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    Sunday, December 15, 2019

    Reviewing the Elite (12/11/19): Suffering Succotash

    Slow and steady may not always win the race, but it does ensure a quality effort that anyone can appreciate. AEW Dynamite Episode 11 does a remarkable job of planting seeds for future rivalries and trying to make some new stars in the process. This strategy doesn’t always work, but when it hits the mark, you get gems like this.

    This episode furthered the Jon Moxley/Chris Jericho feud and gave us some interesting additions to Cody's ongoing beef with MJF and Team ButcherBladeBunny. It also looks like we're getting a classic slow-burn heel turn for Hangman Page, who will likely take on his friend (for now anyway) Kenny Omega, which should be great if they're patient with this potential feud. Remarkably, this all feels in-character for everyone involved, showing us why consistency is key.

    We also got the company's usual commitment to make new stars, which really worked for this episode. I know, I always rave about AEW doing its damnedest to build up lesser-known wrestlers, but when the result leads to hot crowds cheering for wrestlers who were known for losing all the time, you know that effort shows.

    Seriously, how many of you ever expected to hear a QT Marshall chant? How many of you even know QT Marshall, huh? You will after this episode, that’s for sure.

    Now that AEW Revolution has been announced, the second pay-per-view of the Dynamite era, here's hoping that they can continue giving us a consistent product, albeit one with better attention to the women's roster.

    Crossing The Line

    Just when you thought suffering succotash” couldn’t be used well in a promo, MJF changes the context.

    Whether it’s Dave Meltzer or a random YouTube commenter, you’ll always see MJF get compared to “Rowdy” Roddy Piper—not because of any physical similarities between the two, but because of the nuclear heat he gets from smarks like you and me. He did that easily in this episode, showing that you don’t have to be racist (*cough*Cornette*cough*) or threaten someone’s life (*cough*Big Cass*cough*) to get heat; you just have to be a dick.

    And when you make fun of someone’s lisp on national television, you are a massive dick.

    MJF did what all good heels should do; build up his opponent to make him seem credible, only to tear him down for something out of his control. He called Cody one of the best wrestlers of this generation and claimed that he’s untouchable on the microphone before proceeding to call the American Nightmare fake, making fun of his platinum blonde hair (I do miss Cody’s natural hair color tbh), and trying to convince the fans that Cody didn’t actually love them.

    Then he said that the only thing real about Cody is his lisp, which got NUCLEAR HEAT. This is when he said the suffering succotash line that made even the most hardened MJF supporter say “that ain’t right.” 

    He then accepted a match with Cody but decided not to tell us his terms and conditions until the January show, making us wait a little less than a month. What a heel. Did I mention that he also bullied a producer into kissing his ring, then double-crossed him anyway? He even named his version of the Cross Rhodes the Double Cross.

    In case you couldn’t tell, this was a five-star segment and I honestly can’t believe he’s this talented for someone who’s only 23 years old. He’s going to be a superstar heel for years to come.

    How Many Tables is Too Many?

    The Young Bucks beat Santana and Ortiz in a Street Fight the likes of which we haven’t seen in a while. If you miss some of those Attitude Era garbage matches, you will love this match as the competitors put each other through six goddamn tables before it ended.

    As Jon Moxley would say, glorious wrestling violence.

    I wish I was lying when I say that the opening minutes of this match had Nick Jackson putting Ortiz through a table with a Swanton Bomb and that only got a two count. That wasn’t the end, it was just a freaking appetizer.

    From there, we then had 15-plus minutes of these two teams beating the hell out of each other with a good mix of tornado tag moves and weapons. This wasn’t a pure garbage match like Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley’s Lights Out bout, but it was pretty damn close. Seriously, did anyone count how many tables these guys went through? 

    We’re now getting The Young Bucks vs SCU next week and it could go either way. Many fans felt that the Jackson brothers should have been the inaugural champions and next week’s match could right that supposed wrong. That being said, I think AEW might want SCU to hold these belts a little bit longer since it would be quite the shocker to see them lose the belts this early in the promotion’s history. 

    QT MARSHALL! *Clap* *Clap* *Clap Clap Clap*

    Maybe it was the crowd or Cody being so over but his tag team match against, ugh, The Butcher and The Blade was so much better than it had any right to be.

    Simple story here: MJF chose QT Marshall to be Cody’s partner since he’s only ever lost in AEW Dark and Dynamite. Many of us, including Rhodes himself, thought Marshall would be the weak link in this match and it sure started that way. Cody tagged himself in when Marshall assumed he was going to start the bout and when the tag was made, this presumed jobber failed to capitalize on Rhodes’ early offense and got his ass handed to him by these boys in black.

    And then, Marshall started being awesome.

    Once a poke to the eye temporarily blinded Cody, Marshall started actually hitting moves and getting over with the crowd. He even hit an impressively ugly dive to the dastardly team on the outside, which the crowd ate up like an apple. This mostly unknown wrestler, who came out to “Cody’s partner” chants, soon received loud chants of his own name by the end of this losing effort and even got a standing ovation after. BEAUTIFUL.


    As for Butcher and Blade, they seem to be decent enough workers though this match mostly got by due to Cody’s star power and QT Marshall proving himself. Still not a fan of their tag team finisher since Roderick Strong does this move by himself in NXT every week, but it does qualify as a move that looks painful. 

    When the match was done, Darby Allin came to pick Cody up after he started moping. It seems like he gained two new allies in this fight since the rest of his Elite friends have their own problems. Here’s hoping that this isn’t the last we see of QT Marshall as I’d love to see him help Cody out in his war against MJF. Lord knows that Cody needs it when his rival has someone like Wardlow at his side.

    Upset Over Nothing

    If anyone can get upset over a phantom pin that wasn’t even counted by a referee, it’s a prima donna like Chris Jericho. That’s why he’s the best heel of this show, maybe even in all of wrestling.

    First, his commentary for the Sammy Guevara/Luchasaurus match was immensely entertaining. Hell, it was better than the match itself since some of Guevara’s striking was a bit off and Luchasaurus seems to have a pretty limited moveset once his signature spots are done.

    What actually matters is the post-match angle, where Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, and their prehistoric friend got into a brawl with Guevara, Jericho, and “Big Hurt” Jake Hager. Once Jericho and Jungle Boy were alone in the ring, The Painmaker tried throwing out his opponent for next week, only to get a huracanrana for his efforts. This is when Stunt got in the ring and counted to three, which got an insane reaction from the crowd and Jericho himself.

    Honestly, what’s great about this segment is that Jericho is right; this wasn’t an actual match and the count doesn’t, well, count. But the fact he’s so infuriated over a phantom pin shows just how easy it is to bruise his massive ego, which is what makes his temper tantrums so much fun to watch. 

    My only complaint is that this should have been Jungle Boy picking up a win over Guevara and not Luchasaurus since the former doesn’t even have a win yet. Plus, it would have been a more entertaining match to watch.

    The Jericho/Jungle Boy match is officially a non-title bout with a 10-minute time limit. There’s a lot of possibilities they can do here but if it were up to me, they would have Jungle Boy on the cusp of winning but the timer runs out. We can then get a title match on TV where Jericho beats Jungle Boy, which could be really good.

    Final Grade: A very good edition of AEW Dynamite. I’ll go with an A- this time because, you guessed it, the women didn’t get much focus again. At least they announced an exciting women’s match for next week.

    Matches Announced for Next Week:
    • SCU (c) vs The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Championship
    • Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs The Lucha Bros
    • Chris Jericho vs Jungle Boy in a non-title match with a 10-minute time limit
    • Britt Baker vs Kris Statlander in a #1 contender’s match to face AEW Women’s World Champion Riho

    Elite Thoughts

    • I thought we wouldn’t hear about Alex Reynolds after this show since he was quickly squashed by Jon Moxley, but that all changed when he and partner John Silver seemingly got an offer from The Dark Order in a pretty cool video package. Never thought I would watch a wrestling show where someone bluntly asks Aren’t you tired of being a jobber?” This Dark Order repackaging is some of the best stuff in AEW right now and I’m glad that it’s done in small and creative doses.
    • Speaking of Moxley, Jericho offered him a spot in his Inner Circle. It seems like they’re going to play this out for a bit since Le Champion told Moxley to think it over the holidays but I hope Moxley just gives him the Paradigm Shift next week. This isn’t something that needs to be stretched out.
    • As expected, they didn’t play that excellent Big Swole video from this week’s AEW Dark but her match with Emi Sakura was decent and she picked up the win with a Rainmaker-style Discus Elbow. Swole is still a bit green in the ring but Sakura-san did a solid enough job carrying her. Sure, you could argue that Sakura-san’s matches kind of blend in together but when they always get the crowd’s attention and are genuinely entertaining, it’s hard to complain.
    • It looks like they’re planning to do a Kenny Omega/Hangman Page rivalry and I’m all for it. Their tag match against Shawn Spears and Kip Sabian was fine but the real story was the tension between these two blonde boys, which makes sense since Page has left The Elite (PLAY THAT CLIP AEW). Nothing majorly heelish from Page yet, but the fact that he ignored Omega’s high ten and tagged himself in to get the win when Kenny had things under control were nice touches.
    • While we’re talking about that tag match, Penelope Ford is an excellent valet for Kip Sabian and did even more here than the AEW Dark match. We got yet another Zelina Vega-Esque huracanrana and an awesome forward handspring elbow. Can AEW please book Sabian and Ford to win a match now?
    • They’re going back to Joey Janela and Shawn Spears huh? This is starting to wear out its welcome, though I did like how he tied up Tully Blanchard to get Spears out of the match. Just end this feud.
    • Brandi Rhodes’s Nightmare Collective continues to be uninteresting. I know I praised some of the hair cutting stuff early on but now that we know this will be a full-blown women’s stable, it just feels like a lamer version of The Dark Order. 
    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 (12/11/19): Suffering Succotash Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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