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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 25, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
REPORT BY WADE KELLER, PWTORCH EDITOR
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, Excalibur
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
-The Dynamite opening theme aired. Then they panned cheering clusters of fans as Ross, Schiavone, and Excalibur introduced the show.
(1) “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. JOHN SILVER (w/Dark Order)
Page came out first. They aired snippets of Page’s prior interactions in the ring and behind the scenes with Dark Order. Then as Silver came out, an inset interview aired with Dark Order, sans Brodie Lee. Evil Uno said they requested this match. Silver said Page is a good guy, and they requested this match, but predicted a win.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s good to see a little table-setting for the match, but I don’t think it’s a great strategy to open Dynamite with a lower-end match-up like this and no teasers for what’s to come later. If you start with a red-hot match-up between stars, that’s one thing, but if not, I think it’s important early to get people invested in and excited about the bigger segments and matches.)
Silver offered a fist-bump with Page, but Page said no. Schiavone said Silver has become somewhat of a sensation on the Internet, but he thinks he’s demented. Ross noted that Page came out without an alcoholic beverage. Silver scored a near fall after a huracanrana roll-up several minutes in. He continued to rally including a brainbuster suplex for a two count. Page came back with a Liger Bomb and a Buckshot Lariat for the win. Excalibur said Page needs to rebuild after losing the World Title Eliminator final, and this is a good first step.
WINNER: Page in 9:00.
-After the match, the rest of Dark Order came out to the ring. Evil Uno addressed Page. He said they have immense regrets over many things they have done. He said Page was part of a group that wouldn’t let him leave when he wanted to, “and if that’s not a cult, I don’t know what is.” He said he and his friends are there for him. Schiavone said, “Wow, that sounds pretty sincere.” Excalibur called it a “compelling offer for the lonesome dove, so to speak.”
-They went to the announcers on camera. They hyped the advertised matches.
-Alex Marvez interviewed Kenny Omega backstage about last week’s contract signing situation. Omega said he’s had a lot of time to reflect. He said the more things change, the more they stay the same. He said a year ago, he was nursing injuries he incurred from Jon Moxley. He said he lost, and he can admit it. He said now present time, they’re about to do the dance again, but now he sees Moxley’s face on the cover of magazines and people are calling him the best. He said now the Best Bout Machine and The Cleaner is back. He said he is the true best in the world. He said for a year he has scratched and clawed his way back to the top. He said it isn’t until he gets Moxley’s title when people consider him the best. He offered a gentleman’s challenge: “For one night only, dammit, please leave the garbage wrestling at home. No tables, no chairs, no garbage cans, no thumbtacks. If you want to be the best, beat me in the middle of the ring. Pin me, submit me, choke me out, but do it based on your ability.” He said he’ll be waiting for him in the ring, “so let’s sign that contract.” He congratulated him and Renee on the news that they’re expecting their first child together, and he said that childhood story he told tugged at his heartstrings and he believed every part of it. He said he doesn’t think his dad was all that tough, though, and he thinks his dad “would have beat the shit out of your dad.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Now we’re getting somewhere with Omega’s character. I like his condescending tone and baked-in arrogance.)
-The announcers hyped Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin. (They listed him as Cody Rhodes, not just Cody, by the way.) [c]
-A video aired of Darby settling an abandoned junk car on fire as he held his TNT Title. He spray painted “Survive if I let you” on the root of the car before setting it on fire. Then he said, “Now the fun part, Team Taz, survive if I let you.”
(2) POWERHOUSE HOBBS (wTaz) vs. LEE JOHNSON
They replayed Hobbs turning heel on Cody last week. Taz joined the announcers on commentary. The crowd chanted, “You sold out!” at Hobbs. Hobbs eyed some wrestlers at ringside taunting him. He looked at them and said it was just business. Hobbs tossed Johnson into the security barricade at ringside, then threw him back into the ring and finished him with a powerslam. Taz said he demands anger and a mean streak, and Hobbs has all of them.
WINNER: Hobbs in 3:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: He’s leaning way too much on the snarl with his mouth and it’s seeming cartoonish, but overall his body language and demeanor is a big contrast to his smiling babyface persona.)
-Taz entered the ring and congratulated Hobbs, then sent him to the back. Taz said AEW is not acknowledging the FTW Title. He said he’s sick and tired of the lifestyle that belt represents not being recognized. He said he’s not leaving the ring until someone from management comes out and acknowledges the legacy of the belt. He said there’s a reason tough bastards hold it. His mic got cut mid-sentence. Schiavone said he’s hijacked the show. Taz ordered Justin Roberts to present him with the mic. Ross said Justin almost had a heart attack. Justin handed him in the mic. Taz said if they cut that mic, he’s going to grab a headset at ringside instead. The mic got cut. Schiavone said Tony Khan has instructed them to cut him off.
Cody Rhodes stepped onto the stage with a headset on. He walked out and said Taz is done, so give him a round of applause. Cody entered the ring and said he is coming there out of total respect. He said he’s wasting time. He said next week they can leave it in the ring. He asked if he’s happy with that. Taz said next week, the same thing is going to happen that happened last week – “you and Darby are getting whipped.” He said he wants “one of you management people” to give the FTW Title the respect it deserves. “I’m tired of this shit,” he said. Cody said someone from management is here, and he’s going to “run it up the flagpole” for him. Taz asked, “What are you going to say next, creative has something for me, any more of that corporate bullshit, wish me best of luck in my future endeavors?”
Cody had left the ring, but then he reentered and raised his voice and intensity. He said Taz’s son is training to be a pro wrestler, so why is training with him instead of Taz, his dad. Taz dropped the mic and said he can’t believe he did that. He said he’s shocked and he’s pathetic and went too far and that was stupid. Cody dropped his mic and called them for them cut the cameras. Taz choked out Cody from behind. Billy and Austin Gunn entered the ring, so Taz jumped out of the ring. Taz’s son was with him, carrying the FTW Title with him.
(Keller’s Analysis: There were some good moments there, but I have such difficulty enjoying anything where an active wrestlers is talked about as also being in management. I see no upside, and it leads to convoluted segments like this. The idea we’re supposed to believe Cody broke script or went too far didn’t work when it was “the cool thing for new-age bookers” in 2000-2005, but it’s really unworkable now. Fans just want a good consistent story in the AEW universe, not some pseudo-layered segment where viewers are being asked to play along with the idea that something “got more real than it was supposed to.” I’d do away with any references to wrestlers being EVP and just tell wrestling stories, not insider meta fourth-wall breaking stuff that its target audience is too savvy to buy into and thus feels insulted it was even attempted.) [c]
-They went to the announcers on camera who commented on the Taz-Cody angle.
-Marvez interviewed Eddie Kingston backstage about Pac & Rey Fenix battling his guys Butcher & Blade later. Kingston said he’s not mad, he’s just disappointed. He said he expected it from Fenix, who likes to jump and flip around the ring. Moxley walked in as Kingston began mouthing off about Pac. He stared at Kingston. “You know it wasn’t me,” Kingston said. “I’ve got my own stuff to handle. You know who it was. You’ve got your own stuff to handle, champ.” Mox stared intensely at him, assessed what he said and how much he believed him, and then he turned and left.
(Keller’s Analysis: Moxley showed how and when to chew gum and still look cool instead of dickish.)
(3) TOP FLIGHT (Dante & Darius Martin) vs. TH2 (Jack Evans & Angelico)
Before the match, they showed TH2 attacking Top Flight unprovoked last week, and then last night on Dark, Top Flight attacked TH2. As TH2 made their entrance, they cut to a soundbite of Evans saying it’s time to yank other teams who have shoved them into the dark by the hair and remind them of exactly who they are. Angelico began against Darius. They cut to a break at 2:00. [c]
Darius hot-tagged in and rallied after the break. Angelico saved Evans from being pinned a couple minutes later. They fought back and forth, with TH2 taking over with some near falls of their own. Ross said TH2 are two veterans who want to get back in the hunt, and the other team is in their second match ever on Dynamite. Eventually Angelico got a tapout from Dante.
WINNERS: TH2 in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s good to see TH2 get some TV time. They’re talented and a good second-tier team to agitate and feud with a rising team like Top Flight. I have no issue with Top Flight losing here, as TH2 need some credibility if they’re going to try to weave them into Dynamite’s tag team mix, and Top Flight are on a journey and early losses after putting up a good fight is part of that.)
-The Jacksons ran out for the save when TH2 refused to break and then stomped away at Top Flight.
(Keller’s Analysis: Back to the basics, that run-in establishes the Bucks are babyfaces. My mantra for AEW’s booking that I’d post everywhere backstage is “Fault on the side of the basic, keep things simple.” Lean on the wrestlers personalities being enough without being overwritten or ironic or too-clever-by-half or insider or shocking.)
-The announcers reacted. Ross said it looks like Top Flight have some pretty good mentors now.
-Backstage, Vickie Guerrero with Nyla Rose, spoke about nepotism. She said Brandi Rhodes is an example. They showed a clip of Jay Cargill injuring Brandi’s arm. She said it appears Brandi’s business plan is set up for failure. She said if she needs advice, call her. She cackled. Rose joined in.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was Vickie’s best promo to date. She didn’t rely on “excuse me,” which just feels like left over WWE drivel that was driven into the ground. That was just a good, sufficiently and appropriately annoying heel promo.)
-FTR and Tully Blanchard said they might have had what wrestling journalists called one of the best matches in history, but it was one of the worst nights of their careers because they lost. Dax said he needs the AEW Tag Team Titles. Tully said it is their destiny to hold the belts. He vowed they’d regain the titles.
(4) CHRIS JERICHO & JAKE HAGER (w/MJF, Wardlow, Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevera) vs. SCU (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
The crowd sang Jericho’s song and he seemed, as usual, to really appreciate it. MJF, Wardlow, Santana, and Ortiz swarmed Daniels at ringside as they cut to a break a few minutes in. [c]
Daniels hit the BME for a two count on Hager, broken up by Jericho. When Kaz entered, the ref turned to him. Then MJF used his diamond ring to stop it. Jericho then hit the Judas Effect. Hager then made the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Jericho & Hager in 11:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Jericho seemed to see MJF interfere, so they’re not playing up the idea he’s not into cheating, despite being on a path to an official babyface turn against MJF.)
-After the match, Kaz attacked MJF. The Inner Circle attacked Kaz and Daniels as a result. Scorpio Sky ran out with a chair to clear the ring of the heels, who fled immediately. Jericho yelled at him from ringside.
-Kip Sabian, along with Penelope Ford and Miro, stood backstage for a “new segment.” Kip called it “The Miro & Kip Video Game Extravaganza.” In walked Orange Cassidy who reset the video game system. That led to a fight outside their trailer including Best Friends. Miro yelled at the camera guy and grabbed him to move out of the way.
-Excalibur announced there’d be a Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal next week.
-They showed Moxley on the ground last week with a bloody nose. The announcers said it seemed Moxley believed Kingston claim that he wasn’t involved.
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced Kenny Omega first. Justin Roberts touted his credentials, including four references to the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame. Two women came out with brooms, as usual, and 1980s jazzercise leotards. The silhouette of Omega showed the silhouette of Moxley attacking him. He beat him up and dragged him to the ring. He stood on Omega’s hand, then gave him a Paradigm Shift onto the AEW Title belt. Moxley asked for the mic from Schiavone. He then said , regarding Omega’s “Gentleman’s Agreement,” he doesn’t know who Omega hired to take him out last week, but they did a piss-poor job because he’s still walking. He said he knows some guys from Philadelphia looking for work if Omega needs a better option next time.
Moxley said he thought their beef was squashed a week ago, but then he had to go and piss him off. He said not to worry, and consider them even. He said there’s only way to become AEW World Champion, and that is to dig deep into his guts and find the Kenny Omega everyone thinks he is so he can climb a mountain and beat him. He said in one week, it’ll be the biggest match in AEW history. He said the two best wrestlers on the planet battle. “God, I love this shit! Win, lose, or draw, winter is coming for you, Kenny.” He said this is not a game and jokes on BTE and dancing girls with brooms won’t help him. He told him he doesn’t take prisoners, so steady his hand and aim and take his shot because he’ll only get one. Mox then signed the contract.
(Keller’s Analysis: More great work from Mox.) [c]
-Marvez interviewed Inner Circle backstage. MJF yelled about what kind of man sucker-punches another man. Jericho said they won fair and square, and as he promised last week, the fun and games for Inner Circle are over and they are going back to beating the hell out of everyone in AEW. He said next week, he’s going to make Kazarian famous as they’ll have their first-time ever one-on-one match. He said he will get revenge on him for putting his hands on MJF. He said next week, it’s all over.
-A video package aired on Hikura Shida vs. Anna Jay. Jay said she was inexperienced when she first met Shida, but now she has a whole army behind her. Tay Conti touted Jay’s martial arts background. Shida said what Jay needs isn’t the belt, it’s more heart.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nicely done. It set the stage by showing each of their personalities.)
(5) HIKARU SHIDA vs. ANNA JAY (w/Jay Conti) – AEW Women’s Title match
Three members of Dark Order stood on the stage and watched. They cut to a break a couple minutes in, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
Shida eventually finished Jay with a running knee for the win.
WINNER: Shida in 9:00 to retain the AEW Women’s Title.
-Shida celebrated on the stage with her belt. Abadon then crawled onto the stage. Shida collapsed in fright and crawled backward (because it worked so well for Seth Rollins when faced with The Fiend). Abadon grabbed the belt and licked it. Schiavone said she’s making it clear she’s taken aim at Shida.
-Matt Hardy spoke from backstage. He said 2020 has been a tough year, and considering his super stardom, he wanted to show everyone how to battle through it. He said if he can overcome his insurmountable odds, they can overcome their pedestrian challenges at home. He said when you’re ready to give up, ask what Matt would do. “Survive, thrive, win.” He let out a creepy wide-eyed smile.
(Keller’s Analysis: Whatever Matt does, as long as he sticks with it for a year, I promise to endorse it.)
-The announcers hyped next week’s matches.
-Ricky Starks, Brian Cage, and Hobbs stood backstage. Starks said Taz left in a rage. He said Tony Khan pays them well and puts them in big main event matches. He said his problem is with Cody. He said his “paper-thin ego seems to get in the way.” He blamed Cody for wanting Taz’s mic cut because he didn’t want Taz to talk about Cody losing his belt. He said now he’s made it personal, and next week he and Hobbs are coming to bust heads. Cage said they’re the most dominant force in wrestling. “Who betta?” he asked.
-Schiavone announced Brit Baker vs. Leyla Hirsch.
-Butcher & Blade their ring entrance along with Kingston and Bunny. [c]
(6) REY FENIX & PAC (w/Penta) vs. BUTCHER & BLADE (w/Bunny, Kingston)
Kingston joined the announcers on commentary. Kingston said he’s ready to take Schiavone’s spot. The teams met on the ramp and brawled before the bell. After several minutes of hard-hitting back and forth fighting, Fenix landed a nice spinning hook kick on Butcher, but Butcher swatted him out of mid-air on a cutter attempt. With all four wrestlers down on the mat, they cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Blade was in control of Fenix. Ross underlined the magnitude of next week’s Omega vs. Moxley match. Pac tagged in and went rapid-fire on Blade. Butcher and Blade took over against Pac. Butcher dropped Pac over Blade’s knee. Blade then gave Pac a gut-wrench sitout powerbomb for a near fall, with Fenix breaking up the cover (although Pac’s shoulders were still down and the ref easily could have just finished counting to three instead of “rewarding” the outside save from the illegal man). Fenix tagged in and took out Blade. Butcher and Pac brawled at ringside. Kingston ran to the ring and knocked Rey off the top rope. Blade gave Fenix a neckbreaker with help from Butcher to add extra elevation, which led to the three count.
WINNERS: Butcher & Blade in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match.)
-Afterward, the heel threesome beat up Death Triangle. When Bunny grabbed a chair, Schiavone told someone to take the chair away “from that lady.” He then said, “That maniac.” Kingston lifted Pac’s dead weight and DDT’d him onto a chair. “What is wrong with Pac!?” exclaimed Schiavone. Lance Archer charged to the ring and actually attacked Blade. Blade landed on his head when Archer dove at him. Kingston and Butcher attacked Archer, but he bound off the ropes and knocked them both down. Jake Roberts joined him in the ring. Archer set up a chokeslam, but Butcher broke it up. Fenix and Penta joined in to fight back.