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    Friday, January 31, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (1/29/20): Waiting For a Revolution

    One week after the Jericho Cruise and we’re back to the usual AEW Dynamite formula, for better or worse. This isn’t a problem for fans since the show remains consistent with its story progression. Jon Moxley wants to take the AEW World Championship from Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega is forced to play peacekeeper between The Young Bucks and his partner “Hangman” Adam Page, The Dark Order are mad at SCU’s Christopher Daniels, all of these stories get time to grow.

    However, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Dynamite is on a bit of a holding pattern right now, waiting for Revolution in February before they can do more cool things. Moxley even pointed out how he’s gonna have to try surviving against The Inner Circle for a few weeks, essentially telling viewers that things are gonna start feeling a bit same-y until the pay-per-view comes along.

    Admittedly, this is something that all wrestling companies do and we can’t fault them for that. They have to build up these rivalries so that each pay-per-view match feels like it's worth your money. But you need the build-up to be exciting and this episode of Dynamite just didn’t feel that way.

    Was it a bad episode? No. There were good-to-decent moments sprinkled all around in this stick of Dynamite. We just didn’t get anything mind-blowing or jaw-droppingly good this time, showing how much AEW has spoiled us with their weekly endeavors.

    Moxley’s Got a Bat!!!

    No, Jim Ross didn’t say that at the end of the show and it is automatically why this episode of Dynamite didn’t feel explosive. All jokes aside, the Moxley/Jericho stuff was pretty decent this week. They both cut solid enough promos, though it was far from their best material. 

    Moxley probably had the edge since his promo hit the right beats, acknowledging the danger of Jericho’s lackeys, questioning the champ’s character without burying him, and getting his point across about being able to look at yourself in the mirror every day after everything you do. Jericho made pirate jokes and sort of recycled some of his previous material about Moxley doing this to himself.

    Also not helping with the repetition was seeing Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz in a six-man tag one week after we saw them in the exact same match. Granted, this one was against Darby Allin and Private Party instead of Jurassic Express but it still felt pretty similar, right down to the finish where Jericho wins with the Judas Effect. 

    There was also a weird bit where Jericho brought out five more lackeys in addition to his Inner Circle, which led to a brawl with Moxley that security stopped. Why even bring the five extra dudes? Just having security pull apart Moxley from The Inner Circle would have been effective by itself.

    So, nothing really wrong here, just too much familiarity. Next week already feels more fresh with Moxley taking on “cat paws” Ortiz in a singles match so that’s something to look forward to.

    Bitch, I’m a Doctor

    Okay, mean dentist Britt Baker is the best Britt Baker. 

    Following up on her promo last week in the Jericho Cruise, Baker basically stole the show with this incredibly mean-spirited promo. She didn’t just run down Tony Schiavone as Jim Ross also ended up on her shitlist after he cut away from her promo last week. 

    Schiavone already got pretty burnt last week with the Starbucks jokes and having Baker meanly diagnose him after smelling his breath poured more gasoline on him. Ross didn’t come off unscathed either as Baker called him out for mispronouncing some of the talent's names. I didn’t ask to be a witness to this murder.

    The best part? She brought this all back to her beef with AEW Women’s World Champion Riho. Baker brought up how she was the first female talent signed to the company and appears in all the billboards and ads, unlike the champion of her division. That might come across as her bragging but she’s clearly angry over not being the champion, which helped make this a seven-star promo.

    Alright, that’s a bit much, but this was easily the show’s main highlight. More of this Britt Baker. Please.

    Hold My Beer

    What else was I going to call this part of the review? Look at how amazing that GIF is. 

    It didn’t get too much focus this week but the intriguing story of Hangman Page continues. Things seemed to be going well when both Page and his partner Kenny Omega assisted The Young Bucks as they were getting their asses handed to them by The Butcher and The Blade. One GIFable Buckshot Lariat later and it seemed like things with The Elite were finally getting better.

    Unfortunately, during a backstage interview, The Young Bucks brought up how they wanted to climb the tag team ranks and eventually challenge Omega and Page for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Kenny was more than understanding about it. Page on the other hand…

    Well, Page burst in, pointed out how all the talent have nameplates ready if they ever win one of the company’s championships, gave Matt and Nick Jackson their championship nameplates and left with a drink in his hand, before sarcastically (?) saying “best tag team in the world.” 

    And you thought Ross and Schiavone had it bad.

    Drunk, insecure, and angry Hangman Page has been a revelation for Dynamite. This continues to be one of the best storylines in Dynamite and we’ll probably see this all implode on Revolution. I can’t wait.

    Final Grade: 

    This episode of AEW Dynamite wasn’t particularly strong, warranting a C+ rating from me. There’s nothing offensively bad about this episode but it felt like a placeholder.

    Matches Announced For Next Week:

    • Jon Moxley vs. Ortiz
    • Britt Baker vs. Yuka Sakazaki
    • The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Hangman Page vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and The Lucha Bros

    Elite Thoughts:

    • Cody vs. Kip Sabian was a fun, if overbooked, match. Sabian used every heel trick in the book, from having his valet Penelope Ford interfere, to faking a knee injury just to get an advantage. I felt they overdid it a bit with the cheating but it was still a good watch, with Cody winning after three awesome Cross Rhodes.
    • Oh, and that image of Sabian and Ford kissing Joey Janela? Hilarious.
    • Why was Arn Anderson booked like a dummy tonight? Why would you shove the referee like that?
    • We're going to see Cody get those 10 lashes from MJF next week and that'll be interesting television, at the very least.
    • Big Swole vs. Nyla Rose was better than expected. They came out to crickets but won the crowd over by the end. Now, how about more than one women’s match per episode eh?
    • I can’t wait for Yuka Sakazaki’s return next week. She was a highlight in all of her pre-Dynamite AEW appearances so her match should be fun. Let’s just hope that heel Britt Baker is a better worker than babyface Britt Baker.
    • No Nightmare Collective? YAY! 
    • No Kris Statlander? BOO!!!
    • If The Dark Order focused on SCU from the get-go, they probably wouldn’t have gotten all that shit from fans online.
    Images from All Elite Wrestling

    Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.

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    Item Reviewed: Reviewing the Elite (1/29/20): Waiting For a Revolution Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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