Ganso Bomb

Write Forever: An Imperfect but Fun AEW Dynamite for February 21

Write Forever: An Imperfect but Fun AEW Dynamite for February 21

We ordered Indian food for dinner from our regular place but it was way spicier than usual. A wonderful thing about aging is that your body decides you just can't eat certain foods without feeling pain, which can sometimes be combined with eating foods after a certain time of day! It's great!

Here's hoping my stomach doesn't explode in a ball of flame like I'm a Hechicero entrance or something.

My internet seems to have had a similarly spicy dinner because it's also struggling as I type this. It currently feels like I'm watching Dynamite in a slightly more crisp RealPlayer.

The Bad

An exceedingly bad night for Dynamite! I suppose the positive here is that the bad stuff was basically all stuffed into the same block of segments, so at least it didn't feel like any of it was ever-present throughout the entire show.

Wednesday is a horrible night for a date night


I've been generally fine with the teenage love story stuff between Ruby Soho and Angelo Parker when it was confined to the Rampage Zone. But don't let it spill out onto the actual solid, main show of the week.

Ric Flair, please melt into a sewer grate

This show went from bad, to annoying, to terrible with a Jake Hager surprise, the Ruby/Ang date stuff, and Sad Ric Flair within several minutes.

Ric Flair can just piss off into the future. I don't care that he's sad. I don't care that he hasn't been on TV. Actually, that's not true – I'm glad! It makes me happy that I haven't had to see him on my TV screen!

I understand the gesture of hiring the guy who essentially made Sting to be a part of Sting's sendoff, but Flair is an old creep who is more than problematic and needs to be rolled off into the sunset.

One more Timeless squash

It's barely worth writing about, but we got yet one more Toni Storm squash to build toward Revolution. This led directly into Deonna Purrazzo's entrance for her match with Madison Rayne, proving that Tony Khan can book two women's matches on an episode of Dynamite but it better feel like it's just one big segment, bub!

Plus, one of the matches has to be done in under two minutes or so.

From Timeless to Listless

Madison Rayne is simply not good. I don't know that she ever was; I don't have any fond memories of her in TNA either. I don't know how she is as a teacher/trainer, but it puzzles me that she was brought in under that role considering what she delivers in the ring whenever she pops up.

It'd be wonderful if Tony could give us two women's matches that actually meant something. Deonna is great, but putting her in there against someone who hasn't been on TV in what feels like a year isn't going to do her any favors.

Tony did tweet earlier in the day that a weird rash of injuries and unavailability would make this a wild night and this was less wild and more mild. See what I did there?

Leading into the end of the match, Madison got dumped on her head in what could have been far worse. The doctor was waved off and the match was able to quickly finish, so let's hope the spike simply looked gruesome and doesn't result in an injury.

After the match, Toni Storm attacked Deonna to slap on the ankle lock – the move Deonna had just used to finish Madison as a way to mock the champ herself. Good simple storytelling there, but I'll be glad once the match is done and we (fingers crossed) end up with Deonna leaving Revolution as the new Women's World Champion.

The In-Between

It's not that the wrestling here was bad, it was just simply there and exactly what you would have expected it to be. Nothing too extraordinary, but also not Ric Flair moping around the backstage like a half-melted wax statue.

An expected step on OC and Roddy's Road to Revolution

As usual, writing this each week generally requires doing some nitpicking. By American TV wrestling standards over the past 20 years, on any other company's show this would just be a nice good match. But, AEW has heightened the standards for itself to where a solid match like this ends up in The In-Between.

The path to get to Orange Cassidy vs Roderick Strong is following some familiar steps in AEW. It harkens back to some MJF feuds where his opponents would have to run through some sort of gauntlet before wrestling him. Interesting that, in this case, it's Adam Cole associate Roddy who has OC running a gauntlet.

Though, as the story goes, Orange Cassidy runs himself through the gauntlet on a voluntary basis whether it's an Open Challenge for the International Title or non-title matches like this one and last week's Texas Death Match with Matt Taven (I'M MATT TAVEN).

After an OC victory, the post-match attack from the Undisputed Kingdom was elementary after it was dutifully explained earlier in the show that all of the Best Friends had been wiped out.

So... who makes the save for OC but Jake Hager? Why? This sucks. Jake Hager sucks. I'd like him as far out of the orbit of AEW as I'd like Kevin Kelly to be.

And that's pretty far.

The Good

It wasn't a perfect Dynamite by any means, but there was still some great wrestling with some great promos sprinkled in amongst the muck.

Four guys beating the shit out of each other for twenty minutes

Professional wrestling is incredible when it's technical and beautiful.

It's also incredible when it's dirty and messy and ugly.

The Blackpool Combat Club vs FTR was absolutely more of the latter than the former, and I think everybody was the better for it (well, maybe not the guys involved). The 3,000-ish people in attendance certainly brought more life to this match than the crowd for the last episode of Collision brought for the entirety of that show.

What felt nice about this match was that the four guys felt like they actually hated each other at certain points. Not in a theatre-y, wrestling-y way but just little smirks and poses peppered throughout the match that felt petty and born of bitterness.

Both teams also traded some heelish tendencies back and forth, adding to the layers of each wrestler. I've noted that before, but it's a thing I love about AEW – everybody is allowed to have layers to their personalities and motivations rather than being simply good or bad. You know, like humans!

For the second time this month, we saw a match go to a 20 minute time-limit draw. The last several minutes were rife with near falls and submission attempts, none of which could put any of the four men away. In the final moments, FTR attempted a Shatter Machine as the bell rang.

A great match with an ending that only means the feud and story will continue, which is a-okay in my book. I'll be interested to see if FTR aligns with any of the CMLL contingent or finds some other friends along the way for a more robust BCC/FTR + Friends war. If what's to come is anything like this opener, give it to me a hundred times over.

Rapidly searching "is Daniel Garcia's dad alive?"

With an introduction and bit of news delivered from Tony Schiavone, we found out that Daniel Garcia will be receiving a TNT Title match at Revolution. This is especially great because the Christian/Copeland feud doesn't really need the TNT Title at all. Those guys have such a shared history that adding the belt into the mix doesn't necessarily spice things up, especially since they've already traded the belt back and forth.

Christian Cage spoiled the celebration and cut a promo telling Garcia that he didn't want to fight him at Revolution because he didn't think he was ready. Christian then answered the question I typed out as the heading for this section before the promo began, doxxing Garcia's mother in the process!

Christian talked about Garcia's dark past and rough childhood with a drunk father who never saw the potential in young Danny Boy and who never wanted him to succeed. Christian promised that at Revolution, he didn't want to be Garcia's opponent – he wanted to be his father.

Garcia shot back that he'd put CHristian in the ground along with his father before things devolved. Nick Wayne ran down to attack but was foiled by Garcia, followed by Killswitch who was foiled by Daddy Magic with a pair of steel chairs.

At some point we'll have to get Ole Cope involved and get a trios match out of this thing, but until then we can look forward to the future (hopeful) TNT Champion Daniel Garcia.

A Sting promo of a different color

It was short but it was poignant and a different type of Sting promo than we're used to getting. He touched on the passing of his own father just a week ago, getting choked up as he spoke about what his dad meant to him, taught him, and how it has affected his own perception of his own mortality.

No yelling. No screaming. No catchphrase. Just a simple, solid message to The Young Bucks that they were in for the fight of their lives at Revolution.

Genuinely beautiful stuff.

The first time Mister Wardlow has been interesting since being accidentally called Mister Wardlow

A Mister Wardlow promo? And it kind of rules?!

Wardlow has rarely been captivating on the microphone, but his promo set himself up in a different way than he's been presented in the past.

Whether this leads to a match with Joe down the road or not remains to be seen. I still believe we'll see Joe retain against Swerve and Hangman at Revolution, so maybe we get a stopover in Joe/Wardlow before coming back to the eventual and inevitable Joe/Swerve match?

After the commercial following Wardy's promo, Excalibur informed us that Wardlow would be competing in MEAT MADNESS at Revolution. Don't know what the hell that means, but – big meaty men slapping meat? Yes, please!

A Hangman hanged by his own hubris

The explosive main event trios match between Hangman Page, Hook, and RVD facing Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, and Brian Cage predictably fell apart before the final bell sounded.

Hangman looked poised to cost his team the entire match on a couple of occasions through not being able to focus on the opponent in the ring when that opponent wasn't Swerve Strickland.

After disposing of the three non-contenders, Swerve, Hanger, and Joe stood toe to toe in the center. After a brief blip of teamwork between Swerve and Joe, Swerve accidentally caught Joe with a kick to the face leading to Swerve eating a Hangman powerbomb through the announce table.

Back in the ring, Hangman survived a Muscle Buster from Joe before tagging in RVD to eat the loss via Coquina Clutch.

This wasn't the typical "CAN THEY COEXIST?!" bullshit, and honestly the tempers between Joe and Swerve didn't flare up obnoxiously at all. Instead, they worked together when they could but still proved to be thorns in each others sides with inopportune tags and some taunting here and there.

With none of the three men taking the fall, they're of course still painted strongly heading into Revolution where it's truly Hangman's match to lose. And if he does lose, he's going to go completely and totally out of his mind.