Yes, I had the week off last week! I decided to move house. So I moved… but the removalists we have encountered here in South Australia have been nothing short of pathetic, and so the bulk of my belongings are still at the house of my ex. This does mean that I may yet be forced to have more time away from reviewing a show that is viewed by less people than live in my state’s capital.
I’m depressing myself here.
Let’s go watch some wrestling!
10 Thoughts on this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite (episode 10, for those playing at home).
And, for what it’s worth, last week’s was probably the least episode of Dynamite so far.
1) The Young Bucks & Dustin Rhodes v Sammy Guevara, Santana & Ortiz
What an awesome match to start the show with! All 6 guys got a chance to shine, the moves were great, the selling was actually really good and the match was just a good bit of 6-man tag fun. And when Dustin got tagged in – the pop was really cool, and everything he did just got a pop and a cheer. But the ending… holy cow. I thought there was very little I hadn’t seen in wrestling over the past 40-plus years, but… Wow. Senton-piledriver combination… I cannot do it justice. Great opener.
2) Trent (with the rest of the Best Friends faction) v Rey Fenix (with Pentagon Jr)
Not as high-flying or fast as the opener, which is good because it means they are not running with one match style, this was a second good match in a row. Fenix pulled out the win with the muscle buster bomb. Half an hour in, and 22 minutes of wrestling. That’s what I want from my wrestling shows – wrestling.
3) Cody Rhodes is out… Where the hell was this promo guy for the past decade? He is proving to be awesome on the mic. He addresses the attack from last week, and then offers an insane amount of money to fight MJF. Really strong promo, and the crowd ate it up.
4) Joey Janela promo. And this one is generic and standard and is just a normal wrestling promo. Jon Moxley interrupts and buries him with one facepalm and one word. Seriously – Moxley killed him in 2 seconds…
5) A Dark order promo video. They are doing absolutely nothing for me. It’s making me wait for Kevin Sullivan to come out and be TaskMaster all over again, and King Curtis to appear behind the curtain…
6) Nyla Rose v Leva Bates (with Peter Avalon)
And in less time than it takes to eat a Snickers, Rose kills her. So the Librarians are enhancement talent? Good. Oh, and Rose beats up Avalon as well. Is Rose a heel or face? I actually don’t mind that lack of clear-cut dynamics – it certainly increases the amount of matches. Shanna comes out to save Lena from being made into jam, but she is also mashed into a pulp. Then Rose powerbombed the ref through a table, and powerbombed Shanna on top of him.
7) Chris Jericho promo. He says he has one more match scheduled for 2019, and lists the people it will not be. Jon Moxley is on the list a few times. And some of the other names are little insider jokes. Cute, but… Then the Jurassic Express come out. After some back and forth (Luchasaurus is great on the mic!) it appears Jericho’s last opponent for the year will be Jungle Boy. I’m down with that.
8) Kris Statlander v Hikaru Shida
From “the Andromeda Galaxy”? Seriously? Welcome to 1986 WWF! Despite the crowd not being into it until a series of near-falls at the end, this was a decent match between these two. Shida was the number one contender to the women’s title, but Statlander won with a cradle piledriver, so what does that mean? Anyway, post-match, Brandi and Kong come out and offer Statlander a position in their Nightmare Collective. However, a member of the crowd screams she wants to join, so they cut her entire ponytail off and then shave her head. So now we’re going with CM Punk’s Straight Edge Society? This angle is dying a painful death and, I say it yet again, there will be no payoff for this that will be any good.
9) Christopher Daniels v Pentagon Jr
The match starts before they reach the ring. Good back and forth match but then Fenix comes out when Daniels has the pin, the ref and everyone else is distracted, Pentagon Jr hits a low blow and package piledriver for the pin. This is definitely the start of a long-term angle (as we have seen AEW actually follow through with), and a fine first gauntlet thrown.
(The Butcher, Blade and Bunny segment was not worth the effort I am putting into typing this sentence.)
10) Joey Janela v Jon Moxley
And we close out with another quite good match. Janela was a step slow at points and Moxley had to wait a little too long for moves to be delivered, but that’s me being picky possibly. This had a few near-fall situations (Moxley being put through the time-keeper’s table… I thought that was it), but Moxley pulled out the win with a pair of paradigm shift DDTs. Moxley is the most over wrestler in AEW, maybe in US wrestling, at the moment. He is just it. And then, post-match, the Inner Circle stand in the crowd to stare him down. So, I would assume, we know who is going to be the second AEW champion, probably at the PPV they haven’t announced yet. And, you know, I don’t mind knowing, because, for the most part, AEW are taking us on a decent ride to get there.
So, another good show. Most of the wrestling was really good. But there is a distinct and noticeable “crap creep” seeping into the shows. Gimmicks before ability. Vignettes that we don’t care about. Stories that cannot be heading anywhere positive. I want AEW to succeed because when there is legitimate competition, WWE steps up to the plate, indy promotions copy them, and everyone wins. Wrestling as a whole wins. But, seriously, it’s been 10 weeks of TV and a few PPVs. They’ve got some time left to iron out the bugs before the audience starts to wonder what is going on. They’re still really in their honeymoon period. I hope they can pull it off and make this a real alternative.
Tags: AEW, All Elite Wrestling, Chris Jericho, Christopher Daniels, Cody Rhodes, Dec 4, December 4, Dustin Rhodes, Dynamite, Hikaru Shida, Joey Janela, Jon Moxley, Jungle Boy, Kris Statlander, Leva Bates, Luchasaurus, Nyla Rose, Ortiz, Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix, Sammy Guevara, Santana, trent, Young Bucks