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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
OCTOBER 21, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
LIVE ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The Dynamite opening aired. Pyro blasted on the stage as Ross said, “It’s win or go home tonight!” he said. He said four of their five feature matches are part of the tournament headed into Full Gear. They showed clusters of fans cheering.
(1) WARDLOW vs. JUNGLE BOY – World Title Eliminator Tournament
Wardlow came out alone. The Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt accompanied JB onto the stage before he headed to the ring alone. Wardlow tried to outpower JB early, but he outmaneuvered and out-quicked him. Wardlow caught him flying at him off the ring apron and then tossed him back-first into the ringpost.
Ross said Wardlow has immaturity and inexperience that shows in his matches to the point it’s written on his face. Wardlow pounded on JB for a few minutes, including a nasty clothesline that JB did a flip bump on leading to a near fall. Ross said there’s an old adage in pro wrestling that athletic big men sell tickets. Wardlow set up a slam off the top rope, but JB elbowed him in the jaw and made a comeback, landing a top rope dropkick to Wardlow’s back. Wardlow spilled to ringside. JB dove at him and knocked him from behind into the security barricade.
Ross said all tourney first round matches are 20 minutes and a draw means both wrestlers are eliminated. Back in the ring JB landed a top rope double knee to Wardlow’s chest for a near fall. JB went for a diving DDT on the ramp, but Wardlow caught him and gave him an F10 into the ring. He took his time getting back into the ring, seemingly processing his strategy, and then delivered a released spinning windmill drop for the win. Ross reiterated “athletic big men sell tickets.” (Not sure how that’s relevant to commentating on a match. Maybe a backstage business meeting.)
WINNER: Wardlow in 9:00 to advance to the semi-finals.
-Ross said last week after they went off the air, Eddie Kingston made “startling statements.” They aired him saying Jon Moxley, who was face down on the mat, told him that the inmates were going to run the asylum when they were on the indy scene, but he sold out. He also was bitter Moxley has a lovely wife while becoming a millionaire. He ranted and frothed about loving the sport. He told Mox to open his god damn eyes. He vowed to make him quit wrestling and quit his championship. [c]
-A pre-taped produced video aired with Moxley. He rebutted Kingston. He said when Kingston signed an AEW contract, no one was happier than he was. He said he knows how hard he worked for 18 years. He said he had integrity and thought he’d never change, but now “I don’t know this guy, this bitter, miserable, whiny guy who thinks the world owes him something, thinks I owe him something. I’m not going to apologize for my success, buying my mother a house, spending 1000’s of days on the road, running my body into the ground so I could give my family a better life than I ever had! I’m not going to apologize.” He said no matter what problems Eddie created for himself, he was always proud to have his back. He said he’s embarrassed for him. He said he claims he didn’t tap, but that’s because he was “too busy blowing snot bubbles.” He vowed to beat him down until he gets his friend back or he ends him. He said when things don’t go his way, he’ll have nobody to blame but himself.
(Keller’s Analysis: Tremendous. He just knows his character so well, and it’s so believable. He knew exactly what had to be said to defend himself against Kingston’s aspirations.)
(2) KENNY OMEGA vs. SONNY KISS – World Title Eliminator Tournament
Ring announer Justin Roberts listed Omega’s resume highpoints including “breaking Meltzer’s star scale” and being PWI 500’s no. 1 ranked wrestler. He even bragged about how he’s so fluent in Japanese, he sometimes translates for Michael Nakazawa. There were female dancers on the stage. Omega then made his new entrance. Schiavone said, “All I can say is wow.” Ross said, “It’s almost like Kenny is saying I’m reinventing myself again, and this is my coming out party.”
(Keller’s Analysis: This is the type of framing and presentation of Omega I thought was a gimmie to do on week one of Dynamite over a year ago.)
Excalibur said Joey Janela was in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, so he pulled out of the tournament and Kiss replaced him. Kenny threw a knee at Kiss, which Kiss bumped early for. Then he hit a One Winged Angel for an instant win. Ross: “Somebody is damn serious about winning this tournament.” Omega helped Sonny up and raised his arm and hugged him.
WINNER: Omega in under 30 seconds to advance to the semi-finals.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m glad Omega’s done clowning around and being an un-serious highly paid star. AEW can use this version of him. Of course, he’s still hard to read and quirky, but not in a way that feels checked out and dismissive of marketing himself effectively. I’m glad they didn’t have Omega sell for Sonny or go back and forth for 12 minutes or even six minutes.)
-They went to Schiavone interviewed Orange Cassidy earlier about his “classic match” with Cody last week. Cassidy said stoically, “Sometimes calls go your way, sometimes they don’t.” Schiavone asked about next week’s rematch. Cassidy said, “We’re off to Cincinnati.” Schiavone said next week is Jacksonville. Cassidy muttered, “Whatever.” Schiavone shrugged and walked away. Cassidy turned and began adjusting the TV screen hanging on the wall.
-Dasha approached Arn Anderson and Cody as they got out of a limo. She asked about his rematch against Cassidy next week. Cody said he’s not surprised AEW wants a rematch, but he’s surprised how swiftly they want it. He said he hears there might be a stipulation added. He said he couldn’t beat him in the time limit last week, and he won’t again next week. Dasha asked about him gaining 14 pounds of muscle. Cody said it was time to shift into heavyweight territory. He said it’s a light-heavyweight company, but it was time to become AEW’s giant killer. He said he has tonight off and he’s excited to be executive vice president and watch the tournament.
(Keller’s Analysis: I still don’t see any advantage to drawing attention to the co-founding wrestlers being executive V.P.’s. It just feels wrong storyline-wise.)
-They went to the announcers on camera. Excalibur said if the match was one second longer last week, Cassidy would have defeated him. [c]
-They went backstage to Kingston who was standing by to respond to Mox. He was obnoxiously laughing. He said, “Unlike you, I don’t forget my people.” He said his guys are going to wrestle each other and prove they are the best luchadors to ever do it, and then his team Butcher & Blade are going to win the tag match later and become champions at Full Gear. Kingston said Moxley is right about him. He said he hates who has become and that he had to become a liar because his ends justify his means. He said when he wasn’t playing the game and wasn’t a snake, he got nothing. He said he had nothing in his life before, so he’s not going to quit. He said Mox will have to go to a deep, dark place. “And you know what?” he said. “I live in that place.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Kingston is earning his contract with promos like that. This is the type of between-matches elbow-grease content I’ve been advocating for AEW to do more of. They have great talkers and need to tell their stories with straight-forward segments like this. This, more than “athletic big men,” is what sells tickets in pro wrestling.)
(2) REY FENIX vs. PENTA EL ZERO M – World Title Eliminator Tournament
Kingston joined the announcers at the table. Excalibur said they’re brothers, but they tried to hide that fact for years. He said Penta doesn’t like being shown up by his younger brother. A few minutes in, Fenix landed a corkscrew dive off the top rope onto Penta at ringside. He then walked the top rope, but Penta yanked on the rope so Fenix crash landed. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
Penta stayed in control during the break, including beating on Fenix at ringside, throwing him into the barricade. Fenix made a comeback, but Penta sidekicked his face as he did a handstand on the ring apron. Both were down and slow to get up. Back from the break, they replayed some highlights from during the break with sound. They aired Dark results on a crawler. Penta took Fenix off the second rope with a leaping head scissors. Fenix landed on the back of his head and at least acted concussed. The ref checked on him and he had a few words, but looked glassy-eyed. Fenix tried to lift Fenix, who appeared to not have his bearings. He gave him a running DDT for a two count. The announcers said Fenix appeared to be injured from that landing. The ref talked with doctors at ringside.
Excalibur said Penta is more concerned for Fenix as a brother. Ross said he should just try to win. Fenix then popped up and caught Penta with a superkick. Schaivone wondered if Fenix was playing possum. Fenix gave Penta a top rope Spanish Fly for a near fall. Schiavone called it the move of the night, maybe of the month. Penta stood and dared Fenix to punch him, but then he ducked and caught him mid-air with a powerbomb for a near fall. Kingston said he’s never seen that before. Penta then snapped Fenix’s arm. Penta apologized before his next move, but Fenix countered him into a destroyer for the win.
WINNERS: Fenix in 14:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match for sure. This wasn’t aiming to be a Match of the Year, nor should it have been. But it told a good story, augmented by the commentary.)
-They went to a video package of issues between the Best Friends and Miro & Kip Sabian. Sabian said that video game was one of a kind and he’s furious.
-They went backstage where Alex Marvez interviewed Alex Reynolds & John Silver of Dark Order and Colt Cabana. Reynolds said if Mr. Brodie taught them anything, it’s to seize opportunities. Silver acted silly the whole time. Colt said he’s on a mission to become the AEW Champion. He said he sees this opportunity as a sign. When he called Silver & Reynolds friends, they said they’re not. Silver said he doesn’t even like him. He said Brodie is going to win back the TNT Title. Silver said next week, they’ll be there for the Cody vs. Orange Cassidy match and vowed to beat up whoever wins. He flexed his muscles and yelled, “What do you think about this, baby?” Reynolds seemed embarrassed for Silver.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was more embarrassing than entertaining. But I’m glad ultimately they’ve giving some time to Dark Order members to bring their BTE characters over to Dynamite rather than having no character development.)
(3) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. COLT CABANA – World Title Eliminator Tournament
Ross said both of these wrestlers are unranked. (Then what is the point of the rankings, exactly?) Schiavone said whoever wins has to face Wardlow next. They talked up Colt’s singles record in 2020 and Page’s 2-0 singles record. When Schiavone used the word “behoove,” Ross said incredulously, “Behoove, huh.” Funny. (It’s one of my favorite words, as my podcast listeners know.) Pretty methodical opening few minutes. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Page climbed to the top rope, but Colt shoved him to the floor and then landed a diving splash at ringside. Back in the ring Colt went for Chicago Skyline, but Page escaped and went for a Buckshot Lariat. Colt ducked and hit The Superman for a near fall. Page then hit the Buckshot Lariat for the win. Dark Order ran into the ring and helped Colt out of the ring.
WINNER: Page in 10:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Basic good solid match. Page didn’t jump off the screen as star, unfortunately, in this match. He still seems sulky and uninspired.)
-A video package aired that showed Sammy Guevara is obsessed with Matt Hardy, with bloody images of Hardy. He set a photo of Hardy in front of his house on fire. [c]
-Taz stood next to Ricky Starks and Brian Cage on the stage. He asked why Will Hobbs hasn’t responded to their offer. Taz said Tony Khan told him that had Ricky Starks beat Darby Allin a few weeks ago, he’d have been in line for the TNT Title match at Full Gear that Darby is getting. Tazz said Starks has won nine of his last ten matches and fell victim to a stupid finish against Darby. He asked what Cage gets? Starks said he is doing his part and is tired of the rug being pulled out from under him. He called Darby a half-face-painted little bitch. He vowed to put him in the grave.
-Ross threw to the steak dinner with Chris Jericho and MJF. MJF was dick to the female server. He mispronounced her name. Jericho corrected him. They got competitive about how their steak would be done, getting more rare with each revision. Jericho asked what they are doing there. He said they’ve been sitting there for 20 minutes saying nothing. He said MJF was rude to everybody. MJF said they’re the two biggest stars. Jericho said when MJF called himself the Ratings Ruler, it’s a dumb name. He said it has as much of a chance of getting over as Orange Cassidy. They said it together and laughed. They went into a musical-style production and actually started signing. They stood and strutted around the table as the curtain opened and women danced in the background. They moved onto the dance floor and began dancing with two of the women. Their lyrics took digs at wrestlers such as Moxley and the Bucks and Cody, and they talked about how amazing they are. The server brought them two raw steaks. MJF wasn’t happy. Jericho agreed it was disgusting. Jericho and MJF called for the server to come back.
(Keller’s Analysis: Well, the singing was a mix of passable and awful. The dancing was charming. The whole segment was surreal and will be as polarizing as John Cena’s babyface push. I enjoyed it, but I don’t know where to place it in my wrestling brain filing cabinet!) [c]
(4) BRIT BAKER (w/Rebel) vs. KILYNN KING
As Baker’s ring entrance began, Schiavone said, “I’m still trying to find the words for that,” referencing the MJF-Jericho segment. He said next week he’ll be part of the The Inner Circle Town Hall “and I won’t sing unless The Inner Circle forces me to.” Baker flat-lined King into the middle turnbuckle. Schiavone said Brit’s friend’s name is Rebel not Reba. Then 30 seconds he called her Reba and admitted he gets her name mixed up. Baker delivered a fisherman’s neck breaker and a stomp. Ross noted her moves were pristine and crisp. Rebel gave her a pink glove and then she applied the Lock Jaw with it for the win. Ross said Baker has come back from surgery very focused.
WINNER: Baker in 4:00.
-The announcers hyped Page vs. Wardlow and Omega vs. Fenix next week. Also, Tay Conti vs. Abadon, and Cody vs. Orange Cassidy in a Lumberjack Match for the TNT Title next week. Also, a Town Hall Meeting with the Inner Circle. Then they pivoted to Full Gear hype with Moxley vs. Kingston in an I Quit match for the AEW Title, FTR defend against the winners of the TV main event, and Guevara vs. Hardy in The Elite Deletion match. Also, Darby Allin will challenge for the TNT Title at Full Gear.
-They went to a video with Steve O setting up a Darby “Body Bag Roll In” stunt in a skateboard park. He rolled and landed with a thud. When Steve O unzipped it, Darby gasped and said he’s winning the TNT Title.
-Butcher & The Blade made their ring entrance. [c]
(5) BUTCHER & THE BLADE vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS vs. PRIVATE PARTY vs. DARK ORDER (Silver & Reynolds) – Winner Gets Tag Team Title match at Full Gear
FTR joined the announcers on commentatry. Dax said having the belts makes them the best. Schiavone said FTR are the reason that the Bucks have a new attitude. Schiavone plugged the Bucks book and said it was “quite the read about their upbringing.” Cash said he’s surprised they managed to kick an actual wrestler instead of a commentator, referee, or stagehand. (It was played like a heel comment, rather than the blunt truth.) Ross said the Bucks came to AEW as the most ballyhooed tag team Tony Khan could sign, but they haven’t lived up to their expectations or that of their fanbase.
The Bucks and Private Party battled at first. They shook hands, but then Private Part super kicked them. The other two teams joined in. Cash said, “Butcher is a good looking guy!” He said they respect Butcher & Blade. Marc Quen rallied and then dove onto Blade at ringside. Then he dove onto Silver on the stage. Then he graced Reynolds at ringside. Dax said, “He could’ve just punched him in the face. Instead, he bruised his tailbone.” They went to what Ross called a “restaurant-quality picture-in-picture” break. [c/ss]
As soon they went to commercial, Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara fought to ringside. The wrestlers in the match stopped and watched for a minute. They did a comedy spot with Silver challenging Blade to a test of strength. Action spilled to ringside with Butcher and Blade taking it to Private Party.
Back from the break, Silver and Kassidy were in the ring. Silver went on a rampage at ringside and plowed through several wrestlers at ringside. He then tagged in Reynolds. The Bucks broke up Silver’s cover on Kassidy. Quen tagged in.
Quen DDT’d Reynolds. Then Private Party did a splash/legdrop combo off of opposite top ropes onto Reynolds. Reynolds was knocked out legit here as his arms went stiff. Blade dragged his dead weight into the corner and no one seemed to realize he was out for a while. He started to come to as action took place around him. He leaned near the bottom rope and couldn’t seem to move more as the Bucks and Blade battled on the other side of the ring. Nick rallied and Reynolds stumbled to his feet, but was out on his feet. Nick kicked him into the corner, then gave him a running bulldog. Geesh. He rolled out of the ring finally.
More chaotic action. Ross said the Bucks have a lot of acclaim, but they need a win. Nick rallied and did a flip dive onto some opponents on the floor. Then he walked to the camera and said, “Best in the world.” Ross said the Bucks have to close the deal. The Bucks isolated Kassidy. He countered a Meltzer Driver for a two count. Matt reversed him and got the leverage pin. They showed FTR reacting near the announce table on the stage.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 14:00 to earn an AEW Tag Team Title match at Full Gear.
-FTR entered the ring with their tag titles and had a staredown with the Bucks. Excalibur said the match is years in the making. The Bucks slapped a beer out of Dax’s hands. The time keeper in a bandana covering his face entered the ring and hit the Bucks from behind with a chair. FTR and the mystery guy gave Nick a spike piledriver. Then they put Matt’s leg in a chair. Schiavone said they’re going to break his leg. The guy in the bandana then unmasked and revealed he was Tully Blanchard. He stood proudly with FTR as their music played. Nick crawled over to check on Matt who was clutching his leg in pain.