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    Saturday, June 27, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (6/24/20): Beaten to a Pulp

    For the love of every deity people pray to, can AEW and WWE just take a break?

    It was easy to support Dynamite early on when they decided to do more shows since a) they actually did the full COVID-19 tests to everyone in the building and b) no one was getting sick. While most of us would have preferred that they stick to shooting batches of matches in one go, we were hopeful that everyone would be safe and there was some sympathy towards the year-old promotion since they have a TV deal to fulfill.

    Unfortunately, this week changed everything.

    AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and Natural Nightmares member QT Marshall encountered different people who ended up having the disease. While Moxley doesn’t have the disease—according to tests anyway—there’s a very good chance that the champ won’t be able to go to Fyter Fest next week, which is obviously a huge blow to the event, especially with NXT hosting their own two-day show The Great American Bash. Even barring that, the fact two of these wrestlers encountered people with the virus shows that wrestling can take a freaking break.

    I feel guilty for wanting them to close shop, since this was a solid go-home show despite the circumstances. The Lumberjack Match between Wardlow and Luchasaurus was a fun hoss fight that was so enjoyable, it should have been booked for Fyter Fest. FTR and SCU had a really good tag team match, followed up by the return of The Lucha Bros, who were dearly missed these past few months. The Dark Order’s pursuit of Colt Cabana took another interesting turn. Chris Jericho cut one hell of a promo against Orange Cassidy, where he basically channeled Jim Cornette and anyone who doesn’t like the freshly squeezed wrestler’s comedy antics.

    Still, a good show does not excuse putting human lives at risk every day. At the least, record a batch of shows in one go like the first few COVID-19 episodes of Dynamite. Think about your wrestlers, please.

    Blood Orange (Cassidy)


    The ending segment between Le Champion and Orange Cassidy was a great bit that, in my opinion, was able to cater to both types of fans that love and hate Mr. Freshly Squeezed, while also getting them excited for this matchup.

    Old-school fans who don’t like Cassidy probably loved Jericho’s promo since he addressed every criticism that has been thrown at the comedy wrestler. He’s a one-note joke, a disgrace to the wrestling business, the light shin kicks should warrant an immediate beatdown—it’s what every Orange Cassidy hater has said a million times.

    More open-minded fans who do like Cassidy probably appreciated the babyface fire he showed against Jericho and I don’t just mean that show-ending Superman Forearm that sent Le Champion through a table, though that was pretty cool. When it seemed like he was actually going to cut his first Dynamite promo, Cassidy defiantly did his shin kick shtick to Jericho anyway because he got over by himself and doesn’t care about what a near-50-year-old veteran who throws temper tantrums over someone minding their own business thinks.

    And yeah, the brawl was cool. Not as cool as Orange Cassidy though.

    Acronym vs. Acronym


    Now this was one hell of a replacement match.

    I’m sure The Natural Nightmares would have put on a good match with FTR, but I do think SCU are a little bit better than them, no offense to QT or Dustin Rhodes. Personally, I’m a bit surprised they went with this match already since it could have been saved for a different pay-per-view/tv event and both teams showed us why.

    Cash and Dax—still not used to those names—showed how much they stand out in AEW's tag team division. A hot tag from a modern wrestling team would probably have a bunch of high spots and superkicks, so it was refreshing to see Dax make a comeback with punches and three snap suplexes, one of which was a slingshot variation. I'm looking forward to more old-school offense from these two.

    Obviously, FTR won and they’re going to keep teasing us with that Young Bucks match. Not gonna lie though, having them feud with The Lucha Bros before taking on the superkick partygoers who are Christian AF is pretty damn enticing. Hell, I’d argue that The Lucha Bros will have a better match with FTR than The Bucks, but I’m willing to be proven wrong.



    This lumberjack match was waaaaaay better than I thought it was going to be. Was it a match of the year candidate? No, but Wardlow and Luchasaurus worked hard to give us a wildly fun brawl and they really should have booked this for Fyter Fest damn it.

    Yes, I know they booked Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy vs. MJF and Wardlow for the two-night event. That could even be better than this match since the in-ring chemistry between MJF and Jungle Boy is sizzling. But there’s just something about seeing two big dudes go at it you know? Especially if they can do hurricanrana and shooting star presses.

    Whoever booked this match did their best to make both guys look great. Wardlow looked like a monster for turning the prehistoric wrestler inside out with a clothesline early on and his military press to Marko Stunt was awesome, even if Stunt is a runt compared to the guy. Luchasaurus impressed with his kicks and he even got that spot where he pushes away a bunch of heels who were pounding away at him. Didn’t know he could do a shooting star press either but that’s probably what I get for not watching Lucha Underground.

    In the end, Wardlow won via a low blow and his F-10 (yuck) finisher, which protects the dinosaur to some extent. Book a rematch, please.

    Final Grade: Even though I want them to cease production for a bit, I’ll give this episode a B+ since it did get me pumped for Fyter Fest.

    Elite Thoughts

    • While the segment between Cody and Jake Hager was technically decent, this should have been in a Road To video or used as a pre-match hype package for Fyter Fest. I just feel like doing a press conference segment in an episode of Dynamite was weird, even if this was a go-home show. Why didn’t we get press conferences for the other matches huh?
    • I really dig this Dark Order/Colt Cabana storyline. Having Colt go from hot signee to a competitive loser makes his consideration a bit more believable. Guess they’ll be calling him Cult Cabana when he joins eh? Ehhhhhh? 
    • That Joey Janela/Sonny Kiss video package was cheesy in a good, only-in-wrestling, kind of way. It’s a shame that they haven’t been used more in Dynamite since they put on a great losing effort against Cabana and Brodie Lee. Push these guys AEW.
    • Brian Cage is big and strong. Jon Moxley is a fighter who won't give up. The match will be good but the build just isn’t clicking for me.
    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 (6/24/20): Beaten to a Pulp Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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