Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review on TJRWrestling. It’s back to live action for AEW with shows taking place in Jacksonville in front of no fans. They are on the road to the Double or Nothing PPV on May 23. It was noted by AEW President Tony Khan that they tested every wrestler and staff member for COVD-19 and they were all negative. It’s good that they tested everybody as well as making that public knowledge so the fans know.
The show began with a recap of Cody and Lance Archer winning matches last week to make the TNT Championship Tournament Finals.
There was some pyro at Daily’s Place as the announce team of Tony Schiavone, Jim Ross and Excalibur welcomed us to the show. There were wrestlers in the “crowd” to make some noise during the matches. The announcers did a rundown of the matches coming up this week.
Joey Janela made his entrance for the opening match. Cody was up next as the opponent with an impressive pyro display for him. Cody shook Janela’s hand to start the match since they are both faces.
Joey Janela vs. Cody
Cody and Janela did a lot of quick exchanges as well as nearfall attempts for both guys that led to a lot of two counts. Janela and Cody exchanged chops as well. Cody blocked a chop with a kick to the hand followed by a chop to the back. In addition to wrestlers standing at ringside, there were people that work for AEW sitting in the seats too and they were spread out. Cody hit a delayed front suplex for two. Janela blocked a kick, then sent Cody down face first and Janela hit a leg lariat. Janela whipped Cody into the turnbuckle two times. Janela with a running back elbow, then he went for it again and Cody caught him, but Janela sent Cody throat first into the middle ropes. Janela hit a belly to back suplex. Janela wrapped his legs around the body of Cody with a body scissors. They went out to the floor with Janela whipping Cody into the barricade. Cody got back into control with a punch to the back and they were on the small ramp beside the ring. Cody was back first against the ropes, Janela ran at him and Cody sent Janela into the ropes. The referee Aubrey Edwards wasn’t counting because it’s AEW and the refs rarely count when they are supposed to. Cody hit a disaster kick off the ropes. Cody jumped off the stage with a moonsault onto a standing Janela around the ring. Cody with an uppercut punch, then a kick to the head, but Janela came back with a superkick. Janela went up top and hit an elbow drop off the top for a two count. They battled on the top rope with Cody hitting a reverse superplex off the top for a two count. Janela went for a piledriver of sorts, but Cody countered it into a powerslam for two. Cody went for an attack off the middle ropes only for Janela to catch him and hit a back suplex almost like a German Suplex of sorts. Janela ran the ropes leading to a flip bump by Cody, which was impressive. Janela went up top, he jumped with a moonsault, Cody moved and Janela hit the mat. Cody went up top and jumped off with a Cody Cutter for a two count. They got back up leading to an exchange of punches and forearms. Janela, who is clearly smaller, got the brief advantage and then Cody just grabbed him and hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cody
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a competitive match with Cody as the obvious winner because it makes sense to have him continue the positive momentum going to the TNT Title match. Janela got in a lot of offense, he hit some cool moves and nearly won a few times, so I’m glad that he looked like a credible opponent. I’m still waiting for Janela to have a decent feud. I like most of his work, but there hasn’t been much for him to do other than brief rivalry with Kip Sabian that went nowhere. I thought the finish could have been set up a bit better because it was an exchange of punches and then it was a clean finish for Cody. A move or two before that to set it up would have worked well.
After the match, Cody went over to Janela and shook his hand for putting in a good effort.
Nyla Rose is up next.
A video aired about Nyla Rose showing when she beat Riho for the AEW Women’s Title on February 12 on Dynamite. Since then, she beat Kris Statlander at Revolution and then Rose hasn’t been around much in the last two months. The video featured other women like Britt Baker, Hikaru Shida (the number one contender), and Penelope Ford as some of the women going after Rose.
Nyla Rose made her entrance for a match and she had the AEW Women’s Title with her. Rose is 4-1 in 2020 in AEW. Rose was interviewed on the stage by Tony Schiavone. Rose asked Tony who he thinks is the most dominant force, he said nothing and Rose said it’s her. Rose yelled at Tony to shut up because she is going to do her job.
Nyla Rose vs. Kenzie Paige
This is Paige’s AEW debut and she is only 18 years old. Good luck, kid. Rose tossed Paige across the ring and stepped on her throat. Rose missed a corner attack, Paige tried a sunset flip, but Rose blocked that and Rose hit a clothesline. Rose hit a German Suplex on Paige. Rose went up top and jumped off with Senton Bomb for the two count because Rose pulled Paige’s head up. Rose with a stiff Powerbomb, another Powerbomb and Rose hit a sitout Beast Bomb for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nyla Rose
Analysis: 1/4* A squash win by Rose to make her look dominant.
Post match, Rose celebrated in the ring while taunting Shida, Statlander, Baker and Ford at ringside.
Analysis: The women in AEW are solid wrestlers, but they don’t have interesting storylines. They need to improve on that.
There was a promo from MJF in a red chair and an obviously fake background on a green screen. MJF talked about how he’s a rising young star while saying he’s already compared to Flair, Rock and Piper. MJF said that people hate him because he’s a 24-year-old kid that has taken their spot that is a prodigy and he’ll be a champion before the blink of an eye. MJF said that he has more “it” in his punky than you do in your body. MJF said he’s not a kid, he’s not Rock, Piper or Flair – he’s something this sport has never seen before. MJF said that’s why he can afford to miss some television because he knows damn well that when he comes back to work his spot will be there without a solitary scratch. They changed the red chair with a chair that was more of a throne. MJF said that he’s injury-free and next week he’ll sit back on his throne.
Analysis: A very good promo from MJF as usual. That’s a strength for him and he’s already one of the best heels at the company. I say already because he is only 24 and it’s impressive to see how skilled he is at this point in his career. I’m excited to watch him grow as a performer.
There was a promo from Shawn Spears talking about how Lance Archer destroyed Dustin Rhodes last week and he talked trash about Cody not protecting his brother Dustin. Spears said that Cody could have prevented it by throwing the towel to stop it, but Cody decided not to because Cody is either selfish or he thinks he can carry on the family legacy. Spears said now Dustin’s career is over even though Shawn doesn’t care about them.
MJF and Shawn Spears were at ringside with Tony Schiavone there to interview them. MJF said he’ll be in action. MJF said that it was brave of Spears to call out Cody. Spears asked if MJF was 100% and MJF said he was “overhealed” and Tony said that MJF is back in action next week. Tony informed MJF that he’s against Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing. MJF spit out his drink because he wasn’t happy about that.
Analysis: That should be a decisive win for MJF over Jungle Boy. Having MJF spit out his drink there is a nice job by MJF to show that maybe he is worried about the match.
Frankie Kazarian made his entrance with his SCU buddies Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky on the stage. Daniels and Sky went to the back as the announcers noted it was Frankie’s first singles match in AEW.
Jon Moxley made his entrance in his own unique spot in the arena and he had the AEW World Championship with him. Moxley is 9-0 in AEW this year and 14-2-1 overall. That’s a great record for the company’s current top guy. It was mentioned by Excalibur that this is Frankie’s first singles match since January 2019. Frankie has “Rebel” on his tights because I believe that is his son’s name with his wife Traci Brooks and they’re big LA Rams fans like me.
Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian
This is not for Moxley’s AEW World Title. Kazarian with a shoulder tackle followed by a headlock with the announcers talking about Kazarian possibly winning here even though nobody watching this thought that Moxley would lose. JR said he doesn’t know if he’s been around anybody as tough or intense as Moxley. His name is Steve Austin, Jim. I can help you with that. Moxley stepped on the arm, then they exchanged punches and Moxley worked over Kazarian with some chops. Kazarian grabbed a headlock, then Moxley got free and Kazarian grabbed another headlock until Moxley broke free with a backbreaker. Moxley with shoulder tackles followed by a backbreaker for two. Kazarian with an arm drag, then a spinning heel kick that didn’t connect and then Moxley sent Frankie over the top and onto the ramp with Frankie selling a left knee injury.
Moxley remained in full control with a headlock along with a body scissors until Frankie got to the ropes to break. Moxley hit a running knee to the face of Kazarian to send Kazarian out of the ring. Moxley jumped off the middle ropes with nothing as Kazarian got a foot up and knocked Moxley down. Back in the ring, Kazarian hit a missile dropkick, then a kick to the ribs and Kazarian hit a DDT off the ropes for a two count. Kazarian hit a backstabber followed by an Unprettier for a two count. JR thought that could be it, but as mentioned earlier, I doubt anybody watching this thought Moxley was losing here. Moxley with a headbutt, but Kazarian with a dropkick and then Moxley came back with a running dropkick of his own. Kazarian hooked the leg and both arms in a submission, which led to Moxley using his free right leg to kick out of that. Moxley was on the apron, he put his head through the ropes and Kazarian hit a leg drop to the back of the head. Kazarian with a German Suplex, Moxley got up quickly and Moxley hit a running clothesline. Kazarian got a forward roll into a two count for two and a rollup for two. Kazarian with a suplex with Moxley’s feet hitting the turnbuckle. Kazarian slowly went up top, which led to Moxley getting back up and Moxley sent Frankie into the turnbuckle for a rollup, which then led to Moxley hitting the Paradigm Shift DDT for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match with the champ Moxley winning with his finisher after Kazarian put up a fight the whole way. The finish was clever with Moxley sending Kazarian into the turnbuckle, then a rollup and the Paradigm Shift that made it look like a decisive win. Kazarian’s a very skilled wrestler with a lot of experience, so of course it was going to be a fun match to watch. What I question is if it was smart for the AEW Champion to take so long to beat a tag team wrestler. Sometimes I think AEW books long matches too often when they should book a more decisive 10-minute win in a situation like this.
After the match, Moxley celebrated with the AEW World Title when masked members of the Dark Order ran into the ring and attacked Moxley. SCU members Sky and Daniels tried to save, but there were too many Dark Order guys. There was a body slam on Daniels on the ramp. Sky ran right into a masked guy, who gave Sky a spinebuster and Kazarian ate a kick outside the ring. There were seven Dark Order guys.
Mr. Brodie Lee showed up in a suit and a steel chair. Lee hit Daniels in the head with a chair, but I think Daniels blocked it with his left hand. Lee went into the ring and hit a discus lariat on Moxley.
Lee stood tall over Moxley saying that he was there to answer the bounty that Jon put on his head last week. Lee said there’s no crowd or energy to save Mox. Lee said that this is the energy that you feel now. Lee said he’s not the same person that used to look eye to eye with Moxley in the past because he’s a leader now and he makes lives extraordinary. Lee said that at any point any of those men will sacrifice themselves for Moxley. Lee told Moxley that he’s the unfortunate soul that has come into possession that Lee wants and desires. Lee looked at the AEW World Title. Lee said that title is something that he needs. Lee said that Evil Uno told him that Moxley is a reasonable man, so this is a challenge for the AEW Title. Lee didn’t know if Moxley was an actor, MMA fighter or just a scared, fatherless boy from Cincinnati. Lee wanted Moxley to answer the challenge or the Dark Order will make him. Moxley grabbed the microphone: “Dude, all you had to do was ask.” Moxley laughed. Lee hit a running kick to the face to knock Moxley down again. The Dark Order guys stomped on Moxley in another 7 on 1 attack as Lee left. Lee had the AEW World Title in his hands as the show went to break there.
Analysis: I liked the promo from Lee. I think he’s great and I’m happy he’s getting used right in AEW so far. It’s a big push for Lee because now he’s in line for an AEW World Title match after only being in the company for about two months. The bad thing about segments like this is that they didn’t have anybody try to break up the fight other than the wrestlers that were there to take a beating. They should at least try to have people try to break it up.
The announcers recapped the Brodie Lee attack on Jon Moxley.
Brandi Rhodes did a pre-taped promo talking to Jake Roberts and Lance Archer on behalf of her brother in law Dustin Rhodes. Brandi said that she’s heard all the trash talk, then maybe they’ll try to scare her and then her husband Cody will run right into their trap. Brandi said that it’s not 1991 anymore, Jake – she remembered what he did. Brandi said that if you slap her in the face, she will hit Jake back. Brandi said that her husband is the face of the company, but she’s different. Brandi said that Jake doesn’t know her – she’s not Caesar’s Cleopatra or Sampson’s Delilah or Bill’s Monica. Brandi said she is Brandi Rhodes, she is the Chief Brand Officer of AEW and she told Jake to keep her name out of his dirty old mouth.
QT Marshall made his entrance to lose a match with Brandi Rhodes by his side because QT teams with Dustin recently. Lance Archer was next as the opponent and Archer is 4-0 in his career. Archer punched a guy at ringside. Jake Roberts was with Archer and he had a facemask on.
Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. QT Marshall (w/Brandi Rhodes)
Marshall with punches and Archer decked him with a forearm to the face. Archer stomped on Marshall’s face to keep him grounded. Archer hit three running corner splashes and Marshall managed to send Archer out of the ring. When Marshall tried an attack on the floor, Archer caught him and gave him a Chokeslam on the ring apron.
Archer was in control as he continued with a splash off the ropes. Marshall with a punch to stun Archer, but when Marshall was on the apron, Archer kicked him to knock him off the apron. Britt Baker hit Marshall with a shoe, so Brandi took the shoe and threw it into the seats. Marshall with a clothesline, then an enziguri kick that didn’t connect by Archer sold it anyway. Marshall with a clothesline, Archer fought back and Marshall hit a suplex. Marshall went up top, jumped off with nothing and Archer hit a running shoulder tackle. Archer picked up Marshall and hit the Blackout slam for two because he picked up Marshall. Archer with the claw leading to three slams into the mat and a pinfall win after about 7 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Lance Archer
Analysis: *1/2 The match was okay, but it’s the second week in a row where a match that should be a three-minute squash went double that length. I’m sure Marshall is well-liked by the office and I know he works in the AEW office. I just think they should book Archer as more of a dominant killer in a match like that. The audience doesn’t think Marshall has a shot. Book Archer stronger and give him the win in a more decisive manner. It’s not a major gripe. Just my opinion.
After the match, Baker got revenge on Brandi by hitting her with a DDT. Baker brought Brandi into the ring and Jake entered the ring with a snake. Roberts put a snake on Brandi and trash talked her. The snake was in Brandi’s face and crawling over her. Nobody tried to help Brandi, not even her husband Cody and the announcers said that the locker rooms are really spread out to try to explain why there was no save. Jake pulled the snake off Brandi and that led to a break.
Analysis: The segment was good in terms of what they were trying to do. It was unrealistic to not have Cody try to save his wife. I saw Tony Schiavone on Twitter trying to say Cody was in the shower or something like that. A guy is on top of a woman with a snake and nobody tries to help her? It’s a way to get heat and I get that. It makes Archer and Jake look like jerks. When Brandi gets revenge by slapping Jake it will be a big deal. I know how pro wrestling works. I just think it could have been booked better or in a more realistic way.
The show returned with some announcements for Double or Nothing on May 23:
* Jon Moxley defends the AEW World Title against Brodie Lee
* MJF vs. Jungle Boy
* Cody vs. Lance Archer in a match to determine the first TNT Champion. We already knew that from last week.
* Casino Ladder Match for an AEW World Title match. They said more details are coming next week.
Analysis: My early feelings on those matches are wins for Moxley, MJF and probably going with Cody, but I think Archer winning is possible. It’s hard to pick the Ladder Match without knowing who is in the match.
Darby Allin was about to be interviewed backstage by Tazz with Allin refusing to talk and Tazz said that Darby made some mistakes last week with Tazz saying he could help. Allin left without saying anything.
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
* Brodie Lee vs. Christopher Daniels. Bet a lot of money on Lee winning that one.
* MJF in action next week. No opponent was named.
* Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus) w/Marko Stunt vs. Best Friends (Trent & Chuck Taylor) w/Orange Cassidy
* Lance Archer and Jake Roberts will be there to talk.
* Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford vs. Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander. The winner of that may get a title shot, but they didn’t say that directly.
* Chris Jericho will be in action. (They said later in the show that it’s Jericho vs. Pineapple Pete!)
On Twitter after the show, they also announced Santana and Ortiz vs. Kenny Omega and Matt Hardy as well.
Analysis: They are taping that episode today (Thursday) I believe. The show on May 20 will be live and then they go live for Double or Nothing on May 23.
Chris Jericho made his entrance with tag team partner Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager joining them. Their Inner Circle buddies Santana and Ortiz were not at ringside. JR and Tony used Jericho’s entrance to plug their podcasts. Jericho argued with Pineapple Pete at ringside, so Hager stared at Pineapple Pete to put an end to that.
The babyface team was next with Kenny Omega up first as one half of the AEW Tag Team Champions. Omega is 11-2 this year. There’s been no sign of “Hangman” Adam Page for several weeks since the Coronavirus pandemic has been an issue. It was “Broken” Matt Hardy teaming with Omega for Matt’s first AEW match.
Street Fight: Kenny Omega and “Broken” Matt Hardy vs. Le Sex Gods – Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (w/Jake Hager)
Omega and Sammy were wearing jeans because that’s what some wrestling do in street fight situations. Hardy was working over Sammy by sending him into the turnbuckle repeatedly while Jericho sent Omega into the steel steps. Hardy had Sammy over his head and hit a sitout powerbomb for a two count. Omega with a running back elbow on Sammy while Hardy hit Jericho with a clothesline over the top to the floor. Omega with a rolling senton and then Kenny went a moonsault off the middle ropes on Sammy, but Sammy blocked it by getting his knees up. Jericho sent Hardy into some light tubes by the entrance area. Jericho and Sammy worked over Omega with a double suplex with some breakdancing from Sammy and Sammy/Jericho did their pose. Jericho hit a Lionsault and Matt Hardy was back in a different outfit looking like another version of Matt. Hardy with a Side Effect on Sammy and a Twist of Fate on Jericho although they didn’t call it that as Sammy broke up the pin attempt. Sammy with a spin kick on Matt to send him out of the ring and then Omega hit a Snapdragon Suplex on Sammy. Jericho was back in with an aluminum bat to the ribs of Omega. Matt sent Jericho out of the ring and hit a Twist of Fate on Sammy with Omega hitting a running knee on Sammy as well. Hardy brought out a ladder from under the ring and Omega brought a table in the ring. JR noted some of the most memorable calls of his life took place in Matt Hardy matches involving TLC. Omega put Sammy on the table and then Hardy hit a splash off the ladder for a pin attempt for two because Hager pulled the referee out of the ring. Omega dove on Hager, but Hager caught him and sent Omega into the apron. Sammy was out in the ring, but Jericho was back in it as he hit Omega with a microphone.
(Commercial – There was picture in picture action that showed the wrestlers moved into a different part of the arena with Jericho, Sammy and Hager in control.)
Jericho worked over Hardy with a kick to the throat. It was noted by Tony that Daily’s Place is connected to TIAA Stadium where the Jacksonville Jaguars play – the Jags are owned by AEW Owner Tony Khan’s family. Jericho grabbed a bag of ice and hit Hardy with it. Hager and Jericho put Hardy in an ice cooler. Omega worked over Hager and Jericho with trash cans. Omega sent Jericho into a golf cart with Tony nothing that the carts were used to get the wrestlers from the dressing room to Daily’s Place. Sammy worked over Kenny with a trash can, then he sent Omega into an ATM machine and Sammy got some cash from it. Omega whipped Sammy into a pillar. Omega gave Sammy a Powerbomb into a garage door. Kenny with a running knee on Hager and he threw him over some railing. Jericho shoved an equipment cart to knock over Omega. Jericho gave Omega a suplex onto a steel railing. Jericho hit Kenny with a pylon and Omega hit a “slippery when wet” sign on the back. Matt Hardy did another wardrobe change with the announcers noting he was Damascus now. Matt took over a golf cart, then he drove towards the wrestlers and Jericho bumped into the edge of the cart. Hardy drove with Omega in the passenger seat, Sammy ran away like a dumbass instead of just going to the side and Matt drove over Sammy, who took a good bump on the side of the cart. Hardy called Kenny a “spot monkey” and told him to do something, so Kenny climbed a lift so that it was up about ten feet high. Hager was back in it, so then Omega hit a moonsault onto Hager, Hardy and Jericho. That was a big leap from about 10-12 feet high. Omega went for his finish, but Santana and Ortiz finally showed up to help Jericho. Hager, Santana and Ortiz picked up Hardy and gave him a Powerbomb through a table. Jericho also gave Omega Powerbomb on top of the golf cart. I think the referee gave Jericho a time cue, so Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow on Omega and Jericho covered Omega on some cement for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Le Sex Gods – Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara
Analysis: ***1/2 This felt like a handicap match with Hager getting involved so much. Omega is booked very strong most of the time, so it’s rare to see him take a pin like that, but I think when it’s a 3 on 2 match for most of it and then 5 on 2 by the end of it, that’s a way to keep Kenny strong since it was not an even fight. Matt Hardy changing his gear twice during the match was ridiculous although I guess you could say that’s fitting for his “Broken” character that is very over the top anyway.
The Inner Circle group posted together and the background said “INNER CIRCLE” on the scoreboard in the stadium. The five-man team celebrated the win with middle fingers flashing on the screen and that was it.
Analysis: It was another dominant showing for AEW’s top heel stable to end the show. That’s a nice touch when they have the INNER CIRCLE writing on the scoreboard in the stadium.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jon Moxley
- Chris Jericho
- Kenny Omega
Others had good showings too, but I’m trying to limit it to three people.
This week: 7.75 (out of 10)
Last week: 7.5
2020 Average: 7.22
This week’s Dynamite gets a 7.75 out of 10.
I liked this week’s show a lot. They had some pretty good matches with Moxley beating Kazarian and Cody’s win over Janela. The main event was a very entertaining Street Fight with some silliness due to Matt Hardy doing two wardrobe changes, but I thought it worked well to further establish the Inner Circle as a dominant heel group. The part with Jake Roberts putting the snake on Brandi Rhodes worked in terms of getting some heat on Jake/Archer for being devious heels although nobody even trying to help Brandi was a bit silly. I know they said Cody was in the shower or whatever. I’m just saying it’s a bit cheesy, but that’s pro wrestling sometimes (or a lot of the time). I think Archer’s win over Marshall should have been a shorter match. That’s not a major gripe, though. It’s also smart to have wrestlers at ringside making noise along with other AEW staff in the seats in the crowd.
There are still a lot of big names missing from the shows, but there were more people there this week, so that helped make this Dynamite feel fresher. They set some things up for Double or Nothing on May 23 as well. I think Moxley vs. Brodie Lee is an interesting AEW World Title match that was set up well on this show. They’re very familiar with eachother from their past, but it will be fresh in AEW when they meet. My rating for this episode is the highest since February 19.
There were some parts of the show where people were not observing social distancing as much as they should, so if fans want to gripe about that then they can. It’s good that AEW tested everybody before the show and everybody was negative for Coronavirus, but it’s still a bad idea to have so many close together during the main event. I appreciate the entertainment. It was a good show.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Double or Nothing on Saturday, May 23. Here is the lineup so far.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Brodie Lee
TNT Championship Tournament Finals: Cody vs. Lance Archer
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Jungle Boy
Casino Ladder Match for an AEW World Title match
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