SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JULY 29, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Announcers: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Taz
[HOUR ONE – Q1]
-After the Dynamite opening theme, pyro blasted at Daily’s Place and Ross introduced the show. Ross said it’s a beautiful night in Jacksonville, Fla. with a lot of distinguished guests at ringside. Some were wearing masks, most weren’t. Jake Roberts was among those at ringside.
(1) CHRIS JERICHO & SAMMY GUEVARA & SANTANA & ORTIZ & JAKE HAGER vs. ORANGE CASSIDY & BEST FRIENDS (Chuck Taylor & Trent) & JURASSIC EXPRESS (Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy w/Marko Stunt)
Ross needled Taz for being a fan of the color orange. Orange and Hager started off. Orange put his hands in his pocket and outmaneuvered Hager early. Hager picked him up and threw him into the corner. Cassidy pulled his hands out of his pocket and clapped his hands across Hager’s ears, then casually ducked a Hager clothesline. All hell broke out with a five on five brawl. Ross doubted one referee could officiate this. “She’s helpless!” Ross said of her. Some dives at ringside followed. Marko ran in. Luchasaurus pressed him and threw him at Hager, who caught him and threw him back into Luchasaurus’s arms on the ring apron. Luchasaurus, with Marko on his back, leaped off the ring apron onto Inner Circle. The announcers didn’t do that move justice with their reaction. Cassidy lazy-clapped inside the ring, then put on his sunglasses.
Guevara entered the ring alone against the five faces. They went after him one after another. Hager joined in the attack, then Jericho worked over Trent. The match settled into one-on-one, which quieted Ross’s complaints about the chaos and lack of structure. When talking about Hager’s intellect, Ross said: “Everybody’s not dumb from Oklahoma; just a few of us.” Luchasaurus eventually tagged in against Santana and Ortiz. He chopped them out of the ring, then squared off with Hager. His mask came very loose. He had to readjust it. Cassidy came in as Luchasaurus tried to secure his mask again. Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz then paired off. When Jericho was going to hit Luchasaurus with his bat, Cassidy yanked him off the ring apron. Guevara caught Luchasaurus with a running knee to the face. When he climbed to the top rope, Matt Hardy’s music played. That distracted Guevara. Hardy shoved him off the top rope. Luchasaurus landed a spinning roundhouse kick to the face for the win.
WINNERS: Luchasaurus & Jungle Boy & Best Friends & Cassidy in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lots of action, and a good TV opener.) [c]
-Back from the break, they went to Ross, Schiavone, and Taz. Ross said they’ve got their masks and are playing by the rules. He said he has his wristbands that show he had a blood test and his temperature taken. They plugged the Darby Allin & Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage & Ricky Starks match.
-Jon Moxley said he has a rule that if people leave him alone, he leaves them alone. But if they don’t, he don’t. He brought up what Cage did to Darby. He said he’s “a kid half your size.” He said he’d be “a punk bitch” if he didn’t do anything about it. He said Ricky Starks has fallen into the wrong crowd. “Let’s see you try to bully me,” he told Cage. “I don’t start fights, but I always finish them.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was so good. Just right to the point, but so on character for him. He’s anti-bullying and comes off badass and cool at the same time.)
-Back to the announcers, Taz cut a promo on Mox, claiming he’s scared of Cage. They shifted to hyping Diamante wrestling to try to earn a contact against Hikaru Shida, plus Hangman Page & Kenny Omega vs. Evil Uno & Stu Grayson for the AEW Tag Team Titles and Cody vs. Warhorse. Ross said Warhorse is an indy standout.
(2) CODY (w/Arn Anderson) vs. WARHORSE – TNT Title match
Warhorse came out in his face-paint and a jean jacket vest and head banged with wrestlers at ringside. Schiavone said he loves that different independent stars get their shot on Dynamite. Taz agreed, but said Warhorse is in over his head. There was a QR code in the corner of the screen for Burger King saying “Scan to Order.” Cody came out second. Taz said this is the biggest opportunity of Warhorse’s career and the biggest opportunity he might ever have. Justin Roberts introduced Warhorse: “He weights four thousand pounds of raw heavy metal and he is here to rule ass.” The announcers talked about Cody’s 16-1 singles record in 2020.
Schiavone said a lot of fans on the AEW post-show on YouTube asked about giving Warhorse an opportunity. Ross said you can always read Cody’s face during a match to get a sense of his mood. He said he’d make a terrible poker player. Cody grew frustrated and ducked a clothesline attempt and showed frustration at ringside. Arn gave him a pep talk. They ran the ropes and criss-crossed, and Warhorse clotheslined Cody. They cut to a break with split-screen staying with the action. [c]
Cody flipped out of a German suplex attempt and then superplexed Warhorse off the top rope for a two count. Cody did some cocky push-ups afterward. Arn told him not to do that and stay focused. He settled into a single-leg crab as they returned from the break. He shifted to a figure-four. Warhorse quickly reversed it. Cody crawled to the bottom rope and forced a break. Cody grabbed his knee in pain. Warhorse dropkicked Cody and landed a hard running clothesline in the corner. He hit a few back elbows and a clothesline to take Cody down. He stomped on him and then did some head banging in celebration. Ross noted he’s only 27. He climbed to the top rope. Cody rolled to ringside. Warhorse ran off the ring apron with a double-stomp to Cody’s back. He landed a flying elbow drop for a near fall at 8:00.
Cody came back with a jackknife pin attempt for a two count. Ross noted that Cody is an executive in this company and has a lot of irons in the fire. Warhorse countered a sunset flip and sat down on Cody’s shoulders for a two count. Cody avoided a leaping Warhorse, who sold tweaking his knee. Cody went after his knee and quickly applied a figure-four for the tapout win.
WINNER: Cody in 11:00 to retain the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Cody’s role as the veteran giving young guys a chance, and being a bit frustrated when they get in the offense they do against him, is working. He seemed less like a heel this week than last week.)
-Dark Order attacked Warhorse after the match and then turned to Cody. Arn Anderson was in the ring and looked ready for a fight. Out came Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) for the save. Ross said he hardly recognized him because it’s been so long since he’s seen him. He tore off his shirt. Schiavone said he’s a long-time friend of Cody. Cardona hugged Cody at ringside and smiled. Cody raised his arm as they cut to a break.
(Keller’s Analysis: Cardona change his look just enough to give people a reason to give him a fresh look overall.)
-Schiavone stood on the stage and talked about the Sept. 5 All Out PPV. Jericho’s music interrupted. He came out with the rest of Inner Circle in a rage. He told the audience to stay silent because they’re furious about what’s been going on with them lately. He said they’re going to draw a line in the sand and creating some ultimatums around here. Guevara cut a brief angry promo about Matt Hardy costing him his return match on Dynamite. He called him “a stupid son of a bitch.” Jericho asked him what that is in Spanish. Guevara said “son of el bitch.” (Hilarious.)
Jericho said in two weeks on Aug. 12, there will be a rematch of one of the greatest matches in AEW history. Jericho said after he beats Cassidy, he will give him $7,000 cash to pay him back for ruining his jacket. He said Cassidy spread “some kind of demon juice” all over his white jacket. He was wearing his jacket which somehow turned more orange. Jericho challenged Cassidy to a debate next week. He said there will be moderator that will blow everyone’s mind. He said he will embarrass him in the ring on Aug. 12, but on Aug. 5 he will embarrass him mentally. He said he is the “DemoGod” and one of the greatest orators of all time. He said he will prove Cassidy is a “filthy piece of trash.” He asked Santana if he still smells of orange juice. Santana said it smells like cat pee. Jericho gasps in frustration and stormed off.
-They went back to Taz and Ross at the announce desk. They threw to Schiavone earlier in the day at a contract signing.
-Schiavone was with FTR for their formal contract signing. Arn walked in and joined them. FTR said they wanted a tag team legend like Arn to oversee the signing. Arn looked over the contract which noted the tag team rope and ten second rule will be strictly enforced in their matches. They also talked about a special Tag Team Appreciation Night on Aug. 12 hosted by them. The legal counsel assured them that was guaranteed in writing. “Hangman” Adam Page entered the room and poured them whiskey. FTR, Arn, and Page did shots together. FTR thought it was cheap stuff.
-Back to the announcers, Ross praised Schiavone for what a great job he did at the signing. He said it’s a big deal to have them officially signed in AEW. Ross shifted to narrating the latest with Dark Order last week going after Page, then FTR and eventually Kenny Omega making the save.
-Dark Order’s ring entrance took place. [c]
(3) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE & KENNY OMEGA vs. DARK ORDER (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson) – AEW Tag Team Title match
Colt Cabana joined in on commentary. He said Brodie Lee got him a great opportunity to do commentary and he’s looking forward to Uno and Grayson winning the tag titles. During Omega’s ring entrance, as he did his routine, Dark Order attacked Page. He charged to the ring to make the save and ref separated the teams. Page was not happy with Omega not being there to help him right away. The match began 56 minutes into the first hour. Colt said Dark Order are the hottest thing going in AEW. They showed the Young Bucks sitting in the stands wearing masks next to each other. (Good to see them setting a good example despite being outdoors, tested, and tag team partners.) Page and Omega worked well together double-teaming Uno; they seemed relieved it went well without incident or misunderstanding. (Baby steps.)
Page landed a crossbody at ringside against Grayson, but then Uno attacked him. Uno threw Omega into the ringside barricade. They showed Brodie standing near the announce desk watching the match intently. Colt talked about loving going out to dinner with Brodie because he pays the bill. Ross chuckled because “free meals” is a favorite thing of all wrestlers. Schiavone said it sounds like he likes hanging out with Dark Order. Colt said Brodie is a great leader, and he loves great leadership.
[HOUR TWO – Q5]
They cut to a break and went to split-screen with Dark Order controlling Page. [c]
Page tagged in Omega after the break. They worked together successfully against Grayson. Grayson avoided a V-Trigger. Omega reverse-whipped Grayson, who flip-leaped over the top rope toward the camera. Uno then entered with a running boot to Omega’s face. Then he landed a top rope senton for a near fall. They gave Omega a double-team sitout powerbomb for a near fall, with Page breaking up the pin. Grayson and Uno then went on the attack on Omega and Page with some tandem offense leading to a near fall by Grayson against Omega. They cut to Brodie who was feeling confident. Four-way action broke out. Page landed a running lariat on Grayson. Page gave Uno a powerbomb. Omega gave him a V-Trigger from behind for a near fall. Brodie was shown pacing nervously now. They then hit their Buckshot/V-Trigger combo for the win.
WINNERS: Page & Omega in 14:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good tag match, on the high-end of expectations.)
-When Colt went to the stage to check on his teammates. Brodie escorted him off the stage so he wouldn’t witness what he did next. Brodie chewed out and slapped around Uno and Grayson. Brodie asked Page if he thought it was funny. The Bucks made their way to the ring. Brodie thanked the Bucks for actually showing up this week. Brodie said the Dark Order is everywhere and they have strength in numbers. He said Page has “pissed him off for the last time and now you pay.” More masked guys came from around ringside and surrounded them. FTR ran out with another foam ice cooler and helped even the odds. Brodie laughed at the chaos he caused. The Bucks yelled back at Brodie.
-Schiavone read a note from Brit Baker who said she had something to say about Big Swole. Baker was at ringside in her decorated wheel chair on a cart. She said Big Swole is obsessed with her and wants to put her grimy hands on her. Brit said she’s a role model, so she’ll get a match with her but only if she beats an opponent of her choosing. “Because this is still my division,” she said. [c]
-A vignette aired on Diamonte. She said her name stands for “Cuban Diamond.” She said she has busted ass for ten years on the indy scene. She said the rest of the women should fear her. She said pressure makes diamonds.
(4) HIKARU SHIDA vs. DIAMONTE
Ross noted Shida has a 14-1 record in 2020. Schiavone and Taz talked about Diamante paying dues for ten years. Ross said she’s been in wrestling for ten years and probably feels she’s been wronged a time or two by a promoter and didn’t get “the almighty push she thinks she deserves.” “Well, here’s how you deserve things – win this match.” (Applause. Great line by Ross. So obvious, yet so often not stated in situations like these. I also love that Ross got to gripe about the complaining he faced when he was in WWE dealing with wrestlers behind the scenes wanting more of a push at the same time he’s putting over the storyline need to win matches to justify a push.) Schiavone talked about the women’s tag team tournament starting this Monday on YouTube.
Shida offered a handshake, but Diamante shoved the hand away. Taz said she’s got a nasty attitude, and he respects that. They rolled to the floor and battled. Shida delivered a running knee to the face of Diamante who she hung up over the railing. Back in the ring, Shida hit a missile dropkick. Diamante eventually made a comeback including a stunner for a two count. Shida landed a suplex into a Falcon Arrow for a two count. She landed a running knee next for the win.
WINNER: Shida in 5:00.
(Keller Analysis: A little clunky and disjointed, with a lack of urgency at times, which Ross even noted on commentary.)
-Schiavone discussed the rules of the Deadly Draw tournament. Everyone draws a color randomly, matching colors must team together. Schiavone said there are no appeals. Ross said they can’t blame who their partner turns out to be on the virus and went on a weird sidebar about people blaming everything that goes wrong with them on the virus. (Huh?)
-Backstage, Dasha interviewed Vickie Guerrero and Nyla Rose. Guerrero said it doesn’t matter who their partner is, they’re winning. Rose then drew a color and it was purple. “I like purple,” Rose said. Dasha said someone already chose that color. In walked Ariane (Cameron from WWE), who just happened to be standing two feet off camera for that “random draw.”
-Elsewhere backstage Wardlow knocked on MJF’s locker room door. He had an assistant push fresh stick of gum into his mouth. He then signed a clipboard held by a woman. He chomped on his gum and strutted to the ring. They stayed with his ring entrance on split screen during the break. He had another assistant push hand sanitizer on his hands. Then he had people standing and applauding as he walked by. He kissed a fake baby at ringside. He then opened a mini mouth wash bottle and swished it, then spit it out into an empty plastic bottle someone else held for him. He waved at people at ringside. He shook hands with a guy at ringside wearing an MJF button. Then he pointed at a political-style sign that said “MJF 2020: We Deserve Better.”
(Keller’s Analysis: That was awesome.) [c]
-He stood at a podium in the ring and gave his State of the Industry address. He said wrestling fans aren’t smart, but he’s going to stand there and force-feed them knowledge like a five year old being fed mac and cheese. He then asked the woman with the clipboard to smile because she looks so much prettier when she does. He asked the fans to use hashtags #MJF2020 and #NotMyChampion. He said they’d find out why soon. He said the people are shocked to see him on Dynamite two weeks in a row and not on the sidelines with the bench-warmers. He patronizingly said they’re all doing well.
He said he’s usually not on TV two weeks in a row because a certain someone is scared he will upstage them two weeks in a row. He said it’s time for change in leadership around there. He said when the company first started, he saw men call for change. He quoted Jon Moxley calling for a paradigm shift. He said he wanted out with the old and in with the new. He said Moxley gets to do whatever he wants simply because he came from the “land of titans.” He said a guy on top who gets to do what he wants when he wants “isn’t new, it’s old hat, brother” (imitating Hulk Hogan). He said this started as a revolution but turned into a dictatorship. He said that’s why Moxley is not his champion.
He said Moxley is “one of the greatest wrestlers this great sport has ever seen.” He said it’s time for a frank conversation about all the negative side effects that have happened since Moxley’s reign started. He said “wrestling” is on the marquee, yet where is it? He said all he sees are flop-flops and gymnastics to try to make viewers at home think they’re good at their jobs. He said he doesn’t blame the fans because they have been brainwashed. He said a champion is supposed to lead by example, not cosplay as a specific wrestler, “and that’s a stone cold fact.” He said everybody wants to talk about ratings. He said that’s why they treat Dictator Jon so well. He said where would ratings be without Dictator John. He said on average, minute for minute, he draws better numbers than Dictator Jon. He said Dictator Jon doesn’t want them to know that. He said it’s time for a new guard. He said their Earth is dying as are its morals, yet there they are with Jon Moxley running the old guard and the infrastructure is falling fast.
He said he will put the company on his back and sprint the brand up steep terrain to the very top. “My talent outweighs your tenure, Jon,” he said. “I am AEW. I bleed black, white, and gold.” He said he will lead for the next 25 years. He promised he will not stop until they go from glad-handing each other for being the alternative to transforming this brand into the pinnacle of professional wrestling. His music played as he challenged Moxley for his World Title at All Out and announced his candidacy as the AEW World Champion. “We deserve better!” he shouted to end his political-style speech. Taz said there’s no one he’d rather see as AEW Champion than MJF. (How will Brian Cage feel about that?)
(Keller’s Analysis: That was one hell of a promo. The delivery was awesome. The content was brilliant. To accuse Moxley, who has zero rep for being a locker room cancer like so many prior “top guys,” for being a prima donna who plays self-serving politics backstage doesn’t ring true to anyone, which makes MJF seem even more like a heel for such outlandish accusations. Moxley’s rep is the opposite. The promo works on another level because even if you don’t get all of the insider references, he was so arrogant you just want to see him put in his place.)
-The announcers said Cody & Cardona face Alex Reynolds & John Silver from the Dark Order. Also, MJF will speak again next week. Ross wondered if Moxley will accept the challenge and if Tony Khan will sign the match. Also, a 12-man tag match next week with Dark Order vs. Page & Omega & Bucks & FTR. Plus a Jericho-Cassidy debate.
-Darby’s music played as Justin Roberts introduced him. He didn’t come out. Ross wondered where he was. Schiavone said he’s told he’s not back there. Moxley’s music played and Mox came out. Schiavone said Darby did get beat up badly last week. Ross said Mox “represents the attitude, by and large, of this company.”
-Backstage Taz asked Mox where his skateboard buddy is. He said Starks “beat the living shit out of him last week” and now he couldn’t make it. Cage stood in front of Taz with his FTW title belt. Taz admired his various muscles, pointing them out one at a time. Starks then took the mic and gave a cocky promo about being young, handsome, and successful. “I’m basically everything your baby mama wishes you were,” he said. He said Taz brought him into their group because he knows he’s special. He said everybody loves Darby because he’s different. He said he wrestles like a crash test dummy. He said he tries hard, but he’ll die hard too. Cage’s music played and they walked through the tunnel onto the stage.
(5) DARBY ALLIN & JON MOXLEY vs. BRIAN CAGE & RICKY STARKS
Darby leaped off the top of the tunnel onto them. Moxley joined him in beating up the two heels. They brawled to ringside. Ross said they don’t know who the legal man is. Schiavone noted it’s tornado match, so everyone is legal. When Cage picked up Darby at ringside, Mox dove through the ropes and speared him. Mox set up a powerbomb of Cage on a trash can. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Starks tackled Darby off the ring apron. Mox went after Starks. Cage hit Mox from behind and knocked him down. The ref told the wrestlers to get into the ring. Starks and Cage beat up Moxley inside the ring. Darby made a comeback. Mox grabbed Starks from behind as he was dancing on the ring apron, pleased with himself. Cage went after Mox from behind. He lifted Mox. Darby leaped off the top rope at Cage. Cage caught him and powerslammed both Mox and Darby. That all happened during the break.
Ross commented on how wild everything was during the break. They replayed Cage’s double-slam. Mox threw a chair at a charging Starks a minute later. He gave Cage a knee to the gut, but Cage fired back with a boot. Darby hit Cage, but Starks then tackled Darby. Mox gave Starks a cutter. Cage gave Mox a hard clothesline. All of that was in rapid-fire. Moxley gave Cage a piledriver for a two count, then shifted into a cross arm breaker. Starks broke it up with a dropkick. Starks punted Mox and punched away at him. Cage tossed Starks a trash can. Starks and Cage set up a suplex of Mox onto the can, but Mox broke free. They went back at it and slammed him onto it for a two count, with Darby making the save.
Darby landed a Coffin Drop on Cage for a two count as Mox leaped onto Starks at ringside. Taz freaked out briefly while on commentary. Darby picked up his skateboard which had tacks sticking out of it. He jabbed Starks with it. Mox put Cage in an armbar on the ring apron as Darby leaped off the top rope and stomped the tacks into Starks’s back for the three count. Starks’ leg shook frantically during the cover. He rolled over revealing his back was streaming with blood from dozens of tacks stuck into his back. Yikes! Taz said that shouldn’t be allowed even though it’s no DQ. Schiavone said take it up with Tony Khan.
WINNERS: Moxley & Darby in 8:00.
-Schiavone announced that he was just told by Khan that next week, Darby gets an AEW Title match against Moxley. Ross said those two men aren’t even aware of that as they eye each other after a tag team victory. Darby was pointing at Moxley’s belt, though. They stared at each other as Darby’s music played as the show ended.
(Keller’s Analysis: That match delivered a lot in a short amount of time. That finish was nasty. The skateboard led to a piercing and scraping effect on Starks’ back that might have been more than he bargained for. That’s a big match for next week, too. A little out of nowhere, but with Darby being ranked no. 5 and scoring the win, it has some basis.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A really good episode of Dynamite with an especially strong final 40 minutes with MJF’s stellar promo and a main event that really stood out for the big spots, intensity start to finish, and crazy skateboard and tacks violence at the end, plus a big title match announcement.