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AEW Dynamite - Grand Slam - September 22, 2021

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Omega/Danielson isn't my favorite AEW match, but I did like it more than any match at All Out. It was 30 minutes that just flew by, which is all you can ask for. I don't even remember Omega doing anything particularly goofy. At least, nothing egregious enough to take me out of the match. The rest of the show was solid as well. One thing that does bother me about AEW is so many heels using submissions as their primary finisher. One of the key elements of the art of the heel is putting the opponent over in victory by making it seem like they escaped by the skin of their teeth, and I can't view a win by submission as anything but a decisive victory. There's a reason Flair almost never won with the figure-four in his prime.

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Bubba @Tetsujin and I share nearly the exact same views about last night's Dynamite.

 

Also, regarding NintendoLogic's criticism, it's part of what made me dislike MJF/Pillmann so much. I mean, I guess a heel having a submission finisher works when it's someone like Lashley making it look like he's gonna rip the head of his opponent, or when they can do vicious shit while applying the move - Sasha stomping on people's fingers to prevent them from reaching the ropes.

I dunno but I feel that the Fujiwara Armbar is just too "clean" of a finisher. Britt at least sticks her hand into the opponents jaw, which looks vicious.

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53 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

There's a reason Flair almost never won with the figure-four in his prime.

Flair not winning clean with the figure four hurt him as a credible world champion, He should have been booked much stronger back in the day. 

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I thought it was probably the best night of a weekly tv show all year and prob in the past 2-3 years. Bryan/Omega was great and I don't think that was even them going all out. The fight forever chant is what it is, but that easily could have gone on another 25-30 minutes and been completely engaging. Maybe not fair, but compare Bryan's first match in the company to Punk's first match in the company. Lol.

MJF/Pillman was whatever. I don't think either guy is particularly good, nor am I interested in this being based on DSOTR episodes.

Black/Cody was lol as well. Cody looking paunchy as hell. Needs to bring back the weight belt to hide some of the love handles and gut jiggle. Also lol at how the crowds have fully turned on him no matter what he does. Also lol at how this mf is doing those weird Jarrett in TNA style fuckery finishes for every match now. At least the right guy won even if the manner of victory wasn't impressive or really even very fitting for Black.

Sting/Darby vs FTR was great. Sting is like the complete negative of Taker/Goldberg/Flair/Hogan and it's really wonderful to see him not only looking so impressive in all of his matches in AEW, but actually doing more and more each match and still looking better each time. I had never considered the coffin scorpion death drop as a team finish for them, but now that they teased it I hope to see it some day because that's actually fucking rad. I think this is actually the best match FTR has had in AEW and I hope it isn't followed up with weird twitter drama and then them doing nothing for 3 months. Sting is actually OLDER than Taker, older than Hogan was in his last matches, 8 years older than Goldberg, and the same age Flair was in his TNA run. Yet he's looked better in his AEW matches than he did the last couple of years of his TNA run, which was 8 years ago now. Granted, he's been handled and protected in a much, much better way than any of the above guys were at the end of their careers. It probably would be a bummer if he was put in a 15 minute singles match but he's not and so what he's doing has been great to see.

Ruby vs Baker was a mess but most Britt Baker matches are. I feel like every match of hers has at least one portion that completely falls apart because she gets stiffed and or a spot goes wrong and she gets a mix of lost and pissed and then things usually get real stiff and taken up a notch right after. 

 

The crowd was tremendous and really can't be overstated how important a crowd is to a pro wrestling show. That's not to say there weren't some really great wrestling matches in the pandemic area all across the world, some directly enhanced by the lack of crowd (like Dragonov/WALTER last year). But god damn a huge crowd actually excited and happy to be there enhances everything so much. 

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2 minutes ago, NotJayTabb said:

Brandi giving Black the double finger was hilariously bad. I howled with laughter at that

I was absolutely stunned at how this was expected to be a babyface spot. I mean Cody worked heel in the match so clearly they were expecting boos, so how on Earth did they think that spot was a good idea? Just a total head-scratcher 

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They thought they got to come off as “cool” heels, but they clearly have positioned themselves terribly with all this. There’s a part of me that thinks Cody’s days might be numbered a bit, because if the progression of the company is any indication, the crowd was happy to have him around to start, but have clearly moved on to better aspects of the company. 

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I hardly have the time to get to watch any wrestling these days, but I did watch Omega/Danielson. It was an excellent TV match and I liked how much restraint they showed, in leaving a lot of room for "escalation" in future matches.

On the subject of Omega's goofiness, I'm somewhat in the middle. But what particularly blew me away was the dragon suplex on the ramp. That's, obviously, an incredibly risky spot, but how Omega managed to make that look painful whilst at the same time protecting Danielson as much as could be possible on such a spot was astounding. Whatever issues one might have with his performance generally, he has un-fucking-believable technique.

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I assumed Punk hugging Amell was a precursor to him getting involved with Cody but nope, just Brandi getting everything wrong again. The whole thing felt like a very gradual heel turn throughout the match so they need to just go with it. Have him blame Arn for this and go full faux-celebrity heel couple.

Thought the show was great but nothing really could follow the opener, Punk was right. Them building the tag around Sting was crazy but it was even crazier that he was moving as well as he was. I guess Sting and Darby are an established team in the division and not an occasional pairing now? Book them against Suzuki and Archer.

Main event had its moments but felt disjointed at spots and having interference fuckery leading to the finish grew old quickly with the Bucks so I hope it’s not creeping in with Britt. 
 

Miro’s promos are off the chain, I hope he keeps the TNT title forever off the back of them.

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re: Cody, one of my Discord buddies made an interesting point…

Earlier in the pandemic it made more sense to run him as a babyface since they were stuck in Florida where his Captain America shit would play a lot better. His act is made for there and the South in general, but now that they’re traveling to the East Coast and the blue parts of the Midwest it doesn’t make much sense anymore.  Feel like a turn is coming.

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A fun Dynamite with an excellent TV match between Omega/Danielson. Kenny toned down the goofy mannerisms and his game face on and Bryan reaffirmed to the world that we all knew, he's the greatest North American wrestler in the past twenty years. What they did was great and still managed to leave some on the table. A MOTY contender for sure.

Sting/Darby might get a low key vote for Tag Team of the year. 

Cody/Black didn't jive well with me. I don't know what they was going for but Cody embrace being heel and turn on Arn.

Baker/Soho was good. She keeps improving nicely and Ruby has finally gotten that WWE house style out of her system.

BRING ON RAMPAGE!!!

 

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1 hour ago, funkdoc said:

re: Cody, one of my Discord buddies made an interesting point…

Earlier in the pandemic it made more sense to run him as a babyface since they were stuck in Florida where his Captain America shit would play a lot better. His act is made for there and the South in general, but now that they’re traveling to the East Coast and the blue parts of the Midwest it doesn’t make much sense anymore.  Feel like a turn is coming.

The thing about Cody's Capital Neoliberal persona is that I'm not even sure it can draw the desired heat by working a simple red-vs-blue divide. There's a tendency to see this as a 1997 Bret Hart "divisive" crowd dynamic because that's the most immediate precedent for this sort of nationalism, but I actually think he's treading on go-away heat for both conservatives and progressives. He's tiresome in a way that doesn't really offer a lot of catharsis for hating him, at least not without Cody actually leaning into more deliberately irritating elements of his persona. He's not working on the same wavelength as 1997 Bret or even Dutch Mantel Zeb Colter and the Real Americans - he's basically a paladin for American exceptionalism.

Frankly, there's probably a case to be made that Cody has been meandering toward go-away heat ever since Eddie Kingston completely torched him on the mic in his AEW debut -- another match/feud that Cody should have lost, I would point out -- but the differences between 2019 AEW Cody and 2020 AEW Cody are probably better suited for a separate discussion.

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Yeah, I don't think it's really a red vs blue thing, because Cody's character isn't really about the jingoism most nights (other than the Ogogo match). My feeling is that toward the end of 2020 they were considering a heel turn with him (the stuff with Darby, teasing him aligning with FTR) and then when they decided not to pull the trigger, the character had completely lost its way. I also think he fell in love with his own promo ability too much, and began thinking he could cut one promo to heat up a feud instead of actually building a story. The Aldis match and the Dustin match didn't need a lot of build because the story was built in; not so much with Shaq, or even with Ogogo. (And I say this as someone who absolutely loved Cody's promo work in 2018-2019 and think it's an all-time classic run on the mic that is sadly over.)

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I mean for all the "Cody is the HHH of AEW" talk, at least he was self aware enough to not put himself over the guy who's getting much better reactions than he is. That's 100% the opposite of what Hunter would have done in that case. Hell, he probably would have hit the Pedigree and taken five minutes to cover him for  the pin because the other guy's last name is Black. 

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4 minutes ago, sek69 said:

Hell, he probably would have hit the Pedigree and taken five minutes to cover him for  the pin because the other guy's last name is Black. 

:lol::lol::lol:

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I don't think there is any character work or anything going on with Cody's gear at all. It's just a follow up reference to the American Dream thing again from the Ogogo feud, but you might remember he dressed up like a fucking Revolutionary soldier when he faced Aldis for the NWA Championship for the same reasons. I think the dude is just one of those homers for the flag types.

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When Cody was in a match with the stipulation that he could never challenge for the AEW title again if he lost, we all figured they'd find a way to invalidate it at some point. But maybe he's had an eye on the exit the whole time and the stip was his way of limiting the storylines he could be involved in to make a clean break easier. By the way, Brandi came out of the heel tunnel last night.

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Yeah but the thing with Cody for me is his lack of awareness. You help start a company that is geared toward being the antithesis of WWE, you become an EVP, and then you partner with your wife onscreen and have elaborate entrances like “someone else”? As much as I dislike Omega and The Buck’s goofiness I feel like they can read their audience MUCH better than Cody can and play to it.

Cody is actually reminding me of Dusty towards the end of his JCP run where he was putting himself in main events and getting some go away heat. That being said, I think a heel turn is coming but it only works if he channels anger for being turned on by the fans. He doesn’t need to get too cute. He needs to be bitter and complain about how ungrateful the fans are and how they are picking new heroes when HE was the one that laid everything on the line to get the promotion going.

He has it in him but he needs to lean into it….

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7 minutes ago, NintendoLogic said:

When Cody was in a match with the stipulation that he could never challenge for the AEW title again if he lost, we all figured they'd find a way to invalidate it at some point. But maybe he's had an eye on the exit the whole time and the stip was his way of limiting the storylines he could be involved in to make a clean break easier. By the way, Brandi came out of the heel tunnel last night.

I'm glad I'm not the only one for whom it completely jumped off the page. Looks like they're slowly getting there. And based on last night's reactions, they might pull the trigger sooner rather than later.

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I would imagine he'll be in a holding period until they see what the reaction to the reality show is. If people aren't watching it and there's a lot of negative reaction, I can see the heel turn rolling out of that. But if it is popular and grows the audience in the way they want, they will probably not turn him for a while. However just the previews make Cody look like a super unlikable manchild so we'll see.

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Having said all this, Cody is the only one who comes out of the middle of the entrance way so I’ve always assumed the idea is that he’s supposed to lean either way depending on the situation but he’ll always be Cody. Depending on who he’s against, his character will reflect off of them in whatever light that may be. A good idea in theory but the execution has been lacking, to say the least. Ditch the ridiculous entrance and go full heel.

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Omega vs Danielson was GOAT vs GOAT going broadway on TV and it was all kind of awesome. Both are just exceptional pro-wrestlers and it's beautiful and so satisfying watching them work together. 

Cody & Brandi are turning heel and it's gonna be tons of fun because that's their best act.

Malakai Black looked like a total star.

Sting is 62, or so says the rumor. 

The booking was perfect all night long, exactly the right results (30 minute draw doh!, no way Pillman beats MJF, Cody put Black over again, Baker has no business losing the belt yet). Just an awesome pro-wrestling TV show.

(the hilarity of people going insane about RAW beating Dynamite in the demo. We've reached that point where AEW *not winning* seems like an upset just 2 years in, and of course AEW is dead in the water now.:lol:)

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5 minutes ago, El-P said:

(the hilarity of people going insane about RAW beating Dynamite in the demo. We've reached that point where AEW *not winning* seems like an upset just 2 years in, and of course AEW is dead in the water now.:lol:)

Beat them by like .01 too, lol. 

But yeah, the goalposts are somewhere past Jupiter at this point for the "AEW is a failure" brigade.  

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