4/15 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Moxley defending against Hager, Sabian vs. Taylor, Cabana vs. Lance Archer

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


APRIL 15, 2020

Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho


-A vignette began with Jake “The Snake” Roberts talking about his guy Lance Archer facing Colt Cabana later. He said this TNT Title tournament was made for them. “They would love to have a Lance Archer out there in front,” he said. “Everybody’s going to look, everybody’s going to bow down, when he walks into a place, he commands attention. Lance was made for this. In our minds, that championship belt is a bone. Do you want to try to take that bone away from this dog?” He said every time he wins, that’s closer to what they want. He then shifted to talking about Colt. He said he’s watched him for years and knows what he’s capable of, but it’s not enough. He said Archer has a chip on his shoulder because he was forced out of the country to go make a living in Japan. “He’s a friggin’ animal,” Jake said. “Listen to me or regret it. Your choice.”

-They went to Schiavone and Jericho in front of a backdrop with the TNT logo. They hyped the TNT Title Tournament. They also plugged that Britt Baker would return after the bloodied nose last week, plus Sammy Guevara and Shawn Spears. Schiavone plugged also that they’d hear from Chris Jericho and “The Bubbly Bunch.” They put a Brady Bunch logo on the screen with the Inner Circle members and a dog looking around at each other on the grid. Jericho plugged the #WatchingAEWContest for anyone 21 and over to win the AEW watch-along contest. Details at #WatchingAEW to enter. The prize is a half case of the bubbly.

-A video package aired on Colt Cabana who spoke about his career path. He said he expected to come into AEW and have an undefeated record and get people talking, almost surprised at how good he is. He said he feels there was a lower expectation on him from people in the company and another demographic of fans, but he’s always known he’s a good competitors. He said he is charismatic and “a little fun,” but he can win. He talked up Archer. “He’s dominated the Far East for so long,” he said, “But what about me?” He said he’s wrestled all over the world – Japan, Australia, Europe. “So my track record is just as good.” He said he wants to show his worth and prove himself. He said he’s not looking past Lance Archer in any way. He said he’s a big, bad dude, but he’s defeated big bad dudes before. He said becoming a champion in AEW at this level is his goal now, and he’s taking it one step at a time. “I know there’s a lot going on right now, but this is all I’m thinking about right now,” he said.

(Keller’s Analysis: Two good video packages to set up this match. Great stuff. I’ve been craving this from AEW from the start of Dynamite.)

(1) COLT CABANA vs. LANCE ARCHER – TNT Championship Tourmanent First Round match

Jericho called Archer a post-modern Road Warrior Mad Max type. Archer came to the ring and bashed someone in the front row. Schiavone and Jericho didn’t know who that was. “That was a stuff shot,” Jericho said. Archer took it to Colt before the bell with a forearm during a staredown. Colt fired back once the bell rang, but Archer absorbed it and knocked him down. Jericho said Colt likes to be goofy sometimes, but he better leave that stuff in the back. He said he gave his recommendation regarding Archer to AEW because he’s a tough guy, but also very smart. Colt pulled the top rope down as Archer charged, and Archer landed at ringside. Archer took a breather and paced angrily at ringside.

Back in the ring, Colt double-chopped him and then applied an armbar. Archer laughed and then whipped Colt into the corner. Colt came back with with a corner splash, but Archer caught him mid-air with a one-armed slam for a two count. Jericho said Archer’s been in the business for around 20 years even if you haven’t seen him before. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if he won the TNT Title. Schiavone said he thinks he’s one of the favorites. Archer pounded away at Colt’s chest. The babyface wrestlers at ringside cheered and chanted “Let’s Go Colt!” Archer scored a two count, then inadvertently spit at the face of the referee afterward as he complained. [c]

Back from the break, Archer was in control. Colt made a comeback and the wrestlers at ringside made a lot of noise in his favor. Colt caught a charging Archer with an elbow to the head followed by a flying head scissors. He landed a running corner splash and then went for a top rope splash. Archer moved, but Colt followed him and leaped on him for a two count. Archer came back with a 90 degree shoulder tackle off the ropes. Then he followed with his high chokeslam. Colt rolled to the bottom rope as Archer played to the camera. Jericho said Archer is now toying with his prey. Archer waited for Colt to stand, but Colt caught him with a forearm. Archer caught him on the second rope and delivered his Black Out finisher for the win.

WINNER: Archer in 12:00 to advance to the semi-finals.

-Britt Baker, on site at a dentist office, presented her rules for being a role model. First rule: “Always fight fair.” She said her opponent took her attack to a disgusting level with dangerous tactics. She said she felt burning in her skull and felt burning in her face, yet she continued to valiantly fight with “an excruciatingly deviated septum.” She said it wasn’t that her fans cheered her on and encouraged her to continue, but rather her own dedication to be the face of this women’s division no matter what. “So, really, who’s the true winner here.” She put on a glove and admired the needle as the segment ended. Schiavone said she’d be in action later. He also plugged the Moxley vs. Hager match.

-Ariel Helwani from ESPN hyped the match. “Two guys who are tougher than a two dollar steak.” He said it’s difficult to predict a winner, but in the end he’s picking his fellow MMA guy, “Daniel Jacob Hager Jr.” He said he’s undefeated as an MMA fighter and has seen it all and done it all. He said he can’t wait to see it. Then Taz talked about it. He said their champion needs to knuckle up and be careful of a nasty legitimate mat man like Hager with that power. “It could be deadly,” he said. He said it’ll turn into a street fight and predicted a tough Moxley win.

(Keller’s Analysis: This is giving off the vibe of a big fight with this kind of analysis. I liked the “ESPN MMA guy” and the resident AEW legend in Taz giving their distinct analysis.) [c]

-Taz analyzed Hager’s arm triangle sleeper finisher. He paused images of Hager applying the hold and showed where the tension is focused when the arm is trapped. “It’s an amazing way to choke somebody out,” he said. He said Moxley will need his training for this match to escape that hold if Hager gets it applied.


Baker landed a superkick at the start, then a curb stomp with her opponent’s teeth pressed against the bottom rope.

WINNER: Baker in 1:00.

-Schiavone said Sammy Guevara was up next with a “tune up match” as he looks to stay sharp for the tournament.

-Ron Funches, a comedian, predicted Moxley would be the winner by imitating Justin Roberts introducing him. Then Mike Goldberg, the voice of Bellator MMA, predicted Hager would win. He called Hager his “good buddy.” He told everyone to stay safe and healthy, “because here – we – go!”

(Keller’s Analysis: Again, really good way to build up the main event.) [c]

-A video package aired hyping “Double or Nothing” on May 23. (AEW announced it wouldn’t be in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand, but rescheduled it for next May 2021. This year’s PPV will be at a location named later, if named at all ahead of time.)

-The Bubbly Bunch graphic appeared with Jericho’s theme song on the background. Then they went to Ortiz talking at his phone in his kitchen. Then they cut to Santana in a bedroom with stuffed animals on a small loveseat in the background. The camera zoomed in on those briefly. Guevara was shown doing arm curls and punching a bag. He bragged what he’d do to Moxley if he was in the ring with him. Then they cut to Hager, sitting in his backyard with his two little kids on lawn chairs next to a pool. He said he’s going to beat the shit out of Moxley. He told the kids to plug their ears first. Then they went to Jericho in his kitchen frying an egg predicting Hager would beat Moxley. He said Guevara looks sexy today. He poured OJ into a glass and spilled a bunch. They cut to five dogs staring at him below.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was fun, and creative, and in the spirit of a lot of forms of entertainment where viewers get a view into their home lives.)


Jericho said Sammy is the one and only Spanish God, and he reminds him of a younger him. He said if they are a team, they’ll be called The Sex Gods. Schiavone and Jericho agreed they weren’t hip enough to know how to pronounce “Suge D.” Jericho called him “Pineapple Pete.” A couple minutes into the match, Jericho asked Schiavone how sexy Guevara is. Schiavone said he’s very handsome. Jericho said he also has a mean streak and can just smack a guy in the face if called for. Jericho said he could win quicker, but instead he’s taking four or five minutes to get his “gorgeous face on TV longer.” Sammy put Pete on his shoulders and did three squats and then a Samoan drop for a near fall. Jericho bragged about bringing Guevara into AEW after seeing him at an indy show. Guevara landed a running high knee strike and then a Go To Sleep for the win.

WINNER: Guevara in 7:00.

-Guevara leaned against the ropes and called it “light work for a Spanish God.” He said he could go another round or two. He said he’s going to spoil what happens in his first round match of the TNT Championship Tournament. “Spoiler: Sammy Guevara beats the shit out of Darby Allin.” Jericho cheered, “Yes!” The babyface wrestlers booed him. Guevara said he’s going to brutally beat the hell out of “that face-painted weirdo.” He then attacked Suge. Darby made the save. Sammy retreated. Jericho said Darby creeps him out.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good showcase for Sammy. He had a chance to have the spotlight to himself for seven minutes with Jericho really putting him over as a star on commentary.)

-Schiavone plugged Kip Sabian vs. Chuck Taylor.

-“Big” John McCarthy from Bellator MMA said Moxley is a tough dude, but Jake Hager has been arm triangling everyone and he predicted a new champion tonight. Then Excalibur said if this were a cage match, Hager would have the advantage, but it’s not in a cage. He said the empty arena no holds barred match can and will go anywhere. He said Moxley has the advantage in a street fight and will retain his title. [c]

(4) KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Orange Cassidy)

Jericho said he doesn’t like Cassidy’s laissez faire demeanor or that he wears his own t-shirt. Jericho said he was going to wear a Schiavone shirt, but he couldn’t find one. Schiavone plugged some website where you supposedly could buy his t-shirt. Jericho said people can go there and get shirts, sports drinks, condoms. Schiavone added, “Edibles.” They chuckled. Jericho complained about Vanguard 1 spying on him, but defended wearing leather pants and a belt in a hot tub. He complained Vanguard stole his t-shirt.


Sabian went for a slide kick, but Chucky moved and then suplexed Sabian on the ring apron. Chucky posed with a thumbs up. An exasperated Jericho said, “People like this guy? He’s the biggest heel in this match.” Sabian landed a missile dropkick a minute later for a two count. Ford stomped on Chucky a minute later at ringside as the heel wrestlers at ringside cheered her on. Late in the match, Chucky T avoided a DDT by Sabian. Ford stood on the ring apron to distract him. Sabian jumped Chuck, then kissed Ford. “Never kiss a girl during a match!” Jericho said. Cassidy stood on the ring apron and took of his jean jacket and posed like Ford. Havoc yanked him off the ring apron and gave him a spike piledriver. Ford, meanwhile, gave Chucky a flying frankensteiner. Sabian then rolled up Chucky for the win.

WINNER: Sabian in 11:00.

-Schiavone plugged Spears next, plus the main event.

-Dan Soder, an actor, said he’s loving AEW Dynamite and what they’re doing doing with no audience, and he’s looking forward to Moxley beating Hager. Santana, from his car, said Moxley doesn’t have the advantage he thinks he has in an empty arena match. He said there will be nobody there to stop Hager from breaking every bone in his body. “He’s bringing back the title for the Inner Circle, where it belongs,” he said. Guevara predicted a Hager win, too. He predicted Moxley will get his ass beat by the undefeated, unstoppable Hager. [c]


Spears taunted the babyface wrestlers at ringside. He entered the ring and shook his head at Law as he looked him up and down. He toyed with him with a snap mare and jogged around with a cocky, confident demeanor. Schiavone plugged Jim Ross’s new book. Spears got in the amateur down position on all fours. Law rolled him up for a two count. Spears got wide-eyed and turned up the intensity, landing a back elbow and yelling at the ref. He chopped away at Law’s chest aggressively. He finished him with his running C4. Jericho loved that Spears didn’t even bother to takeoff his t-shirt.

WINNER: Spears in 2:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Wins like this, where Spears is so unlikable but also convincingly wins, makes other matches he’s in against ranked wrestlers feel more relevant. A good use of three minutes of TV time for sure.)

-Schaivone plugged next week’s show: Guevara vs. Darby (winner faces Cody) and Sabian vs. Dustin (winner faces Archer). Also, Cassidy vs. Havoc was just signed, plus Brodie Lee will appear and Kenny Omega will wrestle.

-Schaivone said he and Jericho are signing off now as Jim Ross takes over from their empty arena.

-Josh Thomson of Bellator MMA predicted Hager would win. Ortiz predicted Hager, too. He said he is hungrier, nastier, and in the best shape of his life. He has a mission to bring the title back to the Inner Circle. [c]

Announcer: Jim Ross 

-A Tale of the Tape appeared with Ross narrating. It listed Hager at 4-0 and Moxley at 8-0 in 2020. Hager at 6-foot-6, Moxley at 6-foot-4.

(6) JON MOXLEY vs. JAKE HAGER – AEW World Title match

Hager made his ring entrance first. Then Moxley. They did several minutes of basic in-ring wrestling exchanges as Ross set the table and put it in perspective. Moxley threw Hager to the floor at 8:00 and then dove onto him. He went for a cross armbreaker on the floor. Ross said he assumes one has to be inside the ring to get a decision rendered. “This isn’t falls count anywhere,” he said. “But you can cripple anywhere, you can maim anywhere, because it’s no holds barred.” Hager broke free and they cut to a break. [c]

Moxley raked Hager’s eyes and then they brawled over the security railings. Ross asked, “Why do we need security railings if there’s nobody here?” (Because it looks better on TV, I suspect.) Hager backdropped Moxley on the concrete floor. They fought up the steps of the stands. Moxley wrapped Hager’s legs around a guide post and applied a figure-four. Moxley trash-talked as Hager yelled in pain.

They fought their way back to the ring. Ross said the pain they feel shows they’re not dead. Hager gave Mox a gut-wrench powerbomb mid-ring for a two count. Hager applied a triangle sleeper, but Mox reached the bottom rope. Hager went after Mox on the floor and jabbed him in the gut with a chair. Ross asked why, in an empty arena, they need steel chairs at ringside. “That ought to be re-thought!” he said. Hager lifted Mox and ran toward a chair wedged in the corner, but Mox slipped free. Hager went for a full nelson, but Mox powered out and charged. Hager moved and sent Mox head first into the chair in the corner for a two count. They cut to a final break. [c]

After the break, they exchanged chops and elbows to the head. Ross said this can’t go on much longer. Hager gave Mox a knee to the gut. Ross thought it was a low blow, which he concluded would be legal. Mox threw a chair into the face of Hager, then gave him a Paradigm Shift onto the chair for the 1-2-3. “What a war!” Ross said. He said they showed the spirit to face pain without fear. He said Moxley is tougher than the proverbial two dollar steak and he has that intangible. They stayed with Moxley for a long celebration. He leaned through the ropes and spoke to the camera by saying no one is going to take this from him. He said this is his year and he’s on top of AEW, the hottest promotion in the world.

WINNER: Moxley in 31:00 to retain the AEW Title.

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