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The Inner Circle gets the last laugh!

Pro Wrestling

AEW Dynamite recap: March 11, 2020

The Inner Circle gets the last laugh!

Good god, let’s cut to the chase. The coronavirus is running rampant on everything right now and I expect it will cancel WrestleMania and likely beyond, probably affecting my personal tickets to see AEW live in April. The President is going to be delivering an address tonight at 9 pm which I can only assume will be about this virus. F*ck, man. All this said, this week’s Being The Elite had some wonderful nods to Matt Hardy and then Free The Delete came out today and it featured the Bucks of Youth Superkicking Zenith to death and burying Zenith and its vessel, Matt Hardy. WHAT THE F*CK? So, while we still have regularly scheduled programming (and I am really curious what sporting events like this are going to do in the inevitable event that large gatherings of people are cancelled for a period of more than a few days), let’s get to Dynamite.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly wrestling podcast, PTW!

Before Dynamite even starts they are advertising Joey Janella for tonight, which is awesome. The show opens with a recap of Jericho and Moxley. I could easily believe that Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho could have a great feud, even if they had some garbage written for them in WWE (including the stupid ass hardcore match that they did in a cage which featured the first time I believe Chris Jericho ever took a thumbtack spot). I would not have imagined, however, that some indie guys could start a new wrestling company and more or less build it around Chris Jericho and Dean Ambrose and it would succeed as well as this has. These guys are two of the greats of this century for f*cking sure.

Tony Schiavone backstage with Hangman Page teasing his match tonight against Jericho and Sammy. Kenny is out with a broken finger so Page will have a mystery partner. As the camera pans back, the Young Bucks are there with Page. Hangman heels on them, then clowns them both and says his partner will be “a mystery” and walks off. Matt Jackson calls him a prick.

First match of the night is Ortiz vs Cody, and this will be Cody’s first TV match with his new neck buddy. Full, complete, total, and thorough release in his entrance tonight, completely on his own, then followed by Brandi and Arn to ringside. Good god, as Cody tears his shirt off a la Hulk Hogan all I can see is his neck tattoo. It is so distracting and looks like a neck wound. I don’t mean to pick on it but these are just my observations. I really like Santana and Ortiz but I’m still just so distracted by the Nightmare Family logo on the Roller-Codester. Oh, so apparently this is the debut of Jake Roberts’ client, Lance Archer. They walk out through the crowd together and then sit in ticketed seats. Dude is pretty big but he looks like a Son of Anarchy. Clearly I haven’t seen him elsewhere.

Ortiz f*cking rules when he does his Tiger Style pose and then yells THE BEST THE BEST. Yeah, as previously predicted by AIPT’s own Patrick Ross, this tattoo might be career trajectory altering. I can’t watch Cody matches the same way again. Santana hits Cody with the sock full of balls and I just don’t care about this match. Ortiz keeps gyrating his hips like he is Rick Rude and that’s actually pretty funny. I just noticed Cody has his neck tat logo on his boots and its looks PERFECT right there. Even on his chest. Forearm. Buttcheek. Bottom of foot. Literally anywhere but the neck.

Anyway, Ortiz hits a pretty great superplex followed by the standard set of tope suicidas and then a tease that Archer would get involved, but instead Jake calls him back and they exit through the crowd. Cody is trying to build up some steam, yet all I see is a floating tattoo. Cody locks on a Figure Four and ends up getting a submission win. After the match, Santana hits Cody with his sock and then a bit of a schmozz ending with Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega (in a cast) coming to Cody’s defense. Jericho pipes in on the Jumbotron and cuts a brief promo on how the Inner Circle is putting the whole AEW roster on notice, but most importantly, says “…and in two weeks at Blood and Guts, we are gonna beat the hell out of you pumpkin head dipsh*ts!” The camera pans back to a garage door pulled down on Nick Jackson with blood coming out of his face. Pic-in-pic takes over and they really do a convincing stretcher job on Uncle Nick. That sh*t looked pretty nasty even though it also looked kinda bogus. Regardless, I know that Uncle Nick just became a dad again and so this is a nice way to write him off for a brief paternity leave and builds his return for that Blood and Guts match in two weeks, which is the Elite vs. the Inner Circle in a “don’t call it WarGames” match. Matt and Cody end up driving off with the ambulance carrying Nick as the commercial break ends. The commentary makes that whole scenario even more dramatic.

Oh cool, Bea Priestly and Nyla Rose vs Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander. I’m actually really looking forward to this match. I am a big fan of all of these women, now a bit more sympathetic toward Statlander after seeing her wrestle Nyla with the flu. That said, if it turns out Statlander had Coronavirus, well, that would be Adam Page levels of heel for me, personally. Bea Priestly has super weird music but her gear looks rad tonight. Huh, so JR just referred to Nyla Rose as a proud Native American and now, that coupled with her beast qualities and I now “get” and “like” her moniker Native Beast, which I always took as derivative of Brock Lesners moniker.

Shida and Rose start the match and Bea immediately runs over and knocks Statlander off the apron and we have ourselves a pair of official sh*theels. The heel team take turns beating the sh*t out of Shida for the large bulk of the match, building to a hot tag all the way from the Andromeda Galaxy. Said hot tag happens right as they switch to f*cking pic-in-pic. Thats sh*tty. Statlander looks really good, whipping Bea Priestly all over the ring. Bea puts KS in a weird submission, wrapping around her arms like a snake. KS stands up and its a cool looking “feat of strength” move. KS lays Bea across the second turnbuckle and Shida snap suplexes Statlander onto Bea in the corner! Nyla gets tagged in but KS and Shida get the upper hand on her, hitting her with a bunch of tandem moves including a Kinshasa / knee to the face combo that looks concussive. Hikaru Shida does a sick f*cking Kin Shasa. Holy f*ck Shida, just hit a Michinoku Driver on Nyla!! Just as it seems the babyface had a chance, Nyla hits a spear and a Beast Bomb and it’s over. Commentary are going over the match and the crowd starts reacting and they cut to Bea attacking Nyla, then holding up the title belt to a little pop, then leaving the ring. JR just set up a Dark Order video. f*cking come ON. Please be something good.

Chris Daniels does a funny spoof video on one of the Dark Order’s videos. Daniels is f*cking hilarious. This is totally funny and makes me like him more. “There is no Exalted One”. I don’t like that but then Daniels challenges Evil Uno and Grayson to individual singles matches anywhere, any time. The video ends with the Dark Order logo but it says “Dark Order Sucks.” It’s funny how impressed I just was. “Chris Daniels did a good job making a video that matched the quality and vibe of the Dark order videos…he must be really good at that stuff”. Or the same people made it all because its a f*cking work, brother. Good Job, AEW. It’s clearly still real to me.

Butch, Bun Bun and Blade Trinity come out first and I am reminded that I recently looked up all three of them on Instagram recently which indicates that I thinking of them outside of Wednesdays. MJF comes out with Wardlow and apparently his music has been tweaked, starting with “I AM BETTER THAN YOU AND YOU KNOW IT” and it’s a more upbeat and less chill version of his normal theme. Jungle Express comes out next to a HUGE pop. Huge chants of LU-CHA-SAURUS happen multiple times before the match even starts. MJF does such good heel sh*t, acting like a dickhead to Marko and then acting terrified of Luchasaurus. Butcher and Blade take out Lucha’s legs and he is now the guy getting beat on. Bunny keeps screaming “Come on Luchasaurus” and it’s annoying but in a good way. It’s so believable that Butch and Blade are f*cking brutal henchmen but I wish they could have more dominating matches. Well, right on cue, they are f*cking destroying the Lucha Express. Butcher just Rock Bottomed Marko Stunt from the outside onto the hardest part of the ring. That Marko is a f*cking rag doll.

When Jungle Boy JACK PERRY gets the hot tag the place erupts! Marko, then JB, then Lucha all hit different high risk moves on the BB/MJF, leading to a show down between Butcher and Luchasaurus, ending with Butcher hitting a sick clothesline on Lucha. At one point Marko Stunt gets tagged in at the same time as MJF and Marko goes f*cking nuts on MJF to the point where Ref Aubrey pulls Marko off, then Jungle Boy pulls him off. Like, heel turn levels of crazy out of Marko Polo. The Bunny provides ref Aubry with a distraction, Blade takes out JB and MJF submits Marko in .01 seconds and it’s over. I don’t know. I liked this. I didn’t like that Luchasuarus took the bulk of the heat in this match but whatever. I like both teams, yet this didn’t do much for me. It wasn’t a great technical match, but I like everyone involved.

A quick recap video of Darby Allin last week, essentially in a handicap match against Sammy and Le Champion after which it cuts to another wonderful art film but Darby. A Sammy skateboard hits the hood of a truck and then Darby appears, wearing a crude cardboard cutout mask of Jericho’s face after Mox busted it open with a headbutt. He walks over to a body bag with a person in it wearing a Sammy mask, Jericho mask man then zips up the bodybag and then drives away with what is obviously a moving human body inside it, dragging behind a pickup truck. F*cked up.

OK, so, apparently, Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone have a weekly segment where she comes out and heels on the crowd. She sh*ts on Mormons indirectly, makes fun of their lack of caffeine or alcohol. She is definitely working this sort of “ignorant assh*le” angle very well. She calls the crowd inbred, she thanks the crowd for their warm standing ovations each week, and claims that she is here to be AEW’s role model. Big Swole comes out to confront Britt, cuts a promo on her, even going as far as to tell Baker that Tony doesn’t even like her (Tony responds half on mic “hey, kayfabe that a little”). Oh sh*t, Britt just says “the only thing people care about you in wrestling is your boyfriend” (Cedric Alexander) and Swole responds “I’m married, BAY BAY” (Britts IRL boyfriend is Adam Cole BAY BAY) while flashing her HUGE wedding ring. Britt looks incensed. She then throws Tony’s coffee in Swole’s face and then runs off like a baby.

Aw man, the Bad Boy Joey Janela gets his entrance during the pic-in-pic. I feel like this dude hates being in AEW. I’ve grown to like him a a lot and clearly so does the crowd. Joey has his hair in a french braid, which I know what that is specifically because of my 6 year old daughter. It looks great on him. Joey does a little bit of crowd work but eventually Private Party come to the ring to join him. Oh f*ck, there’s new music and tron graphics for Death Triangle. These three dudes look f*cking terrifying together and while I love Joey J, I hope Death Triangle eats these motherf*ckers alive, quickly.

Whoa, half of Pentagon Jrs mask looks like Venom. Right out the gate this match is incredible. Pac and Kassidy start the match off with some excellent spots, everything looking smooth and well rehearsed, even though it’s probably not and they are just that damn good. There is such an intensity to Pac and Lucha Bros by extension that this match almost already seems over before it’s even started. Every time the faces get a little bit of advantage the heels just overtake them. Joey does get to tell the camera “I’m a BAD BOY” but the Death Triangle are just too much to handle. Fenix is showing a level of aggression that I have never seen from him before tonight.

Halfway through the match and it finally hits its stride. Pac continues to kick the sh*t out of Quen until Joey tags in, leading to hopeful pin attempt by Joey, ultimately snuffed out by Lucha Bros. These dudes are magicians. Pac ends up hitting the Black Arrow on Joey for the win and after the match is over, the Death Triangle put their opponents into a triple submission. That scene is broken up by Best Friends (and Orange Cassidy). Backstage, Dustin Rhodes demands to be Hangman Page’s mystery partner because he is sick of the Inner Circle running roughshod on everyone on the roster. If that’s true, I f*cking hate that.

Oh brother, they play a montage of bunch of ding dongs trying to become Shawn Spears’ tag partner. The only person of note was Simon Miller from What Culture. Oh, and the commentary just announced that the Exalted One will be revealed next week. So thats that? OK. Huh. Well, OK.

Time for a pre-taped interview segment with JR and Moxley, talking about how he isn’t “medically cleared to even be in the arena”. Mox looks about as comfortable as Dean Ambrose looked being interviewed by Steve Austin. Ultimately Mox just says that he is laying in wait to take out the Inner Circle, even though the Elite has an upcoming match with them.

Justin Roberts, the Dapper Yapper himself, calls for TV time remaining for the next match. “Judas” hits and the entire Inner Circle hits the ring. Jericho gets almost as much pyro as Cody this week. Not a huge pop for Cowboy Sh*t himself this week. Who will be his partner? Let’s see what this will be. Oh, geez, here comes Dustin. The Natural comes out with Brandi and QT Marshall before confronting Page in the ring, telling him that he is in this match. Page is so annoyed and aggravated. I like that and can relate. Page is f*cking fearless to a reckless point but it’s badass.

Page seems to work pretty well with Dustin as a tag partner, possibly proving that Hangman Page is best suited in a tag team. I’m finding it weird that Sammy and Chris seem to have been put as a team for a few weeks in a row but it really is a good rub for Sammy and it’s good of Jericho to put some good will on his teammates before he bows out for Fozzy touring. I (hopefully) just realized that Dustin is in this match to take the “L” and protect all the other guys in the match.

It’s almost hard to think of this as a Jericho match because he has Sammy do so much of the lifting. As I was trying to figure out how to word that, Sammy had Dustin in a torture rack and was doing squats with Dustin on his shoulders. That is impressive. When Page gets the hot tag, he f*cking kicks Sammy clear in half and then takes out Jericho, who is still wearing a bandana around his neck ten minutes in. Holy sh*t Page almost hit the Buckshot on Jericho and I swear I would have jumped if he did. That said, Page hits Jericho with a clothesline outside the ring, then Dustin hits a Canadian Destroyer on Sammy right into a Buckshot and it’s over.

The Inner Circle descend on Page and Dustin who are joined by Kenny Omega and Cody, but they are both quickly neutralized and the Inner Circle goes out of the ring. After destroying the remnants of the Elite who are in ring, Hager drags Page up the ramp and they attempt the triple power bomb through a table off the ramp spot on Hangman, only to be broken up a the last moment by Matt Jackson who superkicks the sh*t out of everyone until the numbers game catches up with him. Matt does give Page the finger before he gets overtaken. What a total cluetrf*ck that ends with Jericho hitting Matt and then Page in the head with chairs, the rest of the Inner Circle surrounding Jericho as they all give the camera the middle finger to end the show. Badass rasslin for f*cking sure.

Well, that felt historic. Man, I can only imagine what SmackDown is going to look like on Friday night as the word seems to be that the States will be banning gatherings of 250 or more. Man oh man. I hope to hell that that wasn’t the last live wrestling show that I/we all get to see for the next coming weeks/months but I fear that might be the case. No matter what happens, we will all need entertainment and I hope that everyone who provides said entertainment will proceed with care and caution. I’d rather not watch wrestling for a few weeks or even more if it ensures the safety of the performers that I love (and even the idiots that I don’t like). Well, be safe everyone. I’ll be back next week to share my thoughts on Dynamite in whatever form it appears next week on TNT.

Wrestling rules. Be cool to each other. Wash your f*cking hands.


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