AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Tony Khan, Shahid Khan, and TNT
We’re finally here at AEW’s Beach Break which feels a bit out of place as we just got done with a Special Show only a few weeks ago and Revolution is about a month away, but with last week’s episode being as fantastic as it was you couldn’t ask for a better lead in to get me excited to see what they have to offer! Is it a culmination of the great stories they’ve been building up for weeks, or should last week’s show have been the special event instead? Let’s find out!!
Number One Contender Tag Team Battle Royale
The Young Bucks, Private Party, Jurassic Express, Top Flight, The Acclaimed, Proud N Powerful, Chris Jericho & MJF, John Silver & Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson & Evil Uno, and Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager
Well so much for that Inner Circle tag match deciding who would be the tag team representative for the group! They’re all in this match anyway! Seems like they could have just waited for this, but I guess the thinking is that they would protect each other in the match and then graciously give Jericho and MJF the win; something that DIDN’T happen and frankly nothing much happened in this match. Oh, there were moves, eliminations, and a few awesome Hope Spots, but where AEW can sometimes put on a BRILLIANTLY planned out and perfectly executed Battle Royale where everything feels important, they instead just went with your standard Battle Royale; a lot of confusing yet energetic nonsense for the first half until we get to the last few competitors and it becomes a REAL match. The Bucks start things off by attacking everyone before they get in the ring and things immediately devolve into chaos. There’s a fun spot early on where Isaiah Kassidy goes for a splash, screaming all the way down, but ends up missing as everyone jumps out of the way; a spot that THE CAMERA COMPLETELY MISSED! WHAT!? BOO!! SOMEONE caught it and we got to see it on an instant replay, but how do you miss a spot like that on the live feed!? In any case, the first half is a lot of decent spots, but also a lot of dudes lying in the corners.
Early eliminations are Dante Martin, Jake Hager, Matt Jackson, and Anthony Bowens.
It’s at this point that Luchasaurus takes control and has a few awesome spots with everyone; particularly The Dark Order as he eliminates Stu Grayson, but then Uno and Silver manage to toss him over the ropes. Sadly this isn’t the start of The Dark Order’s comeback as MJF eliminates Evil Uno soon after; a running theme throughout the match being MJF spoiling everyone’s fun. Silver isn’t long for the match either as Proud N Powerful pick him up and toss him clean over the ropes.
Private Party goes for the Silly String, but Darius interrupts the move and Quen falls out of the ring.
The Good Brothers decide to stroll in and help Nick Jackson take out Isaiah Kassidy, not that they asked them to, and for some reason, the refs aren’t able to do anything about this? Sure, they didn’t get in the ring, but they pulled down the ropes in front of what, FIVE refs? Ultimately it doesn’t make much of a difference as this chaos distracts Nick Jackson long enough for MJF, professional spoilsport, to toss him over the ropes; eliminating The Bucks and ensuring that The Good Brothers WON’T be facing them at Revolution.
So now we’re down to the final six; Jungle Boy, Max Caster, Darius Martin, MJF, Jericho, Sammy. The Inner Circle does their best to overwhelm Jungle Boy and push him out the ring, but the little guy is tenacious and he’s got the love of the fans backing him up! Either that or they like his new theme song (Tarzan Boy by Baltimora; a song twelve years older than the boy himself) and just feel like singing it to the world! Sadly it was not meant to be as MJF makes his biggest heel move yet by tossing Jungle Boy over the ropes and mocking him with a Tarzan chest bump of his own!
Caster has had enough of this nonsense and manages to eliminate MJF to the cheers of everyone before getting himself eliminated by Darius. Perhaps no THE BEST idea as it leaves him all alone with Sammy and Jericho. He manages to hold his own well enough and he and Sammy are fighting in the ropes when Jericho comes in trying to save the day but instead, he ends up eliminating Sammy by mistake. Sammy is clearly annoyed by this which is probably the only real storyline being told in this whole match, but with only two in the ring this Battle Royale is about to come to a close. Darius does his best against Jericho, but he eats a Judas Effect while on the apron and drops like a bag of hammers. After all of that, MJF and Jericho will be facing The Bucks at Revolution!
I’ve certainly seen Battle Royales that were less interesting than this one, but from AEW I was kinda hoping for more. It would have been one thing if it was a bunch of unknowns or cameos to add a bit of novelty to the proceedings, but with everyone there being an established guy, it feels a bit deflating that it was just a bunch of dudes tossing each other out; especially when AEW has done far better in the past.
After the match, we get a Jade Cargill video package. Now in most cases this would include footage of her doing moves in the ring and beating up opponents, but since she’s never had a match, we just watch her as she silently does stuff in the gym. I mean fine, it’s cool she can squat HUGE weights, but not everyone with muscles is good in the ring! Just put her in a match with someone already! Are we REALLY gonna hold off on this until Revolution!?
It’s Sting and Darby’s time to stand in the ring and you know EXACTLY how this goes. They are about to say something (apparently Darby’s got a match next week), Taz interrupts them from the titantron, and then they trade a few barbs back and forth. I’m not sure I want to sit through another month of these and their time would be better spent doing matches. Thankfully Darby has another title defense next week, but frankly, we should be getting Brian Cage and Ricky Starks to tear apart The Varsity Blondes or Top Flight which would do a lot more to build up the match than all this trash talking.
Britt Baker Vs. Thunder Rosa
Baker is accompanied to the ring by Rebel
The story behind this wasn’t the most EXCITING build-up to a match, but Baker’s match last week did a lot to get me interested in the match even if I’m not all that enthralled by the drama. It starts off strong at least with Baker immediately going for the Lockjaw which Thunder Rosa effectively reverses out of and gains control of the match. They certainly do a fine job, but Thunder Rosa so effectively controls this match for the first half of it that I was just watching without feeling much drama or being particularly impressed by the moves Thankfully things pick up again when Thunder Rosa drops Baker onto the ramp with a Death Valley Driver, and it leads to a series of nearfalls that actually grabbed my attention; especially when they went BACK to Rosa having to find ways to escape the Lockjaw. Rosa looks like she’s go this in the bag, but then Rebel takes the pad off one of the corners and Baker eventually sends Thunder Rosa flying into it. The ref REALLY should have seen that exposed turnbuckle, but in any case, Rosa is immediately out; so obviously so that Baker didn’t even need to put in the Lockjaw. She does though and Rosa remains unresponsive which forces the ref to call for the bell. It had its moments at the start and had a decent ramp up to the end, but it was just kind of dull for a good chunk of it and the screw job finish, while decently executed, didn’t exactly make this a heartbreaking ending. It would have definitely helped if the build-up to the feud was better, but I could see something like that working if there was a genuine stake in the outcome of the match like when Omega cheated to beat Moxley for the belt. With Serena Deeb and Hikaru Shida not exactly lighting the world on fire with promos and feuds, I think I’d be more interested with THESE TWO having those respective belts at the start of this match. Now THAT would have made for an interesting story!
We cut to an interview from last week where Page and Hardy are in the locker room. Tony is trying to get some answers about what this all means and Page is quite firm that he does NOT want to be part of any tag team nonsense; especially with Huckster Matt. Matt however convinces him to team with him JUST ONE TIME to take on Chaos Project to get revenge for them trying to ruin Negative One’s birthday party. After all, wouldn’t that be a GREAT way to make it up to The Dark Order for rejecting them so brutally!? Well, Hangman agrees to it and we cut to the present for…
Hangman Adam Page & Matt Hardy Vs. Chaos Project (Luther & Serpentico)
I’m kinda getting the feeling they didn’t know what to do with Hangman after he left The Dark Order hanging; otherwise, why would he be going against jobbers like Chaos Project? I guess the titles are locked up for the time being with Darby and Sting facing off against Team Taz and the next six months of programs clearly circling around Kenny Omega and the TNA invasion, so it’s gonna be a bit tough for him to find a place unless they come up with a new belt or put him up against a faction like The Inner Circle (or The Dark Order which would be a SOLID story but they’re not about to go heel anytime soon). That indecisiveness is reflected in the match itself because frankly Matt Hardy is the star here as he looks better in this match than he has in forever, and while Hangman does a good job whenever he’s in the ring he’s kind of the least interesting person in the match. What I found interesting is that we learn a bit more about Luther and Serpentico’s relationship which is a lot like Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus; albeit not as cohesive. Luther is constantly using him like a ballistic missile whether or not he wants to be, and Serpentico ends up taking more of the beatings while Luther chooses to stay on the sidelines for the most part. The two of them get the heat on Hardy for like a minute and a half before Hangman gets the hot tag and takes out Serpentico as well as Luther. A Spine Buster from Page onto Serpentico only gets a two count, so Page starts scouting for a Buckshot Lariat but Luther pulls him off the apron. Page should have seen that coming, but he makes up for it when Luther goes for a jump off the apron and Page just sidesteps it; leaving Luther to fall on his butt and for Page to look derisively at the camera which was easily the best part of the match. He gets the Buckshot on Serpentico and goes for the pin, but Matt tags himself in and takes three count to win the match out from under Hangman. It was a fine match, but nothing feels resolved and Page doesn’t feel like he’s moved forward that much. I guess not everything has to be either a five-star match or an edge of your seat drama, but on a show advertised as a big deal, it just felt underwhelming.
MJF and Jericho are strolling through the back with a celebratory cooler and find the rest of the inner circle in a less jovial mood; especially Sammy who’s pretty peeved about what went down in the Battle Royale. He decides to leave and Jericho follows after him to try and convince him to come back which leaves MJF alone with the rest of the group, and he decides that it’s time for them all to have a talk. Sammy’s exit from The Inner Circle looks like it’ll happen any week now and I REALLY hope AEW can pull off his Babyface turn. Sure it’ll be fun to see him pound on MJF no matter what side he’s on, but I’m still going to have a hard time believing he’s a good guy now; especially when his problems are still centered on how he’s specifically being treated.
Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford’s Wedding – Do They Say I Do!?
Weddings have been a part of wrestling history for decades so I’m not surprised they eventually did one here at AEW, and I’m not bothered that it’s an over the top spectacle; otherwise why even bother? Heck, they got James freaking Mitchell to officiate who LITERALLY played Satan on at least one wrestling show; if you’re not here for the nonsense then you’re not the target audience for this. The only thing that really soured me on this was the overt misogyny being aimed at Penelope Ford; especially with James Mitchell leering at Ford and describing her as an “alluring creature” and putting “to have and to grope” in the vows which frankly made my skin crawl. That; and all Ford has to say is that Kip has a big dick, so it feels PRETTY darn backward all things considered. Thankfully it gets better after the ceremony is complete and Miro gets to take the mic. He makes the mistake of starting his speech with the words “what is love” which sends the crowd into a chorus of “BABY DON’T HURT ME” for like five minutes; so much so that Miro eventually acknowledges it and sings along with them. But you want to hear about how things go wacky, right? Well Charles the Butler bought a GIANT present for them and Miro starts bashing it to bits assuming that Orange Cassidy is inside. He’s not however, but this gave Chuck enough time to sneakily cuff Miro from ankle to ring post and he starts attacking Kip who bumps into Ford who crashes into the cake! The three of them start attacking Chuck and yell at him about ruining the wedding… when Orange Cassidy pops up from underneath the cake and gives Kip a Beach Break for his trouble! Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy leave the ring; leaving Miro still cuffed to the ring, Kip incapacitated on the mat, and Ford VERY upset that her wedding was ruined! They should have done A LOT better by Penelope Ford and it definitely feels like a regression for AEW who try to stay above that kind of crass nonsense, but it had a fun ending and Orange Cassidy is always great in whatever he does.
We see a clip of Shaq on Inside the NBA where he confirms that he’s going to wrestle Cody Rhodes to the amusement and skepticism of everyone there. We ALSO learn that Shaq’s big move is called THE BLACK TORNADO which as far as I can tell is a Judas Effect followed by a clothesline. Not sure how that’s supposed to work as I figure the back elbow would knock the opponent to the ground before he could spin around and hit him with the forearm, but we’ll see how it works out at Revolution.
Lance Archer Vs. Eddie Kingston – Lumberjack Match
It’s usually not a good idea to repeat matches, especially one week after another, and I’m not sure why this is a Lumberjack match in the first place. Perhaps it’s to keep Butcher & Blade from cheating, but if that’s the case then it was a MASSIVE failure as the lumberjacks are once against sectioned off with heels on one side and Babyfaces on the other so any time Archer is out of the ring he takes a beating from like six dudes; INCLUDING Butcher and Blade. I’m honestly at loss to say anything about this match other than it’s not as much fun as the one from last week, so we might as well jump to the ending. The lumberjacks eventually get sick of standing on the sidelines and so The Bunny runs in to jump on Archer’s back. For whatever reason, this is not a DQ and so Archer shakes her off and sets her up for The Blackout which causes her to scream as loud as she can before Kingston hits him with the back fist and she scampers away. Then, apropos of nothing, Jake Roberts punches Angélico which was a blow so hard that Roberts just tumbled over. I only point this out because they do it, the camera person misses it, and it ultimately doesn’t affect anything in the match which frankly fits because this whole thing feels rather slapdash. There are more shenanigans in the ring as the Lumberjacks just have a GIGANTIC brawl in the ring that Ref Remsberg has to pretend he doesn’t see, and Kingston does his best to rally but Archer is just too big and strong for him. Kingston makes the mistake of getting on the turnbuckle which puts him in the perfect position for tall as heck Lance Archer to punch him in the face and then he lifts him up for The Blackout to win the match. It was a chaotic bit of nonsense, but I wouldn’t say an uninteresting one. Like a lot of this show, it just didn’t feel like it had much purpose and so didn’t engender much emotion from me as it was going on.
It looks like the FTR/Jurassic Express feud will be continuing as we get a video from Dax, Cash, and Tully where they complain about being banned from this episode due to their misconduct at the end of Dax’s match last week. They frame it as The Jurassic Express tattling on them despite the fact that EVERYONE saw them do it on NATIONAL TELEVISION, and so they’ve taken some… let’s say DRASTIC measures to show Jungle Boy what happens to snitches. We pan over to see they have Marko Stunt tied to a chair and freaking the heck out trying to break his bonds and slug someone in the face! Not sure what FTR’s plan is here (are they going to keep him under lock and key for a whole week?) but it definitely means that there’s going to be another match in the near future and frankly I cannot wait for it!
Jon Moxley, Fenix, and Pac Vs. Kenny Omega & The Good Brothers
I was pretty worn out and deflated by the time we got to this main event, but credit where it’s due; this was a darn good match! Perhaps not my favorite from any of the people involved, but for a main event, it definitely feels BIG enough and has some moments that made me shout in surprise. I was particularly impressed with an early spot where Pac threw Kenny into the ropes, and as he was bounding off of them, Pac landed a German Suplex that smashed him into the mat like he was blasted out of a canon! Moxley ends up spending most of his time fending off Doc Gallows which is pretty solid, but we’ll have to wait until later in the match for him and Omega to really get back into it as Fénix gets the hot tag right when Kenny jumps in the ring. He and Pac have an amazing comeback that sends their opponents reeling, but Kenny manages to land a Snap Dragon Suplex on Fénix that halts his momentum in its tracks. Thankfully Pac gets the tag soon after and he looks FANTASTIC up against The Good Brothers, but once again Kenny proves to be the buzzkill as he’s tagged in and gives Pac a Liger Bomb that he JUST barely kicks out of. Death Triangle Plus Moxley retake the advantage manage to land an absurd combination of moves on Omega that by all right SHOULD have been a pin, but he manages to kick out of it and Moxley starts to work him over from there. At that point it becomes a series of BIG moves one after the other and I won’t recount them all here, but it’s a darn good display from everyone and I’d say that the MVP is Fénix; not just because he did some of the most impressive moves but because he is sadly the one who has to take the loss. Karl Anderson manages to reverse one of Fénix’s dives into a Spine Buster and The Good Brothers follow up with a Magic Killer to get the pin and win the match.
Despite the match ending, this fight is far from over as everyone is still taking shots at one another and even Lance Archer comes out to brawl with The Good Brothers. Eventually, it’s Kenny and Moxley in the ring; both very tired but Moxley looking a bit better and about to finish off Omega. However, before he can do whatever it is he has planned (probably something involving the Paradigm Shift), a masked wrestler runs in and takes out Moxley with a GTS. He reveals himself to be… KENTA; a wrestler from New Japan! He exits the ring and Omega looks on approvingly before the show comes to an end.
If you are a fan of New Japan then this is a HUGE moment as he’s the number one contender for Moxley’s New Japan US title, but even if you only have the most basic of knowledge of the promotion, this is still an exciting development as its further evidence that New Japan and AEW will be working together. It’s going to be hard because of how strict Japan’s COVID precautions are, but I’m not too surprised they pulled the trigger on this considering how rough it’s been for New Japan the last few weeks; especially with the new curfew that’s really making House Shows a nightmare to put on. As for the show itself, it’s was simply a disappointment. None of the matches were all THAT great, and the main event was good but not quite enough for me to end it feeling all that positive. Still, there are good things on the horizon and I know they have the capability to put on great shows so let’s just forget about this one and see what they do next week.