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Grand Slam II - Dynamite - 9/21/2022


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Although the first Grand Slam was what you might call "magical", this one was a better overall taping. I have never been part of a hotter crowd than for Omega/Danielson, but it drained the crowd for everything after it. This crowd mighta anticipated that happening again? Where we knew there was 2 and a half hours worth of Rampage afterwards (they cut that shit down in post every time btw) and nobody wanted to go too crazy. First hour was hot but botchy. Interesting creative choices going forward. I'm glad they did the Jericho switch early. Boy, are The Acclaimed over. Women's match continues what I want to be from the division - sticking the upper crust together in different configurations is working. Athena is like, RIGHT THERE as far as putting it together goes. But Hayter's absence was felt. The pop for Saraya was pretty serious, although I wonder how much the average AEW fan just likes debuts of people they've heard of. Some people pop for pops, y'know? I actually don't think Mox and Danielson have real great chemistry??? They sorta cancel each other out??? But I mean the main was still a wonderful slab of pro-wrestling meat that will sustain you through time and elements.

The Rampage taping was really solid. There is something you will pop (possibly even MARK) for if you watch it but maybe don't read spoilers? OK. Action Bronson! Competent! I love that two of the ten rap acts I actually pay attention to were featured in this episode. Starks/Hobbes wrestled like they didn't like each other! Jungle Boy vs. Rey Fenix was the only PWG match of the night! - seriously, this was a very un-flippy taping and I didn't mind one bit - and it was a good PWG match! 

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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2 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

I hope there's some sort long-term plan in place right now for MJF. Not sure how long you drag out him waiting to cash in the ship. But you got to give MJF the rocket at some point.

TK has a history of showing Chekov's Gun in the first act and not firing it by the third, so we'll see what happens. 

You have to think that MJF's poker chip is a guaranteed title reign via chicanery since the fucking thing doubles as a weapon.

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I was at the show last night and it was amazing. I was super shocked Jericho won and then Moxley won later in the night.

The Acclamied are super over. That was a great match. There were so many people wearing that scissor me daddy shirt they are selling.

The pop Saraya got was deafening. Another shocker there.

But yeah overall a fun show. This doesn't even count rampage which I will not spoil.

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The MJF-Yuta segment was excellent. Small detail, but having Yuta already out there on the ramp ready to talk was a nice touch. The antithesis of the overlong intro followed by long windy promo on the other channel. Fun 4 Way! Let's keep this division focused on the true workhorses! I love Deeb running with the top heels. Another small but great detail, Claudio's not shocked, but disappointed face for the 2 count. That's how ya do it! Bring on Rumpay'ge!  

Edited by HarryArchieGus
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It took some walking through the streets of DC looking down at my phone and dodging traffic but I made it through the show. Full disclosure, I watched the first two matches last night live (so that means PiP), got spoiled on the third and fourth, and then was not spoiled on the title match. I watched that first this morning on the bus, caught the women's match and avoided traffic walking through the PAC/OC one.

  • Overall great crowd. At times, I'm not sure they were mic'd as well as they might have been. More specifics later. EDIT: apparently this could be a US vs intl feed thing. I noticed it this morning more than last night, but others have mentioned it.
  • Claudio vs Jericho was pretty clever. Both guys had incredible entrances. Claudio, even in loss, is living an amazing life. Jericho took a beating. They should have probably made the Silkin thing more of an extended transition instead of going back and forth so much? I need to go back to the int'l stream to see what Jericho was up to cupping his ear during the break. I thought the caught foot on the first low blow attempt was brilliant, especially since they went back to the low blow later. I'm not sure the ref distraction worked perfectly but no one's going to remember that, just the low blow and the win. Jericho being delusional moving forward thinking he really is the world's best ROH wrestler and having to contrast with Garcia is going to be some great storytelling.
  • Tag match wasn't as good as the PPV and I thought the last few minutes were pretty rough but who cares right? The crowd loved it. I loved the crowd. I love that the Acclaimed won and got their moment. The most important thing moving forward is that they be all over TV and either defending or doing raps or whatever. Make them fighting champions even if they're underdogs. As for the match itself, it was a bit like what I wanted, with Lee feeling more prominent. They should have covered on the Mic Drop spot and said that Swerve (who was RIGHT there on the outside) caused Max to fall. It put just a little doubt into the finish but then everything happened too quickly with the ref not distracted enough at the end. I don't think you needed Billy hitting anything. Him just being imposing and causing a distraction would have been enough. Great moment and right call, though. No question. 
  • PAC vs OC I did go through pretty quickly. I also only saw bits and pieces of the Revolution match, but enough that I have the big spots and the narrative down, I think. The idea here is that OC will get you on move #1, and he did here, but PAC knew him so well that he pushed forward past it and had something in his pocket again and again. It's like seeing a new pitcher for the second time. You start to get his number. The problem for PAC here though was that as things developed, you never knew if OC was going to play it straight or play it crooked, whether he'd pass or run, and if you choose wrong, then he'd get you, and as the match went on, he got PAC a lot, with those contorted DDT sells. So even though PAC knew HOW to counter OC, he didn't necessarily know WHEN to counter him, and because of that he escalated things with the hammer. 
  • How good was Deeb in the women's match? Believably having Storm and Athena down. All the stuff on the apron. The double half crab slapping bits. Storm was a little bit of an afterthought there, more due to the layout than anything she did. Athena took some wonderful bumps and had the ill-conceived strength spot at the end. Britt had some shenanigans with Rebel and the blood (and she made her career on pulling it together and looking into the camera when she's hurting). There have been 3-4 Claudio pops in the last few months that make me so happy for the guy. I feel the same way for Saraya. I don't know if she should be wrestling. I don't know her deal. I do have some sense of how much all of this matters to her and I can empathize about losing your dream and your birthright and whatever else so young.  That crowd erupted for her, and whatever comes next, she'll always have that. 
  • Main was very good stuff though with terrible, terrible production. I got the sense it didn't just hurt the home viewing but the viewing in the arena as the screen was so focused on MJF which meant a lot of the small, intricate close-up bits that they were doing and that they were trained for were just lost. There's no way you'd catch some of those things in the back of the arena and they made the match. I wouldn't call it Dunn cuts. Some of it was that Danielson and Moxley were ALWAYS doing something interesting so there was no real right time to jump to a wide cut. Something was always going to get lost. If AEW ever gets a streaming service, I hope they release an alternate all-close up version of this match. I doubt they would, but we were robbed of at least some of the experience. The match was Danielson out Moxley-ing Moxley, never giving him a breath, never letting up. The arm may have been a means to an end and he dropped it later on. I would have liked a moment where Moxley started to reverse the arm stuff or anticipate it and thereby forced Danielson to go a different direction, but we never really got that which I saw. It would have set up the finish where Danielson went back to the arm on the ramp and paid for it in a huge way. One of the joys of wrestling and of watching guys who watch tape and care about wrestling wrestle is when they build on what came before. Moxley coming up with basically the world's first reversal for Bret's sleeper reversal was a beautiful finish. I dig the Death Rider personally and the one on the ramp felt nasty, and the rolling back into the ring by Danielson was a wonderful sell. 

I have no idea where they go next with Claudio and Danielson but the great part is that there are no wrong answers. Hopefully we get some fresh match ups now though. Part of me hopes that they have the JAS try to go after the rest of the ROH titles and we get 2.0 vs FTR and Hager and Sammy trying their luck with Joe. Anyway, no spoilers for me yet on Rampage. I don't know if I'll make it to Saturday morning, but we'll see. Good show, good crowd. Wish the production hadn't sucked on the main.

Edited by Matt D
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9 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

I sincerely think Bryan Danielson does not want to be World Champion and has told the company such. Maybe because he knows he doesn't need the belt, maybe because he doesn't want to steal anyone's spotlight, or maybe he knows he's one concussion away from retirement. But I don't think he went to AEW to be a champion of anything.

I could see him being the guy to take the ROH title off of Jericho. A nice bit of fan service, perhaps for the premiere episode of ROH TV, whenever that might be.

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9 hours ago, JLowe said:

 

 Lastly, no offense to Daddy Ass, but I wanted a clean win.

 

I feel this plays into the Swerve/Lee dissention. Lee mouthing off to Daddy Ass ended up costing them the match

Also so I can feel hip and relevant the only Trina song I've ever heard 

 

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21 minutes ago, just drew said:

I could see him being the guy to take the ROH title off of Jericho. A nice bit of fan service, perhaps for the premiere episode of ROH TV, whenever that might be.

 

I think the endgame is Garcia taking the belt.  Jericho gets goaded into a pure rules match to unify the titles , and loses to Garcia in his environment.

 

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Regarding Saraya, her neck clearly has some mobility. Ultimately she doesn't necessarily have to do too much - hell why not have the women do a cinematic thing to begin with?...could be awesome/hilarious.

She was almost always very over (when she was baby on her initial main roster run took a couple of months to get going), and it's cool for AEW to have a special attraction on the women's side.

Yeah, I'm not sure she should take Storm's hip attack though.

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10 hours ago, JLowe said:

I think the big surprise was Kevin Dunn directing. I mean I’ve had some rum drinks tonight but good lord way too many camera cuts and the main event was making me nauseous. Also, we really didn’t need to see MJF’s reaction every 20 seconds. Also, I enjoyed AEW better without him, he’s fucking Poochie to me.

The constant cuts to the wide shots were driving me nuts.

Also, MJF's habit of saying something edgy, then walking off mic to pander to the crowd, is lame as fuck and reminds me way too much of Pete Rose's "HOW BOOOOUUUUT IIIIIIIIIIIT?" after every punchline.

Edited by Technico Support
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39 minutes ago, zendragon said:

I feel this plays into the Swerve/Lee dissention. Lee mouthing off to Daddy Ass ended up costing them the match

Also so I can feel hip and relevant the only Trina song I've ever heard 

 

You're hipper than me.  I was like "Who..who is that nice young lady? Is that a WWF lady I didn't know about?  I have to pee!"

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10 hours ago, SirFozzie said:

You can FEEL the DEANster's sanity melting at this point.

Just one more.

 

When the former Neville showed up in AEW, he should have brought Sean Waltman and Paul Wight in for at least a couple trio matches.

 

(waits)

 

They could have called the team "2 Pacs and Biggie"

forest-whuttaker-forest-whittaker-eye.gi

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I so far only saw the opener and the main event and loved them both.

Loved the rana reversal out of the avalanche Ricola Bomb.  Claudio FLEW for it.  Great set up for the Judas Effect.

I thought the production was great in this episode.  Immediately knew this wasn’t a typical show by how it was shot.  Even the ringside cameras were looking to expand the scope of the enormity of the show.  I’m looking forward to next year.

Loved the smother choke as the finish in the main.  If you’re going to beat AmDrag.  That’s how you do it.  I kinda thought Bryan was slated to win with all the emphasis put on his avenging losses.  But it really just set me up to be surprised at the finish.  Well done.

Bryan is still my boy though.

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1 hour ago, Wyld Samurai said:

Y'all couldnt figure out the constant cuts was due to the jackholes ringside holding up their fake nWo belts everytime they knew they were on tv?

I figured that was why they couldn't go with the usual hard camera shot straight on to the ring, but they had a ton of great angels from ringside they could've stuck to. They needed 40% less MJF shots and 30% less wide shots. There was one nice shot where they had the closeup on the big screens, the rest of the time it just meant extra MJF bad acting in the press box.

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Great show. It didn't have quite the same near-Mania feel as last year going in, but most everything clicked perfectly live. 

I don't know if people realized this on TV or not, but they set up the stage on the opposite end this year - meaning the seats I bought for their impeccable view of the ring were now directly behind the KhanTron. Around 15-20 of us ended up having a pretty uncomfortably heated conversation with stadium staff (with myself, a really cool, older Italian dude from Brooklyn, and a real tough lady from Rhode Island leading the charge) and finally convinced them to move us, but for a little bit, it was a real tough situation with the stadium telling us to call Ticketmaster, and then Ticketmaster telling us to call AEW...

From where we DID end up sitting, we could actually see slightly into Gorilla, so it was really cool for our section because we caught Saraya going up the stairs to the stage, so we got a solid 15-20 seconds of "Was that Paige? Dude, that's fuckin' Paige!" in before the music hit. Absolutely unglued. Just a massive reaction, and after some of the things she's been through, I couldn't be happier for that woman. Hope she went to Sting's orthopaedist.

Speaking of which, I've seen Sting manage once, and wrestle twice now! Didn't even think I'd get one of those in, so I continue to be in awe of that guy, and am just beyond grateful for this run.

Edit: I want to also shout out the three guys sitting behind me, they were way into Serena during the fatal four way, and we had a great time cheering for her. 

I had an awesome time, met a lot of cool people, and saw some fantastic matches and historic moments - but five hours is a long one. 12:30-1:00 on a Wednesday is a super tall order.  I think they need to revisit their taping schedule and do Rampage first (and edit some backstage segments in later for results affected by Dynamite) or explore the cost of doing more frequent standalone Elevation/Rampage tapings in smaller venues, like they're doing next month up in Connecticut. 

Reactions of the night:

1) Saraya

2) The Acclaimed

3) You should watch Rampage this week.

 

Edited by Zakk_Sabbath
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20 minutes ago, Dolfan in NYC said:

jfc... please stay healthy.  Please.  

Yeah, I'm anxious about Saraya signing as I was Sting and Bryan Danielson. More so Sting/Saraya for what retired them and going so long without wrestling. Danielson was wrestling a regular schedule in 2018-2022 before signing with AEW.

Edited by The Natural
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