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Reviewing the Elite (10/9/19): AEW! AEW! AEW!




Now that’s what I call a wrestling show!

Sorry, I really don’t want to add more shade to the whole AEW vs. WWE thing, but after ending Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship reign in eight seconds and giving us the worst Hell in a Cell finish ever, a show like this is exactly what us wrestling fans needed to get all that stink out of our system.

After a solid debut last week, AEW Dynamite gave us a follow-up episode that was close to perfect. From a fantastic opening match that gave us a huge upset win for a couple of rising stars, to an amazing heel promo that managed to get people over while killing an annoying chant in the process, and an awesome main event angle that teased a number of exciting storylines in a way that flowed naturally, there was a lot to love about the second episode of Dynamite.

Needless to say, it was an explosive episode.

The Inner Circle


To those fans who bitched about Chris Jericho becoming the first AEW World Champion, segments like this are exactly why he was chosen to be the face of this company. In one promo, Jericho managed to be charismatic, funny, and utterly deplorable without taking a breath.

The way he praised Sexy Sammy Guevara was hilarious and his burial of the “We the People” chant that accompanied Jake “I don’t need Swagger” Hager was so brutal, no one will be chanting it again in another AEW show. It was hard not to cheer or admire the former Y2J at first.

He then verbally attacked Cody’s family and this is where Jericho became a terrible human being whose toe should be stubbed a thousand times. When the Painmaker called the late-great Dusty Rhodes “a jerk” and claimed that he never liked him, you couldn’t help but hate the champ. Thankfully, he didn’t beat a dead horse and went on to insult Dustin Rhodes as well but the damage was done...

...until he said “a little bit of the bubbly,” which got this pathetic smark to laugh like the sheep he is.

By the end, he announced that his group will be called The Inner Circle and Guevara was sporting a shirt for them in the main event, speaking of which….

Friendship is the Best Ship (Or is it?)




Dynamite ended with a bang (ha!) by giving us one hell of a main event angle. After Jericho and Guevara beat Dustin Rhodes and long-haired Stephen Amell “Hangman” Adam Page, we got a brawl between The Elite and The Inner Circle which teased so many possible matches that it got me screaming but there was one particular story that stood out.

After Jericho and Guevara wouldn’t stop beating on Dustin, Cody came to the rescue until Ortiz and Santana came in. Page tried to help but then Hager got in the way. It seemed like Cody was in for another beatdown until MJF came, which resulted in A LOT of tension. The Inner Circle tried to goad MJF into hitting his “best friend” Cody with a steel chair and they almost succeeded but the man who is “Better Than You” decided against it, aiding his buddy in the fight against Jericho’s lackeys.

For now.

We all know MJF is going to turn on Cody, but the story not being rushed is great. The eventual betrayal needs to be built up more so that we can endlessly weep on our pillows when MJF spits on Cody’s face or socks his balls. Hopefully, they show more of their supposed friendship in the coming weeks but this was a fantastic tease.

There Ain’t no Party Like a Private Party


Okay, if we’re being honest, Private Party winning was almost a given since The Young Bucks are headed towards a match with The Inner Circle’s Ortiz and Santana. However, that didn’t stop the show’s opening tag team match from being must-watch television. It had everything you wanted from a Young Bucks match: Superkicks, innovative spots, and a lot of dives, but with the added benefit of having Private Party winning and advancing in the tournament to crown the inaugural AEW Tag Team Champions, giving them “the rub,” as wrestling legends like to say.

Some would argue that this is basically every Young Bucks match you’ve ever seen, but if it isn’t broken, why fix it? Either way, congratulations to Private Party and The Young Bucks losing makes this AEW Tag Team Championship tournament much harder to predict.

PAC KILLED KENNY! YOU BASTARD!

It looks like the path to Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley has hit a roadblock. Kenny initiated a barbed wire-wrapped weapon duel with Moxley but was thwarted by PAC, who is pissed off that Darby Allin and Jimmy Havoc had a number one contender’s match earlier in the show while he got nothing after beating Omega and Hangman Page. 

Honestly, even though PAC is such a dick, it’s hard to argue with him since Omega is arguably the biggest wrestling talent to never sign with WWE, while Page fought Jericho for the inaugural AEW World Championship back in All Out. Seriously, how is he not in title contention?

Also, PAC is really good at sounding like a scorned villain. His commentary during the ho-hum match between Jon Moxley and Shawn Spears was captivating since you could feel how pissed off he was to have nothing to do but sit down and watch wrestling like a peasant. You could argue that PAC’s commentary was the best part of this match, which sounds harsh, but Moxley and Spears could have given us a better performance.

This was an amazing show and a huge improvement from last week. If the WWE left you pissy or if you just want another wrestling show to add on your schedule, check out AEW Dynamite. You won’t regret it. Dynamite episode two gets an A.

Matches Announced for Next Week:
  • AEW World Champion Chris Jericho vs Darby Allin in an AEW World Championship Match
  • The Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor) with Orange Cassidy vs SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) with Scorpio Sky
  • AEW Women’s World Champion Riho vs Britt Baker in a non-title match

Elite Thoughts

  • Page and Hager duking it out probably means we’re getting a match between the two, which should be great. I was a fan of Hager during his early years in WWE’s ECW brand and am curious to see how he’s improved since. Having Hangman Page as a first opponent will be good too since Hager can throw him around the ring.
  • Jericho kept calling Jake Hager “HAGAR” and I like it. Makes him sound like a Viking warrior (not a Viking Raider).
  • As PAC pointed out later in the show, what did Darby Allin and Jimmy Havoc do to deserve a championship opportunity? I actually liked the match between the two quite a bit and am happy Allin gets to showcase his talents against Jericho but PAC’s question ran through my mind before he brought it up. 
  • Is anyone else tempted to call Ortiz and Santana LAX? I know Impact Wrestling owns the rights to that name but these two need a tag team name. The Inner Circle doesn’t count since that’s the entire stable’s name.
  • Riho and Britt Baker vs. Emi Sakura and Bea Priestley was a pretty good tag team match, though most of the cool spots happened in the commercial break. AEW needs to work on the timing of commercials, which almost makes me appreciate the resthold method Raw and SmackDown constantly do.
  • Speaking of that tag team match, can someone educate the commentators on Emi Sakura’s love for Freddy Mercury and Queen in general? They didn’t respond to Sakura-san’s Ay-Oh chants and had no idea she was doing the "We Will Rock You" motions. I expect Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone to not know this but was saddened when Excalibur didn’t get the reference either. 
  • These random video packages that introduce AEW’s tag teams still feel pointless since they precede an interview with said team. That being said, this week’s short video with The Best Friends gave us a decent gist of how their characters are like.
Images from All Elite Wrestling

Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.

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