Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (09-02-2020)

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

By the time this goes up we’ll be just one day away from the All Out PPV, and like any good wrestling company AEW is clearly trying its best to get us to buy the darn thing with a show filled with angles and cliffhangers!  Do they manage to make the most out of their Go Home show, or will this be just as disappointing as last week’s episode which I will remind you had like a six minute main event?  Let’s find out!!

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Best Friends Vs. Proud N Powerful

I’ve been rather lukewarm on the Proud N Powerful/Best Friends feud, and I guess AEW was as well because they’re blowing it off here as the opening match on the Go Home show instead of saving it for the PPV.  The two teams brawl for like ten minutes before the bell even rings so at least they’re TRYING to make look like they’re out for blood, and the two teams are talented wrestlers if nothing else.  Then again, I’m not sure why Chuck spends several minutes making a mountain of chairs if he just wanted to beat the hell out of his opponent, but he does just that and of course Santana ends up tossing him into it.  The bell finally rings right after that spot and its Trent basically all alone out there as Chuck is still knocked out from the mountain of chairs.  Trent and Santana manage to have a pretty good back and forth for a few minutes there, but with Ortiz on the outside running interference it doesn’t take long for Trent to be overwhelmed.  He’s a survivor though, and manages to stay in this match long enough for Chuckie to crawl his way to the corner and make the hot tag who at which point Chuckie runs wild on the two of them.  He sends both Santana and Oritz to the outside of the ring, and he does a flip Senton Cannonball over the top ropes onto both of them.  If there’s one thing notable about this match it’s the solid teamwork that both of them display.  Trent gets back in the ring but is almost just as quickly sent flying onto the steel steps after Ortiz holds him on the apron, and just a moment later Chuckie manages to cut Ortiz’s legs out from under him which gives Trent enough time to pull off a pile driver.  THEN Santana manages to get Ortiz to the ropes during the pin which kept them in the match.  It’s still not the aggressive and sadistic match up I was hoping for, but they both definitely have their game faces on and are not afraid to do what it takes to win the match.  Sadly for the Best Friends though, Proud N Powerful wanted it just a little bit more as Santana sneakily attacks Trent with a baton which lays him out.  The two of them land a street sweeper right after, and get the pin on Trent which I guess means they DON’T have to apologize to Trent’s Mom Sue for wrecking her car.  Does that mean insurance won’t cover it?  In any case, it was a decent match to start off with and definitely had some high points for both teams, but the feud still doesn’t feel all that IMPORTANT despite how much time they spent building it up.

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MJF and Wardlow are in the back and have to chase down Lawyer Mark and give him a very stern talking to so that he doesn’t run from his match against Moxley.  I know it’s the world of wrestling and things like “REALITY” don’t exist within it, but I’m surprised that the dude didn’t just quit and leave MJF hanging.  What are they gonna do?  Attack him when he’s NOT inside a wrestling arena!?  Well at THAT point it’d just be assault!

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Jurassic Express & The Young Bucks Vs. SCU & Private Party – Number One Contenders Match

I honestly have no idea what’s going on with SCU, but I guess this means that Daniels and Kazarian haven’t broken up yet.  What’s MUCH clearer is the Young Bucks’ deal right now as the story of this match is how angry they are at Adam Page and how they’re taking it out on everyone in this match.  The Bucks don’t tag in the Jurassic Express, they tag themselves in whenever they feel like it, and while they do seem to miss a step here and there due to their frustration, they’ve certainly got what it takes to destroy both teams here.  I don’t know, there’s SOMETHING about this match that isn’t clicking with me, but I can’t put my finger on it.  Are any of the four teams not pulling their weight?  Not really as EVERYONE gets a moment to shine here; even Private Party who come off as the odd one out at points.  Is the match overly long or lacking in excitement? Well maybe it’s a LITTLE on the long side, but there’s no shortage of great tag team action throughout it.  I guess it feels kind of perfunctory in that no one in here has any real reason to face each other.  Sure, There’s a title shot on the line which gives incentive for each team to win, but I feel like the utterly bizarre stipulation on here (whichever team wins faces each other at All Out) kind of undercuts that, and The Bucks’ behavior towards Jurassic Express doesn’t exactly make me want to root for them.  Thankfully the saving grace is the action as all four teams really stepped up their game here.  Kazarian in particular comes off looking like a star and his flurry of offense when facing off with Jungle Boy was probably the best part of the entire match.  On top of that, we’ve got choke slams from Luchasaurus, flips from Private Party, and a very cool spot where The Bucks and Jurassic Express landed simultaneous maneuvers on Private Party, though that didn’t end up leading to the pin.  What DOES lead to the pin is when Matt Jackson tags himself in and he and Nick land a BTE Trigger on Marq Quen; giving them the pin, but looking like total jerks in the process.  The Young Bucks are clearly not taking their breakup with Adam Page all that well, and this match does a good job of telling that story, but they’re only one fourth of the people in this and I kind of wish all four teams had more of an investment in this match.  Seriously, how many times has Jurassic Express been the second fiddle to storylines for The Elite?  Like five or six times now!?

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Jake Hager is in the back and has a face to face with Orange Cassidy in the locker room.  At first I thought they would both just sit next to each other in silence, but Hager eventually tells Cassidy that Jericho wants him at ringside for his match tonight against Joey Janela.  Cassidy doesn’t seem all that interested (though you can never tell because that’s his default emotion anyway) but Jake makes it clear that it’s in his best interest to be there.

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From there we go to Tully who’s giving FTR a pep talk, and I’ve got to say that I’m VERY glad they’re finally wearing jackets with their names on them so I can remember which one is which.  The speech itself is just general “YOU’RE THE BEST, SO YOU’RE GONNA WIN” stuff, but the whole time I’m sitting there I’m waiting to see if Shawn Spears shows ups!  Where does he fit into Tully’s new paradigm?  Did he get dumped by him and we never saw it!?

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Kenny Omega Speaks – What Does He Have To Say About FTR and Adam Page?

Tony Schiavone introduces Kenny Omega who comes out to the ring to give his thoughts on, well… EVERYTHING that’s been going on in the tag team division these last few weeks.  Kenny has come to the conclusion that Hangman, being an easily manipulated fool, got tricked by the dastardly and deceitful FTR, but you know, it’s not really his problem now is it?  He’s not going to worry about WHO betrayed WHO or which one of his teammates is acting like a child; he’s going to focus on beating the hell out of FTR and retaining his title!  Clearly not in the mood to soothe Hangman’s ego, Kenny comes off as kind of a jerk here and his absence from all of this has been palpable, but to his credit he has FTR pretty much pegged and isn’t about to let them rattle his cage.  Well that’s all and good, but FTR comes out from the back with Tully and a cooler, so we’ll see who comes out on top with this sparring of words!  Their big plan is to actually try and make peace instead of instigating violence, and they even brought Kenny chocolate milk instead of trying to push beer on him.  He’s certainly flattered about the bottle of delicious cow juice, but he knows better than to give them an inch.  He knows FTR’s game by now and is just gonna take the cooler to the head if it means he can run wild on them right after.  Before the fists start to fly though, Adam Page walks out from the back with a beer in one hand and his belt in the other, and has to choose a side.  Now Kenny’s been a bit of a dick lately and said some unflattering things about Page just a few minutes ago, so I was expecting FTR to lay on the flattery to get Page on their side, but instead they have something much more insidious planned as they call Page out for making the choice that he did.  FTR didn’t tell him to do that!  Page made that choice on his own to betray his friends last week, and he’s going to have live with it!  Page is ready to start throwing fists but Kenny stops him and tries to get his head on straight, but it’s clear that Hangman is shaken, Kenny is frustrated, and FTR is going into their PPV title match with renewed vigor and a huge amount of confidence.  They won this battle, but is it enough to win the war on Saturday?  This was a GREAT segment and exactly what you want to see in a Go Home angle.  I’m a BIT concerned that if FTR does win that it’ll be TOO dark of an ending for Page considering how low he’s sunk to at this point, but I’m confident that whatever they do will eventually work and will probably go in a direction I never would have expected!

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Alex Marves is interviewing Jericho who sells the Mimosa Mayhem match as best as he can; talking it up like a monumental clash between titans that also happens to involve fizzy orange juice.  He also calls Joey Janela a sacrificial lamb whose only purpose is to show Cassidy exactly what he’s gonna do to him at the PPV!  Speaking of which…

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Joey Janela Vs. Chris Jericho

Sadly for Joey, this is a glorified squash match as the dude doesn’t get more than one move of offense in this entire match.  In fact, it probably would have had the same effect if Jericho went to town on a cardboard cutout of Orange Cassidy because there is one thing that’s important here and it sure as heck isn’t Janela.  Jericho is wearing an Orange Cassidy shirt, he’s screaming at Cassidy who’s at ringside every time he finishes punching Janela, and whatever offense Joey can muster up is like hitting The Hulk with a fly swatter.  Joey goes for a spring board splash, but Jericho catches him in midair and lands a Code Breaker.  He then puts Janela in the Walls of Jericho, but he’s already passed out by this point and Ref Aubrey calls the match.  Jericho isn’t done however.  He beats on Janela for a bit before exposing one of the turnbuckles and throwing Janela into it.  Now at this point Janela is bleeding like a sieve and Jericho just keeps pounding at him, but it isn’t until Jericho takes off his Orange Cassidy shirt and throws it at the man that he decides to come into the ring and start pounding on Jericho.  Good priorities there, Orange!  Sonny Kiss also comes out as well to try to and make the save and actually manages to clock Jericho with a solid right forearm, but Jake Hager picks him up right afterwards and tosses him to the ground.  Fortunately this gives Orange a chance to toss out Hager and he lands a Swinging DDT on Jericho.  He’s about to follow up with a Superman Punch, but Hager drags Jericho out of the ring before he can land it, so instead Cassidy grabs a bottle of The Bubbly… AND POURS IT OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING!!  Now THOSE are fighting words!! Joey Janela didn’t really need to be sacrificed like this, especially since they’re trying to give him something within the tag team division, but it was a solid build up to the PPV match and Cassidy looks as formidable as ever which hopefully means he’ll win the Mimosa Mayhem match.  I MUST see Jericho flailing around in a giant vat of orange juice!

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So apparently I wasn’t the only one who thought the main event on last week’s show was underwhelming, but whether or not this was all part of AEW’s plan or if they’re scrambling after a bad reaction, we find out that Matt and Sammy are going to have a match at All Out, and if Matt loses he’s leaving AEW.  Sammy then comes out after the promo to do his cue card shtick during the commercial, and all the while Matt Hardy is on top of a tall… thingy staring daggers at him.  Oh, and the match is a Broken Rules match which they don’t bother to explain.  When the Sammy/Matt feud started I really expected it to be something great, but it has been plagued with crappy circumstances, big mistakes, and just a shortage of luck, and this promo right here isn’t exactly giving me confidence that they’re gonna turn it all around.

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Brian Cage comes out with what I believe is a new theme song, and he’s accompanied by Ricky Starks and Taz; the latter of whom cuts yet another amazing promo.  Taz reiterates that one of his two boys is gonna win the Casino Battle Royale and that ANYONE, especially Darby Allin and Lance Archer, trying to step up to them is going to eat canvas before getting tossed.  Jake Hager comes out to interrupt Taz and talks smack about him and his cronies while Lance Archer stands menacingly next to him.  THEN Eddie Kingston and his crew come out and Eddie starts talking MAD bullspit against ALL of them!  While he’s ranting and raving, Tully Blanchard and Shawn Spears just saunter past all this nonsense which I guess means there WASN’T a big breakup between them, but I find it hilarious that they just… walk right by!  Taz, Jake, and Kingston start shouting over each other and things finally go off as everyone starts brawling in the ring; followed immediately by Billy Gunn and Darby Allin.  Then I think like ten jobbers from the stands rush the ring and it’s pretty much a Battle Royale right there!  I REALLY loved this segment up to this point because of just how great the personalities involved are, but once we get to the brawl itself it goes on for far too long.  You don’t want to give away THIS much of what we’ll end up seeing on the PPV, especially with a match that is as hard to pull off as a Battle Royale, and it just keeps going and going; even thru the commercial break.

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We leave the brawl to watch a Dark Order video package that shows how dominate they’ve been lately, but then it turns into a Dustin Rhodes promo as he calls out The Dark Order for the horrific things they did, and it’s clear that SOMETHING is going to happen at All Out.  It’s later announced that he, Scorpio Sky, QT Marshall, and Matt Cardona are going to have match against Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Stu Grayson, and Evil Uno at All Out which I am ALL here for! I’d prefer something like this to be an in-ring promo, but this match was definitely set up last week during the Dark Order Celebration and I hope that they can pull it off.  Dustin’s had a pretty rocky record in PPV matches (remember that awful one he had with Shawn Spears at Double or Nothing 2020?) but there’s enough really great talent in this for it to possibly be the sleeper hit of the whole show.

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Thuder Rosa Vs. Serena Debb

I’d have definitely preferred for Thunder Rosa to have been on camera and at Daily’s Place before this, but they’ve done a solid job of building the All Out title match on such short notice.  She came out of nowhere to announce the match two weeks ago, and now she’s fighting a Tune Up match on national television just to give those of us in the dark an idea of what to expect from her at All Out.  The match itself though isn’t really doing it for me.  I’m not sure why they decided to have this be a competitive match instead of a three-minute squash, especially when they throw a commercial break in the middle of it, but whatever the reason is the result is a match that doesn’t exactly show her to be an unstoppable force that Shida should be scared of.  A solid worker to be sure, but Shida’s worked with PLENTY of solid workers already.  Thunder Rosa naturally wins the match, and she does so with a Thunder Driver which is fair enough I guess, but they couldn’t get Shida to come out to confront her?  Just once before the PPV?

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Jon Moxley is in the back and congratulates MJF for getting this far!  Not that he’s gonna get any further of course, because once the glitz and glamor falls away and it’s just the two of them in the ring… well he’s not going to make it easy for the little punk to take his belt.

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Big Swole cuts a promo on Britt Baker… and I think they’re gonna have a fight in her dental office during the All Out Buy In show?  I… don’t really know, but while she’s on the mic a fake delivery girl comes with a pizza for Tony which is a pretty obvious distraction that still somehow works as Baker comes from behind (no longer in her wheelchair) with a crutch and bashes Swole over the head.  She puts Swole in the Lock Jaw which has always been Baker’s deadliest move, and Swole sells it for all its worth.  The match is announced to be a Tooth and Nail match, and of course there’s no explanation for what the heck that’s supposed to be.

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Jon Moxley Vs. Mark Sterling

You know what to expect with a match like this.  At least with the Joey Janela match you figured there’d be a bit of give and take, but Moxley fighting this dorky lawyer?  Yeah, this is going to be one prolonged spanking that we’re all going to sadistically enjoy!  For his part, Sterling plays this VERY well and you can tell that Moxley is reveling in this chance to be a scary bully.  He does a faint buck up to Sterling, and the dude IMMEDIATELY falls on his ass and starts begging for mercy.  Feeling bad for the guy, Moxley offers him the first shot which he DOES take, but Moxley dodges the punch and slaps him right on the ear which seems to have popped Sterling’s eardrum.  It goes on like this for a few more minutes as Moxley takes the fight outside the ring to make use of a few chairs, but eventually he just finishes him off with a Paradigm Shift right in the middle of the ring.  The match itself may be over, but the fighting has just begun as Wardlow runs in after the bell rings and knocks Moxley to the ground before giving him a series of F10s.  MJF comes out to the stage in his neck brace and using his walker, but surprise!  He’s perfectly fine and he watches as Wardlow takes more and more shots at Moxley.  MJF eventually saunters in the ring and hammers Moxley repeatedly in the face.  He asks Wardlow for the diamond ring who obliges and even holds Moxley in place.  MJF lands a right hook with the ring and Moxley is more or less out while MJF screams at the audience a bit.  He then holds up Moxley’s belt while standing over him as the episode comes to an end; an ominous image to say the least!  IT was a much better main event than last week’s, though perhaps TOO much of a win for MJF.  In this kind of feud I’d personally want to see BOTH of them get their shots when setting up a match; not one guy completely dominating the other.  It feels too much like leading the audience; whether or not its legitimately to sell you on the guy to win or an intentional fake out.  The Cassidy/Jericho spots were a bit more even and I think it worked out a bit better, but I can see the argument of trying to make MJF as scary and dominate as possible considering how much of a powerful figure Moxley is at the company.  He could probably use that little boost to his credibility.

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This was not a fantastic episode.  Some of the angles were great, especially the Tag Title Match and even that Dark Order match, but a lot of it either fell completely flat or didn’t QUITE hit the mark.  I’m still looking forward to the matches I was before, especially Moxley and MJF, but it just didn’t click all that well when I watched it.  Perhaps it’s me and I’m starting to feel burnout again.  If it’s true though, a good PPV show can usually get me out of it, so we’ll see what happens on Saturday!

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