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    Saturday, August 7, 2021

    Reviewing the Elite (8/4/21): Just Go Away, Cody Rhodes

    Malakai Black and Cody Rhodes

    It's ya boy Ro filling in for Nico on the return of the Dynamite review. This week, Chris Jericho performs his third Labor of, uh, Jericho, and we finally get the much-hyped face-off between Malakai Black and Cody Rhodes.

    Let's start with the evening's main event first—Cody Rhodes vs. Malakai Black was a squash, although from the way they started the match it looked like they were going to have a competitive match. Tommy End actually spoiled this outcome on an Instagram post a few days ago, saying that it wasn't going to be a fun back-and-forth bout, instead being a straight-up demolition of the American Nightmare. While I'm glad they stuck to their guns on this, my only gripe is that I wish Malakai looked completely dominant the way Brock Lesnar used to be, but I'll take what I can get.

    In fact, you can watch the match in its entirety right here:

    Afterward, Cody cuts a bizarre promo thanking the Jacksonville fans and reminiscing on the past few years. It seems as though he was hinting at retirement on the horizon, but the problem is Cody's still young—so all of this feels like attention and sympathy grabbing for a character that a lot of fans are pretty much done with. Malakai comes back to punctuate everyone's feelings by attacking Cody with a crutch, as if to say, "Shut up and retire if you're going to retire already."

    Seriously, what else will it be for if not another self-serving Cody Rhodes storyline where he thinks he's the hero everyone wants to see? Go away if you're going away, dude, let people miss you if that's what you want.

    As for the episode's other main event, Chris Jericho faced old nemesis Juventud Guerrera in a match that kind of sucked the wind out of the whole Labors of Jericho concept. Both guys tried to do a lucha-style match that they just were not in peak physical form for, so it wasn't as fun as the Nick Gage deathmatch. It didn't convey the sense of danger or risk that Nick Gage did, though they should be picking that up with the fourth labor.

    With less than a month left until All Out, I find it strange that AEW hasn't started moving their pieces to build toward the PPV, other than Jericho and MJF. They're still giving away big stuff on TV—which would have been nice if there wasn't a PPV coming, so without that build it doesn't feel like there's a big event on the horizon. It seems like they'll be cramming it in a matter of three weeks starting next week with the premiere of Rampage, so I'll wait for that.

    Final Grade: In the meantime, you can skip this week's episode of Dynamite if you're not a hardcore AEW fan. It gets a solid B. Other than Malakai Black's decisive win, there's not much to find here.

    Bullet Point Party

    • Christian Cage is technically the new #1 contender to the AEW Championship: While I like the idea of the ladder rankings, AEW sets it up in a way that we get weird ass matchups that determine who's #1. Like this week, Christian Cage beat the fuckin' Blade to become the #1 contender. I get that Christian's feuding with the HFO, which the Blade is a part of, but they couldn't do a marquee matchup with a top opponent that would make Christian becoming the #1 contender a really big deal?
    • Hangman and Omega are still not done: With All Out a few weeks away and Christian being the new #1 contender, why are Hangman Page and Kenny Omega still messing around if the Dark Order lost the rights to challenge for their titles?
    • Brian Cage wants to end Team Taz: Still not buying ol' Machine Cage as a threat here, although a rematch against Ricky Starks for the PPV does make sense.
    • Red Velvet and Dr. Britt Baker, DMD face off: So Britt Baker proves herself to be a tweener, acting like the heel against the smaller Red Velvet. Sure. Why not.
    • Leyla Hirsch becomes the new #1 contender to the NWA Women's Championship: I'll tell you what, it's good to see Kamille on TV again.
    Images from AEW
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    Item Reviewed: Reviewing the Elite (8/4/21): Just Go Away, Cody Rhodes Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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