IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #423
Support: Donate here
Thoughts on AEW Dynamite – April 19th, 2023
1. It’s Wednesday night, and what a quiet wrestling news week it’s been, eh? I spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh once upon a time, but it’s been so long since I’ve been there. The last time I went through, I made sure to go out of my way to drive through the Fort Pitt tunnel with David Bowie’s “Heroes” playing.
2. Jungle Boy comes out first, and the crowd continues singing his song, which of course prompts Taz to add some as well. It’s an AEW promo, so he gets interrupted in about three seconds by Sammy. I assume he’ll be trying to make himself… shall we say, less endearing than his promo work has been since this feud started? He’s been cutting some sympathetic face promos but then remembers to say the town sucks.
3. Two interruptions, Darby Allin comes out to re-enact the first Four Pillars promo, minus MJF and cake. I assume now MJF will be coming out to complete the trope? They’ve each occupied a corner, only makes sense. Darby and Jack both got great reactions.
4. Darby says more than two words, and says that Sammy is least qualified to fight for the title because he’s a follower. That’s an interesting angle to take. Also to add, a promo about Jericho holding someone back, and for once it’s not directed at Daniel Garcia. That’s refreshing.
5. Darby talks some trash to Jungle Boy which gets him booed, saying he got there because he’s part of the California clique, and got hired while Darby was living in his car. JB responds with some facepaint analysis, saying that the kids need to know what he’s really like. Basically calls him a hipster, more or less, and that it wasn’t his first choice to even be a wrestler. Sammy leans back on the ropes and takes in the hot takes.
6. JB turns to Sammy, who does his best “wait, what the hell did I do?” Both of them seem to really respect Sammy though, so the consistency of putting over the other pillars has been really good. Then JB calls him a “scumbag piece of shit” which gets a chant of that going.
7. Now it’s time for Sammy to respond, and compares JB directly to MJF. The golden children, he calls them. He brings up that neither he nor Darby were on the most recent PPV, but JB and MJF were. I really freaking love this, they all have good moments. They keep aligning one with the other in different ways, and this time Sammy compares himself to Darby for doing what they had to in order to make it. That gets polite applause.
8. I wonder who the “they” putting the glass ceiling on them is supposed to be? Sammy’s a heel, so it could be anyone.
9. Oh, there’s MJF, after everyone gets their time to shine. He immediately manages to get himself some heat for trashing Britt Baker, well done. He manages to throw in a Teddy Long reference, Darby Allin gets a “bye,” and the Pillar matches have begun. I didn’t expect it to be anything but a four-way at Double or Nothing, so I’m intrigued to see how this turns out.
10. The Four Pillars tournament will officially begin tonight with JB fighting Sammy, winner facing Darby with his bye next week, and the winner of that gets to face MJF. I don’t always hope for shenanigans, but this time I will. I really wanted to see the four-way.
11. The Outcasts have gotten significantly greener, but let’s hope they make actual storyline progress now. Saraya tries to take a Terrible Towel and fails. I’m from Cleveland, I’ll reserve my judgment on that one. Oh that DMD pop though!
12. The fight starts upstage as the DMD chant continues. The taunting of the DMD folx in the front row continues, and Saraya shenanigans of course take place too. The crowd is nuclear for this, including a super near fall by Toni Storm.
13. DMD with a Panama Sunrise gets another nearfall. Britt gets the Lockjaw in, and dammit Ruby Soho loses again. Faces win, those damn towels fly everywhere. Britt didn’t lose in her hometown because that’s allowed here. So, faces win clean… now what?
14. Wardlow is backstage for an interview, and despite being from Cleveland, wrestled a lot on the Pittsburgh indies so I’m hoping he gets a good reception. Oh shock, it gets interrupted, but by… jet-lagged Arn Anderson? Can safely say I didn’t see that coming. Is he going to teach Wardlow to prevent future car burglary with his mime handgun?
15. The Elite and their neon synthwave galaxy storm are here. The Kansas song carries on (yes wayward son) longer than I thought it would, and they’re in super serial mode. It’s one of those monotone “you’ve done it now” promos, and it’s perfectly well placed considering everything that’s happened in the buildup of this storyline. Kenny talks about settling it in the ring, and there’s no double meaning going on here whatsoever, I assure you.
16. Danielson comes on the screen and a huge cheer goes up. Because faces are not allowed to know things, they don’t turn around and look, and the rest of the BCC attacks. It turns into a brawl while it’s three-on-three because Danielson couldn’t be bothered to come down from the Amateur Board. It’s back and forth in terms of momentum. and now the DMD folx have to deal with Mox getting thrown into them too. This is an appropriate and well-placed brawl.
17. In case you weren’t aware, there’s an injured bicep involved here. They really should’ve mentioned it, that’s good information to know…
18. The Internet has been wonky so I apologize for some of the lack of detail, I missed some parts of this and the tag match.
19. Danielson finally comes out to call everyone amateurs again, apparently except for Kenny. Don comes out with a chair, gets noticed, and then runs the whole way back. Somehow while being a smarmy jerk, Danielson still puts over his enemies, but this time for sitting on his potential. Danielson gets out the screwdriver, but oh snap, there’s Takeshita! About time we followed up on those hints! Hell yeah, what a moment for him. Yuta is the proxy for the turnaround. How quickly things have changed, Takeshita had Danielson’s back not too long ago. Finally they’re doing something with Takeshita instead of just hinting at it. Surprised to see a lack of Hangman though, considering he’s been a part of this too. Awesome segment.
20. The house sound remains on while the ring announcer works the crowd a bit during the break. It cuts out after they mention the TNT title match.
21. There’s a Howling Wolf (no blues), though I really miss the dramatic lead-up to Wardlow’s entrances from last year. I can’t really tell what his reception is, but there’s Arn Anderson with him. Oh, there’s the reason Arn is involved, QT screwed him over like three years ago. Damn, there’s some continuity!
22. This match is intriguing because I don’t know who can afford to lose more. Wardlow desperately needs momentum, but Hobbs is early in his title run and has been absolutely dominant so far.
23. Heavy Wardlow chants, and they actually mention the International Wrestling Cartel! Oh that’s so awesome, I never thought I’d see the day where they’re referenced on national TV like that. A lot of names went through there who are now regularly featured by both major companies.
24. It’s a match where QT Marshall is involved, so there are more shenanigans at ringside. Arn hasn’t gotten out the glock yet, and I’m highly disappointed. Those Botchamania outtakes were gold from that segment.
25. Wardlow doing a Swanton will never not be amazing, no matter how many times he does it. QT gets in the ring and fights with the ref, but there comes Arn and his track suit! And it’s the GLOCK! Who is waiting for QT but Penta! The whole title run is coming back to bite Hobbs in the ass.
26. Hobbs goes for the Simon Miller Special and fails, but finally returning to AEW, Powerbomb Symphony! Haven’t seen that in a while. Wardlow gets the win and is TNT champion again!
27. Before anything can happen, rip-off Evanescence hits, and oh snap, is Demon Kane Luchasaurus the next challenger? That’ll be a lot of fun! Wardlow gets rid of one annoying gnat of a manager and upgrades to Christian.
28. Backstage, Sammy gets an interview so of course it’s interrupted by MJF trying to kiss up to him because heels. MJF is doing what MJF do and trying to get himself some allies in the fight against JB and Darby. He offers Sammy a blank check, because I guess MJF ran over his bike and he’s gotta get his dolla before Juice. The amount he wrote down apparently makes MJF very happy and they’re buddies now. Nothing will go wrong whatsoever.
29. Jay White against Komander is next, and while I’m sad to see Komander in an obviously losing situation yet again, you don’t risk much credibility if you lose to Switchblade. Shawn Spears is at ringside, so that’s a thing.
30. This has been a hot crowd all night, but after both Wardlow and DMD’s big moments, I’m not surprised that they’ve quieted a bit, regardless of who’s in the ring. I’m sure some Komander offense will pick them back up later in the match.
31. Komander does some ridiculous springboard moves that I won’t even attempt to describe because I’ll come down right this side of “what a maneuver” but holy shit.
32. There’s continued involvement of Shawn Spears being a distraction. I’m sure there’s a connection there but I’m unaware of it at the moment. Maybe that’s who Ricky Starks will end up allying with to take on Juice and Jay?
33. Instead of a ten count, Switchblade spells out his name, but it’s contrasted with the crowd counting numbers.
34. Komander gets a nearfall, and Excalibur says that Switchblade almost “got got.” I was unaware that Komander was Little Jimmy.
35. Komander gets a comeback and does his tightrope walk dive to the outside, and there’s the crowd coming back. Shawn Spears gives it a 10. Hah. Komander follows up with the Shooting Star Press, but Jay gets away long enough that the pin doesn’t work. Komander is just unreal with this offense. One miss is enough for Jay White to take advantage, and he gets the win. Despite the winner being obvious, that really was a ton of fun. Except Spears, he gives it a 5.
36. Juice is really offended by fives and little kids with backpacks, because he ends up fighting with Spears. Perfect spot for Ricky Starks to make the save. Jay ducks the spear, which makes it hitting on Juice look even more badass somehow, like it got a powerup in the process or something.
37. Renee, the busiest person in AEW, shows FTR that someone attacked Mark Briscoe backstage, but Triple J and the Carny gang were already there. Mark yells to interrupt everyone arguing. Okay? Mark opts for Jay and Jeff teaming with FTR to balance it out. Jay finally agrees to do it “for his friend.” This is strange.
38. Chris Jericho comes out next, and Judas continues during the break screen. That’s happened multiple times tonight now.
39. We come back just in time for Adam Cole, who also wrestled in the area a considerable amount I do believe. He’s also with DMD, so that won’t hurt his reception there. Great new camera angle to capture the crowd participation on the “boom!”, nice touch.
40. Cole references how much he was inspired by Jericho, even that story about his catch phrase coming from… I believe it was the cocky pin back in the day, right? I didn’t realize this was their first time in the ring together though, and face Adam Cole has a ton of respect for Hellraiser Shredder jacket.
41. They shake hands, which gets mild applause. Jericho’s the heel though, so he doesn’t return the respect because him helping out Keith Lee was unacceptable. I’ve heard of weirder reasons to start a feud. Though I heard a comment on Fightful about that during a live stream where someone said “so Adam Cole finally did become Keith Lee’s manager after all?” Ded.
42. Jericho has MINIONS! His MINIONS! As long as it’s not those little yellow ones. And hey, a “stupid idiot” chant callback. They’ve been leaning into the nostalgia tonight, but not in a distracting way.
43. Speaking of nostalgia, Jericho goes into his 2008-era monotone, and says Cole should’ve never met his heroes. Odd to hear that referenced in-character. Jericho provokes him, and the brawl breaks out. Of course it takes 4 seconds for Garcia to hit the ring because heels. Britt Baker is the one who makes the save? Damn, that’s badass. I expected Keith Lee, but get that hometown pop like they did with Aubrey in Seattle. She slaps the hell out of him, but uh oh, the Outcasts magically came from under the ring.
44. Garcia locks Cole to the ropes, and while the Outcasts hold down Britt, Jericho gets a kendo stick. Cole dares him to hit him, but instead he sees the opportunity to let the Outcasts use it on DMD. Where the hell are all the faces? Jamie? The rest of Team Originals? Keith Lee? This seems unusual. We know Jamie is here, at minimum. Britt takes a ton of kendo shots, and Saraya hugs Jericho. I did not expect those two stables to be coming together. At least this was something different in the Originals feud, I’ll give them that. I struggle to make complete sense of it for the aforementioned reasons, but it was still really effective.
45. More of a preview for the Ultimate Deletion thing. Jeff Hardy says “be there or be triangular.” Um…. sure.
46. Oh hey, more JAS, time for the nearly stabby-nippled side to get the rap directed at them. This one felt like he was more on his game again, so that was nice. They don’t get to finish the catch phrase, so I assume they’ll get to at the end of this segment. Lot of the attacking before the match trope tonight, but as we’re building to the PPV, I don’t think that’s a bad thing necessarily. The past complaint has been a lethargic buildup but a spectacular AEW PPV, and I don’t think that’s been the case for this one. Outside of the Outcasts storyline, at least.
47. This is apparently a high-stakes trios match. I suppose when you’ve brought out literal scissors, that’s a step above a screwdriver, which has been used with the trios champions, so it makes sense within the division.
48. There’s a loaded comb. That’s the most devastating random loaded object since No Way Out 1998! The crowd shifts between loud and dead silent a lot. The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass get the win, which isn’t much of a surprise, but it was still fun all the same. I’m surprised this match wasn’t on Rampage, given that the build for it almost exclusively happened there.
49. The main event, Sammy against Jack Perry, is next. The PDA entrance gets some flashing Kane pyro, and gosh, poor Tay. Was the last time she was in a match the tag team bloodfest with Ruby and Willow? Anyway, I’m still really surprised this is the avenue they’re taking for the Double or Nothing title match, but I’ll wait and see where it goes before I decide how I feel about it.
50. Ooh, this time in the break screen, we get the treat of hearing more of Sammy’s entrance theme. The sound mixing is definitely different than usual tonight. JB main-evented Rampage last week and now gets another singles match in the main event tonight, good for him.
51. There doesn’t seem to be much of a reaction to JB’s theme at first until you see that a good bit of the crowd is involved. Not sure what’s up with the sound mix tonight, they did sound louder earlier tonight.
52. This has a real “big fight” feel to it, and the intensity of this show has rarely gone down start-to-finish, so that’s a really good way to keep it going strong all night. Dynamite doesn’t usually have two lengthy promos like that, so it did build time between the matches.
53. Darby is back up in the rafters, I assume just glad that he’s not at a WWA PPV where the camera forgets to look for him for way too long.
54. These two have amazing chemistry together. This is a great match for the main event.
55. The impact DDT that Sammy hits scared the absolute hell out of me. Looked like he spiked him right on his head, and I’m hoping that’s just part of the illusion.
56. They both hit big moves on each other so they’re both down for the count. Jack gets in the Snare Trap, and even though “no one gets out of it” I guess the rope break doesn’t count? Either way, the match continues.
57. There’s a dueling chant for and against Sammy. Holy shit, Jack just got sent off the ring apron and went head first into the table! Oh good JBL that was fucking nasty-looking, worked or not. Sammy uses a ref distraction for MJF to hit JB with the ring, and he wins by countout. They have a big rolling hug and a celebration. There’s no way this is going to end up in a singles match, I’m sorry. MJF and Sammy keep HAMming it up, Darby looks on in mild disapproval.
58. This was a really good show, but damn it was a darker episode. We had that extended Cole/Britt beatdown and then the heel getting the win to end the show. This is setting up the PPV really nicely though. I really love where this all seems to be going, and with the PPV still a month away, it’s plenty of time to build right up to it and then pay it off in tremendous fashion. Felt like there was a lot of movement in the storyline sense too, and that was needed.
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
3/31/23 – Eddie Kingston
4/5/23 – MJF
4/7/23 – Darby Allin/Julia Hart
4/12/23 – STIIIIIIIIING
4/14/23 – 2.0/Biff Hager
Sammy and MJF are both contenders, Mark was simply for his weird yell. Saraya mugging for the camera gets a mention too. I think I have to give it to Sammy though, as his sudden shift from “we’re not friends” to “overly enthusiastic BFFL” was Matt Berry levels of HAM.