When you’re used to the cadence of WWE pay-per-views — and by that I mean their normal frequency, not two in two weeks as just happened — AEW’s big events can seem like they take forever to arrive. Yet All Out is nearly upon us, at last. That gives us two hours to see if AEW can drum up more buys, so the talent and the announce team (which welcomes back Excalibur) will give it their best shot, live on TNT.

Match 1 – Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends

Thanks to the destruction of Sue’s minivan, the bad blood between these two teams means they can’t even wait for the bell to ring to get after each other. Chuck Taylor builds an intricate structure out of steel chairs outside the ring, which by wrestling logic means he’s going to be the one to be slammed through it. The match does eventually get going for real, and Chuck even rejoins the action. But Santana and Ortiz get the ‘W,’ which suggests a rubber match to settle things once and for all. Or the wrestling equivalent of that.

Action spills out of the ring during Santana & Ortiz vs. Best Friends. All photos by Lee South, AEW

Winners: Santana & Ortiz by pinfall

MJF is a bit more serious than usual as he looks at the camera and vows to win on Saturday night. He gets some bad news from a staffer about how his attorney, Mark, is reluctant to face Jon Moxley, which … understandable. Wardlow pulls the lawyer out of the dressing room, and MJF yells at Mark with some words bleeped out to explain what will happen if he gets in the way of MJF’s quest for the title.

Match 2 – SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) and Private Party vs. Jurassic Express and The Young Bucks

The Bucks seem a little more intense than usual after their frustration with Hangman Adam Page boiled over last week. Matt Jackson is especially angry, ripping up a pro-Page sign at ringside and dumping beer on the guy holding it. It’s also worth noting that Scorpio Sky is not out with SCU, perhaps cementing the idea that his solo push will be a thing. Or at least I hope that’s what it means. Just based on the relative pushes for these teams, the assumption is that Jurassic Express and the Bucks will win, and that’s precisely what happens.

Some of the wild action during the SCU (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) and Private Party vs. Jurassic Express and The Young Bucks bout.

Winners: Jurassic Express and The Young Bucks by pinfall

Jake Hager hilariously sits down next to Orange Cassidy in the locker room, delivering a message: Chris Jericho wants Freshly Squeezed to be ringside for his match tonight, and it would be “smart” to be there.

Tully Blanchard is pleased that FTR has accomplished the first goal and now wants them to take the gold on Saturday. Cash Wheeler calls this the most important match of their career, while Dax Harwood adds that even though he likes Page, he likes the money and glory that goes along with being the champs even more.

Hangman Page stares deep into Kenny Omega’s eyes.

In the interest of equal time, Tony Schiavone summons Kenny Omega to the ring, sans partner. Excalibur notes that Hangman is “an anxious millennial cowboy on the best of days,” which is a slyly humorous description of his character. Omega brings a very laid-back vibe to his interview, at least until FTR comes out. The No. 1 contenders try to say they’re looking forward to a great, athletic contest, and they offer some chocolate milk as a peace offering. Kenny challenges them to attack if this was an ambush all along, insulting Blanchard with a Depends joke as he does so. Page joins the party as well, with Harwood taunting him as “an insecure little boy” and a “piece of s–t.” Omega tries to calm him down, but when FTR leaves, Hangman turns and sees his partner has slunk away as well. Layers upon layers of intrigue.

Jericho calls the Mimosa Mayhem Match coming up at All Out the perfect culmination of his feud with Cassidy while also taking credit for building Orange into a main event star. He’s not at the level of Le Champion, however, so Jericho plans on tossing him into 500 gallons of the bubbly. Plus orange juice, of course, since that’s an important part of a mimosa.

Match 3 – “Demo God” Chris Jericho vs. Joey Janela

To the surprise of Jim Ross, Cassidy does indeed come watch this bout at ringside. Maybe he just wants to see Jericho wrestle in one of his shirts. Janela is in a tough spot here, but is a trooper as he springboards into a Codebreaker and forced to verbally submit to the Walls of Jericho.

Winner: Chris Jericho by submission

Chris Jericho shows off Joey Janela’s blood on an Orange Cassidy shirt.

After the bell, Jericho exposes the top turnbuckle and adds injury to insult by smashing Janela’s face into the metal. He smears Janela’s blood on the face of Cassidy on the shirt, which inspires Freshly Squeezed to leap into action. But with Hager there, it takes some intervention from Sonny Kiss to even the odds. Cassidy has a Superman Punch labeled for the Demo God, but Hager drags his boss to safety. Cassidy breaks out A Little Bit of the Bubbly, giving it a thumbs down as he pours it out. Hey, let’s not waste that.

A video package helps catch anyone who needs it up on the Matt Hardy-Sammy Guevara feud.

Matt Hardy promises a broken Sammy Guevara.

Taz wants to talk some more about how one of his two men are going to win the Casino Battle Royal. Conveniently, he name drops the two guys his men are feuding with, Darby Allin and Lance Archer. That brings a rebuttal from Jake Roberts first, then Eddie Kingston and his non-stable, and Blanchard is lurking on stage with Shawn Spears. Taz says his duo will fight everyone out there, which leads to a huge brawl. Allin’s music hits and brings him down to attack Starks, and other wrestlers come out of the stands as well. Absolute pandemonium is what Excalibur correctly calls it, and it gets even more out of control when Santana, Ortiz and Hager hit the ring.

A hype video from the Nightmare Family and friends makes the case for why they can take down the Dark Order. I think it has something to do with QT Marshall swearing? Good to see him fired up, at least.

Match 4 – Thunder Rosa vs. Serena Deeb

Thunder Rosa debuts.

This isn’t only the AEW in-ring debut for Rosa, but for Deeb as well. And this is a good thing, because as many on the internet have pointed out, the AEW women’s division could really use some more quality depth. The announcers push the idea that Rosa’s style could be a problem for Hikaru Shida, but while she is impressive, she doesn’t do anything that unorthodox. Also, the NWA needs to invest in a new women’s championship, because the belt is physically small.

Winner: Thunder Rosa by pinfall

Appearing in a pre-recorded video, Moxley tells MJF not to worry about all the extraneous stuff. Once Saturday night arrives, all of that goes away, and MJF will have to be the meanest, nastiest version of himself to have a chance to win. Mox says this year has been bad enough already without MJF running around with the world title, so he can’t let that happen.

Schiavone’s interview with Big Swole is interrupted by a pizza delivery, which is just a distraction for Dr. Britt Baker to assault Swole from behind with a crutch and rub her face in the pizza. I didn’t make any of that up. Baker applies the Lockjaw to Swole and the pizza comes back into play before officials finally arrive to break things up.

Main Event – Mark Sterling vs. Jon Moxley

Sterling looks like a mix between Kurt Angle, Captain America and an MJF campaign sign. Mox helps him make a proper fist, then scares him out of the ring just by yelling at him. Wardlow is on hand to make sure Sterling doesn’t head for the hills. It makes for some decent-ish comedy until Moxley wins with a Paradigm Shift.

Winner: Jon Moxley by pinfall

Wardlow wastes no time entering the ring and running Mox over with a clothesline and dropping him with an F-10. There’s a second one as MJF throws off his neck brace and pushes his walker away. With Moxley properly softened up, MJF lays into the champ with right hands and smashes his boot into Moxley’s throat. MJF asks Wardlow for the Dynamite Diamond Ring and crashes it home on Moxley’s head. Is this foreshadowing or his moment of triumph before the promotion’s top heel gets his comeuppance? We’ll find out on Saturday night. See you in seven on the other side of All Out!

AEW Dynamite 09/02/20

Daily's Place, Jacksonville, Florida

Were this a regular show, it likely would have warranted three stars or less, but we’re grading on a curve here due to the limitations of a pre-PPV broadcast. Dynamite did a nice job building more interest in some (though not all) of the All Out bouts, and that’s what it should be doing. Hoping for a great show on Saturday.