MJF looked to prove himself worthy of the Inner Circle on 'AEW: Dynamite'
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AEW: Dynamite made the last stop on the way to Full Gear.

The final PPV of the year for AEW took shape on this week’s show. AEW: Dynamite was the last chance to plug a host of giant matches. Jon Moxley, the AEW Champion, had one last encounter with Eddie Kingston while the intrigue between Chris Jericho, MJF, and the Inner Circle continued to build.

Recent weeks have shown AEW to be lax when it comes to building the Full Gear PPV. But this week, all bets were off.

AEW: Dynamite put together a go-home show to remember.

Let’s count down the hits and misses from AEW: Dynamite.

HIT – Chris Jericho Interview

Dasha opens AEW: Dynamite by catching up with Le Champion. But Jericho cuts her off immediately to plug Hager’s 3-0 record in Bellator. Meanwhile, nobody cares.

Because one good turn deserves another, MJF cuts off Jericho. He mentions that he’s feeling some tension between he and Jericho. And he promises to prove to Jericho why he belongs in the Inner Circle in his tag match with Wardlow against Sammy Guevara and Ortiz.

Jericho gives MJF props. He says MJF has all the tools to be a big game player. But Jericho thinks MJF is just too “soft” to be a member of the IC.

Le Champion heads to the desk to do commentary. While MJF and Wardlow head to the ring.

The opening match of 'AEW: Dynamite' saw Sammy Guevara and Ortiz take on MJF and Wardlow

HIT – MJF & Wardlow Vs. Sammy Guevara & Ortiz

Nice little bit of psychology. Sammy teases opening against MJF but immediately tags in Ortiz. Never say that AEW: Dynamite doesn’t know how to drop the subtle hints. If there’s any reason for fans to think that MJF just wouldn’t work in the Inner Circle? It’s the tension with Sammy.

Because MJF is nothing if not a sportsman, he responds in kind by tagging in Wardlow. Who proceeds to start destroying anything and everything that moves. JR and Jericho argue over whether MJF went down like a sack of donuts or a sack of potatoes. See, I would listen to these guys do commentary every single week.

Sammy stirs the intrigue pot by letting MJF get under his skin on the apron, costing Ortiz in the ring. Both teams trade ups and downs, and Sammy puts on a high-flying clinic with back-to-back corkscrews suicida. Madness abounds until we get Sammy and MJF one-on-one.

A staredown ensues, followed by ye olde knock-down-drag-out, punctuated by a Greco Roman eye-gouge from MJF. But then Sammy taunts Serpentico in the crowd. Wait a minute – that’s not Serpentico! It’s Matt Hardy! Who throws a chair straight into Sammy’s face, allowing MJF to tap Ortiz out with the Salt of the Earth.

This was an awesome AEW: Dynamite opener. Efficient storytelling. It tells the MJF/Inner Circle story while working in Hardy vs. Guevara. Again, awesome.

After the match, MJF rushes Jericho at the announce table for calling him soft. Jericho’s all smiles. Oh, I love it – Jericho thinks he has it all figured out. Absolutely brilliant.

HIT – Kenny Omega Interview

Tony Schiavone interviews Kenny Omega. Schiavone compliments Omega on a nice home and a lovely dog. “Thanks, but that’s not my dog. This is not even my home!” This is the Kenny Omega I’ve been waiting for. Weird, awkward, and with – what’s it called – a personality.

Omega talks about making it to the World Title Eliminator Tournament final against ‘Hangman’ Page at Full Gear. He says he could’ve just demanded a title shot of Tony Khan, but he got there on his own steam. The conversation turns to the breakdown of Omega and Page’s friendship over the months on AEW: Dynamite.

The Cleaner proclaims that it’s destiny that he defeat Page at Full Gear.

Seriously, where’s this Kenny Omega been for 13 months?

When we switch back live, Jericho’s mic is off, but we can hear him shouting at Schiavone for talking to Omega. JR puts him in his place: “Because of your melee, your audio’s all screwed up!” Jericho: “THAT’S YOUR FAULT!”

You know, make this commentary team Jericho and JR, and all my complaints about Jim go away. Think about it, AEW: Dynamite.

Miro won his first AEW singles match on 'AEW: Dynamite'

NEAR MISS – Miro (W/ Kip Sabian & Penelope Ford) Vs. Trent (W/ Chuck Taylor & Orange Cassidy)

Wait, is this really Miro’s first AEW: Dynamite singles match? Also, where does breaking a video game cabinet rank on stupid things AEW tag teams have fought about? I think it’s somewhat dumber than Sue’s van but not as dumb as FTR’s truck.

Speaking of Sue. Miro takes the mic and talks smack about Trent’s mom not teaching him manners. Don’t you talk about Sue!

This AEW: Dynamite match went on a little too long. I get that they had to fit a lot into this match. We have to continue Best Friends vs. Miro and Sabian, and we got a little bit of Orange Cassidy and the Dark Order going at it. But the match itself ran out of steam early with Miro showing off strength and then stalling.

It could’ve stood to be a five-minute squash with the same shenanigans and freed up room on the show with something else. After the match, Miro talks more trash about Trent’s mom. This draws out Orange Cassidy, fresh from brawling with John Silver and the Dark Order, to make the save.

Hopefully somewhere down the road, Miro will get a better chance to show us what he’s got. Because so far his AEW run is less-than-stellar.

HIT – ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Interview

Not to be outdone by Tony, Jim Ross sits down with ‘Hangman’ Adam Page for an AEW: Dynamite interview.

And not to be outdone by Omega, Page is dah-runk! Two sheets to the wind, as they say. Who says that, anyway? And what does it mean? Anyway.

The Hangman says he’s a shoe-in to win at Full Gear because he knows Kenny Omega better than anyone. He knows Omega’s every move and every way to reverse them. JR suggests that the Hangman is more nervous than he wants to let on. Well, I mean, if anybody knows how to spot nervousness from a drunk, it’s Jim Ross.

By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone that is a human to follow Adam Page on Twitter. Here’s a taste of why.

It’s no longer timely. And I don’t know what it means. But I love it.

The Young Bucks spent 'AEW: Dynamite' taking on Private Party on the road to their battle with FTR at 'Full Gear'

NEAR MISS – Young Bucks Vs. Private Party

Before the match, Taz comes out with Cage and Starks to complain about Will Hobbs still not giving his answer. Taz says he tried for three hours to get a meeting with Tony Khan  but couldn’t get in. He’s mostly out to complain that his boys’ place in the rankings and to complain that they don’t have a match at Full Gear.

“He’s absolutely right!” Jericho says. “Give them a match, Tony! I’m talking to you, Schiavone!”

During Private Party’s entrance, Sammy Guevara rushes in and hits Matt with the Twist of Fate. I mean, AEW: Dynamite didn’t give these guys the best of reasons to fight again. Plus, they waited until tonight to start actually building up the feud. Better late than never, I guess.

Okay. So, as if there hasn’t been enough reason to be nervous about things this past week? I’m nervous that FTR vs. Young Bucks can’t possibly live up to the hype.

As for this match, it was a far cry from their match last year on AEW: Dynamite. Lots of flips, flops, and spots, but there wasn’t much to it. Sound and fury, as it were. That’s a Shakespeare reference. I’m smart. The Bucks pick up the win with the BTE Trigger.

After the match, FTR runs out to beat down the Bucks. The Hangman runs out to make the save. With his drink. And without spilling a drop. That’s dedication. Nice way to bring things full circle, since Page got everyone into this mess in the first place. Omega runs out after the deed is already done. Hangman and Omega trade a fist bump before going nose-to-nose.

Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston spar on 'AEW: Dynamite' ahead of their AEW world title match at 'Full Gear'

MISS – Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston: Face-To-Face

The deal here is that AEW has forbidden Moxley and Kingston from laying a finger on each other. If they do, the match at Full Gear is off. Well, the AEW: Dynamite before the PPV is a little late for that stipulation, isn’t it? That’s kind of been the story of the build-up to Full Gear in general, though.

So, AEW: Dynamite has done a good job of building this feud in a relatively short amount of time. They’ve done such a good job, that the final confrontation was the weakest segment.

Both guys cut their standard-issue promo on one another, but it’s nothing we haven’t heard before. I’m guessing the goal is to keep these two apart because they have some horrific violence in mind for their “I Quit” match for the AEW title. But this feud has been nothing but these guys running their mouths in pretapes. How does running their mouths while looking at each other enhance that?

Long story short, the last stop going into Full Gear should’ve been a brawl.

After the match, we get a pre-taped interview from Pac. Apparently Pac is going stir crazy having been cooped up for 138 years or however long it’s been.

Nyla Rose dominated Red Velvet on 'AEW: Dynamite'

MISS – Nyla Rose (W/ Vickie Guererro) Vs. Red Velvet

It’s a Nyla Rose match on AEW: Dynamite. Naturally, it’s a squash.

At least they try to do something nuanced. Nyla picks up the win by stealing Shida’s running knee. Well, that was certainly a thing that was on television.

After the match, Vickie Guererro rants at Brandi Rhodes. Wait, what? Then she turns her attention to talking smack about Hikaru Shida. Wait, what? Oh, right, Hikaru Shida is the AEW Women’s Champion. For some reason, AEW: Dynamite has a knack for letting me forget that.

I can’t even pretend to care about Rose vs. Shida at Full Gear. So I can’t even pretend to care about this one.

Cody and the Gunn Club took on the Dark Order on 'AEW: Dynamite'

Cody & Gunn Club Vs. The Dark Order

Wait, this is the AEW: Dynamite main event? Seriously?

Also, why is Billy Gunn main-eventing a promotion’s A-show in 2020? This match was fine for the most part, but if the idea was to show the world what Austin Gunn’s got, it was a bad one.

Austin is fine, but he has a lot of teeth to cut before anybody’s really gonna take him seriously. The younger Gunn picks up the win with a standard-issue neckbreaker called the Quick Draw. But there’s no story here anymore. Cody’s business with the Dark Order is finished. I would ask why this wasn’t Cody, Orange Cassidy and, I dunno, anybody, against the Dark Order.

But that’s because AEW has forgotten they could print money with Cassidy if they really wanted to.

After the match, Cody notices Darby Allin in the crowd. The American Nightmare hypes his TNT Championship defense against Allin at Full Gear. Hey, yeah, that’s another thing that AEW: Dynamite has barely promoted. Darby’s been announced as the contender for Full Gear since the beginning of October. Orange Cassidy’s had time to get buried twice since the announcement.

It’s a weird segment to hype the match. But it’s been a weird way to hype a PPV going all the way back to the All Out fallout.

Cody heads to the ring on 'AEW: Dynamite'

The Breakdown

Talk about trying to make up for lost time.

Week-in and week-out, AEW: Dynamite has been solid television since All Out. But they’ve been shows unto themselves. They haven’t done a lot to build to a bigger event.

This week’s AEW: Dynamite packed a lot of storytelling into two hours. The attempt to build things to a fever pitch is well-taken. But it’s a little late. It’s a situation where 0-60 in five seconds isn’t exactly a great thing.

We started off really strong this week, but the excitement dwindled quickly after the first hour. For a show that started plugging a PPV at the last minute, it was fine for what it was. But ultimately, what it was was fairly underwhelming.

Full match results and ratings:

MJF & Wardlow def. Sammy Guevara & Ortiz, *** 3/4

Miro def. Trent, **

Young Bucks def. Private Party, ** 1/4

Nyla Rose def. Red Velvet, *

Cody & Gunn Club def. Dark Order, **

AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights on TNT at 8 PM/ET. Full Gear is available on PPV and on B/R Live this Saturday, November 7 for $49.99.

All images courtesy of Lee South/ All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - November 4, 2020

7.1

In-Ring Action

6.8/10

Booking

7.2/10

Storytelling

7.5/10

Entertainment Value

7.0/10

Pros

  • Jericho might be playing MJF. Or he might be getting played. Either way, it's awesome.
  • Proposed hashtag: #HangmanSoDrunk
  • Le Champion on commentary was brilliant this week.
  • The Sammy Guevara/Matt Hardy stuff was handled really well.

Cons

  • Ridiculous "no contact" stip for Mox and Kingston that lasts all of three days
  • The AEW women's division: Who. CARES?
  • Seriously, why was that the main event?
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