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    Saturday, May 8, 2021

    Reviewing the Elite (5/5/21): Blood and Guts



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

    Blood, blood, gallons of the stuff
    Give them all that they can drink, and it will never be enough
    So give them blood, blood, blooooooooooood!

    Apologies for exposing my My Chemical Romance fandom there but, Holy Shida, AEW Dynamite: Blood and Guts delivered on the blood and then some! FTR was bleeding, Chris Jericho was bleeding, MJF was bleeding, hell, I was bleeding by the time this match was over. With a main event called Blood and Guts, fans would have been disappointed if wrestlers weren’t bleeding buckets, so for better or worse, this match gave them what was advertised—with every member of The Pinnacle and The Inner Circle deserving credit for working their asses off.

    Scratch that. We got plenty of blood, but no one’s guts came out—0/10, minus five stars, terrible show, worse than RAW.

    For real, though, AEW succeeded in making the Blood and Guts match feel like old-school War Games. Unlike NXT’s War Games—which are mostly fun spotfests with sprinkles of storytelling in them—this week's main event really felt like a big, brutal fight between two groups that genuinely hated each other. Plus, the stipulation where a team can only win through submission or surrender added so much gravity to the proceedings. 

                 

    Yes, I say this wasn't a spotfest unironically when the first bit of offense we saw in the match was a corkscrew plancha from Sammy Guevara. It served as an opening salvo for Sammy so he could dominate Dax Harwood and try to get the advantage for his team, and that simple bit of storytelling really elevated this match. Each time a member from either side came in, they tried to do the same thing and gain an advantage, which made for compelling television.

    The violence of this match wasn’t pretty and kept escalating as the minutes went on. Shawn Spears hit Sammy Guevara with a chair shot, Cash Wheeler gave Ortiz a Gory Bomb on the steel, Wardlow plowed his way through The Inner Circle with power moves, Santana stabbed MJF with a goddamn fork; this match wasn’t for the squeamish. I guess they really wanted to live up to the name Blood and Guts.

                 

    Now, we’ve all seen the ending where MJF threw Jericho off the cage onto a comfy crash pad after The Pinnacle picked up the victory via surrender. While the production could have been better, this isn’t the disaster many fans are making it out to be and is nowhere near the embarrassment that was the poor excuse for an explosion from Revolution a few months ago. 

    Unlike Revolution, the kayfabe story isn’t ruined in any way since a 50-year-old man falling off a steel cage is still a viable excuse for an injury, and they can just ignore the crash pad bit. Plus, the crowd didn’t shit on Jericho's bump at all because they genuinely booed MJF for being a despicable human being. This is a minor blunder that won't kill the company, though criticisms towards the production and camera angles used are totally valid.

    While I won’t complain about the blood, I thought steel chair shots to the head were a bit much given all the talk we’ve seen about concussions throughout the years—especially after Shawn Spears cracked Cody’s head open back in 2019. Luckily, nothing like that happened in the match, and some of the steel chair shots had wrestlers putting their hands up. That said, this isn’t a trope that needs to make a comeback in wrestling, and I hope we don’t see them again anytime soon.

    Overall, AEW’s Blood and Guts match was an incredible main event that capped off an incredible episode of Dynamite. This is definitely one of AEW’s best shows of the year thus far.

    Final Grade: A

    Bullet Point Party:

    • Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston beat Kenny Omega and MT Nakazawa, get beaten up by The Super Elite: The opening tag match was fun, and it had some great crowd reactions to boot. I’m excited about Moxley and Kingston seemingly challenging The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championships at Double or Nothing.
    • Cody Rhodes made QT Marshall tap but gets a sucker punch from Anthony Ogogo: This was a very solid match between two great workers. Cody and QT didn’t put on a clinic, but they had an entertaining match with the right result. The Factory is meant to put over The Three O’s (Ogogo, Comoroto, and Solow), not QT Marshall, so the loss doesn’t hurt this rivalry—especially after that post-match angle.
    • Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky almost killed Darby Allin: I really liked how Ethan Page brought up his EVOLVE history with Darby Allin (which you can see here). Darby took a nasty fall down a long flight of steps afterward, and I think that means he’s losing the TNT Championship to Miro next week, which I’m more than fine with.
    • Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. squashed someone: This is pretty lame compared to the past few weeks of great AEW women’s matches. At least we’re finally getting Hikaru Shida vs. Britt Baker at Double or Nothing, which should be a banger.
    • SCU won the 4-way tag, might disband after they likely lose to The Young Bucks next week: Sure, they could swerve us by having Moxley and Kingston cost The Bucks their titles, but I don’t think that’s happening. Nice knowing you, SCU, wish you guys appeared on Dynamite more.
    • Kenny Omega made fun of Orange Cassidy for being a comedy wrestler who totally won’t beat PAC next week: Great promo work from Kenny here as he made his disgust for Cassidy’s comedy shtick very clear, which is the same complaint many had and still have with Omega. My only complaint here was Cassidy just taking the insults from Kenny, but we’ve got some time to kill before Double or Nothing, and this could be a Match of the Year contender—not even joking.
    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 for 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 (5/5/21): Blood and Guts Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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