Another day, another review. The big thing about this Dynamite episode is that it’s the last crowdless taped show. And next Saturday will show a live airing at Daily’s Place, which is weird considering that their ratings have steadily dropped since moving to Friday. Not sure if the Saturday move will help much but I guess they’ll take what they can get.
- Hager vs Wardlow (MMA Rules Cage Fight) – This was stupid. It had no place being on a pro-wrestling show unless AEW intended to do an angle to move towards more realistic fighting. But it was absolutely garbage where no one was given rules as Aubrey would say “as discussed in the back.” So if you’re not familiar with MMA rules, you’re left in the dark. Clusterfuck interference afterwards with Dean Malenko coming out for god knows what reason since he’s been now publicly described as having Parkinson’s and other health issues. MJF gets cheap heat by hitting an old man with health issues and Sammy Guevara jumps over to make the save. Just an absolute pile of shit. If a casual viewer came in, they would probably wonder what the fuck they just watched and walked away.
- Kazarian, Kingston and Penta backstage promo – Why do they need a backstage promo before the main event match? If this shit was booked correctly, you could do an interview that leads to a match the following week. Instead, these guys get more TV time that could be allotted for something else.
- Team Taz segment – Yet another backstage promo. Just more teases of the unending tension with Hobbs and this time Starks. So another turn? Or are we going to finally see Team Taz thankfully break up and remove another redundant faction from AEW? Setup for Hangman Page against Hobbs next week. I like Hobbs because he has a unique look but he’s just so green.
- Darby Allin vs Scorpio Sky/Ethan Page (The Men of the Year) – Yay, Sting ACTUALLY stayed home. Good for you. Enjoy your time at home. As I mentioned last week, AEW booked themselves into a corner with this match. I don’t think either side got over by the way things were handled. Most notable spot was the zip ties on Ethan Page’s boots that led nowhere. Allin still jobbed and that move actually would have made sense for Allin winning. Page finds tools under the ring (dead sure they listened to Cornette for advice on gimmicks and this was a clear nod) to break the zip ties. So again, Allin looks like an idiot. Also, why would Page look for tools under the ring? It’s not like he actually setup the ring so there should be no a priori knowledge of that.
- Orange Cassidy vs Cesar Bononi – I think I saw Cesar wrestle once and it was on AEW Elevation. And my opinion was keep him there for a year along with all the other jobber/trainees. Pointless match with a pointless jobber group/faction.
- Jungle Boy backstage interview – Le sigh. Before Jungle Boy has a chance to say anything, we get yet another interruption. Worse yet it was that Kenny Omega-lul idiot and his goof manager and butt buddy. So people just drive around golf carts around the backstage area because security leave the keys haphazardly around? Kenny offers a punch but poor Jungle Boy gets sucker punched in the back by butt buddy. Rather than selling a fucking laptop shot to the back, Jungle Boy no sells and tries to make a comeback. The crowd was hot for babyface Jungle Boy getting beaten up. He could have come in super hot for the ambush for Saturday. Instead, he fights off THREE men and they hightail it on the cart. Just idiotic.
- Matt Hardy and, you guessed it, another backstage promo – And as per AEW’s inability to do anything else during an interview segment, they interrupt it with Christian Cage getting, well, caged. Is the pain ever going to end with this? On a side note, how the hell did Matt Hardy suddenly get all that money to become his latest character? Why not sit at home after all those injuries and just enjoy life rather than be a 4th rate Million Dollar Man?
- Cody Rhodes/Brock Anderson vs QT Marshall/Aaron Solow – If Brock wasn’t the son of Arn, this match would be full of job guys. QT Marshall is the X-Pac of AEW. But at least X-Pac in later years had become far more likeable with his podcasts and interviews. QT is just unlikable and unwatchable. And this stupid “feud” never ends. Solow looks like if you’d put him in a high wind area, he’d fly away. Of course, the only person of interest here was Brock. He gets a win without using a signature finisher and he gets to have the spotlight with his father. There was a strange shot of Cody looking almost enviously from the entrance and some people said he might have looked pissed. But I think it was a bad camera timing because they wanted Brock to have his moment. Brock looks more like he should be working in construction though with his physique and Arn looks huge, almost Vader-esque.
- Lance Archer/Jake Roberts promo – Weird place for a promo. But the one positive? NO INTERRUPTIONS! Jake still can cut promos but Lance Archer a few weeks back against Miro showed good fire. Basically, they say this is Lance’s last straw which either means he’s kicking Jake out or he’s going to win a title. Guess where my bets are?
- JR interviews Andrade El Idolo – Actually something I was morbidly curious to watch. Then just as quick, I lost interest. Good thing Andrade has Vickie. He hints at yet another surprise. Some people mentioned Zelina Vega and I think that’s too early unless he’s abandoning Vickie and waiting for Vega’s no-compete clause to wear off from the WWE to make her debut. Personally, if Vega also enters AEW, I really hope she gets to compete in that women’s division because they seriously need flavor and she’s still young and able.
- Dark Order with Hangman Page backstage interview – There’s a saying about too many cooks in the kitchen. How about too many jabronies for the eyes to handle? They try to put Evil Uno over because he’s been waiting 18 years for any kind of moment. But I got lost in what the segment was supposed to be since originally it was to be Page’s answer to the Hobbs match, which I guess was yes. I don’t even know what his relationship is supposed to be with the Dark Order.
- Penelope Ford vs Julia Hart – Oh goodie. The lowest of the low get TV time. Julia Hart sucks no matter how you cut it. I would have thrown giraffe’s brother up against the ceiling if she won. People seem to like her probably because she’s blond and might appeal to some people. I just see her as a super jobber green girl. Penelope wins bringing Miro, of all people, out and they try to pull some stupid, mind warped way to tie all the BS he had to endure with the gaming goofball personality, Kip and Penelope to justify why her win now links him to Brian Pillman Jr. I mean, it was just a complete mess. Instead of having a painfully long women’s match that served no purpose outside of telling everyone we’ve got another inexperienced green girl right here that you should care for, they could have had Penelope squash her with Miro’s aid while he was on commentary to say everything he said during his INTERRUPTION PROMO, then have him sucker punch Pillman Jr when he went to inspect Julia. This was super twisted in a Manos Hand of Fate way. Anyway, keep Julia on Elevation for the next year until she can wrestle. Also, why is Miro looking for trouble? Shouldn’t he be setting his eyes on Kenny Omega for another title to hold?
- Britt Baker and Rebel with another backstage promo – Guess what happens in this segment? Yup another fucking interruption by Vickie Guerrero no less. So now we’re getting a match with Britt/Rebel vs Nyla/Vickie. Why the hell is Vickie getting in the ring? Unless they do something like have her come out on crutches and have a replacement partner only to have her smash the crutches on Britt’s head, there’s absolutely no reason for Vickie to be declared a participant. Also, you to have to love the fact that the promotion tries to justify why Nyla deserves a shot at Britt since Vickie says Tony owes her a favor for bringing in Andrade. So you’re saying Tony is easily bought off? The billionaire kid? No morals for rules in his own promotion? Really? Well, that explains the schizophrenia. I’m just waiting for a 20 way orgy having Tony in the center getting rammed while covered in ketchup and mustard. Bet that turns him on.
- Video package between FTR vs Santana and Ortiz – The look was good and they tried to provide motivation for what they were doing. But outside of the fact that both teams were caught up in the Jericho scheme, why are they continuing this? How long will this last?
- Jade Cargill with Mark Sterling – This led nowhere. It did nothing to progress Jade. Why was this on? Why not relegate these practice promos to Dark and Elevation where they belong?
- Eddie Kingston/Penta/Kazarian vs Good Brothers/Matt Jackson – Another endless feud. So this week the delta is the missing Pac and Nick Jackson. I haven’t seen the Good Brothers wrestle yet so I was curious. It just felt like a big mess. No flow. No point. Only waiting for Nick Jackson to come out of nowhere and blind Penta. So I guess eventually, we’ll get to a 4-way by logic of permutations where we’ll have some sort of stupid blow off match that really doesn’t do anything for anyone. Also, I’m guessing they’re just waiting for Moxley to come back to have that blow off match. And it’ll end up being either that stupid wannabe War Games match or that Stadium Stampede. Either way, the fans lose and are subjected to more painfully bad booking.
That was draining to watch. Too many promos, too many interruptions, too much schizophrenia, someone has no idea how to do TV formats, etc. If I were the casual fan that had never saw AEW, I would think this is garbage with too many flapping jaws. I would barely recognize anyone. Worse yet, I’d be thinking everyone looks green.
Why couldn’t Serena Deeb be on here stretching Julia Hart and just pounding her skull in to make her learn how to be a babyface? Just stuff like that. It’s like they said I guess Dark and Elevation and this program are al the same now. So let’s just have any green person come up because they’re young.
Thing with AEW’s TV is that they need tiers. Since they will be doing four TV shows, they really need to divide each one up into a tier. Your A tier is where all your best people are on. This is where I’m building the top 2-3 parts of the card, having the least green people and making them wrestle week by week consistently. I don’t want the job guys on this show unless it’s to make a statement. That show should be like Raw where you want your best production and crowds to be hyped up and your best ideas.
Your B show (which probably will be Rampage) are people who are experienced, look good but are not ready for the main event. It would be the equivalent of the IC, US, etc. type of titles where you’re building up people towards your main show and getting feedback from your audience to figure out who can be tested in the main event scene.
C and D shows would be Dark and Elevation. Dark is the trainees that now have at least a year or two of experience or the people that are still working on their gimmick but you can give wins over the trainees. And Elevation are the real jabronies and indies people you use for public scouting purposes. Once in a while you send a B or C tier person to Elevation to give the jobber training. But you keep someone like Julia Hart there for a long time until they stop fucking up moves and look smooth. And the B/C tiered person can be justified for showing up after they have a major loss on your A or B programs. So it’s like the super minor leagues here.
Then the way the system works is to move people from D -> A so now you have a matriculation process. The way Dynamite is produced makes it seem like a D tier program to me. Maybe it’s because they’re waiting for the live crowds again. But either way, they’re treating it like throwaway shows rather than figuring out how to format a damn program.
Either way, they better start thinking about how they produce their programming fast. Their ratings aren’t getting better and the pro-wrestling audience just isn’t increasing.