Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-12-2020)

AEWDYNAMITE

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

Did you all know that the next PPV All Out is going to be on September 5th!?  That feels WAY too soon, doesn’t it!?  Then again, who knows anymore?  What does time even MEAN when we’re all cooped up in our houses and alternating between sleeping, eating, and binge watching?  Well if we’re stuck in these rote rituals for the foreseeable future, we may as well keep recapping these AEW shows until things get better which by my estimation should be what, fifteen years?  In any case, let’s see what AEW has for us on this show which has a greatly hyped main event and some sort of tag team celebration!  Let’s get started!!

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The Young Bucks Vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

Before The Bucks can finish doing their poses and get in the ring, three Creepers come out from the back and start pounding away at them; softening them up as Grayson and Uno casually saunter to the ring!  The Dark Order has REALLY come into their own in the last few weeks and has become one of the most pervasive elements in the show.  Considering how much of a joke they were just a few months ago, it’s a testament to AEW and their foresight in seeing what The Dark Order could become if given enough time to work out the kinks.  After Nick Jackson gets unceremoniously tossed into the ring, Matt Jackson goes to take out the Creepers outside the ring, but in doing so opens himself up for a devastating Suicide Dive from Grayson.  Uno and Grayson then proceed to brutalize and tenderize poor Nick Jackson and look darn good doing it!  I may not have used these exact words in the past, but I find Evil Uno to be one of the most magnetic personalities in the company; a guy who imbues his character into all of his actions and has a great rapport with his partner Grayson.  He’s also a genuinely good worker even if he’s not exactly THE BEST wrestler at the company and does a great job selling for The Bucks once they get their comeback.  The only thing that’s kind of throwing me off a bit is that Uno has some sort of gimmick going on with the tape he has wrapped around his wrist.  He’s at his best when he’s being clever and this feels like an attempt at that, but I’m just not getting it.  In any case, The Bucks’ comeback is cut short and Matt finds himself outside the ring surrounded by three Creepers with a very intense looking Evil Uno waiting for him to jump back in the ring.  Matt’s ingenious move to escape is to dive under the ring itself and come out the side which was a fun little spot.  Another fun spot was when Evil Uno did that thing where he grabs Matt Jackson’s leg, tossed it to the ref, and then gave him a Cutter.  It seems to be his new thing, and I certainly still enjoy it!  Sadly it’s not enough to secure victory for my favorite Spooky Perverts, and the turning point back to the Bucks is when Matt lands a hellacious spear on Evil Uno which gives him enough time to give Nick the hot tag.  Nick runs wild; throwing Grayson into the crowd and Super Kicking Uno in the head.  After The Bucks land a Risky Business on Uno, Matt goes for the pin but only gets a two count.  Undeterred, the duo lands a draping Swanton Bomb onto Uno and would surely have gotten the pin if Uno hadn’t gotten his foot on the ropes.  See, this is why special moves should be in the middle of the ring!  You’re just wasting your EX meter if you do it near the edge!  Grayson comes out of NOWHERE and gives Matt Jackson a Huricanrana from the top ropes at which point the two start trading big moves and near falls.  Grayson takes Matt Jackson and throws him into the entrance tunnel; leaving the Creepers to guard it while the two of them finish off Nick Jackson.  It looks like they’re about to win, but Nick Jackson manages to wriggle out of Uno’s hold and turns it into a pin.  Grayson runs as FAST as he can and is FLYING through the air to break up the pin, but he is a second too late and Nick Jackson gets the win to the shame and consternation of The Dark Order.  This was an AMAZING opening match and was a GREAT example of what I want to see in tag team matches like this!  We’ve gotten quite a few tag matches the last few weeks and while some of them have been good, this one blows the rest out of the water as far as I’m concerned, and I cannot wait to see what Uno and Grayson do next.  Maybe they’ll even WIN a match on Dynamite!

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Tag team appreciation night promo.  Page and Omega talk about their favorite tag team, which for Kenny is The Bucks.  Page isn’t as enthusiastic as he wanted to say that THEY were the best tag team ever, and things got awkward between them.  I mean I GUESS they’re pretty good, but if you ask me, any night about great tag teams that DOESN’T mention Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, by far the most BEAUTIFUL father son story ever told, is far from a complete picture!

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MJF comes out with his paid entourage of people pretending that he’s running a campaign and has another rally in the middle of the ring.  They REALLY seem to think they have a winner here with the guy berating his female manager to smile more, but I still find it the wrong kind of skeevy.  That said, I do like the fact that he’s paying people to make fake graphs for him and whatnot; it’s kind of like the joke in Parks and Rec about Entertainment 720 wasting all their cash to hire people to stand around doing nothing.  Anyway, MJF spends the whole time calling out John Moxley.  It starts off a bit rocky as most of his campaign promos do, but there comes a point where he lays down in the middle of the ring and it REALLY starts to come together.  As much as I find this premise hockey and a little tasteless, it’s still undeniable that MJF is one of the best talents in the ENTIRE industry, and he’s going to have one of the best careers of any bad guy in the history of this sport.  Moxley’s music starts to play and MJF sends all his fake campaign workers to search for the guy as he always comes in thru the crowd, but shock of all shocks, Moxley comes thru the entranceway instead!  WRESLTING SHOCK!  Instead of spending time verbally sparring with the little fella, Moxley beats the hell out of MJF and just walks to the back.  Oh, but he’s not done yet!  Once he’s backstage, he grabs a mic and tells MJF that he’s not done with him yet!  For nearly costing him the match last week, he’s going to make MJF’s life a living hell until the All Out PPV.  It’s satisfying to see Moxley finally take the initiative and shut this guy up, but this is clearly far from over and I’m sure MJF has a few tricks up his sleeve for the next few weeks!

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We get a recap of Matt Hardy getting hit with a chair last week by Sammy (who apparently got a PRETTY stern talking to about as soon as he went to the back), and now Matt hardy is backstage with Alex Marvez to talk about what happened.  Hardy is out of action this week per doctor’s orders, and he’s going to beat the hell out of Sammy on the next episode of AEW which by the way will be next Saturday; not Wednesday.  While making this promise and plugging the date change, he sees a dude dressed as Sammy and IMMEDIATELY starts pounding on him, only to realize he’s a ref who JUST SO HAPPENS to be wearing Sammy looking clothes.  Why was he wearing Sammy looking clothes?  I have NO idea, other than perhaps an attempt to work a lawsuit angle; the wrestling equivalent of slipping on orange juice in the grocery store.

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Cody Vs. Scorpio Sky – TNT Title Match

I remember a few months ago that they were pushing for Scorpio Sky to have a singles career, but after those biography segments aired on Dynamite did he have a match?  I’m guessing most of his rise to power has been on Dark as well as whatever storyline’s been going on between him and the rest of SCU, but I feel like it’s a bit of a disservice to just throw this guy at Cody when he SHOULD be the biggest challenge he’s had to face so far.  In any case, Scorpio Sky goes in first all alone (again, I have no idea what’s going on between him and SCU), and then Cody comes out with his ENTIRE entourage; his brother, his wife, Allie, even QT Marshall who’s been away for a few weeks now!  Cody has a new belt which is presumably the FINISHED version, so it’d be a shame for him to drop it now when it’s brand new and shiny!  The match itself is fine, but is not the best I’ve seen from Sky.  The dude is a high flyer and he certainly gets to jump a few times, but it feels like the match is working more towards Cody’s strengths than his which feels like a missed opportunity since the commentary team spends the WHOLE match putting over Sky while also noting Cody’s weariness after having defended the belt for so long.  If Cody was genuinely struggling against someone who fights in a style that he may not be strong against then maybe the threat of losing would have sold a bit more, but it’s just kind of like so many other of his title matches; good for giving the opponent the spotlight but not much tension to be had.  The match doesn’t REALLY come alive for me until WAY late when Cody lands a Superplex on Sky, but as soon as he lands on his back Sky grabs Cody and rolls him up into a VERY close two count.  That at least felt unexpected and the match has a bit of teeth to it going forward.  Sky goes for his finisher the TKO which I don’t know if I’ve seen him use before, but Cody reverses it and manages to land a Cross Rhodes.  He goes for the pin, and surprising everyone Cody does NOT get the win here as Sky kicks out at two!  They fight for a bit longer with Cody and Sky threatening Pile Drivers, but eventually we come to the end which was a little… odd.  Sky goes for some sort of springboard thing but he misses Cody by a mile; supposedly because Cody was holding the ropes and therefore threw off his trajectory… or something.  I don’t THINK it was a botch because it leads right into the ending but it sure as heck looked like one in the moment.  Sky is dazed after missing his attack and so Cody is able to land another Cross Rhodes to finally get the win and retain his title.  It was fine I guess but these title matches are feeling more and more perfunctory as the weeks wear on.

While Cody is celebrating in the ring, Brodie Lee comes on screen and challenges Cody for the belt.  He also somehow fished the old TNT belt out of the trash for reasons that I’m sure are self-evident, but if nothing else there’s a legit promo leading up to a TNT Title Match and Brodie Lee is a lot of fun to watch in this.  Color me excited to see THAT fight!

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Private Party spend about ten seconds telling us how great the Hardy Boyz are.  You know, despite this being Tag Team Appreciation night, there hasn’t been a lot of tag team content on here.  The opening match was great and we had Omega/Page talk for like a minute, but other than that it’s all been singles angles and a singles match.  Heck, we haven’t even seen FTR yet!  Speaking of tag team wrestling…

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Hangman Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy) – Tag Team Title Match

Jurassic Express is accompanied to the ring by Marko Stunt

This was actually a lot like the Cody match where the champions do a lot to make their opponents look good even if you know that they aren’t going to win the end.  Omega does a lot of selling for Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus right off the bat with Jungle Boy looking particularly great here as he even manages to fend off Omega and Page at the same time.  That said, I just don’t have much to even say about this match.  It’s run of the mill and just doesn’t have the same SPARK as the opener with The Dark Order, and because there’s not much else to pay attention to I noticed a few bad spots here.  Jungle Boy goes for some sort of rope maneuver while holding Adam Page, but he falls through them and Page has to quickly cover for it which was actually an impressive bit of improv; so much so that MAYBE it wasn’t a botch, but I don’t think Jungle Boy would have planned to have his nuts land crash into the top rope like that.  Not as egregious but very noticeable was later on when Luchasaurus goes for a Pump Kick that misses by a mile and he has to pretend that his leg is caught on the top rope and that he CAN’T MOVE while Page makes the tag to Kenny and Kenny runs the ropes to land a V-Trigger.  Perhaps the scariest spot of the whole match was when Jungle Boy ALMOST died doing a suicide dive onto Kenny who was NOT ready for it!  Kenny is BARELY able to wrap his arms around Jungle Boy’s legs and stops him mere INCHES from smashing his face into the guardrail.  That might have been the luckiest moment in Jungle Boy’s career and it certainly was a notable moment in the match, but that was straight up TERRIFYING to watch.  They go on for a bit longer until Page and Kenny have Jungle Boy isolated in the ring, so they land the Last Call on him for Kenny to get the pin while Page blocks Luchasaurus from breaking it up.  So yeah, a lot of bad spots in between solid if uneventful tag team action.  Not exactly the best showing for the division on what is supposed to be their night.

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Santana and Ortiz are in the AEW Locker Room I guess and have located The Best Friends’ luggage.  In response to their challenge from last week, Proud N Powerful takes their luggage and pours bleach all over it.  This segment just didn’t work for me.  We already know those two are jerks and pouring bleach on their luggage just doesn’t have the same impact as wrecking a car.

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The Butcher and The Blade, who I’m pretty sure haven’t actually spoken on camera before, confirm that their favorite wrestlers are The Road Warriors.  And that’s about all we get of that.  Is this really the extent of this whole TAG TEAM APPRECIATION thing?  Well apparently not because coming up next is…

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Tag Team Appreciation Spectacular – Who Did FTR Drag Out For This!?

FTR, The Bucks, Tully Blanchard & Arn Anderson, and of course The Rock N Roll Express (who look like actual Rolling Stones at this point), are inside the ring to… I guess celebrate tag team wrestling.  The Bucks and FTR spend a few minute stalking about how great The Horsemen and The Rock N Roll Express were back in the day, and when the old timers get a chance at the mic, Ricky Morton says The Bucks are the best team while Arn says FTR is the best.  I’m just not feeling much for this segment or the whole Tag Team Appreciation thing, but then Tully gets the mic and starts talking smack about everyone; putting blood in the water by telling both of the AEW teams that they SUCK because they don’t have the belts right now!  Arn and Tully start bickering when Spears walks out from the back and just stares menacingly from the ramp.  Arn goes to the back before things get too heated, but of course Ricky Morton don’t give a crap and sucker punches Tully right in the face.  While everyone is looking at that, FTR out of nowhere attacks The Rock N Roll Express; presumably because Rick had the temerity to not call THEM the best tag team.  Speaking of Ricky, this old ass dude IN HIS SIXTIES takes a Spike Pile Driver and freaking sells it!  I’m genuinely surprised that he could take a bump like that and it certainly was the highlight of this whole event which ends right about there; as soon as The Bucks come back to chase off FTR as well as Adam Page and Kenny Omega.  Apparently those two COULD have come out to be part of the celebration, but even they thought it was too corny to be a part of.  AEW hasn’t always had good luck with these in-ring celebrations (remember the dull Thanksgiving Day celebration with The Inner Circle?) and I just found this one pretty boring until RICKY FREAKING MORTON took that pile driver like a champ.

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So apparently the ref from the Cody/Sky match is an old school legend and is being interviewed by Alex Marvez.  Jerciho then comes out and expresses how glad he is that this guy, Mike Chioda, is going to officiate his match against Orange Cassidy.  APPARENTLY Jericho saved this guy’s job a bajillion years ago and is implying that he’ll give the edge of Jericho in this match because he owes him one.  I guess we’ll see how that plays out in the main event.

We also get another Sammy cue card segment where he needs Matt Hardy about his challenge from earlier that night, though it looks like there was a timing issue because Sammy burns through his card way to quickly and he has to improvise for a good thirty seconds before the camera cuts.

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Hikaru Shida Vs. Heather Monroe

I actually didn’t catch that Hikaru Shida was going to be in action tonight during the rundown at the beginning of the show, so here I was thinking we were going to the main even when Shida’s music starts playing!  Her opponent is someone we haven’t seen before which I’m guessing is due to the Women’s Tag Team Tournament Championship on YouTube that I haven’t been watching.  I’m guessing Shida is disqualified for being the current Singles Champ, and this was one of the only people they could get that WASN’T already competing in the tournament.  It’s just an extended Squash match as Heather Monroe gets like two near falls before Shida taps her out.  I want a strong women’s division to be on Dynamite, but if this is the kind of match they can come up with, they really shouldn’t have even bothered.  It doesn’t advance any angles, it doesn’t make Shida look any stronger than she already does, it’s just there to be there.

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Jake Roberts cuts a promo from the locker room while Lance Archer is in the background destroying jobbers.  Unfortunately, Lance runs out of dudes to brutalize and instead turns his attention to Jake; ripping his shirt off and revealing that EVERYBODY DIES was painted on his back.  So I guess Lance Archer is being abusive towards Jake for some reason?  I’m REALLY not liking where this is going and I hope they pull the plug on this soon.

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Chris Jericho Vs. Orange Cassidy

So before we get to the match, there’s a PRETTY big elephant in the room we need to bring up.  In case you hadn’t heard, this match ALMOST didn’t take place because Chris Jericho was an irresponsible dick last weekend.  You remember that giant biker festival?  Well Jericho’s band Fozzy performed there, and while they supposedly took precautions, including minimizing the amount of time they were on stage and making sure they didn’t interact with anyone; it was still in an enclosed environment with thousands of people NOT wearing masks and NOT social distancing.  He apparently passed his COVID test before coming to the arena, but those tests aren’t always accurate even AFTER symptoms start to show, and the timeframe puts him very likely in an asymptomatic stage of the disease if he DOES have it.  As much as AEW has been doing a decent job with COVID, Taz’s comment about them NOT running a sloppy shop are getting harder and harder to believe as it seems like pure luck is as responsible for their lack of an outbreak as anything they’re actively doing to prevent one.

ANYWAY!!

This was a pretty excellent match and a great main event for an otherwise lackluster show!  Orange Cassidy comes right out of the gate with unmatched ferocity as he pounds Jericho and stays in control for a good portion of this match.  Jericho is bumping for this dude like nobody’s business, especially when they take the fight outside of the ring for a bit, and Cassidy looks like an absolute champ!  Just jumping all over the place, putting his hands in his pockets during dives, and even lands a DDT on Jericho from the top rope!  Eventually though, Jericho manages to ground him with a big boot to the face, and he works over Cassidy a bit with his usual smugness as Cassidy tries to fight back.  It’s a BIT of a lurch between Cassidy being in control and Jericho taking over, but Jericho does just as good a job laying in the offense as he did taking the hits; especially when he managed to do an impressive looking Springboard Dropkick that sent Cassidy to the floor.  Despite taking over this match though, he can’t manage to put Cassidy away and so just has to keep pounding on the kid until he finally says uncle.  Jericho picks up Cassidy who’s barely able to stand at this point, and starts giving these low energy slaps across Jericho’s midsection, but as Soon as Jericho tries to fight against them, Cassidy comes out of nowhere with a Super Kick that drops him like a ton of bricks.  Cassidy gets a few more licks in before going for a Hurricanrana which Jericho catches and converts into the Walls of Jericho; forcing Cassidy to fight to reach the ropes as his legs are being pulled back with deeply malicious intent!  He eventually realizes that getting the ropes is unlikely, so he instead reverses the hold, breaks free, and puts Jericho in an Ankle Lock which he eventually breaks out of as well.  There’s so much more greatness in the match like a Suplex that is reversed into a Stunner and Jericho pulling out the Code Breaker out of nowhere, but eventually Jericho is out of patience and goes for the bat.  In what’s probably the one part I DON’T like, Jericho grabs his bat and orders Ref Chiota to turn around… which he does… before turning right back around taking the bat.  I don’t know who Chiota is so whatever dynamic is going down here is lost on me, and it doesn’t even have a real payoff to it since the ref only abdicates his duty for like half a second.  In any case, Cassidy makes a comeback and even lands a Superman Punch on Jericho which looks to have knocked him out.  As soon as this punch lands however, Proud N Power and The Best Friends run out from the back.  They brawl on the stage which distracts the ref, and Jake Hager runs from the stands, slides into the ring, and slams Cassidy onto the mat before bailing; leaving Cassidy completely immobile and giving Jericho an opportunity to win this match.  Jericho slowly slides over and covers Cassidy… BUT CASSIDY KICKS OUT AT TWO!!  It was such a great moment to see the babyface find JUST enough strength to overcome the dastardly machinations of the heel group, and after a minute of back and forth strikes, Cassidy manages to roll up Jericho and gets the three count.   Orange Cassidy is declared the winner just as the episode comes to an end!  I probably wouldn’t have done the ref spot and I REALLY wish they had axed the Shida match to give more time to this, but I loved the story being told throughout and the action was top notch between the two!  A FANTASTIC note to end the show on!

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I’ll give the show this; it had a hell of an opening match and a fantastic main event, so they know how to book end things at least!  Everything else was just at an average level or was just not all that good.  The Lance Archer/Jake Roberts thing looks like a bad idea, FTR didn’t do a darn thing with this whole Tag Team Appreciation night, and the women’s match was just filling time.  AEW seems to be going back and forth as one week is great followed by a week that’s not so great.  Hopefully this means that next week is a blowout show, but as we get closer to the PPV it’d be nice to have a bit more consistency from week to week.

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