Excalibur is talking about it being a “tradition” to have Dynamite in Chicago the day before Thanksgiving. I’ll bet you that 99.999999999999% of people responded to this announcement by saying “huh?” I know I did. This is the sort of thing that AEW needs to stop doing. There is no positive to it, and it just makes people feel lost. And, just to make it worse, this is only the second time they did it, so it really can’t qualify as a “tradition.”
OPENING SEGMENT- hated it
We start with Regal in the ring, and he’s getting booed. That was a pleasant surprise. Then he asks the fans if they want to hear from MJF, and they start cheering. Then, of course, Regal tells the fans that they will hear from MJF next week, so they start to boo. I don’t understand these fans at all. Why would you boo Regal for turning heel, but cheer the person he turned heel to join?
They’re chanting “REGAL SUCKS!” and “F*CK YOU, REGAL!” now. Regal says that MJF isn’t here now because he’s on the set of a movie. But MJF (or, “Mr. Friedman,” as Regal always made sure to call him) will be here next week, at which point everything will be explained, including the contents of an email that Regal sent to MJF a few weeks ago. This feels obnoxiously bait-and-switch-y, as I don’t see how they could think people could possibly not be expecting an explanation when they advertised a Regal promo on this week’s Dynamite.
Jon Moxley came out, but Bryan Danielson came rushing out from behind to try to stop him from getting to Regal, urging him to calm down. Danielson told Moxley to not attack Regal because “we’ve all done bad things in the past,” and because, if Moxley attacks Regal, Regal could become crippled or die.
Moxley wouldn’t calm down, so Dragon slapped him in the face. Because that usually makes people less angry.
After profusely apologizing, Dragon begged Moxley not to attack Regal because when Dragon’s father was dealing with the same “struggles” that Moxley dealt with, Dragon didn’t understand, but Regal helped him to understand, so that he could love his father again. Dragon asked Moxley to “imagine someone teaching your daughter to love you in spite of your struggles.” The fans are chanting “BULLSH*T!” throughout this.
Dragon begged Moxley not to attack Regal because of the love Dragon has for Regal. Moxley told Regal to run away, and Regal eventually left. The fans chanted “THIS IS BULLSH*T!”
The acting here was excellent, but really hated it. First there was the bait-and-switch issue. Secondly, the fact that they kept saying “struggles” really irritated me. We’re all adults here. Just say “addiction.” Or if you must, say “personal demons” or something like that. “Struggles” sounded painfully sanitized.
The real issue, though, was the outcome. I don‘t hate the idea in theory, but this is yet another instance of AEW’s poor storytelling detail (or perhaps lack of forethought) getting in the way of an idea that should have worked in theory.
Dragon essentially asked Moxley to spare Regal for the sake of their friendship, but I’m not really even sure that they’re friends at all. When we first saw them interact, Dragon wanted to be friends, but Moxley didn’t want to. It took Regal to essentially order them to be on the same page. Since then, they have occasionally teamed together, but otherwise really haven’t been involved in the same thing, or done much of anything to help the other in their moments of need. The only time they have really been involved in the same thing was early on in the feud with the Jericho Appreciation Society. Then Moxley went after the world title instead while the rest of the stable continued to feud with the JAS, and they’ve been apart since. Dragon and Claudio are clearly friends, and Claudio and Wheeler YUTA are clearly friends, but I have seen no evidence whatsoever that Dragon and Moxley are friends, and a lot of evidence that they aren’t (like Moxley not coming out to help Dragon- or Claudio, for that matter- any time the JAS has been beating him down).
And now AEW wants me to buy that these guys are such great friends that the hot-tempered Moxley will spare the man who betrayed him and screwed him out of the world title, simply out of friendship with Dragon? F*ck off.
RENEE PAQUETTE’S INTERVIEW WITHKEITH LEE IS INTERRUPTED BY SHANE STRICKLAND- didn’t like it
Renee asks where Lee and Strickland stand. That’s when Strickland showed up and wanted to talk to Lee, but without the camera present. I can buy that these two are in a place where they can still talk things out, but I need to see it, because if the goal is to get them back together- even temporarily- the audience has to be persuaded just as much as Keith Lee does, because if we’re not privy to the appeal that changes Lee’s mind after he took such a moral stance and made such a sacrifice, then it will damage Lee because he won’t seem as attached to his convictions as we thought (and as we are ourselves are. We’re supposed to be proud of him for walking out on Strickland, after all).
And, quite frankly, I’m not sure what Strickland could possibly say that would care about the viewers seeing it. This was done just to keep us in the dark, which is something Strickland shouldn’t care about at all.
AEW ALL ATLANTIC TITLE MATCH: Orange Cassidy(c) (w/Best Friends & Rocky Romero) vs. Jake Hager (w/2.0 & Daniel Garcia)- DUD!
This title match started off with… a bunch of dumb comedy. In addition to the usual OC crap, they’re now doing stuff with Hager’s hat. There is a fan with a sign in support of the hat. People like that make me so f*cking angry. If you like off-beat comedy, go watch an off-beat comedy. This is pro wrestling. The finish was Hager having OC in the ankle lock, but OC managed to make Hager’s hat fall off his head, so Hager LET GO OF THE HOLD TO GO GET HIS HAT, which allowed OC to hit the Orange Punch and win with a roll-up. Congrats, AEW. In just one match, you have completely destroyed any interest I had in seeing Jake Hager on your show ever again.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- snore
The f*cking Factory comes out and surrounds the ring. Then the lights went off. At this point, I’d be happy if f*cking Retribution showed up. Instead, we got Julia Hart on the ramp. She did some gesturing, and made the rest of the lights come back on (and not be red), and there was the House of Black in the ring. The beat up Best Friends, OC, and Rocky. The Factory, being idiots, just stood there on the apron, so after they were done beating up the Goof Troop, they beat up the JoB Squad as well. Apparently this was one of the rare times in AEW where fighting outside of the confines of a match isn’t okay, because security and some other jobbers came out, so the House of Black beat them up, too. Brodie King grabbed a guy on the ramp and started to run while holding his neck in a fashion that anyone who has seen more than three professional wrestling matches knows means he is about to throw the guy off the ramp… and the f*cking idiot director cut to a shot of Julia Hart.
Anyway, this was boring. It has been over year, and almost nothing the House of Black have said in any of their many promos has actually meant anything. The fact that they went from beating up midcards to beating up jobbers to beating up security instead of going up in difficulty made this feel tedious. They killed a security guy Brody and Buddy’s tag team finisher. Six months ago, when Wardlow was beating up security guys for no reason, we were supposed to think it was cool, but now we’re supposed think beating up security is mean.
JUNGLE BOY PROMO- bad
He talked about how in their cage match, he and Luchasaurus got to “share a moment.” F*ck off. You’re supposed to pretend that this is a shoot. Don’t talk about sharing a special moment with your enemy who betrayed you.
WORLD TITLE ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT FINALS: Ricky Starks vs. Ethan Page (w/Stokely Hathaway)- 7/10
Most of Starks’ torso is taped up, as is one of his shoulders. My first thought upon seeing him like this was that the tape job was so excessive that it would look ridiculous for Page not to beat him relatively quickly, but holy crap did these guys prove me wrong! GREAT match.
WARDLOW PROMO- terrible
He came of like a crazy heel, claiming to still be the TNT Champion even though he lost the belt cleanly at the PPV.
FOOTAGE OF JADE CARGILL SHOWING UP TO BOTHER A RAPPER AT HIS CONCERT- She comes off like an asshole in this.
RENEE PAQUETTE INTERVIEWS JADE CARGILL & THE BADDIES- bad
This was hyped as her talking about her confrontation with Bow-Wow, but she just said “no comment.” Red Velvet is back. There will be a celebration next week for Jade getting her title back. Mark Sterling is back with her. Jade had him fire Kiera Hogan for “not living up to her commitments” to Jade or something like that. Why is anyone supposed to care. Either 1) Jade is right, and Hogan deserves to be fired, or 2) Jade is unjustly firing Kiera… which we fans should quite frankly be happy about because for almost her entire run Kiera has been a heel hanger-on, so that’s just one less person to help Jade cheat, and one less cheater on the roster. Hooray!
BEST OF SEVEN SERIES FOR THE AEW WORLD TRIOS TITLES MATCH #2: Death Triangle(c)(1) (w/Alex Abrahantes) vs. The Elite(0) (w/Brandon Cutler & Michael Nakazawa)- 7.75/10
Don Callis was on commentary for this match.
Excalibur said that this series was booked because of the “controversial finish” to the PPV match.
1) That is much different from how they framed it on the PPV when they announced it.
2) Why does that controversial finish result in a best-of-seven being booked, not the controversial finishes in the men’s and women’s world title matches?
At the PPV we were told that Abrahantes did not come out with Death Triangle because he disapproved of Pac’s cheating ways. At the PPV, the other two members of the group were involved in cheating as well… and now Abrahantes is out there with them? How does that make any sense?
The fans were loudly booing the Elite, which completely shocked me… until I saw the fan in the second row hold up the sign that reminded me what city they were in. Kenny got heat by biting Pac’s arm. If these guys are supposed to be babyfaces, it would have been best to not have them appear in front of the live crowd on this show.
They did flips. Pac was the… heel? Babyface? Wrestler… in peril.
Pac apparently broke his nose at the PPV and had to wear a protective mask to wrestle. The Elite ripped the mask off of him. Pac got knee in the face a bunch of times. Not just regular knees, either, but V-Triggers and a GTS. Shouldn’t there have been a ref stoppage at that point?
Matt Jackson hit a low blow and went to use a hammer, but Penta had his own hammer that he hit Matt with to help his team get the win. I assume I’m supposed to be upset about this, but I really don’t know.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- stupid
Rey Fenix- who used a hammer to get the win for his team at the PPV- is now upset that Penta used a hammer to win the match for them. Making this even worse, all of the announcers are shrugging their shoulders and saying “well… you’ve got to win,” so not only is Fenix a hypocrite, but he’s being portrayed as being hypocritical about something where he shouldn’t even be upset in the first place about anyone doing.
RENEE PAQUETTE ANNOUNCES THAT THUNDER ROSA HAS VACATED THE WOMEN’S TITLE AND NEW INTERIM CHAMPION JAMIE HAYTER IS NOW THE NON-INTERIM CHAMPION- whatever
RENEE PAQUETTE INTERVIEWS JAMIE HAYTER- fine segment
Tony Schiavone said that “there is no question that Jamie Hayter earned the title.” I nearly had an aneurysm. SHE F*CKING CHEATED! And not only that, but the asshole saying this is the guy Tony Khan has tasked with being the one to call out the Jericho Appreciation Society for their “systematic cheating.” How could he possibly think this was a good thing to say?! If I were Tony Khan I would have walked out there and ripped the headset off of his head myself before firing him for having such bad judgement.
Renee asked her first question of Jamie, but Britt Baker snatched it away and answered for her.
WILLOW NIGHTENGALE & SKY BLUE vs. JERICHO APPRECIATION SOCIETY (Anna Jay & Tay Melo) vs. Jamie Hayter & Britt Baker (w/Rebel)- 5/10
The announcers were putting Jamie Hayter over for being so “versatile” that she was able to “switch her mindset” from being in singles match mode on Saturday to being in three-way-tag mode tonight… as if wrestlers don’t do this all the f*cking time. Hell, before this match they showed us clips of Skye Blue and Tay Melo wrestling in a singles match just last night and now they’re in this match, and no one is putting them over for it.
Decent action. Baker & Hayter won.
Excalibur told us that Tony Khan just told him that because Thunder Rosa had to relinquish the title, Toni Storm’s reign as Interim AEW Women’s Champion will be retroactively recognized as an official title reign. I think this whole “interim champion” stuff is silly and I don’t understand why Tony thinks anyone makes a distinction, but if we must have this silly distinction, I like that a clarification was made.
Excalibur also told us that we would hear from Toni Storm on Rampage.
RENEE PAQUETTE INTERVIEWS FTR AND TOP FLIGHT- bad
Excalibur pitched to this by calling them “top of the best tag teams in AEW,” which in the case of Top Flight is f*cking ridiculous. They have ZERO wins against anyone who isn’t a jobber. But they say that wrestling FTR would be a dream match for them and ask for an ROH World Tag Team Title shot on Rampage, so of course FTR say yes, so that’s now two weeks in a row where Top Flight will be getting a title shot they did nothing to earn.
THE ACCLAIMED’S IN-RING PROMO IS INTERRUPTED BY TEAM TNA ON THE KHAN-TRON- soooo f*cking boring.
They announced Anthony Henry vs. Darby Allin for Rampage, which is good, but also a Chris Jericho promo, which I’m sure will be insufferable. Then they also announced that Hikaru Shida will be in action, plus a six-man tag with Rush, Butcher, & Blade vs. Dark Order. Combine those with the ROH World Tag Team Title match and it kills my excitement for Darby vs. Henry because there is no way they will get any time.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Chris Jericho(c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii- 6.5/10
Yeah, just leave that baseball bat laying there in the corner of the ring, Aubrey. That’s good refereeing.
Ishii chopped Jericho’s chest bloody. They did other Ishii stuff that I despise. This included Ishii kicking out of a Lionsault at one… with a kickout that looked pathetically weak for what was supposed to be a big, emphatic, fiery, fighting spirit kickout. I’m sure many others loved this match, but to me this was a filler main event in a style a don’t enjoy, and was a lazily booked piece of a storyline that irks me for many reasons.
They did a spot where Jericho got the Walls of Jericho locked in and Ishii defiantly flipped him off… and then tapped out three seconds later. Did he think that would make him look cool? That doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look like Bethe Correia getting knocked by Holly Holm because you started to taunt her and dared her to kick you and then didn’t get your hands back up in time to block the kick.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- snore
Jericho went over to menace Ian Riccaboni for the forty-third time. Claudio Castagnoli came out and knocked Jericho down with a slap. So this builds to a title match between Chris Jericho and the guy who he beat cleanly at the PPV last week. Oops.
This was a very bad show from AEW. Yes, there were two great matches, but this was the Dynamite after a PPV, and I think I either disliked or didn’t care about every single storyline thing they did.
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