AEW: Dynamite is about to enter uncharted territory.
Next week, for the first time, TNT will preempt their Wednesday wrestling powerhouse for the NBA. This week, AEW needed all the airtime it could get to set the stage for the September 5 All Out PPV.
And AEW stacked the card for the August 12 show. It was Tag Team Appreciation Night on AEW: Dynamite. We also saw Cody’s stiffest challenge yet for the TNT Championship. And Le Champion finally got a chance to settle the $7,000 score with Orange Cassidy.
We also saw the show turn up the heat on the All Out title match between Jon Moxley and MJF.
AEW: Dynamite was all about laying the foundation for All Out in a big, bad way. Let’s see how well they did.
HIT – Young Bucks Vs. Dark Order (Stu Grayson & Evil Uno)
So before the Bucks can even get to the ring in the AEW: Dynamite opener, a bunch of Dark Order flunkies attack them on the entrance ramp. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson throw the Bucks into the ring. And the Bucks are behind the 8-ball from the start.
I’m really glad AEW has found its niche in how it books the Dark Order.
Lots of cool high spots with Grayson and the Bucks, and Evil Uno took care of the heavy lifting and the ring psychology. I’ll be damned – the Bucks can be booked in a logical match.
Brilliant commentary from Jim Ross. “You guys now how long it’s been since the Bucks had a tag team title shot? It’s been a long time.” Well-analyzed.
For some actual brilliance, there’s a spot where the Dark Order has Matt cornered out on the floor. So he just slides under the ring and rolls to the other side. In 100-some-odd years, how has no one ever thought of that?
Also, Nick delivers the sickest superkick I’ve ever seen, as Grayson dived from the barricade right into the thud of Nick’s foot. In short, it was awesome.
In the finish, Grayson drags a beaten Matt Jackson to the entrance tunnel and has the Dark Order guard him. But to no avail, as Nick picks up the win after a missed Fatality attempt. Clever spots, clever booking, and a decent finish.
HIT – Meanwhile-Mania Part 1
MJF makes his way through his campaign headquarters. He admires the self-aggrandizing posters lining the hallway and gives props to the new “gum guy.” As in the guy who puts gum in his mouth. Heh.
His assistant Nina excitedly says that she hired him, only to get the “speak when spoken to” treatment from her boss. This AEW: Dynamite segment is capped off brilliantly, as one of his aides walks just a little too close and gets shoved for his troubles. “Stay outta my shot.”
Please pro wrestle forever, MJF.
Next, as part of Tag Team Appreciation Night, AEW asks Hangman Page and Kenny Omega who their favorite tag team of all time is. Omega jumps on the question and starts praising the holy hell out of the Bucks. Meanwhile, Page – who pulls off awful, awful cowboy shirts better than should be humanly possible – seems a little off put. “I was – I was gonna say us.”
Subtle, AEW: Dynamite. Wicked subtle.
HIT – MJF Campaign Stop
Speak of the devil. MJF comes out and shakes hands with Taz and JR but blows Tony off.
Before he shows the audience some polling numbers, he loudly chastises Nina for not smiling. According to the projections, MJF is a 500% favorite to win the AEW Championship, while Moxley’s polling at -1,000%.
MJF points out that Moxley doesn’t care about the audience, because he isn’t here at AEW: Dynamite. I’m sure that won’t come into play at all.
But MJF turns it from goofy comedy bit to bona fide pro wrestling promo. He promises that, unlike Moxley’s other opponents, he isn’t willing to do the job for him. So to make Moxley more comfortable, he cuts the rest of his promo on his back. And AEW even shoots it from the ceiling. Nice touch.
MJF suggests that Moxley hand the title over and save them both the trouble at All Out. Cue Mox’s music. MJF sends his guards to cover all the entrances from the stands. And because Moxley isn’t an idiot, he actually comes out through the entrance and jumps the challenger from behind and chucks MJF into his own podium. One Paradigm Shift later, and MJF is laid out.
Moxley goes straight backstage and picks up a microphone, promising that he and MJF aren’t even close to even yet.
That was awesome. But wait until now – a week before TV audiences can’t find AEW: Dynamite at its regular time – to kick this feud into high gear?
HIT – Matt Hardy Promo
Alex Marvez catches up with Matt Hardy after getting attacked by Sammy Guevara last week.
AEW doctors have benched him for 10 days. Which happens to be Saturday, August 22, the date of the next AEW: Dynamite.
But Matt is going to hang around tonight to get his hands on Sammy. There were a couple points where he slipped in and out of the Broken Matt voice. He sees a guy in a jacket wandering by and immediately slams him into the garage door. Turns out it was an AEW referee.
Well, I do like that they’re doing something a little different with Matt. And the eventual match itself should be pretty great. Also, solid business by not only reminding the folks that AEW will be on a different night next week but going ahead and hyping a match for it.
Vince? Bruce? This ain’t rocket surgery.
NEAR MISS – TNT Championship Match: Cody (C, W/ Arn Anderson) Vs. Scorpio Sky
The underlying story of this match is that Scorpio is going to kick down the door of opportunity. Cody comes out with the whole Nightmare Family. And the finally-finished TNT Championship belt.
Hey, Mike Chiota is the referee! He used to work for WWE before they fired a bunch of people for no reason to save no money back in April.
Justin Roberts is now introducing Cody as “the prince of pro wrestling.” Another heel building block falls into place. I hope? And Taz mentions that bringing out the whole Nightmare Family might be a sign of insecurity. Nice.
Then there’s the match itself. I mean, this should surprise no one, but this match was great.
Cody retains, and he looked good winning. And Scorpio looked good in losing. But here’s the problem. After the match, Mr. Brodie Lee comes out brandishing the old TNT Championship belt, and he declares that Cody’s reign will end on the August 22 AEW: Dynamite.
Unlike the other matches in the TNT Championship open challenge, this one did nothing for the challenger. With Eddie Kingston, Ricky Starks, and Warhorse, they were either the stars in defeat or they got the rub with a handshake. Scorpio was just the guy in the ring while Cody and Brodie hype the real match.
What’s the point of all the momentum Scorpio has been building on AEW Dark if they aren’t going to do anything with it? Awesome match, but a bust of a segment.
Also, if it takes two Crossroads to beat everybody, isn’t it maybe time to get a new finisher?
HIT – AEW Tag Team Championship Match: ‘Hangman’ Adam Page & Kenny Omega Vs. Jurassic Express (W/ Marko Stunt)
Before the match, Luchasaurus says hi to his mom, and says that after 65 million years they’re finally giving a dinosaur a championship match. That was cute enough, but then Taz put the icing on the cake.
“Did you call his first match, JR?”
And if that wasn’t awesome enough, ‘Hangman’ Page has a new intro graphic this week. “Needs money to buy a new lawnmower.” We don’t deserve ya, cowboy.
Jungle Boy continues to be one of the unsung heroes of AEW: Dynamite. If there was a time to break him out on his own, it’s now. There are no fans to eat up the dinosaur gimmick, and the guy has had big moments against both Cody and Chris Jericho. It’s just time.
Anyway. Jungle Boy is able to take advantage of an injured Omega for a little bit. But Evil Kenny comes out, and he wants to get even with Jungle Boy. The Hangman tags himself in, and Kenny takes his time getting out of the ring. Subtle.
Tony’s shilling the hashtag gimmick during the breaks, and JR is having trouble hiding his disdain about it. Imagine having to shill an app and a Network, Jim. In the stands, Frankie Kazarian – without Christopher Daniels – appears to be scouting the champs. When Hangman and Kenny’s reign ends, I wouldn’t mind it being SCU again.
Anyway, Kenny goes nuts and snapdragons Marko and Jungle Boy on the outside. And he holds his own against Luchasaurus for a while. But Luchasaurus fights off a double team and blocks a Buckshot Lariat. He goes for a double chokeslam but settles for a double suplex.
Jurassic Express looks super solid in this match, but the champs retain with Last Call.
HIT – Tag Team Appreciation Night
Backstage at AEW: Dynamite, Santana and Ortiz wreck Best Friends’s luggage with bleach. I mean, that’s honestly pretty safe given what’s going on in the world.
Anyway. We finally get around to the Tag Team Appreciation portion of, well, Tag Team Appreciation Night. FTR brings out Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard – formerly the Brainbusters and two of the original Four Horsemen. Along with the Young Bucks and the Rock ‘N Roll Express.
I heard they tried to get the Rockers. But Marty Janetty thought he’d just be killing time. And I’ll see myself out. Oh hell, the Bucks actually name-dropped “Shawn and Marty.” Guys, read the room.
FTR gets emotional addressing the Express and the Brainbusters. So naturally the Rock ‘n Roll Express gushes over the Bucks and calls them the best tag team in the world. And then Arn puts the Bucks over like Rover. For some reason, Tully tries to pick a fight with everybody.
Tully tells both the Bucks and FTR that they aren’t the best, because neither team has the gold. And he gives Arn hell about jumping him at last year’s All Out. Arn excuses himself, so Tully slaps Robert Gibson. Harwood takes a spill and tweaks his knee, so FTR reacts quite rationally by hitting the Express with a spike piledriver.
FTR finally picked a side, and they’re upset over something other than a truck. Hangman comes out (whiskey in hand) with Omega, and they and the Bucks run off FTR.
This was a great AEW: Dynamite segment. WWE always thinks that a young guy beating up the elderly in and of itself makes him a heel. Luckily AEW understands there’s more to it than that.
MISS – Hikaru Shida Vs. Heather Monroe
AEW: Dynamite has a women’s match involving Hikaru Shida and somebody else.
They have a super intense but short match. Shida wins. Five minutes later, and we’re back to our regularly scheduled dudes.
I don’t understand how AEW can do the AEW Women’s Tag Team Cup so well but screw up the women’s segments on their flagship show so horribly.
The booking of the women’s division on AEW: Dynamite is absolute trash. And Shida’s run as AEW Women’s Champion deserves better.
HIT – Orange Cassidy Vs. Chris Jericho
So a couple segments back, Chris Jericho interrupted an interview with Mike Chioda. Le Champion made a big deal about how he saved Chioda’s job in WWE two decades ago. And that’s why he wanted Chioda to referee the rematch with Cassidy.
Talk about an AEW: Dynamite match that didn’t need any extra padding.
It’s the most over feud in AEW. And probably the most over feud in pro wrestling. Don’t make it more complicated than it is, guys. Let it breathe.
Anyway, the match itself was quite good. It wasn’t on the level of their Fyter Fest encounter, but that was gonna be a tall order anyway.
Late in the match, Jericho tries to use his trusty bat. But Chioda isn’t having it, and Cassidy manages to get a surprise roll-up.
And he beats Chris Jericho.
Read that again. Orange Cassidy got a pinfall win over Chris Jericho. I would’ve preferred it be a little cleaner, because Jericho doesn’t need booking protection. But this is still big.
Orange Cassidy was already a made man. Beating Chris Jericho on AEW: Dynamite, though?
The guy is legit. This was the momentum AEW needed to carry them through a tough couple of weeks.
NBA basketball is coming for AEW’s Wednesday time slot. And a shot in the arm like this is just what they need with All Out on the horizon.
AEW: Dynamite will next air on Saturday, August 22 on TNT at 6 PM/ET.
All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.
'AEW: Dynamite' - August 12, 2020
- Orange Cassidy. Beat. Chris Jericho.
- MJF and Moxley turned a comedy bit into selling a match the old-school way.
- Young Bucks had one of their best TV matches yet.
- The Hangman/Omega saga has more layers than an onion.
- The booking of the women's division is hot garbage right now.
- Scorpio Sky came out of his biggest match in AEW looking like a total chump.