can be a bit hit or miss at times, but they seem to have brought their A game here, and FTR continue to be consummate professionals in whatever they do.  Still, there’s not much TO this match even though both teams are doing a great job in it.  We get some Superkicks from Private Party, FTR beats up Quen in the corner for a while, and Private Party tries to fight back with high flying and flashy maneuvers; my favorite probably being when Kassidy flipped over the ropes into a Stunner on Dax Harwood.  The only part that felt a bit off was some not especially great looking Leapfrogs from FTR, but other than that it’s a solid match between two teams.  At some point Quen is down and Kassidy is trying to make the save by diving onto Harwood on the outside.  At the last moment, Tully Blanchard pulls him away and Kassidy lands on the floor; leaving Quen alone in the ring and so both members of FTR bring this to a close with the Goodnight Express for the pin.  So, yeah; it was a good match, but not one that had a lot of highs and lows for me.  Nothing stood out all that much despite both teams putting in the effort.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-29-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another week of Wednesday Night ACTION as AEW has one of their most impressively stacked cards in recent memory; even against their big sorta-PPV events as far as I’m concerned!  Luchasaurus, The Dark Order, big stars like Omega and Moxley; what more could you ask for in a two hour show!?  Is this the episode I’ve always wished to see, or will I find myself gripping a monkey’s paw by the end of it?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasarus, Jungle Boy, Chuck Taylor, Trent, and Orange Cassidy Vs. The Inner Circle – Ten Man Tag Match

Hey, I’m as surprised as you are!  I would have bet money this would be the main event instead of the opening match, but I guess Jon Moxley is still the biggest draw which is why this is going first; none of which I’m sure the Demo God isn’t pleased about.  It starts off with Jake Hager and Orange Cassidy in the ring with the latter not the least bit afraid; keeping his hands in his pockets as Hager fails to menace him.  Within two minutes of them squaring off, The Inner Circle jumps Cassidy and EVERYONE is in the ring in an instant.  The match is absolute chaos at that point as everyone just runs to the outside and starts pounding on each other, including Marko Stunt who is thrown by Luchasaurus like a lawn dart at The Inner Circle.  You’ve got to feel for Ref Aubrey here.  This isn’t a No DQ match or even a Falls Count Anywhere match, but what are you supposed to do?  Try to corral TEN FREAKING DUDES IN FUNNY OUTFITS at the same time!?  She has the right idea of just staying in the ring and watching EVERYONE instead of setting herself up for obvious distraction spots, and for what it’s worth it’s at least a FUN descent into chaos which does eventually lead back to being a proper match.  Honestly though, I like it better when it’s not trying to follow the rules because it feels like kind of a waste otherwise.  Trent ends up having the worst of it as he gets stuck in the middle of the ring taking beatings from every member of The Inner Circle in turn and when there are FOUR people who could be making the save it just feels a bit tedious.  Eventually, Luchasaurus gets the Hot Tag and runs wild on everyone; leaving him and Hager to smash each other over the head with fists and BIG clotheslines.  For a moment the match has its momentum back, but then things get a bit off track when Luchasaurus’s mask threatens to fall off and Cassidy has to run in to make the save while Luchasaurus puts his face back on.  The match devolves into chaos again with Jungle Boy getting his first big moment in the match by giving Jericho a Backbreaker which I thought was a Code Breaker at first just in case you were wondering how qualified I am to be doing these recaps.  Sammy and Luchasaurus are left in the ring again and Sammy does manage to rally for a bit, but just as he’s about to jump from the top rope, Matt Hardy’s music hits for the distraction.  While Aubrey is looking to see if someone comes out, Hardy sneaks up on Sammy and hits him in the back; knocking him to the floor and leaving him to get pinned by Luchasaurus.  I’d have pegged this as the best match of the night, but in hindsight, it was probably doomed to being a mess.  The thing is that if you’re going to have THIS many people in the ring you need a match type that is suitable for it, and a one-person-at-a-time tag match is not a good use of the immense talent there.  Chuck Taylor did like one dive from the apron, but that’s it; I don’t think he even tagged in!  They’ve been holding off on Blood and Guts for MONTHS now, and frankly this would have been a good candidate for the first one of those matches, but instead we got this.  It’s not BAD, but I could have seen it be so much better.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-22-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another episode of Dynamite, and after the very odd feelings I had for last week’s show I went into this one a bit wary.  Not dreading it as there are PLENTY of worse shows you could be watching right now (*cough* Extreme Rules *cough*), but perhaps a bit unsure as to where all this was going now that we’ve had our three weeks of big event matches.  Do they pick up the plot threads from last week and take them in interesting directions, or are things looking bleak for this upstart company?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Vs. Eddie Kingston – TNT Championship Title

So… who the heck is Eddie Kingston?  I mean I’m out of the loop as far as Indie Superstars, but the way this guy comes out and starts talking before the show can put its metaphorical pants on, you’d think that he’s been on Dynamite at least once, but as far as I can recall this if the first time the guy’s shown up and spends several minutes talking mad smack on Cody before confirming that this title defense will be a No DQ match.  For the most part, this is a pretty standard match that doesn’t take much advantage of its gimmick for the first half or so.  It starts rather basic with a few weight belt shots a few minutes into the match followed by Kingston tearing up the floor mats just to take a bump on the concrete moments later.  Speaking of whom, after the initial shock of this dude coming out of nowhere and talking like he’s cock of the walk, I can say that Kingston does have a way with words in a manner much like Taz does with just how viciously he can deliver his speeches with utter conviction.  His in-ring performance, while not quite up to his mic skills is solid for what he has to do and comes off like a mid-card Hardcore kind of guy; not exactly a superstar but with enough authenticity between the over the top WRESTLING antics to make his straightforward style compelling in its own right.  What I found pretty odd though were the commentators who kept bringing his recent weight loss up for seemingly no reason; first, because there’s a match going on that they could be calling instead, and second for anyone who’s never even HEARD of this guy (like myself) it’s not something that we’re inclined to notice.  In any case, the match is going along until at one point Kingston’s knee gives out and he’s on the ground utterly helpless for whatever Cody has planned next.  At least you’d THINK that, but since this is no DQ he manages to keep Cody at bay with a low blow which leaves HIM on the floor now, and after a moment or two Kingston manages to get back up and grabs a back of tacks from underneath the ring.  The tacks are strewn across the mat and normally what would happen is the Babyface would find a way to get the Heel to fall into his own tacks, but not this time!  Kingston works over Cody a bit and then manages to POWERBOMB HIM INTO THE TACKS!  You can’t say that Cody doesn’t suffer for his company, but it seems to have the opposite effect that Kingston was expecting as being stuck with the tacks has only pissed him off and he’s pushed into OVERDRIVE; not selling for any of Kingston’s strikes and manages to lock him into a brutal Figure Four Lock which he taps to; giving Cody the win and continuing his reign as TNT Champion.  I’m not the biggest fan of Hardcore matches, but the right spot at the right time will give the match the edge it needs, and this was a REALLY great tack spot that gave the finish the oomph it needed to make this opening match pop and set us up for a great episode!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-17-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It is week… I don’t even know anymore, of the COVID era of wrestling and like everything else things are starting to blur for me.  I USED to be able to at least keep up with the WWE PPVs, but Backlash looks about as interesting as a symposium on paint drying and NXT is only faring slightly better.  That’s not to say that AEW has been above reproach in recent weeks as I’ve found the most recent episodes a bit of a chore to get through at times, but they’ve at least kept things afloat for me as a wrestling fan while the rest of the country (and the government in particular) is doing everything they can to prolong this crisis.  Gee, I’ve been getting on my soapbox a bit much lately!  Let’s just try to forget the world for a bit and focus on another fun show of dudes beating the crap out of other dudes and yelling into microphones!  Can this week’s AEW get me out of my lockdown lethargy and get excited for this noble sport once again!?  Let’s find out!!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. The Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall)

The Natural Nightmares are accompanied to the ring by Brandi Rhodes

Not wasting any time, the show begins with The Natural Nightmares already in the ring while Omega and Hangman get their full entrance.  Seriously, I can believe Dustin got the Jobber treatment!  QT Marshall, sure, but they couldn’t give freaking DUSTIN the airtime to play his song!?  If it wasn’t clear from the lack of buildup last week and the entrances here, Dustin and QT Marshall don’t have much of a chance at winning these belts, but even if they spent the time to make this seem like a legitimate challenge before entering the ring, the match itself would give away how unlikely The Natural Nightmare’s chances are within the first few minutes.  I don’t know, Dustin doesn’t look his best in this match and Kenny is bumping like a mo-fo which makes it all feel a lot faker than it should.  There’s something about Kenny that I first noticed in his match against Joey Janela where it’s hard to buy some people fighting against him.  Dustin is looking worse than he ever has working against Kenny as it just looks so fake for him to sell this damage of moves that don’t look like they’re doing that much.  It’s not much better for QT Marshall who is certainly more athletic than Dustin and manages to look okay against Adam Page, but there’s just not enough here to invest in the bout as it feels far too scripted.  The match heats up eventually once Marshall pulls off this awesome flip kick, and Dustin eventually does that amazing Canadian Destroyer of his, so from that point on the match feels a bit more even handed.  QT Marshall even gets the advantage with a Diamond Cutter and it’s at that point that Allie comes out from the back to cheer for him who if you recall has been dating him for a few weeks now.  Her encouragement spurs him to try and take out Omega with a jump from the top rope… and he totally whiffs it, so good job Allie!  They go for a bit after that but it’s clear that Marshall’s momentum has been lost and he eventually eats a Last Call from Omega and Hangman to end the match.  It took a while to get there, but I ended up enjoying it by the end.  I think Kenny’s one fatal flaw is his ability to sell for lesser opponents, and it’s not like he isn’t TRYING but it seems he has trouble making it convincing in certain circumstances and it was the case for at about half of this match.  Aside from that it wasn’t the best match from any of the wrestlers involved, but it ended up being an alright way to start the show.

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