Usually the main event of a wrestling show is a match, but tonight’s AEW Dynamite will instead be headlined by MJF using a belt to give Cody 10 lashes. It’s probably going to be uncomfortable, but you have to commend Cody for devoting himself to this feud. Let’s head to Huntsville, Alabama to see what leads up to that point, live on TNT.
Match 1 – Jon Moxley vs. Ortiz (w/ Santana)
Lest you think Mox is only going to be facing one member of the Inner Circle in the ring and one of the outside, Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager join the announcers to make an impromptu six-man booth. Incredibly, this is supposedly Ortiz’s first singles match since August 2016. Talk about a tag team specialist. Mox wins, of course, then dishes out some pain to Santana with a Paradigm Shift. Taunting Jericho, he also takes out the key to the Ford GT he “stole” from Jericho, driving it into Santana’s eye for some in-kind payback. “That goes back to the Old Testament,” J.R. says. Heh.
Match 2 – Best Friends (w/ “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy) vs. SCU
There’s a lot of talk about the rankings by the announcers, as SCU is currently the top-ranked contending team (which makes sense as they only recently lost the belts) and Best Friends are No. 5. Nothing should change with an SCU win, and it’s not surprising when the Dark Order arrives en masse right after the bell. You may recall they promised to attack Christopher Daniels’ friends and teammates, but one man who seems as unfazed as ever is Cassidy. Evil Uno tries unsuccessfully to recruit him, and Daniels rushes to his aid after the Dark Order attacks. The Fallen Angel begs for a fight but doesn’t get it.
Some discussion airs about Cody getting 10 lashes on live TV from MJF tonight. You know, just in case you forgot.
Match 3 – Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. “The Magical Girl” Yuka Sakazaki
This is the Dynamite debut for Sakazaki, though hardcore AEW fans will remember her from Double or Nothing. She was on a mostly heel team that night, yet the fans are very much behind her against the fully heel Baker. She pulls off a popular upset, which is only going to make Baker more unhinged. Sure enough, she clobbers Sakazaki with the ring bell and stomps on her head with her teeth on the bottom rope. “Britt, you suck!” chants break out, so her turn is working as intended.
Match 4 – The Butcher and The Blade (w/ The Bunny) and Lucha Brothers vs. The Young Bucks, Hangman Adam Page and Kenny Omega
Hard not to see this as a nice rub for Butcher and Blade in a match with six of AEW’s top stars. Page is marching to the beat of his own drummer from the time his team gets introduced, but the fans respond to him enthusiastically when he finally gets tagged in. His stubbornness proves his undoing, however, when he shakes off the Young Bucks when they ask for tags and is quickly pinned by an assisted Penta Driver. There’s tension between the Elite after the match, with Omega in an unenviable position trying to broker some peace.
Tony Schiavone tries to interview Omega, but PAC crashes a backstage interview for Riho to menace her to try getting Kenny to agree to a match. He does, but after PAC says he’d never put his hands on a woman, someone who will appears: Nyla Rose. She powerbombs Riho onto a table (not through it since it doesn’t break) and promises to take her title next week.
A Darby Allin video? This is sure to be really normal. Or, um, the opposite of that. Allin uses a flamethrower on cardboard cutouts of Jericho and Guevara, which is something I didn’t expect to type today.
Match 5 – Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) vs. “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela
Sabian and Janela are embroiled in perhaps AEW’s first true midcard feud, and it continues on in fine fashion here, with Ford helping Sabian get a victory. The only question is where this is all headed.
We check in on the Inner Circle checking in on Santana, and Jericho cuts a great hypocritical promo asking what kind of man would spike someone in the eye. We also hear from Santana himself, a rarity, and he is fired up
The Elite drama continues backstage, with Matt Jackson insinuating that Page’s problem is his drinking, to which the Hangman responds by drinking from a pitcher of beer after Matt takes away his cup.
Dustin Rhodes says his brother is a lot tougher than MJF thinks, offering his support for Cody and telling him the whole world is behind him.
Time for the lashes, it seems. MJF doesn’t want to use his own, very expensive belt, so he demands to use Cody’s belt instead. Some of the roster watches from the stage, and Arn Anderson heads down to ringside, as does Dustin following the fifth lash. Dustin volunteers to take the rest of the punishment, but MJF tells him that’s not how this works. MJF lays in two more in quick succession, begging Cody to quit as the Young Bucks offer their support as well. With two lashes to go, Wardlow steps in and offers his services, and MJF gleefully says he’s letting the big man hand out one of the lashes. Now Brandi Rhodes is at the ring as well, telling her husband he can take one more now that he’s come this far. A frustrated MJF kicks Cody in the crotch and sprints into the crowd with Wardlow following close behind, clearly incredulous that Cody didn’t quit. Also a random fan might have tried to jump him. In any case, not sure what to make of that segment, but it was strangely fascinating. 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.