AEW: Dynamite returned to normal on the July 22 episode.
After three weeks of PPV-level TV events, AEW resumed its episodic format.
But that’s not to say AEW lost any steam. After all, “normal” for AEW is still a pretty high bar. Especially when compared to the other guys.
With just over a month before AEW All Out, AEW: Dynamite turned up the heat. There was the usual great wrestling action, a surprising return, and a big debut.
HIT – TNT Championship: Cody (C, W/ Arn Anderson) Vs. Eddie Kingston
Eddie Kingston is a surprise answer to the TNT Championship open challenge on AEW: Dynamite. And somehow they have a graphic ready for him.
Kingston doesn’t let Justin Roberts introduce him. And he cuts one hell of a wicked promo about earning everything he has while Cody grew up as Dusty’s heir apparent. While he’s at it, he points out that everyone else that’s answered has been a child. “I’m a grown-ass man!” Then he threatens to gouge out Arn’s eye. Eddie, do yourself a favor – accept whatever the CGI guys come up with. Please don’t use a prosthetic.
He goads Cody into accepting a no-DQ match, and away we go. And Kingston owns Cody for most of this. What shots Cody does get in are pretty familiar. Nothing you haven’t seen on AEW: Dynamite before. But what’s cool about it is that they don’t work as well against a higher caliber of opponent.
Oh, and Kingston dumps a bag of thumbtacks in the ring. And powerbombs Cody onto them. DAMN. But Cody comes back with a Figure Four. WHILE THEY’RE LAYING IN THUMB TACKS.
Cody gets the submission win to retain. This was a hell of an AEW: Dynamite debut for Kingston. And if Cody’s going where I think he’s going, this match may be a crucial turning point. Awesome, awesome stuff.
HIT – Moxley Promo
AEW: Dynamite rolls on with a promo from AEW Champion Jon Moxley.
He reminds the world that he’s all about being real. Moxley promised he was gonna tear Brian Cage’s bicep from the bone, and the only thing that stopped him was Taz.
Next time, he promises not to let go.
You know, if you’d told me a year ago that I’d actually want to see Moxley continue a feud with an ex-Impact guy? I mean, I’d probably believe it, but I’d be skeptical.
More Mox vs. Cage, please.
HIT – MJF (W/ Wardlow) Vs. Griff Garrison
MJF comes out and takes the mic from Justin Roberts. He runs down Griff and gives him a chance to tell the world about “Jungle Man.” Heh. Don’t carry that too far. Before long he’ll be ‘Jungle’ Griff Perry according to JR.
Griff doesn’t like the misnomer. So MJF gives him a chance to tell the world how awesome MJF is. Griff points out that MJF lost a tag match, so MJF proceeds to murder him.
I mean, it’s a squash from start to finish. And in this context, it’s fine. MJF got called out for losing. Some punk injured his pride, so MJF tears him apart. That’s character reinforcement. It’s not a squash for a squash’s sake.
Then MJF flips the script and gives Griff a chance at redemption. All he has to do is clarify that MJF has never been pinned or submitted. Oooh, subtle. Wardlow took the pin in that tag loss. Keep sewing those seeds, AEW. Griff acquiesces but immediately hits MJF with the pic and rolls him up for two.
A heatseeker piledriver seals the deal for MJF. Not the best match in the world. But awesome storytelling on AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – PromoMania!
Tony interviews Rebel backstage to get an update on Dr. Britt Baker’s condition. But Baker doesn’t want Rebel speaking for her, so she has Tony spin her wheelchair to face the camera. “This wheelchair isn’t gonna turn itself around! Even though it should. Write that down, I need a wheelchair that turns itself around.”
I love obnoxious heel Britt Baker.
She promises a sports comeback on the level of Rocky beating Drago. And better than Michael Jordan coming back for the Wizards. Tony reminds her that the Wizards never made the playoffs, but Rebel makes the save by pointing out that Jordan did defeat the Monstars in Space Jam. I never liked Space Jam. There. I said it.
Back in the ring, Taz and Brian Cage are out to discuss Cage’s loss to Moxley at Fight For The Fallen. Taz reveals that Cage was on the verge of firing him. He says he threw in the towel to preserve his client’s health. And he points out that Cage never tapped.
Darby Allin runs out for another shot at Cage, but Ricky Starks jumps him. The heels put the boots to Darby. Just as they’re about to smash the skateboard into Darby’s head, Moxley runs out of the crowd with a barbed wire baseball bat for the save. Oh, that’s right. AEW: Dynamite uses a segment this week to hype a match for next week. You know, like a TV show.
Backstage again, Chris Jericho is still pretty annoyed about Orange Cassidy ruining his jacket last week. And in the middle of all this, we get a promo for a Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament. Every segment in this block was great. Pretty much a microcosm of how AEW: Dynamite has its stuff together.
HIT – Falls Count Anywhere: Young Bucks Vs. Butcher & Blade
The Bucks are searching for Butcher & Blade backstage with a referee in tow. They track them down to the kitchen at Daily’s Place and we finally get to see Butcher and Blade, y’know, doing butcher and blade stuff.
Butcher and Blade wash their hands before they engage. Safety first.
This was just sheer, madcap insanity. Like, I’m talking the best backstage Raw brawls of 1998-2001 rolled into one AEW: Dynamite match. Cookie sheets to the face, Matt Jackson getting lawn-darted into a semi, and a superkick on an escalator. Seriously, picture Blade getting superkicked onto a moving escalator that just keeps carrying him upwards.
Everybody finally makes their way back to ringside. The Bucks have Butcher in a bad way. But Blade comes out of nowhere with a chair to beat the Bucks down. And like many an Attitude Era brawl, out come the tables. The fight goes back to the entrance ramp. And the Bucks put the heels away with dual elbow drops from the entrance tunnels through the tables.
This was an awesome AEW: Dynamite match. I normally don’t do star ratings for TV, but this was an easy **** 1/4. And possibly one of the best TV matches of the year for AEW.
MISS – Diamante Vs. Ivalisse
Before the match, Lance Archer beats some poor schmucks to death backstage.
This was not the best match. I’m all for getting more TV time for seldom-seem women, but this was just a lot of nothing.
You could tell they were told, “You’ve got seven minutes” on their way to the ring. And they threw it together as they went as best they could.
Diamante gets the win, but this really doesn’t do anything for anybody.
HIT – ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Vs. Five
We’re back to the Hangman getting funny intro graphics. And I’m immensely glad for it.
“‘Hangman’ Adam Page: Gonna See How This White Wrist Tape Works Out.” That’s not something that should make me laugh out loud. And yet it does.
Not much to the match itself, as Page pretty much destroys five.
After the match, Mr. Brodie Lee comes out and points out that Page is by himself. No Bucks, no Omega, no backup. So the Dark Order beats the crap out of him until FTR run out to make the save. With a cooler of beer. How can the Hangman refuse?
Kenny Omega comes out after the work is already done, as Page and FTR share some brews. And five months later, Omega’s the odd man out. The slow burn is great, and I hope they fray the rope a little more each week on AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Chris Jericho & Jake Hager Vs. Jurassic Express (W/ Marko Stunt)
It just occurred to me that AEW never really let up from the tension between Jungle Boy and Jericho. Dating all the way back to the last AEW: Dynamite of 2019.
This was pretty standard main event fare for AEW. Lots of brawling, most of the high spots you’re used to from Jungle Boy. Solid enough stuff.
Near the end of the match, Santana & Ortiz come out to get the Inner Circle’s back. But Jurassic Express manages to fight them off. But at the last minute, Serpentico comes out through the audience and takes out Luchasaurus with a bat. Jericho picks up the pin, and the Inner Circle takes the W.
But wait a minute. That’s not Serpentico! It’s a returning Sammy Guevara. Okay, note to self. Three weeks is all it takes to become a better, more sensitive person. No, but seriously, I don’t have any reason not to give the kid the benefit of the doubt. Anyway.
This brings out Orange Cassidy and Best Friends to make the save and set up next week’s AEW: Dynamite. Not the best match, but smart, forward-looking booking saved it. And I’m legit happy to see Sammy Guevara back in the mix.
You can’t lose with this week’s AEW: Dynamite.
A killer debut for Eddie Kingston. The craziest TV brawl since, well, since the lead-up to the Stadium Stampede. And the return of Sammy Guevara.
Except for the women’s match, every segment had a purpose. AEW excels at avoiding wasted motion. There was nothing captured on film this week that isn’t guaranteed to lead to something else.
Bruce? Vince? This is how you tell stories.
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights on TNT at 8 PM/ET.
All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.
'AEW: Dynamite' - July 22, 2020
- The Bucks and Butcher & Blade tore - it - up
- Eddie Kingston had the best debut he could ask for
- Keep sewing those seeds for Omega and Page
- 'How To Be A Heel' with MJF and Dr. Britt Baker
- The women's match did no one any favors