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    Sunday, March 20, 2022

    Reviewing The Elite (3/16/21): Thunder Rosa 3:16

    Well that was a bloody good match.

    You know what's exciting about cage matches in AEW? They removed the stupid escape rule! That one simple change made cage matches exciting again. Also, I never realized how I missed seeing violence inside steel structures. I know I said I wasn't the biggest fan of these, but if the stipulation demands it, I better expect blood and violence in the canvass. And wouldn't you know it, this week's historic main event delivered all of that in buckets. Nevermind the lackluster build and the confusing matches prior—I will gladly take this match as an apology. 

    While they failed to top their epic Lights Out match last year, Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker still managed to make everyone wince with every hard-hitting spot. I would be shocked if both women didn't receive any form of injury from all the brutal chair spots, my personal fave of which was the chair tower Britt landed on. It's a miracle she wasn't broken in half after that. Britt Baker deserves a long vacation from carrying the women's division on her back after her epic title run. Can she even use her hand again after Thunder hammered it through the tacks? Gnarly. 

    My only complaint about this match is how they made it way too obvious that Thunder Rosa would walk out with the title. Once the camera cut to the all-women mariachi band, I knew she was going to win it. It's almost an homage to how Rey Mysterio entered WrestleMania 22 with the live band and the grandiose getup. Thunder's entrance was great, but it's like announcing to everyone that she was going to win the following contest so don't bother holding your breath. They should've at least given Britt Baker a ridiculously extra version of her entrance to balance things up. 

    And the fact that Britt Baker decided to woman up and face Thunder Rosa alone just helped nail the outcome before the bell even rang. You'd think that a strategic champion who's about to face someone who's already beat her would plan some countermeasures right before the match. When the first referee went down, why didn't she call out for Jamie Hayter or Rebel? The cage door wasn't locked anyway, they could've easily got involved. Then it would've been more satisfying for Thunder Rosa to overcome all those odds. But nah, I guess they really needed her to win that bad.

    But nonetheless, I'm still hyped to see AEW shake things up in their women's division. Britt Baker had her fun, but it's time for her to take it easy a la Kenny Omega. Let the other women get their licks in for a change! I'm excited to see the new champion starts rivalries with the likes of Ruby Soho, the new emo version of Kris Statlander, or whoever's winning the grudge match between Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida. I know AEW needs more star power in the women's divsion, but they better give Britt Baker a break after this. Seriously, she deserves it. 

    The dream team of Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson is the coolest thing in AEW right now, fight me. While I didn't expect these two to actually team up, the potential of these heavy-hitters as a tag team was already worth the price of admission. But then they added William Regal to the mix so of course I would instantly love it. This super tag team just became the ultimate tag team: it has Bryan's technical expertise, Moxley's raw intensity, and Regal's devilish charm. They transcend babyface or heel alignments because they can just do whatever they want and people will love it.

    I also love how they're making William Regal's Slap of Honor a thing now. Just this week, Wheeler Yuta became the first recipient of the honorable slap. I love how Regal didn't even do anything to try and recruit Yuta—the young upstart just decided to offer his face to Regal's magic touch. Now that's how you build character. Yuta's current faction isn't really offering him anything anyway—might as well have him join a better one that will highlight his newfound edge even more. Also, I just love seeing Regal slapping people around as a recruitment tactic.

    Show Grade: A

    Dynamite Debris That Also Appreciate Chris Jericho Because He Helped Them Once Even if He Didn't Know Them

    • I love how watching AEW opening matches is now equal to watching a SmackDown main event. I can't imagine how I was able to survive reviewing a weekly show where I had to wait for an hour and a half before I get to the only part worth watching. I probably didn't need to say that just to say how I enjoyed Undisputed Kliq vs. Cowboy Express, but I said it anyway. Try and stop me. 
    • It really sucks to see how they fumbled the MJF vs. Wardlow storyline. Yes, I'm still not over it. Coming off from a god-tier storyline, you'd think they would keep the ball rolling with these MJF storylines moving forward. But it has now been relegated to a mediocre midcard rivalry. If this was the only consequence of turning on MJF, why did Wardlow bite his tongue all this time?
    • Wait, if 2.0 and Daniel Garcia owed Chris Jericho their careers in AEW, why did they assault him like he's nothing four months ago? Didn't address that in your little speech, huh? But fine, I guess we'll just have to live with the fact that the Inner Circle 2.0 is here to stay. Imagine if these guys came from WWE. Their threat to beat up pro-wrestlers and become sports entertainers would've had more bite. (2point0 is actually from WWE, and Daniel Garcia had an NXT match as a jobber. —Ed.)
    • Am I the only one disappointed that Private Party didn't go over against The Hardy Boyz? I would've taken a fluke win if it meant Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen gets the distinction as the first to beat the legendary tag team in years. That would also help further this rivalry instead of just giving the win to Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Darby Allin, or Sting every time. Just sayin'.

    Header image taken from AEW Facebook page

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident Dynamite 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 (3/16/21): Thunder Rosa 3:16 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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