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Reviewing The Elite (3/11/20): Building Up Blood and Guts


Hey there my Dynamates! Nico here with the latest AEW Dynamite review and it’s quite the shock (to the system) that this episode is going to be the last one in a while to have a live audience watching. As you all know, COVID-19 is here and is causing mass hysteria, so this is going to make for a couple of weird wrestling shows going forward with the next episode of Dynamite pulling a SmackDown Live and going for an empty arena event.

So how was this episode? It was fine. You can tell that their main plan is to build up the big Blood and Guts show, and this stick of Dynamite did just that by giving more heat to The Elite versus The Inner Circle. They also did a solid job of continuing the rivalry between Hangman Page and Matt Jackson, which is honestly one of the hottest angles going in the company right now. Add a solid debut for Death Triangle, a surprising opponent for Nyla Rose, and the reveal of Jake Roberts’ client and you’ve got a decent two hours to kill.

On with the show then!

Natural Cowboy Shit

        

Hangman Page was the big focus for this show’s opening and closing, which instantly made for some captivating television. The interview where Hangman told Matt that he would never ever team up with him while simultaneously asking his younger, more talented brother Nick Jackson—his words, not mine—to be his tag partner was good stuff.

While it would have been fun to see Nick accept the offer and add some tension to The Young Bucks, that didn’t happen since The Inner Circle beat him up backstage. I’m not usually a fan of wrestling shows only showing us the aftermath of a beatdown but seeing the visual of a bleeding Nick Jackson with a gate on top of his head was nasty, so that gets an A+ for brutal creativity.

“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes ended up teaming with Hangman and they were victorious in this fun tag team main event over Le Champion Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. Of course, the real story was the aftermath when we got a big brawl between The Elite and The Inner Circle. After taking care of Cody and an injured Kenny Omega, The Inner Circle attempted to give Hangman the same triple powerbomb they gave to Moxley when Matt Jackson, of all people, saved him. This doesn’t mean they’re okay though, as The Older Buck gave Hangman the bird, mirroring the previous week’s interaction between the two.

Seeing this rivalry develop has been fun and I’m more than excited to see their inevitable singles match.

Jake “The Snake” Roberts's Client Is…

Lance Archer. As many predicted the NJPW standout who turned heads during his performance in last year’s G1 Climax is The Snake’s client and that means everybody in AEW is going to die, starting with Cody.

         

For a debut that had no wrestling or promo time from the debutant, this was perfect. The only thing Roberts and Archer did was make their way through the crowd and watch Cody’s match against Ortiz, which was actually enough to distract The American Nightmare for a good amount of time. Archer putting his foot over the guardrail before Roberts talked him down was a nice touch as well.

It will be interesting seeing the dynamic between these two on Dynamite in the coming weeks, especially since we’re going to be expecting a number of empty arena shows. Jake’s promos should be enough to captivate the television audience while Archer will have to show everyone why he’s a top prospect now, even though he’s in his early ‘40s.

Still, the fact that people are buzzing about Archer now is already a victory. Compared to playing plastic guitars in TNA or stripping with Curt Hawkins in WWE, I think Lance Archer will be just fine in AEW.

The Native Beast vs. The Top Gaijin

          

If this women’s tag match proved anything, it’s that AEW needs to sign Bea Priestley to an exclusive contract.

Granted, the Top Gaijin seems to be doing really well in Stardom and she seems to be happy working both shows but the company needs more women like her. She looked pretty good in the ring and the fact that they’re letting her work a program with AEW Women’s World Champion Nyla Rose shows the company sees something in her.

To recap, Nyla Rose and Bea Priestley defeated Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander in a better-than-average tag match. I was initially upset over Shida eating the pinfall since she seemed to be the next contender for Rose’s belt but once Priestley attacked the champ, that feeling was gone.

Admittedly, a heel vs. heel program might not sound too exciting but hey, we might not have an audience to react to it anyway. Kidding aside, Priestley is pretty good at 23 years old, and Nyla could end up looking like a real beast after their match.

Final Grade: Solid story progression and some fun matches give Dynamite a B+.

Matches Announced For Next Week:
  • The Best Friends (w/Orange Cassidy) vs The Lucha Bros (w/PAC)
  • The Elite vs The Inner Circle in a 6-Man Tag. Winner Gets Man Advantage for Blood and Guts.

Elite Thoughts

  • The Blood and Guts match is basically old-school War Games, right down to the lack of pinfalls. The only way to win is to submit or surrender, which should make for one brutal match.
  • Anyone else not like that sit-down interview Jim Ross had with Jon Moxley? I'm not sure why but it didn't click with me.
  • Really enjoyed Death Triangle’s debut match, mostly because they didn’t make their opponents look like chumps. Joey Janela and Private Party brought their A-game and the crowd loved it, though it wasn’t enough to overcome this fearsome threesome. It was also the best match of this show so I implore you all to check it out. That Death triangle submission is also pretty sick.
  • Jurassic Express vs. MJF and The Butcher and the Blade was pretty fun. They gave us a minor swerve by having Luchasaurus play babyface in peril, and Jungle Boy looked really good in this match. Unsurprisingly, MJF won by beating Marko Stunt with his armbar.
  • Britt Baker vs Big Swole should be an interesting rivalry, to say the least. Their mic work for this episode was fine, though I hope they lessen the references to their partners in WWE.
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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