Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho wore leather pants in a hot tub, offered a tiny t-shirt in exchange for support from a drone, and then made a bunch of cute little dogs chase after it when it turned him down. Wrestling’s great.
If you’d like to keep up with this column and its thinly veiled Best and Worst format, you can keep tabs on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite tag page. I’m also recapping Dark, which you can keep up with here, and you can keep track of all things All Elite here.
And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite for April 8, 2020.
All In: Jericho And Skee-a-Vone, World’s Greatest Announce Team
Before I say anything about this episode, I want to echo the sentiments of … I’m pretty sure every living human who watched it and say that Chris Jericho is delightful on color commentary, has undeniable chemistry with Tony Schiavone, and makes everything he talks over more enjoyable. Somehow the guy’s able to shit on the wrestlers he wants to shit on, but organically find ways to explain why they’re great at what they do, and how and why you should be enjoying it. It’s the experience of a guy who’s done everything you can do in wrestling, every way you can do it, everyWHERE you can do it.
I’m not advocating for the AEW announce team to be out of a job or anything, but when it’s finally time for Jericho to leave his tiller hat and pleather trenchcoat in the ring, he should immediately get a job in somebody’s announce booth. This was so good I’m going to be a little non-plussed every time the announce team isn’t this.
All In: Murderous Mohawk, And Marko Stunt In Context
Firstly, I want to applaud AEW for taking a second to have Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts put Marko Stunt’s match against Lance Archer last week into the proper context. I’ve read a lot of criticism about the pairing from fans and old jerky veterans alike, and Jake explained it succinctly: nobody wanted the match, and Marko thought he could be brave and seize an opportunity no one else was willing to take. He also makes sure to call Marko a fool, because Marko’s straight-up a fool, but it adds some in-universe reasoning as to why this giant guy’s first opponent was the smallest guy on the roster. All you’ve gotta do is take a second to address stuff like this, and what otherwise looks like lazy or careless production becomes plot.
Anyway, Lance Archer opens the show by sending poor Alan Angels to live with the rest of the angels. Pequeño Akuma never had much of a chance. Also, shout-out to “Alan Eagleson” for being the latest in a legacy of Chris Jericho’s character not bothering to learn somebody’s name, and saying it a little differently every time.
All In: Eletion
Speaking of Jericho, he gets invited to the Hardy Compound to face Damascus, or whoever, in the Elite Deletion. In lieu of just transcribing the entire thing, Hardy declares Sammy Guevara a FALSE GOD~ for not knowing Spanish, looks forward to eating Santana and Ortiz because he “loves Puerto Rican food” (his wife is Puerto Rican, which makes it funny AND gross), accurately compares Jake Hager to Frankenstein’s monster, and teams up with his sentient flying camera to make a literal “dumpster fire” out of the Inner Circle t-shirt. Remember when WWE did this character and all the did for like three months was laugh weird? What the hell were they thinking?
All In: Pandemic Etiquette For Submission Holds During A Nosebleed
Match of the night without a doubt goes to Dr. Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida, who managed to turn a general, lingering beef and a brief aside about a sandwich into 17 minutes of intense, hard-hitting, competitive action. Shida’s starting to hit her stride in AEW, and Baker’s in-ring work finally appears to be catching up to how great her character’s been. This ruled.
My favorite moment, because it has to be, is the attempt at Baker’s Lockjaw. Her nose starts bleeding PROFUSELY during the match thanks to what WOR says is a deviated septum, like the one Lars has in Heavyweights. But she fights through the mess and locks in the Rings of Saturn, and has Shida dead to rights for the Lockjaw. Only (1) this is gross, and (2) she doesn’t want to go jamming her hand into somebody’s mouth during a viral outbreak, so she demands that the referee give her one of his gloves. By the time she gets it and gets it halfway on her hand, Emma style, Shida’s able to reverse.
Eventually Shida’s able to chain some moves together and win with a running knee strike, which Baker later blames on having lost, “half her blood.” This is definitely a dark horse for best actual wrestling match done under quarantine so far. Somebody bring Britt a latte, damn.
All In: Ultimate Venom Arm
In also entertaining but in a very different way news, Kenny Omega and his BEST FRIEND Michael Nakazawa actually take on Best Friends in a tag team match for the rights to the name, “Best Friends.” First of all, you’re protesting too much. Secondly, can anyone do that? Can like, Luther and Mel challenge for that title and if they win, THEY are the best friends? Honestly, isn’t that what tag team wrestling is all about? A pissing contest to see who’s the best at getting along with another person?
I always like Kenny Omega matches more when I don’t have to take them so seriously. He and Naka-naka-nakazawa are a fun team because Nakazawa is clearly so far beneath Kenny’s level that Kenny has to basically piggyback him through the entire thing, and work within the structure of a jobber who can’t stop oiling himself up, going for the nuts, and putting his thong on his hand to rub it in people’s faces. Imagine if John Cena and Santino Marella had been permanent tag team partners. “Guy who wants to team up with his friend who sucks at this, but it’s his FRIEND” is a compelling tag team dynamic. It’s like when a star player sticks around on a bad franchise.
Best Friends win — the actual Best Friends, I mean … the ones who were calling themselves that already, I mean — by, get this, doing a wrestling move to Michael Nakazawa. Crazy, right? Should you try your finisher on the guy who can kick out of 16 Rainmakers in the Tokyo Dome and keep high-speed knee striking like he’s fresh as a daisy, or on his tag team partner who never wins and knows how to take off his panties without removing his shorts?
All In: T-N-Ten
This week’s main event is the first round in the “semi-finals” of the TNT Championship tournament between Cody and a guy who once turned Cody’s brains into Elmer’s glue, Shawn Spears. It’s the actual semi-finals round, by the way, I only put it in quotes because it seems weird to book a three round tournament and put “finals” in the name of the first round. That’s just a nomenclature pet peeve or mine, no shade on AEW or tournament structure in general.
Cody wins, of course, because he’s got a round two meeting with Darby Allin (unless something goes horribly wrong) and Lance Archer (because obviously) throughout the remainder of the tournament. Shawn Spears’ only ongoing storyline is that he keeps switching jobbers in and out trying to find the perfect tag team partner on Dark. You know those “use $15 to choose your perfect team” graphics that make the rounds on social media sometimes? Spears is trying to make his perfect team out of five $1 players. Also he gets pinned by a submission hold, because he’s Shawn Spears.
Cody’s got an interesting way of elevating his opponents, it seems, as they always try to step it up and do a better job (at least in kayfabe) when they’re against him. A guy like Spears will lose a Librarians-related match in like three minutes on Dark, but can go over 20 in a competitive one-on-one match and do table spots with the EVP. I think Cody’s just not interested in half-assing any matches he can avoid half-assing, because every match is an opportunity to put yourself and your opponent over, isn’t it? It’s a good idea to run this as the first match of the tournament as well, because the first match is a good indicator of how the rest of the tournament’s going to go. I don’t think anybody with less going for them than Archer should be kicking out of Double Cross Rhodes, though, even if they’re just doing it on instinct and are about to pass out in a leg lock.
Highlight: Tony Schiavone saying to look at the expression on Brandi Rhodes after Cody got lobbed through a table, and Jericho responding with, “LOOK AT THE EXPRESSION ON ME!”
Also On This Episode
After thoroughly explaining why his jobbers must wear TIES along with their low quality masks and henchman jumpsuits to give off an aura of POWER to strangers, “Mr.” Brodie Lee squashes Lee Johnson. You may remember Johnson from such films as the most recent episode of Dark, where wrestled his trainer and accidentally busted him open. I wonder if QT was then like, “I RECOMMEND LEE JOHNSON TO GET HIS ASS WHOOPED BY BRODIE.”
Who wins if Lance Archer faces Brodie Lee in a battle of Characters Like This? Is it like when Kevin Nash fought Wrath? Does one of them get punked out? Archer’s not gonna wear a tie.
Finally we get multiple Jake Hager vs. Jon Moxley video packages. Your mileage may vary on these, depending on how excited you are for a Jack Swagger match and how interested you are in Hager staring and speaking like he’s Luca Brasi trying to remember his lines, or Moxley trying out his profile pic for when he starts tweeting about far-right politics.
Really excited for Mox to hurry up and win that match so we don’t have to keep hearing Jake Hager talk. I also hope that Moxley and Renee Young’s first child is a masculine child.
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
The Real Birdman
Tonight Nakazawa will be pouring hand sanitizer all over himself instead of baby oil
The most amazing thing about Shida winning her last 7 matches is that none of them were non-title matches against the champion.
I just want for one day, maybe even just 8 hours, damn I’ll take 4 hours but please, let Jericho follow me around for any amount of time and do commentary on my life and insult me and everyone I interact with. Is that too much to ask for?
I don’t want to live in a world where Tony Schiavone knows what the word Hentai means
Yeah Cody, you’ve got an albatross on your neck alright…
Hager has a cadence that implies that his wife’s brainwashed him
“When I started shaking babies & kissing hands, that’s when I became the Chris Jericho you see before you today”
Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
Pineapple Pete is the best crowd member since Shocked Lesnar fan.
Dave M J
I really love how the best solution to the issues with AEW’s women’s division is “let Hikaru Shida wrestle matches and have the other women hit her as hard as they can”
It’s a great solution.
I’d like Hager a lot more if he’d had to stop and try to figure out how to spell “Hager.”
That does it for this week’s column. Thanks for reading about Dynamite! If you’re able to leave us a comment below, give the column a share on social media, and make sure you’re back here next week. Oh, and make sure you’re reading about Dark, as it’s as close to the WWF Superstars column as we can get right now.
See you next Wednesday!