SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
MAY 20, 2020
LIVE IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON TNT
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
-A video package on Double or Nothing aired looking at the top matches including the Stadium Stampede and Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee (which was billed by the narrator as the main event, for what it’s worth).
-The Inner Circle arrived outside Daily’s Place. Alex Marves approached them with a microphone and said they arrived in style. Chris Jericho, baseball bat in hand, said if you think what they did to Vanguard 1 last week was bad, wait until they see what they do to The Elite. Marvez asked what their plans are. Santana, Ortiz, Guevera, and Jake Hager gave him a hard time as they walked away,
-The AEW Dynamite opening theme aired.
-They showed the stage as pyro blasted. Then they cut to wrestlers at ringside wearing masks and socially spaced cheering and applauding. They went to the announcers at ringside who previewed the top segments and matches on the show.
-Brodie Lee led 10 to the ring holding the stolen AEW World Title belt. Several other Dark Order members accompanied them. Brodie addressed the camera from the stage. Babyface wrestlers shouted that he stole the belt. Brodie asked them to be quiet because an adult was speaking. Brodie yelled at 10 to “take a proper knee.” 10 had ten hash marks on his chest. He told viewers they think he cannot relate to them because of his stature, but he does sweat and he does put on pants the same way they do. He said he is not a god, but rather a man. He looked at the AEW Title belt. He said he operates at an elite level and they are the lions of AEW. He pointed at the belt and said the results speak for themselves. He said the way he inspires his wrestlers also inspires him. He said he has to win to satisfy his hunger and desire, but also pay off the loyalty and love of the men who follow him. He told 10 he always knew he was special and he picked him. He said this is his moment to shine. He declared him a High Knight of the Dark Order. He told him to go hunt Moxley for him. Schiavone said, “Okay, I was right, this is a cult.”
(1) JON MOXLEY vs. “10” (w/Brodie Lee, Dark Order)
Moxley made his entrance next. When the bell rang, Moxley charged and landed a high knee and a shoulder capture overhead suplex. Ross said it means a lot to Moxley to headline a PPV on Saturday night after the journey he’s been on the last few years. After the ref forced a break against the ropes, Moxley got in her face, but was polite about it. That opened him up for a blindside elbow by 10 to take over. 10 landed a pump kick and then then threw him into the barricade. Back in the ring, 10 scored a soft two count. 10 landed a spinebuster, then yelled. Moxley caught 10 with a surprise mid-ring DDT. Excalibur noted 10 wrestled in AEW previous as Preston Vance, but Brodie Lee liked what he saw and indoctrinated him into Dark Order. Moxley took his time but followed up with a piledriver. He finished 10 with a Paradigm Shift for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Moxley in 5:00.
-After the match, Moxley put 10’s arm in a chair. Mox stepped firmly on it and said he’s not sure of what Brodie’s strategy was stealing his belt, but as he sees it, he’s trying to punk him out. He said he won’t chase him around backstage and look like a geek. Instead, he’s giving him ten seconds to correct his mistake or he’ll break 10’s arm. He asked him, like one might talk to a dog, if he’s “a special boy” and Brodie’s favorite. Brodie appeared on the big screen and said Moxley has made his bed and now he’ll have to lie in it. He said all he had to do was ask for the belt. He told him to look into his eyes because he meant business, but now Moxley has made it personal. He said for tonight, he’s leaving. He walked away with other Dark Order members. Schiavone asked if he’s sacrificing 10. Moxley then bashed the chair with the arm inside another chair. “See ya’ Saturday,” he said. Moxley’s music began to play for a few seconds, then stopped. Ross said 10’s arm was mutilated.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid segment. Everything thing seemed to have a methodical casual pace to it, which fits the personalities of Brodie and Moxley, with Brodie being deliberate by nature and Moxley not wanting to overreact and show Brodie he got to him. Brodie walking out on 10 after knighting him seemed rather iniquitous of him.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside to talk about that segment and what it means. Then they hyped a “Countdown to Double or Nothing” on TNT on Friday night at 10 p.m. (right after Smackdown on Fox ends). Schiavone covered his face with his hands as Ross noted that MJF was out next.
-MJF and Wardlow walked to the ring. They replayed Wardlow’s attack on Marko Stunt last week. [c]
(2) MJF (w/Wardlow) vs. MARKO STUNT
Ross acknowledged the death of Shad Gaspar. He said he was always a positive person and sent condolences to his family. Ross said MJF and Jungle Boy on Saturday could steal the show. Marko popped MJF’s ears with his arms to escape an early bear hug. MJF blocked a sunset flip and then lifted Marko by his neck and then overhead tossed him. MJF relished the moment, then strutted and raked Marko’s eyes. Excalibur noted that MJF has never lost a singles match in AEW, so a win by Jungle Boy would be huge. Ross said he’s 6-0 in 2020. MJF continued to work over Marko methodically, posing and flexing for the camera and yelling at Schiavone before a superplex. Marko blocked the suplex and then flip dove into MJF and head scissored him into the turnbuckle. He landed a dropkick, and another, but MJF blocked the third attempt. They fought to ringside where Marko ducked behind the ring apron, then sent a charging MJF into the ringside steps. MJF knocked Marko out of mid-air with an elbow, then landed a shoulder-breaker and applied the Fujiwara armbar for the quick tapout.
WINNER: MJF in 6:00.
-MJF asked for a mic. He said Marko lasted longer than anyone thought he would, so he wanted to let one of his rats in Jacksonville give him a kiss. He said then he remembered nobody in the whole world would ever touch his lips. He said he’d give him a different kiss, and he punched him with his ring. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy charged out for the save. Ross said MJF is a spoiled brat. Excalibur said he’s scum of the earth, not salt of the earth. MJF yelled that Marko sucks.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good basic segment to let MJF establish his personality some more and bully Marko to set up Jungle Boy getting revenge. It’d have been good if they gave Jungle Boy more of a chance to vow retribution on MJF. The camera focused more on Luchasaurus and MJF, but Jungle Boy is the opponent with a chance at revenge on Saturday.)
-They showed Cody arriving last week in a pick-up truck and then clips of the Cody-Lance Archer segment. They went to the announcers. Ross noted that Mike Tyson would be part of presenting the title at the PPV. Jake Roberts then made his ring entrance. They said Arn Anderson would be out next. [c]
-Arn Anderson made his way to the ring. Schiavone hosted the segment. Ross said, “This could be a classic or a car wreck.” Arn and Jake sat on opposite ends of a long table for sufficient social spacing. Schiavone stood back between them and offered them a chance to talk, starting with Jake. Jake said it’s almost surreal to sit across a table from Arn. He said he’s surprised he showed up alone. He said people have dreams and people have nightmares, and they’re usually not real, but Lance Archer is. He said Cody has sacrificed his own brother just so he wouldn’t have to face him. He said he’ll now have to come face-to-face with the truth, and the truth is Archer is a mean son of a bitch who is going to rip his heart out. He addressed Arn and noted they haven’t seen him in a couple of months. “You’re looking thick,” he added.
Arn said Jake almost made him believe it. He said this is surreal for him, too. He said it was a dream match for many to imagine Arn and Jake battling it out. He said they are two guys that if they said a pissant could pull a freight train, you’d hook it up “because we’re called credible.” He said he can see evil permeating from Jake. He said that used to frighten a lot of people. He said he has a killing machine. Jake interrupted and said he’s been to hell and back, so one more trip with him wouldn’t be so bad. Arn asked him to repeat it. Jake said, “Anytime, anyplace.” Arn said as much as he would like to, decorum.
Arn brought up “Iron” Mike Tyson presenting the title to the winner. “Word is, he’s also going to get free reign,” he said. He explained he can do anything he wants, and he’d be honored to share the floor with Tyson. He asked if Jake plans to try to throw his snake on Tyson. “How’s that going to turn out for you, my friend?” he said. Jake said whatever he throws at Tyson will take him down, but he promised Archer the first shot at Tyson. He said he can do it, too.
Arn said Cody looked him in the eye and said he isn’t going to win the TNT Championship because it means better seats at restaurants, better pay, and more adulation from fans, but because he needs it. He told Jake not to interrupt him. He said Cody is one of the leaders of the company who has turned the industry upside down in just a year. He said he earned the match. He told Jake he’s nervous because he’s a vicious prick. He asked if everyone knows Jake is doing DDP Yoga. He said that’s good because he wants him to be limber when he spinebusters his ass and shoves his ass where the sun don’t shine. Jake tipped over the table. Jake shoved Tony. Several referees ran out to keep them apart. Wrestlers and personnel in the crowd yelled, “Let them fight! Let them fight!” Jake retreated.
(Keller’s Analysis: That wasn’t a car wreck. That was cool. They weren’t as sharp as they once were, but the personalities played off each other well enough and they seemed sincere.)
-Ross shifted to Casino Ladder Match hype. They showed a graphic of those involved.
-They aired a video on Darby Allin playing poker with people in masks representing his opponents in the battle royal. He left the table, gave them middle fingers, and climbed a ladder. Then it showed him setting a card on fire. Then the ladder burned with Darby on it. [c]
-A vignette aired with Pac who was looking through a photo album and laughing uproariously. He said he’d been forced to sit at home and weather the storm before, but not again. He called Orange Cassidy a “cocky little prick.” He said Rey Fenix is an assassin who will tear his little snout off and send him to his maker. He set a picture on fire.
(3) ORANGE CASSIDY (w/Best Friends) vs. REY FENIX
Fenix went for a surprise attack on Cassidy on the stage, but Cassidy casually leaned back to avoid him. Cassidy wrestled the opening minute with his hands in his pockets, countering Fenix’s offense and then took him down and kipped up. A frustrated Fenix bailed out to ringside to regroup. Ross noted Cassidy is a 16 year veteran, but doesn’t show his age. Excalibur said he never gets stressed out about anything and thus stays young. Cassidy dazzled Fenix with some offense again, then scored a two count with a crucifix. Fenix finally came back with a double-stomp to the back of Cassidy’s head. Ross noted that Pentagon lives in Mexico City and isn’t traveling due to the virus. Fenix round-kicked Cassidy in his head, then landed a springboard legdrop for a two count. He settled into some mat holds. [c]
The match continued with Cassidy throwing rapid-fire strikes and a Superman Punch. Fenix rolled to ringside again. Cassidy dove through the ropes onto him, then leaped off the top rope with a flying crossbody and a round-the-world DDT in the ring for a near fall. Fenix gave Cassidy an uppercut to knock him off balance on the top rope. Cassidy, though, hit a diving DDT for a near fall. Ross talked about being pumped for the Stadium Stampede. Fenix set up a top rope suplex, but Cassidy, with hands in his pockets, headbutted Fenix to stop him. Fenix came back with a powerbomb off the ropes for a near fall. Fenix set up a Muscle Buster, but Cassidy countered into a roll-up for a two count. He then countered Fenix again and scored another two count. Kip Sabian walked out with a ladder and set it up at ringside. He sat on top and crossed his legs. Fenix gave a distracted Cassidy a low blow and a cutter for the win.
WINNER: Fenix in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really fun match. Not fun in a comedy way, but in a hard-fought way with creative but believable-enough exchanges and sequences.)
-After the match, as Sabian gloated from atop the ladder, Scorpio Sky and Kaz tipped over the ladder. Sabian somersaulted to the mat. Jimmy Havoc attacked SCU from behind. Ross said this might be a Pier Six brawl. Fenix did a springboard flip dive onto four wrestlers at ringside. Colt Cabana ran out and springboarded with an Asai moonsault onto the pile at ringside. Best Friends then lifted Cassidy who flipped onto the crowd at ringside, also. They showed Shawn Spears watching in amazement from a distance. Best Friends leaned Cassidy against the ladder. Cassidy raised his arm in anticipation of victory. [c]
(4) KRIS STATLANDER & HIKARU SHIDA vs. NYLA ROSE & BRIT BAKER
Kris did her boop to everyone at ringside. Ross asked what that was all about. Excalibur said it’s her alien greeting. Shida came out second. They replayed Nyla Rose hitting Shida last week with her kendo stick. Shida ducked a kendo stick swing by Rose. Ross said he thinks the women are nervous about Saturday night with two high-profile matches, and that’s manifesting as angst and anxiety in this match. They cut to a break a few minutes in. [c]
Shida and Statlander lifted and dropped Nyla onto Baker in the corner. Rose landed on Baker’s right leg, which she had lifted and bent, so it got crushed at an awkward angle in the corner. Statlander dragged Baker mid-ring for a cover and hooked her right leg, but Baker held it in pain. A minute later, Statlander lifted Rose off the top rope off her shoulders and slammed her down. Shida then hit a missile dropkick after tagging in. Then she hit a running knee strike for a near fall. It appeared Baker hurt her knee as a trainer was checking on her. Rose ended up winning with a Beast Bomb, scoring a pin on Shida.
WINNERS: Rose & Baker in 12:00.
-Rose pulled a table out from under the ring and slid it into the ring. She set it up as her music played. She put Shida on the table. Statlander knocked Nyla off balance. Shida recovered and got up, then launched Rose off the top rope with a superplex through the table.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s not often the challenger loses to the champion on the last show before the PPV, but it was good to see them not follow the predictable cliched pattern. It very well might not have been the planned finish, but rather an unfortunate audible, if Baker was legitimately injured.)
-Backstage, Marvez interviewed Moxley backstage. Mox said in sports and business and life, everything gets reduced to violence eventually. He said it only gets worse from here for Brodie. “I have a feeling it’s going to get pretty bad at Double or Nothing on Sunday,” he said. He predicted a Paradigm Shift will put Brodie to sleep on Saturday. He said he’ll lose his match and whatever power he thinks he has over the creepy dudes in gimp masks. “It was nice knowing ya,'” he said. [c]
-A new segment called “SSN: Shawn Spears News” aired. He smiled like a news anchor and then reported that Dustin Rhodes, at the request of family and friends, has decided to retire. He said he concurred and then applauded and congratulated him. He said it’s good Dustin has understood his time has come. He said retirement is a difficult pill to swallow, but from what he understands, 12 years ago swallowing pills wasn’t difficult for him. He said he is upset he doesn’t have a match on Saturday. He asked who he has to piss off. He said maybe he has to go into business for himself. He challenged Dustin to a match. He said now people expect and demand this match, and the AEW brass to book and promote this match. He said Dustin is on display at a nearby museum.
-Ross said Dustin didn’t retire. A graphic suddenly appeared on the screen making Spears vs. Dustin official. “Let’s book it! What the hell.” They said the winner of the Casino Battle Royal will face the AEW Champion next week on Dynamite.
-They went to a video package previewing Sammy Guevara vs. Matt Hardy up next. Clips of Sammy and Matt speaking was included, with Sammy complaining that Matt and the Elite are supposed to nice guys. Matt called the Inner Circle “obnoxious ants.”
-Sammy made his ring entrance. [c]
(5) SAMMY GUEVARA vs. “BROKEN” MATT HARDY
Matt got in most of the offense early, including some action at ringside. They cut to a break at 5:00 after a dive by Guevara. [c]
Back from the break, Hardy eventually hit a Twist of Fate for a near fall. Matt, with a cut on his forehead, sat up in shock after the kickout. Matt took off Sammy’s wrestling shoe and then bit his feet. Guevara landed a rising knee strike for a two count. Sammy yanked off his sock and then hit a springboard cutter for a near fall. Sammy then leaped off the top rope with a shooting star press, but Hardy lifted his knees and scored a two count with an inside cradle. Then he hit another Twist of Fate for the win.
WINNER: Hardy in 12:00.
-Afterward, Hardy grabbed a chair at ringside and brought it into the ring. The ref stopped Hardy from using it. Hardy then saw the Inner Circle (remember they arrived together at the start of the show and hadn’t been seen since) in the football stadium with Kenny Omega against the field goal post. Hager threw a bucket of water on him. Jericho said they’re going to take him out with a baseball bat. Suddenly the Young Bucks showed up and leaped out of the stands with a crossbody on Santana and Ortiz. Then they went after Hager. Matt hit Jericho with a chair several times. Hardy joined in. They continued to brawl as Ross explained that on Saturday, the match can end anywhere in the stadium with a pin. Hangman Page sprinted down the field and joined the fight. The brawl continued, with Hardy and The Elite getting the better of Inner Circle, who eventually backed away. They yelled at each other. Schiavone said it’s great to see Page with The Elite after all this time away. Then Hangman walked off. Ross said he feels he did his job and is headed to find a happy hour. The “Be Elite” theme song played as the Bucks and Hardy checked on Omega at the goalpost. The camera panned back where “The Elite” was painted in the end zone. Ross gave a final pitch for the PPV.
(Keller’s Analysis: So were the Bucks just hanging out watching Kenny Omega getting beat up until the camera came on and they could dive onto Santana & Ortiz? Or did they come running down the stands when they heard a ruckus or someone tipped them off? That pressing question aside, it was fun to see The Elite back together. Hangman Page’s sprint to hit a clothesline was quite the return. I liked the idea that Page is there for his friends, but only until he wants a drink and then he’s off on his own. That’s true to his current character, or at least what we last saw weeks ago. As for giving away this much of a brawl on the field, maybe they gave away too much milk before selling the cow. Maybe that left people wanting more, maybe not. I’m not sure)