IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #404
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Thoughts on Dynamite – February 8th, 2023
1. I finally saw Cobra Kai season 5, and suddenly Paul Walter Hauser being on AEW TV makes a lot more sense. Him doing a rendition of “Judas” was the second-most surprising thing I noticed though. I didn’t catch it in the dark tones of the Kreese flashbacks, but this season, bright and sunny, I couldn’t help but notice the young Terry Silver actor looked awfully familiar. Turns out it was my friend and university classmate Nick Marini. That was so cool to see. I interviewed him a few years ago, you can find it at the bottom of this column if you so desire. Helluva nice guy, and it was extremely obvious in school what a talented performer he is. Anyway…
2. It’s Wednesday night, and you know what that means: AEW Dynamite, live tonight from El Paso. We start off with MJF really playing up the 2024 thing and a sign that says “Africa is not a country.” I fear that Takeshita is back to the position he was, where he’s about to put on an amazing match and come up just short after finally winning one, but stranger things have happened. This crowd seems hot, hopefully they get a good show to match the energy.
3. How Takeshita fell for the fake handshake with MJF, I’ll never know, but heels gotta heel, I guess. Interesting shaped building, or at least it appears to be. Looks like it’s a rather intimate setting as well, so that might make the sound even louder.
4. The dueling chants about MJF aren’t the best sign for Takeshita, but he’s been getting better reactions as he’s been proving himself for some time. He gets a massive one with the Eddie Guerrero tribute, and I recognize how important the Guerreros are to the area, but they aren’t exclusive to El Paso. How many wrestlers are still getting acknowledged and huge tributes with great reactions 17 years after their deaths? That really says a lot.
5. MJF insults the crowd and gets his head thrown into the ringpost for the trouble. The crowd chants “you deserve it!” which flabbergasts Tazz. Did I just see Ghostface sitting in the front row of the lower level?
6. What a series of reversals after MJF lands on his feet after a lariat off the top rope. This is so much fun. MJF bites Takeshita’s arms, because that’s so much more of a thing in AEW than I think I realized until recently. Bites and backscratchies, Wrestling 2023.
7. Pardon the interruption, I’ve lost the feed randomly.
8. Came back just in time to see Takeshita tap out, that’s unfortunate. I didn’t expect him to win but he made a damn good showing. MJF gonna MJF though and he uses the Dynamite diamond ring, and the beatdown continues. Danielson’s music hits and yep, this crowd is hot for everyone. This is gonna be a great night.
9. Feed went out again, what the shit.
10. Takeshita is bleeding quite a bit after one shot, did he get it worse than the ref?
11. Samoa Joe gets a pretape putting over Darby Allin in the process, but he’s truly not fond of Wardlow. He hints that he has many secrets, but I mean, once you’ve wrestled a T-Rex, what else is there?
12. Butcher and the Blade’s music hits, which means only one thing: put the children to bed, the most devastating sight in wrestling is happening. The Bunny comes out with the gang, and… she tilted her head!
13. There goes the feed for a third time. This never happens, now it’s gone out enough that it’s got an error code twice in the first half hour.
14. Bunny suplexes Hayter into the ring steps, damn that looked harsh. Also, compliments to @aewglam for the incredible makeup works, as per usual.
15. I’m glad to hear that Hayter is still so massively over. She along with the Acclaimed were the ones that booking plans had to be changed to accommodate. Imagine, altering plans to give people what they’re reacting to more than anything else, what a weird concept.
16. Penelope Ford with the Indy cheap heat go-to; tearing up a sign. Hayter then hits The Bunny with… something. That did not look right. The ref checks on her, and then Hayter ends the match immediately. Now they’re zooming in on Hayter et al. That’s… not good. I joke about the gimmick a bit but I really hope she’s okay.
17. Backstage, team Anti-Original, Storm and Saraya, is about to do the L thing by attacking a random blue-haired (edit: Leva Bates. Apologies)
18. We’re getting a lot of camera time with the commentators, I think maybe we’re making up for the time that match was taking up. I really hope The Bunny is all right.
19. We come back to recaps and more camera time for the commentators. Nope, not buying time at all.
20. We go backstage with MJF being a bloody sleaze. He does his best Johnny Lawrence impression about his high school days, telling a story about That Girl from his junior year, complete with certain gestures. Then they hit a telephone pole. He then managed to switch them? He then turns up the HAM to 11. This was a journey.
21. Now time for the latest JAS feud that won’t die, Neon Electric Ricky Starks against the gauntlet in order to face the guy he already beat, or something. I don’t know. I’ve been really sick since Saturday, I apologize if I’m out of it or not going into enough detail.
22. Starks wins against the lesser of the two HAMs, and Daddy Magic, the Grandmaster of HAM gets the Simon Miller Special immediately. Garcia comes out but gets cut off halfway by Sammy’s theme. Garcia’s annoyed this week instead of going along with it like last. Oh snap, he’s gotta beat both? Oh no, who could’ve possibly seen those kind of shenanigans coming? It’s like they put their name on it or something.
23. Tazz uses the phrase “fancy britches” so expect anything tonight, folx, we’ve got a loose one.
24. Starks and Garcia work really well together. Sammy… has a really cool vest. And now we’ve got the boo-yay exchange, put it on your AEW Bingo cards.
25. Shenanigans time, a masked wrestler hits Starks from the outside. It’s totally authentic, since the security guard was standing literally right there and not doing anything. I have no idea who this could be, holy shit. I’m so surprised. At least he had to besmirch himself by wearing a Scissor Me Daddy Ass shirt for an hour first. That means this feud is going to go even longer. Joy.
26. The Acclaimed are backstage with Bitter Billy Gunn, who was totally fine for ass-cement playtime, but drew the line at brawling over insults. He says he’s gonna stay in the back. Nobody will be pistolwhipped due to the amount of shenanigans this match will definitely not contained.
27. I love that AEW brought back the moving graphic match cards. No other thoughts about that, I just appreciate it.
28. Backstage with Danielson and Takeshita and… oh good JBL, another interruption. But it’s an 80s comedy plot twist because they appear to have been locked in. “Hey Danielson, that’s not really a camera crew, they’re just buddies of mine!”
29. Rush comes out but we get the privilege of MJF with more mic time. He’s wearing Lakers colors, he says some gross shit to Aubrey, and limpin’ ain’t easy. He wants Aubrey to ring the big bell.
30. Danielson finally kicks the door down and leaves Takeshita to deal with the other two goons. He gets to the ring just in time to get chopped by Rush, but at least he wasn’t counted out. Best of luck, Takeshita! Good luck with that whole two on one thing!
31. MJF gets on commentary too. Oh good, we get to hear more of him. That’s nice, he hasn’t had a lot of promo time lately.
32. Danielson’s already marked up from those chops and the moves he’s taken. All this to avoid the heh… IRON man match.
33. MJF is being MJF on commentary, and Danielson is bleeding excessively because Mox isn’t here to bleed on someone’s sign like last week. Maybe Rush saw that the BCC’s gimmicks all had blood on them and just thought he’d appreciate the authenticity. Even the ringside camera has blood splattered on it.
34. Danielson comes off the top rope with a front dropkick and we get a close zoom in on the gloop of the night from Rush. So glad we got to see that. I also think Rush went for the Goozle. Now we’ve got ourselves a boo/yay chop off.
35. Danielson taking piledrivers still makes me nervous every time I see it, but it looks like Rush protected him well. Rush kicks out of Danielson’s finisher and has looked incredible in this match. What a great string of matches for Danielson and everyone he’s put over in the process. Now… a headbutt…off. That was certainly a thing that happened. Danielson finally wins with the running knee on the second try. Most of it was a lot of fun.
36. MJF starts heading to the ring yet again, and he gets the shot with the Dynamite ring yet again. I wasn’t sure if MJF was a heel yet, I’m glad to be filled in. If only Danielson had a stable that was supposed to have his back…
37. A couple of guys with a show tie-in steal Floyd the Bat.
38. Trios title time, and Top Flight and AR Fox getting their shot against the Elite. I feel like it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a true blue Elite match, weirdly enough.
39. The fast pace is exactly what’s expected out of these guys. Top Flight has a bit more of an edge to them as usual, and hey, they all got matching gimmicks.
40. So many dives, so little time. If this is your kinda style, it’s pure fun. If it’s not, well… the next tag match will likely be quite tonally different. Matt Jackson nearly gets a damn triple pin, wow!
41. Even Don on commentary is putting over Top Flight huge. I believe I heard a “fight forever” chant going. AR gets a near fall, barely saved by Kenny Omega. El Paso is getting some wrestling tonight.
42. The Elite nearly get a pin on a badly-timed Meltzer Driver, but this has been absolutely incredible all around. AR gets another near-fall on Omega. He gets another after reversing a One-Winged Angel, and then Omega finally gets a roll-up win after going 100 mph the whole time.
43. Ohai Hook, it’s been a while. What’s new with you, other than the volume being way down on your highlight reel? So that’s what he’s been up to, a recap? But hey, then we get Stokely HAMming it up about Hook, right as he’s about to come up behind him. Oh Stokely, you’ve been around long enough to know that nobody gets through a promo without an interruption.
44. The tag team championships will be defended in the main event, and it’s already been a wild night, so I’m expecting more of the same to end it out here.
45. I’m barely staying awake, as I feel like hell. At least it’s not as bad as it was Saturday night, but I want to finish this column.
46. Acclaimed with their standard opening, complete with an insult in Spanish which gets a huge pop. I’ve got a feeling that this has been built up so much that something’s going down. Perhaps FTR will be avenging their alleged funeral? They love to have a title match followed by an immediate return in the main event.
47. Ref bump, here it comes. Does Daddy Ass turn a second time? No, he grabs the title and doesn’t let the cheap title hit happen. He gets a title shot to the head for his efforts instead. The Acclaimed get their finisher set up, but that ref got K’d the F O, so they can’t quite make it happen.
48. Two straight slow counts, but then a title to the head. Another freaking roll-up finish, and the Gunns win. I had a feeling it was going to happen, but it still feels like something huge happened. What a run it’s been since All Out.
49. No surprise return, the crowd chants “bullshit” and they’re not any happier than the crowd was when Swerve in Our Glory retained the first time. What a down note to end on. A lot of down notes tonight, heels getting away with a ton, and general uneasiness to boot. And minimum three roll-up finishes, that’s really lazy.
50. That said, a lot of really damn good wrestling filled out this show, and the crowd was in it until the last minute or two, so can’t complain too much. There was a bit much of one feud dominating the show throughout the first half, but that doesn’t happen often enough to make it too big of a deal.
1/4/23 – The Gunns
1/11/23 – Daddy Magic
1/13/23 – Danhausen
1/18/23 – Sonjay Dutt
1/20/23 – Stokely Hathaway
1/25/23 – Tony Schiavone
1/27/23 – Danhausen
2/1/23 – Jade Cargill
2/3/23 – Ethan Page
2/8/23 – MJF
Much as I thought it was overdone tonight, I gotta go with MJF turning it up to 11 after his weird high school “at least it wasn’t Katie Vick” story turns.
I’m going to bed, hope y’all are well at least.