After the whirlwind month we’ve had with AEW, this week’s actually been pretty chill. Outside of storyline progression in the shows, the only real news has been the postponing of the February 24th Dynamite show at the Prudential Centre, Newark, New Jersey. The show is now scheduled to take place on September 15th. Original tickets are still going to be valid for admission or you can receive a refund from your point of purchase until the 14th February. Heads up to AEW for their continued vigilance and observance of safety precautions in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic, here’s hoping things are more settled by September.
What we did get this week though was the release of Bring The Rukus, Mikey Rukus’ new solo album, featuring Ghost Town, the music video to which was released on BTE last week. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the whole album yet, but what I have heard has been brilliant and I can’t wait to get the chance to listen to the rest of it.
On BTE this week, ‘The band is back together’, we learned that we can totally trust Gallows and Anderson, Kris Statlander abducted Griff Garrison, we got a Dark match set up between Brandon Cutler and Luchasaurus and… something happened with Jake the Snake Roberts and Alex Abrahantes and we also got ourselves a new number one contender for the BTE Title. Sammy’s Vlog came to us with a brand new intro animation and so not to give too much away I’ll simply warn you, beware the trash monster and be careful – ‘Don’t ride the BBC’.
On AEW Unrestricted this week we got the joy that was Serena Deeb with a call out to Dr Britt Baker and Penelope Ford, as well as talks about working on her in ring performance and the NWA Woman’s Title. It was a fantastic interview, as always, and I hope we get to hear more from Deeb on the podcast in the future.
Now let’s get to some wrestling!
Highlights of the Week
Dark this week came in at just over an hour and a half with a 12 match card. It was a great night with many fan favourites returning to our screens and some really fantastic matches, I’m kind of gutted I can’t talk about them all here.
5) Baron Black & Nick Comoroto vs Bear Country
The more we see these four guys in action the more the AEW fanbase falls in love with them; their charisma, power and talent continues to grow and they never fail to put on a fantastic show. It wasn’t the smoothest start to the match, but things quickly got in the groove with all four men showcasing their strength, power and tenacity. Bear Country pulled off some amazing tandem offence and walked away with their first AEW win shouting “AEW is Bear Country” before an assisted splash on Baron Black. There’s been a lot of love for Bear Country over the past month or so and it’s great to see them finally get a win under their belt.
4) Anna Jay vs Alex Gracia
We didn’t get a lot of time with Anna Jay and Alex Graxia this week, but what we did get was an awesome couple of minutes of Anna Jay showing the versatility of her kicks. Her and Gracia have great chemistry in the ring and I really can’t wait to see these two go at it in a longer match, especially with the vast improvement they have both been making over their time on AEW programming. Despite Gracia’s best efforts though, it was Anna got the win with a waist lock into her Queen Slayer submission looking as cool, calm and collected as always. It really is a pleasure to watch these to fight.
3) Tay Conti vs Marti Daniels
Another great show from the women’s division came in the form of Tay Conti and Marti Daniels. My love for Tay is no secret, she’s so unbelievably talented and her use of her martial arts background in her matches is great to watch. Marti Daniels is going to be a name to keep an eye on though; even in her loss she looked great against Tay and has a heck of a lot of potential that I can only imagine we’re going to see come to light over the next few months.
2) RYZIN & Fuego Del Sol vs Jurassic Express
RYZIN and Fuego Del Sol are quickly becoming fan favourites, especially with Fuego’s appearance in Sammy’s Vlog, this match highlighted just how good both of them are though. RYZIN pulled some awesome heel tactics by tagging himself in and refusing to tag back out again until he had no choice, and Fuego was just… well, he was Fuego. He spiked Jungle Boy on the crown of his head with a beautiful Poison ‘Rana and how Jungle Boy managed to kick out I have no idea. It was an assisted Power Bomb by Jurassic Express followed by a Snare Trap on Fuego by Jungle Boy that sent Jurassic Express to the pay window this week, and my word they deserved it. The match was fantastic and a heck of a lot of fun, I just wish it had been a tad longer, don’t get to see enough of Jurassic Express.
1) Chaos Project vs Top Flight
What can I say about these two tag teams that we don’t already know? Chaos Project are insane and Top Flight are insanely talented. The painful and genius tag team offence of Chaos Project were no match for the brothers, Dante and Darius though, whose skill, speed and tenacity broke through the craziness that is Luther and SirPentico for the win. Moment of the match has to be this though:Luther and SirPentico were setting up for one of their crazy tandem moves when Dante used SirPentico’s back as a launch pad, pulling a flipping neckbreaker on Luther, whose momentum pulled SirPentico down into a DDT – the fluidity and ring IQ of Dante, who’s only 19 years old, is absolutely outstanding, Top Flight have one heck of a career ahead of them.
Dynamite this week wasn’t the flawless hit I hoped it would be, but it was still a bloody good night and the wrestling on show was phenomenal. As well as great wrestling, we had some fantastic promo and interview segments, and the video packages were on point. We also saw the Dynamite debut of The Waiting Room, with special guest Cody Rhodes as well as surprise special guest, Jade Cargil, and appearances from Red Velvet most of the women’s Dark roster.
5) Miro vs Chuck Taylor
I’m going to caveat this by saying I really wanted Chuck to win this one, despite his loss though, there was nothing disappointing about this match and for the first half of the match, I actually thought Chuck might get the win. Miro finally got to let loose though and it was great to see. I’m not overly familiar with Japanese wrestling customs, so the ‘young boy’ stipulation was somewhat lost on me, but from what I can tell (and from what was repeatedly said on commentary) this is going to be less of a ‘young boy’ situation and more Miro using Chuck as his slave for the next month. From the stare down between Orange Cassidy and Miro at the end of the match, I can’t help but feel like this is all a set up for Miro vs Cassidy, which I am perfectly fine with. With Trent out for the next 4-5 months with his torn pectoral, it makes sense that they would need to try string this out for a bit longer until Trents return. The next month is going to be a heck of a lot of fun though, I can’t wait to see what Chuck has to deal with.
4) Inner Circle – New year, new us
This was a hilarious segment, but it made it into my top 5 for one, and only one reason: Chris Jericho is a Tag Team Slut; his new moniker courtesy of the one and only Sammy Guevara. Jericho’s New Year’s resolution is for him and MJF to be tag team champions. As you can understand, Santana and Ortiz were far from happy about this, and Sammy was just as put out having been replaced by MJF, so next week we’re being treated to an awesome 3 way tag match – MJF & Jericho vs Santana & Ortiz vs Sammy & Hager, this is going to be a complete mess and I absolutely love it.
3) Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt) vs FTR
I am not ashamed to say Jurassic Express will pretty much always end up in my top 5, especially when it’s these two. Marko and Jungle Boy are two of my favourite wrestlers at the moment and I love it when these two tag together. Marko gets a lot of grief over his size, but it’s in matches like this where his talent really shines – his use of counterbalances and genius reversals are always a joy to watch, and knowing people his size that can pull off stuff like that, I buy into every second of it. Jungle Boy and Marko have fantastic chemistry and I really do wish they would tag together more. I love the Dinosaur but Marko is just so freaking adorable! Jurassic Express looked absolutely fantastic throughout the match with some awesome tag team offence, but not surprisingly, it was with interference from Tully that led FTR to the win.
2) Serena Deeb vs Tay Conti – NWA Title
Even though this was for a non-AEW title, when it comes to showcasing the talent and improvement of the AEW Women’s Roster, you honestly can’t get much better than this. Serena Deeb and Tay Conti are both fantastic in the ring and they both brought out the best in each other. The mat work was fantastic from both of them – there were so many reversals, reversals of reversals and.. You get the point. This match was just a joy to watch and seeing two women wrestle with such brilliant technique was just awesome.
1) Darby Allin vs Brian Cage – TNT Title
This was easily a 4 star PPV match, but I’m so glad it happened on Dynamite and they didn’t hold off until Revolution. The vast majority of the match, Cage did what Cage does best and threw Darby around like a ragdoll. It was clear that Darby’s relentless refusal to give up tipped Cage over his boiling point though. In an attempt to finally break the TNT champ, he pulled the steel steps around and set them up. Darby managed to fight his way out though, and the tide turned in his favour with two drop kicks through the ropes that pushed Cage off the apron and onto the steps, followed by a Coffin Drop off the top turnbuckle. He manages to get Cage into the ring and sets up for his finisher when Starks knocks him off the top rope and the lights go out. ITS STIIIIING!!!! Sting comes out with his baseball bat and neutralises Starks and Hook as Darby pulls a Crucifix Bomb out of nowhere and for the first time in AEW history, Brian Cage gets pinned for the three count. I can’t do this match justice, seriously, just go watch it.