IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #427
Support: Donate here
Thoughts on AEW Dynamite – May 17th, 2023
1. Big news day, I’m hoping this will reflect in the energy of the show. The haters and tribalists will always find a way to trash it, no matter what it is, but what can ya do?
2. I’m really surprised to not open up with “Jane,” but Wardlow in his polo shirt is a welcome show opening sight. They say that they’ve never seen someone go as low as Christian Cage with… the words? Uh… MJF is on your roster and confessed to pulling a car accident switcheroo a few months ago? I know, all wrestling companies overuse hyperbole and superlative language like that, but it is annoying.
3. They’re really digging the new camera angles. Wardlow seems to be most offended by the size of jackets, and asks for Christian to come spit in his face. Hey, it takes all kinds.
4. They yell at each other, Christian preps for the intentional Gloop of the Night, but Lizard Shredder ain’t having it. Wardlow fights them both off until a low blow cuts it off. Now we’ve got a ladder, and I’d say Christian has utilized one of those before, maybe once or twice. Three straight ladder moves give Christian and Luchasaurus an emphatic conclusion to the segment.
5. “Don Callis… literally stabbing…” In most cases, that would be another example of hyperbole, but not this one. Though why a screwdriver is the stabby-rippy weapon of choice, I do not know, it did happen all the same.
6. Oh there’s “Jane,” just a little bit later than usual. I also see I wasn’t the only one to comment on the guy who had both a sign and a t-shirt complaining that it’s pop not soda, as someone else has responded with their own reversal. Why that was the particular double advertisement you’d make with front row seats is anyone’s guess, but either way: Take that, Regionalisms!
7. OC continues to be massively over, despite the contingent that love to complain about his title run. He and Darby, I concede, is not the tag team I was expecting to grace our presence. Talk about a contrast of styles and personalities. The Firm is wrestling against them though, so i guess they were only temporarily Deleted.
8. We just got a Hucklebuck reference in 2023. Picture-in-picture commentary really is the best.
9. Big Bill continues to have a great deal of fun, bringing back some of his over-the-top HAMmy taunts from their International title program. At least he seems to be enjoying himself. The crowd is chanting something, though like most times I can’t quite decipher it.
10. Darby gets the hot tag and flies around the ring in aggressively undeleted fashion. The longer this match goes on, the stranger it is that the first segment and this match weren’t switched, especially with the common trope of an Orange Cassidy match starting a Dynamite. What can ya do though, we got there.
11. This seems like an odd assignment before a Pillar match, comparatively anyway. I hope Bill and Lee find themselves a gimmick or storyline that doesn’t get pulled apart at the seams right after it forms. Speaking of whom though, Bill takes a Code Red! Damn, talk about agility! Darby ends up winning with the Headlock Takeover after OC punches Bill off the apron and further hurting his hand. Take a week off, man! It’s okay! Darby and OC win in a really fun match. You know a big event is coming though, because We’ve. Got. Signpointing!
12. The Young Bucks can’t even get there without being interviewed, and because it’s an AEW interview, they get interrupted by the BCC. They attempt to use their luggage as an equalizer, and it works for about two seconds. They look for a pickup truck to use as a weapon, and it’s Texas so they won’t have to go far.
13. Another backstage interview, this time with Wardlow, and it gets interrupted immediately by Daddy Arn. He throws an ice pack with such vigor. Wardlow officially challenges Christian to a ladder match for the TNT title at Double or Nothing, and they immediately find a way to shift into the sports gambling plugs. Thank you FITE for sparing me the additional commercial.
14. Another another backstage interview, Renee found Orange Cassidy this time. He’s all like, just ask for a title shot, I don’t care. Renee asks to get him a chair, he’s very tired after all.
15. Sammy Guevara is out next, and he’s facing a familiar face from some squash matches a few months ago, Exodus Prime. The match lasts about as long as it took to write that sentence.
16. “You know, Austin…” I forgot what show I was watching for a fraction of a second there. Sammy cuts yet another face-ish promo. The reaction is either lukewarm or the crowd is muted, I can’t tell which.
17. The Four Pillars are recapped again, and then so is the tag title feud. Why you would piledrive someone you can’t see, I can’t say, but wrestling. Tony brings out Triple J and the Carny Gang, which feels appropriately WCW considering the announcement in the news. We’ve even got personalized JJ guitars. It’s an AEW interview, so it’s interrupted before one sentence gets said though, and a brawl breaks out.
18. The brawl is so utterly one-sided that something has to be up. As FTR are setting up for the Big Rig, we get… Karen? Can safely say I didn’t see that coming. Another low blow by the heels of the night with the numbers advantage, and a double personalized guitar shot in symphony. I said it felt like WCW, but I think another company comes to mind with this change of events.
19. Renee, the busiest person in AEW, is backstage with someone else. This time it’s Darby, and he’s counting down the days. I know you’ll never see this coming, but… he gets interrupted. This time it’s Sammy, who has taken his cue from MJF and playing some manipulation games.
20. The Greencasts are next for their tag match. The commentators really sell it by… continuing to talk about the Four Pillars match. The Originals angle continues, though the fact that we don’t have any involvement with Willow, Skye, or Riho has my Shenanigans Detector pinging.
21. The faces dominate the opening until dirty tactics change the momentum. Saraya insists that it’s her house because of course, and she HAMs it up trying to get the referee to buy her shit. Anything that gives us Ruby Soho with that haircut though is fine by me.
22. Britt is running the face-in-peril side of things during the break, which makes sense. Shida just made the big return and Britt’s been injured. Shida gets the hot tag and knocks everyone down, including Saraya. Shida seems rejuvenated and gets a huge chant to reflect that.
23. @aewglam continues doing an amazing job.
24. Britt gets the Lockjaw partially in, but can’t quite put Ruby away. Like every match in this feud though, the referee gets distracted by one of the Outcasts and this turns the tide. Outcasts win the same way they have all throughout this feud and the refs keep falling for it. The commentators also seem surprised by this, somehow. They go to get the spray paint… No wait, we don’t have time for that.
25. Backstage, Renee again with Orange Cassidy again. Turns out saying anyone can challenge for the title brought 20 people in, and he’s like ::shrug:: whatever, I’ll fight them all. I continue to love the Orange Cassidy: Fighting Champion gimmick. The title will be defended in a Blackjack battle royal (because it’s 21), so a bunch of folx will get on the card. Gotta be careful with that Blackjack gimmick though, Jake Roberts is out there somewhere and I hear he’s got 22.
26. Time for the big announcement because TK is on screen. Collision is official, though it was already but it’s on TV now so it’s really official. Looks like a good bit of them will be in Canada, though he’s teasing out where the first event will be as if we don’t already know. Gotta drag out the big Collision-based return as long as you can.
27. Now for the Falls Count Anywhere match with Jericho and Roderick. They say the JAS is banned from the building, so I guess Sammy won and then GTFO. I’m sure there will be no skirting the rules or outside involvement whatsoever. Chris Jericho isn’t really known for that sort of thing anyway.
28. You know it’s a big deal when you get celebrities at ringside. Scooby Doo is right there on the hard cam, how can you argue with that?
29. The action stays in the ring in the beginning, and you can tell the crowd is anticipating when the building exploring will commence. That’s the only trouble with a gimmick like that, you set them up for certain expectations that make whatever you do beforehand pretty much irrelevant.
30. My partner keeps hearing Roddy’s name as Rider Strong, and gosh wouldn’t that be a different matchup. Not since Vader vs. Jake Roberts at the Anaheim Pond… err…. The Philly Spectrum, where Brother Love did both ring announcing and commentating, as you do… have we seen the likes of such things. I know Edge waited a long time to come back, but that would be absolutely ridiculous. 1996, I think? Talk about a long-awaited comeback. But I don’t trust Jericho in the ring with that Strong. He just avoided the Vadersault, I don’t want him in any further danger.
31. Is that Ethan Page in the crowd as they fight up the steps? If it wasn’t, it should be.
32. Right before a table spot, they announce the passing of Superstar Billy Graham. That was very odd timing. Condolences to the family, friends, and fans of his.
33. We’ve reached the fighting on the concourse phase of the match, and a couple people try to HAM it up to get on camera. Earlier tonight felt like WCW, and this match with those fans feels very 90s. They start fighting on the stairwell, which is very disrespectful. Zack Gowen did a Mac and Me tribute there, show some respeck.
34. The crowd seems firmly behind Y2J, at least if the chants are any indication. Those poor workers at the vendor station, they didn’t sign up for this. They seem to be having a blast. OH SHIT IT’S MR. SOFTY! Nobody tell Eric Matthews!
35. They’re technically outside the arena now, I don’t think the stipulations count there. Speaking of whom, Adam Cole is there! Wow, who saw that coming? Roderick gets the win after Cole drops the boom in a dirt pit, which admittedly is an odd place for a wrestling match to end. That was a throwback in all the best ways, even if we saw the ending coming a million miles away last week.
36. Rush and his badass entrance theme are here, nice to see him again. I’m sad to know he’s going to lose again, but his matches are always awesome.
37. Bear Grylls got a new show? There’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time.
38. Rush and Co. stole that neon green cable from the Outcasts? That ain’t right, they’d probably get along if they just communicated. It worked from Jericho.
39. Jack got the short end of the stick compared to the other three. Sammy got a quick squash match, Darby got to tag out, but JB has to get smashed by Rush?
40. JB finally starts getting a hope spot, and Rush looked at his clothesline attempt like “…no.”
41. JB’s got color, who told him he could Moxley this up? He’s taking more offense than the other two by a considerable margin, but the champion isn’t here, so somebody has to, I guess.
42. The fight gets more even, though JB keeps making the mistake of trying to exchange shots with him. JB gets thrown off the ring apron and it looked like he landed right on his fucking head! That was way, way, WAY too close. He kicked out and is still on camera so I guess he’s okay, but that was absolutely terrifying. JB then wins with the Simon Miller Special, which is probably the worst way for a world title contender to win. Still though, I’m just glad he’s moving.
43. Darby does not have the Big Save kind of music, but he comes out to save JB from getting Outcast Noose’d. Sammy’s music hits though, and he gets a much bigger reaction. All the fighting they’ve done, now they all have respect for each other but they all hate MJF. I like that better than them all hating each other, it’s different. I think my breath has finally gone back down after that awful-looking spot.
44. Oh, MJF did show up, Renee now moves to him. He’s a dick to Renee, which ya just don’t do, and he walks away after slapping the mic out of her hand. That probably got him more heat than his outlandish claims about his high school stories.
45. We flash back to Jamie Hayter’s shoulder injury, and Renee is now back with someone else. Toni had four wins in five days, which she uses to talk shit about Jamie. I’m guessing that’s including the House Rules events? She’s like, you beat me before but I’m not a face anymore so I’m totes different, yo. She turns up the HAM in an unusual way for her, I dig it. I always like when someone who doesn’t normally go HAM makes a surprise appearance in the consideration.
46. Now we’ve got Jay White and Ricky Starks, which I’m conflicted about. I don’t think Jay can lose this early in his run, but I don’t know if Ricky can afford to lose either. His momentum really hit a grinding halt earlier this year.
47. Jay has Juice with him, but Ricky couldn’t at least get Action to come out with him? That seems like bad planning.
48. Rampage gets another “special” start time. That show hasn’t ever really recovered, though at least now it doesn’t have to, since it’ll be the equivalent on Elevation but on TV. That’s good though, the indy wrestlers will still get their chances on the platform.
49. Is there really a dueling “Let’s Go Ricky/Ricky Sucks” chant? That’s a terrible sign for him, though I may be mishearing it. The latter half of that chant is very loud.
50. Jay hit the most devastating Dragon Screw I’ve ever seen, and Ricky sells it like he took an arrow to the knee. These two are really good together.
51. I’m guessing the Don Callis segment will be in the main event slot? I think that “we’ll hear from” portion of the show is the only thing remaining. Speaking of which, there’s the graphic, all right then.
52. Will Ricky’s frustration be his downfall in the match? Even the best protagonists must have a character flaw. The match is getting “this is awesome” chants, so that’s a good sign despite the earlier one on the opposite end of the spectrum.
53. Starks gets heaved over the top rope and lands on the Dragon-Screwed Knee, which sounds like it would be a lot more provocative in certain communities.
54. It’s fair to say that these two are evenly matched and the match is coming across very demonstrative of such. Ricky just can’t put him away, and every time he tries, he takes a vicious knife edge chop for his trouble.
55. Juice trips up Ricky, will this be what turns it? No! Ricky recovers and hits a spear! But there comes Juice with a chair. Ricky turns that around too and takes him out. Ricky keeps the chair and decides to hit Jay with it as well, despite the implications. Juice saves Jay from further destruction, and DQs are so rare in AEW that this one had some impact. What a great match, and a way for both to have an out from taking a loss.
56. In an unusual move for Dynamite, both the opener and the main event slots will have segments instead of matches. This can work when it’s rare, and I think they’ve utilized it effectively tonight.
57. Don Callis is introduced with no entrance music and security guards on both sides of the ramp. He’s got mega-heat with the crowd though, so his turn definitely worked. Hard to believe this is the same guy from the Truth Commission. A huge “piece of shit” chant breaks out, even I can decipher that one.
58. Tony’s like why why, and the heat just grows as Don tries to explain. Like a good heel, Don turns it around to an affront on him from Kenny. He takes credit for all of Kenny’s accomplishments and says that there is no Kenny Omega without him.
59. There he is, and the always effective AEW security force steps between them. To the shock of nobody, Kenny starts attacking them, but the BCC immediately jumps him from behind. Callis did technically bleed with them, and that’s how you get in, right?
60. Mox gets in the ring and declares the war over already and warns him to stay down. Kenny staggers to his feet, but there’s a Superkick Party coming. They join him with better weapons than suitcases, yet they’re still outnumbered. Who will even this out? Who could it be?
61. HANGMAN! That pop, holy shit! Now he’s got an orange eye-patch to look even more badass. They take out the BCC, and Hangman declares themselves the heart and spirit. Hangman is officially back in the Elite, and it’s gonna be Anarchy in the Arena at Double or Nothing. What a perfectly-executed buildup. I do wonder where the hell Takeshita is, but that might be intentional.
62. The show’s pace felt a bit rushed at points, and the thing with JB barely getting by a guy who hasn’t had an AEW match since February is questionable, but it was still a great final push for Double or Nothing. Yes, I know the final push is technically next week, but go-home shows often play it safe. Most of the Double or Nothing matches were booked tonight, so we know what we’re in for next weekend. Really enjoyable show, despite the small confusion in parts.
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
5/3/23 – Triple J/Mark Briscoe
5/5/23 – The Firm Deletion – All of it
5/10/23 – Chuck Taylor and Trent Baretta
5/17/23 – Toni Storm