Previously on the Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite: Elle Collins and I switched AEW columns in time for me to miss a WCW pay-per-view revival, Diamond Dallas Page wrestling, and Jon Moxley cosplaying Lord Beric Dondarrion.
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. Elle Collins is also covering AEW Dark for us, and you can keep track of all things All Elite here.
And now, the Ins and Outs of All Elite Wrestling Dynamite: Bash Far Away From The Beach, originally aired on January 22, 2020.
All In: See You On The Jericho Cruise
I missed World Championship Wrestling’s Bash at the Beach last week, but at least I’m back in time for All Elite Wrestling Spring Break from Club La Vela. Except … you know, if Club La Vela was freestanding watercraft transportation and was surrounded by an enormous swimming pool instead of just containing them. It’s AEW Dynamite live (on tape) from Chris Jericho’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager At Sea, colloquially known as the “Jericho Cruise.”
I’ve written about this a few times before, but I love when weekly shows get themes and unique sets. I’ve never vibed with WWE’s idea that pro wrestling should be globalized, and that every arena they compete in should look identical. Visiting unique venues with visual and social personality is a huge and easy way to make a show memorable, even if they show itself doesn’t turn out great. Like, I can remember loving “Spring Break Nitro” or “Nitro from Disney/MGM” or “Nitro from the Mall of America” whether I can tell you what was on the cards or not. Cody says the next episode filmed on the Jericho Cruise will be aired live, which solves literally my only problem with the concept and setup.
If we can run an episode of Dynamite from a cruise ship, can we send out the cast of NWA Powerrr to do a set of tapings on one of those rich-guy yachts you always saw on ’80s action shows? The general manager can be a guy in sunglasses and a white suit, smoking a cigar. And while we’re at it, can we film an episode of Friday Night Smackdown on the Titanic?
All In: Cruise Control
Kenny Omega talking to the Young Bucks and Cody about Adam Page:
We open Dynamite On A Boat with a moment that would’ve killed if it hadn’t been taped a day earlier, and AEW social media hadn’t randomly decided to spoil it in the middle of the night: Kenneth Tiberius Omega and Hangman Adam Page winning the AEW Tag Team Championship from SCU. It’s an exciting 20-minute show-opening match (!!), finally ends the SCU title reign we’ve been expecting to end since a week after they won the belts, and advances the Omega and Page relationship without rushing through the story or insisting on any plot developments they haven’t really earned. Sure, Omega and Page are going to come to blows over The Elite, Page’s alcoholism, and any number of other factors, but we don’t have to already be there. It can be the journey sometimes, and not just the destination!
Plus, 2020 has already done wonders in rehabbing The Elite. Hangman is kicking people’s asses, Kenny Omega is on a winning streak and finally has some championship gold to justify everyone calling him the Best Wrestler In The World all the time, and so on. Really good, really constructive stuff to open a show that really could’ve just been filler if they wanted it to be. As an interesting side note, this is the first title change of any kind of AEW history, and it happened on a boat. Easily the best boat-related wrestling thing since Matt Hardy used a dilapidated one to protect himself from fireworks.
All In: A Dentist, Hell’s Favorite Harlot, And A Shitty Barista Walk Into A Bar
Sorry, a “barge.”
Britt Baker, who is a jerk now, gets a decisive win over former Mae Young Classic competitor (and Darby Allin’s wife!) Priscilla Kelly. If you’ve never seen her before, Kelly answers the question, “what if Paige was also Joey Ryan?” With that gear and red hair now she might be replacing Paige in that question with Paige’s mom, but either way works. I’m happy Jim Ross is no longer talking about how she’s “embarrassing,” because she’s a great pickup with a ton of personality. AEW’s women’s division really needs someone who has a character and can talk.
The most notable thing here is probably the post-match interview, where Britt Baker goes HAM on Tony Schiavone for no reason, making fun of him for working at Starbucks before he got the AEW gig, and calling him a “shitty barista.” Tony’s response is your newest evergreen GIF:
Next week I want Tony to show up to interview Baker with a coffee cup in his hand, set it on the counter in front of her, yell, “BRETT! GRANDE ICED SUGAR-FREE VANILLA LATTE WITH SOY FOR BRETT!” and then just turn around and walk away. People who make our coffee deserve your respect, you fucking dentist.
All In: Le Capitaine
It wouldn’t be right to have a show from the Chris Jericho Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Rager at Sea without Chris Jericho on it, would it? He leads an Inner Circle team to victory against the Jurassic Express, doing what he does best: making somebody look like a million dollars. Here it’s Marko Stunt, a guy who should in no imaginable universe be a threat to Chris Jericho. Jericho gives me something like 30 seconds of big moves and near-falls — including one where the audience misinterprets referee Aubrey’s slide into position as a count, messing up their count-along timing — before popping him into oblivion with the Judas Effect. Jericho is so good at this he could wrestle Barista Tony and get two and a half stars out of him.
As an added bonus, the major feuds between the factions continue. Luchasaurus brawls away with Jake Hager, of course, because Hager isn’t a wrestler in AEW, he’s a cigar store Indian who was given life by a magical Make America Great Again hat. Jericho won the match, but he still wasn’t able to pin Jungle Boy, who continues to be a weird challenge and thorn in the champion’s side. Good work here, and the fun kind of six-man tag you want to run on a cruise ship show.
Additional +1 for:
- the entire crowd singing ‘Judas,’ which should happen at every venue, whether the song’s actually playing or not
- Marko Stunt showing up to the match wearing a life jacket. Jon Moxley should drive Marko to his next match in a car seat turned around backwards.
Jericho shows up again after the main event, in which a Solid Snake-themed Jon Moxley pulls out a victory against The Bastard PAC to become the number one contender to the AEW Championship. Moxley gives PAC the world here, as PAC’s able to kick out of Dirty Deeds and almost win by submission with the Brutalizer. Mox has to hit a second Dirty Deeds and follow up with the lifting Paradigm Shift to finally put him away. A good match against a top level opponent that keeps PAC near the top of the rankings, if we’re really basing these things on “difficulty of opponent” and a judge’s interpretation of how good the matches was, or whatever.
Moxley played up the eye injury really well too, especially with the fake Curt Schilling blood on the outside of the bandage. Having the injury helped give the much smaller PAC a go-to weakness whenever he needed to take back control of the match, and a target whose repeated working made him look like a real asshole. If Moxley ends up AEW Champion, I hope PAC takes out his negative energy on Kenny Omega and then comes back hunting for the belt.
All Into The Pool: MJF
Finally, we’ve got Motormouth Jerk-off Friedman (® Diamond Dallas Page) following up last week’s six-man tag continuing to actually win wrestling matches — who knew? — against Joey Janela. Janela got an off-camera win against Rey Fenix last week still advertised as a “Rock ‘n’ Rager Exclusive” for some reason on AEW’s YouTube channel. I still don’t know why the Lucha Brothers are such jobber most of the time, but that’s a conversation for another set of dense paragraphs.
Here, the match is mostly a reason to get MJF out into the middle of the ring on the cruise ship. He runs down Cody Rhodes again, as per usual, and Cody interrupts … but Cody can’t touch MJF, or the match at Revolution is off. So MJF does everything short of pantsing Cody to try to get him to throw hands, but it doesn’t work. Cody, who is not a total idiot, reminds the guy he can’t personally touch that whoops, he has a very popular group of friends who are also in charge of the company and can, say, show up and throw him into a swimming pool without fear of consequence. What, is MJF gonna send the Butcher and the Blade after them? Oooh, the Butcher and the Blade!
I wish somebody could’ve gotten thrown overboard into the actual ocean, since they’re on a cruise ship and all, but we don’t want anybody dying trying to be funny on television. I don’t have the specs for the Jericho Cruise, but usually those decks are like 200+ feet above sea level. A fall from a boat like that could kill a suicidal Kate Winslet, after all. The pool’s fine, even if you’re inadvertently paying tribute to Hardbody Harrison.
All In: Top 10 Comments Of The Week
Watching AEW tonight to see a wrestling show on a cruise ship and hoping halfway through the show, the whole ship shakes and Samoa Joe’s music starts playing as it capsizes.
Baron Von Raschke
If Captain Alicia Fox is going to make her AEW debut, tonight would be the night.
The Real Birdman
Mox looks like he was revived by Thoros of Myr
Fun fact: If Marko Stunt gets wet, more Marko Stunts spawn out of his back
Would it have killed them to bring in Isaac the Bartender to serve A Little Bit of the Bubbly to the Inner Circle?
Tonight AEW fans will get their first Lex Luger/Scott Hall moment when Roderick Strong makes his way through the crowd after being pounced into the god damned Atlantic.
Moxley: Hey Jericho….
Hope Mox enjoyed the cruise buffet
Jungle Boy: Marko, help! MARKO!
Marko Stunt: Polo!
Moxley at the end of the match.
That’s it for this week’s Ins and Outs of AEW Dynamite. It’s honestly a shame we have to wait an entire year for another episode from a cruise ship.
If you dug the column and liked and/or laughed at anything, give us a share on social media. It helps us out a lot! Also, make sure you drop down into our comments section below to let us know what you thought of the show, and/or to share any cruise ship fantasy booking. See you next week, for inferior, land-based pro wrestling!