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    Saturday, February 13, 2021

    Reviewing the Elite (2/10/21): Cameras Are A Heel’s Worst Friend

    It’s AEW Dynamite! You know what that means.

    Thankfully, a show that didn’t need KENTA to completely carry it. In terms of wrestling, this was a good stick of Dynamite. Sadly, a lot of the storyline progression that happened this week made the wrestlers look stupid and it all comes down to one thing…


    If this were limited to one segment I would have let it go but they happened in two. While one was acceptable because it involves a delusional heel who’s supposed to be stupid, the other one is part of a story that's been losing steam for a while and has officially jumped the shark.

    The angle where the heel being dumb was acceptable had Matt Hardy attempting to get Hangman Page to sign the same bullshit contract that Private Party fell for. He even tried to get Adam drunk to sign a shitty contract, not knowing that the Hangman can hang with his alcohol, man. While the young tag team has accepted their fate since they love having a Hardy manager, Hangman outsmarted Big Money Matt by bringing out a different contract when the dumb veteran distracted himself by talking to the cameraman. 

    Hangman probably had a Hardy laugh after. *ba dumm tss*

    Unfortunately, the other bit had Sammy Guevara bringing a camera crew to confront MJF. Maxwell tried to goad Sammy into saying he hates Jericho, who did say it sarcastically, and the supposedly cunning heel tried to record the Spanish Sex God’s “hateful words” while a damn camera was in front of him. 


    Believe it or not, this nonsense was the final straw and led to Sammy Guevara leaving The Inner Circle. Jericho said on Twitter that he saw what happened after the show so there’s a teaser for next week’s episode, but why wasn't he aware of what happened before their match with The Acclaimed? You'd think that in kayfabe they'd come up with strategies together before a match or something. 


    Remember when The Inner Circle was the hottest thing about AEW? While the spotlight never left them, they lost that edge fans loved about them during the early stages of Dynamite. You can blame all the losses Santana and Ortiz took from The Best Friends, or the group falling into the midcard after they lost to The Elite back in Double or Nothing but it’s a real shame that this stable’s breakup is being handled like this.

    I did like how Jericho sold Sammy leaving the group and I have high hopes for the Spanish Sex God becoming a babyface star but this angle is a mess. It’s not just Sammy leaving that’s a mess either; why the hell are Santana and Ortiz getting a shot for the tag team titles next week? Didn’t we get an Inner Circle triple threat match to determine who would be the tag team representative for the group? Last I checked, MJF and Jericho won that match so why are other offshoot members of the stable still getting title matches? 


    Honestly, the good wrestling saved this show for me. Darby Allin retained his TNT Championship against Joey Janela in a hot opener, The Nightmare Family’s Lee Johnson looked great getting his first win on Dynamite in a tag match with Cody Rhodes, The Acclaimed looked good in defeat against Jericho and MJF, and Thunder Rosa advances in the Women's World Championship Eliminator Tournament after having one hell of a match against Leyla Hirsch.

    We also had a really fun brawl for the main event. It’s our first glimpse at this Forbidden Door business and seeing KENTA in full Bullet Club gear fighting with AEW talent was a moment in itself. Thankfully, the match was really good too with Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, and KENTA giving us a wild brawl that might give fans Attitude Era flashbacks, given the amount of crowd fighting and backstage shenanigans involved.


    My only real disappointment with the main event is that Kenny got the win for his team. While I’m all for keeping your champion strong, I was hoping Moxley would pin the champ to set up their big title match for Revolution. We still have some time before the pay-per-view so I won’t get too snippy about it but the sooner they announce a card, the sooner they’ll make that money.

    Final Grade: Thanks to a card that delivered on the wrestling side, this was a very watchable show. Just a shame that the main angle is so stupid. B

    Bullet-Point Party:

    • Lee Johnson’s first feud will probably be with QT Marshall: I found it weird that Lee didn’t thank QT and he did too. The facial expressions he showed during Johnson’s promo were good, since he wanted to be happy for Lee but was frustrated he didn’t get mentioned. Intriguing, to say the least.
    • Ryan Nemeth is no Dolph Ziggler: Seriously dude, stop using moves that your brother is known for. Yes, that DDT was nice but if you want to stand out, try something else. PAC won like it was nothing.
    • Jungle Boy is gonna make Dax Harwood his bitch (again): I’m tired of how wrestling has overused the word bitch.
    • Japanese side of the Women’s Eliminator Tournament will be on YouTube: They advertised this in the episode, at least. Should be a good time.
    • Cody Rhodes gets injured: Ro already talked about this on The Grapevine so I’ll just say that the landing of that Pumphandle Suplex looked like it sucked.
    • Team Taz takes Darby for a ride: Why wasn't Sting with Darby?!

    Images from AEW


    Nico Parungo is a freelance contributor for Geeky PH and previously wrote for Epicstream. He provides weekly recaps of AEW Dynamite for Smark Henry and has contributed several reviews of PWR and MWF shows. 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 (2/10/21): Cameras Are A Heel’s Worst Friend Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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