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    Saturday, March 13, 2021

    Reviewing the Elite (3/10/21): 69 Me, Don!

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

    This episode was more explosive than the ending of Revolution. *ba dum tss.*

    Okay, now that that joke is out of the way, this stick of Dynamite was REALLY GOOD. I was curious how they would rebound from the pay-per-view’s dud ending, and they were able to bounce back in a big way. We got new rivalries, new stables, a heel turn, and some damn good wrestling, which is shocking since the advertised card didn’t seem that special.

    It seems like AEW learned a hard lesson this week: it’s better to underpromote some big surprises instead of building up to something and not being able to deliver on the hype. 

    Case in point: that Inner Circle War Council segment.


    Fans definitely had expectations for this but didn’t think it would amount to much. We figured MJF would become the leader of The Inner Circle, turning Chris Jericho babyface, and that would have been it. Instead, Sammy Guevara returned, The Inner Circle turned babyface, figured out that MJF was staging a coup, and were about to beat him up... at least until MJF revealed his real master plan: a new super heel stable consisting of FTR, Wardlow, and Shawn Spears.

    Don’t tell me that wasn’t awesome because it was awesome. It was a genuinely good swerve that made Jericho and The Inner Circle look like smart babyfaces but had MJF coming out on top as a mastermind heel. I had chills down my spine as I watched this segment. It was a fantastic ending to Dynamite.

    Thankfully, this wasn’t the only good angle on the show as we saw Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, and Kenny Omega turn chicken shit into chicken salad. 


    Revolution’s ending was downright terrible, and the only thing AEW could do was own it while also making their wrestlers look good, which they did. Kingston said he fainted due to his anxiety, as The Mad King remembered when he was in jail and was waiting for his sentence while the guards were mocking him. The anxiety angle was pitched by many fans online, albeit with some hesitation, but Eddie made it work like he always does.

    We also got another great segment out of this since Omega and Don Callis tried to take Christian Cage’s promo time so they could “explain” their plan. The pair claimed that the dud bomb was done on purpose and proceeded to mock not just the fans for having expectations, but also Moxley for wanting to go out with a bang and Kingston for fainting and “dry humping” Mox. They even played a countdown timer like dicks to mock Kingston, which was great heel work since they were belittling someone’s anxiety attack; a risky move, but they executed it well.


    It's a decent way to clean up that mess while giving the heels some heat (more heat than the ending of Revolution). Having heels fail while claiming it was part of their plan is classic wrestling logic since we all know the truth, especially with Moxley channeling the fans aware of what happened. The line about Impact Wrestling paying for the bomb also cracked me up.

    It was a fun segment overall, and Christian Cage coming out in the end after Omega interrupted him was a really nice touch. Having The Instant Classic immediately go for Kenny has gotten a mixed reaction, but I trust AEW will get us there fine, as long as they take their time.


    Wrestling-wise, this episode was solid. Dynamite has had bigger bangers, but each match was still more explosive than the ending of Revolution

    Honestly, I'm conflicted between which match this week was better: Nick Jackson vs. Rey Fenix or Scorpio Sky vs. Darby Allin for the TNT Championship. 

    On the one hand, Jackson vs. Fenix was a fun spot-fest that gave the amazing luchador a big win while also building to the Young Bucks/Death Triangle tag title match, whenever that may be. On the other hand, Sky vs. Allin was a slower-paced match with a better story and some AMAZING reversals in the end, with Sky countering Darby’s suicide dive and Coffin Drop with a cutter and powerbomb, respectively. While Allin won, Scorpio gained momentum by turning heel and keeping him in a leg lock, which was pretty cool.


    I’ll reluctantly give it to Sky vs. Allin. It's a shame neither match had a fired pop idol singing and dancing on the stage while her teammates and opponents were duking it out at ringsideWAITAMINUTE!!!!

    Never mind, the 6-woman tag with Maki Itoh is the match of the week. Better luck next time, boys.

    Jokes aside, this was a fun highlight for the women that showcased their personalities and in-ring skills well. Yeah, Maki’s not the best in-ring worker yet, and the ending got a bit clunky when Hikaru Shida took too long to hit the corkscrew knee strike, but this was still very entertaining. 

    Plus, it’s leading to Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker in the main event next week, which is awesome. Bonus points for not going overboard saying, “It’s the first women’s main event in AEW history!” because the last thing we need is the company patting itself in the back for something that should be normal.

    Final Grade: This is how you rebound from a dud. I haven’t been this excited about the future of Dynamite since 2019. A+

    Bullet-Point Party:

    • Ethan Page beats Lee Johnson, QT Marshall turns heel: I knew QT was gonna turn heel after Lee didn’t thank him a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t excuse Dustin getting mad at QT for trying to win the Tag Team Battle Royal at Revolution. The match was fine, if a bit basic.
    • Lance Archer wants Sting: I am weirdly excited for this. I think Brian Cage awoke something inside me when he gave Sting a powerbomb a few weeks ago.
    • Hangman Page and The Dark Order are friends who ride lawnmowers: This was just a fun, wholesome babyface segment. I hope Five not hopping onto the lawnmower was a one-off gag and not a sign of him leaving. Yes, that sounds far-fetched, but you never know what could happen in wrestling, damn it.
    • Penta El Zero Miedo has a lot of real swag in a suit: Also, he’s facing Cody next week after bringing up the latter's newborn kid. Pretty basic rivalry here, but Penta’s presence, mannerisms, and promo skills (along with the translations from AEW Spanish commentator Alex Abrahantes) were aces. I’m so glad we're getting more of him as a singles competitor.
    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 PWR and MWF shows reviews. 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 (3/10/21): 69 Me, Don! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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