MJF had a pair of awesome interviews on 'AEW: Dynamite'
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AEW: Dynamite returned to live television after weeks of taped episodes.

They made their live return to TNT with their usual solid show. But, long story short, it should’ve been better than solid. Just 17 days away from the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view, AEW only tonight started putting together the card for the second-annual Double Or Nothing.

Some of the match-ups seemed a little random. And some of the storytelling – in the ring, anyway – was a little off by AEW: Dynamite standards.

Let’s take our weekly dive into the hits and misses from this week’s episode of AEW: Dynamite.

Cody picked up a win over Joey Janela on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Cody Vs. Joey Janela

I give Cody credit for having stayed active on AEW: Dynamite. But he does know that he doesn’t have to wrestle everybody, right?

Not to undersell the talent of Joey Janela. But Cody is a top guy. He doesn’t have to give TV time to all comers. Hell, I know he’s booked later in the show, but send Omega out to work with Janela.

In storyline terms, the announcers agree with me, citing that Cody has a lot to lose, risking getting hurt in an AEW: Dynamite opening match when his match with Lance Archer is on the horizon.

Solid match from both guys, with some awesome offense, including Cody hitting a moonsault off the stage. Having said that, the referee could’ve counted both guys out about eight times. So much for, “We follow the rules and focus on the ‘sports’ aspect.” That’ll be a running theme in this week’s AEW: Dynamite.

I can’t fault the quality of the match, which was great, with Cody picking up the win with the Crossroads. But in wrestling, the TV is for building to the pay-per-view. Even more so in the current climate, when long-form storytelling isn’t as solid an option as usual.

And this AEW: Dynamite match didn’t do much to build to Double Or Nothing.

After the match, Cody shakes Janela’s hand – have you learned nothing?!

HIT – Women’s Division Video Package

Next on AEW: Dynamite was a video package highlighting the women’s division.

It tracked Nyla Rose’s rise to become the AEW Women’s World Champion. But it also gave props to the rundown of top contenders, highlighting Dr. Britt Baker and number-one contender Hikaru Shida.

The segment was a solid catch-up piece, which is necessary given that the women’s division has been placed on hold in the wake of the pandemic.

Having said that, the attention on the women’s division wasn’t exactly there in the first place. So now’s pretty much the best time to remind the audience of the lay of the land.

HIT – Nyla Rose Vs. Kenzie Page

For those just joining us, this week’s AEW: Dynamite Nyla Rose squash victim is 18-year-old Kenzie Page.

Before the match, Tony Schiavone tries to interview the champion, but Nyla tells Tony to “get your ass back over there and do your job.”

Tony’s first words upon returning to the booth: “Well, guys, I got my ass back over here to do my job.” Seriously, the last few episodes working with Jericho have really made Tony step up his game.

The match is exactly what it needed to be, with Nyla being an absolute heartless monster. Made all the more awkward with the top women babyfaces (Kris Statlander, Shida) seething at ringside.

Not a tremendous AEW: Dynamite match, but it was exactly what it needed to be.

HIT – MJF Interview

MJF joins AEW: Dynamite with a pretaped interview, talking about how he’s no longer a “kid” with “potential.”

Friedman promises to be a champion before the blink of an eye and declares himself the owner of the “it factor.”

“That 24-year-old kid? He’s not Rock, he’s not Piper, he’s something this business has never seen before.”

I love how it’s obnoxiously obvious that he’s standing against a green screen made up to look like a Manhattan high rise.

He may not like the Rock comparisons, but it’s the perfect analogy. MJF is a guy we hate so much that we can’t wait to love him.

An MJF interview is impossible not to rank as a hit on AEW: Dynamite.

HIT – Shawn Spears/MJF Interview

Shawn Spears cuts a pretape of his own, blaming Cody for the beating Dustin Rhodes took on last week’s AEW: Dynamite.

For one thing, it’s about time AEW remembered that Shawn Spears is a magnificent heel. And I like the idea of re-igniting hostilities with Cody.

Coming back live, Tony catches up with Spears and MJF. MJF hypes his return to AEW: Dynamite action next week before giving Spears props for calling Cody out for letting Dustin take his bloody beating.

It eventually turns into MJF and Spears trading compliments, but Tony interrupts to let MJF know he’s signed to take on Jungle Boy at Double Or Nothing.

MJF spits out his drink. I don’t blame him. Jim Ross calls Jungle Boy “Jungle Jack” Perry again, and I spit out my drink.

You win some, you lose some.

Jon Moxley battled Frankie Kazarian before getting jumped by the Dark Order on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Jon Moxley Vs. Frankie Kazarian

This is Kazarian’s first singles match since January of 2019. And now he’s taking on AEW World Champion Jon Moxley in non-title action on AEW: Dynamite.

A lot of mat-based stuff in this match, which I expected from Kazarian but not so much from Moxley.

When both guys were moving on the mat, it was a pretty solid and entertaining match. But there were a lot of static spots that played out like extended tests-of-strength.

The match finally veers into Moxley-friendly territory, with both guys battling on the outside during the picture-in-picture commercial break. That’s before it heads back into the ring and really starts to pick up steam.

After some more brawling, inside and out, Moxley picks up the win with the Paradigm Shift.

Kazarian came out of this looking like a million bucks, and Moxley lost nothing by giving his opponent some really cool spots.

NEAR MISS – Dark Order Jumps Mox

After the match, Brodie Lee and the Dark Order return to AEW: Dynamite to wipe out Jon Moxley.

Mr. Brodie Lee warns Moxley that the Dark Order are the lions of AEW. And while he’s heard that Moxley is an honorable guy, Moxley has the championship, an Brodie wants it.

Now, I’m all for a feud between Moxley and the Dark Order, culminating in Moxley vs. Lee. But before this AEW: Dynamite segment was over, Moxley vs. Lee for the AEW Championship was announced for Double Or Nothing.

Lee caps off the segment by walking off with the belt. Which is nice. We haven’t had a good stolen-belt angle in pro wrestling for a while. I approve.

Like I alluded to earlier, you can’t tout yourself as being sports-based, say that rules matter, and yammer every week about the AEW rankings. Not when a guy gets a title shot by jumping the champion. I get that the coronavirus situation has forced AEW to fast forward some feuds and storylines now that they’re going live again.

But there hasn’t been so much as a seed planted for this angle. At least Brodie was a little more subtle with his Vince McMahon-isms this week.

Still, it’s a match I’d love to see. I’d just love it more if AEW: Dynamite had started trying to excite me a few weeks earlier.

HIT – Brandi Rhodes Interview

Next, AEW: Dynamite airs a pretaped interview with Brandi Rhodes.

We mentioned Shawn Spears maybe reigniting his heat with Cody earlier. And now Brandi is cutting a more restrained version of the promo she cut on Spears in advance of All Out.

She makes sure to remind us that Lance Archer is a psycho, but her focus is on Jake Roberts. Her primary point is that Roberts needs to worry less about name-dropping Brandi and more about Cody. Interesting, considering she herself referenced Jake slapping Miss Elizabeth back in the day.

Brandi does show that she remains a solid hype-woman for Cody. But in a weird juxtaposition with the Moxley vs. Lee feud just starting this week, Archer vs. Cody has been building for weeks. This is something that could’ve stood to wait until next week, but it was solid nonetheless.

NEAR MISS – QT Marshall (W/ Brandi Rhodes) Vs. Lance Archer (W/Jake Roberts, W/Face Mask)

Jake comes out with a face mask (as obnoxiously-noted above). Well, at least AEW is taking care of the at-risk population. Because he’s very extremely elderly, you see.

This AEW: Dynamite segment isn’t a near-miss for the match. The match is exactly what it’s supposed to be.

It’s just a few weeks too late. If you’re going to build to Cody vs. Archer, Archer needs to work his way up the Nightmare Family.

QT should’ve been first on Archer’s hit list. Followed by, I dunno, Tommy Dreamer or DDP? Then Dustin. Like I said, the match was fine, but the backwards booking was just a little off-putting.

Archer destroys QT with relative ease while Jake and Brandi do some ringside smack-talking.

After the match, Britt Baker gets a measure of revenge on Brandi for throwing her shoe into the stands. And she throws her into the ring, where Jake and Archer are waiting with Jake’s python. As with last week, Cody just lets it happen, which is pretty strange. Some rando referee makes his way out just as Jake and Archer are leaving. But no Cody.

How do you explain to a marriage counselor that your husband let an elderly man attack you with a live snake?

It was a good segment, and it did exactly what it was supposed to on AEW: Dynamite. And it doesn’t derail the train on Lance Archer quickly becoming a game-changing star. It just should’ve been two or three weeks ago.

HIT – Taz Interviews Darby Allin

Before the interview, AEW: Dynamite advertises a “Casino Ladder Match” at Double Or Nothing. The winner will get a shot at the AEW Championship.

JR promises that the precise rules will be announced on next week’s AEW: Dynamite. Well, the Casino Battles Royal haven’t exactly been easy to follow in terms of the rules. And they’ve written themselves into a corner by having to differentiate this from the Money In The Bank match.

In a pretape, Taz interviews Darby Allin. Well, it’s not so much an interview as Taz calling Darby a failure. Darby, rightfully, walks out on Taz.

Hey, it was short and sweet, and it helped give another  aspect to Darby’s character. He stews on his failures.

Matt Hardy teamed with Kenny Omega on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Street Fight: Le Sex Gods (No, Seriously) Vs. Matt Hardy & Kenny Omega

This was wonderfully ridiculous. And a perfect main event to close out AEW: Dynamite.

I’m going to do as much as I can to say as little as I can about this match.

It wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination. This match was a madcap, over-the-top tribute to nonsensical lunacy.

The fight was everything the empty arena match between Moxley and Jake Hager a few weeks back wasn’t. With some comedy on top. Like I said, I don’t want to spill too many beans. But as you can see in the above Twitter embed, a golf cart was involved.

And there was a great bit where Suge D (Pineapple Pete himself!) gets to get a little physical with Jericho. Who’s been spending weeks disparaging him on commentary. In hilarious fashion, I might add.

Jericho and Guevarra pick up the win, and the Inner Circle dismantles both guys on the Jaguars’ adjacent field.

This was fantastic. If Vince watched AEW: Dynamite, he might even say that it was such good sh- well, you know.

AEW - All Elite Wrestling

The Breakdown

Was it the best AEW: Dynamite? No.

But was it a really, really good episode of AEW: Dynamite? Absolutely.

Again, some of the storytelling elements were off. At least as it pertains to how they were advanced by the matches.

Given the circumstances of having to basically throw together Double Or Nothing, it was a good showing from AEW. You can’t go wrong with a no-miss show.

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

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - May 6, 2020

0.00
8

In-Ring Action

7.0/10

Booking/Writing

7.7/10

Promos/Video Packages

9.0/10

Entertainment Value

8.2/10

Pros

  • Absolutely insane main event!
  • MJF. That is all.
  • Great package on the women's division.
  • Big hype for Archer vs. Cody. But ...

Cons

  • The booking for Archer vs. Cody has been a little backwards.
  • Not sure what Joey Janella was supposed to get out of tht opener.
  • Brodie Lee vs. Moxley seems REALLY out of nowhere.
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