WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 20, 2019
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
-They went right to the live crowd chanting “AEW! AEW!” and then Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone on camera previewing the line-up for the show. Ross said Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley could be one of the most unpredictable matches they’ve ever called. They replayed Matt Jackson being powerbombed through the stage platform as an explanation for Nick Jackson wrestling singles tonight.
(1) NICK JACKSON vs. REY FENIX
Nick came out first as confetti blasted on the ramp as he made his way to the ring. The theme music drowned out the announcers during entrances. As the bell rang, fans chanted “Be Elite, Be Be Elite!” The anticipation in the arena for the lock-up was palpable and the wrestlers played to the crowd to amplify it even more. Schiavone plugged the Jan. 15 “Bash at the Beach” episode of Dynamite at the University of Miami at the Watsco Center. Tickets on sale this Friday at noon. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” after a ringside exchange several minutes into the match ending with Fenix planting Nick’s face on the mat with a cutter out of a somersault. Back in the ring, Fenix landed a senton atomico for a near fall.
The crowd popped and stood when Nick landed a springboard huracanrana of Fenix as both were standing on the ropes, leading to a two count. Both were slow to get up. Later, Fenix leaped off the top rope and took Nick off the ring apron to the floor with a head scissors. Nick hit a stalling German suplex on Fenix on the ring apron. “Holy shit!” chanted the fans. Roberts made the ten minute announcement out of a 20 minute time limit. Fenix eventually won with a muscle buster. Nick offered a handshake afterward. Fenix applauded, looked at Nick’s hand, then turned and walked away. Big boos broke out.
WINNER: Fenix in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: You’d expect a certain spectacular pace and level of innovation and athleticism from this, and they delivered start to finish. It’s amazing what a hot crowd can do for a match like this. If they had that match after Smackdown with purple ropes, I think even they could have won over the crowd with that.) [c]
(2) BRITT BAKER vs. HIKARU SHIDA – Battle of Top Two Ranked Contenders
Schiavone noted that the top five rankings for AEW come out every Friday. They cut to a break a few minutes in and stand with the action on split screen. [c]
Back from the break, Baker had a bloody nose. Shida set up a chair on the floor and launched off of it and hit Baker with a running knee. (Shida took way way too long setting it up, leaving Baker to stand there like a fool waiting for her to charge her with the knee. Babyfaces play to crowds way too much when setting up spots. Fight like you want to win by beating your opponent, not like you win if you get the biggest pop for a big move.) Baker came back with a DDT for a near fall. The announcers acknowledged Baker might have a broken nose and is fighting through it. Shida landed a running knee off the ropes. Both were slow to get up. Baker surprised Shida with a submission a couple minutes later. Shida escaped, but Baker stayed in control and scored another near fall. Shida poked Baker’s eye and almost won with an inside cradle right afterward. She then landed a Falcon Arrow for a two count next. One more Shida running knee strike was good for a three count on Baker.
WINNER: Shida in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Some good, some bad in this.)
-Ross said people ask him who the Dark Order and what they’re all about. “This should help,” he said. A video feature aired that began on a subway where two guys knocked the glasses off of another guy. He was sad and got on the subway. Then a commercial aired on a TV screen on the subway car. The guy held his broken glasses up to his face and watched a video that had a “cult recruitment” vibe. A guy said to stop living in chaos and bring a new order to your life, “Join the Dark Order. Or #JoinDarkOrder and we will find you.”
-Excalibur said that provides a little insight into Dark Order and their recruiting practices, preying on people on losing streaks who feel vulnerable. They shifted to hyping the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale next. “Hangman” Page made his ring entrance. They cut to a break and showed more of the entrances on split screen.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice start to defining Dark Order and trying to get something out of the act. The cult recruitment video vibe was well executed.) [c]
-Back live, MJF was making his entrance. Billy Gunn then made his full ring entrance.
(3) DYNAMITE DOZEN BATTLE ROYALE
Chuck Taylor eliminated Pentagon Jr. after a distraction by Christopher Daniels at ringside. Orange Cassidy was very casually leaning in the corner. Sonny Kiss and Gunn were preoccupied with wigging their asses at each other, and then MJF tossed Kiss over the top rope. The wrestlers ganged up on Gunn, but he shoved all of them off at once. He clotheslined Jimmy Havoc over the top rope and then dumped Marko Stunt. Havoc returned and took a staple gun to Gunn’s abdomen. Then he stapled Chuck Taylor’s crotch. After more staple gun attacks, five referees ordered him to return to the back. Fans chanted “ECDub.” They cut to a break with no split screen. [c]
Back live, they showed Shawn Spears knocking Joey Janela out of the match with a shot with a chair as he stood on the top rope. Gunn and Cassidy squared off mid-ring. Cassidy put his hands in his pocket, then soft and slow kicked Gunn’s legs. MJF had enough and tossed him out of the ring. Fans booed. MJF shrugged and fake cried. Gunn stood behind him. MJF turned and slapped his hand away and shoved him. Gunn then gave him a legdrop and tossed him over the top. MJF hung on to the top rope and didn’t get eliminated. Gunn noticed Wardlow walking out. Page then gave Gunn a surprise Buckshot Lariat and tossed him over the top. Fans booed Page. Kip Sabian and Jungle Boy and Taylor went after Page, but he fended them off and played to the crowd. Sabian springboard enzuigiri’d Taylor off the ring apron. Jungle Boy then eliminated Sabian. It appeared to come down to Page and Jungle Boy, but then MJF resurfaced and eliminated Jungle Boy by yanking his leg, so that left Page and MJF as the last two co-winners, facing off next week for the Diamond Ring. MJF entered and fought with Page. Referees separated them.
WINNERS: Hangman Page and MJF in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not crazy about the retired Billy Gunn towering over almost everyone in the ring, overpowering them, and being the center of attention in a ephemeral nostalgia fest. It also didn’t make sense to have Page, positioned as a babyface late in the match opposite of MJF, to be the one to eliminate the popular nostalgia act Gunn. The crowd booed and didn’t embrace him as he rallied to win as a result.)
-Ross said Chris Jericho had a major announcement next. They showed Jericho and Jake Hager backstage. They cut to a break, but stayed with Jericho chatting with The Librarian first and then Marko Stunt. [c]
-They showed Scorpio Sky pinning Chris Jericho, and then Jericho throwing a fit afterward with a chair.
-Jericho entered the ring with Hager. Hager stood as usual with his hands behind his back expressionless. Jericho said regarding last week’s tantrum, he is “sincerely s-s-s-s… sincerely s-s-s-s… sincerely s-s-s-s… Tell him, Big Hurt.” Hager said, “He says he’s sorry.” Jericho put the mic up to Hager the every time “sorry” came up in his sentence so Hager could say it instead of him. He said next week AEW executives and the higher-ups at Time Warner will honor him. He said he’s sorry it’s taking place in Chicago because Chicago has a hockey team and two baseball teams, “so it’s a lot better than here.” Mixed reaction as a lot of people drove to Indy from Chicago.
He said everyone can watch his Thanksgiving Thank You on AEW Dynamite. “It’s going to be the greatest celebra-shun of all-time.” He said there will be aquariums and clowns. He called Indy a dump for more boos, but they can sit at home and watch him looking good. He signed off. SCU then came out.
Scorpio Sky addressed Jericho. “Chris, that was truly admirable. It takes a real man, a paragon of virtue, to come out and apologize when you’ve done something wrong. You have proven once again you are all of that and more.” Sky said since pinning Jericho last week, his DM’s have blown up and even his high school crush Melany Parsons called him and “we’re going out next week!” Fans chanted “Melany! Melany!” He said it’s all because of Jericho, and he’s a huge Jericho fan. He said he never meant to embarrass Jericho. Jericho got wide-eyed. “First of all, you didn’t embarrass me,” Jericho said. He added that Melany has gained weight since high school. The crowd roared. They cut to a close up of a woman gasping. Sky said, “I love big butts and I cannot lie.” Jericho said it’s cuter than Baby Yoda that he thinks he beat him fair and square. Jericho said Sky is a tremendous competitor, but he’s not in his league. “Do you understand me?” he asked.
Jericho said he is the greatest of all time and Sky did put a blemish on his perfect record, and he wants to rectify that. He said he wants a one-on-one match where he can’t hit him with a foreign object from behind. He said he’s going to wipe the floor with him and called him “baby boy.” Daniels said they need two or three months to prepare with a training camp. Jericho said he wants it next week. Daniels goaded Jericho with reverse psychology into making the match next week. Kaz said if the match is happening, Sky said he has to make sure it’s not for the AEW Title. Sky said he doesn’t deserve a title match. Jericho agreed he doesn’t, but then gave it to him because he doesn’t think he could handle a title match. “You know what, guess what, you got it!” Jericho said. He grabbed Sky’s hand and shook it and said it’s now official. Sky then pulled Jericho in close and told him that he might not think he has a chance, but he’s been waiting 15 years for an opportunity just like this. He said maybe next week he’s going to beat him for the AEW Title and turn Le Champion into Le Bitch. A fight broke out. The rest of the Inner Circle (Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara) ran out and outnumbered SCU. Jericho took Sky down with the Judas Effect and then stood over him with the belt. Marko Stunt ran out. Jungle Boy followed. Jericho took them both down. Luchasaurus then came out and stood opposite of Hager. Fans chanted “Lu-cha-saur-us!” Hager eventually backed away to boos.
(Keller’s Analysis: Jericho continues doing the best work of his career as AEW Champion. Sky was really good there, too. The bit where SCU tricked Jericho into giving them what they wanted with transparent reverse psychology was great.)
-They showed on split screen during the break Moxley and Darby each preparing for their match. [c]
(4) LUCHASAURUS vs. PETER AVALON (w/Leva Bates)
Before the match, Avalon trash-talked Luchasaurus. Luchasaurus beat him in about ten seconds.
WINNER: Luchasaurus in 0:10.
-The announcers hyped Private Party vs. Santana & Ortiz. Excalibur said there were emotional connotations in this one.
(5) SANTANA & ORTIZ vs. PRIVATE PARTY (Isaiah Kassidy & Marq Quen)
They cut to an early break but stayed with the action on split screen for most of the break. [c]
Santana & Ortiz dominated most of the early minutes. They cut to another break. [c]
Private Party eventually came back, but the ref stopped his count on a pin attempt when Santana pointed out Ortiz was the legal man. Quen sold his back as he collapsed while executing Silly String. Kassidy then took a double-team attack and barely survived a pin attempt. Quen returned and gave Ortiz a head scissors off the top rope into a cutter by Kassidy for the three count. Ross might have called Kassidy “Kennedy.”
WINNERS: Private Party in 15:00.
-After the match, Nick Jackson congratulated Private Party. Guevara attacked Jackson while filming it with his phone. Dustin Rhodes showed up and went after the heels. Guevara took a knee to the crotch and then a forearm to the head. Schiavone said this was in response to the attack during the Jericho vs. Cody contract signing. Fans chanted, “Dustin!”
-The announcers hyped Cody returning next week, plus Pac vs. Kenny Omega, Page vs. MJF, and Sky vs. Jericho.
-They went to a video segment on Kenny. He was in the middle of benching. He sat up and said he’s not really known as a promo guy or a hardcore guy. “You’ve seen me do a lot of strange things, things not characteristic of Kenny Omega. I’ve lost my marbles, and I’ve tracked down the cause.” He said when he lost to Pac, it took just one instant when he let his guard down. He said the powers that be have decided to give him a chance at revenge next week and press the restart button. He said his chance at revenge starts next week. He bid fans adieu. He went back to benching. [c]
(6) DARBY ALLIN vs. JON MOXLEY
Darby was carried out onto the stage in a body bag that had “MOX” in red tape on it. Darby popped out of it and then skateboarded down the ramp. Ross called him a “strange enigma.” Mox made his ring entrance second. “Full of attitude, full of badass,” said Ross. Mox came through the crowd on the floor, as usual. They brawled at ringside for a few minutes and then they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Mox had Allin down with a chinlock. They battled on the top turnbuckle where Darby stood on Moxley’s finger on the turnbuckle. Darby slipped off the top rope and landed awkwardly. The ref yanked Moxley’s pinky back into joint. Moxley beat up Darby inside the bodybag. Fans booed when the ref let Darby out. Darby went for a Coffin Drop, but Moxley caught him and tried to submit him. Moxley gave Darby a top rope Paradigm Shift for the win. Mox addressed his mangled fingers and was upset that Darby broke his fingers. He yelled, “Who’s at the top of the food chain?”
WINNER: Moxley in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: That match did to overstay its welcome and each of the bigger spots they did had meaning because of the pace of things. It had the hardcore aspects you’d anticipate from these two.)