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AEW Dynamite - January 29, 2020 - The Sky is Falling and the Bloom is Off the Rose


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As goodhelmet often, and correctly, points out: A big problem with AEW is that there is generally no sense of urgency to make us feel like we need to watch their shows right away. 

I guess the main reason I want to try and keep up is just to engage in discussion here... but I have honestly just caught up on the last couple of weeks of AEW content.

It was good stuff! 

Can they extend their streak to three really good shows in a row? 

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I really liked the show. Solid storyline progression and again, no Nightmare Collective, which is always a positive. 

- There's no way they are turning Page heel, is there? I mean he came out ddrinking, handed his drink to his friend, kicked ass, and then finished his drink. That is as close to a universally effective babyface trope as it gets. I mean, Bollywood and other Indian film industries have been using it for the last 50 years. And a heel turn might make Omega interesting.

- Nyla Rose is really getting over. 

- I liked Baker's promo this week. Maybe it's cuz taking shots at JR works better for me haha. 

- The Cody match was good, and that was because Cody is so over. Absolutely no one in this world thought he would get over and stay over at this level 2 years ago. Sabian was mediocre as a stalling heel and I don't give a shit about the Janela story, but Cody ending the match with an emphatic stretch of multiple finishers just to beat Sabian up was the best way to end the match. Also, I am not close to being the kind of "looks" guy that someone like Cornette is, but Sabian pushing Arn made me laugh, cuz I genuinely believed that Arn, at that age, pot belly and all, would fuck Sabian up. 

- I am loving the Mox-Jericho build. Mox was massively over in his hometown. I know I sound like a complete Jericho fanboy every time I talk about him these days, but I was actually not much of a Jericho fan before. My comments about him during the GWE were not very flattering. But he has gone up several levels since he started his NJPW run, and he has reached a point where I am finding everything he is doing great, because he is so great. 

- The PAC promo was a bit corny for me. On the other hand, MJF on commentary was gold.

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I thought they played it incredibly safe this week. In a lot of ways, it felt like a WWE show with a fairly straight forward 15 minute promo between the two biggest stars opening the show. Then to close the show you have the babyface clear the heel out of the ring, it was so typical of the WWE I was half-expecting the watermark to appear. I can't blame AEW for running that type of show, especially since Jericho and Moxley are their two biggest stars they should be featured more often. It's just little details in those segments that could have been better. The lax security, Ortiz and Santana's Band of Geeks etc. all should have been avoided.

I didn't feel like the card had a whole lot of momentum behind it. The only match with any kind of build-up was the Bucks/Blade & Butcher match and that was very much opening card material. The Butcher and The Blade barely got to stand out before the Bucks made their comeback and won fairly convincingly. Then to really ram home how irrelevant last week's segment was, the rematch for next week was put together to get the Bucks onside with Omega/Page. The more obvious direction would have been for the Bucks to win the match, only for MJF's tag team to attack the Bucks after the bell and for Omega/Page to rush in and make the save.

The rest of the card was cold, so there was about four matches where they had to start from scratch. They weren't bad matches, they were all fine but ideally you want these matches to have some backstory and for there to be some consequences. It seems like half the roster is still trialing for a place and it's just been months of probables vs. possibles. It's like Fully Loaded 2000 on repeat, and they've got to mix it up.

Something as simple as having Darby and Private Party come out and assist Moxley in the opening would have helped the show out.

It only occured to me recently, but the show should really mix up the amount of matches on any given card. They've ran the same five match format for five shows now, it's starting to run together like Impact circa 2016.


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I have to say I agree with @Big Pete about this week's episode of Dynamite.  To me, it felt really "paint-by-numbers", flat and uninspired.

- The opening segment was okay, Moxley's promo was decent and Jericho was gold like he always is.  But the whole deal with a fan favorite coming out to the ring to start the show, giving an interview, only to be interrupted by the heel, leading to a physical confrontation which needs to be broken up by security, is pretty much textbook WWE. Boring and predictable.  As much as I have bitched about AEW, they've never come across as boring and predictable.  I have really enjoyed how they've started many episodes of Dynamite with action right off the bat. As a fan I can almost forgive AEW stuff like Brandi's stupid angle and even the Dark Order, because at least they're trying to be unique and different. To me, this opening segment would not have looked out of place on Monday Night Raw, and that is not a compliment. That's disappointing. It was well done, but that doesn't mean it should have been done.

- The Young Bucks/Butcher & Blade match was technically pretty good.  I don't really like The Young Bucks, but I was a fan of the fact that they actually seemed to follow standard tag team wrestling rules during this match, it was not just everybody in the ring doing everything all at once.  The highlight for me was definitely MJF on commentary.  Sometimes I think he is getting overpraised but then he does stuff like this and I am reminded that he really deserves all the hype he gets.  I almost died when he made that crack about Nick Jackson going bald. One thing I will say is this...I like and respect JR's work.  But if JR really didn't know or couldn't remember what the "M" in MJF stands for, then AEW has a serious problem on their hands. That means either he is losing control of his faculties or he can't be bothered to pay enough attention to the names of the guys on the AEW roster.  Neither option is good.

- The way they have been pushing Nyla Rose lately, did anybody doubt that she was going to beat Big Swole?  The winner of the match was pretty much a foregone conclusion, I really don't know why it took them almost 9 minutes to get there.  That's too damn long for a TV match in which the result is never really in doubt.  And I don't even really think it was all that great of a match, anyhow.  Swole ended up looking better and more polished that Nyla Rose to me.  The AEW Women's Division is really a black hole at this point. You've got the stupid stuff with Brandi, and their odd fascination with introducing a seemingly endless parade of Japanese women who no mainstream fans have actually heard of. Next week we've got yet another debut, Yuka Sakazaki.  I really don't understand why AEW keeps rolling out these women without doing more to let us know more about them, who they are and why we should care about them.  Here's an idea, shave a few minutes off your unnecessarily long TV matches and air some vignettes telling us who some of these women are, what they've accomplished in Japan and show their personalities so maybe the fans will get behind them.

- Speaking of matches that went on way too long...it takes Cody almost 12 minutes to beat Kip Freaking Sabian?  While this match was technically solid, it seemed really overbooked to me, with the outside interference and Arn getting ejected and all that.  In my opinion, for a match like this Cody needs to beat Sabian clean in five minutes.  Sure he can give Sabian some offence, but this seemed like way too much to me.  Unless they're planning on pushing Kip Sabian as a top guy (which they shouldn't) then I don't get the point of this, I really don't. Even JR himself made some very veiled references to these TV matches going on too long today on his podcast.  Anyhow, another kind of weird thing was when after Cody won, he ended up staying in the ring carrying on and then celebrating with the fans like he just won the World Championship or something.  Dude, you beat Kip Sabian, it really shouldn't be this big of a deal. It came across really weird to me.  And needless to say, that spot where Joey Janella popped up so Sabian and Ford could kiss him was just contrived and stupid.  So basically, it was Joey Janella.

- The Britt Baker promo was just...ugh.  She's turning heel, and for some reason the focus of her ire is...the announce team? I didn't buy her as a fan favorite and I don't buy her as a heel either.  She just comes across as inauthentic and trying too hard with this stuff.  But at least this didn't involve Brandi, so there's that.

- I really hope AEW has some sort of inventive swerve planned for this whole Page/Omega story.  While they're executing to the whole "tension between partners" technically well, we can all see what will probably happen coming from a mile away.  And the problem is that in my opinion, Adam Page's whole "drunken cowboy" routine actually seems to be making him more popular with the crowd, while Omega is just coming across as a major geek in all this. (Which is appropriate.)  Not to mention, if Page ever does turn on Omega, I am not convinced that Kenny Omega has the promo skills required to carry his end of the ensuing feud.  At this rate if Page turns on him, all I can see Omega doing is sipping a cup of tea, and mildly complaining: "Gee, I wish he hadn't done that.  I thought he was my friend.  Well, I'm going to go play some video games."

- One of the things I have enjoyed the most about AEW is the overall aura and atmosphere.  The fans have been generally incredibly vocal, totally into the product and really distinguished Dynamite from a main roster WWE show with the level of enthusiasm.  That's what made this SCU/Angelico & Evans match stand out so much.  The crowd for this match was totally dead, for the most part.  Once again it was technically acceptable match, but it just seemed ice cold.  And it didn't help that it was all topped off with a Dark Order vignette.  That Evil Uno guy looks a total moron with his stupid mask and then wearing a suit on top of it.

- From a technical standpoint, I liked the Pac video package.  I've always thought he was a better promo than most gave him credit for, but even if you don't agree you have to admit that this was shot and edited together really well, with the black and white, cuts and close ups.  I thought it did a great job promoting Pac.

- The Main Event was easily the best thing on the show.  As I mentioned earlier, they seem to be getting a lot better about following actual rules during Tag Matches, and if rumor is to be believed, it's Chris Jericho who has been pushing for that behind the scenes, so good on him.  I'm always happy to see Private Party (who I think have been criminally underused since beating the Bucks in the Tag Tournament) and especially Darby Allin.  Allin is really getting more and more popular with the crowd, I liked how they showed fans holding up signs for him and even a little kid painted up with his face like him.  I really hope AEW can capitalize on his growing popularity. This was a match that actually deserved to go as long as it did, this was pretty much everything you would want out of a TV Main Event.  Everybody got over, and it was exciting.

I'm not saying that Dynamite was actually "bad."  It's not, it's still miles ahead of Raw and Smackdown, from what I've seen.  But it could be a lot better, too.  I guess they got their three year renewal, so they're not worried.  But I came away from this week's show thinking I could have missed it and that wouldn't have mattered...and that's not good.

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I agree with most of the points but I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks, the angles and build ramp up as they did with Full Gear. But yeah, a real wheel-spinning show but NXT was largely the same, I thought. A bit of a calmer week after the frenzied couple of months. I will say that Moxley's Nick Fury eye-patch is a fantastic visual and may actually be contributing to his overness; a dude with an eye patch dispatching heels with a baseball bat is so great.

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Dark Spoiler for Next Week

So apparently on Dark next week, Mel and Luther turn on Awesome Kong.

Between that and the Brandi Rhodes therapy video they uploaded to YouTube where it looks like they are going to blame her character change on a head injury sustained when a Cody dive knocked her into the guard rail, maybe they are finally killing off The Nightmare Collective

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Here is the difference between the Dark Order and the Nightmare Collective. The management knows that the Super Smash Bros can go. They just got stuck with a bad gimmick. Despite the gimmick, they are still capable of delivering in the ring. They are getting on track and I think they are going one angle or segment will turn things around for them. The Nightmare Collective can't deliver in the ring. Brandy needs to stick to managing Cody. Kong is old and hurt. I don't know about the bald one. Like Dark Order, it isn't over but it has actively ruined the women's division. The Dark Order has not ruined the tag division. I enjoyed Swole vs. Nyla this week. No bullshit. No interference. I think Nyla is getting better. 

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8 hours ago, sek69 said:

It looks like the Nightmare Collective is being killed off and the Dark Order is being kept alive because they feel whoever the Higher Power ends up being will end up making it all worth while. It seems like AEW listened to the complaints after all. 

That continues to be one of the main things I love about AEW. They genuinely seem to have respect for their fan, and want to make them happy (in sharp contrast to a certain massive American Corporate Pro Wrestling monolith). 

Also, they often come up with absolutely gorgeous "little things" that just delight me. 

- As sek69 pointed out: TH2's LA Park tribute.

- As MoS pointed out, Jericho's hilariously too-small Bobby Heenan jacket.

-  The way Isiah Kassidy sold the Judas Effect

- Hangman Page has really started to get himself over with little things like Crowd Surfing on the boat last week and his most excellent "hold my beer" moment this week. 

- Dr. Britt Baker has yet to win me over, but the specificity of telling Tony Schiavone he’s got "moderate-to-severe generalized gingivitis" got an actual laugh out of me.

- Mox referencing things that Jericho did to other wrestlers in other companies had me legit marking out. I used to loathe the way that the WWF would refuse to acknowledge the outside-the-company history of the wrestlers that they brought in. Mox referencing stuff from Jericho's heelish past was a nostalgia shot that hit the bulls-eye with me.  

- Speaking of nostalgia, I'm pretty sure that Mox coming out swinging a black bat to clear the bad guys out of the ring was an intentional nod to Crow Sting.

- When Jericho came out for the six-man tag, he was wearing the bandana that Santana and Ortiz gave him during the Thanksgiving Celebration.

Sure, AEW is not batting a thousand. (The Joey Janela kiss spot was maybe trying to hard, for example)... But any company that listens to their fans, rewards us for paying attention, keeps trying to improve, and gets so many things right week in and week out is going to keep my attention, even if I'm often a few days behind in my viewing. 


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