Rewind-A-Dynamite 7/29/20: MJF’s Address, Matt Cardona & Ariane Appear

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John Pollock and Wai Ting discuss AEW Dynamite with the arrival of several new faces to the company, Excalibur misses the show, Raw ratings, an interview with Cody & more.


  • Excalibur off Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite broadcast
  • WWE Raw ratings lead to another low viewership figure and falls in the third hour
  • Cody speaks to ESPN about Mike Tyson, Rey Mysterio, free agents and & AEW business
  • New Japan announces matches and KOPW title ahead of Summer Struggle card at Jingu Stadium
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje announced for UFC 254 and other notes from Dana White

Wednesday’s episode was headlined by a Tornado Tag Match involving Jon Moxley & Darby Allin against Brian Cage & Ricky Starks leading to an AEW title match next week. Plus, The Inner Circle vs. Best Friends & Friends in a 5-on-5 match, Cody defends the TNT title against Warhorse, Kenny Omega & Hangman Page defend the tag titles against Evil Uno & Stu Grayson, a State of the Industry Address from MJF, and the return of Ariane!

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Photo Courtesy: AEW

Rewind-A-Dynamite Theme by Jacob Chesnut

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Just to clarify, because I’ve seen so many people get it wrong, the clip of Excalibur and Kevin Owens being ignorant in a heel promo in PWG is from 15 years ago, not 17. It was on a show that happened June 2005, and the explanation I had heard was that Excalibur was using a quote from a movie released at the time, The Longest Yard starring Adam Sandler. I’m not trying to make any excuses for it, as it’s in very bad taste and is still terrible 15 years later (he also called El Generico a Mexican slur). I’m pretty sure both have apologized for it since; Excalibur has done a lot of bad taste humor at this time that I’m sure he regrets.

In seeing what I suspect was the origins of the clip’s resurrection, a Twitter user with the NXT logo in the back posting it and telling others to have it, it reminds me a lot of the James Gunn situation, where some right-wing entity resurrected tasteless tweets of his to get him fired from Directing Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (he was later rehired). Someone deciding to throw Excalibur under the bus for a tasteless promo from 2005.


Regarding Excalibur’s absence:

Here’s the issue for any performer: if said performer plays a role that is offensive, is the performer going to be judged for the role’s essence?

The counter argument is that Excalibur (and Steen, etc.) were writing their own materials and should have been more aware of the offensiveness of their material.

What about an actor playing any horrible character? Say playing a SS officer in Nazi Germany… or any one of many unsavory characters from any part of history?

And what about Chris Jericho? His Sao Paulo stunt got him in trouble with Brazilian law. You may think that’s only a flag… but apparently the Brazilians were greatly offended. (Personally I’m much more offended by Jericho using Trump Jr. on his podcast.)

And what of WWE Hall-of-Famer Donald Trump, who in recent days has been campaigning on the issue that towns should be able to have housing discrimination again? IMO that is a much, much worse problem than some juvenile humor by a wrestler working a heel a character.

The wrestling industry is by its nature unsavory. Low-brow. Carny. Always has been. Ok, so contemporary American society, at least among the under-30 crowd, doesn’t have the same patience with bigotry that the over 50 crowd appears to have. That’s a good thing.

But can a leopard change its spots?

I believe that Excalibur has recently addressed this on Chris Jericho’s podcast and apologized for it while Kevin Owens did the same on Lilian Garcia’s podcast last year. I think a difference is to be made between a wrestler saying something in character and the person saying it outside of the ring in a “real-life setting”. Was it cheap heat, even if this apparently was the idea of Human Tornado? Sure, I don’t think anyone can deny this. But at this point, why would any of them lose their job over this, like some are probably clamoring for already?

Knowing that they’ve already apologized for this is good enough for me, as they recognized that they should’ve known better. But others will want them to feel permanent guilt and feel contrition forever, like a Damocles sword pending over their head no matter what they do. And this is something that “Cancel Culture” has brought on that needs to be addressed; how far will be too far to dig stuff and ruin someone’s career?

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As a white person, I’m not going to engage in the discourse too much. It’s wildly inappropriate for me or any white person to debate something like “how long is too long” for these kinds of things. At the end of the day, the promos were deplorable. I hadn’t heard about this story until the podcast. There’s no excuse now and there was no excuse then. I hope it is properly handled.

I don’t know anything about Excalibur, but I’m sure Kevin Owens is deeply ashamed and has been for a long time. By all accounts, he seems to have grown to be an exceptional human being. But, everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions. I’m curious to see the follow up and what precedent is set by these companies.

Warhorse was fucking garbage. I hope I never see this guy again.

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Zack Ryder’s tan was hilariously bad.

So I knew of promos like these for awhile. I made a comment about it on twitter and thought that it was probably something that Human Tornado was ok with, which in turn he vanity searched his name and confirmed that to me. Human Tornado though is someone who has gone into the tasteless with PWG. There was one angle I remember he did with Candice LaRae. The angle was he was in an abusive relationship with Candice and I think the week or so after the Benoit tragedy happened, he took Candice and put her in the cross face before Chris Hero made the save.

My point is, regardless of whether or not Human Tornado was ok with it doesn’t make it right, and you have to think about the person in the crowd, or the person just buying the DVD. They don’t need to hear that. I do know Owens has talked about it and have found out Excalibur talking about it but yeah, I’m honestly not sure what should happen. I’m guessing it could be a month suspension but it’s also not really my place to talk about punishments or whatever as I’m not really affected like other people would be.

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I’m sick of people being held responsible about things they did decades ago and apologized for them years before. 2020 is a disease. Just like cancel culture.

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Yeah but pretending these things just happened and pretending the people involved were and still are “problematic” allows us to feel like we’re the heroes forcing change. Don’t you want that? SMH.

No. I feel like someone has an agenda against those people.

Cheerleader Melissa has always been one of my favourite indie wrestler. I haven’t seen her since Lucha Underground and she’s tweeting a lot about the Dark Order. If she shows up for the tag tournament, I am going to scream like a little happy girl.

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Unfortunately that does happen. I remember when Lamar Jackson won the Heisman and then I believe the next day a report came out about homophobic comments he made on Twitter when he was like 14.

A lot of backlash towards the reporter wondering why someone would be looking through this 20 year old’s tweets from 5-6 years ago when he was grade school/high school. He said what he said, but a lot of people thought that the motivation was to find anything they could on this kids brightest day to bring him down due to racist motivations. Who knows for sure, but I do think agenda’s come into play sometimes in situations like these.

Hell, I’m over 40. I’m lucky that social media did not exist when I was a kid/teenager. Because, well teenagers are stupid. I’m we we all were stupid teenagers at one point

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I mean to be fair Excalibur wasn’t a “kid” 15 years ago. He was 25. While still young I was a high school teacher at that age, and on social media, I never did or said anything racist. That said I think context of it being a pro-wrestling promo matters and people can make mistakes, learn from them and move on. If I’m his employer I issue a short suspension to investigate and make sure this was a one time thing and limited just to this context. Then move on.


While it’s not an excuse - I recall at the time, Kevin was specifically quoting Steve Austin’s character in The Longest Yard remake.

While it was as tasteless then as it is now - the distinction does need to be made between this situation and something like Hogan using word.

Clearly this was being done in the context of a wrestling angle, by heels, against a baby face, Human Tornado. This was taking place as characters speaking. This wasn’t somebody in their private life caught unaware, speaking their honest feelings.

Steen and Excalibur knew they were in front of an audience, and cameras. They knew what they were doing. There is no “Gotch ya!” moment that anybody seems to be going after right now.

Is Leonardo DiCarprio racist because he portrayed Calvin Candie, as plantation owner in Django Unchained?

Or going off the Tarantino discussion - while many people might not remember it now, but through many of Tarantino’s early films (specifically Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown) the word was used as edgy language, thrown around with tons of other expletives casually - which many Caucasians took lightly in the context of the films. It’s that sort of edginess I’d venture to guess Excalibur and Steen were going for.

I’m not saying it was right. Not by a long shot. But to see this as anything more than a poorly thought out promo is really, really stretching, and not allowing for context of the time, participants, and place at all.


Judging on how WWE had Kevin Owen’s featured pretty prominently last night, do you guys think AEW would have Excalibur back next week? And possibly ignoring the entire situation just like WWE did?

I don’t know what you do with Excalibur? I guess since they have a precedent I guess you give him the “Sammy Guevara suspension” (fine him, make him take a class and well see him in four weeks)? I do know that if he does come back the mask needs to go for sure. The mask just makes him look like a “goof.”