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Dynamite TV report for 05/29/2024

Venue: Kia Forum, Inglewood, CA

*****

The ‘soon to be newly-crowned TBS champion (Excalibur’s words)’ Mercedes Mone out to start the show.  Wearing her belt.  And dressed in gold too.  She danced, self-satisfied.  And smiled a lot.

A decent-ish ‘CEO’ chant started.  But hardly anyone joined in her catchphrase.  ‘Wasn’t I worth the wait?’  Sunday was a celebration of five years of AEW and ‘the greatest of all time – me.’  Mone said she and Willow had a great match but Willow’s way too nice.  She could’ve told her not to trust Stat and Stokely.

She hopes Willow ‘comes back… better than ever,’ (so she’s injured from one move on the ramp?) and ‘kicks their ass.’  She stopped to dance again.  There’s a target on her back but she’s ready.  Skye Blue appeared on the screen.  She intro’d a clip of Mone being attacked in the dark.

Blue said she’d done it and was just getting started (the flat reveal of that suggests they were initially going another way).  Then attacked from behind and hit a TKO.  I know AEW are short of women who can work and who the crowd care about.  But this is incredibly underwhelming.

And we might as well just give up trying to figure out whether Mone or Storm are faces or heels.  They’re both at the same time.  Probably would’ve been worth actually letting Mone get a bit more shine here considering her win Sunday was overshadowed by heels too.

*****

The EVPs will address the TNT title situation later.  Wasn’t Tony Khan back on Sunday?

They were shown arriving earlier, Jack Perry in his ‘Scapegoat’ bus/van.  Not a great look.  Before going to clips of the ppv.  Which is a lot more than they usually do.  Including of course Swerve with Floyd Mayweather.

A ‘long history of domestic violence’ per several sites after a quick Google search.

Tony Khan might want to reconsider how often he throws shade at others for who they do business with.  Certainly makes me think a lot less of Swerve.

Swerve Strickland vs Killswitch

Backstory: NONE

After ducking and dodging, Swerve was sent outside, hit a kick to the knee coming back in and began targeting the leg before a swinging neckbreaker, which he rolled through all the way into a draping one off the apron.

Apparently Tony Khan has a big announcement later.  What?  Who’s in charge?

The big guy caught Swerve attempting an apron pump and swung him off into the steps.  Then repeatedly against the barricade.

Ads.

Swerve tried to counter a goozle via triangle choke and kicked his way free, leaping up into a flatliner.  Kick to the leg, diving elbow to the spine, stupid dance, suplex blocked until countering one of Killswitch’ back into one of his own.  Switch fought off another flatliner, chokeslam, two.

Taz called Swerve ‘the world champion’ and I did a double take.  Damn sure doesn’t feel it in this position against this opponent.

Every AEW match must now have shenanigans so Switch grabbed a chair.  Nana took it away to a big pop, Swerve hit a Stomp off the apron.  Was setting up the House Call back inside when Switch countered with a shot and standing moonsault for two.

Swerve hit a release German into House Call but wasn’t done.  Swerve Stomp to win.  What!!?  Killswitch kicked out.  A second House Call did it.  Well, you surprised the crowd, so if that was the matches’ goal…

Swerve cut a lock of Killswitch’s hair in reprisal for last month.

Cannot remember the last time Killswitch was even a minutely-important part of AEW television.  Let alone won a match.  And he pushed the world champion.  Good action; no drama.

Winner: Swerve Strickland

Schiavone said Tony Khan had an announcement of an announcement.  Even the other announcers made fun of him.

Schiavone said Mercedes is defending against Skye Blue tonight for the title.  Okay.  If Blue’s a one-night stand, that’s fine.

*****

To Mox backstage.  He put over Rocky to good effect, as he does with everyone he faces.  Is tonight a bad idea?  He asked rhetorically.  Sure.  His arm’s messed up.  ‘But then again when am I ever 100%?’

‘Why?  That’s what champions do?  They show up.  They get in the ring and they bust their ass.  I’m not pissin away at Disney World today’ (who’s that a shot at?).

He mentioned his hectic schedule of defences.  He’ll be the man who stands atop ‘New Japan, AEW and anywhere the hell else I wanna go.’  Excellent promo.  Hardworking, ducks no challengers but has confidence in himself.

Now…

*****

To what I was dreading.  The most visual representation of the WWEification of AEW we’ve seen in five years.  A ‘talk-show’ segment: ‘TV Time.’  Big Bill stood in the ring with a cardboard tree and ‘grass’ across the ring.  There were light, droning boos.

Jericho coming out did nothing to add to this.  It’s weird, they’ve got like 5,000 people in the house but it’s still so dark.

A light ‘please retire’ chant could be heard.  Jericho pushed his new shirt and thanked fans for making it a #1 seller.  He called his fans ‘branches.’  Which is tremendously crap.  And again bragged about being the longest-ever For the World champion.  Hook and Shibata gave him a hell of a match but ‘if adversity is ice-cream, always put a cherry on top.’

He must be having great fun looking up these lines.  The crowd are dead by the way.  Dead.  Introducing Bryan Keith did nothing to change this.  You’re shocked, I’ll give you a minute.

Jericho asked Keith what made him want to become a ‘disciple.’  Was hoping Keith would say he’s not.  But instead he said Jericho doesn’t get enough respect.  Absolute silence.  Until a ‘STFU’ chant.  Which was not a joke or fans playing along, but a genuine demand.

After some deliberately awful ‘bad apple’/’learning tree’ puns, Hook came out to minimal reaction.  He was being held back by security until Samoa Joe’s music played and the fans actually made noise.  Somehow Joe was already ringside, whispered words to Hook and they left.

This was rotten.  And that’s not a pun.  Hook/Joe stuff’s intriguing though.  Anything that keeps Joe on my screen.

*****

Excalibur threw to the wrong segment.  At least he said so, quickly introducing another.  Before they did indeed throw to the segment he originally introduced, the death of Konosuke Takeshita Sunday.

Though it was very quick, making it seem like the video guys tried to cover for him?  Anyway, a mess.

They then threw to a package on CMLL’s Stephanie Vacquer.  Excalibur said she’s coming to AEW.  Decent package.

Rocky Romero vs Jon Moxley (IWGP Eliminator)

Backstory: NONE

Rocky threw a dropkick and tope before the bell, then they brawled around ringside.  Romero going after the arm with stiff kicks as they returned to the ring.  But taking Mox’s suplex bomb before the champ launched stiff kicks.  Crowd are silent again btw.

Chop in the corner, superplex fought off by Romero going after the arm.  Armdrag takedown, running shotgun, Mox to the apron.  A light pro-Mox chant breaking the silence briefly.  Before Rocky snapped the arm across the top rope.  Then the bottom.

Ads.  There are enough fans tonight to make wrestlers feel like stars, if they’d put the right ones out there against the right opponent.

Back to a Moxley superplex, the champ flexing his arm, running lariat in the corner, ten punches, Romero hit kicks to the arm and paintbrushed the champ, who came back via cutter out of nowhere.

Romero went for a juijigitame; Mox clasped his hands together then floated over into knees to the head.  Right into the bulldog.  But couldn’t grip with his arm.  Rocky wrenched back with the arm hammerlocked, Mox blocked two corner attacks, Rocky got an armbar, the crowd couldn’t have cared less because Moxley’s obviously not going to lose.

He stomped his way free then nailed a KKL.  Rocky again tried to target the arm but took a discus lariat.  Death Rider, even for this the crowd barely roused themselves.  Though at least this top babyface didn’t have his finish kicked out of.

Solid action; far too long, no drama, no debate over the finish, which is why it played to silence.

Winner: Jon Moxley

Renee with Hook and Joe backstage, locked in conversation.  Joe said they did not exist on Jericho’s time, ‘truly dangerous men exist on ‘our’ time.’  Even Taz said he didn’t know what was going on.  They left.

Like this.  Joe can talk for Hook and his badass aura rubs off a little.

*****

Don Callis out.  Loud boos.  He had something ‘more valuable than gold,’ a Callis Fam contract.  Should check their win/loss record.  It’s been his pleasure to scout a talent like Orange Cassidy.

Cassidy came out.  Who ‘cannot possibly be considering this can he?’ per Schiavone.  Smart man.  Callis deliberately-very-badly tried to offer the contract in a Cassidy-like manner.  Nice stuff.  He kissed Cassidy’s ass then offered the contract.

He’s so good, knows his character so well, every little nuance.

Cassidy tore it up in front of him.  Light ‘freshly squeezed’ chant.  ‘Hey Don… no.’

Callis whipped him around and asked who the hell he was.  Stokely and Stat came out, Stokely said there was nothing he liked about Orange, he reminds him of Willow, but is out here because of Statlander.  She said ‘on behalf of my best friend, he accepts your invitation to the Callis Family.’

Trent appeared behind Orange and beat him down.  This sucks.  Dumb storytelling with too many plot holes to count.  Then there’s the question of why anybody would want to recruit Trent Beretta.

Trent and Callis did the Best Friends’ hug.  Which AEW don’t seem to realize no-one cares about.  Orange was bleeding.  Crowd chanted ‘You sold out,’ and there were some boos so perhaps they were more into this than I.

Related to the above re: Callis, he stomped Cassidy but hurt his foot in doing so.  So at least it ended on a high.

*****

Daniel Garcia and Matt Menard backstage.  Garcia basically complained that others get opportunities he doesn’t, while he’s stuck in the mud.  He was rude to Renee, then vowed to climb the rankings, take Ospreay’s title and leave his bags lighter.

Seen it far too many times.  Stop/start, stop/start.

Mercedes Mone vs Skye Blue (TBS Title)

Backstory: See start of show

It was only when they mentioned this being Mercedes’ in-ring Dynamite debut that I realized they probably should have built to this.

Mone ducked a cheap shot, running Blue to the corner, lighting her up, avoided another charge, knee strike, leaping armdrag from the top, dropkick, quick one count.  Real nice snap to Mone’s wrestling.

Shoulder to the gut, tejeiras, crowd finally made a little noise as Blue bailed outside.  Seemed a mix of cheers and boos for the champ.  Which is understandable because it’s hard to tell what she is.  Meteora off the apron, Blue sent back in, two count.

Blue countered a suplex into a small package then showed her experience level, Mercedes waiting with her head hanging through the ropes, for a boot which finally came, a Blue draping neckbreaker got two.

Ads.

God this looked so bad coming back from break – pure darkness, dead crowd, no atmosphere.

Mone jawbreakered her way free, boot up in the corner, dragging Blue into the buckle with her feet, sunset flip to put Blue into position for another meteora.  Near fall.  Backstabber for the same.

She positioned Blue beneath the buckle but was cut off.  Blue hit a thrust kick, Mone countered a powerbomb into a rana, Blue hit a twisting full-nelson slam for another close count.  Mone ducked a shot, hit a knee, took a superkick but countered Code Blue into a Mone Maker in a really cool finish.

Has to be Skye Blue’s best match.  Mercedes is so good.  She smartly controlled most of it.  And took most of it too.  And it didn’t go too long.

Stephanie Vaquer came out.  She eyed Mercedes.  Each held up their title.

Winner: Mercedes Mone

Renee waiting for word on Orange from the docs.  Stokely and Stat interrupted.  He made fun of people who are thirty and think Disney is still a magical place (presumably that’s Willow?  So was Mox taking a shot at her earlier?).

He said the catalyst for the turn was a four-way in March where Stat said she desperately wanted to become champion again.  That she’d returned from back-to-back ACLs while ‘most of these bitches’ miss time with a sinus infection.  And he hasn’t started addressing the women’s division yet…

He intro’d the new, improved Kris Statlander.

She kept addressing ‘You,’ no idea whether that was fans or Willow, it wasn’t clear.  She basically said she’d been there for everyone and got nothing from it.  Now they’d need protection from her.

Stokely was good; Stat wasn’t.  Generic.  If she wanted that particular title so badly, shouldn’t she be after Mercedes?  Can we get a direct explanation as to why Willow’s not here?  Is she injured?  What’s the injury?  How long will she be out?

*****

They showed MJF’s return Sunday.  Finally mentioning him, over an hour into the show.  A voiced-over package played talking about ‘MJF: the Legacy’ returning.  Youngest ever champ and etc.  Ending with ‘and he’s not fucking (bleeped) leaving.’  Corny finish.

*****

The fans were chanting ‘MJF’ in anticipation; the Bucks came out instead.  That’s some nice easy heat.  Though if these fans don’t get to see Max at all they’d be entitled to feel pissed.  Presumably some scooped tix after he returned.

Okada got a nice pop, disdain across his face.  Perry out last.  To a decent number of boos.  The first time I’ve ever heard his theme.  And I watch twice a week.

Excalibur explained that Perry had missed Darby with the ‘bus’ Sunday.  ‘Shut up bitches,’ began Okada, this dude’s just hilarious – mannerisms, the way he says things.  Not sure it’s great for his overall image but it’s entertaining.  As evidenced when the fans popped and chanted his name.

Perry grabbed a mic and said ‘the Elite run this shit.’  Khan and Omega handpicked a team, set him on fire, yet they still won.  He mentioned it was his first match in nine months (someone had to).  And he pinned Bryan Danielson.

Nicholas pushed their new Reeboks, which they were all wearing.  And the week was capped by winning Sunday.  Largely thanks to their two colleagues, so they had brought gifts.  They showed a black Lamborghini pulling up for Okada.

Okada was overcome.

Nicholas tried a heelish ‘you deserve it’ chant but the crowd took it up.  Okada feigned tears and yelled ‘I love you,’ then came up straight-faced.

(Why aren’t they mad at Darby for trying to set Perry on fire?  In fact they haven’t even mentioned it, he’s just fine.)

Matt moved on to business, said Copeland was injured and thought he’d jinxed him by saying ‘break a leg,’ as Copeland went out Sunday.  He said they had to make tough decisions as EVPs, so stripped him of the TNT Title.

So they need a new champion, ‘and we know just the guy.’  After the biggest win of his career Sunday, he presented the new TNT champ, Jack Perry.  Christopher Daniels interrupted.  He has a new job – so another authority figure.

He’s basically Tony’s rep.  So you know what’s coming – a tournament.  With no managers allowed, no interference.  The winners will face at Forbidden Door… ‘in a ladder match!!’

Why?  Who knows.

The first match will be on ‘Friday Night Dynamite.’  He didn’t say who or what or anything else.  The Elite went to go attack him when the Acclaimed and Billy Gunn came out.  Again, details.

*****

Swerve and Nana backstage.  He beat Cage, got revenge over Killswitch.  He’s curious who his next contender will be.  He looked off-camera and said there are a lot of champions, surprises and ex-champions in the Gauntlet match.  As if they were all stood waiting to go out.

He’s curious to see who’ll enter ‘whose house…?’ He did his supervillain cackle then left.

*****

Rush called out MJF immediately after they announced the latter would return next week (boy did these fans boo when they realized they weren’t getting Max).

Casino Gauntlet for AEW Title shot at Forbidden Door

Participants: Jay White, Pac, Mistico, Will Ospreay, Shota Umino, Claudio Castagnoli, Lio Rush, Orange Cassidy, Hechicero

This thing’s got some tv time.  Jay White out first, waiting.  Pac next, fans oohed.  He beelined to the ring and nailed a pump kick to a still-robed White.  Once again, you can win at any time and if a wrestler’s not out yet, they’re outta luck.

Pac beat White around ringside until White hit a chop and tried to flee back inside.  Pac vaulted in after him, step-up rana, White right back outside for an incredibly graceful dive, Pac landing on his feet.  Right back in again, the Geordie hit a shotgun from the top.

White out at two.

As Mistico came out: got a big pop here in Cali.  Probably could’ve put the lights up if he’d been advertised.  He fought off White then scrapped with Pac, who was sent outside via thrust kick, and hit a cross body from the top to the floor onto the two.

Ads.

Back to a huge pop as Mr. Ospreay entered.  Jesus what a reaction.  He took out Mistico, White tried a cheapshot sleeper suplex, tried to butter up Ospreay who sent him out to Pac, who sent him back in to Ospreay and a corkscrew kick, Pac snuck in to rollup Ospreay for a near fall.

They jawed, Mistico took advantage into La Mistica on Ospreay.  As Shota Umino came out, his music getting zero reaction.  He broke the hold.  Is cool seeing all these different guys mix it up.

He and Ospreay were left, Shota hit a running uppercut before a brilliant, rapid sequence of ducks and dodges, strikes and feints until a big Umino dropkick.  Fans loved this.  Loudest they’ve been all night.  Umino vaulting over into a ddt on the apron, tornado one coming back in, Jay White broke the pin.  New Japan have to be happy at how that sequence made Umino look.

Claudio out to a nice pop.  Seemingly there’s some heat with Claudio and Jay White?  Claudio chased him around the ring, smashing through guys along the way until Umino got a rollup for two but took an uppercut, White broke the pin.

Gunns up for the crowd, leading to him being swept into the swing.  Would love to know what the issue is here?  Mind telling me announcers?

Ads.  During which Claudio gave swings to everyone.  Including sweeping the ref into one, until realizing who it was.  Crowd frenzied.

Lio Rush out – so bridges must’ve been mended.  He kept avoiding Claudio, step-up enziguri, tripping the big man to the apron, knocking him off, Umino tried to attack from behind, Rush slipped out and hit an enziguri but ran into a forearm, each trying to fake and feint the other while running the ropes, crashing together, firing up, until Claudio smashed both down.

This is very well paced, keeping the crowd into it with the entrances while giving guys a chance to shine (except Jay White who just always gets his ass kicked).

Orange out.  His head was taped.  He sought a tornado ddt on CC, was caught but eventually landed stundog then hit the ddt.  Popping up but dropping down holding his head, as Ospreay thought about a Hidden Blade.  But thought better of the cheap shot.  White didn’t though, sleeper suplex for Ospreay, uranage for Orange, near fall.

Hechicero out.  To another pretty good reaction in Cali.  He too easily shook off Jay White.  Who’s too unselfish for his own good.  Then took out Claudio and Ospreay with innovative holds and flips, cradling Orange for two, heading upstairs, diving elbow/cross body onto Ospreay.  Mistico hit a springboard rana to take Ospreay out, Rush took Hechicero out, Umino took him out, Mistico took Claudio out with déjà vu, left alone in the ring.

Until springboarding out into a rana on Claudio.

Back inside, Umino looked for Paradigm Shift on Cassidy, who sent him packing with a Punch, Pac tried a rollup, Cassidy countered for two, took a thrust kick, White again snuck in seeking Blade Runner, Pac hit a pump kick in the corner, Juice Robinson came out, the crowd spotting him before the fans did.

He knocked Pac off the buckle, right in front of the ref, anything goes apparently.  White avoided a Punch into a sleeper suplex, Ospreay saved a Blade Runner, Orange countered Stormbreaker into a rana, legs hooked, Ospreay just out at two, ducking a Punch, Oscutter, 1, 2, 3.

Genuinely disappointed that ended.  Amazingly entertaining.

First thing all night that felt big-time, that the crowd cared about.  Probably because it was the only thing all night with both stakes and some debate over the finish.

As the show finished on a high after being largely disappointing.  And I complained in the ppv preview about predictable AEW title matches.  This one’s anything but.  Interesting to see where the booking takes us.

*****

Swerve out, belt over shoulder, eyes fixed on Ospreay.  He entered the ring, circling his contender before they went face-to-face and Ospreay pointed at the gold.

Winner: Will Ospreay

 ________________________________________________________________

Forbidden Door:

  • Swerve vs Will Ospreay (AEW Title)

Next Collision:

  • Ospreay vs O’Reilly (International Title)

Next Dynamite:

  • MJF returns
  • Mariah May vs Saraya

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Mox’s promo – the most effective talking on the show, saying a lot with a little
  • Mone vs Blue (if they were men, this might have been par for the course, but if Mercedes can drag the basement for a women’s match to this, it’ll raise the overall standard significantly)
  • Joe mentoring Hook
  • Main event, for the reasons mentioned above, fantastically fun and engaging

 *****

  • Jericho segment. Awful, purposeless for much of it, and absolutely dead
  • Who’s in charge?
  • Callis/Trent/Orange segment, none of it makes any sense, but what makes even less is how much tv time it’s had
  • How did we get over an hour in before they mentioned MJF?
  • Long matches; obvious finishes
  • Why isn’t Willow here? Can we get an explanation?

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


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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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