Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (08-22-2020)

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

With another PPV just two weeks away (literally this time due to the schedule change), AEW has to kick things into overdrive to get people pumped for the big show!  No more of this back and forth where one week is good and the next week is meh!  Nope, just good matches, good stories, and lots of exciting angles so that people drop their fifty bucks to see it all play out!  Does this show manage to create the right kind of buzz to sell All Out to the fans at home, or will it take more than one good show to get things back on track?  Let’s find out!!

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Private Party Vs. FTR

Already in the ring and with no introductions, both teams are in the ring and this match is underway.  Not only that, Tully Blanchard is in FTR’s corner wearing an FTR jacket so I guess they’re teaming up with him and the conspicuously absent Shawn Spears.  I thought they were going to go with Arn, considering the meeting they had a few weeks ago, but I guess his and Cody’s heel turn isn’t happening any time soon.  FTR gives a lot to Private Party in this match, and they look pretty good!  Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy can be a bit hit or miss at times, but they seem to have brought their A game here, and FTR continue to be consummate professionals in whatever they do.  Still, there’s not much TO this match even though both teams are doing a great job in it.  We get some Superkicks from Private Party, FTR beats up Quen in the corner for a while, and Private Party tries to fight back with high flying and flashy maneuvers; my favorite probably being when Kassidy flipped over the ropes into a Stunner on Dax Harwood.  The only part that felt a bit off was some not especially great looking Leapfrogs from FTR, but other than that it’s a solid match between two teams.  At some point Quen is down and Kassidy is trying to make the save by diving onto Harwood on the outside.  At the last moment, Tully Blanchard pulls him away and Kassidy lands on the floor; leaving Quen alone in the ring and so both members of FTR bring this to a close with the Goodnight Express for the pin.  So, yeah; it was a good match, but not one that had a lot of highs and lows for me.  Nothing stood out all that much despite both teams putting in the effort.

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Jon Moxley cuts a promo against MJF and admits that he’s an entertaining talker, but as much effort as he’s using trying to cut Jon Moxley down to size, it’s all for naught because he knows exactly what’s wrong with him and it’s no skin off his nose for MJF to talk about him.  That said, what DOES bother him is just how much talking he’s doing instead of taking action; Instead of facing Jon Moxley head on, he’s just hiding behind his security crew and talking, and the shame of it is that he DOES think MJF is the future of this company!  Moxley isn’t going to be here forever, and AEW NEEDS guys like MJF to keep the business strong, but it’s not going to happen if MJF keeps hiding behind his words, lesson in when to talk and when to step up.  A FANTASTIC promo as always from Moxley who comes off so naturally in these no matter how ludicrous the situation is.  Speaking of which!

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Seemingly as a rebuke to everything that Jon Moxley just said, MJF spends this entire promo talking, lying, playacting, and letting others make threats for him; proving himself to be every bit the coward and snake oil salesman that Moxley seems him as being, and MJF is just REVELING in his own deviousness.  MJF is out here leaning on a walker and wearing a neck brace while surrounded by his campaign staff, Wardlow, and even a lawyer.  He speaks in a broken quaver as he explains just how awful of a person Jon Moxley is for the actions he took last week.  MJF is a SHATTERED man, a martyr if you will, after having suffered a Paradigm Shift at the hands of the horrendous Jon Moxley, and is ready to have is lawyer sue his butt for every penny he’s worth.  BUT, being the man of honor that he is, he is instead giving Jon a simple ultimatum; if he signs a contract for the All Out match that forbids the Paradigm Shift, he will not take action against him.   Most of this by the way is conveyed by his VERY enthusiastic lawyer as MJF doubles over in pain fairly early into the promo, and if THAT guy isn’t ringside with Wardlow during All Out, it would be a serious missed opportunity!

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The Natural Nightmares & The Jurassic Express Vs.  The Lucha Bros & The Butcher and The Blade – Eight Man Tag Match

Again, everyone gets the jobber entrance and is already in the ring when we cut away from the MJF promo.  The match also starts before the ring announcer can official call it when the heels overrun the faces, but the ref doesn’t seem too bothered about it.  Much like the opening match this one is perfectly fine but I’m not too enthusiastic about it.  QT starts things off and has to fight back all four of them on his own which he does a fairly good job at.  He tries to hop the ropes to the outside to take out The Lucha Bros, but The Butcher catches him mid-jump and takes a few shots at him before he makes it back to his corner to tag in Dustin who as always comes out with an explosive offensive barrage that reminds you just how good the guy still is.  Well at least until the heels get the advantage again and pound on him for quite a while in the corner which I found kind of dull; even if Rey Fenix does some fancy footwork on the top rope.  Maybe it’s just me but tag matches lose me as soon as the start trying to get the heat by pounding a guy in the corner; especially when there’s SO many people in the match just standing on the corner.  It takes forever and a commercial break, but Dustin does eventually rally and makes the tag to Luchasaurus who has a strong comeback with the help of Jungleboy doing Suicide dives all over the place.  It comes down to Luchasaurus and Pentagón Jr, the latter of whom doesn’t seem to take the dinosaur serious enough and eats a Chokeslam followed by a two count.  Butcher on the other hand knows better and runs in to stomp a mud hole into Luchasaurus before getting The Blade to take a few shots at him too, and things definitely pick up from here as EVERYONE runs in and does a move before someone else runs in and does a move as well.  The ring eventually clears to just Pentagón Jr and Jungleboy in the ring with The Blade on the top rope, but for whatever reason Pentagón Jr and The Blade begin to argue, and as soon as Pentagón shoves The Blade, Jungleboy takes advantage and rolls him up for the easy pin.  While the Faces quickly celebrate and rush off to the back, the two Heel teams continue to argue and shove each other and you’re expecting an impromptu match to break out!  Then all of a sudden, EDDIE FREAKING KINGSTON comes out and rallies the bad guys; telling them that they’re better than this childish behavior and how if they truly work together they could dominate this division!  Eddie Kingston is a hell of a talker and I’ll be darned if he doesn’t get these four hotheads to hug it out which makes we wonder just how many more people he can rally to his cause and if the good guys have anyone even half as charismatic to rally their own troops if need be.  The match itself was nothing special but that was a FANTASTIC angle at the end!

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Britt Baker is trying to cut a promo at the gym, but she’s being interrupted by Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford who are curling irons while also locking lips.  Getting past her disgust at their PDA, she offers Penelope an opportunity that… I actually found a bit confusing?  Okay, so the idea is simply that she wants to have a handicapped match against Swole with Penelope Ford joining TEAM BAKER.  Now I thought that this meant a match at All Out with Baker and Ford facing off against Swole, but later in the episode when they run down card for NEXT week’s show (not the PPV), it says that Big Swole will GET HER MATCH with Britt Baker.  Does this mean that Baker is getting into the ring prior to All Out?  I’m guessing not since they’ve built it up so much, but the only thing I can think of is that next week it’s going to be Ford teaming up with Baker’s assistant Reba to face Swole which frankly sounds like a less interesting match, but I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to get clarification on this.

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Orange Cassidy Interview – Doing Whatever and Saying Whatever

Cassidy comes out with The Best Friends to have an in ring interview with Tony Schiavone, but before he has a chance to say anything, Chris Jericho’s music hits and he comes out to confront him.  He starts off congratulating Orange on his victory and even says that in some ways he’s PROUD of the guy!  He went the distance, beat Jericho, and proves the haters wrong, so he wants to give Cassidy a toast… but before he can do that he has KIND of an itty-bitty issue that he wants to discuss.  It’s nothing big, nothing serious; just that the score is now one to one, and that USUALLY means there should be a rubber match to figure out who’s the better man, right?  Well Jericho is certainly INTERESTED in having that match, but he wants it to be something special.  After all, he DID come up with the Money in the Bank match which he’s keen to remind us of (though not using any copyrighted words to say it), so he can surely come up with something fun and brilliant for the people out there, right?  His big idea is… the Mimosa Mayhem Match, and he even has a video package for it ready to go!  It’s your standard wrestling match where someone can win either by pinfall or submission, but with the added bonus of a HUGE vat of outside of the ring containing eighty gallons of OJ mixed with five HUNDRED cases of The Bubbly.  You could be boring and win the match with a pin or by tapping out your opponent, but if you REALLY want to take advantage of this match type, you can win by throwing your opponent into the vat of mimosa goodness!  So the question is this, Orange Cassidy; will you face Jericho in a Mimosa Mayhem match at All Out?  After thinking on it for a moment, Cassidy gives a half-hearted thumbs-up confirming that he has accepted the challenge!  NOW Jericho is ready to give him a toast and even calls in the Inner Circle to join them!  They get on the apron, they all take a drink, and Jericho gives the order for them to run roughshod over Cassidy and The Best Friends.  The Best Friends are swiftly dispatched and Cassidy is knocked out with The Judas Effect.  The Inner Circle hold him up and proceed to pour bottle after bottle of The Bubbly onto Cassidy until the point is made and they give a middle finger salute to the camera.  I think it’s too early for them to start building the heat between these two back up, and the fact that this doesn’t intersect in any way with the Best Friends/Proud N Powerful feud feels like a missed opportunity, but these two have had some great moments together and hopefully the go home show next week will do everything it needs to in order to sell this as a must see spectacle of a match.

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The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) Vs. The Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and Alan Angels)

At least these teams got their full entrances, and on top of that it was PROBABLY the best of the tag team matches this evening!  The Elite come out of the gate strong and run wild on these guys , which makes me wonder why The Dark Order sent the B-Team to face THE ELITE, but it at least proves to be entertaining! Nick Jackson starts off strong against Angles and effectively brushes off all his offense.  It doesn’t take long for Matt to get tagged in and start ruining the guy with consecutive Northern Light Suplexes that Reynolds and Silver try to break it up, but Matt Jackson manages to land a Suplex on both of them at the same time.  Still, despite a strong start the Dark Order manages to regain some ground by working together and it’s what I’ve always wanted to see from the crew; a bunch of guys who aren’t so great alone finding a way to win when they work together.  Kenny takes a decent beating from Reynolds and Silver who are an impressive team in their own right; pulling off this fantastic combination of moves that leave Omega in a real bad shape.  Still, the advantage I short lived as Kenny doesn’t take long to recover and starts throwing Snap Dragon Suplexes and V-Triggers around like their going out of style. He gets the tag and The Bucks come in, but are almost immediately cut short by a pair of Pile Drivers from Reynolds and Silver.  Silver starts CHOKING Matt Jackson with some sort of fabric which I didn’t much care to see, but it doesn’t take long for him to break free and for The Elite to make their giant comeback.  Omega lands a One Wined Angel on Angels (ha!) and gets the pin.  Kenny seems to be upset about how this all shook out and brings a chair into the ring.  He puts it on the ground upside down so that the four legs are sticking straight up and he lifts Angels up to Powerbomb him onto it (WOW that would hurt like nobody’s business), but The Bucks manage to talk him down and the three of them leave the ring.  It was a really good match and I like the brutality that Kenny is willing to inflict on others given the opportunity.  The Dark Order has been absolutely on FIRE lately, and even if they are still losing in matches like these, they are stealing the spotlight wherever they go!

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We cut to the back where Alex Marvez is interviewing FTR and Tully Blanchard.  FTR confirms that they brought Blanchard on board because if they’re going to be the best tag team then they’re gonna learn from the best tag team wrestler which I GUESS isn’t Arn; at least at this point in their story.  We also learn that there’s a Tag Team Gauntlet match next week to determine who will face the Tag Team Champs at All Out, but before they can really get into it, Adam Page storms in during the interview and seems to be really upset at FTR over… something.  I GUESS he’s upset about The Rock N Roll Express thing from last week, but FTR spin their web of lies, half-truths, and flattery to calm Page down; not to mention giving him a beer which is always a good move!  They explain to Page that if The Bucks manage to win the gauntlet match and then end up beating him and Omega at All Out… well everything he’s worked to build up, to get out of the shadow of The Bucks will be for naught.  So by that logic, Page SHOULD hope that FTR wins it next week!  I get that they’re working over Page’s insecurities, but I’m still a bit confused as to what Page even came in here for and what this explanation was supposed to do to keep him from punching their faces in.  Still, FTR are proving themselves to be quite a force to be reckoned with both inside and out of the ring and I’m curious to see what happens with that Gauntlet Match next week.  What I’m MORE about however is what the heck is going on with Shawn Spears who we haven’t seen haven’t seen hide nor hair of in a while now and ESPECIALLY not in this promo with Tully!  They probably won’t be going here, but I think it’d be pretty amazing if it turns out that Tully dropped Spears like a sack of potatoes, and that Spears spent a few months trying to get back at him by messing up FTR’s matches.  Heck, it’d be a better use of his talents then having him do comedy matches Dustin!

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Darby Allin Vs. Will Hobbs

For most wrestlers, a squash match is one where you pull off a few of your best moves to show off to the audience and win without much difficulty in order to prove how strong you are.  For Darby Allin, it involves getting the living hell kicked out of him before winning against a dude built like a tank.  Seriously, despite getting the Jobber entrance this Will Hobbs guy looks like a POWERHOUSE and I could see him joining up with Cage and Starks on Taz’s faction; especially after Darby finds a way to beat him!  Hobbs tosses Allin all over the place and Darby eats canvas from VERY tall heights over and over again, but none of this is the least bit effective against the guy who rises up with a major comeback that culminates in a devastating Coffin Drop; getting the pin and winning a match against a guy twice his size.

Speaking of Taz, he’s is on commentary and cannot abide by this, so he calls Darby Allin out and tells him that his faction has a new member.  Now I thought that Hobbs was going to jump up and choke him out, but no; it’s Ricky Starks wearing Darby Allin’s makeup and doing a lazy impersonation of him.  He spends a few minutes mocking his aesthetic and calling him out for the messed up thumb tack spot they did a few weeks ago that left Starks with a shredded back, and while he has Darby’s attention, Brian Cage runs in from the crowd and waffles Allin with the FTR belt.  Ricky hits the ring and starts screaming at Darby Allin before hitting him with a skateboard and landing a Coffin Drop of his own.  They seem to be building towards a match at All Out which I would be okay with, as long as they don’t keep doing ridiculously dangerous stuff to each other as neither one of these two men need to have their career cut short doing something foolish in the ring.

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Sammy comes out and does his cue cards during the commercial shtick which starts off standard enough as he calls out Matt Hardy, but as he’s flipping thru the cards without even looking at them, it’s clear that Matt has replaced some of Darby’s cards with his own; informing the world that Sammy is a FOOL who will be BROKEN and DELETED!  Sammy eventually wises up to this, but before he can finish looking surprised Matt comes out and hits Sammy (safely) a couple of times with the chair.  It was a good twist on the formula, though the fact that it played out entirely during picture in picture undercut it somewhat and when we DO come back from picture and picture it never really rebuilds that momentum.  Matt Hardy continues to beat Sammy with a chair, he then shouts at Sammy for a bit, and then then throws him off the sate into a table.  Matt then grabs ANOTHER chair but the refs decide NOW is the time to come out and manage to talk him down from laying another beating onto Sammy who runs out of the arena to lick his wounds.  I’ll be honest, despite Hardy saying that THE FANS were happier with him being regular Matt Hardy, I MUCH prefer him when he’s Broken Matt Hardy; especially in this angle where it just comes off as two jerks taking turns to waffle each other until they can get in the ring.  At least Broken Matt Hardy was always trying to impart some sort of message and wasn’t just beating people up with chairs!

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We go from the ring to a woman backstage named Thunder Rosa who I’ve never heard of before but from what I can tell seems to be a big name wrestler as well as LWA Women’s Champ, and she challenges Shida for her title at All Out.  I guess AEW is still having trouble filling out its women’s division with strong challengers so they called in someone from the outside which I guess is a better solution than just throwing someone not ready at Shida (and it’s certainly worked for Cody’s title run), but unless you know who this person is I don’t see how you can get all that hyped for the match.  Speaking of AEW’s anemic women’s division!

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Nightmare Sisters (Brandi Rhodes & Allie) Vs. Diamante & Ivelisse – Women’s tag Team Tournament Finals

Veda Scott joins Taz, JR, and Schiavone on commentary for this match

The Natural Nightmares are joined by Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall

I don’t think I’ve heard a single good thing about the Women’s Tag Tournament that’s been airing on YouTube the last few weeks, but if nothing else they’re at least giving Diamante and Ivelisse more time on Dynamite as their match a few weeks ago was by far the best women’s match I’ve seen in a while.  I’ve heard negative things about it, but the two just worked together so well for me and it’ll be interesting to see them work together instead of trying to tear each other apart.  The problem ends up being Brandi and Allie who aren’t BAD per se, but they just don’t feel like strong competitors when faced with Diamante and Ivelisse.  They seem to have a bit more grit and determination to their movements while Allie is content to be a bit silly while Brandi… well she spends most of the match on the apron.  Perhaps that’s the worst part of this; despite how much they’re building it up here and how BIG that trophy is, there’s no weight to this tournament.  It was on YouTube, has had no heat behind it, and now this match which is kind of just there.  Allie manages to throw Diamante over the ropes (who takes a nasty looking bump on the apron) while Brandi pulls of a decent looking spear, but you never question for a minute which of the two teams is going to come out on top.  QT Marshall, seemingly having the same revelation, tries to interfere from the apron but Ivelisse smashes him to the ground.  Brandi tries to take advantage of the distraction but Ivelisse manages to overpower Brandi and throw her over the ropes onto QT; leaving Allie alone in the ring.  Diamante lands a stunner which Ivelisse follows up with a knee to the face and gets the pin.  Even if this whole tournament and even this match felt rather perfunctory, Diamante and Ivelisse sell the win and celebrate so hard that it lent a certain amount of gravity to the win.  That seems to be what makes them so compelling, at least for me; just how much they seem to care about EVERYTHING that happens, whether it’s squeaking out a victory against one another or winning this giant trophy which frankly isn’t going to mean a darn thing a week from now.  If nothing else comes out of this tournament, these two should be showing up WAY more on Dynamite as they could be the shot in the arm the division needs.

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Cody Vs. Brodie Lee – TNT Title Match

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson

Brodie Lee comes out alone which I found a bit odd, but Evil Uno (who’s a GREAT person to follow on Twitter) tweeted out that it was at his request that no one go with him and who am I to argue with that?  Cody comes exploding out of the ring full of piss and vinegar, but it doesn’t take long for Brodie Lee to completely take over the match.  Cody barely seems to be able to put up a fight as Brodie knocks him all around the stadium which is probably due to him having defended this title for what, TEN weeks now?  In any case, it’s going to take a lot of ingenuity and even more heart to find a way to come out of this on top… and Cody just doesn’t have it in him.  That’s right.  Brodie Lee pounds on him for a few minutes before smashing Cody’s face in with the Discus Lariat; getting the pin and winning the TNT title!

The Dark Order comes out and celebrates his while paramedics look over Cody and get him onto a stretcher.  I’m not exactly sure what his injury is, but he DOES have a neck brace on and they seem worried about his arm.  He does give a thumbs-up though, so at least we know he’s still alive!  While Cody is being carted out, Tony tries to get an interview with Brodie Lee who screams into the microphone about how NO ONE believed The Dark Order could do this and how AEW will RUE THE DAY they refused to take them seriously!  In fact, he’s SO set on making everyone pay for underestimating them that he has The Dark Order surround Cody’s stretcher, and presumably not to help clear a path.  Arn Anderson sees what’s about to happen and does his best to fight them off, but he is no match against all those guys and Brodie Lee tips the stretcher over.  The refs try to restore order, but The Dark Order is not deterred and Brodie Lee waffles Cody over the head with the TNT belt while his brother Dustin and his friend QT are dragged out from the back to look at the mess happening on stage.  Brandi as well is brought out to cry over Cody’s broken body before Anna Jay, the sole female member of The Dark Order, jumps her and chokes her out.  Brodie then dumps the shattered pieces of the old TNT title belt he fished out of the garbage last week and showers them all over Cody and Brandi; making it clear that the old guard is now dead and that the future of AEW is The Dark Order!

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The matches themselves were rather hit and miss, but I think this episode’s greatest strength was just how well it handled it’s promos and the angles it’s building up for the PPV.  I don’t know exactly where everything is going, especially with Britt Baker as well as Adam Page, but I’m certainly curious to find out what’s going to happen and where the chips will fall in the final episode before the big show!  The Dark Order has been a joke for a while now, but they’ve been an entertaining and earnest joke that has gotten a lot of positive buzz lately and I’m glad that they’re at least TRYING to make them legitimate bad guys again with such a brutal and sinister ending here.  The last time The Dark Order got one over on The Elite was at the end of last year which also happened to be one of (if not the) lowest rated show for AEW at the time, but hopefully the gamble will pay off much better here considering just how much better they’ve gotten; especially with Brodie Lee as their leader!  I cannot wait for next week and I can only hope they don’t screw up the best thing they have going for them now that The Dark Order has full command of the spotlight!

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