Thursday, October 31, 2019

AEW Dynamite (Oct. 30th, 2019): New Tag-Team Champs, Bro. (UPDATED)

Another Wednesday night, another episode of what has been, so far, the easiest two hours of pro wrestling that I've had the pleasure of watching. I want to say that the new NWA Powerrrrrrr show has been an easier watch due to its shorter, more compact runtime, but those fake commercials irritate the shit out of me and almost push the whole thing into a realm of parody. If you can stomach those bits, however, it's a fantastic show and a true alternative to the big arena and indy-riffic stuff out there.

In the meantime, we have AEW Dynamite, we have the first set of tag-team champions, and we have a CON-TRACT SIGN-ING! How exciting! Let's get to it.

And then let's redo this because the first time was written while I was half-asleep and wanted to get this over with, which is not a healthy combination. Fortunately, I was able to re-watch the show and give it more attention... as such, while chunks of the text will be unchanged, there will be plenty of new stuff.

So, if you missed out the first time, you didn't miss much.

We open the show with Cody riding with Tony Schiavone in a car. This, along with a segment or two that would air along the way, is supposed to be reminiscent of those clips with Ric Flair and Mean Gene going on a car ride to their match with Vader and it kinda works, I suppose. Honestly, while it might feel like aping older angles from older promotions, I didn't mind this because it felt different enough from what's going on elsewhere and it almost gives off an old-school NWA vibe to the build... I could sense Billy Corgan trembling in his feet as his one domain is being threatened by the T-shirt company.

Also, that is a lie.

Behind closed doors, we hear an argument between Jon Moxley and Tony khan - well, Moxley is arguing while Khan is calm and collected - where Moxley is upset that his Full Gear match with Omega is unsanctioned, which means it doesn't count and Moxley could probably lose without it affecting his stats. Well, that's unfortunate.

Opening title sequence plays out.

Hangman Adam Page defeated Sammy Guevara in the opening contest. Not a bad match and nice to see Hangman get a W on his record. He then cuts a promo about doing some "cowboy shit" at Full Gear, prompting JR to quip "That's a shirt." Look, this is the same company that put out a "Bubbly" shirt and a shirt about tickets. Of course, there's going to be a "Cowboy Shit" shirt sooner or later... and it's going to sell or something. Hangman needs to do more promos to get people to care about him more, especially if he's going to be one of the top stars on this show. So whatever the case, I'm glad he got a chance to talk.

Hikaru Shida defeated Shanna in a pretty hard-hitting little match. Nice to see AEW showcase some other women instead of the same ones. I get that there's only two hours a week you can fill (along with some stuff for Dark), but it'd be nice to see more of their ladies showcased. I like this Shida person; she looks awesome. Please, more joshi. Thanks.

Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends (dressed in Rick and Morty garb - you know, that cartoon with the strange old man that I don't watch or follow) defeated the team of Alex Reynolds, QT Marshall, and Jon Silver in a thing that happened. Yeah, this was short and I'm fine with that. Never saw an episode of Rick and Morty, so the appeal wasn't there. I don't care for this sort of cross-promotional thing when anybody else does it, so AEW gets the naughty stick for that one.

There's a Brandi Rhodes hype video showing off her going crazy last week... well, that's something, I suppose.

The Rock & Roll Express, scheduled to present the new tag titles tonight, get ambushed by Santana and Ortiz, with Ricky Morton going through a table. Ouch.

We have the contract signing between Cody and Le Champion du AEW Chris Jericho, which takes place on stage and not in the ring because we need to be different from the other guys. Both wrestlers sign the contract and then watch a video of the remaining Inner Circle attacking Dustin by ramming his head into a limo and breaking his arm with the car door, prompting Cody and friends to chase the heels off, but not before Jericho smokes a victory cigar. What a heel.

I didn't offer a reaction to this segment originally because it's a contract signing and I'm usually ho-hum on those things. On second viewing, however, I probably enjoyed this piece of business. Jericho and pals got beat by Cody and pals, so Jericho's pals go after Cody's pals and gives Cody further motivation to beat Jericho. Say what you will about Cody, but right now, he's being presented as a top star on this show... and he's the guy you cheer. He's not an asshole heel owner; he's the virtuous fellow who does the right thing or something. He's not a whiny crybaby who cowers in the corner and let his buddies get beat up; he rushes to the aid of his fallen comrades. He's being presented as a guy you want to cheer on and as someone who you want to beat the asshole champ for the title. I've said this phrase countless times, but I'll say it again. WHAT A CONCEPT!

Kenny Omega (coming out in an Undertale-themed entrance and garb) and the Young Bucks (dressed in Shoto Garb) defeated the team of Kip Sabian, Angelico, and Jack Evans where Omega pinned Evans after hitting a One-Winged Angel. This whole match felt like a performance rather than a match, which is fine for those who care for that sort of thing... but sometimes, I wanna see a fight (even if it's fake) and I want people to beat the crap out of each other. This never got to that point... and the video game related aspects didn't quite help, either.

After the match, Santana and Ortiz in Rick and Morty garb attack the Bucks... well, that was a good use of Rick and Morty.

Peter Avalon comes out to rant about the city of Charleston when Moxley comes out, Paradigm Shifts the Librarian and cuts a promo recapping the opening closed door segment to the audience. When I first mentioned this promo, I said it was nothing to write home about, save for Mox's fiery intensity carrying it to another level or something equally indecipherable. Watching it again, I might've undersold this whole Moxley angle... probably because I was watching this late night and was in a rush to get something out... but this one promo does actually make a point in underlying Moxley's whole goal; to beat Kenny Omega. And since AEW is a place where wins and losses matter - that's one of the major selling points - a win over Omega would be a big deal for Moxley.

But then the match between Omega and Mox is Lights Out - an unsanctioned match where anything goes and it's all off the record. All of a sudden, AEW has an out so that not every win or loss matters. Now these guys have a match with no consequences because it really doesn't matter. And Mox is upset because he wanted to beat Kenny and now it won't matter. This intrigues me somewhat and makes me wonder about how Kenny will react.

All of that was a result of watching this Moxley promo and paying attention to it. Not only did it sell me on the current feud between the two, but it actually sold me on the Jon Moxley package. I always dug Dean Ambrose's run in WWE when it was churning out genuine good shit and always wished he had gotten a chance to really cut loose because he really deserved that chance. Moxley's promo was convincing and passionate. It sold me on the storyline, it revealed a somewhat sinister reality to the Lights Out gimmick, and perhaps most importantly, it made me want to go out and buy the PPV to see this match and follow the shows.

Scorpio Sky and Kazarian defeated Fenix and Pentagon where Sky cradled Fenix for the pin to win the first AEW Tag-Team Championships. A great match with big move after big move... and an ending that came out of nowhere. For some reason, this never had the big match feel that the crowning of a new championship should have, which did concern me. Nonetheless, I thought it was a fine enough match that entertained me. And on that note, it was fine.

A somewhat slower show than what has come before and I think we're starting to get into the groove of things. The matches on display were fine, the tag title match was a highlight but not by much, and yes, I like the Shida. She is awesomes. Despite the slower and lower stakes, this remains an easy two hours to watch and the good will is still pretty strong here.

Enjoy your WWE Crown Royal II, folks. I sure won't.

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