IN LAIMAN’S TERMS #447
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Thoughts on AEW: Dynamite – September 6th, 2023
1. It’s Wednesday night, etc. Nothing quite feels like Dynamite after watching a 2003 show that I attended and reviewed in retrospect. I’m thinking of doing more of those, though the only other PPV I attended was TLC 2017 and… anyway.
2. It’s nice to hear commentary without hearing King talk about showing people his vasectomy scar. Wow, my standards really have been lowered quite a bit since the last column.
3. Orange Cassidy, (formerly) Fighting Champion opens up the show, but likely not in another 20 minute match. This is his victory lap for what was a tremendous title reign, and I look forward to seeing where he goes from here. He deserves to be in the main event after Mox put him over the way he did. I didn’t review All Out, but damn did that show deliver top to bottom.
4. How sweet that Orange gets to bask in these chants for literally having a title for a long time, including “thank you, Orange!” chants. I thought he would get some wonderful praise for it, but I didn’t expect this.
5. OC promises to be there every week, because he does not have a catch phrase. That’s it. Perfect.
6. Oh no, wait. Here comes Jon Moxley for his opening International title match. How fitting. We see split screens on replays, Mox entering, and OC staring back with the sad music after Gandalf falls at Khazad Dum, or at least that’s how I heard it.
7. He’s defending against AR Fox, who truly deserved the chance for beating up a kid and then losing to him. Darby, of course, has history with OC too, and a little pause is all we needed to acknowledge that.
8. Fox getting some shine in, so the tradition won’t end with OC losing the title. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the International title being the: “this title match opens Dynamite” spot, especially with the precedent set.
9. “Nick Wayne has no time for AR Fox.” At least we haven’t had him going Heel Turn Stone Cold from 2001, saying “shit, if a guy invaded your home and left you bleeding, wouldn’t you want him on your side?” Yet.
10. I love how something so simple as getting caught in the anvils is a sure sign of the end approaching. Even with the little hope spot in there, Mox wins convincingly. Pairing his entrance with OC leaving tells me their connection isn’t over yet.
11. Darby shows up to console Fox, who doesn’t look like he’s a fan of the condescending nature. Conveniently, Nick Wayne is also watching until he meets up with Christian. He’s up to his manipulation game, and it’s awesome. Speaking of which…
12. But yeah, Darby hasn’t helped himself by so quickly forgiving the Bloodshirt, and not even the Adem kind.
13. Now we’ve got Stat defending her title, and I’m guessing Emi Sakura is pissed about someone else using “We Will Rock You” at Wembley, because this theme sounds like Victoria circa 2002.
14. Nice to see Emi Sakura on TV again, though I don’t like her chances. There’s another PPV in a few weeks, so some angles have to get sorted quickly. They’ve done that twice recently, so I’m not worried about it, though I’m sure the same concern before every AEW PPV about the build-up will surface the week before. That train’s never late.
15. It’s a Sakura match, it’s a Statlander match, so the fact that it looks stiff as hell isn’t a surprise. What is a surprise is, wow, the women’s match isn’t buried in the same death spot in the second hour. Could they finally risk angering the trickster gods and test the chance of two women’s matches in a show might not end the metaverse? We may find out.
16. Sakura gets in a majority of the offense, but Stat overcomes it to retain the title. Two matches, two title matches, two good matches, can’t complain about that.
17. Meanwhile, on VH1: Behind the Match, Roderick Strong nominates himself for the HAM immediately, complete with dramatic music.
18. Inception Horn incoming, Don Callis gets the crowd booing yet again, and he basks in it. Following him is… Le Sex Gods.
19. I didn’t expect Callis to be on commentary for Le Sex Gods vs. Aussie Open. Maybe the latter are also joining the Family? We’ve had some big buildup about the Family, but so far it’s only Takeshita and sorta-maybe Will Ospreay? AEW loves their factions, I feel like you don’t call something a “family” if you intend to keep it limited to 2 or 3.
20. Damn, I wish I could be in Seattle in a few weeks… Oh well, Chicago the day before Thanksgiving seems to be the next live show, appropriately enough. I’ll be writing live for that one too.
21. Jericho paces outside the ring while Sammy gets double-teamed. The crowd is cheering quite loudly for Aussie Open, and I don’t blame them at all. The buildup for this match made zero sense. “We’re gonna fight and trade barbs about how the other sucks. Nah, let’s be a team and pretend like nothing happened.” Kay.
22. Now they’re chanting for Sammy. Maybe this crowd is the epitome of the sign “I just hope they all have fun.”
23. Double-stalling suplex, and I think Bandido is somewhere thinking that he wouldn’t need assistance to do that.
24. Kyle Fletcher just radiates star presence. It’s that Swerve factor, can’t explain it but I can see it all the same.
25. Jericho gets the hot tag to another huge pop. Yep, welcome to Dynamite, we have fun here. I’ll take this over a dead crowd 11 times out of 10.
26. Damn, we’re keeping the momentum from All Out going strong. This is the best Jericho match I’ve seen in months. Unfortunately, Aussie Open lose again, so this weirdness with Sammy is going to continue. He refuses the hand raise, and it results in the crowd chanting for them to hug it out. Instead we get shoves, so that’s… something, I guess.
27. Sign of the night: Where’s the Meat? (Saturdays, I presume.)
28. Ricky Starks gets another video about making a statement in defeat, which I truly feel that he did, but I’d also like to see him, y’know, *not* lose big matches.
29. I absolutely love that they’re setting up MJF vs. Samoa Joe, though in retrospect, maybe having him lose to Cocoa Melon Phil (h/t Cresta Thee Star) before that wasn’t the best way to go about it?
30. I guess Don’s gimmick is hiding pictures under cloths now. Saving it for next week, just like for Jericho. Gotta appreciate the consistency, if nothing else.
31. I’m not used to seeing MJF without his BFF anymore. I look forward to seeing how he approaches Samoa Joe, as the usual petty insults will bounce off him like an ignored attempted high spot.
32. He’s so fucking over, good JBL. Big cheer. “I lived here in Indiana.” Mild applause. Then the crowd boos with him when he hears he might have to ::gasp:: wrestle again?! But going back to his home state makes him sing, and as I’ve stated before, he’s got pipes.
33. It’s an AEW promo, so we’ve got an interruption. A welcome one though, because it’s Samoa Joe, and the crowd cheers that too. He came out to witness what was about to be said, oh this should be gold.
34. Now the crowd is chanting “Joe’s gonna kill you,” they really do just love everyone. Every second grade insult he throws gets them chanting, and Joe just shrugs and looks mildly annoyed. Joe turns to crowd insults though to get them on MJF’s side. The word “kid” is Joe’s trigger word to piss off MJF though, and it almost makes him break.
35. They’re really bringing back the incident with MJF working the security spot, I love it. Talk about a creative use of a real backstory.
36. Joe keeps trying to provoke him, and MJF finally responds with a little slap. MJF makes the face mistake and turns his back on Samoa Joe, so now we have two credible contenders to win the tournament along with Roddy. Not to be outdone though, MJF makes a comeback, but walks right into the most badass Uranage on the planet. Finally, Adam Cole comes out to make the save. Minus the sad little insults, I loved this entire segment between these two.
37. MJF says his left arm is numb, so naturally they PULL HIM WITH IT. Best medical team in the business, this is. Joe comes out for a little extra salt on the wound, and it’s perfect.
38. Nope, still not done. This segment has more endings than Chrono Cross. “ADAM!” I guess that’s Roddy’s thing now, and he and the Kingdom yell some more. He reminds me of Mike Dexter from Can’t Hardly Wait when he yells like that. He’s still got the neck brace on, despite that he’s going to wrestle a match. Gee, I wonder who will win…
39. They’re building up a world title match for Grand Slam, which is right before the PPV. Guess we’re gonna see near back-to-back marquee shows for the second time in recent history. I know Grand Slam isn’t technically a PPV, but it might as well be.
40. This is a slow match. Not that it’s bad, but it’s coming off three hot matches and a segment with two of the biggest stars the company has, so something was bound to feel like this. We also know Roddy is the one with the storyline with the champion, so he’s likely at least making the final.
41. Roddy wins, and them selling the need for the neckbrace immediately after the match ends is just the flavor of HAM that I love in my wrestling.
42. How did Jay Lethal and Jeff Hardy get into this tournament? I know a lot of AEW tournaments have telegraphed winners in at least the first round, but come on.
43. YES! Hollywood Starlet Toni Storm is here, HAMming it up exponentially more as she continues to do every week. I love this character so much.
44. The women’s title won’t get a tournament, but it gets a four-way eliminator match (next week.) But Toni nearly makes Renee corpse for the second week in a row, though this one wasn’t as obvious. More of this, please.
45. Hangman comes out to take us into commercial, fresh off a battle royal where he was definitely not the only one who was going to win on Sunday. Good on him for where he donated the money though. Adam Page has good teacher energy.
46. It’s an AEW promo, you know what that means. But it’s Swerve with a fresh look, so I’m okay with it. If it had just been Prince Nana vibing to Swerve’s theme, I would’ve also been fine with that.
47. We’ve got Hangman, who has had no feud as of late, and Swerve, who keeps losing them and needs not to again. The match will be fun, I’m sure.
48. I did not expect we’d be having the multiple segments of fat jokes that would’ve sounded dated in a Chris Farley film in the 90s, but here we go again.
49. Damn, this is the second time tonight we’ve gone from petty jokes to intense within a minute or two. This is a feud I didn’t know I needed. Hangman says he’s done with this shit and bails. Swerve taunts him, but Cage attacks from behind. Interesting, not sure where it’s going, but it’s interesting.
50. Darby and Nick are getting the main event? Damn, 18 and main eventing a show, likely also being corrupted by Christian too. He’s going places, to say the least.
51. Darby does a dive to the outside of the ring, and holy shit, that looked fucking AWFUL. The replay didn’t help either. They’re continuing to hold Nick back, and Darby hasn’t moved.
52. Darby gets back in the ring but then rolls right back out. I’m sure he’s somewhat okay if they’re letting him go, but I don’t know. That landing looked so terrible. I see on the replay that he turned his shoulder, but he still hit that barricade really hard.
53. They’re locking up again, so it must be all right. Or it’s just Darby and he’d continue either way. I don’t know which.
54. I wonder if Christian will do what he did for JP and point out how Nick isn’t taking advantage of weaknesses. This time, maybe the young student will listen. There’s no way they set up the quick thing with AR Fox and built the resentment while talking about it at every opportunity just for fun. Not to mention, having Christian and Nick Wayne interact multiple times and sow seeds of doubt, it doesn’t feel like it could just be by chance. It would give him a chance to work with one of the best, and give him a character beyond “I’m 18 and a wrestling prodigy, also Darby’s friend.”
55. Double cross-body just makes me cringe, whether he’s just selling or not. It’s like when I saw the Tiger Driver at Forbidden Door; worked or not, it made me uncomfortable.
56. Darby grabs a mic and taunts Nick into hitting him harder because he “hits like an 18-year-old.” Tonight is the night of taunting people into doing things. Nick responds by kicking him right in the fuck, so can’t say he doesn’t listen.
57. I hear Fauxvanescence, so Christian picked the time just before the final commercial break to come out. But also, a commercial break at five til? Really? At least it doesn’t matter on this broadcast. #ThankYouFITE
58. Nick Wayne now hits a frog splash with a loud landing, followed by a Wayne’s World. Darby somehow kicks out. The commentators talk about what he could be if he wins, and Christian admonishes them for insinuating that Nick should be looking ahead.
59. Darby ends up winning by submission, and Christian asks what will happen if Darby doesn’t make it to the match. I wonder if something’s going to happen…
60. I’m sure the match was good, I was just honestly taken out of it by what must’ve looked to be a nastier fall than it actually was.
61. This was a frontloaded Dynamite, but damn if it didn’t reset some things quickly. We’ve got Grand Slam and WrestleDream not too far away, and the show did seem to reflect a sense of urgency. Can’t complain, though the first hour set an impossible precedent for the second to follow.
Toni getting Renee to corpse again is glorious HAM, but to mix it up, I’ve gotta go with Roddy and the Kingdom for their Neck Strong schtick. MJF and Joe were also contenders, I love when there’s a plethora from which to choose.
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
5/24/23 – Jay White
5/28/23 – Darby Allin
5/31/23 – Juice Robinson
6/7/23 – MJF
6/9/23 – Ethan Page
6/14/23 – The cardboard cutout of Saraya
6/17/23 – CM Punk
6/21/23 – Adam Cole/MJF
6/23/23 – Anthony Bowens
6/24/23 – Powerhouse Hobbs
6/25/23 – Will Ospreay
6/28/23 – Keith Lee
7/1/23 – Andrade
7/5/23 – Adam Cole/MJF
7/7/23 – Daniel Garcia
7/8/23 – Samoa Joe
7/12/23 – Jack Perry
7/17/23 – Ricky Starks
7/19/23 – MJF and Adam Cole
7/22/23 – Ricky Starks
7/26/23 – Jeff Hardy
7/31/23 – Samoa Joe
8/2/23 – Swerve
8/4/23 – Kris Statlander
8/5/23 – Christian Cage
8/9/23 – MJF and Adam Cole
8/11/23 – Orange Cassidy
8/12/23 – Ricky Starks
8/16/23 – MJF and Adam Cole
8/18/23 – Ruby Soho
8/19/23 – Toni Storm
8/23/23 – Billy Gunn
8/25/23 – Kris Statlander
8/26/23 – Eddie Kingston
8/27/23 – Nigel McGuinness
8/31/23 – Toni Storm
9/1/23 – Claudio Castagnoli
9/3/23 – Samoa Joe