AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It only seems to be getting rougher as the weeks go on and on, but we have to believe that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel and despite the issues I have with it, I am glad that AEW is putting on shows now and that they’re doing it in such an entertaining way. Is this the brief respite we need to help us decompress from what came before and to get us recharged for what comes ahead? Let’s find out!!
The episode starts with a promo that I actually thought was building up to a Dark Order segment, but it ended up being a sincere message in support of Black Lives Matter. We get a recap of the previous week’s events before jumping into our first match, and boy did they pick a BIG one to start with!
Kenny Omega & Hangman Adam Page Vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc – Tag Team Championship Match
Sabian is accompanied to the ring by Penelope Ford
It’s been WAY too long since we’ve seen Page and Omega in action inside of a ring! Sure the Stadium Stampede match was fun, but I’ve been itching to see them in a proper match for some time now, and while this match against the very solid Sabian and Havoc isn’t everything I wanted it to be, it was a great return for the duo on Dynamite. It starts off a bit slow and uneventful as Omega takes an early advantage and the other side can’t get a leg up no matter what they try. I’ll give the match credit where it’s due in how they’re doing a great job of showing off the strengths of their opponents, but it’s not until we’re like eight minutes into the match that any offense from Sabian and Havoc even fazes Omega or Page. The turning point comes when Ford goes for a Hurricanrana off the top rope on Adam Page and DOES land it, but Page doesn’t sell it for a second and as soon as he drops her to the floor, the ref ejects her from the match. While Sabian is arguing with the ref about this decision, Jimmy hits both Page and Omega with a wrench which puts the latter out of action and the former in a bad state to defend himself against the offense from both of his opponents. This evens things out a bit and I found the match more enjoyable as both sides started to trade near falls for the remainder of the match. Backstabber from Omega onto Sabian only gets a two count, an impressive combo from Page and Omega only gets a two count as well, and Omega even eats a swinging DDT followed by an uppercut and Death Valley Driver from Havoc capped with a double stomp from Sabian but even THAT only gets a two count because Page breaks up the pin! No one is willing to go down for the count for anything and the match just keeps going and going, but eventually Omega and Hangman hit Havoc with a Last Call (Omega’s V-Trigger and Hangman’s Buckshot Lariat hitting at the same time), and Page finally manages to get the pin. Perhaps I’m still spoiled by the Bucks match from Revolution and am being a bit unfair in having ANY criticism of this match which is genuinely a very good match. If a match is too one sided it’s not much fun and if the other team is clearly going easy on the other than it’s even less so, but Sabian and Havoc get more than enough offense to make it look REALLY close to a fair fight, and while I thought it went a bit slow at first and MAYBE a bit too long with just how many near falls they trade back and forth, the ending was great and I’m glad that Omega and Page are having these kind of matches again!
We cut to some previously recorded footage of Shawn Spears is getting yelled at by Tully Blanchard for being such a loser, and to be honest this is exactly the kind of talking to Shawn Spears needs if he’s going to get his act together. Dude’s got a big mouth and yet lately he hasn’t been backing it up at all. That can work with a sillier kind of cocky heel like The Miz, but Shawn isn’t quite at that level of charisma and his match at Double or Nothing was just an embarrassment to watch. We then get footage from a bit later where Blanchard opens a box in front of Shawn Spears that he says will be the missing piece for that Search for Shawn Spears thing they were doing a few months ago where they put out a public call to get him a tag team partner. I’m not sure how what’s inside is going to help though as Spears reaches in and pulls out a black fingerless glove. I have absolutely no idea what this glove is supposed to mean, but I assume it’s a reference to something Tully Blanchard did back in the… jeez, how long ago was he wrestling? The eighties!?
Brian Cage Vs. Shawn Dean
Cage is accompanied to the ring by Taz
First of all, Brian Cage cheats by going after Dean before the bell rings, so if it was up to me the ref would gave Dean the DQ win against Cage. Then again, considering how many people Lance Archer beat the crap out of just going to the ring, I guess monsters don’t have to follow the rules at AEW and Cage proceeds to DESTROY this Dean dude. There’s a Middle Rope Suplex that looked devastating, a Buckle Bomb into the turnbuckle from like halfway across the ring, and finally he nails Dean with the Drill Claw which is some sort of pile driver. 1.2.3. Done.
Taz then gets on the mic and talks about how upset he is at John Moxley who had the AUDACITY to roll his eyes and titter under his breath as Taz talked last week; an offensive that Taz will NOT take lying down so he proceeds to scream into the camera for like five minutes and it’s great! He calls out Moxley and tells him to get ready to lose his belt at Fyter Fest when Cage drills his head right into the canvas! Unbeknownst to Taz though, Moxley is hearing every word of this and answers Taz’s accusations by coming out (walking through the empty arena of course) with the belt on his shoulder. Taz warns him not to enter the ring because of how badass Brian Cage is, but he rolls his eyes once again and gets inside. Mox is on the mic and explains he wasn’t laughing at Taz; he was giddy about fighting Cage! Oh, well there you go! It was just a misunderstanding! They’re gonna hug it out now, right? No such luck I’m afraid as Moxley then warns Cage that he has no idea who he’s dealing with and that he should approach this challenge with a bit more caution and resolve or else he’s in for a fight he never expected; a statement that leaves Cage looking visibly shaken as Mox drops the mic and walks out of the arena. Now THIS is how you build a title fight!
We cut to Alex Marvez, one of AEW’s interviewers, who’s managed to locate Lance Archer and Jake Roberts out in the wild. They are found underneath the freeway where Archer is beating the crap out of some dude in a mask who I can only assume was just standing there minding his own business before THE MURDER HAWK got really angry and need to hit something. Considering how we didn’t hear ANYTHING from him last week, I’m glad that we get this update on him here as it’s starting to feel like AEW’s modus operandi for MONSTERS has been to build them up, eventually beat them, and then make them disappear like DBZ villains. We certainly haven’t seen Brodie Lee since his loss, and wasn’t there a Jeff Cobb guy that Moxley had ONE match with before leaving the show? In any case, Archer promises that he’s not done hurting the crap out of people and that we should be shaking in our boots for whatever he has planned next!
Private Party are drinking their sorrows away due to their loss last week when OG Matt Hardy comes in and turns up and lifts their spirits! He tells them how great they are hoping to give them the Hardy rub, and they ask him if he’ll… team with them I think? They say Hardy Party over and over again which could either mean a party at the Hardy compound or a six-man tag match down the road. Hopefully the latter considering the problems the Hardy Boyz have had in the past, but Hardy agrees to whatever this means and leaves them to their dancing. As Hardy is leaving he runs into Sammy who he tries to make peace with but Sammy isn’t having any of it but has a contemplative look on his face which MAY be a sign of his exit from The Inner Circle sooner rather than later. The segment was… fine, but I think I prefer DAMASCUS BROKEN MATT HARDY over regular dude Matt Hardy; at least when it comes to this kind of hokey material. His enthusiasm as his alternate self can make the hokieness work, but just being himself here with the overly exuberant Private Party just made it come off as a bit awkward.
Colt Cabana Vs. Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara
Colt Cabana hasn’t exactly had a great start to his AEW career, has he? He was one of those guys who came in right before the world came to an end, and unlike Matt Hardy or Brodie Lee, he just hasn’t had much of the spotlight to work with. Still, his match against Lance Archer was one of the highlights of the whole tournament so I’m sure he’ll be great here! Now why is this match happening in the first place? Well APPARENTLY Jeircho blames Colt Cabana for getting in his way during the Mike Tyson brawl and is looking for revenge which… I mean I guess that’s as good a reason as any for there to be a fight. Colt Cabana looks good, but it’s basically an extended version of the Pineapple Pete match where his opponent gets a flurry of offense before getting knocked out IMMEDIATELY by Jericho. The big difference is that Jericho has Hager on the side backing him up so Cabana gets to tussle with him a bit as well which only makes him look any better, and he even manages to get out of Jericho’s Lion Tamer submission hold by reaching the ropes before he’s forced to tap. However, Jericho manages to get Cabana with the Judas Effect as he comes out of the corner which brings the match to a close. Solid little match but Cabana is SCREAMING for a bigger shot than what he’s been getting so far.
Jerciho grabs the mic and he calls out Mike Tyson because I guess that’s a feud we’re just gonna have to deal with for the foreseeable future. He wants a match with the guy that very minute; Not at the PPV, not next week, NOW! Tyson doesn’t come out though despite Jericho’s screechy demands. Instead, he gets a visit from Orange Cassidy who puts Jericho’s hands in his pockets (well… ALMOST his pockets) as a way to put the cherry on top of his disappointment sundae. Jake Hager goes for a lariat but Cassidy ducks it and runs to the Best Friends who are in the stands and The Inner Circle look at them with murderous intent in their eyes! See, THIS is a feud I can get behind WAY more than whatever they’re planning to do with Mike Tyson!
We get a video of Britt Baker working out in the wheelchair which is shot like a genuine inspirational sports montage despite her basically doing nothing impressive or strenuous. I’ve been pretty down on the Britt Baker character before AND after her heel turn, but this was probably the best thing I’ve seen from her of her Hikaru Shida match where she broke her nose. This found the right balance between being goofy and being obnoxious that I’ve been hoping for and I had fun watching it!
Big Swole Vs. Nyla Rose
This was a solid match and I’m impressed with both competitors here, but it kind of passed through me and nothing in particular stood out to me other than Swole being dressed as the Yellow Power Ranger. She does get an early lead with some solid headlocks; keeping Rose in place and preventing her from using all her power which was definitely a great use of in ring tactics and made for an interesting match, and Swole is probably as close as anyone at AEW will get to matching Rose’s strength. They trade blows back and forth and Swole maintains the advantage for the most part, but Rose’s endurance proves to be more than any amount of offense can put down and Rose eventually wins the match with a Spine Buster. It was short, sweet, to the point, and made both women look really good in the process, but it wasn’t exactly the highlight of the show.
Swole talks to Tony Schiavone after the match but is interrupted by Britt Baker who tries to intimidate her from her wheelchair which is propped up inside of a golf kart. Swole doesn’t flinch though, even when Baker’s driver gets in REAL close, and Swole manages to drive them off by brandishing a chair. I hope we’re not building to a Baker feud this early since she can’t wrestler for a few more months, but I’m definitely interested in seeing if Swole finally gets that push they’ve been teasing for months now.
We cut to a video of Darby Allin being interviewed by Tony who asks him about his injury. I assumed they were talking about that awful skateboard bump he took from the top of a ladder, but apparently that convoluted spot from Cage is what’s keeping the doctors from clearing him. He says that life’s one big joke and that he’ll get back at Cage soon enough which is fine I suppose, but it feels like maybe Cage has already passed him by if he’s already feuding with the champ. I guess we’ll have to see where that goes, and Cage is certainly going to need a body or two to pummel between now and his match with Moxley!
FTR Interview – The Revival No More!
I’ll be honest in that I just never GOT The Revival, but I feel I shouldn’t be blamed for that because even if I never saw what made them THE GREATEST TAG TEAM, I could tell that WWE were doing them wrong and was happy to hear that they finally got out of the contracts. With such a big entrance last week I could only imagine what they were going to say when they got a chance to talk… and boy did I not imagine this! FTR’s whole shtick seems to be that they take tag team wrestling really seriously sort of like Imperium, but where Imperium’s seriousness still has a tinge of fun and goofiness to it (coming out to classical music while standing in poses with no smiles on their faces) FTR seems to be going even MORE straight-laced and serious. I expected them to get in the ring and call out the ENTIRE Tag Team divison; putting them on notice that the TRUE masters have arrived and none of them stand a chance! They KINDA say this, but instead of doing so in the ring screaming their heads off, they’re in a hotel lobby sitting across from Tony Schiavone and talking with their inside voice. Things do pick up when The Butcher & The Blade come out of nowhere and try to start something which is the point at which these two come alive and challenge them to a match, but I was still a bit underwhelmed when all was said and done.
Tony Schiavone is backstage interviewing Colt Cabana who seems pretty upset about losing yet again which is when Brodie Lee shows up and offers him a spot in The Dark Order where he can become a winner once again! Colt doesn’t seem interested, but he’s not ENTIRELY uninterested so we’ll have to see where that’s going. Frankly I’d rather they focus on getting the Creepers they already have over before bringing new guys into the fold, but I guess Ten The Creeper is still out for his arm injury.
Cody Vs. Jungle Boy – TNT Championship Match
Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson
Some have argued that Jungle Boy has been losing far too much recently and him being fed to Cody here so soon after losing to MJF is just another knock against him, but I’m not bothered by it. Jurassic Express may not be the top tag team, but they’re always fun to see and Jungle Boy is in the prime of his physique. He has PLENTY of time to be the number one guy at the company, so merely having REALLY GOOD MATCHES should be enough for the time being; especially when his REALLY GOOD MATCHES are THIS good! Cody’s aggressive and hard hitting with some nasty chops across the chest while Jungle Boy is quick and resourceful with a beautiful looking Hurricanrana. The match goes all over the place with Jungle Boy getting caught in a Figure Four, Drop kicks all over the place, and even a clothesline from Jungle Boy that Cody sells with a huge flip in midair! The one moment that felt a bit cheesy was when Cody missed a head butt by a mile and MJF starts yelling at Jungle Boy to create a distraction while Cody cut the crap out of his head. Blood spots don’t do it for me, and it felt especially egregious here considering they needed to do a distraction to get it to work. Eventually Cody gets on the top rope where and Jungle Boy meets them there where they start trading punches up for a bit before both of them fall backwards and into a conveniently placed nearby table. They eventually get back into the ring Jungle Boy tries to rally, but then Cody lands a Cross Rhodes and gets the pin. Not a surprising victory, but still a lot of fun to watch as this is the match that I wanted the Omega/Page match to be. It’s someone who we REALLY want to see have a top tier match and they have an opponent that can believably give it to them. The tag match eventually came around to being great but this one was amazing right off the bat! They shake hands after the match and Cody holds his belt high as the show comes to an end with the promise of more matches like this every week!
This was a great show! More action on display, better quality of matches, and no Mike Tyson to get in the way of everything which as far as I’m concerned was the best improvement of them all! There were a few promos that were lacking and I’m still unsure what the future holds for Lance Archer and Brodie Lee (Brian Cage should be getting real nervous the closer we get to Fyter Fest), but for a weekly spectacle it did its job about as well as some of the higher caliber episodes and I’m excited for some of the things that they’re working towards in the storylines. Still waiting for the Luchasaurus/Wardlow feud as well as… well, EVERY feud they’ve teased with Luchasaurus, but let’s take this one show at a time!