Tag Archives: Shahid Khan

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-01-2020) – Fyter Fest Week 1

AEWDYNAMITE

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

The day has finally come for AEW’s much-hyped in-between PPV event Fyter Fest!  With a stacked card of top tier talent and three belts on the line, will they come out on top this week against NXT who JUST SO HAPPENED to be hosting their own two-week in-between PPV event!?  Let’s find out!!

We’re greeted to Fyter Fest with lots of crowd shots where no one is wearing masks), bikini babes who aren’t wearing masks either, and Chris Jericho joining the commentary booth where NO ONE IS WEARING A MASK!  We JUST had a massive outbreak of COVID at WWE which included Renee Young, Jon Moxley’s wife, so seeing the AEW crowds laxer then they have been in recent weeks feels REALLY badly timed; even if they’re doing full COVID testing on everyone there and have the benefit of an open-air arena!  They haven’t had an outbreak yet, but it sure feels like they’re tempting fate!

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Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) Vs. MJF & Wardlow

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt

MJF starts this off with one of his best promos in a long time; perhaps since he gave his demands to Cody for their match at Revolution and what stings about it is how much truth is in buried within his caustic words.  Yes, AEW did get beat in the ratings last week, and while this match was scheduled BEFORE those came in it certainly helps to have MJF and the Jurassic Express start off the show since both have proven to be quite popular even if we’re basically repeating a PPV match and the Lumberjack match from last week.  The match itself is really solid work from all four involved with some impressive move as you’d expect from such professionals, but what sets it apart is that they do tell a compelling story within it.  MJF and Wardlow have been so dominate that the hardest thing to sell about this match is that Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus have a chance of winning since you know at some point MJF will get the diamond ring, will go for a low blow, or will distract the ref during a pin.  Because of that, the story throughout is that MJF and Wardlow go for all the cheap shenanigans you’d expect, but they don’t work because Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus either see it coming or are able to kick out of it.  Perhaps the biggest moment in the match is when Luchasaurus ducks a shot from MJF who’s wearing the ring and almost hits Wardlow instead; only to ACTUALLY hit Wardlow when Luchasaurus kicks him in the back.  CLEARLY, MJF needs to switch up his strategy if he wants to protect his unpinned streak, but for now, he’s going to have to eat another loss as Luchasaurus Chokeslams Wardlow, Kicks him in the face, and does a Standing Shooting Star Press before getting the pin; giving MJF only his second loss of the year.  I’m glad that Jurassic Express has found a solid niche to fill as the thorn in MJF’s side and I hope they keep this feud going as long as we keep getting matches this good!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-24-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It’s been a heck of a week in the wrestling world, hasn’t it?  Needless to say that my already drained enthusiasm from last week’s recap took a very significant hit with all the news coming out, but the show must go on and it’s of some comfort to me that I have something locked in a scheduled every week to try and keep my brain puttering along during these less than ideal times.  So then!  Does AEW still have what it takes to put on a good series of wrestling matches and entertaining promos, or is the world in a funk that even the very best the industry has to offer can’t drag us all out of?  Let’s find out!!

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Wardlow Vs. Luchasaurus – Lumberjack Match

Wardlow is accompanied to the ring by MJF while Luchasaurus is accompanied by Marko Stunt and Jungleboy

In case you didn’t know, a Lumberjack match is one where wrestlers stand outside of the ring and if either wrestler in the match gets thrown out of the ring or tries to run away, the lumberjacks will put them back in the ring.  Seems like an odd match for two guys who WANT to fight as you usually do a Lumberjack match to wrangle a cowardly heel, not to mention that these two being as big as they are won’t likely be stopped from leaving if they REALLY want to, and on top of that it’s not the best look in the world to have THIS many people participating in a match and being this close to each other in the middle of a pandemic.  On the other hand, it’s become clear this week that AEW’s testing policies have been pretty effective as no one at their company has wrestled positive while WWE just had a huge outbreak due to the incredibly lax testing that they’ve done.  Frankly, though, I wouldn’t even call this a Lumberjack match as they don’t REALLY do their job and it’s more of a Rumble.  No, not a Royal Rumble; more like a West Side Story Rumble where the ones on the outskirts are there to antagonize the other side, and Luchasaurus or Wardlow getting tossed over the wrong side of the ropes will certainly mean bad news and a few cheap shots.  It also comes off a bit like an attempt to drill it into everyone’s heads that THEY NEED TO CATCH PEOPLE because there are so many dives in this and it’s not like they couldn’t use a refresher course considering how many people have gotten hurt recently!  So the two of them fight all over the place occasionally having to toss off the lumberjacks and throw people over things, but eventually, Luchasaurus gets a chokeslam and goes for the pin… when MJF manages to distract the ref.  SERIOUSLY!?  The ONE THING you need to look for is pinfalls, and when one happens you stop to instead chat with this dude?  Luchasaurus should have gotten the win as he’s got Wardlow for more than a three count, so in retaliation, Jungle Boy spears MJF off the apron and into a crowd of heel lumberjacks waiting below.  Unfortunately, this gives Wardlow enough time to do a low blow behind the ref’s back and gets the pin with an F-10; an impressive feat considering how big Lucahsaurus is.  The scene then devolves into chaos as the Sharks and the Jets… I mean the Heels and the Faces, all storm the ring and start hitting each other for a few minutes before things calm down and Tony Schiavone announces that at Fyter Fest it will be MJF & Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus.  This was a great match and I really enjoyed the interplay between these two competitors as both are way more flexible and agile than their size would lead you to believe; with Wardlow landing a Hurricanrana on Luchasaurus and Luchasaurus doing some sort of clothesline reversal where he flips around the arm and forces Wardlow into a near fall.  I’d be interested to see if they do more Lumberjack matches like this in the future, especially since we won’t be having fans for a while longer, but all in all, it was a great way to start the show; just as long as everyone used hand sanitizer afterward.

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

AEWDYNAMITE

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 Dynamite (06-03-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

It only seems to be getting rougher as the weeks go on and on, but we have to believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and despite the issues I have with it, I am glad that AEW is putting on shows now and that they’re doing it in such an entertaining way.  Is this the brief respite we need to help us decompress from what came before and to get us recharged for what comes ahead?  Let’s find out!!

The episode starts with a promo that I actually thought was building up to a Dark Order segment, but it ended up being a sincere message in support of Black Lives Matter.  We get a recap of the previous week’s events before jumping into our first match, and boy did they pick a BIG one to start with!

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Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc – Tag Team Championship Match

Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford

It’s been WAY too long since we’ve seen Page and Omega in action inside of a ring!  Sure the Stadium Stampede match was fun, but I’ve been itching to see them in a proper match for some time now, and while this match against the very solid Sabian and Havoc isn’t everything I wanted it to be, it was a great return for the duo on Dynamite.  It starts off a bit slow and uneventful as Omega takes an early advantage and the other side can’t get a leg up no matter what they try.  I’ll give the match credit where it’s due in how they’re doing a great job of showing off the strengths of their opponents, but it’s not until we’re like eight minutes into the match that any offense from Sabian and Havoc even fazes Omega or Page.  The turning point comes when Ford goes for a Hurricanrana off the top rope on Adam Page and DOES land it, but Page doesn’t sell it for a second and as soon as he drops her to the floor, the ref ejects her from the match.  While Sabian is arguing with the ref about this decision, Jimmy hits both Page and Omega with a wrench which puts the latter out of action and the former in a bad state to defend himself against the offense from both of his opponents.  This evens things out a bit and I found the match more enjoyable as both sides started to trade near falls for the remainder of the match.  Backstabber from Omega onto Sabian only gets a two count, an impressive combo from Page and Omega only gets a two count as well, and Omega even eats a swinging DDT followed by an uppercut and Death Valley Driver from Havoc capped with a double stomp from Sabian but even THAT only gets a two count because Page breaks up the pin!  No one is willing to go down for the count for anything and the match just keeps going and going, but eventually Omega and Hangman hit Havoc with a Last Call (Omega’s V-Trigger and Hangman’s Buckshot Lariat hitting at the same time), and Page finally manages to get the pin.  Perhaps I’m still spoiled by the Bucks match from Revolution and am being a bit unfair in having ANY criticism of this match which is genuinely a very good match.  If a match is too one sided it’s not much fun and if the other team is clearly going easy on the other than it’s even less so, but Sabian and Havoc get more than enough offense to make it look REALLY close to a fair fight, and while I thought it went a bit slow at first and MAYBE a bit too long with just how many near falls they trade back and forth, the ending was great and I’m glad that Omega and Page are having these kind of matches again!

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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)

AEWDYNAMITE

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 (04-29-20)

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

We’re back with another week of AEW Thunderdome where the wanders of the empty world battle it out for supremacy, at least that’s I how I figure Lance Archer sees it whenever he steps into the ring!  The last few weeks have been quite solid with Jericho’s commentary bringing a lot of life to the show and the TNT Tournament giving us something to grab onto while all the other storylines are put on hold, but with the announcement that AEW will be going live next week (despite PLENTY of reasons not to), this is perhaps the end of an era for this show.  Do they go out on a high note or will we be begging for the changes that next week will bring?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Vs. Darby Allin – TNT Tournament Semi-Final

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Cody Rhodes

The TNT tournament by all accounts has been a success.  The matches have been solid, they’ve worked hard to sell the belt as something worth chasing, and having Lance Archer in the background as an unstoppable monster like Toguro has certainly raised the stakes in every one of these matches.  The only real problem is that the one that no one can control; namely that the matches feel undercut being in such a small arena with such a small crowd.  Then again, it MIGHT help the rest of us not notice if they didn’t try to recreate PPV matches like the Darby/Sammy match from last week or even this match right here, but they have to work with what they’ve got and if nothing else the show starts with a REALLY solid promo for the match.  It’s not Darby Allin’s usual black and white shtick, but there is some genuine artistry on display here with some serious mood lighting as the two talk portentously about how much they want to win the belt.  It puts us in the best possible mindset for the upcoming match

The match starts off with a band as both of them want to end it as soon as possible; trading blows and zero count pins faster than Jericho can throw out wiseacre jabs.  There’s a spot early on where Darby charges at Cody who dodges it easily, but Brandi what RIGHT in front of him when he did and so Darby smashes right into her.  Come on dude, what did you THINK was gonna happen?  Even Jericho calls Cody out for putting his wife in the path of destruction like that!  However, it does seem to get Cody all fired up and he maintains control of the match for a good bit which allows Darby to do the one thing he’s best at; namely take an obscene amount of damage and look darn good doing it!  There is a weird spot later in the match where it LOOKS like Darby is distracting ref Aubrey while Cody is outside the ring and he gets bashed over the head by Britt Baker wielding a sandal.  I’m not sure what that’s about as Darby may not be exactly a GOOD guy, but I’ve never known him to be a straight up cheater, nor a particular friend of Britt Baker.  Maybe she just felt like hitting someone and Darby JUST SO HAPPENED to have something important to say to the ref, but in any case it manages to even things out between them as we head into the final stretch of the match.  They start trading finishers, Cody teases the weight belt but doesn’t use it, and Darby even nails Cody with the Cross-Rhodes which got a nearfall so close that I genuinely thought for a minute there that they were gonna swerve us!  T’was not to be however as Cody kicks out of it, and after a few more moves from both men including a Cross-Rhodes from Cody himself, the match does come to a close in an… interesting fashion.  Cody goes for a Moonsault off the top rope but Darby gets his knees up and follows it up IMMEDIATELY with the Coffin Drop.  From the angle they showed it, looked like Darby actually got the pin off of this, but it turns out that Cody was able to grab him and twist him slightly backwards so that HIS shoulders were on the mat and Cody did indeed just barely get the pin!  Admittedly the ending looked a BIT silly, but this match was GREAT because despite the ending feeling rather pre-determined it did manage to feel competitive.  Letting Darby get THAT close to victory and having him do Cody’s own move against him created genuine drama that Cody MIGHT just lose the match which made it one of the better matches we’ve gotten in the last few weeks!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-22-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with more AEW goodness for all of your post-apocalyptic entertainment needs, and with the TNT Tournament in full swing we have more than enough amazing story lines and matches to keep us going through this lean period, right?  Well truth be told the new normal has felt a bit lacking here and there and the TNT Tournament isn’t exactly the best substitute for their Blood and Guts match, but given how things are going they’ve been trucking along just fine.  Does that continue with this week’s episode, or are the wheels starting to look wobbly on this road trip thru the wastelands?  Let’s find out!!

The episode begins with yet another promo, but this time it’s NOT from Jake Roberts sitting in a lawn chair; rather it’s Cody sitting in a very NICE chair!  The setup is that e’s in some sort of control room watching multiple monitors of the wrestlers involved in the TNT Tournament and he does his absolute best to imbue it with gravitas and prestige since it’s what they’ll be focusing on after the big championship match blow off from last week.  From what I understand, Cody and crew have been a bit hesitant to introduce a new belt to the company because they didn’t want something that would just be a Midcard Belt; something that isn’t as good as the main championship, but gives the lower tier wrestlers to fight over.  I’m not sure I fully agree with that sentiment though because there are wrestlers who aren’t going to be big name stars but you still want them to have something to do, and having a “secondary” belt makes sense to me for those purposes, but I guess it’s all in the framing.  Instead of saying this belt is for the losers (like the 24/7 title at WWE or even arguably the Intercontinental and USA belts) you do what Cody is doing here and try to make into something that should be rightfully worn by a great competitor; not someone who couldn’t hack it in the big leagues.  Does he succeed?  Well, it’s hard to say because we’re still limited with a limited crew so it still feels a bit like something for “the other guys” in AEW to fight over, but once the world gets back on track and AEW is in full swing again, we’ll see what comes of it.  For what it’s worth Cody does a good job with the promo and the extra editing time they have for stuff like this is definitely paying off with some flashy visuals, but I’m not sure if it’s doing much more to convince me of the greatness of this belt than the matches themselves.  Speaking of which…

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Darby Allin Vs. Sammy Guevara – TNT Tournament Quarter Final

These two are easily the best up and coming stars of wrestling (not just AEW) which will make this a fantastic match, though I’m not sure they’re making the most of this as we’ve seen Allin and Guevara lock it up before and it feels like we need to have more of a reason for them to do it again.  Still, we are living in rough times and I guess we have to do the best we can with the resources we have, and they at least give the two of them VERY good video promos prior to the match.  The start of the match is very reminiscent of their match at Revolution where they utterly DESTROY each other before the bell even rings, and while I appreciate them wanting to put on a match as high caliber as that to make this tournament (and their feud) feel like a big deal, I’m not sure if Sammy and Darby should be doing freaking ladder spots in a nearly empty arena like this.  Even with the wrestlers on the outside doing their best to whoop and holler, it feels like a spot that only had a fraction of the impact it should have.  Things just kinda get worse from there.  Sammy tries to press the advantage he has by putting Darby on the top rope, but he reverses it and manages to get Sammy upside down which lets him then take off his boot to… I guess more effectively work the ankle?  I don’t know, trying to take your opponent’s clothes off comes off as pretty goofy to me and it has the opposite of the intended effect on me; the idea being that without his boot it’s even MORE brutal when Allin works the ankle, but the guy NOT having a boot on highlights the unreal nature of the sport.  This also has the effect of making Allin out to be the bigger heel with Sammy having to constantly fight from underneath which I don’t exactly mind as Sammy is a fantastic wrestler, but with all the goofy spots and Jericho doing such a great job announcing, I’m wondering if AEW wants to give The Inner Circle a softer image.  Sadly, this doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing Sammy Vs. Cody in the semi-finals as Darby gives the over the shoulder stunner and tries to follow it up with another move, but Sammy reverses it into another move which Darby THEN reverses again into a roll up for the win.  Overall I wasn’t the biggest fan of this match.  It felt kind of oddly paced to me as these two spent a lot more time recovering from big moves than trading fast and furious blows, and the best part was right at the end when they were trading counters which sadly didn’t go on long enough for my liking.  I also kind of wish Sammy won because I feel like a match between him and Cody would be a BIT more interesting right now, but I have no doubt that Cody and Allin have the potential to tear the house down!

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