Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review on TJRWrestling. This week’s show is a follow up from Saturday’s AEW Double or Nothing pay-per-view that I thought was a very good show. It was the end of a lot of rivalries in AEW and the next PPV is All Out on Saturday, September 5, so there’s over three months until they get there. They also doing a Fyter Fest show in the summer although no date has been announced for that.
The big news coming out from Double or Nothing is that Cody became the first TNT Champion in AEW history and Hikaru Shida won the AEW Women’s Title as well. Brian Cage also debuted at Double or Nothing and won the Casino Battle Royal, so he’s going to get a shot at the AEW World Title at some point in the future. Going into this week’s show, they advertised boxing legend Mike Tyson will be there again just like he was last week, so it will be interesting to see what they do with him. Let’s find out now on Dynamite.
The show began with highlights from AEW Dynamite on Saturday.
The five man Inner Circle group of Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz were outside the building with Jericho talking about how they only made a few boxes of shirts saying they were Stadium Stampede match winners. Santana then told Jericho that “Carlos” made them a lot of shirts. Ortiz was funny yelling about it. Jericho looked frustrated.
The Dynamite introduction video aired and then fireworks went off at AEW’s home in Jacksonville with wrestlers in the crowd.
The announce team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur welcomed us to the show. They promoted the matches and segments coming up this week.
I’m going to scrap the play by play format for match reviews this week. It’s just a different format to give it a try. I’ll summarize it as best I can while still putting in the analysis as well.
The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and Matt Hardy vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy) and Joey Janela
Matt Hardy was in some gear looking like the early Hardy Boyz days from about 20 years ago. Matt Jackson had his ribs taped since he has been hurt from last week. It was Nick Jackson’s first match on Dynamite in over three months due to his wife having a baby that led to an injury angle and then he wasn’t brought to shows due to AEW wanting to limit travel during the health crisis. Good spot by Quen hitting a hurricanrana on Nick on the floor and Janela hit a Death Valley Driver for two. There were a lot of superkicks in this match, as you would expect and Nick even superkicked The Blade, who was in the crowd and Matt went after The Butcher and The Blade in the crowd. JR mentioned plexiglass, so there’s the first WWE reference (since WWE put plexiglass in front of the wrestlers on Raw) in the first ten minutes of the show. Nick was the face in peril, then he took out all three opponents including a Destroyer, which is another popular move in AEW. Hardy hit a cool reverse DDT/neckbreaker spot and then a Side Effect. Hardy hit a moonsault off the top on three guys that were nice enough to lay there for him. There was a spot where private Party hit somersault dives over the top onto the Young Bucks and Quen jammed his left knee when he landed. It looked like a legit injury rather than a storyline. The finish was awkward as the Young Bucks hit their More Bang For Your Buck double team finisher and then they didn’t know who was legal, so Matt pinned Kassidy to win after about 9 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) and Matt Hardy
Analysis: **3/4 This was a solid tag team match with six babyface wrestlers. There was no story to the match, so it was just a matter of the wrestlers getting their spots in. It was nice to see they didn’t ignore tag team rules as much as usual although the last few minutes had the poor refereeing leading to a confusing finish. Hardy and the Bucks winning was the obvious outcome since they are pushed while the other three guys are not.
Post match, the referee checked on Quen and Hardy checked on Quen as well. Hardy helped Quen to the back along with the referee.
The Butcher and The Blade went into the ring to go after the Young Bucks with some punches and kicks. As that was happening, the duo of Dax Harwood (formerly Scott Dawson) and Cash Wheeler (formerly Dash Wilder) made their AEW debuts driving up to the arena in a truck. They were wearing jean jackets and they are called FTR now since they can’t use The Revival name anymore. The FTR boys got in the face of the Young Bucks, but then they turned to attack Blade and Butcher. They knocked Butcher out of the ring and then did a spiked piledriver on Blade. Butcher went back in, so he ate a double team superkick by the Young Bucks and FTR hit a double team Shatter Machine (if they can still call it that). The Young Bucks and FTR had a staredown, then FTR left.
Analysis: That was a nice debut for FTR. It was obvious they were coming to AEW, so now they can build up to this dream tag team match against The Young Bucks. I hope they can hold off the first match until the next PPV in September, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we saw it before that. I also should note that on Twitter, FTR referenced their name as “F**k The Rest” although I don’t know if that’s the official. I think they are really just using FTR as the official name. For what it’s worth, I don’t think FTR is a good name, but nobody asked me and that’s okay too! I’m sure Dax and Cash will be very motivated, so I think they’ll do well in AEW.
The AEW World Champion Jon Moxley entered the building from the back of the arena and Moxley joined the commentary team for the next match. Moxley said he felt terrible after the war he had at Double or Nothing, he said that Brodie Lee gave him the toughest fight in AEW and now Brian Cage has a title shot against him.
Brian Cage (w/Taz) vs. Lee Johnson
Cage tossed Johnson across the ring and then hit a German Suplex across the ring. Taz was laughing about it. Cage hit a Buckle Bomb. Cage hit his finishing move called the Drill Claw for the pinfall win in under two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Brian Cage
Analysis: 1/4* A total squash to put over Cage. That’s the right way to do it.
Taz did a promo as they looked toward Moxley. Taz said he respected Moxley for grinding and being super successful. Taz said that at Fyter Fest, Moxley has to deal with Cage and he wants him to bring that grit he’s known for. Taz said that Cage will tear Moxley’s heart out of his chest. Taz: “That’s Brian Cage, the Machine, beat him if you can, survive if he lets you.” Moxley said that this is going to be fun.
Analysis: Good promo from Taz. The final line was Taz’s catchphrase during most of his career, so I like that he said it for Cage. I don’t think Cage is a bad talker, but I like that AEW has Taz with him because Taz brings a lot of credibility to the presentation.
Let’s Hear from Britt Baker
Britt Baker was wheeled onto the stage with a bandage on her right knee as Tony Schiavone was there to interview her with “The Rules of Being a Role Model” written on some paper. Baker’s wheelchair said “Roll Model” on it. Baker was wheeled out by “Reba” who is a wrestler named Rebel that works as a makeup artist in AEW.
Baker said Rule #3: “Don’t Hurt the Role Model.” Baker said that last week’s tandem assault on her that led to a broken tibia wasn’t an accident, it was a conspiracy. A clip was shown of Nyla Rose was bodyslammed onto Baker’s knee leading to this legit injury. Baker said without her there is no women’s division. Baker said that Kris Statlander “being an alien is a crock of shit” and is a conspirator. Baker said Shida broke her news, is a fraudulent champion, carries a weapon and is a conspirator. Baker called Rose a conspirator too. Reba got the board that had evidence with photos of different people with Baker saying that referee Aubrey Edwards is the brains of the operations because she has been around for every injury. Baker said that she’ll be back at All Out, which is in three months.
Analysis: This was fun with Baker continuing her over the top gimmick and she’s given the most promo time of any woman in the company. Baker’s injury is about 8 weeks on the sideline, which is a lot better than 8 months. The line about Statlander was tremendous.
The Inner Circle was interviewed backstage by Alex Marvez. Jericho said that their pep rally is going to be a great party that will see them get back on track. Orange Cassidy walked by in the background. Jericho said they’ll see Orange later.
Hikaru Shida vs. Christi Jaynes
Shida is the new AEW Women’s Champion and this was non-title. This is only Christi’s second match in AEW with JR noting she was from Brazil and lives in Texas. Each woman did some hair pulling in the match and Shida hit a running knee against the turnbuckle. Shida remained in control with a knee lift and suplex. Jaynes came back with an enziguri and a kick to the head for two. Jays thought she won, but nobody watching likely thought that. Shida avoided a moonsault, then a forearm and a running knee to the back of the head got just two. Shida hit the Falcon Arrow slam for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Hikaru Shida
Analysis: ** This could have been a squash in three minutes to put over the champion, but instead Jaynes got a decent amount of offense. Shida should probably call her finisher “Holy Shida” or something like that. Just an idea.
(Commercial – “Hangman” Adam Page was shown in the hotel drinking beer while Kenny Omega was drinking milk. They were sitting on a couch watching the show.)
They showed highlights of Cody becoming the first TNT Champion at Double or Nothing this past Saturday.
Let’s Hear from Cody
Cody entered in a suit with the TNT Championship with the coach Arn Anderson joining him for an interview in the ring with Tony Schiavone. The title is not complete, but Cody brought out the basic title that they had. They showed Cody’s family Dustin Rhodes, wife Brandi Rhodes in the crowd and QT Marshall was talking to Allie.
Cody asked Tony why do you think Tom Brady is Cody’s favorite quarterback? Cody said it’s not because he’s from Boston and he doesn’t think he’s welcome back in Connecticut (there’s a WWE reference) and said it’s a little simpler. Cody said that Tom Brady wasn’t the first pick, but his legacy endured. Cody said when Tony Khan thought about a merit based wrestling company, he’s going to want to recruit the best wrestlers. Cody said that he wasn’t the first call, second call or third call and Cody held up four fingers to say he was the fourth call. Cody said in his right hand is the TNT Championship meaning he is the first champion of America’s greatest network (now that’s how you suck up to the channel that’s paying you). Cody said his story isn’t about nepotism. Cody said he is a 21 year old kid that was called up to TV that wasn’t ready, took his bumps and paid his dues while saying that Dustin got all the Dusty genes. Cody got a Cuban lady Michelle that’s his mom that has a broken ankle that is probably standing on it. Cody said that it’s about grit, it’s about work and Cody said he’ll outwork you. Cody wants us to judge him about what he does next. Cody said that he’s going to cut a schedule like no wrestler before and said he will stand out there every week for the AEW TNT Championship saying that this is an open challenge.
Cody spoke about how wrestlers are still without the fans, but if you can see him then he’s looking right at you. Cody said that it is my obligation to give you the best. Cody said to follow him because this is where the fun begins. JR and Excalibur put over Cody with Excalibur saying that’s a “breakneck schedule” to maintain. Cody held up the title that he claims he’ll defend every week.
Analysis: I liked the promo with Cody coming off as a babyface that is also like the heart of AEW this point. When he speaks in promos like that, it feels genuine and it works because when the fans were there, he was getting some of the loudest ovations of anybody in the company. With all due respect to Cody, saying he’s going to cut a schedule like no wrestler before, it’s silly. The AEW schedule sees them wrestle once per week, which means four days per month and that’s five days if they have a PPV. This is nothing compared to when guys would work 250 to 300 days in the year because they would only get one or two days off per week. Some guys like his own father and Ric Flair may have only gotten off three or four days in a month. I think claiming that Cody will work a “breakneck schedule” by defending a title once per week is a stretch.
The entrances took place for a tag team match with the winners getting a future AEW Tag Team Title shot.
SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) vs. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford)
SCU worked over Sabian for a few minutes and then SCU worked over Havoc with Kazarian hitting a nice German Suplex. The heels got some offense after Sabian got in a cheap kick on Kazarian and then they worked over Kazarian for a few minutes. Havoc got a good nearfall after an illegal eye poke and a neckbreaker.
(Commercial – They had picture in picture action with the heels remaining in control.)
The action returned with Kazarian fighting out of the heel corner and Sky got the hot tag. Sky hit a nice belly to belly suplex, a dropkick on Havoc and Sky hit a twisting Cutter on Sabian. Havoc managed to come back with a rising elbow and Death Valley Driver. Sabian got a double foot stomp off the top for a two count. Kazarian got the tag and hit an impressive DDT on Havoc for a two count. Kazarian with a Cutter because that move is popular in AEW. Ford grabbed Kazarian’s leg, the referee did nothing about it, Sabian sent Kazarian out of the ring and Sabian hit a dropkick into a Michinoku by Havoc and Havoc pinned Sky for the win after about 12 minutes. Tony called it an upset.
Winners by pinfall: Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian
Analysis: *** It was a pretty good tag team match with the heels controlling most of it, the faces nearly coming back and some craftiness leading to the victory. This was a much-needed meaningful win for Sabian and Havoc. They usually are in the role of a team that puts over another team, so at least they were able to get a big win. The SCU guys always have good matches and they worked well in their role as the former champions that lost the match to put over a new team.
The win by Havoc and Sabian means that they get a title shot against Page and Omega next week. I don’t expect a title change.
There was a promo from MJF earlier in the day saying he hasn’t received a title shot in AEW yet. He had a good line about how good he has been without having worked in a company before. MJF said he and Wardlow will be in the battle royal and when they’re the final two, Wardlow knows what to do. Wardlow spoke up, but MJF cut him off and they left.
The entrances took place for the battle royal with MJF leading it off.
(Commercial – There were more entrances shown.)
The match began. Orange Cassidy was slow to get out there because that’s his gimmick, so Santana and Oritz attacked him. That meant Cassidy never made it into the match.
Battle Royal for a shot at the AEW TNT Title
MJF started the match by sitting on the turnbuckle with Wardlow standing in front of him. Luther went after Marko Stunt, so Luchasaurus gave Luther a Chokeslam over the top to the floor to get rid of him. Wardlow got rid of Sonny Kiss after Sonny went after MJF. JR called MJF a “Richard” meaning a “dick” in case you don’t know. Billy Gunn caught Colt Cabana after a corner attack and Gunn dumped Cabana over the top to the floor. There was a Dark Order guy at ringside trying to recruit Cabana into the Dark Order and he handed him a paper. They went to picture in picture.
(Commercial – There wasn’t much action during the break other than some comedy spots with Brandon Cutler and Peter Avalon fighting while sitting on the top rope. They eliminated eachother like two dummies. Billy Gunn hit a Fameasser on Jungle Boy too.)
There were seven guys left in the match (actually eight with Orange Cassidy). Marko Stunt got rid of Christopher Daniels with a hurricanrana over the top to the floor and then Wardlow press slammed Stunt over the top to the floor. Gunn and Luchasaurus exchanged punches, then they stood by the ropes, so MJF and Wardlow dumped them out. That meant that Jungle Boy was left with MJF and Wardlow until Cassidy finally went into the ring. MJF punched MJF with the diamond ring when Cassidy moved. MJF charged at Jungle Boy, who dumped MJF out. Boy and Cassidy eliminated Wardlow, so Boy and Cassidy were the final two. Cassidy rocked Boy with two forearms and then Boy hit a running headscissors that sent Cassidy over the top to the floor to give Jungle Boy the win. It went about 11 minutes.
Winner: Jungle Boy
Analysis: **1/2 It was okay for a battle royal. Jungle Boy was a smart choice as the winner because he has yet to really win a big match after losing a lot of close matches in his AEW career, so at least he got a meaningful win here. It would count as a loss for MJF as well although he didn’t get pinned, so he can still say he’s undefeated in singles matches.
The win by Jungle Boy means he’ll challenge Cody for the TNT Title next week.
Next week on Dynamite:
* Cody defends the TNT Title against Jungle Boy
* Kenny Omega and Adam Page vs. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian
* Chris Jericho will be in action next week (after the show they said it will be against Colt Cabana)
Next week’s Dynamite will be taped today (Thursday).
They said that Jon Moxley will defend the AEW World Title against Brian Cage at Fyter Fest at some point this summer. No date was announced. Tony Khan said after Double or Nothing that initially they wanted that event to be the company’s United Kingdom debut, but they can’t go there now due to the health crisis.
They showed highlights of the Stadium Stampede match that was the main event of Double or Nothing. The Elite group including Matt Hardy won the match when Kenny Omega pinned Sammy Guevara. It was fun.
There were Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders on the stage in Inner Circle jerseys. They plugged the HBO Max service a lot and the logo was in the ring. Vickie Guerrero showed up with pom poms as she yelled “Are you kidding me?” repeatedly. I assume “Excuse Me!” is trademarked by WWE. I don’t think Vickie has a deal with AEW, but she has been at a few shows now.
Inner Circle Pep Rally
The Inner Circle’s Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara (with a crutch) made their entrance with Vickie introducing them. The ring had a table in it along with some party supplies.
Chris Jericho welcomed us to the pep rally. Jericho said it’s been a rough time for the group, but like five sexy Phoenixes they are going to ride again. Jericho said he had Stadium Stampede merchandise for the crowd, so the wrestlers threw them into the crowd.
Sammy said that they didn’t win, but what they did is they participated. Sammy got them all participation trophies. Jericho’s trophy said “King of Dad Jokes” and Sammy said due to the pandemic it’s hard to find trophies.
Santana got a Puerto Rican gift basket so he gave Ortiz some Chop Cheese sandwich and he gave Vick’s Vapo-Rub to Sammy. Santana gave Jake some “discount” Timberland shoes. Santana gave Jericho a framed photo of singer Marc Anthony with Jericho saying that’s his hero.
Jericho said that Sammy is too cool to have a nerdy pair of crutches, so he got him his own scooter that says “HIT ME UP” on it. Jericho got Ortiz some headphones to stop the ringing bell. Hager said that he had a hand-written poem. Hager read a poem called “Happiness” where he said that The Elite are the biggest bitches on AEW Dynamite and called them “pumpkin headed bitches.” Hager ended it getting fired up and Jericho calmed him down, so Hager ended it. Hager said “I’m happy” to end it.
Sammy asked Jericho what he wants. Jericho said what he really wants is Mike Tyson’s head on a platter.
Jericho said he hadn’t forgotten what Tyson did to him on January 11th, 2010 on a Monday Night. (There’s a WWE reference too.) Jericho said that Tyson turned on him and every single day of his life ever since that day he’s been dreaming on getting his hands on Tyson’s fat head. Sammy said he can’t get his head on a platter, but Sammy got Chris a cheese platter and a Little Bit of the Bubbly. The cheese was nearly empty and the champagne was gone.
That led to Mike Tyson making an entrance with entourage including former UFCers Rashad Evans, Vitor Belfort, Henry Cejudo and others. Tyson got in Jericho’s face.
Jericho said that Tyson has his thugs out here and he told Tyson to shut his mouth when Jericho is talking to him. Jericho said he’s been dreaming of this moment for ten years. Jericho complained about Tyson turning on him and Tyson said that Jericho is a sucker that deserved it. Jericho told Tyson to “shut up.” Jericho said he’ll give Tyson once chance and one chance only and he’ll demand that Tyson apologizes to him. Tyson slowly ripped off his AEW shirt and I mean slowly because it did not rip easily. Tyson flexed in Jericho’s face. Tyson refused an apology. Tyson shoved Jericho, so Jericho shoved him back.
That led to a brawl with a lot of wrestlers filling the ring to try to separate Jericho from Tyson. Cody was out there pulling Tyson back. Jericho was still in the ring while Tyson was on the ramp to keep them separate. Tyson tried to get back towards the ring, but Belfort and others held them back. JR lied by saying “we didn’t plan for this” and Jericho trash talked Tyson saying he’s going to get him. Jericho yelled “Tyson” repeatedly, which was comedic, but I guess he was trying to be intense.
Analysis: This was pretty good in theory. It’s yet another week where there’s a brawling segment to end Dynamite. This was definitely not Tyson and Austin, which is one of my favorite segments in wrestling history. There were some parts of it that made me laugh because of how cheesy it looked, but it’s probably going to lead to some sort of match between Tyson and Jericho since Tyson seems to like appearing in AEW. Tyson is in good shape at 53 years old while Jericho is AEW’s best talker as well as the best heel, so if they build this up right then it could be fun to watch when they try to have a match. It’s not confirmed that they will have a match, but it’s likely. If they plan it out well and if they build up to it at All Out in September for example then they can probably get through it fine as long as Tyson is willing to do some basic training to get through a few minutes of a match. This is a way to get AEW some mainstream press by using Tyson, who is one of the most famous athletes of the last 40 years even though he hasn’t had a meaningful boxing match in about 20 years.
The other thing about this is that they are basing this story off of what happened on WWE Monday Night Raw over a decade ago when Jericho was teaming with Tyson against Degeneration X and Tyson turned on Jericho (who was a heel) with a punch that knocked him out. It’s not like AEW is going to be able to show that footage. Jericho’s promo covered it well enough, but it’s another example of AEW referencing WWE, which they do far too often.
As angle it was fine, but after the show Henry Cejudo (who recently retired from UFC) posted this video on his Instagram story of Jericho, Tyson and others all hanging out backstage laughing about it.
— The Koncrete Jungle (@TheKJungle) May 28, 2020
We know pro wrestling is a work, but you don’t need to be posting stuff like this.
Three Stars of the Show
- Chris Jericho
- Jungle Boy
This week: 6.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 6.25
2020 Average: 7.14
I thought the show was okay with Chris Jericho’s angle with Mike Tyson as the biggest part of it. They set it up well thanks to Jericho’s excellent promo. The brawling segment to end it was okay, but also was a bit cheesy. It certainly wasn’t as impactful as Tyson and Austin in 1998.
This was one of the weakest episodes of Dynamite in terms of matches. That doesn’t make it a bad show by any means. I’m just saying that the strength of AEW Dynamite most weeks is the quality of matches they put on a regular basis. I like that Jungle Boy finally got a big win by winning the Battle Royal to set up the TNT Title match against Cody. The two tags were fine, women’s match was short and there was a squash. It just wasn’t a show full of great matches like we sometimes get on Dynamite.
It’s good to see FTR (former Revival) in AEW. One of the strengths of the company is the tag team division and the depth they have, so I think they should fit in well. They should be very motivated after being frustrated during their run in WWE. I like the tease of a match against the Young Bucks although there’s over three months until the next PPV, so I would save it until September.
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