Victory Casino Cruise New Year Deals, Sales & Promo Codes
Casino Cruise Bonus ll Hol Dir die September 2020 Bonus Codes
NBA Owners' net worth (Dan Gilbert's net worth rose from $7.5 billion to $45.3 billion this year)
...After his company went public. I had to include that in the title. Maybe now he won't be such a cheap bastard with his GMs. I had no idea Gilbert was now the second richest owner in the league. Which made me wonder what other owners are worth (the title of this post was almost "why is Tilman Fertitta such a cheap bastard while Joe Lacob spends money like he thinks the shit's gonna rot?"). Which brings us to this handy Forbes list from March: 1. Steve Ballmer (Los Angeles Clippers): $51.4 billion Ballmer scored a huge win this week for his dream of building a new arena. He bought the Forum for $400 million from the Madison Square Garden Company, which tried to block a new Clippers arena near the Forum in Inglewood, California. 2. Philip Anschutz (Los Angeles Lakers): $11.2 billion Anschutz owns one-third of the Lakers, plus the arena in which they play, the Staples Center, in addition to the NHL’s Kings. \For those wondering, it's hard to find a reliable source on Jeanie's net worth but according to unreliable sources it's in the ballpark of $500 million* 3.Stanley Kroenke (Denver Nuggets): $10 billion The real estate and sports mogul owns teams in the NBA, the NHL, the NFL, MLS and the Premier League. 4.Joseph Tsai (Brooklyn Nets): $9.9 billion The cofounder of Alibaba Group completed his purchase of the Nets last year for $2.3 billion and bought the Barclays Center for an additional $1 billion. 5. Robert Pera (Memphis Grizzlies): $7.1 billion Pera owns nearly three-quarters of wireless equipment maker Ubiquiti Networks. He was the lead investor in the Grizzlies purchase in 2012. 6. Daniel Gilbert (Cleveland Cavaliers): $6.2 billion Gilbert made his first fortune from Quicken Loans, the largest online mortgage lender, which he cofounded in 1985 at 22 years old.*List is from March, before the IPO 7. Tom Gores (Detroit Pistons): $5.7 billion Gores and his brother Alec are both private equity billionaires. The Pistons opened a new $90 million headquarters and training facility in September. 8. Micky Arison (Miami Heat): $5.3 billion Arison’s net worth plummeted 33% over the past six weeks with the collapse in the stock price of Carnival Corp. The world’s largest cruise ship operator was founded by Arison’s father in 1972. 9. Tilman Fertitta (Houston Rockets): $4.4 billion Fertitta furloughed roughly 40,000 employees at his casino and restaurant empire to curb the economic impact caused by coronavirus-induced shutdowns. His fortune is derived from his ownership of the Golden Nugget Casinos and Landry’s, a Texas-based restaurant and entertainment company. 10. Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks): $4.3 billion Cuban was one of the first sports team owners to commit to paying hourly arena workers for games missed during the coronavirus crisis. He’s invested more than $20 million as a “shark” on ABC’s popular Shark Tank show. 11. Joshua Harris (Philadelphia 76ers): $3.7 billion Harris cofounded private equity powerhouse Apollo Global Management in 1990 with fellow billionaires Leon Black and Marc Rowan. He remains a managing director there. 12. Gayle Benson (New Orleans Pelicans): $3.2 billion Benson inherited the Pelicans and the NFL’s Saints when her husband, Tom, died in 2018. 13. Glen Taylor (Minnesota Timberwolves): $2.8 billion His printing firm, Taylor Corp., generates more than $2 billion in revenue annually. Taylor also owns stakes in Minnesota’s MLS and WNBA teams. 14. Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers): $2.6 billion The real estate mogul bought the Pacers with his since-deceased brother, Melvin, in 1983, for $10.5 million. Simon Property Group is one of the world’s largest real estate investment trusts, with 206 properties in the U.S. 15.Antony Ressler (Atlanta Hawks): $2.4 billion Ressler cofounded private equity firm Ares Management in 1997. He owns a small piece of the Milwaukee Brewers, in addition to his controlling stake in the Hawks. 16. Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets): $2.1 billion The NBA’s GOAT sold a minority stake in the Hornets in September in a deal that valued the team at $1.5 billion. Nike pays Jordan more than $100 million annuallybased on growing sales for the company’s Jordan Brand. 17. Marc Lasry (Milwaukee Bucks): $1.8 billion Lasry, a hedge fund titan, joined Wes Edens to buy the Bucks in 2014 for $550 million. He was born in Morocco and moved to the U.S. at age 7 with his family. 18. Gail Miller (Utah Jazz): $1.7 billion Miller transferred ownership of the Jazz in 2017 to a family legacy trust to deter her heirs from selling or moving the team. Gail and her since-deceased husband, Larry, bought the team for $22 million in 1986. 19. Jerry Reinsdorf (Chicago Bulls): $1.5 billion Reinsdorf led a group of investors who bought a controlling stake in the Bulls for $9.2 million in 1985. Good timing. It was one year after the team drafted Michael Jordan, who led the Bulls to six NBA titles. The team is now worth $3.2 billion. 20. Theodore Leonsis (Washington Wizards): $1.4 billion Leonsis initially built his fortune as a senior executive at AOL, before investing in sports teams like the Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals. *Not included on the list but googled for your edification: DeVos Family (Magic): $5.4 billion James Dolan (Knicks): $2 billion Joe Lacob (Warriors): $1.2 billion Vivek Randive (Kings): $700 million Robert Sarver (Suns): $400 million Jody Allen (Trail Blazers): The sister of Microsoft cofounder, Paul G. Allen, took control of the team after his death. At the time her brother was worth $20 billion though he intended to give most of his fortune away... Boston Basketball Partners LLC (Celtics): An American local private investment group formed to purchase the Boston Celtics Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (Raptors): The Raptors are a subsidiary of MLSE The Professional Basketball Club, LLC (Thunder): A group of OKC businessmen "who represent a wide variety of local and national business interests" owns the Thunder Spurs Sports & Entertainment LLC (Spurs): An American sports & entertainment organization, based in San Antonio, Texas owns the San Antonio Spurs
Overview: This is my second installment of my memories of cruising. I am doing this for my own sanity and to remind everyone of our positive times in the past and what the future might bring. During these troubling times with politics and a global pandemic, focusing on something we all consider to be positive is good therapy. Add in your comments of how or what you would do on your day-two when cruising. Lets have some fun with this and leave our negativity out. Try just to have fun in our thoughts. Disclaimer: I am retired 63, a stroke victim yet healthy now, gone on 24 cruises, and spoiled to the core. My reference to the NCL Haven™ is not meant to show what I can afford or I am better than anyone else. It is just my personal favorite experiences. Truth be told, my best cruise was my first. That was 40 years ago, in the cheapest inside cabin on the SS Norway. It was my honeymoon and it was magical. My next cruise in the end of May 2021, will be my 41st wedding anniversary on the same cruise line, now called NCL with my Adult Children. A full circle over 40 + Years. Day 2: Cruise Memories 06:45 AM: I just can’t sleep in today, just can’t. Shower and in-suite coffee on the balcony. All you can see and hear are lovely waves. This is what I have been waiting for all year. 07:30 AM: First Breakfast in the Haven Restaurant. We start with French Press Coffee, of course. Appetizer of smoked salmon from the side fresh buffet, those danishes are calling my name though. With a huge smile, I order my favorite Breakfast, Steak & Over Easy Eggs skip the potato’s. Whole wheat toast with grape jelly. At the end, I always get one single danish. I am trying to not gain my normal 10+ lbs. from this cruise. I am quite clear in my own mind, I will fail. 09:00 AM: Explore the ship. Even after 24 cruises, going deck to deck is so much fun for me. People are just getting up. Still easy to get an elevator and no real crowds in the main walkways. Important to me to find the cigar bar for later enjoyment and there it is next to the Mojito Bar. Also, where is the slot tournament to be held at 01:00 PM, priorities folks. Where is the gym and finally where all the hot tubs on board. 10:30 AM: Gym. 30-minutes on the treadmill. Attempt to allow a bit of those food calories to get used. I know by day three, the exercise will be doomed. All I can think about is going down those huge water slides and driving the electric go carts. My hope is the lines are not to long. On my way back to my suite, I hear that wonderful sound of metal drums by the main pool. The smile begins to become a part of my day, as it always does on past cruises. Entering my suite, my family asks where I have been. I tell them and they are disappointed I did not take them with me. What I see is none of them have even gotten out of bed yet. 12:00 PM: Lunch by the Haven Pool another favorite pastime. Time for the best cheese burger on any cruise ship. No bun, of course. Really, no bun. French Fries YES, bun no? My wife orders a bottle of wine and takes half of it goes back to the room. God love that upgrade to the Premium Plus Drink Package. My wife loves ordering a bottle vs. a glass. It is a vacation isn’t it. This was her plan and I support it. She loves wine in the suite for night time balcony viewing. 01:00 PM: Slot Tournament, my entire family is entered, it is a tradition. We learned to have a few drinks first, because it is so stressful. We always play and never win. This year, my wife whom never gambles makes it to round two. We are so proud of her and consider that a victory. Since I am in the casino anyway, where is that “Buffalo Gold” machine. I feel the cash leaving my wallet forever. Why do I watch those YouTube Slot Guru’s. They are not good for my pocketbook. 02:30 PM: A littler poorer yet still happy, I get ready for my first water slide experience. Every cruise I do the same thing. I find someone whom is a afraid to do the water slide, and talk them into doing it with me. My record for number of consecutive slides is 10. The issue are those darn stairs, I am no spring chicken anymore. All the kids think I am funny because I am as excited as they are to slide. My last victim was my wife who became a huge fan. 04:00 PM: Did I hear “BINGO” or was it “Deal or No Deal”. It is like a magnet for me. The crowds, the joy of watching someone WIN. I debate myself. Do I start drinking NOW or hold off until right before dinner. Hold off today, smart move. I go back to the suite through the casino watching a older woman (that is saying a lot, I am 63) get a jackpot on the machine that took all my money earlier. Happy for her though, kind of. 05:30 PM: There are some ship snacks waiting on the table in the suite, which is always different every day. Today it is those world famous chocolate covered strawberries. Time to clean up and dress for dinner and the show. My wife as usually, is looking at the sun burn she got sitting on the deck and saying, “I think I over did it a bit.” I notice she is in a very happy mood and the bottle of wine in the room is out. I ask her when she started drinking? She smiles and tells me, 12:00 PM, at lunch. Stupid question on my part. I am the light weight in my family on drinking. However, when I get serious, I am serious. Pre-Dinner drinks on the balcony, it is so lovely. 07:00 PM: Dinner tonight is a specialty restaurant. My habit is to go to the steak place the first night. Martini shaken not stirred, slightly dirty with two blue cheese stuffed olives. Shrimp cocktail, Fresh Bread with really good butter, Blue Cheese Wedge and a Rib Eye Medium Rare Plus. I am so full, I simply can’t eat all the fully loaded potato. Maybe a few bits. I have to sit for a while and have some Coffee with Baileys. I am feeling no pain and starting to relax a bit. New York Cheese cake is the finale. “There is cheating and then there is Cheese Cake!” 09:30 PM: I know I am tired because I would usually be in bed by now. The food, drink and excitement of the day is telling my body, pass on the show. I used to listen to myself, not anymore. I will get my second wind shortly and so will you. The show which on the first night is usually a production. We always sit in the last row on the end by the door. We have seen some fantastic and not so fantastic shows. We are not expecting much. Then the music starts and it is all Latin dancing. 90-minutes has never go so quick. This show was incredible. My wife for the first time was on her feet doing a standing ovation. 11:00 PM: This is when my wife and I start to argue. She wants to party some more, I want to chill in the room. Translation, go to sleep. I know her, the moment she hits the pillow, with the sun she got that day, add the food and drink, that is all she wrote. We get to the suite, on the desk are the passes for the excursion we are taking in the morning, I love that. Never gets old. I, just want to dream again about my next day’s breakfast of Steak and Eggs. Tomorrow I add a waffle I thing. We attempt to look at the agenda for the next day however never make it more then 10-minutes before the waves put us to sleep. Perfect second day in my book.
Day 1 of Quitting- My story into gambling addiction
Hi everyone, This is my first post so bare with me. It may be long so don’t feel compelled to read it. I am 26 years old and in the midst of the Pandemic, I have been working from home since March. Before September, I would never have thought of myself having a gambling addiction. I remember being on a cruise when I turned 21 and put $20 in a slot machine and lost it and was so angry and disappointed in myself. Then in September I kept seeing this ad on Instagram for an online casino. One day I succumbed and decided to sign-up because they had a $30 signup offer. I thought, ‘Hey what’s the harm?’ I wish I could go back and slap myself and say don’t do it. I play through the free $30 and won $500. My whole body felt electrified. That went away when I realized there were wagering requirements (I have never been in/involved with casinos so I had no idea). By the time I met the wagering requirement, I had $75 of withdrawalable money. Still excited I made $75 for free I went to withdrawal, but found out the minimum withdrawal amount is $100. So I kept playing and eventually lost it. I wish I learned my lesson that this will be the reality most of the time. For a bit of background, before this I was in a decent financial state. Pretty good job for someone my age, lived alone in a nice apartment, had some credit card debt, but overall manageable. I have some mental health problems (Bipolar and anxiety disorders) but received treatment and relatively stable compared to my early 20s. As the days went on I couldn’t stop thinking about seeing that ‘big win’ flashing on my screen and kept thinking to myself, ‘that $500 could have been mine if I didn’t have that $30 bonus’. So, I decided to deposit $20 and bet low on the same game and won nothing. I felt sick like I did on the cruise. This particular online casino gives you $1 every day, so for the next week I just played but $1 and won some, but not enough to withdrawal. About a week later, I got an email from the casino saying if I deposit $50, I’ll get an extra $50 with no wagering requirement. The thought of depositing $50 was crazy to me so I just deleted the email and continued with my free $1 a day. After about a week of that, I get another email, deposit $50 play with $200. I scoured the fine print and I only had to play through the extra $150 once, then any winnings I can withdrawal. I still hesitated until Friday night where I had a couple drinks and decided to go for it. Back then, I would say this was one of the most fun nights of my life. I kept landing the ‘fireshot’ feature and winning mini and minor jackpots. At the end of the night I won $1200 USD (I’m from Canada so it would be about $1500 CAD). My body was so full of excitement I could barely hit the withdrawal button. When I did, I found out they had to verify my account and I had to send in the required documents. After I researched if this was standard for online casinos and researching this casino, I sent in my documents. I went to bed happy, and already had plans on what I was going to buy/pay off with this win. Unfortunately I was too excited to sleep. So I log back in and miraculously (at least to me back then), my $1200 was still there, and playable. So I thought why not play a few more rounds with a higher bet to get an even bigger win? Big mistake. By 3:00am, I was down to $100. I forced myself to stop so I could still withdrawal something. After about a week or two, I resisted playing/betting more and when I logged into my online banking and saw the $120 deposited, I think that’s when my addiction started. I was no longer satisfied with my free $1 everyday. I started just depositing $20 here and there. On my lunch break or in the evening when I was bored. Then $20 turned into $50 and $50 to $100. After maxing my credit card with no significant wins, I decided enough was enough. And stopped for the rest of September. Most likely because I had researched so much about online casinos, I had more ads than ever tempting me. One night again after a few drinks, I joined a different online casino. This one was completely different, with better games, a level up feature where you get to spin a wheel after each level and win free spins, cash back or free money, I was hooked again. I put in $50 and lost and was completely broke. So I patiently counted down the days until I got paid. I also sold about $500 worth of video games/consoles I didn’t want to sell, but did to have more money to gamble with. On payday, I set an alarm for 4:00am when my pay is deposited. This was the first real sign to myself I may be becoming obsessed, but brushed it off. I deposited $100 and won $200. Same story, I had to verify my account but this was done within hours, and I got my money in two days VS a week and a half with my first casino. Stupidly, I put the $200 back in and lost it. I was back to being broke after only two days of getting paid. By the weekend, my credit card payment posted and in my eyes, I had money again. That night I won most of what I lost back and learned my lesson and withdrew it. When I saw that sum deposited into my bank account, I was ecstatic. I first paid off my credit card I was using to make the deposits, and went out and bought AirPods Pro. I felt rich (even though the win was less than $1000). That evening I wanted to play again, but I had no money. This was the night I learned I could cancel a bill payment within 24 hours. Which I did. And played through all my winnings. Words can’t describe how disappointed I was in myself. I was broke. Credit card maxed. And the only thing I had to show for it were the AirPods. The next day I tried returning them but they wouldn’t accept the return because of their return policy on headphones. I vowed to myself to never gamble again, wrote a note in my phone describing what I was feeling so I could read it if I was ever tempted. That week I fell into a depressive episode. I couldn’t afford groceries, lied to friends and family for not spending time with them because I feared they would want to order food, I didn’t want to admit what happened, so I isolated myself. That week was what I thought was the hardest. I just stayed in bed signing up to every casino out there for free spins no deposit sign ups to try to fill the void but you never actually win anything on no deposit spins. Finally, my good friend asked what is going on and I immediately bursted into tears and told her I was broke, and my credit card maxed. We work at the same job, and long story short, are both getting $5000 in retro pay because of a expired union contract. She told me she would lend me $5000 now, and I would give her my retro money when we get it in February. This was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. Reluctantly, I decided to accept this kindness and we worked out a budget on how I would not let this happen again. Here’s the thing, and I will never forgive myself for, I didn’t tell her all this happened because of gambling. I was too ashamed and embarrassed. Life was somewhat normal again for a couple weeks until one night I decide to just put in $100 and see if I can win some of what I now owed my friend back. After $500 lost, those same feelings came back, but worse since I felt I betrayed my friend’s kindness, and that this isn’t the first time this happened. Fast forward to November - I won again (not nearly enough to recover my losses), paid my credit card and cancelled the payment, lost it all again. Then towards the end of November, my $1000 for rent sitting in my savings account kept calling my name. I have never ever been in a position where I would risk not affording rent, but my addiction was stronger and I lost $500 of it. I had about a week until my rent was due, I had nowhere to turn, I couldn’t ask my friend for a loan because in her mind, and from the few times she asked, I was sticking to my budget. My new way of handling stress was gambling, so I put another $100 in and won $600. I was saved and again vowed myself to never put myself into this position again and ‘quit’. Now it is December, I guess this is my rock bottom. Not nearly as bad as some people’s, but here it is. I took out another credit card for ‘emergencies’ since my main one is maxed. I was good, and didn’t use it except to buy a few groceries which I swore I would pay off on payday. My mental health declined, and I deposited $100 and lost it. Then another $100. Lost it. Made another ‘promise’ to myself to stop and I did until last night. I now owe $1,000 on the new credit card, and my main one is now in a negative balance because of a subscription. I am a liar, I take advantage of people’s kindness that I didn’t deserve in the first place, and now in more credit card debt than I know how to deal with. All I can wish for is I’ve learned my lesson. That the money I lost I will never get back, and to find some way to fill the void gambling has left in my life. After only the first day, I don’t know what will give me that feeling of excitement, the feeling of being alive. I had all my casino accounts deleted this morning, but I know there are more out there, I just really hope I can stop myself from ever going back on this path. If you made it this far thank you for reading. If you have any suggestions on what I can do to not relapse, and any hobbies or activities that can fill the void please let me know.
What’s it like? Tried ODMST it was like dying. Kinda fun if ur into that sort of thing but not euphoric by any means. I only really take opiates on cruises or like Casios but like... I dunno I’m bored these days any opiate I tried is no fun like certain scenariois maybe , regular tramadol is fun when I got places to go and things to do but the speedy affect is maddening if I can’t go places. So I don’t wanna deal with that again it’s only fun like if I’m going to Disneyland or maybe rare occasions like at the movies n shit but his 2MAP what’s it like? I want a fun opiate. Oxy and shit is like boring to me I ain’t into drugs like that I like fun drugs like acid Peyote dxm , and reg opiates aren’t very fun just make me nod out they r worth it in certain scenario is like the casino but I’m just bored cuz the virus and I can order this online , but what does it do? Is it fun? Thus ODMST shit like I say is awful. It’s so awful it’s kinda fun but it’s far from euphoric. It kills pain but it feels like dying. Maybe it just cuz I been sippin it a few days in row and i took it 1st time 2 days after taking tramadol 2 days in a row maybe that why. Like cuz reg tramadol doesn’t work 3 days in a row. But there was a day in between. Anywyas I want fun drugs like... I do. What’s some other shit I can buy online if this ain’t fun? I bought DXM that’s been cool where when I have to be social. I have autism so that’s about the only way i have interest in social scenarioz but like people keep calling so I have to keep pounding that shit. I want something else tho for days I feel like getting fucked up. It’s just sort of a ritual like to get fucked up sometimes , I feel selfish if I don’t . Like I feel like I’m not living up to my true potential. Cuz I’m not having fun n shit and being fun to be around. And the shut I got is getting old and well the lady up the street has acid but that ain’t fun to me it’s like a spiritual medicine to me. It doesn’t sound any fun at all that’s like where I can just sit still for 12 hours and not move and still find contentment in it. So it’s cool, but it’s not fun. I only do that like once every 6 months. I want more fun drugs. Sup?
I am absolutely livid right now. And if I'm livid, it's time to be worried. Story time. When I first started in hotels, I was a total sweetie. I would procure cocoa for kids. I would overlook birthday parties if they were quiet. I would happily fetch someone a roll-away, deliver extra towels, plunge their toilet, etc. I wanted to be the Hospitality Fairy. But after Covid-19? No way. I am beyond done. Our property was pretty "lucky" in the beginning of the pandemic. We closed completely for a few months, unemployment took good care of our team members, and when we reopened, we rarely flirted with 10% occupancy. Rates stayed mostly the same and we had lots of downtime to keep things clean and sanitized. Other than running skeleton crew, morale was okay. Slowly but surely, however, The Locals decided that since they couldn't go on a cruise / to the casino / bar hopping / Mouse Land (lol), they were going to come trash our hotel. Not every local, but enough. It didn't help that our rates dropped. Occupancy climbed which was good for the billz, but not so good for our understaffed, stressed out, team. These rooms were consistently wrecked. Public space was a nightmare every day since we reopened the gym and pool. The amount of guest complaints, requests for amenities, noise violations, under aged drinking, drug deals, 'ladies of the night' and tomfoolery that is currently assaulting my quaint hotel is intense and it's fraying everyone's nerves. And now? A group is staying with us. I want to note here the the Covid-19 cases have shot up recently here and are predicted to continue climbing due to July 4th. So when I came in last night to see a packed lobby full of drunk parents I almost lost it. No social distancing. Zero masks. Shoulder to shoulder, crowded in front of the television, talking about an inch from each other's faces. Yikes. I must have had a thunder cloud over my head because they scattered immediately as I punched in. We don't have a statewide mask mandate so all we can do is FIRMLY HINT that it would be a good idea to mask up. Half an hour into my shift, the phone rings. Sweet guy from room 2006 says room 2007 is blaring music and yelling at the top of their lungs. Oh heck no. Not tonight, sweetums. I excuse myself from a nice conversation I was having with a regular at the desk, grab my keys and phone, and head up to second floor. The elevator door slides open. I can hear 2007 from the goddamned elevator. I was going to try and be polite (it was the weekend and maybe they just needed a gentle reminder of our quiet hours) but now I was upset. They were blaring music like it was Mardi Gras. No consideration for other guests. I knocked on the door and the room went silent. They were trying to wait me out. Nope. I knocked again and announced that I was opening the door. Lo and behold, the door cracked open and I was greeted by a sheepish man in his early twenties. I asked him, sugary sweet, how many guests were in the room. He lied, badly, and said four. I knew for a fact that I had personally watched a group of at least four girls go to his room when I arrived. I gave him a Medusa look and told him that if the noise didn't stop -immediately-, they were leaving. If I received even one additional complaint against their room, they were gone. He nodded and shut the door. You guys can guess what happened right? I gave them five minutes and then went back up. Music had resumed at full volume and the merrymaking had commenced with renewed vigor! Needless to say, they were told to leave and guess how many people streamed past me into the parking lot? 10. 10 people in a tiny hotel room with zero social distancing or masks. I had the decency to not call him out on his lie because they were leaving somewhat peacefully but man, I was furious. I tell people CONSTANTLY, that we are NOT a party hotel, we are NOT built to host events and noise travels like CRAZY between rooms. We cater to business travelers and the occasional sports team and it works. I am beyond sick of locals. Which neatly brings me to the end of my tale. Team morale at my location is pretty low. Nothing is getting done. Positions are getting swapped constantly to stretch hours. It's rough. I am scared. A lot of folks think I'm a Debbie Downer because I attempt to keep an eye on the cases but if that's the cost of staying informed, so be it. To every single one of you who are working right now during this clusterf*k pandemic, regardless of profession, I salute and relate to you with all of my cold, dead heart. ♥️ ******* Edit ******* - - Whoa! This kind of blew up. THANK YOU FOR THE GOLD AND HUGZ! We are ALL in this Pandemic together and it makes me feel so much better to know you guys got my back. ALSO a helpful Redditor pointed out that initially I wrote that our cases had doubled in the last few days. I phrased that incorrectly. Not our TOTAL cases (what a nightmare that would be) but our daily totals. AKA we went from 400~ cases to 900ish DAILY cases over a weekend. Sorry for any confusion!
The best laid PLANs of mice and men often go awry. Welcome back to another effortpost by me generally on the developing arms race in East Asia, this time covering the People's Liberation Army Navy, hereafter referred to as the "PLAN", and its massive growth... and... mostly, well, its massive growth. What that means is mostly covered in other posts about how other countries are responding to it. The why is a bit difficult because, well, China is not well known for open debate, or open anything, really, which will turn up repeatedly.
First And Last Stand Of The Tin Can Navies [ASEAN + Australia and the smaller adversaries China may contend with]
Boned: Problems in the US Air [and space!] Force
--Unnamed-- effortpost on Japanese military matters, mostly about how weird the JSDF status is
--Unnamed--effortpost on Indian military matters, and why they can't focus on China or buy anything that works
--Unnamed--effortpost on the rest of the PLA, mostly the air force though
--Unnamed--effortpost on the rest of the US Armed Forces, mostly talking about how the marines are changing and the Army's new love affair with INF-busting weapons
Glossary: PLA = People's Liberation Army = the armed forces of the People's Republic of China, or China PLAN = People's Liberation Army Navy = the naval forces of the PLA PLANAF = People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force = the air force of the navy of the PLA Ashm = Anti-ship missile, cruise missile unless specifically described as otherwise--there's only one anti-ship ballistic missile in existence and its efficacy and whether or not it functions is questionable CIWS = close-in weapons system, like the Phalanx gun or Goalkeeper VLS = vertical launch system for missiles AEGIS = Aegis Combat System if described specifically in that context, a US naval warfare system, but we'll usually be talking about "Chinese AEGIS", which is a nomiker used by the Chinese media in particular comparing the Type 346 radar to the AN-SPY family, with which it shares numerous technical characteristics--but how comparable the "Chinese AEGIS" system is to what the US uses is a complete unknown. SAM = Surface-to-air missile, in this case usually a S-300 derivative First Island Chain = The islands, stretching from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan, which keep China inside its littoral seas much as the GIUK [Greenland-Iceland-UK] gap has kept various continental powers out of the Atlantic. Some PLAN equipment you might see described--the nomenclature is confusing and a relic of the cultural revolution, and as a result China now has more Types than the British. Type 003 = China's new conventionally powered supercarriers, currently under construction Type 002 = China's first truly "operational" carrier Type 001 = China's first carrier, built on a Soviet hull purchased from Ukraine ostensibly to make a floating casino Type 055 = Guided-missile cruiser, though generally called a destroyer it's probably more descriptively labeled a cruiser Type 052D = Guided-missile destroyer using "Chinese AEGIS" Type 052/051B/052B/052C = the gradual progression of evolving Chinese naval tech, largely built as practice/demo ships like the Type 001. Some of the earlier ones are steam-powered but by the Type 052C you have something almost as advanced as the Type 052D, albeit with turbine problems Type 054A = the standard modern frigate of the PLAN Type 053[anything] = old PLAN frigates Type 096 = China's newest SSBN class, under construction Type 094 = China's first functional SSBN class, very noisy Type 092 = China's first "SSBN", believed to have never left port with an actual nuke on board Type 095 = China's newest SSN class, under construction Type 093 = China's current SSN class, noisy Type 091 = China's first SSN class, dumb dumb dumb and is at a 1950s tech level Type 039[A] = China's new SSK class Kilo = China's older SSK class, imported from Russia Sovremenny = China's first capable anti-air destroyers, imported from Russia
1. The Last Time A Rising Navy Challenged A Dominant Foe
The last time we've seen something like this was in the late 19th century. After the First World War shipbuilding was restricted by the landmark Washington Naval Treaty, one of the first great arms control treaties, and during the Cold War the Soviet Union never really had any hopes of surpassing American naval power. China, however, seems intent on replacing the US as the world's dominant naval power, or at least building a force that can stop the US Navy, even combined with the forces of Japan and other regional allies. The nations in question, of course, in the last naval arms race, were the United Kingdom and a newly-unified Germany. Germany never reached the level of the UK, but seriously threatened it. Previously the UK had maintained a policy of having more ships than the next two largest fleets combined, but this was no longer possible, and the UK legitimately was fearful for its naval supremacy. It didn't last too long in the end--under a decade--and a resumption was foiled by first a world war and then the Washington Naval Treaty. The impact of the arms race, though, was massive. It set Germany and the UK at odds with each other, it resulted in a general buildup of warships pretty much everywhere [South America was, believe it or not, one of the biggest offenders there], established Germany for a time as the world's second naval power, having eclipsed both France and Russia and turning a small coastal defense navy into something that was able to defeat the Royal Navy itself, though never comprehensively enough to change the course of the first world war. China dwells in a much different situation than Germany did at the turn of the last century, so we can only extend the analogy so far--substituting in Japan for the UK, India for Russia, and so on is possible but not, in my view, educational. However, we can see many of the same elements playing in here. China seems intent on replacing the US as a dominant power, or at least as regional hegemon--the ancient tributary system seems to lie fairly heavily on Chinese minds--and in order to do that, it must be able to have some degree of power projection and the capability to deny the US Navy access to areas within the first island chain. It remains to be seen, however, how successful that quest will be. Much as with the dreadnought battleships, I wouldn't be surprised if we never actually do find out if most of the shiny naval toys people have built actually work. But their mere existence shows the mutual hostility developing in the region and demonstrates the size of the Chinese threat. Another lesson learned here is that China, like Germany, may not develop a naval force capable of defeating the US comprehensively, but only partially, and that one of the powers--in this case, China--might be pressured to strike first before the US Navy can close the gap. That ~2030 gap I talked about in my last post is, I think, an especially vulnerable point, because China may look at a degraded, but rejuvenating US Navy, then at their own capable forces, and decide to strike then in Taiwan and the South China Sea, only to back down when the US Navy again eclipses them. Whether or not that will happen, we will see--but I find it a very dangerous and perhaps likely possibility.
2. What the PLAN looked like 20 years ago
The PLAN has undergone an absolutely stunning evolution in the past two decades. In the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis the US could intimidate China with a pair of aircraft carrier strike groups and China could do pretty much nothing about it. Now the US is afraid of sending anything more than a destroyer through the strait. Twenty years ago, the PLAN was a bit of a joke. Even Taiwan figured it could hold the seas against the PLAN. It consisted of a few tens of outdated coastal-defense frigates, some Soviet-era diesel-electric subs, and a large number of unsophisticated missile craft. The pride of the Chinese fleet were a handful of destroyers assembled using cobbled-together Western technology--copied French missiles, American gas turbines, the lot. According to American accounts at the time, the instructions for the equipment hadn't even been translated. The most advanced ship in the fleet used steampower. There were nuclear submarines, but of 1950s quality. Of particular note was the fact that the Chinese fleet had no area air defense capabilities--their premier surface-to-air-missile was an unlicensed knockoff of the French Crotale, and couldn't shoot anything outside of visual range, at high altitudes, or really doing anything more sophisticated than trying to kill their ships with low-altitude dumb bombing runs. In the past twenty years, however, the PLAN has, much like the German Navy towards the end of the 19th century, gone from an afterthought to the world's second most powerful force. It began, as modern China's military capabilities almost all began, with the looting of the former Soviet Union for naval technology. While Soviet naval tech was generally lacking, it was much better than anything else China could get its hands on after the arms embargo placed on it in the 1990s by the US and Europe in response to Tienanmen and the end of the Cold War. China bought Soviet diesel submarines, Soviet air-defense destroyers, and Soviet aircraft carriers, which it promptly left lying around [and turned one of them into a theme park]. This was combined with copies of various pieces of Western, mostly European, technology for everything from sonars to surface-to-air missiles. China then began developing its first modern indigenous surface combatants, the Type 052C, but there were still problems. The engines were Ukrainian and had reliability trouble, the gun jammed, there was no VLS. It is really in the last ten years that things have begun to move extremely quickly, and even only in the latter portion of the decade. In 2012 the Type 001 Liaoning entered service, and although it remains more of a training ship than an operational vessel, and is held back by a poor carrier aircraft, the mere fact that China "built" a carrier was a surprise to many. In 2014 the first Type 052D destroyer came online. It had learned the lessons from the Type 052C, and in just the last six years at least ten have entered service, with a class size of about 23 expected. This rapid expansion is what has frightened competing navies the most--in a little over a decade, the PLAN is constructing more destroyers than the British, French, and Australian navies have in service combined. It is also building the Type 055, which has generally been called a "destroyer" despite being more aptly described as a cruiser in line with the Ticonderoga-class. China has also built 30 modern frigates in the past decade, which has also swelled its numbers, along with numerous smaller corvettes, submarines, and so on. This is why the PLAN has become such an object of concern. While it cannot challenge the US Navy yet, at least outside its littoral zones, the decline of the USN and rapid expansion of the PLAN means that it is a serious threat. And the speed at which it has developed has made many fearful. As recently as 2010, the idea of China operating an aircraft carrier or modern destroyers seemed distant, possibly preposterous. Now China speaks openly of having a six-carrier fleet in the 2030s, although, as with many of China's plans to operate full US-replicated tech and doctrine, these may have somewhat caved to realism. China is mighty, but it has already done the easy part--the last part is much harder, in economics and in military matters. Building the software, the institutional knowledge, the hardware to compete with the US Navy will prove difficult.
3. What the PLAN looks like now--submarines
Submarines are one of the PLAN's weak spots, particularly nuclear submarines. China is, however, making some fairly rapid advances in this area. Their nuclear submarine program has been considered a bit of a joke for some time. In the late 1950s when all the cool kids great powers were getting nuclear submarines, China decided [or at least Mao did] that China needed nuclear submarines too. About 16 years later, the product of this effort finally emerged as the Type 091 submarine. Based on 1950s technology, with poor radiation shielding and basically nothing done in the name of noise reduction, and not even a teardrop hull, the Type 091 was probably more of a threat to the sailors who were on it than anyone else, except maybe the two Tench-class submarines that Taiwan operates, which use 1940s technology and are the world's longest-serving submarines, though they're mostly used for training nowadays. Even then, my money would be on the Tench despite the upgrades the PLAN has made to the Type 091. There's only so much you can do to put lipstick on a pig. China also produced an SSBN, the Type 092, which was probably the only submarine more useless than the Type 091. About the only useful thing it did for the PLAN was that it served as a test platform for SLBM launches. Reports suggest that the Type 092 is the noisiest SSBN ever made, and is thought to have only ever undertaken a single patrol. It stayed at port for so long that it was thought to have sunk in an accident. And the experience turned the PLAN off from building SSBNs for over twenty years, until the Type 094 came online in 2007. More recent submarines are growing in capability, though. The Type 094 is not the noisiest SSBN ever made, and may not even be the noisiest in current service--that honor going to the Delta III operated by the Russian Navy, which uses 1970s technology, and, which, according to the US Office of Naval Intelligence, is about as noisy as the Type 094. The Type 093 is also moderately capable--it actually functions and can fire anti-ship missiles. However, the Type 093 is still considered only comparable to the Soviet Victor III class, again using 1970s technology. Future submarines have not yet been seen, but expectations are that China will make another step forward to late 1980s or early 1990s tech levels, producing something on par with the Los Angeles or Akula for the first time. China also operates a fairly capable fleet of coastal diesel-electric submarines. While some are quite old--the Type 035--most are pretty average for the global submarine force, a mix of Kilos and domestic AIP designs. The large number of boats in operation and their anti-ship missile capability means that these should be considered a real threat, at least in the littoral waters near to China, but they aren't decisive by any means, especially since China is facing off against such threats as Japan's Soryu class, probably the most advanced diesel-electric sub in existence. In conclusion, the PLAN is still pretty weak on the submarine front--weaker here than on anything but its carrier force, but its capabilities are advancing rapidly and should not be underestimated.
4. What the PLAN looks like now--surface combatants
The surface fleet is definitely the most impressive and capable portion of the PLAN, no questions about it. China once had a fleet consisting mostly of coastal frigates and missile boats. As recently as 2000, its fleet had no real area-air-defense destroyers, and no SAMs that could operate outside visual range. Now, though, the PLAN operates tens of advanced guided-missile destroyers, advanced frigates, and still retains a large number of small, stealthy missile boats. The major focus of Chinese warships appears to be on anti-air, with anti-surface being a somewhat secondary concern for all but the smallest vessels. This makes sense when you realize that the primary focus is, at least for the moment, on using land-based aircraft to strike against hostile fleet formations using long-range anti-ship missiles, in a very Soviet sort of way--"Backfire raids" using long-range land-based aircraft with anti-ship missiles were one of the US Navy's major concerns during the Cold War, and the very reason for the F-14's existence along with the AIM-54 Phoenix it carried. However, China has been developing anti-surface capabilities as well using ashms and land-attack cruise missiles [generally the same thing, actually]. Since China has finally developed a VLS system that allows it to use the same launcher for multiple missiles, its most recent ships have become more versatile in that role. How effective these ships are at that task is, however, a relatively open question. Their radars at least seem to quite sophisticated, using flat-panel AESA, and have been dubbed "Chinese AEGIS" by the highly reliable Chinese domestic media. The basic platform their surface-to-air missiles are based on also seems to be fairly capable--the HQ-9 is an S-300 derivative, a respectable SAM system though, again, how capable it is against opponents in an active electronic warfare environment is questionable, and it has basically no capabilities against stealth aircraft like the F-35 as far as anyone knows. The efficacy of their CIWS, again, is open to question. Really this is true of everything about the modern PLAN, and PLA in general. The PLA is secretive, has not exported most of its hardware, and has developed largely independently of foreign militaries, though it is definitely influenced by them. Now that the PLAN has moved away from simply copying foreign hardware and patching it together, its capabilities are much harder to discern. However, they should be taken as a very real threat, and not written off. My guess would be that their warships are about as capable as most of their non-American counterparts, save those equipped with AEGIS, but that's all my guess is---a guess.
5. What the PLAN looks like now--carriers
The PLAN currently has two carriers in service, and two more known to be under construction, and most suspect that it will build several more. However, at the moment, the PLAN's carrier force is largely a paper tiger, designed around training. The first carrier, the Type 001, basically was a "how do you build a carrier" kit bought from Russia, possibly by accident--the "fully functional" Minsk ended up as a theme park, believe it or not. The hull was purchased from Ukraine and then completed in China years later. It is also believed that the PLAN may have learned some things about aircraft carriers from the HMAS Melbourne, which was sold to a Chinese firm for scrapping--rumor has it the PLAN had no clue this had happened and then had a field day looking at all the stuff that hadn't been taken out. This was back in the old days when nobody could imagine that China would have an aircraft carrier. The Type 002, however, is built from scratch, but isn't particularly capable especially as it's a ski-jump carrier, leaving the Type 003 the first carrier which will prove actually useful. The main thing holding China's carrier fleet back, though, is a lack of a suitable aircraft. Originally China was considering purchasing Su-33s from Russia, hardly a good carrier-based aircraft but functional, but after Russia discovered that China had been mucking about building a Su-27 derivative without asking the deal fell through [China tells a different story, saying that Russia demanded exorbitant amounts to reopen production which it was unwilling to pay for a nearly obsolete aircraft]. As a result China operates the J-15 as its naval fighter, with... less than stellar results. It's extremely heavy, and, if it takes off from the carrier, has minimal range if carrying anything at all--it can't take more than two short range air to air missiles into the sky to fight enemy aircraft. However, the J-15 isn't really intended for combat service--it's intended to teach China how to run carriers, and it seems to work well enough for that task, aside from the multiple fatal crashes. There is, however, thought to be a new carrier fighter in the pipeline--most say the J-31/FC-31, which has reduced RCS and a number of carrier-unique features, is being pitched as a carrier-based aircraft and will serve as China's carrier fighter in the future. China also lacks any fixed wing carrier-based airborne early warning, which could prove troublesome--a lack of AEW means that its view is limited by the horizon--and has no resupply aircraft like the C-2 Greyhound. As a result, for the moment at least, China lacks an effective carrier force, but it is likely to continue developing rapidly in the next decade and become a fairly substantial threat. Remember that as recently as 2010, a Chinese aircraft carrier seemed preposterous to many people, and now they have two.
6. Some attention to land-based aircraft
Land-based aircraft as a naval weapon are not generally used by the US, which has never had a reason to develop them as a doctrinal focus. Sure, you could potentially envision them as being used, and there even were situations where they were utilized, but it just wasn't generally a priority or how things were done. For China, though, taking influence from the Soviets, and lying on littoral seas with hostile powers in the First Island Chain, land-based aircraft and missiles are a key part of doctrine. Although this is often viewed as a new thing, called A2/AD [anti access/area denial], it's really the result of a long historical evolution of naval power, probably most refined by the Soviet Union. As a result, land-based naval aviation plays an important role, firing anti-ship missiles at standoff distances at enemy vessels, and shore-based launchers of anti-ship missiles are also an important weapon. The combination of these systems means that venturing within China's littoral seas is a dangerous proposition during war, and some waters, like those of the Taiwan Strait, are effectively considered closed at this point in the event of hostilities breaking out. For this reason air superiority is also important in this sort of naval warfare, as if either side gains air superiority it can pummel its opponents with air-launched anti-ship missiles. China's capabilities in this area are sophisticated and should not be underestimated, but they are unlikely to go through a rapid period of growth like the PLAN's fleet. And a brief note dedicated entirely to the DF-21D "Carrier killer" that the PLA likes to show off. It's a pretty impressive capability, on paper, using a ballistic missile to hit a carrier. The CEP [circular error probable] means that it could even happen, presuming that an aircraft carrier was good enough to sit in one place, not moving, long enough to be detected by China. Aircraft carriers look big, but the seas are huge, and they're surprisingly hard to find. They also move quite fast, in excess of of 35mph/55kph, and thus by the time the ballistic missile has launched it might well be out of range given the fact that ballistic missiles are not particularly known for their maneuverability in terminal stages, at least not in the realm of miles. The DF-21D is not a particular threat to the modern aircraft carrier. It could potentially be one if it evolves into a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, but that's a whole additional can of worms, that I might address a different day.
7. The PLAN's plans for the future--what will it look like in 2030?
Unfortunately the PLAN is not exactly the most open of navies, as I've repeatedly mentioned. There are no public debates over acquisitions programs, no big fleet shape plans, relatively little detail. However, a few things are fairly sure bets or publicly announced. China has repeatedly announced plans to build a six-carrier force, including the Type 001 and Type 002, but also a pair of Type 003 [already under construction] conventionally powered supercarriers and a pair of Type 004 nuclear powered supercarriers. However, it seems that the Type 004 is currently on hold. Why, exactly, is unclear, but it seems to be technical difficulties, which are not particularly surprising given that China's experience with nuclear maritime propulsion seem to be rather limited and have had poor results in their submarine fleet. The costs were also expected to be too high--China does not have an unlimited quantity of money, despite what it may flaunt, and nuclear carriers are expensive to develop especially given that China has not built a nuclear-powered surface ship before. A new carrier-based fighter is almost certainly in the cards because the J-15 is pretty much useless. The FC-31 seems by far the most likely candidate but it could be another aircraft we haven't seen yet. The addition of this aircraft will greatly improve the PLAN's capabilities. China also has two Type 075 amphibious assault ships/LHDs under construction, and I would expect this class to be much more prolific. These ships are much more affordable than the full carriers, and focus on areas in which China is particularly concerned--amphibious assaults, say, on islands in the South China Sea or on Taiwan, and anti-submarine warfare, which is of particular importance given that submarines cannot be easily halted with land-based anti-ship missiles and air-launched cruise missiles provided for in their area denial doctrine--submarines are one of the few things that can slip through that net. The surface combatant fleet is likely to continue growing, but I am not sure if it will swell much beyond the ~23 Type 052D ships planned and the 8 Type 055s. We're likely to see the retirement of the classes preceding the Type 052C destroyer and the Type 054 frigate, and they may be offloaded to Bangladesh, Myanmar, or Pakistan--there is substantial precedent here, and it seems that China is interested in expanding the naval capabilities of its partners around India. The submarine fleet is likely to see rapid expansion if the PLAN is satisfied with the Type 095 and Type 096 classes, and we're likely to see more diesel-electric subs built as well. Submarines are generally quite good at fighting submarines and conducting area-denial missions, and the large and capable subsurface forces of Japan, Korea, and the United States means that this has to be an area the PLAN invests more in--and the fact that several Southeast Asian nations are also looking at acquiring submarines makes the issue more pressing.
China has in the past decade gone from a third-rate navy to perhaps the greatest threat the US Navy has faced since the Second World War. This has significant geopolitical implications, and has resulted in neighbors scrambling to overhaul their naval forces. The growth of the PLAN means that the US can no longer easily defend Taiwan or the South China Sea, or any of China's littoral waters. This, more than anything else, is what has everyone scrambling in the US talking about "great-power competition" because denying access to the US Navy and working on power projection, an inherently naval thing, is essentially a clear sign that China is looking to directly compete with the United States. Underestimate the PLAN at your own peril. I hope to have more detail and citations in future posts, but unfortunately the PLAN is very secretive [yes, I've said that fifty times already] and this is a pretty big topic to discuss without going into details about all sorts of naval tidbits. Thanks for reading the fourth post in what I hope will be a fairly substantial series, probably around ~12 posts.
Good morning, hope everyone trades responsibly, let’s make some money!
Boeing Company (BA) - Air Lease (AL) updated on its order book deliveries, sales and new significant financing occurring in Q2; at the end of the quarter, its fleet was comprised of 301 owned aircraft and 81 managed aircraft, with 398 new aircraft on order from Boeing and Airbus (EADSY) set to deliver through 2026; it delivered one new Airbus A320neo aircraft from its order book, and sold four aircraft. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is facing calls from over 170 nonprofit groups to stop selling its talc-based Baby Powder worldwide, over concerns that it contains cancer-causing Asbestos, while some are also calling for the clearing of existing inventories. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Q3 20 (USD): Adj. EPS 0.83 (exp. 1.17), Revenue 34.6bln (exp. 34.36bln), FY20 Adj. EPS view 4.65-4.75 (exp. 5.42); Suspending share repurchase programme, raises quarterly dividend to USD 0.4675/shr, a 2.2% increase. US Retail Pharmacy SSS +3.0% (exp. +1.2%). Most significant COVID-19 impact was in the UK market which required a review resulting in a non-cash impairment charge of USD 2bln. Boots (UK) will be cutting around 4,000 jobs. Annual cost savings to be in excess of USD 2bln by FY2022.
Alphabet Inc (GOOG/GOOGL) said it has shut down its cloud project named “Isolated Region” and added that it was not weighing options to offer its cloud platform in China; earlier reports had stated that GOOG had shelved the project in China and other politically sensitive countries in May, partly due to rising geopolitical tensions and the pandemic; GOOG, however, added that the project’s shutdown was not due to either of those two reasons and that it has not offered cloud platform services in China. American Airlines Group (AAL) / United Airlines (UAL) have temporarily halted flights to Hong Kong after its government-imposed coronavirus testing requirements for airline crews, according to Politico. Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) June sales update saw comparable sales (ex-gasoline and FX) rose 13.6% in the June five-week period, accelerating from the +9.2% seen in May, beating forecasts for around 9% growth. Facebook, Inc. (FB) announced it is starting a chat with a business using QR codes, where people can scan QR codes businesses show at stores, product packaging or receipts to start a chat. It notes there are over 50mln WhatsApp Business app users globally every month. Gilead Sciences (GILD) plans to make more of its drug remdesivir available for Germany and Europe from the fall, and will decide how much each country gets based on the rate of infection; it added that it could increase its worldwide monthly production from currently 190,000 treatment cycles to two million treatment cycles in December. Remdesivir is currently the only drug granted a conditional marketing authorisation by the EU for its use in COVID-19 patients.Oracle Corp. (ORCL) (Information Technology/Application Software) has been awarded a cloud services agreement by the Canadian government.
S & P 500
Carnival Corp. (CCL) Aida cruises are to recommence sailing vacations in August. Ford Motor (F) said its China vehicle sales increased 3% in April-June from a year earlier, its first quarterly sales rise in China in almost three years; China sales grew by 158,589 units in Q2, attributed to the rise to a stronger vehicle line up and “strong demand following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions”. Mylan NV (MYL) announced it received FDA approval for its Hulio, a biosimilar to AbbVie Inc. (ABBV) Humira, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Twitter, Inc. (TWTR) has been accused of being biased against conservatives and demanded information about its reactions to two tweets by President Donald Trump; two GOP lawmakers allege TWTR’s content moderation was not neutral. Meanwhile, analysts at Citi note its shares overreacted to the potential subscription service reports yesterday. Analyst Jason Bazinet says although it makes sense, there are many unknowns, such as the price and whether or not it will have advertisements. The analyst highlights that a consumer survey shows roughly 10% of its respondents were willing to pay for a USD 5/mth plan without ads and more analytic services. Citi estimates if such a service were to occur, it would be priced at USD 20/year internationally and USD 60/year in the US, assuming a 5% penetration for base case and 10% for its bull case with advertisements, the analyst believes the revenue contribution would be limited. Citi maintain a neutral rating. United Continental Holdings (UAL) expects to recognise USD 300mln in employee separation charges in Q2, with USD 50mln to be in cash. ViacomCBS (VIAC) reached a deal to stream all the UEFA Champions League and Europa League matches starting in August.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) Q1 20 (USD): Adj. EPS -1.96 (exp. -1.22), revenue 1.31bln (exp. 1.39bln). Announced it is to close 200 stores over two years as sales fell around 50% during pandemic; BBBY said it was not reporting comp sales due to temporary store closures. DocuSign (DOCU) had its PT upgraded at Wedbush to USD 240 (prev. USD 165, prev. closing price 206.35). The analyst “continues to believe DOCU’s deal flow is holding up well/stronger than expected in this Covid-19 pandemic environment which bodes well for strong underlying metrics/headline numbers during FY2Q”. DraftKings (DKNG) and Twin River Worldwide (TRWH) Mardi Gras Casino announced the opening of DKNG’s temporary sportsbook at the casino in Black Hawk, Colorado. Guests can place bets at the sportsbook from 10th July. Energy Transfer (ET) provided further clarification around news reports regarding the operations of the Dakota Access Pipeline, stating that it has never suggested that it would defy a court order. Rather, Dakota Access Pipeline was seeking appropriate relief from that order through the established legal process. Japan Display (6740 JT) : FY group net loss JPY 101.42bln (prev. net loss JPY 106.59bln), operating loss JPY 38.54bln (prev. loss JPY 27.23bln), recurring loss JPY 57.76bln (prev. JPY 40.37bln). Moderna (MRNA) announced a collaboration for large-scale commercial fill-finish manufacturing of its vaccine candidate with Rovi. PTC (PTC) expects to deliver fiscal third quarter 2020 ARR growth of 9% year over year, 10% in constant currency; and also expects to deliver double-digit revenue and free cash flow year-over-year growth for the fiscal third quarter 2020; it will report results on 29th July. Restaurant Brands (QSR) Burger King in the UK is warning of 1,600 potential job losses as it could close up to 10% of its restaurants SAP (SAP GY, SAP) – Q2 prelim: total revenue EUR 6.74bln, +2% (+1% non-IFRS), operating profit EUR 1.28bln, +55% YY (+8% non-IFRS), non-IFRS cloud revenue EUR 2.04bln +21% YY (19% non-IFRS). At present, cloud backlog seen at EUR 6.65bln, +20%, cloud backlog remains strong but cloud revenue in Q2 was impacted by lower pay-as-you-go transactional revenue given COVID-19. Reiterates FY20 outlook. For FY20: confirm non-IFRS revenue EUR 27.8-28.5bln vs. Prev. EUR 27.6bln, cloud revenue EUR 8.3-8.7bln vs. prev. EUR 7.0bln, operating profit EUR 8.1-8.7bln vs. Prev. EUR 8.2bln. Have seen a strong sequential improvement compared to Q1 regarding software license revenue. Q2 & H1 results will be released on 27th July. Siemens (SIE GY, SIEGY) – Are to spin off 55% of Siemens Energy to shareholders will equate to 1 Siemens Energy share for 2 Siemens shares. Initial listing of new shares is scheduled for 28th September 2020, will commence with a BBB rating at S&P. Siemens will retain a 35.1% stake in the spin-off and the Siemens pension trust an additional 9.9% stake, as such Siemens no longer has a controlling share. Further stake reductions could take place at a significant scale in the next 12-18 months. Separately, Co. are not planning any job reductions from COVID-19. For reference, in FY19 Siemens Energy generated revenue of circa EUR 29bln according to Siemens AG combined statements.
Additional US Equity Stories
Of note for Social Media names (FB, TWTR, SNAP), ByteDance is reportedly considering a change in the corporate structure to distance the app from China, and is also considering a TikTok HQ outside of China, according to WSJ. Peloton (PTON) new product will probably not be a rowing machine or exercise bike, its CFO announced, but it could potentially be a lower price treadmill. The CFO stated the co. believes “the running and boot camp category is two-to-three [times] the size of the bike category”, adding it is first and foremost on their minds, reports Barron’s. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) CFO says towards the end of Q3 online volume sales reached Black Friday levels on a daily basis, and May sales increased almost 120%, with June sales growth even higher. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Musk announced the automaker was "very close" to developing fully autonomous vehicles and could work out the basics of that technology as soon as this year; he reiterated that the electric vehicle maker has solved most of the essential challenges toward achieving fully self-driven cars that needs no human behind the wheel. The Tesla and SpaceX chief was reaffirming a goal first expressed in 2019. Delta AIrlines (DAL) CEO reiterates urge for workers to consider voluntary departure., and announced it flew 20% of customers over the July 4th weekend.
[Lost in the Sauce] Trump admin hides Paycheck Protection program details; lawmakers benefit from loans
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Title refers to: The Trump admin is blocking IGs from getting info on over $1 trillion in relief spending, including corporation bailouts. The admin is also withholding PPP info from Congress, meaning we don't know if Trump or his family took taxpayer money. Additionally, we learned that at least 4 members of Congress have benefited from PPP money, but aren't required to disclose it. Housekeeping:
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Inspectors general warned Congress last week that the Trump administration is blocking scrutiny of more than $1 trillion in spending related to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the previously undisclosed letter, Department of Treasury attorneys concluded that the administration is not required to provide the watchdogs with information about the beneficiaries of programs like the $500 billion in loans for corporations. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin refused to provide Congress with the names of recipients of the taxpayer-funded coronavirus business loans. After criticism, Mnuchin began to walk back his denial, saying he will talk to lawmakers on a bipartisan basis “to strike the appropriate balance for proper oversight” of PPP loans “and appropriate protection of small business information.” At least 4 lawmakers have benefited in some way from the Paycheck Protection program they helped create.Politico has been told there are almost certainly more -- but there are zero disclosure rules, even for members of Congress.
Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is a senior executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.
Mick Mulvaney dumped as much as $550,000 in stocks the same day Trump assured the public the US economy was 'doing fantastically' amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Mulvaney unloaded his holdings in three different mutual funds, each of which is primarily made up of US stocks. The next day, the value of the mutual funds tanked.
Cases rising in many states
Good summary: There was supposed to be a peak. But the stark turning point, when the number of daily COVID-19 cases in the U.S. finally crested and began descending sharply, never happened. Instead, America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths. This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways…The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were significantly climbing in 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington. Oklahoma is experiencing a massive increase in coronavirus cases just days before Trump’s planned rally in Tulsa. In Tulsa county itself, 1 in roughly 390 people have tested positive. Yet Trump plans on cramming 20,000 people in an event with voluntary face mask policy and no social distancing. Attendees must sign a waiver that absolves the president’s campaign of any liability from virus-related illnesses.
On Monday, Pence lied saying that Oklahoma has “flattened the curve.” As you can see at any of the resources immediately below, this is not even close to true. Over the past 14 days, the state has seen a 124% increase in cases and reports 65% of ICU beds are in use.
Tulsa World Editorial Board: This is the wrong time and Tulsa is the wrong place for the Trump rally. "We don't know why he chose Tulsa, but we can’t see any way that his visit will be good for the city...Again, Tulsa will be largely alone in dealing with what happens at a time when the city’s budget resources have already been stretched thin."
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he is a victim of double standards when it comes to perception of his decision to resume campaign rallies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that attempts to “covid shame” his campaign “won’t work!”
Resources to track increases: There are many different sites with various methods of visualizing the spread of coronavirus. Here are some that may be particularly useful this summer… Topos COVID-19 compiler homepage and graphs of each state since re-opening. How we reopen Safely has stats on each state’s progress towards meeting benchmarks to reopen safely (hint: almost none have reached all the checkpoints). WaPo has a weekly national map of cases/deaths; the largest regional clusters are in the southeast. On Monday, Trump twice said that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” (video). Aside from the fact that cases exist even if we don’t test for them, we cannot explain the rising number of cases by increased testing capacity: In at least 14 states, the positive case rate is increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests.
Reminder: In March Trump told Fox News that he didn't want infected patients from a cruise ship to disembark because it would increase the number of reported cases in the US. "I like the numbers being where they are," Trump said at the time. "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn't our fault."
Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s… Her site shows thousands more people with the coronavirus, and hundreds of thousands fewer who have been tested, than the site run by the Florida Health Department.
Equipment and supplies
More studies prove wearing masks limits transmission and spread of coronavirus… One study from Britain found that routine face mask use by 50% or more of the population reduced COVID-19 spread to an R of less than 1.0. The R value measures the average number of people that one infected person will pass the disease on to. An R value above 1 can lead to exponential growth. The study found that if people wear masks whenever they are in public it is twice as effective at reducing the R value than if masks are only worn after symptoms appear. Meanwhile, Trump officials refuse to wear masks and Trump supporters copy his behavior… VP Mike Pence, leader of the coronavirus task force, published a tweet showing himself in a room full of Trump staffers, none wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Pence deleted the tweet shortly after criticism. A poll last week showed that 66% of likely-Biden-voters “always wear a mask,” while 83% of likely-Trump-voters “neverarely wear a mask.”
Trump’s opposition to face masks hasn’t stopped him from selling them to his supporters, though. The online Trump Store is selling $20 cotton American flag-themed face masks.
Yesterday, we learned that South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice and family have tested positive for the coronavirus. Just two weeks ago, Rice was on the House floor and halls of the Capitol without wearing a mask.
Internal FEMA data show that the government’s supply of surgical gowns has not meaningfully increased since March… The slides show FEMA’s plan to ramp up supply into June and July hinges on the reusing of N95 masks and surgical gowns, increasing the risk of contamination. Those are supposed to be disposed of after one use. Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re receiving defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. Officials say FEMA is sending them gowns that look more like large tarps -- with no holes for hands -- and surgical masks that are paper-thin. More than 1,300 Chinese medical-device companies that registered to sell PPE in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic used bogus registration data… These companies listed as their American representative a purported Delaware entity that uses a false address and nonworking phone number. Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, but hospitals don’t want it… Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered a million doses of the drug to show support for Trump, but very few hospitals have requested it.
Native American communities struggle
The CARES Act money for Native American tribes, meant to assist people during the pandemic, came with restrictions that are impeding efforts to limit the transmission of the virus. For instance, the funds can only be used to cover expenses that are "incurred due to the public health emergency." On the Navajo Nation, the public health emergency is inherently related to some basic infrastructure problems. 30% of Navajo don’t have running water to wash their hands, but the money can’t be used to build water lines. Federal and state health agencies are refusing to give Native American tribes and organizations representing them access to data showing how the coronavirus is spreading around their lands, potentially widening health disparities and frustrating tribal leaders already ill-equipped to contain the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data that it’s making freely available to states. A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns… Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that state officials would investigate the allegations.
Personnel & appointees
Former IG Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired. In addition to investigating Pompeo's potential misuse of taxpayer funds and reviewing his decision to expedite an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, Linick’s office was conducting an audit of Special Immigrant Visas, a review of the International Women of Courage Award, and another review "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol."
Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing: Linick testified that Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, a decades-old friend of Pompeo’s, “tried to bully [him]” out of investigating Pompeo.
Trump has empowered John McEntee, director of the Presidential Personnel Office, to make significant staffing changes inside top federal agencieswithout the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head. Many senior officials in Trump's government are sounding alarms about the loss of expertise and institutional knowledge. Trump’s nominee for under secretary of defense for policy, retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, has a history of making Islamophobic and inflammatory remarksagainst prominent Democratic politicians, including falsely calling former President Barack Obama a Muslim. Amid racial justice marches, GOP advances Trump court pick hostile to civil rights.Cory Wilson, up for a lifetime seat on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, has denied that restrictive voting laws lead to voter suppression and called same-sex marriage “a pander to liberal interest groups.” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt has indefinitely extended the terms of the acting directors of the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service, sidestepping the typical Senate confirmation process for those posts and violating the Federal Vacancies Reform Act,
Courts and DOJ
The Supreme Court declined on Monday to take a closer look at qualified immunity, the legal doctrine that shields law enforcement and government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? In practice, however, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts. The Supreme Court ruled that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.
Alito, writing more than 100 pages in dissent for himself and Thomas, accused the court's majority of writing legislation, not law. Kavanaugh wrote separately: "We are judges, not members of Congress...Under the Constitution and laws of the United States, this court is the wrong body to change American law in that way."
Just days before the SCOTUS opinion was released, the Trump administration finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. The SCOTUS ruling may make it easier to challenge the changes made by Trump.
The Supreme Court also declined to take up California’s “sanctuary” law, denying the Trump administration’s appeal. This means that the lower court opinion upholding one of California's sanctuary laws is valid, limiting cooperation between law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, two of the Court's conservative members, supported taking up the case. A federal appeals court appeared unlikely Friday to stop a judge from examining why the Justice Department sought to walk away from its prosecution of Michael Flynn. "I don't see why we don't observe regular order," said Judge Karen Henderson. "Why not hold this in abeyance and see what happens?" Judge Robert Wilkins told Flynn's lawyer that if Sullivan doesn't let the government drop the case, "then you can come back here on appeal."
Good read: Fiona Hill on being mistaken as a secretary by Trump, her efforts to make sure he was not left alone with Putin, and what the US, UK and Russia have in common. “It’s spitting in Merkel’s face,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat who’s now a foreign-policy analyst. “But it’s in our interests.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed Trump’s plan to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops from Germany.
Op-Ed: Why cutting American forces in Germany will harm this alliance
According to a new book, the Secret Service had to seek more funding to cover the cost of protecting Melania Trump while she stayed in NYC to renegotiate her prenup - taxpayers paid tens of millions of dollars to allow her to get better terms. Additionally, NYPD estimated its own costs conservatively at $125,000 a day. Georgia election 'catastrophe' in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. As of Monday night, there were still over 200,000 uncounted votes. Fox News runs digitally altered images in coverage of Seattle’s protests, Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone Fox News Mocked After Mistaking Monty Python Joke for Seattle Protest Infighting In addition to holding a rally on the day after Juneteenth (originally scheduled the day of), Trump will be accepting the GOP nomination in Jacksonville on the 60th anniversary of “Ax Handle Saturday,” a KKK attack on African Americans. Environmental news:
Ruling against environmentalists, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the federal government has the authority to allow a proposed $7.5 billion natural gas pipeline to cross under the popular Appalachian Trail in rural Virginia.
Trump administration has issued a new rule blocking tribes from protecting their waters from projects like pipelines, dams, and coal terminals.
The EPA published a proposal in the Federal Register that critics described as an assault on minority communities coping with the public health legacy of structural racism. The rule would bar EPA from giving special consideration to individual communities that bear the brunt of environmental risks — frequently populations of color.
The Trump administration is preparing to drill off Florida’s coast, but says it will wait until after the November election to avoid any backlash from Florida state leaders.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection used emergency funding meant for migrant families and children to pay for dirt bikes, canine supplies, computer equipment and other enforcement related-expenditures… The money was meant to be spent on “consumables and medical care” for migrants at the border.
ACLU files lawsuit against stringent border restrictions related to coronavirus that largely bar migrants from entering the United States.
Under Trump’s leadership, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has mismanaged its finances so badly that it has sought an emergency $1.2 billion infusion from taxpayers. When Trump took office, USCIS inherited a budget surplus. A large amount of funding is drained by its deliberate creation of more busy work for immigrants and their lawyers — as well as thousands of USCIS employees. These changes are designed to make it harder for people to apply for, receive or retain lawful immigration status.
Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona ICE detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are 'begging' for protection from the virus
ICE plans to spend $18 million on thousands of new tasers and the training to use them
I just made a reddit specifically to ask this question. 3 years ago I went on a cruise and saw this girl who I was attracted to. While I was on the cruise I would see her around and and say “wow I should talk to her.” Fast forward a few nights and we were making out in the “club” on the ship. After the cruise trip and we got back home, me and this girl began to text and were somewhat flirty with each other. We ended up hanging out a few times and she seemed to really like me. She eventually told me that she had a boyfriend and would break up with him to date me. Once I found this out I felt bad for doing/saying anything to this girl so I would kind of brush off any future flirtatious texts from this girl. I ended up getting into my own relationship but always liked this girl to some degree throughout. During my long relationship this girl dated a few random guys. Because I was in a relationship I never said anything weird/sexual to this girl but she knew that I liked her to some degree and on the flip side, she would continue to text me and show interest. The only difference was that when she was in a relationship she would text me significantly less (which makes sense) but she would still be flirty. When she wasn’t in a relationship the amounts of texts would increase and she would seem more interested again. Fast forward 3 years and me and this girl both happen to finally be single at the same time. This girl knew that I really liked her just as I knew she liked me. This time, we were both flirtatious when texting! We hung out once or twice and then decided one day that we should go to a casino together. We ended up going to the casino (which wasn’t close to where we lived) and staying over. Now here’s where it gets weird. While hanging out all day she was clearly into me. She was asking me to massage her hand and getting very close to me whenever she could. We ended up playing some games and drinking until we eventually decided to go back to the hotel. This was slightly awkward because we both anticipated having sex and it almost felt “planned” which is never a good thing because it isn’t natural. We ended up getting into bed and cuddling until we started getting more physical. She then asked me if I could massage her back (which everyone knows what that means) and I said okay. After massaging her for a little I tried taking her shirt off because “I couldn’t reach her shoulders” HAHAHA. She was hesitant to do so but eventually gave in. A few minutes later I tried to take off her pants and she stopped me and said “I have nothing under there” and basically telling me not to. At this point I was not turned on because I was uncomfortable and confused because this girl has liked me for years and was saying sexual things only a few days prior. We ended up laying next to each other and after a few minutes I realized that her pants were off (she must haven taken them off under the covers herself). At this point I figured that she wanted something to happen. I tried to kiss her and she was kind of weird about it and asked me “what I was doing?” I don’t even remember what I said to that because it was so weird. However, after a few more minutes she was more into me and said “I’m ready to try now” (as if she had to try to want to do something sexual with me). This was very odd and made me feel like a weirdo because I had this girl laying next to me telling me that “she’s ready to try.” This made me not even want to. Although this was initially the case, I’m a guy and was like whatever I can deal with her being weird. When I went in to kiss her she stopped me and said “I don’t know if we should do this because we’ve been friends so long.” This was very disappointing but I let her know that I didn’t think anything negative would come out of it if something were to happen. She then went back and forth giving in and then saying no. We both ended up falling asleep but I randomly woke up turned on and hard and she must’ve felt it because she slid her pants down and grabbed it, directing it into herself. Because I was laying in an uncomfortable position, I tried to adjust my body and when I tried to make a move, she rejected me again. At this point I was literally depressed and so confused. The next morning she told me that I was too pushy and I let her know that she was confusing me by taking off her pants at once point and then trying to direct my penis into her at another. She obviously had no real response to this because it didn’t back up with what she was saying. When I eventually got home I felt bad because I was thinking to myself, “was I being pushy and weird?” After analyzing the situation I realized that there was a 0% chance of that. I still felt bad and ended up texting her letting her know that she confused me and that I didn’t mean to make her feel uncomfortable (because apparently that’s how SHE felt). She then let me know that she wanted to be “platonic.” I didn’t text this girl for a few days because I wanted to get her off my mind and she eventually hit me with a “hey.” I ended up not even responding with a generic message but rather with a big text going into detail about how I felt about her and the situation. She ended up sending me 9 minutes of audio letting me know the whole history of how she felt about me over the course of the years and saying how she liked me but then stopped but how when she was with me she didn’t know what to do. So my question is this. Is it worth obsessing over this girl or should I just forget about her. On one hand I find her attractive, we get along well, she has liked me for years and apparently recently stopped, and I just like her as a person overall. On the other hand, she plays with my emotions by liking me off and on over the course of the years and then rejecting me in the moment. I’m not really sure what I should do and I really want to get some opinions on what people here think her mindset is/was.
Book Jon Moxley’s AEW World Championship Reign: Part 2 - American Venom
Last time we were here we saw Jon Moxley make his fourth AEW World Championship successful defence. He had overcome Death Triangle, and May even have planted the seeds for their eventual dissolving. Him and Pac went to war for 30+ minutes at All Out, and that came after over a month of fighting. They had wrestled in tag matches twice already in the build up, with Moxley getting pinned for the first time all year twice in that time. He had successful defences against Kenny Omega, Brian Cage and Darby Allin up until this point. Omega and Moxley had their first authorised match in the main event of Double or Nothing for the gold. Moxley won after a hellacious war, but on that same night - new arriver to the company, Brian Cage, won the Casino Ladder Match in his debut to become #1 Contender. They would fight in Wembley Arena, England at Fyter Fest, where Moxley won in a Machine’s Rules Match. Not before The Man Called Sting showed up. Mox and Sting made friends, and head into Fight for the Fallen facing against a man who found himself first on the rankings, Darby Allin. Allin and Moxley faced in a No DQ match, and despite the weapons and blood - what hurt Jon most was he felt like he was fighting himself from 10 years ago. Out of respect he offered friendship and to team together. They did, where they faced Death Triangle. Pac and Moxley entered feud, where Brian Cage and new pal Ricky Starks entered the fray, along with The Rhodes Brothers. This led to a 10-men Tag Team Match on Dynamite, which marked Sting’s final ever match. That ended with Fénix pinning Jon Moxley, earning himself a title match. Mox then would defeat Pac, where we ended off. This leads us into... Book Jon Moxley’s AEW World Championship Reign - Part 2: American Venom All Out is finished - Jon Moxley defeated Pac in the main event to retain his AEW World Championship. But that’s not the saga of Jon Moxley and Death Triangle over and done with yet. Fénix pinned Jon Moxley a couple weeks ago and is owed a match for Moxley’s title. The Dynamite after All Out, a banged up Jon Moxley comes out and says that him and Death Triangle’s war isn’t over yet. When Fénix walks out from the ramp on his own, Jon tells him to see him next week. FÉNIX HITS MOXLEY WITH A TOPE CON HILO THOUGH BEFORE HE LEAVES!! FÉNIX THROWS HIM OVER THE GUARDRAIL TO THE FLOOR!! He stands tall and walks off in victory, flapping his fingers up and down to the fans for their reaction to be louder. By next week Moxley now has a hurt arm since he landed on the concrete with it. Him and Fénix have a meeting authorised by Kurt Angle! It’s the same set up as Jericho and OC’s debate authorised by Eric Bischoff, it has Kurt on the stage as his desk with Fénix and Jon at their own stands either side of him. Fénix has a translator with him. He compliments both men on their work before hand, and lets the challenger speak first. Having Fénix speak in his raw Spanish voice will make him seem the most emotional, rather than have his eyes be lost trying to think of how to say what he wants in English. The translator tells Kurt that Fénix says Moxley may have defeated the rest of Death Triangle, but he hasn’t beat him. As far the records go, Fénix is 1-0 against Jon. Angle and the translator could probably have a funny moment, since Kurt is just a funny guy. Moxley rebounds with a retort, saying it’s hard to take Fénix seriously wearing his little superman mask and having his nerdy translator speak for him. He laughs at the translator and jokes he should face him instead. “Some real competition” Mox laughs. The translator mumbles what Moxley said to Fénix. He asks if he can jump Jon right now. The translator asks Angle, who tells him “well he already knows what’s coming”. Midway through that sentence though, FÉNIX RUNS ACROSS AND HITS MOXLEY WITH A FRONT DROPKICK!! JON GOES FLYING OFF THE STAGE!! Pac and Pentagon come out then and laugh with Fénix. They all hold up a Cero Miedo taunt, with Angle in the background doing one upside-down. Fénix and Moxley’s clash is set up for the AEW Dynamite Anniversary Show: Chris Jericho’s 30th Anniversary of Wrestling. This means they have 3 weeks until their clash. Moxley would come out again, looking for a non-title match with Fénix this instant. Fénix would come out, slowly walking towards Jon. Jon would retreat as soon as Fénix steps through the ropes. He looks confused at why Mox left straight after calling him out. Mox then says “…now.” AND OUT COMES WILL HOBBS!! Fénix turns around into a SPINEBUSTER!! Jon then rolls back in and says “now we’re even. Next week I want you at your edgelord brother to take on me and my new pal Will.” And that much happens, as The Lucha Bros take on Jon Moxley and Will Hobbs on the September 30th edition of Dynamite. Hobbs gets a lot of time to shine, showing off his athleticism. The highlight of the match being him doing an ASAI MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE!! The ending spot sees The Lucha Bros win after pinning Will Hobbs with a Fear FactoDiving Foot Stomp combo. This means Fénix is now 2-0 against Jon. The go home week sees Jon do one of his usual promos outside under of the hot Nevada sun in front of a graffiti covered wall. He says this will end the months of torment him and Death Triangle have put each other through. AEW Dynamite Anniversary Show: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Fénix - AEW World Championship One year ago Dynamite made its inception, the launch of a brand new promotion’s first TV Show was happening live on TNT. On that episode in the main event we witnessed Jon Moxley interrupting the match to attack Kenny Omega, and hit him with a Paradigm Shift through a glass coffee table. The week following we witnessed Fénix make his Dynamite debut in the First Round of the AEW World Tag Team Championships tournament, where him and his brother Penta took on Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy of the Jurassic Express. One year later. During Jon Moxley’s entrance, he bumps into a wild Hiroshi Tanahashi. Tanahashi is here to celebrate with Jericho for his 30th Anniversary of Wrestling. Tanahashi bows to him and Moxley pats him on the back, before continuing on his march. He hops the guardrail and as if the match could start any other way - FÉNIX WITH A TOPE CON HILO STRAIGHT OFF THE BAT!! The bell rings and the match has started with a bang. Fénix hits him with an elbow before throwing him to the ring post. He looks down at the AEW World Championship and holds it up to the crowd, proclaiming it to be his. HE THEN TURNS AROUND TOA KNEE TO THE GUT FROM MOX!! He throws him into the ring and now we begin. Moxley hammers elbows to Fénix, but then when he rebounds off the ropes for a Lariat - FÉNIX WITH A HURRICANERANA OUT OF NOWHERE!! Fénix with an Overhead Chop to Jon! He then runs the ropes for a Head Scissors, but Moxley rolls through with it. He slides to the outside. Then Fénix runs up for a Baseball Slide - BUT MOX CATCHES HIM AND THROWS THE CHALLENGER INTO THE GUARDRAIL!! MOXLEY STARTS TO SHOULDER BARGE FÉNIX AGAINST THE STEEL!! Jon then takes his title back up from the floor and hands it to Justin Roberts. He says a few words to him, but from behind is FÉNIX RUNNING UP FROM BEHIND WITH A FRONT DROPKICK!! HE THROWS MOX BACK IN AND HITS THE LA GARRA DE FÉNIX!!! 1..............2.............KICK OUT BY MOX!!! Just a few minutes have gone by and we’ve already seen all of this. This is the definition of balls to the walls wrestling. Fénix gets up and looks at Moxley, angry he didn’t put him down straight away. Fénix gets up to his feet and lifts Mox up with him. Jon with a quick elbow to the head and follows with a MONEY CLIP!! FÉNIX ESCAPES!! Fénix arm drags Mox to the corner and hits him with his TIGHTROPE KICK!! Jon falls and Fénix scales the ropes again. He’s crotched by Jon however! SUPLERPLEX FROM MOXLEY!!! 1.......2........KICK OUT BY FÉNIX!!! FÉNIX GETS UP AND HITS A SUPERKICK!! HE GOES FOR A HANDSPRING CUTTER! MOXLEY CATCHES AND GOES TO THROW HIM OUT THE RING!! FÉNIX LANDS ON THE ROPES, JUMPS ON THEM A FEW TIMES - SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO!! Once they’re back up they stand on opposite corners as the crowd applaud their performance. FÉNIX THEN SPRINTS WITH A SPRINGBOARD KICK IN THE CORNER!! He goes for a Snapmare but Moxley picks him up into a MOXICITY!!! JON WITH A DIVING ELBOW DROP!! 1.............2.........FÉNIX GETS THE ROPES!! FÉNIX WITH A CORKSCREW ROUNDHOUSE KICK!! He slides out to the apron. HE DIVES FOR A SPRINGBOARD DRAGONRANA!!! MOXLEY CATCHES AND HITS THE MONEY CLIP!! 1.............2............KICK OUT!! MOXLEY GOES FOR A PARADIGM SHIFT!! FÉNIX ESCAPES AND HITS THE SPANISH FLY!! He throws Moxley into the ropes. FÉNIX THEN WITH A SPRINGBOARD MISSILE DROPKICK FROM ONE SIDE OF THE RING TO THE OTHER!! Moxley is knocked out the ring. FÉNIX THEN WITH A SOMMERSAULT TOPE SUICIDA!! They’re now both laying on the outside. Fénix overshot the mark and now is in some front row sitters laps. He goes to jump off the guardrail but Moxley catches him! He places him on the apron. Jon gets up with him and hits a kick to the head! JON THEN LIFTS FÉNIX UP FOR A GOTCH-STYLE PILEDRIVER - ON THE APRON!! MOXLEY ROLLS HIM IN, AND GOES FOR AN ELBOW DROP!! FÉNIX LIFTS HIM OFF THE THE TOP ROPES AND TRIES THE BLACK FIRE DRIVER!! HE SPINS MOX AROUND, WHO FLIES OUT OF IT!! DISCUS LARIAT! FOLLOWED BY THE MOTHER OF ALL PARADIGM SHIFTS!!!!! 1..............2...........3!!!! MOXLEY RETAINS AFTER A WAR WITH THE MAN OF A THOUSAND LIVES!!! Jon Moxley defeats Fénix (14:56) After the match Moxley limps out the ring and back up the stage, his title slung over his shoulder. Meanwhile Fénix lays in the centre of the ring, gassed out of his mind from what just happened. His brother, Pentagon Jr. walks out to comfort his brother. A man in pain, and feeling grief. Pentagon lifts Fénix up, and looks past the mask to see who he knows more than anyone in the world. He offers a Cero Miedo, and Fénix lifts up his arm to do the same. Then when they throw their hands down into the taunt - PENTAGON GRABS FÉNIX AND ARM DRAGS HIM TO THE MAT!! He know kneels above, still holding the arm. He then slowly reclines it...AND SNAPS THE ARM OF HIS OWN BROTHER!! Pentagon looks at Fénix, the same blood as his, writhing in pain at the hands of him. He then grabs Fénix by the jaw and makes him look at him, barely conscious. “Cero...Miedo...” Next week opens with a recap of the events that transpired last week. We see the high spots of Fénix and Jon Moxley’s war over the title, and then to Pentagon Jr’s attack of him. This then cuts to a promo package for that man, Pentagon Jr. To the backing of Marilyn Manson’s “The Nobodies”, we see the man who Pentagon truly is. He then explains why he did what he did. He explains he doesn’t feel empathy for what he did, he thinks he was perfectly justified. He explains how it benefits him. Later on in the show, Fénix and his translator come out. The translator explains that Fénix has seen the video himself. In the man of a thousand lives words, “those are the emotions of a psychopath. 30 years, and I don’t even know who you truly were.” Pac comes out to Fénix and tells him: “Death Triangle is dead.” He then explains how he himself is furious at Pentagon, because he still considers Fénix his amigo. Moxley then comes out and says he thinks they both deserve rematches for the AEW World Championship, as they’re both still Number 1 and 2 on the rankings. But he then says that next week on the special episode of Dynamite: “SuperBrawl”, he will allow Pentagon to get what he wants. Because he saw the seeds being planted for this moment back when they faced. So next week if Pentagon can defeat Fénix, it will be a Four-way match between all of them at Full Gear. He then gets a text from Tony Khan confirming it. Pac then tells Fénix “you can trust me.” Fénix shakes his head though. He can no longer trust anyone. HE ITS PAC WITH A BLACK FIRE DRIVER!! Next week is SuperBrawl and Fénix and Pentagon have pretty much the same match they had in real life, which at the time of writing was last weeks Dynamite. Pentagon wins by targeting Fénix’s arm throughout. Then on the go home show at the beginning of November, all four of them have a contract signing. They all sit at chairs in the four respective corners of the ring. They’re all wrapped in chains so no one attacks anyone. They will only be unchained when they go to sign the contract. Fénix is wearing a sling for his injured arm. Pentagon says nothing throughout despite being the centre of criticism. When he steps up he signs it and walks straight back, despite having security guards watching him like a hawk. The rest all sigh it, but the main part of it is everyone throwing barbs at each other from each corner of the ring. Pentagon is then demanded he speaks. He waits a moment, before saying “larga vida al rey.” Excalibur says that means “long live the king.” They’re on all escorted off ahead of the bout. Full Gear 2020: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Fénix vs. Pac vs. Pentagon Jr. - AEW World Championship The final pay-per-view of the year is reaching its crescendo to close off the year. Every one of them have been main evented by Jon Moxley, everyone of them for the AEW World Championship. This is hyped as the first ever non one-on-one match in AEW main event history, featuring the four best the company have. Jon Moxley and Death Triangle’s war has gone on for 4 months at this point, since July. We’re now in November and it’s come to a close, with us coming full circle. Everyone of them back where they started - vying for the AEW World Championship. Fénix and Pentagon have never main evented a PPV before, with Pac being only in one. Moxley on the other hand has been involved in every single main event, excluding shows he wasn’t on (Fight for the Fallen and All Out 2019). Moxley has been entering through the crowd since Dynamite Episode 4, when Pac blindsided him during an entrance. He couldn’t trust people after that, and started travelling his own path. Fénix enters out down through the crowds seats, being with the only people who’ve stuck by him. He climbs down the stairs, first out. The Bastard is now in a tweener role, garnering him a mixed reception. It’s Pentagon next, but he doesn’t come out. Instead Moxley is given the call it’s his turn. The fans all wonder why the champ isn’t out last. Then when Mox has arrived - Pentagon steps through the curtain, and it is nothing but boos. No ironic cheers, not even entrance music - his mere presence earning the ire of the fans. Fénix starts off with a bang, HITTING PENTAGON WITH A SUPERKICK STRAIGHT AWAY!! HE HITS PENTAGON WITH THE BLACK FIRE DRIVER!!! Pentagon rolls out while Moxley looks out in shock. FÉNIX THEN JUMPS OVER MOXLEY WITH A SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO TO THE OUTSIDE!! That leaves it to Pac and Jon. These two faced off last at All Out in a hellacious bout, and here they are again. PAC jumps up with a Leg Lariat straight off the bat! MOX THEN REBOUNDS WITH A DISCUS LARIAT!! HE LIFTS HIM INTO A MOXICITY STRAIGHT AWAY!! HE LOCKS IN A BOW AND ARROW!! PAC ESCAPES INTO A BRUTALISER!! Mox breaks free, but is then hit by a German Suplex!! PAC THEN FLIES OUT TO THE LUCHA BROS WITH A BRITISH AIRWAYS!!! Moxley rolls outside to join the hoard. He starts to stomp around all of them, but of course is overwhelmed by numbers. HE TURNS AROUND TO A RUNNING APRON KICK FROM PENTAGON!! Pentagon then drags him inside and licks his lips. This is a dream encounter and the fans cheer. They start booing though when Pentagon gets the first bit of offence with a chop. Moxley no sells it though and hits Pentagon with his own chop - Cheer. Pentagon chops - Boo, and so on. Eventually Pac and Fénix have had enough and both springboard into the ring, both hitting their respective rivals with STEREO SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODIES!! Now it’s these two. Pac tries to conform to Fénix but he’s having none of it. So Pac has to show him his real side. SUPERKICK BY PAC, INTO A TIGER SUPLEX!! 1......2.....FÉNIX KICKS OUT AND ROLLS THROUGH INTO A LANZA TO THE BACK!! FÉNIX THEN HITS A 540 ROUNDHOUSE KICK!! He fires himself up for a Handspring. He does it, BUT PAC CATCHES HIM WITH A DROPKICK MID MOVE!! PAC THEN WITH A DRAGONRANA!! 1..........2......MOXLEY BREAKS IT UP!! Mox comes in and starts to unleash his brawling on two guys at once. Punch to Pac - punch to Fénix - back to Pac - then again to Fénix. He runs the ropes for a Rebound Lariat, BUT PENTAGON PULLS HIM OUT!! He holds it him in place for someone to dive at him. Fénix does so with a Cannonball Tope Suicida, but instead hits Pentagon! MOXLEY THEN SLIDES IN WITH A LOU THESZ PRESS TO PAC MID RUN-UP!! Moxley lifts Pac up for a PARADIGM SHIFT ATTEMPT!!! BUT PAC GETS OUT AND HITS A TORNADO DDT!! HE ROLLS THROUGH INTO A BRUTALISER!!! MOXLEY LIFTS HIM OUT WITH A DEATH VALLEY DRIVER - BUT PAC LANDS ON HIS FEET AND HITS A HANDSPRING BACKFLIP INTO THE TORNADO DDT!! HE LOCKS IN THE BRUTALISER!! Moxley can’t lift out of it now, and it looks like the champ will fade. THAT’S UNTIL PENTAGON JR. COMES IN WTH A SUPERKICK PARTY!! Superkicks to Pac and Mox, and then one to his brother on the apron. HE HITS HIM WITH A SLINGBLADE ON THE APRON!! Penta then rolls Fénix back inside. He goes for the Fear Factor that ended it last time, BUT FÉNIX GETS OUT AND HITS A SPRINGBOARD SPIN KICK INTO THE CORNER!! Fénix goes for a Snapmare but Pentagon rolls through and lands a Japanese Arm Drag! HE CONNECTS A LUNGBLOWER!! He gives Fénix and a Cero Miedo as the fans boo, AND RUNS UP FOR A SOCCER KICK TO THE LEG!! Pentagon lifts Fénix up for a PENTAGON DRIVER!!!! 1............2..........A MISSILE DROPKICK BY PAC BREAKS IT UP!! PAC THEN WITH AN ENZIGURI!! HE HEADS TO THE TOP FOR A BLACK ARROW!!! MOXLEY CROTCHES HIM!! PENTAGON THEN LIFTS HIM OFF WITH A GORILLA PRESS INTO A DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER!! HE TURNS AROUND INTO A CHAIR SHOT BY JON MOXLEY!! 1................2..........BROKEN UP BY PAC!!! FÉNIX THEN FLIES INTO EVERYONE WITH A CORKSCREW SOMMERSAULT SENTON!! It’s now a quadruple down as every man is taken out. They’ve all practically destroyed themselves by this point. Fénix is first up and throws Moxley out the ring. That leaves it to just the original three...Death Triangle now at war. Pentagon gets up and is shouted out by both men. He steps forward, and falls to his knees. He asks for Fénix to hit him. Fénix takes the offer and lifts him up for a Superkick - BUT PENTAGON CATCHES IT AND SPINS HIM OUT OF IT!! MEXICAN DESTROYER!! HE THEN GRABS PAC INTO THE SACRIFICE!! HE’S GOING TO BREAK HIS ARM!! PAC ROLLS OUT OF IT AND HITS PENTAGON WITH A SWITCHBLADE KICK!! PAC THEN HITS HIM WITH A KNEEDROP SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!!! 1.............2...........ITS BROKEN UP BY A LA GARRA DEL FÉNIX!!!!! It’s Fénix and Pac now, and Pac is pleading for Fénix to not hurt him. Fénix shakes his head at Pac’s pleading, until he points at Pentagon Jr. Them and the crowd then get excited, and they get to work on the double team. FÉNIX HITS A BLACK FIRE DRIVER, WHICH PAC FOLLOWS UP WITH A BLACK ARROW!! They can’t decide who goes for the pin though. THIS THEN TURNS INTO A KICK FIGHT!! They trade Superkicks until JON MOXLEY SLIDES IN AND JOINS THE PARTY!! HE HITS A DOUBLE PARADIGM SHIFT!! HE THEN DIVES WITH A FLYING ELBOW DROP TO PAC!!! 1................2................3!!!!! MOXLEY RETAINS THE TITLE, HAVING GONE THROUGH WAR WITH THREE OTHER MEN. He stands up shakily, looking down at all the wreckage. He then pushes a guy who offers him some ice away as he walks through the crowd, AEW’s hero. Jon Moxley defeats Fénix, Pac and Pentagon Jr. (35:13) We’re out of Full Gear and now on the road to the biggest month of AEW’s calendar year - January. Not only do we start off with Homecoming on the first Dynamite of the month, we then get the Jericho Cruise and Bash at the Beach - all on the road to Revolution. Then for certain members of the roster they travel to New Japan Pro Wrestling - a place Jon Moxley spent a lot of time in last year. But this year, not so much. Moxley defended his IWGP United States Championship at Sakura Genesis against Will Ospreay - which he lost. Ospreay winning his first piece of heavyweight gold in NJPW. Afterwards Jon would say he will spend more time in America this year as he is AEW World Champion, and thus won’t compete in the G1 Climax. Meanwhile Will is on fire. He enters the G1 Climax as part of Block B and fares well for himself. He has tough competition with the likes of Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito, Minoru Suzuki, Kenta and Shingo Takagi - but he holds his own. He then goes on to defend his IWGP United States Championship at Wrestle Dynasty against fellow CHAOS stablemate in Tomohiro Ishii. He defeats him. Afterwards Ishii goes for a handshake, but Ospreay turns on him! The Great O’Kharn and Bea Priestley help beat down on Ishii. Okada then rushes out, but the gang escape in time. They then face off at Summer Struggle in Jingu, where Okada loses. Okada goes on to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship off of EVIL however at King of Pro-Wrestling. On that same show however, Will loses his title to the first ever Japanese born man to hold the gold - Hiromu Takahashi. Back to AEW, Jon Moxley has now had his sixth successful defence of the belt and is steadily approaching a year with the title. At Full Gear we witnessed Kenny Omega defeat Adam Page to win a #1 Contenders Tournament. This immediately sets up Moxley’s next challenger, Kenny Omega. Speaking of, what’s Kenny been up to since Double or Nothing? After losing their tag titles to FTR at All Out, they’d go their separate ways. Now both are alone, with The Elite having disbanded earlier in the year. Omega starts to act more heelish while Page earns more sympathy, his only companion now being the bottle. They come to blows at Full Gear and Omega officially turns heel on that night, attacking Adam with a barbed wire broom afterwards. Next week on Dynamite is the return of The Cleaner. We saw the tease on the build to Double or Nothing, but he never fully capitalised. By dangling the carrot and then taking it away, you switch the fans from expecting something to hoping for it back - and when they get it back it’s an even bigger deal. He comes out with the shades and jacket; a new man - a more evil man. He comes out for an interview with Tony Schiavone, and when asked why he attacked Hangman - he answers in Japanese. He refuses to speak anything other than Japanese. This is the opposite effect of him only speaking English in promos while in NJPW. Jon Moxley comes out the week following to tell Kenny he doesn’t have a damn clue what he said last week, but all he knows is he’s going to beat him for the third time in a row at Revolution. Kenny then hits him with a V-Trigger to show who’s boss. Goodbye and Goodnight. Jon the heads east to Japan in time for Power Struggle, where everything for Wrestle Kingdom 15 is set. The second ever Double Gold Dash between Kazuchika Okada (HW), Tetsuya Naito (IC), Kota Ibushi (G1) and Will Ospreay. Hiromu defends his IWGP United States Championship against an American in Juice Robinson, which he wins. Afterwards Jon Moxley makes his triumphant return to NJPW. He says that he’s not owed any match from Hiromu, but he wants that third US title reign. So he isn’t asking for anything - but just putting out the offer. If Hiromu gives him the match, he will put his AEW World Championship on the line too. Takahashi gives Jon a hug and accepts. He then does something weird, causing Moxley to leave with a eye roll and light smile. Moxley then tries to scare Kenny when he comes back at the end of November with the barbed wire bat, but Kenny doesn’t budge. He has his own translator with him, to tell Moxley what he thinks. I think Kenny as a heel and a goofy translator character could be entertaining, since Omega has comedic chops and hopefully they can find a guy who does too. Firstly Kenny tells Jon that he’s above speaking the language of everyone in AEW because he’s on the next level above them. They are inferior to his new being. Kenny then says he has claimed every top title he possibly can - IWGP Heavyweight, KO-D Openweight from DDT and the PWG World titles. But that - what Moxley’s holding - has alluded him. He will take it. Then it’s December, and we start Dynamite off with an angry Jon Moxley carrying out Michael Nakazawa to the ring. He has a barbed wire bat with him. He threatens to assault him unless Kenny speaks English to his face. Omega walks out to stop it...and then points the finger gun at Nakazawa. V-TRIGGER!! Did it for Mox. Kenny then leaves Jon with a broken man in the ring. After this, Kenny cuts a backstage promo with subtitles. He says Jon is what Pac said - he can’t wrestle. He can only do crazy hardcore spotfests, he can’t get down and technical. Meanwhile Kenny is the best in the world at that, and he knows if they fight in a clean match he WILL win. So he proposes that they fight in an Iron Man Match at Revolution. A DQ will result in a fall to the other wrestler, meaning if Jon gets extreme he will give Kenny a lead. The last Dynamite of 2020 sees Moxley bring Omega out to the ring to accept, and then attack him with the bat. Moxley then travels east for Wrestle Kingdom. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Night Two: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Jon Moxley (c) - IWGP United States Championship and AEW World Championship The second night of Wrestle Kingdom has arrived and it’s set to be a big one. The first night saw the beginning of the second ever Double Gold Dash - where we saw Tetsuya Naito defeat Will Ospreay to retain his Intercontinental Championship along with Kota Ibushi defeating Kazuchika Okada to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Not only that but we also saw Jay White and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a grudge match as well as SANADA and EVIL do battle in a No Disqualification Match. Night two is now set to see Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada do battle as well as Okada and Ibushi fight once again for both belts. But before all that it’s the United States Championship match, and it all begins with The Death Rider Coming out on his finest Harley Davidson, Jon Moxley drives out through the Tokyo Dome to ringside. The Young lions offer him help, but Mox hand selects his boy, Shota Umino, to help him out. The two pull it over the barricade and Moxley sits on it with the title slung over his shoulder, while Shooter does his best Shibata of arms folded and stone faced. “DEATHU RAIYDAH...JONAH MOXUREE!!!” Mox poses with the AEW World Championship. With that wacky entrance over we go to a man who can top “Wacky Dean” in every way you can do wacky possible, Hiromu Takahashi. He walks out with Daryl and Naoru, who hold the IWGP United States Championship between them. Jon sighs at this sight. Takahashi does his weird tongue taunt at all the people in the crowd, as there is no better greeting possible. Once we’re underway Hiromu panders to the crowd for a minute or so, and then the lock up starts. A chinlock by Moxley is rolled out of and Hiromu rebounds with an arm drag into a school boy. Moxley kicks out and swings at Takahashi, who is already running off the ropes but is caught by a Big Boot! Jon then throws him into the corner and starts to unload punches. He then hits a big knee to the gut. A Snapmare and Soccer Kick follows. Jon is in control and applies a Nerve hold. Hiromu quickly sweeps out of it though and lands a Head Scissors Takedown! Hiromu puts his fingers in a v-shape and locks in between because he’s a weirdo. Commentary laugh at this but not so much at his HESITATION DROPKICK!! HOOKS THE LEG - JON KICKS OUT!! HIROMU THEN LEFTS HIM UP FOR A FALCON ARROW, BUT MOXLEY FLOATS OVER AND HITS A RELEASE SUPLEX!! Moxley pulls himself up to stalk Takahashi in the corner, who stands up with him. He tries to get at Jon by raising his fist up towards his for a bump, and calling him “brother.” Moxley laughs it off and raises his hand, to the air, tue LIJ taunt. MOXLEY THEN HITS HIROMU WITH A SCOOP SLAM!! CURB STOMP FROM THE CORNER!! 1................2...........KICK OUT!! Jon pulls him up for a PARADIGM SHIFT - BUT HIROMU COUNTERS INTO THE DESTINO!!! 1.............2..........KICK OUT!! Both are down having done their partners moves - now learning they can’t follow any path but their own. They both recover on the outside after the kick outs from big moves. Takahashi is first back up and takes Jon back inside. He lands a Superkick to knock Moxley over the ropes, and then heads to the top ropes. HE DIVES OUTSIDE WITH A DIVING SENTON!! HE THROWS JON BACK INSIDE AND LOCKS IN A TRIANGLE CHOKE!! He pulls and pulls on the hold, but then Jon reaches the ropes. Hiromu tries to Superkick him again BUT JON HITS HIM WITH A PENDELUM LARIAT!! HE TRIES FOR THE PARADIGM SHIFT AGAIN BUT TAKAHASHI FLOATS OVER INTO A CANADIAN DESTORYER!! MOXLEY ROLLS OUT AHD LOCKS IN A FUJIAWARA ARMBAR!! MOXLEY STOMPS ON THE HEAD FOR FURTHER DAMAGE!!! HIROMU IS FADING - UNTIL HE ROLLS OUT!! SUPERKICK FOLLOWED BY A DYNAMITE PLUNGER OVER THE ROPES TO THE APRON!! TAKAHASHI THEN FLIES OUT WITH A TOPE CON HILO!!!! Commentary are screaming for Hiromu to throw him inside and finish the job, but he’s too banged up from the fall. The ref’s 20 count begins, but by 15 they’re both back in. Takahashi thinks for a cover, but considers it too late. He rethinks and goes for a Time Bomb, but Moxley gets out and HITS AN ELBOW TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! ONE HITTER BY JON!!!! 1.................2.............KICK OUT!! TAKAHASHI BREAKS OUT AND HITS THE JOHN WOO DROPKICK!! He rolls out and sets up one of NJPW’s famously hard wood tables. HE GOES FOR A SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB TO MOXLEY!! BUT JON BLOCKS IT, AND HITS A PARADIGM SHIFT TO THE OUTSIDE THROUGH THE TABLE!! HE DRAGS HIROMU TAKAHASHI BACK INSIDE AND COVERS - 1...................2...............3!!!!! JON MOXLEY HAS WON THE IWGP UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP FOR THE THIRD TIME IN HISTORY, AND HAS SUCCESSFULLY RETAINED HIS AEW WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!! Afterwards he grabs a microphone and says “Naito, Ibushi - I don’t care which one of you, but whoever you are - I want to hold four titles.” Jon Moxley defeats Hiromu Takahashi (20:11) Jon says he’s heading back home in the press conference with two titles, and says that after 18 months under his tutelage - he’s letting Shooter spread his wings and go off as his own man. “I’ll see ya soon bud.” he tells him as he walks off through the door, both belts slung over his shoulders. Jon returns home to the States on the week after AEW Homecoming, and the week before the Jericho Cruise sets sail. He comes back and while passing him backstage, says to Kenny Omega: “くたばれ!” (In romaji: (kutabare!”) (means “go to hell!” Literally means "Drop dead!") A match is confirmed for the Jericho Cruise ship, where both guys will team together to run a gauntlet. The build for this is seen when Omega opens the show with a backstage promo (because this show needs promos where every third word isn’t cut off by reception). He says that Jon may think he’s now the king of Japan, but he better no who he’s talking to. Former IWGP Heayvweight, Intercontinental, Junior Heavyweight, United States, Tag Team and NEVER Openweight Six-man Tag Team Champion. Jon can’t and never will top his Puroresu credentials. So he’s going to get to watch Omega to do what he did for 10 years and feel what it’s like to be the lesser, because he needs to be knocked off his perch now he’s passed over 300 days as champion. Jon comes out normally but Kenny has all the bells and whistles, as he enters to “Dragon Heart” from Seiken Tsukai No World Break. He’s led to the ring by a group of dancing ladies with brooms, as he basks in his own ego. They ultimately fall to FTR - the team who defeated Page and Omega at All Out, after a miscommunication. Bash at the Beach and they have a match with FTR, this time for their AEW World Tag Team Championships. Cash slips out of a One Winged Angel and locks in a Fujiwara Armbar. Omega struggles in it but then he’s done for when Dax drops down with a Knee. Omega then instantly tap. Afterwards Jon goes ballistic on him for not making him a triple champion. “No wonder everyone you loved left you.” he says in an interview with Tony Schiavone next week. After that Kenny challenges Moxley saying that everyone he loved left him. Moxley then slowly brings out all his buddies. Darby Allin, Sting, Will Hobbs and Shota Umino. He then starts to call for Omega’s friends. “Riho? Nakazawa? Hangman? The Bucks? No one home it seems. But what hurts most is this: IBUSHI? dead silence” “Now all you got is your dumbass translator. Speaking of - attacks translator” Kenny walks off in defeat. The go home show confirms a Hardcore Match between Kenny Omega and Michael Nakazawa. Nakazawa left Kenny as a friend after he turned to the dark side. This is a match driven by enough but told through DDT hardcore spots. I think I’m the only person on earth who enjoyed Nakazawa/Jebailey so I’d like this, also considering it contains Kenny Omega in it. Omega wins with a One Winged Angel onto a pile of loose arcade buttons. Afterwards he speaks in English for the first time all year. “Jon - what I do to you at Revolution will end your fairytale of a title run. I am not who you had your first successful defence against, you have seen god damn nothing.” This means we’ve reached our destination - Los Angeles, the city in which we will witness the Iron Man Match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley. Revolution 2021: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Kenny Omega - 30-minute Iron Man Match for the AEW World Championship Revolution has seen a lot so far, and is already in the history books as one of AEW’s best ever PPVs. But you have to save the best for last, of course. The main event arrives, and it starts with something hardcore...BABYMETAL. Live on the stage are the most Kenny Omega band imaginable, signing a song about hardships and overcoming defeat via perseverance. Then a fan walks on stage and starts to jam out, and the bad stop and look at him weird. Lights go out...ITS KENNY OMEGA!! AS AKUMA’S RAGING DEMON!! His hair is dyed red and spiked up and he has the demon symbol painted on his back. They then resume the song as Omega walks down. Justin Roberts has really strapped up his boots for this one and he has to do not one but two dramatic ring introductions for this match. Jon Moxley then doesn’t have a Harley Davidson like last time (some things are too good to be true), instead having to walk like a beta. Nevertheless he still has two titles with him, commentary pointing out his IWGP United States Championship - also mentioning the belts inaugural champion was Kenny Omega - but now Moxley has held it three times. He walks past his wife Renee Paquette in the crowd who wishes him good luck. Jon slithers into the ring and makes Omega watch as he raises up both titles. Excalibur says that Omega will be the third man in history to have held a major heavyweight championship in Mexico, Japan and the United States if he wins. Previous winners being Antonio Inoki (IWGP, WWF and UWA) and Vader (IWGP/AJPW, WCW and UWA). Also j the crowd for this match are Alex Jebailey who receives a boo at his arrival. The cameras then go to Renee who gets a pop. The bell rings and the match has started. Kenny and Jon slowly advance, doing little circles around the centre. Then they pounce into a lock up. Kenny misses the chinlock and instead is on the receiving end of one. He tries to slide out but Jon snatches him back with an armhold. Omega kicks up to knock Jon off and get away. He dusts his hands and this time leapfrogs Moxley when he goes for him, and grabs him by the waist. He slams him back and gets a rest hold in. He applies a headlock and rolls back into a mini Crossface. Jon grabs the ropes and retreats to his corner. Eventually he gets bored of this and wants to fuck shit up, so when Omega runs at him he hits a kick to the midsection! Moxley then with an EXPLODER SUPLEX STRAIGHT AWAY!! He hits it and basks in the soaking applause of the fans. Jon lifts Kenny up but he’s hit by a Enziguri!! HE FOLLOWS WITH THE YOU CAN’T ESCAPE! As soon as the Moonsault lands he covers, 1........2......KICK OUT!! Jon then connects an Arm Drag and follows with a Kitchen Sink! HE TRIES FOR AN EARLY PARADIGM SHIFT!! OMEGA FLOATS OVER AND LANDS A KOTARO KRUSHER!!! HE HITS ANOTHER ONE INTO THE CORNER!!! He flies over the ropes with the second and so starts to scale the turnbuckles to get back in. HE PULLS JON UP BY A GUTWRENCH!! He tugs and tugs but Moxley sandbags. He still gets him to the first rope. He’s looking for Dr. Wiley’s Powerbomb! MOXLEY THEN LIFTS HIM FOR A SUPERPLEX!! KENNY STAYS PUT!! MOXLEY THEN CATCHES HIM WITH AN AIR RAID CRASH!! HE FLIES!! 1.............2..........3!!!!!!!!!! Jon Moxley earns 1 point. Omega is flustered by that sudden pinfall. Moxley is arrogant about getting a quick pin and turns around to showboat. HE’S THEN CAUGHT WITH A REVERSE FRANKENSTEINER BY OMEGA!! Kenny then slits his throat and points a finger gun at Moxley’s head, BEFORE LANDING A V-TRIGGER!! HE HITS THE AOI SHOUDOU!! HE THEN RUNS THE ROPES FOR ANOTHER V-TRIGGER BUT HES CAUGHT WITH A HEADBUTT!! MOXLEY THEN HITS A CUTTER!!! 1..KICK OUT!! OMEGA GETS UP AND HITS A MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD FROM OUT OF NOWHERE!! This man is not fucking about. He pulls Moxley up and thinks he’ll hit him with his own move, the Paradigm Shift. MOXLEY COUNTERS WITH A BACKBODY DROP TO THE OUTSIDE!! Omega lands on his feet, but is immediately hit by a SUICIDE DIVE FROM MOXLEY!! Both guys are now on the outside after the big dive. Moxley isn’t much of a high flyer aside from his elbow drops, but here he just went. He gets up with a middle finger in the sky to show he enjoyed that. He drags Kenny back in with him. He throws Omega to the corner and starts to come in with punches and stomps. He runs for a HESITATION DROPKICK!! He then lifts Omega up for a chop. He readies himself...OMEGA HITS A V-TRIGGER!! DRAGON SUPLEX BY OMEGA!! RISE OF THE TERMINATOR BY OMEGA TO THE OUTSIDE!! He then bashes Moxley’s head off the ring post a few times until he throws him back in He irish whips Jon to the corner, who jumps to the second rope, and IS THEN HIT WITH A SUPERKICK TO THE REAR!! OMEGA CLIMBS UP AND HITS A SUPER CROYT’S WRATH!!!! 1..............2..............3!!!! Kenny Omega earns 1 point. We’re now approaching 20 minutes and the score has just been made equal. Omega climbs up and is now the one who gets cocky. He comes prepared for the surprise attack as he flips out of a German Suplex. SUPERKICK INTO THE ROPES, BUT IS CAUGHT BY A PENDULUM LARIAT!! MOXLEY THEN GOES FOR A SPINNING PARADIGM SHIFT! KENNY ESCAPES AND RUNS THE ROPES, BUT IS CAUGHT BY A KITCHEN SINK!! JAPANESE ARM DRAG BY MOXLEY!! They’re desperate for the second point and the clock is ticking. We’re over 20 minutes now. Omega kicks into gear when he attempts a One Winged Angel and the fans leave their seats. Moxley quickly slides out though and scurries for the corner. Kenny basks in the glory of embarrassing the world champion. HE’S THEN ROLLED UP BY MOXLEY!! KICK OUT AND A DOUBLE DOWN FROM STEREO CLOTHESLINES!! Continues in comments
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