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Reviewing the Elite (10/30/19): DETERMINATION



This is the best AEW Dynamite episode.

Score: S++ better than sex

Seriously. No joke. This was an incredible episode that made me happy to be a predetermined grappling fan. I think this explosive installment of Dynamite can please any kind of wrestling fan out there, which is one hell of an achievement if I do say so myself.

Do you like flippy shit? Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Kip Sabian and The Hybrid2 have you covered. Want to see two beautiful boys beat the crap out of each other? “Hangman” Adam Page and Sammy Guevara took each other on in a crowd-pleasing opener. Tag team wrestling enthusiast? SCU beat The Lucha Bros in an awesome bout to become the very first AEW World Tag Team Champions. Women’s wrestling? Well, we still need more than one match per episode but Hikaru Shida and Shanna had a solid bout. Comedy grappling? The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were able to shine in their own way, even with the Rick and Morty cosplay.

There was just so much to enjoy from this episode. 

Also, Kenny Omega was Sans from Undertale and Jim Ross said: "wubba lubba dub dub." Those little things happening made this episode an easy 10/10.

Kiss My Ass, Stay The Hell Out of My Way



Even the most hardcore AEW fan rolled their eyes a bit when it was announced that Kenny Omega vs Jon Moxley would be a non-sanctioned Lights Out Match in Full Gear. For a company that’s only a few months old, it feels like they’ve exhausted this match, and the fact that the result doesn’t get counted in their win-loss record sort of makes it feel like filler.

That was until Moxley got a microphone.

Like the fans, Moxley is pissed that the biggest non-title opportunity of his AEW career “won’t count” because it’s not sanctioned. The reason Moxley attacked Omega in the first place is that "The Cleaner" is being positioned as the company's biggest star and he wants that spotlight on him. 

Now the result won’t even matter. With no options left, Moxley has decided to take all of his frustration out on Omega in Full Gear, threatening to end his career. All because of AEW not wanting him to get an official win on their golden boy.

This is how you turn a negative into a positive. By making the match type seem unimportant in theory, they have driven Moxley to the brink and it looks like we’re in for one hell of a blood bath. And it’s going to be awesome.

Save Rock and Roll



Santana and Ortiz, now called Proud-N-Powerful, were the biggest heels of the night and it was glorious television. 

It all started when they attacked wrestling legends The Rock 'N Roll Express - whose presence here might explain why they aren’t in WWE 2K20 but that’s just me putting on my aluminum foil hat - with “loaded socks.” As Jim Ross explained these are old-school weapons that are usually filled with something hard, so this would have been a safe way to get heat and not actually hurt the legends.

But it looks like Ricky Morton is a fucking mad man since he agreed to get powerbombed through the stage, which was horrifically amazing. 

That would have been enough to get Santana and Ortiz the most heat of the night but the duo wasn’t done yet. It’s a really minor thing but I loved how they dressed up as Rick and Morty fans just so they could get a cheap shot at The Young Bucks after their Trios match. Just knowing that these two will do whatever it takes to attack their rivals makes them dangerous and spacing out these separate attacks was nothing short of brilliant.

Chris Jericho Isn’t Cool



Before we run this down, I would like to thank the city of Charleston for being a wonderful audience tonight. They bought into every match and made sure no segments bombed, even the silly Rick and Morty cross-promotion with The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy! Sometimes, you just want the fans to cheer for babyfaces and boo heels, which is what they did.

That was incredibly effective here since Chris Jericho was constantly booed tonight. He’s usually “too cool” to boo since he’s a legend and references his own memes, but to the man’s credit, there was no mention of “bubbly” tonight. All we got was a psychotic egomaniac who is willing to hurt his opponent’s family to ensure that he’s a step above him.

After a relatively tame contract signing that was seriously enhanced by the Charleston crowd (seriously, you guys are the best) we witnessed the monstrous Jake Hager attack Dustin Rhodes. HAGAR flapjacked Dustin to a car then shoved his knee to the veteran’s balls like his most recent MMA opponent, slammed his head on the vehicle—which left a goddamn dent—before finishing him off by slamming the door on his arm.

It’s one of the most brutal attacks from The Inner Circle thus far and ended perfectly by having Jericho smoke a cigar and heading to his limo like a piece of shit. Kick his ass, Cody.

While I am nervous about the whole 60-minute time limit and three judges bit, seemingly telegraphing a goofy finish right in front of us, AEW has earned my trust right now so here’s hoping they don’t let us down. 

Cowboy Shit



Just when it seemed like “Hangman” Adam Page wasn’t over, this match with Inner Circle Sammy Guevara made it seem like he was a freaking celebrity. Charleston loved everything Page did here and booed Guevara out of the building. Guevara didn’t even wear his stupid panda jacket to elicit this reaction, which is good since it shows that he’s over but kind of a shame since the combination of calling himself “The Best Ever” and wearing that egregious piece of clothing makes Guevara the perfect slimeball to hate but I digress.

Page cut a solid enough promo after, acknowledging that he hasn’t been at his best lately. It’s a solid enough story to go on and I like how he was happy winning since it seemed genuine. Adam also got “Cowboy Shit” over with this crowd, so expect that shirt in the near future.

The match itself was interesting in that Page was in control for 80% of the in-ring action and yet, it wasn’t a total squash since Guevara did get some offense. This was an overall thumbs up since Page gets a win, looking more legitimate for his upcoming match against PAC, while the post-match promo added some much-needed character to the wrestler. Before this, he was just a pretty cowboy who likes Clotheslines.

Don’t give up on the Hangman folks.

In all honesty, I would give this show an S++ if possible, but since this is a wrestling blog and not a Devil May Cry stage, I’ll give AEW Dynamite Episode Five an A+ for being an excellent wrestling show that fills me with DETERMINATION.

Elite Thoughts

  • No matches were announced for next week, which is a first.
  • SCU beat The Lucha Bros in a stellar bout to become your AEW World Tag Team Champions. Shame that this match didn’t get a ton of promotion throughout the episode. I actually forgot about it until the main event started. Still great though but AEW should learn from this.
  • Brandi Rhodes being some voodoo witch for Awesome Kong could be cool AF. But why did she attack Jamie Hayter?
  • Hikaru Shida could knee me in the face and I would apologize to her.
  • Kinda neat seeing QT Marshall and Peter Avalon in this week’s episode since the two are usually fixtures in AEW Dark
  • Even with the Rick and Morty cosplay, I enjoyed The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy’s squash match. Cassidy’s lazy schtick is over like rover and I’ll never get tired of Chuck and Trent’s hugging it out.
  • That being said, why would you have someone with Trent’s physique and looks wrestle in Morty cosplay? Talk about a sin to mankind. Maybe this was actually the worst AEW episode ever.
  • The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) vs. Kip Sabian and TH2 was good fun but why didn’t they air Kip’s promo from AEW Dark Episode Four? He actually explains why he laid out a challenge to The Elite in a solid, condescending promo. It would have added some small semblance of a story to what seemed to be a showcase match for The Elite.
  • Does Kenny really need Undertale fans? I mean, it’s a good game but it also has some of the most toxic fans around. Then again, so does pro wrestling.
  • Nothing against Angelico of The Hybrid2 but Jack Evans is underrated and should be used more. Thought he really stood out in this match.
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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