AEW: Dynamite followed up Double Or Nothing with one of its most explosive episodes in weeks.
Nobody in pro wrestling has done a better job of making the best of the coronavirus pandemic. And with tonight’s AEW: Dynamite, All Elite Wrestling did the near impossible.
I forgot that they were just wrestling in an empty building. It slipped my mind that the “fans” were just wrestlers with nothing else going on.
The show set the tone for a post-Double Or Nothing AEW. And the future looks bright.
Let’s count down the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Matt Hardy & The Young Bucks Vs. Joey Janela & Private Party
Fun little pre-match bit, as the Young Bucks want Hardy to wrestle on AEW: Dynamite in another persona. I mean, is the guy supposed to carry bottles full of reincarnation water at all times?
But he must, because there he is going way back as 90s-era Matt Hardy. And man, that get-up does not suit a 40+ year-old man.
The fight spills into the stands, where the Bucks accidentally superkick the Blade. Hey, I remember the Butcher and the Blade! Sans the Bunny, though, who’s busy flirting with QT Marshall. Much to Brandi Rhodes’s displesaure.
Near the end of the match, Quen takes a nasty landing and bangs up his knee. The Bucks pick up the win, hitting More Bang For Your Buck on Kassidy. And while Matt is busy being a good sport helping Quen to the back, Butcher and Blade crash the ring and beat the crap out of the bucks.
And then the show gets interesting.
HIT – FTR Arrives
The world has been saying forever that FTR would land in AEW. But they were wrong about how, because Harwood and Wheeler are out to save the Bucks. They hit not-the-Shatter Machine on the heels and stare down the Bucks before just making their way out.
This was a fantastic way to debut FTR on AEW: Dynamite. It both met and subverted expectations.
Also, kinda fitting that this week’s AEW: Dynamite aired 24 years to the day after Scott Hall showed up on Nitro.
We do trade in useless knowledge from time-to-time.
HIT – Brian Cage Vs. Lee Johnson
Playing the part of the Brooklyn Brawler tonight on AEW: Dynamite, Lee Johnson.
The AEW Champion Jon Moxley joins JR and the gang for commentary. But he doesn’t have time to say much, as Cage murders Johnson in less than two minutes.
There is a funny moment, as JR asks Moxley how he’s doing. “Well, I feel like crap, thanks for asking.”
After the match, Taz threatens to have Cage rip Moxley’s heart out of his chest. Well, if he does that at Fyter Fest, I’m pretty sure he’ll be disqualified.
Nice moment of torch-passing, as Taz lends Cage his old catchphrase. “Beat him if you can, survive if he lets you.”
I don’t see Cage taking the title at Fyter Fest – JR says it’ll be “some time this summer,” which is pretty vague – but his pairing with Taz could be a huge deal.
HIT – Dr. Britt Baker Promo
Seriously, the Britt Baker segments are becoming my favorite part of AEW: Dynamite.
Britt’s assistant Reba (her name is Rebel) wheels the doctor out in a wheelchair. And Baker proclaims that her injury is the result of a vast conspiracy against her.
Complete with an easel and posters, she runs down how all the participants in last week’s match conspired to injure her. She even dares to say that Kris Statlander’s claims of being from space is fraudulent. Heresy!
I laughed out loud when she said that she’s seen Nyla Rose come off the rope with “precision and grace.” Mostly because I couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or not.
This was AEW: Dynamite gold. The only thing missing was peg board with pictures tied together with string. Oh, wait, there it is.
“A web of evils.” With referee Aubrey Edwards at the center. Seriously. Just gold. And we’re bound to get more, because Baker says she won’t return until All Out. Britt Baker saw her shadow, that means 16 more weeks of heel promos.
HIT – Hikaru Shida Vs. Christi Jaynes
Okay, so the point of this segment was honestly just to make the new AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida look good. And it did. But, man. I don’t know who Christi Jaynes was, but she’s pretty great.
The match was short, and yet Shida came across as a dominant, deserving champion. And Jaynes came out of it looking like AEW could take her as far as they want.
Having said that, if they’re going to go to the trouble of making Jaynes look like a viable contender, the match could’ve stood to go more than five minutes. But for what it was, this was solid stuff.
I think this might be the only match on the show that didn’t hint at where it’s going next, though. Still, we’ve had a few straight shows with good women’s segments on AEW: Dynamite. Unfortunately, that usually means there’s a stinker in our near future.
HIT – Cody Promo
Next out on AEW: Dynamite is the first-ever TNT Champion, Cody. Well, that belt’s still not finished. And it’s still pretty unpleasant-looking.
Most fans are excited about the prospect of Cody declaring that he will defend the TNT Championship every week on AEW: Dynamite. Basically, an open challenge. Awesome, I’m six different kinds of all for that. It does make the battle royal later in the show seem a bit pointless. Why have an open challenge if your opponents are gonna be determined ahead of time?
What really made this segment for me was Cody’s tone. Cody is easily one of the best promos in the business. And just like his old man, every word means something. So when Cody casually throws in that Tony Khan called three guys to join AEW before calling him? That means something.
I smell a heel turn in the American Nightmare’s future. And I’m all for it.
HIT – Kip Sabian & Jimmy Havok Vs. SCU
Okay, before I get any further on AEW: Dynamite. I must have had the X-Men on the brain, because I kept spelling it “Havoc” the other night.
This was a really solid contest, with Sabian, Havok, and Ford putting together a pretty cool heel faction. A little mismatched to some degree, but sometimes disparate personalities work pretty well together.
The match itself, though, wasn’t anything to write home about.It was pretty standard fare. But considering the talents of Sabian and SCU, standard is pretty damn good. And for the first time in a while, Havok showed off some pretty cool stuff.
Havok picked up the pin for the heels, nailing Scorpio with a Michinoku Driver. I like where this little heel faction is going.
And Sabian and Havok picked up some much-needed credibility in the tag team division.
HIT – MJF & Wardlow Backstage
Backstage at AEW: Dynamite, MJF and Wardlow go over last-minute strategy before the Battle Royal.
The winner gets to challenge for the TNT Championship next week. MJF says that Wardlow “knows what to do” when it comes down to just the two of them.
Mr. Mayhem doesn’t like the sound of that, and his face reflects it. MJF insists it was just a joke.
Hmm. This could be really interesting. And considering they’ve got nothing but time, there’s no reason for AEW: Dynamite not to drag this out for a while.
NEAR MISS – Battle Royal For A TNT Championship Match
Santana and Ortiz beat Orange Cassidy up on his way to the ring. Cassidy interrupted a Jericho backstage interview earlier. Man, I hope somebody at least had a chance to explain the rules to him this time.
We get our first Billy Gunn sighting in the ring since. Well, since the last time they did a Battle Royal on AEW: Dynamite. I was there for that one live. I’ve got cred, doncha know.
Anyway, this drags on for quite a while without a whole lot happening. The final three gets down to MJF, Wardlow, and Jungle Boy. Putting MJF and Jungle Boy face-to-face again after their Double Or Nothing show-stealer. Jungle Boy dumps MJF, and he and Cassidy team up to eliminate Wardlow.
The final two go back-and-forth for a bit before Jungle Boy eliminates Cassidy with a headscissors to win a shot at the TNT Championship. That’s the right finish, 100%. AEW needs to capitalize on Jungle Boy’s incredibly strong showing at the PPV.
So it’ll be Cody and Jungle Boy for the TNT Championship on the next AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Inner Circle Pep Rally
And we close AEW: Dynamite with Jericho and the Inner Circle doing what they do best. Being absolute goofs.
Vickie Guererro introduces the group without a microphone. Because Vickie Guererro. There’s a marching band (well, part of one), as Le Champion and crew make their way out.
Jericho gambled the wrong way and wound up stuck with a bunch of ‘Stadium Stampede Champions’ shirts. So he chucks them out at the crowd. Next, the group exchanges gifts. Sammy Guevara got everybody participation trophies, but Jericho’s says “King Of Dad Jokes.” But Sammy reminds him there’s a pandemic going on; trophies are hard to come by.
For some reason, Santana gives Sammy a bottle of vapor rub. He gives Hager a pair of discount knock-off Timberlands. And, for reasons I don’t understand, he gives Jericho a framed picture of Marc Anthony. This is ridiculous, and I love it. Hager gives the weirdest poetry recital ever that culminates in threatening to kill the Elite in their homes.
Unfortunately, the only thing Jericho really wants is Mike Tyson’s head on a platter. Mike knocked him out 10 years ago on Raw. And, is if on cue, Iron Mike and his posse head out to the ring, and we get a knock-down drag out between Tyson and Jericho (Tyson and Jericho! Tyson and Jericho!).
Interesting way to end AEW: Dynamite. I don’t know if this was just something to put on camera while Mike was in town or if they have a plan for it. Either way, I’m good.
At the end of AEW: Dynamite, we have only one near-miss and no misses.
Almost every match meant something. And if it didn’t, it was at least a good match.
AEW continues to excel in this hope-it-ends-soon era of wrestling. There’s a lot to unpack with this week’s show. Cody’s open challenge, FTR’s intentions, and a pending war with Moxley and Cage.
That’s how you do a post-PPV wrestling show.
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM/ET on TNT.
All images courtesy of AEW.
'AEW: Dynamite' - May 27, 2020
- FTR has arrived!
- Britt Baker continues to amaze.
- Cody cuts one hell of a layered promo.
- Cage and Taz is a perfect pairing
- A couple matches held for the sake of holding matches
- If you're gonna make Christi Jaynes look that good, give her more time