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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JULY 22, 2020
LIVE IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Announcers: Jim Ross, Taz, Excalibur
-The Dynamite opening theme aired. Schiavone introduced the show and noted he was alongside Jim Ross and Excalibur. (Interesting Schiavone is the first to speak. It seems Ross usually is. Good to see some rotation between them as they both are the voice of the show at this point.)
-Justin Roberts stood mid-ring and introduced Cody who was accompanied by Arn Anderson. Eddie Kingston came out onto the stage. The screen said he was an 18 year veteran independent wrestler. He said that while Cody grew up around “one-time legends like Arn Anderson,” he grew up around alcoholics and junkies “and I had to survive, I had to grind.” He told Cody he couldn’t last a day in his shoes. “You talk about the sport of pro wrestling?” he said. “That’s a joke, because everyone you have faced is a child. I am a grown ass man and I will put you in the ground and smile.” He said Cody is best friends with Tony Khan; he said Khan paid him to show up and now he’s going to kick his ass and take his title. He vowed to Arn that if he doesn’t stop yapping at him, he’s going to “gouge his eye out.” He said it’s his time, so let him speak. “It’s real easy, relax, you’ve had yours,” he said. He told Khan that he’s willing to have a no-DQ match. Khan said Cody has to agree. Cody agreed. Kingston said he’s either an egg-sucking-dog or an egg-sucking-bitch.
(1) CODY (w/Arn Anderson) vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – TNT Title match
Kingston attacked Cody before the bell. The bell rang. They fought at ringside and traded chops. Excalibur said he’s known Kingston for 17 of his 18 years in wrestling, and he gets tougher every year. Schiavone said he loves this open challenge because you never know who’s going to show up. Cody landed a Disaster Kick at 2:00. Eddie regrouped at ringside. Cody dove through the ropes into him. Back in the ring Cody connected with a top rope missile dropkick. Cody took off his belt. Kingston rolled to the floor and favored his knee. He bashed the security railing in frustration. When Cody dropped to the floor, Kingston got better suddenly and took Cody’s belt and whipped him. That brought out Ross’s “government mule” reference, of course. Kingston pulled away some of the ringside padding. Cody backdropped Kingston. Excalibur said Kingston sold his boots to pay his mortgage because of the lack of work during the pandemic. Ross said he might have borrowed the boots he’s wearing today. Kingston fought back by raking Cody’s eyes. Kingston actually was still limping around on his knee. He back suplexed Cody and then grabbed his left knee in pain. He limped up to his feet and went after Cody in the corner. Ross said Kingston’s left knee could become the story of the match.
Kingston threw forearms at Cody from behind. He yelled at Arn at ringside to shut up. Kingston clotheslined a charging Cody. Cody flip-bumped. Kingston applied a stretch plum mid-ring. Ross and Schiavone said Kingston is 38, has lost 15 pounds, and is trying to extend his career and pay his mortgage. Cody clipped Kingston’s left knee and mounted a comeback. Kingston’s knee gave out as he ran across the ring. Kingston then gave Cody a low-blow, which Ross noted is legal in this match. Kingston DDT’d Cody as he looked over at Arn. He rolled to the floor and pulled a sack out from under the ring. Schiavone said he once managed Santana & Ortiz. He poured a bag of thumb tacks on the mat. Cody dropkicked Kingston’s knee and tried to drop Kingston on the tacks. Kingston escaped and powerbombed Cody onto the tacks. Cody was punctured and bleeding in dozens of places around his back and arm. “For the love of thumb tacks,” Ross said. Cody came back and set up a figure-four. Kingston resisted, but Cody locked it on anyway. Kingston tapped out.
WINNER: Cody in 13:00 to retain the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Kingston was the sympathetic figure from the strong opening promo talking about his non-privileged background to fighting through the knee injury suffered during his big national TV break to the emotions he expressed just as he began tapping out. Arn is pretty colorless and bland right now as Cody’s second, so Kingston aiming his verbal attack at him didn’t really change that. Cody is just a champion, neither face nor heel, and I’m curious what they’re aiming for. The story of Cody’s matches aren’t consistently making you root for him for any particular reason.) [c]
-They went to the announcers at the desk as they plugged the Jurassic Express vs. Chris Jericho & Jake Hager match.
-A pre-taped promo aired with Moxley saying he’s a straight-forward, straight-shooting guy in a business full of con men. He said he had Brian Cage so close to six months of rehab and “the good kind of pain pills.” He said next time he isn’t planning to let go.
(2) MJF (w/Wardlow) vs. GRIFF GARRISON
When MJF arrived at the ring, he told Garrison he looks like he is all jacked and tan and ready to go. He said he’s in the ring with the prodigy, but he has a heart of gold and is the salt of the earth. MJF told Garrison to tell the fans at home about himself, “Jungle Man.” Garrison said that’s not his name, his name is Griff Garrison. MJF said he’s sorry he got his name wrong, but at least he’s not prancing around pretending to be an Ivy League MVP. He told Garrison to share how special it is to be in the ring with someone undefeated. Garrison said he lost a tag mach at Fyter Fest. MJF hit him with the mic and aggressively attacked him. They cut to a break a couple minutes in. [c]
MJF dominated during the break, which they showed on split-screen. Back live, MJF told Garrison to tell everyone he is undefeated and has never been pinned or submitted. He got worked up and tortured him and bashed him until Garrison said out loud he was undefeated. Garrison popped him in the face with the mic from underneath and rolled him up for a very near fall. MJF fired back aggressively and landed a Heat Seeker for the win.
WINNER: MJF in 7:00.
-Schiavone got an update from Reba on Brit Baker’s nose surgery. Baker called for Reba to come help her. They went into her locoker room where she had a sign that said, “The rules of being a role model.” Baker had her nose taped up. She said Shida violently busted her nose, but she returned the next week as a role model “and the much needed face of this women’s division.” She said her fragile, fractured nose was taken advantage of, which was disgusting. She had Reba reveal another motto written on the easel: “Never count out a role model.” She compared herself to Rocky and Michael Jordan making big comebacks. Schiavone said the Washington Wizards never made the playoffs with Jordan. Baker was upset and said she had to start all over. She said she is Michael Jordan, so don’t count her out, “particularly at All Out.”
-Tazz and Brian Cage walked out. Taz said it was a tough week and Cage almost fired him for throwing in the towel, but cooler heads prevailed. He explained that he stands behind what he did as a business decision. He said Cage will never be in that position again. He said Cage would never tap and he didn’t tap and he isn’t wired to tap. He said that’s why he is the FTW World Champion, “because he has an FTW mindset. No surrender.” Darby Allin walked out to his music. Ricky Starks jumped Darby from behind. That was a stiff tackle from behind. Cage powerbombed Darby on the ramp and then tossed him into the ring. Cage was about to hit Darby with the skateboard. Darby was limp as a dishrag. Moxley ran out for the save with his barbed wire bat. The heels retreated as Mox had some words for them.
(Keller’s Analysis: I didn’t have Starks down as a heel after his debut performance, but it’s a good fit to give Taz someone else to manage, and a mixed tag with Mox & Darby vs. Cage & Starks has real potential.)
-A video package introduced the Women’s Tag Team Cup Tournament, dubbed “The Deadly Draw.” It said it’s “coming this summer.” [c]
-Alex Marvez interviewed Jericho with Hager, Santana, and Ortiz. Jericho pointed out his jacket is orange, but it was originally white. He said Orange Cassidy ruined his $12,000 jacket, so now he’s going to take it out on him. He then promo’d his match later with Jurassic Express. He asked Santana if he still smells like O.J. Santana said yes. Jericho went, “Dammit!” He stormed off.
-They went back to the announcers at the desk. They previewed the rest of the show.
-Backstage The Young Bucks walked back to the kitchen and saw Butcher & The Blade chopping beef. A brawl began.
(3) THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. THE BUTCHER & THE BLADE
The brawl went outside a minute in. They used a rolling cart and an AEW freight trailer. Matt leaped off the back of the trailer and landed on Butcher and Blade. The Bucks threw Blade into a plexiglass cover at a concession stand. The Bucks superkicked Blade onto an escalator which then gave him a ride to the next level. They cut to a break. [c]
Back live, the Bucks had control at ringside. Nick dove at Butcher, but Butcher side-stepped him. Blade hit Matt and Nick with a chair. Butcher set up a table. The Bucks made a comeback with a variety of moves including a blockbuster by Matt off the ring apron. A minute later Blade dove over the top rope at Nick, but missed. Butcher then dove at Matt and crashed him through a table leaning against the security barricade. Nick threw a chair at Butcher’s head. The Bucks continued to beat on Butcher and scored a near fall. Matt had a bloodied nose or mouth. He applied a sharpshooter. Nick added a crossface. Blade broke it up. Butcher and Blade came back with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Matt. They each retrieved tables from the entrance tunnels. Nick attacked Butcher and got the table from him. Matt recovered and went at Blade. Ross said everybody is ratcheted up since Fight for the Fallen. The Bucks sent Butcher and Blade into each other onstage, the landed superkicks. They put Butcher and Blade on separate tables. They each the climbed to the top of the entrance tunnels. They each leaped onto Butcher and Blade and scored three counts at the same time.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: A wild match start to finish. That’s the kind of match a lot of fans tell their friends they have to watch a replay of. Butcher and Blade provided big tough foes to batter and bruise with creative highspots. Butcher and Blade were kept credible throughout, too, even if they ultimately lost.)
-Marvez interviewed Lance Archer and Jake Roberts. Archer yanked Marvez into a locker room where Archer attacked a bunch of smaller wrestlers. Jake said they are getting so frustrated sitting around looking like unused furniture. He said sooner or later, somebody in AEW is going to pay. Archer shoved Marvez. Jake said, “I told you.” Jake’s shirt was soaked with sweat. [c]
(4) DIAMONTE vs. IVELISSE
A minute into the match, they cut to a split screen promo with Big Swole. Schiavone noted she is on suspension. Swole told Baker that actions have consequences. “Sooner or later, your fragile ass will have to meet me in that ring,” she said. Diamonte won with a small package out of nowhere.
WINNER: Diamonte in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lots of intense exchanges, but at times choppy and a bit disjointed too.)
(5) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. FIVE (a/k/a Alan Angels)
The announcers noted that Page hasn’t had a singles match in a while. After a few minutes of Page dominating, five members of Dark Order walked onto the stage. They cut to a split-screen break. [c]
During the break, Five attacked a distracted Page with a kick as he re-entered the ring. Back from the break, Five showed some athleticism, but Page cut him short with a nasty lariat. Page gave Five a rolling elbow to the jaw. Five bumped into a back bridge. Page scored a near fall. Page followed with a high powerbomb for a three count.
WINNER: Page in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see Page get a solid win. Five took some really nice bumps.)
-Afterward, Page stared down Dark Order. Colt Cabana joined Brodie Lee on stage. Brodie then walked to the ring and addressed Page. He said he’s been nothing but impressed by him. He said he wasn’t impressed by the absence of his tag partner when he was in immediate danger, though. Brodie said they would never leave him alone – not at a bar, not in the ring – and that is what they are there to offer him. Page said he appreciates the compliments and all, but he’s not really ready to join a cult right now. Schiavone snickered. An angry Brodie said he just made his bed and he hopes he enjoys his sleeping. He threw the mic down and left the ring.
Brodie put his arm around Colt’s neck and walked to the back. Dark Order’s four henchmen walked to the ring and surrounded Page. Schiavone said Brodie didn’t want Colt to see what they were about to do. They jumped Page four-on-one. FTR ran out and made the save, throwing a cooler of beer and ice at them. Kenny Omega arrived eventually, but they had already cleared the ring. The announcers said he was late to the party. Kenny stepped between Page and FTR. FTR gave Page a beer and they seemed just fine. Kenny treated them as a threat, but they weren’t at that time. Page then had some tense words with Kenny.
-Back to the announcers, Ross said that could have been much worse. Ross touted mask wearing and being safe. They announced Omega & Page vs. Dark Order for the AEW Tag Team Titles, Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante in a non-title match, Darby & Moxley vs. Cage & Starks in a tornado tag match, plus another Cody open challenge for the TNT Title. [c]
(6) JAKE HAGER & CHRIS JERICHO (w/Santana, Ortiz) vs. JURASSIC EXPRESS (Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus w/Marko Stunt)
As Jericho & Co. came out, they replayed Cassidy’s stunt dousing Jericho with juice last week. Jericho went after Jungle Boy aggressively at the start. Jungle Boy made a comeback, then tagged in Luchasaurus. Hager also tagged in. They battled back and forth. Hager applied an anklelock on Luchasaurus in the corner. A few minutes later J.B. rallied with a flurry of moves including a dive at Santana & Ortiz at ringside. When Hager broke up J.B.’s cover on Jericho, Marko leaped off the top rope and head scissored Jericho. Jungle Boy then rolled up Jericho for a near fall. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen. Back from the break, eventually Hager battered Jungle Boy. Marko Stunt landed a missile dropkick on Jericho off the top rope. Luchasaurus then landed a sidekick to Jericho for a near fall. The ref was late making the count. Luchasaurus landed another kick. Santana distracted Luchasaurus. Jungle Boy tackled him. “Serpentico” hit Luchasaurus from behind with a stick. Jericho then landed a Code Breaker for the win. The announcers said “Serpentico” apparently joined the Inner Circle. “Serpentico” then unmasked and revealed he was actually Sammy Guevara. (My money was on it being Dick Togo.)
WINNERS: Jericho & Hager.
-Afterward, Cassidy walked out onto the stage. Best Friends charged past him and Inner Circle fled. Schiavone said Tony Khan just booked Best Friends & Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy vs. Inner Circle.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not a spectacular show in terms of one big main event a huge promo or angle, but really solid start to finish with an especially high-octane first hour. They moved forward on a lot of storylines, too. Let the discussion begin on whether Sammy served enough time out of circulation. I think having him return as a “big surprise” feels tawdry, like they are cashing in on his suspension. Having him return in a less high-octane way would have been in better taste. I think a three month suspension was more in line with the offense and the statement AEW had an opportunity to make in terms of how seriously they took the situation. I’m curious if he speaks about this now that they’re past the “surprise” angle with his return.