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Dynamite TV report for 05/01/2024

Venue: Canada Life Center, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA.

*****

To Tony Khan saying he’s producing the show from Florida.  With weird music playing over it.  The screen then began flickering nWo-style and cut off.  We cut to The Bucks in the production truck in Canada, saying they were having problems with Tony’s connection.

They said they had iron clad contracts with a ‘Founder’s Clause’ so that’s why they weren’t fired.  Their contracts also say that if Tony Khan can’t be reached, they’re in charge.

Nick pushed to the show opening.

It’s acceptable as an explanation for them not being fired.  What about Perry and Okada?

*****

The announcers had almost nothing to say about this major angle.  As Swerve came out.  Nana dancing like a total goof as usual.  In a shirt that (figuratively) said ‘I’ve been drinking pina coladas since midday.’

Swerve asked the fans what was up and said he’d defended his title three times in a week.  That’s the type of champion the show and we deserve and the type he’s going to be.  What AEW doesn’t need is power hungry EVP’s who think they can throw their weight around.  He repeated that what they did was ‘a bitch move.’

He said that’ll be handled at some point but for now it’s time to find out who his opponent will be at DoN.  He asked whoever it is to come out but wipe their feet before they enter his house.

The Bucks appeared on the screen.  They said success had gone to Swerve’s head: bad-mouthing his bosses.  So they’ve arranged the very best to face him.  A Canadian who is one of the best of all time who hasn’t been seen in a while.

It’s Christian Cage.  Swerve Bro!  Fresh off losing his TNT Title he gets an AEW Title shot.  Makes total sense.  Cage got a decent pop since he was in Canada but not exactly anything befitting a guy going for the top title who hasn’t been seen in a couple months.

The announcers trashed him as despicable.  Or not: ‘If anyone deserves a shot at the AEW Title, it is Christian Cage.’  Schiavone’s damaging his cred by the week.

Cage feigned speaking but smacked Swerve with the mic then beat him down.  Nana bailed to the apron, Swerve fought back, fighting off all the goons but nearly hit Shayna so stopped short.  Allowing the heels to get back on top.

Cage gave him a Killswitch then Wayne gave Nana Wayne’s World.  None of this got any boos, the crowd just ‘oohed’ at things.

Cage said there’s something Swerve should know – he never forgets.  He hasn’t forgotten about Swerve’s attack on Nick Wayne.  He heeled on the crowd to try to get some boos.  And did.  He hasn’t forgotten that they used to tag (they did?) at the biggest show in the history of wrestling and Swerve lost.

Cage was getting the ‘What?’ treatment from a small section as he vowed to embarrass Swerve the way Swerve embarrassed him.  Then referenced Swerve saying his daughter doesn’t know him.  After Cage is done, she won’t want to know Swerve but will have a father she can look up to for the rest of his life (ie him).

He used total cheap heat about a local sports team.  Then said the pain for Swerve has just begun.  Luchasaurus tore a braid of hair from Swerve.  There was no blood.  The crowd were so angry they chanted ‘Eat it.’

Cheap heat galore; an obvious finish: the rest of this ppv better be good.  Swerve’s brief promo and character work were good in the sense that he was very much a hardworking babyface champ.  My disinterest aside, it wasn’t a bad angle: cheap shot from the heel, face fought back till numbers.

*****

Copeland/HOB package.  Copeland came out, Malakai cut a Bond Villain promo where we could hear but not see him basically saying why would he face Copeland when he could observe him first.  Buddy Matthews is Copeland’s opponent.  We’re all shocked.

Adam Copeland vs Buddy Matthews (TNT Title)

Backstory: The House enacted the Cope Open rules on Collision but didn’t say which member Copeland would face

Headlock, Buddy whipped, clash of shoulders, stalemate.  Lockup, headlock, Copeland whipped, clash of shoulders, stalemate.  Headlock takeover from Matthews, he kipped up out of a headscissors, each swept the legs into pin attempts.  To another stalemate.

Buddy waistlock, standing switch, belly to back, Buddy landed on his feet, flying headscissors, Copeland ended up outside but quickly back in to send Buddy out.  Each teased dives, Copeland ole’d Buddy through the rope then hit a tope.

Ads.  Nice start.  Fresh match too.

Back to a Buddy draping ddt, both down.  These are ‘two of the greats’ and ‘red hot’ per Schiavone.  Announcer credibility is important.

Buddy stomped away in the corner to low droning boos.  There were some ‘Let’s go Buddy’ chants earlier.  Strange crowd so far.  Snapmare, spine kick, faking another into a chin lock.  Copeland rising to his feet, backing Buddy to the buckle, Buddy held on, Copeland back down to his knees.

Copeland recovered to elevate Buddy into a face-first slam before they fought on the apron.  Matthews looking for a superplex to the floor.  More rights exchanged until both crashed off onto the apron then the floor.  That’s a nasty bump for a vet.

Aubrey at nine when wouldn’t you know it both ran back in.  Amazing.  Exchange of rights from their knees, Copeland trying an impaler, shoved away, Buddy elbow strike, Copeland hit back, ducked a lariat, as did Buddy, crashing cross bodies, both down.

Story here is they cannot be separated.  Buddy was spitting up blood so the doc’s came in and we went to break.  Honestly not sure if that’s legit after the Danielson angle.  That’s why those things shouldn’t be done.

Ads.

Back to the match continuing as Schiavone said Buddy was spitting up blood but wanted to continue.  So just is.  Seems like AEW need new doctors.

Matthews got a Liger bomb for two.  Then went upstairs where he was crotched.  After a long time Buddy went for a sunset bomb, Copeland kicked him clear, Matthews popped up and went for a superplex, shoved off, tried it again, Copeland gave him an avalanche impaler which will no doubt only get two.

Yep.  That’s a killer move.  No-one should kick out.  Looked a nasty landing on his hip for Copeland too.

The Canadian up first to a loud cheer from what’s been a quiet crowd, Buddy blocked a Spear with a series of knee strikes, jackhammer, two.  Then got a crossface.  For a long time.  Copeland shifted weight to bag two and break the hold.  Justin announced how long was left but the ref’s count smothered it.  Excalibur kindly said we’d gone twenty.

Buddy sidestepped a Spear, hit a knee strike then readied a curb stomp but ran into a Spear to lose.  Long, pretty slow, pretty boring, not helped by a very flat crowd.  They really hammered that Matthews internal injuries meant the Spear was just too much.  It’s almost like they feel they must have very long matches when they do a few angles early in the show.  Two good quick ones would do just as well.

Copeland began beating on Buddy.  Unjustifiably since I can’t think of the House doing much to him.  Things then jumped like ten levels of intensity as he readied a conchairto.  This is weird.  Schiavone said this was all cause of him being misted – ‘it’s made him crazy.’  Sigh.

Speaking of HOB BS, Copeland was about to swing when the lights went out.  Malakai appeared behind him and encouraged Copeland to do it.  Buddy did too.  The lights went out again and they left.  Seems the story is Would he have done it if they hadn’t left?

Winner: Adam Copeland

Samoa Joe vs Isiah Kassidy

Backstory: Joe lost to Swerve so they gave him a squash win

So re: Christian getting a title shot, why isn’t Joe wanting a rematch?  Cage could even beat him to gain credibility!

Excalibur said there are some nights he wouldn’t mind being Isiah; tonight’s not one of them.  Have hammered some of the announcing tonight but that’s good stuff.  So this seems heel vs heel except Joe’s no-nonsense and Isiah’s flossy so that makes Joe the face.

Crowd chanted ‘Joe’s gonna kill you.’  Schiavone said Isiah wouldn’t back down.  Right as he did.  Is he a heel or not?  Cause heels do back down.

He messed with Joe’s towel then raked the eyes.

You could literally have heard a pin drop as Joe sold.  Isiah then shrieked – loudly – while taking a bump, took a bunch of jabs, bailed outside but slipped back in to avoid a tope.

Joe then walked away from a senton to the outside.  Howled laughing.  Just wonderful.  Must’ve sucked for Isiah though.

Kassidy got ten in the corner but tried a monkey flip and couldn’t budge the big man.  Just as this was on the brink of going long, Joe turned it into a Muscle Buster.  Few do squashes like Joe.

Winner: Samoa Joe

A Skye Blue promo package – padded with clips and cutaways.  She challenged Willow for Rampage.

If anyone has any spare charisma or conviction, there’s a market.

*****

Orange Cassidy out.  Man this crowd’s flat.  Orange always gets a reaction but not here.  Trent injured Chuck on Rampage or something.  He thought Chuck and Trent would get it out of their system on Rampage and they’d reunite.

‘But that’s never gonna happen.’

He’s been told that ‘my best friend Chuck Taylor will never wrestle again’ after that match.  He was about to talk trash at Trent when Beretta interrupted from the ramp.  He said Orange is trying to make it about himself again.  Orange ran at him, security intervened.  The crowd went ‘meh.’  At best.

Don Callis then came out so the crowd actually made some noise.  He whispered things to Cassidy who left with him.  To boos.  Trent was left and did Orange’s thumbs up thing. Also, a wrestler has been injured to the point of not wrestling ever again.  And we just moved on.

*****

Renee with the Bucks backstage.  Matt disingenuously told her she looked good and asked about the family then cut her off to imply they were looking for Kenny.  Then said they’d had enough tv time and introduced Perry.

Renee asked what was going through his head last week.  He said he meant what he said about only wanting what was best for AEW.  And what’s best for AEW was getting rid of Tony Khan, so that’s what he did.  It was a sacrifice he had to make.  Tony made him the scapegoat.  ‘And now we’re entering a new era under the Elite.’

Perry’s definitely improved on the mic since last summer but is still nowhere near carrying a top angle.  They also still have not explained the whole ‘Scapegoat’ thing to the Dynamite audience.

Chris Jericho vs Katsuyori Shibata (FTW Title)

Backstory: Jericho called Shibata ‘dead weight’ last week

Jericho came out waving to the crowd like an oblivious heel.  Then led them in a clap.  He took down Shibata to cheers then waved again.  Lockup, standing switches, Shibata smothering Jericho on the mat as a light ‘Learning Tree’ chant played.

Jericho got a break in the ropes.  Then aimed a chop.  An exchange followed until a Jericho back elbow.  He lionsaulted onto Shibata’s knees.  And is not remotely a heel here.  Taz vowed Hook would be back when he’s cleared.

As Jericho spent ages looking under the ring.  For a bin lid.  He smacked it on Shibata’s head.  The announcers didn’t even mention it despite his previous head injuries.  Nor did he sell for long.  Figured that’d be more of a thing.

Jericho then emptied a bag of hockey pucks.  To a cheer.  Shibata hit a flatliner onto them.  Then a suplex sort of onto them but not really.

Another chop exchange which the crowd did seem to like.  A very long one.

Ads.  Boring and goofy.

Still more chops on our return.  Forearms now in the corner from the Japanese.  Jericho threw a puck to block the dropkick then swept him into the Walls.  To a cheer.  Shibata countered up into a figure four.  Till Jericho threw a puck at his face.  The crowd laughed then cheered Jericho as he stood up.

Excalibur sold this drama by asking ‘What the puck?’  He has the Bucks’ instinct for when and when not to make jokes.

Jericho then placed a trash can on Shibata and smacked him with a kendo stick.  Shibata stood up and ignored the shots – because why would they hurt when you’re protected like this? – walking through them to the corner.  He knocked Jericho down then landed the hanging dropkick.  Two after a late cover.

Shibata’s bleeding from the face.  Tony made a concussion joke.

Shibata took a kendo stick, threw one to Jericho, then sat down.  Jericho joined him.  They smacked each other with the sticks till a Shibata belly to back onto the pucks.  Shibata got a table which got one of the biggest pops all night.  He placed it in the corner then chopped Jericho toward it.

He looked for a spear but was met via codebreaker for two.  Judas Effect coming, Shibata snatched him into a sleeper.  Zero response from the crowd.  Overhand chopping Jericho down, he then set the table up normally as Big Bill ran in with a big boot.

Then chokeslammed him through it.  Jericho crawled to the pin which got another loud cheer.  He’s easily the most popular performer thus far.  Jericho gave Bill a nod.

Long and boring.  It’s beginning to seem they gave Jericho this belt so he can use shortcuts in his matches.

Winner: Chris Jericho

They replayed Mercedes slapping Willow last week.

Then went to Renee with Willow et al.  Statlander apologized and said she’d meant to defuse the situation.  Willow apparently accepted this without words since they just moved on.

Willow said she’d ‘mop the floor… maim’ and ‘massacre’ Skye Blue.  And she hasn’t forgotten what Mercedes did.

Stokely complained that ‘those pricks the Young Bucks’ had taken out Tony Khan so he had no-one to complain to about Skye calling him names.  A stagehand brought a mobile in and Renee read a text from the Bucks – Stokely and Stat are banned from ringside for that match.

Stokely stormed off yelling ‘Aside from my own actions, what did I do to deserve this!?’  Tremendous.  Stokely’s great fun.

So yeah, not great storytelling.  They breezed over the slap and any tension between Willow and Stat.

Brian Cage vs Claudio Castagnoli

Backstory: Claudio lost to Swerve so they gave him a squash win

They showed a Claudio promo as he arrived earlier.  Basic stuff about being consistent.  The announcers put him over as hard-working.

They clubbed e/o, crowd yelled ‘meat!’

Claudio hit a big bodyslam.  Then another.  Then a stomp.  Ten in the corner.  Maybe not, Cage shoved him off to the apron.  Hit a gamengiri then his out-to-in apron suplex.  With ease.

Ads.

Cage hit a thrust kick and 619, discus lariat, two.  Claudio hit back via springboard lariat.  Running uppercut in the corner, flurry to follow, another running one, big boot, Cage hit back, Claudio blocked a pump kick, hit a thrust kick and 619 of his own.

Lariat for two.  Claudio slipped off the shoulders then hit a pop-up uppercut.  Taz spoiled it by insisting it was over.  Swing coming, dude’s strength is never not impressive.  Into the sharpshooter, dragged back middle, tap.

Props to Cage for actually tapping and not insisting on passing out like almost everyone does.  Cute, fun house show match with big guys doing stuff they’re not supposed to be able to.  Didn’t achieve anything though since Cage always loses.

Winner: Claudio Castagnoli

They briefly remembered to push Kenny returning.  Think it had a graphic at the start of the show.

*****

Renee with Rocky Romero.  He said he didn’t side with anyone in the Best Friends feud.  He’s ‘done with it.’  And doing his own thing.  So wants to become a champion in AEW.  The only way to do that is by challenging the best… ‘Kyle O’Reilly’ (laughed harder than at that Joe step away earlier).  Anyway, he challenged him for Rampage.

The stuff AEW deem a good use of tv time is strange.  No Mox, no Ospreay, but plenty of time for this.

Mariah May vs Serena Deeb

Backstory: Deeb sort of – if you could hear it – challenged Storm for the title last week

This Storm’s challenger beats Mariah May thing is getting old fast.  Some creativity please.

Standing switches, headlock takedown, Deeb got a headscissors to counter, back to a waistlock, standing switch as May transitioned to a wristlock, Deeb rolled through and backwards to counter then leveraged May down, she paused for the crowd to react, they made not a sound.

She trapped May in a paradise lock and had to point at her to get a reaction.  Then dropkicked her in the ass.  Shoulder block down, Deeb rolled behind and swept through into some sort of seesaw shoulder hold.  May avoided a corner charge, big right, open hand, Deeb placed atop the buckle, headstand rana down, running shotgun.

Ads.  Mariah’s rights are no joke, her and Hayter could be fun.  Solid start.

Back to a Deeb corner lariat.  Draping neckbreaker from the apron after begging the crowd for noise, May didn’t sell for a second as each ducked ripcord lariats, nice transitions into another neckbreaker.

Deeb ducked a lariat, hit a back elbow, rebound German, hammerlock lariat, two.  May hit a kick from the apron, to the top, shotgun, hip attack coming, hit, two.  Vicious running knee for the same.  Mariah said it was over, Deeb countered Mayday down into an exchange of cradles for two, sweeping into a backslide for another two.

May landed a headbutt, high angle belly to back, May went for the handstand rana again, Deeb blocked and dragged her middle into a half crab.  Nearly at the ropes, she was dragged back middle.  In an exact copy of the previous match finish.  Except that Storm threw in the towel rather than May tapping.

So… why can she do that?

They immediately put a graphic up that Deeb was facing Storm at the ppv.

Smooth and solid; very, very flat.

Winner: Serena Deeb

Renee with Copeland. She asked if he was okay.  He looked unsure then said he was.  Kyle O’Reilly came in to offer backup as a fellow Canadian.  Copeland was appreciative then weird again then left.

*****

Justin in the ring to give Kenny more hype than they’d bothered with all night.  Sadly, including something about ‘seven stars.’  The whole big intro.  Schiavone’s never seen Kenny ‘have a bad match.’  Am I being too harsh here?  Cause that’s just awful again.  Good and bad is not the goal.  Winning is.  Suppose I can’t blame the guy if even the company is hyping Omega’s star ratings.

Omega was suited and booted, sunglasses.  He took a mic.  Crowd chanted his name.  He said he’s never been good at this stuff.  But was cutoff by another chant.  He’s never been good at talking about injuries, sickness, weakness.  He said he has diverticulitis.  The doctors told him he was twenty-four hours away from dying.  So he asked to be patched up and sent back to Dynamite.  But the doctor said he needed surgery and if they did it now he’d need a colostomy bag, possibly forever.

And he’d have a ticking time bomb in his intestines for the rest of his life.  Any trauma to the stomach could kill him.  He stuttered a couple of times, getting emotional.  He said he had to stop watching wrestling because his hands would shake.  He was scared.  He felt pathetic.  Felt like a coward.

And said he thought he might have to retire.  But then he finally watched Dynasty.  Saw Swerve make history.  Saw Danielson/Ospreay in one of greatest matches he’s ever seen.  He wishes he could say he was happy watching.  But his hands were shaking again and the tremors got worse.  But it wasn’t because he was scared of being a wrestler.

The shaking was cause he was going through withdrawal.  ‘Living is being in this ring.’  He hated feeling like he’s already been forgotten.  So he promised himself and is promising fans, ‘this isn’t over until I exhaust every option.’  If there’s a ten , five or one percent chance, bag or no bag, he’s not done with us yet, he made a promise to change the world.

‘While we’re talking colostomy bags, why not talk about other shitbags (bleeped) while we’re at it?’  The Bucks have been embarrassing themselves.  But they forget that there’s another EVP.  So as far as he’s concerned, a part of the power in the company belongs to him.

The coin dropped.  Didn’t get the reaction it might’ve.

Okada with a mic.  Excalibur mentioned they’d had that seven-star match.  We moved into Rampage.  That’s some nice booking.

They went face to face.  Again, didn’t get the reaction it might’ve.  Weak ‘holy shit’ chant.  Omega spoke Japanese to him.  He said they had a bit of a rivalry in Japan then asked Okada to give him a couple months and they’d settle it in an AEW ring.

Okada said he’s the best bout machine now.  As Jack Perry blindsided Omega.  With that grin again.  Okada threw a chair in as Excalibur emphasized Kenny isn’t cleared for anything.  Omega ducked a Perry chair shot, jabs and knees for Perry, snapdragon, Omega stayed down holding his stomach as the crowd chanted his name.

Slow to his feet, he threw off his jacket, tore open his shirt, goodbye/goodnight, Okada grabbed his foot to stop a v trigger and Perry nailed him in the gut with a chair.  Omega down, Bucks out.  Much like with Khan last week, the Bucks acted like they didn’t like it.

Crowd chanted for Omega as he tried to use the Bucks to drag himself up.  But ended up in EVP Trigger position.  They nailed it.  Then hugged Perry.  Okada was readying a Rainmaker when FTR hit the scene.  The idea of them and Kenny as a trio’s kinda cool.

The heels bailed as the doc’s checked on Kenny.  Before loading him onto a stretcher as he groaned.  The Elite attacked again as he was being loaded into an ambulance, beating down FTR then flinging him off the stretcher as Omega groaned, almost crying in pain.  Great selling.

So earlier I wrote a thing which mentioned Kenny’s not a great talker.  But he sure was tonight.  That was a hell of a promo.  Probably because he wasn’t playing a character, he was just being himself.  Hard to think of a better promo in AEW this year.

And overall this was a very good angle.  Perhaps didn’t do a ton for Jack Perry.  And was advertised and promoted just horribly.  But, fittingly in Canada, was excellently executed.

_________________________________________________________________

Double or Nothing:

  • Deeb vs Storm (Women’s Title)

Next Dynamite:

  • Cassidy vs Trent
  • Copeland vs Brody (TNT Title)

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Kenny Omega’s promo, tease with Okada and the subsequent angle
  • Not crazy about heel authority figures but The Bucks didn’t overdo it, only appearing a few times
  • It wasn’t a horrible show or anything, in fact it was solid – setting up ppv matches and featuring decent action, but nor was there anything else especially good outside of the Joe and Stokely comedy spots

 *****

  • Was there anybody out there who couldn’t predict the winner of literally every match ahead of time?
  • The promotion of Kenny’s return: dude’s been out for months, genuinely sick, former world champ, and got a graphic and a token mention. Why’s he back?  What for? Might he have words for the Elite?  What will he think of their actions last week?  It’s such basic stuff
  • Might be alone but Christian Cage as Swerve’s opponent does nothing for me
  • So is Bryan Danielson just dead then? Paralysed?
  • Ditto Ospreay? He’s your biggest star, if a week goes by and he’s not on the show, it should matter.  Mox?  Mercedes?
  • More mist crap
  • The very flat crowd hurt things all night

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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