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    Friday, November 15, 2019

    Reviewing the Elite (11/13/19): Prelude to Chaos

    Full Gear was one hell of a show and it was going to be difficult following that up, but the latest episode of AEW Dynamite found a way to do that. Simply put, this was an incredibly eventful episode of Dynamite that continued advancing most of the important storylines while also starting some new ones.

    The episode kind of reminded me of how good some of WWE’s post-WrestleMania episodes of RAW were a few years ago. Everything you would expect from those episodes, like new talent debuting, old talent returning, and dealing with the fallout from said event, is prominent in this episode of Dynamite. While I can’t say if this was better than those episodes, it was still a very good two hours of wrestling.

    First Loss is The Deepest

    Just when us smarks think we have everything figured out, Dynamite gave us one of their most memorable main event segments and they didn’t even need to do a show-closing brawl. 

    Let’s cut to the chase: Chris Jericho was pinned for the very first time in AEW during a match for the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Le Champion was pinned by SCU’s breakout star Scorpio Sky and Jericho sold that loss in the most over-the-top way. How could you not love that?

    When Dynamite advertised SCU vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara for the AEW World Tag Team Championships, there were two foregone conclusions: The Spanish God gets pinned by SCU or Jericho adds more gold to his collection. By the end of the match, it seemed like we would get the latter since Kazarian and Christopher Daniels were taken out at ringside, but lo and behold, they decided to subvert our expectations.

    Le Champion also gets brownie points for mirroring his temper tantrum from WCW. I’m not 100% sure he did this on purpose, but the imagery of Jericho striking the ring post with a steel chair is too ingrained in the memories of fans who witnessed the Monday Night Wars. Either way, it was a nice callback and shows just why Jericho deserves to be the AEW World Champion.

    This will probably lead to a match between Jericho and Scorpio Sky in an episode of Dynamite, and I can’t wait. Scorpio Sky is going to lose, of course, but he’ll always have the distinction of giving Jericho his first loss in AEW—and that cannot be undersold (since Jericho oversold it).

    Mad Mox

    God, there is so much to love about the Kenny Omega/Jon Moxley feud. It’s the smallest details that make a grand story better, so when they showed that video package where Omega wasn’t cleared to wrestle but Moxley was, it hurt. Moxley beating Omega in that controversial Lights Out match left a scar, but not clearing The Cleaner to wrestle was additional salt to the wound. SO. GOOD.

    As if things weren’t salty enough, Moxley also pinned Omega’s friend Michael Nakazawa, who actually abandoned his baby oil gimmick to try and avenge his friend. This ended up being a squash victory for Moxley, which I can’t complain about since he received a ton of punishment in Full Gear.

    Moxley then cut a promo about how he respects Omega but fulfilled his promise of beating AEW’s golden boy. He then laid out a challenge to anyone in the AEW locker room, warning them that stepping into the ring with him would be a test of their mortality—which you’d have to believe because, well did you see Kenny’s back? Christ.

    They could have ended things there, but something better was on the way.

    After winning a random three-way match, Darby Allin grabbed a microphone and said “Jon Moxley, I accept,” which got a huge reaction from the crowd. It wasn’t long before they confirmed Moxley vs. Allin for next week’s episode and that is going to be a must-watch, knowing what these two madmen are capable of.

    If I had to complain, it’s that we haven’t seen Allin appear in Dynamite since his loss to Jericho a few weeks back. Granted, he has been wrestling in AEW Dark, but if you’re planning on making Allin a star, feature him on your NXT-beating program. 

    Even with that little gripe, this was close to perfect, and it was hard not to enjoy the whole thing.

    Heel to Heel

    You need to have a lot of talent if you’re planning on keeping up with Chris Jericho on the mic, but that’s exactly what Fuck MJF did. Just when it seemed like The Painmaker was going back to his thank you-begging, MJF confronted him in the most dickish way possible: copying Cody’s entrance and using his music.

    The crowd hated MJF, who tried telling us that Cody is selfish and only cares about himself. His reason for turning is pretty sound for a heel: Maxwell feels that Cody only took him under his wing to use him, and he has no plans of being an underling.

    After that, we got a decent amount of comedy between MJF and Jericho, which was solid and said a lot about their characters. MJF asked if Jericho wanted him to join The Inner Circle while Y2J (does WWE have the copyright to that?) asked the little turncoat if he wanted to be a part of his stable. Neither would back down since they didn’t want to look vulnerable before they agreed that Cody was a jackass. This got a bit repetitive, but was fine overall.

    Cody soon came out to beat the heels, supposedly not cleared to wrestle and it showed. The American Nightmare actually botched a powerslam, which was saved by Excalibur, who said that Cody really wasn’t 100% ready. Good announcing right there. Anyway, this led to the debut of Wardlow, who beat the hell out of Cody and busted him open again. 

    Overall, another great segment. Jericho gets heat, MJF gets heat and a heavy, and Cody garners our sympathy. Now that Cody is out of the title picture forever and ever (pfft), we’ve got a months-long feud with MJF to look forward to and I can’t wait for MJF to get the Cross Rhodes.

    Another A for AEW Dynamite. This wrestling show continues to push all the right buttons, even though they really need to push their women’s division. 

    Matches Announced For Next Week:
    • Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley
    • Private Party vs. Santana and Ortiz

    Elite Thoughts

    • Come on AEW, is every episode just going to have one women’s match and a Brandi Rhodes/Awesome Kong segment? Yeah, them cutting the hair off random female wrestlers is mildly intriguing, but the only women’s match was a basic squash for Nyla Rose. Do better.
    • I’m happy Darby Allin got a win on Dynamite, but did that really need to be a three-way match? Shawn Spears was only there so that Joey Janela could beat him up and continue their feud. Allin getting a squash win over Peter Avalon would have achieved the same effect.
    • The Dark Order beating the Luchasaurus-less Jurassic Express led to them offering Marko Stunt a spot in their little group. It’s nice to see the undercard get some storytime, and this led to a huge pop when Luchasaurus made his return to kick ass. Why Luchasaurus didn’t just tag with Jungle Boy will remain a mystery to me, but I’ll take it.
    • PAC beat Hangman Page in another great match. The match featured a ton of callbacks from the rivalry, making this one of the duo’s more memorable bouts. It did end oddly though, with PAC constantly booting Adam in the head, before hitting the Black Arrow and the Brutalizer submission. This was supposed to make PAC look vicious, and they slightly succeeded, but it came out of nowhere.
    • I would feel worse for The Young Bucks getting beat up by Santana and Ortiz if they weren’t making fun of the WWE roster’s Saudi Arabia problems. The brawl was actually pretty good and Private Party helping the Bucks out makes them look like bigger babyfaces. 
    • Best Orange Cassidy appearance thus far.

    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 (11/13/19): Prelude to Chaos Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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