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AEW Dynamite - 11/23/2022


The Natural
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Alright, while I wasn't super excited about the Elite/DT overkill series, having a second match with the Elite trolling Punk in Chicago but still losing to another hammer trick was worth it.

HOB returning, "The Killer and The Pillar," and Jericho getting his chest carved up also ruled. Only real dull segment of the show was the "hottest" angle with Regal and Mox.

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Exciting show. I hated the Regal turn, but was captivated by the opening segment and wanted to see Moxley kick everybody's ass over what happened.

Orange/Hager was a great opener. Nice win for Starks, dug the superplex and three spears. 

RED VELVET is back! Stir it up! One of the highlights of the night for me. On the other hand, very sad to see Kiera fired from the Baddies, though I did pop for Smart Mark working for/with Jade again!

Trios match 2 was amazing. Absolutely loved it, super hot crowd, fantastic work. Kenny hitting the GTS was the first time I felt like Punk will come back after all. "He's got a hammer in his trunks!!"

The Termination of Interim felt like a big deal and great for Jamie, but I was extra thrilled by the retroactive addition for Toni so her reign no longer gets erased into nothing. 

3 way tag was fun. I had forgotten how incredibly badass the TayJay tag team theme is, I love it. The Killer & The Pillar = awesome. Glad to see some Dark clips used as reference for setting this up. Skye's executing the Code Blue to perfection.

Another super fun Acclaimed segment. "BILLY CAN SCISSOR!" Taz getting confused by Daddy Ass saying "Scissor me, Daddy Ass" was hilarious. 

Absolutely epic main event. Ishii chopping Jericho's chest open was a real holy shit moment. Didn't expect a tapout finish, but good stuff. Was hoping for something different for Final Battle rather than just Jericho/Claudio again, but I've been loving the Ring of Jericho and don't wanna see it end. 

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Orange Cassidy is my wrestler of the year. The guy is so clued into his character, and finds story beats in every match that make sense for both him and his opponent. The match with Hager felt like I was watching Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin or even Jackie Chan in terms of his ability to tell a story and make me laugh with his body and his movement. And to do that with Jake Hager of all people! (Kudos to Jake though for embracing the silliness of the hat gimmick and committing to it). 

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9 hours ago, Cobra Commander said:

man, the fans on the hard camera couldn't look like they gave two fucks about Jericho/Ishii even after the superfluous "you hit me, I hit you" sequences led to Chris Jericho bleeding from the chest. I know they won't do it because it's not good for appearances but dim the lights so that the fans staring at the match isn't so obvious (or don't spend so much time on the hard camera)

there's a hierarchy thing about why Elite/Death Triangle isn't gonna be in the main event for some/most of these 7 matches? gotta put one of your several World Champs in the main event.

also, Regal has been disappeared, for now. MJF wasn't there. Ethan Page lost to Ricky Starks (oh yeah, your title contender eliminator is the 3rd most important match of the card?). So we get Ricky Starks vs MJF at some unknown future time.

I haven't been watching enough to be aware of Hager's hat thing. Orange Cassidy did some neat spots. The House of Black is back from whatever they were doing for a few months.

Then Claudio shows up at the end to bitchslap Jericho. Cya on Friday Afternoon if you're not watching College Football.

Starks vs MJF was announced before, during, and after the match as being at Winter Is Coming on 12/14. That’s the date for that match.

Thats also definitely why The Elite and Death Triangle won’t main event that night.

I get why it was third most important (the title eliminator). It wasn’t an actual title match or part of a title match series. Plus without MJF there that eliminated any potential for a face off.

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6 hours ago, Teflon Turtle said:

Boy, those Chicago fans are going to feel like assholes when they find out the only thing Matt Jackson was trying to do with that praying moonsault was pay homage to Jinsei Shinzaki. Buncha quick-to-judge ingrates.

Was that supposed to be a Punk reference? I got everything else, but not that one.

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7 hours ago, Teflon Turtle said:

 

Speaking of entertainment: I am totally fine with analyzing pro-wrestling to the extent that we do here. It's possible to enjoy this artform on a lot of different levels. But - if we accept that pro-wrestling is supposed to be a form of entertainment and are OK with consuming it on that simple level sometimes, then I don't know if anyone has entertained me more this year than Orange Cassidy has. Building a match based around playing keep away with a dumb hat is something I can't recall seeing in thirty years of fandom, and if I have seen it, it wasn't done in a more humorous and enjoyable way than it was done by OC, Hager, and the rest of the wrestlers at ringside in this match. One man's opinion on some of the postmodern wrestlers like Cassidy we've seen in recent times: in order to subvert the tropes of pro-wrestling, one must first understand those tropes. Orange Cassidy has a character, wrestles to it, and sells the beating he's taking quite well. These are all more traditional aspects of pro-wrestling; he simultaneously sticks by them and creatively bends some of the "rules" to make entertaining matches. He's not just screwing around in there. It's a joy to watch.

 

Yes, this is the secret sauce that most modern indie meme wrestlers don’t understand.

All of the business with Hager’s hat was incredible. I haven’t been paying enough attention to Hager lately to say how well built up the hat gimmick is, but they perfectly established how important it was in the first act of the match and then escalated it wonderfully, to the point that Hager breaking a hold to put it back on seemed plausible within the match’s reality.

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Ok, here we go.

  • Opening segment was ok. Regal's tone early and then expressions moving on as he just let the world move around him were just wonderful, of course. Danielson has been so changed as a character by the BCC and they should have acknowledged that more. He's not the same guy who cut the promo on Mox to start all of this months and months ago. Regal started his promo by saying he had a relationship/partnership/etc. with Mr. Friedman. So... he's not going anywhere yet. I've seen speculation that he had a one year contract so they'll at least let this play out. But good on Mox for making everyone believe by being so god damn fierce. What a guy.
  • Hear me out: I kind of wanted even MORE hat in the Cassidy vs Hager match. Did I need more hat? Would it have been a better match with more hat? No. But I wanted it. For I am only human. I loved the bit where Cassidy didn't get his comeback spots in until Hager lost the hat. That was fun. We've seen matches where holds are broken due to an exotico style babyface messing with a stuck up heel or a vain heel having his hair messed with and this wasn't all that different. Even more than that, I want more Best Friends/JAS interaction. 2.0 were great in little bits here.
  • Starks vs Page was very good. Page had a great way of just using little shots to the bandages to cut Starks off but then following up by basically dropping him on things (ropes, barricade, knee). Starks on the other hand had to throw his entire body into every comeback attempt and it often didn't go well for him. But it did get the fans behind him because he was putting everything he had into it. They're leaning into the DDP thing here and they should keep leaning into it all the way to Winter is Coming in Texas where he'll be the qusai home town challenger. Have him get attacked by Page again next week leading up to it. That gives him cover when he loses the title match. Then do a big blowoff gimmick match later in January like what happened with Hobbs. Page can take the losses.
  • BEST OF 9: Match 2: Nick Bockwinkel (c) vs Jumbo Tsuruta 2/14/79 Hawaii: This one was 2/3 falls and man was it ever good. The first fall was full of so much of what I love about Bockwinkel and then the second fall was such an amazing showing for Jumbo. In that first fall, they went a different way with it, with Bockwinkel trying to take liberties to get an advantage early but getting jammed by Jumbo. This time, Bock didn't get his arm control first and it went straight to Jumbo's and they worked it and worked it with Bockwinkel cheating to get out or making it seem like he just might, but getting jammed right back down. He's always struggling, always fighting, always reacting and Jumbo's so smooth working from top. Eventually, Bock has enough and drops the pretense and just starts kicking and stomping him down, but Jumbo fires back, including a huge chop off the ropes that causes Bock to do his full body sell. They're about twenty in now, as there were a couple of minutes clipped here and his total exhaustion sell is the best ever. And it's still early really! Anyway, after blocking Jumbo's butterfly, Bock tries the King of the Mountain which is what he does when there's a babyface too fiery for him but Jumbo immediately fights out, rushes in and just unloads on Bock, super intense. He misses a knee in the corner and Bock, in short order, gets the figure four. Just great fighting out of it by Jumbo turning it a couple of times, but he succumbs. So that's the first fall and I love how one beat so smoothly led to the next and you could just tell what kayfabe Bock was thinking and trying to do at every point.

    Second fall has Jumbo fighting with the bad leg and he does it so valiantly that the crowd really starts to get behind him. I've seen American crowds get behind Japanese guys before (especially in California) but maybe never quite like this and it's both Bock AND Jumbo here. He keeps falling a bit behind due to his leg but powering back, including hitting an atomic drop but being unable to hang on to the cobra twist. This ultimately leads to Bock containing him with a King of the Mountain (This time) but pressing it too far and allowing for Jumbo to fire back in, opening Bock up with chops and ultimately hitting the butterfly and the cobra twist causing him to pass out.

    The last fall teases the time limit (9 minutes left) just from the start, and they have some near falls (a butterfly that Bock blocks but Jumbo turns into a piledriver, brutal stomps on the leg turned into a Jumbo half crab). You get maybe a sense that Jumbo doesn't know how to put him away but he goes for broke with his hurt leg with another atomic drop and gets another cobra twist only for Bock to toss the ref and draw the DQ. Really masterful match here. And just a lovely 1980 crowd to get behind a foreigner so thoroughly. I couldn't imagine a nicer crowd, the sort that you'd want for big wrestling match like this, that bought into it fully and that put aside their own biases to give their all for the challenger.
     

    Spoiler

     

     

  • Women's match was good. It was best during the initial exchanges between JAS and Britt/Hayter as that was very fresh and when they were working over Willow. It's a shame we didn't get to see Willow/Skye get their entrances in Chicago. Skye was probably just glad to be there but between not having an entrance and eating the fall, it was a bit of a shame. Her comeback was fun. The other best part was at the end when they were all kicking each other in the face. There was a great camera angle catching Hatyer diving across the ring with an elbow drop to break up a pin. Honestly, I'd like almost any story that comes out of this since it'd feel like a fresh match up. That's part of the joy of a new champ, and this was a good way for Hayter to play tweener.

  • The main was quite the spectacle. Definitely not my sort of thing but they played it less about toughness and more about Jericho trying to rope a dope the jetlagged Ishii (this was mentioned during the commercial break and I kind of bought into it, and it worked!) They both went for bombs early and when they failed, that's when all the strikes started. Jericho's selling and reactions helped to make all of this, between hurting his hand and looks of exasperation as his plan was taking such a toll on him. It was mostly chops and ridgehands without big bombs which made it all more tolerable to me. When they did pop up from the bombs, it was just 2-3 and there was obviously damage, so again, some of you might revel in this. I definitely tolerated it and thought it was good for what they went for because of how they went for it. My favorite bit in all of it was Ishii doing the Fujiwara head bridge leg flip reverse to the initial crab attempt because NO ONE does that and it might be the coolest thing Fujiwara ever does, especially when he's doing it against Super Tiger in UWF for some reason. No one does that and it looks like the slickest thing in the world. What a year for Jericho.

  • I'm absolutely certain that the top 3 most outstanding wrestlers in AEW in 2022 are Mox, Cassidy, and Jericho but I couldn't begin to tell you what the order of the three should be.
     

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10 hours ago, The Green Meanie said:

People on Reddit seem to think this means Regal is going back to WWE. I think they're being hasty; this was the perfect way to get a Regal-Mox split. I'm interested to see how they'll explain Regal doing what he did and how the BCC will be going forward from now on.

Good riddance to Rosa. Glad they finally did the right thing, she's dead weight.

(Mother and I watching the Top Flight/FTR promo)
(Mom) "Darius, don't get hurt before Friday"

 

There’s your problem right there…

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Jericho doing the rope-a-dope was definitely there, but I also liked it because it felt like his strategy involved maintaining a psychological advantage over Ishii by playing on their history. Backing down would undermine any air of authority that Ishii may still associate with him. 

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5 minutes ago, DEAN said:

He's pretty lumpy.

Lumpy yet keeping it tight. Last year he was fluffy mashed potatoes and this year he’s those ones that are like fifty percent russets.*


 

*I may just be preoccupied thinking about dinner. 

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ABCs Love in the Afternoon Presents:

Daniel Bryan Lucci fights to keep the two men he loves the most from coming to blows. Mox clearly spit on the ground during his entrance and that red shirted security guard didn’t say shit.  He just stood there and watched.  I’m pretty sure I’d get thrown out the arena for that.

Meanwhile Keith Lee aches over his break-up with Swerve.  They decide to to NOT have that kinda drama in front of the public in a very classy move.  They’re gonna be fine.

Hager wearing the hat during the match is exactly what I needed.  Building the entire match around what was clearly an idea Jericho came up with while he was drunk is pure sports entertaingment.  
 

All Eggo Ethan just bugs me.  I don’t think he is a bad guy or anything.  All I think of when I see him is Tom Brandi.  There shouldn’t be anything wrong with that.  But it is wrong.  I like Starks and I think he will make a great first defense for MJF.  But Page as the springboard?  Nah.  
 

Big pop for Kansas… and nothing else.  Lolz  I must have overlooked this show was in Chicago.  Otherwise I’d have been anticipating The Elite vs. the entire city.  Fucking arm bite?  Ok.  Here comes the meta.  To the crowds credit they admit the match is awesome.  Not a plot thread was forgotten.  And then at end they cut to the guy wearing the “Just Enjoy Wrestling” shirt.  Mmm hmm.  I hear you AEW.

I miss my Thunder Bae for sure.  But yeah.  Let’s move on.  Hayter is awesome.  


The 3 Way turned out pretty great.  A bit more table setting that suggests the Baker/Hayter stuff is going to be going on for awhile longer.  
 

The Acclaimed make me happy.  Weirdly… so is this Team TNA.  I like none of its parts (as a rule) but am enjoying what they are doing as a group.  Singh has really played his Giant role perfectly and I think absent that the entire act falls apart.  But if JJ wants me to really buy it?  Go put over Effy.  
 

Ishii is the reason I started watching NJPW again after years of avoiding Inokism.  So I’m stoked to see him.  I hope Shota is watching.  What a visual was Jericho bleeding from a chop battle.  Nuts.  This match was so awesome.  Is Jericho going to zip past Mox at the last second for WOTY?  I was all like “GIVE ME WHAT I WANT!!!” and AEW was like “Here’s 2 hours of it”.

Ishii “Fuck you for making me tap out”

 


 

 


 

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ROAD REPORT

Chicago is awesome. AEW is awesome. Chicago also was annoying. Seats at Wintrust are incredibly cramped, but we at least had amazing seats. We were in Row G right next to the hard cams and with the crane cam down on the floor to our right. Dasha walked right next to us and is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. 

When we were leaving, we took the walkway to the parking garage and that was also the way Hook was going. Hook is exactly the person you see on tv. Hood up, hair sticking out, quiet, cooler than anyone could imagine being. I yelled out WE LOVE YOU HOOK and raised up his arm in the air pointing up.

Crowd was insanely hot. I watched a little of Dynamite when I got home and it sounded like most of the crowd heat came through on tv. The Hat stuff was really over in a funny way and that was before Dynamite even started.

The Acclaimed are over in a way that is basically like peak Rock or Austin. Like, the crowd exploded for them and it was one of those things that just sounded and felt different than anything else. The crowd may have been really hot for the trios match with the arena changing one thing after another, but the Acclaimed were something different entirely.

Some dickheads behind us and in the section to the right of the tv side tried chanting boring during Jericho vs Ishii. Some people are fucking dumb. I think Jericho and Ishii realized that main evening Dynamite would be challenge so props to Jericho for letting him get chopped bloody. Hell of a match too. Really amazing stuff.

There’s other stuff to mention and pictures to post, but I need to get started cooking for a noon Thanksgiving “dinner.”

 

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