Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho started (continued?) a feud with the final boss from an old NES game, Matt Hardy brought back OMEGA superstar The Surge, and the got damn Revival showed up.
And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite for June 3, 2020.
All In: Roll Model
You know you’ve got serious character momentum when you get injured and you’re still one of the best parts of the show.
Almost every second of Dr. Britt Baker’s inspirational recovery video is funny to me. The fact that her wheelchair says “roll model” to begin with. Then there’s the gentle leg exercises, her dragging a single small weight behind her, needing a heavy weight switched out with a light one so she can feel good about herself, doing battle ropes by barely moving them up and down, and one final motivation in the form of Tony Schiavone to get her up a wheelchair ramp. I love that her leg is so injured she’s can’t use her arms, either. And then she turns around and does the Rosie the Riveter pose. Super funny.
If that’s not enough, she shows up in the crowd in the bed of a golf cart outfitted with feathers and sparkles, with a little sign on the back that says, “ROLE’S ROYCE.” Whoever’s in charge of the Britt Baker role model puns is working overtime. It has to be the same person who does Hangman Page’s chyrons. Somebody in the AEW creative hierarchy is truly funny as shit. 20 years of unchallenged WWE’s “humor” is one of the reasons I look at a flower now and go, “UGH, THESE FLOWERS ARE SO GROSS, I HATE FEELING GOOD AND BEING HAPPY. R-TRUTH DRESSED UP LIKE SHERLOCK HOLMES TO DO PHOTOSHOP JOKES ABOUT HOW SOMEBODY’S A HIPPO AND A CRYING BABY. AND HE SAID THEIR BREATH SMELLED BAD, AND THEN HE FELL DOWN. I DON’T WANT TO BE ALIVE.”
Sorry, I think I passed out there for a second.
But yeah, after Big Swole’s tough loss to Nyla Rose, Baker interrupts Swole’s interview by getting her assistant, Reba, to aggressively back up the vehicle into the security railing so she can puff up her chest from, again, a wheelchair on the bed of a sparkly golf cart. Before Swole can even finish fishing out a chair from under the ring, Baker’s tone turns to, “you can’t hit me, I’m injured!” She’s straight up fucking magical right now, and maybe the only thing that’s put a legitimate smile on my face all week. Thanks, Doc.
All In: After The Party It’s The Hotel Lobby
Speaking of Tony Schiavone, here he is interviewing the artists formerly known as The Revival in a hotel lobby. This does four really good things: establish who FTR f-t-are to an audience who might not know them, explain why they feuded with the Young Bucks for years only to end up in the same company and not fight each other, tie in the “fuck The Revival” gag from Being The Elite that created the “FTR” initials in the first place, and remind us that AEW’s tag team division is really damn good. In just this interview we get the thought of The Revival vs. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page, The Revival vs. Private Party, The Revival vs. LAX, and The Revival vs. the Lucha Brothers. I’m not sure my brain ever processed the fact that we’re gonna watch Rey Fenix bounce and tumble his way into a Shatter Machine, but holy shit am I ready for that match. I’m ready for all of them.
Also, you know, the Bucks. They didn’t attack them right out of the gate because they want them to heal up and be 100% so there are no buts or excuses. It’s an easy way to explain why they saved them from The Butcher and The Blade, too. It was their first day at work, their goal is to defeat The Young Bucks at 100%, and they need to make sure the Bucks don’t pull a Diamond Dallas Page and spend the rest of their careers wearing rib tape. Plus, that pivots right into FTR vs. the weird post-Memorial Day versions of Butcher and Blade. Love it.
Plus, like Dr. Britt, their interview connects to some in-arena content. Much like how DBBDMD was in the crowd watching the Nyla Rose vs. Big Swole match, FTR’s one of the many teams in the crowd watching Elite Wolfpac defend the AEW World Tag Team Championshp against Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc, who picked a really terrible couple of weeks to debut a team name with “Death Squad” in it.
Havoc and Sabian take the champs to something approaching The Limit, which probably shouldn’t happen given the established tier rankings and power levels of the champs in comparison to the challengers, but ultimately makes the Supabad Death Squad* look great in a loss. Now they can go into a match with, say, the Best Friends, and the competitiveness will seem a little more legit. I don’t know, it will in my mind, at least. At the same time I kinda feel like Kenny Omega should be able to beat Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc by himself, just in there spamming V-Triggers and Snapdragon Suplexes. Omega’s moveset has turned into Finn Bálor’s, where he finds a couple of moves that work — Dropkick! Sligblade! Dropkick! — and wins like 80% of his matches doing only those moves. Hey, I don’t blame him. Go with what works.
*call the team “Normal Adolescent Behavior,” because they’re the Havoc 2**
**how are these timely Havoc 2 references working out for you?
Mostly In: The Baddest Man On The Planet
Quick real-life politics aside you can skip if you disagree or aren’t interested, I promise it’s okay: Just want to say how sad I am that Chris Jericho is an “all lives matter” guy who blocks folks on social media for mentioning how black people are human beings and should be treated as such. It’s a sad followup to him having Don Jr. as a guest on his podcast and presenting dumb conspiracies and “alternative facts” while saying he’s “not a political pundit.” I will continue trying to disassociate non-fictional politics from the fictional characters I enjoy, and trying so, so hard to never learn what my favorites think about anything in real life.
Okay, you can read about wrestling again: Anyway, back to Orange. Orange Cassidy is great. I want to see random-ass bored Orange Cassidy be the Sting to the Inner Circle’s nWo. Just the one guy they don’t know how to figure out, because he won’t fall for their bait or goofy tricks. I also want to quickly note that I really liked the finish to the Cabana/Jericho match. Cabana did his Colt Cabana thing and was doing really well throughout most of the match, but he tried that corner bounce misdirection, slipped, and caught a Judas Effect to the face for it. I don’t know if the slip was intentional or not, but it really informed the finish.
Also Mostly In: Pretty Hate Machine
Brian Cage makes quick work of Captain Shawn Dean — Shawn Dean and Orange Cassidy should team up as “Naval Orange,” don’t @ me — to set up a Taz promo on Jon Moxley. There are very few people in the modern era of wrestling better at the “be threatening while standing with your nose practically touching the camera lens” style of promo than Taz, and he’s continuing to nail that Freddie Blassie type of manager who talks a big game not only because his guy could kick your ass, but because HE could as well. Adding Taz’s voice and storytelling know-how to Brian Cage’s athleticism and stupidly impossible action figure physique was a magnificent decision.
Surprisingly it was Moxley’s side of the promo I didn’t enjoy. He’s a great talker and carries his weight, but when he starts talking about “different things entirely” it sounds like he’s forgotten his lines and is trying to work through it as he goes. It was a mic drop that didn’t really deserve a mic drop. I dunno, maybe that’s just me. Not the best he’s been.
All In: Jungle Blood
oh wee oh wee oh
Finally we have the first defense of the TNT Championship, with Cody Rhodes going full tilt boogie to get the championship over, get his opponent over, and prove to the haters and doubters that he’s as good and vicious in the ring as his biggest fans say he is. As you might know from reading these columns, I’m a big fan of Cody’s work and don’t need convincing, but I like that he’s lacing up his worker boots and dedicating the next however many weeks of his life to making a name for his championship, and writing that name in his own blood.
Literally. Because of course literally.
The Rhodes bleed like most people sweat, it’s all good. Honestly though, it’s Cody’s fault for putting a guy against a wall and then trying to headbutt him. What was the POSITIVE outcome of that? You’re either headbutting a wall or headbutting a skull with a wall behind it. Punches, my dude, punches!
As for Jungle Jack Perry Boy, this was a really good episode for characters who don’t normally get the spotlight getting bigger spotlights. Colt Cabana got a competitive match with Chris Jericho, Orange Cassidy’s about to get one, Big Swole got TV time and a post-match promo, Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian came closer than you’d expect to winning the tag titles (not that AEW doesn’t love them some Kip Sabian content), and Jungle Boy got to take it to the EVP of the promotion and bloody him up in a title match main event. FTR used the week after they debuted to put over the entire tag division by names. It felt like a very subtle restructuring of the hierarchy. And yeah, there are still some people who don’t seem like they’re ever getting the opportunity they deserve — Sonny Kiss, I’m looking in your direction — but it accomplishes a hell of a lot of world building that doing The Elite vs. The Inner Circle over and over doesn’t. Plus, you might as well get some eyes on these people while the casual interest of Mike Tyson fans is still happening.
I don’t think I’ve talked enough about the match, but it’s good. It’s another one of those matches where Cody starts getting super aggro in situations where he doesn’t really need to, which I continue to hope is subtle ground work for an eventual (and inevitable) heel turn. With The Revival around, I want to see Shawn Spears finally get under Cody’s skin enough to turn him, giving us Cody plus Shawn Spears plus The Revival with Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson managing them.
P.S. every time a smaller guy isn’t afraid to bump on the top of his head for the Cross Rhodes, the move looks like a world-ender. You know you’re a rogue deep down when you’re wrestling a guy who’s smaller than you and calls himself “Jungle Boy” and it ends up involving top-rope-to-the-floor table falls and a straight-up brain spiking:
Hype to see who challenges for the TNT Championship next. Give me Cody vs. Sonny Kiss, Cody vs. Pentagon … honestly as long as you stay away from Jake Hager and maybe like, Luther, you’re going to make that title into can’t-miss TV. Cody vs. Marq Quen next week is going to BANG.
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
JR: up next on TNT, Jungle Jack Reacher!
Cody is basically becoming Bo Dallas and I’m ALL IN for that.
The thing is, Rhodes men suffer from a rare condition called “Too Much Blood.”
If Billy Gunn could read he could peek at Arn’s gameplan
Arn carries around his playbook/Waffle House menu everywhere he goes cause it’s still only open for curbside pickup and Cody is tired of waiting at least 20 minutes each time for him to decide on what to get.
The Real Birdman
Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun sized games
We got a guy named Jungle Boy, but JR never knows his name
We got a dinosaur you can find, whenever you may need
If you got the money, honey here’s the son of Luke Perry
Best part of Dynamite is the show always feels like it has forward momentum. Very few wasted motion. A backstage segment with Private Party ad Matt Hardy leads into Marq Quen being the first man to answer the open challenge next week. OC last week led to this segment leading to Best Friends and OC vs Inner Circle next week. An FTR sit down set the stage for a tag match next week. Always feels like things happen to build to the next thing.
That shouldn’t be praise, but it is given the alternative.
Colt! The Dark Order literally turns people into furniture. Summer is coming and your name is Cabana! Put two and two together.
Baron Von Raschke
Alex is too big of a loser for the Dark Order to even consider recruiting
Dave M J
Person responsible for “Days since Cody has bled” sign: …sigh ::changes number to 0::
- The Dark Order wants to recruit Colt Cabana, presumably so he’ll start the Dark Order podcast. “When Mr. Brodie Lee eats first, he always eats Omaha Steaks …”
- Fyter Fest is now a two-night, Clash of the Champions (or, more accurately, AEW Bash at the Beach)-style event happening over two Dynamite episodes in July. Good to know we’ve got something to look forward to between now and the next pay-per-view, which isn’t until September
- Next week’s show features Colt Cabana vs. Sammy Guevara, Marq Queen vs. Cody for the TNT Championship, FTR debuting against The Butcher and The Blade, and a trios match between the Inner Circle and the Best Friends + Orange Cassidy
That does it for this week’s column. Thanks for reading about Dynamite! Not the best episode they’ve ever done, but the main event did it for me and even the more milquetoast episodes of Dynamite are fun to watch. Leave us a comment below, give the column a share on social media, and make sure you’re here next week. See you then!