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Dynamite TV report for 02/28/2024

Venue: Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Ala.

If you’re wondering – since you surely are – leap years are a result of the Roman calendar which started in March and so had a 1/4 day left at the end of each February.

Yes I will now STFU and talk about wrestling.

*****

Hangman out to tell us whether he’ll be wrestling Sunday.  The crutch he’s using suggests otherwise.  It’s a worked injury but he’s doing a damn good job selling it.  Loud ‘Cowboy shit’ chant.

He said ‘this (the crutch) doesn’t look like a promising start to the speech’ and sounded like the old humble Hangman.  When AEW started it was a chance for him to meet people’s expectations and make the most of things.  He referenced winning the title in 2021 and got a cheer.

That’s why it hurts so much to have that opportunity again and ‘have this’ (injury).  He suggested a few weeks ago the title should be one-on-one but now it’s gonna be with the wrong two competitors.  He’s going to tell us the truth because he always does – on Sunday he ‘will not be able to compete’.

‘Whose house!?’ immediately interrupted and Swerve hit the aisle with a mean mug.  I’m still open to this being a setup.  They went face to face, Swerve was interrupted by chants about his abode.  He said the last six months they’ve been to war – they’ve both tried to kill each other, he might have crossed the line a couple times but he targeted Page because of everything he’s accomplished.

But this is fate and you can’t escape fate or destiny.  And Swerve’s is to become the world champ.  Joe didn’t like this much so interrupted.  Remaining on the ramp, he made fun of ‘two bitter enemies tryna hug it out’.  Then ‘corrected’ some lies: for weeks he’s seen them stare holes through each other but only because they were avoiding eye contact with a ‘real man’.

He called Page ‘hop along’ then said the two are both ‘hungry’ because he’s starving their asses.  While he has the title there won’t be any more meals come dinner time.  He’s Samoa Joe, the AEW champ, and whether one or both, he’ll whip their asses at Revolution.

Swerve fired up to talk about his journey from unemployed to main event, from cruiserweight to world title.  But warned Joe that he’s the same guy who broke into a wrestling school and left a kid in a bloody heap.  Who trespassed and threatened an infant child – he’ll do whatever it takes.

Once he takes the title Joe won’t know what to do with himself – he might even have to go back to commentary ‘wearing a poncho’.  Looking borderline psychotic, he ranted that he’s making history.  Sunday, he will become champ, he yelled ‘Whose house?’ a bunch until Hangman nailed him from behind with his crutch, screaming maniacally that Swerve will never be champion, then yelling the same at Joe.

So he is wrestling Sunday.  His music played to end the seg.  Swerve still down.

It would be really nice if Strickland knew what the hell he was supposed to be.  Or if someone else would help him understand that.  Because he ruined this segment.  Firstly by yet another ‘shoot’ reference to AEW hiring guys who sucked in WWE – tee hee, you did commentary.  Then by yet again referencing his threatening an infant.  I don’t want to root for a guy who did this.  We shouldn’t be reminded of it.  And Hangman damn sure shouldn’t just have to stand and listen while Swerve brings it up again.  Can’t blame the guy for whacking him.

So everything else here was totally undone by the only supposedly true babyface not really being one.  A shame because the other two did good work.

*****

After hyping that this was Sting’s last night on the active roster, we went to the Bucks arriving earlier today.  Nicholas had a pink suit on.  Renee was waiting for them and asked about their meeting with Ric Flair last week.  Nicholas said ‘it went great’ but refused to say anymore.

Matthew asked if she’d seen Sting.  She said no.  He said they really wanted to see him and thank him and give him an ‘exit interview’, as they pulled out bats.  He then gave Renee one of his phony, patronizing pep talks.

Nicholas told the camera to follow along to see what they do to Sting.

Would love a little more subtlety but I’ve been complaining every week that they aren’t highlighting Sting enough so it’s a nice hook to start the show.

*****

They then replayed the angle from Collision with Danielson kicking Jun Akiyama in the nuts and the ensuing Kingston,FTR/BCC brawl.

Give ‘em credit, that’s the top three ppv matches hyped in the first fifteen of the show.

Bryan Danielson, Jon Moxley & Claudio Castagnoli vs FTR & Eddie Kingston

Backstory: FTR saved Kingston from a BCC beatdown Saturday

The BCC made their way through the back to Mox’s music.  They seemed to be babyfaces tonight?  Presumably an angle will now main event since there isn’t another match close to worthy.

Kingston and FTR both got a nice reaction considering the size of the crowd relative to the size of the arena.  It certainly says something that this is the best they could do for Sting’s last ever tv.

Danielson immediately activated his shit-eating smirk and Kingston wanted at him.  So that’s how we started.  Maybe not – Danielson threatened to lockup then tagged Claudio.  Who went at it with Kingston, clashing shoulders, Kingston broke the stalemate with a diving one off the top, crowd chanted his name as Claudio tagged Danielson back in.

Dax joined him, headlock takeover, Danielson countered, both to their feet, stalemate.  Back to it, Dax shoulder tackle, countering a hiptoss, Danielson kicked him away, into a scoop slam, Dax kicked him away, back to the headlock takeover, back to the Danielson headscissors, back to the stalemate.

Crowd applauded.

Mox and Cash now, quite a lot of boos for the former, who aimed rights in the corner, Cash fired back with uppercuts till Mox turned the tables with chops and body shots.  To a brawl in the middle, series of headbutts, Cash more uppercuts, the pair going head-to-head until all six came in to briefly break it up before a mass brawl ensued.

Crowd pleasing, as usual.  Ads.

Back to Cash stuck in a Romero Special, Mox came in and just nailed him as they got back to their fight.  Mox applied a leglock, Cash kept trying to punch his way free until Dax came in to stomp his partner free.

Wheeler leapt for the tag but was cutoff, he fought off Claudio who’d grabbed him from behind, ‘rana to Mox, tag to Dax.  Who came in with rights and neckbreakers; Mox ducked his head and was cradled for two.  O’Connor out of the corner for the same, springing cross body for the same again.

Tiger driver for yet another two count, Danielson breaking the pin.  Kingston tried to get at him as fans chanted his name.  Claudio hit a cheap shot behind the ref’s back and the BCC surrounded Dax outside.

Kingston went to help his partner and was taken down by Danielson then whipped around ringside and nailed with a low running dropkick.  Back inside, Claudio and Dax fought it out, chops vs forearms, until a big Swiss lariat bagged two.

More ads.

Claudio dragged Dax to the BCC corner, tag to Mox, Hart attack, Mox hammerlocked the arm on the mat and Danielson came off the top via diving headbutt.  Dax briefly shook Mox off, Danielson came in to block the tag, and of course, after building to the hot tag for several minutes… the cameras missed it.  Womp womp.

And it was to Kingston, who nailed Danielson with chops, the other four fighting outside as Eddie backed BD to the corner with stiff knife edges then flung him via exploder.  As Taz got his feelings hurt by Excalibur referencing this as a Jun Akiyama move.

Claudio came in from behind and took one too, this time even Taz called it an Akiyama move.  Mox blindsided Eddie with a lariat, Kingston popped right back up, Mox aghast, they flung rights, Mox a pair of boots until running into a big lariat.  Though it left Kingston open to Danielson’s running dropkick in the corner, right out into the swing, ending with a Danielson dropkick before being propelled by Claudio into a Mox knee strike and piledriver.

Excalibur ruined it by insisting it was over as Dax made the save.  Please stop doing this.

Dax lariated Mox outside, FTR did the same to Claudio then flung Danielson into the Uriken, into an FTR top-rope bulldog a la the Steiners.  Kingston to the cover, Mox and Claudio broke the pin at two.

Really nice job creating believable near falls.  The way the BCC are working here really makes them feel like a proper unit, the proverbial ‘well-oiled machine’.

All six in the ring, fighting in pairs, Danielson and Eddie legal as they exchanged chops until the BCC all got synchronized H&A down into chokes, Danielson could be heard screaming ‘tap!’ as the crowd got behind Kingston again.  The faces came together in the middle to run the heels to the buckles and break the holds.

Crowd quiet here considering.

The faces now aiming synchronized machine gun chops until the BCC all countered into ten punches.  FTR dosi-doh’d (sorry I have no idea how to spell that) out of a whip, taking out BD and Mox, Claudio into a Shatter Machine but rolling out, Mox ddt to Cash, Dax brainbuster to him, BD busaiku to him, Danielson ducked a Uriken, shoulder capture suplex, yes! chant, busaiku to Kingston.  But he wasn’t done – head kicking time, wrists captured, vicious heel-of-the-boot strikes, into a triangle, Kingston already out of it, the ref stopped things.

About a minute after leading the crowd in a ‘yes!’ chant, Danielson refused to release the hold.  Kingston was bleeding from the mouth/nose and it’s not surprising, those stomps were stiff.

Absolutely superb match which only adds intrigue to Sunday.

Winner: BCC

They hyped Jericho’s upcoming match, saying he’d requested it and showing highlights of Jericho wrestling with Atlantis’ father in the 90s.

Backstage to he and Renee.  He said he’d been thrown into the deep end back in the 90s and put over Atlantis Sr. as a mentor.  So he wanted to repay the favor to Atlantis Jr.  He’s going to give him some lessons, including in violence and show him what he can do.

The Keep Jericho Babyface tour continues.

*****

Schiavone in the ring.  Time to make something official – he brought out Will Ospreay.  I realize I’ve been harping on this a lot lately but this too could’ve been promoted better: middle of the show without much hype, before a small crowd who aren’t the most raucous bunch.

It doesn’t feel nearly as big as it should.

Ospreay was smiling ear-to-ear and desperate for a hug from Schiavone.  He played to the crowd.  Then emphasized that his NJPW obligations were done.  He’d been to Barbados for ten days, where he ‘got pissed with the missus’ (drunk with his wife/gf).  The airline lost his bags which is why he’s here in a green tracksuit ‘looking like Kermit the Frog on leg day’.

And is ready for full-time work.  Crowd cheered and chanted his name.  Ospreay has a very likeable, man-of-the-people way of talking.

But then emphasized this isn’t his first time in AEW – he’s beaten Orange Cassidy, he’s beaten Kenny Omega – both of these got strange responses, and he’s beaten Chris Jericho.  This got a better response.

So we should make no mistake, he’s used to big things and ready to roll.  He mentioned ‘rolling with the Callis Family’ and they immediately hit the scene.  Ospreay gave Callis a less than enthusiastic hug, a big one for Hobbs, none for Takeshita, they eyed one-another.

Callis took the mic to say he loves a reunion.  Drowned out by boos as usual, he talked about the talent at his disposal.  Then said to Ospreay he ‘loved the way you talked about all those things we accomplished together’ (dude’s a genius, just knows exactly what to say and how to say it without bludgeoning you over the head).

Highlighting his role in all of Ospreay’s successes and saying they’d top it by ‘having a Match of the Decade’ (sigh).  He put over Ospreay and Takeshita as the two best wrestlers in the world, comparing them to Jordan and Pippen going at each other in practice then coming together to win on the court.

He ordered them to shake hands.  Ospreay flamboyantly, almost mockingly offered his, Takeshita shook but then wouldn’t let go.  Ospreay returned the favor, they jawed.  Callis pretended ‘this is great – you’re the best and you’re the best,’ then pretended the crowd were chanting for both as they chanted for the Brit.

Ospreay’s music played, he and Callis bowed, he and Hobbs dapped, he and Takeshita stared each other down once more.

Very nice segment.  Ospreay came across as a star and mentioned beating other top names.  Really hoping they learnt from the mess with Jericho and make sure he turns against Callis rather than the other way round.

*****

Renee backstage with Kingston.  She highlighted the disrespect he’d been shown.  And asked how he was feeling about facing Danielson now.  The Bucks interrupted on their Sting hunt.

Renee told them they were live and couldn’t re-shoot.  Nicholas had a bone to pick with Kingston for his comments on Collision.  Matthew apologized for his brother but then asked whether Kingston could act more like a champion – maybe dress better.  He wondered about a dress code.

They then left yelling for Sting again.  As Renee said she’d told Eddie to ‘get those Louis Vuitton Timbs’.

The Bucks have crossed the line into over the top tonight.  Inserting them into an angle that is otherwise ultra-serious doesn’t help.  Don’t see how this helped either feud.  If Kingston isn’t going to speak anyway they could have interrupted any old scrub.

Orange Cassidy vs Nick Wayne (International Title)

Backstory: NONE

Justin announced this ‘open challenge for the International Championship’.  The crowd could not have cared less.  Possibly wondering why the hell this is an open challenge when there’s supposed to be a rankings system.

But were excited when Cassidy’s music hit.  Wayne got minimal – minimal – boos.  Which picked up when Christian Cage followed.  Excalibur tried to convince us we might see Roderick Strong vs Wayne this Sunday.

In yet another example of details making characters, sure be nice if Wayne stopped throwing a ‘W’ up to the sky toward his dead father.  Kinda makes it hard to route against him.  The announcers mentioned the deaths of Ole Anderson and Mike Jones.  RIP Virgil.

Wayne aimed a quick kick and grabbed a headlock, into a takeover, back up with the lock still intact, Orange switched to one of his own, into a takedown, Wayne countered to a headscissors, Cassidy slithered free and kipped up.  To cheers.

Then went for his pockets. Wayne raced at him, tried a leapfrog and was nearly caught into beach break.  But fought back to hit a step-up rana, enziguri in the corner, Cassidy avoided Wayne’s World but was nailed with a diving back elbow and rolled outside.

Cassidy blocked a punt from the apron; Wayne cartwheeled free (what a heel) then moved and Cassidy crashed into the steps.  Wayne then landed a moonsault.  Really is quite the heel repertoire.

Babyface Cassidy rolled in and then quickly out to get away from the heel Wayne who aimed a beautiful plancha.  Then headed back upstairs.  Cassidy moved, got a boot up but took an uppercut as Wayne sought a superplex.  Cassidy forearmed his way free, Cage tripped him, the ref didn’t see it but threw him out anyway, along with the rest of his crew.

Ads.

Cassidy got his pockets to break a hammerlock, hit a dropkick but staggered back selling his back.  Wayne avoided a charge in the corner but was run to the buckles from the apron, took a diving cross body, tornado ddt, count of two.

A Punch missed, Wayne landed a fisherman for two.  Then finally remembered he was a heel and began mocking Cassidy’s kicks.  And took a thrust kick before Cassidy launched the new kicks, ending with a running punt, pad off, Punch coming, Wayne avoided again, hit a German but saw a code red countered into beach break.

For a near fall.

The Kingdom suddenly appeared at ringside, a dragon suplex got two on a distracted Cassidy (isn’t the story here supposed to be that Strong wanted Cassidy to think for six weeks about how he was going to beat him?).  Rocky Romero and Trent brawled with the Kingdom, Wayne dislodged a buckle pad as the ref wasn’t looking.

Daniel Garcia appeared at ringside and a distracted Wayne took a Punch to lose because no-one ever takes a clean loss in AEW unless they’re one of the 5% who always do.  Roderick Strong then attacked Cassidy from behind.

Multiple ref distractions, a million people out there, a swerve distraction finish leading to an actual distraction finish.

Did you know AEW are going to be more sports-like in 2024?

Winner: Orange Cassidy

Renee with the Bang Bang Scissor Gang, who continue to awkwardly mess with her from behind.  Not cool.

Jay White said he was apprehensive about teaming at first but he’s now all in.  Billy agreed but asked Caster ‘What was up with the rap?’.  ‘You think anyone noticed?’ wondered Caster.

They all giggled.

(Here’s what happened since AEW assume you watch everything – Caster totally lost his flow in the middle of his rap Saturday and just gave up.  After a line about him getting annoyed with management.  Maybe he’s still distracted by his infatuation with MJF?)

Austin said ‘Speaking of combos within the group…’ despite the fact no-one had.  Then suggested he team with the Acclaimed.  Bowens said no then suggested the same guys in reverse order and everyone liked the idea.

Jay White then had to act like a scissoring goof.

This stuff is dreadful.

Kris Statlander vs Skye Blue

Backstory: They don’t like e/o; if I ever knew why, I’ve forgotten

Blue raced at Statlander and they brawled until she was bealed out of the corner.  Statlander wailed away with rights and chops then ran through her shoulder-first.  Blue took her down, she kipped right back up, rinse and repeat.  Standing senton, count of two.  At least these two know who the babyface and heel are supposed to be.

Stat countered a tejeiras to just dump Blue down.  Brutal landing.  She hit back with a step-up knee to knock Statlander off the apron but took a big right and was military pressed into the front row, taking some fans with her.

Hope they were plants.  Ads.

Back to a Blue knee strike; Statlander immediately sprang off the middle buckle into a back elbow, both down.  Slugging their way up, Statlander whipped Blue then nailed a lariat, running back elbow in the corner, knee to follow, powerslam out of the corner.  For two.

Discus ducked, Blue swinging neckbreaker for a near fall.  Blue elevated to the buckle, hit a knee strike, both out there now, Blue hit a thrust kick but took a roundhouse and a German on the apron, plummeting to the mat as Julia Hart raced to check on her.  She then glared at Statlander and was fronting up when Willow stepped to her.

Statlander raced at Blue and was tripped into the steps, destroyer back inside, thrust kick, inside cradle, Stat out at two.

Blue upstairs, Statlander nailed a right, iconoclasm, fisherman buster, near fall.  Stokely offered Stat a chain, Willow yelled not to take it, the refs are all dumb so Rick Knox was bothered by this bickering between non-participants.  Allowing Julia Hart to hit a belt shot as Blue won.

Pretty nice match.  Though the usual lame non-finish finish didn’t help.  Especially in the ‘rubber match,’ as Excalibur kept emphasizing.  Sports-like y’all!

Winner: Skye Blue

Back to the Bucks’ hunt for Sting.  They’d found his locker room.  Matthew got a little concerned here since Sting had seemed a little crazy in his interview last week.  They burst in and found a bunch of bats hanging from the ceiling.  The Bucks got angry then got all nervous.

Better than the previous stuff at least.

‘Lionheart’ Chris Jericho vs Atlantis Jr.

Backstory: See Jericho’s earlier promo

Jericho’s doing that thing where someone suddenly switches gimmick for like a day with no reason.  Almost as if they’re all playing characters and this is all fake.  This is also not optimal use of tv time for the ‘go home’ show.  He came out to what I presume is his old CMLL music.

Atlantis came out with his dad to no reaction.

Atlantis offered a handshake; Jericho slapped him then aimed chops in the ropes.  Leapfrog, dropdown, dropkick saw Atlantis hit back, enziguri from the apron, diving cross body, boot to the gut, delayed monkey flip after playing to the crowd.

Who are very quiet here.  As they were for most of the last match.

He tried another and was swept into the Walls but right near the ropes.  Jericho then went after the mask – done to death.  Senior then wrapped a towel around the back of Jericho’s neck and was supposedly choking him.  Junior hit a tope while Jericho was arguing with Senior.  Catapult into the ringpost followed.

The fans are being polite but that’s about it.

Junior setup the steps, seeking a powerbomb, nearly lost Jericho, nearly lost him again, Jericho countered into a rana as Junior hit the steps.

Ads.  Nothing to see here folks.

Jericho hit a shoulder block then was sent to the apron.  He climbed the buckle, Atlantis slowly armdragged him off, Jericho hit awkwardly but was out at two.  Another very slow move following – wheelbarrow German, again for two.

But was cut off atop the buckle, Jericho just leapt off into a sort-of facebuster which Excalibur tried to explain was the same ‘bulldog’ we’d seen during the earlier clips from the 90s.  Yet another two count.  This is glacial.  Shout-out Ray Lloyd.

But finally sped up a little as Atlantis flipped over a rushing Jericho to hit a snap powerslam on the other side.  Another two.

There’s some never-before-seen footage of Sting in NJPW on the countdown show after Rampage.

Jericho hit a high boot, Atlantis to the apron, Jericho missed his springboard dropkick, Atlantis hit a dive.  But was caught coming back in and hit with very light rights into a top-rope rana.  Judas Effect ducked, Atlantis got what is seemingly his finish – a Torture Rack – Jericho whirled his way out into the Walls.

Atlantis nearly got the ropes but was dragged back, Jericho wrenched back, Senior threw in the towel.  That makes one proper finish tonight.

Senior checked on his son, Jericho did too, after earlier trying to wrench his mask off.  They all posed.  Atlantis then suddenly got angry, or seemed it, before they hugged instead.  Not a damn clue who’s supposed to be what.

Thought this segment would never end.

Winner: Chris Jericho

They then said Jericho was in the ‘All-Star 8-Man Scramble’ Sunday.  So seems they’ve scrapped the ultra-gimmicky ‘Meat Madness’.

Also, Claudio’s fighting a small chicken from CMLL on Rampage.

Excalibur ran through the upcoming lineups in a way which moved jaggedly back and forth between the ppv and upcoming tv.  A mess to keep up with.

*****

The EVPs came out to the ring.  They talked trash with loads of fans in Sting masks in the front row.  One of them was Darby Allin who threw himself at the Bucks until a Nicholas punt left him at a disadvantage.  They worked him over with a bat, mimicking what they’d done to Sting’s sons then nailed an EVP Trigger.  Before using the bat some more.

This is weird.

Matthew beckoned to the back and Ric Flair came out with a big smile.  The announcers talked about his ‘massive ego’.  The Bucks handed Flair the bat and he poked them in the eye.  Nicholas gave Flair a low blow and they stomped him in the corner.  The announcers were suddenly concerned for him.

Sting finally decided he should stop his two friends having the crap kicked out of them.  His music played, the Bucks headed up the ramp with bats, he rappelled down from the ceiling, trench coat and all.  That’s pretty cool.

The Bucks finally realized and crapped themselves.  Sting fought them off, blocking their bat shots with his, Darby miraculously recovered to launch a coffin splash.

Nicholas took a Death Drop.  The Bucks bailed up the ramp yelling about a ‘severance package’ for the ‘old man’.  The announcers emphasized Sting’s final ever match Sunday.

Ended well and I like what’s happened transforming him back into the Crow.  Just had to be a better way to get there than letting his two friends get their brains beaten in.  The whole point of a swerve is that the babyfaces outsmart the heels; hard to see how Darby having his skull crushed was worth a Ric Flair eye poke.

A mixed show which highlighted AEW’s continuing weaknesses while admittedly doing an improved job building Revolution’s key matches.

 ________________________________________________________________

Next Collision:

  • Hear from Toni Storm and Deonna Purrazzo
  • Orange Cassidy, Trent, Hook, Daniel Garcia vs Christian Cage, Killswitch, Roderick Strong and Brian Cage
  • Penta vs Bryan Keith vs Dante Martin to ‘qualify’ for the below

Added to Revolution:

  • All-Star 8-Man Scramble: Jericho, Hobbs, Archer, Wardlow, Hook, Cage, Magnus/Sydal, Penta/Bryan Keith/Dante Martin

Thumbs Up/Down

  • BCC vs FTR/Kingston
  • Ospreay/Takeshita segment
  • Generally very good job highlighting the main ppv matches

 *****

  • That mess of an International Title segment – do your work early and you won’t have to jam nine things into one
  • The Bang Bang Scissor Gang
  • Jericho vs Atlantis
  • Really hoping this indecisive booking doesn’t carry over into the pay-per-view

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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