AEW ROAD TO TNT CHAMPIONSHIP 4/20: Dustin Rhodes puts his career at stake, plus Cody, Brandi, Schiavone, and a special Dark Order segment

By Zach Graham, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

ROAD TO TNT CHAMPIONSHIP
POSTED ON YOUTUBE.COM
APRIL 20, 2020
REPORT BY ZACH GRAHAM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

Watch it HERE

– Cody checks his office phone voicemail again. This week it’s his older brother Dustin Rhodes. Dustin said he had a couple things he wanted to run by Cody. He said, as Cody knows, he’s been soul searching every single week and asking himself if he can still do this. He said the answer is yes he can still do it. Dustin said this TNT Championship is the most important thing he’s done since wrestling at Double or Nothing, hands down. He said being the first TNT Champion means everything to him and to win it at 51 years old would have to make Cody proud if he does it. Dustin said there is one thing he wanted to talk to Cody about, rather than texting or even leaving a voicemail. Dustin said he talked with his wife and, while Kip Sabian is no joke, he thinks he’s the best he’s ever been. Dustin said “if I can’t beat that son of a bitch, I will retire. Period. Done. I am that confident.” Dustin asked Cody to call him back and hung up.

– QT Marshall and Tony Schiavone were sitting across from one another at a conference table. Marshall said they’ve been checking in with people, but they haven’t heard from the champ in a while, Nyla Rose. Schiavone agreed and then said let’s try to get in touch with her. Rose answered Schiavone’s video call as she was walking outside. Rose asked Marshall to look down, he did. She said the seadlings are coming in nicely “Johnny Appleseed.” Marshall thanked her and appreciated the apple reference. Rose asked why Schiavone called and he said that he just wanted to check in. Rose sarcastically thanked them for checking on her and told them they’re interrupting her workout. Rose then said she hasn’t heard from anyone in six weeks and asked Schiavone what game he’s playing by finally calling her now. Schiavone said they’re just concerned about her because she’s the women’s champion. Rose said she heard what Schiavone said about her on commentary, but he couldn’t remember. She said that’s exactly the point, they’re not talking about her apart from saying she’s the champion. She said she’s the face of the company, meanwhile Schiavone’s little “butt buddy” Britt Baker calls herself the face of the division and they don’t even bother to correct her. Schiavone said it’s hard to get into an argument with Baker, Rose cut him off and told him to shut up. Rose said when she gets back to Dynamite, they’re going to regret all of this then hung up on them. Marshall and Schiavone both looked at each other with confusion. Marshall told Schiavone it’s his fault because it was his idea to call her.

– Audio of Jim Ross talking about Sammy Guevara aired from an episode of Dynamite as highlight of Guevara aired. Ross said he’s a young man with unlimited potential and one of the building blocks of AEW for years to come. Sammy Guevara spoke and asked why would he want to be the TNT Champion? He said he was in the first ever AEW match, the first ever Dynamite match, and now he can be the first TNT Champion. He said if you don’t like it, go ahead and get used to it because it’s about to become reality. He turned his attention to Darby Allin. He said he’s a guy who paints half his face because he’s afraid to show who he really is. Guevara said he’ll expose Darby for the fraud he is. Allin beat him at Revolution, but now, when it matters most, one of them has to go. Video of Guevara crushing Allin’s throat with his skateboard aired. Guevara said he has Chris Jericho, his father figure, the other have of “The Sex Gods,” and the guy who brought him in to AEW. Guevara said he’s in the Inner Circle for a reason and he’s going to bring a championship back to his group. Guevara said that all seven people in the tournament will fall to “The Spanish God.”

– Schiavone was shown again in the conference room on his laptop. Brandi Rhodes walked in and asked him what’s going on. He thanked her for allowing them to to contact people like this. Brandi said that people are starting to go crazy about her YouTube show wondering where Tony Schiavone is. Brandi asked him if he would be available, he said sure. She asked him what his drink is and he said a Moscow Mule, she said someone else has that drink though so there may be a little heat there. Schiavone received a call on his computer, it was Britt Baker. Schiavone said hello and she said she’s checking in on him. Britt asked him how his dogs were doing, he said they were doing fine. Brandi made a comment and Schiavone responded to her. Baker asked if someone was there with him and he said yeah Brandi is. Brandi walked over into the camera with Schiavone. Britt said hi and asked how she’s doing. Britt said she would let them be and hung up. Brandi said she must be busy, she got off the phone really quickly. Britt texted Schiavone, but his laptop was hooked up to the television. The texts were “LOLOL Brandi!?!?” “Are you kidding me!?” and “What is this!? Answer me right now.” Brandi asked if something was wrong, Schiavone stumbled over his words and said that doing interviews with Britt has struck a chord with the two. Baker texted again saying “She is a LEECH.” Schiavone and Brandi both read it together, he apologized to Brandi. Brandi said it’s okay, he’s clearly busy today. Schiavone said he’d love to catch up with her about the YouTube show and she told him that maybe he should check with Baker first and she left rather quickly. Schiavone asked the camera crew to stop recording as a final text from Baker came in that said “We are stars! Stay away from her.” Schiavone put his head in his hands. A quick clip of his phone showed he had 29 unread texts from Baker.

– Grainy footage aired of some trees. Alex Reynolds and John Silver were shown wearing their Dark Order masks and suits. They removed the masks and introduced themselves. Silver said that the genesis of the Exalted One started at a place just like this and that is why they are there. They are there to apologize for their transgressions. Clips of Brodie Lee yelling at them for various things aired. Silver said they’re also there to apologize for their failures as a clip of them losing to Colt Cabana and SCU was shown. Reynolds said they want Exalted One to know that they are ready to get on the highway to unlimited power and success which is why they’re ready to grab any brass ring put in front of them because “We are one.”

– Cody was being interviewed. He said he received a call from his brother and he thought he called to discuss what would happen if they face each other in the TNT Championship Tournament, but that’s now why he called. Cody said Dustin is a wrestler, not unlike so many other wrestlers, who get in their own heads. Cody said one week it’s “hey I’ve never been a world champion” and “I’m so honored to be in the TNT Championship Tournament because someone like me really should be the TNT Champion” to being blindsided by the idea that he may retire. Cody said that it’s “F-ing stupid.” Cody said a year ago he was trying to kill his brother at Double or Nothing. Cody said he wanted to be the one to end the Attitude Era and retire his older brother, but if you look at Dustin now what a frustrating and out of left field comment that was. Cody said Dustin has been on such a roll with QT Marshall winning matches, he beat Sammy Guevara with Hangman Page. Cody said there are retirement matches were you have a good feeling and you want closure and you want the individual to lose. Cody said this isn’t one of those matches because he and the fans don’t want Dustin to lose. Cody said he loves Dustin and the fans love him for everything he’s done from the Texas Broncos with Barry Windham, to “The Natural,” to Goldust, to coming to AEW on the last ride as he called it. Cody said having a PWI Match of the Year at this point in his career should be enough of an indication that you’re needed, you’re essential, but he’s talking about coaching full time and retiring from in-ring action. Cody said he can’t imagine it and it’s a very hollow punch to the gut to hear something like that.

FINAL THOUGHTS…

I’m a little disappointed we didn’t hear from Kip Sabian, Dustin Rhodes, or Darby Allin ahead of the TNT Championship matches tomorrow. Cody talking about Dustin putting his career on the line was good and helped sell the seriousness, but it would be nice to hear Dustin talk about it. Hearing from Guevara was good too, but I want to hear from Darby in response. I want to hear from Sabian responding to the idea that he can retire Dustin Rhodes!

The Dark Order segment was interesting, I’m looking forward to the follow up to this because this was just an introductory segment. It’s an interesting twist to the Road to Series to have an ongoing story about Reynolds and Silver trying to find themselves within the Dark Order.


CATCH UP… 4/13 AEW ROAD TO TNT CHAMPIONSHIP: Cody receives a call from Arn Anderson, Colt Cabana on arriving in AEW, Jake Roberts brags up Lance Archer, plus Bunny, Joey Janela, Britt Baker

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