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Reviewing the Elite (3/3/20): A Snake In Paradise


It’s time for some Revolution fallout baby!

Coming off another great AEW pay-per-view, this week’s Dynamite didn’t rest on its laurels and pat itself on the back. This week was about setting up a number of new stories to build up from the pay-per-view, which made for a newsworthy show with plenty of moments to dissect and discuss. You know, the best part about being a wrestling fan.

We’ve got a new faction with a silly name, a venomous new hurdle for Cody to overcome, a big tease for the Blood and Guts match, and a potential new challenger for Jon Moxley. It’s not all new though as Chris Jericho and The Inner Circle still have unfinished business with Jon Moxley.

The seeds have been planted for the next few weeks and I can’t wait to watch them grow.

Hail Caesar

        

What is with snake people cutting great heel promos on attractive blondes this week? Randy Orton gave the performance of a lifetime on RAW when he gaslit Beth Phoenix and Dynamite had Jake “The Snake” Roberts instill fear on Cody with a terrifyingly good promo.

The Snake interrupted Cody, who was dressed like John Constantine with a bad neck tattoo and proceeded to tear down The American Nightmare before making his intentions clear; Roberts is here to slay Cody and his mystery client will do the slaying. Apparently, his client is also a Sith Lord since Jake said “The Dark Side” is coming to AEW.

All jokes aside, I find myself constantly rewatching this promo. I’ve never seen a classic Jake “The Snake” Roberts match or segment but the presence and psychology this man brings to the table are second-to-none. There was a lot to enjoy here, like the way he condescendingly called Cody “Caesar,” to his kayfabe reason for bringing a snake to the ring back in the ‘80s, and how he turned his back on “Caesar” seconds after he said you don’t turn your back on someone you respect/fear. Goddamn, I loved this.

Who’s Jake gonna manage? Lance Archer and Brodie Lee, the former Luke Harper, seem to be the popular predictions right now. Either way, we’re in for a good time.

All In On Allin

         

The upcoming rematch between AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and former Le Champion Chris Jericho might be the bigger story here but it’s clear that AEW has big plans for Darby Allin.

Our main event was supposed to be Moxley and Allin versus Jericho and Sammy Guevara but the champ was beaten down by Hager, Santana, and Ortiz before the match started. With Mox laid out, this was turned into a handicap match and we got one hell of a showing from the Sk8r Boi.

Some fans might not have enjoyed Allin getting so much offense on both men but the superhero booking made this handicap match way more enjoyable. Yeah, it was “unrealistic” but the match was still a fun one and Allin lost in the end. What’s there to complain about?

Do people really want realistic handicap matches? Does anyone remember that horrible one when Sheamus and Cesaro just beat the shit out of Kofi Kingston for 15 minutes? Yeah, I’ll take these awesome shonen anime hope spots over that bullshit any day of the week.

The Elite vs. The Inner Circle, Round 2

         

It’s kind of funny how this all started with a match between Jake Hager and QT Marshall, of all things, but we officially got our first tease for the Blood and Guts/War Games/Cages-in-two-ring-a-dings match and it looks like it will be The Elite vs The Inner Circle.

Most of us thought this was just going to be an extended Inner Circle beat down for Dustin and QT, but once Cody and Matt Jackson got involved, this started feeling like a tease to Blood and Guts. This was a solid enough tease and we’re going to get more of it in the coming weeks, starting with next week's match between Cody and Ortiz.

What was really intriguing about this segment was the involvement of beer drinking, cowboy shitting, used to be teaching, “Hangman” Adam Page. Even though he left The Elite, the fact that he helped out Cody, Matt, and Dustin here shows how much of a babyface he is, and it paid off. The pop he got when giving Hager the Buckshot Lariat was tremendous.

Thankfully, AEW is not ignoring the beef between Hangman Page and Matt Jackson as the pissed off blonde gave the Young Buck the bird and left. This leads to a lot of questions: Will Hangman be a part of the Blood and Guts match? Why did he help out Cody, Dustin, and Matt? When are we getting Hangman vs Matt? Can it be 30 minutes?

Final Grade: A pretty weak episode of Dynamite when compared to the thrilling installments of previous weeks but still a solid two hours of wrestling. They’re thinking of the future and that’s enough for me to give this a B.

Matches Announced for Next Week:
  • Cody vs Ortiz
  • Death Triangle (PAC, Pentagon Jr, and Rey Fenix) in action
  • Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt) vs MJF, The Butcher, and The Blade

Elite Thoughts

  • The Moxley/Jericho stuff is pretty entertaining, though unoriginal. I do like how they teased Jericho disappearing for two months if Moxley could leave on his own two feet, which ended up not happening. Most smarks know that Jericho’s band Fozzy has a tour soon and this was a fun way to troll them/us.
  • AEW is giving their wrestlers side feuds before continuing their main one and it makes for a cool “anything goes” environment. We already know how busy Cody is going to be but teasing MJF vs. Jon Moxley for the world title is fantastic stuff. We’re obviously going to get Cody vs MJF round two, but this should be a really entertaining roadblock.
  • PAC teaming up with The Lucha Bros is good shit. PAC and The Lucha Bros calling themselves Death Triangle? Eh. I’m all for more stables in AEW but the company needs to stop using random name generators for their teams. (This is not just any random name; it's a tribute to the Lucha Bros' trainer Cuchillo, who was in a trio called Triangulo de la Muerte. —Ed.) 
  • This is my first time seeing Colt Cabana wrestle and he’s pretty good! Not a fan of that finisher combination but hey, he’s over.
  • How about multiple women’s squashes for each Dynamite? Big Swole making quick work of Leva Bates was expected but I’m sure they could have snuck in another squash for Kris Statlander or Yuka Sakazaki.
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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