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Dynamite TV Report for 12/28/2023

Venue: Addition Arena, Orlando, Fla.

Hope you’re enjoying the holidays.  Hoping to get a ppv preview up before Sat but can’t guarantee it.  Should be a fun one tonight.

*****

Swerve Strickland vs Jon Moxley vs Jay White (Gold League Final)

Backstory: Winner faces Blue League winner in the overall final at Worlds End

Right to Wild Thing, Mox making his way through the crowd – they highlighted the injuries to his knee during last week’s match against White, including the cheap shot by White post-bell.  And White was out second, so they saved Swerve for last, continuing the message that he’s a priority.

He got a nice pop – they panned the crowd, making it clear only the lower bowl has people in it.  That fan who’s always at their events in an Everton shirt was enjoying the dance.

A ‘Swerve’s house’ chant played as White mocked his dance and was clotheslined outside by Mox, Swerve tried a sneaky rollup, only getting one.  Fistfight between those two, Moxley winning until being ole’d through the ropes, the battle continuing, White getting involved, dumped over the ramp by the other two, Mox then dumped Swerve too.  Any idea of a count-out out the window, they’ve been out there a good minute.

To the degree Excalibur had to address it and Taz tried to cover by saying we needed a winner.  They brawled among the fans for a good while, Swerve setting Mox on a chair and running at him via leg lariat.  This doesn’t feel remotely like a tournament final, those should be classic wrestling matches between the ropes.

After several minutes they finally got to ringside, where White took down Mox via chopblock then sent Swerve to the barricade.  Before launching shots from the mount to Moxley and suplexing him into a chair/the barricade.  Then finally returning to the ring, not even getting one after hooking Swerve’s leg.

Then giving him that same suplex against the buckle.  Crowd very quiet.

White went back after Moxley ringside but was booted off the apron by Swerve, who launched a dive, presumably trying to land on his feet but didn’t, he recovered to nail a kick off the apron.  All three back in, White taken down via lariat, Swerve took a Mox boot in the corner, Swerve bit his finger, hit a big rebound lariat, running elbow strike in the corner, snapmare, diving elbow to the back, before stopping to dance.

He dragged White back in and stomped his fingers, then hit a move we couldn’t see cause the cameras zoomed in on White on the mat.  Swerve elevated Mox outside onto White, lost his footing up top, crowd roared him on anyway, frogsplash/cross body to both outside.

Break.  Just doesn’t feel like a final/semi, lacks immediacy – just feels like your standard three-way – guy gets sent out, other two fight, rinse and repeat.

Back to Moxley taking out the other two via tope.  Ten in the corner to Swerve, both fighting atop the buckle, Swerve sent Mox down, jumping off into a Mox boot to the gut and ddt – he landed so short it was a total disbelief killer.

Jay White then started attacking both with a chair.  Excalibur clearly learned here that this was no dq.  As did we all.  Crowd almost silent now.  As happens when they don’t understand the rules or stakes.

White hit chops inside to Swerve, the latter came back with a big right, crowd chanting for him, he landed a big running right, low kick, house call from a different angle, powerbomb into a powerslam, to the top, 450, Mox broke the cover at 2.

Another break.  Looked like Swerve nailed White with his knees on that.  Nasty landing.

Three-way fistfight mid-ring until White hit a sleeper suplex to Swerve, tried it on Mox who countered into a choke, over into the bulldog, White fought up, Swerve broke it from behind, fought off a Blade Runner, looked for JML but ran into a KKL, White hit Blade Runner to Mox, Swerve broke the pin at the last, really nice sequence.

Fight forever chants as White grabbed a chair again, wailing away on Moxley’s back then aiming at Swerve’s gut.  Before wedging it between the top and middle rope in the corner.  Swerve reversed a whip, White rolling outside, done for.

Swerve rolled through with a handful of tights for a very near fall on Mox.  The two jawing mid-ring, into rights and open hands, crowd roaring, Swerve rolled away to nail a pump kick, a second, Mox staggering, discus lariat, ‘Swerve needs to cover im’ said Schiavone.  Dude’s not wrong.  The Blue League have done such a better job of wrestling with impetus.

Swerve upstairs, White blocked a Stomp, Mox slipped out of a Bladerunner, KKL, high angle Death Rider, for the win.

I may be in the minority, but completely ignoring the ref’s count and suddenly deciding these are no dq without informing us, to the degree the announcers didn’t even know, totally took me out of this.  It’s just weird to change the rules midway through.  Especially since they didnt even play into the finish.

Winner: Jon Moxley

Clips of how both Blue League finalists made it this far, mixed in with clips of them discussing one another.  Kingston said he’s the king of the underdogs and loves it.  Danielson called him a ‘bum’ again.  Kingston said ‘this Bum is going to the finals, this Bum is going to make you pay for every judgmental word’.

Pretty good package.  Kingston could get smallpox over given enough mic time.

*****

Tony with Swerve backstage to setup the Keith Lee match for Saturday.  He was furious, said he wanted that win ‘so bad’.  He said the tournament had breathed new life into the industry and he ‘meant that shit’.  Then addressed Lee by name, challenging him for Saturday.

Lee had said he’d be here but all he’d done was submit a contract for Swerve to sign.  Nana was furious at this since he hadn’t seen or approved it.  Swerve told him to chill and they’d see if Lee showed Saturday.

*****

Renee brought Mariah May to the stage.  May’s music is very Japan, like very loud dance music.  Renee asked about May attacking Riho.  May said she was simply supporting Toni Storm.  This was cheered.

Then said she’d reveal her debut opponent.  Fans did not care.  Though booed a little when she said it’d be next week.  Riho’s music hit to a big pop, May legged it for the ring.  Storm followed, tried a belt shot, Riho tripped her into the ropes, readying a 619, Luther pulled her to safety.  Maybe not, Riho nailed both via cross body off the top – crowd chanted for her.

It’s impressive she got a chant squaring off with the popular Storm.  The latter was mortified, yelling ‘How dare you!’ over and over as she retreated up the ramp.

Very campy from Storm.  Nice setup otherwise.

*****

Top Flight and Action Andretti backstage to issue a six-man challenge.  Orange, Rocky Romero and Trent rolled up, talking all insider about being ‘five feet away’.  Orange did his thing where he acts like everyone’s challenging him.  That’ll be Friday.

Don’t worry, there isn’t a ppv or anything that still isn’t fully booked, or a need to get the International Champ on it, plenty of time to make matches for Rampage.

*****

They previewed a Christian Cage sitdown with Lexy.  He was with Nick Wayne and his mom and asked Lexy where Renee was then called Copeland unprofessional for not being there yet.

Ads.

*****

Miro promo package talking about Perry poisoning him and repeating his promise that he’d go after Andrade once he’d been eliminated from the tournament.  Otherwise it just repeated stuff he’d already said.

‘What a challenge laid out by Miro!’ yelled Excalibur.  Glad he saw it that way.  It didn’t sound like one.  Anyway, the match was added to the ppv cause yeah.  If anyone cares.

*****

Tony Schiavone in the ring to do a preview for ‘Boxing Week’.  Crowd booed this.  Schiavone then called out Don Callis and Fam.  Apparently it’s linked to Boxing Day and is a celebration Callis wants.  A loud ‘FU Callis’ chant played.

He snatched the mic and said it’d been a difficult two weeks.  While being drowned in boos.

He said he couldn’t have got through it without his Family, so to say thank them and honor Boxing Week (I have no idea what that is) he had paintings for all of them.  Of course he was in all three with them.  ‘I worked hard on that one,’ he said of the Takeshita one.  He and Fletcher were beating up kangaroos with boxing gloves.

Just ridiculously OTT fun heel stuff.

Sammy Guevara’s music interrupted.  Excalibur talked about him being part of the Family.  He got a pop, so the announcers were the only ones who didn’t know…

Sammy stopped Callis from talking, the crowd chanted his name.  Then said it was a long time since they’d talked.  Callis asked if they’d got the gift he sent for ‘the kid’ then blamed the postal service.  But he had a painting for Guevara anyway even though he hadn’t known he was coming.  It was the rest of the family hugging Sammy who was holding his new baby.

Sammy wasn’t happy at him including the baby in the painting.  Callis said he wasn’t ‘mentally capable’ of being a father.  Guevara said he was a bad leader, Hobbs beat Jericho and Takeshita beat Omega but no-one remembers it cause of Callis making himself center of attention.  Then said lots of people called to check on him after his concussion, but not Callis.

Callis said Sammy wasted a great opportunity and gave him an ultimatum.  He could choose ‘the other family’ (Tay & his baby) or the Callis Fam.  Then threatened that if he chose the wrongly he’d be remembered as a failure of a wrestler and a parent.  Sammy rushed him, the Family stomped him down.

Judas interrupted and Jericho hit the ring with a ball bat, immediately knocking Takeshita on his ass then whacking all the paintings except the last which he saved for Sammy to smack.  The Family fled. The faces hugged until Big Bill and Starks swarmed them and stomped them down.

Lights went out, Sting and Darby appeared.  They ran off the tag champs.

Sammy/Jericho was predictable even though it didn’t make any sense.  That’s AEW booking for you folks.

More importantly, the Family were simply props in another storyline.  A bunch of guys gave up losses and their bodies only for Hobbs and Takeshita to be totally ignored.  Wonder how Paul Wight feels, both figuratively and literally.

*****

Roderick Strong and the Kingdom with Renee.  They now have a chart laying out the Devil candidates, they’ve ruled them all out except Max who all roads lead to.  Strong insisted Max was the Devil and vowed to expose him.

Nice they sort-of remembered there’s a world title match Saturday and the world champ’s appearing tonight in a match involving a months-long storyline.

Bryan Danielson vs Eddie Kingston (Blue League Final)

Backstory: Winner faces Gold League winner in the overall final at Worlds End

This being on now suggests we’re ending the show with an angle.  Kingston’s never beaten Danielson, they showed clips of their last match.  If this is that good, we’re in for a treat.

Loud ‘Eddie’ chant as they tentatively got going, Danielson staying clear like last time, trying to avoid Eddie’s strikes, aiming kicks at the legs, cagey from both, Danielson continually seeking rope breaks in the corner.

More of the same, stiff low kicks, Eddie kept clear, crowd chanting for him again, Danielson again to the rope break, smirking.  Lockup, headlock, Kingston countered right into a saito suplex, Danielson sent outside, Kingston nailed a tope, both hit hard.  Chops around ringside, whip to the barricade, more stiff chops, presumably this is also no dq and no countout since the ref’s not counting.

Back inside, Kingston still on top until Danielson raked the eye, chops and kicks in the corner, whip across the ring, Eddie roared out of the corner with a big lariat.  To the apron, Kingston seeking a German, Danielson kicked his way free, ddt on the apron, leaping knee off it, Kingston down.

Ads.  Not the best crowd so far which isn’t helping matches – they’re a moments and spots bunch.

Kingston on his knees mid-ring, Danielson wailing away, Eddie to his feet, fighting back but quickly taken down, BD thinking LeBell, Kingston scrambled for the ropes.  Danielson being ultra-heelish, talking a bunch of crap and aiming dismissive boot rakes.  Calling him a bum again, saying the crowd were all calling him one, hitting the ropes right into a Kingston exploder, crowd immediately with him, Danielson blocked the Uriken but took a ddt.

Both using the ropes to get up, dueling chant of ‘he’s a bum/no he’s not’, machine guns in the corner, Danielson talked more crap, asking for more chops, getting smacked down in the corner, Kingston grinding his boot on him.  Exploder blocked into a LeBell, dead center, Danielson telling at him to tap, Kingston finally got the ropes.

The commentators were again at odds with the booking, Schiavone rightly pointed out that Danielson didn’t need to break the hold since it was no dq, despite the ref yelling at him to do so.  What a mess.

Danielson began targeting the arm, hit a suplex, to the top, crotched, chops to Danielson’s already-red chest, BD slipped underneath, crotching Kingston upstairs, lowering him into a tree of woe, firing kicks to the upper chest until he tumbled to the mat.  Heavy boos for the Dragon.

Who followed via running dropkick in the corner.

Ads.

Chop battle in the middle until Danielson struck low, mixing kicks and chops, Kingston to his knees but firing up, flurry of chops, Danielson now down to his knees, being rocked back with chops but popping up to catch a final one into a shoulder capture suplex for a near fall.

Yes! kicks now, Kingston shook his head, Danielson upped the tempo, lefts and rights, round kick missed, BD armdragged free, missed a knee in the corner, massive lariat turned him inside-out, northern lights bomb, Danielson just out before three.  Great sequence, TiA from the crowd.

Danielson countered a powerbomb into a rana, Kingston countered back, both got two, wild swings missed, BD busaiku knee, which got the job done last time, but not this.  Eddie out at two.

Both down again, Danielson shaking his head in disbelief, to his feet, Kingston still down, into hammer and anvils, crowd chanting ‘No!’ for each, Kingston slumping.  Head kicking time said Danielson, wrists captured, stomping away, more ‘No(s)!’ from the crowd.  Ref checked Eddie, he flipped off BD, still some life.

Danielson smiled, readying a knee like last time as Kingston looked out of it on the mat.  Instead running into a Uriken, half and half, another Uriken missed, Danielson roundhouse, second Uriken, both staggering, a third, powerbomb, stack, win.

This was everything the other semi wasn’t.  Urgent, physical, real.  It built brilliantly to a very believable finishing sequence where it looked like a blow from either would end it and Kingston just happened to hit first.

And Kingston was so over here.  Easily the biggest babyface so far.  He seemed to be tearing up as Mox hit the scene.  First checking on Danielson.  Kingston turned and saw him, they went face to face as AEW performed just the worst camerawork possible.

Mox took a mic to say all he’s ever asked of Kingston is his best and for a guy who thinks the world’s against him, he sure has a lot of people behind him.  The fans love him.  Those tonight, at home, Saturday.  They don’t care if he wins or loses but they do deserve his maximum effort.

Problem is, he knows him better than he knows himself.  He know Kingston can’t beat him, Kingston knows he cant beat Mox.  So he’s already won.  If he wants to win a triple crown like his heroes, he’s going to have to earn every inch.

Eddie heard enough, snatched the mic and told him not to treat him like ‘bitch’ Yuta.  And yes he hates himself more than he hates anybody else but he’s going to give everything he has, he’s going to ‘bust you up and enjoy it’.

These two could sell water to a whale.  They’re heavily positioning Kingston as the underdog.

So… no Danielson on the ppv or will they jam him in somewhere?

Winner: Eddie Kingston

Back to Cage with Lexy.  Cage was impatient.  Someone said Copeland had arrived.

Ads.

We came back and Copeland flew in, nailing Wayne and brawling with Cage until a bunch of security separated them.  Half the building then came in to do so.  Despite this, Copeland kept getting free and attacking again.

Cage fled down a hallway, Copeland went after him, continuing the beating until they were finally separated.

Beats another sit-down interview anyway.

Kris Statlander vs Skye Blue

Backstory: They don’t like each other or something owing to this totally nonsensical mist story

So we’re clearly not getting that tag, there’s hardly any time left.  Baiting and switching fans twice is not a good look.  Especially those that bought tickets.

Stokely Hathaway was on comms and has been stirring things up between Stat and Willow Nightingale or something.

Stat ran through Blue, who tried a cheap shot, Statlander shook it off and knocked her down again.  Then slammed her.  Blue slipped behind on a second, Statlander cartwheeled out of a flying headscissors and hit a shotgun dropkick for two.

Delayed vertical, Stokely said he got 90s R&B in his head watching that.  Blue hit a pair of kicks and slipped around a lariat to dump Statlander face-first against the apron.

Ads.  Crowd are d-e-a-d.

Statlander mid-comeback as we returned: lariats, running knee in the corner, rolling through into a deadlift German, crowd enjoyed that.  As they should’ve.  Blue avoided a kick, hit a thrust kick, Code Blue, Statlander kicked out.  Kicking out of finishers is officially overdone.

Blue upstairs, Statlander caught a dragonrana, looking for a powerbomb, Blue rolled through but Stat held on up into a powerbomb for a near fall.  Then launched chops in the corner.  Is there an overrun?  We’re getting really late here.

The announcers were ignoring the match to the degree Schiavone pointed it out.

Skye won with an avalanche Code Blue.

Julia Hart out, Willow out to smash through both babyfaces.  Hart held up Blue’s arm on the ramp as they fled.  Abadon appeared behind her on the ramp.  But just danced weirdly as Hart and Blue left through the crowd.

That’s how you heat up a cold match.

Winner: Skye Blue

Ruby Soho with Renee.  Saraya interrupted her to say she had a gift for her.  Then brought in Harley Cameron.  Ruby left to take a call from Angelo Parker.  Cameron pulled out a butcher’s knife when Renee asked ‘how this came about’.  Saraya told her to put it away, she and Saraya left.

What the hell is going on?  Among other questions, wasn’t Anna Jay with them?

MJF & Samoa Joe vs Devil’s Goons (ROH Tag Titles)

Backstory: The Devil challenged Max to put his belts on the line, Joe accepted (which means he might be in on it)

The Goons came through the crowd to very muted boos and some chants of ‘Who are ya?’.  Joe didn’t come out and the very predictable beatdown had occurred.  He was writhing backstage clutching his knee.  Max seemed non-plussed.

And clearly didn’t give a crap about his partner, vowing to do the match anyway.  Crowd chanted his name.

He stomped a Goon down in the corner and knocked the other off the apron.  His shoulder was very heavily wrapped (he has a torn labrum).  Part of why many didn’t believe this match’d happen.

He elevated a Goon outside and flung him round ringside.  Then yelled about de-masking ‘this piece of shit’.  Another Goon appeared from under the ring with a bat and nailed Max in the back.  Another of the Goons hit a Heatseeker and another added illegal leverage as they pinned MJF.

The crowd booed in a ‘this is lame’ way.  All four were beating Max as Joe limped to the ring with a chair.  He helped Max up.  The Devil briefly appeared and a message said ‘Pleasure doing business with you’.  Joe attacked from behind with the chair and yelled ‘I did this to you’ before hitting a Muscle Buster on the bad shoulder.

He posed with one foot on Max and held the belt up.

The final part was good.  Rest of it was not.  Long Island against MJF is the one place they might be able to convince a crowd to treat Joe as a heel.  But it isn’t certain.

Winner: Goons…Hired Goons

_________________________________________________________________________

Added to Worlds End:

  • Jon Moxley vs Eddie Kingston (Continental Classic Final)
  • Miro vs Andrade
  • Swerve vs Keith Lee
  • Jerircho/Sammy/Darby/Sting vs Hobbs/Fletcher/Bill/Starks (is Takeshita injured?  The hell!?)

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Kingston/Danielson and the ensuing verbal sparring – that match is the only one I’m really looking forward to Saturday
  • The final part of the show-ending angle making it seem Joe is/is in business with the Devil and further injuring the shoulder was pretty effective

 *****

  • Generally really poor ppv hype, they just shoved a bunch of stuff at us and didn’t give anything continual focus. This is without doubt the worst build to a ppv they’ve ever done
  • Including the world champion being all-but forgotten and on the show for barely a few minutes
  • The completely out-of-the-blue rule changes to the tournament – even the announcers didn’t seem to be aware

Appreciate you reading.  Have 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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