Greetings, salutations and happy new year to you, good reader. There has been a whirlwind of holiday activity that seems to have extended Christmas for two weeks this year. As a result of all that, I have generally missed or avoided wrestling during this holiday battle. Honestly, I had a hard time remembering what day of the week it was (I swear, today is the fourth “Monday” I’ve experienced in two weeks) but also I just haven’t been terribly gripped by anything on TV in general, let alone wrestling related…
That is, until I accidentally stumbled on the USA network a few nights ago at around 10:50 and it turns out I was able to catch the entire wedding of Lana and Bobby Lashley. While that does exist as absolute garbage, you know what? I f*cking watched the whole thing, I giggled a lot and I asked myself a dozen times at least “how is THIS what they (WWE) are going past 11 pm on a Monday night for?” By the time it was over I was thoroughly entertained. My main takeaway is that this segment satisfied my WWE urge for the week…This type of sh*t works! I don’t know why but now I wanna see Bob Lashley and Rusev f*cking duke it out. I don’t even want Rusev to ever take Lana back and obviously he will end up with some involvement from Liv Morgan but I don’t know, that sh*t was bonkers.
AEW has been out of my head for two weeks and I had planned on watching and writing a review of the clips show from Christmas but it’s probably not worth my time and realistically I don’t need it to remind myself of the stories or to get hyped about it…I’m there. Jericho and Mox is excellent and I want to know what the Dark Order may or may not do. I don’t NEED to see anything that WWE is doing outside of the most soap opera thing they have done in 20+ years but I am itching to see every second of Dynamite this week. OK, let’s get on with the show.
Dynamite opens with a video package with most of The Elite talking about how they have all basically been jobbed out for the whole start of AEW. Is The Elite still elite? Who knows, but I wonder if they actually will reset the win loss records. Holy sh*t, Taz is on commentary instead of Tony. What a wild voice to hear on this show. He kinda works! They run through the show that we will see tonight and I’m pretty pumped.
Cody and Darby Allin is first and before Darby comes out they play a weird black and white art film video and it’s f*cking awesome. Some Leatherface in a mechanic jumpsuit comes out and then Darby joins him. It’s a way scaled down set so Cody has a way subdued entrance. I wonder if he will even be able to compete without completing his weekly masturbation session. Arn Anderson comes out with him and that’s cool. The ramp is connected to the ring. ugh. JR is going over how everyone is 0-0-0 for 2020 and Excalibur mentions how they will still keep track of career win loss record. Ref Aubrey is in full mime form for tonight. Darby Allin f*cking rules and I didn’t give a sh*t about him when I saw him less than a year ago. Either he or AEW or both have done a great job getting him over with me. Darby is fast and smooth with his moves. He is fluid, almost like a snake. Arn held a paper over his mouth while talking to Cody, clearly playing the role of manager or head coach or whatever over the top title they have given him. It almost seems to bring Cody down to a Shawn Spears level that he now has a manager. I’m willing to hold judgement for a week or two on this one.
Darby works over Cody’s arm and both JR and Taz come on hot and heavy telling us viewers how “this is the story of the match…Cody’s left shoulder”. Are we that dumb or are we all on the same page? I can’t quite tell. Is that fourth wall breaking commentary or is that the “real sports feel” to the commentary? Cody gets a Figure Four on Darby and now the counter narrative of the match is Darby’s leg. There is a considerable amount of wrestling going on. Darby Allin is definitely more than just death matches and gross spots. Taz just referred to Cody as “Rhodes” and then corrected himself “Uh, Cody”. After the ten minute warning on a 20 minute time limit match JR reminds us how they went to a draw last time they faced each other at Fyter Fest which, I believe, justifies this going to another draw and it will finish at another PPV down the road in an ironman match? I really don’t mind watching these two wrestle at all. This feels like a pretty big deal match even though it’s in a weird, smaller setup. I hate the ramp ON the ring. It is a WCW thing but it’s mostly a small venue thing. I don’t know. I’m trying to be a good sport about it.
Picture-in-picture during the commercial and I just realized I haven’t been watching the match but rather the TNT commercials. Cody is bleeding from his face? Darby hits a coffin drop onto Cody while he was on the HARDEST PART OF THE RING. Cody was supposed to get his knees up and clearly didn’t. They showed it on replay and tried to sell that it happened but ended up debunking that angle. Oh man, Cody’s head isn’t bleeding, it’s just such a deep scar that it looks like it’s open. Gross. Darby tricked Cody into running into the previously exposed turnbuckle and Allin goes for the coffin drop again. This time, Cody gets the knees up, apparently at Arn’s call. I guess. they are really selling him as a big deal as the head coach and that makes Cody seem lame to me for some reason.
SCU have a weird interview backstage and these dudes absolutely blow. It is such a relief when Sammy G interrupts a boring “interview” and Sammy calls out Daniels who challenges him to a match next week and then he licks his thumb and wipes it over the lense of Sammy’s phone that he is vlogging with. I actually found that little touch to be very funny. Maybe if these dudes end up as sh*t heels it’d work, but they are boring and just not that captivating. I know that’s redundant but that’s how boring they are.
Four way women’s match for the AEW Women’s Championship next. This was supposed to be Statlander vs Riho but Statlander was double booked. I hope this doesn’t stink. I mostly don’t care about AEW’s women’s division. Hikaru Shida is the best of the women wrestlers who isn’t (insert name here). [I just went through the women roster on their website and I don’t know…not very impressive] Britt Baker looks disinterested to be there as usual. I f*cking hate how she always seems like she is doing the promoter a favor. I do not understand Riho at all but I always find myself into her when she is actually wrestling. I’m actually looking forward to this match if it ends with ANYONE other than Riho having the title. I have no problem with her, but I find the other three options in this match to be more interesting and believable as the champion for a legitimate wrestling company, especially a wrestling company that has Awesome Kong in it.
Nyla jumps the gun, grabs the belt and starts bashing women with it and then Shida hits her with a kendo stick and I just realized Rick Knox is the ref for this match. Nyla is just marching around like a bully kicking the living sh*t out of everyone. She sets up a table and avoids a cross body from Riho. Nyla is easily twice the size of Britt and Riho and it’s almost Brock Lesnar uncomfortable to watch her just destroy the two of them at once. Shida got taken out but this is a two-on-one match where Nyla is just devastating Riho and BB. At one point Nyla power bombed Riho onto Britt. Shida has a great feat of strength in picking up Nyla and dumping her over her back to which Nyla responds by hitting her with a a senton through a table outside the ring. Riho hits Nyla with a sort of Coup De Gras on the edge of the ring and then again in the ring. Nyla is basically no-selling everything and then tossing around 100 lb women like they are babies. Baker kicks Riho in the face. HOLY SH*T, Shida hits a Michinoku driver on Nyla Rose and that was f*cking awesome! Wow, as I wrote that f*cking Riho stole the pin from Dr. Britt and I just found myself severely disinterested. Geez, that felt like a waste. Unless they want Riho to put the belt on Statlander, this is stupid. Nyla set up a table and then put Riho on the table and then she jumped through the table. Meh. I don’t know.
Alex Marvez backstage with the Bad Boy and right as he was about to answer the question, Penelope Ford is seen having just punched Joey in the nuts and then she and Kip Sabian go walking off and I guess they are doing an IRL love angle in kayfabe. OK, if you are good with it Joey, then I’ll go along for the ride.
Dark Order segment. The Elite has fallen.
You know what, I’m going to pause this right now and give a quick review on the JoinDarkOrder.com site that they keep advertising because I keep forgetting to go to it when I’m not watching this show….Stop Losing. Start Winning. It’s a very simple site with little that you can do, but you can sign up. I’m gonna sign up, guys. I’ll keep you posted. OK, back to Dynamite and this promo.
It’s a quick video. I hope Brandon Cutler has joined them.
Trent vs. Mox is up next and man oh man this dude is probably my fav member of this whole roster. Justin Roberts just introduced Mox as “JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN MOXLEY”. Very enthusiastic. Trent looks like a badass and Chuck Taylor stinks. I don’t like Orange Cassidy just being a prop, either. “Trent -no-longer- Beretta…now he is just Trent..a hell of an athlete”. I can’t tell if that is good commentary or even what I am looking for JR to say, but mere moments later JR refers to him as “Beretta.” These two are mostly pounding on each other. Trent tries to wrestle but Mox is just brutalizing him. Having Chuckie T and O-Cass out there makes Trent less serious and makes this match a lot less intense. That said, Trent is f*cking hanging with Mox really well in this fight. Damn man, JR keeps calling him “Beretta” or “Trent Beretta.” Now I understand that he was trying to deprograms himself live on TV from saying Trent Beretta. While I really like Trent, I want him to ditch the Best Friends gimmick and be a badass. I can’t imagine he is gonna be the first one to get a pin on Mox on AEW, so it’s just a matter of time before Trent goes down. Oh no, an Orange Cassidy spot with Mox. I hate this. OC puts his hands in his pockets and Mox tells the ref to “hold on” and he puts HIS hands in his pocket and yells THAST HOW YOU DO THAT YOU SON OF A BITCH. OK, that was awesome. Moments later Mox calls his shot, hits the Paradigm Shift and it’s over. Will Mox join the Inner Circle? I’m sure no one can tell how this will go.
Oh, Sammy G live in the crowd with a mic. This dude is excellent. “Oh, Mox, baby. I see why you do this now…” He is such a slimy prick. Sammy comes out to set up a video from Jericho. Y2J talks about offering Mox 49% on the Inner Circle and the EVP role in the Inner Circle. He shows how they bought and registered a Ford GT for Mox. He name drops the other factions in AEW. Mox looks generally befuddled during Jericho’s pitch and then he grabs a mic just to say that he respects Chris and has thought of him as a mentor and that he wants to give him an answer fave to face next week. The crowd is with him and booing the idea of him joining the Inner Circle, but after he says “I’ll tell you next week” the crowd is just straight up booing that lame booking. I agree. It’s the first time boos have been thrown in the direction of Jon Moxley. While the show cuts to commercial, Sammy is in the little PIP with cue cards reiterating Jericho’s offer to Mox. This is hilarious and makes great use of this time. He asks for a date with Victoria Justice’s little sister and then cuts a promo on Dustin via cue cards. Very clever.
Dustin appears behind Sammy and he just proceeds to beat Sammy like he is a wrestling buddy. Their match starts and Dustin unremarkably beats on Sammy until Big Hurt comes out and lets his presence be felt. I actually really wanna see these two big bastards go at it! All it takes is a brief interference from Hager and Sammy has the upper hand again. Dustin hits Sammy a few more times and as I’m sucked into the smaller picture during this commercial break, Dustin grabs a chair, sets up Sammy’s arm on the ring in a way to hit it with the chairs and just as he winds up the picture disappears and it’s full screen commercials. So, now I am seeing nothing that is happening. The ref followed Dustin out and seemed to wanna stop him from doing anything with the chair. I believe it is the case that not a single match in AEW has been ended by DQ, despite the fact that more than a dozen DQ-worthy spots have happened in plain sight of a variety of referees including Knox and Aubrey. Dustin hits a spinebuster and JR makes reference to the coaching of Arn paying off, and then Dustin hit a f*cking Canadian Destroyer on Sammy on the hardest part of the ring and that was brutal. Dustin sets Sammy up for Shattered Dreams (giving him a brutal wedgie) and the ref interrupts.
Hager interferes with a low blow and Sammy wins. That was f*cking great.
Private Party have a backstage sort of segment and they stink. Hangman comes in and pours himself some cowboy juice (whiskey) and, my god, he is turning heel….and I like it….f*ck. well, lets see. Private Party are NOT as interesting or charismatic as Street Profits despite being practically the same gimmick.
MJF and Wardlow come out and just as it’s a fine time to talk they go to pic-in-pic. While I am immediately annoyed, I get to watch MJF walk around and sh*t talk to crowd and without hearing it and this is still the best sh*t on the whole show right now. He is walking around and either making people kiss his ring or he is belittling them. This dude rules. He is supposed to tell us the stipulation for his match with Cody. I don’t really care. He is incredible. He got this crowd so f*cking pissed at him by the time TV came back from commercial.
“If your heads weren’t so far up your asses you could see sh*t clearly…speaking of mouth breathing morons, hi Cody!” I like Wardlow as an idea but I hate that his resting face is “I just smelled sh*t”. MJF repeatedly sh*tting on the crowd is flawless. Stipulation 1: touch MJF before the match and they will not wrestle at the PPV or ever. Stipulation 2: beat someone of MJF’s choosing to earn the match: Wardlow, in a steel cage match. Stipulation 3: MJF is gonna make Cody get on all fours, live on TNT, and he wants to whip him 10 times with his belt….if he wins? Or he needs to whip him 10 times just to get a match with him? That’s kind of f*cking weird, dude.
Jurassic Express interview on the return from commercial and who cares.
JR introduces Hangman on commentary and he has a cool shirt and a tall drink of whiskey and I’m kinda into this version of him. I like him being a prick. They announce a match featuring Page and Kenny for next week and he goes “oh am I in that?…cool…”
Main event time. Lucha Bros and “The Bastard” Pac vs. The Elite. Now that Page has quit The Elite, hates Pac and is just overall sour and I’m really digging it. It makes sense. Pentagon and Kenny start out with the glove spot and I feel like, while this match will be f*cking excellent, isn’t this just the same sh*t that WWE does of booking variations of the same match in different combos for weeks on end? Well, this is the same sh*t we saw for three months last year and it’s the first main event of this year. Just saying. Fenix and Uncle Nick do some of the sh*t that I’ve seen them do in singles matches as well as in tag matches.
Now they are doing a different configuration of another thing that I saw another time recently. Matt did a thing to Pentagon that is reminiscent of a spot from two weeks ago. Now I’m just being cheeky but seriously it’s the same sh*t. Pac is a whole other story though. Everything he does seems legit and snug and overall captivating. It’s not that anyone else in that ring isn’t world class, obviously, but there really is so very much of the same sh*t happening with five of the six dudes in the ring…and I eat my words as the Bucks do a crazy Canadian Destroyer to Pac and then they hit stereo Destroyers on the Lucha Bros. That was f*cking sick. Kenny and Pac go at it and these two dudes are capable of such awesome feats of strength, between snapdragon suplexes and then Kenny just deadlifting Pac into a sit-out powerbomb like he was a child. Penta kicks Kenny in the f*cking mouth so hard I swear he knocked a tooth out, but no. Pac hit the Black Arrow flawlessly on Kenny and totally had the pin and the Bucks broke it up on 2.99999999999. This is f*cking sick.
Pac had Kenny in his submission but Matt kicked him in the face! Fenix sees that Pac is f*cked, drags him to their corner, tags himself in, takes a V Trigger and a One Winged Angel and it’s over. Hangman says “I’m outta here” and they are all playing this “Hangman left The Elite” sh*t a little too heavy I think. Cody joins them in the ring, all in his pea coat and form fitting suit and I can see why Page doesn’t wanna hang with them, man. Jesus, am I becoming the biggest Hangman Adam Page fan?
Well, AEW was a good show. I might just go back and watch last week’s Christmas episode just to be a completist and if I do I will write about it, but I gotta say, this is my first week not watching AEW live (I totally forgot that yesterday was Wednesday) and I know that these past two weeks will be weird for both AEW and NXT in the ratings. That said, while it hasn’t been six months, my six month window is just about closed with AEW. I am starting to judge sh*t harshly and critically and find myself turned off by things and I can’t even fake having blinders on for the most egregious of it.
The women’s division is a f*cking mess. It is so bad and NXT is so good with it that I am very torn on that alone, but the level of excitement that I get from seeing Mox and Pac and Jericho, or apparently my new favorite wrestler Tobacco Farmer Adam Page still overrides that disappointment. For now. I can see myself being annoyed by this. I can also see this as being the most fun and the only appointment viewing that I currently have in my life. otherwise, I’ll watch it later. This is the first time I’ve watched this not only NOT against NXT but also I didn’t need to sit through commercials live, but I often found myself still doing that as it’s become a part of the experience I guess.
Well, let’s just hope that Mox doesn’t f*cking suck super bad if/when he joins the Inner Circle next week for a few weeks as a Trojan horse type thing and then he turns on Jericho and gets the title match and becomes the champ and it rules. Let’s hope he just says no and asks for a match. We shall see.
Wrestling rules. F*ck the world. Party Hard.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!