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AEW Dynamite February 5, 2020

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There's good bald and there's not-good bald. Scorpio Sky is good bald; Kazarian is not (neither is Daniels, it makes him look sickly).

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It will never not be funny that Kazarian turned down a WWE deal back in the day because they were in the phase where no one but Hunter could have long hair, and he refused to get a haircut. Then he promptly started shaving his head not too long after. 

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5 minutes ago, goodhelmet said:

I have a gut feeling they still plan on turning Page. I hope I am wrong. 

That sure seemed to be the plan at one point, but that was before the Austin-lite gimmick got so over.

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Riho bouncing off the table instead of going through it made that look way more brutal than a table spot normally looks.

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NXT has kept my interest more tonight, but this ten lashes angle got me to tune in. Old school still works.

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- I hope this means the Nightmare Collective is over. This has to be Brandi's face turn, right?

- I am loving the Mox-Jericho build. Jericho being a complete hypocrite was expected but funny. I hope they don't blind Mox's other eye next week though; that would be way too much. What does an "eye for an eye" match mean exactly? Like, does it carry any stipulations beyond the fact that both are blinded in one eye?

- People shit on Janela but Sabian is worse imo. Bland, no charisma, completely uninteresting. 

- The 10 lashes was masterfully done. When MJF first came out, there were nearly 20 minutes left, so I knew it would go long, and my gut instinct was to be wary, cuz I hate too much melodrama in wrestling. But they really hit it out of the stadium with this entire angle. MJF did not crack an incest joke, which slightly disappointed me, but he was amazing. To use a cliche, it was old-school heat. I loved everything about it. 

- You just can't turn a guy who loves drinking beer into a heel. It's just not how it works. This is like a universal thing - as I said last week, even Bollywood has been using this trope for decades. I think Omega turns heel. It would make him more palatable to me, cuz all his annoying motions would come off better when he is being portrayed as a douche. 

- Overall, another excellent episode imo. AEW has been in excellent form since the new year started. I hope it continues. 

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That final segment was masterful; Cody Rhodes is an absolutely incredible babyface and the escalation of his support was great. Handing the 9th shot off to Wardlow was a nice touch as a final attempt to get Cody to give up but no, he's powered through it by his newly turned wife. I am very hot and cold on the in-ring product on these shows but they really do have a great average when it comes to nailing the angles, especially the big ones on top. It's going to be down the road but whenever MJF is World Champ and Cody is persuaded to finally challenge for the belt, it's going to be fantastic.

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It seems like AEW listened to the fans and decided to scrap the Nightmare Collective. For those who don't watch AEW Dark, Luther and Mel turned on Kong and laid her out. Brandi also had a segment talking to a shrink, where she basically said that she, "hadn't been herself lately." If they want to keep Luther around as Mel's henchman or whatever, I guess that's fine. Mel is at least decent in the ring.

I do like the angle with Daniels and the Dark Order. This is a good fit for him, and I like what they're doing with this. I haven't been as down on the Dark Order as some people (though they absolutely should not have been in that show ending angle where they beat down the Elite a few weeks back). 

I actually like the Kip Sabian/Penelope Ford combo. I don't get why anyone is supposed to care at all about Janela. He physically looks like crap compared to most of the roster, and he doesn't really bring that much in the ring. This feud needs to reach a conclusion soon so Sabian can move on to bigger and better things. Maybe a feud with Darby Allin would make sense?

I thought the 10 lashes angle was going to be lame, and I wasn't really looking forward to it, but they did a very good job with it. I liked the touches of having the heels watch on, and then Cody's friends coming out, capped off with Brandi coming out. Very well done. 

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I feel like Penelope Ford will eventually overshadow Kip Sabian. She just adds something to his act. I remember watching his first few matches on his own and I wasn't that impressed with Sabian but since Penelope was added to the mix, I'm more interested. I'm just curious to see if eventually they split them up, it will be a case similar to Sable & Marc Mero where the promotion will put way more emphasis on Penelope and Sabian will be releaged to irrelevancy.

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Dave mentioned on WOR that Awesome Kong will be out for a bit to film the new season of GLOW so that makes it convenient to drop the angle. I do kinda dislike not having a proper explanation on TV but that would probably involve a Brandi vs Mel match that the world does not need.

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Cody maybe the best NWA Powerr wrestler of them all. He's a throwback that takes these old ideas, plays them straight as an arrow and still gets over. I feel the MJF/Cody segment was a better idea in concept than in actual execution, it really isn't something that should be celebrated but at the same time it's another notch under Cody's belt and he's literally spilt blood, sweat and tears for this company. In a way, the blurring of lines is the true art of Pro Wrestling.

Personally I feel like they focused on the wrong thing and the segment lacked tension. Of course Cody was going to survive 10 lashes, we've seen wrestlers endure far worse in the promotion and still back up. The drama was in whether MJF would really go through with it and if Cody would subject himself to such public embarrassment. The actual lashing itself isn't that spell-binding, it's the characters and how they change before and after this event.

I thought they got Ortiz-Moxley just right. Ortiz got to show enough offence without Moxley looking like a mid-card guy and the sudden spike in drama with Moxley stabbing Santana in the eye with the key was fantastic.

Best Friends-SCU didn't quite work. The focal point of the match being the hug disruption took away from the victory and it made it seem like the Best Friends would have won had they gotten their priorities straight. The Orange Cassidy spot on the floor was a highlight but the whole point of the match was to build heat for the inevitable Dark Order-SCU match at Revolution.

It was nice to see Baker's nasty streak come to life and that bit where she knocked Sukizaki's teeth out gives her a lot more credibility than a roll-up win ever would. Good stuff and they're slowly but surely building things back up.

I thought the eight man tag team match played to the strengths of the performers and rarely had a dull moment. At the end of the day, it was a character driven match but it was also a stunt show which is what I think the fans want from the Bucks and the Lucha Bros. I think they came up with the right result, with Page-Bucks being the focal point for now but the Lucha Bros getting another W over the Bucks to continue their relatively good record against them.

I was really curious about Sabien-Janela. Now I didn't think the match was Steamboat-Flair by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I thought it was pretty lousy but I think it's cool that we're getting to see these wrestlers fly by the seat of their pants. I don't want to see overly choreographed matches, I want to see some blemishes, I want to see wrestlers try to establish themselves in the ring so we can see that journey and make a point of those milestone matches. They've got a long way to go and while this match wasn't a trainwreck, I don't think it did much for either guy. If anything, Penelope (a really underused wrestling name) came out of it looking the best.

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Actually, I disagree with your assessment of the Cody lashing segment. While I agree that everyone expected Cody to get through all of it, for me it was about MJF doing everything possible to ensure that Cody would fail and back out of the match. Because in reality, MJF threw all of those stipulations to avoid  wrestling Cody at Revolution. The look on MJF's face when Cody survived the final lash and after MJF's low blow told the whole story. To me, this angle is more about MJF's character and motivations than it is about Cody's courage and honor, which is totally great with me.

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Wardlow nearly cutting Cody in half with the belt was a really underrated part of that segment as well. Established him as more of a threat before the cage match. 

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Its amazing to see Cody become one of the best performers and overall characters in the business.  Its rare that a match or segment with him misses and in hindsight his work building the program and match with Spears were miraculous.  MJF has managed to generate legitimate heel heat at at time when few strive for it and fewer succeed, much less to this level.  

Here's my problem.  MJF comes across as an absolutely incredible manager or mouthpiece.  I don't see him as any kind of physical threat to anyone on the roster.  He doesn't have imposing size, or a presence that conveys any kind of danger or threat to anyone at all.  He's beyond obnoxious but once he's done talking what's left?  Sure, I'd love to see him get destroyed.  But I don't yet buy any other outcome to a match with him.  Not sure how they get over that hump for me.

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Exactly. For all they are doing to make MJF, the fact remains it is difficult for me to buy MJF as a guy who should be beating Cody and the likes. For a future star, that's not great.

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10 hours ago, SirEdger said:

Actually, I disagree with your assessment of the Cody lashing segment. While I agree that everyone expected Cody to get through all of it, for me it was about MJF doing everything possible to ensure that Cody would fail and back out of the match. Because in reality, MJF threw all of those stipulations to avoid  wrestling Cody at Revolution. The look on MJF's face when Cody survived the final lash and after MJF's low blow told the whole story. To me, this angle is more about MJF's character and motivations than it is about Cody's courage and honor, which is totally great with me.

I'm just looking at the segment in a vaccuum and how it didn't make for great television. As a piece in the greater whole, I thought the segment achieved what it wanted to, not only adding to the MJF/Cody rivalry but putting over Cody's passion for AEW.

I just think the drama was in Cody turning up at all and MJF actually going through with it, not Cody surviving 10 lashes. We've seen wrestlers endure far worse in this company.

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MJF is 5'11'', about 215 pounds, and looks jacked and fit. By no means does he look like Joey Janela - someone who does not look as if he can do any damage in the ring. Cody himself is about 6 feet and 220 pounds. We live in an age where we know for a fact that smaller, more skilled fighters can beat bigger, stronger opponents. If MJF's physical stature makes you think he is not credible enough, then we might as well go back to the John Laurinaitis decree of every recruit being 6'4'' and 250 pounds. 

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Maybe MJF not looking like enough of a threat is down to his ring work? But I don't get the argument about his size because I think he looks pretty thick. His arms and chest are more muscular than Cody's.

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5 hours ago, MoS said:

MJF is 5'11'', about 215 pounds, and looks jacked and fit. By no means does he look like Joey Janela - someone who does not look as if he can do any damage in the ring. Cody himself is about 6 feet and 220 pounds. We live in an age where we know for a fact that smaller, more skilled fighters can beat bigger, stronger opponents. If MJF's physical stature makes you think he is not credible enough, then we might as well go back to the John Laurinaitis decree of every recruit being 6'4'' and 250 pounds. 

I went out of my way to note that his work doesn't come off as physically imposing or threatening at all.  There are a ton of smaller wrestlers who because of their style, offense and presence come off as dangerous threats that make you believe they're capable of hurting their opponent.  Just look at the Bucks.  I don't see that in MJF.  At all.  You can use whatever term you want to characterize it but the way he physically carries himself -- from his movement in and around the ring during matches or segments to his bumping and offense -- none of it conveys any sense of physicality.  It doesn't resonate as in any way believable, violent or threatening.  An absolute heat magnet who has a place in pro wrestling.  But I've yet to see anything suggesting that that place is in the ring as one of or quarter of a marquee match.

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