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AEW Dynamite
May 20, 2020

by Samoa Rowe

Jake Roberts

Before we get started, I would like to offer my most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Shad Gaspard.

From an empty Daily's Place in Jacksonville, Florida, as the COVID-19 era continues with no end in sight. The show must go on with Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur on the call.

The Inner Circle arrives in a limousine and are glowing about the carnage they plain on inflicting on The Elite.

The Dark Order arrives for the opening contest, but first a word from Mr. Brodie Lee. He demands 10 take a knee and then berates him for not taking a "proper knee" due to slouching. Lee says the people at home can't relate to him, but he's simply a man rather than a god, he just operates on a higher level, an "elite" level to be specific. Lee states that he must beat Moxley at Double or Nothing to reward his men for their loyalty. He declares 10 to be a "high knight of the Dark Order" and instructs him to hurt Moxley on his behalf. Lee and the Dark Order taker off at the sound of Moxley's music, looks like 10 will have to go it alone.

10 vs. AEW World Champion Jon Moxley

Running high knee by Moxley and a knife edge chop. Overhead suplex by Moxley and a release powerbomb. Moxley refuses to stop attacking in the ropes and referee Aubrey Edwards admonishes him, which allows 10 to gain an opening, and slams the champ onto the apron. Ace Crusher by 10 (J.R.: "We don't say 'Ace Crusher on this show', lol). 10 hits a spinebuster, but Moxley slips out of a fireman's carry for a DDT. Moxley hits a piledriver but doesn't go for a cover as he's too busy looking for a potential Dark Order run-in. The Paradigm Shift finishes at 4:31. This was okay and accomplished exactly what it needed to, **.
Winner: Jon Moxley

Moxley tries to lure out Brodie Lee by bringing some chairs into the ring. He wraps 10's arm in a chair and declares that he refuses to chase Lee around like a geek, but instead demands that the AEW title get returned right now. The Dark Order appear on the jumbo tron. Lee won't let Moxley call the shots and in times like these, sacrifices must be made. Moxley holds true to his threat and breaks 10's arm with a chair shot.

MJF (with The Wardlow) vs. Marko Stunt

The babyfaces chant ‘Marko" loud enough for me to forget there isn't a crowd for a second. It doesn't help as MJF immediately knocks Stunt to the canvas. He dares Stunt to punch his six pack to zero effect, and arrogantly applies a bear hug. Stunt boxes the ears and nearly hits a sunset flip before MJF hoists him up for an overhead belly to belly suplex. MJF forces Stunt to hit himself and pick his own nose, and is very pleased with himself. Stunt slaps the face and kicks the shin, but runs into a hard lariat. Wardlow chokes Stunt on the bottom rope just because. MJF loses his focus yelling at commentary, and Stunt blocks a superplex and finally gets his hope spot. MJF pulls the ring apron for an axe handle but hits the frame instead, allowing Stunt to send him into the steps. MJF blocks a dive and hits the shoulderbreaker/Salt of the Earth sequence for the submission at 5:59. Good squash for MJF, who got to do just about every mean trick in the book, but I think it's time to stop squashing Stunt, **¼.
Winner: MJF

MJF mocks Stunt on the mic and knocks him out with his diamond ring. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus make the late save, and MJF and Wardlow skedaddle.

Tony Shiavone hosts Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson in the ring for a face to face standoff. Roberts laments that he never crossed Arn in the ring until this point, but he's glad Arn came alone, because he's going to have to get used to it, because Lance Archer is a mean SOB that destroys everything in his path. Roberts asks if it's "weekend pass at the home" because we haven't seen Arn in a while and he's looking "thick." Anderson responds that he and Jake are both credible. Jake is evil, everyone can see it. Jake cuts him off and asks for a fight right now. Arn continues with what he has trying to say, namely that Mike Tyson is coming to Double or Nothing, and he'll have free reign of the venue. He wonders if Jake will throw the stupid snake at Tyson. Roberts dodges the question by saying that he promised Archer the first crack at Tyson, and wonders if that "bimbo" Brandi Rhodes will present them with the TNT title instead. Arn puts Cody over for everything he's accomplished. He's glad that Jake does DDP Yoga, so he can be nice and limber for a spinebuster and some unspeakables. Referees rush in to prevent a brawl from breaking out. This was awesome, it's amazing what can happen when you let guys have managers.

Darby Allin plays poker with guys wearing paper masks of his ladder match opponents. Darby flips them all off and can be seen climbing a ladder in his backyard and setting himself on fire. These Darby videos rule.

Pac video package. He's been forced to stay at home to weather out the storm, and it's basically driving him crazy. He gloats about Orange Cassidy facing certain doom at the hands of Rey Fenix.

Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix

Fenix tries the same running head kick attack from last week, and OC casually moves out of the way. OC dodges more quick attacks and puts his hands in pockets, and continues to obnoxiously avoid everything Fenix throws his way. They run the ropes and OC hits an arm drag and trade crucifix counters. Fenix stops the fun with a double stomp to the back of the head. OC counters into a powerbomb for 2. Fenix answers with an awesome springboard leg drop. CUE THE COMMERCIAL! Back from break, and OC is showing some fire (by his standards) as he hits a flurry of palm strikes. Suicide dive by OC followed by a high crossbody, and tornado DDT for 2. Fenix rolls across the ring to uppercut OC on the top rope, but OC blocks a superplex and nails a diving DDT for a cool nearfall. OC blocks another superplex by putting hands in pockets and hitting a headbutt, but Fenix improves with a leaping sunset flip powerbomb. OC blocks a spinning Muscle Buster and then counters with a back drop variation for 2. Kip Sabian arrives and sits on a ladder on the stage. Fenix roll blows and finishes with a Cutter at 10:32. My heart aches at seeing such a lazy distraction finish appear on Dynamite. Otherwise, this was awesome, with OC busting out some wrestling chops to keep up with Fenix, ***¼.
Winner: Rey Fenix

Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian come out to tip Sabian off the ladder, and they're joined by Jimmy Havoc for a brawl. Rey Fenix takes them all down with a springboard senton, but takes a bad landing on his back. Colt Cabana runs in for an Asai Moonsault. Best Friends run in to launch OC on the field. OC rests against a ladder and lets us know he's okay with the lazy thumbs up. This was fun, but I hope Fenix didn't kill himself that scary landing.

Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. AEW Women's Champion Nyla Rose and Dr. Britt Baker

Baker blocks a kendo shot from Rose, and they catch Baker in the head with it. Shida and Statlander win a scuffle before the bell. Rose blocks a double team suplex, but Kris ties her in the ropes for a dropkick. Kris targets Britt with a dive, but Rose cuts her off with a spear. Britt avoids making a tag, preferring to let Rose dominate. Cue the commercial. Back from break, Baker is in the match, whether she likes it or not, and Shida gets a hot tag and piles her onto Rose for a knee in the corner. Vertical suplex by Shida gets 2. Rose misses a head of steam and pancakes Britt in the corner, and then Kris and Shida slam Rose onto Britt in a wildly dangerous spot (I think Britt got knocked loopy). Kris catches Rose on her shoulders and slams her face-first to the mat. Shida's running knee gets 2 on Rose. A doctor checks on Britt's knee while Rose goes 1 on 2. The Beast Bomb finishes Shida at 9:40. This totally fell apart after Britt's injury, **½.
Winners: Nyla Rose and Britt Baker

Rose tries to splash Shida through a table, but Statlander saves her partner. Shida superplexes Rose through the table in another dangerous looking spot, as Rose's head barely cleared.

Backstage interview with Jon Moxley, who defends his actions earlier and says things will only get worse from here. He promises that Brodie Lee will lose any power he thinks he has when he loses on Sunday.

Shawn Spears News update: we get a CNN spoof as Spears reports about what a scumbag Cody really is. FAKE NEWS! He reports that Dustin Rhodes has retired (finally!) and complains about not having a match at Double or Nothing. This was a little too goofy for my tastes, and I watch CHIKARA.

Spears vs. Dustin is confirmed for Double or Nothing.

Inner Circle vs. Elite video package: Sammy Guevara is understandably upset about getting run over with a golf cart 2 weeks ago. The Elite are not good guys, unlike the good people of the Inner Circle. Matt Hardy responds with a bunch of name calling, and sings about making them obsolete.

Sammy Guevara vs. Matt Hardy

They lock up and Sammy slaps the back of Matt's head. Hard Irish whip by Hardy and he knocks the Spanish God around ringside. Matt shoves Sammy's head into the ring post, making for a funny visual thanks to Sammy's over-the-top selling. Sammy blocks the Twist of Fate with a handstand and superkicks the back of the head. Hardy blocks a springboard cutter and hits an inverted DDT. Guevara counters with a rana and delivers a twisting senton to the floor. COMMERCIAL. Back from break, Guevara misses a standing moonsault, allowing Hardy right back into the fight. Twist of Fate, but Guevara survives by rolling to the floor. Guevara recovers with a leaping knee to the head. Superkick by Sammy gets 2. Sammy's Shooting Star Press is no good, and Hardy hits the Twist of Fate, but SAMMY KICKS OUT! Hardy removes a boot and bites the toes. Interesting strategy, to say the least. Sammy hits another knee strike for a close 2 count. Sammy's springboard cutter connects but Matt kicks out. Hardy blocks another SSP with his knees and hits a third Twist of Fate to win it at 13:16. This was solid, but some of those false finishes were a bit much, **¾.
Winner: Matt Hardy

Hardy brings in a chair, but stops when the other Inner Circle guys appear on the jumbo tron. They have Kenny Omega held up to a field goal post in the football stadium. Jericho beats Kenny with his bat. The Young Bucks return and make a save with crossbodies off the stands. Hardy joins the brawl. Hangman Page runs in from across the field to set the new world record for longest running clothesline in history. The Inner Circle are forced to back off and the Elite have won the brawl. Page walks away from his friends, while the camera pans up to reveal the Elite's logo on the scoreboard.

Final Thoughts: Solid "go home" show for a pay-per-view that circumstances forced to be booked on the fly. I had a few grievances with the booking tonight, and I hope they aren't signs of bad habits forming. I'm eager to be on the other side of Double or Nothing and hoping that Tony Khan and company can form a game plan for the months of TV following, like what they did leading up to Revolution.

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