Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review on TJRWrestling. This is the last week where AEW is showing a taped show from when they were in Georgia. They are going to move forward with the AEW Double or Nothing PPV on May 23 with no fans. No matches have been announced for Double or Nothing yet.
The show began with a video showing Cody and Darby Allin talking about their TNT Tournament match coming up on this week’s show. They showed highlights of their past matches. Cody said he really wanted to win this title because he can’t win the AEW World Title. Allin called Cody a “corporate sheep” and said that he was relentless. They were both ready to go.
The announce team is Tony Schiavone and Chris Jericho for the fourth straight week of these taped shows in Georgia. Jericho called Cody and Allin idiots while also calling Jon Moxley a “dumb idiot” as well. As they ran down the rest of the line, Jericho called Orange Cassidy an idiot and the group idiots, so a lot of “idiot” usage by Jericho.
Darby Allin entered first for this Semifinal match in the TNT Championship tournament. Allin is 5-2 in 2020 and 10-9-1 with that draw coming against Cody last year. Cody entered with wife Brandi, he’s 7-1 in 2020 and 14-6-1 overall in his AEW career. Shawn Spears was in the crowd and he was beaten by Cody in the first round of the tournament. There were several wrestlers standing around the ring like they have done for the last month.
TNT Championship Tournament Semifinals: Darby Allin vs. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes)
They are both faces that are among the most popular guys in AEW. Cody with a shoulder tackle to knock down his smaller opponent. Allin with an arm drag into a pin attempt. Allin with another pin attempt, Cody tried to bridge up and Cody grabbed his left knee, so Allin clipped the back of the left knee. Cody kicked Allin into the barricade at ringside and whipped Allin into the steps. Allin charged Cody on the floor, Cody sidestepped and Cody shoved Allin, who took out Brandi against the barricade. Cody showed some concern for his wife. Brandi was helped to the back by Billy Gunn as Cody continued the match with stomps on Allin in the ring.
The show returned with Cody delivering a front suplex leading to a two count. Cody wasn’t selling the left knee injury anymore as they replayed the Brandi spot. Jericho said that meant Cody can’t be trusted. Cody put his knees into Darby’s back for a brief submission attempt followed by punches and kicks from Cody. There was a suplex by Cody onto the rope leading to another nearfall. Cody slapped on a single leg crab submission with Allin getting his hand on the rope and referee Aubrey Edwards called for a break. Allin went back to the left knee of Cody, so Cody was back to selling it. Allin with punches and a Code Red sunset flip bomb into a pin attempt for two. Allin trapped Cody against the top rope with Cody’s left knee against the ropes and Allin hit a running body attack on Cody. Allin pulled on the legs of Cody and drove the right knee into the mat. When Cody was stumbling around the ring, Britt Baker hit Cody with a shoe and Cody sold it as if it was some deadly weapon. Back in the ring, Allin headbutted the left knee of Cody two times and they went to a break.
The match returned with the two men doing a double clothesline spot to knock them both down. When they showed Pineapple Pete in the crowd, Jericho let us know that he hates him. Cody with an uppercut punch followed by a suplex toss across the ring. Cody hit a springboard Disaster Kick off the middle ropes. Cody took off his leather belt, but he did not hit Allin with it. Cody favored the left knee injury again, but then he got an inside cradle for two. Allin came back with the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker for a two count. Allin slapped on a Figure Four Leglock to continue working on the legs as Brandi slowly walked out to ringside to support her husband Cody, who got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Cody took a sip of water that Brandi brought out, then Darby hit Cody with the dreaded bottle of water and Cody came back with a clothesline. Allin hit a flipping Stunner, then a move off the ropes, but Cody caught him and Cody hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker for two. Cody did a slow climb up the turnbuckle and he tried a Coffin Drop, but Allin got his knees up to block. Allin went up top and Allin hit the Coffin Drop. Allin was on top of Cody, but Cody managed to turn him and Allin’s shoulders were down while Cody’s left shoulder up, so the ref counted the pin with Allin down for the pinfall loss. The match went 21 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cody
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a pretty good match that got a lot of time with both guys getting a lot of offense along the way. They went for the creative finish to show that it was a close match instead of having Cody win in a decisive way. By doing it this way, it showed that it was a very even match with Cody only winning because he was able to shift his weight to make the cover. This is the kind of finish that works once in a while because if you did it often then it would hurt finishing moves. The way it was done made Cody look like a crafty veteran while you feel sorry for Allin not getting the win after he hit the move. I expected Cody to win and I thought the finish was done well, but I wouldn’t say it was a great finish either.
The win by Cody means he is in the finals of the TNT Tournament.
A video about Scorpio Sky is next.
Scorpio Sky was interviewed for the second week in a row as he talked about how Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were looking for a third guy, so he loved being a part of it. Sky said that things started to take off with their “worst town I’ve ever been in” line that they did on the “Being the Elite” Youtube show. Sky said when he got to challenge Chris Jericho for the AEW World Title he thought he was in the place where he should be. Sky said he didn’t want to be just great, he wanted to be a fu**ing legend.
Analysis: Sky is a very likable guy and fun to watch in the ring. I don’t know if he’ll ever get a big singles push in AEW past what he got when he had an AEW World Title shot, but he’s got all the tools to be successful in singles if he goes away from being in the SCU team.
MJF did a cell phone promo from home saying that he was able to rehab his horrific hangnail injury. MJF did an over the top promo saying he over-healed his injury and he now has the strongest nail. MJF said he tried to get TV ready and while he was shaving, the unthinkable happened and MJF was wearing a neckbrace. MJF said he “nicked my neck” and he’s sure a normal would have bled out and died, but not him because he’s a warrior. MJF said he was looking forward to jump on a germ-infested plane and wrestle in front of six or seven of his peers that he really respects (now that’s sarcasm). MJF claimed he wanted to entertain us because he cares about us so much (very sarcastic). MJF said he is like a candle lit in a dark room while adding that he’s the last hope this company has left and he’s better than us…and we know it.
Analysis: A fun promo from MJF doing his over the top heel promo where he fakes an injury and then insults the fans alon the way. It’s typical for MJF.
A guy named Musa entered to lose a match. Wardlow entered as an opponent with his 2-1 record in AEW.
Wardlow vs. Musa
Musa ran at Wardlow, who hit him with a spinebuster. Jericho claimed that Wardlow could be on the cover of “Big Muscle GQ” because he’s a handsome man. Wardlow with punches, Musa avoided a powerslam, Musa with a slap to the face and Musa with a springboard knee attack that knocked Wardlow down to one knee. Wardlow tackled Musa into the turnbuckle. Wardlow hit a rising knee as he held Musa on the middle ropes. That looked vicious. Wardlow hit a spinning slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Wardlow
Analysis: 1/4* A dominant win for Wardlow as you would expect when the match began. The knee to the face looked great. Hopefully it didn’t hurt the guy.
There’s a No DQ, No Countout tag team match up next and the Bubbly Bunch is back too.
The Bubbly Bunch
The Inner Circle group did their promos on cell phones. Chris Jericho was on an exercise bike at home while Sammy had a bottle of sanitizer that he won last week. Santana and Ortiz spoke, then Jericho said that they should fight eachother in a Manitoba Melee and Jake Hager was interested Ortiz headbutted the camera, so Sammy hit a forearm, Hager with a boot into the camera and Santana hit the camera. That led to other AEW wrestlers being a part of it, plus Chris Jericho’s dad Ted Irvine was in it and Lou Ferrigno was there too. There were also actor Jason Mewes, director/actor Kevin Smith, comedian Gabriel Iglesias, comedian Brad Williams, the former Virgil, Vickie Guerrero was a part of it and Vickie yelled “are you kidding me?” repeatedly. I guess she can’t say “excuse me” there. Jericho said that was awesome and one of the best Manitoba Melees he has ever been a part of. Jericho: “Was that Lou Ferrigno with a taser?” It sure was.
Analysis: That was funny with some interesting cameos along the way. Sorry if I didn’t get the name of everybody that appeared. I enjoyed it more than last week’s segment.
The heel team of Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian with Penelope Ford made their entrance. The Best Friends trio of Trent and Chuck Taylor with Orange Cassidy made their entrance.
No Countouts and No Disqualifications: Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor) w/Orange Cassidy vs. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford)
Trent sent Havoc out of the ring and Chuck tossed Sabian out of the ring. Trent ran the ropes leading to a tope con hilo dive over top onto both heels. Havoc grabbed a cheer and tossed it at Cassidy to knock him down. That was rough. Cassidy was helped to the back by somebody in a black shirt. Havoc hit a suplex on Taylor on three chairs on the floor. Trent saved his partner with a Spear on Havoc on the floor. Sabian hit a tope con hilo over the top onto Trent on the floor with Jericho pointing out Trent had a Bill Murray face on his knee pad. Havoc threw a chair at Taylor on the floor. Sabian whipped Trent sternum first into the turnbuckle with Trent taking a turnbuckle bump. Havoc sent Trent into the turnbuckle and then he tossed a ladder into Trent. Havoc with a slingshot that sent Trent face first into a ladder. Havoc bit the ear of Trent. Sabian tagged in even though it’s a No DQ match, so why do you need to tag in? I don’t know, but that’s what happened. Sabian with a kick to the back of Trent. Even though Sabian tagged in, Havoc was in control as he tossed a ladder onto Trent. Sabian tagged back in, Trent kicked Havoc away and Trent jumped off the turnbuckle right into the double knees from Sabian for a two count because Taylor made the save. Trent avoided a corner attack, Sabian hit the turnbuckle and Havoc hit Trent in the ribs with a chair. Taylor kicked a chair into Havoc’s face. Trent and Taylor each threw chairs at Havoc. Double team on Sabian with a boot to the face into a suplex for a two count. Sabian charged, Taylor moved and then Sabian sent Taylor into a chair. Taylor with a jumping DDT on Sabian. Trent with a running attack where he kicked a chair into Sabian’s face for a two count because Havoc made the save. Trent with a chair shot to the back of Havoc. Trent went up top, Havoc stood on the ladder on the middle ropes and Trent knocked Jimmy down with a forearm. Trent was on the top rope, but Havoc tripped him up and Trent went back first onto the ladder. Havoc with a slam off the shoulders onto two chairs. Sabian went up top and hit a double foot stomp on Trent for a two count with Taylor making the save. Havoc hit Taylor in the back with a chair shot. Taylor gave Havoc a body slam onto the legs of a chair and then Taylor gave Sabian a piledriver on a chair with Ford pulling Taylor’s leg to break up the pin. Taylor charged, Havoc with a back elbow and Havoc hit a back body drop onto the ladder that was against the ropes. Cassidy ran back out there to save his buddies, so Cassidy threw a chair at Havoc. Ford missed a kick on Cassidy, who moved and Ford kicked Sabian by accident. Cassidy whipped Ford into Sabian on the floor. Cassidy went up top and jumped onto Sabian/Ford on the floor. Taylor hit a running piledriver on Havoc on a pile of chairs in the ring for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor)
Analysis: **3/4 That was wild at times and also a bit disjointed too. It was weird when Sabian tagged in two times in a match where you did not have to tag in based on the rules. The piledrivers were brutal as well as some of the chair spots because they were throwing chairs around in a way that looked a bit wild. Taylor’s finisher was impressive. They booked Cassidy’s spots well. At least there were no obvious chair shots to the head. Best Friends winning made sense since they’re a regular team that’s on a role while the opponents only team together once in a while.
Post match, Best Friends celebrated in the ring with the trio each doing the thumbs up.
Still to come is Jon Moxley, Brodie Lee vs. Marko Stunt and Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes. Shawn Spears is up next.
There was a video of Dr. Britt Baker in her dental office with photos of Britt with Tony Schiavone in the office. They showed Britt’s makeup artist “Reba” who said her name is Rebel and she is a wrestler also that is a makeup artist. Rebel talked about doing Britt’s makeup, then Britt called for “Reba” and Britt instructed her to call her “Dr. Britt Baker” and said if you want a big break, do what Britt told her. That led to Rebel saying that Dr. Britt Baker has been a role model and it’s a privilege to do her makeup. Baker had more role model tips saying that not everyone can be a role model like people that wear glasses that aren’t doctors and she insulted fat people. Britt had photos of Tony Schiavone both times while also ripping on “snaggletooth” people, which is also Tony. Baker said that sometimes being a role model is showing people what not to do. That was the end of Britt in her office.
Analysis: There were some good lines there. Britt is doing a good job in this heel role and getting it over as an obnoxious person that’s easy to hate. I hope this leads to Rebel being on more because she’s gorgeous and talented too. I didn’t watch all of her Impact career, but she has the experience to be an asset on AEW TV as well. Perhaps they can have Rebel on TV with Baker and Baker bosses her around until Rebel has enough of her and kicks her ass.
Shawn Spears vs. Baron Black
Black got a bit of offense with a headlock, but then Spears took control with chops followed by a spinebuster. Spears worked over Black with punches and a stomp on the head. Some of the wrestlers chanted for Baron, so Spears hit a suplex and Spears did a cocky pin attempt that was a tribute to Jericho. Black with an uppercut, then a chop and Spears kicked him down. Spears with a running C4 slam off the shoulders. Spears slapped on the Sharpshooter submission that Bret Hart used in his career and Black tapped out to give Spears the win after about three minutes.
Winner by submission: Shawn Spears
Spears noted on Twitter that he asked Bret Hart if he could use the Sharpshooter and Bret gave him permission, so look for Spears to keep using it in the future.
Analysis: 1/2* An easy win for Spears, who beats the jobbers in AEW, but he doesn’t pick up significant wins in AEW. They don’t push him that much to the point where you would consider him a top guy in AEW.
Still to come is Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes and Brodie Lee is against the little man Marko Stunt up next.
There was a video with Tazz talking about Lance Archer’s Blackout finisher slam noting that Archer is flipping a guy onto his back from above his head.
A video was shown of Marko Stunt saying that a lot of people think he don’t think he belongs and he’s going to give it his all whether it’s Lance Archer or Brodie Lee with Marko saying he can take a lot.
Marko Stunt made his entrance without his Jurassic Express buddies. Stunt is 4-4 in 2020 and 5-11 overall in AEW. Jericho said he has respect for Stunt even though he’ll beat his ass if he is in the ring with him. Brodie Lee entered next as the leader of the Dark Order. Lee is introduced as “Mr. Brodie Lee” and he’s 3-0 in AEW.
Mr. Brodie Lee vs. Marko Stunt
Lee shoved Stunt down two times, then Stunt ran the ropes and Lee dropped him with a boot to the face. Lee with a hard chop to the chest with Jericho said that maybe Jim Ross could be part of the Dark Order and it’s all orchestrated by Lee, who just tossed Stunt across the ring. They left the ring, Stunt tried a dive, Lee caught him and Lee hit a superkick on the floor. Back in the ring, Stunt with a kick, but when Stunt tried an attack off the turnbuckle, Lee caught him and hit a side slam. Lee with a sitout Powerbomb for the pinfall victory after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mr. Brodie Lee
Analysis: 3/4* Another dominant win by Lee just like his other wins in AEW so far. Stunt does a good job of being that underdog that fights back, but the result of this match was never in doubt.
Jon Moxley was shown outside somewhere saying it was eight weeks ago he was winning the AEW Title and he was celebrating with fans. What the hell has happened since then? Moxley said that now we’re watching from home and he’s thankful for the support. Moxley said that he’s thankful for things like his wife and a steel chair because that’s what he used to beat Jake Hager. Moxley said he’s thankful that AEW is live next week. Moxley said he’ll throw his dogs in the truck and head east because he’ll be live on AEW next week. Moxley said that with Double or Nothing coming up, he’s got a target on him, but before that when you step up to the World Champion you do so at your own risk. Moxley reminded us to be nice to our neighbors, support local businesses and don’t forget to call your grandmother.
Analysis: Good promo from Moxley. I’m glad the show is live next week. My grandmothers have both passed away, but it’s good advice to call family.
Next week on AEW Dynamite: MJF returns, Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian and Street Fight with Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara aka Le Sex Gods vs. Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega. Jericho said that they’ll finish The Elite.
Lance Archer was up first for the main event and he beat up a random guy that was backstage. It was a guy that was used as a jobber in previous weeks. Archer is 3-0 in his AEW Career. Dustin Rhodes was up next with sister-in-law Brandi Rhodes. Dustin is 7-3 in 2020 and 10-6 overall in AEW.
TNT Championship Tournament Semifinals: Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes (w/Brandi Rhodes)
The show started with about twenty minutes left in the show so you know it’s going to be a lot longer than Lance’s previous short match victories in AEW. They didn’t do much in the first few minutes, then Rhodes sent Archer out of the ring and Rhodes hit a dive off the apron. Jericho said that Dustin is wrestling better now than ever with over 30 years of experience – Dustin is 51 now. When Archer got back in the ring, he blocked a powerslam and hit a running Pounce attack to knock Rhodes out of the ring. Archer grabbed a steel chair from under the ring, Rhodes kicked the chair out of his hands, Rhodes grabbed the chair and Archer kicked the chair into Dustin’s head. Jericho wanted Archer to punch Pineapple Pete in the face. The camera focused on Archer walking around the ring, so Rhodes did a blade job after the chair shot. They went to break there.
Analysis: Archer kicking a chair into Dustin’s head could be a spot where they call for a disqualification, but that didn’t happen. I’m fine with it not happening. I’m just saying it could have been a DQ finish there.
Archer remained in control as they left the ring and Archer slammed Dustin’s head into the table with the ring bell. Archer lightly threw Dustin into the ring post. The referee was doing a very slow count, Archer knocked Rhodes down and Archer went back in the ring with the referee Aubrey Edwards stopping the count, which is weird. Anyway, AEW refereeing is different from what I’m used to. Rhodes tried to get back in the ring, but Archer kicked him out of the ring to the floor. Archer remained in control with punches, a kick to the ribs and a suplex across the ring. Rhodes set up Archer in the corner for the Shattered Dreams kick that is supposed to be a low blow, but Archer barely sold it and punched Rhodes again. Archer with a clothesline as the pace slowed down again. Archer with a chinlock/armbar that kept Rhodes down.
The show return with Archer holding Rhodes in a chinlock just like before the break because they were in the exact same position. Rhodes got back to his feet and hit a Code Red flipping slam. Some of the wrestlers were chanting for Dustin, who got back up as the wrestlers exchanged punches and Dustin hit a clothesline. Rhodes with an uppercut punch followed by the powerslam. Archer wanted a Chokeslam, Rhodes avoided it and Rhodes hit a Cross Roads neckbreaker with Archer kicking out of the pin at the one count. Rhodes with a slow climb up top, he jumped off with nothing and Archer hit a Chokeslam for a two count. Archer walked the ropes while holding Dustin’s hand, they went across the ring and Archer hit a moonsault onto a standing Rhodes! Wow. That got a two count. That was very impressive for a big guy like Archer. Jericho said he’s never seen that before in his life. Archer set up Rhodes for his finisher, but Rhodes fought out of it and then Archer hit another Chokeslam for a two count that Dustin turned into a two count of his own. Archer with a boot to the face. Archer ripped the top turnbuckle pad off and he whipped Rhodes into the exposed steel with the referee seeing it. Archer sent Rhodes into the steel two times. That’s a DQ in other wrestling companies. QT Marshall was out there with a white towel. Cody showed up, he grabbed the white towel while looking at Dustin and Archer threw the towel outside the ring. Archer drove Dustin’s head into the mat repeatedly and had a claw hold on Dustin’s head for the pinfall win after 22 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lance Archer
Analysis: ***1/4 The match was good with Archer looking strong with his biggest victory in AEW so far. The first half of it was boring a bit, but the second half was great. I thought they would have had a shorter match with a more decisive win for Archer, but it was still good for a match that went over 20 minutes. Rhodes doing the blade job made Archer look like more of a vicious heel. That spot with Archer walking the ropes leading to a moonsault was very impressive. I knew that Archer was a great athlete, but I didn’t know he had that in his arsenal. There was a bit of drama with the towel at the end although it was tough to get that spot over without fans reacting to it. I thought that they could have had a more creative finish.
The win by Archer means he’ll face Cody in the TNT Tournament Finals to crown the first TNT Champion. That match will take place at AEW Double or Nothing on May 23.
The show ended with Dustin being checked on in the ring by the doctor as well as his family and friends while Archer made menacing faces outside the ring as the winner of the match.
Three Stars of the Show
- Darby Allin
- Lance Archer/Dustin Rhodes
This week: 7.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 6.5
2020 Average: 7.19
This week’s Dynamite gets a 7.5 out of 10.
I thought this was probably AEW’s best show without the fans there. They had three matches that were above average with Cody vs. Allin as the standout match. I didn’t love the finish, but I understood what they were going for by doing something different like that. Archer looked dominant against Dustin Rhodes, who did an excellent job of taking that beating all match long to put over Archer. They continue to produce quality video packages to help develop character personalities, which is a smart thing to do.
Next week’s show is live with more of the roster being a part of the show, so this is the last week of Chris Jericho on commentary. I’ll miss him in that role, but obviously Jericho’s very valuable as a wrestler.
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