IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #417
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Thoughts on AEW Dynamite – March 29th, 2023
1. It’s Wednesday night, and you know what that means. It seems to be a fairly ROH-heavy card, can’t imagine why that might be…
2. We’ve got Jack Perry and Matt Hardy starting it out tonight, and given AEW’s propensity for great opening matches, this should be fun.
3. Tazz singing another theme also makes for a good omen of the evening. Someday I want to hear him singing the wrong lyrics to all the themes, and that will be the day the Lifetime HAM Award is claimed.
4. The commentators talk about Matt tapping too quickly to the Redrum. You mean the guy who was contractually forced into servitude to an alleged faction might not be motivated to grind out the pain of a submission move that’s been virtually unbroken for over a year? I’ll be damned.
5. Ethan Page does the most he’s done on Dynamite in a considerable amount of time. He holds up his hands to stop a dive. Stop the presses, the moon is coming to be pushed!
6. Two of the other Pillars are shown watching the match. Well, one is watching the match, the other told his mom he’s going to the movies so he could make out in the back row, but storylines being storylinin’. MJF ain’t doing any picture-in-picture cutaways though, you gotta give him the whole skybox and cut to it every eight seconds. Wade Barrett didn’t pay that penance there to be ignored.
7. This crowd is sending chants at someone standing ringside, so it’s going to be a good evening for participation, one can hope. This will be good, since the show does not exactly look well-attended.
8. Multiple heel distractions in a Dynamite match? There’s a rare sighting.
9. Hook, Hook, where’s the Hook? Junglehook lives! Ethan misses punching him and, according to Excalibur, “knocks Matt Hardy’s block off.” Which is like a punch in the fuck, but PG and Lego-based.
10. Speaking of doesn’t do picture-in-picture, MJF isn’t making out at the movies, here he comes for a post-match promo after JB gets the win.
11. There’s a Kanye reference on a crowd sign, and MJF makes a reference to it within a few lines of the promo. Serendipitous indeed. He goes into full shill mode about next week’s show, which is actually pretty funny, and he does put over his adversary a little bit in the process.
12. This is one of the best MJF promos in quite a while. There’s a story being told, rather than trying to get a reaction with something edgy/horrible. This is setting up the Pillars match incredibly well. Ya could’ve been a contendah, Jack!
13. I like JB’s different level of energy, it’s very subtle and straightforward. He puts over his adversary back, and it’s very compelling to see where these two characters are versus where they’ve been. And when he finally turns up the volume, it’s so well-placed.
14. It finally escalates into a fight, what great back-and-forth work between these two here. It’ll be interesting to see where the other two fit in storyline and character-wise, since I’m guessing a Four Pillars world title match is where this is eventually going. Fantastic segment, one of the best in a while.
15. Backstage, someone wants an interview with the Jackyl. Callis spins his Eddie Guerrero-esque fakeout into something that’s Kenny’s fault for his assumption. Fantastic douchebag gaslighting move right there.
16. The Acclaimed and Senior Ass seem perfectly willing to hang out with 2.0 despite laughing off their intentions previously. Biff and his hat even make a cameo. This is gloriously HAMmy.
17. Dalton Castle and the Boys are here, so the HAM levels are automatically up a few notches. The BCC is so heel that in addition to taking out their opponents from behind, Claudio hits someone so hard that he takes himself out in the process. That’s super damn heel right there.
18. I was excited to see Dalton Castle on the card, but this may be a flat out mauling. Maybe if the BCC spent more time doing this but as faces earlier on instead of getting mired in a losing effort with the JAS for months, things might’ve gone better for the stable. Regardless, they win in almost no time. What a waste of a Dalton Castle appearance, but I get that it builds up the BCC as dastardly heels more. Still…
19. Erstwhile, on Degrassi: The Elite Generation, stolen ambulances and urgent international matters. Also it sounds like the latter half of Excalibur’s narration was hushed like someone else was on the phone in the room.
20. Can we get RJ City doing backstage interviews again? This guy asks more obvious questions than a sportstalk call-in show. Hangman gets interrupted by Don Callis, because it’s an AEW interview after all, and both of them also get mauled by the BCC. Damn, they angry. Jon Moxley passes off his bleeding powers to Callis, that was nice of him.
21. Omega against Cobb is next, so I’m guessing Cole is the main event. That or Cassidy, but I’m guessing it’s the former given the gravitas given to his return. This time, Tony now goes backstage to get a word with Omega, who didn’t know Don got attacked. They’re really packing a lot of quick build into this story, I like it. Slow burns are great, but sometimes the burns are so slow that you forget there’s a spark for a while.
22. I’m guessing that this is Kenny Omega’s New Japan entrance theme and aesthetic? I like it, but I haven’t seen enough to know for sure. Kenny gets a massive chant, and let’s see if he continues his streak of fantastic singles matches, even while distracted.
23. Maybe it’s just the angle and the light, but those close seats in the front few rows look damn comfortable for arena seats. Like luxurious enough I expect to see Marlins Guy sitting in one.
24. For those who complain that AEW doesn’t explain things that the casual viewer is potentially unaware of, they explain what IWGP means and its connection to the current circumstances. They’ve gotten better about that since the buildup to Forbidden Door.
25. Cobb has Rhyno early years energy to me, and not just the look. The way he’s dominating a good portion of this match reminds me of it as well. Tazz accidentally calls him Hobbs, and I think that’s also apropos, style-wise.
26. I had no idea Tosh.0 was still a thing, but someone in the front row is apparently a big fan.
27. This is a really fantastic match in a completely different style than the showcase last week, and the crowd is fully invested. It reminds me of the awful comment I accidentally saw recently on a video, that Omega was a main-eventer in NJPW but would always be midcard in AEW. Yeah, the longest-reigning AEW champion, forever toiling in the midcard as you do. Sometimes I think people just throw up buzzwords about things they don’t like because they think liking something makes them less smart or something. Anyway, Omega ends up winning, and seemingly effortlessly hoists Cobb up over his head for the One-Winged Angel. That was a lot of fun, as Omega continues selling the injury.
28. The BCC comes out again, Shield-style, and they surround the ring as Kenny attempts to recover. Not the music I was expecting to hear making the save, it’s… Bryan Danielson? Oh, so they do remember he was in that stable, good for them.
29. Bryan reaches down a hand after several attempts at contemplation. But oh snap, Yuta goes after Kenny, and Danielson attacks from behind. Now it’s four-on-one. Cutler and security fail dramatically to intervene. Bold move, turning Danielson heel too. Or, rather, acknowledging his heelness again, considering he was always riding that tweener line pretty closely. I guess they needed a fourth guy to match up with the eventual full re-unification of Hangman and the Elite.
30. The Juniors Ass continue to talk more shit. They’re wearing a Jackson Hole t-shirt, so I guess they’ve been fishing with Mr. Feeny. Free agency looms ominously.
31. The International Championship match is up next, which definitely means Adam Cole is in the main event. I wonder if those continued shenanigans with Triple J and the Carny Crew will have some involvement here.
32. Excalibur really struggles with the pre-match rundown. Must’ve been the Jefferson Airplane having a low number of BPM, he couldn’t get Micro Machines level going. The heel shenanigans continue, as seems to be the theme tonight, and Blade sets a record in quickness of getting kicked out of a match.
33. Cassidy cares a microcosm more than usual, it almost looked like enthusiastic effort for a second. He’s got a reputation to think about here, that’s awfully dangerous. You’re going against Tempi here, there’s no use pretending to be someone else to beat a redshirt. Faking your identity is not with the Lethani.
34. There weren’t enough heel shenanigans yet, and the Blade manages to come back and interfere again. The BFFs, somehow finally realizing their friend might’ve been outnumbered, come out and make the save. Orange Cassidy gets the win in a very similar match to the opening one. Still, perfectly serviceable. I like the story they’re telling with the number of title defenses catching up with OC in terms of physical health as well as tactics he has to use to keep the streak going. When you’re not as young as Hook and Jade, anyway.
35. Speaking of Jade, she managed to find herself some more echoers. I still haven’t figured out why Sterling was fired for Stokely, only for Sterling to just come back like nothing happened, but… fine.
36. Next we’ve got a really personal match, as opposed to these friendly exhibitions we’re used to in weekly wrestling. The former hardcore allies EXPLODE!
37. Before that though, Juice is here to HAM it up about a match with Ricky’s crash test dummy, Action Andretti.
38. Willow’s here, so we’re all purple and happy. I’m begging for some progress in this feud. I already miss the Rancid theme. Yes, I know it’s way too happy and peppy to be a heel theme, but I feel like when you’re badass enough to be able to use the name of a song protagonist personally, it transcends crowd alignment. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking to distract myself from the neon spray paint schtick.
39. The other Outcasts are at ringside and none of the originals are, so maybe the Outcasts deserve to win simply because the Originals wait until shit goes down to arrive. Considering every single match tonight has been full of dastardly heelery deeds, one might take a cue for some preventative maintenance at the very least.
40. Holy shit, there was outside heel interference, who saw that coming?
41. Before the break, Excalibur says this is a battle between former “fartners.” I feel bad for him, he’s been struggling tonight a lot, but I also can’t not laugh at that one.
42. They try to get the boo/yay exchange going, and it’s not been done yet tonight, so that’s a good thing. Given that we’ve seen a lot of the same tropes repeated tonight, anything fresh is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. In the words of the man himself when he made that reference in Fat Burner 2.0, “the people who know know.”
43. Aubrey Edwards somehow doesn’t manage to see three different interference spots, feet on the ropes, AND Toni holding her feet on the ropes. And what a shock, a three-on-one attack too. And yet again, Riho’s music hits, and she and Skye Blue run out for the save. However, this time instead of running away, they continue dominating almost immediately. Before Riho gets the Mean Girls treatment, Jamie Hayter stops things from going down. So this time, it was multiple saves to get to a similar conclusion, but at least it reflects the next title match, I guess? There’s slow burn and then there’s fucking stalling.
44. Did I hear correctly that Daniel Garcia is looking to upset the premiere of All Access? I get what they’re going for there, but it’s strangely phrased.
45. I’m surprised Adam Cole comes out first. Well, after a brief crash course on the Book of Hobbs. It’s hard to believe he’s been out for 276 days, but he was definitely missed. Given all the heel turns lately too, it’s good to have a fresh face, pun intended.
46. I know they have to plug the premiere of All Access, but they’re almost treating Dynamite like a preview for it, which is odd.
47. Garcia is announced before his low-key (no Senshi) music hits, and it gets a similar reaction as it did last week.
48. Are they doing “Adam Cole, Bay Bay” to the Seven Nation Army/Scissor Me Daddy notes? Of all the songs in my life that I expected to be so ubiquitous for so long in so many sports, it was not that one.
49. This show feels like a finale, part one of a movie series. It’s not that what’s happening is bad, it’s just that they’re clearly stalling until other things and/or events happen. I guess that’s what you have to do when the nearest (non-ROH) PPV is still a ways away, but they’ve shown they’re capable of putting out excellent content while being months away from the big show (no Paul Wight.) See: January 2023.
50. El Hiro del Vikingo vs. Komander at the ROH show on Friday? That’ll be something to see, no hyperbole whatsoever.
51. Like Danielson and Hangman, it is really difficult to see the head worked with Adam Cole. I know it’s part of the gig, and they acknowledge concussion history like any other injury, but it still makes me so uncomfortable.
52. Adam Cole wins to the surprise of literally nobody, but the point of this was to see him back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the BCC come out to attack him just to get more mega-heat and capstone the show. Instead, Britt Baker makes her way to the ring, which will be a chance to preview All Access again, and it’s also a very sweet moment.
53. Not the music I expected to hear cut off the moment, but it’s something. Jericho comes out to sparkle, sparkle, sparkle. The crowd keeps trying to sing Judas, but they completely fall apart after “December Snow.” Jericho seems more mad about all the streamers. Why? Streamers rule! Long live the stream!
54. Jericho stops to almost look back at Adam Cole, and… then he doesn’t. Thanks for coming, I guess. That definitely deserved a full entrance theme.
55. I don’t like when flagship shows feel like setups for something else, and this had that vibe on a pretty significant level. The rest of my thoughts on the show itself? Once again, Finale, Part One vibes. Spinning their wheels a bit. It was definitely great seeing Adam Cole wrestle again, but it felt like more of a setup for the new show than an event in and of itself. I don’t know, just weird to me. The Danielson return was unexpected, and him going heel again fits the need for a fourth pretty well. I hope the injury on the Bucks’ part doesn’t derail or delay that eventual 4v4. The MJF/Jungle Boy promo-off was excellent on both sides, that must be said again too.
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
2/10/23 – STIIIIIIING
2/15/23 – Ruby Soho
2/17/23 – Dustin Rhodes
2/22/23 – Chris Jericho
2/24/23 – Matt Hardy
3/1/23 – Big Bill
3/3/23 – Jungle Boy
3/5/23 – MJF
3/8/23 – Anthony Bowens
3/10/23 – Riho
3/15/23 – MJF/Darby Allin/Jungle Boy/Sammy Guevara
3/22/23 – STIIIIIING
3/29/23 – Juice Robinson
He came off pretty eccentric in his pre-tape, and it’s a new name to add to the list.