AEW Dynamite is live on TNT. That’s something that could have been taken for granted just a few short months ago, but the pandemic forced the promotion to rely on taped fare for multiple weeks in a row before wrestling was permitted to go live again — still without fans, and with testing of personnel and other safety measures. Let’s hope everyone involved stays healthy and safe and be grateful we get to see live wrestling again from Jacksonville.
Not only is the action live once again, the regular announce team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur is reunited (and it feels so good).
Match 1 – “The Bad Boy” Joey Janela vs. “The American Nightmare” Cody
Almost said that leopard print seems to be the theme of the night, but maybe that’s a show of jaguar pride because we’re in Jacksonville. It feels like every fifth Janela match or so is intended to show off his mat skills and prove he’s more than his Bad Boy gimmick, and this encounter is very much in that vein in the opening minutes. He also needs a haircut, so maybe he can go get one after Cody sends him packing with a Cross Rhodes.
Have you forgotten about AEW Women’s Champion Nyla Rose? Dynamite thinks you may have, running a hype video with highlights of her title win against Riho and promoting top contenders for Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D., Hikaru Shida and … Penelope Ford? Uh, sure. Anyway, the champ is also in action next.
Match 2 – “The Native Beast” Nyla Rose vs. Kenzie Paige
Rose didn’t care for that video either, chastising Schiavone before hitting the ring to face tonight’s victim, 18-year-old Paige. Poor Kenzie eats a Swanton Bomb, two vicious powerbombs and a Beast Bomb before getting pinned. Hopefully Paige will be able to look back on this someday and say, “well, at least I took those bumps like a champ.”
MJF wants us all to know that even though he’s only been in the business for a short time, he’s already the man. He’s now injury-free as well, and coming back to sit on his throne next week.
Here’s an interesting take on the Dustin Rhodes-Lance Archer match from the last Dynamite: Shawn Spears blames Cody for not throwing in the towel and preventing Dustin from taking more punishment. Is it because Cody is selfish, or because he feels only he can carry on the Rhodes legacy? Back in the arena, Spears and MJF have a little bit of a mutual admiration society going on, but MJF freaks out when he hears he’s been booked to face Jungle Boy at Double or Nothing.
Match 3 – Frankie Kazarian (w/ SCU) vs. Jon Moxley
Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky walk out with their teammate but head for the back once the action starts, letting Kazarian test his mettle on his own. He’s in tough against Mox, who hasn’t lost a singles match so far in 2020. Some of what I said about Janela applies to Moxley as well, in the sense that he gets a pure wrestling showcase match every so often. With the pandemic putting him out of action for a bit, Mox is undoubtedly raring to go for this one, and Kazarian really is a great opponent for a match like this, physical but still very technical. Mox wins, of course, but it’s a great showing for Frankie. Right after the bell, seven members of the Dark Order rush in and put the boots to the champ, and the rest of SCU fares no better. The Exalted One follows in his minions’ wake, laying out Daniels with a chair shot and dropping Moxley with a discus lariat. Brodie Lee explains that he’s only answering the challenge that Mox laid out last week, and that it’s unfortunate that Moxley has something in his possession that Lee desires. He tells Moxley to answer his challenge for the AEW World Championship, to which Mox simply laughs and says, “all you needed to do was ask.” That only earns him another beating, though. That’s a pretty tough way to return to work.
Brandi Rhodes has a message for Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and it’s a pretty forceful one: You don’t know me, and you’re going to keep my name out of your dirty old mouth.
Match 4 – QT Marshall (w/ Brandi Rhodes) vs. Lance Archer (w/ Jake Roberts)
Hey hey, even Jake is back, wearing a mask and setting a good example. A black mask, naturally. This could easily be a complete squash, but Marshall gets some offense in and lasts long enough for Brandi to get into a ringside altercation with Britt Baker. It’s only delaying the inevitable, though, and Archer moves to 5-0 since arriving in AEW. After the bell, Baker DDTs Rhodes on the outside, and Roberts throws it back a few decades by putting a snake on top of the unconscious Brandi.
Taz tries to offer some professional guidance to Darby Allin, who isn’t having it.
Main Event – Le Sex Gods (Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara) vs. Kenny Omega and “Broken” Matt Hardy – Street Fight
It’s always amusing that the dress code for street fights is usually jeans with kneepads over top, which except for maybe some industrial painters or something is a look that isn’t seen too often. At least Le Champion is sporting the same leather pants he wears in his hot tub. A move off a ladder through a table seems like it’s going to end the show for the good guys, but Jake Hager hauls the ref out of the ring before he completes the count and starts laying into Omega. During a commercial break, Jericho and Hardy battle up to the concourse, which isn’t as crowded as it would normally be but still has a lot of fun foreign objects to bring into play. Hardy, who ends up in an ice machine for a while, emerges in full Damascus persona and driving a golf cart. He sideswipes Jericho before picking up Omega and smacking Guevara in much more painful fashion. Omega puts a scissor lift up near the ceiling and backflips down onto Hardy, Jericho and Hager. He goes for the One-Winged Angel on Jericho but is interrupted by Santana and Ortiz, and the Inner Circle unites to powerbomb Hardy through a table. Omega fares even worse somehow, getting powerbombed on top of the golf cart and then eating a Judas Effect to allow Jericho to get the three count. Lots of fun and classic heel stable tactics, and you can’t be mad about that, even with all five members of the Inner Circle flipping the bird to the camera as we wrap things up. See you in seven!