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Dynamite TV report for 02/21/2024

Venue: BOK Center, Tulsa, OK

2,868 of 3,074 available tickets have been sold as of today per Wrestletix.

*****

As is becoming a little repetitive, Moxley’s music opened the show as he and Claudio made their way through the crowd.  This is now a ‘grudge match’ per Excalibur.  The announcers recapped the feud so far.  Excalibur really emphasized that FTR challenged BCC to enter ‘their world’ after losing a singles last week, so the outcome here seems clear.

Not much of a response for FTR.  Might just be the small crowd.  Seems so as the crowd began chanting their name.

With just ten days till Revolution and after two beatdown/injury angles to Sting and Copeland, you might think they’d mention those atop the show.

FTR vs Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli

Backstory: After Mox beat Dax last week he refused to release the hold, Claudio then took out Cash

Mox and Cash to start, Cash tripped Mox and the latter tagged out after a couple shots.  Cash and Claudio exchanged shots and big uppercuts, they crashed together, stalemate.  Cash went low with a dropkick to the knee then tagged out.

Dax and Mox, quick tags from FTR into double team strikes, Cash muscled Mox into a suplex, the latter slipped behind looking for the choke; Cash lowered his hips to shake Mox out through the ropes.

Very quiet here.

Cash and Mox exchanged light headbutts then very stiff strikes, Mox landed a back elbow after a whip then doubled up on Dax with Claudio.  Cash came in off the top onto both via double clothesline, BCC fled outside, FTR in charge to a light cheer.

Things spilling outside now as Dax wailed away on Mox till a CC uppercut.  Mox landed a tope to Dax, the ref stepped in to separate the other two.  Back inside, Dax got an abdominal, using Cash illegally for leverage as the crowd booed.

So another match without clear heels and faces.  Yay.  Related, it’s so quiet I stopped taking notes thinking it was the break and I’d missed it.

Claudio tagged in with a wild flurry just wearing Dax out in the corner.  A running uppercut saw him look for the swing till Cash intervened.  FTR tried a double suplex, Claudio slipped behind into a double belly to back.  Very impressive.  Crowd enjoyed that.

Then got two on Dax before looking for the Neutralizer; Dax bodydropped his way free but stumbled outside into a spike piledriver on the ringside mats.

Ads.  This is so unbelievably quiet and lacking in atmosphere.

Dax was now again a babyface as he struggled in a Claudio facelock.  The arm dropped twice before he got to his feet, jawbreaker to free himself, boot up in the corner, big right before flinging Claudio to the buckle and reaching for the tag.

Cash and Mox in, Cash running through the BCC with rights, dropkicks and leaping lariats, sunset flip for two before avoiding a Paradigm Shift and hitting a brainbuster in a throwback to last week’s finish.

Fifteen minutes gone, per Justin.  With some bass in his voice for once.

Claudio broke up the Shatter Machine, Dax took him out, Cash landed in a Mox inside cradle for two, blind tag to Dax, Mox vs FTR and winning until running into a combo Cash powerbomb/Dax diving lariat off the top.  For a near fall.

Powerplex broken up by Claudio, Dax blocked a domesday device then headed back upstairs, another powerplex blocked by Mox getting his knees up, Claudio swept Dax into the swing ending with a Mox dropkick for another near fall.

They put graphics up for what’s to come, including Sting and Darby having an important message for the Bucks.  That should not be simply crammed in at the bottom of the screen.

Mox grabbed the same Choke which saw Dax tap last week, Claudio applied the same to Cash but Cash dropped both of them onto Mox to break the grip.  Less than two minutes left.

Dax and Mox slugging away, sharpshooter coming, applied, middle of the ring, Claudio tried to break it but took a Cash German, one minute left as Claudio locked a sharpshooter to Cash and faced Dax, throwing slaps until both broke their holds to continue the fight.  Would much rather they both really tried to force the tap there.

Dax hit a piledriver to Claudio, Mox rollup for near fall, back to the Choke, Dax to his feet, Shatter Machine on the way as the bell rang.  Draw.  Lame.  Sucks.  Hate it.  Overdone.  Loud boos then chants of ‘five more minutes’.  Instead they brawled till a bunch of people broke it up.

Really good match.  Liked it better than last week since it was at least possible either side might win.  Still didn’t like it as much as many surely will due to the flat atmosphere and lack of a story to go with the feud.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

We rushed to Renee with Orange Cassidy.  She ran through all the stuff the Undisputed Kingdom have done to he and the Best Friends, and Cassidy’s hectic schedule.  The doc was nearby and said Cassidy was only barely cleared to wrestle.  Renee said ‘This is insane’.  Err, yep.

We came back from a break to some clips of the above feud including last week’s death match and Cassidy’s appearances in London including a match at RevPro.  This story of him being worn down is itself worn down.

*****

‘Al Scoops’ (eugh) was with FTR.  He said FTR would’ve won with three more seconds.  Dax was about to challenge them at Revolution when the BCCers appeared and they all jawed again with refs between them.

Hard to care about this feud when it has such a thin reason for happening.

Orange Cassidy vs Mike Bennett

Backstory: The UK have been attacking Cassidy and his crew

I groaned and yelled ‘Oh god’ when they showed the graphic for this.  What a waste of time.  To make it worse only Bennett and Taven came out, star quality at a minimum.  Taven was taken out on the ramp with an Orange Punch as Cassidy raced at them.

He was stomping down Bennett in the corner until the latter fired back with chops.  The crowd were quiet for the previous match; you can imagine what’s happening with Bennett on offense.  He choked Cassidy with his boot then hit a suplex for barely two.

The announcers actively talked about the UK trying to war down Cassidy for Roderick Strong.  As Cassidy hit back via stundog.  Until Roderick Strong hit the apron and both the ref and Cassidy were really dumb, Cassidy posing with his hands in his pockets to mock Strong and turning to a nut punch as the ref followed Strong all the way up the ramp despite other refs also doing it.

Orange kicked out at two.  The crowd weren’t as surprised by this as Excalibur was.

Ads.

Back to the beating as Cassidy was flung over and out.  It’s still very, very quiet.  Bennett put on a headset and drew some boos to at least break the silence.  Then took a tope.  And a second.  But hit a spinebuster against the apron and a DVD on the floor outside.  No idea why anyone would take a bump like that in a match like this.

Bennett threw Cassidy back in but walked back in to an Orange Punch, Cassidy struggling, trying to psyche himself up.  He tried beach break; Bennett kept trying to counter via piledriver, they seesawed in and out for a while until Bennett landed a Gotch-style.

Cassidy didn’t lose.

He then ducked a lariat, hit a thrust kick but took a pair of elbow strikes before countering into beach break to just barely scrape the win against a lower card comedy wrestler.

Strong and Taven were about to beat down Cassidy until local boy Jake Hager made the save.  Tony Khan then ‘made’ Hager vs Strong on Friday.  Hager held up Cassidy’s arm and the Disputed Kingdom left up the ramp.

Action was solid but outcome very obvious in a match dominated by a guy the crowd don’t care about.

Winner: Orange Cassidy

Renee was with Angelo Parker who is finally going on a date with Ruby Soho.  Soho then turned up.  They linked arms and were about to leave when a big white SUV turned up. They zoomed in on the emerging feet and it became clear it was Ric Flair since he took about ten years to get out of the car.

Please tell me that Parker/Ruby stuff was just a backdrop and we’re not getting anymore of it?

Back from ads, Renee said it’s good to see Flair (so presumably his pants are still on below the camera).  He said he’s upset not to be more involved with Sting the last few weeks.  So he’s going to ‘explore some options’.

He then knocked on the Bucks’ locker room and asked for a word.  Matthew let him in.

Presumably this’ll all be a swerve where Flair seems to be a heel but ultimately helps Sting win.

*****

Schiavone called Disco Daniel Garcia to the ring.  ‘He’s on the shelf’ is all we got about a devastating attack on Copeland, a guy whose neck injury kept him out for years.  This company generally scores a solid zero when it comes to following up on angles.

So Garcia is now facing Christian Cage at the ppv.  The crowd chanted ‘You deserve it’ and he thanked them and said sometimes he hasn’t been sure of that.  In the last few months he doubted himself but ‘three seconds’ at the end of the Continental Classic ‘changed my life’.

Firing up he said when he was down the crowd picked him up, when he danced they danced with him.  He thanked them.  But then spoke into the camera, to an injured Copeland who not only saved him from a conchairto last week but whose neck might be broken for all we know, to say that he has no doubt he’d have made him tap out last week.

What a babyface.

He started to address Cage but the latter’s music interrupted and the whole Patriarchy hit the stage.  Cage said Copeland would never get another chance at his title.  He said what happened last week worked out well for Garcia.

Cage said Garcia’s been winning but doesn’t think they should wrestle at Revolution.  Because he doesn’t think Garcia’s ready.  He’s easily distracted.  He referenced Garcia’s dance and said Garcia just wanted to make the people smile.  While Cage wants to leave each show as the most dominant TNT champ of all time.

Cage reminded the crowd he’d told them to keep it down.  They’re as loud as they’ve been all night here.  Then said he knew Garcia’s childhood wasn’t a good one.  Long story short – ‘your father is DEAD’.  The crowd almost laugh at this shtick at this point.

Cage said he was sure Garcia would like to win the belt as a tribute but Garcia’s dad was ‘actually a piece of crap, a loser alcoholic that lost his life to the bottle.’

And unlike him, Cage wants to help Garcia realize his potential.  So at Revolution he doesn’t want to be Garcia’s opponent, he wants to ‘be your father’.  Garcia said Cage should come to the ring and he’d put him in the ground right next to his dad.

Cage sent Nick Wayne instead, who was wearing a ‘Christian Cage is my Father’ tee.  Garcia swept him into the Dragontamer, Luchasaurus tried to help (and slipped getting on the apron) then Matt Menard hit him in the back with a chair and the heels bailed.

I’m completely baffled as to why this match is happening.  Garcia wasn’t among the ranked contenders and didn’t beat Copeland.

*****

Renee with Hangman, Hook and RVD.  Page said tonight was all about opportunity, Hook to redeem vs Joe, RVD to redeem vs Swerve.  RVD said some stuff that wasn’t clear, Page then ranted that their plan was to hurt Swerve and left.  RVD and Hook looked like they were not at all ‘with’ that plan and were all chill and fist-bumped.

At least they somewhat promoted the main event I guess.

Sydni Winnell vs Toni Storm

Backstory: NONE

Winnell was a local so got a cheer but Storm was categorically not booed.  As usual.

Storm has ‘been using the Break a Leg’ lately per Excalibur.  She has?  Don’t even know what that is.  Anyway, she changed her mind and tapped Winnell with Venus de Milo.

Winner: Toni Storm

They then did their new favorite thing of placing rivals’ matches one after the other so they can meet on the ramp, as Deonna came out.  They glared a bit but that was about it.

Deonna Purrazzo vs Madison Rayne

Backstory: NONE

This started as every Deonna match seemingly does, with chain and mat wrestling.  The old ‘silence was palpable’ line applies here as Purrazzo worked a headlock.  They crashed together, Rayne tripped Deonna then fired away at the back.  Boot choke in the corner to follow, a slow sequence saw Purrazzo slide under a lariat and hit a pumpkick.

Ads.

Back to synchronized lariats, both down, crowd politely applauded.  Deonna hit a running knee, Russian legsweep, looking for VdM, Madison slipped free, a very weak exchange of forearms followed, Rayne got a weak rollup for barely one, a very ugly exchange followed before they tried it again and Rayne stayed down after an elevated DDT.  The doc was going to come in but then didn’t, Deonna ‘used Toni Storm’s Break a Leg’ (an ankle lock) to tap Rayne.

Storm raced to the ring and took a pump kick until Mariah May distracted Deonna and Storm applied Break a Leg then applied lipstick (to herself) very badly while staring at Deonna.  The crowd were clapping her, not a lick of heel heat.

It’s very AEW that they’re using a move they haven’t established at all as an important plot point.  It’s also very AEW that they showed that move which might have injured Rayne as the sponsored ‘move of the night’.  Really hope they didn’t allow that match to continue if Rayne was legitimately hurt.  This was not good in a variety of ways.

Winner: Deonna Purrazzo

They finally got to replaying the angle from two weeks ago with the Bucks attacking Sting, Darby and Sting’s sons.  As they should have last week.

We cut to Darby talking in some spooky church-y building before a red light.  Sting was off screen, he agreed to Darby showing a photo of Sting and his sons, highlighting that they were about the same age the Bucks’ kids are now: forget material things we think we need, family is the only thing that matters in the end.  Sting then entered and agreed.

In all the years he’s been a wrestler no one’s ever messed with his family.  Until the Bucks did.  He’s been going through some stuff – his dad passed away recently, he was ‘a hero’ to Sting and ‘taught me right’.  It makes him think about his own mortality.  He used to feel invincible but time catches up to all of us.  He was visibly emotional here, struggling to keep his composure.

‘Everything I have left in me, I’m bringing to Revolution.  You have a fight on your hands, the fight of your life.’

Largely good but didn’t think that final line was good enough to end with.  Obviously the guy has more important things on his mind so that’s understandable.  AEW have left the guys to do a lot of heavy lifting here by not highlighting the angle enough, not following up – was Sting injured?  Are his kids?  Again, the little things that knit feuds together and make them seem important are missing.  Despite the guys themselves doing good work.

*****

The announcers just barely mentioned Sting’s heartfelt promo before Schiavone called Wardlow to the ring.

‘Get out of my ring before I knock you on your old ass again!’ he yelled at Schiavone (that heat should be saved for big ppv angles like last week’s, you can’t go to it too often).

He’s pissed and been pissed for a long time.  Two years ago he had people chanting his name everywhere he went.  He was the next big thing.  But the rocket that got strapped to his back was put on upside down because he’s been driven into the ground and screwed over again and again.

As the only genuine homegrown megastar he should’ve been champ a long time ago.  But hasn’t even had a shot.  ‘People back there need to be fired and thrown in jail for that’.

He then referenced prior champs he’d bettered, including the ‘Best in the world, Real World Champion… his body’s still falling apart from me’.  He ‘squashed’ (Max) like an insect.  Then there’s Joe… (crowd chanted for Joe).  He choked Joe’s ass out and beat him too.

The crowd were chanting ‘What?’ here.

He ran through the guys he referenced above’s catchphrases, applying them to himself.  He’s starving and being fed scraps.  He’s everything a world champion is supposed to be.  There’s no one back there bigger, stronger or faster than him.  No one can stop him.  If anyone wants to get in his way, ‘this is no longer wrestling, this is war’.

Very mixed.  Nice presence, nice intensity, spoke well.  But referencing people in the back being fired for a lack of push is like a flight of steps too far.  And that’s before we get to Punk references.  Leave that the hell alone.  Please.  Seems they learned nothing from last week.  Would still call it an overall plus compared to Wardlow’s previous showings on the mic and was nice to see him stand on his own.

*****

We raced to highlights of the Bang Bang Scissor Gang winning on Rampage.  Then went to them after the match.  Billy apologized for knocking Jay off the apron.  White implied that the Gunns hadn’t had as much success with Billy as they had with him.  Then suggested he, Billy and one of the other Gunns (it was confusing) trio up.

The others agreed.

This needs to get to the point.  Not now, but right now.

*****

Will Ospreay package announcing he’ll be appearing at All In and will be at Dynamite next week.

Excalibur then said Tony Khan had added Wardlow to a match – ‘something called Meat Madness’ – with no further elaboration.

Gimmicky, cheesy and lacking explanation at the same time.  Impressive.

*****

Then to Renee with the Callis Fam.  Don called Takeshita and Ospreay the best two wrestlers in the world.  He also announced Hobbs is in ‘Meat Madness’.  Then called Sammy Guevara a ‘cuck’ (which the crowd laughed at) and said they had a score to settle.

There should have been one clear focus here – promoting the match involving the big, splashy new signing.  Instead, it was squashed in first among three things, one of which was some vague new match which hasn’t been explained at all since AEW themselves probably haven’t decided yet.

Hangman Adam Page, Hook & Rob Van Dam vs Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland & Brian Cage

Backstory: Page and Swerve and the #1 contenders for Joe’s AEW crown

Strange positioning of heels/faces here.  Page’s team out first, RVD got far the best reaction.  Swerve’s was up there as he came out with Cage and Nana.  Though that further muddies whether he’s a face, since Cage is clearly a heel.  Joe got his usual healthy reaction.

Joe and Hook to start as the crowd chanted ‘RVD’.  Lockup, Joe sent the youngster back to the corner then laughed.  Lockup, Joe flung Hook down face-first, still enjoying himself.  A third lockup, Hook tripped Joe to the corner, firing bodyshots and landing a leaping lariat before firing away in the corner.

Didn’t last long – Joe jabbed him into a puddle.  Then flung him to the heels’ corner and tagged Cage.  Who continued the assault with forearms till Hook ducked a lariat, hit a back elbow and fled for the tag to RVD.  Not very babyface, running away like that after doing essentially nothing.

RVD got a leg scissors pin for two but was quickly run back to the heels’ corner as Swerve came in to double up, side slam/dropkick combo from he and Cage.

Van Dam reversed a whip and hit a heel kick in the corner, monkey flip out, Swerve slow to get up, selling his back.  Standing switch, Van Dam blind tagged Page who marched in and went face to face with Swerve, crowd oohed, cameras panned away at the worst possible moment right as Page double-legged Swerve down and they brawled before it was broken up.

Chants of ‘Cowboy shit’ as the ads arrived.  Those two continue to have a nice intensity to their interactions.

Back to Hook being worked over in the heels’ corner once more, Joe jabbing away, Hook slumped.  Cage in, suplex coming, delayed, count of two.  Hook countered a DVD into a strange ddt-ish move.  Hot tag to RVD, Page was annoyed he didn’t get the tag, Van Dam ran through the heels with kicks and hit a vaulting legdrop to Swerve on the apron, dropkicking Joe off the apron, rolling thunder to Swerve.

Crowd chanting ‘RVD’ as he went upstairs, Five Star hit, Joe broke it at one as Swerve took a cheap shot – knocking Page off the apron.  RVD was now 1:3 and being crushed in the heels’ corner.  Joe got a two count.

Ads.

Again Joe jabbed someone to a puddle in the corner.  This time it was Van Dam.  Swerve and Joe argued briefly before the beating continued.  Van Dam hit a kick to the face then a springboard heel kick, both down.

Both crawling for tags, Page and Cage in, Page ducked him and knocked Swerve off the buckle, countered a Cage pop-up powerbomb into a rana to wild cheers then went outside and blasted Strickland with a boot to block the rolling flatliner.

But was caught out of a crossbody by Cage, slipped free, rolling elbows, DVD, Cage out at two.  Page’s flurries are always great.

Hook came in to clock Joe but was nailed with a Swerve brainbuster.  RVD took him out then was taken out by Cage.  Page booted Cage clear and had a Buckshot lined up but stopped to go after Swerve instead.  So was cut off up top.  Cage setup a superplex, Hook took him down via belly to back at the same time from the middle.

Then ducked a wild swing, Redrum applied, Cage tagged Joe, Swerve came in instead and took a Redrum too, Joe still not in as the other heels worked over Hook despite neither being legal.  Swerve hit a house call to Hook, Page took out Cage then the three title contenders hit the middle of the ring and brawled, Page focusing on Swerve again, taking a backbreaker and a boot from Joe then a tope.

Page ducked a Swerve boot which hit Joe then powerbombed Strickland through the announce table.  To more wild cheers.  He yelled at Swerve to stay down.

Joe ducked a Buckshot, snap powerslam, Page just kicked out, RVD took out Cage, Muscle Buster coming, Page slipped behind, tag to RVD who was nailed by Joe, Hook hit Joe with a throw, RVD was shoved off the top by Cage who hit a discus lariat to Hook, Joe got the Kokina on RVD who went night-night.

Page was grabbing his ankle after having landed hard on it a few minutes earlier.

So look, if you don’t care about heels and babyfaces you probably just enjoyed the action. And I did too, it was really good.  But after seemingly clarifying Page and Swerve a couple weeks back, this only confused things again.  I really want to like this feud and the way they kept building Swerve and Page to target one another was good storytelling.

Some braver booking leading to one of the title participants pinning the other would also have added some drama to the upcoming match.

Winner: Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage

 ________________________________________________________________

Next Collision:

  • Bryan Danielson vs Jun Akiyama

Next Dynamite:

  • Will Ospreay appears

Thumbs Up/Down

  • BCC vs FTR
  • Darby using the photo and relating it to the Bucks’ kids was simple but effective
  • Main event

 *****

  • Most of what I didn’t like tonight is related to AEW’s real issue with promoting. I could list a million big and little things they missed-on but will boil it down to one: as best I recall, they didn’t once mention that Sting’s LAST EVER MATCH is in ten days.  The last time he will ever wrestle, you have to pay to see it because you’ll never see it again.  They should be absolutely hammering this.  It’s mindboggling…

Appreciate you reading.  Hope you’re having a good week.

 

Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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