Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: ‘The Man’ Dr. Britt Baker wrestled with blood all over her face, Best Friends experienced the Ultimate Venom Arm, and Matt Hardy challenged Chris Jericho to an “Elite Deletion” in a rural North Carolina backyard.
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 15, 2020.
All In: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
As expected, Murderous Mohawk Lance Archer continued his dominance over such high-ranking peers as 3-foot-8 Marko Stunt and the Enhancement Talent Agency’s own Alan Angels with a decisive win over Humorist™ Colt Cabana in round one of the TNT Championship Tournament.
What I really enjoyed about this is how Colt never seemed like he had much of a chance to win, because why should he, but he still wrestled it like he COULD win. Like he WANTED to win. That’s something a lot of people who are about to lose fail to remember, and I appreciate it a lot. Colt’s outmatched, but he keeps fighting and trying things. He looks like a guy with a gameplan, win or lose, trying to turn years of experience and success into the right combination of … whatever to stop this giant, enraged Texan with braided quilts growing out of the top of his head. Colt never just looks like he’s in there to take moves, and it not only makes him look better, it makes LANCE look better, and makes the match like five times more enjoyable to watch.
Also, bruh, if it took Cody 20+ minutes to put away Shawn Spears, he’s going to need to bring a harpoon gun into the ring with him to survive Lance Archer. Best of luck!
The Doctor Is All In
So you know how Colt looked like he was still thinking and working and trying to win, even though he had a snowball’s chance in the Devil’s armpit somewhere around the equator in Hell? I like that Britt Baker doesn’t just use the “I’m a role model” thing as thing to say because people are booing her — Bayley, I’m looking in your direction — but actually tries to apply some warped heel logic to it. She’s not just saying “I’M THE BEST, ACTUALLY,” she’s setting up visual aids (in cursive) in her office so she can explain how she actually fought fair and is actually the winner while, based on the ending shot, someone sits in the chair waiting to be taken care of. Somebody went to the dentist and the dentist was like, “hold on, I need to cut a promo about how much of a bad-ass I am for surviving a deviated septum without anybody to cheer me on.” Hilarious.
DBBDMD gets a win over Cassandra Golden, wisely adopting the curb stomp in the ropes as a temporary finisher while “putting your hands in other people’s mouths” is a major health hazard. Two side notes:
- Chris Jericho is still great on color commentary, especially when he’s complimenting Britt Baker for being a smart businesswoman and breaking people’s teeth to create her own patients
- Cassandra Golden needs a talk show segment called, “The Golden Hour”
Inner Circle Zoom Meetings Should Be The Entire Two Hours
Firstly, bless Chris Jericho for doing a Brady Bunch parody, realizing there aren’t enough members in the Inner Circle to do the Hollywood Squares-style Brady Bunch grid accurately, and filling in the extra squares with two of “the hounds” and a bottle of sparkling wine.
Secondly, there’s almost too much to laugh at here. The sudden, unexplained closeup on Ortiz’s stuffed animals. Sammy Guevara loudly complaining about being called a fake Latino while butchering the Spanish language like he’s Peggy Hill. Jake Hager making his kids do “earmuffs” so he can use the word “shit” on a conference call. Chris Jericho doing an absolutely horrible job of making his own breakfast (while wearing sunglasses and a dramatic blazer, in his own house, in the morning), screaming at his assistant for not being able to find him any toilet paper, and dropping jokes like, “what do you call an idiot who’s been missing for weeks, and likes horses?”
Honestly, just give Jericho a comedy variety show every week that loosely equates to what Southpaw Regional Wrestling would look like in prime-time on TNT in 2020. We can pick back up with the wrestling parts when things chill out.
All In: Orange Cassidy’s ‘Male Wares’
There’s something so sincere about the announce team of Chris Jericho and Tony Schiavone. When Tony’s with Jim Ross and Excalibur, you can see him doing his best to be professional and by the book. When he’s with Cody, he’s ostensibly out there with his boss. With Jericho, Tony has that same looseness and affability that made his WCW Saturday Night announce team with Dusty Rhodes one of my favorite ever. Tony’s not afraid to have a conversation, make jokes, laugh, and still manage to effectively call a match. It’s infectious positivity, which is a rare resource right now. Plus, how do you NOT laugh when Jericho’s loudly announcing I WOULDN’T FALL FOR THAT and screaming about how you shouldn’t kiss girls during matches? I just wish Daniel Bryan had read that rule eight years ago.
Kip Sabian versus Charles Taylor is a fun match that gives Sabian a much-needed win heading into the TNT Championship Tournament. He’s not going to beat Dustin Rhodes, mind you, but it’s nice that they took a minute to show how he might, since he’s mostly been struggling against jobbers on Dark and needing girlfriend hurricanranas to put him over even the lowest ranked opponents. It multitasks as a way to formally align Sabian and Jimmy Havoc, as well, and prospectively set up a Best Friends and Orange Cassidy versus Sabian, Havoc, and Penelope Ford match. Orange Cassidy versus evil female valets for Best Feud.
Jobbers Of The Week
Here’s Justin Law, who is somehow not a wrestling cop. You may remember him as Rudy from the film Rudy. He’s on job duty against Shawn Spears, who is doing well in regard to wins and losses but is somehow even MORE lost as a character with Tully Blanchard under quarantine. He’s “heartless” now, which is funny, because he was just on Dark aping Tommaso Ciampa. Sure. Whatever. It’s Shawn Spears.
More notably this week we get another appearance from Suge D, pronounced “sooj dee” by Tony Schiavone, better known to recent AEW audiences as “Pineapple Pete.” He’s just here to eat as much shit as Sammy Guevara’s able to shovel into his mouth, but I’ve got to say, it’s great to see Sugar getting TV time for a major wrestling promotion. That guy’s been doing largely thankless work on the indies for like a decade.
All Out: 31 Minutes Of Jake Hager
This was the dirt worst.
I thought about making that my entire recap of the match, because even thinking about it a day later makes me want to roll my eyes and collapse into narcoleptic slumber. I don’t know who saw Hager go a shaky, intensity-free 15 minutes with Dustin Rhodes at Revolution and think, “you know what would’ve made this better? If it was twice as long, and the arena was empty. And Jim Ross was doing commentary by himself.” You could’ve put 5,000 fans in the stands for this and you would’ve gotten the same crowd reaction.
I don’t know how the quarantine created this love affair between pro wrestling and long, drawn out, heatless “brawls” in silence. Edge vs. Randy Orton at WrestleMania felt like a chore to get through even though they were doing good character work, because commentary didn’t know how to call it and it felt more like they were wandering around backstage in a video game trying out all the spots instead of fighting. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa did everything Edge vs. Orton did but worse, had NO commentary, and went longer. Now you’re asking JACK SWAGGER to go half an hour in a scenario those four dudes couldn’t make work?
Just to say it, because I haven’t said it in the column this week, I appreciate anybody still out here busting their asses and working hard to entertain me at the risk of their own personal health and safety. But man, when the 20 minute Billy Gunn versus Tye Dillinger match from Dark is head and shoulders better than your 30-minute World Championship match, it’s time to look at what went wrong. It stands about 6-7, went to “skewl” in Oklahoma, and makes its kids put on earmuffs so it can say “shit” into a phone. Let this be the end of Jack Swagger as anything in professional wrestling beyond a big guy with a dumb look on his face who stands around in the background and helps better wrestlers get through beatdowns.
Taz’s breakdown of Hager’s finisher was dope, at least!
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
It’s a shame Dynamite is pre-taped, if only because I’d love to hear Jericho drop the names of released WWE people he’d like to see picked up.
“Oh man, Ski-a-vone, I’ve seen tougher guys on Bulgarian tanks!”
Jake Hager is the most not it chief in the history of things that are not it.
Pineapple Pete’s finisher should be the Pina Collider
Tonight, the Dark Order declares bankruptcy and Brodie Lee lays off everyone not named Uno or Stu.
Baron Von Raschke
I am really preferring Jimmy Havok, Angry Fan to Jimmy Havok, Death Match Specialist.
Hager vs Mox. I’ve never been in more agreement with a crowd
Dave M J
There are people who are all “I don’t get why people don’t like Jake Hager around here”
This match is why. This exact reason.
Jericho could make my parents divorce enjoyable.
I love Sabian as this hot, dumb loser who couldn’t beat a paper bag in a wrestling match solo but keeps stealing wins because of his girlfriend. It’s not a revolutionary thing but I think the two of them just execute that story and all the stuff around it (inopportunely timed makeouts, matching outfits and nicknames, and blatant, obvious cheating) really well.
Mrs. Hager 5 minutes ago: Jesus, Mox just beat him already
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. Things are weird and hard all over, like Val Venis, and we appreciate you being here to read our thoughts on wrestling shows. Thank you, sincerely.
See you next Wednesday for Dustin Rhodes vs. Kip Sabian and Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin in the TNT Championship tournament, a sure to be excellent Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc match, and Kenny Omega being invulnerable due to having the power of God AND anime on his side.