Hey, kids. It’s the Botching one with another entry into our Elite Journal. Full Gear was the pay-per-view that finally got it right. After having sat through a couple of dogs (and I paid for them too!), it was nice to really see them get one right. It got me even more excited for this episode – the fallout from Full Gear.. This is almost always the most fun show of the week so it’s my pleasure to write in the Journal. Let’s get started!
On-ramp segment – Tazz, Brian Cage, & Ricky Starks
Ugh! I’ve already gone there. Tazz is boring. Won’t bother saying more. I also won’t kill it because information was dispensed if nothing else.
Brian Cage vs. Matt Sydal
Brian Cage is a big, burly dude and he showed that here. Sydal, despite his inauspicious beginning, is really fun in matches like this. He knows how to look believable and sell damage really well. Sydal just flies around the ring with effortless grace and both really made a match out of this. Fun opening match.
Starks got on the mic and proved why Tazz is not needed…at all. Both of them can talk and don’t sound like the anachronism that Tazz does.
In-ring segment – Cody Rhodes, Jade Cargill, & Brandi Rhodes
Cody was decent here. Jade was fun for a bit too. She’s gorgeous and started hot but she did go on and on. Someone on Twitter called her promo “Walmart Sasha Banks” and that about sums it up. Brandi came out and REGULATED! Think of it as “hood lite”. She utterly came to life here in a way that she hadn’t in forever. She also gave us the title for the blog. Things then moved very fast with Brian Cage, Tazz, Darby Allin, and then Will Hobbs coming out. It told a few stories very quickly and I’m all for that. If I’m having trouble keeping track of it here, it means they had me engaged. Never a bad thing.
Backstage segment – Jon Moxley
He’s just platinum on the mic. He never loses his place and he tells one heck of a story. This is what he always should have been.
Butcher & The Blade (w/ Bunny) vs. Natural Nightmares (Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall)
Bizarre but solid match. They definitely made a show of it. Some of it looked pretty fake (the ladder shots to the face were incredibly soft) but a lot of it looked vicious (those singapore cane shots, etc.) It’s amazing to me what Dustin is still willing to do. Dustin’s bulldog into the box looked really good. Both Blade & QT got quite bloody. QT lost his mind by going up to the top of the ladder and doing an elbow drop. He could have seriously injured himself. There’s nothing they weren’t gonna try in there.
Cinéma de Delete – Matt Hardy
“Don’t squander what I’ve given you”. This was Matt’s “atta boy” for surviving the Elite Deletion. It was fine for what it was. It’s like Matt’s broken…but not Broken. He’s splitting the difference and I’d rather he be totally Broken. Maybe he’d rather not repeat himself but it was just SOOO good. This told the story it was intended to tell – no more, no less.
2020 Inner Circle Induction Ceremony
No Sammy. Oh boy. “My homies in Proud and Powerful”. LOL!! Love that he stole Drake’s words for his own. Ortiz is NOT having any of this. They are clearly planting the separation of Proud and Powerful (still a terrible name) and that should be fun. This told its story effectively but it was slightly less than MJF and Jericho’s other segments have been. Their other segments have just been SOOO good. This wasn’t bad by any means; it just had a lot to live up to.
Backstage segment – Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Quick segment that told the story of how they’re feeling. Quick and effective
Shawn Spears (w/ Tully Blanchard) vs. Scorpio Sky
Few have shown themselves to be an exercise in futility as quickly as Spears has and I have no clue why AEW is still trying to make him matter. He just doesn’t. They’ve even given him an 11-match winning streak…on “Dark”. I don’t watch much of “Dark” myself; I just catch parts of it if an indie guy/girl I know is on it. He has the charisma of a manilla envelope and isn’t anything special in the ring. AEW dumped “The Nightmare Collective” thing when they realized we didn’t care, yet they keep pushing Spears when we clearly don’t care. Odd… Again, he can go so this wasn’t a terrible match or anything. In sharp contrast, Scorpio has everything Spears lacks. There were some fun impactful spots here. The suplex from Spears down on the hard diamond plate of the steps looked just evil. Scorpio put a dent into the steps themselves. This was the “I’ll win any way I can” from Spears vs. “I will only win honestly” from Sky. There’s just no reason Spears should be winning matches here. We don’t care.
Parking lot segment – Kenny Omega
They’re really moving Omega forward. I’m still waiting to really care about him. I know I’m supposed to but I don’t just yet. Maybe we’ll get there now. This was a solid promo. He even said it. The NJPW Kenny hasn’t been here. Now, he’s going to bring it back…and I am here for it.
Tay Conti (w/ Anna Jay) vs. Red Velvet (w/ Brandi Rhodes)
Another match made because…reasons. It wasn’t bad or anything; I just had no reason to care. Apparently, Tay is the next hype and I absolutely don’t see it. She’s not terrible but she’s not incredible either. The refusal to use the chair Anna threw into her was interesting. That it didn’t cost her the match was also interesting. She doesn’t need the nonsense to win. I wonder if this’ll cause some uneasiness down the road.
Backstage segment – The Inner Circle
Jericho trying to hold it together. They’re building on the tension between MJF and Sammy. I like that MJF’s an unwelcome member. This is going to be delicious.
In-ring segment – Eddie Kingston
He effectively introduced the next match. That’s about it, really. He did it well.
Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Rey Fénix (w/ Eddie Kingston on commentary)
Really fun match and great storytelling. They even went after each other’s masks. Skeeavone blamed Kingston repeatedly for the fact that both are at each other’s throats. Kingston is driving a wedge between them and won’t take responsibility for it. Nobody does dives better than Lucha wrestlers and Fénix is just a master at it. Penta’s piledriver onto the apron was just vicious. This was an absolute master class. Love the way Kingston just moved Rey out of the way with his feet. He was quite clear in his intentions there and I love it.
Pac came out at the end to wreak havoc on Kingston and now, he’s in another feud. The mic work alone between them will be “can’t miss”. Other than in video, we haven’t seen him live until tonight. Fun to see him back.
So ends another episode of “Dynamite”. Great way to come off Full Gear. That last match was just money. So much information delivered to us on all levels. Spears and Tazz were the only real dead spots, though Tazz is successful as a commentator while Spears isn’t successful period. They need to find another way if they’re intent on getting him over. I just don’t care in the slightest.