Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2020

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

For months we have been waiting for this day to arrive, and now that it’s here I’m not sure how to even feel about it.  TRUMP LOST THE ELECTION!!  Oh yeah, and we’ve got an AEW PPV to watch, BUT TRUMP ISN’T GOING TO GET A SECOND TERM!!  Frankly the world being saved from the brink of everlasting doom is a big break for this show as even I probably wouldn’t have felt up to watching it if facing four more years of this chaos had become a reality, but aside from it being the big event to occur mere hours after this country realized it could breathe easy again, does AEW have a solid lineup of great matches to justify being on of the four big shows of the year, or is their last PPV of 2020 going to be the last big disappointment of what is already the worst year in recent memory?  Let’s find out!!  And as always, we start with the Buy In match!

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Serena Deeb Vs. Allysin Kay – NWA Women’s Title Match (Buy In)

The issues with AEW’s women’s division have been well documented and I’ll have PLENTY more to say when we get to the match that ACTUALLY pertains to this company, but the NWA talent coming in and trying to liven things up has been a net positive for AEW and hopefully for NWA as well.  Thunder Rosa may not have knocked it out of the park EVERY time (her PPV match with Shida wasn’t all that great), she brought life and vitality to the division that was stuck doing nothing for months.  Now we’ve got another Serena Deeb title defense after her match against Leyla Hirsch two weeks ago was such a bright spot on the show, but can Allysin Kay hold a candle to her?  Perhaps not, but Kay is still VERY impressive with a great look and a huge advantage in regards to her height.  It’s practically a Monster Match where the Baby Face has to overcome an overwhelming force and Kay plays the part quite well with a suite of big moves that she unleashes on Deeb.  You’ve got your Powerbombs, your Spine Busters, there’s even a point where she just throws Deeb into the air and she lands her neck on the top rope!

“This is REALLY not gonna end well for you.”     “I CAN SEE THAT!”

The match IS a bit on the slow side though as they do a lot of holds throughout, and Deeb doesn’t come off as good once she starts in on her counterattack but I think that has more to do with Kay’s selling than anything else.  In fact, while I have checked and she’s been wrestling for over a decade, Kay came off as a bit green to me with Deeb carrying a lot of the match for her.  Kay has the height and the power to do the big moves, but it’s up to Deeb to sell them and to keep the rest of the match on track with Kay’s shortcomings being highlighted whenever she’s the one who has to start doing the carrying.  Perhaps I’m over analyzing things as it IS one of the better matches the division has had in some time so let’s give them a bit of slack here on the Buy In.  Deeb’s entire strategy is to try and get Kay in her Serenity Lock as she’s unlikely to keep her down long enough for a three count so in between throws and bombs from Kay she keeps trying to roll her up into the submission hold.  What eventually gives her the advantage though is when Deeb lands a Dragon Screw on Kay while she’s in the ropes which messes up her knee and leaves her vulnerable for a Face Plant.  For whatever reason she tries to go for a pin despite Kay still being right next to the ropes and of course she does a rope break, but then Deeb drags her away and THEN does the Serenity Lock which Kay taps to.  I’m not sure why they did that spot between landing the Face Plant and putting on the submission, but in any case Deeb is still the NWA women’s champion… BUT FOR HOW LONG!?  As soon as the match ends, Thunder Rosa’s music hits and she comes out to menace Deeb; clearly indicating that she wants a rematch sooner rather than later.  It was a decent match, but still felt a bit clunky at points as Kay seemed a TINY bit lost from time to time and that weird spot at the end where Deeb should have gone right into the submission, but I still had a good time watching it.  And with that, we head straight for the PPV!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2020”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (11-04-2020)

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

I don’t know about you, but I’ve barely gotten ANY sleep this week and this whole “wrestling” thing feels a bit small and inconsequential given what’s going on in the US right now.  Hopefully by the time we get to the PPV on Saturday the votes will be tallied and we can all focus on fun things again, but there’s no doubt that AEW has a big uphill battle here with this Go Home show leading into Full Gear.  Do they manage to put on something memorable despite the world being laser focused on politics this week, or will it get lost in the shuffle like everything else?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the episode with Dasha interviewing Jericho (flanked by Jake Hager and Santana) who spends a good few minutes praising Jake Hager for his win at Bellator last week which hey, good for him!  It was certainly better than in his last match where he punched a dude in the groin and it got called a No Contest, but before Jericho can finish singing his praises, MJF comes in and interrupts them to tell him how much he appreciates the opportunity he’s been given.  Jericho, not too happy about being interrupted, doesn’t share this enthusiasm and in fact claims that MJF lacks something vital to be part of The Inner Circle; a Killer Instinct.  The same Killer Instinct that got Jake fifteen stiches in a fight he ended up winning and earned Santana his reputation as a ruthless fighter in the world of wrestling.  MJF?  Well until he proves otherwise, Jericho believes he’s just soft, and that’s just not going to work for them.  MJF doesn’t like any of these accusations and storms off; leaving Jericho to head to the announcers desk as he’ll be calling matches all night.  I kind of wish they’d also let Santana and Hager get sit at the desk too, but too many heels running the show and with Eric Bischoff having JUST shown up last week, people might start getting flashbacks to Souled Out and nobody wants that.

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Sammy Guevara & Ortiz Vs. MJF & Wardlow

Okay, quick question.  Perhaps I’m just hearing things, but they played the Inner Circle’s theme song here for Ortiz and Sammy’s entrance… and doesn’t it kind of sound like a knock off NWO theme?  I don’t recall ever hearing it before as they always used Jericho’s song Judas, and it just reminded me of that; especially when it starts with a deep voiced dude saying THE INNER CIRCLE which is not unlike how the NWO’s theme starts.  In any case (before I go on any OTHER weird tangents), let’s talk about the match itself.  More than any other story line for this upcoming PPV, including the Moxley match, the tag titles, and ESPECIALLY Sammy’s feud with Matt Hardy, the unrest within The Inner Circle brought about by MJF’s attempts to join them has been rather compelling so far and this match being the first flare up of this tension means it will certainly have consequences for the story on Saturday and going forward.  Now this might be a tag match, but for the most part it’s really all about Sammy and MJF with Wardlow and Ortiz being there to give the other two an opportunity to strut their stuff.  Sammy in particular looks VERY good here with an early hot tag that has him overcoming both Wardlow and MJF with relative ease.  The guy has had a ROUGH time of it the last few months with controversies, botches, and injuries overshadowing everything else, but his performance here is a strong first step for him to regain his clout as one of wrestling’s rising young stars.  MJF looks good here as well, but for most of the match he’s fighting with the upper hand and isn’t really pushing himself.  He’s has had his share of rough matches, but by design he’s never really excelled at that as he gets desperate way to quickly and resorts to cheap tricks at the slightest hint of a disadvantage, which goes towards Jericho’s assessment of him being soft.  He’s not to be discounted however even if he starts to waiver under pressure, and once it’s Sammy and MJF alone in the ring, the both of them start to work out their frustrations on each other in an excellent display of acrobatic violence.  Sammy ends up proving himself here as he actually manages to get the advantage and nearly gets a pin on MJF, and even though Wardlow breaks it up its clear that Sammy might just be the better fighter.  Ortiz gets back in the ring after dealing with Wardlow on the outside and him and Sammy get MJF on the turnbuckle.  They are setting up a tandem Superplex, but Wardlow comes in and suplexes all three of them with his mighty muscles, and the best part of this is MJF’s over the top selling as he seems to have taken the brunt of the damage while Wardlow poses for the audience.  All of this is fun and it does a good job of setting up the important dynamics between these wrestlers, but sadly things start to go off the rails at the end.  Sammy seems poised to win this if he can just get back himself and MJF back into the ring, but then Matt Hardy attacks him with a chair and not even a minute later MJF gets Ortiz into his Salt of the Earth arm bar where he taps out almost immediately.  MJF and Wardlow win the match and start heading for the back, but then MJF breaks off and sprints towards Jericho at the announce table; spearing him in his seat and having to be dragged away by Wardlow as Jericho gingerly gets up and smiles at his assailant.  Perhaps this man DOES have a Killer Instinct and Jericho will be surprised at what happens on Saturday!  The ending drags the match down considerably for me, but I liked the performances of everyone involved and MJF proves once again just how good he is at playing a character while also putting on a great wrestling match.  Presumably he’s going to win on Saturday or some other shenanigans will ensue as I doubt they’re going to drop this storyline with a clean Jericho victory, and I can only hope a long convoluted character drama already set up for all five (soon to be six!) members of the Inner Circle; like Shakespeare but with more chair shots!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-30-2020)

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

So last episode had some wonky moments and a rather ho-hum finish, but they were also dealing with an unexpected change in plans due to Lance Archer contracting COVID-19, so a bit of sloppiness to try and fill in the cracks is understandable, and while Archer isn’t back YET, they did at least have more time to prepare which hopefully means a more cohesive night of wrestling action!  Is AEW back on track after the unexpected fumble from last week?  Let’s find out!!

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Before we get to the opening match, we get a video promo for Darby Allin that stars a guy named JPEG MAFIA.  I don’t know who this guy is, but he pushes Darby down a giant slide while calling Ricky Starks a punk, so fair enough I suppose.  Wait, is that the opening match!?

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Ricky Starks Vs. Darby Allin

So what, we’re not gonna hold this one off until the PPV?  Heck, we’re not even going to wait for Archer to come back so they can fight it out in the Six Man Tag match?  Well I guess it DOES take two weeks to recover from the virus so they had to do something here to keep the feud hot, and for what it’s worth it’s a pretty excellent match!  There’s a lot of athleticism and a really nice spot where Darby manages to kick Starks into the air, and Starks as always has a PHENOMENAL spear that’s always exciting to see!  Then out of nowhere, Brian Cage comes out from the back! While we knew for sure that Archer had COVID-19, Cage merely said he “felt sick” so I guess he passed the tests and was able to come back here, but before he can properly hit the ring and put Darby in traction, WILL HOBBS runs out and they punch each other all the way to the back!  YES!  MORE WILL HOBBS PLEASE!  Well sadly that’s all the Hobbs we get for the moment as Starks and Allin are back in the ring and beating the crap out of one another.  The only spot that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy is when Starks puts Allin in a one leg Boston Crab, but before he can even GRAB the ropes, Starks release the hold.  A bit of bad timing there, but it’s a BIG EXPLOSIVE match between two fast guys, so it’s not a big deal.  The BETTER submission spot was a bit after that where Allin has Starks on the ground in a Fujiwara Armbar, and while Starks is reaching for the ropes with his other arm, Darby grabs it and ALSO puts it in a submission.  Ricky, pretty much having to crawl with his CHIN just barely makes it underneath the ropes; just far enough for his constricted hand to still grab the ropes.  It returns to a slug fest after that as both are standing on wobbly legs and smacking each other with Darby getting the advantage.  Darby manages to land a stunner and goes for a Springboard attack, but before we can figure out what he’s going to do now that he’s in the air, Starks SPEARS HIM OUT OF THE SKY; like an ICBM hitting a rocket ship!!  THAT was amazing and I probably would have ended the match there, but Darby somehow manages to kick out.  Stark puts Allin on the turnbuckle and tries to land an Avalanche Roshambo which to me seems like a REALLY bad move to try and land on a guy from the top rope, but thankfully Darby manages to wriggle out of it and knocks Starks off the top rope.  With Starks having nothing left in the tank, Darby Allin lands the Coffin Drop and gets the three count to win the match.  It felt perhaps a bit wasted for them to have this blow off match here instead of at a bigger event, but that was a GREAT opening fight, and unlike the Matt Hardy/Sammy Guevara match, NO ONE HAS ALMOST DIED YET FOR THIS FEUD!  Okay, Darby Allin almost got a broken neck, Ricky Starks got his back shredded, and Darby got thrown around in a body bag, but still!

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

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

We’re back with even more AEW wrestling action as this is the first episode following their big All Out PPV!  Things have not been looking great for AEW as their last few Dynamite have been pretty meh and there was the EXTREMELY unfortunate incident with Matt Hardy at all out, but coming off of a PPV means a chance at a fresh start, and I’m fairly confident that AEW can fight their way out of this funk.  Is this the start of a brand new vision for the company with new storylines, new stars, and better in ring action, or should will we just be getting more of the same?  Let’s find out!!

The show starts with Tony Schiavone interviewing both Jericho and MJF who just so happen to have arrived at the exact same time.  They exchange pleasantries and praise each other for their skills, as well as assure the other that they were robbed in their PPV match.  As soon as they are out of each other’s earshot however, they call each other losers which is hardly surprising considering they’re both egotistical heels.  It was a fun little exchange that almost feels like a BTE sketch and is a fun little lead in for the first match.

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Jurassic Express Vs. The Lucha Bros

This was a pretty good match where everyone was trying to go to eleven, but there were also a few botches here and there that undercut the intensity of it.  An early one that the announcers even called attention to was when Jungle Boy tripped while launching off of Luchasaurus’s back which isn’t too surprising considering one of the big stories out of All Out was just how hot and humid it was and it’s no surprise that people are slipping on things.  Still, Jungle Boy DID manage to just barely land his move on Rey Fenix, so the match didn’t come to a dead stop when it happened which was lucky for them.  In fact, as good a job as everyone does here, this really was Jungle Boy’s night as the trip up is pretty much forgotten as soon as he gets the hot tag and runs wild on Pentagón and Fénix.  An impressing Hurricanrana from the top rope followed by what I can only describe as a double arm drag gives him a solid advantage; at least until Pentagón shoves him off the apron and knocks him to the floor.  Things go back and forth for a while until Pentagón lands a Back Stabber on Jungleboy and sets him up for an assisted pile driver, but the timing here is REALLY terrible and pretty much ruins the end of the match.  Rey Fenix lands the stomp for the pile driver and Pentagon has Jungle Boy ready to pin, but he sees that Rey Fenix is running the ropes to take out Luchasaurus on the outside so he waits to do the pin until that spot is over which Jungle Boy naturally kicks out.  Heck, in case you missed it the first time, they show a REPLAY of it where you can see VERY clearly that Pentagón is just SITTING THERE doing nothing!  The match only goes on for a minute or two after that where Jungle Boy rolls up Rey Fenix for the win, but that very obvious botch took away a lot of the momentum for The Jurassic Express’s win here.

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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 (08-12-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

Did you all know that the next PPV All Out is going to be on September 5th!?  That feels WAY too soon, doesn’t it!?  Then again, who knows anymore?  What does time even MEAN when we’re all cooped up in our houses and alternating between sleeping, eating, and binge watching?  Well if we’re stuck in these rote rituals for the foreseeable future, we may as well keep recapping these AEW shows until things get better which by my estimation should be what, fifteen years?  In any case, let’s see what AEW has for us on this show which has a greatly hyped main event and some sort of tag team celebration!  Let’s get started!!

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The Young Bucks Vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

Before The Bucks can finish doing their poses and get in the ring, three Creepers come out from the back and start pounding away at them; softening them up as Grayson and Uno casually saunter to the ring!  The Dark Order has REALLY come into their own in the last few weeks and has become one of the most pervasive elements in the show.  Considering how much of a joke they were just a few months ago, it’s a testament to AEW and their foresight in seeing what The Dark Order could become if given enough time to work out the kinks.  After Nick Jackson gets unceremoniously tossed into the ring, Matt Jackson goes to take out the Creepers outside the ring, but in doing so opens himself up for a devastating Suicide Dive from Grayson.  Uno and Grayson then proceed to brutalize and tenderize poor Nick Jackson and look darn good doing it!  I may not have used these exact words in the past, but I find Evil Uno to be one of the most magnetic personalities in the company; a guy who imbues his character into all of his actions and has a great rapport with his partner Grayson.  He’s also a genuinely good worker even if he’s not exactly THE BEST wrestler at the company and does a great job selling for The Bucks once they get their comeback.  The only thing that’s kind of throwing me off a bit is that Uno has some sort of gimmick going on with the tape he has wrapped around his wrist.  He’s at his best when he’s being clever and this feels like an attempt at that, but I’m just not getting it.  In any case, The Bucks’ comeback is cut short and Matt finds himself outside the ring surrounded by three Creepers with a very intense looking Evil Uno waiting for him to jump back in the ring.  Matt’s ingenious move to escape is to dive under the ring itself and come out the side which was a fun little spot.  Another fun spot was when Evil Uno did that thing where he grabs Matt Jackson’s leg, tossed it to the ref, and then gave him a Cutter.  It seems to be his new thing, and I certainly still enjoy it!  Sadly it’s not enough to secure victory for my favorite Spooky Perverts, and the turning point back to the Bucks is when Matt lands a hellacious spear on Evil Uno which gives him enough time to give Nick the hot tag.  Nick runs wild; throwing Grayson into the crowd and Super Kicking Uno in the head.  After The Bucks land a Risky Business on Uno, Matt goes for the pin but only gets a two count.  Undeterred, the duo lands a draping Swanton Bomb onto Uno and would surely have gotten the pin if Uno hadn’t gotten his foot on the ropes.  See, this is why special moves should be in the middle of the ring!  You’re just wasting your EX meter if you do it near the edge!  Grayson comes out of NOWHERE and gives Matt Jackson a Huricanrana from the top ropes at which point the two start trading big moves and near falls.  Grayson takes Matt Jackson and throws him into the entrance tunnel; leaving the Creepers to guard it while the two of them finish off Nick Jackson.  It looks like they’re about to win, but Nick Jackson manages to wriggle out of Uno’s hold and turns it into a pin.  Grayson runs as FAST as he can and is FLYING through the air to break up the pin, but he is a second too late and Nick Jackson gets the win to the shame and consternation of The Dark Order.  This was an AMAZING opening match and was a GREAT example of what I want to see in tag team matches like this!  We’ve gotten quite a few tag matches the last few weeks and while some of them have been good, this one blows the rest out of the water as far as I’m concerned, and I cannot wait to see what Uno and Grayson do next.  Maybe they’ll even WIN a match on Dynamite!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-12-2020)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-05-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

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

We’re back with another week of exciting wrestling action!  Well, at least I HOPE it is, because last week’s show was a pretty big disappointment all things considered.  Certainly not as bad as SOME shows I could mention (I’m STILL reeling from that Extreme Rules PPV…), but far below the expectations I had for the card they advertised and certainly below the expectations I have for AEW in general.  Have they fixed whatever issues prevented last week’s show from being all it could be?  Let’s find out!!

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The Elite & FTR Vs. The Dark Order – Twelve-Man Tag Match

Now if you read my recap of last week’s show which, why wouldn’t you (it’s so convenient and easy to find on this website!), you’ll recall that I was rather disappointed by the ten-man tag match from last week and I didn’t think that adding TWO more people into the mix was going to solve anything.   Needless to say that my expectations had been lowered significantly for this one, but to my surprise, they pulled it off here and gave us a solid show opener!  I remember a LONG time ago that there was like a four-team tag match that was a beautiful display of over the top violence and spots, and while this wasn’t quite up to that level, it was still a fun spectacle that fixed many of the problems I had with last week’s match.  I think a drawback with this (as well as last week’s) match is that these are two teams of twelve instead of six teams of two (or even four teams of three if they’re feeling spicy) because you want a match like this to have variety; to see how all these disparate parts react when allowed to bounce off of each other which is somewhat lost when so many of the competitors are just standing off to the side waiting for their turn.  The action ultimately feels limited with just so many people hanging onto the ropes with the same objective in mind, but they do their darnedest to compensate for this with a really fast pace and enough leeway from the ref to basically let them do whatever the heck they want.  For example, the match basically starts with Brodie Lee facing off against both of The Bucks and it’s basically two guys trying to take down one giant monster; not necessarily the most ORIGINAL setup, but usually this happens so that the one monster can squash the tag teams which always feels silly (*cough* WrestleMania 34 *cough*) but this makes it more of an even fight which is far more interesting to watch.  It does perhaps slow down a bit too much when they get Nine The Creeper in there to essentially take move after move after move from the good guys without getting pinned, but this is all compensated by just how explosive everyone is in the match and how much effort they’re putting into every move.  So a lot of stuff happens with both sides getting their chance to show off some moves until the bald member of FTR ends up hurting his knee, and so both FTR members along with Page head to the back; leaving The Bucks and Kenny to face all six members of The Dark Order.  The Bucks certainly put up a valiant effort, especially since Kenny is nowhere to be seen for whatever reason, and Matt Jackson in particular eats six consecutive corner splashes before Cabana goes up to the top rope; smashing into him and going for the pin but only getting a two count off of Matt.  Probably my favorite individual spot in the match, at least on the heel side, is when Evil Uno catches a kick from Matt Jackson and tosses the leg to the ref who is perplexed and just sits there holding it; allowing Uno to go for a Cutter but only getting a two count.  See, THAT’S what I want from Evil Uno; a guy who’s just fine in the ring but comes up with clever moments like that to really set him apart from everyone else there.  It’s why I was so annoyed at Brodie Lee for treating him and Grayson like mere jobbers when they lost their match last week because those two are a genuinely talented pair when given the chance to shine.  In any case, Matt Jackson goes to give Nick the hot tag, but Uno snatches him from the corner and he and Grayson take him out.  I still don’t know where Kenny is, but Matt is all alone taking on all the Dark Order members, and sure enough he manages to rally and takes them ALL out before going for the corner again to find no one.  Stuck with Five The Creeper, he fights valiantly until Page finally shows back up and Matt makes the tag to the Hangman.  The fresh Page runs roughshod over everyone as I’m sure he has no idea who he can actually pin (I’m right there with him), but eventually, it comes down to him Brodie Lee; both legal and ready to rip each other’s head off.  Brodie Lee, GIANT MO-FO that he is, does a SUICIDE DIVE and destroys Hangman Page.  They feed him to Colt Cabana who gives Page a Chicago Skyline (where he drops Page onto the top ropes) and is about to get the pin before Kenny runs in out of nowhere and breaks it up.  Oh, so NOW he shows up!  TOOK HIM LONG ENOUGH!  Despite Kenny making the save, Page is still the legal man and in bad shape, but he’s not about to quit even after taking a top rope splash from Stu Grayson which gives The Elite JUST enough time to jump the rest of the Dark Order and team up on Brodie Lee.  Lee takes a surprising amount of punishment from The Elite, but it’s not going to be enough to put him away unless Page musters up his strength and gives him a Buckshot Lariat.  Kenny’s got him in a Full Nelson, The Bucks are off to the side, and Page flips over the rope… but then the Creepers in a beautiful display of teamwork drag Kenny and The Bucks out of the ring at the same time; freeing Brodie Lee who ducks the Buckshot, and follows up with a Discus Lariat of his own; sending Page flying through the air and giving Lee the pin when he comes back down to Earth!  That was a really fun match with the right level of goofiness and the kind of energetic tone you want for an opening match.  I PROBABLY would have shortened it a bit and I think twelve people is a bit excessive (something they must have realized when they contrived for FTR to leave the match), but I LOVED the ending and overall it was better than any match we got last week!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-05-2020)”