Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2021

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

The big show is finally here (no, not that one; he showed up months ago) and everyone is PUMPED!  Not only do we have a darn good slate of matches, including Bryan Danielson’s first PPV match at AEW, but we’ve got a possible title change on our hands as reigning champion Kenny Omega might just drop the belt to the upstart Hangman Adam Page!  It promises to be a night of great action, satisfying payoffs, and even a few tributes to legends (it’s the anniversary of Eddie Guerrero’s death so expect A LOT of Frog Splashes throughout) to make this a show to remember!  Does it live up to the hype and deliver on all its promises, or has the AEW train finally run out of steam!?  Let’s find out!!

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Before we even get into our Buy-In match, Tony Schiavone calls Dante Martin to the ring to discuss the offer Team Taz made to him on Friday’s Rampage.  Before he can answer though, The Acclaimed come down to the ring and Caster raps his own offer to Dante to join them instead!  Now this is starting to get interesting, not just because I think he’d be a very good addition to The Acclaimed (he absolutely would), but I’m starting to like this idea of every group at AEW wanting Dante Martin on their side and having to fight through each other to get him!  I can just picture Dante Martin sitting on a throne or on that Judy Bagwell forklift thing as he looks upon the wrestlers and managers fighting in the ring for his contract!  The Acclaimed though are trying to play it a bit cool and not look so desperate, as Anthony Bowens reiterates the offer while throwing in an implicit threat on top of it.  As enticing as the offer may be, Dante knocks them out of the ring and lands a Springboard Dive from the top rope to the floor which I think got the message across quite well and was a fun start to the Buy-In!

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Nyla Rose & Jamie Hayter Vs. Thunder Rosa & Hikaru Shida

Nyla is accompanied to the ring by Vickie Guerrero

All four of the women in this match are part of the TBS Tournament which begs the question as to why they don’t just DO another match of the tournament here, but I guess they want to draw it out as long as they can so they have these four try and show how awesome they are so that you get more invested in it, which… I mean I GUESS it works because everyone looks really good here!  Even Jamie Hayter, who hasn’t really had a killer match since she’s returned to AEW, manages to pull off some impressive moves like when she stops Shida from making it back to her corner with a German Suplex!

“So close, AND YET SO FAR!” “DARN YOU, BITTERSWEET IDIOMS!” *SMASH*
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Full Gear 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-27-2021)

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

We’re back with another week of AEW action; only this week is different, isn’t it?  It’s not just ANY episode, but the SPOOOOKY episodes as this is the last one before the best holiday of the year!  Does AEW put on a Halloween show to remember, or will we this all remind us of Halloween Havoc 98?  Let’s find out!!

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Bobby Fish Vs. CM Punk

So just in case the angle from last week didn’t make it clear, Fish has gone full heel and fights this match like one.  It starts out pretty even at first with neither side giving up too much ground or going too flashy with it, but things start to pick up when Punk lands two Scoop Slams back to back for a two count.  He then goes for the GTS, but this is way too early to go for the finisher and he’s REALLY close to the ropes, so naturally Bobby escapes by yanking on them for leverage and this gives him enough of an opening to land some well-placed strikes that severally damage Punk’s knee.  The knee will end up being a huge factor for the rest of the match as every chance he has to fight off Fish and retake the advantage is hampered by his injury, but Fish is not having much better luck putting Punk away since he’s the tenacious Baby Face with a fighting spirit!  Fish makes his mistake when he puts Punk on the turnbuckle who finally starts to fight back with a bunch of Elbow Strikes until Fish falls to the mat.  Punk lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop but doesn’t go for the pin and instead uses this time to recover and he puts up a better fight when they start brawling again.  Punk seems to be getting the advantage until Fish lands another kick to the knee and starts running the ropes for some momentum.  Out of NOWHERE, Punk lands a Jump Kick and follows with a Swinging Neck Breaker which stops Fish’s momentum in its tracks, and a Knee Strike in the corner followed by a Short Arm Clothesline gets Punk a two count.  Distressed by this outcome but feeling confident about his chances, Punk puts Fish on his shoulders to try the GTS again.  Fish escapes however and lands a Dragon Screw followed by a Sliding Clotheslines which actually made me think for a second that Punk was going to lose which would be a HUGE boon for Fish if they want to give him a serious heel run!  It was not meant to be however as Punk manages to sweep his legs out and flips over into a Jackknife pin that Fish bridges out of which was VERY impressive to see, but the Punk gets him on his shoulders and lands the GTS which is finally enough to get him the pin and win the match!  This was a lot like the Danielson/Dustin match from the last episode, but I think they pulled it off MUCH better here!  Dustin didn’t quite reach the depths of desperation that Punk is showing here, and Fish’s offense is much more brutal than Danielson’s was, so there was a lot more drama and energy which made this a great opener!  Perhaps not the BEST outcome for Bobby Fish who effectively lost to a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest, but he’ll have his day soon enough!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-23-2021)

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

We’re back with more AEW Saturday Night Action that I didn’t get to until… well probably TUESDAY if we’re being honest which is especially rough since AEW is going back to Wednesdays and that show has already aired by the time I get this recap out!  Oh well, this is the life I chose and it involves weird wrestling schedules.  As long as the action is good, it’s not too bad of a tradeoff!  Does this episode pack a punch or did I procrastinate on a show that probably wasn’t worth sitting through in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Dustin Rhodes – AEW World Title Tournament Match

I checked and this is another match that Danielson didn’t get to have when he was at WWE which makes me think that he came into AEW with his bucket list of matches as a rider on his contract.  The match starts out okay as Dustin is meeting him in terms of strength and is at least staying competitive in terms of technique, but it soon becomes clear that Dustin has a problem with stamina and has to take a break pretty early in the match just to catch his breath.  Danielson is magnanimous enough to give him a moment to do so, but as soon as Dustin comes back he shows no mercy and immediately takes Dustin to the ground to work over the legs.  It certainly isn’t Dustin’s night as he spends forever on the mat and can barely keep himself standing against Danielson’s offense when he does manage to stand back up.  Now I get what they were doing here as the frustration on Dustin’s face was pretty evident, but I still found a good chunk of this match to be slow and methodical in a way that I didn’t find very exciting.  It’s not until Dustin starts to mount a comeback that things pick up, but even then it comes in fits and spurts instead of a true comeback.  Dustin manages to fight off an attempted German Suplex before landing one of his own, but then Danielson takes him down again and starts working the arm.  There’s a good stretch where Dustin gets a Powerslam followed by a Hangman Neckbreaker for a two count that leads to this very cool Flying Clothesline, but as soon as that’s done Danielson locks in the LaBelle Lock, and Dustin has to scramble his way to the ropes.  Danielson starts laying in some kicks (at which point Dustin says the F word on NATIONAL TELEVISION) and they start trading blows back and forth.  Dustin goes for the Uppercut, but Danielson dodges it and transitions into a Crucifix pin for a two count; kicking him a few times for good measure.  Dustin is in the corner after this and so Danielson charges but ends up eating a MASSIVE Clothesline from Dustin that turns him inside out before landing the Pile Driver for a two count.  Dustin is starting to feel the momentum and so tries to follow up quickly with a Suplex, but Danielson breaks out of it and manages to lock in the Guillotine.  Dustin is fighting back with all his might, but the submission ends up being too much for him to overcome and he passes out in the middle of the ring; giving Danielson the win and advancing him in the tournament.  It wasn’t a long match but I still would have cut a few minutes out as it took a bit too long to get going and the comeback didn’t have enough of a punch to it.  A solid effort from two very talented guys but far from the best match we’ve seen AEW open with.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-16-2021)

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

Having the week away from wrestling certainly helped me relax and refocus, but then having three hours of shows back to back is perhaps balancing out the calm I gained from being away for a bit.  Still, this is AEW and even if their schedule can be a bit intense, especially when I’m working on so many other things recently, their shows do tend to be some of the more entertaining things I see all week.  Is this yet another fun show from AEW to lift my spirits, or can I already feel the burnout creeping back in?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk starts the show with his entrance as he’s joining the commentary team once again.  The crowd isn’t sick of it yet, so why fix what isn’t broken?  It’s not like he’s resting on his laurels as he IS having matches pretty regularly, but coming out for the entrance is definitely gonna help his longevity and the crowd is more than happy to see it!

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Dante Martin Vs. Malaki Black

Dante Martin is accompanied to the ring by Lio Rush

Malaki Black has been quite an interesting person to watch these past few weeks as he’s run through the Baby Faces of the company with obviously heelish intent, but the crowd refuses to boo for him and instead seem to WANT him to destroy everyone in his path.  AEW has at least reacted to this by adding shades of gray to Cody’s character in response to the crowd turning on him, but they seem to be staying with the course as Dante is yet another Baby Face for this guy to trounce.  Then again, he’s got Lio Rush in his corner who is serving up some serious Heel vibes, so perhaps they were already anticipating the crowd turning on Dante and are giving him a manager to ease the transition.  What matters most however is the match which is another solid showing from both Martin and Black.  Martin continues to show off his high flying skills, but his lack of power leaves him VERY vulnerable to Black’s devastating offense.  He manages to hold his own in so far as keeping at arms-length of Black, but there’s no path to winning if he can’t get any moves in and so every time he tries to land a hit it’s either countered or shaken off by Black who favors grounding him with submission moves for most of this match.   Dante does eventually find his groove and gets a few good moves in against Black, starting with a Reverse Hurricanrana that’s followed by a Springboard Senton.  He then tries to follow up with a Double Jump Moonsault, but Black dodges and starts slugging away at him.  To everyone’s surprise, Dante manages to land an Enziguri during this strike exchange and it manages to stagger Black.  Not to be underestimated however, Black quickly recovers and lands a Middle Rope Meteora that’s followed by a Roundhouse Kick and a German Suplex combo that was EASILY the highlight of the match, but Dante somehow managed to kick out of it!  To teach this kid a lesson about staying down when beaten, he drags Dante up to the corner for a Superplex, but Dante fights back and lands Top Rope Hurricanrana which SHOULD be the start of his comeback but Dante’s knee has taken A LOT of abuse this match between the submission from Black and his own wrestling style that it’s finally giving out and he’s not able to capitalize on his spectacular moves.  Black manages to kick out of a slow cover from Dante after finally landing that Double Jump Moonsault and quickly reverses it into a Single Leg Boston Crab.  However, this is where things get kinda weird as Black lets go of Dante to start clutching his stomach.  Excalibur thinks it’s rib problems, CM Punk thinks the DARKNESS WITHIN HIM is melting his insides, but either way, it allows Dante to try a Springboard Stomp to finish the match.  Black, whose stomach problems aren’t so bad that he doesn’t see what’s happening, dodges the move and hits Dante with a Roundhouse Kick which is finally enough to get the pin and win the match.  I can’t say that I liked the ending as Malaki being nearly undone by an unforeseen bout of indigestion was not how I would have built to the climax, but it was still a solid match between two great workers at the company!  I don’t get the sense that the crowd is turning on Dante the way they did Cody so perhaps Black hasn’t gone FULL Fiend yet, but I’m still curious what Lio Rush’s role in all of this is going to be as he didn’t even try to interfere in the match.  Maybe he saw what happened to Chavo and decided against being that kind of manager; at least for the time being!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (10-06-2021)

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

I think I might be feeling Wrestling Burnout again as I haven’t been too excited about the last few weeks of Dynamite despite the reception being quite strong from everyone else.  I mean I COULD just have the most accurate opinion out of anyone else who covers these shows, but chances are I just need to give it a bit of time and to see the right matches for me to get back into the groove of things.  Will this episode manage to jumpstart my enthusiasm for AEW, or will I remain a sourpuss for a while longer?  Let’s find out!!

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Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Christian Cage, and Bryan Danielson Vs. Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega – 8 Man Tag match

As much of a marquee match as this is, I’m always skeptical of throwing THIS many people in the ring as it’s either gonna have a lot of people doing nothing on the corners or descend into utter chaos.  In this match they manage to do both, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  For most of this match, it’s the Jungle Boy show as he spends most of the time in the ring and does a fair job fending off The Bucks and Cole.  Even when he tags someone in its usually to do a tandem move before the new guy tags out and puts Jungle Boy back in.  This works for a bit as Jungle Boy and Christian Cage bury Adam Cole under a flurry of offense, but Jungle Boy perhaps overstays his welcome once Nick Jackson tries the distraction on the apron which allows Cole to land a big kick and start the heat.  This is also the only time we see Kenny Omega in the ring during the first three-quarters of the match as he tags in to pick at the bones of Jungle Boy, before tagging back out a moment later while the Baby Faces can do nothing but watch him strut.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight off both Bucks and gets the tag to Danielson who goes after the legal man Matt Jackson with his Chops and Yes Kicks, and as soon as he simply LOOKS towards the Heels’ corner, Omega runs off like a scared chicken.  Danielson’s run is brief however as he tags in Luchasaurus who gets a HUGE pop from the crowd and keeps the pressure on Matt Jackson.  It’s not long before he tags in Jungle Boy, but in flagrant disregard of the rules they ALL hit the ring and knock the Heels off the apron so that all four can land corner splashes on Matt Jackson; ending with a Tail Whip/Face Buster combo from Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus that would have gotten the pin if the Heels didn’t break it up.  Now that all eight guys are in the ring, they just start hammering each other until Christian takes a Melzer Driver outside the ring.  With Cage out of the match and Jungle Boy taking a lot of damage from all four of them, it’s time for Danielson to get the Hot Tag and Jungle Boy is struggling to get to the corner.  The Bucks go for an Assisted Suplex on Jungle Boy, but this proves to be just the opportunity he’s looking for as he fights against the move and turns it into Stereo DDTs.  Omega tags in to try and stop him but is too late to stop Jungle Boy from tagging in Danielson and both are alone in the ring for the first time since their match at Grand Slam.  The crowd pops for it and they only get louder as the two start exchanging strikes!  Omega gets the best of it with a kick, but Danielson quickly recovers and starts landing his big moves on him.  Corner Splashes, Chop/Kicks, a top rope Hurricanrana, and even a Diving Headbutt all hit their target, but Danielson only gets a two count because the Bucks run in and break up the pin.  More chaos as everyone runs in until the ring is cleared and Danielson goes for the Tiger Driver followed by the Cattle Mutilation which also ends up getting broken up by The Bucks; this time from a Senton by Matt Jackson.  Danielson tags in Luchasaurus who cleans house in a VERY impressive and over the top manner; so much so that he gets ALL four of The Elite into the corners of the ring and starts doing splashes on each of them.  The one who escapes is Adam Cole who gets a kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise, but he is caught by Luchasaurus in one hand while Kenny gets caught in the other.   He tosses them both down which cues even MORE chaos as all seven remaining guys hit a bunch of moves, but it all leads to Luchasaurus eating a Low Blow and rolling out the ring while Jungle Boy eats a Panama Sunrise.  Danielson is up next and tries to fend off all four (which he REALLY shouldn’t NEED to do if the ref is paying attention), but is eventually overwhelmed and eats a Triple Super Kick.  He rolls out and Jungle Boy is the legal man who ends up eating a FOUR person Superkick Party and it’s finally enough to keep him down for the three count.  It was definitely a good match considering just how many moves they managed to fit in there, but for me, it was too chaotic.  I think the magic number for a tag team match is three, and once you get higher than that things start to get too long and the story gets lost in the shuffle of bodies; like the wrestling equivalent of too many cooks in the kitchen.  I’m sure everyone here will continue to have great matches with each other in the coming weeks, but I’d rather they be smaller matches spread over a longer period of time instead of trying to get everyone in the ring as soon and as often as possible.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (10-01-2021)

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

So the last Dynamite was a pretty rough slog to get through which means I’m in JUST the right mood for what AEW themselves are calling THE FASTEST HOUR OF WRESTLING and at least until last week that was usually the case.  Does Rampage get us back on track with a light and fun episode of wrestling action, or will it be bogged down as much as the last Dynamite and even the last Rampage?  Let’s find out!!

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Bryan Danielson Vs. Nick Jackson

Nick Jackson is accompanied to the ring by Matt Jackson and Brandon Cutler

So now that Danielson and Omega got their first big match out of the way, we can start going through some of the other dream matches while building up towards the rematch; a win-win situation if you ask me even if the crowd didn’t like their first match ending in a draw.  Nick Jackson is also a good opponent to put him up against in his quest to face off with the ENTIRE Elite as people are still talking about his singles match with Rey Fenix, and it should come as no surprise that these two have a great match!  Danielson may not have Nick Jackson’s high flying abilities, but he’s good at keeping him grounded and has a pretty sizable advantage throughout the match.  Jackson’s case isn’t helped by the fact that he isn’t taking this seriously at first opting to show off and play around with cold spray rather than face Danielson directly, and he pays for this several times with Yes Kicks, brutal submissions, and a Dragon Sleeper that he only manages to escape by thumbing Danielson in the eye.  The only reason he gets the heat during the commercial break is that he throws Danielson outside and starts distracting the ref while Matt Jackson tackles and hammers him on the floor.  Still, he can’t help himself and starts to play around by giving Danielson his “unique” variation on the Yes Kick that only serves to tick Danielson off; so much so that he’s starting to FEED off the force of those kicks until he’s finally standing tall!  He spits in Nick Jackson’s face and just goes WILD on the guy!  STRIKE!  KICK!  STRIKE!  KICK!  A nonstop barrage of offense from Danielson as he makes Nick Jackson PAY for giving him such puny kicks!  Nah, he’s gonna show him what REAL kicks look like and gives him a bunch of Yes Kicks for a two count!  It’s time for Nick Jackson to put up or shut up, so after taking a few Running Knees from Danielson, he stops him in his tracks with not one but TWO Super Kicks that net him a two count.  Nick Jackson then goes for the 450 Senton, but Danielson gets the knees up and he instantly transitions into the LeBell Lock.  Jackson rolls to the apron and Danielson follows with even more Yes Kicks, but Jackson ducks after the first few and Danielson hits his shin on the ring post.  Jackson follows up with a German Suplex on the apron and an Escalera to the floor before he tosses Danielson into the ring to put him in a Sharpshooter where he just barely gets to the bottom rope to break the hold.  It’s starting to look bad for Danielson who rolls out of the ring, but luckily for him, Nick calls his shots and shouts SEE YA before charging at him with a kick and he’s able to duck it only for Brandon Cutler to eat he move instead.  In the confusion, Danielson lands a German Suplex on the floor and rolls Nick Jackson in which could spell the end of this match, so Matt Jackson gets on the apron to distract the ref.  Danielson gives him a forearm that sends him to the floor so naturally Nick Jackson gives him a surprise roll-up, and even if it only got a two count, it at least leveled the playing field between them as we head into the finish.  Jackson lands a Superkick and goes for a Roundhouse to follow, but Danielson dodges and lands a Tiger Suplex into a bridge for a two count.  Still holding Nick Jackson he starts HAMMERING on the dude’s chest to the delight of the crowd, and once he’s done he locks him in the Cattle Mutilation.  Nick Jackson taps out which gives Danielson the victory to the consternation of The Elite who come out to look after Nick Jackson while Jurassic Express come out to look after Danielson.  A brief brawl breaks up as it naturally should, and Jurassic Express gets the upper hand in anticipation of an upcoming Eight Man Tag Match between the two factions.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-29-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW action, though this is something of a special episode.  Not in the USUAL AEW sense of adding a subtitle and a few marquee matches, but because this show takes place in Rochester where Brodie Lee is from and where he was supposed to debut before the Pandemic put everything on hold.  Because of this, AEW has put together a stacked card to not only continue their ongoing storylines but to celebrate and the people he affected during his time at the company.  Is it a proper celebration for the Exalted One who was taken from us far too soon?  Let’s find out!!

CM Punk comes out at the start of the show and he once again joins the commentary team on this episode.  I’m starting to wonder if he’ll actually do all that much wrestling as he seems perfectly content to sit in the booth and talk about everyone else.  I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to it as I think he’s got a lot of potential for that kind of role, but I’m guessing the checks Tony Khan had to write to get him aren’t about to go to someone who stays OUT of the ring.

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Jungle Boy Vs. Adam Cole

Something we’ll run into a few times in this episode (which was also a bit of an issue on the last episode) is crowd reactions as the place goes unglued for Adam Cole despite being the heel in this conflict.  I gut that everyone is happy he’s here instead of at the other place, but it always feels off when someone is going above and beyond to be a heel and just gets the opposite reaction for it.  Then again, if you could argue one thing in favor of Paragon Cole, he does seem to have the experience advantage in this match and most of the time when he gets the lead it’s from outsmarting Jungle Boy which means that the young guy has to learn on the fly to outmaneuver the veteran.  Cole tries to keep Jungle Boy grounded with headlocks and mat work while keeping him off his game with feints and misdirection; particularly when he puts on the brakes on a charge Jungle Boy had scouted and had started flipping over; only to find Adam Cole behind him and is dragged to the mat for a one count.  Still, you can’t count the Jungle Boy out as he uses the same trick on a Cole a minute later and ends up knocking him out of the ring with a Springboard Arm Drag followed by a Drop Kick.  Cole needs to slow him down, so he baits him to go outside the ring with him before rushing back in and attacking Jungle Boy when he tries to get into the ring behind him.  Jungle Boy manages to escape the beating and goes to the turnbuckle, but Cole pushes him off and he tumbles to the floor in a bump that looked PRETTY bad but doesn’t seem to have caused an actual injury.  In any case, Jungle Boy is hurting and so Cole gets the heat during the commercial.  Jungle Boy eventually manages to fight back and tries to even the odds by landing a Basement Drop Kick on Cole followed by a BIG Lariat that sends him flipping in the air before landing on the mat.  The gamble pays off as the match gets VERY even at that point with them trading blows and pulling off big moves to try and wear the other one down.  Jungle Boy gets a German Suplex into a bridge for a two count and puts Cole in the Tree of Woe to land a Drop Kick, but then Cole follows up with a Backstabber and the Last Shot for a two count as well.  Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise from the apron to the floor, but Jungle Boy rolls away, runs into the rings, hits the ropes, and goes to dive… only to eat a Step Up Enziguri to the face.  Not to be outdone, he lands a Hurricanrana from the apron to the floor and tosses Cole back into the ring.  However, his follow-up of a Springboard Cutter fails to hit its mark as he eats a Superkick instead, and Cole uses this to land the Panama Sunrise… ONLY TO GET A TWO COUNT!  Shock and awe fill the arena as Cole’s finisher didn’t do the job and he tries to follow-up with THE BOOM, but Jungle Boy ducks and locks him in the Snare Trap.  Cole crawls to the ropes so Jungle Boy breaks the hold to drag him back to the center which gives Cole an opening to kick him in the face.  Cole gets up with Jungle Boy right behind him and it looks like Cole is grabbing the ropes with Ref Aubrey sandwiched between them, and while she’s unable to see what’s going on Cole lands a kick to the groin.  Seeing as neither one of their finishers ended the match, he took the path of least resistance and cheated with a move that knocked  Jungle Boy down which allows Cole to land THE BOOM, and gets the pin to win the match.  This was yet another fantastic showing from Adam Cole who is clearly proving himself to be a valuable addition to AEW.  I think the crowd is making things a bit awkward though because they LOVE this guy despite being a clear Heel, but aside from that I definitely want to see more matches with him!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam

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

We’re back with more (and more, and more, and more) Rampage action as AEW’s attempt to fill every waking moment of my life with wrestling is moving forward unabated!  Hopefully things can slow down a bit and we can get back to our standard three hours of TV a week, but the Dynamite episode of Grand Slam was pretty excellent and they’ve got a solid card lined up for this EXTRA LONG episode of Rampage, so perhaps a little fatigue is worth it if it means a few more fantastic matches!  Is this a satisfying conclusion to the Grand Slam event that started on Wednesday, or will I be far from the only one wanting to go back to a one hour Rampage by the time this episode is done?  Let’s find out!!

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CM Punk Vs. Powerhouse Hobbs

Hobbs is accompanied to the ring by Hook

CM Punk more or less proved he could still have solid matches when he went up against Darby Allin, but now we’re gonna see if he can put some shine on the talent who aren’t already at the top of the pecking order.  Hobbs came on the scene in a BIG way and was signed almost immediately, but he’s not really lived up to his potential; mostly due to a lack of marquee matches if you ask me.  That’s probably why they went with him to go up against CM Punk as you can’t ask for a better match-up to get eyeballs on you, and for what it’s worth they both do a solid job here.  Punk hits Hobbs with a Drop Kick as soon as the bell rings and starts working over the left leg which proves that at least SOMEONE knows what you’ve got to do to take a big man down!  Still, even with Punk’s fancy tactics, it’s hard to overcome the sheer POWER of Hobbs who knocks him to his knees with ONE Headbutt from Hobbs sends Punk to his knees.  On top of that, Hobbs has Hook in his corner so even when Punk gets the advantage through better technique he can’t always capitalize on it like when he puts Hobbs on his shoulders for a GTS very early in the match only for Hook to get up on the apron.  You’d think Punk would be able to just finish the move despite a guy looking at him funny, but that’s one of those quirks about the wacky world of wrestling and sure enough, he puts Hobbs down to go after him only to eat a Running Cross Body from Hobbs that knocks him flat on his back.  Hobbs gets the heat for a while and milks the crowd for as many boos as they can give him, and despite a few hope spots from Punk like a quick roll up for a two count, Hobbs remains firmly in control up to and throughout the commercial break.  Punk finally escapes with a few elbows to the face, and a Spin Kick followed by a Swinging Neck Breaker gets him some momentum.  He lands a Top Rope Elbow Drop for a two count and gets Hobbs on his shoulders once again for the GTS.  Punk actually finishes the move this time but it doesn’t connect as Hobbs blocks the knee on his way down, and hits him with one of his HELLACIOUS Spine Busters!  Hobbs gets him up on his shoulder for his finisher Town Business, but Punk wriggles out and puts him in a choke which nearly knocks him out.  He fights back and breaks the hold with a Back Drop which he follows with a Stampede that only gets him a two count.  After Punk gets an Avalanche Hurricanrana for a two count of his own, he tries to put Hobbs in a Triangle Choke which is a HUGE mistake as the number one rule of Big Guys is don’t leave their legs free, and as you’d expect Hobbs lifts up Punk and lands a Sit Out Powerbomb.  Punk kicks out at two and so Hobbs just tries hammering Punk in the middle of the ring to wear him down, but this allows Punk to land a Roundhouse Kick that sends Hobbs Reeling.  Punk signals for the GTS when Hook jumps on the apron once again, and of course Punk goes to deal with him which allows Hobbs to charge from behind.  BUT WAIT!  This is all a misdirection as Punk sees this coming from a mile away and sidesteps the charge so that Hobbs knocks Hook into next week which is perhaps the biggest bump Hook has taken since he started showing up in Team Taz!  With Hobbs distracted, Punk gets him on his shoulders and FINALLY hits the GTS to get the pin and win the match to the utter delight of the fans!  It was a pretty good match for the most part and I think I liked it more than the Darby Allin match.  Hobbs just seems to be bringing a lot more out of Punk so that he’s less the Elder Statesman of Wrestling looking to play to impress the crowd and more of a down and dirty fighter that I find much more entertaining and I suspect is the kind of wrestling that CM Punk fans want to see from the guy.  This Team Taz feud is far from over and I can only hope that the rest of the matches Punk has with them will be just as good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Rampage (09-24-2021) – Grand Slam”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-15-2021)

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

It feels like we JUST got done with the PPV, and already we’re building up to ANOTHER big show; in this case the Arthur Ashe Stadium show on the next episode which has been a huge feather in AEW’s cap since they started selling tickets for it, and everyone originally assumed that Danielson would premiere there.  Instead, it looks like we’re gonna get a match which is much more exciting, and it looks like a pretty stacked card all things considered!  Does this episode bring enough energy to get us pumped for yet another AEW event, or are we still all too exhausted from All Out for this to get us all that excited?  Let’s find out!!

The show begins with CM Punk coming out for his entrance and to hang out with the crowd before eventually finding his way to the broadcast booth and he joins the announce team for most of the episode.  I’m not sure if he has a lot of experience in that role, but he came off pretty well!  A little green perhaps, but he’s got a lot of the strengths that Jericho brings to the table by having that in-ring experience that he can articulate well during matches.

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Adam Cole Vs. Frankie Kazarian

Not wasting any time in getting this guy in front of the crowd, we start off with Adam Cole’s first match since joining AEW; helped along by none other than Frankie Kazarian who once again is the most underrated guy in the whole industry!  A very good choice as you couldn’t ask for a better sparring partner for what is easily the best chance he’ll ever have at a first impression with a new audience!  It starts with a good back and forth with Frankie getting a slight edge, but things start to go a bit sideways when Cole tosses him over the ropes to the floor and it looks like he slipped when he landed.  It looks like he broke his fall with both his elbows and possibly his face, but he managed to get through the rest of the match just fine and I haven’t heard anything about an injury so it seems that he’s okay.  That was the only rough spot in the match though and everything else looked REALLY solid with a lot of cool moves from both of them.  Kazarian fends off Cole with a Leg Drop through the ropes before going for a Springboard Sunset Flip, but Cole rolls out and kicks him in the face before Grounding Kazarian with a headlock on the mat.  Kazarian gets to do the Baby Face spot of slowly fighting out of the headlock before getting a surprise roll up on Cole that he transitions into a submission that Cole has to kick his way out of.  From there it’s just great moves back and forth, a Neckbreaker from Cole, a German Suplex into a bridge from Kazarian, there’s even this one great spot where Kazarian is trying to put him in the Cross Face Chick Wing, but they are close to the post so Cole runs up and kicks off of it to knock Kazarian on his back and roll into a two count!  It’s not as flashy as a true high flying match, but it finds a great balance between athleticism, technique, and strength that makes it feel really old school but with enough sizzle to not feel outdated.  My favorite spot was probably when Cole lands a Super Kick and goes for a Panama Sunrise only for Kazarian to reverse it into an Alabama Slam which looked cool and made Kazarian look like the strongest dude on the planet for one shining moment there!  Kazarian follows it up with a Springboard Leg Drop for a two count and they start trading blows back and forth.  Kazarian gets the better of the exchange and goes for a Suplex, but Cole reverses it into an Ushigoroshi and gets a VERY close two count.  Undeterred, Cole charges at Kazarian who tosses him onto the apron; throwing blows back and forth but neither one can land a hit until Kazarian goes for another Leg Drop through the ropes but Cole is ready for it this time and dodges it which leaves Frankie flat on his butt and he’s forced to roll away from the ropes.  In doing so however, he gives Cole time to get to the top turnbuckle and he finally lands the Panama Sunrise followed by a Running Knee to get the pin and win the match!  Cole proved himself in this to be a darn good wrestler which I’m sure most of the AEW audience didn’t need to be convinced of, but there are those in out there who needed something like this to really understand why everyone else is so excited for him, and honestly just as much credit goes to Kazarian who is always fantastic and will hopefully one day be TRULY recognized for it!

Cole gets the mic after the match and calls out Christian Cage, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy before confirming that at the Grand Slam episode of Rampage, he and the Young Bucks will face them in a Six Man Tag match!  If it’s even half as good as the match here then I’m all for it, but with so much talent I’m sure it’ll be much better than that!  Maybe even four fifths as good!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-15-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)

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

We’re back once again… for the fourth time in a week… with more AEW action.  Needless to say that after Dynamite, Dark, and All Out last week that I’m a little burned out on wrestling and had to drag myself to the computer to get this thing done.  Still!  The show must go on, and AEW is not about to slow down when they have this much momentum behind them!  Can they capitalize on the success of All Out with a fantastic episode of Dynamite?  Let’s find out!!

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Dustin Rhodes Vs. Malakai Black

I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t hold this off for one more week to do a face to face interaction prior to the match as I’d love to hear what Dustin has to say about Blacks’ gimmick to his face, but this was still a pretty fun match.  Dustin gets a strong lead early on and lands a GREAT German Suplex in the corner, but eventually the fight goes outside the ring and Dustin is cut off with a Back Suplex through the time keeper’s table.  Black drags Dustin back in the ring and removes the turnbuckle pad before getting the heat for a while and a knee to the guy flips Dustin over for a two count.  At some point (it looks to have been the Back Suplex spot), Dustin’s knee got injured and during the heat segment he falls over from the pain which Black found HIGHLY amusing, but Dustin grits his teeth and gets back up for some back and forth action before Dustin gets his momentum and again and hits some impressive moves.  There was one weird spot during this segment though where Dustin throws Black into the ropes and expects him to bounce off.  He doesn’t though as Black gripped the ropes but Dustin can’t seem to figure that out and straight-up does an invisible Power Slam in front of everyone.  I can’t tell if that’s a botch and that Black was SUPPOSED to take it or if that’s what you should expect to happen if someone unexpectedly cuts on the breaks, but seeing him MIME the move kind of felt like one of those EXPOSING THE BUSINESS moments and it took me out of the match for a moment.  Black tries to follow up this spot with a kick to the head, but Dustin dodges and THEN gets a proper Power Slam for a two count.  Things go back in Black’s favor however when Dustin gets on the middle rope to bash him over the head in the corner only for Black to slip away and land a kick to the back of Dustin’s legs that sends him crashing to the mat.  Instead of finishing Dustin off though, Black goes to the effort of pulling Cody’s boot out from under the ring in an attempt to anger Dustin… and I GUESS he got what he wanted because Dustin is SUPER heated now and starts to kick his butt; even landing a Canadian Destroyer for a two count!  Not sure what the point of that was other than I guess to show us that Black underestimates his opponents, but regardless it’s time for him to finish this match once and for all.  He’s in the corner with the exposed turnbuckle and Dustin goes for a Bulldog but Black fights him off and then trips him into the corner when he tries to come back for him.  Dustin is dazed after taking that direct hit to the turnbuckle and he eats a Spinning Heel Kick as soon as he turns around which gets Black the pin and wins him the match.  There were a few spots in here that felt a LITTLE bit sloppy and didn’t exactly make sense to me, but both of these guys are good workers and provide an interesting contrast to each other.  I’d have liked to see this particular match on a bigger stage with a bigger build, but what we got here was still pretty fun!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-08-2021)”