BY GOD! (AEW Review)

Hey, kids.  It’s the Botching one with another entry into our Elite Journal.  This past week has certainly brought its share of controversy from JR.  For the record, I actually agree with him.  I go more into that later.  In short, there are some things that are less believable than others.  Yeah, twisting someone’s arm is silly.  It always has been.  It’s not physically possible to twist someone’s arm the way it’s done in pro wrestling.  People shouldn’t get back up after a super kick…ever.  It makes no sense.  We accept those things because they don’t look too ridiculous.  Still, there are things that are become de rigeur these days that just aren’t believable and I get more into that later in this Journal entry.  Heck, it should probably stand on its own in an article.

Okay, on with the show…


Hangman Adam Page, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver vs. Matt Hardy & Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)

John Silver is such a star.  He has such great personality and he can really go in there.  I’m enjoying Reynolds and Silver putting the full court press on Page to get him to join Dark Order.  The entrance of the three of them was really fun.  Private Party always dazzles and they did so here.  The sequence that involved every possible move from Dark Order was too fast to call.  Fun stuff.  Of course, we’ve already seen on Twitter how Matt is tweaking his character.  Private Party his Gin & Juice and Hardy tagged himself in to make the pin.  We’ll have to see where that goes.  Two stories were told here and both were told really well.  Should be interesting to see where they go as more time passes.


Backstage segment – Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, MJF, Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hagar)

Jericho and MJF are amazing together.  Jericho corpsed a little when MJF was talking which is totally understandable.  Love the award too.  “Dinner Debonair” was totally ridiculous and I absolutely loved it.


Vignette – Bébé le Rhodes

They’re having a baby!  How cool!  Congrats to both of them.  Fun vignette to get us there too.  No need to rate.


Cody Rhodes (w/ Arn Anderson & Brandi Rhodes) vs. Angélico (w/ Jack Evans)

Always fun seeing counters to counters.  The sequence involving the arm bar that Angélico wouldn’t let go of was fun.  Angélico is definitely a unique character and that uniqueness really came out here.  They told the story of his origins before the match began and stuck to that story throughout the match.  We also got some brutal submission moves from Angélico.  Ouch!  I absolutely hate the overhead camera nonsense.  There’s a reason no one uses it; it’s completely disconcerting.  It’s also an unnecessary flex.  That Cody Cutter really does look impressive and that’s what ended the match.

To be frank, I’m still looking for a reason to care about Angélico.  They tried to give me one today and over time, I’m sure I will.  They’re just beginning to tell a story they should have been telling when they first showed up.

Team Taz does nearly nothing for me.  The members of team do (okay maybe not Hawk) but Taz is really the issue.  Each time, Starks talks and reminds us why Taz is not needed as a mouthpiece.  I’m sure people weren’t thrilled with Sting coming out the way he did but it’s hard to complain meaningfully when the ratings do what they’re doing now.  From that perspective, bringing Sting in was clearly the right move – age notwithstanding.  He has lost nothing from the presence perspective and he gave us some of that here.  He came out, did nothing, and left.  Storytelling did happen here, though subtle.


Backstage segment – Miro

They’re trying to make Miro a heel and he’s just not successful as a heel here.  He did it in WWE with no trouble but for some reason, I just don’t believe him here.  He likely needs scripting.  He’s just not coming off as the monster heel they want him to be.  The result of all of this is that I just don’t care.  They’ve hit that awful grey area where the character just doesn’t move me.  Not great.


In-ring segment – Eddie Kingston

Eddie has become gentler and I’m not a fan of that.  I really wanted him to remain chicanerous and deplorable.  He’s just slightly softer now and I’d rather he wasn’t.  The congregation of people in the ring involving Death Triangle was something.  This was simple storytelling.  Once again, Bunny means nearly nothing.  Kingston got kicked hard in the face…then got right back up.  JR couldn’t have loved that.  This clearly sets up Death Triangle & Archer vs. Kingston’s family.


Backstage segment – Dustin Rhodes

Short work but really good.  Good rhythm and very believable.


Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent), Top Flight (Darius & Dante Martin) , Varsity Blondes (Brian Pillman & Griff Garrison) vs. Inner Circle (Jake Hagar, Santana, Ortiz, MJF, Chris Jericho, & Sammy Guevara

Sammy is really becoming something special.  He just “gets it” as a heel.  The hugging thing was fun too and I love that Cassidy hugged Excalibur.  I only wish we’d actually seen that.  We got the diving that JR justifiably called out too.  Waiting for someone to dive at you just looks dumb and each time it happened, JR said nothing.  What is there to say?  Hagar can’t even enter the ring without botching, of course, and he’s just not worth the time they’re spending on him.  Overall, this was a fun match but it just had too many people for me to really be able to focus.  No disaster here by any means; just too much going on to tell a focused story.


Backstage segment – Thunder Rosa

This was cartoon-y, stilted, and just not good.  She tried to be angry but it was just off.  Britt’s attack was a welcome diversion.  Yikes…


The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) vs. SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)

Okay, we’ll we now know (if there was any doubt) that Kazarian should never rap…like…ever.  Caster has “had next” for a while so it’s nice to see him really get his shot here.  Bowens is someone I’m still not sold on.  He works well in the ring but he feels very forced on the mic.  Caster is, by far, the more interesting of the two.  I did like the use of the boombox to Daniels head to finish the match.  Putting over a young team is exactly what SCU should be doing at this point and I’m here for it.  I also like that The Acclaimed are getting a shot at the Young Bucks.  It makes total sense based on their record (and Dark is actually becoming canonical which is fun too).


Backstage segment – Top Flight (Darius & Dante Martin)

This was pretty plastic and it obviously had some help.  Both are young and they’ll become more natural with time.


Ivelisse & Diamanté vs. Big Swole & Serena Deeb

Nice to see Swole in an actual match for once.  It’s been forever.  How is it that you keep a wrestler this talented chillin’ in catering?  It just doesn’t make any sense.  She has more charisma in her pinky finger than the rest of the women combined.  We’re all fans of her here, yet she’s barely used and even here, she’s in a match that I just don’t care about.  As a match, this certainly wasn’t bad; I just didn’t care about it.  A running gag with women’s matches.  It was a fun match for sure and they all worked well; I just couldn’t care about the outcome.

Why was Vicki Guerrero in the ring?  She’s not a wrestler and she did nearly nothing.  Nice to see Red Velvet coming back for her pound of flesh.  Out of the ashes comes something we might just be able to care about.


Backstage segment – Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) w/ Orange Cassidy

Can’t wait, huh?  I believe you…or something.  Man, that was stilted.  The result was fine, I guess.  Next…


Stage segment – FTR (Dax Harwood, Cash Wheeler) w/ Tully Blanchard

Dax showed real fire here and I loved it.  He did more than enough here.  Tully wasn’t needed, though he did say something we barely heard.  This was short but I really liked it.


Joey Janela (w/ Sonny Kiss) vs. Kenny Omega (w/ Don Callis)

Yeah, you read that right:  Joey Janela.  Like…why?  What has he done to be in this spot?  Totally bizarre choice.  The fun little interaction between Callis & Schiavone was a nice way to start.  So was the trash can.  Callis is so completely hate-able.  Omega with the mic during the match was a nice touch too.  This was kind of a “jobber to the stars” match, though Janela did get a nice table spot in.  Most of this was Omega.  Omega vs. Fenix should be a lot of fun and they’re giving themselves time to build it too.  Not mad at this at all.


So ends another episode of “Dynamite”.  Lots here to enjoy and a few things that were “meh” too.  Still, a very enjoyable show.  We also got a couple of matches to look forward too for next week.  See you next week for another entry into our Elite Journal!