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!

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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!

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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!
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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-11-2021)

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW, and this one is a special one because, ironically, it’s NOT a special episode!  Yes, for the first time in six weeks, this does NOT have a subtitle attached to it, but considering how strong the show has been lately I wouldn’t take it as a sign that they are resting on their laurels.  Do they continue their upward momentum in anticipation for the PPV and the arrival of some big name stars?  Let’s find out!!

We begin the show with a promo from MJF and Wardlow about the latter’s upcoming match against Jericho which as far as I can tell is NOT a stipulation match.  Sure, MJF is gonna be at ringside but pretty much EVERY match on this show has a bowling team’s worth of extra dudes just hanging around.  As you’d expect MJF is his usual smarmy self, a smarminess further accentuated by him eating an apple while talking, and Wardlow is standing behind him flexing and pouting his lips.  He seems pretty confident about his chances tonight, but MJF reminds him of his cage match against Cody which turns the atmosphere to ice.  The Wardlow/MJF breakup has been a thread for almost as long as the Hangman’s downfall has been playing out, but chances are that they’re gonna stick it out for quite a while longer as their feud with The Inner Circle shows no sign of slowing down.

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Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks Vs. Daunte Martin & The Sydal Brothers  – Trios Match

I don’t know what it is about Pittsburgh, but AEW has to go here more often because they pulled out ALL the stops; especially with this opening bout which MIGHT be one of the best matches of the year!  If nothing else, it’s EASILY a PPV caliber bout and I just love what this match manages to do and what it AVOIDS doing.  We have three AEW champions just showing up for a trios match against three guys who aren’t exactly the biggest stars at the company, and they’re just wrestling because it’s a fun match to do; nothing more, nothing less!  It’s a non-title match obviously because they have to preserve the existing storylines at least a LITTLE bit, but The Elite are not afraid to give these three lower tier dudes a lot of room to show what they can do, and while the Sydal brothers have always been great and look great here as they get an early lead on the Bucks, the real star is Daunte Martin.  The guy has a vertical leap that is truly something to admire, and he lands a Drop Kick to the face of Matt Jackson with ease; jumping so high that it almost looks like he’s floating as he turns in midair to land the kick!  Both teams go back and forth with the Baby Faces getting pretty solid advantages that are undercut by the devious machinations of The Elite, and EVERYONE looks good in the process!  The Bucks get to do their Cocky Heel shtick, Kenny Omega cleans house whenever he’s in the ring, and The Baby Faces work together with brilliant efficiency; not that The Elite don’t work well together as they land a Face Buster/Kotaro Crusher on Mike Sydal that leads to hot tags from both Matt and Daunte.  They land a bunch of big moves, the crowd is going wild, and they go for pinfalls and submissions, but it’s never quite enough to put the champs away.  Eventually it devolves into that perfect wrestling chaos where everyone is just running in and doing moves, but there’s an elegance to the timing that makes it look like a spectacle instead of a violent mess; all of which leads to Daunte and Omega in the ring alone.  Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but Daunte manages to flip his way out of it and the two trade moves for nearfalls until Omega gets a V-Trigger right to the face of young Daunte.  The Bucks keep the Sydals from running in as Kenny goes once again for the One Winged Angel and FINALLY lands it!  He doesn’t go for the pin though as he and The Bucks don’t appreciate being shown up like this and so the three of them land a BTE-V-Trigger (basically all three of them land knees to the face), and NOW Kenny deigns to pin the kid to win the match and bring this fantastic spectacle to a close!  There’s always a danger in putting something THIS good up front as it’s a hard act for any match to follow, but you couldn’t ask for a better way to get people to tune in as this was an amazing Trios match from beginning to end that left everyone looking even better than they did before!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-04-2021) – Homecoming

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

We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite and things are definitely looking up for the company!  The last episode was definitely a mixed bag of highs and lows, but the ratings the last few weeks have been consistently excellent and there’s no sign of it slowing down; especially with the talent that should be arriving in the next few weeks!  Does this episode keep the momentum going as we head towards the debut of Rampage and the big PPV show to follow not long after?  Let’s find out!!

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Chris Jericho Vs. Juventud Guerrera – The Third Labor of Jericho

For Jericho to win, he must land a move from the top rope

Not everyone has enjoyed the whole Labors of Jericho thing, and for me this MIGHT be the match that pushed things a little bit too far.  It’s by no means the fault of the two guys in the ring as they are GREAT here (and I have to find out what Juvy does to still look so young!) but the stipulation doesn’t make a lot of sense and is not very well explained.  I honestly thought that all he had to do was land one move from the top rope to win and the rules weren’t clear until we saw it play out in the match.  Apparently he has to land a move from the top rope AND THEN either pin or submit him; the latter of which by the way being a pretty goofy looking spot where Jericho drops from the top rope onto Juvy and just puts him in the Walls of Jericho.  Juvy eventually gets out of it and they go back and forth for a bit with Juvy getting a close nearfall after landing a Juvy Driver, but then Jericho hits the Judas Effect and Juvy is down.  HOWEVER!  He landed it while on the ground and can’t cover him to which Jericho looks right into the camera with a dumbfounded expression on his face before going up top and landing a Flying Judas Effect to finally get the pin and win the match.  I’d honestly have much preferred a simple match between these two or perhaps a more straightforward stipulation as the top rope stuff kinda dragged things down throughout, but it was nice to see Juvy again and the Jericho storyline is still one of the most enjoyable things that AEW has going on right now!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-21-2021) – Fyter Fest Night 2

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

We’re back for night two of AEW’S Fyter Fest special event which comes right after their Road Rager event and will most assuredly be followed by like five other events.  Well you can hardly blame them for trying to make every episode feel like something monumental will happen since they’re still establishing themselves on the road, and to their credit they have been stacking these shows with a lot of great matches!  Will that trend continue for this episode, or are they about to run out of gas?  Let’s find out!!

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Chris Jericho Vs. Shawn Spears – First Labor of Jericho

Shawn Spears can use a chair but Chris Jericho cannot

MJF is on commentary

The idea of Jericho having to face four opponents in wacky stipulation matches before getting a crack at the biggest snot nosed heel at the company is the kind of booking I like to see and is also exactly what you want to do if you’re looking for something other than a title chase to get fans invested.  We’re certainly starting things off well with MJF’s obnoxious commentary and Shawn Spears coming out with a personalized chair that he uses to menace Jericho with, but it’s not long before he gets it away from them and gets a strong lead in the match.  It’s not until Jericho tries for a Springboard Forearm that Spears surprises him with a chair to the face and from there the match is a lot more even between them.  Jericho would get some momentum, but then Spears would stop him in his tracks with either a big move or another chair shot which kept the crowd on edge and they popped big time whenever Jericho gets control again.  At some point, Spears wedges a chair into one of the corners with the intent of throwing Jericho into it, but Jericho manages to fight back and puts Spears in the Walls of Jericho.  Just a moment before Spears starts tapping out in the middle of the ring, Tully gets on the apron and distracts Ref Aubrey so that she doesn’t see the submission.  Sammy comes out to yank him off the apron, but it’s too late as Spears has crawled his way to a chair and manages to bash it over Jericho’s head to break the submission.  Seeing a chance at victory, Spears gets Jericho up on his shoulders for a C4 along with a chair to make it more painful, but Jericho escapes and shoves Spears into the chair that was wedged in the corner.  As Spears bounces back he eats a Judas Effect from Jericho and stays down for the three count; giving Jericho the win and passing the first of his Labors.  It was certainly a solid match to start the show with, and the gimmick added a lot to it; especially for the crowd who reacted to every chair shot with a chorus of boos and exploded with every comeback from Jericho with thunderous applause!

As soon as the match is over, MJF comes to the ramp to congratulate Jericho on his victory but to also admonish him for letting Sammy come to his rescue.  Because of such blatant interference (ignoring of course Tully’s involvement), he has declared that Jericho cannot have ANYONE ELSE come out during any more of his labors or else the deal is off.  I’m not sure if he can make changes like that since they already signed the contract, but in any case MJF also announces the NEXT challenge that Jericho will face.  It will be a No DQ match against none other than Nick Gage!  For those of you who don’t know (like me), he is a top star in the independent wrestling scene, and is perhaps most known for his hardcore style which on at least one occasion nearly killed him in the middle of a match.  I doubt Jericho, AEW, or TNT are gonna be okay with THAT kind of DQ match, but it should be interesting all the same!

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (07-07-2021) – Road Rager

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

AEW is back on the road and to celebrate they have a rather sizable show for their first stop in Miami!  Now this isn’t the first show in front of a full crowd as Daily’s Place was starting to fill up at the end there, but we’re in a whole new market with fans who have been starving for live wrestling action, and AEW plans to deliver!  Is this a worthy show to kick off the start of a new era, or will it take a bit of time before things settle into place?  Let’s find out!!

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Cody Rhodes Vs. QT Marshall – South Beach Strap Patch

Both competitors are tied together with a strap.  To win, one must touch all four corners of the ring consecutively.

This was an INTERESTING match if nothing else.  I’ve heard of this kind of strap match before, but it always seemed overly convoluted and I’m not sure WHAT they are supposed to prove.  After watching it, there is some strategy to be had (do you try to stop someone in the middle of a run of posts, or do you fortify your position on the last one) but ultimately its closest to a Last Man Standing match where the goal is to keep an opponent down for an arbitrary amount of time; in one case for a ten count and in the other for as long as it takes someone to walk to the four corners of the ring.  What ended up standing out more for me was the strap which is both a blessing and a curse here.  There are some fun things they do like when Cody yanks on the strap so that QT bounces off the ropes, but the strap is so long and unwieldy that it made a lot of this match seem EXTRAORDINARILY dangerous.  At one point it looks like Cody got caught up in the strap during a suplex and it threw his balance off which wrecked his shoulder which I don’t BELIEVE was a legit injury, but I never like to wonder if someone is actually hurt while watching a wrestling match.  For the most part Cody maintains control as he cuts off QT’s moves pretty easily and uses the strap as a whip to turn his flesh pink, but there’s always something there to stop Cody from getting all four corners to end the match.  The big moment is pretty early when Aaron Solow goes after Cody but he’s soon chased off by Dustin Rhodes who fights him through the crowd.  The next is that VERY scary suplex that Cody sells for most of the match and hinders him in his attempts to finish this off quickly; especially after eating an Avalanche Powerbomb which somehow looked LESS scary than the suplex from earlier.  His closest chance at victory is a Draping Diamond Cutter that gets him as far as three corners, but Cody starts yanking on the ropes which forces QT to start attacking him again.  Cody however is fully energized by this point and runs WILD on QT with a series of big punches and big moves.  He lands a Cody Cutter which is soon followed by three Cross Rhodes, and QT stays down long enough for Cody to get all four corners to win the match.  If I didn’t worry that Cody and QT were going to DIE at some point in this match I would have called it a great opener, but the fact is that they didn’t and they put a lot into it to make it work, so it gets credit for that at least.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-30-2021)

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

The Pandemic is not over yet despite what many will have you believe, but as far the Wrestling business and other live events, it’s at a point where enough people are vaccinated that they can fill arenas without worrying about super spreader events; at least not to the degree of risk there was even a few months ago.  Because of that, AEW will be returning to the road with next week being their first show out of Daily’s Place in Jacksonville Florida since more or less the start of the pandemic.  Do they give us a fantastic sendoff to the city of Jacksonville for all it’s done to keep AEW afloat, or are they already half-way out the door and just threw something together?  Let’s find out!!

Before we start the opening match, Jericho comes out to a raucous rendition of Judas as he is joining the announce team for this show; mostly to call the Sammy/MJF match in the main event, but he’s always a fun presence whenever he shows up in the booth!

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Young Bucks Vs. Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero M – AEW Tag Title Qualifier Match

Penta is accompanied to the ring by Alex Abrahantes

AEW will rarely resemble WWE, and the few times it does it’s usually the GOOD parts like getting wrestlers from the past that people like and the occasional goofy celebrity spot.  This feud between The Bucks, Kingston, and Penta though resembles some of their worst tendencies which are its incessant 50/50 booking and running matchups into the ground as these two teams have been fighting back and forth since the PPV; longer if you count the fact that Kingston and Moxley were fighting with them before that!  To their credit though, the matches have been improving and The Bucks are only getting more fun in their utter contempt for good taste; case in point, the diseased rats they’ve glued to their face that they are calling facial hair with Nick in particular is sporting a very bushy Hogan-stache that seems to be drawing heat from the crowd all by itself.  Aside from that, it’s a pretty straightforward match with the Heels getting the heat and the Baby Faces breaking free to run wild.  Its good wrestling to be sure, but they aren’t doing anything I didn’t see the last few times they locked up; even the really cook stuff like Penta’s roll up into a DDT or when Kingston starts no selling a bunch of kicks feels like diminishing returns.  The best moment was probably the nearfall where Kingston throws Nick up onto the turnbuckle, Penta follows up with a kick, Kingston then lands a German Suplex, and Penta catches him into a Backbreaker.  The Bucks get a similar nearfall when they land The Lucha Bros own finisher (Fear Factor) onto Penta which Kingston breaks up at the last second, and this leads to The Good Brothers coming out to heckle Kingston and Penta as well as distract the ref while Cutler runs out for the cold spray spot.  Matt Jackson has Penta in position, but Penta comes up with the BRILLIANT tactic of… ducking, and instead Matt eats a bunch of cold spray to the face!  Frankie Kazarian runs out to take out Cutler which leaves Penta and Kingston to finish off matt Jackson with a Pile Driver and a back fist to get the pin and win the match; earning their chance to challenge for the Tag Team title!  If I hadn’t seen The Bucks versus Kingston and Penta for the last few weeks this would have hit a lot harder as the moves work was solid and the ending had a lot of fun spots to it; especially with Kazarian living up to his name as the Elite Hunter to just spoil The Bucks endless attempts to cheat.  This does set us up for yet another match between the two teams, but with the title being on the line it will hopefully bring enough gravitas to make it feel not as much like every other match we’ve seen so far from them.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-18-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

We’re back with the final episode of Friday Night Dynamite as they have one more show on Saturday before returning to their usual Wednesday night timeslot.  It’s been an interesting few weeks to say the least with some great action but also one of the worst episodes they’ve had in some time.  Can they finish their time in this new timeslot with a bang, or are they just not gonna be able to get their groove back until they return to their familiar night?  Let’s find out!!

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Jake Hager Vs. Wardlow – Mixed Martial Arts Match

Considering that they have to set up the octagon and that I HIGHLY doubt a match like this would work as a main event, it makes sense that they’d do the MMA match right off the bat.  Personally, I’m not much of a fan of this kind of fighting.  Sure there are some good matches out there if you search YouTube for a bit, but I am not going to be able to judge this based on any legitimate mixed martial arts merits and only on whether I found it entertaining in some way.  That said, even someone as inexperienced as me can tell this is nowhere close to a shoot match considering they don’t have judges which means it has to end with one person beating the other.  Also they didn’t bother hiring an MMA ref and just have Aubrey out there.  I mean I GUESS she could be trained as an MMA ref, but I’ve certainly never heard of her doing that and the lack of known MMA professionals involved in this outside of Hager just makes it seem like a big game which I’m sure will annoy the MMA fans before the match even starts.  Once it DOES start… I don’t know; I guess it was alright.  If nothing else, I think they managed to find a decent balance between an actual fight and WRESTLING THEATER as it doesn’t feel TOO absurd as an MMA match, but it also feels like a highlight reel.  It starts off small with the two being extremely defensive and throwing out the occasional jab, but eventually Hager manages to take Wardlow down for a few shots which he doesn’t sell all that much.  In fact, by the end of the round Wardlow’s power completely overtakes Hager and spends the last two minutes punching him on the ground or against the wall.  Second match continues where the first left off with Wardlow maintaining an advantage, but Hager gets into the groove of things and his MMA training proves to be more than Wardlow can overcome and he eventually passes out from a Triangle Choke.  Of course there’s some brawling afterwards as Shawn Spears goes after Hager and MJF comes out of nowhere to attack Dean Malenko who ALSO came out of nowhere, but then Sammy comes out to chase everyone away and to ensure that this feud will be continuing for the indefinite future.  I couldn’t possibly tell you if this was a GOOD MMA match, but it was at least brisk enough that I never got bored in it.  Hopefully this does whatever it needed to for AEW, though I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if they don’t do this kind of match again.

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Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (06-11-2021) – Friday Night Dynamite

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

We’re back with another episode of Dynamite and frankly I’m ready for these Friday shows to end.  Not because of anything to do with the show itself (though last week was PRETTY bad) but because it throws off my entire schedule!  I would have wrestling during the week and then the weekend for other stuff, but NOW everything is all crammed into two days!  We only have a few more weeks of this strange timeslot so I’ll grin and bear it, but they’re gonna have to put on a GREAT show to make up for last week’s and for making my weekends that much more stressful!  Let’s take a look!

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Christian Cage Vs. Angélico

So apparently Matt Hardy has a bug up his butt about Christian Cage tossing him out at the Casino Battle Royale, and so he’s hired Angélico from TH2 to have a match with him.  I mean I’m sure he was going to have a match with SOMEONE this week so I’m not sure why this particular matchup is so dastardly, but Angélico is one of those people on the roster like Joey Janela, The Varsity Blondes, and Penelope Ford who are around every once in a while and probably have had a bunch of matches on Dark or Elevation but REALLY should be getting more of a spotlight on Dynamite.  The guy definitely has a unique physique looking like the handsome brother of Slenderman (dude has some SERIOUSLY long limbs!) and he’s so good at giving us a kind of match we don’t see enough of at AEW which focuses on submissions instead of high spots or big guy brawling.  Every time Cage gets an advantage with a flashy strike or some sort of throw, Angélico is ready to cut him off and start working over his arm again until finally he has him in some sort of Arm Bar right in the middle of the ring!  Cage is desperately trying to fight back against Angélico’s move as the crowd chants PLEASE DON’T TAP, and he finally makes it to the ropes to break the hold but is far from out of the woods.  He makes a comeback with a reverse DDT, a Missile Drop Kick, and a Flying Headbutt, but none of it is able to keep Angélico down for a three count who himself is starting to lose steam after all these near falls.  He makes a big mistake by trying to match Cage’s style and goes for a spot on the ropes only to get kicked out of midair and eating another two count.  From there it’s mostly desperate flailing from the two of them which Christian proves to be the better one of the two and manages to finish off Angélico with the Kill Switch.  As soon as the bell rings, Angélico’s partner Jack Evans runs in to attack Cage which goes rather poorly all things considered as he’s tossed ut of the ring with little effort.  However, this does distract Cage long enough for Matt Hardy to sneak in from behind and land a Twist of Fate on him that leaves Cage dead in the middle of the ring.  Angélico and Hardy are about to kick him some more when Jungle Boy runs out from the back and chases off Hardy and his two flunkies; leaving Cage and Jungle Boy to celebrate this victory in the middle of the ring.  It was certainly a nice change of pace to start out with a match like this and I certainly hope it’s a sign that things are going to be MUCH better this week!

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