AEW Dynamite Results & Review (14/10/2020)
(Orignally posted at www.snapmayors.com)
Hope you guys and girls are doing well! For anyone new, I’m Mick and I’m your AEW guy. Started this gig last week with a great show, one that meant a lot to me personally, the 30 Years of Jericho celebration on Dynamite. Chris Jericho is my all-time favourite wrestler, so I was very fortunate to have that be my starting point here on Snap Mayors. I’ve also written a career retrospective on Chris Jericho to mark his milestone on 30 years in the pro wrestling industry. It took me a lot of time and was really a labour of love, so I’d really appreciate it you checking that out on the home page if you’re so inclined, and also read up on last week’s Dynamite review if you need to catch up on the happenings in All Elite Wrestling.
With that out of the way… we’re doing big things here in AEW! It’s back to back weeks of monumental episodes, as this week we’re celebrating the one year anniversary of Dynamite on TNT. AEW Dynamite began on the 2nd of October, 2019. So we’re a little off the mark, but with last week being all about Jericho and also AEW taking a break over Christmas last year, it still kind of works. The inaugural episode of Dynamite was stacked with big time matches, including Hangman Page vs. Pac, Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship, and The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) vs. Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz. The big angle of the show was the formation of the Inner Circle following the main event, with Jake Hager making his All Elite debut.
To me, Dynamite is a little like pizza. It’s impossible to be truly bad. Even the less impressive episodes are still perfectly digestible. This anniversary episode is a celebration of all things AEW, and they’ve stacked the card for this show with all championship being on the line! Thankfully, AEW hasn’t gone overboard with their number of championships, meaning that there’s 4 title matches on tap for tonight.
Let’s do this.
Following the customary opening video, Justin Roberts is in the ring, giving the introductions for the tag team championship match. This is one aspect of Dynamite I love- it’s an immediate attention grabber to get right to the action, no promos or even entrances to let your mind wander in the opening minutes. The champions and challengers are standing in the squared circle ready to throw down!
Match 1: AEW Tag Team Championship- FTR (c) vs. Best Friends
The challengers get a fast start, as Chuck knocks Harwood down a few times with shoulder blocks before tagging in Trent, who joins Chuck for a double knockdown, before working the arm. Harwood is able to escape and make the tag to Wheeler, and from there the champs are able to isolate Trent, who does a nice job as the face in peril.
Wheeler spears Trent to the outside and beats him down on the floor. Once back in the ring, he systematically works over the legs and neck of Trent, cutting off any attempts at getting to his corner. Finally, Trent is able to create separation with a skull-rattling enziguri, and makes the hot tag to Chuck. Chucks cleans house with great fire, and nails Harwood with the Falcon Arrow for a near fall.
Tully Blanchard gets involved from the outside, sweeping Chuck’s leg during a suplex and allowing his team to make a pin attempt, but Chuck manages to escape. Best Friends fire up the tandem offense, hitting Sole Food followed by a half and half suplex, which gets a close two. FTR break the momentum of the challengers with a big lariat by Wheeler. Later, both sides hit tornado DDTs, which results in a near fall for the champs. Best Friends connect with Strong Zero for what should have been the three count, but the pin is broken up.
Big moment by Wheeler as he hits Chuck with a brainbuster on the outside. Trent tries to level him with a spear, but instead crashes into the arcade game machine that Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford are playing at ringside. Back in the ring, FTR go for the Goodnight Express (fka Shatter Machine), but Trent intercepts it. Some shenanigans for the finish as the ref gets pushed out of the way, leading to a belt shot behind his back. Top Guys retain the gold.
Winners: FTR (at 16:44)
Star Rating: ***1/2. Hard to be mad at that effort. Best Friends dropped the comedy stuff and had a serious competitive match. Chuck in particular impressed me more than usual. I can see the finish getting a little grief from some people, but hey, FTR are heels. Heels gonna heel.
Post-match, Miro runs out and beats down the Best Friends. He’s enraged that the BFFs would “break his shit” (the video game machine).
Match 2: Miro & Kip Sabian vs. Sean Maluta & Lee Johnson
Miro was still fired up from the loss of his game and took out his rage on Maluta and Johnson. Maluta has previously appeared in jobber roles on 205 Live and NXT, so a major WWE > AEW jump here. Miro slings both his victims, I mean, opponents into the barricade. Game Over (Accolade) on Maluta, who says the safe word to escape with his body intact.
Winners: Miro & Kip Sabian (at 2:26)
Star Rating: *. Squash city. An easy night’s work for Kip, at least. Not sure about Miro’s character and direction here, but it’s a little early in the day to completely condemn it.
Backstage, Lance Archer is beating the hell out of Jon Moxley. Officials pry the Murderhawk Monster off the AEW Champion. They face off for the title in our main event. Champ will be at a disadvantage in this high stakes match.
The TNT title tournament begins next week. Full brackets are out. Left side features Penta El Zero vs. Rey Fenix!!!, and Kenny Omega vs. Joey Janela. Right side is Colt Cabana vs. Hangman Page, and Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy. I’ll be back before Dynamite next week with a write-up to take a closer look at the participants and possibilities in this one.
The salt of the earth, MJF, makes his entrance with Wardlow. He calls the booing crowd jealous haters, before bringing out a man he greatly respects, Chris Jericho. Le Champion walks out with the Inner Circle in tow. Sammy has an Inner Circle jacket that was apparently a 5XL, and didn’t want to wear it, but Jericho barked at him to put it on.
MJF sucks up to Jericho, complimenting his abs and his hair. Jericho tells him to “cut the shit”, and after some comical stammering by the usually silver-tongued Maxwell, he says that he wants to join the Inner Circle. Interesting timing, as Chris Van Vliet released an interview yesterday with Jericho where he states that MJF was originally penciled in as an Inner Circle member.
Santana snatches the mic and says that they don’t want him in the Inner Circle. The other members, particularly Sammy, seem to agree, but Jericho says they need to talk about it as a group and get back to MJF next week. Another funny bit occurs as Jericho and MJF aggressively agree to have a steak dinner next week to discuss it. That could be an all-time great segment on Dynamite. Jericho and MJF have such great chemistry. It’s often hilarious, but never in a way that undercuts the tension. The entire dynamic feels like it’s painfully obvious that one of them is going to stab the other in the back, but who will strike first?
We cut to a segment involving Britt Baker and Tony Schiavone. They’re at a day spa getting pampered. Britt talks about making her big return to action, and Schiavone is holding a microphone to her as they lay in the beds. Tony is also shirtless, and once Britt and Reba/Rebel realise, they freak out. They then torture Schiavone with waxing. It’s a bit like Steve Carell in The 40 Year Old Virgin, except Tony is nowhere near as hairy. Britt Baker returns to the ring next week on Dynamite.
Match 3: TNT Championship- Cody (c) (w/ Brandi Rhodes & Arn Anderson) vs. Orange Cassidy
Cody’s hair is back to blonde. So, was Cody dying his hair black just a pointless two-week tease that he “joined the dark side”? Cody looks to tie up with Orange, who avoids contact in his usual comical sloth fashion. Cody gets irritated and knocks the sunglasses of his head, and he kicks them out of the ring. Alright. This is serious now.
Cassidy surprises Cody with a series of roll-ups that gain near falls. The champ gets aggressive and beats Orange up on the outside a little, before nailing a double axe handle in the ring for a near fall. Cody, who has put on some muscle since returning, keeps up the attacks, driving Cassidy hard into the mat with a body slam. Cassidy avoids another diving attack and taunts Cody with his light leg kicks. Cody’s not having it and slaps him. Orange responds with an impactful superkick. Big suicide dive follows.
The Dark Order, who are ringside as fans, try to get involved and hit Cody with the TNT title, but Orange doesn’t want the advantage that way and prevents the attack. The referee ejects Dark Order from the arena. Back in the ring, Cassidy goes for a dive, Cody rolls through and goes for Cross Rhodes, which is countered into a stunner. Cody fires back with a springboard cutter. He wraps Orange’s legs around the ring post and inflicts damage. Arn isn’t happy with this somewhat cheap move.
Cody goes for a piledriver, but Orange simply crawls out of it. Cody hits a big inverted suplex from the top rope for a near fall. Cassidy responds with a top rope DDT for a close call of his own. Cassidy tries to lift Cody, but struggles because of his bad leg. Cody locks in the Figure Four. They go back and forth with Orange reversing the pressure at points, but they eventually get to the ropes.
Orange drills Cody with a Beach Break on the apron. Back in the ring, Cody goes for Cross Rhodes, but Orange counters into another Beach Break for a near fall. That’s a cool move for Cassidy. It’s kind of a power move, but is executed in a way that is still believable for him to hit on a bigger man like Cody. The time limit is running down on this one, and Orange locks Cody in his Mouse Trap pinning move, but time expires before the 3 count can be made.
Winner: Draw (Time Limit at 20:00)
Star Rating: ***3/4. Nicely done. Orange Cassidy has evolved into a serious threat as a wrestler, but without losing any of the humour and character that has made him a cult favourite with the AEW fanbase. And the story of Cody getting more and more desperate in these TNT title defences continues to evolve. I suspect that being unable to put Cassidy away- after seemingly underestimating him early in the match- will play into that frustration.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviews Lance Archer & Jake Roberts. Almost immediately, Moxley jumps Archer. The champ still has some fight, folks.
At ringside, Schiavone interviews Matt Hardy. Hardy has his family with him and announces that he is medically cleared to return to action. A video plays with someone burning pictures of Matt. It is revealed to be Sammy Guevara. Sammy admits that he was the one who jumped Hardy a few weeks ago, and says he won’t stop until he is out for good.
Back from break, Schiavone is in the ring. Gee, he’s really earning his pay on this episode. There’s a tumbler in the ring, and FTR and Tully are in the ring with him. They’re doing a lottery to determine who will advance to a Fatal 4 Way contender’s match. Umm, isn’t there rankings that are meant to determine top contenders? Anyway, the tag team division are standing on the stage, hoping for their names to be called. Private Party, Dark Order, Butcher & Blade, and finally, Young Bucks get the shot. Schiavone announces The Bucks despondently after they superkicked him a few weeks ago. Bucks tell Tony not to worry, they’re not there to superkick him… instead, they superkick all the other teams. Eh. Didn’t love this one. I do like that the Bucks are becoming dick heels though, it suits their demeanor… their wrestling style has always been crowd-pleasing, but there’s always been an undertone of arrogance about them.
Match 4: AEW Women’s Championship- Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Big Swole
Sportsmanship to kick things off, as they shake hands and engage in some chain wrestling. Some back and forth, and some pinning attempts. They go for the double kip-up for the big moment, but Shida doesn’t quite stick the landing. The commentators note that this is playing into Swole’s game a little, since she has the strength advantage, and note that Shida is better as a striker. Almost as if the champ can hear them, she drapes Swole across the apron and blasts her with a running knee strike.
They battle on the outside, and Shida blasts Swole with another running knee. A countout is avoided by both ladies. Swole goes for a sunset bomb from the top rope, but slips off. Whoopsie. She recovers quickly and connects with a springboard cutter on the ramp instead. She gets a near fall with it back in the ring.
Shida rallies with a big German suplex. Falcon Arrow gets a near fall for the champ. Shida goes for another knee strike, but this time Swole avoids and hits Dirty Dancing, but the champ grabs the ropes to break the pin. Swole lines up for Dirty Dancing again, but Shida avoids. Shida with a glancing knee strike to the back of the head, followed by a more impactful one to the front… and it’s all over!
Winner: Hikaru Shida (at 8:53)
Star Rating: ***. Some rough moments, but the energy and the action was all there, it was certainly never dull. Swole is winning me over more as time goes on, and I’ve liked Shida from day one. Shida is definitely one of those wrestlers that needs a good opponent to really stand out though, she can’t quite lead the dance yet for those top-tier matches. I do think the overall quality of the division is improving- it’s not at the level of the rest of the roster, but I have to acknowledge the improvement there.
Some plugs for big matches on upcoming shows. Cody vs. Orange Cassidy is happening again for the TNT title in two weeks.
Eddie Kingston walks out, with the Lucha Bros, to do guest commentary for the main event.
Match 5: AEW World Championship- Jon Moxley (c) vs. Lance Archer (w/ Jake Roberts)
Archer makes his entrance throwing some production guy through a plate glass set piece in the entrance way. He’s fired up for this one. Moxley matches that aggression by immediately jumping the man with the Murderhawk, hitting him with an early Paradigm Shift for a 2 count.
This match was made No DQ after the backstage attacks earlier tonight, so Mox launches a chair at Archer’s head. He applies an anklelock, but Archer is able to drag himself out of the ring, then clobbers Mox with a trash can. Kingston talks about his history with Mox, saying that they’ve been friends since 2009, and then Moxley was meant to take Kingston with him to “the land of the entertainers” (WWE) but didn’t. Schiavone notes that he sounds bitter. Archer sets up for a move off the apron, but Mox punches him in the nuts then hits another Paradigm Shift off the apron through two tables! The crowd chants “this is awesome” in appreciation of the big spot.
Back in the ring, Mox hits the quick snap version of the Paradigm Shift, followed by the bulldog choke that he’s used to defeat Eddie Kingston in the past. Archer escapes the choke, but gets rolled up for a near fall. Archer comes back with The Blackout and goes for the cover, but Mox hooks him in a crucifix pin to get the win!
Winner: Jon Moxley (at 12:38)
Star Rating: ***1/4. A fun brawl. Not quite up to the level of the Texas Death Match these two had in New Japan, but a good TV main event, with a few cool moments.
Post-match, an infuriated Archer attacks Moxley. Kingston leaves his spot on commentary and makes the save along with the Lucha Bros. Jake Roberts drags Archer away. Kingston helps Moxley up, saying he is so proud, and raises his hand, while encouraging the crowd to cheer. This feels oddly tense, and sure enough, Kingston blasts the champ with a spinning back fist, followed by the rear naked choke. Kingston screams that he never quit in their previous match, and that Mox stole the title from him. Roll the credits, monkeys!
This was a breezy watch, it didn’t feel like two hours at all. While nothing was at the level of last week’s fantastic Dog Collar match, everything was highly watchable. I’m telling you guys, Dynamite is like pizza. Last week was like a proper pizzeria delivery, this week is more like Dominos when they’re generous with the toppings. I’ve had better, but I can’t really knock this. And now I want pizza. Dammit, I stuck with the analogy too long.
Highlight for me was probably the Jericho/MJF segment. It’s unreal how confident MJF is on the mic, going toe to toe with Jericho and not batting an eye. Sammy Guevara was great in his reactions as well, I can see a little rivalry between those two at some point as well. The in-ring highlight was Cody vs. Orange Cassidy, which I guess gives the EVP, Cody, claim to MVP status two weeks in a row.
Overall Score: 7/10