If you’ve been a wrestling fan long enough to remember the original Bash at the Beach, you’re bound to have some warm and fuzzy memories tonight. AEW Dynamite is co-opting that branding for its show from Miami, and the lifeguard beside the entrance ramp suggests it is embracing it all the way. Get your suntan lotion rubbed in and let’s unpack tonight’s show, live on TNT.
The show begins with a short moment of silence in tribute to the late Rocky Johnson, a classy move made even more so when Jim Ross mentions the losses of Kendo Nagasaki and LA Parka as well.
Match 1 – “Hangman” Adam Page and Kenny Omega vs. Santana and Ortiz vs. Best Friends vs. The Young Bucks – AEW Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders Match
There’s no lack of storylines in play, particularly with three willing and one reluctant member of The Elite all involved. It doesn’t take long for Omega to face off against one of the Jacksons, nor for Santana and Ortiz to get impatient as the lone heel team. Tony Schiavone notes that “Taylor might be the most underrated man in this whole match,” but he does get some time to shine. The fans even cheer Santana and Ortiz when they take flight, and again when they do their own twist on the late Eddie Guerrero’s Three Amigos. Trent’s vertical suplex from the top turnbuckle to the floor that ends with all eight men on the ground is also a crowd favorite. With the ref down and all eight men in a stalemate trying to suplex each other, Orange Cassidy enters the ring and lends his buddies a hand. Freshly squeezed, indeed. In the end, Page and Omega get the victory, but not without setting up some more friction with the Bucks. Or maybe not since they all raise arms together after a brief chat.
Sporting a Miami Vice-inspired outfit, Cody comes to the ring to address the three stipulations MJF has laid out for the two of them to have a match. Accusing his former friend of stalling, Cody makes it very clear that he’s not too bothered by any of them. He masterfully draws out the suspense by addressing the 10 lashes on live TV last before saying he accepts that one too. At Revolution, Cody says, he’s going to give MJF his own [expletive] scar. Well then.
Let’s hear from Joey Janela, shall we? Not only does he have some words for ex-girlfriend Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian, but he wants to change his standing in AEW by beating Rey Fenix next week on Dynamite.
Match 2 – Brandi Rhodes and Mel (w/ Luther) vs. Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida
So after AEW made a mess of the top of the women’s division last week, this is its first chance to try to reverse course. The announcers seem fascinated by how tall Mel is, and yeah, she’s tall. The match plays out as a bit of a showcase for her, but it’s Statlander who scores the pinfall, and the whole thing is pleasantly straightforward after that fiasco seven days ago.
The next segment is a Dark Order recruiting update for a shadowy and unseen figure. They’ve got their eyes on a number of wrestlers, but especially Page, who they feel could be their next major acquisition. Yeah, good luck with that, fellas.
Match 3 – Sammy Guevara vs. Jon Moxley
Amusingly, Mox shows up for the match in the Ford GT he scammed from Chris Jericho, which is a nice touch. The winner here gets the PAC-Darby Allin winner next week to determine a new No. 1 contender for Jericho, so you’d expect that spot has Moxley’s name on it. Guevara is made to look pretty strong before tapping out, which is not a bad idea. Jericho’s music hits briefly after the bell, and the lights go out. When they come back up, Mox finds himself surrounded by Jericho, Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz. It’s not likely that anyone is coming to Moxley’s aid, leaving him a sitting duck for belt shots, a running knee to the groin from Hager, and plenty more abuse. As the icing on the pain cake, Jericho takes one of the spikes from his jacket and drives it home near Moxley’s eye.
In the back, Jericho tells the interviewer that everything that happened to Moxley is his own fault. Le Champion is also looking forward to embarrassing Jungle Boy again next week.
Match 4 – The Butcher and The Blade and MJF vs. QT Marshall, “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes, and Diamond Dallas Page
Raise your hand if you expected to see DDP in action in the year 2020. Now please put them down because you’re lying. The question is how many teases will there be until he enters the fray, and the answer is “more than one.” But he does not shy away from the rough stuff when he gets in the action, even going off the top to the floor, something I did not expect to be typing tonight. Naturally, MJF gets the pin, rolling up QT Marshall.
SCU is asked for a reaction to facing Page and Omega next week but are quickly interrupted by a belligerent Page. That super nice guy Omega apologizes on his partner’s behalf and says he looks forward to a gentleman’s contest for the tag team belts.
Match 5 – “The Bastard” PAC vs. Darby Allin
This is interesting because the usual “make the loser look good while the other guy wins” logic may not apply … because Allin has been hot enough that he doesn’t really need a rub. So will they just let him get the win? We’ll see. PAC’s narrative is his frustration at a lack of title shots, which would only be strengthened with a loss. Alas, he moves on after hitting the Black Arrow, and will face off with Moxley next week if Mox is able to compete. Wink, wink. PAC believes he’ll advance to a date with Jericho by forfeit, but Moxley responds by storming out of the ambulance with his eye wrapped up and promises to kick PAC’s rear end next week whether he’s blind or only has one eye. We’re setting sail next week, so take your Dramamine and we’ll 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.