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    Friday, November 29, 2019

    Reviewing the Elite (11/27/19): JeriGoat's Curse

    Let’s not beat around the bush; this week’s episode of AEW Dynamite was a weird one. There was your usual mix of good wrestling and consistent storytelling but some of the booking decisions were head-scratching and, dare I say, bad. 

    This has to be the weakest episode of AEW Dynamite thus far, though there were moments worth watching. As usual, they were trying to establish newer stars, which is appreciated, but the lack of general direction for some of the talent and stories hurt this episode a lot.

    Chris JeriGoat

    As someone who didn’t enjoy Chris Jericho’s promo last week and was dreading this Thanksgiving segment, I thought this was actually pretty good. Opening with Soul Train Jones, the former Virgil, was a fun throwback to that video Jericho had in the episode before Full Gear and the gifts he got from his Inner Circle buddies were great. From Sammy Guevara’s standee of he and Jericho hugging to Jake Hager’s goat named Chris Jerigoat, this was just pure entertainment and its something that can only be done in wrestling.

    Le Champion also had ring announcer Justin Roberts read the thank you AEW finally gave him, seemingly closing this story beat for good, until Jericho thought Roberts was doing a poor job of reading it. This resulted in a beatdown for the poor announcer, before SCU made the save. My only complaint is that they didn’t choke Roberts with his tie like Daniel Bryan did all those years ago.

    The AEW World Championship match between Jericho and Scorpio Sky was also pretty good. Sky was in control for a lot of the match, showing off his flashy offense, and the Chicago crowd really bought into some of the near falls, as did I. Jericho winning was never in doubt but this was still a good match and should signal big things for Sky’s future.

    Plus, Jon Moxley came out and stared down Jericho, hinting at a future title match between the two. The two have unfinished business after Moxley ambushed Jericho at the end of Double or Nothing, so this rivalry was just waiting to happen. I know their WWE feud a few years ago was disappointing but they have more creative freedom in AEW and I think they can redeem themselves here.

    Overall, a good night for Jericho. He had the best segments of this episode, making Sky look like a legitimate threat to his title, and starting a feud with Mox. This is why he’s Le Champion, folks.

    Cleaning Up

    I predicted Kenny Omega losing to PAC this week, which would have resulted in The Cleaner continuing his downward spiral, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Omega dominated PAC in a pretty good match and won with a tight Crucifix Pin. 

    While the match is very good and worth watching, I think Kenny getting his win back from PAC happened way too early. Omega’s redemption arc shouldn’t be happening this quickly and they could have built up to a feud between him and PAC, making his eventual victory over The Bastard feel more important. 

    Yeah, Omega beat Jack Evans in AEW Dark and showed a more ruthless side there, which he brought to this match but that shouldn’t have been the turning point for his arc. I don't think Kenny should lose all the time, that's crazy talk, but this result was baffling.

    Now that Kenny has beaten PAC, I don’t know where these two go from here. I suppose Omega could be added to the teased Moxley/Jericho feud, giving us a three-way match for the AEW World Championship. PAC, on the other hand, just ended his rivalry with Hangman Page as the victor and should have been built up for something greater. This doesn’t kill The Bastard or anything ridiculous like that but it does take some shine away from his star 

    TLDR, good match, bad booking.

    A Butcher, A Blade, and A Bunny Walk into a Ring...

    So, this was the moment in the show that made left me speechless for all the wrong reasons. 

    It’s good to see Cody back and having him squash some random dude worked for this show. The jobber even got booed for kicking Cody’s injured ribs, though the American Nightmare bounced back quickly with a throat jab and Springboard Cutter, before putting his opponent away with the Figure Four Leg-Lock.

    Cody then called out MJF before two masked dudes burst from a hole in the ring and attacked him while the crowd gave them the “Who Are You?” treatment. No joke, their names are The Blade and The Butcher, which is bad. Really, really bad. Their finishing move, which was a tag team version of Roderick Strong’s End of Heartache, also looked pretty lame.

    Why this team needed to attack Cody is beyond me since he’s already pretty busy with MJF and Wardlow. They couldn’t attack The Best Friends and Lucha Brothers after their match? Maybe assault Jurassic Express or Private Party backstage? Come on.

    To be a bit more positive, Allie also emerged from the hole, now dressing up as a weird, sexy bunny and calling herself, well, The Bunny. Her hotness aside, this could also be seen as Allie's retaliation to what Brandi Rhodes and Awesome Kong did to her a couple of weeks back, which would be a nice bit of continuity.

    There’s just no way around it, this segment was a mess. Maybe these three will end up being a good unit down the road but their debut was a clunker. I appreciate Cody taking a beatdown from them since it will get some attention, but this just wasn't any good.

    Final Grade: This episode gets a C for Chris Jerigoat, Jericho vs. Scorpio Sky, and Kenny Omega vs. PAC. Everything else ranges from decent to skippable.

    Matches Announced for Next Week:
    • Trent vs. Rey Fenix
    • Dustin Rhodes and The Young Bucks vs. Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz

    Elite Thoughts

    • Apologies for forgetting to bring up that weird Dark Order video from last week, which made the group look like a creepy cult. That was followed up this week with another disturbing video and I can say that this is making The Dark Order a much more interesting group. You could argue that these vignettes should have been shown sooner but I’ll take late character development over none at all.
    • Well, what do you know, they followed up Trent’s big win over Pentagon Jr from AEW Dark by having The Best Friends defeat The Lucha Bros in a huge upset. The match was a bit disappointing when you consider how talented these two teams are but Chuck Taylor and Trent getting a big win almost makes up for that. We’ll see if Trent’s luck continues, as the former Dudebuster takes on Rey Fenix on next week’s episode of Dynamite.
    • I love Orange Cassidy as much as the next smark but he should have been booted from ringside after he hit The Lucha Bros with a Diving Crossbody.
    • Not sure how I feel about the match between Hangman Page and MJF. It wasn’t horrible but there wasn’t a lot to rave about either, and MJF’s version of the Cross Rhodes, which Jim Ross called the Double Cross, was shit. The fact that they still haven’t shown Hangman leaving The Elite from BTE last week continues to disappoint since the announcers won’t shut up about it.
    • You have to appreciate how they protected DDP during his segment with MJF and Wardlow. His promo was a bit off but he looked like a badass standing toe-to-toe with Wardlow and I’m glad we got a pull-apart brawl instead of seeing another legend get beat down.
    • AEW just realized that they need more credible female heels in their roster, as they had Emi Sakura and Bea Priestly beat Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander in a typical Dynamite women’s tag team match. This was the only women’s segment of the night, what a surprise SMH.
    • I did like how Kris Statlander was showcased. She looks like a future star in the making and has the skills to back it up. Plus, the Chicago crowd went crazy during her hot tag and she looked good in defeat. Statlander should have gotten the win for her team; did you hear that crowd when she hit that Axe Kick?
    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 (11/27/19): JeriGoat's Curse Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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