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
DECEMBER 11, 2019
GARLAND, TEX. AT THE CURTIS CALDWELL CENTER
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excallibur.
Ring announcer: Justin Roberts
-They opened with a wide shot of the arena with fans cheering and chanting as Ross introduced the show. Jon Moxley then walked out through a concourse hall into the stands. Schiavone said he might be the most dangerous man in all of AEW. He said he’s unpredictable, seemingly impervious to pain, and he likes his own interests.
(1) JON MOXLEY vs. ALEX REYNOLDS (w/John Silver)
Ross touted the new facility they were in. Mox then finished Reynolds with a running knee and a Paradigm shift. Ross said a new record has been set. Schiavone said fans have “taken to this guy.” After the match, Mox threw Reynolds out of the ring and then fended off Silver, too.
WINNER: Moxley in 12 seconds.
(Keller’s Analysis: For the record, this would have been my opening scene in episode one of Dynamite followed by Moxley standing in the ring and stating his mission in AEW in right-to-the-point three or four minute promo.)
-Chris Jericho walked out with the Inner Circle to his entrance theme. He wore his AEW World Title belt around his waist. Ross said Jericho is a smart guy who has reinvented himself over and over and he knows the inevitability of this business, which is there is big money in facing Moxley. “Anyone who says they’re not in this business for big money is a liar,” he said. “‘I love the game.’ Would you do it for free? ‘Well, no.'” They circled the ring as Excalibur said Santana & Ortiz would face The Young Bucks in the TV main event. Ross noted that the winner is next in line for a tag team title match next week in Corpus Christi, Tex. Excalibur said that’s their “winter finale.”
Jericho entered the ring. Fans chanted something with “F—” in it, but it was bleeped. Jericho told them to watch their language. Jericho told Mox to relax because if they were going to ambush him, they would have by now. Jericho said when Mox first arrived “on the nationwide stage,” he came to him and asked for advice with his “little leather jacket and Kurt Cobain little bowl cut.” He said he gave him advice on how to become a star. He said then they become enemies and tore each other apart and he beat the shit out of him. “I taught you how to become a champion,” he said. “And then years later, when you needed to ignite your passion for your life, for this business, you called me. And I navigated you out of those waters, out of those rocks, and navigated you right here to AEW.” Cheers and an “AEW” chant followed. He said Mox is just now harnessing the power he has in him and, once again, he needs him.
Jericho began to propose an alliance, so fans booed. Jericho told them to shut up. He asked him to imagine what it’d be like if they joined forced. He invited him officially. Fans booed. Mox didn’t tip his hand. Jericho produced an “Inner Circle” t-shirt. Jericho told him to talk it over with his lovely wife and mother, whom he said he met. He said after the holidays, he can circle back. He said a true paradigm shift would be Moxley working with them to take over AEW. “When you’re ready, we’ll be waiting,” he said as he placed an Inner Circle t-shirt on his shoulder. Mox looked at the camera and made a face that was hard to read. Fans chanted “No! No! No!” Excalibur said it’s the right offer for Jericho to make. Jericho told Mox not to listen to the fans.
(Keller’s Analysis: Very good segment. Fans are left not knowing whether Moxley is considering the offer or finds it preposterous, nor when he’ll answer Jericho’s offer. Jericho was heelish and entertaining, striking a balance well. Moxley stayed in character and was “a good listener” while still seeming like he could blow any second. I’ve wanted there to be more of the Inner Circle appearing as a unit together on Dynamite to establish their respective roles and just solidify the group having a purpose, and this achieved that also.)
-They showed Santana & Ortiz issuing a challenge to the Young Bucks in a back hall last week. Then Excalibur talked about the match.
(Keller’s Analysis: This aired on AEW Dark last night, and I said in the VIP Keller Hotline last night that these types of features need to be on Dynamite to develop characters and set the stage more for the matches on Dynamite. There wasn’t a lot to it, but it was enough to set the stage and frame the match and build anticipation.)
-The announcers hyped the line-up: Sammy Guevara vs. Luchasaurus, Kenny Omega & “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Kip Sabian & Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard), Emi Sakura vs. Big Swole, and the main event tag match. Schiavone noted the winner faces SCU next week for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Ross said up next was Cody & Q.T. Marshall vs. The Butcher & The Blade (w/The Bunny).
-Butcher, Blade, and Bunny made their ring entrance. The announcers talked about the former Allie assembling Butcher and Blade to cut the head off the snake, and that means Cody. As Cody came out, an inset interview aired with MJF. It was a snippet of the longer interview that aired on AEW Dark last night, although the sound was both muffled and drowned out by Cody’s entrance theme. MJF said he got to pick Cody’s partner because Cody let Butcher & Blade pick his partner, and they asked him for advice. Schiavone tried to add a little clarity afterward. Ross said MJF thinks Q.T. will be a weak link. Excalibur said MJF has funded Butcher & Blade & Bunny being in AEW, almost as if had been previously established on Dynamite rather than just social media and AEW Dark on YouTube.
(2) CODY & Q.T. MARSHALL vs. THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/The Bunny)
Cody took it to Blade early. Ross admitted he didn’t know a lot about the background of Butcher & Blade. Excalibur said they are two of the heavier hitters in the tag team scene around the world. A loud “Cody!” chant early. Blade tagged in Butcher a minute in after a Cody flurry of offense including a snap powerslam for a one count. Butcher called for Marshall, who tagged in. Bunny yanked on Marshall’s leg. When Marshall dropped to the floor to yell at her, Blade leaped to the floor and knocked Marshall down. [c]
They stayed with the action on split-screen. After the break, Butcher and Blade continued their beatdown of Marshall. Ross said they were working hard to prevent Marshall from making a tag. Marshall eventually lunged for a tag, but Butcher yanked Cody off of the ring apron. Then they double-teamed Marshall. Butcher settled into a wrist lock. Cody stomped the mat to get the crowd clapping for a tag. Great old-school energy in the arena. Marshall finally did make the tag and Cody received a big pop.
Cody gave Blade a diving moonsault body press off the top rope for a two count. Cody took off the weight lifter’s belt and tossed it into the crowd. Then he springboarded into a cutter for another near fall. Cody let out a “woo” and set up a figure-four, but Butcher kicked him off. Bunny then raked Cody’s eyes. Marshall tagged himself in and delivered a lift-and-drop roundhouse. He then hit a cartwheel corkscrew dive onto Butcher and Blade. Schiavone said he doesn’t know what to call it, but it was good. Ross suggested he doesn’t think Marshall knows what he did. Marshall hit CrossRhodes on Blade and seemed astonished he pulled it off. Then he whipped Cody through the ropes onto Butcher on the floor. Marshall then set up a top rope twisting flip senton for a two count. Cody cheered him on from the ring apron, but Blade yanked him by his leg off the apron. The Butcher and Blade entered the ring and went after Marshall. The ref haplessly slowly counted. The heel duo finished Marshall with a suplex onto a backstabber for the win. Ross said he’s learning their names and learning more about them and they impressed him. Ross said Butcher looks like Ole Anderson in his face. He wondered if he got his tattoos in prison.
WINNERS: Butcher & Blade in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: They built in a reason for Cody to have a “weak” partner, by having Cody say he wanted Butcher & Blade so badly he’d let them pick his partner, and tied in MJF to make the decision for them since he funded them. And so it gave Butcher & Blade a good opening to win their tag match, while also protecting Cody.)
-Darby Allin walked out and helped a despondent to Cody to his feet. Ross said Cody didn’t think he had friends, but Darby appeared to he indicating he’d be his friend. [c]
-During the break, they showed Cody return to the back. Then they showed Santana & Ortiz warming up backstage. Then they showed The Young Bucks chatting with Brandon Cutler.
-MJF walked to the ring accompanied by Wardlow. Ross noted MJF is wearing that beautiful ring. MJF called a ringside camera crew member into the ring, insulting him in the process, and accusing him of laughing at him. He ordered him to kiss his ring, which he did. He tried to leave, but Wardlow blocked him. MJF then gave him a CrossRhodes. MJF said it looked pretty good to him, acknowledging his last one didn’t. Fans chanted something that TNT had to bleep. MJF said Cody is one of the greatest wrestlers of this generation, and with a mic in his hand, he is untouchable – with one exception. “You do not throw rocks at a man with a machine gun, and when my mouth opens, these bullets don’t miss,” he said.
He said he heard Cody’s business proposal, but he doesn’t need his crap or his money. He said unlike the swine in the crowd, he has enough money to last him a lifetime. He said what he needs is for Cody to suffer. He said he decided to call him “a knockoff Chris Jericho.” He said Cody must’ve stayed up hours sweating bullets to think of that zinger. He asked if it’s because of his scarf. Fans chanted “Fake!” MJF said that word is appropriate because when he thinks of that word, he thinks of Cody. More boos. He said there’s that “platinum blonde hair that look like a cat pissed on it.” He made fun of his teeth, comparing them to Gary Busey. He said what’s real is his “shitty little lisp.” He imitated the lisp and asked if he offended him and upset the fans. MJF asked if he’s going to ask Tony Khan to fire him. MJF said he won’t do that because the one thing he wants the most in the world is to get his hands on him, and he’d be letting down all the people. He said those fans want to see them go at it. The fans cheered. He yelled, “Guess what, Cody? You’re on!” He added a “but, but, but, but, but.” He said he has a couple of stipulations, but he won’t reveal them “here in Honkyville, USA, Texas.” He mocked being hurt by their “asshole” chants. He said he’d reveal the stips in Jacksonville, Fla. next month. He told Cody he’s foaming at the mouth backstage, but he wants him to remember that he’s in control, not Cody, because he’s better than him and Cody knows it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Strong, strong heel mic work from MJF that didn’t get too crude for the sake of shock value and instead focused on making fans want to see Cody kick his ass.) [c]
-A Dark Order video aired showing a guy in a hotel room watching the hotel guest services video. The video was generic for a while, but then suddenly got personal and addressed “Alex,” asking if he’s tired of being a jobber yet. The spokesperson knocked on the TV and told Alex he’s talking to him directly. He took notice and talked to the TV. The spokesperson said they’ve been watching The Beaver Boys lose over and over. The spokesperson told him there are strength in numbers, so join the Dark Order. It went back to generic guest services messages about room service. In walked his partner who asked who he is talking to. Alex said he doesn’t know. Then the screen said, “www.JoinDarkOrder.com.”
(Keller’s Analysis: The videos are well-produced and set up the faction’s gimmick well. What I can’t figure out is who is producing the videos. I get a video being produced by Dark Order to hype their organization and play mind games with people by filming their recruiting ceremonies, but how did they get in Alex’s hotel room?)
(3) BIG SWOLE vs. EMI SAKURA
As Swole came out, the announcers reacted to Dark Order preying on the masses. Schiavone plugged the video feature on Swole’s personal story on AEW Dark. Sakura came out second. They showed Hikadu Shida watching at ringside. There were a couple little boys at ringside who weren’t sure what to make of Sakura’s mustache and general look and demeanor. Ross got tired quickly of Swole flexing her arm in the midst of a test of strength with Sakura. (I’m with him on that one.) Ross said the profile on Swole was on “AEW.com.” Excalibur made the “save” and said, “AEW Dark on YouTube.” (The AEW website is www.allelitewrestling.com, not AEW.com, and I’m not even sure that Swole profile is loaded on the actual website.) They cut to a break a couple minutes in. [c]
Back from the break, Swole threw a series of punches that Sakura avoided. Swole eventually headbutted Sakura in the chest. Swole then DDT’d Sakura and gave her a running uppercut for a two count. Sakura used the mic stand for extra leverage as she applied an abdominal stretch. The ref yanked it away from her. Swole went for a kick, but Sakura blocked it, then danced with the mic stand before spearing Sakura. Swole then went for a spear through the ropes, but Sakura caught her in the ring and gave her a twisting knee to the back. She followed with a twisting Vader Bomb for a two count. Sakura went for a top rope moonsault, but Swole moved. Swole then threw some weak looking strikes. Sakura fired back with a chop and kick. Swole then gave her a big boot for a two count. Sakura came back with a near fall a minute later. Swole then finished Sakura with a forearm that Excalibur called Dirty Dancing. They showed Shida making a cartoon face at ringside in reaction to Swole’s win. Ross said big things are expected “from this young lady.”
WINNER: Swole in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Even with a commercial break in the middle, that was too long and too ambitious, with lots of sequences that weren’t crisp at all. Swole looks like a good signing, though.)
-Jenn Decker interviewed Pac backstage. He said he was there for opportunity, but he’s faced nothing but injustice. He said after all of his domination, he has received a pittance. He asked for his rubber match with Kenny Omega “or I won’t be responsible for what I do next.”
(4) KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) & SHAWN SPEARS (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. KENNY OMEGA & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE
A soundbite aired with Tully Blanchard who said they’re going to test Sabian to see if he can be that partner whom Spears meshes with so they can become the best tag team in the world. “That’s our goal,” he said. Ross touted Tully’s tag team credentials. As Page came out, Ross noted he was taking a sabbatical from The Elite. Page and Omega beat up Sabian for a few minutes and then they cut to a break. [c]
During the break on split screen, Spears tagged in and the heels took over. Back live, Page avoided a Sabian dive off the ring apron, but then Penelope leaped off the ring apron and took Page down with a head scissors. The announcers marveled at her coming out of nowhere instead of lamenting the cheating. She entered the ring and, at the urging of Sabian, hit Omega in the corner with a handspring elbow into the corner. Spears distracted the ref during all of this. Sabian then gave Omega a fisherman’s suplex into a bridge for a two count. Schiavone noted that Tully used that move in his days in the ring. Omega came back with a V-Trigger. Sabian landed a drop Pelé kick. Omega then hit a running knee. Both were down and slow to get up. As they each crawled to their corner, the lights went out. When they came back on, Tully was sitting on the stage but he was tied to a chair by Joey Janela. Spears ran to the stage and fought with Janela. Spears untied Tully, who retreated to the back as Janela and Spears fought through the tunnel. Omega gave Sabian a snap dragon suplex. Omega then landed a V-Trigger. Page blind-tagged himself in and landed the Buckshot Lariat for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: Omega & Page in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. They “protected” Sabian by having Janela draw Spears to the stage in the closing minute. The finish teased tension between Page and Omega.)
-A vignette aired on Brandi Rhodes, who asked what AEW looks like without her. She asked if Riho has gotten smaller and now can’t be seen at all. She took a shot at Britt Baker, telling people to take a shot every time she mentions her boyfriend. She took more digs at Leva bates and Kris Statlander. In walked the woman from last week with a bald head. Brandi then rubbed the head of a bald man with his back to the camera.
-Jericho and Hager made their entrance onto the stage. They sat next to the announcers. Sammy Guevara made his ring entrance, and then took selfies at ringside during the break. [c]
(5) LUCHASAURUS (w/Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt) vs. SAMMY GUEVARA
Jericho said his match against Jungle Boy next week is non-title. He also contended that Luchasaurus is not a real dinosaur and no one can prove otherwise. [c]
Back from the break, Guevara was on offense, but Luchasaurus came back and won with a tombstone and face plant.
WINNER: Luchasaurus in 7:00.
-Afterward, Jericho and Hager attacked Jungle Boy, but Jungle Boy made a comeback and rolled up Jericho. Marko counted to three. Jericho yelled that the pin doesn’t count.
-A commercial aired for the next AEW PPV, titled “AEW Revolution” in Chicago, Ill. on Feb. 29. (That’s not a day!)
-The announcers hyped Jericho vs. Jungle Boy, plus Lucha Bros. vs. Omega & Page and Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander next week. [c]
(6) THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ
As The Young Bucks made their entrance onto the stage, Santana, Ortiz, and Guevara jumped them as the confetti blasted. Cutler tried to help, but he was beaten down. They powerbombed him off the stage through a platform below. Then they tossed Matt Jackson off the stage onto two guys below. They hit Nick Jackson with the sock with three baseballs in it. They set up a table and put Nick on it. Matt made the save and knocked Santana off the pillar he was climbing. Matt then lifted Guevara and then Nick delivered a running stuff tombstone off the ringside steps. They put Ortiz on the table. Nick climbed to the top of the entrance tunnel and leaped off with a swanton, crashing him through the table. They scored a two count. Ross noted it’s falls count anywhere. They made their way to the ring and fought with trash cans, canes, and ladders. [c]
They stayed with the action on split-screen. Dustin Rhodes stopped Hager from interfering. The tag fight continued in the ring with Matt and Nick landing More Bang for Your Buck. The ref was down, so fans counted to nine or so. Another ref ran out and counted to two. Santana and Ortiz came back and set up a spot off the ropes with Nick through two chairs, but they knocked Santana off the ropes onto a table. The Bucks then took over again and landed stereo superkicks to Ortiz. Matt held a chair up against Santana’s head and then Nick kicked it into his head. “AEW!” chanted the fans. Then they delivered a Meltzer Driver onto a chair to pin Santana.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 15:00 to earn an AEW Tag Team Title match next week.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was wild start to finish. High-energy, high-impact, high-stakes action.)
-After the match, Scorpio Sky & Kaz entered the ring with the belts and held them up to the Bucks. Ross said SCU have often heard, “You’re great, but you’re not the Young Bucks.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: One of AEW’s better overall shows start to finish. They incorporated their available star power with more density and clarity than they had to date. (P.S. – I know next year is Leap Year.)