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    Friday, November 20, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (11/18/20): Three is the Best Number

    Sometime last year, Kenny Omega claimed that there would be a Trios Championship coming to AEW and fans had mixed feelings. While the company’s tag team division already had a ton of depth in 2019, we weren’t sure if the company had enough talent to support a trios division. Maybe it's because I happen to remember this odd claim or maybe because AEW just decided to spice things up, but this week's stick of Dynamite put a lot of effort into establishing a trios division through Eddie Kingston and his Family (The Butcher, and The Blade), Team Taz, and the return of Death Triangle.

    Yes, Death Triangle is back. Let’s elaborate on that.

    PAC had his first match back in eight months and, man, it is good seeing The Bastard in action again. While his match with The Blade didn’t blow me away, it was fine for what it was; a way for PAC to get rid of that rin -rust. I’m not sure if it was legitimate scares or some fun storytelling but PAC seemed nervous to hit The Blade with a Black Arrow after being away for months, so he went with a “simpler” Shooting Star Press instead, before making the tag team wrestler tap out to The Brutalizer.


    A Shooting Star Press as a simple move? Only PAC.

    Kingston and his boys proceeded to beat up the former King of the Cruiserweights before Rey Fenix made the save, though he was still outnumbered. Eventually, they were saved by Penta El Zero M after some initial hesitation, and then, boom, Death Triangle is back. 

    Good stuff, though it felt a bit rushed since Kingston only started trying to break up The Lucha Bros last week. They could have stretched this out for a few more episodes.
    Now on to Team Taz, who was joined by a now-heel Will Hobbs, after weeks of the big man not responding to their offer. 


    Credit to AEW here because there was some smart misdirection to make you think that Hobbs was going to stay babyface. Prior to the main event where Team Taz took on TNT Champion Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes, they announced that Hobbs would be in singles action next week, making you think he wouldn’t show up. When Hobbs did show up, he did the usual save-babyface-with-a-chair-bit and even teased taking Cage’s FTW Championship before waffling Cody with it. 

    It also helps that Team Taz actually won the main event this week. Now that they have Hobbs on their side, they look like a bigger threat, and it was pretty cool to have this seemingly midcard angle in the main event spot.

    Believe it or not, three isn’t just a suitable number for wrestling factions as AEW actually built up three women’s storylines. Hey! Stop laughing! I’m serious! AEW started some women’s storyli—why are you guys running away?!

    First, we got a continuation of the Brandi Rhodes/Jade Cargill storyline. After letting Jade—someone who clearly hasn’t had a lot of promo training—talk for way too long last week, they kept it simple and clean by having her damage Brandi’s arm with a chair, thanks to some assistance from Nyla Rose and Vickie Guerrero. I don't have high hopes for this future match-up but Brandi did have a good match against Anna Jay, so anything is possible.

    Next, they followed up that angry tweet from Britt Baker by having her attack Thunder Rosa during the NWA Women’s Championship match. While this wasn’t the finish, it added some drama to the already great match going on, and Rosa’s defeat was dusty enough that it can lead to another match with Serena Deeb down the road. This was also the best match of the show and I’m so glad Rosa has something to seek her teeth into in AEW. 


    Get it? Teeth? Because Britt Baker is a dentist? I’m hilarious.

    Finally, Anna Jay will be challenging Hikaru Shida to a match for the AEW Women’s World Championship next week. This angle was, admittedly, mostly carried by John Silver, but they still made the belt feel important here since The Dark Order appears to be desperate for some kind of gold on their team. It’s not much but I’ll take it and, hey, Jay is in the fucking rankings so there’s some legitimacy there.

    Just to be clear, AEW needs to keep pushing these storylines for the women’s division on more Dynamite episodes going forward. This does not absolve AEW for their clunky booking of the women this past year but it’s a start. I really hope they don’t pat themselves on the back and forget about this division again next week.

    Final Grade: So, yes, the number three led to a very good stick of Dynamite this week. We’ve got some new trios teams and actual storylines with the women. There was also some more great wrestling and storyline progression that I’ll get into, but know that these were some quality explosions from this stick. Keep it up, AEW. A+

    Bullet Point Party:

    • Jon Moxley casually announces that Renee Paquette is pregnant while cutting a great promo: Moxley is one of a kind. I’m pretty sure that this promo was 100% motivated by the pregnancy news with all that father talk. Don’t let this man go, AEW.
    • Who attacked Moxley? Kenny doesn't know or care: A fun little mystery here as someone—probably Lance Archer—attacked Moxley before he could make it to the contract signing with Kenny Omega. Love how Omega brought up the elbow injury that took out Moxley when they were supposed to fight last year and how a “runny nose” won’t stop them from having a match in two weeks. Very good segment. Bonus points for having the commentators ask Eddie Kingston if he did it, given the events of Full Gear.
    • The Inner Circle goes to Las Vegas: Wasn’t a huge fan of this parody of The Hangover but it did have some fun moments, particularly when Jake Hager and Wardlow started beating up some randos. It was also cool seeing Konnan with Santana and Ortiz, given their IMPACT history.
    • Top Flight soar against The Young Bucks, look great in defeat: I wasn’t that aware of Top Flight before this match so kudos to AEW for the great video package that played before the opener. A fun spot-fest with The Bucks made this team look great, selling a ton for the youngsters before hitting the BTE Trigger for the win. TH2 tried to beat up Top Flight afterward so that should be a fun feud on AEW Dark
    • Orange Cassidy continues to be the best, beats Kip Sabian: Cassidy’s blend of comedy and fantastic wrestling continues to be a treat. Sabian actually looked good for being prepared to take on Cassidy’s silliness, though that wasn't enough to beat The Best Friends' best friend. Miro proceeded to take Cassidy's head off afterward. I'm still not a fan of this angle but this was some solid progression.
    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 of 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 (11/18/20): Three is the Best Number Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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