Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

AEW Dynamite Workrate Report 9/16/20

What Worked

-FTR get the tag match up here, but Luchasaurus kept trying to drag it down. Luchasaurus is at his best when he's working as first year Test, and he is near unbearable when he is Test working as a Young Buck. Luckily, he worked more Test than Buck (the one stretch with him as an Cretaceous Buck was as bad as ever), and weirdly enough Jungle Boy is way better when he doesn't do as many moves. Jungle Boy is someone who actually does some small things well (I am a big fan of his dropdown) but I don't really love his highspots. Well, here he worked down as well and I think the match benefitted from that. It also benefitted from Cash Wheeler bumping hard (the Psicosis bump was awesome) and that sneaky pinfall win was legitimately the most they felt like the Brain Busters since joining AEW.

-What a great little Frankie Kazarian performance. That has to be the best Frankie Kazarian match since....well, I can't remember the last time I talked about a great Frankie Kazarian performance. The match went longer than it needed, but Kazarian working his age is a good thing, as Page was the one here who was working much more silly offense. Kazarian not only made some of Page's more suspect offense look great (Page usually has a weak pescado, here Kazarian made it look lung deflating), leaned all the way into clotheslines, always in the right place at the right time. What I liked most about Kazarian, and what felt most age appropriate about his offense was all of the right hands he threw. Kazarian isn't a guy I think of as a "puncher", and I'm not sure I've seen a match where he threw more. I like his right hand. He's got good form and it's a genuinely nice worked punch, and I liked the way he used it to cut off Page throughout the match. He tightened up elbow strikes too, and used that to nicely cut off Page as well. I hate the stuff like "run down the length of the apron just to get clotheslined without even trying to do offense, just running down the apron" or "I hit you and run but you run after me and hit me but then I run after you and hit you" and the match did have that bullshit. But it also had Kazarian blocking a bulldog by snapping off a Russian legsweep variation, and the Kazarian performance elevated this to a level I wasn't expecting. Good match.

-Kingston on the mic, gonna be up here. "Check the rules."

-I really liked Hager in that tag. Not sure what's happening tonight, but I didn't have Kazarian or Hager on my list of guys I was looking forward to seeing. Hager bumped super generously for Private Party without making it look ridiculous, and all his close range work looked great. I dug Kassidy ragdolling for the Judas Effect, and Jericho punching Quen across the temples, but Hager was the real standout for me here. He had an actual cool reckless shooter vibe that I think he's tried before but never quite nailed. The dives looked good, they got out of there at the right time, fun quick match.

-Thunder Rosa/Ivelisse was pretty messy, but I liked the layout and the messiness looked like it lead to more stiff strikes than we might have otherwise gotten. Hitting sloppy ranas and mirror sequences where someone is one beat off? That kind of thing sucks, but I laughed when Ivelisse cracked Rosa with a slap, and laughed again when Rosa stopped Ivelisse dead in her tracks by burying a hard dropkick in her stomach. Ivelisse worked a nice sleeper choke (sadly marginalized into picture in picture) and if the execution where stronger throughout this would have been quite good. I bet they could run back this same match and some sequences would come out tighter. Even with the flaws, it stood above most other AEW women's matches so far.

-I did not care about the Best Friends/LAX build, hate Chuck Taylor feuds, wouldn't have ever guessed it could go somewhere interesting. And then they go out and have an insanely violent Zona 23 style parking lot brawl. What? This had some spills in it (a LOT, really) that were as nasty or nastier than anything in the Finlay/Regal parking lot brawl. Am I stupid for saying a match with Chuck Taylor had tons of comparably violent moments to two a famously violent match featuring two of my 20 favorite wrestlers of all time? Possibly, but I loved the damage these four took. This match had some of the most gruesome vehicle-based spots I've seen. By the end of this everyone was bleeding out of places that don't typically bleed in a wrestling match. Ortiz got jammed under the hood of a car and crushed in painful ways by Taylor and Trent, Trent hitting a senton while Ortiz's leg was still hanging out. Trent got powerbombed into the windshield of a truck, and while the announcers were focusing on his cut up back from the glass I couldn't stop seeing the back of his head getting whipped into the top frame. Sure, that bloody back is gonna mess up the upholstery of his mom's minivan, but that check to the back of the head is gonna mess up his cognitive functions in his 60s. Trent also got slingshotted straight into a down truck tailgate, so he was really trying to be an equal opportunity brainpan destroyer. The board shots all looked nasty (especially Ortiz cracking Trent in the back and then blasting him in the ribs). Powerbombs on truck tops, backdrops on cars, spears into a car grill, and a piledriver off a truck tool box? Yeah, shoot that in my veins.

What Didn't Work

-MJF should get that mark on his neck checked out. I have an irregular shaped mark on my chest and getting it checked out was a real weight off my mind. Someone needs to be monitoring that mark and make sure it's not growing. Can we get some 2018 MJF photos where he's facing to his right?

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