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    Saturday, April 25, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (4/22/20): Empty Entertainment

    After last week’s AEW Dynamite episode felt like an extended version of AEW Dark, I was a bit worried about how this one would go. When a number of “wrestlers in action” matches were announced, I was even less excited, since there were so many squashes last week and not enough good stuff in between. These times have been hard and the pseudo-empty arena shows just don’t have the same excitement as normal ones.

    Color me surprised, then, when I was genuinely entertained by this week’s stick of Dynamite. There was plenty of good action to be had with Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara somehow managing to outdo their Revolution match, while Kenny Omega was very giving to Alan Angels, making that a more exciting squash than most. We also had some very good video packages throughout the night, from Cody’s unique intro to that touching look at SCU’s Scorpio Sky and an entertaining “film flam” segment with Chris Jericho and his Bubbly Bunch.

    This episode wasn’t a complete win though. I never bought the fact that Dustin Rhodes was going to retire in his match against Kip Sabian, and felt it was an unnecessary stipulation that basically spoiled the outcome. The complete lack of women in action was also disappointing, though it isn’t completely their fault considering the current climate.

    Still, this was a good episode overall, and is proof that you don’t have to go live for these type of shows. So let’s hope that AEW listens to all the negative feedback regarding reports that they might go live in a few weeks. Just tape your shows and send your wrestlers home. It’s hard enough being an AEW fan when this company’s stans are so annoying and these reports about going live isn’t helping things.

    Round Two


    Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara already had a pretty good match back in Revolution so I was wondering how they would top that here, in an empty arena where they only have an audience of their peers. This ended up being the match of the night, with plenty of hard-hitting action that made both guys look like stars.

    I’ll admit to being annoyed at the start since this felt like a retread of Revolution but with minor changes. Instead of Allin diving to start the match, it was Guevara. Instead of putting Allin through a table with a 630 senton, Guevara tried to put him through a ladder with a diving splash.

    Much like their last match though, once they started going it just kept getting more entertaining. We always expect babyfaces to make spot-filled comebacks after a heel dominates them throughout the match so it was refreshing to see Allin gain back control through his submissions. It made the Sk8r Boi look like a more dynamic competitor who doesn’t just rely on flippy shit to get cheers.

    Allin ended up winning with that awesome Last Supper pinning combination and he’ll be facing Cody next week, just like a lot of people predicted. That should be awesome.

    Opposites Entertain


    Scorpio Sky and SCU in general haven’t been active in Dynamite recently due to the current coronavirus circumstances, so it was nice seeing the team’s most talented member get a spotlight package here. Before he became an AEW World Tag Team Champion who handed Chris Jericho his first loss, Sky was suffering through a back injury that almost cost him his career, and by some miracle, it just stopped hurting one day and he was able to achieve his dream. This was inspiring to see and I hope that he gets a singles push soon.


    On the opposite side of the spectrum, MJF cut a hilarious promo after initially misleading fans on Twitter. The despicable heel who’s better than you had been tweeting out some worrying posts that had us wondering if he was okay. As this video showed, he simply had a hangnail but sold it like a broken arm. It’s the kind of heel material you just have to laugh at and enjoy.

    BTE 200


    Not officially part of Dynamite, I know, but the match between Matt and Nick Jackson was pretty entertaining. Definitely check it out.

    Final Grade: B. The action was solid throughout and we got some very entertaining video packages.

    Elite Thoughts:
    • This week’s Brodie Lee segment was the most Vince McMahon-like yet. The Dark Order has managed to recruit someone who’s 6’2" and weighs 240 pounds, which has always fit the WWE criteria. I chuckled when he asked if the wrestler played college football. 
    • As I mentioned earlier, Kenny Omega was pretty giving toward this Alan Angels fellow, though he did still win. I like that he didn’t use One-Winged Angel for the victory, beating Angels with a powerbomb/V-Trigger combination. He should save his protected move for the big stars.
    • So Matt Hardy can switch between his Broken and regular personas? Considering everything else ridiculous about this character, I can believe it.
    • I don’t know how AEW expected anyone to believe that Dustin Rhodes was going to retire in an empty arena match against Kip Sabian, with only a week of build to this storyline. To their credit, the company’s employees on social media tried selling the angle hard but it was obvious that Sabian was losing tonight. Shame too since the two had a good match that was hampered by this angle. Then again, they won the rating war this week and got back to 700k viewers so what do I know?
    • Was a bit disappointed in Orange Cassidy’s Dynamite debut but against Jimmy Havoc but I’m glad he won. I guess I expected too much after his excellent Revolution match against PAC.
    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 (4/22/20): Empty Entertainment Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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