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The AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite Thread

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5 hours ago, Michael_3165 said:

You are right! 

Surely agreeing with a short comment is what his "like button" is for? (if anyone agrees with me, please feel free to hit my like button, rather than add further comment to my petty observation :D).

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I enjoyed it. Watched in two halves, but felt fast moving. Only complaint I have is the Moxley run in and attack not being the dq that started the best down. Ref and announcers just ignoring it doesn’t make a lotta sense . If ITV has made the wrong cuts, hopefully AEW pick that job up next week, or provide the cut points for itv to edit. Wasnt that noticeable to me 

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I felt it was a good show overall. The commentary was far superior to previous events, and JR especially was the best he’s sounded in years.

Rhio didn’t look great and think she’s too small to be a champion in my eyes. The main event wasn’t the best, found it a bit of a mess. That said, it’s made me intrigued for the next show which is more then Raw has managed of late

 

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it wasn't too bad. easy enough to watch, decent matches. I'm not surprised it beat NXT this week, but I wouldn't be surprised to see NXT start coming out on top within a few weeks.

Jericho is terrific in his role, and his physique fits the gimmick perfectly. and there's absolutely no way he has 'go away heat'. that's nonsense. Moxley is a star. I love that guy.

 

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The show was solid rather than blow-away, but I enjoyed it. The crowd were really into Riho winning, which ended up making for the kind of atmosphere that adds a lot to a match. The Red Arrow onto Hangman's back was brutal looking. Not at all sold on Jack Swagger, and it did make for a poor ending - which was a shame, because the lead-up to that was great. The pop when Dustin came out! I really, really want a Dustin/Jericho match.

God, two hours passes by so much easier than three.

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Reading that vignettes were cut makes a lot of sense - my main criticism watching last night was that there was very little character-building; wrestlers were showing up and a lot of knowledge was assumed of the audience. It's a pet peeve of mine when someone cuts a promo but doesn't make it clear who they are - on this show you had Lucha Bros coming out and calling themselves "the greatest tag team in the universe", but not saying "the Lucha Bros". 

For all of Tony Khan's criticism of the Invisible Camera, I was disappointed to see, very early on, a shot of Jericho and LAX in their locker room discussing strategy, seemingly oblivious to the presence of a cameraman.

 

The opening felt good, full of energy, and professionalism. Schiavone's voice adds so much credibility and enthusiasm, and he feels genuinely happy to be here, while being out of the mainstream since WCW means that he doesn't feel like someone who's outstayed their welcome. Even JR brought what passes for his A-game. Through the show in general, and particularly when he had an in-ring job, Schiavone did feel a little nervous at times, but when he had something on commentary he could get his teeth into, he was superb.
Something I loved from JR was how often he talked up the live aspect of the show - welcoming the TV audience but adding, "but there's nothing like being here live", reiterating at the end of the show that next week's show was sold out, but that you can still "join us" on TV; this ties into the Invisible Camera aspect of WWE. A theory I've had around WWE for years is that they've declined in quality the more they've switched focus from a live event recorded for TV to a TV show that happens to have a live audience. Presenting the show as live first and foremost gives it a more vibrant, urgent atmosphere, and makes the crowd (live and at home) feel more involved/connected. You watch it live thinking, "I wish I was there!" in a way WWE haven't managed in a long while. Even little things that WWE only started doing again recently, like having Moxley swat the camera out of the way, or wrestlers speak directly into the camera, establish that this is a real event being filmed, and cameras are a physical object within that space, not an invisible observer. Not to get too theatre nerd about it, but it's something akin to a Brechtian alienation technique in that it means you're constantly aware that you're watching a live performance, not a flat, stale TV product.

Cody vs Guevera was fine. It was the right choice to, after a brief intro from commentators, open with an energetic match that sets the pace. Flashbacks to WOS opening with WWE-lite dueling promos and evil authority figures as to how not to do it. I'd argue that the match had too much in the way of high drama hope spots and big moves for an opening match, and absolutely didn't need the spots with Brandi - basically because if you do it all in the opener, you've got nowhere else to go. That said, it was the first match on the first show of a new venture, so it's special circumstances and probably shouldn't play precisely by the rules. In any case, it was one of those Good Wrestling Matches we get a lot of these days, where it's all demonstrably well executed but you won't remember a single bit of it in a week's time.

Something I didn't like from Tony Schiavone's aborted post-match interview is that he just didn't say anything after Sammy stepped in to offer the handshake. If you watch Gene Okerlund do these segments in WCW, he never stops talking, and it adds so much to the angle - and why wouldn't you, when you still have a live microphone in your hand?

A pet peeve now, around inconsistency. For one, practically every time we've seen Cody he's had an entourage - they even made it a point of his last match, that he could only choose one of them. Where were any of them when he was being attacked by Jericho? And where were security? The following segment was an SCU/Lucha Bros brawl, in which agents and security got involved at the first sign of violence, yet none of them got involved at all for the brawl that happened not two minutes earlier? It sounds like nitpicking, but it's about establishing the internal rules of the promotion - why can Jericho get away with beating someone up outside the confines of a match, but the Lucha Bros get dragged away at the first sign of trouble? 

Inconsistency and repetition have been a point of contention for me with AEW since their first show, and I still think it's their biggest learning curve here. There was a lot of repeated spots. I counted three springboard stunners in one show, two in the same match, two consecutive matches featured a Standing Shooting Star Press (with one also featuring a top-rope SSP), and every single match had a dive to the outside. When Tony Khan said he didn't want DQs and non-finishes, I assumed he meant that he wouldn't be booking the situations that lead to DQs, but that's obviously not the case - this show saw managerial interference go unseen by the referee, a low blow missed by the referee, a steel chair spot go largely unimpeded by a referee and, most egregiously, a run-in right in front of the senior official that took a man out of the match, but got absolutely no admonition from the ref. Obviously I'm speaking from a point of personal interest here, but it just shits on the credibility of refs. It's not that the matches are ECW-style no DQ - we've had commentators talk about the risk of disqualification all night. It's not just a problem of referee credibility, or of believability, but one of long-term consequence - when someone inevitably does get disqualified for outside interference, you have to ask, "well, why not the time before?".

PAC vs. Page was good, but not great. I like that they're going with a bit of a slow burn on Page as a pick for the top spot, but he needs a little extra "something". PAC continues to be a brilliant heel, and one of the people on the show that really feels like a star.

Rhio vs Nyla Rose massively overdelivered for me, and was probably my favourite match of the night. The best performance by either woman since AEW started, and I still find it surreal to see Rhio given this opportunity. Not sure about Nyla being suddenly repositioned as a heel, as much as it made sense for the size dynamic in this match - it feels a bit lazy to go "big woman = baddy", particularly when said big woman has now lost more often than she's won, and when you've also got Awesome and Aja Kong on the roster.

I don't mind Kenny Omega getting involved at the end of the women's match, though it was odd positioning to have it right before the main event. I don't think there's anything wrong with having Omega show up twice, but back-to-back segments just feels like poor pacing. Main event was fine but unremarkable for who was involved, though was more about setting up the future than delivering a great match, and that's ground we've not really seen AEW tread yet, so that's good. Young Bucks' formula could get really over-exposed if they're on TV every week.

Post-match, meh. Very little interest in Jake Hager being there, and while Jericho leading a heel stable isn't a bad idea, there doesn't seem to be any connecting thread between the characters involved. Hager teaming with LAX doesn't strike me as a coherent unit, and Sammy Guevera stands out like a sore thumb. It makes sense to have a heel stable around, though, given that Cody has an entourage, and you don't want the babyface in the next big title match being the one with the numbers advantage. Every time Hager got to hit a move, he looked like a dominant monster. Every time they cut to his blank stare, and him fiddling with his hair, he looked like a complete idiot. And they kept doing it.
Reusing Guevera here raises another point - having talent recurring throughout the show can be good, as it creates a sense of narrative, and of continuity from the first match to the last. But it also runs the risk of making it feel like a very small roster, to have to rely on the same people showing up multiple times, rather than showcasing a broader array of talent. 

 

Anyway, Dustin got by far the biggest pop of the night for showing up, and the second biggest for hitting his first move, so let's hope they realise what they have with him and act on it.

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I was okay with the Omega run-in on the basis that it sort of made sense to me - he's ready for his match, he's near the entrance, so he's in the right position to suddenly run in for the rescue.

While I totally agree about the inconsistency (and I hope they address that), I thought it was really smart to have the Jericho attack closing the first segment. For the audience that hasn't been following AEW, that was a great opener. You've got Cody looking like a star, Brandi looking sensational (her back in that dress... blimey) and getting involved, Sammy Guevara doing some impressive flippy shit, and then the biggest name they have pulling off the attack and making clear he's the champion to establish some credibility.

If you had no idea what AEW was, it was a pretty good introduction and made it feel fairly big-time. I'm not sold on Sammy, as he comes across like playing wrestler rather than being one, but there's absolutely a place for flippy shit sometimes, and that was the right place.

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I laughed at Cody getting a special entrance before we had even seen a normal entrance. That got funnier as the night went on and not even the World champion got a special entrance. Then Cody had a Cody match where he does moves that other people do better and then he is the first target for the surprise appearance because of course he is. 

The crowd lighting is lame and they should know better. 

I'm looking forward to someone tripping over between the entrance way and the announce table. Probably poor Tony.

They're shit at booking women. The reaction to Brandi getting caught by her husband's dive was bad enough when she's an actual wrestler and the dive didn't look like much to begin with, then Riho needs Kenny to save her from another woman despite Britt Baker being at the announce table and it's all come a bit weak. 

Was the main event No DQ? It didn't seem to matter a jot that Moxley had taken out Omega. 

Why was Dustin in face paint and ring gear? 

Adam Page is already just another bloke isn't he?

If everyone dies a dive or springboard move is it really that impressive?

That said, it was alright. I like the set up and the chaos of the main event. The glass table spot was effective and that's credit to them not overloading the show with violence as I thought they might. It was a decent enough "first" impression and probably better than their last "first" impression. I'm not convinced it does that much to appeal to the fabled lapsed fans but time will tell.

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