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    Saturday, May 16, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (5/13/20): Double the Nothing

    I know COVID-19 has ruined everyone’s plans, especially of those that run wrestling companies but man, the build to AEW Double or Nothing 2020 has been rough. This week’s stick of Dynamite, unfortunately, doesn’t get any better as the build-up to the company’s next pay-per-view continues to feel underwhelming. Even the announcement of Mike Tyson appearing in the show feels half-baked.

    This week’s Dynamite isn’t all bad but there isn’t a lot of good either. I guess the death of Vanguard 1 is a bit sad for those that love Matt Hardy and his Broken Universe antics. Speaking of Hardy, he and Omega did have a pretty strong match against The Inner Circle’s Santana and Ortiz so that was entertaining. Umm, Jericho and “Pineapple Pete” Suge D got to blow off their mini-feud?

    Let’s just get on with it…

    Lacking Venom


    Jake “The Snake” Roberts has been killing it in the mic but this was a pretty bad week for the legendary heel. Roberts stumbled on some of his words when cutting his promo on Cody, and the random comments he made when Lance Archer was brawling with The American Nightmare just felt off. It was a pretty off week for Roberts and I hope he does better with next week’s face-to-face against Arn Anderson.

    Admittedly, “The Snake” did get good heat from me when he went full sexist heel and mentioned how women were only good for certain things while addressing the angle with Brandi Rhodes last week. Comments like that are really easy heat for the current generation of smarks and it makes me hope that Brandi kicks him in the snake eggs.

    Even with that, this is supposed to be the hottest feud heading into Double or Nothing. They tried to make it feel that way with Cody using a car to crash their barricade but that just led to a typical brawl with the Murderhawk Monster. I’m not saying this feud is dead since it gave us moments like Archer killing Dustin Rhodes and Brandi getting snaked, but this was a pretty weak follow-up to everything we’ve seen thus far.

    RIP Vanguard 1


    It was good seeing Chris Jericho in the ring again, even if it was just a squash against "Pineapple Pete" Suge D. Honestly, it’s a shame that the match was so short since the build to this was better than most of the actual Double or Nothing card. Not joking here.

    The segment where they challenge The Elite to a Stadium Stampede match had an inconsistent tone to it. While this feud with The Elite is meant to be taken seriously, they tried to mix in some of the comedy they did with Jericho and Vanguard 1, before making it “serious” by having The Inner Circle destroy the drone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Jericho/Vanguard 1 stuff but going full comedy in this feud against The Elite might not be a good idea. If they keep the goofy ideas to Hardy/Jericho that’s fine but getting everyone else involved might be a bit much, especially since they are planning to do Blood and Guts down the road. Then again, with Hangman Page living in a forest and Kenny Omega running people over with golf carts, maybe going full DDT isn’t the worst idea in the world.

    Not a great segment but I am mildly intrigued to see this match, though a part of that is because I miss the Hangman.

    The Fallen Angel Falls


    Well, here’s the match Mr. Brodie Lee should have had at Double or Nothing. If we’re not gonna get it in a pay-per-view, they might as well have a match on live TV and, you know what, it was pretty good.

    As expected, Mr. Brodie Lee was in control for most of the match but this was no squash. When you consider how so much of The Dark Order storyline is connected to Christopher Daniels, it would be an insult if it was. While a bit messy in the end with so much interference, they did do a solid job at making The Fallen Angel a real threat to Lee. Sorry, Mr. Lee.

    I did take some umbrage over Mr. Brodie Lee kicking out at one from Daniels’s Angel's Wings. They want to make Mr. Brodie a threat, which is fine but maybe don’t make someone else’s finish look really weak in comparison? Kicking out at two already makes a finisher less threatening so kicking out at one is basically a burial.

    After Lee won, they reminded us that Moxley and Mr. Lee are feuding for the AEW World Championship. While Moxley cut a solid enough promo about ending Mr. Brodie’s career, this program still feels rushed. Once again, COVID-19 ruined everyone’s plans but I have to call it like I see it.

    Final Grade: Skip it. D

    Elite Thoughts:
    • Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy vs Santana and Ortiz was pretty good. I wish the Proud and Powerful members of The Inner Circle didn’t lose during their return to Dynamite but they booked themselves into a corner after they interfered last week.
    • Why does Hikaru Shida have to win a four-way women’s match to become the #1 contender if she’s #1 in the AEW Women’s rankings? Guess they needed a reason to give us Britt Baker vs Kris Statlander, who will be getting a Double or Nothing match after their encounters during this match.
    • MJF showing off some power moves during his squash match was good since he’s expected to use that against Jungle Boy in Double or Nothing. It’ll be fun seeing him squash Marko Stunt next week, not gonna lie.
    • Rey Fenix killing Orange Cassidy with that flying superkick was crazy good. It was probably the best part of that tag match between The Best Friends and Jurassic Express.
    • Speaking of tag team matches, that video package about AEW’s tag division was fire. It’s nice to see a company actually be proud of their tag team division.
    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 (5/13/20): Double the Nothing Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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