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
FEBRUARY 5, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
-A video package aired on last week’s angle with Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley, including Moxley’s show-closing run-in against the Inner Circle.
-Ross introduced the show as they showed wide angles of the arena.
(1) JON MOXLEY vs. ORTIZ (w/Santana)
Moxley came out first through the crowd, still wearing an eye patch. Ortiz, accompanied by Santana, came out next. Then Chris Jericho’s music played, and Jericho walked out with Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager. All three joined the announcers at the desk on the stage. The fans finished singing the song after it stopped playing. Jericho said this is Ortiz’s first singles match since August 2016, but then said it’s been 583 days (it’s been over 1,000 days since 2016!). Mox dominated early, but after Santana grabbed Mox’s leg, Ortiz took over. Ross compared Ortiz to Pampero Firpo. Ortiz shoved Mox into the ringside steps. Jericho said Santana and Ortiz are really street thugs from the Bronx, it’s not just a gimmick.
Mox eventually came back with a figure-four. Ortiz poked Mox in his eye to break it. Mox tossed a diving Ortiz through the ropes, and then dove through the ropes and tackled Santana. Then he threw Ortiz into the crowd. Jericho talked a lot in this match. He said he never should have brought Moxley to AEW. “I should’ve let him languish,” he said. He said he shouldn’t have been nice, and told Guevara that should be a lesson for him. Ortiz flip dove onto Mox at ringside a minute later, then landed a top rope splash in the ring for a two count. Jericho said if Ortiz beats Mox, would that mean he has to face Ortiz at Revolution. Ross said the contract is already signed. Santana stood on the ring apron, but Mox shoved Ortiz into him. Then Moxley gave Ortiz a Paradigm Shift for the win.
WINNER: Moxley in 9:00.
-Afterward, Santana attacked Mox as Mox looked over at Jericho. Jericho said no one should ever turn their back on the Inner Circle. Mox came back with a Paradigm Shift. Fans chanted “Moxley!” loudly. Mox held up the car keys. Jericho called Mox a thief and said the Ford GT is his and it’s worth $750,000. Mox then aimed the key at his eye, then jabbed Santana with it in the eye. “Good god, almighty, what did we just see?” Ross exclaimed. Jericho, Swagger, and Guevara ran to the ring to check on Santana. Medics also tended to him. Mox stood with the fans and indicated “eye for an eye.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid opening segment. Just letting Moxley be Moxley and having Jericho contribute a lot on commentary is inherently entertaining. The idea that Mox will fight fire with fire was firmly established here, which seems to be a way to instill some fear in Jericho that he went too far with the attack on Moxley.)
-They went to the announcers on camera. Ross said tonight is the night Cody takes ten lashes from MJF. Ross said it will be very graphic. Excalibur hyped Britt Baker vs. Yuji Sakazaki. Schiavone plugged the big eight-man tag match later, too. Ross plugged SCU vs. Best Friends.
-Chuck Taylor and Trent walked out first, accompanied by Orange Cassidy. They stayed with the arena on split screen during the first commercial 20 minutes into the show as the Best Friends wandered around ringside. [c]
(2) SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent w/Orange Cassidy)
When Taylor flexed his biceps early in the match, Ross said he didn’t get it, then added, “This isn’t bodybuilding. Thank god.” After all four wrestlers were down at ringside, Cassidy assessed the situation and then dropped to the crowd for a rest along with them. Ross said it looks like a drunk Saturday night in Huntsville. [c]
The match continued on split-screen during the break. Ross referred to Trent as “Beretta.” Ross noted he seemed to have a stinger or nerve issue on his shoulder. SCU took over after the break as Trent continued to favor his shoulder and neck area. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Trent continued to clutch his neck in pain, but came back with a flying knee. He and Chuck double-teamed Kaz and then hugged. They set up Strong Zero, but Sky knocked Taylor off the top rope. Ross said that hug might cost them the match. Sure enough Sky kicked Trent over right into a Kaz roll-up for the win. Ross reiterated the hug might have cost them the match.
WINNERS: SCU in 8:00.
-The Dark Order ran out and attacked both teams. The spokesman in the suit led Stu Grayson and the others to stand with their hands raised in some official gesture. Cassidy entered. Fans chanted “Freshly squeezed.” Ross interjected, “No pulp.” Stu Grayson offers a hood to Cassidy. Cassidy turned it down. Dark Order attacked him by circling and stomping him. Christopher Daniels ran out for the save. Dark Order backed away. Ross said, “That’s the guy they want. He’s the one they’ve earmarked allegedly as their top recruit.” Excalibur said they still don’t know the identity of the Exalted One. Daniels yelled, “You want me, I’m right here, let’s go!” The Dark Order left the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: That the most exposition they’ve done explaining the Dark Order gimmick and their stated intentions, which is good. It still feels too much like a JOB Squad faction, though.)
-A soundbite aired with Taz standing outside in front of the AEW production truck saying Cody agreeing to this stipulation indicates how badly Cody wants to get his hands on MJF. He said MJF has taken things too far “in his professional opinion.”
-Britt Baker walked out. [c]
(3) BRITT BAKER vs. “THE MAGICAL GIRL” YUKA SAKAZAKI
Ross asked Excalibur to tell him about Yuka Sakazawi, but Excalibur instead chose to tell him about Yuka Sakazaki, who is in this match. Excalibur said she has wrestled twice in AEW but not since Fyter Fest. She is 0-2. Baker controlled the early minutes, but Sakazaki leaped off the top rope with a Thesz Press onto Baker. Excalibur called it “The Magical Girl Splash.” A Thesz Press doesn’t really work when come down at that angle, though. Back in the ring Baker yanked on Sakazaki’s hair, but Sakazaki countered by leveraging Baker’s shoulders down for an upset win.
WINNER: Sakazaki in 3:00.
-As Sakazaki celebrated at an odd angle as to make sure her back was turned to Baker, Baker entered the ring with a ring bell and hit her from behind. Baker then put her mouth on the bottom rope and stomped her. Fans chanted, “Brit, you suck!” Sakazaki sold an injured jaw or teeth and she began bleeding from her mouth. Then she freaked out when a tooth fell into her palm. Baker then put Sakazaki in her Lock Jaw. Sakazaki appeared to have all her front teeth in tact, but she showed the referee that her tooth came from the back of her mouth.
-A commercial aired for Revolution.
(4) THE YOUNG BUCKS & KENNY OMEGA & “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/The Bunny) & THE LUCHA BROS.
Justin Roberts introduced The Butcher & The Blade with The Bunny first. Ross, in self-deprecating mode, said not even he can misidentify The Bunny. Then Justin introduced the Lucha Bros. Then the “Be Elite” theme song played. Page came out impatiently ahead of everyone else. Then the Bucks and Omega followed and posed together on the stage. When the entrance theme ended, fans sang, “Be Elite, Be Be Elite.” Excalibur plugged “Being the Elite” on YouTube. Ross plugged his BBQ sauce. Ross said this will be like calling the NBA All-Star Game – “a lot of threes and maybe not much defense.” That’s his way of noting that there won’t be much selling and a lot of highspots. A couple minutes in, the Bucks and Omega dove onto opponents on the floor and celebrated gleefully inside the ring together as Page looked on nonplussed and not included. An eight-man brawl broke out with the heels getting the advantage, including Rey Fenix diving onto all four of The Elite on the floor as they cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen as The Elite recovered. Matt rallied after the break against Fenix with a nice series of moves that popped the crowd.
Omega tagged in and ended up on his back mid-ring and scooted himself into position for Fenix, who had Matt Jackson on his back, to grab his arms and legs, leaving himself vulnerable to a top rope Pentagon Jr. dropkick to his thigh. Not sure what that was supposed to be, but it looked as convoluted and obviously orchestrated as just about anything you’ll see in a match. Omega sold his thigh injury as the heels took over against him, tagging in and out frequently. Omega eventually made a hot-tag to Page. He went after all the heels as fans chanted “Cowboy Shit!” Page flip-dove off the top rope onto a gathering of the four heels at ringside who were nice enough to gather and stand and wait for him with their arms up in the air to catch him. The crowd popped. Back in the ring Page gave Pentagon a discus lariat for a near fall. Page tagged Omega back in, but Omega immediately tagged Matt. Matt then tagged in Nick. That meant all four could be legally in the ring for a little while, apparently. Ross said the ref needed to restore order.
Four-on-four action broke out with the heels getting the better of it with a rapid-fire sequence of moves. Justin announced the ten minute mark. Butcher and Blade double-teamed Nick into a powerbomb/shoulder tackle combo. Butcher landed a sitout powerbomb on Matt next, but Omega broke up the cover at the very last split-second. Omega gave Fenix and Pentagon snap dragon suplexes. The Bucks then rallied against Butcher. Page tagged himself in and went for a Buckshot Lariat, but Butcher ducked. Everyone else got involved, with Omega getting the best of the heels until Blade kicked him in the face. Page then surprised Blade with a Buckshot Lariat. Butcher, though, surprised Page and lifted him. Page slipped free. Butcher ran the ropes really really slowly and ended up in Page’s arms for an overhead suplex. Page sold a knee injury, though, which he first sold after the big dive on the floor earlier. The Bucks wanted to tag in, but Page blew them off. Pentagon and Fenix double-teamed Page. Pentagon scored the three count after a Pentagon Driver, although the director inexcusably missed the cover as he was showing Fenix diving to the floor instead.
WINNERS: Butcher & Blade & Lucha Bros. in 12:00.
-After the match, Ross said there was no logic in Page not tagging out. Excalibur noted that Page didn’t tag out to the Bucks the entire match, only to Omega. Omega tried to place peacemaker between the Bucks and Page afterward. He tried to talk to Page as Page stormed out of the ring and then swigged a fans’ beer on the floor before leaving through the crowd. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen as the Bucks and Omega talked things out.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lots of the action you’d expect from those eight with an enthusiastic crowd along with an advancement of the Page-Bucks tension with Omega playing peacemaker.) [c]
-Schiavone tried interview Omega in the ring, but as soon as Omega was about to speak, Pac interrupted on the big screen. Pac said apparently Omega doesn’t care about Michael Nakazawa, but maybe he’ll care more about little Riho. Pac stared at her threateningly. She stood there and didn’t run away as Pac turned to Omega and said he can stop what he was about to do. Omega said he can have his match. Pac said, “Finally! Was that really so hard, huh?” He then denied he was going to put his hands on a woman. Nyla Rose then attacked Riho from behind and powerbombed her through a table backstage. She then turned to the camera, licked her hand, and said, “Riho, you are now marked and next week, your ass is mine.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Why did Rose say that to the camera instead of to Riho behind her, since she was addressing Riho? And why did Riho stand there as Pac threatened to attack her? Are we to believe she didn’t have any idea Pac was threatening her because of the language issue? Even so, why is she just standing there looking scared? Why not just have Rose hold Riho in place as Pac threatened her, because at least then it wouldn’t make Riho look like a total imbecile standing there for no reason as this madman was ranting.)
-They went to Ross and Excalibur on camera. Ross said it appears Rose and “our champion” are going to have a confrontation for the title. Excalibur said “it now seems like next week she’ll finally get her hands on her.” Ross said he thinks there will be a new champion next week, but Nyla is “too much woman for her.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Did Nyla attacking Riho from behind lead to her getting a title match? Who decided that? It was a strange conclusion for Ross and Excalibur to jump to. They should have made clear the match was booked prior to the attack, and instead said that Rose might have put that scheduled match in jeopardy if Riho is too injured to wrestle.)
-A Darby Allin video aired showing him outside in the dark blasting cardboard cutouts of Jericho and Sammy hugging with a flame thrower. [c]
-Excalibur said they’ve confirmed that next week Riho will defend against Nyla Rose, plus Omega & Page will defend against SCU in an AEW Tag Team Title rematch.
(Keller’s Analysis: Where is the outrage that Rose attacked Riho from behind or the acknowledgment that being powerbombed on a table might lead to a severe enough injury to delay the match? What’s the point of doing that if your announcers do’t sell the idea that it could lead to an injury?)
(5) KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. JOEY JANELA
Schiavone announced Dynamite will be in Milwaukee, Wisc. on Apr. 1 and St. Louis on Apr. 8, with tickets going on sale this Friday at 11 CT. With Sabian sitting on the mat, Janela kicked him in the back. Janela then slapped Sabian, sat down, and invited him to kick in the back. Sabian teased a kick, but instead locked on a sleeper. They cut to a break a couple minutes later. [c]
Late in the match, Janela and Sabian exchanged blows mid-ring. Sabian caught Janela with a DDT. Ford jumped onto the ring apron to kiss Sabian. Janela charged, but elbowed Ford by mistake. Sabian then rolled up Janela and yanked on his tights for the win. Ross called it a “dirty victory.” Excalibur said he stole one.
WINNER: Sabian in 11:00.
-Backstage Alex Marvez attempted to interview the Inner Circle. Jericho yanked the mic away and took over. He called Moxley a piece of trash for taking a spike and driving it into someone’s eye. He said he’ll pay. Santana had his eye covered. He stood up and said he’s had the worst month of his life, and he’s thrown gasoline on the flames. He said he has no idea what it’s like to walk in his shoes the last 29 years of his life. He said next week he’s going to take him on a walk in the dark. He said next week, eye for an eye. [c]
-Backstage the Bucks interrupted an interview with Page. They asked him why he didn’t make the tag. Matt said he was about to ask him what the problem is, but he thinks he knows. He took his beer out off is hand and walked away. Page then picked up a pitcher and took a swig. Fans popped.
(Keller’s Analysis: Where did the pitcher come from? Page literally walked into that area with his tag title belt and a cup of beer. Did someone off camera walk over and hand him the pitcher? Was it sitting on a table out of view? It was, like, magic! I’m not sure if they’re going to succeed turning Page heel by having the Bucks lecture him about enjoying too much beer, based on crowd response so far, at least.)
-The announcers hyped next week’s show: Mox vs. Santana and Riho vs. Rose. Also, in two weeks, a Tag Team Battle Royal for a tag team title match at Revolution and Cody vs. Wardlow in the first-ever AEW cage match.
-A soundbite aired with Dustin from earlier today telling MJF that his brother is tougher than he thinks.
-MJF and Wardlow made their ring entrance. Then Cody. They cut to a break, but stayed with the rest of Cody’s ring entrance on split screen. [c]
-MJF told Cody that his belt is much too nice to touch him, so he wants Cody’s belt. “Now!” he yelled. “You want the match?” Fans chanted “asshole” as Cody gave MJF his belt. MJF told Cody to turn around. Schiavone said they’re there to call matches. MJF milked the moment. The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny walked out onto the stage. They were joined by Guevara, Sabian, and Ford. Excalibur said everyone was coming out to get a good look at this. MJF whipped Cody’s back several times, taking time to gloat in between as Cody increasingly winced. Dustin saw enough and came out and he yelled at MJF to let him take the rest. Wardlow stepped up in Dustin’s face as MJF said that’s not how it works, it has to be Cody. “Get out of my ring and watch along with everyone else,” he said. Fans booed.
He whipped him two more times quickly. The Bucks came out to talk to Cody. MJF said he had two more. Wardlow volunteered to do one of final two lashes. Cody turned and looked. Ross asked if that was part of the deal. Cody said it wasn’t the deal. MJF handed Wardlow the belt and then told the Bucks to get off the ring apron. Ross said a member of the medical staff was standing by. Fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Cody fired himself up to endure the last one. MJF bent over and said, “I guess you’re not getting the match.” Brandi walked out and told Cody he can handle this and just take one more. She said she loves him so much. Cody, in tears, stood up and delivered the tenth whip. Ross said MJF thought the match wouldn’t happen and didn’t seem happy Cody made it through all ten. Cody’s back was all red. MJF gave Cody a low kick and then ran. “That son of a bitch!” yelled Ross. MJF ran through the crowd to escape and Wardlow followed closely behind.
(Keller’s Analysis: That worked really well. It might have been a little long, but I’m not sure where I would have trimmed it. Having Cody’s friends and family come out with their concerns added to the gravity. Say what you will about the idea that lashes to the back are a bigger deal than all the bumps and falls wrestlers took elsewhere in the show, but the visual damage to the skin puts over this as “more legit” and not something that can be faked, so in that sense, I think the audience will buy it being a big deal. MJF was really really good here, and so was Cody. It made their match a bigger deal and made MJF and Cody bigger stars.)