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    Saturday, April 18, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (4/15/20): Emptier Than Usual

    It’s been a rough week for wrestling fans eh my Dynamates? I know this is supposed to be the AEW Dynamite review, but it is hard to be optimistic about wrestling right now, with so many talented people now jobless with no options for work due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

    Not helping are the annoying AEW fans who are all “sign this guy” with a number of the released talents. Don’t they know that AEW is also owned by a billionaire who could end up doing the same thing Vince has done in the future? Granted, Tony Khan seems like a cool guy and AEW is nowhere near as big as WWE, not big enough to get Florida to make professional wrestling and live sporting events “essential entertainment” or whatever, but it’s hard to trust rich people and corporations right now.

    Sorry for my rambling, these two Smark Henry writers phrase their complaints better than I ever could.

    Anyway, this stick of Dynamite wasn’t that great. It was mostly Squash Match City with three noteworthy matches and a funny skit with Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle. Jim Ross also “returned” in a sense that he provided commentary for the Jon Moxley/Jake Hager match for the AEW World Championship, presumably from the safety of his house so that’s good. If you want my honest opinion, just watch the Hager/Moxley match and maybe Kip Sabian vs. Chuck Taylor of The Best Friends then just check out the highlights for everything else.

    Hurting Big Hurt


    Jon Moxley vs Jake Hager was announced as a No-Holds-Barred Empty Arena Match and we got a pretty good bout out of it, though it was a bit too long. Granted, Empty Arena Matches aren’t just a COVID-19 measure since this is a stipulation that WWE and various Japanese promotions have done in the past, but considering the past few weeks, it hasn’t made wrestling any easier to watch.

    Still, there was a lot to like with this match and how it was presented. I liked how minor celebrities, AEW crewmates, and members of Bellator were hyping up the main event, which gave it a big match feel. Having Jim Ross commentate on the match also made it feel more important, showing that the aging announcer still has it.

    The grappling early on was really good, showing off some of the legit skills that Hager and Moxley have on the mat. There were also some creative spots like the figure four leglock on the steel railing and Hager giving Moxley his arm-triangle choke after getting hit by a Paradigm Shift DDT, mirroring the last time he recovered from the move and gave the champ an ankle lock during that episode of Dynamite a few weeks back.

    Moxley winning was a given since there was no way they were gonna have him lose his first title defense even though the finish—a Paradigm Shift DDT onto a steel chair—was a bit basic. The man’s a star and will hopefully hold it long enough that crowds will get to see him wrestle again. It’s also worth noting that he’s pinned every member of Jericho’s Inner Circle so that’s gonna make Le Champion unhappy.

    I wouldn’t call this a must-watch match but it was well-wrestled for what it was, and they worked pretty hard.

    Final Grade: This was a pretty skippable episode of Dynamite outside of the AEW World Championship match, Kip Sabian vs Chuck Taylor, and maybe Colt Cabana vs Lance Archer. C-

    Elite Thoughts:
    • Nice seeing Sabian get a win, especially since he has a TNT Championship qualifying match against Dustin Rhodes. He and Chuck had a good match that a crowd would have popped for, though they’ll have to settle for an audience of their peers for the foreseeable future. Kinda weird that he’s teaming up with Jimmy Havoc of all people; that’s like seeing a pretty boy jock hanging out with a goth.
    • Lance Archer beat Colt Cabana like anyone’s surprised. Still, it wasn’t a squash and he managed to hit his impressive Blackout powerbomb on a guy with considerable weight and muscle like Cabana so that should be applauded. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up getting the TNT Championship.
    • Not much to say about the squash matches except that the AEW wrestlers won them. It’s good seeing Shawn Spears and Britt Baker get some love amidst the current crisis while seeing Sammy Guevara beat “Pineapple Pete” was a nice bit of continuity from last week.
    • Chris Jericho really needs to consider a career in commentary once he hangs up his boots. Le Champion continues to be immensely entertaining as a commentator.
    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 (4/15/20): Emptier Than Usual Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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