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Dynamite TV report for 05/15/2024

Venue: Angel of the Winds Arena, Everett, Wash.

Seems Warner have not only allowed their exclusive negotiating period with the NBA to lapse, but NBC have offered more for the remaining ‘C’ package than Amazon paid for the ‘B’ one.  And the NBA are inclined to go with NBC even if Warner match since NBC’s a higher profile channel.

Which might make AEW a whole lot more valuable.

*****

Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson vs Kyle Fletcher & Jeff Cobb

Backstory: The Family want revenge for Hobbs, despite that injury not being mentioned at all on tv

Like Saturday, no intro package, right to the action, Moxley coming through the crowd.  Callis on comms for this one.  Though Taz is back.  And Cobb has apparently joined the Family.

Kyle Fletcher’s losing right?  In case there was a belief otherwise, the heels were waiting in the ring without an entrance, jumping Mox the second he hopped the barricade.  Danielson rushing down to even the odds, the four brawling around ringside.

If you’re struggling for ratings, you could do worse than start with two of your biggest stars in a wild brawl.  Which they’re really keeping going, Danielson’s music still playing minutes later as they continued to brawl.  Until finally the bell rang as Danielson unloaded on Cobb in the corner, tape all down his spine.

Another of those countdown clocks for Swerve.

Mox in, crowd chanting, punches in the corner.  Fletcher still down at ringside as Mox aimed a baseball slide at the big man’s leg then tagged BD.  They still haven’t bothered explaining the beef re: Hobbs.  Excalibur – as is his wont – brushed over it without explaining it.

Fletcher finally back to the apron, Cobb rushed Mox back there to tag.  Fletcher aimed a big chop.  Mox ignored it, shook off another and battered Fletcher with chops and strikes.  Then his stupid back rake and bite.

They’re implying Kingston will be announced as injured for DoN later.

As Mox got a juijigitame which was broken by Cobb.  Crowd chanted they wanted ‘Bryan’, Mox obliged: dropkick off the top to a draped Fletcher.

Ads.  Fast, energetic start to the show.

Yay/boo Mox and Fletcher as we returned, Danielson begging for a tag, knocked off the apron as the heels worked over Mox in their corner.  Cobb in, just watching as Moxley collapsed, mocking him wanting the tag as the crowd chanted for the IWGP champ.  Mox shook free of a waistlock, rebound German to Cobb, crowd clapping, tag made, Danielson shotgun off the top, kip up, running dropkick for Fletcher, chest kicks in the corner for Cobb, flip off the buckle, running elbow strike, Cobb down, crowd up, Danielson feeling it.

Yes kicks to Cobb on his knees, the latter ducked the roundhouse but was bridged out where BD took flight at both heels, though Cobb ducked and Fletcher took the brunt.  Cobb bundled Danielson back in, hit a uranage then mocked his chant.  But missed a standing moonsault before countering a busaiku into a side slam.

Mox and Fletcher in, rebounding off the ropes into exchange of boots, yay/boo, strikes and kicks from Moxley until Fletcher absolutely nailed a leg lariat against the ropes.  But took too long prepping his next move, Mox popping up to hit a lariat, cutter to Cobb, but wandering into a Fletcher Michinoku for a near fall.  Super sequence.

Heels working over Moxley in the corner, who stumbled out into a tombstone for 2.999.  This is really good.

Cobb scooped Mox on his shoulders for a domesday device, Mox slipped off and shoved Cobb into a busaiku, Kyle leapt off the top into a BD roundhouse, Moxley Death Rider, win.

That was so damn good.  Try not to use the word ‘great’ too often but I’m tempted.  Killer crowd and atmosphere, fast and aggressive New Japan-style tag.  Hot start to the show.

The faces were celebrating when Takeshita attacked from behind, the heels 3:2 until Claudio came out with a weapon and they bailed.

Winner: Jon Moxley & Bryan Danielson

Swerve package as the new champ.  Showing him doing the media rounds and etc.  Then merging into his feud with Christian and the attack by Brian Cage etc last week.  Good stuff.  Woulda been even better if they’d bothered establishing the relationship between Swerve and his minions.

*****

Adam Copeland started to come out but was attacked immediately by Buddy and Brody.  Malakai following in his own time.  The other two held Copeland as Black took a mic.  He got two words out and a loud ‘STFU’ chant started.

Black ordered Buddy to take Copeland’s wedding ring.  Brody put him in a choke so they could grab it.  Black took the ring.  To murmurs.  Crowd dead quiet after being scorching a few minutes ago.  They placed Copeland in the corner and Brody was readying a cannonball when Kyle O’Reilly came out to fight off the other two until running into a Brody lariat.

Black Ended him.

Then the House hit an Elite-like spot in the corner, all attacking at the same time with chairs placed randomly near Copeland’s head but not really.

Zero heat for this whole thing.  Crowd couldn’t have cared less about the HOB. Grabbing a wedding ring is just such a cheap replacement for a well-built story.

*****

We then went to footage of Kingston at the NJPW show Saturday.  Including the Bucks and Perry attacking him after his match.  Perry said Kingston prides himself on being real but sure didn’t hesitate to jump in bed with a bunch of fakes who claim to rep AEW.  He did the ‘We all sacrifice’ line.

To the Elite backstage tonight, they joked that AitA might be 4:3 or maybe the others would even forfeit.  Nick ran down the people they’d taken out and bragged that they run the place.  Okada vowed to destroy Dax later, calling him a ‘bitch’ and mocking Kenny’s ‘mwah’ again.

As someone who really was not high on Jack Perry, these promos lately are a huge leap forward.  They never actually explained/confirmed Kingston’s (legit) injury.

*****

Renee with FTR.  They said if the Elite thought they’d forfeit, they were out of their minds, whether it was 4:3 or 4:2.  But they think they’ve found a new fourth.  Dax said name-calling isn’t very nice and Okada’s now the Elite’s bitch.

Young Bucks vs Christopher Daniels & Matt Sydal (Tag Title Eliminator)

Backstory: Daniels got in the Bucks’ faces after Matt said he owed them his job; he was allowed to pick any partner and figured since he was losing anyway, he might as well go with Sydal

Jack Perry joined on comms.  Excalibur meanderingly said Daniel’s new music had something to do with Frankie Kazarian or something.  It was confusing.

Nick and Sydal to start, the vet teed off with kicks and a leaping knee, quick rollup for two, crowd silent again.  Nick fled to tag out.  Daniels in, sparking a crowd chant.  He slapped Matt then fired a corner flurry; whip out, reversed, CD hit a lariat then knocked Nick off the apron.

Until Matt poked the eye; Daniels got a tag to Sydal.  Then ran through double-team offense on Matt, a standing splash from Sydal buying two.  Matt got a blind tag which was allowed despite them (legit) failing to make contact.  Nick knocked Daniels outside then hit a double sledge off the top to Sydal.

Ads.  It’s dumb to have the Bucks be dominated by a team like this.  Heels do need some credibility to pass on to the top babyfaces they lose to.

Sydal struggling in the heels’ corner until a double rana took both down.  He made the crawl, Daniels running through the champs, ducking a superkick, DVD to Nick, crowd behind him again.  Matt broke up Angel’s Wings; Daniels hit a uranage to Nick but took a superkick to prevent BME.

Sydal and Matt ended up outside where Jackson sent him over the barricade.  Nick gamengiri from the apron to Daniels who hit a right and prepped a top rope rana, plummeting down though when Matt grabbed Nick’s feet to block it.  Thought he’d broken his damn neck.

They hit a TK Driver to win.

Nothing special.  Again, heels don’t have to sneak wins against everybody.  Perry asked if any of us were surprised at the outcome.

The Bucks fled to the stage where Matt asked for the music to be cut then yelled at Daniels for talking down to them and putting his hands on them.  He said they’re trying to rid toxicity from the locker room.  So unfortunately, he’s fired.  But they have given him a 30-day severance package.  And called for security to immediately remove him from the building.  Perry clapped.  Matt thanked Daniels for his work and said they loved him to death.

Then asked for an ‘A-E-dub’ chant on three.  The crowd didn’t join in.  Matt was almost breaking laughing here.  Perry then dumped his drink on Schiavone to heavy boos.  Before leaving.

And Daniels being fired was never mentioned again.  We didn’t even see him being escorted out.

Winner: Young Bucks

Renee with Toni and etc.  All the hangers-on have been banned from ringside for her match with Harley Cameron later.  Toni vowed to ‘take your womb to the woodshed’ for hurting Mariah.

After being a comedic babyface, she made fun of Deeb’s ‘sob story’ last week.  Then called herself ‘the whore that you all adore.’

They didn’t bother explaining the reason for this ‘grudge match.’

Mariah May is very distracting.

*****

Malakai did another spooky promo based around the wedding ring.  He said the barbed-wire cage match idea proved the real Copeland still existed.  And accepted the challenge.  But if he wins, Copeland ‘bend(s) the knee’ to the House of Black.  Guess he’s been catching up on Game of Thrones.

Hook vs Somebody Wolfe

Backstory: NONE

Swerve’s up in 7:20 so this ain’t goin’ long.  Nope, immediate Redrum tap.

He grabbed the mic from Justin and said he was here for Jericho and ‘my FTW championship.’  He called him out.  The Learning Tree obliged.  Presumably with an attack from the back by Big Bill.

Nope, they’ve both just come down the ramp.  Taz was trying to put heat on the heels; Excalibur cracked a joke.

Jericho played to the crowd and said it was great to see Hook back and hoped he’d learned lessons.  Jericho said he loves being on tv even if it means sharing the spotlight.  Hook said he doesn’t want the spotlight, he just wants to beat Jericho for the title.  Tonight.

The vet teased it.  Then said this is a teaching moment.  The world doesn’t revolve around Hook.  He needs to be unselfish like Jericho.  He paused too long and a light ‘please retire’ chant started.  Jericho said when he does he’ll be in every HOF going.

Jericho said you have to work your way back up to a title shot.  So Hook has to win a match vs a few other guys on Collision.  Hook said it sounded good then hit a ridiculously weak mic shot.  They were beating him 2:1 when Shibata hit the scene.  He booted Bill out as Jericho fled.

The crowd reacted far more to Shibata than any of the other three.  Jericho wasn’t booed but indifference is probably worse.  He was ‘bleeding’ from the head as he left.

Winner: Hook

Backstage, Swerve addressed Washington State, saying he’d brought them back a championship.  He said he dealt with the Embassy and now is focused on Christian.  Last summer he might have been put in a coffin (the match Cage said he cost them at All In); at DoN he’ll put Christian in his grave.

And speaking of coffins, Brian’s the final one in dealing with the Embassy: he told the crowd to welcome Cage to ‘Whose house?’  Then headed out for his entrance.

(Having Christian and Brian Cage involved in the same angle is a pain.)

Swerve Strickland vs Brian Cage (World Title Eliminator)

Backstory: Cage and etc. attacked Strickland last week

Swerve beat Claudio and Claudio beat Cage = Cage versus Swerve with a belt shot on the line?

Strickland raced at the bell to launch a double knee strike, armdrag takedown, loud chants from the crowd, he slipped out of a belly to back then bridged Cage outside.  But had a tope caught into a brainbuster position though recovered to nail an apron pump kick then a leaping kick down.

Cage dragged him against the ringpost and fled inside.  Then went for his out-to-in suplex, Swerve shook it off, vaulting inside to hit a flatliner.  Cage was really selling his left arm but managed to hit a side slam and shoulders in the corner.

The match got weirdly slow before Swerve aimed punches at the injured shoulder.  Swerve was crushed in the corner.  Swerve got a boot up but walked into a military press and was dumped against the buckles.

Guess we’re going for a ‘good match’ since that brought the ads.

Back to a Cage superplex for two.  Swerve tripped Cage into the buckle, running boot to the injured arm, they exchanged shots until Cage nailed a lariat but Swerve popped right back up to lay him out. Running back elbow in the corner, aggressive rights, snapmare, back elbow off the top, stupid dance.

The announcers are going all out to portray Swerve as a strong champ.  Figuratively.  As he proved it literally by hitting a brainbuster to his massive opponent.  Cage blocked another flatliner with a leaping knee then tried Weapon X.  Swerve rolled through into a short-arm scissors.

Cage got out and hit an F5.  For two.  Swerve hit a headbutt after avoiding a drillclaw, thrust kicking Cage so he was hanging off the apron.  Swerve vaulted out to hit a stomp.  Cage kicked out after a 450 from the top.  Cage got more near falls we all knew weren’t going to get three.  Via powerbombs.

They exchanged a bunch of strikes, Cage wobbly, he shoved Swerve free, an attempted Stomp out of a powerbomb didn’t quite come off.  Swerve stamped the arm as it was bent behind Cage’s back, house call, win.

So if you’re after a ‘good match,’ this is your bag.  But it never felt heated and went very long with an obvious outcome.  While how much the term ‘eliminator’ means was highlighted by the fact it was barely mentioned that Cage could earn a world title shot here.

Swerve was wailing on Cage with a chair when the other Cage came out.  Distracting Swerve so Nick Wayne could hit a low blow.  Wayne brought a family photo of Swerve’s and broke it across the champ’s head.  That seems dumb.

And really was, blood literally squirting out from right near Swerve’s eye.  Cage said Swerve had embarrassed his son so now he’s forced to embarrass Swerve.  Cage addressed the picture and asked Swerve’s daughter if she was proud of her absentee father.

Cage said he took Swerve’s blood this week and will take his gold.

Swerve getting beaten, battered and outsmarted three weeks in a row isn’t great either.  Even if it does play into the story of Cage taking something every week.  Might help if in between whoopings he won against someone with some value or at least didn’t take an epoch to beat perennial losers.

Winner: Swerve Strickland

They pushed a new YouTube show with Renee and RJ City.

*****

Renee with Hook and Shibata.  Hook said he’ll beat whoever he needs to to get an FTW Title shot.  Shibata had his phone ask ‘Even me?’  He wants a rematch with Jericho too.  Hook said that was fine by him.

Samoa Joe wandered in laughing.  He said he’s watched Hook fall into the same trap every week.  He said if he stopped falling for Jericho’s crap he might actually be dangerous.  Hook yelled that he’d fight Joe.  Joe left.  They ended with Shibata using his phone to make a customary crack about fashion.  In another of those Yes it’s funny, but does it fit?  AEW moments.

Hook is not great at talking or acting.  And they didn’t explain the match at all or do a lot to build it.  Hopefully Joe has something better to do than this going forward.

Harley Cameron vs Toni Storm (‘Grudge Match’)

Backstory: Cameron beat up May or something (if I saw it I don’t remember it)

Member when grudge matches meant foes were wrestling for like the third ppv in a row?

After mat wrestling, Storm got a lariat and headlock takeover.  Cameron hit knees to the gut, crowd absolutely silent.  Until a Storm Thesz Press.  I think Taz made fun of Schiavone always botching that.

Storm then hip-attacked Cameron off the apron.

Cameron took over because babyface challenger Serena Deeb came out to distract the heel champ from seeking revenge against an even bigger heel who beat up her protégé.  Whoever is booking this must have a hell of a supplier.

Ads.

Storm hit a backstabber, ddt, fisherman suplex with a bridge for two.  Cameron hit soul food and a running kick for barely two.  Storm hit sky high for two.  Series of bridging near falls, Storm hit Storm Zero for the win.

Short and limited enough to suggest Cameron’s not up to much more.

Winner: Toni Storm

Arkady was with Ospreay and the Disputed Kingdom + Wardlow.  Ospreay called them all bellends, Wardlow a ‘big, veiny bellend.’  They didn’t know what it meant. (It’s the equivalent of ‘dickhead’.  Surprised they allowed that to air.)

He hates that Strong is so comfortable around him with his title, like he doesn’t fear him taking it (they’re now pretending that Strong is the reason Ospreay won’t use the tiger driver.  Weird).  Ospreay said Strong has always looked down on him on the indies.  So he has no respect for him either.

Strong said he doesn’t have respect for him since Ospreay is an ‘idiot’ outside of the ring.  The crowd sounded like they were entertaining themselves here.

Strong said he’d overcome a neck injury and doesn’t quit.  And works day in and out.  He knows who Ospreay is: he’s a fraud, coward and child.  Ospreay said Strong’s going to learn humility after ‘burying me to all the Ring of Honor guys.’

What the utter F?

The WCW comparisons are overdone but building a feud around a bunch of stuff which the majority of fans will be totally unaware of is absolutely WCW-esque.

*****

Mercedes and Willow came out for the contract signing.  Willow sent Statlander to the back.  Renee out there to oversee things.  If Mone isn’t a heel then her self-satisfied smile is all kinds of wrong.

Willow said she respects Mone.  But wondered if Mone respected the title.  A title that celebrates a 50-year+ legacy on this very channel.  Built on hard work, dedication and making a name for yourself in the face of obstacles.

Willow referred to her ‘Titantron.’  Then said her smile was her strength.  And the title is what matters to her.  So she’s not just going to let Mone walk into AEW and take it all away.  Not now, at DoN or ever.

She signed.

Mone took the mic then played to the crowd in a heelish way.  I assume.  And was booed. Did the ‘CEO’ line.  Yep, she’s def a heel.  She laughed at Willow talking to her about legacy.  She said she was changing the game while Willow was training.  Kicking down glass ceilings and breaking down doors.  ‘You wouldn’t be here without me Willow.’

She said she respects Willow as a champion but there’s a different between being great and being the greatest of all time.  She stood up and posed and said she’s the real face of TBS.  She’s the one on red carpets and front row at Celtics games.   She said the best part of Willow’s career was beating her last year.  And after the ppv it still will be.

She signed.

Willow stood.  And said Mone could keep believing that.  But last time they wrestled, she walked away a champion, ‘and you didn’t walk out at all.’

Crowd ooohed.  That’s a killer line.  Mercedes went for a belt shot.  Willow ducked and gave her Babe with the Powerbomb through the table.  To a massive pop.

Very good segment.  Mone’s best mic work so far.  Helped by the fact that she seems finally to be established as a heel.  Thus seemed much more comfortable.  And that final line was a belter.

Kazuchika Okada vs Dax Harwood (Continental Title)

Backstory: Dax challenged Okada on Saturday, though not for the title, that’s just a throw in, since title shots are cheap

There’s apparently a long overrun since Okada’s coming out with about five minutes left.  He wasn’t remotely a heel to these fans.  ‘Continental Rules,’ so no interference or peeps at ringside.

Lockup, standing switch, Dax headlock takedown, Okada headscissor counter, rinse and repeat with the roles reversed.  Dax whipped off, shoulder block, legsweep, seeking a sharpshooter, champ bailing outside.

Back in, Dax broke out the chops, first mid-ring, then in the corner, Okada got a headlock to escape the strikes, Dax telegraphed a body drop and was launched hard to the ringpost.

Ads.

Dax dodged a hip attack, snapping jabs until cut off but nailing Okada with a spinebuster as the latter rebounded off the ropes, both down.  The champ then placed Dax up top and hit a dropkick.  Dax crumbling outside to take a running bootwash against the barricade.

Okada went back in to break the count.  Bless you sir.  Taz said he’d done this for the ‘sticklers for the rules.’  And repeated this several times.

Okada then hit a draping ddt off the barricade and headed back inside.  Crawling up the steps at six, Dax slipped off to the floor, barely beating the count back in.

Nice twist on the usual.

Okada readied a Rainmaker, Dax collapsed.  Okada dragged him up looking to hit it again, Dax ducked it, pair of Germans, third blocked, Okada hit a boot, Dax blocked a second, hit an uppercut, ducked another lariat, hit a dragon suplex, both down.

Okada countered a whip into a forearm, wrists clutched now as they teed off with chops and strikes.  Dax was ready for the dropkick, seeking a sharpshooter but being kicked away into the corner, hurting his neck again on the ringpost.  Each countered piledrivers until Okada hit his across-the-knee neckbreaker.  For a near fall.

Crowd nowhere near as hot for this as they were for the opener.  Which is when both they and the show peaked.

Dax hit a superplex, both down, ref counting.

From their knees, they butted heads, into rights, to their feet, each tiring until Dax hit a discus lariat.  Okada rana’d through a slingshot powerbomb seeking a pin, Dax hooked the legs for two, Okada fought off a sharpshooter and went for the tombstone again.  Dax reversed and hit one to a big ooh from the crowd, for a near fall.

Okada down, Dax to the top, diving headbutt missing (Okada’s so good, moving at the very last second so it looked ultra-realistic).  Rainmaker coming, Dax ducked again, seeking the sharpshooter again, getting it but the bigger man powered his way immediately to the ropes.

Then bailed outside again, grabbing his belt and looking to leave.  Dax forced him back into the ring, the ref just had to immediately get rid of the belt, allowing Okada to hit a low blow and Rainmaker to win.

The rest of the Elite swarmed Harwood.  Led by Perry.  Danielson and Cash joined but the heels still had the advantage.  Until Darby Allin’s music played, he came in from behind with a skateboard, brawling immediately with Perry.  Hope dude’s actually recovered, maniac that he is.

The announcers wondered if this meant he was the fourth man.  Thankfully for their braincells, a graphic cleared things up within seconds.

Very different match from everything else on the show.  Slower pace, lots of counters, everything believable.  Built around each seeking a single move – Rainmaker and sharpshooter respectively.

Winner: Kazuchika Okada

_________________________________________________________________

Double or Nothing:

  • Copeland vs Malakai (TNT Title, Barbed-wire Cage Match)
  • Darby’s the fourth man for Team AEW

Next Collision (8/7 Central):

  • Will Ospreay vs Shane Taylor
  • FTW Title qualifier involving Hook and Shibata

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Opening tag
  • Willow/Mone segment
  • Overall it was entertaining; the show’s been better for a few weeks now outside of some same ol’ booking issues:

 *****

  • It’s concerning how poor they are at promoting and emphasizing things to make them mean something: potential world title matches (ie if Brian Cage won)… longtime employees being fired… who the new fourth man will be…
  • We’ll certainly find out if predictable finishes attract viewers
  • A lot of sloppy storytelling based around angles we’ve never seen or which weren’t at all explained, none worse than Ospreay/Strong
  • Stolen wedding rings and broken family photos on the same show is overkill – allow one or the other to stand out

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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