Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review on TJRWrestling. I’m going with the shortened format for this where I summarize the matches rather than play by play and you still get the usual ratings/analysis. I’ll go full play by play for the main event. This episode was taped last Thursday.
The announce team is Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Taz this week. Excalibur is likely back on the show next week.
The Elite (Kenny Omega, “Hangman” Adam Page, Nick Jackson, Matt Jackson) and FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood) vs. Dark Order (Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Nine and Five)
If I was doing play by play for this 12-man tag match it would be difficult due to all of the action. Nick hit an impressive hurricanrana off the top on Nine (a guy with a mask) for a two count early on. The Elite and FTR team were making quick tags. It took a few minutes for the match to completely fall apart with the FTR/Elite team hitting a four on three vertical suplex combo. Omega chased after Cabana on the floor, so Lee hit Omega with a superkick. That led to Omega being the face in peril for a few minutes. Harwood worked over Five, who was the smallest member of his team and there were some quick tags by the FTR guys. Wheeler was on fire with two suplexes and then a clothesline on Uno. The trio of FTR and Page went for a submission move, but then Dark Order got out of it and the heel side worked over Page. There were some cool double team moves by the Elite guys including a double superkick into a Snapdragon Suplex. Matt held Five while Nick hit a Cutter and Nick jumped off the top onto a couple of guys on the floor. Nick makes it looks so easy. They did a spot where Harwood was holding Five and Wheeler hit a knee drop on Five, but then Harwood was selling a right knee injury. Omega hit a Powerbomb on Five and then the other Dark Order guys attacked Omega. Harwood was helped to the back by the doctor, Wheeler and Page. Matt took a double team Powerbomb from Dark Order for a two count with Nick making a save. It became a numbers game for Dark Order as they worked over Matt and Cabana hit a big splash off the middle ropes for two. Lee took care of Omega on the apron with a clothesline and Matt managed to make a bit of a comeback for his team and he hit a neckbreaker off the ropes. Uno pulled Nick off the apron to prevent a tag and Grayson hit a belly to belly suplex on Nick on the floor. Matt hit a somersault dive over the top onto somebody, then an attack on the floor and when Matt tried to tag out, his partners weren’t there. Page showed up on the apron for the tag and he was on fire as he took out nearly every member of Dark Order. Page hit a slam on Five on the edge of the apron. Page hit a moonsault off the top onto five men on the floor, but not Brodie Lee, who was on the apron. Page was sent out of the ring by the other Dark Order guys, so then Dark Order worked over Page for a bit. Omega was back into the ring, but Dark Order still had the numbers advantage leading to a 450 Splash (by Grayson) and cannonball (by Uno) combo for a two count. The Young Bucks went in illegally, but it’s not like the rules matter in AEW tag team matches. The Bucks and Omega did a superkick/Snapdragon combo on Lee. When Page went for a Buckshot Lariat on Lee, the Dark Order guys pulled the Bucks and Omega out of the ring, Lee (who just took a superkick/Snapdragon combo) recovered and hit a clothesline with Page doing a flip bump and that was enough for Lee to pin Page. This went 18 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Dark Order (Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Nine and Five)
Analysis: **** This was a fun and exciting match with the Dark Order getting a meaningful win. It was hard to keep track of everything. I’m actually surprised that they didn’t ignore the rules even more than usual. Yes, they did ignore them for some of the match (especially towards the finish), but it wasn’t that bad. The injury spot for Harwood was interesting because then it became a 6 on 3 match (then a 6 on 4 match after that), so it made sense for the Dark Order to win. It was the first loss for FTR, but they weren’t involved in the pin, so you could stay they’re still undefeated as a regular team. Lee needed a big win as well in terms of trying to make the Dark Order group look credible.
Lee had a big smile on his face as the winner. It was noted by JR that Colt Cabana has not lost a match since he’s been working with the Dark Order guys.
The Best Friends boys were shown arriving in the white van belonging to Trent’s mom.
They showed a promo from Jon Moxley earlier in the day talking about his AEW World Title match with Darby Allin. Moxley said he gets why Darby Allin is the way he is because Moxley was like that when he was a younger guy. Moxley said now he’s become the voice of reason that is concerned for somebody’s health because he knows Allin will come at him until he can’t move. Moxley said that the last time they wrestled, he nearly broke Darby’s neck. Moxley noted that Allin is his favorite guy in AEW, but the title is on the line and Mox has to do what he’s gotta do. Moxley wanted Allin to stay down when it’s time to stay down even though he knows Allin won’t listen because Moxley wouldn’t listen either.
Analysis: That was a great promo. It showed how similar Moxley and Allin are in terms of personality. Moxley explained it really well.
Inner Circle (Santana and Ortiz) vs. Best Friends (Trent and Chuck Taylor)
The Best Friends duo were in control in the first part of the match with Trent hitting a jumping knee to the face and a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. They went into a break with Best Friends in full control after a Tornado DDT by Trent and then Taylor launched Ortiz into a Cutter by Trent. That led to the hug before the break.
The second half of the match saw Santana and Ortiz in control as Ortiz tripped up Trent on the apron while Santana hit a suicide dive on Taylor on the floor. There were a lot of quick tags from Santana/Ortiz leading to some nearfalls. Trent was favoring a back injury due to an earlier apron bump as well as a double suplex. Taylor got the hot tag leading to some nice moves as well as a nearfall. Taylor hit the boot to the face into a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Taylor tagged in Trent, who was selling the back injury and then Best Friends hit a double team superplex on Ortiz with Trent selling that back injury. Santana sent Taylor into the barricade at ringside. Ortiz sent Santana into Trent with a Cutter and then a Powerbomb/kick to the face combo by the heels got a two count. The finish saw Trent counter Ortiz with a pin where he sat on top while Taylor took out Santana. This match went about 13 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Inner Circle (Santana and Ortiz)
Analysis: *** This was good. There weren’t enough interesting nearfalls in the match, but I did like the clever finish. Nice job by Trent selling the back injury throughout the match. That result didn’t matter that match because both teams are about even in terms of where they are placed in the company. Towards the end there were a few, but I think Best Friends were built up for a title shot, but now they got back down a bit.
There was an Maxwell Jacob Friedman video about his “campaign” to be AEW World Champion. MJF is getting the AEW World Title match against Jon Moxley at All Out on September 5. MJF was in his “office” talking to his staff. He’s leading in the polls 100% to -88% for Moxley, so that was funny. MJF said that the campaign isn’t over until that AEW World Title is around his waist. MJF called Darby Allin a “12 pound emo kid” so I found that funny.
Let’s Hear From Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy did a promo talking about how he came to AEW because he wanted a say in how his career was going to go. Matt sucked up to the company saying that they listen to the audience. Matt said that the fans wanted him to focus on being Matthew Hardy. It sounded like fake crowd noise or fake enthusiasm. Matt mentioned Private Party by saying he had their back since he’s mentoring them. Matt brought up Sammy Guevara, who didn’t accept Matt’s help. Matt stared into the camera talking to Sammy, but then Sammy showed up from under the ring and Matt was ready for him.
Sammy and Matt got into a brawl with Matt hitting a clothesline out of the ring. Matt gave Sammy a body slam on a table that broke easily. Matt brought out another table, Sammy shoved Matt into the ring post and took over with punches. Sammy threw a chair at Matt’s head and that chair busted Matt open legit. Sammy went onto the stage, Matt was laying on the table and Sammy hit a twisting splash onto Matt through the table. Matt was bleeding heavily. It was a big cut that required several stitches and not a blade job by Matt.
Analysis: This rivalry has been built up well and I thought this was a good segment. Matt’s nearly 20 years older, so there’s that big age gap, but I like that it should lead to the younger guy Sammy getting the win when they have a PPV match at All Out (assuming that happens). You could question why nobody tried to break it up, but sometimes you have to let this stuff play out. Sammy apparently got some heat when he went backstage due to throwing the chair in the manner that he did because it cut Matt open. There was too much blood there, especially since it wasn’t planned.
There was a shot of Santana and Ortiz destroying the white van that belonged to Trent’s mom. They used a hammer to break the windows and lights. Santana used spray paint to put “SUE” on the van and put an “X” over it. They left.
Analysis: It adds some heat to this story since the tag team match had no story going into it.
Matt Cardona and Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Dark Order (John Silver and Alex Reynolds)
This is Matt Cardona’s first match in AEW. Cody is the AEW TNT Champion. The team of John Silver and Alex Reynolds are 0-3 in 2020 so you know they’re losing the match.
Cody started for his team against Silver, who is the shorter guy on his team. Cardona hit a nice flapjack and then a neckbreaker on Reynolds, who tagged in. They did a spot where Cody slid under the ropes and then hit his ribs against the ring post, so the heels worked on the ribs after that. The announcers tried talking up the Dark Order guys as being these credible opponents, yet I doubt anybody watching at home believed that they were a threat to win this match. The heels continued to work over Cody’s ribs as they went to break.
The match returned with Cody continuing to sell the ribs as Reynolds hit a bunch of kicks until Cody hit a powerslam. Cardona got the tag with punches, knees, a missile dropkick off the middle ropes, repeated forearms to Reynolds and a running kick on both guys. Cardona hit a sitout Powerbomb for two as Silver broke up the pin. Cody with a Cody Cutter off the ropes on Silver and then Reynolds sent Cody out of the ring. Cardona took some moves from the heels including a Stunner into a German Suplex for a two count. Cody gave Silver a suplex that sent them both to the floor. Cardona finished off jumping leg lariat now called Radio Silence for the pinfall after 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Matt Cardona and Cody
Analysis: **3/4 It was just an average tag team match. I think AEW sometimes need to book matches like this to go around 8 minutes because there’s no drama in watching the Dark Order guys that lose every match. If you want Cardona to look more impressive in his first AEW match he should look better than he did wrestling on WWE’s Main Event show for the last several years. Book him like a star, not like everybody else in the company in a tag team match that goes over ten minutes. The booking was obvious with Cody selling for most of the match and Cardona got the hot tag leading to the win.
Post match, Cody and his buddy Matt celebrated the win. It would have been nice to hear Cardona deliver a promo before or after the match. Instead, he didn’t say anything.
When Cody walked to the backstage area, Scorpio Sky showed up and stared at the TNT Title.
The Best Friends duo of Trent and Chuck Taylor did a promo by the van. They were mad about Trent’s mom’s being destroyed and Trent said that they had to apologize…on speakerphone.
Analysis: Nice of AEW to spend that TNT money on van repair or maybe a new car.
Sammy Guevara did his gimmick where he held up signs while the show was on during picture in picture. I’m not going to summarize that.
AEW Super Wednesday Debate 2020
That title above is what they were calling it. Eric Bischoff made his entrance as the moderator in a suit with JR plugging his “83 Weeks” podcast immediately. Bischoff sat at a table with a microphone. This is Bischoff’s first time appearing on AEW TV and first time on TNT in 20 years. That’s pretty cool that they got Bischoff for this.
Orange Cassidy made his entrance. There were two podiums in the ring with American and Canadian flags since Jericho is Canadian. Jericho was in a black suit and tie while Jake Hager was with him carrying the white jacket that had orange juice on it after a stunt by Orange Cassidy. Jericho faces Cassidy on Dynamite next week and if Jericho wins, Cassidy has to pay him $7,000 for the jacket.
Jericho was asked why he and Cassidy don’t like eachother. Orange put on a clip on tie on his t-shirt. Jericho did a promo ripping on Cassidy saying that critics laugh at everything Cassidy does and Jericho called him a “ginger jackass.” Cassidy replied with…nothing. Cassidy’s gimmick is that he doesn’t speak. Jericho did a promo bragging about how great he is with over 50 titles around the world. Jericho mocked Cassidy some more and called him a nerd.
Bischoff asked a question about global sea levels rising over the past century and they were asked their thoughts on the situation. Jericho said that has nothing to do with this. Cassidy offered up a response showing that he had a lot of knowledge of global warming and sea levels. That drew laughs.
Analysis: That’s a classic gimmick where somebody that is either really dumb or really quiet will say something to get a funny reaction. It worked.
Jericho ripped on Cassidy again saying he’ll beat Cassidy for the second time and when he wins, Cassidy has to give him $7,000 to replace the jacket that Cassidy ruined. There was no response from Cassidy.
The last question from Bischoff asked why this rematch means so much to both of them. When Jericho was talking, Cassidy told him to shut up. Cassidy he knew what Jericho was doing since he scheduled a debate against a guy that doesn’t talk. Cassidy said that Jericho was trying to embarrass, but Cassidy said he didn’t care, but he did care about that match next week. Cassidy spoke about how it was the biggest match of his life and Chris’s life. Cassidy said that Jericho’s done it all, but what if Jericho to the guy that puts his hands in his pockets? Cassidy told Jericho to look into his and look at the man that is going to embarrass Jericho and look at the man that will beat Jericho. Bischoff declared that Cassidy has walked away with this debate.
Jericho told Bischoff he hasn’t liked him for 22 years, Bischoff said 24 years and he knows how he feels! Jericho told Cassidy he’ll kick the shit out of him next week, but then Hager beat up Cassidy with punches. Hager put Cassidy’s hands in his pocket, which led to Jericho hitting the Judas Effect elbow on Cassidy. Best Friends checked on Cassidy as the heels Jericho and Hager left.
Analysis: I liked this a lot because it was the continued evolvement of Cassidy’s character. In the last couple of months, Cassidy has started to have some matches after months of doing nothing and now we got to hear Cassidy deliver his first promo. I thought Cassidy did a nice job of putting over the importance of next week’s match while mocking Jericho at the idea of losing to Cassidy next week. It was cool to have Bischoff there. I think the post-debate attack by Jericho was smart because it builds up anticipation for Cassidy’s revenge next week. I think Cassidy will beat Jericho in that match, then they’ll be 1-1 in matches and they can do a third match at All Out on September 5 as well.
Britt Baker was in her wheelchair with Rebel and a security guard while Tony Schiavone conducted an interview. Baker said that she picked an opponent for Big Swole: Rebel aka Reba.
Big Swole vs. Reba
The announcers mentioned that Reba is a wrestler, yet Reba acted like she had no idea what she was doing in there. Taz noted she has wrestled before (Rebel was in Impact Wrestling), but JR said that she has had a layoff because she does makeup in AEW. There was a distraction from Baker, so Reba did a suplex into a slam followed by a running kick. Reba went to the middle ropes, she took too long and missed a moonsault because Swole moved. Swole hit a forearm to the face for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Big Swole
Analysis: 1/4* This was quick and painless. It was just a comedy match designed to put over Big Swole. The women’s division continues to be a weak point on Dynamite. They just don’t get a lot of time.
Next week on AEW Dynamite:
TNT Championship: Cody vs. Scorpio Sky.
Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy. I assume they will be the main event.
Tag Team Appreciation Night: Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy).
Tag Team Appreciation Night: Dark Order (Stu Grayson and Evil Uno) vs. Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
A special appearance from Rock N Roll Express, Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson.
Analysis: The Tag Team Appreciation Night theme was mentioned by FTR when they signed their contracts and they aren’t involved in a match. That’s weird. It’s a very good lineup for next.
It was main event time. When Darby Allin entered, he had a Jon Moxley cutout on his face. Jon Moxley by going in from the back part of the stadium. Moxley is 14-0 in singles matches in 2020 and he’s the AEW World Champion.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin
Moxley slapped the mask off Allin’s face, Allin with a slap and Moxley with punch to the jaw that led to Allin’s mouth bleeding. Moxley with a stiff clothesline leading to a flip bump. Moxley worked over Allin with some hard chops to the chest and a toss across the ring. Moxley with a body slam followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Allin got some momentum going with a dropkick that sent Moxley out of the ring and Allin hit a running dive onto Moxley on the staging area. They went onto the stage and Moxley tossed Allin off the stage into the ring post to knock Allin down around the ring. The referee didn’t count while they were out of the ring. The action continued during the break and the referee did count a bit, until Moxley sent Allin back into the ring. Allin hit a dropkick, but then Moxley slapped on a half crab submission.
Moxley had Allin grounded in a STF submission as Allin held up two middle fingers in defiance. Moxley with a suplex into a slam while Moxley acted like he was unsure about beating up a guy that he liked. Allin got some offense by ramming Moxley’s neck into the top rope followed by Allin running off the ropes with a tackle that sent Moxley to the floor. Allin hit a running suicide dive on Moxley on the floor where Moxley’s upper body took out Moxley on the floor. Allin stepped on Moxley’s left hand on the top of the ring post followed by Moxley hitting a dive off the ring post onto Moxley on the floor. That was cool. Allin with a kick to the leg and the Code Red flipping powerbomb for the two count. Allin went up top, Moxley went after him and gave him a German Suplex with Allin landing on his feet followed by Allin flipping over, so it was not a regular bump, but it was still a hard fall by Allin. Wardlow went out to the ramp, the dumbass referee was distracted by him and that allowed MJF to go into the ring where he hit Moxley with the AEW World Title to knock him down. The story was that MJF wanted to face Allin instead of Moxley for the AEW World Title. Allin went up top and hit a Coffin Drop back splash for the two count. Moxley was busted open after the title belt hit him in the head and it was good blade job by Mox. Allin with a dropkick into the turnbuckle, then a flipping Stunner and a running back elbow or at least a running back attack to knock down Moxley. Allin went up top, he jumped off with a Coffin Drop and Moxley caught him in a full body, rear naked choke. Moxley picked Allin back up and hit a Gotch style piledriver for a two count. Moxley was mad about it because that meant that Moxley had to do even more. Moxley picked up Allin and hit a devastating Paradigm Shift for the pinfall win after about 15 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: **** This was a great match featuring two unique wrestlers that have styles that suit them and they worked well together. I liked the story that Moxley was reluctant to put Allin away because he respected him, but then he realized he needed to do the Paradigm Shift to win. Allin is terrific in terms of coming up with creative moves that look believable. While I’m not into the skater boy persona of Allin that much, he’s easy to root for when it comes to having wrestling matches. This is the kind of competitive World Title match that fans love to see and will tell the fans that when the AEW World Title is on the line on Dynamite or PPV, it’s probably going to be a great match.
After the match, Moxley held Allin’s head and was talking to him. MJF and Wardlow were shown watching on a TV backstage with MJF mad about it because he wanted Moxley to lose. Moxley kept on talking to Allin, who was selling like he was knocked out. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: I think the story of MJF wanting Moxley to lose because he fears Moxley (to some degree) is perfectly fine. It fits MJF’s character as a chickenshit heel.
Three Stars of the Show
- Jon Moxley
- Darby Allin
- The 12 guys in the tag team match. I thought Brodie Lee and Nick Jackson stood out the most.
This week: 8.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 7
2020 Average: 7.22
This was a great show that was bookended by two matches four stars (out of five) and above. The Moxley vs. Allin match told an interesting story with Allin putting up an incredible fight before Moxley finally put him away. The 12-man tag to open Dynamite was chaotic and fun to watch with Dark Order getting a big win for them. I liked most of the booking decisions although as I mentioned in the review, it would have been nice to hear from Matt Cardona before or after his first match. I also thought the Jericho/Cassidy segment (with a surprising addition like Eric Bischoff) was very entertaining, so that added to my enjoyment of this episode. It was disappointing that the women’s division was barely on the show again, but that’s how it has been of late.
I didn’t count how many suicide dives there were in this show. It felt like at least 10 or more in just the opening match, plus later in the night as well. That move is way too common in AEW. Maybe it’s just me. My rating for this episode is the highest for Dynamite since the pandemic episodes started in mid-March. Awesome episode of Dynamite this week.
The next AEW pay-per-view is All Out on Saturday, September 5th. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
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