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    Sunday, February 20, 2022

    Reviewing The Elite (2/16/22): The Power of the Dog Collar


    I was wondering when that photo would show up.

    Every time they cross each other in the mic, I keep anticipating that picture of a young MJF meeting CM Punk for supposedly the first time to just show up and inflict emotional damage. Maybe MJF will bring it up and say he has now surpassed his idol. Maybe CM Punk will bring it up and remind MJF that deep inside, he's still the little kid that wets his pants every time "Cult of Personality" hits. But after months of furious verbal back-and-forths, nothing. It would've been a slam dunk promo and I was surprised they hadn't milked that photo dry. Sorry, that's just my WWE-programmed mind talking. 

    I didn't realize they were saving it for last, and that the payoff would be fantastic. There's no better way to start a wrestling show than letting CM Punk speak his mind. When he's on pipebomb mode, you know shit's about to go down. And while it wasn't a groundbreaking promo that changed the landscape of wrestling, it was still an incredibly intense monologue to add more emotional weight to this suddenly compelling storyline. I was expecting Punk to challenge Wardlow based on his comments last week, but I don't mind seeing CM Punk vs. MJF again if they can at least match the quality of their previous encounter.

    I love how Punk waited for MJF to come out before showing the photo and ultimately reminding him of what's about to go down at Revolution. And the fact that this is only the second Dog Collar Match in AEW history after Cody Rhodes and the late Mr. Brodie Lee shows you the company values this rivalry. In the next two weeks, I really hope they stop with the promos and just air vignettes that aside from recapping their rivalry so far, would also include clips from their Dog Collar Matches in the past. I feel like this week's opening segment already did a great job hyping everyone up for such a huge match. 

    This week's episode of Dynamite was peppered with a lot of segments, most of them were good and some just failed to deliver. One of them came right after a great match between the veteran Bryan Danielson and an up-and-coming Lee Moriarty. We all probably thought there was no way Bryan would lose this one, but I definitely enjoyed how Moriarty didn't look like a total loser in the end. He got a lot of offense in and was given plenty of times to showcase what he's all about. I wouldn't expect anything less from a future member of Bryan Danielson's killer faction. 

    And when the inevitable came, it was immediately followed up by an intense face-to-face between Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley. Man, if you love promos as much as I do, you'd feel spoiled by this week's episode. Basically, Moxley came out to not say "no" to Bryan's proposal of AEW domination, and that he won't stand side-by-side with someone unless they bleed with them first. That's such a killer line. And hey, it looks like we're going to get our cake and eat it too. Who wouldn't say no to that? We should probably start imagining a future where Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson are at the top. 

    The other promo involved the AEW World Champion "Hangman" Adam Page and challenger Adam Cole and sadly, it wasn't a hit for me. Two of wrestling's top Adams meeting face-to-face sounds like a good segment on paper, but I feel like they spent most of their promo trying to be aggressively respectful to each other. It did manage to establish their history together as part of Bullet Club, but the passive-aggressiveness ruined it for me. They could've saved the segment by not ending it in a typical beatdown, but I wouldn't bitch about it now if they did. Not saying it was bad, but it was pretty mid.

    Then they made it even more awkward by sending out comically inept security personnel, like that would do something to elevate this segment. They weren't even good at taking bumps so when the Dark Order came out for the save, they just ended up stinking the place. Why not just have the Dark Order in the first place? That would've saved everyone precious time, then they could've given those extra minutes to Thunder Rosa and Mercedes Martinez. While I'm still glad the AEW Champion finally has a worthy challenger, it sucks that he keeps getting involved in these lame segments. 

    Show Grade: B+

    Dynamite Debris That Also Think Bryan Danielson Cries at the End of Old Yeller

    • Aside from Bryan Danielson vs. Lee Moriarty, the matches this week were pretty mid. I did enjoy Thunder Rosa vs. Mercedes Martinez, especially the ending. I would've enjoyed it more if I watched Cobra Kai, but I'm a sucker for the trope of two bitter rivals showing respect for each other. I definitely would like to see these two badass women tear usher in AEW's women's tag team division. We'll see. NitPickRichter Scale: Magnitude 6!

    • It's bad enough that I personally don't care about Sammy Guevara and Darby Allin, they just had to give us a main event that paled in comparison to the usually exciting Dynamite main events we get. It even had a typical WWE finish that certainly didn't give this match justice. I get that Darby Allin vs. Andrade El Idolo must happen, but the latter didn't need to interfere. He could've just come out at the end and beat up Sammy and Darby and close the show standing tall. NitPickRichter Scale: Magnitude 4!

    • Finally, Eddie Kingston is back! We can definitely expect a new set of epic promos from two of the best talkers today. Let Santana and Ortiz move on from this petty Inner Circle stuff and just add them to the AEW Tag Team Championship scene where they belong. 

    *****

    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 (2/16/22): The Power of the Dog Collar Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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