Segunda Caida

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

AEW Dynamite Workrate Report 3/18/20

What Worked

-Rey Fenix definitely worked, that's for sure. That opening tag was a one man show and Fenix didn't seem affected in the least by the lack of crowd, and was working as fast and hard as ever. All of his kicks and his knife edge chops sang in that empty arena, and I loved how he was using eyepokes or other cheap shots to set up actual hard kicks. Fenix was in twice as much of this match as Pentagon, which is a good balance for their tags, and they really made this work. Fenix is a guy who bumps so explosively that he actually makes Chuck Taylor shoulderblocks look good. I even liked Orange Cassidy's pocket hands coffin drop off the stage, but perhaps they should leave the coffin drop as Darby's things. You don't need a second guy doing stupid trust falls off of high landings.

-Brodie Lee is good at talking and this felt like the first time I heard Brodie Lee talk in maybe 5 years. I think I dig this Dark Order nonsense more than most, though.

-Lance Archer feature was the coolest possible package for a wrestler I don't care about. Archer just leaving a pile of yarders laying in the woods while Jake the Snake sits in a busted wicker chair with his weird hair, watching Archer chop and kick guys like it was his fetish. That's a good idea for a feature.

-Sammy Guevara continues to rule, as I'm not sure how many other guys could have made me laugh just by singing Jericho's theme song.

-Really liked Ortiz's performance in the main event, really felt like he was the guy bumping for everything, falling off the apron, taking Cody's dive, doing all the pratfalls needed in a match like this. It felt like he was in the Sammy Guevara role since Guevara was at ringside. Page and Cody looked like they were working this about 3/4 speed, and he made all of their attacks look they had actual snap. I also liked Hager as the team wrecking ball, and I really got into it as Inner Circle was cutting off Cody. The energy was good, and I can imagine it isn't the easiest thing to keep energy up without a crowd.

What Didn't Work

-The over serious delivery of the Elite sure sounds a lot sillier without an arena of fans fawning all over them no matter what they say. If they're going out there to show off their stage drama chops at least give me their take on a performance of Our Town.

-JR pointed out before the tag match that Trent had the tightest bandana ever, as he'd never seen it budged. And that just made me obsessively watch how often that goofball adjusts that stupid bandana immediately following any bit of offense he took. Watching him get KO'd by a double superkick, but then lie there on the mat carefully adjusting his hair and bandana, is now something I'm going to be watching for every time. JR just outed his game.

-Has there been an AEW women's match without a major blown spot yet? As in, a spot blown so badly that commentary just has to go "Nope, she didn't get that, not a bit". I can't think of one. But I did like enough moments in the women's match, and they kept the pace moving. Statlander hits the best elbow strike of the match on the interfering Kip Sabian. I'm not actually sure what Ford's elbow strikes are supposed to be, as it looks more like she's wiping something off her opponent's chest, left shoulder to right shoulder. Statlander took Ford's reverse rana really well, and I liked the spot early in the match where she had Shida suplex her into Riho. Riho's offense doesn't look great, but she throws her whole body into dropkicks and body attacks, so those at least look as good as possible. Throwing this many moving parts into a women's division match is inviting problems, but I liked a lot of what they did here. I also think that constantly lumping them into 4 ways or tags isn't really allowing any of them to stand out.

-I was really getting into the Butcher and Blade vs. Jurassic Express tag, when it was just Butcher and Blade cutting off Jungle Boy in their corner. That was the bulk of the match, but it felt like they really lost things the second Luchasaurus finally got tagged in. The guy is a giant compared to Stunt (not there tonight) and Jungle Boy, but he comes in the ring and starts doing bad big man version of Jungle Boy offense: A bad flat foot moonsault off the apron that awkwardly crashes into Butcher, a bunch of thigh slap kicks that all hit weird landing points, a clunky headscissors on Blade, just bad juniors wrestling done by a very large man. Of course, when he wrestles like a very large man, that is also ugly, as it leads to a dry fart of a standing exchange with Butcher. Jungle Boy almost accidentally takes what could have been an insane bump to the floor, although I couldn't tell you how the spot was supposed to go. And moments later the match ends with one of those finishes where commentary goes "Oh that was it! I guess that was the finish!"

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