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Dynamite TV report for 03/27/2024

Venue: Videotron Centre, Quebec City, Canada

*****

Will Ospreay vs Katsuyori Shibata

Backstory: Ospreay wants to match/one-up Danielson who beat Shibata ten days ago

First time in a while we’ve started the show with a match, Ospreay out to a huge response, huge smile plastered as usual.  Schiavone said he didn’t think he’d ever seen someone arrive in AEW like this.

They replayed footage of a very young-looking Will losing to Shibata in New Japan seven years ago.

Seems like another pretty small crowd; doesn’t sound like it though due to the energy Ospreay’s brought:  ‘Ospreayyyy, Ospreayyyy, Ospreayyyy,’ as the announcers did a nice job talking about how far he’d come since that match.

To the mat, Shibata grabbing a headlock, Ospreay briefly out before the vet straddled him to… give him a hug?  What it looked like anyway.  He did then try to break his arm tbf, Ospreay got the ropes.

Back to their feet, another tentative lockup, Ospreay strikes, snapmare, chinlock, crowd quiet now as Shibata span out into an armwringer, Ospreay spinning free into an ankle pick, series of takedowns and counters – very smooth, Shibata suddenly flung a wicked PK, Ospreay frantically ducked, another reset.

Lockup, Ospreay forced to the ropes, brief break before he flung a chop, Shibata didn’t like this – flurry in the corner, but after setting up the running dropkick Ospreay met him with one of his own.  Forearms followed in the corner, almost mimicking Shibata.  Yes in fact as he hit the hanging dropkick.

The vet bailed outside, Ospreay vaulting over into a cross body before flinging Shibata back inside.  Mistaaaake, Shibata booted him off the apron with a shot to the mush.  Before they brawled outside, Shibata walking through Ospreay’s rights, eventually responding with a stiff uppercut, suplex, and an even stiffer kick to the spine.

Some light boos as he headed back in and sat in his pose.

The Brit finally returning, swept right into a leglock, Ospreay fired his way free, both to their feet, Ospreay hurling chops, Shibata answering with a forearm and backdrop suplex.

Ads.  So there were critics of Ospreay/Fletcher for the reason it was a ‘good match’ r/t prioritizing getting the new guy over.  Don’t totally agree with it but there probably should be some matches where Will just runs through some dudes.

Back to both down, Ospreay up first, Shibata outside, meeting Will with a boot to the gut and another to the face against the barricade.  Ospreay hopped it out of a whip before using it to springboard into a AJ forearm, another followed from the apron, barely two with the first pin of the match.

Shibata again walked through Ospreay’s blows, all the way to the corner, a single return dropping the Brit, big boot in the corner, Ospreay popped out, following Shibata to the opposite corner with a running chop, Shibata shook it off to fire another flurry, Ospreay shook these off to this time follow him with a big boot, firing up to shake off another Shibata flurry until being chopped down in the corner then nailed with the hanging dropkick.

Front headlock throw for two.

Ospreay switched out of an abdominal; Shibata switched back, now into the octopus, Ospreay got the ropes, landing on his feet out of a German, hitting one himself – Shibata popped up to hit a stalling one, Ospreay popped up to land a crescent kick but came badly short on a spin kick (as was planned), caught into an STF, but getting the ropes.

Then nailing a big right but taking one to the gut, tripped down, PK missing, shot to the spine not, a second PK blocked, another exchange of strikes, Shibata again winning, Ospreay to his knees, vicious flurry into a wicked knee strike from Shibata, Ospreay popped up to nail an enziguri before crashing back down.

Hate that.  Excalibur tried to explain it as a ‘momentary surge of adrenaline’.

Hidden Blade missed, Shibata got a sleeper, hit a sleeper suplex, right back into the sleeper, Ospreay finally freeing himself, stomp to the back of the head, dropkick from the top, oscutter, kickout at/before one.  Shibata lariat, Ospreay out at one, exchange of strikes, Shibata snatched another sleeper to block another oscutter, Ospreay this time countering into a backdrop and a vicious running back-elbow.

Shibata out at two.  Crowd not with these near falls.

Stormbreaker, nope, tiger driver, Shibata popped up from this too but a Hidden Blade finished things.  The pair bowed to one-another, right down to the mat, crowd clapping as Ospreay’s music continued and Shibata left.

I might be a philistine here, but when I know who’s winning, the longer a match goes, the less interested I am.  And this went twenty minutes.  And had far too many pop-ups from big moves.  The whole point of this match was to make Ospreay stronger and I’m not sure it did since Shibata’s not exactly a top guy, despite his rep with truly hardcore fans.

Nor did it further any feuds – Bryan Danielson wasn’t even mentioned here.  This was supposed to be a cock-waving contest – I’m better than you.  But there was no mention of how Danielson beat Shibata, how long it took him to beat Shibata…AEW are so poor at this (see Danielson/Akiyama), almost distracted when there’s a ‘good match’ to be had instead.

Winner: Will Ospreay

Funnily enough, right to a Danielson package, voiced by Excalibur, hyping him as the greatest technical wrestler of all time, showing clips from his whole career and even mentioning being trained by Shawn.

Highlighting his return from concussion problems and arriving in AEW.  Ending with Danielson saying ‘If this is my last year, I’m callin my shots, this will be the most epic year of my career.’

So seems they’re starting the countdown.

Now of course, this is AEW, so an irregular viewer might be asking, ‘Why might this be his last year?  What happened?’  And of course, this is AEW, so this remained unanswered.

They pushed the Ospreay/BD Dynasty match.  Linking into the finals of the tag tourney being featured there before pushing tonight’s QF’s.

*****

Yes, they are indeed highlighting the tale of Private Party upsetting the Bucks five years ago.  It should bother the people booking that after five years of tv time, it would be even more of an upset tonight than it was back when they were unknowns.

Renee with the EVP’s.  Nicholas’ plastered on smile = phenomenal.  Unfortunately he snapped at the first mention of their previous loss to PP, accusing Renee of being unprofessional and asking where Marvez was.

She almost broke at ‘He’s better-looking than you.’

Matthew said they had a couple objectives when they returned.  They got rid of Sting, and restructured the Elite.  He hyped Okada’s win last week (Okada again got a pop when mentioned) and said just like him they were going to win fair and square, so Okada would remain backstage tonight.

But their main goal is to get ‘our AEW tag titles back.’  And ‘right that wrong’ of their previous loss to PP.

Matt told Renee she was killing it but needed to smile more.  A surly Nick repeated ‘Where’s Alex Marvez?’ as they left.

*****

A red Ferrari pulled up – Rainmaker time.  New belt over his shoulder.

EVP’s vs Private Party (Tag Tourn QF)

Backstory: Guessing they’re trying to suggest PP might surprise the Bucks as they did in the inaugural tourney back in 2019

Matt spoke to the camera to tell Excalibur to tell us the news about Double or Nothing.  He dutifully pushed the ppv returning to Las Vegas in May.

Are Private Party supposed to be babyfaces here?  Cause the last few times I’ve seen them they’ve been total douches.  Hence boos when they came out.  As we were shown footage of their match in October 2019.  Tbf, they’re really trying here to make you think the Bucks will lose.  Still don’t think there’s a chance in hell they will.

Matt offered a fistbump, Isiah went face to face with him before Matt aimed a kick to the gut, was rolled up for an early two count, another, Matt popped up with a shot to the throat before tagging his bro.  Exceptionally quiet here but for some boos.

Quen came in and both PP got two counts, then flipped out of having their legs caught and hit thrust kicks then stereo topes.  Quen was flung into the crowd by Matt, he tried to do the same to Isiah but ate silly string.  Hate that move.

Nick and Quen then fought atop the barricade, Nick hit a falcon arrow to the floor which looked far worse for him than it did Quen.  Crowd loved it.  Okada shown watching as the ref began his count, Quen only just making it back in.

Nick suplexed him onto Matt’s knees, Nick then knocked Cassidy off the apron, Bucks ruling the ring as the ads arrived.

Back to Isiah sneaking in to help Quen out of the heel corner, leading to the tag, lariats for Matt after Nick was knocked off the apron.  Gamengiri to Matt from the apron, Asai off onto Nick, springboard cross body back in for a near fall.  Crowd enjoyed that flurry, leading to a brief chant for the Partiers.

Nick then tripped Isiah from outside before they set him atop the buckle for a double-team sliced bread, Quen just saving the pin, crowd loved that move.  He dragged Isiah over then tagged himself in, facing off vs both Bucks, Nick landed a shot to the back and a German before another on the apron, TK Driver coming, Quen got a rollup a la the way they won in 2019 for a near fall.

Gin and Juice on Nick, he rolled out of the ring to escape the pin?  Maybe.  No idea who’s legal.  PP hit more bang for your buck on Matt, Nick saved the pin.  God this atmosphere’s so flat.

Nick tried to get the bell, the world’s dumbest ref Rick Knox got rid of it as Matt hit a low blow, Quen hit a belt shot while Knox’ back was still turned, Nick put Matt’s leg on the bottom rope at the last second.

Quen went upstairs after a tag, completely missed a 630, Matt raced to tag, EVP Trigger, Nick slipped badly and they didn’t really hit it.  But won anyway.  The worst Bucks match I’ve ever seen?  Not horrible or anything but far from special.

Okada was shown pumping his fist backstage (pretty sure he wasn’t actually there and this was all filmed last week since he was totally by himself).

This was all very AEW.  They used the shortcut of telling you there was an upset last time, without laying the longer-term groundwork of having Private Party appear and win regularly in the buildup so that they actually seemed a threat.  Factor in that their characters haven’t been clear faces and you get a crowd that isn’t really behind them too.

Winner: EVPs

Takeshita package.  Voiced by Don Callis.  He looked like a monster here and Callis spoke really well.  Unfortunately, much like the above, they haven’t laid the groundwork: Takeshita’s disappeared from tv most of the year.

*****

Mercedes arrived to a big cheer.  She’ll be joining on comms next.

*****

To Darby Allin (on crutches) and Tony Hawk.  Allin was going to climb Everest for Hawk’s charity so they gave some time to push it here instead.  They build skate parks where there aren’t any.

Contrasting Private Party between 2019 and now only highlights Allin’s amazing growth.  He’s totally himself, totally comfortable in front of a camera, totally likeable.

Hawk said they ‘have another plan’ since Allin can’t climb Everest.  Try not to kill yourself dude.

Skatepark.org is the site if you want to contribute.

*****

Renee with Jericho and Hook.  Jericho said he’s ‘okay’ with being Hook’s first pin in AEW.  Because Hook’s one of the most talented he’s ever seen.  But a little raw.  So if Hook wants any advice, he’s here.

Hook said he’ll take the advice because ‘You’re Chris Jericho.’  Buuut, ‘You’re Chris Jericho, I know who you are…’ (ie untrustworthy).

Jericho said he knows who Hook is but ‘know(s) who you can be.’

Hook said ‘Bet, let’s get it.’

At least Hook was suspicious of Jericho.  Who I would prefer a break from but I’ll take him being something like a manager/mentor over a tag partner.

*****

Mercedes came out, that theme is tired AF after three weeks.

Kris Statlander vs Anna Jay vs Skye Blue vs Willow Nightingale (Mercedes Mone on comms)

Backstory: Winner gets a TBS Title shot at Dynasty

Everyone but Willow has either lost on tv lately or never appears on Wednesdays.

Skye and Stat were immediately taken out, Willow and Anna going at it, crowd silent.  Willow hip attack, big boot, low splash, Anna out at two.  Skye returned to stomp Willow in the corner.  The announcers are absolutely spoon-feeding Mone here to get anything out of her.

Stat returned to slam Skye and hit a sliding lariat, another to Jay after Jay hit a low blockbuster to Blue.  Jay then ran into Stat and bounced off, crashing to the mat.  Skye then dragged Stat out but was absolutely blasted by a Willow pounce.

Willow eyed Mercedes who stood up and said ‘Yes?’

Ads.

All four going at it, really nice flurry from Statlander, running through Jay and Skye, into a fisherman buster on Blue for two.  Excalibur asked Mercedes who she’d most like to face, she made fun of the other three but said she was liking what she seeing from Statlander.

As Jay hit a superplex to Stat but took a crushing Willow senton (crushing Stat too, that might be a thing).  Blue countered a powerbomb into a rana for a near fall, hit a thrust kick, Code Blue (which Mone called ahead of time), Stat made the save.

Then hit a powerbomb into a backbreaker to Blue, took a gory bomb from Jay onto the prone Blue, Anna made the cover over both.  For two.  Not clear who’d have actually won there.  The announcers debated.

Stat blocked a Queenslayer to send Jay into a Willow dropkick, leaving the two friends standing.  Mone said she wouldn’t trust ‘that smile (Willow)’.  Blue recovered to send Stat outside, avoided a Willow corner charge, boot to the head then seeking a dragon suplex on the apron.  Willow countered to hit a DVD, Mercedes’ mouth agape at that as the crowd chanted ‘Holy Shit’ and Mone noted ‘the fans are saying it all right now.’

Anna countered Wednesday Night Fever by rolling through for two, Stat popped up but was knocked off the apron, Willow returned from behind to nail Babe with the Powerbomb for the win.

Action packed, lots of fun sequences here, they won over a crowd who were totally flat at the outset.  Willow and Statlander stood out.

Julia Hart appeared from behind with a belt shot.  She posed over Willow with her belt then eyed Mercedes who stood and walked slowly toward the ring.  Julia bailed when Statlander returned to help Willow.  They were playing up that there were a lot of potential feuds here.  It was also notable that Mone didn’t rush to save Willow, Statlander did.

Mone mockingly slow-clapped Willow’s win.  She did improve on comms after the ads.

Winner: Willow Nightingale

Renee with Dustin.  He’s 3-1 so far this year.  At 55 years old, he’s still as passionate as he’s ever been.  Someone interrupted.  I think it was Butcher?  They’re wrestling Friday.

I really like Dustin Rhodes.  He’s still a good performer; cuts great, fiery promos.  But I sigh whenever I see him on some ‘Who are they wheeling him out to lose to now?’ ish.

*****

Toni Storm was with Ben Mankiewicz at Turner Classic Studios.  She asked him to ‘crispen your e-nun-ci-a-shi-on,’ then asked him to repeat after her:

‘Chin up.’

‘Chin up.’

‘Tits out.’

‘Not gonna say that.’

‘And watch for the shoe.’

‘Don’t know what that means.’

She flung her shoe over her shoulder and left.

Entertaining, though short.  Strange way to just squash your champ on the show.  And this only reconfirmed that Storm just cannot be a heel.

*****

Swerve package pushing the main event.  Chief takeaway was Swerve saying he’s wrestling ‘for something bigger than me’ (ie black history).  But then also menacingly threatening Joe that when they eventually face off, Joe’ll ‘never forget what I do to you.’

I still just don’t get this character: a cold, menacing, calculating ‘crime boss’ with heel minions who’s also wrestling for black history.

Trent & Orange Cassidy vs Undisputed Kingdom

Backstory: NONE

Chuck accompanied his buds.  Who came out to Cassidy’s music.  Actually think Trent and Orange could be a hell of a team if they were pushed seriously.  The team who were annihilated by Swerve and Joe a couple weeks back were accompanied by Roderick Strong.  Who might have been the best International Champ ever so far?  Discuss.

Cassidy went right after Taven even though he wasn’t the legal man, Trent and Bennett going at it inside.  He hit a tope to Taven but took a Bennett somersault.  Cassidy then did a pockets dive off the top onto both heels.

Finally into the ring, the heels working over Trent who got a boot up, meteora to Bennett, Taven tried to throw a kick but slipped badly (right around the same place Nick Jackson did), Excalibur just carried on as if he’d hit the kick.

Rick Knox was again dumb AF so stopped to argue with Cassidy and thus didn’t hear a Bennett piledriver on the apron to Trent.

Ads.  So bored.

Orange made a hot tag until cut off, the heels hit the proton package, kickout at two.  Trent crotched Taven up top, hit a stomp into an Orange beach break for a near fall.  Taven returned but took a Trent tornado ddt, one from Cassidy too, Trent running knee strike.  They were about to do the stupid hug rather than try to win the match when Roderick Strong got up on the apron with his belt.

Orange sent him crashing off, Chuck interfered and Trent just about managed to sneak the pin with a jackknife.  So thus far, in the three matches I’ve seen (including the wildcard), no one’s won cleanly.  Despite all three featuring teams who never ever win.  That’s how you don’t make stars.

Bucks vs Trent & Orange now in the semis.

They were about to do the stupid hug again when the Bucks’ music interrupted and they hit the stage to briefly jaw with the winners.  They even did their elevated entrance just for that.

Winner: Trent & Orange Cassidy

Renee with Kyle O’Reilly.  He said it felt good to finally wrestle again but there’s no such thing as an easy match.  She asked about the UK again and Kyle vowed to keep doing it by himself.  On Collision.

Though absolutely nothing’s announced.

O’Reilly’s so ‘gee shucks, I’m so happy just to be wrestling again,’ that it seems inevitable he’s going heel.

*****

Package recapping last week’s main event.  Post-match, a slumped, bloody Copeland said It’s a night he’ll will never forget.  Also, thankfully, that ‘that chapter’ (with Cage) is closed and he’s ready to defend his title.

With yet another open challenge.

Konosuke Takeshita vs Swerve Strickland

Backstory: Half-ass for the #1 contendership

Jesus, the rankings will be back tonight after Dynamite.  Just give up, will you?  You don’t have the discipline or foresight to do them properly so just drop them for good.

Swerve offered a handshake, Takeshita accepted but neither would release.  It moved into a rapple, Swerve stepping through into a headlock, Takeshita taking him down by the arm, they grappled for control on the mat, in and out of holds, until Swerve span free toward the ropes.

And we started again.

With another Strickland headlock, another rope break, Takeshita whipped him off, Swerve stopped dead and did a somersault before leaping over Takeshita thinking sunset flip, popping up behind searching for a short-arm scissors, Takeshita got the ropes with his legs.

Bit similar to the opener so far.

Until Takeshita accelerated as (maybe) only he can, off the ropes three times into a Takeshitaline.  Joe shown watching backstage.  Choking boot in the corner, Swerve got out into a whip, uppercut in the corner, another to the back of the neck off the top, stupid dance, knee drop, shots to the gut, seeking a neckbreaker against the middle rope.

And getting it.

This crowd is so quiet outside of the odd chant and popping for big moves, there’s no general atmosphere, hasn’t been all night and it really hurts the show.

Slugfest now, Takeshita raking the face, having a boot caught, Swerve slipping behind into a back suplex into a backbreaker, slithering through so smoothly but seeing his usual brainbuster countered by Takeshita into one of his own.

Swerve down, Takeshita up, crowd silent.  Ref checking on Strickland.

Aggressive flurry of forearms now in the corner, a big one as Swerve got to his feet, a brief Swerve slap met by another flurry, though Swerve avoided a charge to hit a rebound German, from which Takeshita immediately popped up to nail another big forearm.

Swerve crumbled outside.

Ads.

Back to Swerve firing a chop but still selling his neck/shoulder after that earlier brainbuster.  Another exchange of forearms saw Swerve come off worse until elevating Takeshita outside, flipping over the ropes into a very sloppy hurracanrana.

Cross body off the top, Takeshita out at one.

Series of shots and kicks until Swerve’s shoulder again gave out and he was murdered by a huge forearm.  Callis said they should stop the match.  Swerve avoided a discus lariat, went to the apron, held onto the ropes despite his bad shoulder, stopped to briefly sell it, then used it to propel his entire weight back into the ring off the buckle, roll through and spring himself up looking for a flatliner.

Seems like it really hurts.

Takeshita countered though into a facebuster, low dropkick, Swerve bailed outside.  Callis has done a really good job of remaining heel but putting Strickland over.  Takeshita then hit a terminator dive, sans clap, as Callis said he does it better than Omega ever did.

Fighting atop the buckle now, Swerve was knocked down but took out the legs before nailing a beautiful ddt off the top.  Swerve again briefly remembered to sell his shoulder but was then fine propelling himself atop the buckle.  Before coming off via sky twister for a near fall.

TiA from the crowd.

Swerve looking for Big Pressure, Takeshita fought out, hit a beautiful poisonrana and the best blue thunder in the biz.  Another near fall.  Another flurry of forearms, Swerve kicked free then hit a big right, sending Takeshita back to the corner.  He tried the flatliner again, Takeshita countered again with a leaping knee.

Swerve avoided a corner charge, rolled Takeshita behind him, tejeiras off the mat before springing into the flatliner.  Again, zero selling of the shoulder.  Another near fall.  Swerve heading upstairs, Takeshita kindly rolled to the apron and sat up straight like a good boy to take a Stomp out there.

He countered a second into a powerbomb though, each kept countering the other until a Takeshita wheelbarrow and driving knee.  Swerve kicked out.  Takeshita sat him atop the buckle, Swerve fought him off, another Stomp missed, Swerve countered a blue thunder into a tejeiras, Takeshita landing face-first into the buckle, house call before Takeshita again sat up straight like a good boy – for like nine years as Swerve milked the moment – for another Stomp.

Takeshita kicked out again.  Hit a leaping knee but Swerve countered a pop-up powerbomb into a Stomp, Big Pressure, win.

Cut back to Joe with Renee who asked about Swerve being the #1 contender.  Joe said Swerve was ‘celebrating the biggest fade he’s ever gonna catch in his life.’  And next week when he signs on the dotted line, he’ll make sure Swerve knows what he’s signing up for.  ‘No, no… you’re not that man.’  Swerve made the belt gesture then briefly again remembered his shoulder hurt.

I would have loved for this to be a match between two genuine title contenders, winner in doubt, that really sucked you in to all the drama.  But it just wasn’t.

In fact the opener and closer were basically the same match: starting with cagey grappling before the guy you know won’t win dominates and totally out-strikes the babyface, who basically seems out of it, lots of counters and no-selling, before the guy you knew would win going in wins after a very long time.

Not a drop of drama all night.

Also, yep, I’m an asshole.

Winner: Swerve Strickland

 ________________________________________________________________

Added to Dynasty:

  • Julia Hart vs Willow Nightingale (TBS Title)

Next Collision:

  • FTR vs the Infantry (Tag QF)
  • Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs Top Flight (Tag QF)
  • Adam Copeland vs TBA (Open Challenge for TNT Title)
  • Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Katsuyori Shibata vs the Righteous & Lance Archer

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Women’s four-way was fun, didn’t go too long
  • Toni was entertaining
  • Callis was excellent on comms

 *****

  • Before the show started, it felt like an awful lot of the booking and promotion could be tightened up: the roll out of the tag tourney’s been abysmal, only one of the four teams tonight is a serious, regular unit; and of the four women competing for a title shot, only Willow had any sort of case for contending
  • And this continued as the show started – if AEW are planning ahead, it doesn’t often feel like it, they generally do a horrible/non-existent job preparing the groundwork and it reveals itself in flat matches without stakes but with obvious finishes
  • Amid the flattest start to an AEW tournament ever? Where’s the depth? Where are the name teams? And the matches were nothing special

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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