Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
OCTOBER 30, 2019
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excallibur.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
-They opened with Tony Schiavone standing outside of a private plane. Out walked Dustin Rhodes first followed by his brother Cody. Cody and Dustin hugged and said they love each other. Schiavone then accompanied Cody as they walked from the plane. Schiavone said it’s more than just another match. They got in the limo together.
-Then they went to a clip of last week’s show where Jon Moxley snapped and attacked the referee after a time limit draw, then Kenny Omega ran in for the save when Pac attacked Mox with a chair. That led to a Mox-Omega staredown. They showed a graphic that they wrestle at Full Gear. Then a clip aired of Hangman Page challenging Pac to a match at Full Gear.
-They cut backstage to Mox. Someone told Mox that Tony Khan is waiting for him. Mox threw a chair into the brick wall and walked into Khan’s office. The mic picked up what they were saying. Khan said they can’t sanction the match. Khan said it’ll be a great match, but it’ll be a lights out match, but it won’t count for or against his win-loss record. Ambrose said he had the balls to go after his top guy, “your boy,” and now you say it doesn’t count. He accused Khan of treating him like everybody else. “You don’t want me to have a win over your boy. You won’t sanction me? I’m unsanctionable? What happens to Kenny Omega is now on your hands.” He barged out of the room and shoved the camera lens.
-The AEW Dynamite opening theme played.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a really good use of four minutes of TV time. The Cody stuff with Dustin and Tony made him seem like both a big deal and a real person with a lot of pressure on him. The Mox segment was noteworthy in a number of ways. It established how AEW is going to frame him – as someone who doesn’t want to be boxed in or disrespected, and he could be a fan-favorite who is tough to coral. Also, they went backstage for the first time on Dynamite. They didn’t put Khan on camera, but it was the first sign of AEW having an on-air official authority figure, which is good because it can help lay down the law when needed. They needed to start getting people amped up about Full Gear matches specifically, beyond the Cody-Jericho match, and the video package helped do that.)
-Pryo blasted as the camera panned the crowd and Ross introduced the show. They went to Ross and Excalibur on camera. Ross said the plan is for Schiavone to join them after his ride-along with Cody. Excalibur plugged that they have a “cross-over of intergalactic proportions” as Rick and Morty from Adult Swim will invade Dynamite. Ross plugged Mox vs. Omega and said someone is going to get hurt badly at Full Gear. They also plugged the six-man tag and the AEW Tag Team Title final.
(1) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
Guevara made a cocky strut to the ring while chomping on gum. Ross compared him to Eddie Guerrero. You have no doubt who Guevara is just from his ring entrance. He began taking a selfie movie of himself as Page made his ring entrance. Guevara tested Page’s patience by asking the ref to take off his jacket. (The director, somehow, missed the whole thing as fans booed, chosing instead to go with a close-up shot of Page.) The bell rang seven minutes in. Guevara got in some flashy moves, kipped up, and bowed as if to signify how great everyone knew he was. Fans chanted “Sammy sucks!” Page reversed whipped Guevara and then shoved and paint-brush slapped him. Fans applauded. Page clotheslined Guevara to the floor. Guevara threw Page into the ringside barricade and a chair. Fans chanted “Hangman!” Back in the ring Guevara got the better of Page. He put Page into a fireman’s carry and squatted before dropping back and scoring a relaxed casual two count. He climbed to the top rope, leaped to the mat rather than doing a flashy move, and slapped Page, then struck a smug look for the hard camera while chomping on his gum. Page fired up and chopped away at Guevara. Guevera kicked Page, but Page fired right back with a hard clothesline. Both were down and slow to get up. Fans chanted “AEW!”
Page set up a Dead Eye on the ring apron. Guevara blocked it and then charged at Page, but Page gave him a sidewalk slam onto the ring edge. Back in the ring Page powerbombed Guevara and made a weak cover. Guevara easily kicked out. The announcers wondered why Page wasn’t more focused on the pin. Page threw Guevara to the floor and climbed to the top turnbuckle, then backflipped onto Guevara on the floor. A louder “AEW!” chant broke out. Guevara stepped backward to avoid a Buckshot attempt. The crowd booed. Guevera then hit Page with a leaping kneelift. Page came back with a discus elbow and then a Buckshot for the win.
WINNER: Page in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match. Guevera was a tremendous heel opponent for Page here. Page seemed to have a lot on his mind, which the announcers played into, but ultimately prevailed over the cocky young Guevara, which pleased the crowd.)
-Page spoke on the mic afterward. He said it’s no secret things haven’t been going so great for him lately, but tonight felt good. He said at Full Gear he’s going to do some “real cowboy shit” and take Pac’s head off. The crowd chanted “Cowboy Shit!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Perfect promo at the perfect time for him. Right to the point, taking advantage of AEW’s looser language standards on TNT, and addressing the reality of his tough stretch and what he intends to do to change that.)
-A commercial aired for Full Gear’s line-up. [c]
They showed a “Rick & Morty” ad for the animated Adult Swim show while showing highlights of Guevara vs. Page on split-screen. They also showed Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson backstage with Private Party. Private Party gave Gibson and Morton their necklaces and had a laugh together.
(2) SHANNA vs. HIKARU SHIDA
Excalibur said Shanna lives in France and has been wrestling all over Europe for the last 13 years. Shanna looked a little intimidated by Shida’s ring entrance. Excalibur said Shida has moved to the United States and has an apartment and a bank account and is committed to All Elite Wrestling. Shanna got the better of Shida early, although some of the action felt deliberately set-up and sl0-mo. Shida took over and leaped off a chair at ringside and drove her knee into Shanna’s face. Back in the ring, The announcers chuckled about Mox giving this ref his DDT last week, but said the ref seems okay this week. At one point Shanna got elbowed and turned her back to Shida for eight seconds and huffed and puffed. It looked ridiculous. Who would turn their back on their opponent like that for eight seconds and leave themselves that vulnerable? I mean, at least try to make it seem like a fight where you are constantly at risk of getting hurt and doing your best to not make it easy for your opponent. It made Shida look bad, too, for not going after her and just standing there. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen. Shanna made a comeback with a head scissors and flying forearm for a two count. Back live, Shida went for a superplex. Shanna resisted and headbutted her down. Shida dropped into position for a double stomp. Shanna overacted and played to the crowd. Ross said, “Don’t think about it, do it!” Shida stayed in position awkwardly long before Shanna leaped with a double-stomp for a two count. Shanna slapped Shida’s back before setting up an underhook suplex. Shida blocked it and then countered into a crunch drop for a two count. Shanna rolled to the bottom rope. Some fans briefly chanted “Shida! Shida!” Shida suplexed Shanna into the ring over the ropes for a near fall. Shida charged with a knee, but Shanna side-stepped and rolled her up. Shanna countered Shida again and rolled her up for a near fall, while making a cartoon face. Shida then hit Shanna with a running high knee followed by a Falcon Arrow for a two count. The cover was awkward, as Shida reached for a leg for leverage but couldn’t reach. She hit a running knee and this time leaned in on the cover for the win.
WINNER: Shida in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sloppy and rough around every edge. Shanna looked like she was emoting to the last row of the arena, not realizing how ridiculous it can look with high-def cameras zoomed in on her. She was slow and awkward throughout when setting up moves or pausing between moves. It really took me out of it. This was too much time to dedicate to a cold match that wasn’t very good.)
-They went to a video package on Brandi Rhodes with images of Awesome Kong mixed in. It had a horror movie thriller trailer vibe to it with some hair being cut with a knife, lots of candles, and Brandi looking at herself in the mirror with a close-up of her eye with some special effect to make it seem like it was made of green liquid.
(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t know what I’m supposed to feel there, but I do sense that took a ton of time to produce and looked really slick.)
-Chris Van Vliet stood on the stage and interviewed the Rock & Roll Express, whom he said would be presenting the AEW Tag Team Title belts to the winners tonight of the tournament final. R&R came out and played to the crowd. As Morton began to talk to the fans, Santana & Ortiz attacked them from behind. Fans booed. They lifted and slammed Morton through the staging. The Young Bucks ran out for the save. They cut to a break.
(Keller’s Analysis: Another interview being interrupted on Dynamite! It’s kind of ridiculous at this point the percentage of interviews that have been set-ups for angles.)
-They went to Cody and Schiavone in a limo. Schiavone talked about a trip to Tuscon, Arizona in the late 1980s, the first time he ever went across the Mississippi River. He went with Dusty Rhodes to meet Willie Nelson. He said Dusty invited him into his hotel room when he knocked, and Dusty was naked. Dusty asked if Willie was already at the pool. Schiavone said yes. Dusty said the lesson is the star always come out last. Cody laughed. He said oddly he is so excited to sign the papers, judges stipulation aside, and he has to beat him within 60. He said his mother is coming to the show. He said he thinks about all of the shows his mom saw with Dad. He said he can’t help but want to impress her. He said he’s shared locker rooms with Chris Jericho for over ten years and he knows he’s the best he’s ever been, but this is his time. Schiavone said emotion is good, it drives us, it makes us better, so take that emotion and direct it toward the match. He said he’s not a wrestling coach. Cody said he’s doing a good job. Schiavone said it means a lot to be with him because of his history with him and his family. “This was our ride to take,” Cody said. “Make ’em wait.”
(Keller’s Analysis: After establishing the friendship between Cody’s dad and Tony going way back, this seems to be setting up Schiavone for a beating of some kind tonight.)
(3) JOHN SILVER & ALEX REYNOLDS & Q.T. MARSHALL vs. BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent Barreta) & ORANGE CASSIDY
Best Friends and Cassidy came out dressed up as “Rick & Morty” characters. They showed fans in the crowd with “Rick & Morty” masks. Baretta kept losing his wig. They went in for a hug, but Marshall interrupted. The crowd booed. Cassidy entered. Marshall got in his face. Cassidy slow-kicked his legs with his hands in his pockets. He then ducked a kick, dropkicked him out of the ring, and then kipped up. He posed with Best Friends as the camera zoomed in and out and fans cheered. Then, hands still in pockets, he dove onto two opponents at ringside. Baretta and Taylor then pinned Silver. Cassidy threw off the ref by going limp-armed when he tried to raise his arm to signal he was the victor.
WINNERS: Best Friends & Cassidy in 4:00. [c]
-A commercial aired for tickets for upcoming Dynamite events.
-Chris Jericho made his ring entrance. They had the table set up on the stage. He was wearing a purple and orange shirt. Then they cut to the parking lot where Schiavone and Cody got out of the limo. Cody made his way toward the stage as his music played. Jericho wouldn’t even look Cody’s way, and when he did turn his head and Cody saw him, he turned away quickly again. Schiavone introduced the segment. Schiavone plugged the AEW Title match at Full Gear, and noted there will be three judges in case the match goes to the time limit. Cody gave the contract a quick once over as fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Then he looked up at Jericho, then looked down and signed it. Jericho stood and pretended he was going to tip over the table. Then he laughed and said, “I gotcha on that one, right?” He told Cody to sit. Fans chanted “You suck! You suck!” Jericho told fans to go ahead and chant that all night. He said he doesn’t suck, Schiavone sucks. Tony seemed shaken by that “insult out of nowhere.” Jericho said this is the biggest match in pro wrestling of the year and the biggest of Cody’s career. He said if Cody wins, he’ll become what he’s always wanted to be – the World Champion. More “Cody!” chants. But if he loses, it might prove to Cody and “all these entitled millennial jackasses tonight” that maybe he’s not as good as he thinks he is. He told Cody he was going to sign the contract and teach him a lesson on what it’s like to be a loser.
Jericho stood. Cody stood and began to take off his jacket. Jericho called the fans hillbillies and told them to calm down. “Asshole!” chanted the fans. Jericho said they’re two pros, keeping things professional. He said he is the champion with poise and grace and class. He offered a handshake. Cody paused, then shook his hand. Jericho turned to leave, but Cody held on and jerked him toward him. They stared each other down from five inches away. Fans chanted “AEW!” Jericho said they could stare at each other all night, but he might be needed elsewhere. Suddenly Guevara showed up on the big screen. Jake Hager was attacking Dustin, dropping him across the limo trunk and then kneeing him low. He rammed him into the side of the limo. Then he slammed the limo door on Dustin’s arm. Cody and MJF ran out. Hager and Guevara retreated. Jericho showed up and lit a cigar before getting into a black SUV. He laughed a little before wishing everyone a Happy Halloween. [c]
(4) JACK EVANS & ANGELICO & KIP SABIAN vs. KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS
The heel trio came out first. Then a retro video game style graphics package aired for Omega and the Bucks with captions of ominous warnings and Halloween music. “Join us… and your pain will end? Yeah, stick a sock in it, pal. Mind if I tag in this time, Kenny.” Omega then made his ring entrance wearing a Halloween mask and pink slippers and a powder blue winter jacket. Excalibur said he’s been struggling in recent months. Omega unmasked when he entered the ring and circled the ring with his arms extended. The Bucks came out next. The heel trio attacked them before their entrance routine concluded. Sabian springboard senton dove onto to the Bucks at ringside. Evans and Angelico then went after Kenny in the ring. The Bucks entered the ring and joined in the action, going after Sabian with a barrage of moves. Sabian rolled to the floor. Fans chanted “Be Elite, Be, Be Elite!” After a few more minutes of action, they cut to a break. [c]
The Bucks were in control back live. Omega tagged in and went to work on the heels. They staggered and then Kenny snapped his fingers and all three fell. Fans chanted “Kenny!” Evans avoided a V-Trigger and then made a comeback. The Bucks cut that short, though. Sabian ate a Nick Jackson superkick. Angelico upkicked Nick. Matt grabbed his leg. Evans then springboard flipped onto Matt. Kenny gave Angelico a V-Trigger as Angelico was about to powerbomb Nick. Kenny set up a running dive, but Sabian attacked him from behind. Then Sabian flip dove onto the three opponents at ringside. They caught him and powerbombed him onto the ring apron. Omega and the Bucks triple-superkicked Evans out of mid-air. Omega then hit Evans with the V-Trigger and finished him with the One-Winged Angel.
WINNERS: Omega & The Bucks in 10:00.
-As the Bucks celebrated at ringside with two “fans” in masks, the “fans” turned out to be Santana and Ortiz who yanked them into the crowd and attacked them. Kenny made the save. They cut a break. [c]
-Peter Avalon came out and “shhh’d” the crowd. He said it makes sense why wrestling hasn’t been there in 20 years because “this place is rotten.” Moxley then made his way to the ring through the crowd. He entered the ring and gave Avalon his Paradigm Shift DDT. Ross said, “Your book is overdue!” Fans chanted “Moxley.” He paced around the ring with his mic in the air. Mox said the grudge match everyone wants to see at Full Gear features him against Omega. He said it’s now an unsanctioned match. He said that means no rules – no countouts, no time limits. He said he’s now told that unsanctioned means the match won’t count and is being stricken from the record. He said when Moxley beats “your buddy, the so-called greatest in the world Kenny Omega, we’re going to pretend it never happened.” He said AEW wants to treat him like a freak and an outsider in some box so he doesn’t create trouble. He said he’s been treated like this for years, with suits telling him that he’s a different type of cat, “as if I don’t know when I’m being insulted.” He said he isn’t stupid. He told AEW they can take their win-loss records and shoved it straight up their asses. He said he is the baddest son of a bitch in the game and no one in AEW can prove him wrong. He said he is unsanctionable. “You think I’m out of control, you ain’t seen nothing yet.” He said at Full Gear, he’ll beat Omega within an inch of his life and they’ll see violence like they haven’t seen in pro wrestling in decades. He breathlessly said he’ll tell everyone who doesn’t like the fact that he marched to the beat of his own drum, “Kiss my ass and stay the hell out of my way.” He posed for the crowd.
(Keller’s Analysis: That’s totally a statement promo that establishes what Moxley is going to be in AEW. It’s about time.) [c]
(5) LUCHA BROS. (Rey Fenix & Pentagon Jr.) vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) – AEW Tag Team Title Tournament final
The crowd was into the fast-paced action at the start with the crowd roaring and chanting for both teams. They cut to a break after a non-stop action around 5:00 but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Sky scored near fall on Fenix. Four-way action broke out briefly leading to Fenix landing a cutter on Sky for a near fall. Pentagon powerbombed Kaz through a table at ringside. The Lucha Bros. double-teamed Sky in the ring and scored a near fall. Sky avoided a package piledriver, then surprised Pentagon with a small package that felt anticlimactically out of nowhere, stunning the crowd. The crowd paused, then realized that was the finish and cheered, but still seemed stunned. “After all of that, a small package!” said Schiavone.
WINNERS: Sky & Kaz in 14:00 to become the first AEW Tag Team Champions.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Good main event and good show. I’m off to podcast live, but check in later for more added analysis on the show.