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AEW Dynamite
August 5, 2020

by Samoa Rowe

AEW Dynamite

From Jacksonville, Florida. I was "on assignment" last week and missed what sounds like a relatively lackluster show by AEW's standards, which saw the debut of Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) and Ariane (Cameron, who famously once tried to pin an opponent on her stomach). Excalibur also missed last week's show, because footage from PWG revealed him using a racial slur in an in-character promo, which might be fine for Quentin Tarantino films, but not independent wrestling of the early 00's. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Taz, and Jim Ross.

The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson), FTR (Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood), and AEW Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. The Dark Order (Mr. Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, 9, Stu Grayson, and Evil Uno)

Lee starts for his cult and doesn't fare too well, so he orders 9 to do something about it. The good guys have a field day double teaming poor 9. Omega's Kotaro Crusher and Page's running moonsault force Dark Order to rush in for a save, and the heroes unite for a group suplex. Cabana lures Omega into a Brodie Lee superkick at ringside, and the Dark Order take control. Omega suffers a short heat sequence before making the tag to FTR, who run wild through the jobbier members of Dark Order. Page and FTR look for a triple submission, which doesn't work, but just shows that Page could be shifting his allegiance. Omega forces his way in to remind Page who his real partner is, and the match breaks down while the Young Bucks go supernova. FTR try to continue the momentum, but Harwood seems to injure his knee while hitting a flying leg drop. Omega is left on his own while Page and the Bucks attend to FTR. Matt Jackson returns but runs into Lee's Black Hole Slam. It's now 3 on 6, as FTR and Page are gone. Stu and Uno hit a tandem sitout powerbomb and Nick makes the save, but the Dark Order continue to swarm Matt. Grayson misses a spear and Matt hits 9 with a flying neckbreaker. Uno prevents the hot tag and serves Nick up to Grayson's ringside Belly to Belly suplex. Matt guts out a one man comeback and cleans out the ring and stage with rapid dives! Page returns for a well timed hot tag and decimates any Dark Order guy in his path. Page hits 5 Dark Order guys with a top rope moonsault while Lee just watches from the apron. Page voluntarily serves 9 up for a tag to Lee, and they duke it out. Stu and Uno pull the ropes for Page to fall to ringside for Lee's suicide dive! They serve Page up for Cabana to slam onto the turnbuckles, but Omega saves the match, but eats a double stomp to the head! Stu and Uno hit their finishing combination, but Omega kicks out! Young Bucks return for a SUPERKICK PARTAY, including one that sets up Omega's Snap Dragon on Lee! Lee shakes it off and flips Page with a discus lariat and his minions hold the Bucks in place on the floor while he scores the pinfall at 17:30! Wild opener with plenty of twists and turns, advances the FTR/Elite angle, advances the Lee/Cabana angle, and delivered the right finish, even if it's a bummer to see the Dark Order win, ****.
Winners: The Dark Order

Earlier today, Best Friends arrived in Trent's mom's van.

AEW World Champion Jon Moxley admits that he struggled with demons in his younger days, which lead to him doing crazy things like death matches. He knows where Darby Allin is coming from, but now Moxley is the voice of reason, and he's worried about being the guy who ends Darby's career. Moxley will do what he's got to do, so he hopes that when it's time to stay down, Allin will stay down. Excellent, thoughtful promo from the champ here.

Santana and Ortiz vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent)

The story here is that both teams want to move up the tag team ranks. How GD refreshing is that? Chuck and Santana lock up and showcase some chain wrestling! Ortiz tags but walks right into Chuck's arm drag. Trent tags and goes after the wrist and hits a double stomp to the chest. Trent's Northern Lights suplex gets 1. Best Friends block a meeting of the minds and hit stereo clotheslines. They lawn dart Ortiz into a neckbreaker and celebrate with a nice hug. Cue the commercial! True to commercial break rules, Santana and Ortiz gain control during the break. Unlike the normal formula, Santana and Ortiz block Best Friends' comeback attempts for several minutes after the commercial ends. Trent does a nice job selling as he suffers a double team suplex. Trent blocks another attempt and Chucky gets a hot tag. Chuck hits a running blockbuster and Falcon Arrow on Ortiz for the routine 2 count. Best Friends counter into an electric chair powerbomb on Ortiz! Santana recovers with a rolling stunner on Trent and powerromb, but Trent kicks out! Trent catches Ortiz in a desperation roll-up for the win at 13:35! Rock solid tag match that drifted away from the usual TV formula and did tons of little things right, ***½.
Winners: Best Friends

MJF and Wardlow visit his campaign headquarters, as he's running for AEW World Champion. He abuses employees for crimes such as having an unlevel poster on the wall.

Matt Hardy in-ring promo. He says he came to AEW because he wanted to feel respected and have a say about his career direction. Hardy has enjoyed his Matt Multiverse run so far, but he's been listening to the audience, and they seem to want him to just be Matthew Hardy. He is really interested in Private Party and Sammy Guevara, and it frustrates him that Sammy doesn't want to take his advice, so he's going to hurt him. Sammy slips out from under the ring for an ambush and brawl. Hardy throws Sammy through a piece of barricade and slams him onto it. Matt sets up a table, but Sammy knocks him into the ring post and drapes him on the furniture. Sammy leaps off the stage for a somersault senton through the table! Hardy is a bloody mess!

Meanwhile, Santana and Ortiz are destroying Trent's mom's van with sledgehammers! Ah man, Trent's mom is going to kill him! Shiavone is hilariously upset over this, almost as if he's had to deal with his own children wrecking a car or two.

The Dark Order (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) vs. Matt Cardona and TNT Champion Cody (with Arn Anderson)

Cardona looks tickled pink (er, well, orange) to be here. Cody starts against the diminutive Silver and shoves him around. Cody hits a delayed power slam and tags Cardona for a clothesline. Cardona looks hyper focused and hits a flapjack. Silver kicks the chest to tag in Reynolds, but Cardona counters right away with a neckbreaker. Cody tags but Reynolds reverses an Irish whip to send Cody ribcage-first into the ring post. The Dark Order enjoy a generous heat sequence on Cody, who is selling his arm. They take a commercial break and return with Silver tossing Cody into a Reynolds kick. Cody defiantly takes Silver's kicks to the chest but takes one too many and gets knocked loopy. He still manages a hot tag and Cardona sprints in for a missile dropkick and baseball slide dropkick on both minions. Sitout powerbomb by Cardona but Silver breaks the cover with a penalty kick to the face. They dispatch an injured Cody and swarm Cardona. Cody and Silver tumble to the floor with suplex counters, leaving Cardona to hit the former Rough Ryder on Reynolds to win at 11:56. This was waaaay too long to get to this result, but did get interesting down the stretch. This was by far the most credible Silver or Reynolds have ever looked on Dynamite, **½.
Winners: Cody and Matt Cardona

Cody is greeted by Scorpio Sky in the tunnel, so guess who's next in line for a TNT title shot?

Best Friends survey the damage done to Trent's mom's car. Nobody messes with Trent's mom and they're going to force Santana and Ortiz to apologize.

Sammy Guevara returns with cue cards to entertain us during a picture-in-picture break. The gist is that Orange Cassidy is a looooooser.

Eric Bischoff (uh oh) is here to moderate the debate between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho. This is Bischoff's first appearance on TNT since WCW and he looks a bit uncharacteristically emotional to be here. If Bischoff is here to just be an on-air talent, that's fine, but I cringe at the thought of AEW giving him any semblance of power or influence backstage. Jericho arrives with Jake Hager carrying the orange juice stained jacket on a hanger. Bischoff asks why do OC and Jericho hate each other so much. Jericho calls OC out for not dressing up, so he nonchalantly puts on a clip on tie. This is why Jericho hates OC so much, because he doesn't take anything seriously and has a legion of moron fans who thinks he's great. Bischoff wants OC's response, so Jericho pipes in "He doesn't talk, Eric, he has nothing to say!” Bischoff's second question is about who the bigger star is. Jericho makes his case about being the Demo God and winner of multiple championships, while OC hasn't done anything since high school, and if Jericho and OC had gone to the same high school he'd have kicked his ass and stolen his girlfriend. It looks like OC is having a hard time not laughing at Jericho's overly creative insults. Bischoff asks about global warming, and Jericho doesn't want to answer. OC is happy to give a thoughtful, complex answer about rising sea levels, and Jericho's gawking reaction really puts it over. Bischoff wants to know why OC is so popular. Jericho says OC is the epitome of every smart mark fan watching, as he's arrogant and overbearing, but he's going to pop him like a pimple. He's also going to force OC to pay him back the seven thousand dollars to replace his ruined jacket. Bischoff asks about why their rematch means so much. OC finally cuts Jericho off, telling him to shut up, and mocking him for scheduling a debate with a guy who doesn't talk. Cassidy says he doesn't care about Jericho but he does care about their rematch, because it's the biggest match of both their lives. He wants to know what Jericho will do when he loses to the guy who puts his hands in his pockets and dares him to look into the eyes of the man who will embarrass him! Bischoff declares Mr. Cassidy to be the winner, prompting Jericho to whine about never liking Bischoff in the first place. Jericho unleashes Hager on OC, forcing his hands into his pockets and serving him up for the Judas Effect! Best Friends make the late save, as the damage has been done. I loved everything about this, and it might be the talking segment of 2020.

Tony Shiavone talks to Britt Baker and Reba. Britt is wearing a Michael Jordan jersey and announces that she's arranged for Big Swole to wrestle Reba, which sends her lackey into a panic.

Reba vs. Big Swole

I'm not sure if we're supposed to buy Reba as a trained wrestler or not, but I guess we'll find out quickly. Swole goes right on the attack, but gets distracted by Britt, allowing Reba to ambush and hit a (sloppy) suplex. Reba gushes after hitting a running axe kick. I think she's pretending to not know how to wrestle. Reba considers hitting a moonsault and then misses everything. Big Swole finishes with Dirty Dancing at 1:42. Interesting squash to say the least.
Winner: Big Swole

AEW World Championship:
Jon Moxley © vs. Darby Allin

Moxley is choosing to defend against the #5 ranked Allin in order to spite MJF and Brian Cage. Allin enters wearing a creepy Moxley face mask. Moxley rips the mask off so Allin slaps him. Moxley knocks Allin off his feet and bloodies his lip. Allin avoids a lariat and lands a hard slap, but Moxley turns him inside out with a lariat. Moxley sets the pace while dismantling the challenger. Allin comes back and hits a dive onto the stage! Moxley throws Allin off the stage and into the ring post! Moxley surveys the damage and continues the assault during a commercial. They return with Allin pulling Moxley's throat into the ropes and tackling him to the floor. Allin hits a particularly brutal looking torpe suicida. Allin stomps Moxley's hand on the top rope and hits a somersault senton to ringside! They block finishers and Allin scores Code Red for a great nearfall! Moxley answers with a release German superplex! Wardlow arrives to distract the referee while MJF runs in to clock Moxley with the AEW title. Allin is confused but hits the Coffin Drop but MOXLEY KICKS OUT! Allin targets Moxley's bloody forehead and hits the somersault stunner, but his back elbow is botched when it's not clear if Moxley blocked or not. Allin goes for another Coffin Drop but Moxley counters into a rear naked choke. Allin survives, so Moxley hits a spike piledriver for only 2! Moxley shows some remorse before pulling a lifeless Allin up for the Paradigm Shift and win at 14:31. This was clever and brutal, and managed to put over Moxley's toughness and babyface character, ***¾.
Winner and still AEW World Champion: Jon Moxley

Final Thoughts: This was one of the best Dynamites yet. They packed a ton of storyline development and great in-ring action into this 2 hour package, there was no wasted air time, and I can't help but feel like an overwhelmingly happy customer. I don't know what happened last week, but there was very little to complain about tonight.

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