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    Saturday, February 20, 2021

    Reviewing the Elite (2/17/21): Bringing The Boom Back

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

    Tony Khan reeling me back in after I lost some faith last week, apparently.

    While last week’s stick of Dynamite was pretty watchable, some of the bad writing really threw me off and I entered a dark place. How dark? I watched NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day. That’s right, I watched the competition’s big show and it was really freaking good, though some of the booking was odd. Why were Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez booked like babyfaces? How come Johnny Gargano was portrayed as a cowardly heel for weeks on end before beating KUSHIDA clean? 


    Those sound like big criticisms (and they are) but I still loved those matches. In fact, I loved every Vengeance Day match, my favorite being the Finn Balor vs Pete Dunne main event. The Undisputed Era drama after the last match added some extra tasty icing on that delicious NXT cake.

    So I entered this week’s Dynamite feeling dirty since I got some of my wrestling needs from the direct competition. Thankfully, my faith was restored again this week as AEW was in strong form, just in time to hype up Revolution. All of the matches and angles this week were actually pretty darn good, with even the weakest stuff getting an Orange Cassidy thumbs up from yours truly. 


    Even the Sting segment was good! How can you hate a show that has 61-year-old Sting taking a Brian Cage powerbomb? Not just a regular powerbomb either but a JBL powerbomb! Complete with putting-out-a-cigarette motion. It doesn’t make up for all the filler Sting segments we had prior to this and an argument could be made about Sting taking moves like that, to begin with, but it finally made me feel something for this story. Also, it was a pretty safe powerbomb.

    Dynamite put me in a good mood right away when Hangman Page was the first guy to make an entrance. The fact that he outsmarted Matt Hardy by having him sign a contract for a match in Revolution was good fun, as is the stipulation where Hangman gets all of Hardy’s earnings from the first quarter of 2021 is. Getting The Dark Order to save him from Isaiah Cassidy and TH2 was a nice touch and I hope our anxious millennial cowboy joins them soon.


    Cannot wait to see Matt humiliated and broke after a fancy-schmancy Buckshot Lariat. Don’t mess this up AEW, it’s such an easy storyline.

    The best part of the show, hands-down, was Riho vs. Serena Deeb. It was great seeing Riho back and Deeb was her usual awesome self, maybe even better than usual. Her selling of that leg injury was so good that it had me worried for a second, showing just how talented she is as a worker. This was a fucking great match and is proof that AEW has something with their women’s division, they just need to put more focus on it. Putting literally half of the Eliminator tournament matches on YouTube seems like a bad move but if it gives the women more time to wrestle, I’m all for it.


    The main event was fine since it gives Jon Moxley, Lance Archer, and Rey Fenix a much-needed win after losses to Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers. While the six-man match with Eddie Kingston’s family was designed to give the babyfaces a win, Moxley and Kingston cut some decent promos that gave it some gravitas, though not much. Kingston sees Moxley, Lance Archer, and Rey Fenix as three demons that have hindered him in AEW, while Mox is hoping to bring Eddie into the light one day, planting seeds for The Mad King’s eventual face turn.

    It didn’t take long before Omega’s crew came and beat up Moxley, but not before announcing that they’ll have an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch, which is pretty insane. This was a fine way to introduce the Revolution main event and should be one hell of a match, though I hope Moxley gets one over Omega soon. He doesn’t need to win the belt back but have him look strong against the heels, please. 


    Final Grade: Fine return to form for Dynamite. B+

    Bullet-Point Party:

    • Chris Jericho never wants to hear about Sammy Guevara EVEEEEEEER a-gain: I said that The Inner Circle stuff jumped the shark for me last week, but this was actually a decent promo. Jericho does acknowledge how MJF was the instigator but feels that Sammy is the weak link for leaving. It doesn’t explain Santana and Ortiz getting a title match when Jericho and MJF should be the tag team representative of the group but what can you do?
    • The Young Bucks retain their championship against Santana and Ortiz: This wasn’t as good as their Full Gear 2019 match but it was still a really solid tag team bout. I also liked the post-match beatdown, especially when they cut to Don Callis holding Omega back and sending The Good Brothers, who slowly made their way to help, adding even more intrigue to their future match. Also appreciated Brandon Cutler coming out to help, showing that The Bucks have friends.
    • FTR beat The Sydals: I didn’t even know Matt Sydal had a brother. A solid little showcase for FTR here and The Sydals looked decent, though Mike did botch a few spots.
    • Jurassic Express beat up FTR: This was fine, though I was hoping Luchasaurus would have a new mask.
    • Orange Cassidy makes Luther look good in a really short match: Not a great bout by any means but the fact that Luther looked better here than in any of his Chaos Project matches in Dynamite is kind of sad. 
    • Kenny Omega reads The Young Bucks’ book to children: Not a super funny segment, but Don Callis and Michael Nakazawa threatening Alex Marvez with toy dinosaurs got a kick out of me.
    • Cody and Brandi Rhodes are having a girl: Congratulations to the happy couple. 

    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 (2/17/21): Bringing The Boom Back Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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