AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re back with another episode of AEW Dynamite: Miami! Okay, it’s actually in Jacksonville, but with Florida very thoughtlessly opening its doors again, AEW is back in Daily’s Stadium to film their weekly wrestling shows, and while I’m a bit unclear on if this week was live or not they DID make a point of saying that everyone was tested and they’re wearing yellow wristbands to prove it. The tests, of course, are not one hundred percent accurate, but I guess we’ve all decided that that doesn’t matter for some reason. ANYWAY! Will this be another fun serious of matches as we inch ever closer to the Double or Nothing PPV!? Let’s find out!!
We begin with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts getting into the ring so that the former can look scary while the latter talks trash. He goes after Brandi Rhodes in particular and gets SUPER misogynistic about it, which… I don’t know; does this kind of heel promo still play well? I know he’s supposed to be a BAD GUY and therefore is supposed to say BAD THINGS, but his talk about a woman’s place is in the kitchen is dated and cheap in a way that promos from more clever guys like MJF don’t, and frankly, there are still enough people out there who legitimately think that way for it to not feel more like a surly uncle grabbed the mic at the wedding and is embarrassing everyone there. Thankfully Jake’s YouTube VLOG gets interrupted by the revving of a mighty engine as Cody has arrived in his F150 and is looking to make good use of it! Said F150 has his silly Nightmare Family logo emblazed across its hood which is only slightly less silly than putting it on your neck, and what he ends up doing with the truck is smash like one trashcan which feels like a bit of a wasted opportunity; especially since Jericho and Sammy got blasted by a golf cart in the last episode. The ensuing brawl is at least really good as Cody proceeds to kick Archer right in the balls and goes to take a swing at Roberts without missing a beat. However, his arrogance proves to be his folly as Archer is no mere mortal man and has balls of pure steel, so before Cody can even get to the ring Archer has recovered and smashes him onto the apron. From there they proceed to try and hit each other with their special moves and neither manages to land them which is a great way of building up the PPV match between them; teasing the moves and making both guys look very strong in the process. It was a bit flabby at the beginning with Jake’s bad Andrew Dice Clay impression and Cody’s car stalling out after hitting a waste paper basket, but after a few minutes, the segment got its groove and proved to be a solid start to the program.
Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) Vs. The Best Friends
Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Mark Stunt while The Best Friends are accompanied by Orange Cassidy
This is DEFINITELY the kind of match that I should be whooping and hollering about, but something felt a bit off here. There’s a lot of decent work here (especially in the second half when things really start to heat up), but some of the spots just felt contrived. There’s a spot where Jungle Boy is on the top ropes with Trent on Chuck Taylor’s shoulders, and for whatever reason Chuck WON’T JUST MOVE OUT OF THE WAY and just stands there while Jungle Boy SLOWLY stands up and does a dropkick on Trent. That was the really bad one and there are a few other odd spots throughout (mostly on Chuck’s end) but they do manage to tell an interesting story here between Trent and Luchasaurus which does a lot to salvage the match. Trent starts out getting completely overpowered by Luchasaurus and he spends most of his time in the ring trying to find a way to cut the big man down to size which he eventually does with a hellacious spear followed by a Swinging DDT later in the match. Unfortunately the ending kind of sucked the momentum out of that story because Fenix comes flying out of nowhere with a kick to Orange Cassidy and in the confusion, MJF smashes Jungle Boy into the ring post. Seemingly unaware of what just happened, Chuck sees Jungle Boy dazed and lands his terrifying pile driver which he calls an Awful Waffle on the poor kid and gets the pin. On top of all that, Wardlow takes a swing at Marko Stunt once the bell rings, so I guess they’re setting up some shenanigans for the MJF/Jungle Boy PPV match in just over a week. I don’t mind when shenanigans happen in the ring to set up a future match, but they’re better served for matches that could use the extra bit of spice rather than ones that are going towards an interesting conclusion. Hopefully, we’ll follow up on what’s being built up between Trent and Luchasaurus, but aside from that, I thought the match was fine. Nothing special, but it’s always fun to see a dinosaur wrestle!
Penelope Ford Vs. Kris Statlander Vs. Britt Baker Vs. Hikaru Shida – Fatal Four Way
Is it just me, or have we had this match like five times already? Fatal For Ways seem to be more common in the women’s division than one on one matches and they always seem to be for the NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS SPOT despite Shida STILL not getting her chance at the belt for what, three months now? AEW seems to have no problem coming up with storylines for the men’s division outside of the belt chase (and they have THREE TIMES as many belts on top of that), so why do they struggle to come up with anything else for the women to do? Say what you will about The Nightmare Collective; at least it was SOMETHING for the division! Once again, as seems to be a running theme in this episode, the match is just kind of fine; nothing bad, but nothing all that special. I’d say the most impressive thing here is that Statlander doesn’t really mess anything up here which is certainly a feat considering her track record. I think she might have almost dropped Ford at one point and almost tripped early in the match, but it feels like she’s finally getting the hang of this and is a terrifying force when she’s on her game. Still, the star is definitely Shida who once again (for the fifteenth time) proves to be the most technically proficient and exciting t watch competitor in the division as she runs again runs through the competition and eventually gets the pin on Ford. What’s odd about the ending though is that Britt Baker probably COULD have run in and stopped the pin, but instead she was outside of the ring torturing Statlander with the Lockjaw, so perhaps they’re building to something with those two but you’d think she’d be paying more attention to what’s going on in the ring; especially when you consider the stakes involved. Anyway, it was a fine match that’s mostly notable for Statlander not really botching anything, but we definitely need to get a bit of variety in this division sooner rather than later.
Suge D finally gets a chance to speak and it’s very clear how annoyed he is at Chris Jericho for giving him the silly nickname Pineapple Pete and for basically picking on him for several weeks just because of his awesome shirt. That said, Suge D has gotten WAY more attention as Pineapple Pete than he ever did as Suge D, so Jericho’s attempts to tear him down have backfired in a big way, and he’s ready to return the favor by beating the crap out of him tonight in their match! This was a solid promo and Suge D definitely has quite a bit of charisma, but we’ll have to see how he does in the ring to say for sure if he’s a good long term fit for the company.
Kenny Omega & Matt Hardy Vs. Proud N Powerful
For the first few minutes of this match, I wasn’t sure about this one. I didn’t think it was BAD by a wide margin, but the show had been kind of ho-hum up to this point and it didn’t help that this match was inevitably being compared to the much better main event from last week. It was just kind of a blur for me as Omega landed some punches here and there while Proud N Powerful were doing a bunch of submissions holds in return, and it just felt like a REALLY good time to check twitter. However, as soon as Matt Hardy got the hot tag I definitely got into the match the more I see him in matches the more I like him. I haven’t seen much of Broken Matt Hardy’s wrestling before and frankly I wouldn’t have been too surprised if his promos were better than his matches, but the guy is REALLY good here and manages to show off more athleticism and skill than he did in last week’s street fight; aside from his driving skills of course! He’s landing Twists of Fates and getting nearfalls all over the place, but eventually he gets thrown out of the ring and runs into the ring post which puts him out for a bit, and yet the match doesn’t really drop in quality as the other three really bring their A game at that point; presumably inspired by the magnificence of The Broken One! Hardy eventually gets back in the ring and almost takes out Ortiz with a submission, but then Sammy comes down the ramp with a neck brace and a chair; clearly in bad shape and full of piss and vinegar! Sadly Sammy can barely do anything despite his determination and Hardy easily dispatches him with another Twist of Fate which must have done WONDERS for his already injured neck! With the interference subdued, Hardy lands what I believe was a Cutter of some sort on Ortiz, and manages to get the pin; giving them their win after losing last week. I’m not sure I would have had Sammy come out just to get beat down as I think it would have been more interesting if he DID cost Hardy and Omega the win, but aside from that this match roared to life in a big way in the second half and is the best on the show so far!
We get another segment with Taz trying to convince Darby to let him teach him some moves so that he doesn’t lose again like he did to Cody in such humiliating fashion. Obviously this doesn’t work, but I’m curious what we’re building up to.
We also get an interview with Hikaru Shida which gets interrupted rather quickly by Nyla Rose who bashes her over the head with a kendo stick before walking off and leaving Shida a crumpled heap. I guess this works for building up the title match they’re gonna have at Double or Nothing, but it’s not exactly a compelling storyline so far.
MJF Vs. Lee Johnson
Now I’ve been trying to be a bit less glib about these squash matches, especially since some of them have been pretty decent in the last few weeks, but this is the most straight-up jobber beat down I’ve seen in quite a while. I don’t know what Mr. Johnson’s plan was going into this, but unless it was to flop around like a fish out of water for five minutes, it clearly didn’t survive pan out the way he was hoping for. I understand that MJF is a cocky bastard but this was just too one-sided for it to do anything for him. I don’t think Mr. Johnson even put his hands up; let alone tried a single offensive move on the guy, and if they wanted the win to be THAT overwhelming for MJF, I’d have cut it down to at least half it’s time; and it was still only like a four-minute match. More important than that (and yet another reason to cut the match down since it was just a pretense to this) is that MJF gets on the mic afterward and calls out Jungle Boy as well as the rest of AEW for being losers merely basking in his presence. He ALSO confirms that he has a match with Marko Stunt next week
Pineapple Pete Vs. Jericho
Jericho is accompanied to the ring by The Inner Circle
See, THIS is how you do a squash match! Yeah, sadly Pineapple Pete does not stand much of a chance here, but he DOES get an impressive flurry of offense in on Chris Jericho for about a minute and a half before Jericho lands his Judas Effect which sends Pete FLYING and gives Jericho the pin. Pete isn’t just standing there like a rag doll for Jericho to play with; he gets to look good for a bit while also re-establishing the utter devastation of Jericho’s elbow attack! It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned, and I hope this isn’t the last we see of Suge D.
Chris Jericho Promo – The Stadium Stampede Match!?
With Jericho still basking in the glory of his victory over Pineapple Pete, he grabs a mic and challenges The Elite to a match; something he does The Stadium Stampede Match! What is that exactly? Well it’s a bit unclear, but they definitely want to build upon the buzz they got with the street fight last week and so it seems like they’re having a five-on-five match next week that’ll take place in the Jaguar’s stadium. Fair enough I guess, especially if the Blood and Guts match is still postponed, though I’m not sure I want to see them try to get even MORE extreme than running people over with cars. Seemingly in response to this challenge, Matt Hardy’s drone Vanguard 1 flies into the ring and has a staredown with Chris Jericho. Jericho once again talks to the drone because this is wrestling and that’s just the kind of thing you do, but instead of trying to recruit him to The Inner Circle, he introduces him to its newest member; Floyd the Bat. Jericho then proceeds to smash the drone to pieces which came as a bit of a shock considering this thing’s been a part of the Broken-verse for years now, and Matt Hardy comes out just as the Inner Circle scatter to the wind; leaving him to mourn the loss of his friend right in the middle of the ring. Considering just who’s involved with this match and the ludicrous premise involved, I’m surprised they aren’t saving it for the PPV and are going to give it away on TV next week, but in either case, it’ll hopefully be satisfying to see Matt Hardy shove Jericho’s face into the thirty-yard line!
Christopher Daniels Vs. Brodie Lee
Christopher Daniels is accompanied to the ring by SCU while Brodie Lee is accompanied by a bunch of Creepers
I didn’t mention it last week, but it seems that Brodie Lee took the AEW Championship belt and is holding it hostage from Jon Moxley, and The Exalted One even has the announcer call him the AEW Champion just to get under Moxley’s skin; a decision he might regret once we get to Double or Nothing! The match itself is much like the one Colt Cabana had against Lance Archer where a really good wrestler trying desperately trying to overcome an unstoppable monster, and Christopher Daniels does a great job being Brodie Lee’s plaything. He pulls off some pretty amazing moves here, including the Arabian Moonsault that he messed up all those months ago, but no matter what he throws at the guy he just can’t put him down. That doesn’t mean that The Dark Order doesn’t try to cheat for their leader’s benefit however as Ten the Creeper tries to interfere, but Kazarian and Scorpio Sky cut him off. Daniels then manages an impressive offensive comeback which The Creepers try again to halt, but Kazarian, Sky, AND Colt Cabana come to his aid and clears the ring from further interference. In any other match this would be a sign that the good guy is about to win as the bad guy’s underhanded tactics have been stopped leaving it as a one on one bout, and it looks like Daniels finally has a chance to win after landing his finisher Angels Wings, but Lee is still too powerful to overcome and kicks out at one. Daniels tries to continue his rally with a few moves from the top rope, but still, nothing can put Brodie Lee away. The match ends with Brodie Lee landing his devastating lariat on the throat of the exhausted Christopher Daniels and gets the pin. It was a really good Monster Match, though considering that it’s Christopher Daniels in this match I feel like it should have been a bigger deal. The guy was harassed by The Dark Order for months and they even tried to convince people that he himself might be The Exalted One, so having the match just kinda be a thrown together main even in service of something else (we’ll get to that soon enough) feels like a bit of a squandered opportunity, but aside from that I really did enjoy this match.
After the match, Jon Moxley comes storming down to the ring looking for his championship belt and punching any Creepers who dare to get in his way! Sadly this seems to be Brodie’s plan as he just sends the Creepers to eat Paradigm Shifts while he walks to the back with Ten the Creeper; belt still very smugly in hand. Realizing that he’s now alone in the ring, Moxley grabs the mic and starts SCREAMING at Brodie Lee for disrespecting him like this and how he’s gonna destroy him at Double or Nothing; a hail storm of violence that may just end Brodie Lee’s career in its tracks! Moxley grabs one more Creeper to throw into the barricade and the episode ends with him just kicking whatever he can get his hands on! They’re definitely teasing that Brodie Lee stands a chance if he’s able to outsmart Jon Moxley in their upcoming match, but I kind of doubt the belt will switch hands considering how hot Moxley is right now.
This episode wasn’t the most impressive or most exciting showing from the company, but it did manage to do its job of setting stuff up for the future. Normally you want a better mix of great payoffs and future setups over time instead of just showing one or the other into a single show, but these are strange times and there’s a PPV to sell so I’m not going to complain too much about it. We’ve got a stacked card next week with matches involving Orange Cassidy, Fenix, Marko Stunt, MJF, Jon Moxley, and more, and we’ve even got that Stampede Stadium Match thing that will hopefully be a great way to cap off the go-home show. After all, Matt Hardy MUST have his revenge for his fallen comrade!