Double or Nothing certainly was something, a good card from top to bottom that was capped by one of the most creative bouts any major U.S. promotion has aired on pay-per-view. Things should be a lot more conventional tonight on Dynamite, but hopefully still fun. Let’s find out by heading back to Jacksonville, live on TNT.
Chris Jericho says he knows the Inner Circle is beaten and bruised, but their biggest problem might be figuring out what to do with all the Inner Circle Stadium Stampede Champion shirts they have on hand. And thanks to a sweet deal that Santana got from one of his boys back home, it’s a lot of shirts.
Match 1 – Private Party and Joey Janela vs. Matt Hardy and The Young Bucks
Though “Broken” Matt Hardy is looking forward to teaming with the Bucks of Youth for the first time ever, they ask if he can go to an earlier version. He emerges in his Team Extreme persona, but when asked if he can even go a few years further back than that, he obliges. This is like original WWE vintage Matt, and I have to admit, cycling through all the different Matts is a pretty funny gimmick. He leans into it well, hitting a moonsault on all three of his opponents. The Elite team wins, but the big takeaway is that it appears Marq Quen may have seriously injured himself on a move to the outside. Hopefully he’s OK. After Quen is ushered to the back, Butcher and Blade enter the ring and start scrapping with the Bucks — fair play since Matt Jackson went out of his way to go into the crowd to beat them up during the match. As they brawl, though, a truck pulls up and two familiar faces emerge: It’s the Reviv … ur, FTR! Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood save the Bucks from more abuse, and it looks like we’ve got one heck of a potential tag team rivalry in AEW. I mean, better than it already was.
AEW Champion Jon Moxley joins the announcers to get a closer look at Brian Cage, otherwise known as the super jacked dude who entered the ladder match at Double or Nothing as the mystery competitor and won himself a title shot.
Match 2 – Brian Cage (w/ Taz) vs. Lee Johnson
My son feels bad for Lee Johnson, who has been jobbing up a storm in recent weeks. Nothing different here, nor is it likely Mox learned a lot by watching. Taz reveals that his client will cash in his Casino Ladder Match chip at Fyter Fest, meaning that will be a thing again this year.
Tony Schiavone is ready for a chat with Dr. Britt Baker, currently being wheeled around in a wheelchair thanks to her injury. The doctor wants to give us more rules of being a role model, and this one is timely: Rule No. 3 is “don’t hurt the role model.” Baker calls the attack that left her with a broken tibia a conspiracy that may date back to the time AEW started. She backs up her theory with a cork board like you see TV detectives use to try solving decades old cold cases, except this one points to Aubrey Edwards as the mastermind. Baker says she’ll have the last laugh, because she’ll be back at All Out.
Despite the leftover obsolete merch, Jericho says the Inner Circle pep rally will go on. Orange Casidy walks through the interview without saying a word, which seems to put Le Champion in a mood to hunt him down. As the Las Vegas Fight Shop accurately points out on Twitter, you can’t get mad at Orange Cassidy for doing Orange Cassidy things.
Match 3 – Christi Jaynes vs. Hikaru Shida
I’m not familiar with Ms. Jaynes, who has a gimmick that emphasizes her Brazilian heritage and tries to get the champ to dance with her. She loses, of course, but lasts longer than most of the job squad does, so well done.
It’s analogy time. Cody compares himself to Tom Brady, in the sense that Brady wasn’t highly drafted and he wasn’t one of the first three men that Tony Khan called when building a wrestling promotion. Yeah, but he was probably the fourth. Anyway, Cody says his big brother got all the Dusty in the family and he had to learn a lot about grit and work ethic. In a long, roundabout way, Cody says he’s going to defend the belt every week on TV. Except tonight, one presumes.
Match 4 – Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc (w/ Penelope Ford) vs. SCU (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky)
It sounds like the winner of this bout will get a tag team title shot, which is confusing because the pre-show match at Double or Nothing was definitely for that same honor. Maybe we’re just filling the dance cards of the champs as far ahead of time as possible. They cut a few corners to do it, with Ford lending a hand from ringside, but Sabian and Havoc win and will indeed challenge for the belts next week on Dynamite.
MJF has some beef. Despite being the self-proclaimed breakout star of AEW and not losing a match in more than a year, he hasn’t received a title shot yet. So he has entered the Battle Royal with Wardlow as insurance, though the big guy might finally be thinking for himself because he doesn’t seem super pleased about ensuring his boss gets the ‘W.’
Main Event – Battle Royal for TNT Championship Title Shot
Orange Cassidy is fashionably late, which proves to work against him as Santana and Ortiz jump him on the ramp. Colt Cabana gets a recruitment flier from the Dark Order and doesn’t trash it right away, so file that away for later, maybe. The final five comes down to MJF and Wardlow, Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus and Billy Gunn, though the latter two are eliminated together. Things turn bad for MJF once Cassidy enters, having recovered from his earlier misfortune, and MJF accidentally nails Wardlow with his diamond ring.
The wrestling might be done, but there’s still time left for the Inner Circle pep rally, with Vickie Guerrero announcing them on their way out. They exchange gifts, so maybe this should have been called Inner Circle’s Christmas. Jake Hager’s present for his teammates is an anti-Elite poem that veers into a takeoff on Liam Neeson’s famous speech from Taken. What Jericho really wants is revenge on Mike Tyson from their encounter a decade ago, and he gets a chance to talk face to face with Iron Mike a moment later, as the boxing legend heads for the ring with an entourage in tow that includes Henry Cejudo and Vitor Belfort. Shoves are exchanged both ways, and then all hell breaks loose, with both factions quickly joined by wrestlers and referees spilling out of the back and the stands. That’s a fun pull-apart rumble in the classic style, and a great place to end things here. And when I say that, I mean it: Catch our next AEW Dynamite report at SlamWrestling.net. See you there 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, and is looking forward to dumping a lot of words on the new site at SlamWrestling.net.