I Live in That Place (AEW Dynamite Review)

Hey, kids.  It’s the Botching one with another entry into our Elite Journal.  My apologies for last week.  It just go crazy busy and I couldn’t squeeze it out.  This show is truly the highlight of my wrestling week so I hate it when that happens.  Not only did I not get the blog out, I couldn’t even watch the show until yesterday morning.  I took in both episodes back-to-back and it was fun to do – though it was a lot to process.  There are elements of wrestling shows like this that are episodic so you really can’t afford to miss a week.  Okay, enough of me.  Let’s get to this, shall we?

 

Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy

Interesting to see Wardlow actually wrestling.  We see so little of it as he’s usually relegated to bodyguard work for MJF.  The story of “big guy vs. little guy” has been told forever.  Still, it was told well here.  The opening sequence was fun and the sudden stop when Wardlow rammed Jungle Boy into the ring post was done well too.  It sufficiently took the air out of the match like it was supposed to.  Much of this was about Jungle Boys selling and matches like this live and die by how well the smaller man does it.  Jungle Boy did well in that regard so Wardlow’s damage looked as good as it needed to.  I really liked Jungle Boy’s creative sitting DDT from the top rope.  Never seen it before and it looked really good.  That Jungle Boy managed to get the advantage quite a bit was totally believable too.  Of course, Wardlow had to take it well and he did.  He now goes to the second round of the World Title Eliminator Tournament.

 

Cinéma de Mox – Jon Moxley

Kingston and Mox have created this great rivalry in relative shorthand.  Eddie’s furious because Mox went to “the land of entertainers” (yeah, I know, more ridiculous WWE bashing…).  Mox said that when he got his deal with WWE, the “inmates were gonna run the asylum” but instead of being true to his word, he left Kingston behind to struggle.  Mox sold out and Kingston’s feeling some type of way about it.  Mox’s approach is more nuanced.  While he doesn’t really have an answer for leaving Kingston behind, he wants to make Kingston suffer until he either gets his friend back or until Kingston taps.  As usual, Mox is just so incredibly compelling on the mic.  Kingston’s own promo last week at the end of Dynamite (which they showed just prior to this one) was exceptional.  Kingston is just so hate-able and I felt it just like I was supposed to.  They have both completely talked me into this match and I cannot wait to see it.

 

Sonny Kiss vs. Kenny Omega (and other stuff)

The women with brooms…LOL!  What?  Shame is that those women were better used than 98% of AEW’s women’s division.  Yeah, I said it…

This match was supposed to involved Joey Janela but he came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 so he’s gone home.  I hope his strain of it goes easy on him.  By the way, AJ Gray did NOT test positive with COVID-19 because of the GCW event as has been falsely reported by other sites.  His positive test occurred AFTER the event.  He said so himself yesterday and quite rightly skewered one of them for posting it without doing their research.

Oh, the match?  It wasn’t.  There was a knee and a One-Winged Angel.  That’s it and that’s all.  I’m not mad at it.  Omega needs to be built up and this is how they start.  I’d love Kiss to be more and he will be; it just can’t be now.  I’m not upset about this and you shouldn’t be either.  I love that Sonny didn’t totally accept Omega’s show of friendship and support at the end too.  Wonder if that’ll mean anything later.

 

Backstage segment – Orange Cassidy

Nonchalant Cassidy is back and I love it.  He came off so well here.  He talked but said no more than he thought was necessary.  Love that Skeeavone just walked off when he realized he wasn’t gonna get anywhere.  Skeeavone himself has been so much more fun on AEW television that anywhere he’s been before.

 

Backstage segment – Cody & Arn Anderson

Not much to it but Cody comes off well with things like this.  He has lots of charisma and warmth.  He comes off like the company’s John Cena and every show needs one of those.

 

Backstage segment – Eddie Kingston

Just masterful.  He was good before he got here but he never really hooked me…until he got to AEW.  When he wasn’t a snake, he got nothing.  He had to become slime in order to get ahead.  The look on his face after he delivered the line that became the title for this blog was just amazing.  I legit shivered.  So good.

 

Rey Fenix vs. Penta El Zero M (Eddie Kingston on commentary)

Eddie is SO incredibly hate-able.  You love to see it.  Brothers going at it – what’s not to love?  The slow burn at the beginning of the coupled with the commentary telling the verbal part of the story was a lot of fun.  I wouldn’t even want to be in the room with someone throwing those chops let alone would I want to be on the receiving end of them.  Matches like this are where Excalibur shows his real worth.  He’s the only one there fast enough and knowledgeable enough about Lucha to be able to keep up with all that happened here.  The match was a combination of Lucha work and hard-hitting very American work.  The Hurricanrana from Fenix off the second rope caused problems for Fenix as he landed squarely right on his neck.  There’s no way it couldn’t.  Apparently, he was just left “sore”.  They did talk about it throughout and the slowness of his movements afterwards made it obvious.  At times, you could see Penta talking to Fenix too – likely to help him along.  There may be more to this so we’ll keep an eye on it.  How Fenix got that incredible Spanish Fly off, I will never know.  Toughness personified.

This wasn’t just about fast work; this was about story too.  Penta showed a little mercy and Fenix went after it.  Brotherly love is important but the AEW title is more important.  Gotta love it.  Nice story and told very well.

 

Backstage segment – Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent), Miro, Kip Sabian, & Penelope Ford

This is a fun little feud…over Alan, the video game cabinet cum pile of wood.  The Best Friends have already proven their mettle but I’m still waiting to care about Miro & Sabian.  Miro, in particular, didn’t debut well, though last week was better.  His promo work – free from the scripts of his former employer (no, it’s not a shot; they really do utilize scripts in WWE…and that’s fine), isn’t amazing yet but he’ll likely improve.  He’s got new machinery to acclimate to.  Let’s just be patient while he does it.

 

Backstage segment – Colt Cabana, Alex Reynolds, Alan Silver

This wasn’t good. Alex felt totally scripted (maybe he was?), Colt was fine, I guess, and Alan was just…weird.  Even the “we’re not friends” thing from Alex felt totally choreographed.  Thank you very next.

 

Colt Cabana vs. “Hangman” Adam Page

This was a pretty hard-hitting affair.  I never realized how long Cabana had been around.  I was equally surprised to learn that he’s already forty – not old by any means; I just thought he was younger.  This was another one where the chops looked just sickening.  Much flying around and vicious strikes.  That Buckshot lariat is just incredible.  Fun to see Page flying solo again.  Wardlow and him next week should be fun too.

 

On-stage segment – Tazz, Brian Cage, & Ricky Starks

Tazz is just so terrible in this role.  That’s all that needs saying about him here.  Out of Cage & Starks, Starks really has “it”.  He’s drowning in “it”.  Cage is just kinda there – big angry dude wearing an awful ECW relic.  Starks is really going somewhere.  He was previously signed to NWA but he wisely escaped the Titanic.  He was far too good for that nostalgia exercise anyway.  Now, he’s on a big stage where he truly belongs.  His promo here was solid and he’s clearly on the rise.

 

Le Dinner Debonair – Chris Jericho & MJF

Poor Velma.  LOL!  This was amazing from beginning to end.  I love that MJF came off as the better singer than Jericho too.  I mean…neither was terrible but MJF’s pitch was more stable.  I’m a sound engineer – I’ll always notice.  The lyric was a riot.  This whole thing was just insane fun.  There is plenty of hate on Twitter for this but if you can really hate on this, you hate fun and wrestling in 2020 probably ain’t your thing.  All of it – whether it’s in-ring action or things like this – is entertainment.  I was entertained.  If you took this away from yourself, that’s on you.

 

Dr. Britt Baker (w/ Reba) vs. Kilynn King

Another match were two women are thrown into the ring together because…reasons.  It was fine, I guess, but I didn’t care.  Heck, Britt couldn’t even be bothered to fully put on the latex glove before putting her finisher on King.  Literally, the only feud the women have had that matters is the one involving Big Swole and Britt.  Otherwise, there’s been no reason to care when two women face each other.  Shida is the most boring champion in pro wrestling and it’s long since time to get the title off of her.  They had a chance to do it last week and they didn’t.  They don’t care.  The end.

Since the match barely mattered, allow me to go here for a second.  AEW’s consistent use of profanity is just beyond clumsy.  It’s like any time someone uses it, they say it with so much of an “I’m so edgy because I cursed” / “I get to curse and they don’t because they can’t…nyah!” vibe that all I can do is cringe.  Skeeavone did it during this match when referring to Britt and, as in every case when they do it, it’s just desperate and sad.  Call me a prude or whatever but if you can’t tell a compelling story without profanity, you have serious problems.

Okay, I’m done.  LOL!

 

Cinéma de…well, you know – Steve-O & Darby Allin

A brief knockoff of the MTV show Steve O was in.  It was supposed to sell Darby’s “I’ll do anything” aesthetic but it was just weird.  Didn’t really work.  Most striking is how Steve’s voice has changed.  It’s become somewhat shrill.  He’s admitted to major drug abuse in the past and drugs will do a number on the voice.  Frankly, it’s a miracle that he’s even alive at this point.  Good news indeed as I hadn’t heard anything from him a while.  He’s just a year younger than me so here’s hoping drugs are truly in his rearview (they appear to be; he’s been sober for the last ten years).  Major kudos to him.

 

The Butcher & The Blade vs. Dark Order (Reynolds & Silver) vs. Private Party vs. Young Bucks

Mar Quen & Isiah Kennedy are just bananas.  How they haven’t been champs yet is entirely beyond me.  My hope is that something comes to them sooner than later as both richly deserve it.  All of them worked so hard but a lot of it was lost to picture-in-picture nonsense so it was hard to focus on it.  Also lost was the Matt Hardy/Sammy Guevara feud reigniting.  No clue why the Bucks won this.  They don’t need to.  Any of the other teams would have been a better choice, IMHO. Bizarre choice and one I’m not on board with.  The end with Tully was fun.  It’s reminiscent of the exact same thing Blanchard and Arn Anderson did to Dusty Rhodes decades ago in GCW.  Really fun callback to the past.

 

All in all, this was a solid show,  The Dinner de Debonair was an absolute riot.  It was not only the best thing on the show; it may be the best thing we’ll get from wrestling this year.  Miro has work to do but it’s early.  I hope Fenix is okay after that nasty spot.  We got really fun matches too as has been AEW’s stock and trade since they debuted.  We also got yet another week of AEW showing their at this point undeniable disdain and carelessness for women.  It’s so tired.  There’s no a promotion – major or otherwise – that does worse by their women than AEW.  It’s odd that we complained about the Nightmare Collective storyline on Twitter because of how badly it was being executed (Brandi was the main issue) and they got rid of it immediately without explanation, yet we do the same about the way they treat the women and said treatment still continues.  Just…why?

Let’s end this on a positive note with something I’d planned to say last week.  I was thrilled to be attendance for AEW’s very first show at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC (I live about 15 minutes away from it).  I had the absolute best time and I could just feel welcome change in the air.  AEW was poised to be a major player and everyone there just knew it.  It’s impossible to describe the energy in the air that night. I’ve been to WWE live events in the past but this was different.  The energy was just intoxicating.  We were all just so excited.  The action was fantastic throughout and we were all totally into it.  How nice to see that our enthusiasm has been rewarded with pretty solid numbers on TNT every week.  I’m truly happy for them and I hope this continues…just with more attention paid to their women please and thank you.