Now that we’ve had a little while to adjust to our current reality, the empty arena for tonight’s AEW Dynamite might not feel quite so strange. Possibly. In any case, the show goes on tonight from Jacksonville, with a title on the line and a chat of some sort between Chris Jericho and Matt Hardy. Let’s check it out, live on TNT.
It looks like AEW is a little shorthanded tonight, which is understandable under the circumstances. Tony Schiavone is joined on commentary by Cody and Kenny Omega, and Cody needs to head right to the right to kick things off.
Match 1 – “The American Nightmare” Cody vs. Jimmy Havoc
Schiavone assures us that Jim Ross, Excalibur are all fine, but none of them could make the trip for Dynamite this week. Omega notes that the members of The Elite have been so preoccupied with the Inner Circle that it hasn’t left them much bandwidth for anything else. Havoc is undefeated in 2020, so this ostensibly is a good measure of where his head’s at. Chris Jericho makes an appearance backstage, possibly joining some of the other wrestlers in betting on the match. This is almost assuredly more in-ring time on TNT than Havoc has had combined during the existence of AEW, so it’s fine that he takes the loss after Cody hits the Cross Rhodes twice. It doesn’t appear Jake “The Snake” Roberts is quite as impressed, appearing on the video screen to challenge Cody to a showdown with his client, Lance Archer. All he wants is one match for Archer, and man have his promos been a welcome addition to Wednesday nights.
Still out of breath after his match, Cody rejoins Schiavone and does some semi-shoot responses to Roberts and
Darby Allin videos are always a good time. Well, in a dark, twisted way, anyway. This one is a warning to Kip Sabian, but Allin really is sending a message to the Inner Circle when he lights a table on fire. Or maybe he just has beef with the table, who knows?
Match 2 – “Superbad” Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) vs. Darby Allin
Cody wonders if Allin doesn’t remind him of a young Sting, with the facepaint and his connection to the younger fans. He’s also super technical as a color commentator, really digging into the details of different holds. Quite the juxtaposition between his short promo after his match and how straight up he’s calling the action. It’s no surprise to see Allin win, but he does pull off a new-for-him maneuver he’s calling the Last Supper to pin Sabian.
You asked for a video to put over why Jake Hager is supposed to be a big deal? Well pals, you got it. He’s also up next against some of AEW’s version of local talent.
Match 3 – Jake Hager vs. Chico Adams
Ah, Chico. We hardly knew ye. Also, what is going on with Hager’s tan? His nose looks like it’s a different shade from the rest of his body. After the bell, AEW World Champion Jon Moxley wanders down the ramp, but the two men have just a short confrontation before Hager walks away. They didn’t bring Mox out just for that, right?
OK, not quite. Moxley delivers a backstage promo claiming he’s 100 percent cleared and waiting for a chance to have Hager carted off on a stretcher. Or he’s going to die trying. It sounds like he’s willing to give Hager a shot at his title to do it, too.
Witness again the coming of the Exalted One, Brodie Lee. Christopher Daniels met him last week and it did not end well for the Fallen Angel. Another video shows Lee eating well and talking with his mouth full while berating Alex Reynolds and John Silver.
Match 4 – QT Marshall vs. “The Exalted One” Brodie Lee
Marshall is one of the wrestlers who ends up getting fed to the badass heel du jour, which … is a living. Lee drops a mask on him after he loses, and Cody wonders whether it might be worth it for young wrestlers to join forces with the Exalted One.
A video package replays the debut of Matt Hardy as the ally of The Elite to even the odds against the Inner Circle. We also get a report from Vanguard 1, checking in on Nick Jackson. Looks like he’s healing up, though only at 61 percent according to Vanguard. Schiavone makes a non-funny joke about social distancing. Don’t think drones have to worry about viruses, Tony.
Main Event – “Spanish God” Sammy Guevara (challenger) vs. Kenny Omega (champion) – AAA Mega Championship Match
In case you’re wondering, Omega won this particular title from Rey Fenix last October, but this is the first time he has defended it on an AEW show. For some reason, Cody asks Schiavone who his favorite Star Trek captain was, then mocks him when he says Sisko. Because as we all know, Sisko spent most of his time as a commander, not a captain. Anyway … The commentary includes the line, “Aubrey’s gotta break this up, way too much biting going on.” That jibes with Cody’s assertion that Guevara has learned a lot from being under Jericho’s tutelage. Omega truly brings the best out of Guevara, as he often does, before winning a hard-fought bout with the One-Winged Angel.
We’re not quite done for the evening as we still need to see Jericho and Hardy face off — but not before we hear one of the AEW cameramen do a horrible rendition of Jericho’s entrance music. Jericho takes it up a notch even after that by asking Vanguard 1 to join the Inner Circle, which is even funnier than it sounds. It looks like he’s turning the generous offer down. Hardy then “teleports” from the top of the arena down to the ringside area, and I apologize that my words aren’t really doing this all justice. Jericho persists in his efforts to recruit Hardy even after being informed that he’s now occupied by a new, 3,000-year-old essence called Damascus. It turns into a shouting match of “Delete” vs. “Elite” and a discussion about whether the arena is empty or if the essences of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. are in the seats. Naturally, it comes to blows, with Guevara jumping in to aid Jericho, and Cody and Omega hustling to Hardy’s side wielding steel chairs. Jericho and Guevara nearly get roasted by unexpected pyro as we bring tonight’s Dynamite to a close. 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.