Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega teamed up to face Santana and Ortiz on 'AEW: Dynamite'
Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail

The penultimate AEW: Dynamite on the road to Double Or Nothing checked all the boxes.

All Elite Wrestling has made its reputation on doing a lot with a (comparatively) limited roster.

And somehow, with wrestling all but crippled by the coronavirus pandemicAEW: Dynamite continues to put on solid shows without breaking a sweat.

In a $9.99, WWE Network world, selling a $50 empty arena PPV is a tough job. I’m not sure how, but AEW: Dynamite is doing it.

Lance Archer and Jake Roberts had words for Cody on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Lance Archer/Cody Intro

AEW: Dynamite opens from Jacksonville, having in no way been recorded after last week’s live episode.

Lance Archer makes his way out and attacks random guy-from-the-back number 4872-D. We get a recap of Archer and Roberts attacking Brandi on last week’s AEW: Dynamite.

Roberts says he’s been asked to apologize for his actions against Brandi. And he offers it if Brandi kisses his – well, you know. Gross.

The Snake puts the whole AEW roster on notice. And then he goes full 70s heel. Saying that women are great in the home, the kitchen, and taking care of babies. Okay, I’m all for not scripting promos. But let’s maybe get some notes before we send Elder McOldGuy out with a microphone, eh?

Anyway, Jake turns his attention to threatening Cody. But he gets interrupted by Cody revving up his truck outside. And the American Nightmare goes full Austin (BAH GAWD), driving it into the arena with fists taped.

The TNT Championship finalists brawl before Cody goes after Jake. But Archer jumps him from behind and goes for the Blackout. Cody fights him off. Archer still wants to go, but Roberts holds him back.

Really good AEW: Dynamite segment. It sells the match at Double Or Nothing but leaves us wanting more.

HIT – Tag Team Video Package

Well, we couldn’t go too long on AEW: Dynamite without giving the Bucks credit for AEW’s tag team division.

On the plus side, the video package highlights the fact that tag team wrestling is the number one aspect of AEW that separates them from the rest.

And, as mentioned, it’s hinted that the prominence of tag team wrestling on AEW: Dynamite has mostly to do with the attack on Nick Jackson back in March.

Best Friends, the Dark Order, Private Party, and the rest of the division get put over as potential players.

Not much to it, but a worthwhile reminder that if things ever get back to normal, AEW: Dynamite is the home of tag team wrestling.

As good as it is, though, there are elements of it that could stand to be revived. See what I did there?

HIT – Jurassic Express (W/Marko Stunt) Vs. Best Friends (W/Orange Cassidy)

Who wants to take odds on how long it takes JR to refer to Jungle Boy as ‘Jungle Jack’ Perry?

Solid mat work between Jungle Boy and Chuckie to start. Man, after Money In The Bank, I can’t put into words how great it is to have some ambiance at ringside for AEW: Dynamite.

Luchasaurus and Trent tag in, and Luchasaurus does what Luchasaurus does. Trent is dumb enough to get in the dinosaur’s face and gets smacked around for his troubles.

On the ramp, Orange Cassidy looks primed to help his buddies, but he gets jumped by Rey Fenix. Both guys will compete in the Casino Ladder Match at Double Or Nothing.

In the ring, Jungle Boy takes the pin and then he gets jumped by MJF to push their match at Double Or Nothing.

This was AEW: Dynamite getting back to what they do best. Putting on a great match in and of itself while telling more than one story beyond the match. Wardlow demolishes Marko Stunt for good measure. Great booking.

Also, JR got closer, calling him ‘Jungle Boy’ Jack twice before finally just calling him Jungle Boy. Twice! HE DID IT, HE DID IT, HE DID IT, BAH GAWD!

Four of the top women in AEW did battle on 'AEW: Dynamite'

Fatal Four-Way: Hikaru Shida Vs. Kris Statlander Vs. Dr. Britt Baker Vs. Penelope Ford (W/Kip Sabian)

Okay. I’m all for AEW: Dynamite and their push for diversity. And I’m all for Nyla Rose.

But this is what the AEW women’s division should be.

Penelope pulls Kip Sabian out of the crowd to second her. I like them being paired up on TV; they make a really great heel couple.

By the way, Hikaru Shida has been the number-one contender for the last two, three hundred years.

Statlander offers Ford a boop and takes a boot to the gut for her troubles. Meanwhile, Baker goes for an early rope stomp on Shida. The two best heels in AEW might well be in this company right now.

Statlander picks Baker up for a slam, but Baker tries to make peace with a boop. So Shida and Statlander double-slam her. This is four women playing their roles to perfection on AEW: Dynamite.

Shida picked up the win with a running knee to Ford while Britt Baker slapped the Lockjaw on Statlander out on the floor. Setting up yet another Double Or Nothing match, maybe?

The match got a little sloppy the longer it went on, but the psychology employed by all four women kept it alive.

HIT – Pineapple Pete Promo

For living proof that Chris Jericho can get anything over, Suge D cuts a promo and embraces the Pineapple Pete moniker gave him weeks ago.

Short and sweet, but it did the trick on AEW: Dynamite.

And this is the difference between WWE and AEW. Something happened organically and it caught on. And instead of artificially reshaping it to seem more like what they intended all along, AEW just rolled with it.

It’s nice when a 30-second segment can sum up an entire business.

Matt Hardy and Kenny Omega took on Santana and Ortiz on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega Vs. Santana & Ortiz

The Inner Circle jumps Omega before the bell, but Hardy (Damascus incarnate himself!) comes out to even the odds.

Omega and Hardy continue to be a solid pairing. It’s starting to look like this is Omega’s niche in the wrestling world outside of Japan. The guy’s a tag team specialist.

Jim Ross continues to test my patience, voicing his dislike of some of Omega’s offense. Yeah, way to put the talent over, Jim. He wins me right back, though, making a reference to being old enough to remember Abe Lincoln vs. Stephen Douglas.

It’s the solid back-and-forth we’ve come to expect from Hardy, Omega, an the Inner Circle. The heels take over, and Sammy Guevara, still selling his loss at the hands of a golf cart on last week’s AEW: Dynamite (complete with neckbrace) comes out to help his buddies.

And Hardy gives him a Twist of Fate as a reward.

Omega and Hardy pick up the win on AEW: Dynamite. Everybody looked good, everybody got over, and the overarching story continued.

'AEW: Dynamite' saw the in-ring return of MJF

NEAR MISS – MJF Vs. Lee Johnson

Who?

It’s MJF’s first AEW: Dynamite match in weeks. I was all primed and ready to give this week’s show a big thumbs up for having no squash matches.

But it’s necessary. We’ve already set up his Double Or Nothing match, and we’ve already set him up as the clear favorite. It almost seems to me like it’d be a better idea to keep him out of the ring until he goes toe-to-toe with Jungle Boy.

MJF picks up the win before challenging Marko Stunt to a match on next week’s AEW: Dynamite.

I have to give the segment credit for keeping it tied to MJF’s feud with Jungle Boy and Jurassic Express. And for building to a match on next week’s go-home AEW: Dynamite.

But I don’t think we needed a match to accomplish any of that. Much less a squash.

Darby Allin was interviewed about his spot in the Casino Ladder Match on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Taz Interviews Darby Allin/Hikaru Shida Interview

Next on AEW: Dynamite, Taz tries to interview Darby Allin again.

He puts Darby Allin over as a competitor in the Casino Battle Royal. And then puts him down for having gotten beat by Cody.

I’m curious where they’re going with this. But if it ends with Taz coming back, I’m not for it.

Excalibur goes over the rules for the Casino Ladder Match. It’s basically the Royal Rumble with ladders. Two competitors will start, and another competitor will come out every 90 seconds.

As long as there are no Brother Love or Vince McCorpse cameos, I’m all for it.

Backstage, Hikaru Shida is getting interviewed before Nyla Rose pops in and beats her over the head with her own kendo stick. “I found your kendo stick, b*tch!”

Okay, more segments like that on AEW: Dynamite could make me a big Nyla Rose fan.

Chris Jericho settled the score with Pineapple Pete on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Chris Jericho Vs. Pineapple Pete/Jericho Promo

THE PINEAPPLE POWERS EXPLODE!

I don’t at all mean the following as a knock. This might be the most well-built program currently running on AEW: Dynamite.

And much as it seems like I’m a mark for Chris Jericho (and I am), I feel the need to reiterate this. He noticed a guy at ringside wearing a pineapple shirt and got him over by giving him a nickname.

You can’t tell me he doesn’t belong in the “GOAT” conversation.

Pete gets a fluffy of offense in early, but Jericho puts him away with the Judas Effect. The Pineapple Pete Era is over!

After the match, Jericho challenges Matt Hardy to a Stadium Stampede match, at Double Or Nothing. Vanguard-1 flies to the ring to accept the challenge on Hardy’s behalf. And Jericho beats Vanguard to death with his baseball bat, Floyd.

Oh, now it’s personal!

If last week’s street fight is any indication, Jericho vs. Hardy is going to be a monument to weirdness and madcap action.

HIT – Double Or Nothing Announcement

And then AEW: Dynamite ups the ante on Double Or Nothing.

Mike Tyson will present the TNT Championship belt to the winner of the Lance Archer vs. Cody match.

On one hand, this isn’t 1998, and Mike Tyson isn’t the king of PPV anymore.

And yet on the other, it’s Mike Tyson on a wrestling PPV. It’ll be great or a fustercluck. Nothing in between.

Mr. Brodie Lee faced Christopher Daniels on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Mr. Brodie Lee Vs. Christopher Daniels/Moxley Brawl

In some ways, this is a match that had to happen on AEW: Dynamite.

Weeks after suggesting that the Dark Order’s Exalted One didn’t exist, Christopher Daniels has to go one-on-one with him.

And they had a great match together. There was some fantastic brawling action, and Brodie looked like a million bucks. This is just a segment that had too many elements colliding at once.

After a brawl between SCU and the Dark Order, Brodie picked up the win only to have Jon Moxley come out to beat down the Dark Order. But Brodie escapes before Moxley can reclaim his AEW World Championship belt.

With Brodie laid out, Moxley cut another killer promo. He promises to make Brodie pay for stealing the belt with interest. At Double Or Nothing, Moxley promises a “hailstorm of violence.”

See, before Moxley came out, I really didn’t care about Moxley vs. Lee. Now, AEW: Dynamite has me super excited for it.

AEW - All Elite Wrestling

The Breakdown

I didn’t have high hopes for this week’s AEW: Dynamite. After last week, I worried that AEW had spit out its go-home show three weeks early.

After this week’s show, it’s clear that AEW has plenty of gas in the tank on the way to Double Or Nothing.

The PPV, on paper anyway, doesn’t have the strongest card. This week’s AEW: Dynamite made it feel like a supercard.

AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights on TNT at 8PM/ET.

Double Or Nothing will air live on traditional pay-per-view on May 23 for $49.99. It will be available for streaming on B/R Live for the same price in the United States.

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - May 13, 2020

8.8

In-Ring Action

8.2/10

Booking/Writing

9.0/10

Promos/Video Packages

8.9/10

Entertainment Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Hardy vs. Jericho is going to be insane
  • The women lit it up this week
  • Kenny Omega's niche is as a tag guy
  • JR got Jungle Boy's name right!

Cons

  • MJF didn't need a match to get his feud over
  • Just a LITTLE sloppiness in the women's match
Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail