You’re probably tired of hearing the phrase “the new normal,” but it applies to AEW Dynamite at the current time. Tonight’s show is once again live from Jacksonville, with wrestlers, referees and a few announcers on hand but no fans. It’s almost to the point where it will feel strange to hear the distinctive pop from a crowd again — but not quite. In any case, let’s head to TNT to see what’s in store.
The crowd is energetic tonight, and by that I mean the other wrestlers and assorted AEW personnel.
Throwing some poor crew member around on his way to the ring, Lance Archer hits the ring. And he’s not alone, as Jake Roberts grabs the mic and does the opposite of apologizing to Brandi Rhodes. There’s probably an antonym to apology that would have been perfect there, but I was too lazy to look it up. As Roberts tries to keep talking, he’s drowned out by the sound of a loud engine. Said engine is in Cody’s F-150 truck, and the American Nightmare has come ready to fight. The battle rages all over the ringside area before ending up between the ropes, and it’s pretty much a stalemate when Roberts tells his client to retreat or now.
Did you know … about AEW’s tag team scene? It’s pretty good, as this video reminds us.
Match 1 – Jurassic Express (w/ Marko Stunt) vs. Best Friends (w/ Orange Cassidy)
We haven’t seen much of Jurassic Express due to the pandemic, whereas the Best Friends were a staple of the taped shows over the past month and change. Just when the “fans” are going to get what they want, which is Orange Cassidy getting involved. Rey Fenix comes flying in with a kick to the head. MJF decides to become part of the action as well, helping to gift wrap a win for Best Friends. Poor Marko Stunt gets laid out by Wardlow too, and it’s like … come on, man.
Someone tries to get a word with Jon Moxley on the way into the arena. The attempt is unsuccessful.
Match 2 – Penelope Ford vs. “The Galaxy’s Greatest Alien” Kris Statlander vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. vs. Hikaru Shida
These are the top four contenders for the women’s title, so this figures to settle their pecking order just a bit ahead of Double or Nothing. There’s more than a few cool spots, as well as a makeout break for Ford and Kip Sabian. Also plenty of Falcon Arrows, so we might get to settle whose is the best. Wasn’t expecting that. Shida uses a backbreaker to set up a running knee to pin Ford while Baker is busy giving the Lockjaw to Statlander on the floor. Just please give Shida her championship opportunity already.
Pineapple Pete speaks! The artist formerly known as Sugar Dunkerton is ready for his big showdown with Chris Jericho tonight.
Match 3 – Santana & Ortiz vs. Kenny Omega and “Broken” Matt Hardy
Have some decorum, gentlemen! The Inner Circle’s loose cannons attack Omega during his entrance, but Hardy gets some revenge on his way in. A thought: Omega and Hardy should be allowed to defend the tag team straps if Hangman Page is sidelined by the pandemic. They work well together, and Hardy is probably as over as anyone but Page (though we won’t know for sure until crowds are allowed to return). Just as things appear to be headed to a conclusion, Sammy Guevara comes down wielding a chair but in little shape to use it after getting nailed with the golf cart last week. He’s quickly dispatched by a Twist of Fate, and the good guys win moments later. Sorry Sammy, but that is on the list for least effective run-in of the year. That may not be a thing, but it should be.
Taz is still on his quest to help Darby Allin realize his potential, but he learns to his surprise that Darby was actually an accomplished amateur wrestler. Elsewhere, Nyla Rose returns Hikaru Shida’s kendo stick. Meaning, of course, that she hits Shida over the head with it.
Match 4 – MJF (w/ Wardlow) vs. Lee Johnson
Some of the more depressing words in pro wrestling have to be “and already in the ring …” because it means you’re about to be jobbing to the performer who gets the full entrance. I don’t make these rules, I just report them. MJF wraps this up quickly because he wants to spend his time talking. He tells Jungle Boy he’s excited for their Double or Nothing match but could use a tune-up first, and he’s going to have it with Marko.
Match 5 – Pineapple Pete vs. Chris Jericho
The announcers call this the biggest match of Pineapple Pete’s career, which, yeah. CHIKARA still rules, though. Pete meets his inevitable fate via the Judas Effect, prompting J.R. to say he might “get his name in his hometown newspaper for his effort.” A sick burn from circa 1997. Jericho hasn’t forgotten about the Inner Circle’s feud with The Elite but wonders if that group is even still a thing. Ever magnanimous, Jericho says the group can have some time to lick their wounds and “get their s–t together” before the two stables do battle in a Stadium Stampede Match at Double or Nothing. Sounds like an empty football stadium bout to me, especially since there is a football stadium next to Daily’s Place. Vanguard 1 flies in and accepts the unique challenge on behalf of The Elite. But that’s not all: Jericho rescinds the offer of a place in the Inner Circle to Vanguard 1 and uses his baseball bat (dubbed Floyd) to reenact the printer scene from Office Space. A distraught Hardy can only pick up the pieces of his drone.
Whoa, Mike Tyson is going to present the TNT Championship to the Cody-Archer winner at Double or Nothing? That’s kind of exciting.
Main Event – Christopher Daniels (w/ SCU) vs. “The Exalted One” Mr. Brodie Lee
That’s Mr. Brodie Lee to you. He also asks to be announced as the champion since he kept the belt after beating down Moxley last week. This is a pretty long, physical match, and it’s interesting to see Daniels get in all his offense, including the Angel’s Wings and Best Moonsault Ever. So he’s going to look good even though he’s surely taking the ‘L’ unless Mox shows up. But he does not, at least before Daniels is pinned. When Moxley does arrive, 10 (that’s one of the Dark Order minions) leaves with the belt, leaving the title-less champ to promise a “hailstorm of violence” that might end the Exalted One’s AEW career just as it’s getting started. Mox takes his frustrations out on some innocent ringside chairs as we reach the end of our broadcast window. See you in seven!