In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
MARCH 11, 2020
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH AT MAVERICK CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-They opened with clips of the Inner Circle attacking Jon Moxley at the end of last week’s program including powerbombing him off the stage.
-Schiavone interviewed “Hangman” Adam Page and the Young Bucks. He asked who his partner would be. Page said he needs to have a partner who he knows he can trust. Page said he wouldn’t team with Matt Jackson if he was the last person on earth. He told Nick maybe his younger and more talented brother, though, but then said it’s a mystery. Matt told Nick, “Tell me you’re not even considering teaming with that prick.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Aren’t they all teaming together in Blood & Guts? Seems like they have some issues worth working out before being locked in that cage together.)
-Ross introduced the show as cameras panned the crowd.
(1) CODY (w/Arn Anderson, Brandi) vs. ORTIZ (w/Santana)
Arn gave Cody some tips before the match. The announcers talked about Arn having the type of experience necessary to help Cody bounce back from adversity. Cody landed an early snap powerslam for a one count. A minute into the match, Jake Roberts and Lance Archer walked through the crowd together. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Ross talked about Archer being “a trained killer with an amazing international record.” Cody whipped Ortiz into the ringside steps. Santana stepped between Cody and Ortiz briefly. Arn yelled at him. Fans chanted “Let’s go Cody!” They showed Jake and Archer sitting at ringside. A “Jake the Snake!” chant broke out. Ortiz took control for a while and worked over Cody’s legs. Schiavone said Archer looks confident. Ross said Archer is a main event level star and has proven it in Japan and everywhere he has been. Schiavone announced upcoming dates – next week in Rochester, N.Y. and the following week in Newark, N.J. Cody made a comeback with a flying forearm and a suplex. He then hit a barrage of punches against Ortiz in the corner as the crowd counted along. He yanked off his weight lifting belt and tossed it into the crowd. Ross wondered if he is writing those off. Ortiz knocked Cody off balance on the top rope. (Cody shouldn’t be losing momentum in the match when he takes unnecessary time off to play to the crowd and toss his belt to them. It makes him look like he doesn’t have his eye on victory, or at least isn’t prudent in trying to achieve it.)
When Santana grabbed Cody’s foot, Brandi whipped him with her belt. Ortiz still managed to superplex Cody, though. When Santana threatened Arn with his loaded sock at ringside, Cody dove at him. Cody then dropped Ortiz face-first on the ramp. He played to the crowd. Jake whispered something to Archer as Archer put his leg over the railing. It looked like Jake talked him out of it. Ortiz dropkicked Cody’s ankle and scored a two count with a fisherman’s suplex. Cody came back with a dragon screw on Ortiz into the bottom rope. He stomped away at Ortiz’s legs, then applied a figure-four leg lock mid-ring. Santana looked distressed at ringside. Ortiz rolled over. Cody rolled back. Ortiz tapped.
WINNER: Cody in 12:00.
-After the match, Santana whipped Cody with his loaded sock. Arn stepped into the ring. Santana backed away. Matt Jackson ran out followed by Kenny Omega. Santana and Ortiz backed away. Fans chanted, “Kenny! Kenny!” Chris Jericho appeared on the big screen. He told Cody he might have gotten the upper hand tonight, but the entire Inner Circle is putting the entire Elite on notice. “In two weeks, at Blood & Guts, we’re going to beat the hell out of you pumpkin head dip-shits,” he said. Jericho then said if they’re wondering where Nick Jackson is, they ran into him in the hallway and he has a bit of a headache. The camera panned back and showed him lying under a closed garage door bleeding from the mouth. Jericho laughed and said, “We’ll see you in two weeks.” Cody, Matt, Brandi, and Kenny ran over to help Nick. Dustin joined them. They cut to a break, but stayed with the scene on split-screen during which Nick was loaded into an ambulance. [c]
-The announcers hyped upcoming matches.
(2) NYLA ROSE & BEA PRIESTLY vs. KRIS STATLANDER & HIKARU SHIDA
Excalibur said Priestly moved to Japan to compete full time and improve against strong competition. Schiavone said Rose is getting better since winning the title. Shida and Rose battled at the start. Rose grabbed Shida’s hair and clotheslined her. Bea Priestly tagged in and stayed in control. Just as Statlander got the hot tag, they cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. (I’m not necessarily in favor of timing out every spot in every match to coordinate with commercial breaks, but there has to be some instinct regarding when a hot-tag is coming and not choose that precise moment to cut away, right?) [c]
Statlander and Shida controlled the action against Priestly. A few minutes later Shida nearly hot-tagged Statlander, but Rose intervened. Fans booed. Rose leaped off the top rope toward Shida, who was draped over the top rope precariously. Statlander pulled Shida away. Shida then climbed to the top rope and landed a missile dropkick. (Just seconds earlier she was too beaten up to move off the top rope without help, but suddenly she was 100 percent. Sigh.) She attacked Rose with a flurry of offense including a sitout powerbomb for a near fall, broken up by Priestly. Rose short-arm clotheslined Statlander, then lifted Shida into the arms of Priestly on the top rope. Shida escaped, though, and headscissored Rose. She superplexed Priestly. Rose, though, was legal and she blasted Shida with a spear followed by her BeastBomb for the win.
WINNERS: Rose & Priestly in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good tag match. The post-match angle of a partner turning on her partner didn’t resonate a ton because they just haven’t really established a strong alliance between them prior, or really much that sunk in regarding Priestly’s personality.)
-After the match, Priestly attacked Rose and held up the title belt. The fans cheered.
-They showed Christopher Daniels two weeks ago at Revolution dressing up as the Exalted One, but then helping his teammates. Then a video aired with Daniels spoofing the Dark Order videos and mocking their followers. He said sending signals that he was the Exalted One was a way to distract from the fact that there really isn’t an Exalted One. He said he’s going to beat Stu Grayson and Evil Uno, and when the Exalted One doesn’t show up, he will prove they are nothing more than sad desperate men. “Screw the Dark Order, they suck,” he said.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was fun. It does seem to be settling up Daniels, though, to be blindsided by a revelation of who the Exalted One is.)
(3) MJF & THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE (w/The Bunny) vs. THE JURASSIC EXPRESS (Luchasaurus & Marko Stunt & Jungle Boy)
Ross said MJF turns 24 on Sunday. A few minutes in they cut to a break. [c]
Jungle Boy got the hot-tag. Marko dove through the ropes, but Butcher and Blade caught him. Then they stood there and held him as Jungle Boy ran the ropes and dropkicked them over. Luchasaurus then flip dove over the top rope onto all three heels on the floor. Fan stopped. The crowd went bonkers a minute later when Marko stomped away at MJF in the corner. When the ref backed him away, he snuck past her but the director completely missed the shot. The crowd reacted like it was hilarious whatever he did. He stomped away some more. Jungle Boy carried Marko off of MJF. Marko got angry. When Jungle Boy climbed to the top rope, Bunny stood on the ring edge and distracted him. Butcher shoved him off the top rope. MJF then put Marko in an armbar and Marko tapped out quickly.
WINNERS: MJF & Blade & Butcher in 12:00.
-Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker. She took some digs at Schiavone about Starbucks and then talked about being a role model. Big Swole walked out and got into it with Baker. Baker threw coffee in her face and ran away.
(4) DEATH TRIANGLE (Pac & The Lucha Bros.) vs. JOEY JANELLA & PRIVATE PARTY
Pac won with a Black Arrow on Janella.
WINNERS: Pac & Lucha Bros. in 12:00.
(Note: I’ll be adding details to this report later tonight. For a more detailed report now, check out Jason Powell’s report over at ProWrestling.net.)
-Levi interviewed Dustin Rhodes who told Page that he’s going to be his partner whether he likes it or not, and they’re fixing to kick some ass and do some Cowboy Shit.
-The announcers explained the Bloods & Guts rules. They’re basically War Games rules.
-A sit down interview aired with Jon Moxley conducted by Jim Ross. Moxley said he’s bent out of shape and pissed off, but he won’t elaborate on any injuries he suffered last week. He said his issue with the Inner Circle has been about one thing – the title belt. He leaned over and asked Ross, “Who’s winning the game?” He said, “Step back into the batter’s box, bitch.” He said Jake Hager hit him harder than he’s ever been hit, which is saying something looking at his resume, but at the end of the day, he’s just another guy in AEW. Ross asked what his gameplan is for Newark, N.J. which is amounting to a PPV-level evening in two weeks. Moxley said he’s in their blindspot, and if Inner Circle is as smart as they think they are, that should score them. [c]
(5) CHRIS JERICHO & SAMMY GUEVARA vs. DUSTIN RHODES & HANGMAN PAGE
A few minutes in, with Jericho in control, Jericho strolled to ringside and celebrated with a beer. Excalibur said, “That’s gimmick infringement.” Jericho mockingly said, “I’m a cowboy!” Page punched the beer out of Jerichos’ hand. Guevara caught Page in the chin with a running kick. [c]
Page made a comeback, surprising Jericho with a clothesline at ringside. Dustin gave Guevara a Destroyer. Page then hit Guevara with his signature clothesline for the win.
WINNERS: Dustin & Page in 13:00.
-Inner Circle attacked Page afterward. The announcers said they were all out of allies. Omega ran out for the save. He was swarmed. Jericho gave him a Judas Effect. Cody then ran out. Ross declared he was back from the hospital. He got powerslammed by Hager, though, then tossed out of the ring. Matt Jackson eventually made the save to stop a beating on the stage. He was a one-man wrecking crew. Schiavone asked if we have ever seen him so crazy. Ross said his brother is in a local hospital. Matt and Page looked intently at each other. Matt gave Page a middle finger. Jericho then hit Matt in the head with a chair. (We’re still doing that??!?) He hit Page in the head with a chair next. Page, it appeared, at least got his hands up. Jericho sat on Page and laughed as the rest of Inner Circle laughed along with them. Then they stood and raised their arms in celebration.