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Reviewing the Elite (1/15/20): Eye Like This Show



Talk about a blast from the past! This week’s Bash at the Beach-themed AEW Dynamite was a throwback to the old days of WCW and I mean that in a good way. The beach aesthetic was pretty cool, as was seeing the commentators and ring announcer Justin Roberts in those goofy Hawaiian shirts. Cody even cosplayed as a Miami Vice character so that was fun (I never watched that show, don’t @ me with corrections).

But we’re not here to talk about beaches, Nico, how was the show? Real good. This was a pretty fun show with one huge flaw that we’re going to get to… right now because it was worse than anything on RAW. Yes, even the Lana/Rusev stuff.

A Never-Ending Nightmare



God, I hate the Nightmare Collective. I regret ever saying this angle was interesting and the fact that this is the biggest story in the women’s division is the worst thing ever, especially since some of the talent involved are pretty good.

Not that you’d know it from this match. The Nightmare Collective, consisting of Brandi Rhodes and Mel this week since Awesome Kong was sick, took on my alien lord and savior Kris Statlander and Hikaru “please knee me in the face” Shida. It was awful. 

I’d rather Jericho stab me in the eye instead of watch this match again. If you ask me, Moxley got it easy.

While Shida is an amazing competitor and Statlander has a lot of talent, Mel and Brandi are not very good. If this was a short match, this would have just been forgettable but it was long and it killed the crowd. At least Statlander and Shida won.

End this story. Give the women something better to fight for. PLEASE.

You Okay Hangman?



The four-way tag team match to determine the number one contenders for the AEW World Tag Team Championships was awesome. The unlikely team of Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page beat Santana and Ortiz, The Best Friends, and The Young Bucks in an electrifying opener that everyone should see. Men, women, children, dogs, dragons, toasters, they should all see this match.

Spotfests (or is it spot-fest?) can be a hit or miss to us wrestling fans. But when you have a spotfest that also has some great character work and manages to add depth to an interesting story, it’s a bonafide hit.

While all the wrestlers looked great, the main story here was the Hangman. When Matt Jackson tagged Kenny over him, you could FEEL the sadness and insecurity from a guy whose toilet is filled with cowboy shit. From that point on, you could tell he had a lot to prove and seeing him get the pin after that beautiful Buckshot Lariat/V-Trigger combination was gratifying.

Hangman and Kenny might have been the big winners but everyone stood out at some point during the four-way. The Best Friends, Trent and Chuck Taylor, looked excellent here, with Sexy Chucky T, in particular, proving that he might be the most underrated dude in the AEW roster. Santana and Ortiz might have been the heels but their charisma and energy were infectious, with most fans cheering for them in the end. If they ever get kicked out of The Inner Circle, they’ll be incredible babyfaces.

The Young Bucks were… The Young Bucks for better or worse. Okay, that’s not fair, their interactions with fellow Elite member Omega and self-exiled Elite member Page did add to the story I was just babbling about. 

Go out of your way to see this match! Excellent story, great action, it’s AEW at its strongest.


Moxclops



This is what happens when you poke the bear, Mox! After a great match where Jon Moxley beat Sammy Guevara, Chris Jericho and his Inner Circle came in and proceeded to beat the hell out of AEW’s most dangerous wrestler. It then ended on the most old-school of old-school angles as Jericho took the spike from his jacket and poked Moxley’s eye out.

Admittedly, most of us know that Moxley isn’t actually blind right now but the visual of him coming out later on with a rag over his injured eye was great. We’re pretty sure that Mox’s eye is going to be a big story when he takes on PAC in next week’s show, which will take place on Jericho’s cruise.

Despite them drawing out Moxley joining the group early on, this is turning out to be one of the stronger angles on Dynamite right now. Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised since this is Moxley and Jericho we’re talking about.

Final Grade: AEW Dynamite: Bash at the Beach gets an A- from me. Despite one dud, this was an excellent wrestling show. Please end the Nightmare Collective.

Matches Announced for Next Week:
  • Jon Moxley vs. PAC
  • Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz vs. Jurassic Express
  • Joey Janela vs. Kip Sabian

Elite Thoughts:
  • PAC vs. Darby Allin was the main event this week and it was excellent. The Bastard ended up getting the win but Allin continues to prove that he’s a star, continuing to get some of the biggest reactions from the audience every time he appears. Easily the second-best match of the night and arguably the best “wrestling” match in this episode.
  • Moxley vs. Guevara was also really good, starting out with not a lot of heat but getting the crowd invested by the end. I love how Moxley won with a rear-naked choke, adding another deadly move to his arsenal. It was also cool seeing him bust out the headlock driver, a move I haven’t seen him do since his Shield days.
  • MJF, The Butcher, and The Blade won an okay six-man tag against my main man QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, and DDP. Obviously, Dustin and QT did the majority of the work for this babyface team but DDP did get a few cool spots in, including a dive off the top turnbuckle to the outside. He probably shouldn’t wrestle anymore but DDP was in great shape for a guy over 60.
  • Cody is a fucking idiot. His promo was very good, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I’d argue that Cody might be one of the top promo guys in all of wrestling right now, but he accepted ALL of MJF’s stipulations, including the 10 public whiplashes that the crowd clearly wanted him to say no to. Where was Arn Anderson? He should have stopped Cody from doing this. Have some dignity, dude.
  • Unlike the Nightmare Collective, The Dark Order actually had an interesting segment this week. They’re hoping to recruit Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler, both of whom have actually shown interest in joining the group if you’ve been watching Being the Elite. They’re also teasing a new leader above Evil Uno and Stu Grayson so here’s hoping it’s Matt Hardy.
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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