WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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OCTOBER 2, 2019
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excallibur.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
-After the Dynamite opening, they went to pyro on the stage. Jim Ross then introduced the show and hyped the 14,129 in the arena. They went to the threesome of announcers. Ross said it’s great to be joined again by Schiavone. Excalibur introduced the show, too. They hyped Pac vs. Hangman Page, Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Title, and the Young Bucks & Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho & Santana & Ortiz.
(Keller’s Analysis: You can already tell the crowd is going to be the Sixth Man tonight.)
-Ross threw to a video package on Cody vs. Sammy Guevara.
(1) CODY vs. SAMMY GUEVARA
Cody’s ring entrance was drawn out for drama. He rose from underneath the stage with Brandi in silence. Then his music played. The camera zoomed in on him looking out into the crowd. (Meanwhile, on NXT, Matt Riddle was circling the ring shaking hands with fans and entering the ring for his title match. I’ll note what’s going on with NXT without giving away match spoilers or other big surprise appearances or angles here.) Cody entered the ring to loud chants of “Cody! Cody!” He bent over and kissed the mat. (The difference in atmosphere between AEW and NXT is pronounced. One feels much bigger than the other from a pure optics standpoint. Guevara made his entrance. On the side of his name is shows two records; 0-1-0 for singles, and 1-1-0 for overall record. Ross compared Guevara to the Diaz Brothers of MMA. Excalibur said he has a chip on his shoulder and calls himself “The Best Ever.” Fans chanted “Sammy Sucks!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Guevara didn’t look like the moment was too big for him. He oozed charisma and cockiness. He carried himself like this was a moment he belonged in.)
The bell rang seven minutes into the show and the crowd erupted. A fan held up a sign that said: “Vince Fears Ratings.” Schiavone wondered what it feels like to be the first wrestling match on TNT since 2001. “That’s a special moment, that really is,” he said. Cody regrouped after some slick countermoves by Guevara. Schiavone reflected on the 1995 match on TNT between Brian Pillman and Jushin Liger. Guevara kipped up and slapped Cody in an arrogant display. Cody came back with a drop down uppercut and a powerslam. Ross compared it to Buzz Sawyer (who did have the very best snap powerslam ever). Cody applied a figure-four shortly thereafter. “Woos!” from the crowd. Schiavone asked Ross if he vlogs. Ross said, “Can you even say that word on television?” (That was funny.) Guevara grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Cody dropped Guevara on the mat and then did some push-ups. Guevara came back, but Cody hit a cutter off the ropes for two quick two counts. Schiavone noted that #AEWDynamite was the no. 1 trend on Twitter. #SammyGuevara was no. 19 and there’s no sign of NXT anywhere on that list.
Guevara at ringside yanked Brandi into the path of a diving Cody. Fans chanted “Asshole!” Cody checked on Brandi, then went after Guevara. Guevara rammed Cody into the ringpost. Back in the ring Guevara went for a moonsault. Cody moved. Guevara went for another, but Cody moved. A third landed and he scored a two count. Cody set up a 619. Brandi hit Guevara, which got a big pop, and then Cody hit a Disaster Kick for a believable near fall. (This is great crowd heat.) Cody could barely lift Guevara, who was dead weight, into the top turnbuckle. Cody then gave Guevara a top rope reverse suplex for a near fall. “What the hell is it going to take to beat Sammy Guevara tonight?” exclaimed Ross. The fans were ravenously into Cody in the first few rows. Cody caught a weak charge from Guevara with an elbow. Then Guevara met Cody on the top rope with a single leap and delivered a Spanish fly for a dramatic near fall. He went back to the top rope, but Cody lifted his knees on the shooting star press and the cradled Guevara for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Cody in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: One hell of a match, as Ross said. Nicely paced, smart key moments to really establish Guevara as a heel, and they got dramatic believable near finishes out of each wrestler before the pin that helped Cody without burying Guevera in any way. Guevara was a good choice to help create additional athleticism for Cody and show fans a new young wrestler they can invest in. It shows smart scouting by AEW to showcase someone new with that much experience who is still super young and provided a great foe for Cody.)
-Schiavone entered the ring and hugged Cody and teared up as they prepped for a post-win interview mid-ring. Guevara stepped up and yanked Cody and had some words, but eventually shook his hand. Suddenly, there was a roar in the crowd and Jericho attacked him from behind. Guevara might have provided an intentional distraction. He certainly didn’t come to Cody’s aid; he left the ring. Jericho attacked Cody and smiled smugly. They went to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
-During the break, Jericho gloated to the fans in the ring and cupped his ears. Then he re-entered the ring and hit Cody with the AEW Title belt. (Meanwhile, on NXT, one of the first surprises of the night was taking place after the end of the NXT Title match.) Back to full screen, Jericho’s beating on Cody continued. Ross said he was trying to make sure Cody wouldn’t be able to compete in Baltimore. He powerbombed Cody onto two chairs at ringside. Brandi looked on with concern. Jericho shoved Schiavone. “Come on, Jericho!” Ross said. “Don’t be a bully. Show some class.” Jericho stood on the ramp and said he is the champion of AEW. (Meanwhile, the Velveteen Dream Experience was taking place on NXT.)
(2) BRANDON CUTLER vs. MJF
Schiavone said he’s known Jericho forever, but there was a different look in his eyes than he’s ever seen before. Excalibur said Cutler broke into the business with The Young Bucks, but then quit to start a family, and now he’s back to join AEW. MJF walked out to the ring and insulted the fans and said they have the distinct honor to see a star being born. He turned his insults to calling Cutler a loser. “Dungeons and Dragons might not be real, but is real is the fact that I’m better than you and you know it.”
The bell rang and they locked up. Cutler got cheers when he got the first shot in on MJF. Ross said Cutler might have gone to high school with the Bucks, but he has to earn his keep. MJF raked Cutler’s eyes. Schiavone said in this match, he wants to see “Cutler shut this little prick’s mouth.” PG14, folks. They showed a replay of Cutler being tossed into the ringpost from a ringpost cam in the lower inside corner. MJF took control and gloated, and Ross and Schiavone reluctantly praised his skills and what a prodigy he is. Cutler dove through the ropes and tackled MJF, then punched away at him. Then he climbed to the top rope, but lost his balance and landed awkwardly. He favored his knee. The ref got in between him and MJF, so he shoved the ref away. Then MJF popped him in the face with a side elbow and then applied Salt of the Earth for the tapout win.
WINNER: MJF in 2:00. [c]
-Back to the arena, they had a great floating camera shot of the filled arena with the LED strip signage flashing AEW and TNT.
-They went to ringside with Chris Van Vliet who welcomed Kevin Smith and Jason Mewls to ringside, stars of the “Jay and Silent Bob” reboot. Smith said Jericho plays a bad guy in a movie, and now he sees it was typecasting. He plugged the movie, and then quickly talked about how excited he was to be at Dynamite. They were interrupted by Jack Evans and Angelico. Private Party then walked up to Kevin and Jason and protected them. Excalibur said those two teams would face each other next week.
-The announcers talked about the AEW Tag Team Title tournament brackets: Young Bucks vs. Private Party, Jurassic Express vs. Lucha Bros, Best Friends vs. SCU, and Dark Order already advanced to the second round.
-They went to a pre-taped segment with SCU where Scorpio Sky did a President Obama impression as Kaz and Daniels played his secret service agents. The White House was in the background. Sky then said their catch-phrase: “This is the worst town I’ve ever been in.” Daniels and Kaz spoke a few words.
-Live in the arena, Schiavone interviewed Sky, Daniels, and Kaz on the stage. Sky said going into this tournament, the big question for them was which of them would sit out. He said they’re going with experience, Kaz and Daniels, and he’s sitting it out. In walked the Lucha Bros. (On NXT during this, Mia Yim vs. Io Shirai was going on.) The Lucha Bros. said, in Spanish, they have no fear. SCU shouted their letters. The Lucha Bros. sprayed water at them. They had a pull apart brawl, quickly broken up by Atlas Security guys and referees. Ross said they had to restore order. [c]
-Back to the arena with another wide shot with a floating camera of the big crowd.
-Backstage they showed Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks getting prepared in their locker room. Ross noted they seemed quiet and focused. Then they cut to another locker room with Jericho giving a pep talk to Ortiz & Santana. Ross said Jericho likes apologies, so he apologized for eaves dropping on their conversation. Then the announcers shifted to previewing the Riho vs. Nyla Rose and Hangman Page vs. Pac matches. Fans seem to pop every time Pac is shown on the screen.
-Hangman made his ring entrance first. When Pac came out, they talked about the chip on his shoulder and how he’s tired of being overlooked. They cut to a break.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’d rather have ring entrances, a pause, and then the match starting than ringing the bell and breaking away one minute into the action.) [c]
(3) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. PAC
The match began 55 minutes into the hour. Pac was standing at ringside when the bell rang. Ross said, “Pac is having issues.” Pac charged into the ring and exchanged stiff strikes mid-ring. Ross said if they have to go to another break in this match, it will be picture-in-picture, so don’t go anywhere. (Meanwhile, Johnny Gargano was wrestling.) Pac took control for several minutes.
Two minutes into the second hour, Pac threw Page to the floor and they cut to a split-screen break. Pac beat up Page at ringside, then threw him into the ring and stayed in control. [c]
Back from the break, they took a shot of the crowd from the last row or cat walk and it looked amazing. Only downside is everyone was sitting and the energy in the arena felt flat as Pac went into the “commercial break filler” mode in terms of the action. Ross said, “The pacing of the match is troublesome to me.” Schiavone said it’s surprising. He said it’s almost as if Pac is allowing Page to come back. Right on cue, Page began fighting back. He half-heartedly whipped Pac into the ropes from really far away, so Pac had to pretend he was pushed really hard to run the ropes, rebound, and eat a spinebuster. That could have looked better. Page landed two powerbombs for a two count. Page landed a moonsault off the top rope onto Pac at ringside. The crowd popped. Page went for the Buckshot, but Pac ducked. Page shoved Pac into the ref, Earl Hebner. Pac mule-kicked Page. “Right square in the jewels!” said Ross. Pac denied it to the ref. Then he leaped off the top rope with a Black Arrow into the Brutalizer for the verbal tap. Excalibur exclaimed that Pac is 2-0 in AEW. Schiavone underlined the mule kick as a deciding factor, and excused Hebner for just not having a chance to see it.
WINNER: Pac in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Okay match, but not star-making for Page or anything. The Black Arrow looked great. The camera angles on replays are tremendous, as is the wide-lens close-up of wrestlers as they walk up the ramp.)
-A commercial for Full Gear on Nov. 9 aired, including Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho vs. Cody.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m stunned they haven’t talked about Moxley at all so far. If they don’t treat him as a big deal, fans night start to wonder if he isn’t as big of an acquisition as they once thought.)
-Dr. Britt Baker made her way to the announce desk to comment on the AEW Women’s Title match.
-Ring entrances took place for Rose and then Riho. [c]
(4) RIHO vs. NYLA ROSE – NXT Women’s Title Tournament finals
Ring announcer Justin Roberts did formal ring introductions and said there is no time limit. (Settle in, folks!) Riho dropkicked Rose twice early and knocked Rose against the ropes. Rose came back and splashed Riho. When she made the cover, Riho slid out from under her and bridged up. Although there was a little help from Rose lifting her body slightly, it was a cool spot. When Riho did a double stomp, Rose just lifted herself up and threw Riho off balance. Riho made a comeback a couple minutes later with running knee strikes and knocked Rose through the ropes to the floor. Riho leaped off the top rope, but Rose caught her and then gave her a vicious backbreaker at ringside. Rose put Riho on a stack of chairs at ringside and flip dove, but Riho was playing possum and moved; Rose crashed onto the chairs. “Holy sh–!” chanted the crowd. Riho then leaped off the top rope with a double-stomp onto Rose’s abdomen. Back in the ring Riho landed a double stomp to the back Rose as she was bent over. That was good for a two count. They cut to a break, but Ross warned viewers they’d stay picture-in-picture. Riho settled into an STF as they cut away. Rose powered out shortly into the break. Riho charged and kneed Rose in the corner. Rose caught Riho going for a magistral cradle and leaped backwards for a crushing landing, good for a two count. Rose put Riho on the top rope where she somehow precariously balanced. Rose then leaped off the top rope with a flying knee to the back of her head for a two count. [c]
Back to full screen, Rose was in control and fans were booing. Riho went for a backdrop, but her body collapsed underneath her. Ross said she gets an A for trying. It didn’t look planned. Riho came up with forearms. Rose absorbed them and then punched Riho to the mat. Rose called a spot, and then Riho threw more punches, but ate a boot after a charge. Riho surprised Rose with a roll-up for a two count that popped the crowd. Rose clotheslined Riho and then hit a Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Rose climbed to the top rope. Baker spoke. It’s like she got lost in the action and forgot she was out there to provide color commentary. Riho caught Rose on the top turnbuckle and threw a flurry of punches. Rose brushed them off. Riho then hit an avalanche Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. Riho kept on the attack and hit double knees to the face for the win. They cut to amazed fans smiling and cheering. Ross said this will be the talk of the town and he didn’t see that one coming.
WINNER: Riho in 13:00 to capture the AEW Title.
-Afterward, Michael Nakazawa came out to say how proud he was of Riho and interview her. Rose attacked Riho, then executed an accidental double-clutch powerbomb. When Rose set up a move off the ring apron onto Riho, Kenny Omega made the save. Fans chanted, “Kenny! Kenny!” Rose left as Kenny checked on Riho. [c]
-The Young Bucks came out to the “Being the Elite” theme song. Omega came out with them, without his own ring entrance. Justin Roberts introduced the match as one fall, TV time remaining. Ross said, “I love TV time remaining.” Ross said they had one last commercial and this would be worth staying up for. [c]
(5) CHRIS JERICHO & SANTANA & ORTIZ vs. KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS
Omega took it to Santana early, then fended off an interfering Ortiz. Jericho entered and chopped Kenny, then blocked a rana and set up a Walls of Jericho. The Bucks intervened with a super kick and cleared the ring. Omega tagged in Matt who wrecking ball kicked the heels followed by a flip dive by Nick. Omega then signaled for a big move. Jon Moxley showed up behind Kenny. Kenny sensed from the crowd something happening. Moxley attacked Omega. They brawled to the floor, with Moxley throwing him quickly into the crowd. Kenny fought back amongst fans. (Meanwhile, ring introductions were taking place for the Street Profits vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish NXT Tag Team Title match.) Omega hit Moxley with a mop. They fought into a VIP room. Ross said, “There’s a VIP area? Why wasn’t I told about that?” Moxley suplexed Kenny onto a glass coffee table which he also landed on. [c]
Back to the action, it was the Bucks alone against the three heels. Ross said that was the last commercial break of the show. The heels isolated Matt for a while. He eventually overhead suplexed both Ortiz and Santana. Nick got the hot-tag and went after Ortiz and Santana with rapid-fire back and forth kicks. He hit a bulldog/lariat combination. Nick was moving around like a super ball with one move after another all over the place. “Perpetual motion from an amazing athlete!” Ross said. When Nick played to the camera, Matt went over and urged him to go tag him. Matt tagged in and they set up their finisher, but Jericho caught Nick mid-air. Ortiz and Santana beat up Matt, then Jericho landed the Judas Effect for the win.
WINNERS: Santana & Ortiz & Jericho in 13:00.
-When the three heels beat up the Bucks afterward, Cody ran out in his dress pants and suit vest. Guevara ran out and kicked Cody in the crotch. Then a big pop for Dustin Rhodes who ran out for the save. He kicked Guevara in the crotch. Ross said that’s a taste of his own medicine. Jake Hagger (
Jack Swagger) then attacked Dustin. Ross said he’s undefeated in Bellator MMA. “If somebody said, holy shit, I get it!” Ross added. Hager beat up Cody and landed a corner swing splash. They showed fans with their arms up in shock. Fans chanted “We The People!” They slammed Dustin onto a podium. Next they held Cody up as Jericho slapped him. He delivered the Judas Effect to Cody.
FINAL THOUGHTS: So much to talk about. Definite thumbs up. I’ll be podcasting live and taking your calls. See the live stream link below and join us!
— Pro Wrestling Torch (@PWTorch) October 3, 2019