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    Sunday, April 10, 2022

    Reviewing The Elite (4/6/22): Top Guys, Bottom Bucks

    AEW killed it with their main events last week.

    Just when I thought I was getting used to their monotonous booking, they suddenly gave me FTR vs. Young Bucks II. While this isn't a knock on the quality of wrestling, when you can predict the outcome of 90% of the card, it diminishes the excitement levels quite a bit. Of course the Hardy Boyz will beat Butcher and Blade in a Tables Match. Of course Hikaru Shida will qualify for the Owen Hart Cup. Of course Capt. Shawn Dean will get the fluke win over Shawn Spears. Of course Samoa Joe will squash Max Caster—okay, that one's pretty cool, actually. And of course, #LOLAdamColeWins.

    So when AEW gives us a matchup involving wrestlers with equal levels of star power every once in a while and on Dynamite no less, you better expect me to eat it all up. Sure, it wasn't as intense and bloody as the Jon Moxley vs. Wheeler Yuta match on Rampage, but Dynamite's main event was just buttery smooth tag team wrestling at its finest. That alone should make this main event a little bit better compared to their Friday night counterpart. I didn't ask for it, I didn't know I needed it, but I'm fucking stoked I got it. This is the AEW experience that brought me here in the first place. 

    Everything about this match was amazing. Seriously, I had to rewatch it so I can review it more objectively but I forgot the assignment and just ended up enjoying the match again. I just love seeing the palpable chemistry between FTR and the Young Bucks. Just seeing them diss each other even before the bell rang was entertaining enough. And when the bell did ring, they never bothered slowing the pace down even for a minute. If you enjoy watching two of the best tag teams in the world destroy each other in competitively satisfying ways, this match is for you! NitPickRichter Scale: Magnitude 10!

    And while the rest of the card was predictable as hell, I still had a good time with it. Can we talk about Samoa Joe now? Because he's in AEW! Is it a coincidence that almost all of my favorite people are coming in to do what they do best? If AJ Styles decides to come and recreate some TNA magic with Samoa Joe and Christopher Daniels, my life will be complete. But anyway, Samoa Joe! While Max Caster's zingers were amazing, it didn't matter when the Samoan Submission Machine whooped his ass with the return of the Muscle Buster. That alone popped me even harder than I already was.

    Seeing him qualify for the Owen Hart Cup got me all hyped up for it. With 16 slots to fill and winning a match is required to qualify, it only means that we're getting a star-studded seed that already has Samoa freakin' Joe in it. And if they're taking their time qualifying big names, just imagine who we'll get in the future. Imagine getting Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson or CM Punk vs. Jon Moxley as early as the first seed. Hell, they will probably reserve a spot for a new signee. Johnny Gargano? Claudio Castagnoli? Hiroshi Tanahashi? Simply thinking about all the possibilities makes me giddy already.

    Dynamite also delivered another banger of an opener with Adam Cole and Christian Cage. And while the match was decent fun, what I enjoyed more was the post-match segment where "Hangman" Adam Page finally carried himself as a badass champion. He didn't take off his belt this time. I also loved how Hangman treated Adam Cole not as an equal but as a pest that's been bugging him for weeks. He already beat him decisively! Finally, Adam Page is breaking the stereotype of babyface champions always playing on the heel's terms. Took them long enough to present the champ as an actual badass.

    Show Grade: A-

    Dynamite Debris That Will Also Come After You On-Site

    • Eddie Kingston's on-site promo was badass and all, but I just couldn't figure out why Chris Jericho and the rest of his appreciation crew were running. [insert why are you running? meme here] So the numbers game only works at certain times? I get that this is what I've been begging for after weeks of JAS domination, but they couldn't even make it logical. Anyway, loved the Eddie Kingston promo. This is what we need more of from this meh storyline.

    • Jade Cargill also cut a badass promo last week about her upcoming match with Marina Shafir. She couldn't help but exude her natural charisma that she ended up getting cheered even after dissing the crowd. They're doing a great job making her upcoming matches a must-see. Seriously, Jade Cargill is hella over. Who else in wrestling can claim they are Vanessa Hudgens-approved? Exactly. 

    • While I still think this entire MJF vs. Wardlow angle has gone sour, I do like the brewing storyline of the Pinnacle slowly getting infuriated with MJF's antics. I don't really care if they dissolve this faction, I just need them to set FTR free so they can continue with their hero's journey in AEW. 

    *****

    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 (4/6/22): Top Guys, Bottom Bucks Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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