You won’t see this in WWE in 2021
Wednesday’s edition of AEW Dynamite was a perfect example of why this is the best time in decades to be a fan of pro wrestling.
AEW, which has grown in just under three years to become a real force in the wrestling industry, is the first company in 20 years to give wrestling fans a legitimate alternative to WWE. The company has really been hitting its stride lately and delivering the kinds of moments that fans just won’t see in the kid-friendly WWE. For example: a guy crashing through a table that had just been set on fire.
Cody Rhodes and Andrade (both former WWE wrestlers) faced off in an “Atlanta Street Fight” match on Dynamite this week in Rhodes’s hometown. For the uninitiated, a street fight is a match where the wrestlers are allowed to use all sorts of weapons without being disqualified. That creates room for them to be more violent than in a typical match and get creative with their violence. In Wednesday’s match, Andrade hit Rhodes with a laptop.
But it was the spectacular finish to the match that had everybody talking. Throughout the match, the fans chanted “we want tables” and when it came time for the long-awaited table spot, they were not disappointed. Rhodes had Andrade perched atop the turnbuckle, waiting to send him crashing through the table below. That’s when Rhodes’s wife, Brandi, appeared in the ring, doused the table with lighter fluid and set it aflame. Rhodes suplexed Andrade but it was Rhodes who ended up absorbing the brunt of the punishment.
The sight of Rhodes with a flame still burning on his shoulder as he pinned Andrade was incredible. (And Andrade’s awareness to smother the flame while making it look like he was fighting out of the pin was also impressive.)
Rhodes was wearing burn protection gel on his back throughout the match (which you can see in this video) but it didn’t spare him completely. Here’s what his back looked like after the match.
The flaming table spot is a wrestling classic but it’s not the kind of thing you’ll ever see on WWE television in 2021. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but for fans who like their wrestling to have more of an edge, it’s an example of what makes AEW so appealing.
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