AEW Champion Jon Moxley, ready to sign the contract for his bout against MJF on 'AEW: Dynamite'
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AEW: Dynamite continued the march toward the All Out PPV.

With the return of fans to Daily’s Place (only at 10% capacity), this week’s AEW: Dynamite felt like a big deal.

And the stakes were high for All Out.

Big Swole finally got her chance to earn a match against Dr. Britt Baker. And MJF and Jon Moxley signed the contract for their AEW World Championship match at All Out.

It wasn’t the go-home AEW: Dynamite, but it felt like one.

The Young Bucks double team QT Marshall in the Tag Team Gauntlet on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Tag Team Gauntlet

I’m not usually super fond of gauntlet matches. Chris Jericho comes out for commentary but doesn’t comment on the fact that he claimed to have kayfabe “banned” fans from AEW events until he changed his mind. Sloppy, Le Champion.

Also, not for nothing, but shouldn’t this have been part of Tag Team Appreciation Night?

The AEW: Dynamite gauntlet began with the Natural Nightmares taking on the Young Bucks. Some decent psychology, as Dustin feigned being blown up before taking the Bucks down with the Rhodes Powerslam. And this might well be the most TV time QT Marshall has ever had. But he takes the fall, and the Bucks immediately have to face Best Friends.

Jim Ross declares a Trent spear to be “Jaguar-like.” I think he meant it as a compliment. But that is so not a compliment.

The Bucks and Best Friends murder each other on AEW: Dynamite for a while in what could be a main event on any show. But in the biggest shock of the show, ‘Hangman’ Page screwed over the Bucks. That’s a story that could go any number of ways, and I love it.

But that brings the finals down to FTR and Best Friends, and it made for another killer match. FTR emerged on top and will face Page and Omega for the tag titles at All Out.

This was an incredible way to open AEW: Dynamite. Not a moment wasted. Every move, every exchange, it all had a point to the story.

Lance Archer was back to his destructive ways on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Meanwhile-Mania, Lance Archer Vs. Sean Maluta

Before the match, Darby Allin is wandering around the backroads wearing a Ricky Starks mask and jumping off of bridges into the river. That’s a lot to cover.

As is his AEW: Dynamite custom, Archer murders some poor schmuck in the front row. Both Archer and Allin are confirmed to be in the Casino Battle Royale at All Out.

Maulta makes his AEW debut by getting, you know, torn to pieces by Archer.

Nice spot, where Archer teases putting Maluta away twice before finally deciding to take the pin. After the match, Jake Roberts cuts a promo, and he and Archer promise to run through everyone in the battle royal. But Team Taz interrupts. Holy hell, Cage vs. Archer would be a hell of a hoss fight. But Taz and Jake keep talking over each other, because elderly people.

And then Darby Allin runs out and fights Starks to the back. Taz and Jake keep them apart.

This was an awesome AEW: Dynamite segment.

MJF shuffles his way to the ring for the contract signing on 'AEW: Dynamite'

NEAR MISS – MJF vs. Moxley Contract Signing

MJF pushes his walker in the AEW: Dynamite backstage area and yells at his subordinates while he’s at it. I’m digging the Burberry walker.

Meanwhile, Thunder Rose from the NWA signs the contract to face Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship at All Out.

Back to the ring, MJF finally makes his way to the ring, and Moxley makes his way out with the contract in hand. Schiavone mentions that Moxley is ranked number one by PWI, which infuriates Jericho. MJF’s lawyer insists that the Paradigm Shift will be banned in the AEW World Championship match at All Out.

Wisely, MJF points out that contract signings usually end in fist fights. He hypes the match and points out that he’s a wrestler while Moxley’s a goon. Actually, he goes on so long it starts to become – dare I say it – a little boring. Moxley starts to stand up, but the lawyer threatens to sue. The champ points out that by losing the Paradigm Shift, he’ll have to get creative.

But there’s a big switcheroo. Moxley signs, and the MJF legal team throws it in his face. But Moxley added a page – he gets a tuneup match against MJF’s lawyer next week on AEW: Dynamite. And if the lawyer doesn’t show, MJF forfeits the title shot.

That segment was a long way to go for a goofy WWE-style swerve. Actually, and I’m truly sorry to have to say this, but that was Russo-esque.

The Lucha Bros in 8-man tag team action on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Lucha Bros And Butcher & Blade (W/ Eddie Kingston) Vs. Sonny Kiss, Joey Janela, Griff Garrison, And Brian Pillman, Jr.

Do you think Griff Garrison knows he’s the odd man out in this scenario?

He and Pillman (and Pillman’s mullet) have been teaming on AEW Dark. And Sonny Kiss & Janela really haven’t been on main AEW TV since Sonny’s TNT Championship match against Cody a few weeks back.

This match was fire, as the kids say. Do the kids still call things fire? Anyway.

The Luchas and Butcher & Blade brought a whole new edge to their moveset with Kingston in their corner. And the babyface team came to this AEW: Dynamite match with an awesome effort.

No degree of tag team action was going to eclipse the opener, but this was awesome. After the match, Kingston cuts a promo and declares himself and his crew for the Casino Battle Royale.

I’m glad to see the Casino Battle Royale actually getting some build-up on AEW: Dynamite.

Tony Schiavone interviews new TNT Champion Brodie Lee on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Dark Order Segment

The Dark Order is out next on AEW: Dynamite. They carry a coffin out, and Evil Uno goes on about the Dark Order being so hyped about Brodie’s win over Cody that they went out and bought six lawnmowers.

Um.

They open the coffin, and Ten from the Dark Order climbs out with a Nightmare Family jacket and fake neck tattoo. They declare the Nightmare Family buried on AEW: Dynamite.

Brodie Lee is out with the championship, alongside Evil Anna Jay. JR incorrectly calls Brodie the World Champion. Sigh. Close, Jim. Real close. The new TNT Champion orders Tony into the ring to interview him. Brodie’s suit is goofy but still better than most of the ones that Vince McMahon wears.

Mr. Brodie declares the TNT Championship open challenge dead. And he christens Anna Jay the Queenslayer. The Natural Nightmares make their way out for Cody’s honor, but the Dark Order absolutely destroys them. Scorpio Sky runs out to make the save and actually fights off everybody but Brodie.

Anna Jay runs interference and leaves with Brodie. Brodie leaves Evil Uno to direct traffic, but Matt Cardona runs out, and the babyfaces stand tall.

Lots of different directions that this story can go, and I’m here for it.

'AEW: Dynamite' saw Rebel and Penelope Ford take on Big Swole.

HIT – ‘Hangman’ Page Interview, Big Swole Vs. Rebel, Penelope Ford, and Britt Baker

Backstage, Dasha tries to get a word with ‘Hangman’ Page who, naturally, is at the bar. But before he can give them any answers, the Bucks confront him. The Bucks’ acting is laughably bad, and they throw Page’s drink in his face. Before kicking him out of the Elite. I like where this is going.

Next on AEW: Dynamite, Big Swole has to face Rebel, Penelope Ford and – technically – a wheelchair bound Dr. Baker. If Swole wins, she gets her match against Britt Baker at All Out.

Baker continually trying to hit people in the ring with her crutch is glorious. Rebel’s selling of a huricanrana, not so much. But she does hit a nice moonsault. Jericho’s insistence on calling her “Reba” is fantastic. Sabian runs interference so Rebel can use the crutch, but she hits Penelope by mistake.

This wasn’t exactly an AEW: Dynamite mat classic. But it wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to advance a story.

After the match, Anna Jay, Grayson, and Evil Uno offer Tay Conti a Dark Order contract.

Matt Hardy, broken in a tables match with Sammy Guevara on 'AEW: Dynamite'

MISS – Tables Match: Matt Hardy Vs. Sammy Guevara

Well, somebody must’ve missed a cue somewhere on AEW: Dynamite. There’s barely 10 minutes left in the show.

This was not the best match in the world. And it honestly felt like they were rushing to the conclusion. Matt produced a table with “Deleted” written across it. But he was dazed from the preceding battle, and Guevara put him through the table.

Hopefully this isn’t the end of the feud. This has been getting built up since Double Or Nothing. And while it never had the traction they were looking for, they devoted enough time to it that it should have a satisfying conclusion.

At the end of the show, Orange Cassidy – without shades – comes out and beats the hell out of Jericho at the announce table. Honestly, that felt rushed, too.

It was weird for the timing to be that far off. Tony Khan usually runs a pretty tight show when it comes to timing.

Orange Cassidy jumps Chris Jericho on 'AEW: Dynamite'

The Breakdown

When a tables match and an MJF promo are the weak points of your show? You’ve put on a pretty darn good AEW: Dynamite.

Timing issues notwithstanding, this was a solid show that sold All Out in a big, bad way. We’ve got impending doom for the Elite, a potential new challenger for the TNT Championship, and more intrigue on the road to the World Championship match.

This was as solid an AEW: Dynamite as you can ask for.

AEW: Dynamite returns to its normal 8PM/ET timeslot this coming Wednesday on TNT.

All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - August 27, 2020

8.6

In-Ring Action

8.8/10

Booking/Writing

9.0/10

Promos/Video Packages

7.5/10

Entertainment Value

9.2/10

Pros

  • The pending intrigue with Hangman Page and the Elite
  • That Tag Team Gauntlet match was awesome
  • Brodie Lee became a top-level heel on this episode
  • Also, Scorpio vs. Brodie? Yes, please.

Cons

  • Somebody dropped the ball on timing this show
  • MJF/Moxley segment ran a little long
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