IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #424
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Thoughts on AEW Dynamite – April 26th, 2023
1. It’s Wednesday night, and Dark Elevation is no more, making room for more live, primetime content allegedly to come.
2. Orange Cassidy seeing a common spot on the show, the opening match so that “Jane” can get that early pop. Orange Cassidy: Fighting Champion defending for the 20th time, which seems ridiculous. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, and yet…
3. They continue with the angle of OC reaching a burnout state from all the matches and defenses he’s had, and facing Bandido won’t make it any easier on him. He’s got a bit of a Zorro look going on.
4. A pair of OC aviators came in this month’s ProWrestlingTees crate, but they were bent so badly that they wouldn’t have been wearable on the four days of sunshine we get between November and April in Minnesota anyway. That was slightly less strange than a Taz shirt with the vintage Tampa Bay Buccaneers logo on it. Tampa, as we know, a very close neighbor to Red Hook.
5. OC continues to approach the intensity levels of his competitors in different ways. This time, it’s a lethargic cartwheel. I had no idea that could be a thing. He then holsters Bandido’s invisible guns in his pockets, oh that was fantastic. No one tell Arn Anderson that akimbo finger guns have been holstered.
6. Bandido’s getting some heel heat for his dive counter into the barricade. That is a really impressive level of overness for OC, when even Bandido is getting boos just because he’s facing Cassidy.
7. Bandido gets some amazing air on his commercial-causing dive. So much that I think the sound mix got messed up because the arena is suddenly very quiet. That’s been a problem in the last few weeks.
8. Put the children to bed, there’s a low-energy chop fight going on! No one deserves that level of intense violence directed at them.
9. A cross body that’s a bit awkward, but also a Michinoku Driver. I remember how many people I knew used to pick that as their finisher in the early PS WWF games. Part of the reason it seemed awesome was how infrequently we got to see it, since Kaientai won only slightly more often than the Firm.
10. Why would you dive off the ropes with a Flying Nothing at someone literally begging you to do it? He’s already caught you once, that would seem to be ominous to me.
11. Orange manages to come back and win with the Beach Break, despite Bandido getting out of the Mousetrap. With how injured OC seems at this point, it’s weird that they’re still booking him for matches. I know, it’s part of the story, but still. Another great appearance by Bandido despite the outcome. OC attempts to put the aviators over the mask, and now I think I know why they might’ve been so bent in the crate.
12. Adam Cole and Renee backstage, shortly followed by both OC and Bandido. They both “oh” in reaction to her explaining Adam Cole’s situation. Appropriate enough.
13. Meanwhile, Renee is still backstage, but this time with Jungle Boy and Darby. Darby wants to bury the hatchet… for some reason? It’s a travesty how the match ended, to his complete surprise, because he didn’t pay any attention to what was going on the whole night? Kay. Lots of “we’re not friends, but I wish it was us and this totally won’t be a four-way.”
14. Next, here comes the Carny show, and finally the referees have realized “hey, maybe let’s not have the group that always interferes be down here for this singles match.” Let’s see how long this lasts. It’s also against Dax, who will hopefully, finally win a singles match in his run of great ones that he also lost. We also learn that Mark Briscoe was not expecting any “scalawaggery.” That’s definitely a word that was just used.
15. This is a good, old-school match, which is exactly what anyone who saw these two paired up was expecting. The Briscoe involvement in this storyline is rather strange, to say the very least though.
16. Oh my JBL, you mean Sonjay Dutt got kicked out of being at ringside and yet still managed to cause some shenanigans? I’m so incredibly shocked. But also, Dax loses yet another singles match. Ugh.
17. Now, Tony Khan makes a regular announcement, not a huge, surprising, amazing announcement. But they’re bringing back the Owen Hart tournament, this time in Canada. The tournament finals will be in his hometown, appropriately enough, and what a turn of disposition for Adam and Britt compared to what it was at the time of their winning it. It’d be nice to see those title belts they won make a second appearance.
18. Wardlow’s Bran Stark entrance, replacing the old one with buildup, takes us into a match with someone who doesn’t even get an introduction. I don’t like his chances. Especially with Arn Anderson carrying a glock in that track suit. It’s the return of the Powerbomb Symphony though, something that shouldn’t have been off-season in the first place, but I’ll take it.
19. We’re getting an Arn promo on top of it too. They’re calling themselves Beauty and the Beast, which was also the name of a tag team I saw way back in the day in Red Lion in 2002, and they came out to “Mmmbop.” If Wardlow and Arn come out to Hanson, it will win HAM of the Century. AEW may have the pillars, but Wardlow is the dynasty.
20. Arn talks about the things he’ll have to do to the terrible people, and on cue, here comes Christian with Lizard Shredder. Christian starts to get in the ring and then… doesn’t. I guess they thought, what if we do the Chris Jericho/Adam Cole pause and head turn, but more dramatic? So that happened.
21. Renee has more to do, now backstage with Sammy, and since it’s an AEW promo, it gets interrupted in .4 seconds. They do some friendly friend stuff. They’re mentioning a four-way so much that it’s totally not gonna happen. It’s so HAMmy, it’s delightful though. Sammy takes a page out of that Daniel Garcia storyline that totally went somewhere and gives him a matching vest, and in turn, MJF gives him a scarf. Then, as if that wasn’t over the top enough, they go all Tommy Boy.
22. Renee gets a break and RJ City takes over. Somehow it gets interrupted even before the interview starts, and I think he got planted on the concrete floor. The BCC does heel BCC things.
23. Darby against Sammy is on now? I’m really surprised it’s going on this early, but I think it also means it won’t be anything conclusive. Also, hello Tay, nice to see you in the only thing you get to do now.
24. MJF’s coming out already, and it’s surprising to not see Sting after the big “Showtime” promo we got a few weeks ago. He’s on commentary, so we know what that means. Also it means he plugs the pickles he’s selling? Pickles on the pickles, extra pickles, cheese pickles… This is the weirdest timeline.
25. MJF says the check won’t clear unless Sammy does business? I didn’t think that’s how checks worked, but sure, why not? Tony would’ve gone HAM about the topic of conversation, but I don’t think it can be used in the segment.
26. This commentary does make it difficult to focus on the match itself, though MJF and Sammy are ten times more exuberant about their best friends status than the Best Friends. Were you aware that MJF beat Darby with a Headlock Takeover once? He should mention it once in a while.
27. There are weapons, there is blood, there is the crowd chanting that they want tables… right after they get tables, because that makes sense. This commentary continues to be more distracting than heel Michael Cole during a Danielson match.
28. I’d say Sammy did a 630 through Darby, but I feel like that’s an understatement for how many rotations he seemed to get in there. Wow. Darby manages to get back in the ring anyway, and MJF is NOT. HAVING. THAT! Sammy and MJF pulled the old Eddie Guerrero trick, and it works. I guess the main event of Double or Nothing is totally going to be MJF vs. Sammy Guevara. These offbeat shenanigans are just too much.
29. Jungle Boy makes the save despite the earlier fanfic tension with him and Darby. Meanwhile, Tony is getting words from Tony Khan on his headset. MJF makes some 2005 references while Darby has the gloop of the night. MJF continues insulting everyone, because Tony’s totally not gonna interrupt him.
30. Oh snap, Tony calls MJF a prick, how dare? What was in those pickles? Next week, a tag match between the Super Best Friends and the Simon Snow-esque fanfic team, and if the latter wins, it’ll be a four way like it should’ve been in the first place.
31. Renee once again tries to get a reaction, and MJF turns up the HAM to 11.5. Sammy learns the hard way that MJF is a dick, because the car “was full.” Even if Sammy was gullible enough to fall for that, the rest of the JAS didn’t maybe mention it? It’s not like any of them have had history with him or anything…
32. Adam Cole is here, and you know he’s pissed because he doesn’t do any of the trademark crowd callback poses. He isn’t pissed enough to interrupt the recaps though, so that’s something. It’s pretty much what you’d expect about crossing the line, and Jericho finally shows up to the callout after Cole threatened to come back and find him.
33. Oh nope lol, he’s on the magic mirror in the sky. Jericho does the master gaslighting act he became so well regarded for back in his 2008 monotone days, but the non-Sammy members of the JAS are ready to jump four-on-one. The save is made by… Orange Cassidy and Bandido? I was expecting the Acclaimed and Senior Ass, I can safely say I didn’t see these two coming.
34. Some unfamiliar music hits, and the screen doesn’t give it away right away but… Hey, Roderick Strong, welcome to the show! I still have no idea what OC and Bandido were doing there, other than they were two faces who were also there. Roderick and Cole hug it out, and it looks like we’ve got a four-on-four set up. The last time I remember OC and Cole in the ring, they had a lights out match, so I don’t know when those fences were mended, other than they’re both faces now.
35. QTV happened.
36. It feels weird seeing a Jade Cargill match on Dynamite, given how often those have been relegated to Rampage. I’ll still be surprised if they’re not holding out for Kris Statlander to break the streak, though this is the strongest challenge she’s had in a long time in Taya Valkyrie. And by that I mean it’s gotten more than one show of buildup.
37. I wish this story had gotten more than “you can’t use the finisher lol” but it’s at least something.
38. Jade continuing to work the fans as she gets heat on the outside, faking a high five for a nasty bird. Both Jade and Taya are used to being dominant in their matches, at least as far as I’ve seen, so it’s an interesting contrast for when the momentum shifts.
39. Someone is now holding up… a Waffle House sign. I mean, I guess when you need something to soak up the Jager…
40. Jade gets a Canadian Destroyer, but apparently has the cure for getting out of the Jaded. After all, if she also does the move, she must know how to get out of it? I guess? Continuing the storyline of “you can’t do that,” Taya doesn’t, and then gets the Simon Miller Special. That might be the lamest ending to a match I’ve ever seen. I mean, sure, you couldn’t do the finisher, but then you just stand there and do nothing?
41. Oh hell no, you tried to do the move you can’t do on Aubrey? Instant heel turn.
42. Backstage, the other women’s storyline also progresses, as the scars of war are shown. Hearing these two talking about going too far, cheating, and using weapons is kinda ironic though. There are several allusions to this being the blood and guts match everyone’s been thinking it might be.
43. Ricky and Shawn Spears against Jay White and Juice on Rampage? That’s a step up from their usual fare.
44. Goodness gracious, I know Excalibur’s gimmick is to run down the cards really quickly, but it was so quick that I couldn’t get half of what they were previewing.
45. Ohai Bryan Danielson.
46. We must be low on time, the Omega/Takeshita entrance is a bit rushed. The Butcher and the Blade are in the main event, but they’re going to lose… again.
47. Kip Sabian is wearing a suit, no shirt, and a neon tie. It’s definitely unique to the roster?
48. Danielson is so good as a heel, blaming the Elite and Takeshita for them not pursuing the titles they’ve lost in the past, not to mention that Takeshita trained with Danielson a few months ago. Now that’s how you sell a continuing storyline, good work. It’s also not so loud and obnoxious that it’s distracting from what’s happening, that helps too.
49. I’m also really happy to see Takeshita in the main event. This wasn’t how I expected it to happen, but it’s happening nonetheless.
50. Kip doing a springboard moonsault in a suit, even a questionably modified one like that, is some athleticism I wasn’t expecting. We’re reminded that they’re mercenaries, and Danielson laughs about the need for them to hire someone to beat someone up. I mean, if you hired one Adem, all your problems would’ve been solved, but I guess this will suffice.
51. It must be a commercial, because Danielson makes a joke about wondering if Takeshita would be better off with them or… doing something else uncouth with the Elite like Cutler and Nakazawa. Wow. I love what they say at the table during the commercial breaks, seriously. It’s a house show level of goofy every time.
52. Takeshita gets the win for the team, which is big for him and I’m glad to see it. Something was going on in the crowd shortly before that I couldn’t catch.
53. Danielson gets up and tries to praise Takeshita and insult Omega, but messes it up. The crowd reaction lets us know the BCC attack is coming, but it takes them long enough to do it that it’s honestly amazing Omega and Takeshita don’t notice. The screwdriver is back out though!
54. Here comes the Young Bucks, and they run into Superkicks. How about they get the screwdriver instead? Danielson though instead makes Takeshita go in and stop the screwdriver attack. Takeshita then realizes that trying to do that was perhaps a bad idea. The BCC pitches Takeshita to join up with them, but then in about two seconds decides he didn’t pick in time, and the logo comes up as they attack Takeshita with the screwdriver. Still no Hangman. That whole segment was awkward as hell.
55. This was a weird show. I’m not sure what to feel about it. The best part was probably the opening match. The ending felt disjointed at best, the Jade/Taya match had such a lame ending that it ruined it for me, and Sammy/Darby was so full of offbeat shenanigans that it makes me wish they’d just booked the four way in the first place, though to be fair, MJF and Sammy going over the top ridiculous is perfectly all right by me. Also, why would Orange Cassidy and the Blade be standing up for Adam Cole, other than they were the faces who got along from earlier in the show? I don’t know, the whole show just felt off, like it was being done on the fly and some people weren’t sure what was happening. The drawback to only having 4-6 PPVs a year though is sometimes we get stuck in these ruts before we get there because sometimes stalling and padding is necessary. Roderick debuted though, that was nice to see. I’m really looking forward to seeing Double or Nothing and how things shake out for the rumored brand split, but this was not their best week of late.
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
4/19/23 – Sammy Guevara
4/26/23 – MJF
Whenever he has a segment, he makes it hard for anyone else to get it.