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!!
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…
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!
Full Gear and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
While technically being the fifth AEW PPV (sixth if you count All In which was basically AEW Zero), this is the first one since they’ve gotten the TV series and have started to focus more on long term storylines. Not only that, but it’s coming off of a MASSIVE amount of success from Dynamite which has consistently beaten NXT in the ratings, so there’s a lot of hype and high expectations surrounding this PPV which is always a double edged sword as it means more people are interested in seeing it but that they’re also much more easy to disappoint. Can AEW continue their streak of high quality wrestling action with their latest PPV? Let’s find out!!
Britt Baker Vs. Bea Priestly
The only match they had on the pre-show for Full Gear was this match against Britt Baker and Bea Priestly which I GUESS is supposed to be the blow off to a feud, but they never HAD a feud to begin with. They had one match all the way back before they got on TV and I think they were on a tag team match a few weeks ago, but at no point did they interact in any meaningful way to sell this supposed rivalry between them. There’s a video package before the fight where Britt talks smack about Priestly and I just don’t think it works because Britt brings up stuff we’d NEVER heard of until now about her being possibly injured in the Fight for the Fallen match and it’s also completely one sided as Priestly doesn’t even show up in the video, so for all we know she’s just out there doing her thing and being respectful towards everyone while Britt is off to the side seething for no good reason! Now all that having been said, when the two of them actually DO get in the ring they are fighting like this match means something. Britt is definitely all scowls and fury which is a far cry from the babyface she often portrays, and Priestly is definitely relishing just how much she’s gotten under her skin. The moves as well are less coordinated and flashy as they are just slugfests and pain clinics which is how you definitely want to pay off a feud even if this particular one still didn’t feel properly set up.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with another episode of WWE’s worst nightmare! Well… that and the string of awful press it’s been getting in the last few months. Seriously, WWE 2K20 AND the talent being stranded in Saudi Arabia within like a week of each other!? I wouldn’t be surprised if Full Sail got attacked by zombies which STILL wouldn’t put NXT’s ratings above AEW’s! With such an amazing string of good fortune on the side of the new guys just as the mighty king is getting repeatedly kicked in the nuts, can AEW keep up the momentum heading into this weekend’s Pay Per View show? Let’s find out!!
Trent Beretta Vs. Pac
Trent Beretta is accompanied to the ring by his tag team partner Chuck Taylor as well as Orange Cassidy
We start things off right away with a match between Pac and whatever piece of meat just so happens to be in his way. Sadly the poor bastard left to get eaten by this monster is Trent from The Best Friends who is certainly… a member of that team. Well that’s a bit unfair I guess. The duo is certainly way over with the crowd even if I haven’t been too impressed with them so far, but Pac’s the one with the big Adam Page match at the PPV and Trent is the dude who dressed as Morty last week so we can all see where this is going. The match was fine and had its brutal moments to it, but I’m more of an in-ring fast paced guy than an outside the ring pain clinic, and that was much more the speed here even with Pac doing an impressive dive over the top ropes. I guess the Adam Page match from last week worked a lot better for me, and a good chunk of it has to do with the Sammy who is much more interesting playing a losing heel than Trent does being a losing… guy I guess. Are the Best Friends even faces? I guess so considering they get the crowd reactions and they do have that hug gimmick, but it just felt a bit bland to me; especially considering that the match goes on WAY too long when Pac really should get an easy one and done match to build his momentum for the big show. But hey! At least Orange Cassidy got his moment to do his thing which led to Pac straight up MURDERING him with a kick to the face which REALLY stirred up the crowd! Trent starts to rally after Pac lands the Orange Cassidy Super Kick, but it doesn’t take long for Pac to regain control and finally incapacitates Trent with the Brutalizer submission. After the match Pac grabs the mic and gives his own promo which was solid, but wasn’t really shooting for the moon here as both Jon Moxley and Adam Page gave better ones last week.
AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with even more AEW! After Jericho revealed his heel faction last week, will Cody and the rest of THE ELITE band together to face this latest threat? More importantly though, WILL LUCHASAURUS SHOW UP THIS TIME!? Seriously, he wasn’t on LAST week and that’s one too many weeks without Luchasaurus! Let’s hope for the best and take a look at the second episode of AEW Dynamite!
The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson) Vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy) – Tag Team Tournament
Now THIS is a great way to start the show! I’m a bit cooler on the Young Bucks than a lot of people but there’s no doubt that they are IMMENSELY popular, and I really like what I’ve seen of Private Party so far as they already look poised to be the fan favorites of the company. Hopefully AEW (unlike what WWE does with a lot of their more talented tag teams) won’t let these two sit on the sidelines for half of their career with this match is a good indication that they won’t. The match itself was pretty great as both teams are so absolutely fantastic as tag team wrestlers, and Private Party being a lot more straightforward in their style helped to minimize some of the issues I tend to have with The Young Bucks when they’re up against teams like The Lucha Bros. In fact, what I found particularly interesting is that The Bucks fought like heels for the most part as Private Party were the ones fighting earnestly with big moves and lots of effort while The Bucks come off as much more cocky and taking their time to show off. Heck, they even use a few underhanded moves like when Nick does a blind tag and another instance where Matt drops Kassidy on the steel ramp. When they were doing the PPVs, it was a bit hard to tell where they would fall with their endless feud against the Lucha Bros (pretty much being baby faces by default), but I’m all for it if they real are planning on being heels. They don’t have to be the nastiest players in this (I’m pretty Jericho and his crew have that covered), but being part of THE ELITE has always felt more like a heel position and it’s what has made Cody’s status as a face always feel a bit questionable. Surprising absolutely everyone (myself included), Private Party actually won against The Young Bucks which puts them in a VERY good position in the tournament taking down the odds on favorite so early. Like I said, AEW seems to know what to do with young talent like this and I’m glad that The Bucks are willing to step aside to give them such a huge push right now. It’s probably my favorite thing they’ve done since I’ve started watching AEW!
After the match, Jericho comes out with his merry men of bad guys (Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, and LAX) and takes a good ten minutes to jabber on the mic and make sweet audible love to the teeming masses. A lot of it is exposition to make sure everyone is up to speed on the title picture, but he can make reading a thesaurus look good and I’m glad that AEW hasn’t COMPLETELY abandoned larger than life characters who are allowed to just talk in the ring. What we learn from all this is that Jericho’s faction is called THE INNER CIRCLE (so far it’s reminding me of Ric Flair’s faction in TNA known as Four-tune) and that Jake Hager’s collared shirt from the last episode was not a one off; apparently that’s his look going forward which is a shame because it makes him look like a TOTAL dork. Look, maybe this is yet another unbridled talent that will finally have a chance to shine in a promotion that knows what the heck to do with him, but I don’t know who Jack Swagger or Jake Hager is, and him just staring blankly into the camera with a silly shirt on doesn’t scream AMAZING WRESTLING TALENT as it does I FORGOT ALL MY LINES. Aside from that though, it was a great way to solidify them as the big heel faction of the company which will certainly keep things interesting in the weeks leading up to the next PPV.
All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling and Shahid Khan
Well here it is! After months of trial and error, big announcements, and no real response from WWE, it’s the last show before the AEW experiment goes to prime time television! Starting in October we will be getting a weekly show from them on TBS and while I doubt they could IMMEDIATELY crash and burn considering how much money there is behind them, it’s still something of a risky venture to go into Vince’s backyard and try to claim a piece for yourself. WCW failed, TNA failed, and the other guys just kept off of TV altogether. It’s kind of a big deal, but we’re not really here to talk about all that! We’re here to find out if this show had any good wrestling on it and if it’s worth your time and money to see it! Can AEW end their PPV run on a high note as they head to the big leagues, or will this end up as a foreboding vision of things to come? Let’s find out, and we’ll start with the pre-show!!
Casino Battle Royale
We start the night off with another Casino Battle Royale, but unlike the one in Double or Nothing this one is with the women’s division. What IS like last time however are the overly complicated rules for how the groups are populated and ordered which amount to absolutely nothing because we don’t end up seeing the process; just the result. With WWE’s Royal Rumble, they don’t make a big deal out of it and just make it a simple lottery system which is easy enough to get across to an audience but also allows for a bit of drama and tension as well; especially if someone tries to cheat it. The wrestlers here have to draw from a “special deck” but we don’t see the drawing which determines their group, and apparently the don’t determine the group order prior to the match; they shuffle the deck right when the timer goes off and whatever suit is selected goes next. Again, we don’t actually SEE anyone draw a card to determine the next group, but I like to imagine Cody’s in the back after having called 2 suits and has to pick the third one, but he keeps getting the first two suits over and over and over again until half the deck is on the floor before a new one comes up. See, THAT might have justified this nonsense! Anyway, that’s all rather immaterial as it basically boils down to a staggered Battle Royale match, so how is it? Well I think the problem here is that it’s a Battle Royale that FEELS like it should be paced like a Royal Rumble because of those staggered entrances which are the defining feature of a Royal Rumble. Sure a Royal Rumble can go on for a rather long time which is whole PPVs are built around them, but the benefit is that the pacing allows for multiple storylines to play out in the ring. Contrast that with a Battle Royale which are MUCH better for pre-shows where everyone is in the ring at the start and it usually devolves into chaos until the last five or so competitors are left. The latter is basically what happens here; it’s not until everyone has made it to the ring that it stops being about random spots and constant eliminations to play out into something more substantive; all of which is fine, but the fact they stagger the entrances makes it feel like more should be happening throughout. It also isn’t helped by the camera work which missed a few eliminations, and while I would normally cut them some slack considering how chaotic this was (some of the more prominent wrestlers got thrown out with little fanfare during other team’s entrances), this is a problem that ended up persisting throughout the entire show and I’ll make sure to point it out when it happened during other matches.
Look! They brought in ODB! See in the corner there? Yeah, she’s already eliminated, but she still showed up!