This Week in Pro Wrestling TV: August 29th-September 4th

MATCHES
From Ring of Honor TV
1.ROH TV Title: Dragon Lee(c) vs Eli Isom ****
From AEW Dark: Elevation
3.Daniel Garcia vs Tylor Sullivan NR
4.Jora Johl vs Kal Herro NR
5.Emi Sakura vs Ashley D'Amboise *3/4
6.Diamante, Nyla Rose vs Hart N' Swole ***1/4
7.Dante Martin vs Adam Grace NR
8.Thunder Rosa vs Laynie Luck NR
9.Brian Cage vs Anthony Bowens **
10.Hikaru Shida vs Heather Reckless NR
11.Fuego del Sol, Sammy Guevara vs Chaos Project ***
From AEW Dark
12.Kris Stratlander vs Selene Grey NR
13.Joey Janela vs Robert Anthony **
14.Laynie Luck vs Emi Sakura NR
15.Men of the Year vs Fitchett, GPA NR
16.Serpentico vs Kaz **1/4
17.Blair Onyx vs Leyla Hirsch NR
18.2point0 vs Hotch, Titan NR
19.Sierra vs The Bunny NR
20.Heather Reckless vs Tay Conti NR
21.Evil Uno vs QT Marshall ***1/4
22.PAC vs Matt Sydal ***1/4
From We are STARDOM!!
23.Mina Shirakawa vs Fukigen Death NR
24.Natsupoi vs Koguma NR
25.Giulia vs Starlight Kid NR
26.Sayaka Unagi vs Tam Nakano NR
27.Saya Kamitani vs Syuri ***3/4
28.Mayu Iwatani vs Momo Watanabe ****1/2
29.Maika vs Utami Hayashishita ***1/2
From AEW Dynamite
30.Pinnacle (FTR) vs Inner Circle (Santana, Ortiz) ****
31.Jack Evans vs Orange Cassidy ***
32.Powerhouse Hobbs vs Brian Cage **3/4
33.Penelope Ford vs Tay Conti ***
34.The Elite (Young Bucks, Good Brothers) vs Death Triangle (Lucha Bros), Jurassic Express ***3/4
From IMPACT Wrestling
35.X-Division Title: Alexander(c) vs Crist **3/4
36.Ace Austin vs Tommy Dreamer **3/4
From AEW Rampage
37.Malakai Black vs Lee Johnson **1/2
38.Hayter, Rebel vs Stratlander *3/4
39.Darby Allin vs Daniel Garcia ***1/2
From AEW Dark
40.2point0 vs Grillo, Knot NR
41.Black vs YUTA NR
42.Reckless vs Hart NR
43.Kate vs Shida **1/4
44.Skye vs Velvet ***1/2
45.The Pinnacle vs Gore, JDX *3/4
46.Dark Order vs Zacharia, Jones NR
47.Ford vs Aminata NR
48.Alexander vs Kaz NR
49.Jade vs Onyx NR
50.Chaos Project vs Jurassic Express **1/2

Thoughts:
The nondenominational wrestling program saw Dragon Lee defending gold against Eli Isom in their main event this week. This I believe is the best thing I've seen Isom in. Dragon Lee is one of the best workers in the world so that shouldn't be super surprising, of course. I enjoy knowing that Dragon Lee and Rush will soon be joining Andrade. The surgery might slow the timeline. At least, that's what I've heard as a strong possibility. The commentary was quality and the work rate in the ring was fantastic. ROH might win my TV MOTW two weeks in a row. 

Worth checking out for sure.

Daniel Garcia continues to give off major Benoit vibes as he got a quick win to kick off Elevation this week.

Up next, HFO's Jora Johl faced off against a man in a fanny pack. The dude could be decent.

Emi Sakura is officially all elite as she has moved to the United States. She brought Lulu Pencil with her because she loves us. The commentary on this was both one of the reasons I enjoy watching Elevation and why I don't. Paradoxical shit, I suppose. The match was decent for what it was and lasted about 4 minutes.

Hart and Big Swole took on Nyla and Diamante next in the next chapter for one of the YouTube ongoings. The Giant wanted a replay but could not get one. Now he's sad. I really wish they would have done something with a women's tag division after that tournament last year. Good stuff, honestly. They made the six minutes work. Better than expected.

Matt bragged about Jora to Jora next backstage. It's announced that AEW will be on EUROSPOTS. Matt is coming to India soon. It was pretty funny shit.

A very dramatic CM Punk package aired. Well done.

The rising star, Dante Martin, got a quick V next. Not much to say here really other than AEW perhaps has the best roster in wrestling history. Top five for sure. Oh, and Dante Fucking Martin is testing out finishers still.

Hey, the super friendly Laynie is up next against Thunder Rosa. It didn't last long.

Smart Mark put over That Bitch.

Cage and Bowens sadly didn't get a lot of time because they are trying to get Brian a quick win as he continues against Team Taz. It was okay for what it was. Hobbs and Cage shared a moment after when Hook distracted Cage. Ricky mocked the former champ.

Reckless is tiny. She ate a falcons arrow and didn't get up. No one gets up from that.

Sammy and Fuego vlogged in a victory in the episode's main event. Fuego del Sol looked motivated for sure. He got an early spark and then played the beatdown boy for a while to set up hot tag Sammy G. This was good stuff honestly and I'd like a rematch, even. Chaos Project has won me over and Sammy + FdS is a fun duo of course, too.

Dark time. Next week's should be the last before the studio format move.

Kris got a squash to start us off.

Another Punk/Darby ad runs.

Janela and Anthony was an okay short one. 

Robert Anthony got more in than expected but Joey Janela put him away soon enough, regardless. Joey continued to attack after with an assist from Kayla Rossi.

Another super short, but semi-competitive one followed and saw Emi beat Luck in under 3.

The inevitable followed with Sky and Mr. Ego beating Fitchett and GPA. Taz told Excalibur that he had a decent GPA. Fitchett was pretty good in what little time he had to not die. If you hit a dropkick you take about the same bump personally as you would missing it yet they're sold very differently. Just saying. 

Serpentico versus The Elite Hunter was okay but a bit off and rough around the edges. Kaz picked up the win. 

LEGIT Leyla Hirsch, one of the roster members I have the highest of expectations for in regards to the future, got a squash against Onyx. Blair did the spider crawl. Came off as very boring.

2point0 got a quick one.

So did Bunny.

And Conti.

QT and Evil Uno's match was honestly better than expected, especially after a weak start and despite some interference. QT is a solid worker but requires the right opponent and layout. Uno is underrated. This felt very 90's and worked well for what it was.

Andrade added some drama to the main. Note to the production crew, but I don't need to see what La Sombra is doing every five seconds. It was athletic, as expected and if you take away the overdone stuff it would have been a very good contest overall. Still, enjoyable nonetheless even if right outside of recommendation levels.

Dark continues to go down easy.

We've arrived at this year's 5STAR GP and let me be clear when I say that this episode of We are STARDOM!! is a must-see installment of the weekly series.

The first four matches only gave us the finishes.

Saya and Syuri's contest was great stuff with decent intensity and a nice pace.

Mayu versus Momo was fucking awesome and both delivered big on expectations, delivering a MOTYC in the first round of the tournament. Go out of your way for this one.

The episode closed with a pretty good one that saw Maika upset the World Champion. Ramifications there, for sure.

This is easily one of the best weekly wrestling episodes of the year. Make sure you make time for it ASAP.

We're back for another edition of Dynamite. This is both the 100th edition and also the last Dynamite before All Out. Read my preview HERE. If you're a fleeing NXT fan trying this out for the first time and also are new to my blog, welcome! I'm a writer and a journalist that just happens to be more blunt and crass when dealing with folks online.

The Bucks teased a taste tonight. The cage will be brought down.

I was just told that Andrade versus PAC is off, by the way. Something personal and not what's being sold on some circles. The Battle Royale is now on the PPV side of the card. I wonder what will get moved to the Buy In. Andrade is apparently getting a different match.... ;)

We're starting with the FTR and PnP rematch. Dead Presidents face paint! Their last match was fun with the right amount of intensity and I'm hoping they go full IWRG tonight.

We're starting with a banger, folks.

Cash sold his arm injury well here. FTR need to go through that damn forbidden door and take the NWA World Tag Team Championships. The setup is super easy right now after the title change.

I loved the tone and the storytelling was top shelf. Look no further than Wheeler working Ortiz's arm for a small example. As an Italian, I'm sure it's sinful not to know, but I am unaware if there is a name for that little kiss-your-fingers thing that you can make when you like something. I'm doing that gesture right now, whatever the fuck it's called.

A fantastic opener for sure, setting a high bar for the rest of the episode.

Santana and Ortiz got the W after a series of delightful near falls and a badass tag team sequence on Cash Wheeler.

I wish we could get Poder del Norte in AEW.

2point0 and Garcia told Darby not to look past them, backstage, pumping up the Rampage match with Red Death vs Allin. I'm very excited for that one. I'd add that I still feel that the latter's accuser deserves some respect and that the situation shouldn't be brushed aside.

Commercial break.

Punk's music hits for the next segment. He somehow looks younger than he has in years and also much older. I don't mean that to sound as dickish as it might seem. He got an, "you've still got it" chant just for speaking.

2point0 and Garcia attacked for some easy heat. Sting and Darby ran out for the save and the segment then saw a fucking GTS, Stinger Deathdrop, and Coffin Drop trio and then a staredown between Punk and Darby. Sting grabbed a mic and said he had always wanted to share a ring with CM and that he wouldn't be ringside for their match.

I really enjoyed this for a variety of reasons.

Omega and Christian were put over in a package next and then MJF sitting down with Tony is promoted as next with Orange versus Evans to follow.

Another commercial break.

MJF got to be a dick while promoting his match with Jericho this weekend. The segment was very well done and the production quality deserves praise. Tony was a perfect background participant throughout.

Where is my Mind plays. It really is the perfect song for the former Fire Ant. Hardy attacks before the bell and gets tossed as a result. Evans took advantage of the situation to get the early control before Cassidy took back over and evened things out for the remainder.

JR will interview Jericho next after the bell rings next.

The standing switch cycle was fun. The match was, too. It could've been better with another format applied, but this kept the show rolling along nicely enough.

This one ended with a flashpin during PIP play.

Good yet forgettable.

Matt attacked after. The Best Friends made a save for a moment. HFO beat them down. Jurassic Express then ran the heels off. The match and post were all chaotic entertainment if nothing else. A setup for a Buy In cluster?

A package promoting Miro's TNT Championship defense against Kingston ran. That one looks like it will be awesome.

Another commercial break. Sigh.

Mox versus Kojima is promoted next. Disappointed or not, this should still be a good one.

JR really doesn't look very good. Chris welcomes us to Chicago is Jericho. Nostalgia can be a fun thing. JR says it's a mistake. Y2J calls MJF a "piece of shit" while also putting him over heavily. This match has a lot of potential and the long road that got us here has been enjoyable enough that I am increasingly finding myself excited.

Darby got a package to build the Punk match.

Hook and Hobbs are out, Taz is on commentary, and Cage attacked early. PIP early on after Hobbs took control back. For hoss stuff where one was still a bit green it was decent, but felt more like something they'd air on their YouTube shows especially with the finish we were given.

Starks smacked Cage with the FTW strap while the ref was distracted by Hook to set up a Hobbs victory.

Black says more suffering is on the horizon.

QT calls out The Giant to follow. The Factory looked like jobbers. Gunn Club came out and then Billy attacked Paul with a chair. QT looked surprised, returned after the hit a Diamond Cutter. I have very little interest in this announced All Out match, presuming it still happens, and this did little to change my mind. I really hope they don't keep this arc running for too long. I don't watch AEW to see Raw.

Baker and Tony chat backstage. Britt announces that she's going to be around for a very long time and that she's been allowed to book a handicap match following a contract negotiation.

Bunny and Ford are out followed by Tay Conti. Conti danced for a moment before switching to pissed mode. Another PIP experience after a few minutes but this time one with a Rampage ad going full screen before an extra ad or two.

AEW is more diverse historically than perhaps any other promotion ever. Low bar. They can still do far better and one of those issues is the way the women's division still needs a lot of love. Remember, before you complain about that comment, Kenny agree with me and

This one got better as it moved along but was still far form must-see. Anna Jay returned after! Some drama backstage followed. Good overall.

The main event was an action-packed spotfest. Cutler got involved to set up a nearfall, Fenix bounced back and teased a face win, before the Bucks put him away. Great stuff and a strong way to cap the night off.

Kenny came out post and The Elite beat down everyone. Christian failed a save. The cage descended. Called it. Dante and Kaz and Jurassic Express tried to make a save but failed. The Elite beat down Christian and the Lucha Bros to close the show.

This week's edition started hot, died down some in the middle, but ended on a strong enough note. If you missed it, you're just fine watching it in clipped format outside of the opener and main.

On IMPACT, Moose put himself over as a new man monster hybrid. Him, Morrissey, and Edwards were involved in drama. 

Eric Young and crew made Rhino suffer.

Alexander had an open challenge thing going on here and Jake Crist answered the call. Solid throwaway stuff. After, Sabin makes a challenge.

No-Longer-Princess KimberLee and Su Yung had a demonic Brandi Lauren with them.

Mack, Swann and the Good Brothers still have kayfabe heat.

Earlier, Christian told Dreamer that he hoped he would win tonight. That didn't happen. Instead Ace Austin took the main event W. Admittedly this was the right choice for a few reasons and AA vs CC is going to be fun shit. An okay contest in a vacuum. 

The go-home edition of Rampage ahead of All Out saw Black kick a field goal with Johnson's head to start us off. He dominated as he continued to pick apart the Nightmare Family. Decent stuff and some good story work. Black's rise has been largely enjoyable even if the card placement of the previous match was off.

Goldust ran the Satanic beast off and then cut a solid promo backstage setting up a match between him and Black for Dynamite.

Miro and Kingston shared a moment. Miro has gotten himself over once again with fans. AEW doesn't punish performers for doing so. Great mic work from both here and a fun bit of brawling. I'm somehow even more excited for their title match tonight after watching this.

Redeem Deez Nuts shirts better be printed up tonight.

The handicap match...was a handicap match. Kris looked great, Hayter did well of course, and Rebel is...Rebel. It was okay for what it was. After, Velvet helped Stratlander avoid a beatdown. A building block at most. Just watch the YouTube clipped version.

Rampage's main event this week saw Red Death versus Darby Allin with Punk on commentary. I love the build to Punk/Darby as well as the way they've been booking Garcia the past few weeks. 2point0 and Sting were at ringside. Punk wore a Hart shirt. His beer rejection was gold, by the way. The match itself was good storytelling, nice action, and just very good stuff in general. The post-match moment was well done, too.

This installment was meant to promote All Out and they did pretty damn well to do exactly that. While the main event was the only match I'd recommend watching in full, the entire episode went down super easy. Rampage continues to be an hour of excitement.


On a Special Saturday Dark, 2point0 won a squash to kick us off.

YUTA and Black had a slightly competitive, short one.

Hart continues to improve and surely has a great future ahead of her.

Tony had Kojima and Mox on next for a moment to promote their match at All Out. They brawled.

Jade and Nyla Rose attacked and took out Hart and then Shida beat Missa Kate in about four minutes in a decent match.

The best match of the first half was easily Skye Blue versus Red Velvet and ended with a fun moment that saw Blue added to the Casino Battle Royale. Better than it should've been kind of match.

The Pinnacle's Shawn Spears and Wardlow continue to stack bodies as they pad their tag team record and waste time until something comes up for them. They're a decent duo. It was okay for what it was.

Dark Order's Meat Man and Ten took care of a couple of jobbers in the next one. Silver stacked 'em and dropped 'em with a double Samoan drop while throwing up the cat claw and then a decent sequence from the DO pair closed it.

Penelope Ford, accompanied by Bunny, came out and then took care of business by besting Queen Aminata in just over two minutes. Earlier in the episode, the two promoted their team while promising to take care of business in the Casino Battle Royale.

Dean Alexander couldn't go past three-minutes against The ELITE Hunter, Frankie Kazarian. Kaz, whom I'd like to take a moment to remind folks of the fact that he's the original Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Champion, feels a bit like he's treading water but I still like his occasional run-ins.

The semi-main event saw THAT BITCH run through Blair Onyx in about 50 seconds. While AEW continues to work on positioning her as an upper class greenhorn, I'm still not sold if I'm being honest. She's okay and Smart Mark is a good addition to help her get over, but I feel she still has a long way to go.

We close this special edition of AEW Dark with Chaos Project falling to Jurassic Express on the official go-home release ahead of All Out. Jungle Boy, a dude that will surely be main eventing big shows sooner than later, and Luchasaurus are such a fun team. Chaos Project have also won me over as a decent midcard team. Decent stuff here.

The Chick Magnet, CM Punk, came out to close the show in his AEW Dark debut while fans were still singing to Jungle Boy's music. He shook the hands of Taz and Excalibur, walked his ass down the ramp, and then joined Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy in the ring. He put them over, put the fans over, and sent everyone home happy because that's just who he is now. Good shit.

In all, this bonus edition of Dark was exactly what it needed to be this time around. Taz and Excalibur continue to have fun and are a great commentary duo. The matches remain largely short squashes to pad the records of talent as they work towards bigger matches or just tread water. There's also some little gems that will get overlooked on each one and that's true here, too. Check it out if you want.

Match of the Week: Mayu Iwatani vs Momo Watanabe