Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-05-2022)

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

It’s a New Year for everyone and a new channel for AEW!  None too soon, if you ask me!  The show has never dipped so low as to compare it to WWE, but there were some rough patches in the latter half of 2021 that had me hoping that a fresh start will kick things back into gear and give us the kind of wrestling show that we want to see from AEW!  Does the move to TBS reinvigorate the show, or is it just more of the same no matter where you find it?  Let’s find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page Vs. Bryan Danielson – AEW World Title Match

The last match felt a bit padded with the commercial breaks interrupting the ebb and flow of the action, but in the end, I think we got everything we needed to out of that match, so watching this one felt a little bit redundant.  There really isn’t much of a status quo change or some new issue that they have to work through; it’s just a shorter version of what we saw last time.  Now that’s not to say that the action isn’t great or that Danielson isn’t one of the best in-ring storytellers working today, but I didn’t find myself enjoying the sequel as much as I would have hoped.  There still feels like there’s a bit of padding here as Danielson starts the fight by intentionally stalling to try and get Hangman frustrated.  This goes on for a few minutes and is certainly a great way to start a match, but almost as soon as Hangman starts to fight back, he’s stymied by Danielson who tosses him arm first into the post, and so Danielson slows things down once again as he starts to work the arm over.  Hangman gets a break from this after hitting Danielson with a Fall Away Slam, but Danielson regains control almost immediately when he drops Hangman into the ring steps, which is the point where the blood starts flowing and is another thing I’m ambivalent of.  There’s a lot of blood in this match (Danielson gets opened ups as well) and there are a lot of head butts to make the most of it, and while I can appreciate blood and violence in certain contexts (the Street Fight on Rampage being a good example), it just felt really excessive here.  I’ve been wary about Danielson wrestling for a while now, and seeing him with a crimson mask doing running Headbutts over and over again feels like taunting at this point.  Aside from some slowness here and there and the worrisome violence, the action is as good as you’d expect.  Danielson is keeping up a good fight and Hangman looks to be in trouble throughout, but every once in a while he’ll hit a big move that sets up a Buckshot Lariat.  The first one is when Hangman catches Danielson mid-dive to hit a Deadeye on the floor.  He tosses Danielson in and sets up on the apron when Danielson comes up with the most BRILLIANT strategy imaginable to avoid the Buckshot!  He drops to the mat!  I mean yeah, it sounds simple when you say it out loud, but very few people (including Kenny Omega) seem to realize that standing is the only way the move can work.  Truly, Danielson is a master tactician in the ring!  Hangman’s second attempt happens after a Moonsault to the floor, and while Danielson stays standing for this attempt, he manages to dodge it and hits his Running Knee Strike and gets a very close two count!  Danielson remains firmly in control for a while here and even does that face stomp thing that he did to the Dark Order.  Hangman fights his way out of it and lands a rather scary-looking Back Drop Driver that leaves Danielson dazed.  Hangman goes to the apron, lines up his shot, and FINALLY hits the Buckshot Lariat which is enough to get the pin and win the match!  Hangman retains his title, and in doing so delivers Bryan Danielson his first loss at AEW!  I understand the reason behind having the last match be the longest match in AEW history, and I guess you need SOMETHING for the show’s big move to TBS, but it felt like a lot of the same stuff we saw last time, and the things they did add (i.e. the blood) didn’t make it feel any more important.  Still, not a bad way to start the show and to start the TBS era of Dynamite!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (12-22-2021) – Holiday Bash

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

As much as I love wrestling, the Holidays are a tough time to find the three hours it takes to watch these shows what with a million other things to worry about this time of year.  Still, you can’t say AEW doesn’t put in the effort, and not taking a week away from the show even with everyone being busy is laudable I suppose; especially since they film Rampage on the same night as Dynamite which hopefully meant that everyone got to go home as soon as it was over.  Is this a great present for AEW to give us despite the poor timing of it, or will it get lost in the Holiday shuffle like everything else we don’t have time to think about because we’ve got so many other things to do right now!?  Okay, maybe not everyone is stressed out like that, but that’s beside the point!  Is this a good show or not!?  Let’s find out!!

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Orange Cassidy Vs. Adam Cole

Cole and Cassidy are two of the biggest stars who aren’t currently in the title picture, so putting them together in an opening match is as good a way as any to try and tear people away from their packed Holiday schedules to tune in.  It’s a solid match with a lot of back and for the action between the two, but things don’t really pick up until Cassidy gets a two count from a Diving Cross Body and a Swinging DDT.  This forces the Bucks and Brandon Cutler to come out just as Cassidy is going up top for a big splash, and instead of hitting Cole, Cassidy jumps down on Cutler.  It’s at this point that the Best Friends run down to make the save, but not before Cassidy hits a Suicide Dive on the Bucks which allows the Best Friends to fight them back up the ramp and to the back.  Despite his buddies getting overwhelmed, it does create an opening for Cole who throws Cassidy shoulder-first into the steps; hoping to neutralize his Orange Punch finisher.  Cassidy is left limp against the steps so Cole tries to follow up with a Boom Knee Strike, but Cassidy moves and Cole’s knee hits the steel instead of Cassidy’s squishy body.  With both suffering injuries, the two continue to brawl throughout the commercial break and start to kick things into high gear once we return.  Lousy Kicks, Brain Busters, Stundog Millionaires and Diving DDTs, All of which hit their mark, but the damage they’ve incurred end up blunting their effectiveness, so neither manage to get the pin.  Cole tries to set up Cassidy for the Panama Sunrise by dragging him to the corner, but Cassidy merely rolls away to overcome his scheme.  Frustrated by this, Colle tries to go after him but Cassidy hits a Michinoku Driver!  Now it’s his turn to set up a move as he puts on his shades and gets to the top rope, and once he’s up there he puts his hands in his pockets and tries to dive on Cole.  He’s WAY short on his dive however and ends up eating a Super Kick which allows Cole to get the Panama Sunrise and goes for a lackadaisical cover on Cassidy.  He might have won if he tried to do a serious pin, but Cassidy kicks out. Cassidy takes this unforced error from Cole and ducks and hits a Beach Break for a two count before setting up for the Orange Punch.  Seeing what’s about to happen, Cole rolls out of the ring right as Bobby Fish runs down to start yelling at the ref.  He’s doing it for a long time and Cassidy is just standing there looking perturbed, and right when I was wondering what the heck was going on here, NONE OTHER THAN KYLE O’REILLY RUNS IN TO ATTACK CASSIDY!  As soon as Cassidy is on the ground, Cole hits the Boom Knee Strike and gets the pin on Cassidy, but that’s almost immaterial because the big news here is that the original Undisputed Era (Roderick Strong was added later) has officially moved to AEW after WWE cast them aside like yesterday’s news!  There seems to be some tension as the Bucks run down and seem a bit hesitant about the Undisputed Era reforming right in front of them, but it was a solid match with a really cool surprise ending that is sure to get AEW even more clout with the fans!  I don’t know if we’ll hit the point where it becomes passé for great wrestlers from the other company to show up here and prove how great they are, but it certainly hasn’t happened yet!

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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 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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