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KELLER’S AEW DYNAMITE REPORT
APRIL 20, 2022
PHILADELPHIA, PA. AT LIACOURAS CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TBS
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The Dynamite opening theme played. Jim Ross introduced the show as pyro blasted and the camera panned the audience. Tony Schiavone said C.M. Punk was about to join them on commentary for the opening matych.
(1) CASH WHEELER vs. DAX HARWOOD – Owen Hart Foundation Tournament Qualifier match
As they came to the ring together, Punk said they personify what AEW stands for. Punk said they’re going to test themselves against each other. They wrestled to a stalemate in the opening minutes, countering each other. Dax pushed Cash off of him and ended up thumbing Cash’s eye. Dax indicated it was an accident; Cash shoved him anyway. The announcers noted that Dax hasn’t wrestled a singles match before in AEW. Cash avoided a top rope Dax diving headbutt. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Dax came with a slingshot LigerBomb after the break for a two count. Cash went for a victory roll, but Dax countered. Cash then hit a quick piledriver for a near fall. Punk noted that Cash is doing damage to his own tag team partner’s neck. Some fans started a “Fight forever!” chant. Dax knocked Cash off balance on the top rope. Ross talked up his respect for Owen Hart. Schiavone said he was a wonderful human on every level. Cash then gave Dax a back suplex off the top rope, but Dax shifted mid-air and landed on top of Cash for a near fall. Ross called Dax “a thinking man’s wrestler.” A minute later they tumbled through the ropes and crashed to the floor. Cash grabbed at his leg in pain. Both beat the count at eight and nine. Dax set up a figure-four, but Cash small packaged him. Dax reversed Cash’s shoulders down and got the three count.
WINNER: Dax in 16:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good, intense match. I wonder if they flipped a coin to decide who would get the win.)
-They showed a graphic with Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Samoa Joe, and now Dax as the men’s Owen Hart Tournament wrestlers who have qualified. Then they showed the “Hangman” Adam Page vs. C.M. Punk staredown last week. They said the match is now official for Double or Nothing.
-C.M. Punk made his way toward the ring. A loud “C.M. Punk” chant broke out. He complimented Dax vs. Cash. He said he’s never been in a locker room with more talent than now in AEW. He said when he first arrived, he asked himself if he can still do this. He said he say with confidence now that he can still do it. He said he knows the fans like Hangman also. He said everything until now has been warming up, and now he’s warm. He said he without the fans, there is no him, so he’s going to give it his all every time. He said he will continue to fight until the wheels fall off.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good stuff from Punk there. Straight forward and determined.)
-A soundbite aired with Dan Lambert and Scorpio Sky. Sky talked about facing Sammy Guevara for the TNT Title. He said the Philly crowd is there to see him beat his ass and take back what it his. He said he is the face of TNT.
(2) “AMERICAN DRAGON” BRYAN DANIELSON & JON MOXLEY & WHEELER YUTA (w/William Regal) vs. Q.T. MARSHALL & NICK COMOROTO & AARON SOLO
Mox, Danielson, and Yuta jumped their opponents at the bell. When The Factory took over on Yuta, Regal said Yuta has to perform or he could find himself out of the Blackpool Combat Club. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
As Ross praised Danielson as he beat up Solo, Regal said Danielson is everything he wished he could have been. He said he’s so proud of him. Danielson eventually hot-tagged in Yuta who went to work on Comoroto. Yuta dropped some elbows on Comoroto. Mox and Danielson stopped interference from Solo and Marshall. Yuta then hammer-fisted Comoroto and leveraged his shoulders down for the win.
WINNERS: Yuta & Moxley & Danielson in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Fun brawl that continues to build the brand of the Blackpool Combat Club. Regal was fun on commentary, as always.)
-Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker and Jamie Hayter on his right and Toni Storm on his left. Storm introduced her “little friend,” Ruby Soho. Ruby said she’s noticed that they get in the face of newcomers and always has something to say. Ruby quoted Owen Hart saying “enough is enough and it’s time for a change.” She challenged them to a fight. Baker said they have to go to catering because they agreed to no physicality.
-Excalibur hyped the rest of the scheduled matches. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Christian Cage backstage. JB said he doesn’t want to sound like a sore loser, but last week stung a little extra because he knows he could have won. He said he didn’t finish him when he had a chance. Christian said he doesn’t sound like a sore loser, just a loser. He said he’s not a loser, and last week was a teachable moment. He said they can right a wrong. Christian threw out a challenge to any top five team. Conveniently, Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs were standing right off camera and accepted the impromptu challenge.
(Keller’s Analysis: I wish AEW would get better about these implausible convenient coincidences. Christian comes up with a top five challenge and instantly there is a team right off camera to accept. It’s just cheesy and fake and easily avoidable.)
(2) WARDLOW vs. LANCE ARCHER
MJF’s music played. He appeared up in a luxury suite with Shawn Spears. He said, “What do women in Philadelphia use as birth control? Their personalities.” MJF said the fans like to boo, but they’ll be more devastated after Archer destroys “the War Pit.” MJF said Wardlow had to come out to the ring to no music yet again. Wardlow came out to the ring, accompanied by security, with his wrists handcuffed. Archer flip-dove off the ring apron onto Wardlow just as he was uncuffed at ringside. He knocked over security guys, too. Archer threw Wardlow into the ring at which point the referee inexplicably rewarded Archer’s pre-match attack by instantly calling for the bell even as Wardlow couldn’t stand up straight. Wardlow went on the attack at the bell, though. Archer went for a claw, but Wardlow blocked it.
They exchanged strikes mid-ring. Archer got the better of Wardlow. He delivered his Blackout finisher, but Wardlow countered the cover by leveraging Archer’s shoulders down. He got a two count. The battle continued. Wardlow landed a top rope senton on Archer for a near fall. They cut to a worried MJF and Spears. Wardlow lowered his straps and delivered the first powerbomb. And a second one, a third one, and a fourth one before getting the clean three count. Ross said that didn’t go down the way MJF wanted.
WINNER: Wardlow in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Impressive looking win for Wardlow. This is good use of Archer at this point. He’s a credible foe for a wrestler on the rise like Wardlow, and he can move on to take out his frustration on someone smaller and more sympathetic.) [c]
-The Jericho Appreciation Society made their ring entrance – Chris Jericho, Matt Menard, Angelo Parker, Jake Hager, and Daniel Garcia. Fans sang Jericho’s “Judas” song. Parker said that’s enough of the singing. He said the world’s great promoter, Tony Khan, gave them time because he knows that sports entertainers are best for business. (Tremendous. Pulling in some of the Authority’s corporate speak aimed at Daniel Bryan years ago.) He called the fans the AEW Galaxy. (Tremendous also.) He said there will be no physicality in the ring tonight. He said they’ve all agreed to it, “including those rats, Santana, Ortiz, and Eddie Kingston.”
Kingston, Santana, and Ortiz then marched out. Jericho said Earth is 4.5 billion years old “and you are lucky enough to be living in the Chris Jericho era.” Santana, Ortiz, and Kingston gave them middle fingers. Kingston tipped over the table mid-ring. He told Jericho to stop with the crap and let’s fight. He said he didn’t care if it was five-on-three. Menard was fuming in the background. Jericho said they’re going to take them out one by one by one. He said the J.A.S. is putting a hit out on their asses one at a time. Kingston told Menard to shut up. Jericho asked if he’s going to hit him and get kicked out of another wrestling company. He told him no other wrestling company wants him and this is his last chance. “Stand there and do what you’re told, bitch,” Jericho said. Kingston leaned into Jericho, who leaned back. He asked if he was prepared to put someone in the ground, because that’s what happens when you put a hit on someone where he comes from.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good segment. Jericho was good, and Kingston was his usual top level promo. Menard and Parker continue to earn this spot in a high-profile faction. Mocking WWE-speak is just so awesome.)
-A vignette aired with Sammy Guevara and Tay Conti. Guevara was wearing an obnoxious jacket. He took digs at Sky and called him the most uninteresting wrestler since he got to AEW. The video clips showed him giving a low blow. He said he isn’t sure what’s brighter, his women, the TNT Title, or their future. They showed them making out.
(Keller’s Analysis: Unlike with Cody & Brandi, AEW was able to change course quickly with Sammy and Conti. They’re a money heel act now, and because they were hated before they were trying to be hated, there’s an unusual level of authenticity to their heel personas.)
(3) SERENA DEEB vs. HIKARU SHIDA
Intense brawl from the start. They cut to a split-screen break as they were battling at ringside. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Deeb sprayed Shida with a fire extinguisher. Shida was blinded for a minute, but stood up swinging a kendo stick wildly. She caught Deeb and knocked her to ringside. Deeb landed a Detox on Shida on a chair for a near fall. Deeb then locked on a Texas Cloverleaf. Shida tapped out. They showed Thunder Rosa watching on a monitor backstage.
WINNER: Deeb in 11:00.
-Lexy Nair interviewed MJF and Spears backstage. MJF called Nair by her wrong name, then yelled at her to get out of his frame. He said the reason he is calm is because he has a damn good plan. He got on the phone and talked to someone he called “Big Man.” He asked how he’d feel making six-figures for one match. He said next week, Wardlow will face “a man who is smarter than you, who is stronger than you, and who is taller than you, and you can’t teach that.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That is the catch phrase of Big Cass and W Morrisey. He’s now wrestling in Impact Wrestling.) [c]
-They went to the stage where Fuego Del Sol’s body was lying knocked out. The House of Black (Malakai Black, Brody King, Buddy Matthews) then showed up and picked up his body. They appeared ready to take off his mask when Alex Abrahantes said if they continue to mess with Fuego, they’re going to get burned. He said he can’t figure out how they haven’t figured out that the reason he’s been dressed like he is, they’ve been waiting for the right moment to blindside them. Out walked Penta and Pac. Rey Fenix then showed up behind House of Black with a shovel and went after them. Fenix, Penta, and Pac cleared the ring of the heels. Ross said business has picked up. They then landed a triple flying dive over the top rope onto the House of Black at ringside.
-Schiavone interviewed Swerve Strickland and Darby Allin backstage. They talked about facing each other on Rampage in an Owen Hart Tournament qualifier. Swerve said they’re not friends, but Darby has earned his respect when they’ve battled in the past. Swerve said he’d make Rampage his home again. Allin said AEW is his house as an original roster member and he’d show him on Friday.
(4) THE UNDISPUTED ELITE (Adam Cole & Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly & The Young Bucks) vs. DANTE MARTIN & BRIAN PILLMAN JR. & GRIFF GARRISON & LEE JOHNSON & BROCK ANSDERSON (w/Arn Anderson)
They cut to an early split-screen break after rapid-fire action. [c/ss]
Excalibur snuck in a plug for Forbidden Door. Undisputed Elite destroyed all of their opponents until it was down to Johnson who ate a five-way BTE. Cole then landed a Boom for the win. They all put on Undisputed Elite t-shirts.
WINNERS: Undisputed Elite in 7:00.
-They cut to a parking garage where J.A.S. attacked Santana, Ortiz, and Kingston. Jericho threw a fireball at Kingston’s face. It overshot his forehead a bit, but looked okay. Kingston grabbed at his eyes and cried out in pain.
-They cut to the announcers who reacted. Excalibur called it a disgusting attack. Schiavone said they don’t need stuff like that. “To hell with Chris Jericho!” he said. They hyped upcoming line-ups. [c]
(5) SAMMY GUEVARA (w/Tay Conti) vs. SCORPIO SKY (w/Ethan Page, Dan Lambert) – TNT Title match
Sky came out first. Sammy then came out with Tay and they made out on the stage in an intentionally obnoxious manner. Excalibur said the boos they were receiving were deserved. Sky jump-started the match in the aisle and got the better of Sammy. Ross said Sammy and Tay have to control their tongues. Sky brought a ladder to the ring and got the better of Sammy. Sammy took over and set up the ladder. Sammy leaped off the ladder and went for a flip dive, but completely missed Sky. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Sammy eventually gave Sky a Spanish Fly onto a barbed wire wrapped ladder lying flat on the canvas. When Lambert leaned into the ring to check on Sky, Sammy yanked him into the ring. Conti then entered the ring. She kicked Lambert in the crotch. Fans booed. Paige VanZant ran in and attacked Conti. Sammy and Sky went at it at the same time, also. Sky and Paige got the better of Sammy and Conti and then celebrated. Sammy and Conti recovered and attacked Sky and Paige. Then they tongue kissed some more.
Sammy and Paige slid a ladder into the ring. Sky recovered and landed a leaping flatliner. He then began to climb the ladder to reach for the TNT Title belt. Conti leaped onto Sky’s back. Sammy climbed the other side of the ladder, but Paige leaped onto his back. Sky and Sammy powered their way up with women hanging onto their backs. Conti and Paige hit each other, then jumped down. They fought more and kicked each other at the same time, dropping each other. Sammy reached the top of the ladder and gave Sky a middle finger. Sky bit his finger and shoved Sammy down. He reached for the belt, but Sammy knocked him off balance to the mat. Sammy stuck his tongue out and pulled on the belt. Sky tipped the ladder over and Sammy bumped onto the barbed wire ladder leaning against the ropes. Sky then climbed the ladder and looked ready to win. Sammy springboarded onto the ladder, though. Sky knocked Sammy to the mat and then pulled down the belt to win. Fans erupted in cheers.
WINNER: Sky in 13:00 to capture the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Too many big spots that weren’t sold. It’s “crowd pleasing” in a sense, but it also can be numbing over the longer term to have matches like this that lean more toward undisciplined self-indulgent spotfests. I’m okay with the TNT Title changes if they’re a result of some expected twists with Cody earlier this year and the unexpected necessary sharp turn in Sammy’s character led to some booking shifts. I’m ready for a longer Sky reign now, though, or at most one more title change to settle onto someone else. I’ll be glad to see Sammy and Conti against clear-cut babyfaces soon.)
-Afterward, Kaz walked out and looked at Sky who nodded that he’d get the match he put off for him. Sky and Kaz slapped hands. Sky then held up his belt.