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    Saturday, June 20, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (6/17/20): Future Fest

    Hey everyone! Sorry for missing last week’s episode of Dynamite but it seems like I didn’t miss much since this week’s episode was relatively easy to follow.

    Most of the stories heading into Fyter Fest have stayed the same and have been built upon, which is a good thing since you need to sell that free two-day event. TNT Champion Cody is still taking on all challengers, Chris Jericho wants to beat Orange Cassidy to a pulp (his joke, not mine), FTR and The Young Bucks are heading towards a collision course, and Brian Cage still feels like every other challenger Jon Moxley has faced so far.

    One thing I will say is that even with the build to Fyter Fest, this episode was clearly focused on the younger talent of Dynamite and it was all the better for it. Ricky Starks was able to showcase his abilities against Cody in a great match. Anna Jay joined The Dark Order. Orange Cassidy got to stand tall against Le Champion. It really feels like they're learning from the mistakes of WCW and TNA, though they really need to work on that women's division.

    Before I get to the review, it should be noted that Superbad Squad member Jimmy Havoc has been accused of sexual assault, emotional manipulation, and physical assault. Fuck Jimmy Havoc. He’s not the only shitty wrestler out there so I implore you to check out #SpeakingOut on Twitter and be informed.

    A Starks-Making Performance


    The biggest talking point of this show was the debut of former NWA TV Champion Ricky Starks, who really impressed in his Dynamite debut. I’ll admit to not knowing who he was but after seeing him wrestle, I want to see more of him.

    Much like John Cena’s critically-acclaimed U.S. Championship run, Cody let Starks have a lot of offense for this week’s TNT Championship match. And I mean A LOT of offense. While Cody was never powerless during the bout, it felt like this match was 80% Starks and 20% Rhodes. That’s not a bad thing since it let fans see just how talented Starks is and now that he’s been signed, it will be interesting to see what they have planned for him.

    I also want to give some credit to the announcing. When they mentioned how indie wrestlers can challenge for the TNT Championship, Tony Schiavone was quick to point out that it needs to be approved and signed off on by Tony Khan. That’s good stuff since it fills that plothole of “why doesn’t my favorite indie wrestler get a shot this week,” so thank Khan for that.



    Now, this was a big surprise. When it was announced that Anna Jay signed with AEW and would be in action, many felt that she was just going to squash a local talent and show off her skills. That didn’t happen at all since new signee Abadon completely destroyed Anna Jay in a short, one-sided match all while looking creepy as all hell.

    Jay was soon comforted by Mr. Brodie Lee and the rest of The Dark Order. It didn’t take much convincing for her to join them, which interests the hell out of me. Can you imagine Anna Jay having matches while some of these masked goons join her at ringside? That immediately makes her one of the more interesting women in this division.

    My only complaint about Anna Jay joining The Dark Order is that there are too many heels in AEW’s small women’s division. Britt Baker, Nyla Rose, Penelope Ford, Allie/The Bunny, they’re all on the dark side and the only notable babyfaces right now are Hikaru Shida and Big Swole. Riho’s stuck in Japan and Kris Statlander is injured so Dynamite really needs to start building some female babyfaces.

    That complaint aside, this was a really fun swerve. The Dark Order storyline is slowly gaining momentum again and next week’s episode promises more intrigue, with Mr. Brodie Lee teaming up with “Boom Boom” Colt Cabana, who the cult has been trying to recruit. Can’t wait.

    Superbad is Super Good


    This episode had three lengthy tag team matches and they were all pretty good. Tag champs Hangman Page and Kenny Omega retained their straps against The Natural Nightmares in a solid opener. Le Sex Gods tried but failed to become #1 contenders as they lost to Best Friends in a fine main event.

    Sadly, the best tag team match of the night involved an abuser. Apologies for sounding bitter. I was a fan of Havoc’s work and it sucks knowing that he really hurt some people. Fuck him.

    Even with Jimmy “piece of shit” Havoc involved, The Young Bucks had an exciting, spot-filled bout against the newly christened Superbad Squad. I really like this match but I hope they keep Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford as far away from Havoc as possible. Pair Sabian up with Shawn Spears, post-Fyter Fest Brian Cage, hell, I’ll take Peter Avalon as his new tag team partner, just get rid of Havoc.

    If you can stomach seeing Havoc wrestle, this was a pretty entertaining match. The Bucks really busted their asses off here to make The Superbad Squad look supergood. Hard to believe that Sabian and Havoc were just a random pairing a few months ago and they now feel like a credible team. A lot of the near-falls towards the end almost got me thinking we'd be seeing an upset win for The Superbad Squad, which is saying a lot since The Elite don't lose a lot of TV matches anymore.

    Final Grade: A solid build to their not-pay-per-view that also focused a lot on the younger talent debuting for the company. Add some solid matches and this stick of Dynamite gets a B+.

    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 (6/17/20): Future Fest Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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