Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: AEW put together 3/4 of a great show, then put it in a bag and dumped it in the river with 31 minutes of Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager.
And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite for April 22, 2020.
All In: The TNT Championship Tournament Continues
This week’s Dynamite is book-ended by the two remaining first round matches in the TNT Championship tournament; one playing off an an established rivalry, and one teasing the end of a career, possibly to set up a televised murder in the semi-finals.
Up first is Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin, and while it doesn’t reach the heights of their classic from Revolution (and can’t, I don’t think, without a real crowd), it’s more in-ring goodness from two of AEW’s best young, for lack of better phrasing, “homegrown” stars. It’s also the latest installment of Darby Allin’s episodic quest to cripple himself by diving headfirst out of the ring into walls and barricades. It’s like Sin Cara, except he’s doing it on purpose.
Allin wins, both because he’s great and because of course he’s Cody Rhodes’ semi-finals opponent. Can I say really quickly how much I like the Last Supper as a finisher? Not enough American wrestlers choose to use inescapable pinning combinations as ways to end matches. I always dug guys like Super Delfin who had simple, hard-to-escape leverage pins as signature moves. My favorite Daniel Bryan Danielson move will always be the small package.
On the other side of the bracket we’ve got Dustin Rhodes putting his career on the line against Kip Sabian. Sure, putting your career on the line against a guy half your size who needs his girlfriend to help him defeat even bottom-of-the-barrel jobbers is pretty low stakes, but it’s a great way to get people talking about what an incredible 32-year career Dustin’s had so far, and sets up some delightful and terrifying pathos for his semi-finals match. If Dustin vs. Sabian felt like it could’ve ended Dustin’s career, what’s it going to feel like when he’s in there against a 6-foot-8 hollering murderer who wants nothing more than to eliminate Cody Rhodes? That seems like a recipe for both blood and guts. And not in the fun way.
Everyone watching should take a lesson from Dustin here. If you’re wrestling Kip Sabian, bring a lady to the ring with you. Kip could be in there against a cardboard cut-out and Penelope Ford would try to help him win, so find Brandi Rhodes or a rough equivalent to counter it. This is doing the world’s lowest-effort homework.
Student Squashes Of The Week
Here’s AEW Tag Team Champion, AAA Mega Champion, and promotion non-specific Best Bout Machine Kenny Omega having to try way too hard to defeat Alan Angels. After all, this is the same guy Lance Archer put in a grave two weeks ago. One of the strangest things about Omega is that his character completely ignores tier charts and has random difficulty turned on for every match. Not that Kenny shouldn’t devote some of his TV time to making young guys and new stars look like they deserve to be in the ring, but there’s got to be a happy medium between the Kenny Omega who mindlessly no-sells everything to do anime taunts, and the Kenny Omega who’s letting Alan Angels ground-and-pound him. I’m really happy he won with a V-Trigger too, not only because that makes V-Trigger nearfalls in AEW more believable, but means Omega didn’t have to bust out the goddamn One-Winged Alan Angel.
“Justin Law, man. Justin Trouble’s what his name should be.” — Chris Jericho, talking to the “AEW Galaxy”
Justin Law, who definitely interns at Wardlow & Associates, gets bludgeoned by the brother Brodie Lee. After the match, Brodie makes a point to walk over and intimidate Marko Stunt, which seems like another example of a giant AEW monster picking on the smallest guy in the room, but actually makes sense given that Stunt was one of the first guys to turn down a Dark Order mask. The highlight is probably Jericho, a man who has competed off and on in Japan for his entire career and definitely understands the concept of match-ending lariats, incredulously declaring, “He just beat Justin Law … with a CLOTHESLINE!”
In a match that didn’t get a clip on AEW’s YouTube page, Goldberg Brock Lesnar Wardlow defeats Lee Johnson. Johnson, who we recently saw on Dark accidentally busting open his trainer, takes a Goldberg-style military press into a powerslam and two throwing vertical suplexes before hopping up like nothing happened and being like, HAVE THESE TWIRLS AND FOREARMS! There’s got to be somebody better for this gig. At least Lee took the F-10 better than Ryan Piles.
Orange Is The New Black
The only other match on the card is Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc, which is fun, but would’ve been ten times better with a crowd. Sure, you could say that for any match happening during quarantine, but I think Orange Cassidy only works when being digested in real-time by a wrestling audience. He’s great no matter what, but his character and presentation’s already a tightrope walk without losing that instant validation.
- Orange winning with what I’m assuming is called the ORANGE CLUTCH, continuing my love of pinning combinations as match-enders, and
- Orange Cassidy winning, just in general
- “LOOK AT PENELOPE WHAT’S SHE GONNA DO …. oh, nothing” — Chris Jericho
Outside The Ring Nonsense Of The Week
Did you watch last week’s episode of The Bubbly Bunch and think, “this would be so much better if they were engaging in a fake TikTok dance contest to win a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer?” If so, what’s wrong with you? Also, you’re a genius and they did the thing. Enjoy FLIM FLAM — “not affiliated with TikTok” — featuring the Inner Circle doing what appears to be a Judas Effect-themed dance with “Don’t Rush Challenge” transition vibes. If this is a real TikTok dance don’t @ me, I don’t want to know.
I didn’t think they’d be able to continually top themselves after adorable dogs chasing a drone while Chris Jericho curses at it and random edits of Grinch close-ups and breakfast spills, but Jericho offering the world’s worst prize to his friends for an imaginary social media platform dance contest, getting mad at Sammy Guevara for upstaging him, and angrily throwing the bottle of sanitizer at his own phone as if he’s “giving it” to Guevara is the funniest shit I’ve ever seen.
Here’s MJF in front of someone else’s house giving us an RNN Update on his “serious injury,” which turns out to be a hangnail suffered while heroically betting on wrestling matches. I like that not only does he have his scarf tucked under the sling arm, but he got a finger sleeve with the same design. What a wonderfully insufferable human being.
Matt Hardy adds a great layer to his AEW character this week by revealing that he can transmogrify between his “essence” and “vessel” and morph from DAMASCUS into regular old, unkillable Matt Hardy. The ability to switch between characters like this is going to do him a lot of favors when he wants to have serious beefs and feuds that don’t involve magical backyard fights and drone-assisted teleportation. But don’t worry, he stays Damascus long enough to hit a few choice lines, with this one being my favorite:
“Samuel, I welcome you here if you wish to fight Jericho’s fight for him. But be warned, Samuel. If you come to the Hardy compound, I will mash you up into a MOFONGO … and EAT YOU!!“
Mofongo, of course, is both a Puerto Rican dish consisting of garlic mashed plantains, and what you’d call the tag team of Dan Maff and Steve McMichael.
Finally, here’s a great character video on Scorpio Sky to remind you that the rest of the AEW roster still exists, we just don’t ever get to see them.
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Bad scouting by Jimmy Havok not realizing OC gets +50 to all attributes once his hands go in his pockets
What Dustin really means is “if winning tonight means I have to wrestle Lance Archer, I’d rather retire.”
they should just debut Marty Scrull as a random crowd member but never call attention to it
I hope the payoff to that Roomba shot is that it’s actually a sentient robot sent by Damascus.
“Help from an Angel…Highway to Heaven…Whatever the hell that show is!”
JERICHO IS A NATIONAL TREASURE!
Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
A Canadian Destroyer used as finisher, what is this, 2007?
my favorite Luke Harper memory is when he was warning Bray every week that the guy named after a snake was obviously going to turn on them and he never listened
Poor Best Friends, their feud gets downgraded from Death Triangle to Meth Triangle
Scorpio Sky’s segment felt like a Dark Side of the Ring episode where nothing bad happened
Amazing that Jericho is such a brilliant commentator because he just reacts to what’s happening without trying to feed us talking points. Somehow “he hit him hard, that musta hurt!” comes across as refreshing.
Dave M J
…how did Jake Hager get back into his house?
I forgot to mention it, but Cody has a Bat Cave now. [shrug]
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. Here’s what you’ll see:
- Brodie Lee trying to break Lance Archer’s “Beating The Shit Out Of Marko Stunt” record
- Jon Moxley, hopefully staying far away from Jake Hager forever
- Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc in a no disqualification match against Best Friends that will probably be more like a six-person tag
- Cody vs. Darby Allin in the TNT Championship tournament
- Lance Archer fridging poor Dustin
See you then!