Wawa wiwa, welcome back to the return of the Wednesday Night Wars. This past Sunday I spent many consecutive hours watching Wrestle Kingdom 14 with the PTW crew. While I missed the first hour of skipping around and watching some key matches, I got to have about 5.5 hours of solid f*cking wrestling, and man oh man did that ever set the bar high for me for this year. I had such a fun time watching NJPW on Sunday that I am going to do my best to follow and watch it as the year goes on. The story in the main event between Naito and Okada was so very much Macho Man and Hogan in my western eyes and it was just f*cking awesome. I LOVE seeing Will Ospreay, Mox looked so cool in a different setting from AEW/WWE, Jericho was an awesome sh*t heel, and Jay White is undoubtedly one of the most criminally underrated wrestlers in the game. It was a cool bit of rasslin’ to watch and even without having followed any of it really leading up to this show I was able to follow along nicely thanks to the complementary commentary provided by Kevin Kelly and the rest of the gang. It was a fascinating thing to watch at this stage of my wrestling fandom, and it really has me intrigued and feeling proactive about pursuing NJPW going forward. That all said, I can’t wait to see Le Champion and Mox tonight to see how they look after having been in Japan just a few days ago on a huge f*cking stage. Now they will be back stateside entertaining a bunch of jackasses like us. Time to fire up the old TV set and turn the dial to TNT.
Dynamite opens with a recap promo about how the Elite are failing and how Jericho offered Mox half of the Inner Circle. Good reminder. They definitely edited the whole bit with Hangman Page on commentary and his disinterest in the Elite better than it actually was last week.
The first match is up and I already feel myself warming to Page, but I can still easily turn on him too so let’s see. JR keeps calling for a video that is supposed to set up a part of the storyline but it won’t load and he is obviously frustrated about technical difficulties. Kenny comes out next and there is obviously heat between these two dudes. They finally get the video to play of Page being a dick to Private Party which is what sets up this match I guess. Hangman doesn’t want to make eye contact with Kenny and I can relate. The crowd starts chanting "Cowboy sh*t" and it kinda makes me hate him again. JR just called Hangman "the strongest guy in this match…well, the heaviest…”
JR and Tony have a full sidebar conversation about how Hangman was basically the lame guy in The Elite and how thats why he probably wanted to leave the group…I agree. Private Party are good but there is literally nothing to them. The crowd chants "WE WANT KENNY" and he gets tagged in. Page and Omega do a chest chopping spot with Kassidy and then kinda high ten each other. Page seems like he is trying his best to get along, but like he is just about to snap and whip the sh*t out of Kenny. Speaking of Omega, I am totally distracted by all the leech-suck-marks on his shoulders. He looks like he was giving himself some vacuum hickeys. Back to Private Party, at least the Street Profits are HUGE personalities as well as pretty goddamn good in the ring. These dudes are a spot heavy team in weird gear with a weird gimmick that isn’t that different than an updated Night at the Roxbury.
Now is as good a time as any to mention that for some ungodly reason there is a super old guy on commentary with them. He is a local draw but he doesn’t know the product well and it’s just a little jarring. Tony and Excalibur would be a perfect team for me. There is a spot where Page almost hit Kenny with the clothesline again but this time he didn’t and it almost f*cked them out of the win but Page hit Kassidy with his lariat and hot damn he does that the best since Bradshaw, I’ll tell you what. The match eventually ends with a combination Lariat/V Trigger and then Kenny hits the One-Winged Angel and it’s over. The tron cuts to Pac with Nakazawa in his Rings of Saturn and Kenny bolts. As AEW cuts to commercial, Hangman walks around and legitimately drinks eight random people’s random beers from their random hands. Like, this dude is operating on a Stone Cold Austin level. I just popped for a "Hangover Page" sign in the crowd.
OK f*ckers, here we go. Brandi Rhodes on commentary for the women’s title match. Let’s see what happens here but, again, if the match ends with Riho still holding the title I will just about completely give up on their women’s division. Good grief, Brandi just buried Statlander. “That is not an alien. That’s a woman.” “Why am I even out here? Do you want me to leave?” Geez, she is salty and I’m both into it and uncomfortable. Brandi starts cutting a promo on Britt Baker (who is in the crowd) and Excalibur interrupts her and she says “Exhibit, why are you interrupting me?” Holy sh*t, Brandi is burying Excalibur like crazy for wearing a mask while on commentary. “Why do you even do that? Are you that ugly under there?” Brandi has the vibe like she and Cody had a shoot fight/argument earlier today and he decided to add her to the commentary for this match as a rib and she is f*cking pissed right now. It’s actually not even cool — she is almost Graves level of mean.
This match is meh but that commentary is fascinating. It’s on a commercial and I have a chance to see the match and it’s good. I don’t care because Statlander and Hikaru Shida are probably the two best wrestlers in the division and after that there is a big drop off. If this is all to put the title on Statlander then I’m in for the ride. Brandi is so f*cking mean. Kris hits Riho with a suplex from from the second turnbuckle and hits her own head a little and Brandi replies “look, she hit her head. she is stupid”. Kong and the bald lady Mel come ringside and Brandi tries to sell that she doesn’t know whats going on: “I’m seeing this as you are…I don’t know what they are doing…they can think for themselves" Statlander jumps into Kong, Brandi sh*t-talks Statlander and the weird bald freak from the vids appears from under the ring and the commentary put him over as Luther. I don’t know. Luther holds Statlander, Kong takes her head off and they toss her back in the ring. The ref, all the while, has been inexplicably checking on Riho for literally three-plus minutes. Rather than capitalize on that opportunity, Riho jumps from the top rope outside the ring and takes out the freak dude. Riho ends up stealing a win with the help of Awesome Kong and the whole thing devolves into the Nightmare Collective vs. Riho, Statlander, Shida, Big Swole and even Sonny Kiss for the rescue. Cool.
Oh great, it’s Chris Daniels and Sammy G up next. Almost everything about Daniels is cringe to me. I missed his heyday and I am certainly not seeing it right now. Jim Ross just name-dropped Jerry Lawler. That rules. Today is Elvis Presley’s birthday and they are near Memphis so that’s cool too. The reality kinda blows but the truth is Sammy G has one of the best entrance songs in all of AEW. Wow, this is a goddamned good wrestling match. These two dudes are phenomenal. Daniels moves well and he doesn’t look bad per se but there is just something about him that I don’t like. Sammy is 26 while Daniels is 39 and it looks like there is closer to 20 years in between them. Another thing, I swear wedgies are part of Sammy’s gimmick. He wrestles more than half every match with his ass hanging out. As I f*cking type that the crowd starts chanting SAMMY’S WEDGIE. HAHAHAHA.
Pentagon comes out and calls for Daniels to do the move he f*cked up last week and it’s just enough of a distraction for Sammy to get the win. Dark Order comes out to try and claim the Fallen Angel. Oh god, this rules. Evil Uno f*cking rules. It’s amazing how he looks like physical sh*t, wrestles like an ’80s star and has surprising mic skills. Uno puts it to Daniels hard to put a mask on and obviously he doesn’t take it. Not only do SCU come down to the ring but also the Bucks come to even the odds. Dark Order slowly retreat during the pic-in-pic commercial break and this whole thing just kinda feels like a bunch of losers avoiding the cult that could possibly save them. Ah well.
It would appear that the Rhodes Bros w/ Arn vs. Lucha Bros is up next. Lucha Bros come out first. JR declares them “the best tag team in the world” as their 2020 year record comes up and its 0-1-0 and I chuckle. Man, maybe I didn’t notice it before, but Dustin might have the worst theme song in the whole company. Oops, here comes Cody, skeet skeet on everyone. Wait, Arn came up from the stage with Cody? That kills this week’s jerk sesh, I guess. Oh boy, this is gonna be a Ref Aubrey joint tonight and I am stoked. She has been becoming less of a distraction during the matches though. Penta starts with the glove spot and Cody looks legitimately annoyed. This is a really refreshing matchup and there is something charming about it being pairs of brothers wrestling each other. Dustin is such a good wrestler. Lucha Bros spend the commercial break beating on Dustin, teasing Cody who is clearly building for a hot tag. Tony just referred to Bash at the Beach next week. Cool. At one point Fenix goes for a chair under the ring and as he goes to get in the ring with it (?) Arn kicks it out of his hand, clearly a thing that distracts Fenix beyond words.
Commentary is really doing good job of reminding me of ongoing stories, giving Cody credit for staying focused on this match and not being distracted thinking about MJF for example. Cody and Dustin hang with Luchas at their speed and this match just got FUN. Sh*t, Dustin hits Final Reckoning and it’s over. Tony leaves commentary and heads to the ring to talk to the Rhodes boys and to ask Cody about if he will do the dumb sh*t that MJF wants for a match. Tony asks the question and as Cody is gonna answer Arn cuts in and cuts him off, basically saying “we’ll tell ya next week.” What the f*ck. This sh*t with Mox better be good because I feel as annoyed as the live crowd sounds.
MJF’s music hits and out comes this prick. God damn mother f*cker, they do the same sh*t and cut to commercial while he walks to the ring. Maxwell looks particularly annoyed tonight as he walks around starting sh*t with everyone ringside, including flipping off the Midnight Express directly to their faces. what a f*ckface. They come back from commercial mid promo for MJF. He is screaming like a f*cking baby. He demands that Cody answer a ten count and come to the ring. As he counts to the end, whose music hits but DDP. Yuck. As he starts cutting a promo putting himself over for having a yoga company, MJF looks as bored as I feel. This guy has always annoyed me and nothing has changed 19 years later. MJF is literally checking his phone during this stupid promo from DDP. Motormouth Jackoff Friedman and WardBLOW. LOL. Dally is setting up ONE MORE MATCH for himself. MJF is such a f*cking assh*le. "Kiss my ring or get out of my company!" MJF ends up calling out The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny who each eat a Diamond Cutter and it’s just a matter of time before it’s a schmozz and the ring has QT Marshall, a few refs and Dustin come back to save Page. Who cares.
Jurassic Express w/Marko Stunt come out during the commercial so their pop is lost to the commercial. So, this should be an interesting match. Best Friends Orange Cassidy vs. Jurassic Express. Chuck Taylor looks like he is cosplaying as APA Bradshaw. Ripcord into a splash combo from Jungle Boy and Marko looks f*cking SICK. Next week I am f*cking counting commercials. There are so f*cking many commercials tonight I feel like even JR is annoyed by it. This match is fine and fun. Marko Stunt is one of the most divisive wrestlers in the whole game right now. He does absolutely look like a child in the ring and it does make it uncomfortable to watch a grown man toss him the f*ck around. You know, this is just a gimmick match.. Everyone does basically all of the spots that they do.. OC gets tagged in and OC does the hands in the pockets spot and Luchasaurus doesn’t play along but gets a stunner for his trouble. Marko Stunt hits a f*cking Canadian Destroyer on Trent. Jungle Boy ends up getting the win on Chuckie T and the commentary put over how this is Jungle Boy’s first pinfall victory in AEW.
Jericho comes out next with Big Hurt and Sammy has an arm full of cards. Looks like he knew they were coming out during the commercial and this is by far the best way to capitalize on it. Sammy is selling how Mox is gonna make his decision, going over the enticements before him. Sammy name drops the moon landing, Elvis in Hawaii and "Who Shot Mr. Burns?" as storylines with as much intrigue as this…I’m f*cking dying. Jericho has a red carpet in the ring. Back from commercial and Mox’s music hits. JR puts over how Mox and Jericho were both in the Tokyo Dome this weekend. Mox descends from the crowd and he is notably wearing a leather jacket, zipped up. He has a f*cking Inner Circle shirt. I think I’m gonna love this no matter which way it goes.
“Elvis is a jackass and if he was here right now I would kick his butt. The Beatles were better anyway.” Jericho is a master on the mic and Mox looks like a sad puppy dog out there. Moxley cuts a promo saying how he came to AEW to run roughshod and dominate and that the Inner Circle is the way to go. Jericho gloats. F*ck yeah. Mox puts Jericho over like crazy and Moxley goes full Inner Circle mode and it’s like bizarro world. I feel a swerve coming. Mox calls him Le Champion and requests a little bit of the bubbly. I actually hate this. Mox looks like such a twat unless he lays them out. Oh god, Mox looks like a dildo. "YOU SOLD OUT" chants and its true. Jericho puts over Wrestle Kingdom at the Tokyo Dome. This whole thing is going on for too long. Mox asks to cut the music. “Chris, my friend, I was just kidding. I would never join the Inner Circle. It’s a stupid group and you have nothing that I want…except that” pointing to the title and then he cranks him in the head with a bit of the bubbly and then a Paradigm Shift, then hits Sammy with one and then he bails as Big Hurt hits the ring. HOLY SH*T that was a relief! I bought that whole thing and that was awesome. MOX RULES. Renee Young is a lucky woman.
Well, that was a f*cking blast! I ended up on such an inadvertent delay tonight that I never caught up to live time and hence never was able to switch to NXT at any point. I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to for any reason other than to protest how many f*cking commercial breaks they are running in a given episode of Dynamite. It has to be 20 breaks throughout the two hour show. Other than that though, I think this was one of my favorite episodes to date of this show. I got Brandi being uncomfortably heel, Orange Cassidy mixing it up with Luchasaurus, MJF with a mic, the Young Bucks not wrestling the same match from weeks prior, and God help me, I think I am becoming a fan of Hangman Adam Page. What a weird world we are in.
If nothing else, this two hours of appointment viewing had me focused on nothing other than watching wrestling. These guys are doing a better job at making a weekly wrestling TV show that didn’t exist a year ago or even six months ago, so I think it’s easy to get caught up in this sucks or that sucks about it but, man, even if all of thee gimmicks are exactly what they were on the indies, it’s impressive to put together so many storylines and especially to have gotten the Dark Order to the point where they are, considering they were a group that was scoffed at by a lot of early adopters of AEW. Time will tell but for another week, I’m on board. I’ll fly this flag and actually, I’m going to order that blue Inner Circle shirt tonight. F*ck yeah.
Wrestling rules. F*ck the world. Party hard.