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Cook’s AEW Friday Night Dynamite Review 5.28.21

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Hey kids! Tony’s working the streets tonight, so you’ve got the ol’ knucklehead from back in the day covering the Friday night Dynamite action. Should be a hoot!

Light the fuse! Drink the booze! Dynamite!

JR tells us it’s Friday night and you know what that means. He’s joined by Tony Schiavone & Excalibur.

Darby Allin (w/Sting) vs. Cezar Bononi (w/The Wingmen): Darby’s ribs are taped, he & Sting clear the ring of the truculent trio. Tieup in the corner, Allin gets some chops on Bononi but the big man gets the advantage eventually with a shot to the ribs. Allin looking for an armbar, gets two knees to the gut. Looks like more fans or a smaller set in Daily’s Place than usual as Bononi works Allin over in the corner. HOSS TOSS! Bononi tossing Allin around like yesterday’s garbage here. Allin ends up on the ramp. Another one of those tosses, and Bononi goes for multiple covers but Aubrey Edwards can only count to two. Bononi goes for a reverse suplex, Darby reverses into a sleeper, while smothering the fella for a few seconds. Allin clubbing, goes for that armbar, ends up in the corner. Diamond Dust by Allin, dropkick into the corner, Coffin Drop and it’s over.

Winner: Darby Allin (approximately 4 minutes via pin)
Match Rating: **1/4

A bit rushed, but nothing too bad here. When Bononi gets some experience he’ll be tough for guys of Darby’s stature to handle.

Darby grabs the microphone and says he wants to fight Ethan Page & Scorpio Sky tonight. They appear on the ramp, Sky tells him they’re not fighting in their fancies for free, and he needs to grow up. On Sunday, Double or Nothing will be the end of one legend, and the beginning of two more. The Wingmen attack from behind, and Page & Sky join the party! Page with a facelock on Allin while Sky wraps a chair around Sting’s ankle for the Pillmanizer. Dark Order runs in to stop all that & fistbumps are exchanged afterwards.

The announcers run down the card. Up next: a weigh-in!

Paul Wight comes out, as he’ll be conducting this weigh-in between Cody Rhodes & Anthony Ogogo after a commercial break.

Weigh-In For Rhodes vs. Ogogo: Wight feels great being out here in front of an amazing crowd. He was asked for some reason to officiate this weigh-in. No shenanigans, this will be a serious weigh-in. Anthony Ogogo is introduced first, and has the Factory with him. QT Marshall has been given a microphone for some reason, and he tells Jacksonville to show some respect for a true athlete. He asks why they’re booing Wight, and mentions that Ogogo is an Olympic athlete. Wight tells QT not to eyeball him, and wonders if Ogogo is scared to be by himself. Wight introduces the American Dream Cody Rhodes, who is accompanied by other Nightmare Factory students, Dustin, Arn, Red Velvet, Lee Johnson, his sister and a cast of thousands.

Wight asks Cody to weigh in first, and Cody strips down to his skivies. Wight doesn’t seem to know how to handle the scale, but eventually Cody weighs in at 218 pounds. We got fireworks! The Redneck Riveria seems like a place that would like their fireworks. Ogogo strips down to his Union Jack undies & weighs in at 219 pounds. Evenly matched. Didn’t Ogogo use to be a middleweight? Not like he’s the only one that put on some weight during the pandemic. Anywho, Paul tries to end the segment, but QT has to tell us that Anthony is heavier and has the victory at Double or Nothing in his hands. Ogogo shoos the cameraman out of the way so he can pose in the corner. Cody poses in the other corner, getting more cheers. QT has Ogogo pose in another corner. Is this a three hour show tonight or something? The Factory eventually leaves, Cody thanks Paul Wight and the fans.

We get a video package talking about the upcoming Stadium Stampede match. MJF is rather confident that the Inner Circle can lose two Stadium Stampedes in a row. Jericho says they know what to do, Sammy Guevara says to expect the unexpected. We can expect a celebration of the Inner Circle next.

Meanwhile, Christian Cage has been attacked backstage by Powerhouse Hobbs. Christian gets the upperhand before random backstage folks intervene.

Hangman Adam Page vs. Joey Janela (w/Sonny Kiss): Well, apparently the Inner Circle celebration is not next. Taz is at the announce tale for this one. Page with the side headlock, off the ropes, shoulderblock, off the ropes again, headlock takeover by Page. Page & Janela exchange chops, Page wins that. Snap suplex gets two. Janela dumped outside, Page misses a dive, lands on his feet. Page catches Janela on a dive, hits the fallaway slam on the floor. Back in the ring, Janela fights back and changes the momentum before we go to picture in picture. Janela’s on the offense so it seems like a nice time to relax. Hard whip on Page into the corner. Janela’s chinlock goes nowhere, and Page answers with a big clothesline that sends Janela outside. Page wants the Dead Eye on the apron, but Janela cuts that off. Page does hit the springboard clothesline that knocks Janela to the floor, then hits a dive. Back into the ring, a Sky High variation gets two for Page. Janela gets a two count by pulling the tights because he’s a bad boy. Page boots Janela in the face, and he’s got some blood in his mouth. Page gets suplexed into the corner. Janela goes up top, hits the Macho Man elbow for two. Page fights back, hits the popup powerbomb and a buckshot lariat for the three count. Also got busted open there at some point, not sure how.

Winner: Hangman Adam Page (approximately 10 minutes via pin)
Match Rating: ***

Looks like Janela had some frustration to get off his chest tonight. Dunno what that was all about.

Taz gets on the microphone and introduces Brian Cage. Page is less than impressed, as he knows Taz’s strategy by now. Here comes Hook, and Ricky Starks is out there somewhere. Page says he expected more from Cage. Does he need their help to kick his ass? Apparently his balls shriveled up. Cage should leave them at home and face him like a man. Cage seems down with that. Page might want to get that blood cleaned up, I dunno.

The announcers run down two DoN matches: Page vs. Cage & the Tag Team championship match.

Jon Moxley starts talking with Eddie Kingston in the background, but gets cut off by a commercial. Whoops.

OK, here’s Mox & King again. Mox has been having fun with Rod & Todd Flanders, but it’s enough of that. What makes a great team? He trusts Eddie with his life. Mox loves belts & championships, and he wants & needs those belts. The Bucks might be a better tag team, but the belts are t-bone steaks & they’re pitbulls. Eddie says the Bucks quit on the people & the boys in the back. Some of them are sitting in the back doing nothing, all smiling & nice, but they’re not doing that. Maybe they’ll be EVPs! The pressure is coming.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring, and he’s introducing Orange Cassidy, but Pac makes his way to the ring instead. He tells Tony to get out, which is probably a good idea. Clearly the fans were expecting somebody else. This Sunday, Orange Cassidy is irrelevant. The only individual of any relevance is the man that will beat Kenny Omega and become AEW World Champion, him. Kenny is ducking, dodging & manipulating, and it’s pathetic. Why doesn’t he get out here and stand face to face?

Don Callis is not going to be in the same ring or building with Pac tonight. He is a soulless sociopath that’s a dangerous person. So Callis won’t be there, but Kenny Omega will try & attack from behind. That doesn’t go well, but the Good Brothers appear. That goes a little better until the Lucha Bros make their way to the ring & chase Gallows & Anderson off. Omega goes for the One Winged Angel, but pauses when Orange Cassidy, his Best Friends & Alien come out. OC has a note for Kenny, who manages to cut himself on the envelope. The contract provided last week has been shredded, and an Orange Punch is delivered to Omega! OC bends down to pick up the belt, but Pac cuts that off. Pac tries a move, but gets Orange Punched for his trouble. Now Orange can pick up the AEW World Championship. Looks good!

Earlier today, Tony Schiavone talked to Jade Cargill for about five seconds before Matt Hardy interrupts to talk about himself & ask Jade to join his group. Mark Sterling appears and says he already has the job. He threatens to slap Matt with a restraining order. The difference is that Matt takes 30% of anything, Mark only gets paid when Jade wins. She’ll probably win a lot so it should work out for him.

Jade Cargill (w/Mark Sterling) vs. KiLynn King: King’s got good size and a bright future, but I’m not liking her chances here. She has been turning things around on Dark lately though, so let’s see where it goes. Test of strength here, King with a bridge back & up, Cargill breaks it up with a boot. Jade catches her, does some curls with King & drops her on the mat. We go picture in picture , so this match is going much longer than I thought. King with a kick into the corner, but Jade evades her & hits a spinebuster. Puts the boots to King then punches away on the mat. Simple but effective offense from Jade here, she goes to the chinlock while Sterling yells at somebody. Back full-screen, vertical suplex by Cargill. King fights back briefly before getting dumped outside. Sterling presents a card, but King seems uninterested. Back into the ring, Jade lifts her up for the double chickenwing faceplant and the three count.

Winner: Jade Cargill (approximately six minutes via pin)
Match Rating: **1/4

Jade’s going to be so good once she gets some experience, y’all. Not an original take.

Jake Roberts has some words for Dante Martin, but Lance Archer is much more interested in Miro, and wants him to hold on to that title.

TNT Championship Match: Dante Martin vs. Champion Miro: I don’t think Lance needs to worry about Miro retaining the championship. He punds Martin down in the corner, delivers a big suplex. Kick to the spine. Fans want more of that, but Miro doesn’t abide. Martin fights back, Miro misses a splash. Miro misses in the corner. Up top, Perfect 10 moonsault press gets a one count. Springboard dropkick gets one. Big vertical suplex by Miro, followed by a thrust kick and it’s Game Over for Mr. Martin.

Winner: Miro (approximately three minutes)

Poor kid nearly got bent in half. Jake Roberts tells Miro that his fairytale comes to an end on Sunday. He tells Miro to shut the F up, as he & Archer have had enough. He’s focused, he’s ready. Miro tells the old fart to shut up. Miro wants Lance to come on down, and Jake siccs him. Lance teases the chokeslam for a few seconds, Miro slips out and here come all the referees to break things up. Archer takes ring control while Miro shuffles off into the night.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring with Bryce Remsburg & a new snazzier AEW Women’s Championship, as its time to celebrate one year of Hikaru Shida as champion. Shida enters the ring in a classy red dress. Tony wraps the new belt around Shida, which I’m sure won’t go over well with his bestie. Shida takes the microphone, and is happy that the fans are here now. She’s proud to share this moment with them, as the title is for them. Sure enough, here comes Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D., and she comes in peace. She congratulates Shida, and talks about how she was champion during the most difficult time in wrestling history. This was Shida’s year. Britt misspoke when she talked to JR. When she wins the championship on Sunday, she’ll be the face of a whole new era, which much like how a previous era was all about 3:16, will be all about D.M.D..

Sammy Guevara’s music plays, and he has some posterboard with him to show off during the picture in picture. The Inner Circle will succeed and the Spanish God will hit them up. Not the way he hits up the ladies, I assume.

Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page vs. Dark Order’s Evil Uno & Stu Grayson: Uno & Sky start things off here. Sky with some disrespectful actions early on. Wristlock by Uno, and both men tag out. Grayson randomly jumps over & DDTs Sky on the apron. Page taken into the Dark Order corner, and gets doubleteamed. Grayson with the rolling dive on the apron, but Sky breaks up a second attempt and hits a move as we go to picture in picture. Grayson gets the brunt of the attack now, as Page & Sky exhibit some classic tag team wrestling tactics. Grayson tries to fight back, but constantly gets cut off by the other man. Sky doing a great job of acting like a d-bag. We go back to fullscreen and now Grayson fights back. Blocks the TKO, hits a standing uranage. Flip kick to Page & Sky, and the tag to Evil Uno. Clotheslines & strikes. A rana! A bite to Sky! Flatliner to Sky! Neckbreaker on Page with some inadvertant assistance from Bryce. Some doubleteam offense from Uno & Grayson. Cannonball/450 combo only gets 2! Fatality broken up, Sky locks in the heel hook on Grayson, Uno gets put down with the Ego’s Edge and the three count.

Winners: Scorpio Sky & Ethan Page (approximately nine minutes)
Match Rating: ***1/2

Give that a few more minutes and it’d be pretty darn great, I’d wager.

Page gets the microphone and tells us what happened tonight will be happening Sunday. And now it’s Sting interrupting people! Well, actually it’s Darby Allin with an army of Stings! There’s the real Sting, who removes the fake Sting mask like he’s Jeremy Lambert or something. Sky & Page make a hasty retreat.

Wrestling Trailblazer Eric Bischoff is introduced to host our next segment.

A Celebration of the Inner Circle: Eric Bischoff talks about how twenty-five years ago last night, he got to introduce what would become one of the greatest factions of all time, right here on this network. Tonight, he introduces a group of badass that just might take that crown. The Inner Circle make their way to the ring. What have I become? I ask that question at least once a week. Chris Jericho talks about how it feels good to be surrounded by fans again, and thanks Eric for everything he’s done for him in his career. Eric couldn’t think of a better way to thank Jericho by showing this video package of the Inner Circle’s greatest hits.

So we get a video package showing some of the Inner Circle’s greatest hits from start to possible finish.

Santana says they’ve done some pretty cool shit. He asks if we remember the night the group was formed, and eighteen months later they’re standing together stronger than ever. Today, the best fans in wrestling today have returned. If this is their last time together, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Ortiz says that was beautiful. Jake Hager says it’s about the journey, not the destination, and he wants to see the hard times, when they had to leave part of their soul behind, that made hard men. Sammy Guevara says they’ve been through everything together, he’s gone from wearing a panda on his head to being part of the greatest faction in wrestling. He didn’t like his time away from the group, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure it never happens again. He thanks them for everything. Jericho says he was hesitant because he doesn’t play well with others. He thought they looked & thought like Guns n’ Roses in 1987, they didn’t care about anything except each other and putting on the best performances. If they go out, it’ll be in a blaze of glory. He tells them he loves them, and its a group hug!

Middle fingers to the camera, and MJF emerges on the KahnTron. He’s excited about Sunday. He asks Wardlow if he’s excited, and he asks Dean Malenko if he’s excited! That’s one of Jericho’s closest friends, and the Inner Circle rushes to his rescue. It was a trap, and the Pinnacle boys attack. Piledrivers to Santana & Ortiz by FTR through some tables! Jericho, Hager & Guevara get them on the ground. Group handshake, as when you’re in the Pinnacle, you’re always on top.

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Karnataka govt issues advisory for educational institutions amid spike in Covid cases. Details here

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In view of concerns over recent Covid-19 clusters in Mysuru, Dharwad, and Bengaluru, Karnataka government on Sunday decided to implement a slew of stringent precautionary measures in educational institutions.

Karnataka government in an advisory following recent Covid-19 clusters in Mysuru, Dharwad, and Bengaluru said that all social and cultural events, conferences, seminars, academic events, etc. in educational institutions may be postponed for two months. 

The official statement issued by the Karnataka government informed that, “all students in medical and paramedical and other such educational institutions should be screened daily for symptoms of Covid-19. And the symptomatic should be tested and treated as per the guidelines already issued.” 

It said, “all students in medical and paramedical and other such educational institutions should be screened daily for symptoms of Covid-19. And the symptomatic should be tested and treated as per the guidelines already issued. 

All social and cultural events in educational institutions may be postponed for two months, it said.  

The official statement further informed, “conferences, seminars, academic events, etc. in educational institutions, wherever possible may be postponed. Alternatively, it could be conducted in hybrid mode, i.e. with minimal physical attendance and with more persons attending through virtual mode.”  

This comes a day after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai chaired a meeting on Saturday in which instructions were given to increase vigil on the state’s borders. The Chief Minister gave directions for “strict monitoring at bordering districts of Kerala and Maharashtra and undertaking tight recce on National Highways”.

“It has been decided to impose a temporary ban on cultural programmes in schools and colleges, make the second dose of vaccination compulsory for those working in government offices, malls, hotels, cinema halls, zoos, swimming pools and libraries,” said Karnataka Revenue Minister, R Ashok briefing the media persons about the decisions taken at the meeting.

According to the statement, students in hostels who have got negative RTPCR test reports would have to get the RTPCR test done again on the 7th day after the first report.

“More intense testing for students in medical and nursing colleges will be compulsory. There will be a temporary ban on cultural programmes in schools and colleges,” it added.

 

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Pakistan round-up: Rs 40bn irregularities in Imran’s Covid package, & more

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Pakistan’s total debt and liabilities have crossed Rs 50.5 trillion, an addition of Rs 20.7 trillion under the current government alone.

In June 2018, every Pakistani owed Rs 144,000, which increased to Rs 235,000 by September 2021, an additional burden of Rs 91,000 or 63% during PTI’s tenure.

The State Bank of Pakistan released the debt figures till September 2021, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan described the increasing debt as a “national security issue”.

Pakistan will soon get $3 billion as loan from Saudi Arabia as the cabinet has approved an agreement to keep the amount in the country’s central bank.

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Tensions run high as Swiss vote on Covid vaccine certificate law | Switzerland

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People in Switzerland are voting on a Covid vaccine certificate law, after a campaign characterised by unprecedented levels of hostility in a country renowned for its culture of compromise.

As in much of Europe, Switzerland has seen growing anger over restrictions aimed at reining in the pandemic, and pressure to get vaccinated.

But in a country where there are referendums every few months in a climate of civility and measured debate, the soaring tensions around the vote have come as a shock. Police increased security around several politicians who have faced a flood of insults and death threats.

The polls close at noon (11am GMT) on Sunday, with the results expected within the following hours as the vast majority vote by mail before polling day.

Voters are deciding whether to approve amendments to the Covid law which, among other things, provide the legal basis for a Covid certificate that says if a person has been vaccinated or has recovered from the virus.

Opponents say the certificate, which has been required since September for access to restaurants and other indoor spaces and activities, is creating an “apartheid” system.

Final opinion polls showed about two-thirds of the voters supported the Covid laws.

Police blocked the square in front of the seat of government and parliament in Bern on Sunday, anticipating protests after the result.

Observers have warned that the vote could exacerbate tensions, and even spark a violent backlash among the anti-vaccine crowd if results do not go in their favour.

During the campaign, fences were erected around the buildings to protect them during anti-vax demonstrations.

They were often led by the “Freiheitstrychler” or “Freedom ringers” – men dressed in white shirts embroidered with edelweiss flowers and with two large cowbells suspended from a yoke resting on their shoulders.

Some of the demonstrations have led to violent clashes with police, who have used rubber bullets and teargas to rein in the crowds.

The referendum comes as the new Covid-19 variant Omicron, first detected in southern Africa and classified as a variant of concern, has rattled countries and markets around the world.

It is the second time in less than six months that the Swiss have been called on to vote on the government’s response to the pandemic. In June, 60% of voters approved prolonging national measures.

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