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    Saturday, December 19, 2020

    Reviewing the Elite (12/16/20): On Holiday



    After last week’s stick of AEW Dynamite tried a little too hard to get your attention, things were back to normal this week, for better or worse.

    Yeah, this was your typical average episode of Dynamite: Solid wrestling, decent story progression, but nothing that will get fans talking. To be fair, there are some holiday shows coming up and they need to get ready for those so we weren’t expecting much. Still, AEW has given us great “normal” episodes before, but that just wasn’t the case this week.

                   

    I did like the fact that this episode was dedicated to giving a lot of time to young talent. Private Party, The Acclaimed, Top Flight, The Varsity Blondes, Angelico of TH2, and The Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds and John Silver were all allowed to shine tonight. Seeing Angelico dominate Cody Rhodes for a good portion of their match was refreshing, while that short face-off Chris Jericho had with Brian Pillman Jr. ended up being pretty cool.

    The opening match where Hangman Page, Reynolds, and Silver took on Matt Hardy and Private Party probably had my favorite bits of continuity this week. I’m a biased Hangman Page Stan and seeing him warm up to the antics of Reynolds and Silver—even helping them out during their genuinely awesome series of moves leading to a German Suplex pin—warmed my heart. 

                  

    It’s also neat seeing Matt Hardy become a delusional asshole, using Private Party to get the victory tonight. Hardy didn’t even need to tag in for the win but the old man wanted to get the pin and get his hand raised, cause he knows that his time in the limelight is running out.

    Geez, that got dark.

    Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. and Thunder Rosa also had a great segment tonight. Many are calling this the best women’s angle AEW has had thus far and it's hard to argue with that logic, especially since Baker not only attacked Rosa during her interview but also ruined her faceprint. It might sound like a small thing but that paint is a big part of Rosa’s identity and Baker’s mean girl comment of the camera breaking for seeing her rival’s face ticked me off in a good way. I really want Thunder to descend upon Britt’s nose now.

    Of course, this was an average episode so there were definitely some bad things that happened. Having to hear Frankie Kazarian rap to The Acclaimed was bad and their match wasn’t much better. The fact that it followed a lively 12-man tag match didn’t help but that terrible rap, not to mention a post-match rap from The Acclaimed’s Max Caster, just hindered this match for me. 

    I’m glad a young team like The Acclaimed got a victory this week and The Young Bucks will probably get a good match out of them next week, but when your rapping is worse than John Cena’s—yeah, I said it—you need to stop.

                  

    Speaking of things that need to stop; Diamante and Ivalisse. These two always seem to have bad matches in Dynamite and this week’s bout was no exception. It didn’t help that Big Swole was the babyface in peril since she’s also pretty green but having to watch her sell awkward offense from Diamante was not great. Serena Deeb did bring some good fire with her hot tag and tried to save this match but the damage was done.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m still pro-more women in AEW and the post-match angle was decent since it looks like Red Velvet is going to take Brandi Rhodes’s place for a bit in the Jade Cargill rivalry since her mentor is pregnant (congrats on that, by the way) but this match was no good.

                  

    It hurts me to say this, but, Kenny Omega squashing Joey Janella in a No-DQ match wasn’t that good either. They want to keep Kenny healthy after his grueling match against Laredo Kid in TripleMania so I get it but I was expecting a bit more when they put this in the main event. I also wasn’t a fan of Don Callis’s “play-by-play” bit ringside since it really reinforced the fact that this was a heat angle and not a proper match.

    No, I’m not saying Kenny Omega sucks now but this week wasn’t great for him. I loved his anger towards Death Triangle after the main event and his match with Rey Fenix in two weeks should be fantastic but as a continuation of his character, his work on Impact Wrestling has been much better.

                  

    Cannot believe I typed those words. 

    Final Grade: Dynamite’s more focused pacing was back this week but since this was in-between last week’s show that kept setting up angles and next week’s Holiday Bash, this show felt a bit phoned in. C+ 

    Bullet-Point Party:

    • Brandi and Cody Rhodes are becoming parents: Congratulations to the happy couple.
    • Cody Rhodes beats Angelico in an awesome match: Easily this week’s best match wrestling-wise. Love seeing TH2 on Dynamite.
    • Sting saves Cody from Team Taz by… making his entrance: Look, that’s an awesome theme song and they at least had the decency to make Powerhouse Hobbs look fearless against the WCW icon but this was just pointless. Can we have Sting do… something?
    • Death Triangle and Lance Archer beat up Eddie Kingston, Butcher and Blade, but Pac and Archer have intense words after: It looks like they’re building towards a triple threat match between Kingston, Archer, and Pac, which I’m all for. They can always make that a #1 contender’s match for one of the TNT Championship, which gives Darby “Turtle Kid” Allin something to do than stalk Sting and Cody.
    • The Inner Circle beat Best Friends, Top Flight, and The Varsity Blondes in a fun match: This was mostly good until the end. Jake Hager failed miserably when he tried to do Wardlow’s F-10 and the fact that MJF got the pin after that awful move was a putrid decision.

    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 (12/16/20): On Holiday Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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