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    Saturday, January 22, 2022

    Reviewing The Elite (1/19/22): Royal Ramble


    We're all in agreement that Cody Rhodes is already a heel, right? 

    I'm not even talking about this insanely good promo he cut this week on Dynamite. He's been heel for a while now, way back when he was feuding with Anthony Ogogo. We've been comparing him to The Boys' iconic character, Homelander, and I support that comparison 100%. We're seeing a megalomaniac parading around like he's the goddamn hero. The best part? Cody will never give us the satisfaction of officially turning heel. Why would he? He's already getting booed the moment his name is mentioned.

    His heel character is so meta right now, and I'm glad the crowd is playing along with it. If you're still frustrated about Cody Rhodes, consider this: in his show's universe, Homelander is well-loved by the people. But by the end of The Boys Season 2, the people has started to question the existence of superheroes in general and that maybe, just maybe, Homelander is not the hero they think he is. Luckily, Cody doesn't need to commit a war crime to change people's minds about him—we were just programmed by shows like The Boys to see through self-important stunts like this week's rambling.  

    Now isn't that more intriguing than Cody just turning heel? Just watch the confusing mess of a promo he cut. Watch it, analyze it, and summarize it. You can't, can you? Of course you can't! It didn't make sense from beginning to end! It wasn't a heel promo because he outright said it wasn't, and it also didn't seem like a babyface promo because you can just feel the phoniness of it all. And of course he had to cut it a few minutes after Jon Moxley's amazing opening segment like he's the middle child trying to get attention. It's definitely one of the most unique portrayals of a heel and I'm here for it. 

    Now that I've mentioned him, Jon Moxley's opening segment was legendary. Basically, the wrestling took a step back to give way to these legendary promos and I love every minute of it. From the moment his music and he started strutting the only way knows how, you just knew we were in for a classic. The fact that Jon Moxley looked healthier than ever was already pop-worthy, but then he proceeded to cut the most vulnerable and badass promo I've ever seen. I'm not even sure how that's possible. 

    It's definitely a promo I can show to anyone, even non-wrestling fans, to explain why I love pro wrestling. Jon Moxely pretty much redefined what it meant to be a bad motherfucker with this single promo. Pretending your demons don't exist doesn't make you badass anymore. Not seeking help when you need it doesn't make you a tough person anymore. And no, Bully Ray, you should never apologize for choosing your own health over other obligations. Fuck you, go sleep on a pile of dung. 

    The rest of the show was pretty okay, I guess. I have nothing bad to say about Sting and his performance in this week's main event was indeed amazing for his age, but man I would've loved it if The Acclaimed won at least one match in this rivalry. Isn't Sting all about putting over younger talent now? Who exactly are they reserving Sting for? A win over a wrestling icon would've helped boost Max Caster and Anthony Bowens' stock. But nah, let's just stick to the status quo and let the legend win. 

    I also don't get why Adam Cole can't pick up a loss ever. Isn't he a current gen superstar just like everyone else in AEW? Why is he getting the WWE legend treatment? I don't understand why Orange Cassidy and the Super Friends can't win a match throughout their entire rivalry with the Super Kliq. Just take this mixed tag match for example. Kris Statlander could've picked up the win over Britt Baker and it won't affect Adam's undefeated streak one bit. It sucks that it will take a Light Outs Match just to see Orange Cassidy win for a change, a match that won't count in the official AEW records. Great.

    Show Grade: A

    Dynamite Debris That Want to See Leyla Hirsch Thrive in AEW

    • Malakai Black and Brody King rule! And that entrance? Amazing! I just hate how their finisher doesn't match their presentation at all. I'm sure an assisted powerslam is impressive in on itself, but it's still a powerslam. It doesn't really scream finisher, you know? They should really workshop a more brutal double-team finisher because the one they have now isn't really working for me. Also, PAC's new gimmick looks cool and all, but I really thought he would start wrestling with a blindfold. That would've been cool! 

    • Lance Archer is the definition of overkill. It's not enough that he has a try-hard moniker, now he has two managers? What's next, he'll get two entrances? A second pair of pants? A third manager? And why does it have to be Dan Lambert? Is it because Jake Roberts can't take a bump? He better start focusing on Archer then and leave Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky alone since they're doing the talking now anyway. We don't need him managing every bad guy in AEW. 

    • I guess they did feature more women compared to last week and it's an improvement. We got the mixed tag match, we got Serena Deeb destroying Skye Blue, and we got two segments featuring two rivalries. Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay should be a fun one, but I was more interested in seeing "Legit" Leyla Hirsch finally turning heel and taking out Red Velvet and Kris Statlander. Leyla is awesome and turning heel should give her more opportunities to highlight how badass she really is in the ring. She could even join Team Taz and complete their stable.   

    Header image taken from @AEW

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident SmackDown free agent reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's anxious about the future, now more than ever. His potential haunts him. 

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    Item Reviewed: Reviewing The Elite (1/19/22): Royal Ramble Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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