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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
APRIL 22, 2020
PRETAPED IN NORCROSS, GA.
AIRED ON TNT
Announcers: Tony Schiavone, Chris Jericho
-The show opened with Cody sitting at a desk talking about the wrestlers remaining in the TNT Title Tournament. He touted each of them, including Kip Sabian’s blue eyes, and then asked who he is. “In these pressing times, has my sword been sharpened or have I not answered the call? Where do I fit into all of this?” he said. “Am I the three-star general mid-card for life, broke the throne because I was afraid to sit in it? You hear something enough times, it starts to feel comfortable like old leather. Am I comfortable?” He said he’s going to face one of those men in the semi-finals, and will he answer the call. He talked about the history of pro wrestling on Warner Media. He said history will show that roughly a year old, they’ve added another major championship. He said there are those who are content to just collect a check, but those aren’t the men remaining in the tournament. “There’s plenty of will in the tournament,” he said. “Now we find out who has enough of it.”
-They went to Tony Schavione and Chris Jericho on camera with the AEW and TNT logos. Schiavone plugged that Matt Hardy would appear to talk about the Inner Circle, Kenny Omega would be in action, a special look at Scorpio Sky’s love for pro wrestling and journey to AEW, Jimmy Havoc vs. Orange Cassidy, Brodie Lee in action, and two tournament matches – Kip Sabian vs. Dustin Rhodes and Sammy Guevara vs. Darby Allin. Also, an update from MJF. They showed a tweet saying he might need surgery. Jericho commented on each of them as graphics appeared on the screen.
-A soundbite aired with Sammy Guevara who touted himself and then took digs at Darby. He said Darby is ashamed of who he is and that’s why he wears face-paint. He said Darby got a fluke win last time they wrestled, but with Jericho as his father-figure and one half of the Sex Gods, he can’t lose. He said he’s going to bring a championship back to his group. He said he’s going to become the new TNT Champion.
-Schiavone and Jericho commented on the Tale of the Tape.
-As Sammy walked out, they showed a few wrestlers in the front row. Sammy elbow-bumped several of them. Shawn Spears held up a sign that said, “Sammy owes me.”
-Then a video aired with Darby Allin. He said the difference between them is they both stand on their own two feet. He said they both need the TNT Championship, but he’s going to kill Sammy’s dream and that will make him feel so alive. Darby then made his ring entrance.
-Sammy launched himself from the ring onto Darby before the bell. He attacked him on the floor. The wrestlers at ringside made a lot of noise (and it’s makes such a difference to the atmosphere). Sammy bridged a ladder on the edge of the ring apron and ringside barricade. He threw Sammy into the barricade, which knocked over his bridge. He placed Darby on the ladder, then leaped off the top ope onto Darby. The ladder gave a little, but not a lot, and they both bounced to the floor and were slow to get up. They replayed it from several angles. They cut to a break as Schiavone said they’d find out if the match could start.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good set-up all around for the match, from Cody’s adding a sense of gravity and history to the TNT Title Tournament to the video packages on Sammy and Darby that captured their personalities and motivations to the pre-match attack by Sammy.) [c]
(1) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. DARBY ALLIN – TNT Championship Tournament match
Sammy threw Darby into the ring after the match. The ref called for the bell even though Darby wasn’t moving. (Oddly unfair call by the referee!) Darby kicked out at two. Darby recovered and knocked Sammy upside down on the top rope and yanked off his boot and twisted his ankle. Jericho said he’s never seen a reverse ankle lock from that position before. Darby headbutted his ankle three times. Sammy pulled off his sock and ankle guard. Jericho said it’s hard to walk with one boot and another bare foot, but try wrestling that way. Sammy kicked Darby in the head and then landed a springboard cutter, but came up slightly short. He scored a near fall. Darby surprised Sammy with a sudden ankle lock a minute later. Sammy yelled in pain. They zoomed in on Darby’s bloodied nose. They sat up and threw elbows at each other. They stood and exchanged bows. Sammy landed a spinning backfist to the face of Darby, then landed a knee to the face. Darby kicked out at two and then rolled to the floor. They cut to another break as Sammy checked on his teeth as his mouth bled. [c]
Back from the break, Darby dove at Sammy through the ropes, but Sammy moved and Darby crashed head-first into the ringside barricade. Sammy threw a knee to Darby’s gut a minute later. Sammy caught Darby mid-air, but Darby blocked a knee strike and applied his Last Supper leveraged leglock for a three count.
WINNER: Darby in 12:00 to advance to face Cody in the TNT Title semi-finals.
(Keller’s Analysis: A good mix of athletic highspots, hard-hitting, and matwork with a cool finish.)
-They went to Broken Matt Hardy who talked about laying out a proposal to Chris Jericho to face him on the compound in what he has dubbed “The Elite Deletion,” but he hasn’t heard from Jericho. He disparaged the Bubbly Bunch segment. He talked about Jericho spilling “the juice that is orange” all over his counter. He said he welcomed Samual to fight Jericho’s battle for him instead, but he warned him he will mash him up and eat him. He said said he will sentence him to deletion. He said he understands why Jericho didn’t want to mention his name. “Because he doesn’t how to handle my broken brilliance,” he said. He offered for Jericho to speak to his other entity, the mortal vessel that is Matt Hardy, the Unbreakable. They went to regular ol’ Matt Hardy talking about how he and Jericho have been through a lot. He said he is friends with the Bucks and Cody and he respects the hell out of Omega, and he understands why Jericho resents his arrival. He said Jericho wants to knock out the pillars of AEW so he can take over. He said he can’t let that happen. He said AEW is a platform for the future, trying to keep the business alive and healthy for future generations. He said Sammy reminds him of a young Jericho, and he will keep kicking every ass in the Inner Circle until he gets to Jericho. “And I am going to kick your ass,” he said.
-Jericho said he better shut his stupid ass. Then Jericho and Schiavone hyped the Kip Sabian vs. Dustin Rhodes tournament match. [c]
-Tazz narrated scouting-report style video package Kenny Omega’s V-trigger knee strike and snap dragon suplex.
(2) KENNY OMEGA vs. ALAN ANGELS
Jericho said the first time he faced Omega, it was a classic. He said every time he has wrestled Kenny, he has defeated him, but he’s still intimidated whenever he faces him. Jericho said Kenny is the second most famous wrestler from Winnipeg. Jericho talked about Kenny spending time in Georgia “in developmental” and said they “of course didn’t use him properly, and here he is one of the greatest in the world today.” Then he called him a “pumpkin-headed dipshit.” Jericho called Alan Angels “Alan Eagles.” Jericho said this type of match for Kenny is like a polished comedian dropping by a small club and doing five minutes on stage to sharpen his skills. Schiavone said it’s a big opportunity for Angels to learn, too. Jericho asked if Alan’s name is Angels or Eagles, apologized for getting it wrong, and then went back to calling him Alan Eagles. They showed Billy Gunn, Austin Gunn, “Pineapple Pete,” and Marko Stunt watching at ringside. Angels snapped Kenny’s neck over the top rope to take over for a moment. He dropkicked Kenny in the chest and scored a one count. Angels side-stepped a V-Trigger attempt by Kenny. Schiavone said, “This kid has come to fight here!” Kenny came back with a Snap Dragon to cut Angels rally short. He landed a running V-Trigger for a two count. He hit another V-Trigger for the win.
WINNER: Omega in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was a nice match, but Kenny just seems like a regular guy with good athleticism and several cool moves. He’s not being framed – or framing himself – in any way that shouts he’s a breakout top star ratings draw. It’s like he’s too cool to try to be a star, and maybe that will work in the long run, but it’s risky. He shouldn’t be taking six minutes to beat “a nobody” who was framed from early in the match as a nobody by the announcers.)
-A video feature aired on Scorpio Sky who talked about discovering pro wrestling as a kid and he always wanted to be a pro wrestler since. “I never thought of doing anything else,” he said. “I wanted to be a pro wrestler as much as I wanted air.” He said his mom said he was special and there is a gift that he has. “That always stuck with me and resonated with me, and made me believe I’d get through any obstacle.” He talked about having a bad back problem, a collapse of the space between L2 and L3 vertebrae. He was told he probably wouldn’t wrestle again. He said he woke up one day and his back didn’t hurt much and it got better and better. He then went back to wrestling and hasn’t looked back. He said then year after year he just couldn’t break through. He said he went to his mom’s grave site and asked her to show him what direction he should take. He said he decided the next day to give pro wrestling one more chance. He said he might fall flat on his face. He said he got one more chance and hit it out of the park. He said in December 2017 he formed SCU. The screen then said, “To be continued.”
(Keller’s Analysis: This should’ve aired in the first three weeks of Dynamite. Easily could have cut two minutes off of any number of matches. Some day they’ll do something like this for Kenny to finally truly introduce who he is to the million viewers of Dynamite on TNT out there.)
-Schiavone hyped Dustin vs. Sabian. They went to Dustin telling Cody on speakerphone if he loses this week, he’s going to retire from pro wrestling. He said becoming the first-ever TNT Champion means everything to him, and to win it at age 51 would be amazing. He said he talked to his wife last night that if he loses to Kip, he would retire. Cody looked distressed throughout the whole thing, as if he knew where Dustin was headed.
-A commercial hyped the Matt Jackson vs. Nick Jackson match on Being the Elite on YouTube. Clips aired of their match.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s rare to hear Being the Elite plugged on TNT.) [c]
(3) JIMMY HAVOC vs. ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Chucky T, Trent)
Jericho said he doesn’t like Cassidy at all, including because he wears sunglasses indoors. Havoc attacked Cassidy before the bell. Havoc yanked off Cassidy’s jacket and shirt, then threw him out of the ring and into the barricade. Jericho said he’s beating Cassidy to a pulp, then added, “Did you see what I did there?” Havoc set Cassidy on the railing and chopped him, then suplexed him to the floor. Havoc poked Cassidy in the eyes, then threw him into the ring. Jericho said he became a bigger fan of Havoc the longer the beating took place. He said Havoc is a little off and is the type of guy you won’t want to mess with.
Jericho said Cassidy’s hands are always in his pockets, but now he realizes he has two hands with eight fingers and two thumbs. He snidely said if he didn’t say it that way, some idiot online would explain to him thumbs aren’t fingers. Cassidy put his hands in his pockets, ducked Havoc, landed a dropkick, and then rallied against Havoc and then landed a tornado DDT for a near fall. Schiavone said Cassidy seems to get new power when he puts his hands in his pockets. Havoc blocked a suplex and took over again. He set up a top rope huracanrana, but Cassidy swept his feet and Havoc bumped to the mat, hitting the top rope on his way down. Cassidy then did his lazy limp-bodied splash for a two count. Schiavone said it looked like he fell asleep and landed on him. Jericho said he looked like Mike Boyette. “There’s an old school reference for you,” he said. “Look it up, guys.” (Do it!) Cassidy came back with a flying forearm and then played to the crowd of wrestlers. Penelope Ford stood on the ring apron to distract Cassidy. Chucky walked over and told her to get down. She went for a kick, but Chucky caught her boot. She dropped down and did the splits. Sabian entered the ring and flip-dove onto Chuck and Trent. Jericho said, “With his shades still on! He’s like Indiana Jones, his hat never comes off!” (Great reference.) Ford leaped off the top rope at Cassidy, but Cassidy ducked. Cassidy then rolled up Havoc for the three count.
WINNER: Cassidy in 10:00.
-Immediately Havoc and Sabian attacked Cassidy. Chucky and Trent made a quick save after a DDT. The heels fled. Jericho told the Best Friends to mind their own business. He said Cassidy is lying in a heap of his own pulp.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was a lot of fun. They told a good little story to build up the match and then seeing Cassidy in a full-fledged singles match doing his gimmick in a reasonably realistic manner in the course of a match was nice. This is good use of Havoc, too. Jericho continues to steal the show with his dry humor and historical and clever references.) [c]
-MJF stood in front of a mansion. The screen said it was “Max’s Rat’s House in Cape Cod, Mass.” He said the world has changed as they know it and shaken to its core. He said mankind may have never been through such depressing and debilitating times. He said it’s all because of his absence. He said his fans have been craving him. He said he told himself he wasn’t going to cry. He said on his last appearance on AEW Dynamite, he suffered a dangerous injury. He said while gambling at ringside, he suffered a serious hangnail while throwing his cash. “Like a valiant warrior, I gambled until the show’s ending,” he said. He said the injury became life-threatening. The camera panned back and showed his arm in a sling. He said he will rise from the ashes and become their AEW World Champion. “Because I’m better than you, and you know it,” he said.
(4) WARDLOW vs. LEE JOHNSON
Schiavone and Jericho talked about it being a tough time in the world, especially for those in the New York/New Jersey area. Jericho said that’s why they’re doing this – to provide some entertainment and take people’s minds off other things. Johnson hit an early dropkick that staggered Wardlow briefly. Wardlow came back with an easy gorilla press into an explosive powerslam. Jericho said he was speechless. Schiavone said he “literally broke him in half.” Lee made another comeback, but Wardlow cut it off seconds later and drove his shoulder into him in the corner. Wardlow gave Lee a knee to the head as Lee fell off the top rope. “Dude!” said Jericho. Wardlow dropped his straps, then gave him a released airplane spin before scoring a 1-2-3.
WINNER: Wardlow in 2:00. [c]
-A Brodie Lee segment aired next. It showed a headline in the Pontiac Times saying a leader for the Heismen Trophy suffered an injury. Then this person went to the Dark Order website and entered a message about how he needs help and a new direction. The website still says “© 2019.” (Come on, Dark Order!) Then they cut to Brodie Lee speaking at the camera asking the person some questions. He asked how tall he is and how much he weights. 6-2 and 240. He said he played college football. Brodie said a lot of people in AEW didn’t work for their success. He said Uno told him he’s a hard worker who just hasn’t gotten a payoff for that work. He said there are people around AEW who are afraid of success, but he’s not. He said they are the lions of AEW and he wants to offer him a chance at success. “We feed on the pray,” he said. He slid him a mask to wear. “You are home now,” he said. “You are one of us. You are Dark Order.” He leaned back and smiled.
(5) BRODIE LEE vs. JUSTIN LAW
Brodie walked onto the stage and stared down Law as soon as he spotted him. Jericho talked about what happens when he looks into his eyes. “I see something black and dark and spider-like inside of him,” he said. Jericho saw Marko Stunt at ringside and said he’s “a little too big for his tiny little britches sometimes.” Brodie took it to Law right out of the gate aggressively with hard chops. Jericho said you could “feel the flesh peeling off Justin’s baby chest.” He superkicked Law seconds into the match, then gave him two suplexes. He then landed his discus lariat for the three count. He compared the power in his arm to that of Stan Hansen.
WINNER: Lee in 3:00. [c]
-A woman interviewed Trent, Chucky T, and Cassidy in a gym. They talked about Ford trying to interfere. Trent said he’d like to fight Ford, but he can’t, so he’ll fight his boyfriend Kip instead. Chucky said you won’t like Trent when he’s quiet because that means you’re going to die. Cassidy softly said as he turned to leave, “That’s the end. That’s the end of the interview.”
-Schiavone plugged that Marko Stunt will face Brodie Lee next week, plus the semi-finals of the TNT Title Tournament – Cody vs. Darby and Lance Archer vs. the winner of the next match.
-The Bubbly Bunch Episode 2 aired. Sammy was doing arm curls. He said he’s been super down lately because he wanted Jake Hager to win the AEW Title. Ortiz said he has to focus on the positives. They showed a Grinch stuffy. Hager said Sammy is far too beautiful to be looking so sad; he said sadness is for ugly people. Hager said next time he faces Moxley, it’ll be on site so he can’t cheat to win. Jericho then gave Sammy a pep talk while standing above his Roomba. Santana suggested a Film Flam video. Sammy was still sad. Jericho said the winner gets a bottle of hand sanitizer. That pepped up Sammy. Jericho then danced as neon colorful stars were on the sides of the screen. The other Inner Circle members danced, too. Jericho said Sammy was a showoff and he was bitter over being voted the winner.
-A brief video aired on Moxley. [c]
-A video package previewed the main event with soundbites from both Dustin and Sabian. Dustin talked about digging deep. Sabian said he has a trump card in his back pocket with Ford.
-Schiavone commented on the Tale of the Tape.
(6) KIP SABIAN (w/Penelope Ford) vs. DUSTIN RHODES (w/Brandi Rhodes) – TNT Title Tournament semi-finals
Jericho said he thinks Dustin has doubt in his mind, which is why he added that stipulation. He predicted this is the end of Dustin’s storied career. Dustin controlled early action, including settling into a signature armbar. Sabian made a comeback and then Ford yanked on his head, choking him over the middle rope. They cut to a break after Sabian scored a two count. [c]
Sabian controlled after the break. Dustin eventually came back. Jericho said in a full arena, Dustin would be feed off the cheers of the fans “but he doesn’t have that in this pandemic scenario.” Jericho said he doesn’t need fans because he’ll win a match no matter what. Dustin scored a snap powerslam for a near fall. Ford and Brandi got into it at ringside and then into the ring where Brandi got in a spear. Dustin then landed a Destroyer for the three count.
WINNER: Dustin in 14:00 to advance to the TNT Title Tournament semi-finals.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not a surprise finish, as Archer vs. Dustin makes more sense than Dustin losing and retiring.)
-Schiavone said Tony Khan just told him that AEW has just signed Jimmy Havoc & Sabian vs. Best Friends for next week.