Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021

All Out and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan

After weeks of buildup, the start of a new Friday night show, and the arrival of one of wrestling’s biggest names, this could be the most anticipated PPV that wrestling has seen for quite some time; certainly as far as AEW who already have a high bar for these shows but those expectations have been shot into the stratosphere after everything they’ve promised and the stuff they’ve heavily hinted at!  Is this a show for the ages that will be a turning point for AEW, especially given their recent boost in popularity, or will the house of cards finally come down after all those unrealistic expectations give way to reality?  Let’s find out!!

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Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Wheeler Yuta and Jurassic Express Vs. Hardy Family Office – The Buy In Ten Man Tag Match

So in case you hadn’t heard, there was a last-minute complication that forced AEW to drop the Pac and Andrade match and move the original Buy In match to the main card; leaving a spot in the Buy In that needed to be SWIFTLY filled in.  I couldn’t tell you exactly which match was pushed to the main card (if I were to guess, MAYBE the TNT Title match) but for a match that had to come about at the eleventh hour, they managed to put on a VERY good show!  With this many guys in the ring it mostly devolves into a spot fest where all the Baby Faces get to show off while the Heels dampen their momentum, but there are some fun thru-lines throughout.  The most obvious one is between Matt Hardy and Orange Cassidy where Matt is INSISTENT on getting him in the ring to face him!  The match starts with Chuck Taylor, and he just kicks him back to the corner!  Nope!  Orange Cassidy!  Wheeler Yuta comes out and Hardy just grabs him by the head and shoves him back to his side!  NO!  ORANGE CASSIDY!  NOW!!  Then Luchasaurus comes in… and Hardy suddenly feels the urge to tag in Jack Evans who’s not happy about this but gives it his all… before getting crushed.  Things get a bit more straightforward from there with a few different lock ups that are more evenly matched until Luchasaurus gets swarmed and does the Big Man RAARRRGHHH spot to send them all flying.  It’s not until Hardy distracts Luchasaurus that Private Party are FINALLY able to cut him down, and it’s now time for Cassidy to make his move as he gives Lousy Kicks to all three of them before throwing Hardy out of the ring.  There are spots all over the place and chaos has completely taken over as I don’t think anyone GENUINELY knows who’s the legal competitor, but eventually everyone is effectively killed which leaves just Jungle Boy and Angelico in the ring.  Jack Evans jumps in and is on Angelico’s shoulders so Jungle Boy gets on Luchasaurus and they play a game of chicken that ends in Jurassic Express’s favor.  Private Party tries to take advantage of this goofiness by jumping at the precariously balanced Jungle Boy, but his flexibility allows him to dodge a Cross Body from Quen and SOMEHOW catches Kassidy then flips over backwards and lands so that Kassidy takes the brunt of the fall!

You had ONE job, Kassidy!
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – All Out 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-18-2021)

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

We’ back with another week of AEW action, and not only are we one week closer to the All Out PPV, it’s the first Dynamite since the premier episode of Rampage and all the fallout that came from that! Can AEW prove they can manage three hours of television without things getting spread too thin or storylines getting too big and sprawling? Let’s find out!!

We begin with episode with Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston who have some sort of announcement to make. Of course, being wrestlers, they can’t just simply do that and are gonna go through their full entrances in the crowd before saying a word; little do they realize that that’s what THEY are expecting! Who are THEY? Why, none other than 2.0 and Daniel Garcia who bash the two of them with pipes in the middle of the crowd and run to the ring to call out Darby and Sting who oblige the request, and so we begin…

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Sting & Darby Allin Vs. 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) – Texas Tornado Tag Match

2.0 is accompanied to the ring by Daniel Garcia

The former Ever Rise going from NXT castoffs to big TV stars in just a few short weeks on AEW, going so far as to beat up the former champ and one of the most over guys at the company, will no doubt a thorn in WWE’s side for months on end, especially with the latest batch of releases from the company, but regardless of that, both Matt and Jeff have proven themselves to be great additions to AEW and their association with Daniel Garcia has been one of the better things about the last two weeks of the show. As for the match itself, they keep it short and sweet with a lot of selling from the Heels and a lot of big Baby Face spots for Sting. Also, I guess the TEXAS part of this means No DQ because the bell has barely rung before they take things to the top of the stadium to duke it out there with Daniel Garcia backing up 2.0. The Baby Faces aren’t running away with this however as they do eat a bunch of offense from 2.0, particularly this one spot where 2.0 basically threw Darby up into the top part of an entrance way (google says it’s called a jamb) and then falls back down to Earth onto his back which frankly isn’t the WORST bump I’ve seen Darby Allin take. However, they eventually get the upper hand and make their way to ring while a freshly recovered Kingston drags Daniel Garcia away to presumably take a beating for his part in all this. There are a few more rough spots that the Baby Faces take like when Darby is Suplexed into his skateboard (wheels up) and when Sting eats a Powerbomb into a table, but the Baby Faces are resilient and Sting basically No Sells the table spot to the utter dismay of 2.0. Sting lands a Double Scorpion Death Drop on the two of them and THEN puts them both in a Scorpion Death Lock; both of whom tap out immediately; winning the match and once again putting 2.0 right in their place! It was definitely a fun opening match, and while I still don’t LOVE everything that Darby is willing to do in the ring, this was comparatively a less intensive match and the sheer power of THE ICON STING at the end of the match got the crowd in a great mood for the rest of the show!

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-18-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen

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

We’re back with even more AEW action and frankly the company has been on a real hot streak lately!  With solid episodes the last few weeks, lots of news about possible signings from Bryan Danielson and CM Punk, and even outpacing WWE for live ticket sales, their return to the road has been an overwhelming success and some of the best publicity the company has had.  Can they keep up that momentum all the way to the All Out PPV in September?  Lets’ find out!!

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Hangman Adam Page & The Dark Order Vs. The Elite – Ten Man Elimination Tag Match

Don Callis  joins the commentary team for this match

Considering this match the biggest names in the company working through the biggest storyline they have (If Hangman and The Dark Order win, they ALL get title shots), it makes sense that they start the show with it, and to the surprise of no one it ends up being a darn good match!  Now I’m not about to go blow for blow here considering how long it is and how many people are involved, so just assume that everything filling the gaps of what I talk about is solid work and that the crowd was into this the entire time!  On one side we have Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows, while on the other side we have Hangman Adam Page, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and the returning John Silver who’s in his first match since his shoulder injury and his first match in front of a crowd in over a year.  Needless to say that the crowd is completely behind this dude and a good chunk of the match is trying to make him look as good as possible.  He and Reynolds do that awesome combination that really SHOULD have a name by now (Forearm Strike, Inzuguri, Stunner, German Suplex, Jackknife pin) but it’s not enough to put Karl Anderson away.  Gallows tries to even the odds a bit and rushes the ring and Reynolds knocks him over the ropes with ease, only for Anderson to come from behind and pin him by pulling on the trunks.  With blatant interference and an illegal pin within seconds of each other, it’s probably time to mention that the one drawback to this match is that none of the rules are enforced as people are running in CONSTANTLY without a peep from the ref which isn’t NECESSARILY a bad thing if it leads to great action, but I felt that for a match with such high stakes it’d have been nice if they could have either kept it a bit cleaner or just declared it No DQ.  This lack of adherence to the rules goes for both sides by the way as Uno and Grayson eliminate Karl Anderson soon after with a Fatality.  Stu and Uno actually get quite a lot in this match as they seem to be even more in-sync than the two tag teams on the other team as they pull out some impressive tandem moves and give The Bucks a run for their money.  However, this also leads to probably the worst spot in the match which is when Stu Grayson lands a Sky Twister Press from the apron to the ground and ends up SMASHING his head on the floor because no one caught him!  Now he claims to be fine, but there was NO way anyone knew that at the time and he and Doc Gallows brawl in the crowd including ANOTHER diving spot from Grayson.  I don’t THINK he hit his head on that one, but he definitely rolled on the ground.  Thankfully he and Gallows were eliminated due to count out which MIGHT have been the plan all along or something they had to call at the moment so that Grayson could get out of there and get checked on.  Either way, that was BRUTAL.  Uno and Omega are the only ones still standing at this point and they brawl it out in the ring for a bit while everyone else tries to recover outside the ring.  Uno does his best but when he goes for the Senton, Omega gets the knees up and hits him with the V-Trigger as well as the One Winged Angel which is MORE than enough to eliminate him from the match.  That just leaves Hangman and John Silver against The Young Bucks and Omega.  Not looking good for the Baby Faces, but John is NOT deterred and hits a BIG spear on Matt Jackson for a big pop from the crowd.  It doesn’t take long though before The Bucks start getting the heat on Silver with all the goofiness that entails.  This match is APPARENTLY a promotional cross over with that Space Jam sequel so all the Heels are wearing basketball jerseys and there’s a hoop nearby which I’m not sure if getting the most out of this brand synergy; nor would I expect it to be in the middle of a match this important.  Still, there is a spot where The Bucks do an Indie Taker on Silver underneath the Basketball hoop while Nick Jackson is trying to dunk a basketball, and while Silver does eat the Indie Taker, Nick Jackson COMPLETELY fumbled the spot and the ball goes bouncing off the rim which made it all the funnier!  The Bucks may be goofballs, but they are still good wrestlers and not only did they tear Silver apart here, they also took some cheap shots at Hangman to soften him up once he’s the last one in there as John is fighting valiantly but it’s clearly just a matter of time.  The Bucks finally land a BTE trigger on Silver and he stays down for the pin which leaves him alone to face Omega and The Bucks; two of whom he betrayed, one he disappointed, and ALL looking to destroy this man once and for all!  What follows is a fantastic match in its own right as Hangman manages to hang with all three of them and everyone starts hitting their biggest moves; especially Hangman who gets a Pop Up Powerbomb on Kenny and even lands a DOUBLE BUCKSHOT LARIAT on both of the Bucks!  Kenny eventually gets tired of all of this and tries to bash him over the head with one of his belts, but is stopped in his tracks when Ref Knox takes it away.  However, since he’s the BELT COLLECTOR, he just gets another one while the ref’s back is turned and goes for Hangman, who ducks and manages to hit him with the Dead Eye… only to get a count.  Hangman then goes for the Buckshot but its Omega’s turn to duck and he finally hits Hangman with a belt… only to get a two count as well.  Kenny is back in control now however as he hits a few V-Triggers and a One Winged Angel which Hangman stays down for and the match is over; giving The Elite the win and preventing Hangman from going for the title.  I’m mixed about the ending to be sure as Hangman losing any momentum here is probably not a good thing considering how much the crowd is behind him, but I do like the idea that The Dark Order in a sense has failed him here and we’ll get to see the fallout of that; if he turns his back on them or if he’s grown enough to not take failures like this so personally as to blow up his relationships.  It’ll be an interesting few weeks to see what direction they’re going in and this was a heck of a match to see, though perhaps I wouldn’t have started with this as it’s kind of a downer and the rest of the show is gonna have to work hard to get out from underneath it.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-28-2021) – Fight for the Fallen”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (05-12-2021)

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

Last week may have been the big TV show, but we’re only weeks away from Double or Nothing so this episode has to work double duty in giving us the fallout from the Blood & Guts event as well as setting up whatever is going to happen for the PPV.  Not only that, but this is also something of a big show in its own right as we’ve got three title defenses with some big implications behind them!  Can this episode of Dynamite carry all that weight and spin all those plates without collapsing, or will the most interesting thing about this be the giant mess that they make?  Let’s find out!!

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Jon Moxley Vs. Yuji Nagata – IWGP United States Title Match

Moxley is accompanied to the ring by Eddie Kingston while Nagata is accompanied by Ren Narita

Before we can get to my utter lack of knowledge of New Japan, before we can get to my utter lack of knowledge of Yuji Nagata, before we can get to ANYTHING else, we have to talk about one thing.  Wild Thing by The Troggs!?  Look, Where Is My Mind for Orange Cassidy is starting to grow on me, but I’m thinking that Tony Khan is getting a bit TOO pop happy with his music because this is a VERY jarring change of pace!  Moxley’s music may not have been a recognizable song, but it definitely fit him and his energy where Wild Things is just… not that.  I don’t know, maybe I’ll find a way to get used to it or maybe it’s just a one off.  In either case, let’s talk about the match itself, shall we?  Now as I’ve said I don’t follow New Japan and don’t know who most of the guys on that show are, so having Yuji Nagata show up here doesn’t mean a lot to me, but I still like the concept of having matches outside of AEW’s world take place on the show.  Wrestling is a BIG world and trying to close yourself off from everything else the way WWE does is what’s help make it feel like a weird little isolated planet of a thing, so I’m happy to see New Japan, NWA, or even Impact show up every once in a while to spice things up!  Then again, I can’t say this was THE BEST match to debut the IWGP title for the Dynamite audience because… well I don’t think the match was particularly exciting.  Look, I’ll fully admit that I can’t speak for all wrestlers and I know there are a few old timers that I still like to see even if they aren’t at their peak, but Nagata is just kinda slow here and Moxley has to slow himself down to make the match look competitive.  Then again, I tend to prefer a quicker high flying style to something more methodical, and there ARE moments where Nagata shows what he can do; particularly as we get to the end when he gives Moxley an Avalanche Exploder before kneeing him in the face to get a two count.  Moxley kicks out of it and manages to put Nagata into the Rear Naked Choke which can usually take out anyone, but Nagata wriggles out of it and puts him in an arm breaker that Excalibur is completely marking out for so it must be one of his signature moves, but Moxley makes it to the bottom rope to break the hold and the two start slugging it out once again.  Moxley starts bleeding at one point which I think happened from one of Nagata’s elbows smashing him right in the cheek, and it makes for a very compelling image as he goes back for the choke to finish Nagata off.  He fights out once again, but after a minute of back and forth Moxley manages to land the Paradigm Shift and gets the pin; winning the match and retaining his IWGP United States title.  There was a lot about this match that didn’t click for me, from the fact that this is the first time I’ve ever seen Yuji Nagata wrestle to Moxley’s new theme music, so while it didn’t do a lot for me specifically I can still acknowledge that both guys put a lot into this match and that it will definitely work for those who know what to expect going in.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (04-14-2021)

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

So last week’s show was a real disappointment, especially coming hot on the heels of a FANTASTIC episode, but I’ve never expected AEW to knock it out of the park each and every week and they always find a way to get back on track.  Heck, remember how bad things got immediately after the disappointing fireworks show at the end of the Exploding Barb Wire Death match?  They managed to turn that around in three days, so I’m more than confident they can turn around last week’s show when given seven.  Let’s find out!!

So in case there was ANY confusion over the end of the last episode (honestly, that includes me), the Bucks start things off by saying point blank that they are now Heels and will be throwing their weight behind Kenny Omega and Don Callis, and for good measure the whole group has a segment towards the end of the show to declare their commitment to one another and their utter dominance of AEW.  Also, in case you were wondering about this as well, we get a brief video of Mike Tyson and MJF to confirm that Tyson is all in on the Baby Face Jericho and there’s a segment later where Jericho and Tyson shake on their truce in preparation for the Jericho/Dax Harwood match which will have Tyson as a Special Enforcer.  I’m actually kind of glad that they just get this all up front because The Bucks being wishy-washy tweeners has been an issue on the show before, and Tyson has been gone for so long after such a brief appearance that seeing him again this week and interacting with people gives me hope that this run is not going to be as perfunctory.  Now last week started with a match that didn’t make a lot of sense as Max Caster was apparently the third ranking guy in AEW, but thankfully this isn’t an issue with this opening match which is…

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The Young Bucks Vs. Death Triangle (Pac & Rey Fénix) – AEW Tag Team Title Match

I can’t say that I love the idea of The Bucks being more or less brow beaten into joining up with Professional Gas lighter Don Callis, but however they got here they are truly relishing in their Heel status.  They’re wearing white suits to the ring to the raucous booing of the crowd, they start playing around and showboating in the ring, and Matt Jackson even runs away in terror of getting in the ring with Rey.  Those two getting in the ring is what REALLY starts the match as both are evenly skilled and can’t seem to land a move on the other.  They throw a lot of flashy kicks and flips at one another (the best was probably when Jackson back flipped of the apron to avoid a 619), and yet despite Nick Jackson ultimately getting the upper hand in this exchange it’s not long before Matt Jackson ends up alone with him and he and Pac take their sweet time destroying this guy!  Chops to the chest, suplexes to the mat, and Death Triangle’s own variation on The BTE Trigger which consists of simultaneous kicks followed by stereo Drop Kicks which should leave Matt with a MASSIVE headache but was sadly not enough to keep him down for a three count.  Matt takes a bit more abuse from Pac, but after The Bucks manage to land simultaneous Powerbombs onto the apron, Pac is left to take the heat for quite a while.  Perhaps too long as Matt gets WAY too much time to show off his drama skills, but Pac eventually turns him inside out with a clothesline and brings in Rey to save the day.  He has a freaking AMAZING comeback with more of his phenomenal rope walking skills, but it’s not enough to put Nick Jackson away; not even when he brings in Pac to slam him a few times for good measure!  Things only get more ridiculous from there as both teams show off some amazing skills and it does genuinely come down to the wire as to who is going to come out on top.  Pac manages to land a Black Arrow on Matt Jackson which should be the end of the match, but even with Rey running interference on Nick he still manages to slip through and break up the pin at the last possible moment, and sadly that is more or less the last chance that Pac and Fénix had as The Bucks go straight to cheating after that; first with a low blow to Pac and then removing Rey’s mask.  Sure enough, as soon as the mask is off and Rey’s covering his face, The Bucks land a Superkick and get the pin.  It was such a fantastic match up to that point that I’m really disappointed at the mask ending being used once again.  At this point, the might as well follow Mexico rules and make it a DQ; not JUST because it is such a scumbag thing to do that someone who does it shouldn’t be rewarded, but because it’s always a GET OUT OF MATCH FREE car whenever Rey is in there kicking butt.  All I’m saying is that if they want Rey Fénix to lose than they need to come up with a better reason than that.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-17-2021) – St. Patrick

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

So if you haven’t noticed, things have been pretty quiet on the website and I’m several days late on this recap.  It turns out moving from one place to another is REALLY DIFFICULT and REALLY TIRESOME, so I’ve gotten myself woefully behind on just about everything including my weekly wrestling schedule, but fear not for most of the boxes have been unpacked and I was able to squeeze a few hours into the wee hours of the evening to finally watch this episode of Dynamite!  Was it worth the effort after a week of strenuous box lifting and stair climbing, or was I better off calling this week a loss and sleeping for more than a few hours?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Penta El Zero M

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

AEW likes to start their show strong and for a lot of storylines it’s all about setting up that opening match.  Last week’s confrontation between Cody and Penta was all it took for a grudge match to be set up between these two, and for what it’s worth they definitely wrestle like there’s something big at stake here.  For the most part, Penta is working Cody’s arm who manages to grit his teeth and fight through the pain to keep Penta from running away with this.  Cody early on lands a Top Rope Hurricanrana on Penta which is the last straw for him and he starts working Cody’s shoulder EXTRA hard with a lot of kicks and stomps that leave Cody writhing in pain, but Penta once again lets his ego get in his way and eats a kick from Cody while taunting Arn Anderson.  This cycle repeats a few times with Penta getting the lead only to lose it to Cody either from sheer hubris or an explosive comeback from Cody, and he even gets close to losing the match when he does his Zero Fear taunt which allowed Cody an opening to fight back and land a Canadian Destroyer which get a two count.   Cody is firmly in control now and even lands a Cross Rhodes on Penta, but he just won’t give up on this match; even after Cody gets dirty and smashes Penta’s knee into the post before putting him into a Figure Four Leg Lock.  In retaliation for this, Penta gets Cody to the ground and snaps his arm back, but while celebrating his dastardly deed Cody rolls him up and gets the pin.  Yeah, the match just kinda ends which was a bit odd considering how much each guy was kicking out of big moves, but Penta doesn’t let it end on a high note for Cody as he starts pounding on him after the bell rang and has to be chased out by the Gunn Club.  The setup last week was very basic and the match itself reflected that straightforward attitude with a classic Heel/Face dynamic, but while there aren’t really any surprises to be found the two guys fought with a lot of heart and pulled off some very impressive moves.  A fun way to start the show, even if not an incredibly memorable one, and I’d definitely like to see a much longer program between these two in the near future.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (03-17-2021) – St. Patrick”

Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution 2021

Revolution and all the images you see I this recap are owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, and Shahid Khan

The big day is FINALLY upon us, and while it may be missing a Shaq match, it’s not lacking in quality fights as this card is stacked from top to bottom with grudges, title bouts, and even a few novelty matches just to keep things interesting!  With the somewhat wonky build up to this show and some tediously overdone storylines, does this PPV manage to put it all together into one excellent evening of wrestling action, or are you better off saving your money and watching the highlights on Twitter?  Let’s find out!!

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Riho & Thunder Rosa Vs. Britt Baker & Maki Itoh – Buy In Match

Now originally this was supposed to be Baker and Rebel (Not Reba) teaming together, but the latter supposedly got “hurt” and comes out on a crutch, so Baker signed a Doctor’s note and Tony Kahn allowed her to choose someone else to be her partner and frankly she couldn’t have gone with anyone better!  As much fun as Rebel (Not Reba) can be as an instigator, having Maki Itoh show up as a surprise on this show is an AMAZING way to kick the show off!  She got some attention when she was announced for the women’s tournament, but it was her very fun social media made that made her a fan favorite right off the bat.  She was knocked out in the first round unfortunately, but now she’s here proves without a doubt that AEW needs to signer her yesterday!  Why is she so great?  Well first, she comes out here and singes her ENTIRE entrance theme which is definitely a good start, and as soon as she gets in the ring with Thunder Rosa she flips her The Bird with both barrels.  Yeah, I think she’s going to be my favorite wrestler of all time!  Now admittedly she looks a LITTLE bit stiff at first as the initial minutes against Rosa feel a bit stop and start, but as soon as they get a flow going Itoh proves to be an absolutely BRILLIANT professional wrestler!  She’s got by far the most expressive face in the women’s division here at AEW, and she reminds me a little bit of Eddie Kingston of all people.  It’s just an overall presence of nastiness and a flair for the comedic as she puts on a CUTIE POP IDOL image but she fights like a total heel and takes cheap shot whenever she can; going so far as to fake cry so her opponent lets their guard down.   And yet, despite being such a craven and obvious bad guy, I don’t know WHO could possibly boo her!

“I CAN SEE THE LIGHT!  THIS MORTAL COIL IS BEING SHED, AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!  Hold me as I go slowly into that good night.  WILL YOU DO THAT FOR ME!?”
Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW – Revolution 2021”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-10-2021)

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

We’re back with another week for Dynamite action!  Beach Break was a PRETTY big disappointment all things considered, but it did end on a particularly high note with a great main event and a HUGE surprise for anyone who’s a fan of New Japan.  Will they capitalize on this buzz and give us an episode worthy of this new union, or will we have to wait for the Revolution PPV for something interesting?  Let’s find out!!

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Darby Allin Vs. Joey Janela – TNT Title Match

So is it just me or is Joey’s role here to be a tune-up guy for champions?  Granted it’s better than being a jobber for mid-carders, but he really seems to LOSE a lot despite getting all these opportunities!  I guess I shouldn’t complain as long as it means Darby gets to spend five minutes focusing on something other than Team Taz, and frankly Janela does a darn good job making him look good!  Allin’s strength is not in his… well strength, but his endless tenacity so Joey gets to do a lot here and looks like a genuine competitor for Allin’s title; particularly an early flurry of offense including a drop onto the apron and a Suicide Dive.  Darby essentially has to outlast Janela as he’s one of the few people that Janela could physically intimidate, so he waits for his opportunities to strike and does what he can to survive devastating moves such as when he goes for a Coffin Drop but Janela catches him into a German Suplex followed by a Thrust Kick for a two count!  If there’s one thing that felt a bit disappointing about the match, it’s the ending which of course ends with a Coffin Drop.  Considering that the last few moves prior to that were a surprise Pile Driver from Janela and an Avalanche Code Red from Darby, neither of which were enough to finish the other guy off, it feels a bit anti-climactic that Joey stayed down because Darby dropped down on him.  It works as an ending in some matches, but in something this focused on endurance and devastating moves, it felt a bit underwhelming. Aside from that though, this was a GREAT match that did a darn good job of making both of them look like superstars!  Maybe you don’t want Darby having matches EVERY week because you know he’ll insist on destroying himself whenever he gets in the ring, but we definitely need more title defenses like this.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-03-2021)

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

We’re finally here at AEW’s Beach Break which feels a bit out of place as we just got done with a Special Show only a few weeks ago and Revolution is about a month away, but with last week’s episode being as fantastic as it was you couldn’t ask for a better lead in to get me excited to see what they have to offer!  Is it a culmination of the great stories they’ve been building up for weeks, or should last week’s show have been the special event instead?  Let’s find out!!

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Number One Contender Tag Team Battle Royale

The Young Bucks, Private Party, Jurassic Express, Top Flight, The Acclaimed, Proud N Powerful, Chris Jericho & MJF, John Silver & Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson & Evil Uno, and Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager

Well so much for that Inner Circle tag match deciding who would be the tag team representative for the group!  They’re all in this match anyway!  Seems like they could have just waited for this, but I guess the thinking is that they would protect each other in the match and then graciously give Jericho and MJF the win; something that DIDN’T happen and frankly nothing much happened in this match.  Oh, there were moves, eliminations, and a few awesome Hope Spots, but where AEW can sometimes put on a BRILLIANTLY planned out and perfectly executed Battle Royale where everything feels important, they instead just went with your standard Battle Royale; a lot of confusing yet energetic nonsense for the first half until we get to the last few competitors and it becomes a REAL match.  The Bucks start things off by attacking everyone before they get in the ring and things immediately devolve into chaos.  There’s a fun spot early on where Isaiah Kassidy goes for a splash, screaming all the way down, but ends up missing as everyone jumps out of the way; a spot that THE CAMERA COMPLETELY MISSED!  WHAT!?  BOO!!  SOMEONE caught it and we got to see it on an instant replay, but how do you miss a spot like that on the live feed!?  In any case, the first half is a lot of decent spots, but also a lot of dudes lying in the corners. 

Early eliminations are Dante Martin, Jake Hager, Matt Jackson, and Anthony Bowens. 

It’s at this point that Luchasaurus takes control and has a few awesome spots with everyone; particularly The Dark Order as he eliminates Stu Grayson, but then Uno and Silver manage to toss him over the ropes.  Sadly this isn’t the start of The Dark Order’s comeback as MJF eliminates Evil Uno soon after; a running theme throughout the match being MJF spoiling everyone’s fun.  Silver isn’t long for the match either as Proud N Powerful pick him up and toss him clean over the ropes.

Private Party goes for the Silly String, but Darius interrupts the move and Quen falls out of the ring.

The Good Brothers decide to stroll in and help Nick Jackson take out Isaiah Kassidy, not that they asked them to, and for some reason, the refs aren’t able to do anything about this?  Sure, they didn’t get in the ring, but they pulled down the ropes in front of what, FIVE refs?  Ultimately it doesn’t make much of a difference as this chaos distracts Nick Jackson long enough for MJF, professional spoilsport, to toss him over the ropes; eliminating The Bucks and ensuring that The Good Brothers WON’T be facing them at Revolution.

So now we’re down to the final six; Jungle Boy, Max Caster, Darius Martin, MJF, Jericho, Sammy.  The Inner Circle does their best to overwhelm Jungle Boy and push him out the ring, but the little guy is tenacious and he’s got the love of the fans backing him up!  Either that or they like his new theme song (Tarzan Boy by Baltimora; a song twelve years older than the boy himself) and just feel like singing it to the world!  Sadly it was not meant to be as MJF makes his biggest heel move yet by tossing Jungle Boy over the ropes and mocking him with a Tarzan chest bump of his own!

Caster has had enough of this nonsense and manages to eliminate MJF to the cheers of everyone before getting himself eliminated by Darius.  Perhaps no THE BEST idea as it leaves him all alone with Sammy and Jericho.  He manages to hold his own well enough and he and Sammy are fighting in the ropes when Jericho comes in trying to save the day but instead, he ends up eliminating Sammy by mistake.  Sammy is clearly annoyed by this which is probably the only real storyline being told in this whole match, but with only two in the ring this Battle Royale is about to come to a close.  Darius does his best against Jericho, but he eats a Judas Effect while on the apron and drops like a bag of hammers.  After all of that, MJF and Jericho will be facing The Bucks at Revolution!

I’ve certainly seen Battle Royales that were less interesting than this one, but from AEW I was kinda hoping for more.  It would have been one thing if it was a bunch of unknowns or cameos to add a bit of novelty to the proceedings, but with everyone there being an established guy, it feels a bit deflating that it was just a bunch of dudes tossing each other out; especially when AEW has done far better in the past.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (02-03-2021)”

Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-27-2021)

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

AEW’s schedule has been rather wonky these last few weeks, hasn’t it?  It’s not just that the New Year’s special had to be pushed back a week due to unfortunate circumstances, we’re already coming up on their next special episode which is called Beach Break (not Beach BASH as I’m pretty sure I called it last week) and they also moved their Revolution PPV back a week for reasons that are still not entirely clear.  Perhaps things getting moved around so much is why last week felt like a bit of a letdown and frankly it doesn’t bode well for this episode as they’ll probably save everything REALLY good for next week’s special, but is that the pessimism of an overly cynical jerk or the wisdom of a perfectly calibrated cynical jerk?  Let’s find out!!

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Eddie Kingston Vs. Lance Archer

I still have no idea where this story is going, but I’ll be darned if this isn’t the most fun I’ve had with one of these matches!  It’s basically that one Three Stooges short where Curly has to box against the champ Killer Kilduff with Kingston playing the part of the darn fool stuck in the ring with a monster and honestly it’s a pretty darn good comparison considering how he works in the ring.  Eddie Kingston is one of the best floppers in this business because he doesn’t just sell the hits; he makes his opponents look like the biggest bullies imaginable with over the top flailing, great facial expressions, and the nerve to take some seriously nasty bumps.  The most terrifying was when Archer lifts him up for a Chokeslam, but then drops him over the ropes and onto the apron which SHOULD have shattered his spine but luckily enough he was just fine.  Can’t imagine Jerry Howard going for something like that, but then he did take his fair share of abuse at a time where OSHA would have been considered Communist propaganda.  What the heck am I even on about?  In any case, Archer takes his sweet time knocking Kingston all over the place and it’s definitely his match to win… but then Butcher & Blade drag Jake Roberts out from the back which distracts him and the ref long enough for The Bunny to hand Kingston a pair of brass knuckles which he uses to clobber Archer across the temple and get the pin.  I’ve been waiting for weeks for this faction to figure out what it was going to be and this feels like they’ve finally figured it out.  Kingston is not a killer and frankly neither are The Butcher & The Blade.  What they are though are scheming jerk wads who can take advantage of a situation and come out on top, so as long as their opponents have someone they wish to protect, Kingston and company can take advantage of that and score a cheap win.  The match was a lot of fun even though I did worry about Kingston’s health throughout, and it definitely feels like they’ve got an angle to build off of instead of just bouncing between ideas and matches until something sticks.

Continue reading “Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-27-2021)”