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AEW Dynamite - 7/28/2021 - Fight for the Fallen


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Another fun show. I think one of the things I appreciate about AEW is how they make so many of the weekly TV shows feel must-see and important. Sort of like peak-ROH, every show was worth watching.

I am a known low-voter on Adam Page and think he's a pet project, but credit to AEW they have really made him feel like a star and big deal since crowds have come back. Entrances were great, though they were also probably the best thing about the opener. I appreciate that it was the douchey money-hungry EVPs who were cashing in on the Space Jam sponsership. Not that it wasn't good, but it wasn't a barn-burner either. Johnny Hungee clearly the best guy in it, they should have let him eliminate one of the Bucks ti give him a moment. Cool swerve with the finish, very unpredictable booking move. Wonder if they pivot away from Page and return to him for ALL OUT or find a way out of that call.

The FTW segement was super short, hopefully the second show will give the mid-card guys more time to play with. Starks is great and one of the best talkers they have, the only problem with his promo was that everything he said about Cage was true. And mentioning him not seeing Starks when he broke his neck just made him look like a dick too. Hopefully Starks goes over Cage and can move on to more exciting programs because Cage is super limited.

Santana/Ortiz vs FTR was a perfectly fine is unspectacular TV match. I like both teams and they are good, but I think the talk of them being 'best in the world' level needs to end. They aren't and matches like this showed it. Horrible injury to Wheeler, hopefully he is OK but it looked pretty bad when blood is coming out of the arm, surely that was a bad break. Would be awful for them to have another big injury and be stalled for months.

Archer vs Hikuleo was a dead match, fitting like something you'd see in a New Japan mid-card. Tanahashi coming to AEW is interesting, though I can't see him vs Archer excites me. The Moxley promo at the end makes Mox vs Tanahashi a FAR more exciting match.

Loud CM Punk chants and Darby drops the 'best in the world' line. You can't tease that if you don't have Punk or Bryan under contract. Either vs Darby sounds awesome to me.

Main event was something. I'm not sure I'd call it good, but I thought it was fun. That it was Chris Jericho getting sliced open and smashed with tubes was a big part of the novelty. Two GCW backyarders having the same match would be trash, but seeing a guy like Jericho in that environment was a spectacle. He can tick that off his bucket list now. I dig how AEW brings in these outsiders for one-shots, I don't want to see a Gage or Jeff Cobb on a regular basis, but one-off matches here and there are cool and keep things fresh. Gage kicking out at 3.2 made me laugh too.

Juvy next week should be fun. I mean, I have no idea how good he is these days and those Jericho matches in the day were pretty whatever, but I am here for the more AEW bizarro matches.

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Considering how Jericho likes to analyse his big matches on his podcast, are we getting Nick Gage on TiJ next week?

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I said this on the AEW subreddit earlier in the week, but if they don't promote the fuck out of Punk's return - and just debut him (or Danielson) as a surprise - they're fucking crazy. That could pop a huge rating, and probably move a lot of tickets if its for, say, that United Center show, or something else like that. I don't mind the surprise debuts, I actually really like them, but these are two massive names, and they need to confirm it ahead of time and promote it, IMO.

I also don't think they're going to pivot away from the Hangman storyline. All Out is a month away, and there's no credible challengers for Omega on the horizon. And as bad as I want Punk and Danielson in AEW, I don't think it's a good idea to move away from a two year storyline that the fans are absolutely into, and Hangman is ON FIRE with live crowds, just to put that on the shelf and go straight into a program with either of those two vs. Omega. You can run with Hangman as the champion, Omega/Danielson and Punk/Darby at the top of the card, having two hot feuds and a champion who is crazy fuckin' over is not a bad thing and they can all co-exist.

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25 minutes ago, Casey said:

I said this on the AEW subreddit earlier in the week, but if they don't promote the fuck out of Punk's return - and just debut him (or Danielson) as a surprise - they're fucking crazy. That could pop a huge rating, and probably move a lot of tickets if its for, say, that United Center show, or something else like that. I don't mind the surprise debuts, I actually really like them, but these are two massive names, and they need to confirm it ahead of time and promote it, IMO.

With Punk, it seems like they’re doing everything but flat-out announcing he’ll be there in Chicago. They make the Chicago announcement, and then make a point of showing close shots of fans chanting “CM Punk!”  Then Darby drops the “best in the world” line. It’s possible to promote something and build buzz for it without coming out and saying it.  

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Rewatched a few parts of the show this morning and just noticed that Nick and Matt were both announced at 6’6’’.

That whole Elite entrance was so ridiculous, might be one of my favourites of all time.

 

 

Edited by eikerir
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@Log I think outright promotion is a better route to go rather than rumor and innuendo, especially for the second episode of their new show in a death time slot, but to each their own I suppose.

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The ability to raise questions big and small that fans want answered and then to pay them off in a satisfying way is by far the biggest thing WWE has been missing for many, many years. Since the Punk stuff and Bryan's WM win.

"Are they going to let Nikki survive Charlotte?" is not a compelling question in 2021. "How are they going to handle Alexa vs Randy?" isn't really a compelling question. "Will they kill Roman's momentum by giving Edge the win he came back for?" isn't a compelling question.

"How are they going to use Nick Gage on cable TV?" "Who is the third trial?" let alone stuff like Punk and Bryan and the very thought of who might come through the door next.

When's the last time WWE raised a question even to the level of "Who is the third trial?"

The Styles Rumble debut? New Day breaking Demolition's record? How they'd handle Kofi/Brock (which then goes to the other half of it: the payoff)? It's pretty slim pickings for the back half of the 2010s.

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Absolutely loved the Dark Order entrance, had me feeling like the room was very dusty in all the friendship talk. I am so, so invested in that group. Felt really deflated when Hangman lost. Like, actually heartbroken. Then when Darby was mentioning "Best in the World" my 7am brain had me thinking he was going after Kenny, which while I'd love that feud, made me think they were completely cooling on the Hangman. I'm struggling to see how they get back to Page but I'm here for the journey. 

Brandon Cutler is so, so good in his role. Even the way he moves is perfect and the cold spray is such a great prop. He's grown on me so much and BTE has played a huge role in that. Similarly, was so happy to see Fuego on TV in his Nightmare Family jacket. All these goofy little touches are what I love about AEW. 

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9 minutes ago, Fighting a man with a perm said:

Absolutely loved the Dark Order entrance, had me feeling like the room was very dusty in all the friendship talk. I am so, so invested in that group. Felt really deflated when Hangman lost. Like, actually heartbroken.


One thing I loved about their entrance is that you could hear the massive “COWBOY SHIT” chant behind the video package to the point that I think they had to turn the crowd sound so that we could hear the voiceover.

Then The Elite gets massive boos right after, it just feels right.

 

Edited by eikerir
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Rankings from yesterday afternoon:

If Hangman is dropping in the singles rankings, Jungle Boy is the new number one contender, not Christian.

Rosa being top contender in the Women's division is interesting, because you'd think that that would be a match they'd hold off on.

Acclaimed vs Varsity Blondes for a shot at the tag titles is the best built match on the YouTube shows. They seem to be endlessly clashing in trios and eight mans, to build the eventual two on two.

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Me, leading up to the show: "they'll have some blood and maybe some thumbtacks or whatever but they won't do glass or whatever."

Me, during the match: "Sweet merciful Christ."

Decent enough show with some real crowd-deflating moments.  I like the idea of Hangman coming this close but being overwhelmed by the odds.  You know he's going to get back there and win it all.  Going to be a fun story.

LOVED the production team changing Hangman's graphics from red to purple, and all the matching gear.  FRIENDSHIP~!

Speaking of crowd-deflating, good job by all involved audibling the tag match.  Gruesome injury to Wheeler.  Apparently, it was a freak accident -- he hit his arm on the turnbuckle on the way down and sliced it open.  Pedantic note: the "turnbuckle" is the metal piece connecting the pad to the post.  We always call the pad "the turnbuckle" and that's not exactly correct.

LOL JR noted Santana's physique not once but twice.  And the part that drives me up the wall: he, again, tells us that Santana's JAKKED physique means he is taking wrestling more seriously.  Because fat dudes don't care about the art of pro wrestling and, by the same logic, Brian Cage cares more about wrestling than Bryan Danielson.

I'm just sad Santana's match came before Hikuleo/Archer because I know JR was trying to save himself for that match.

I've seen Gage have non-deathmatch matches and he didn't look lost of like he needed to be lead through them.  I guess his deathmatch mode is different, where they're just wandering from gross spot to gross spot.  But anyway, props to both guys for really over-delivering.  80s Vince would be writing anonymous concern-trolling letters to Turner execs.  2020s Vince's Rolodex is too outdated and he doesn't understand email.

Awesome that the Judas Effect and One Winged Angel are so protected.

LOLLLLL @ Cody committing to the televangelist look for the feud with Dutch Satan.

Holy fuck Grayson cracked his head on the floor on that dive.

Excellent promos by Mox and Darby.  So much cool shit coming up!

Jericho is so old school that he squeezed the MIST GLAND before spitting it at Gage.  Fuck yes.

Edited by Technico Support
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Of all the tag teams to do the Steiner Brothers size switch, I wouldn't have guessed Santana & Ortiz. And yet Ortiz was suddenly super lean and ripped, whilst Santana has indeed bulked up quite a bit. 

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