It’s not quite time for the first pre-PPV episode of AEW Dynamite, but it is the show before the show, if you will. Tonight, we’ll see the tag team tournament come to an end, and Chris Jericho and Cody will sign the contract for their match at Full Gear. Charleston awaits, so let’s head there live on TNT.
As Cody gets off his private jet, he shakes hands with his brother Dustin and Tony Schiavone before getting in a waiting car. He’s got a big match coming up at Full Gear, but so does Jon Moxley — except that the lights won’t be on for Mox. See, Tony Khan has informed Moxley that his match against Kenny Omega will be an unsanctioned Lights Out Match. Hey, better than a Blindfold Match. Just trust me on this if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Match 1 – Sammy Guevara vs. Hangman Adam Page
There’s apparently some tension between Page and Cody, though you’d have to watch the Being The Elite YouTube series online to know why. Actually, scratch that, as Excalibur does a nice job explaining it as well. Sammy gets some appropriate heel heat from the crowd, which he has earned pretty quickly. Hopping down off the top turnbuckle and slapping Page instead of executing an aerial move is only going to add to it. We’ll see if Page gains the equivalent amount of love for winning this one after he hits the Buckshot Lariat. He gets some mic time afterward, admitting that he feels good and that he plans on doing some “cowboy shit” at Full Gear by taking PAC’s head off. The fans chant that, of course, and Jim Ross wryly notes, “there’s a shirt.”
Match 2 – Shanna vs. Hikaru Shida
With a number of fans on social media expressing disappointment with how little women’s wrestling AEW has featured to date on Dynamite, putting Shida on TV again should help a little. This turns out to be a decent enough showcase for Shanna as well, though maybe disrespectfully smacking Shida when she’s down will prove to be a bad idea. Spoiler: It does, as Shida picks up the win with a running knee strike that is apparently called the Three Count. Yeah, that won’t ever be confusing or anything.
Not sure I understand this Brandi Rhodes video. If anyone would like to explain it, please holler at your boy.
Oh my goodness, it’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express! Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson are on hand to award the tag team titles to the tournament winners tonight … and apparently also to get jumped by Santana and Ortiz. Also, J.R. gets to say the line “that’s a loaded sock.” The Inner’s Circle’s thugs powerbomb one of the icons through part of the stage, stopping their assault only after the Young Bucks come to run them off.
As Cody and Schiavone ride to the arena for the contract signing with Chris Jericho, they tell stories about Dusty Rhodes, and Cody says he’s anxious about having his mom see him perform at Full Gear.
Match 3 – John Silver, Alex Reynolds and QT Marshall vs. Best Friends and Orange Cassidy
I haven’t mentioned yet that tonight’s episode is sponsored by Rick and Morty, as in the animated show. They actually announce the Best Friends for their ring entrance, and Trent, Chuck and Orange are all dressed as those characters as well. Two Ricks, in case you’re wondering, but no Pickle Rick. You can tell J.R. is not here for these hijinks. The fans love it, though, especially when Cassidy pulls off a burst of offense with his hands in his pockets as usual. The Best Friends get the win, as if there was any doubt.
Jericho sits down at the table for the contract signing as Schiavone and Cody exit the limo and head inside. Cody quickly puts his name on the contract, but Jericho isn’t about to follow suit without talking for a bit. He calls their upcoming bout the biggest match in AEW history (not a stretch since the promotion is so young) and Cody’s career (probably true) and even offers to shake hands with Cody. They shake, but Cody pulls Jericho close to say something we can’t hear and have a bit of a staredown as the fans chant. The champ says he thinks Cody might be needed elsewhere, and Guevara laughs on the big screen as he watches Jake Hager beat up Dustin. Props for him kneeing Dustin in the crotch, a reference to his recent MMA misadventure. Cody and MJF hustle to the scene but the damage is already done.
Match 4 – Kip Sabian and The Hybrid 2 vs. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks
In a reference that is confusing to many if Twitter is any indication, Kenny Omega has a special entrance video themed for the video game Undertale and comes out dressed like Sans from that game. Semi-obscure but very cool. The Bucks are in their Street Fighter gear again, but there’s not much time to enjoy it because the heels attack The Elite before the bell. The good guys rally for the victory, however, with Omega bringing things to a close with the One-Winged Angel.
We’ve still got the main event to go, but not before Peter Avalon comes out to waste some time. Turns out he’s just fodder for Moxley, who gives him the Paradigm Shift and grabs a mic to express his displeasure with his Omega match being unsanctioned as it means it won’t count on their records. This turns into a heck of a promo as Moxley warns everyone to be careful what they wished for as Omega’s blood will be on AEW’s hands.
Main Event – The Lucha Brothers vs. SCU – AEW Tag Team Championship Match
Private Party is watching this one from the front row of seats, interested observers if there ever were some. It’s kind of a shame that part of this match gets the side by side screen treatment, because it starts off fast and never lets up. Incredibly, the end comes via the humble inside cradle, with Sky getting the three count for his side and ensuring SCU are the inaugural AEW tag team champions. With the run that the Lucha Brothers were on, that should only make them hotter. Not a bad way to go here, and we’re out of time. See you in seven!
Nick Tylwalk has been with SLAM! Wrestling since the dawn of time, or at least since before the turn of the century. He spends his days doing PR things, but he’ll always make time to sneak away for some wrestling.