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    Sunday, April 3, 2022

    Reviewing The Elite (3/30/22): AFO-hget About It! 🤌

    AEW really loves their one-sided rivalries, huh?

    I think I'm starting to agree with Eric Bischoff when he said AEW doesn't do basic storytelling. Of course I'm not saying AEW is incapable of giving us great storylines. But man, they suck at basic storytelling. Just look at how they're booking this entire Hardy Boyz vs. AFO saga. Sure, this rivalry gave us chaotic matches and I guess that's the endgame of it all, but let me ask you something: is everyone involved in this storyline going over? Because I'm pretty sure only one side is getting all the glory, and that group consists of three already living legends and a moody teenager.

    I hate to preface this with a rant considering Andrade El Idolo and Darby Allin tore the house down in this week's main event, but they couldn't just let AFO get their heat back. After months of losses under the leadership of Matt Hardy, shouldn't a change in leadership incentivize these group of losers to do better kayfabe-wise? And yet we haven't seen them win anything by themselves. And when their new leader does win something, they just can't give AFO the bone they desperately need to legitimize themselves against their esteemed rivals by making them eat dirt again.

    So aside from watching bodies fly or go through stuff, why else should I care about this one-sided rivalry? I already know the invincible team of Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, and Sting (and there's Darby too) will continue to overpower them despite not having the numbers. There's literally no value whatsoever in beating AFO because week after week, AEW is showing us how weak and dispensable they are. If they're planning to run this angle for a long time, shouldn't they at least make AFO more formidable? How about giving them wins here and there? Beat down the good guys every once in a while?

    It's the same thing with the Jericho Appreciation Society segment. AEW already spent three weeks to build this new faction up. Alright already, we get it, just shut up about it. So for this week, you'd think they would give Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston their heat back after getting beat down three weeks ago, right? Nah, let's have them get beat down again. Suddenly, numbers matter now? Or is it because a faction is only powerful if one of their members is already an established name? So what happens when JAS and the Hardy-Sting coalition finally collide? The end of the world, apparently.

    I could name a few instances at the top of my head: Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends barely getting any Ws against The Elite; The Acclaimed putting over Sting and Darby Allin during their entire rivalry; every time Dark Order steps into the ring, etc. The people who needed the rub the most always get buried in favor of the already established stars. And the most frustrating part of this is that they obviously know how to do it. Remember how MJF beat CM Punk "twice" in Chicago? Then Punk got his heat back at Revolution? That entire rivalry mastered basic storytelling and created an instant classic. If they were able to pull this off, why are they struggling now with the rest?

    Thank heavens for the Blackpool Combat Club. They continue to be the highlight of Dynamite and I love every minute of it. While the Dean Ambrose vs. Jay Lethal was also a fun watch, match of the week easily goes to Bryan Danielson vs. Wheeler Yuta. This was amazing! The crowd ate it up big time as the plucky Yuta defiantly stood his ground against the menacing Bryan. The former Best Friend actually looked like a million bucks in defeat, and only a few people can make their opponents look this good by stomping on their faces. Bryan Danielson may be at the top of that list. 

    Also, it looks like we're actually getting an FTR babyface turn and it already looks amazing! Thanks to an extra rowdy crowd, we now have a glimpse of what the Top Guys would look like if the crowd was behind them all the way. It sucks that this week's match had to be overshadowed by the mid MJF vs. Wardlow storyline, but that's fine, I guess. I really hope they don't do a slow burn with this one. After fudging up the Wardlow face turn, I don't trust them anymore to get to a satisfying outcome. Just let FTR work their natural charm and establish them as the new top babyface team in AEW.

    Show Grade: B+

    Dynamite Debris That Got Punched by Wardlow on His Way to MJF 

    • At least "Hangman" Adam Page didn't make a fool out of himself this week, but is this really how they're building Adam Page vs. Adam Cole II? By stealing titles and getting it back a full week after? Man, that sure looks like a top-tier storyline worthy of AEW's top prize. /s

    • Toni Storm is All Elite! Good for her and good for Tony Khan! And with Marina Shafir on her way to Dynamite, the women's division is finally getting fresh new faces to liven everything up. Please, TK, sign more women! Also, I really wish they just booked another Owen Hart Cup qualifying match in place of the inferior Adam Cole and reDRagon segment. They have a lot of spots to fill up, you know. 

    • Is every show going to start with CM Punk now? Because it's freaking awesome! It sucks that it has to be at the expense of The Acclaimed yet again, but opening the show with Punk's iconic theme doesn't sound bad at all. 

    • Man, Thunder Rosa didn't even get an in-ring victory lap promo to put the women's division on notice. Plus, she's going to be stuck with Nyla Rose for possibly another two weeks. They should really sign more women because Nyla Rose shouldn't be the go-to first-contender-to-legitimize-new-champion's-reign in the women's division. Where's Ruby Soho? Anna Jay? Serena Deeb?


    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 (3/30/22): AFO-hget About It! 🤌 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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