Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

AEW Dynamite Workrate Report 7/29/20

What Worked

-The visual of Stu Grayson's huge tope con hilo past the turnbuckle, hitting the cameraman on the way down (and running right at the cameraman) was awesome.

-Couldn't be much less interested in Zack Ryder as a new AEW recruit, but at least Ryder showed up ON THE GAS. I am more excited for hulked up juice god Ryder than Woo Woo Woo Ryder.

-This show needed Darby in the main event, because this was a real 2 hour drag if you were looking for good wrestling. This was a quick, under 10 minute sprint with a hot pace, totally unnecessary (but fun) weapons, and some classic Darby crash tests. The whole thing starts with Darby doing the Coffin Drop off the entrance tron, so this rules from go. Any match based around Darby dying is going to be cool, so crashing with a Coffin Drop, eating a powerbomb, a German, a nasty spill to the apron, it's all great. Starks and Cage had decent chemistry as a team, but I like Cage a ton more as "guy throwing two men around at once" than "guy going up easily for everyone's suplexes", and luckily we got a bit more of the former. Darby's late match comeback to save Moxley was great, there were a couple good nearfalls, and the finish was fantastic. You give me Darby smashing tacks into Ricky Starks' back by dropping in off the top rope and planting that deck on his back, and that's a finish I'll be into. Starks' sell was awesome, left leg stuck out straight and lifted off the ground while being pinned, shaking like he had spinal damage or like a man who just got his back tacked for the first time. Thank god for Darby tonight. That's a guy you get the ball to with seconds on the clock.

What Didn't Work

-Dang, that opening 10 men sucked, and it had zero excuse to suck. A 10 man given enough time should be the highest hit rate match out there. Any match with 6+ people where at least four of the participants are capable, should be a guaranteed good match. But this was just a sloppy, unfunny, poorly timed mess. People stood around awkwardly, waiting to take offense, missing offense, or just not doing anything. The dive train started well with a cool tope con hilo from Chuck Taylor (who appears to have lost some of his added quarantine weight), but then a long stint with Marko Stunt getting tossed back and forth between Hager and Luchasaurus while everyone just watched. There was a lot of "just watched" in this and it blew. Any time they tried to string a moves chain together it fell apart by the second move, everyone moving at a completely different pace than everyone else.

-I really love the idea of Cody vs. Top Indy Guys, and I have to accept that most of them are not going to touch Cody/Kingston...but I'd like to think that most of them will be better than Cody/Warhorse. I've never been much of a Warhorse guy, the whole thing comes off forced an unnatural, and let me tell you: if something comes off forced and unnatural on small scale indy shows, it is going to look downright bush on a big league presentation. Warhorse looked like a guy who won a sweepstakes, not a guy who earned his shot at the champ. Cody really busted his ass to make him look good, but it's a two way street. Warhorse throws a nice clothesline, and that's about it. Cody is good at taking lariats, and Warhorse had a big running one and a nice flat foot standing one that looked really impactful. Amusingly, JR called him "offensively minded" in a match where up to that point he had only thrown clotheslines and some stomps. Cody did a good job setting Warhorse to shine, Warhorse just didn't shine. His timing was a step earlier than Cody's, and it pulled back the curtain too much on a lot of his rehearsed pins or missed strikes. There were several times where he was already reversing the move he was set to reverse, while Cody had barely started the move. Grabbing a small package off a figure 4 attempt is a smart nearfall, but it looks bad when you're showing your reversal hand before Cody is even in position. Later, he committed to a missed double stomp off the top after seeing that Cody was 8 feet away from where he was stomping. It wasn't a blind leap, he watched Cody move, then leaped into a double stomp to the mat as if a person was there. There's debuting on national TV the way Eddie Kingston debuted, and there's debuting on national TV the way Warhorse did. This was Dancin' Homer debuting in Capital City. We've set each end of our Cody vs. The Indies bar.

-Man has Omega's stock fallen. The tag match was not a long match, but it felt like a long match. That's never good. Omega looks more and more like a broken man in tags like this, but this thing was mildly cursed beyond Omega. There were unfortunate hiccups that you can't really blame on anyone, yet take a match down anyway. Little things like the ref getting in the way of a Page clothesline, requiring Page to completely stop his momentum before continuing the spot as planned. Grayson doesn't always hit with his stuff, but I appreciate a lot of the stuff he goes for. The slingshot senton to the apron didn't fully connect, but it's something that is crazy enough that I want him to keep trying to make it look better. I like Uno's AEW work and dug him here, thought he took the snap dragon like a beast, loved Page wrecking Grayson with a lariat, but this never quite came together as a match.

-I was curious to see some more Diamante after her match last week, even though I was not into her match last week, but now I think I'm good for awhile. She did not look good throughout much of this. Every Shida singles match always has to have these really bad strike exchange sections, always looking like the most brutal slap play. For all I know those shots sting like hell, but I have yet to see a Shida vs. Opponent strike exchange that actually looked ready for prime time. Several of Diamante's chops hit hard, a couple things looked good, but I'm still waiting on an AEW singles match where the participants actually have chemistry.

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