AEW Elite 8 is our weekly look at eight things that we liked about the latest episode of AEW Dynamite. You can check out last week’s Elite 8 here.
8. Chubby, Whataburger faces
I said last week that Britt Baker was nearing an MJF-level of hate, but she might’ve surpassed even him in Texas this week when she mentioned Whataburger in a less than positive way and set the crowd on fire.
It’s pretty crazy that in an interview where she attempted to portray knocking out Yuka Sakazaki’s teeth as a nice thing, that mentioning a fast food burger chain is what turned the crowd against her. The lesson, as always, don’t talk bad about regional fast food chains.
Honestly, I’m pretty excited for the next time Dynamite is in the South for Britt to go in on Krystal. It’s just White Castle! Or the Milwaukee episode and Culver’s. You know what this greasy burger needs? More grease, pass the butter! She could be like a reverse Doughboys.
7. Battle Royale fights that make sense
Too often in wrestling there is a battle royale announced and then a bunch of people who are in that batle royale start fighting for basically no reason. This week had a bunch of people who are in a battle royale start fighting, but a lot of them had a good reason to do so!
Last week, The Dark Order attacked SCU and Best Friends after their match. After SCU’s tag match tonight, The Dark Order showed up to attack them again. This brought out the Best Friends to save and we were about to have a four-on-four brawl. Then TH2 and The Butcher & The Blade came out because both teams are opportunistic and looking for an advantage heading into next week which made the SCU/Best Friends group outnumbered. Then the Young Bucks ran out to help their friends because they’re friends with the guys who are outnumbered, they are in the battle royale next week, and they have ongoing issues with The Dark Order and The Butcher & The Blade. Great job, everybody!
Not only does next week’s battle royale have a huge prize at stake, there are a lot of individual issues between multiple teams in the match as well and a lot potential winners. I’m way too excited about this battle royale.
6. Dustin Rhodes says what we’ve all been thinking
“Are you ever going to step in the ring? Or are you gonna just keep collecting a paycheck? You’re failing at your MMA career, you’re failing here before you’ve even gotten started.”
5. A drama free World Tag Team Championship match
It was nice to take a week off from the relationship drama between Adam Page and the Elite, and just have an awesome World Tag Team Championship match. SCU really brought it here with a lot more aggressiveness and outstanding team work. While Page & Omega weren’t always on the same page, they were when it counted and got it done.
I really like the tandem offense of Page and Omega as everything looks like it will kill you and the V-Trigger/Buckshot Lariat combo might be my favorite finisher in tag team wrestling right now. It’s more brutal than pretty which helps it stand out in this division.
Perhaps drama free was not the right phrase to use though as Kazarian got his hand on the bottom rope right near the end of the match. What was that all about? Was he too late? Did the referee miss it? I can’t imagine them getting another shot after two straight losses to this team, but they probably deserve one. Another point for the battle royale!
4. Jungle Boy doing stuff
One of the guys at Everything Elite said that they are always interested when Jungle Boy has a match and I have to agree.
A great thing about AEW’s existence is that we are all getting in on the “ground floor” of the company. Even if you just started watching today, you could go back and be caught up with every single show they’ve ever done in a matter of days. It’s why people can be so critical at times because they just want every chapter of this story to be perfect. As AEW viewers, we can hypothetically watch someone’s career from beginning to end and there is nothing more exciting than that.
When I say this, I’m talking about Jungle Boy. He’s a wrestler that didn’t have a ton of exposure before AEW and he immediately became someone to watch from the first moments he appeared on screen. We are all watching him grow and learn new things every single time out, we are invested in his progress and that is really exciting.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s hot as hell and the son of a movie star, sure, but the true appeal of Jungle Boy is that he’s the purest wrestler on this roster. Jungle Boy is good in a way that no one else here is. Putting him in the ring with the biggest prick in AEW is the perfect spot for him and a surefire way to get a strong emotional investment from the viewer. That’s exactly what we got here and I’m ready for more. I could watch these two wrestle twenty times with MJF cheating to win the first 19 times
3. The Human Suplex Machine
The AEW Women’s World Championship match on this week’s AEW Dynamite might be the best women’s match this company has had. It was a super-sized version of the first match between these two back on the first episode of Dynamite and it really showed how far both have come in the short time since that first match.
Nyla Rose was upset backstage after the match because nobody was really celebrating her big win and, at the risk of upsetting her even more, I am not going to celebrate her here and instead celebrate Riho.
Riho was her typical self here with quick escapes and the type of body contortions that nobody else can really do because nobody else in wrestling weighs 98 pounds. While that stuff is fun and always adds a lot to a match, it was Riho’s suplexes that really blew my mind and had me hoping for her to win.
This GIF doesn’t quite catch it all, but Nyla Rose went for the One Winged Angel (rude) and Riho managed to reverse it into a dragon suplex. That’s what the GIF shows and if that was it, that would be pretty great. What happened next was even better as Riho came back and hit a second dragon suplex, then followed it up with a sick northern lights suplex. It was beautiful and it was Riho going to a higher level than we thought she was capable of in order to keep her title.
I don’t know who is going to challenge Nyla at AEW Revolution, but I honestly wouldn’t mind the tiebreaker between these two. Nobody makes Nyla look more dangerous than Riho and nobody makes Riho look more evasive than Nyla.
2. Mox over everything
Like 99% of the world, I am guilty of looking at my phone too much. I watch AEW with a lot of dedication each week, but I also look at my phone throughout the show. It’s a weakness. None of what I am doing on my phone matters or makes me enjoy the show more. It’s just something that I do. It’s something that we all deal with in the year 2020, but there is one thing that works as a surefire cure for my phone addiction every single time: Jon Moxley.
From the second his music starts and he appears in the crowd, I’m hooked. The phone goes down and I’m locked in on Mox because I simply don’t know what he is going to do. He’s magnetic in that way. The people are going crazy for him and he’s just out there, doing it. His entrance is one of the most must-see events of the show each week for me because of this. Plus, people losing their freaking minds for him which honestly makes for some great people watching. Will someone be desperate for Mox to slap hands with him? Of course. Will people get way too excited and grab him? Without a doubt. Will it phase Mox in the slightest? Hell naw.
I enjoyed the match with him and Santana as there was a ton of bad blood between the two and they wrestled as such. The double-blinding at the end could’ve been cringe in anyone else’s hands, but Mox is making the eye thing work. You truly believe that he could beat half the roster blind, he’s that bad ass.
The Inner Circle post-match attack was a necessary step in the war between Mox and the Inner Circle, and the whole thing had me begging for a Darby Allin return to even the odds. Mox as Darby’s friend/mentor has some real potential and I’m already working on the music video set to Cat Stevens’ Father and Son. I’m really hoping we see that tag team soon.
For now, I’ll settle for this…
1. Jeff Cobb!!!!!!!
Jeff Cobb was near the top of my AEW wishlist and I’m so very happy to see him here. Cobb first drew my attention as the (spoiler alert for a years old wrestling show) Monster Matanza on Lucha Underground. Like many from that show, I wasn’t sure if it was him or the presentation that made him so cool, but then he went to PWG and made me forget that show ever happened. Every time out was a ****+ match and he really established himself as one of the best at this. His Art of Wrestling is a great listen and he just seems like the kind of guy you want on your wrestling show.
He’s only a hired gun right now and he’s still a free agent, but I’m glad he’s here. The match next week against Mox is the dream match I didn’t know I needed and I’m very excited about all of this.