Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review on TJRWrestling. There’s definitely a bit of a different feel this week due to the Coronavirus pandemic that the world is dealing with right now. A lot of sports and entertainment events have been shut down, but pro wrestling moves ahead. I’m writing this on Thursday evening, which is after AEW announced that the next two weeks of shows are moving from Rochester, New York and Newark, New Jersey. However, AEW announced there will still be episodes of Dynamite on those dates, so the shows will go on. That could change, though. In today’s world, things are changing by the day with events being moved or canceled all the time. All we can we do is hope for the best. Be smart out there, my friends.
Live from Salt Lake City, Utah, this is episode #23 of AEW Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Here’s my AEW Dynamite TV review archive. I’m watching on TSN2 in Canada as usual.
This week’s show began with a video package showing highlights of last week’s Dynamite that saw the Inner Circle take out AEW World Champion Jon Moxley with a Powerbomb off the stage through a table.
There was a backstage interview with “Hangman” Adam Page from earlier today that was conducted by Tony Schiavone. Page said he needed a partner because Kenny Omega was injured. The Young Bucks were there, Page told Matt Jackson he wouldn’t team with him if he was the last person on Earth, then said maybe his more talented brother Nick and he asked if he brought his gear. Page said that his partner for tonight is a mystery. Matt called Page a prick and didn’t want Nick to consider teaming with Page. Nick just left without saying anything.
The opening match involved Ortiz from the Inner Circle group and he had his buddy Santana with him. Cody entered as the opponent, who got a huge ovation from the crowd. Cody was joined by his wife Brandi Rhodes along with the coach Arn Anderson. The announcers are Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur as usual.
Cody (w/Arn Anderson and Brandi Rhodes) vs. Ortiz (w/Santana)
Cody with a dropkick as I am still getting to that giant neck tattoo that Cody has. Ortiz charged right into a Cody powerslam for two. There was a shot of Jake Roberts in the crowd with Lace Archer as his new protégé. Archer recently signed with AEW, so this was his debut. Roberts and Archer sat at ringside with fans chanting “holy shit” for them as Ortiz took advantage with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Ortiz whipped Cody into the barricade and then Cody sent Ortiz into the steel steps. Cody with Ortiz on his knees, then he dropped to his knees for a backbreaker like move. Cody slapped on a single leg crab with Ortiz getting to the ropes easily. Cody with an uppercut punch on Ortiz, Santana grabbed Cody’s foot while Ortiz distracted the referee and Ortiz kicked the back of Cody’s leg to knock him down. Cody came back with a knee to the ribs. Ortiz drove Cody’s right knee into the shoulder of Ortiz. Normally wrestlers work on the left leg or arm as Ortiz hit a suplex. Cody was sent out of the ring, Santana got in a cheap shot and Ortiz sent Cody back into the ring. Ortiz with a running headbutt and now he went to work on both legs. JR did a good job of putting over Archer as a main event level star. Cody with a running forearm, then a suplex into a slam and ten corner punches. Cody took off his leather weight belt, the fans cheered and he tossed it into the crowd. Santana distracted the referee, Cody up top and Ortiz tripped up Cody on the top rope. Cody blocked a suplex with a front suplex, Santana grabbed Cody’s leg when the referee wasn’t looking and Brandi whipped Santana in the back with her belt. Ortiz hit a superplex on Cody for a two count. Santana argued with Anderson on the floor, Cody rand the ropes and hit a suicide dive on Santana on the floor. Ortiz jumped onto Cody on the floor, Cody caught him and gave him a front suplex on the ramp. Archer nearly jumped the railing, but Roberts talked to him to keep him back. They have a soft ramp or at least it sounds soft. Back in the ring, Ortiz with a kick to the knee followed by a Fisherman’s Suplex for two as Roberts and Archer left. Cody went for a kick off the ropes, Cody blocked a pin attempt and Ortiz hit a knee to the face to block Cody’s finish. Cody with a dragon screw leg whip against the ropes, then a kick to the leg and a stomp on the foot. Cody slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Ortiz and Ortiz tapped out to give Cody the submission win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cody
Analysis: ***1/2 I liked this match a lot with Cody continuing to produce consistently great matches no matter the opponent. I think Cody is having the best run of his career over the last year in terms of match quality. Ortiz isn’t known as a singles guy, but they booked this in a way that made him look credible even though the obvious thing happened as Cody got the win. The submission win was done because in the Blood & Guts match, that’s how you must win, so it tells fans that Cody can win with a submission move.
Post match, Santana went into the ring and knocked down Cody with his sock loaded with baseballs. Arn Anderson went into the ring, so Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega ran into the ring as the heels left. Kenny had his right hand taped up because he had a broken pinky finger that will keep him out of action for a few weeks.
Chris Jericho was shown on the video screen with Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara with him. Jericho said that the Inner Circle is putting the AEW roster on notice and in two weeks they’ll beat the hell out of you “pumpkin-head dipshits.” Jericho said that they ran into Nick Jackson in the hallway, so he’s got a headache. Nick was shown trapped under a garage door. The Elite guys in the ring left to the back as Jericho told them to pick up their trash. The Elite group went to the back to check on Nick.
Analysis: It sends the message that the heel Inner Circle isn’t messing around as they kicked Nick’s ass to knock him out. I prefer to see the guy getting beat up in an angle like that rather than just showing him after the alleged attack, but sometimes they need to do that for TV.
The show returned with Nick getting taken away on a stretcher by the EMTs. Nick was taken away to the hospital or local medical facility as some wrestling companies like to say. Cody and Matt Jackson left to go to the hospital while Dustin stayed.
The announce team of JR, Tony and Excalibur were shown on screen giving us a rundown of what’s to come on the show.
Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Nyla Rose and Bea Priestley
Rose is the AEW Women’s Champion. Rose and Priestly took control with an attack as the bell rang. Shida charged in, Rose with a shoulder tackle and Rose with a clothesline. Rose with a standing leg drop for a two count. Priestley worked over Shida with a boot to the throat followed by a kick to the back. Priestley with a running kick to the face of Shida. Rose tagged in with a kick to the gut of Shida, Priestley with a knee to the back and Rose hit a vertical suplex for two. Shida hit a jumping knee and Statlander got the tag.
(Commercial – Statlander with a running clothesline on Priestley and then a running knee against the tropes. Statlander with a sitout slam on Priestley for a two count. Statlander hooked the legs leading to a roll into a pin attempt for two. Priestley with a leg scissors around the head while wrenching on the right arm.)
The match returned with Statlander fighting out of the hold. Priestley wasn’t sure what she was doing off the ropes, Statlander grabbed her and gave a backbreaker. Shida tagged in and gave her partner Statlander a suplex into Priestley against the ropes. Priestley and Shida exchanged kicks, German Suplex by Priestley, but Shida came back with a knee to the back. Rose got the tag, punched Statlander off the apron and then missed a knee drop on Shida because of Statlander’s help. Shida with a missile dropkick and a double kick by the faces on Rose for a two count. Shida with an enziguri kick and then a sitout slam for two as Priestley made the save. Rose decked Statlander with a clothesline. Rose held up Shida, but Shida countered with a headscissors and a superplex off the top. Rose ran over Shida wit ha running Spear and then a Beast Bomb finished off Shida for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Nyla Rose and Bea Priestley
Analysis: **3/4 The match was solid with Rose looking dominant again even in a tag team match. I like that AEW tries to keep champions looking strong by having them win tags like this. Statlander and Shida are solid workers, but the lack of a story hurt the match. It’s the same story every week in the women’s division where they just have matches without doing a lot in terms of creative storylines.
After the match, Priestley knocked down Rose (we didn’t see that part due to replays) and then stomped on Rose. Priestley held up the AEW Women’s Title with the fans cheering that.
There was a Dark Order parody video with Christopher Daniels mocking the Dark Order group. Daniels said when AEW started, Dark Order had momentum, but that all ended when they lost to SCU so they created videos targeting the lost people and talked about the Exalted One. Daniels said that they tried to tell you that he was the Exalted One, but that was a lie. Daniels said “screw the Dark Order” and he said he wanted to face Evil Uno and Stu Grayson in singles matches. Daniels claimed he will prove that they are sad and desperate man. It ended with a message saying “Dark Order Sucks.”
Analysis: This was creative. I liked it as a parody video mocking the Dark Order group. There are a lot of questions about who the Exalted One is whether it’s Matt Hardy or Brodie Lee (former Luke Harper), so we should learn that soon.
The entrances took place for the six-man tag team match with The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny out first. MJF’s theme song starts out saying “I’m better than you and you know it.” It was noted by JR that MJF turns 24 years old on Sunday, so he’s got a very bright future ahead of him. The babyface trio of the Jurassic Express entered to a nice pop from the crowd since they are a popular team. The fans chanted “Luchasaurus” before the match.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman, The Butcher and The Blade (w/Wardlow and The Bunny) vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt)
There was a lot of stalling to start by MJF’s heel team. Luchasaurus was attacked by the three heels as they kicked Luchasaurus in the left leg repeatedly and Blade hit a running dropkick to the leg. MJF did a Flair-like strut, Luchasaurus grabbed him and MJF pulled down Luchasaurus with a leg whip. Blade wrenched the left leg into the mat and Butcher hit a splash on the leg.
The match returned with the heels still in control with Blade kicking Luchasaurus in the chest. Luchasaurus got some momentum with a kick to the head, but then MJF tagged in and he grabbed the leg of Luchasaurus. They did a spot where Luchasaurus walked across the ring with Blade and MJF holding his feet, then Boy got the hot tag. Boy forearms, superkicks, a forearm and a running clothesline on Blade. Boy with a leg sweep on MJF, then a senton and a moonsault press onto Blade. Butcher was back in the ring, Stunt jumped on his back into a DDT and Boy knocked Blade off the apron. Stunt did a suicide dive that had no effect, so Boy hit a suicide dive of his own onto the heels. Luchasaurus jumped off the middle ropes with a flip dive onto the three heels on the floor. That led to a “holy shit” chant. Back in the ring, Luchasaurus hit a double Chokeslam and Butcher shoved Boy/Stunt onto the pin to break it up. The referee lost control of the match by that point. Butcher and Luchasaurus exchanged strikes, Luchasaurus with a spin kick and Butcher with a clothesline. Stunt got the tag for his team against MJF with Marko hitting some little man kicks. The camera missed the spot of Stunt avoiding the referee to do more offense. Boy went up top, Bunny did a distraction on the apron and Blade shoved Boy off the top to the floor. Wardlow knocked down Luchasaurus on the floor. MJF pulled down Stunt by the arm and slapped on the Salt of the Earth submission for the tapout victory after 12 minutes.
Winners by submission: Maxwell Jacob Friedman, The Butcher and The Blade
Analysis: **3/4 This was okay as a tag team match to put over MJF as he continues to rack up the victories in order to build him up as a potential title contender. It gets frustrating watching some of these AEW tag team matches where they ignore the actual tag team rules for so long and I think it hurts the match when you do that. As I say all the time when he wrestles, Luchasaurus has a strong connection with the crowd that should lead to him getting a bigger singles push, but it doesn’t happen for the big guy. It feels like Stunt loses every match he’s in. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but when he’s out there he does get pinned most of the time.
There were highlights shown from last week that put over Darby Allin’s effort in losing a handicap match last week.
Darby Allin was shown walking in some field, he had a Jericho face on his head and he drove a truck that had some body bag with Sammy Guevara’s face connected to it.
Dr. Britt Baker was interviewed by Tony Schiavone on the stage for what has become a regular segment. Baker said that she’s happy Tony is there because there’s not a whole lot going on in Utah. Baker said she had a coffee for Tony, but Utah doesn’t like caffeine or beer. Baker said she was there to liven up the crowd a bit. Baker said she’s seeing a lot of high BMI and some poor oral health, but she can help because she’s a dentist (they showed some overweight fans in the crowd). Baker said that the crowd looks like it’s a giant family reunion and she said you can pursue anything you have a true passion for. Baker encouraged the crowd to be a janitor, a plumber or a dental assistant and you can all achieve greatness. Baker said that she can be our role model that can lead by example. Tony said she’s not making a lot of friends here as fans chanted “you suck” at her. Baker thanked the fans for the standing ovations while claiming she was there to be her role model. Big Swole showed up to yell at Baker for talking too much, Baker hid behind Tony and Swole said he didn’t even like her. Baker told Swole she hasn’t had any relevance here and said that the only person these fans care about in your household is her boyfriend and Swole said she is married (to Cedric Alexander) bay-bay…and that was done because Baker is dating Adam Cole. Baker threw the coffee onto Swole and ran away.
Analysis: This was fine, but I think Baker has had better promos. There were some moments here where it seemed like Baker was forgetting her lines or she didn’t know how to react. Swole confronting her will lead to a rivalry, which is what the division needs and it gives Baker something to do after two months of these kinds of promos. They referenced their significant others since they assume the fans get the inside references, but there might be some fans that have no idea what they meant.
It was time for another six-man tag team match because this company really loves tag team matches.
Death Triangle (“The Bastard” Pac, Pentagon and Fenix) vs. Joey Janela and Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy)
The Triangle trio attacked aggressively. Kassidy ran the ropes, leap frog and an arm drag followed by a jumping side kick on Pac. Quen tagged in against Fenix, Kassidy was still in the ring with a spinning DDT and Fenix tagged in Pentagon, so Janela got the tag. Pentagon with a kick to the leg, Janela with a forearm and a running clothesline. The other wrestlers all went into the ring, then Private Party cleaned house with a double dropkick. Pentagon walked from one side of the ring to the other side, just so he can be part of a spot with Janela hitting a cross body block onto the three heels on the floor.
The faces got some momentum going with Janela clearing the ring and hitting a suicide dive on Fenix. Quen tagged in with a headscissors into a slam off the shoulders. Kassidy up top with a senton bomb and Quen with a Shooting Star Press off the top for two as Pentagon broke up the pin and Pentagon tagged in. Pentagon with a Slingblade neckbreaker on Quen. The Death Triangle trio all attacked Quen including a diving double stomp off the top for a two count. Pac with a spin kick, then he wanted a suplex on Quen, but Janela was able to tag in. Pac with a kick on Janela, then they battled on the apron and Quen jumped over the top, and completely missed Pentagon, who sold it anyway. Kassidy hit an impressive dive on Fenix. Janela with a Death Valley Driver slam on the apron, then back in the ring and Janela hit an elbow drop off the top for two. Pentagon with a kick to the back of Janela, Fenix with a Cutter on Janela and a double foot stomp/package piledriver combination. Fenix hit a dive onto Private Party on the floor. Pac went up top and hit a Black Arrow splash on Janela for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Death Triangle (“The Bastard” Pac, Pentagon and Fenix)
Analysis: ***1/4 It was an entertaining tag team match with the new heel trio getting the win to try to give some positive momentum. Some of the stuff Private Party looks great, but there are times when they try big spots and then miss them, which is what happened during this match. I understand it’s high risk, but stick to the moves that actually look good. Pac getting the win was the right call to establish his team as a new heel trio.
After the match was over, the Death Triangle trio all slapped on submission holds on their opponents on the mat. It was just wrenching back on their heads and arms. The Best Friends trio of Trent, Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy went to ringside for the save.
Dustin Rhodes was interviewed by Lexi Nair backstage. Dustin said that he’s sick of the Inner Circle and he said he’s going to team up with “Hangman” Adam Page whether Page likes it or not because they’re fixing to do some cowboy shit.
The show returned with videos of wrestlers that wanted to be the tag team partner of Shawn Spears with Tully Blanchard as the manager. There were several wrestler promos. I think Anthony Bowens is a great choice and I know Simon Miller is popular too.
They claimed that we will find out the leader of the Dark Order known as the Exalted One.
The announcers went over the rules for the Blood & Guts match in two weeks. It’s similar to a traditional War Games match.
Analysis: Next week’s show and the week after are not going to be in their original locations of Rochester and Newark, so it’s possible that those plans will change.
Jon Moxley Interview
There was an interview with AEW World Champion Jon Moxley with Jim Ross. They showed clips of the Powerbomb off the stage through the table. JR said that AEW doctors did not medically clear Moxley to be at the arena. Moxley said he was pissed off and he didn’t want to elaborate on his injuries. Moxley said he’s wining the game because he’s got the AEW Title. Moxley trash talked the Inner Circle group and JR mentioned that it seems like Moxley will face Hager at one point. Moxley said that Hager has hit him harder than anybody in his life, but at the end of the day he’s just another guy in AEW. JR mentioned the show in Newark in two weeks that is like a pay-per-view show. Moxley said he wouldn’t miss it and said two or three inches one way or another, they may have ended his career, but they didn’t. Moxley said that he is in Inner Circle’s blind spot and if they think they are smart as they are, that scares them. That was it.
Analysis: This was good and I’m a fan of sitdown interviews like this. There’s no clear next challenger for Moxley right now, but MJF said last week he was coming for him. Jake Hager is a possibility too. The next PPV is over two months away, so they have plenty of time to build up the next challenger.
The ring announcer Justin Roberts let us know it was time for the main event.
Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara made their entrance along with their Inner Circle buddies Santana, Ortiz and Jake Hager. The fans sang along with the “Judas” song as usual. That is always cool to hear. Jericho smirked when the music stopped.
There was a good pop for “Hangman” Adam Page, who is one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions. The graphic for Page on his way to the ring noted that he has not even talked to Dustin Rhodes today. Dustin Rhodes entered as the partner with QT Marshall and Brandi Rhodes joining him on the stage, but then they went to the back.
Dustin Rhodes and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (w/Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz)
Page and Rhodes worked well together with multiple clotheslines on Sammy for a two count. Rhodes with a hard whip that sent Sammy into the turnbuckle. Sammy dumped Page out of the ring, Jericho tagged in and hit a springboard dropkick on Page to knock him off the apron. Jericho grabbed a beer from the fan and took a sip while mocking Page saying, “I’m a cowboy” and Page punched Jericho. Page drank some of the beer. When Page turned around, Sammy kicked Page in the chest. Page with a running shoulder tackle on Sammy and then he gave Jericho a suplex onto Sammy. Rhodes got the tag with running clotheslines, then an uppercut punch, an atomic drop and a running bulldog. Rhodes with a punch to Jericho followed by a powerslam. Sammy got back into it with a double foot stomp off the turnbuckle to the chest and that got a two count.
(Commercial – The heels remained in control of Rhodes, who was the face in peril for a few minutes during the break.)
Page and Sammy remained in control with a double back elbow followed by heel pose in the ring. Jericho with a Lionsault off the middle ropes and Rhodes got the knees up to block. Page got the tag against Sammy with a running boot to the face with fans chanting “cowboy shit” for Page. When Jericho tried to cheat, Page knocked him off the apron and Page hit a fallaway slam on Sammy. Page with a slingshot dive over the top on Jericho and then a running clothesline on Sammy for two. Sammy came back with a hook kick to Page, then Jericho tagged in and page hit a forearm. The three heels stood together on the floor as Rhodes hit a cross body block in the ring and Page hit a moonsault on the floor. That’s a creative spot, but it’s hurt a bit because the guys are just standing there, so it looks too fake. Standing there for five seconds is too much. They have to make it look more natural. Page went for the Buckshot Lariat, but Jericho blocked it and gave him the Liontamer with Rhodes breaking it up. Sammy tagged in, he went for a SSP off the top, Page moved, Page hit a boot and Jericho tripped up Page on the apron. Page with a clothesline on Jericho on the floor. Rhodes hit a Destroyer on Sammy and Page hit the Buckshot Lariat on Sammy, who did a flip bump and that was enough to get the pin to win the match. They went about 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Dustin Rhodes and “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: ***1/4 The action was good with Page continuing his momentum by getting another win even with a different tag team partner in Dustin Rhodes. They set up the finish well with Page taking out Jericho on the floor and then Sammy took two big moves to end it. Having Sammy take the pin instead of Jericho was to be expected going into the match.
After the match was over, the Inner Circle group attacked Page and Rhodes. The announcers pointed out that Page and Rhodes are out of allies. Kenny Omega went out to try to help with a broken right hand, so Jericho kicked the right hand and Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow on Omega. Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Page. Cody ran down to the ring for the save, so I guess he was back from the hospital as part of the storyline. Cody stomped away on Jericho as fans chanted for Cody. Hager picked up Cody and gave him a spinning slam. The heels worked on Cody as Ortiz gave him a suplex on the ramp. Hager grabbed Page and brought him up the ramp. Jericho jabbed a chair into the throat of Cody.
The Inner Circle had Page set up on the stage by the entrance just like they did to Jon Moxley last week. Matt Jackson showed up for the save with a superkick on Jericho. Jackson with a superkick on Hager and he threw Sammy down. Matt with a running double spear on Santana and Ortiz. Jackson stood tall over the five heels while he stared at Page and Matt gave Page a middle finger to the face. Jericho with a steel chair to the head of Matt and Page. Both guys got their hands up to block the chair shots. Jericho sat on the chair on top of Matt and they did a five-man middle finger salute. The cameras showed Omega down in the ring, Cody on the ramp and the two guys down on the stage. The Inner Circle celebrated another dominant showing to end the show.
Analysis: That’s been a common ending for AEW shows for months now and was like what they did last week when they took out Moxley as well. It’s good booking because it gets heat on the heels heading into the Blood & Guts match in two weeks. I liked how Matt saved Page, but it was really Matt getting revenge on Inner Circle after they took out Nick earlier in the night. In the end, the Inner Circle was dominant again.
Three Stars of the Show
- “Hangman” Adam Page
- Death Triangle (“The Bastard” Pac, Pentagon and Fenix)
This week: 7.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 7.25
2020 Average: 7.45
Last 5 Weeks: 7.25, 7.5, 8.5, 8, 8
This week’s Dynamite gets a 7.5 out of 10.
It was a very good show for the most part. There wasn’t a bad match although none of the matches really stood out as being excellent like we get some weeks. It was just solid wrestling most of the night. I think the non-wrestling segments were well done and I like how they were different because it’s not just in-ring promos, but well produced videos like the Daniels thing as well as the Moxley sitdown interview. Trying different things like that is smart.
I think they need to cut back on the tag team matches sometimes. When you do five matches and four of them are tags, it feels repetitive. There were two six-man tags, which could be another tease that they are going to have titles for six-man tags, but it’s not known if that is happening.
They did an effective job of making me care more about the Blood & Guts show if that still happens. We don’t really know yet what kind of show it will be and we know it’s not in Newark now. Anyway, thanks to AEW for entertaining us at a time when the world is on pause for a lot of things.
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Thanks for reading.