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MILLER’S AEW DYNAMITE ALT-PERSPECTIVE TV REPORT
JANUARY 15, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
BY MICHAEL MILLER, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
(1) KENNY OMEGA & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. BEST FRIENDS (Trent & Chuck Taylor w/Orange Cassidy) vs. SANTANA & ORTIZ
Justin Roberts looked dapper dressed in a white suit for the Bash at the Beach edition of Dynamite. “What a load of talent we have in the ring,” noted Schiavone. Trent and Nick Jackson start it off. They traded chops. Nick tagged in Page and Trent tagged in Chuck. Fast-paced moves from both before Omega and Matt Jackson are tagged in. The two members of The Elite bumped fists and locked up giving Santana & Ortiz an opportunity to jump them both. Santana tagged himself in, and Omega tagged Matt back in. Ortiz snuck in to rake the eyes of Matt. The Young Bucks and Omega triple-teamed Ortiz. Chuck is tagged in and doubled-teamed by the Young Bucks.
Matt hit multiple Northern Lights Suplexes. On the fifth attempt, Trent reversed into a DDT. Chuck pulled off a standing Sliced Bread and a pop-up powerbomb on the Young Bucks. Matt received a half-and-half suplex combination from the Best Friends. Santana & Ortiz were booed heavily after breaking up the hug attempt between the Best Friends. The heels dragged Matt into the corner and forced a tag. Santana & Ortiz both leapt over the top and landed cannonballs on the outside which started a “This is Awesome” chant.
Matt was double-teamed some more. Santana lifted Matt for a stalling suplex and passed him off to a tagged-in Ortiz. Ortiz pulled Nick off the apron, and Santana continued punishment on Matt. A stunner off the top from Matt, and he tagged in Omega. The announcers pointed out that Matt avoided tagging in Page. Omega hit a Snap Dragon Suplex on Santana & Ortiz, and another one on Trent for good measure. Page hit a Shooting Star Press, and Omega came through with a moonsault on Trent. Page connected with a moonsault from the top rope to the outside. Santana and Nick went over the top rope with splashes. “Does anybody remember who the legal man was?” Schiavone asked.
Trent and Nick went to the top rope. Trent suplexed Nick onto everyone on the outside leading to a “Holy Shit” chant. “Good thing there were a lot of bodies to break that fall,” Ross added. Trent and Omega faced off in the ring. Chuck and Hangman both entered the ring and the two teams attempted to suplex each other. Referee Rich Knox went down after being accidentally kicked in the face. Fans were on their feet as all eight competitors jockeyed for position. Orange Cassidy, with hands still in his pockets, assisted the Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz for the huge synchronized suplex spot. “No pulp, just pure Orange Cassidy,” Ross declared. The camera zoomed out for a full arena shot.
Chuck and Matt traded punches in the center of the ring. Trent took out Page with a clothesline. Santana & Ortiz hit a cannonball senton in the corner. Nick superkicked Santana & Ortiz, but held back from superkicking Page. Trent broke up a Meltzer Driver. Page snuck in with a blind tag much to Matt’s chagrin. Omega hit a V-Trigger on Chuck, and Omega and Page sandwiched Chuck with a V-Trigger and a Buckshot lariat for the pinfall victory.
WINNERS: Omega & Page in 15:00
-Ross pointed out that the Young Bucks did the heavy lifting. The Young Bucks looked upset as they approached Page. Omega attempted to calm them down. Cooler heads prevailed as the Young Bucks raised the hands of the victors and bumped fists as they cut to a commercial. [c]
(Miller’s Analysis: Although a little hard to follow at times, that was one of the most action-packed matches I’ve seen on Dynamite. All of the competitors made this feel like a PPV match, and they didn’t hold anything back. I was secretly hoping for a win for Santana & Ortiz to add some clout to the Inner Circle. I think an Omega & Page victory is a decent consolation prize. Also, kudos to AEW for changing up the set for the Bash at the Beach event, but the busty female lifeguard was a superfluous addition.)
-During the commercial, Page grabbed a couple of beers from the audience. The camera cut to Diamond Dallas Page doing his patented yoga in the locker room.
-Schiavone and Excalibur were shown sporting Hawaiian shirts. The announcers ran down the rest of the card for the night. They previewed Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley and Darby Allin vs. Pac, with the winners of those matches facing off next week to become the no. 1 contender for the AEW Title.
-Cody made his entrance and looked to be in full-on Miami Vice mode. Cody was wearing a white suit and white loafers with a neon blue shirt. “What a reaction for the American Nightmare,” Excalibur said as the fans chanted “Cody.” He recapped the ongoing feud with MJF. A graphic popped up on the big screen with MJF’s stipulations. Cody accepted the steel cage match with Wardlow. He sold the brutality of the match and how the injuries sustained could affect his match with MJF. Cody also noted that Wardlow’s AEW debut could expose MJF as being less talented than his bodyguard.
Cody was willing to accept the ten lashes on live television. “I understand the symbolism of that farce,” he admitted. Cody claimed that MJF’s parents “paraded him around on the Rosie O’Donnell Show when he was seven years old.” Cody noted that everyone thinks MJF is a real, true, old-school heel. He said he wasn’t buying it and called out MJF’s laziness. “Less is more because you are incapable of more,” Cody said. Cody ended the segment stating, “At Revolution, I’m going to give you your own god-damned scar.” [c]
(Miller’s Analysis: I might have been more emotionally invested in Cody’s promo if it had occurred right after Cody & Dustin’s win last week. Cody taking the extra week to respond took too much steam out of this angle for me. On the plus side, this was probably the best segment to have on after that whirlwind four-team match. Sadly, I’ll spend the rest of the night trying to find that Rosie O’Donnell clip.)
-During the commercial break, Cody tossed his jacket to the crowd and jumped over the top rope. The camera cut to MJF sporting a “I Banged Dallas’ Daughter” shirt. Another camera cut to Darby Allin getting pumped in the back with his skateboard. And finally, another camera caught Pac marching down the hallway.
(Miller’s Analysis: I can’t get enough of these quick clips of wrestlers in the back. Some might think it’s overkill, but it beats watching commercials. And I mainly want to point out that AEW needs to start printing MJF’s new shirt immediately.)
-After the commercial break, Joey Janela got some screen-time in the form of a backstage promo. “A new year. A clean slate. A new decade for Joey Janela,” he proclaimed. Janela reminded the fans of his break-up with Penelope Ford and warned Kip Sabian. “Last year, I felt like I got hit in my balls all year,” Janela reiterated. He promoted his match with Rey Fenix next week. “I’ve got something to prove. We’re the backbone of All Elite Wrestling,” Janela concluded.
(Miller’s Analysis: Initially, the promo felt unpolished and lackadaisical. I haven’t ever been captivated by Janella in AEW, and I have zero-interest in a Janella-Sabian feud. But I am always a fan of a wrestler promoting matches. The Janella-Fenix match could steal the show because I absolutely believe Janella when he said he has something to prove. And not just to the fans, but to all of the higher-ups in the back. The promo started out rough, but it accomplished what it needed to do.)
(2) BRANDI RHODES & MEL (w/Luther) vs. KRIS STATLANDER & HIKARU SHIDA
The Nightmare Collective marched to the ring. Statlander made her way to the ring and went straight for Brandi. Mel stepped into Statlander’s face. Luther cut off Shida’s entrance down the ramp. Shida whacked Luther with a kendo stick.
Mel and Shida started of the match. Shida pulled off a standing hurricanrana to send Mel to the outside. Statlander hit Mel with a moonsault from the ring apron. Shida pulled a chair out from under the ring. She launched herself off the chair with a running knee to Mel. Brandi stayed in her corner and watched as Statlander & Shida double-teamed Mel. Shida took a swing at Brandi in the corner. The distraction led to a big boot from Mel, followed by a big leg drop to the back of Shida. Brandi tagged in and put the boots to Shida. Brandi taunted Statlander leading to dirty double-team tactics on Shida. [c]
Back live, Shida hit a running knee strike to Mel. Brandi tagged in and Statlander came in as well. Brandi ran away and begged. Statlander landed a big roundhouse kick and discuss clothesline on Brandi. Statlander pulled out a Falcon Arrow on Brandi for a two-count. Shida got enough of a top rope drop kick to send Mel to the outside. Brandi speared Statlander for a two-count. Brandi freaked out and tagged in Mel. Mel hit a Black Hole Slam on Statlander. Mel climbed to the second rope, but Shida rolled in hit Mel with a suplex. Statlander landed a standing moonsault press on Mel, and Brandi broke up the pin. Mel ran over Statlander & Shida with a double clothesline. Statlander countered Mel with a cradle Tombstone piledriver for the three count.
WINNERS: Statlander & Shida
(Miller’s Analysis: I’m not upset that this mediocre match happened. I just want to understand why it played out like it did. Statlander & Shida were easily able to overcome the dastardly heels. How are we supposed to take the Nightmare Collective seriously moving forward?)
The announcers segued into a new Dark Order vignette. The clean-cut recruiter appeared in a war room setting and he boasted the high number of recruits. He mentioned Michael Nakazawa has been showing signs of frustrations. It might be a longer process to get to Omega. An off-screen altered voice said, “Excellent.” The recruiter brought up Brandon Cutler and his strong allegiance to The Elite. Hangman Page is also mentioned as the Dark Order’s next potential acquisition.
“So many questions still surrounding the Dark Order,” noted Excalibur.
(Miller’s Analysis: Excalibur might be confused, but I, for one, am starting to see the big picture with the Dark Order. I hope this leads to The Elite vs. The Delete.)
Sammy Guevara blew kisses to the lifeguard as he made his way to the ring. [c]
(3) “THE SPANISH GOD” SAMMY GUEVARA vs. JON MOXLEY
The “Moxley” chants started while Guevara began live-streaming from his phone. Moxley pulled up in the $750,000 car. The bell rung at the top of the hour. Guevara wrestled Moxley into the corner. Moxley reversed with big chops. Guevara escaped with a flip and strutted away. Moxley turned him inside out with a clothesline. Ross acknowledged Moxley’s success recently at the Tokyo Dome.
Guevara launched backwards with a springboard cutter. Moxley rolled to the outside. Guevara hit a corkscrew plancha to the outside. Guevara went to the top rope but jumped down and showboated. Moxley slapped Guevara and followed through with a big boot and a releasing vertical suplex. Moxley went for a Paradigm Shift on the apron, but Guevara escaped and landed a gnarly top-rope stomp to Moxley on the apron. He tossed Moxley into the guardrail and steps. Guevara gloated some more in the ring. [c]
In the split screen, Guevara applied a side headlock on Moxley. Guevara stood on top of Moxley who was draped on the second rope. Guevara backflipped off into the backwards strut. Guevara squat-pressed Moxley in a display of strength. Guevara slammed a bucket of popcorn on Moxley and threw him into the ring post. Guevara went to the top rope, but Moxley caught him with a second-rope suplex.
Back live, Moxley went for a German suplex but Guevara landed on his feet. Moxley drove Guevara’s head into the ground with a brutal bulldog maneuver. Moxley tried to take Guevara up for a top-rope Paradigm Shift, but Guevara countered with jumping flapjack from the top. Guevara hit a reverse GTS for a convincing nearfall. Guevara went to the top, but Moxley caught him in a chokehold. Guevara instantly tapped.
WINNER: Moxley by submission in 10:00
(Miller’s Analysis: Guevara looked like a star in this match. I love him as the cocky heel that you absolutely love to hate, especially when he’s going toe-to-toe with an A-Lister like Moxley.)
Chris Jericho’s music started and the arena went black. “I can’t see a damn thing,” said Ross. When the lights came back on, all of the Inner Circle surrounded Moxley. Moxley charged at them and got pummeled. Jake Hager choked Moxley, and Jericho flogged him with the AEW belt. Santana & Ortiz held Moxley, and Hager kicked Moxley in the crotch. ‘He has no friends in the AEW locker room,” Excalibur said as the beatdown on Moxley continued.
Jericho unscrewed a large spike from his jacket. He held the spike high and jabbed it into Moxley’s forehead. JR sold the move as an eye shot. An “Aubrey” chant started as multiple referees came down to check on Moxley. The camera cut away from Ortiz as he screamed “The Best! The Best! The Best!” “‘The Best’ my ass,” said a disgusted Schiavone. [c]
(Miller’s Analysis: I wish they would have kept this as an old-fashioned beatdown. The breakaway champagne bottle last week was already pretty hokey. This spike spot was just too unbelievable and, honestly, somewhat insulting.)
After the break, Moxley walked to the back with a white, spotless towel over his right eye. Backstage, Jen Decker approached Jericho. He claimed this was not his fault, and that Moxley signed his own death warrant. There were slight audio problems backstage. “Next week on the Jericho Cruise, we’re going to do the same thing with the Jurassic Express,” Jericho threatened. Guevara flirted with Decker as they left.
(Miller’s Analysis: Jericho, the consummate professional, sold the attack on Moxley while promoting a rather meaningless six-man tag match next week. If he hasn’t already sold out the Jericho Cruise, that should do it.)
-Backstage, Decker started to interview SCU about their upcoming title defense. Hangman Page crashed the interview and accidentally spilled his whiskey on Christopher Daniels. “I’ll whip all three of your ass,” Page said. An apologetic Omega pried Page away. “He’s getting a little frisky. Next week, let’s have a gentleman’s contest,” Omega pleaded. “I’m going to send you my cleaning bill,” Daniels shouted as the segment came to a close. [c]
(Miller’s Analysis: I’ve been in Omega’s shoes countless times, and perhaps in Page’s more often than I’d like to admit. This was a quick and effective way to hook fans in for next week’s title defense, and to further Page’s role as the drunk redneck and “Anxious Millennial Cowboy.”)
(5) DARBY ALLIN vs. PAC – Winner Wrestles Next Week vs. Moxley for No. 1 contendership
Back live, Pac walked down to the ring. Darby skateboarded down the entrance ramp. The bell rang and the wrestlers cautiously circled each other. Darby landed a “thunderous dropkick.” Pac pulled out a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and threw Darby across the ring. Darby dropkicked Pac into the corner. Pac rolled to the outside, and Darby hit a suicide dive through the second and third ropes. Darby hit a duplicate suicide dive from the other side of the ring. Darby looked to hit a hurricanrana from the ring apron, but Pac caught him and viciously swung Darby into the steel steps. “Can Darby continue? Is this match over?” Ross asked as they cut to a commercial. [c]
In the split screen, Pac pulled the steps out and dragged Darby to the top. Pac knocked Darby out cold with a powerbomb on the steps. Pac reentered the ring, and Darby narrowly avoided the countout. Pac locked in the Brutalizer.
Back live, Pac threw Darby into the guardrail. Darby looked to be cut on his right tricep and shoulder blade. Pac hoisted Darby into a fireman’s carry to the second rope. Darby elbowed out and hit a crucifix bomb. Pac went to the outside, and Darby jumped from the top rope and connected with a Coffin Drop. Pac slid back into the ring. Darby landed a Code Red for a two-count. Pac went back outside again. Darby attempted a baseball slide, but Pac pulled up the apron trapping Darby and hit a stiff kick. Pac turned Darby inside out with a clothesline in the middle of the ring. “I know one thing: Pac is pissed,” Ross said.
Darby crawled up to his feet and punched Pac. The wrestlers traded multiple pin opportunities. Darby went for another Coffin Drop, but Pac countered with a German suplex. Pac wrecked Darby with a sit-down powerbomb for a near fall. Pac and Darby met in the corner at the top rope. Pac shoved Darby to the mat and connected with the Black Arrow to the back of Darby. Pac made the cover for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Pac via pinfall in 12:00.
-After the match, Schiavone headed down to the ring and interviewed Pac. “Tony, Tony, Tony. Enough! What you need to do is congratulate the new no. 1 contender for the AEW championship,” Pac declared. Schiavone mentioned the match with Moxley. “You saw for yourself, Tony. Jon Moxley is physical incapacitated,” Pac said.
Schiavone interrupted, and the camera cut to backstage. Moxley was in the back of an ambulance with a bloodied towel covering his face. The ambulance doors were shut, and Moxley kicked open the back of the ambulance. He emerged with black tape over his injured eye. Moxley had a short walk to the top of the stage. “It ain’t going down like that, brother,” Moxley said. He stated he will be there for their match next week. The show ended with referees and officials keeping Moxley from the ring.
(Miller’s Analysis: This match really worked for both men. It was brutal without turning into a hardcore match. The post-match interview built up the huge main event for next week. I hope Moxley wrestles with an eye patch for the next couple of weeks or else the injury spot will be for nothing.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: With the Bash at the Beach graphics, new set pieces, and a stellar opening match, I was led to believe this would be a must-see show worthy of several repeat viewings. It ended up being a solid episode of Dynamite, nothing more, nothing less. Almost every segment had a purpose (I’m looking at you, Nightmare Collective). AEW needs to be very cautious with Brandi in the future, because I anticipate fans switching the channel anytime she gets screentime, especially as a wrestler. And I might be the only one saying this: Give me more of the Dark Order. I’m loving the devolopment of their storyline.