Thursday, October 17, 2019

AEW Dynamite (Oct. 16th, 2019): That Kid Who Wrestles With Both Hands Tied Behind His Back

Another week, another fresh new edition of AEW Dynamite on TNT... and on TSN2. We've got two titles matches, another potential thread towards the Full Gear PPV, and another easy-to-watch two hours of wrestling. What more could you possibly ask for?

SCU, as represented by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian, come out for their first round match in the AEW Tag-Team Championship Tournament before getting ambushed by the Lucha Bros, who manage to piledrive Daniels on the ramp and came close to doing the same to Kaz before Scorpio Sky ran them off. Daniels is stretchered off and Sky convinces the ref to take his place in order to partake in the match.

SCU (Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) defeated Best Friends (Trent and Chuck) to advance in the Tag-Team Tournament and gain a measure of retribution from their defeat at Fyter Fest. There's a funny bit where Sky tosses his shoe into the crowd and they toss it back. Maybe they wanted both shoes or something. Also, this was a fun match because SCU are really great acts and the Best Friends, whose act I'm not a fan of, can deliver the good where it counts. Great stuff, great opener, and I'm already in a far better mood than I was before. Wonderful!

Santana and Ortiz defeated two "local talents" whose names I don't recall in a quick match. And then Le Champion du AEW Chris Jericho pops up on the Elite-Tron or whatever it's called (a big screen) to issue the challenge at Full Gear: the former LAX vs. the Bucks Of Youth. The match meant nothing other than to showcase Santana and Ortiz as efficient killers, which got the job done no less, but the promo that came afterwards added a thread to their upcoming PPV.

AEW Women's Champion Riho defeated Dr. Britt Baker DMD (am I going to have to write that every time Britt Baker is on TV) via roll-up counter to Baker's Lockjaw submission maneuver to retain the title in another fun little match that was focused on Baker's obsession in getting her submission locked in and paying for it in the end because Riho wouldn't open her mouth for the claw part of the move. Simple, effective storytelling that is... let's not go there. The two shake hands afterwards and Baker looks disappointed because she lost... for you see, in AEW, wins and losses matter and she is upset that she didn't win the title. What a bloody concept.

The Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Fenix) defeated Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt to advance in the Tag-Team Tournament. Stunt was subbing for the injured Luchasaurus and well... the end result isn;t quite there and the match, as a whole, was just kinda there.

Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page defeated PAC and Jon Moxley in what was the best match on the show. After a good chunk of action, weapons are pulled out, PAC gets rid of weapons so as to not get DQ'ed, Mox DDTs PAC and leaves him at the mercy of the Elite who beats him. Apparently, Mox didn't get the memo about wins and losses mattering.

Le Champion du AEW Chris Jericho defeated Darby Allin via submission after timely Jake Hager punch to the face in a Phillidelphia Street Fight to retain the title. And this was indeed a street fight of sorts; weapons were used, reckless abandon within the limits of television was applied, and then Jericho went ahead and taped Darby's hands behind his back, which resulted in some pretty sweet motion on Darby's part. Maybe that should be his gimmick where he wrestles with both hands tied behind his back; if Orange Cassidy can wrestle with his hands in his pockets, why not this? On a whole, though, this was a pretty fun match that not only gave the crowd a World title match worth talking about, but it gave Darby some credibility even in defeat because he held up his end with the champion Jericho.

So that was the third episode of AEW Dynamite and once again, I was given a top-notch program with some great matches, some little bits of pushing the major programs for the PPV, a pretty nice video package hyping the Cody/Jericho match at said PPV, an enthusiastic crowd that enjoyed and appreciated what was on display, which helps to enhance the atmosphere considerably, and a nice pacing that made the two-hour wrestling show fly by. Not to mention, I didn't feel like a dumb shit for watching this show.

I had been worried about AEW's television run after watching a couple of the PPV outputs (yes, I'm including the free Fyter Fest and Fight For The Fallen shows as "PPV events") and coming away less than impressed. However, three episodes in, they've delivered some good shit (PAL!) and I continue to look forward to future editions of Dynamite. And isn't that the ultimate goal of any wrestling program?

Well, yes, there's selling the PPV too... but still... so far, so good. No complaints.


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