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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT – “WINTER IS COMING”
DECEMBER 2 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
-After the AEW opening theme, Jim Ross introduced the show and declared it their biggest episode yet. The camera panned the crowd. Ross said winter has arrived because it’s 40 degrees at Daily’s Place.
(1) DYNAMITE DIAMOND BATTLE ROYAL – Final Two Battle Next Week for Diamond Ring
The wrestlers were at ringside. The bell rang. They all charged into the ring other than Shawn Spears and Scorpio Sky. (Why wouldn’t all wrestlers do that to delay the chance of being eliminated?) They cut to an inset soundbite with MJF who talked about winning last year, and he said he would be elated if Sammy Guevara or Wardlow wins. He put his arm around Guevara and said, “It’s not my ring, it’s our ring.” Matt Hardy eliminated Isiah Kassidy. Schiavone noted that Kassidy might not have known his idol and mentor did that to him. Hangman Page eliminated Serpentico, with help from Dark Order members. Luther was knocked out by Miro next. Ross noted the death of Pat Patterson and called him one of the greats. Spears attacked Sky once they got in the ring and stomped away at him. Spears eliminated Matt Sydal with a backdrop onto the ramp. Sky eliminated Spears. They cut to Tully Blanchard’s reaction in the stands. He stood up. Fans sang “Na na na na good bye” at Spears. Spears put on his loaded glove and grabbed Sky and hit him from behind. Wardlow then eliminated Sky. Hardy knocked John Silver into Reynolds to eliminate him. Marq Quen saved Hardy, then Hardy ducked a charging Silver, who went flying over the top rope to be eliminated.
It was down to Kip Sabian, Miro, Wardlow, Sammy Guevara, MJF, Matt Hardy, Orange Cassidy, Marq Quen, Jungle Boy, Joey Janela, and Lee Johnson. Hardy tossed Page over the top rope. Quen dropkicked him off the ring apron, but Dark Order caught him and threw him back into the ring. He then gave Quen a Buckshot Lariat. Hardy, though, then tossed a celebrating Page over the top rope to eliminate him. Cassidy eliminated Sabian. Sabian yanked Cassidy to the floor. Miro beat up Cassidy, throwing him into the ringpost. Miro tossed out Johnson. Wardlow guarded MJF and Sammy in the corner. They just stood there for several minutes. Hardy tried to dump Miro, but Miro tossed Quen onto Hardy and over the top rope. Miro then knocked Hardy off the ring apron to eliminate him. “Miro is on a roll!” exclaimed Schiavone. Miro eliminated Janela next. Miro looked down at Jungle Boy, but MJF, Guevara, and Wardlow attacked him from behind. Miro absorbed the beating and tossed MJF and Guevara off of him. Then Miro and Wardlow squared off. They exchanged punches. Miro got the better of him, but then MJF and Guevara joined in. Wardlow clotheslined Miro hard to the mat. Ross said he thinks Wardlow is a future AEW World Champion. The three of them eliminated Miro.
MJF, Guevara, and Wardlow surrounded Jungle Boy. JB put up a fight. He and Guevara battled on the ring apron. They executed a nice sequence of moves, but MJF shoved JB, which knocked Sammy and JB off the top rope to eliminate both of them. Guevara was fuming mad. MJF pleaded his case. MJF and Wardlow stood together, but then Wardlow realized Cassidy hadn’t been officially eliminated. MJF celebrated obliviously as Wardlow tried to eliminate Cassidy. Cassidy, though, shoved Wardlow into MJF who flipped over the top rope and landed on the ring apron. Wardlow grabbed him and saved him. Wardlow yelled at MJF to help out. Cassidy then surprised Wardlow with an Orange Punch. He gave one to MJF. He then tossed Wardlow over the top rope. The bell rang. Cassidy and MJF were the final two, thus co-winners who will battle one-on-one next week. The Best Friends, Trent and Chucky T, celebrated with him. Miro and Sabian with Penelope Ford ran to the ring and yelled at them. Wardlow didn’t look happy at ringside.
WINNERS: Cassidy and MJF in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good battle royal. I don’t say that often, but that was really well booked and well executed, with a natural flow of various sub-plots and good finish.)
-The announcers hyped the rest of the line-up.
-Kaz made his ring entrance. [c]
(2) CHRIS JERICHO (w/Ortiz, Jake Hager) vs. FRANKIE KAZARIAN
Jericho’s ring entrance aired next. They cut to fans, some with their masks pulled down, singing the lyrics. Ross touted Kaz’s 22 year career. He said he’s defeated some big names including Kazuchika Okada. Kaz opened with a side headlock. Jericho escaped and poked Kaz’s eye. Kaz landed a slingshot legdrop onto Jericho on the ring apron. Kaz had to end with Hager at ringside. Jericho then gave Kaz a Code Breaker in the ring. He knocked him to the floor. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]
Jericho dominated during the break. Kaz caught Jericho with a backslide after the break. Kaz rallied. Jericho came back with a Lionsault attept, but Kaz moved. Kaz then landed a springboard legdrop in the ring for a two count. Kaz gave Jericho a Flex Capacitor off the top rope for a near fall. Kaz countered a Code Breaker a minute later and turned it into a Walls of Jericho. Ortiz stood on the ring apron and yelled at Kaz. He was going to hit Kaz with a loaded sock, but Hager told him to get down to prevent the DQ. Ortiz finally jumped off the ring apron. Jericho almost reached the bottom rope, but Kaz pulled him back. MJF and Wardlow then walked out with a white towel. “That snake is going to throw in the towel!” said Schiavone. Guevara ran out and yanked the towel away from MJF. Jericho finally reached the bottom rope to force the break as Guevara continued to yell at MJF. Kaz then rolled up Jericho for a two count. He followed with an inside cradle for a two count. Jericho surprised Kaz with a Judas Effect for the sudden win. Ross said it seemed Inner Circle were not on the same page tonight. Jericho celebrated with his men, sporting a bloody nose.
WINNER: Jericho in 11:00.
-Guevara shoved MJF. Jericho tried to make peace. Hager and Wardlow started shoving each other. Jericho yelled for them to stop. “Stop this shit!” he yelled. “I’ve had enough. This is bullshit. This is not what we planned. This is not what we talked about.” He told them they have seven days to talk this through. He said they’ll have an ultimatum to work together as a team – every member – or the Inner Circle breaks up forever. MJF smiled, like he was intrigued by the thought. Ortiz and Guevara argued with MJF and Wardlow as Jericho left.
-Alex Marvez interviewed The Young Bucks about facing Hybrid 2 next week. Nick Jackson asked Marvez if he remembers them superkicking him. Matt said they remember beating FTR in one of the best tag matches in the history of wrestling. He said Hybrid 2 don’t have a good enough record to deserve a title match, but if they beat them next week, they can have a title shot. The Acclaimed barged in and sent Marvez away. Anthony Bowens said he and Max Castor have arrived. Caster then rapped in their face. He joked about how on their book cover photos it looks like they’re staring down “at their junk” and asked if they had erections. Matt asked if someone else already did this gimmick. They were attacked by Hybrid 2. Jack Evans tossed Nick into a trash can, then stomped away at Matt. Christopher Daniels and Kaz made the save. Daniels chased them off with a chair.
(Keller’s Analysis: The Acclaimed are likely to be polarizing, but early indications are they have an It Factor worth building on. It’s a big endorsement by Tony Khan, who put them together as a team after being impressed with their work, that he gave them an angle on this show with the Bucks. Not sure about their material there, though, taunting the Bucks for staring at each other’s “junk” and suggesting they were aroused. Considering Anthony Bowens is gay, it’s as especially curious decision to go with that approach. That said, if you look at the book cover, you can’t “unsee” that it appears they are doing what Caster suggested. It shows the Bucks have a sense of humor about it. It wasn’t anti-gay as much as it was “what were you thinking, did you approve the cover?”)
-Brit Baker made her entrance. They cut to a soundbite of Baker saying she was glad to get rid of Thunder Rosa, who she said didn’t belong in AEW. She said Leyla Hirsh should have a one-way plane ticket back to Russia after tonight.
-Hirsh then made her way to the ring.
(3) DR. BRIT BAKER (w/Rebel) vs. “LEGIT” LEYLA HIRSH
Hirsh applied an early cross armbreaker. Baker escaped by grabbing her tooth. She superkicked Hirsh, but she obviously stopped short and made a slapping sound. Not good. She just shouldn’t do that kick anymore. [c/ss]
Hirsh came back with a German suplex. Baker regrouped with Rebel. Hirsh dove through the ropes and tackled her. Baker caught Hirsh with a sling blade at ringside. Hirsh applied another armbreaker mid-ring. Baker escaped and transitioned into a Lock Jaw attempt. Hirsh escaped and applied another cross armbreaker. Baker escaped and went for another (bad) superkick. Hirsh kneed Baker and was favoring her back and could barely climb the ropes. The announcers decried her not going for the cover. Rebel distracted the ref as Baker beat up Hirsh, although she didn’t do anything illegal. She then finished Hirsh with the Lock Jaw.
WINNER: Baker in 9:00.
-Thunder Rosa jumped Baker right after the match, and poor Hirsh was underneath it. Rebel went after Rosa. Hirsh then gave Rebel a German suplex. Six referees tried to break up Baker and Rosa afterward. Producers B.J. Whitmer and Jerry Lynn ran out to separate them.
(Keller’s Analysis: The angle was fine afterward to set up a tag match. The match itself was so-so, and I had forgotten how bad Baker’s superkicks are and my amazement that out of the 1,000s of moves she can choose from, she keeps doing superkicks which almost always look awful.)
-A recap aired of the Cody & Darby Allin feud with Taz and his wrestlers.
-Darby’s ring entrance took place. He skateboarded to the ring. Then Cody’s ring entrance took place.
(4) POWERHOUSE HOBBS & RICKY STARKS vs. CODY & DARBY ALLIN
The match began and they immediately went to a break. It felt like a sudden decision perhaps in response to an NXT commercial break at the same time. [c]
When Darby went after Starks at ringside, Hobbs surprised him with a nasty clothesline. Hobbs beat up Darby in the ring. He tagged in Starks who then took his turn beating on Darby.
The beating on Darby went on several minutes. Hobbs tossed Darby over his head by yanking on his ears. The announcers talked about that for a minute. Darby backflipped over Hobbs and then Starks and then tagged in Cody. Cody went on a flurry against Starks. He landed a powerslam and then threw his weight lifting belt into the audience. Taz stood on the ring apron and yelled at Cody. Starks then gouged Cody’s eyes. Cody gave Hobbs a Disaster Kick to knock him off the ring apron. He turned back to Starks and gave him a Cody Cutter. Darby tagged in and landed a Coffin Drop on Starks as Cody leaped off the top rope onto Hobbs at ringside. Darby got the three count.
WINNERS: Cody & Darby in 10:00.
-After the match, Hobbs attacked Darby. Arn Anderson went after Hobbs. Arn turned and punched Starks. Hobbs held Arn. Starks kicked Arn and chopped away at him. Dustin Rhodes ran out for the save. He gave Hobbs a bulldog and a powerslam. Brian Cage ran out and went after Dustin. Ross said he was concerned for Anderson. Taz entered the ring as the heels got the better of the faces. Hobbs waited for Cody to stand, winding up with the FTW belt. The lights went out before he swung. When they came back on, a “Winter is Coming” style video played on the big screen and then there was a drum beat building anticipation, followed by the Sting logo. Out walked Sting onto the stage. “It’s Sting!” exclaimed Schiavone. He said it’s his first time on TNT since 2001. Ross said the last time he was on TNT was against Ric Flair. Schiavone said he can’t believe what he was seeing.
Sting had the baseball bat in hand as he marched to the ring. Ross said he’s a legend and an icon. He walked up to Arn’s face. Ross said they’ve never been great friends, but they might have a common enemy right now. Sting was wearing a new Sting/AEW co-branded t-shirt. Sting kneeled by Cody in the corner, then walked over to Darby and got in his face. Darby stood and stared back at him. Ross said he had chills. Excalibur said icy stares were exchanged. Sting let out some yells as Schiavone talked about what an amazing moment it was. Sting retreated to the stage as snow fell over him.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was well done. A good landmark moment for AEW in terms of the TNT/WCW connection. Sting connected with a new generation in WWE years ago and this feels like a “big moment” and a “good get.” AEW hasn’t had a lot of moments like this, but this can add AEW to some lapsed fans’ radars. Curious where this leads.) [c]
-The announcers continued to marvel at what they just saw with Sting as they replayed clips of it. Then they announced matches for next week: Dustin vs. “10” from Dark Order, The Young Bucks vs. TH2, FTR vs. Varsity Blondes (Griff Garrison & Brian Pilllman Jr.), Abadon in action, plus the Inner Circle Ultimatum.
-Marvez interviewed Hikaru Shida backstage about Abandon confronting her last week. Marvez said she seemed reluctant to engage with Abadon last week and asked why. Shida said she’s not afraid. She said she’s “just a girl doing cosplay.” She said she does cosplay sometimes, so it’s normal. There was a noise off to the side of a metal pipe falling. Shida asked if they could restart. Marvez said no, they’re on live TV. Shida seemed spooked and left.
-The announcers reacted to that, then announced Lance Archer & The Lucha Bros vs. Eddie Kingston & Butcher & Blade. Ross said Sting has signed a long-term contract with AEW and he will speak next week. Ross nominated Schiavone to conduct the interview. “Damn right I’ll do it!” exclaimed Schiavone.
-Moxley stood in front of a storage room with a fence barrier. He said he arrived in Jacksonville last night and said he could sense something in the air. He said he and Kenny Omega were on a collision course their entire lives, whether they knew it or not. He said they the best two wrestlers in the world who want the same thing, and they’re battling with swords on top of a mountain, lighting crashing, and it’s a long way down. He said the stakes couldn’t be higher. He said there’s only one thing left to do. “Go out there and make them go absolutely banana!” he said.
(Keller’s Analysis: Just spot on perfect stage-setting promo from Mox, who continues to just deliver.) [c]
-They went to the announcers who touted that AEW is the no. 1 trending topic on Twitter right how. Don Callis joined the announcers on commentary. Ross noted he’s an executive with Impact Wrestling. Callis said he’s known Kenny forever and Kenny asked him to be there. He said Kenny said this is the biggest match of his career.
-Justin Roberts did formal ring introductions for the main event. It was 21 minutes into the second hour. He listed accolades for Omega, including his 33 wins being more than anyone else on the AEW roster. Ross talked about the contrasting styles between Omega and Moxley. Excalibur said if the match goes longer than the rest of the scheduled two hour slot, they will stay with the match until it ends, including the possibility of it going to a 60 minute draw. Callis said Kenny hasn’t lived up to the hype, but he said Kenny told him that tonight is the night.
Moxley then made his entrance. They showed him walking backstage with the belt over his shoulder taking a final sip of water. He walked into the stands and made his way to the ring, but didn’t get close to any fans. Schiavone said it’s got a big match feel right now. As they exchanged some words, they cut to a break. Ross said the match would begin after the break. [c]
(5) JON MOXLEY vs. KENNY OMEGA – AEW World Title match
They felt each other out early with some back and forth wrestling moves. Mox took it to ringside at 4:00. Omega fought back and whipped Mox toward the ringside barricade, but Omega reversed him. Omega then suplexed him on the floor. Mox rolled into the ring to break the count. They cut to a split screen break at 8:00. They battled at ringside during most of the break. [c/ss]
Back from the break, Omega gave Moxley a dragon screw whip into the ropes. He then dropped Mox knee-first over the ringside barricade. Mox clutched his knee in pain. Ross said Moxley’s leg could be the story of the rest of the match. Omega focused on it back in the ring. Omega showboated and charged at Moxley in the corner, but Moxley burst out of the corner and landed a lariat to take Omega down hard. Both were slow to get up. Omega caught Mox’s leg and applied a leglock on the mat. They cut to another break at 15:00. [c/ss]
Back from the break, after Omega tossed a charging Moxley out of the ring, Omega landed a running flip dive onto him. Omega then springboarded at Mox, but Mox kicked him in the gut and landed his Paradigm Shift. Instead of going for the cover, he snarled and rolled to ringside. He reached under the ring and pulled out two chairs. Callis said there was a gentlemen’s agreement to keep it clean in the ring. The announcers said this stems from the attack he believes Omega was behind at their initial contract signing. Mox set up the chairs mid-ring and waited for Omega to sit on one of them. Mox sat down invited Omega to hit him. Omega slapped him. They took turns slapping each other several times. It turned into punches. The pace picked up. Omega landed a V-Trigger and then a Snap Dragon Suplex. Omega then charged, but Mox avoided another V-Trigger and delivered a German suplex. Omega landed a V-Trigger. Mox landed a lariat. Both were down and slow to get up at 21:00. Fans chanted “This is awesome!”
Mox landed another Paradigm Shift for a very near fall. Omega rolled to the floor. Mox dove through the ropes, but Omega knocked him out of mid-air with a kneelift to the head. Omega climbed to the top rope and dropkicked Mox from behind. He followed with a running knee from behind, then a Tiger Driver ’98 for a near fall. Omega hit another V-Trigger. Mox came back with a Paradigm Shift attempt. Omega escaped. Mox went for a bulldog, but Omega slipped out and knocked Mox down with a dropkick. Omega hit a rip cord V-Trigger, then lifted Mox onto his shoulders and dropped backwards for another near fall. Omega dragged Mox toward the corner of the ring, then caught his breath for a second. He climbed to the top rope. Mox stood and shoved Omega down. Mox rolled to ringside and yanked Omega off the ring apron. He gave him a double underhook suplex into some portable heaters at ringside. The ref called for help from the doctor. The ref told Mox not to touch Omega. Callis ran to ringside to check on his long-time friend. Four referees checked on Omega. Mox threw aside the referees and threw Omega into the ring.
Back in the ring, Mox rolled Omega onto his back and punched away at him. Callis stood at ringside and told the ref Omega’s hurt. Mox shoved Callis down. Callis reacted like he slipped on a skateboard and hit his head on cement. Omega had the mic that Callis had seconds earlier and he popped Mox in the head with it. Mox was bleeding from his forehead. Omega then delivered a running V-Trigger. Schiavone asked about the gentleman’s agreement. Omega hit several more V-Triggers. He landed the One-Winged Angel to win.
WINNER: Omega in 29:00 to capture the AEW World Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: I would have watched another 30 minutes of that. The talk of running past the top of the hour was there to add suspense for clock-watchers to avoid it seeming inevitable it would end when it did. I didn’t like the last five minutes from Mox’s popping up suddenly at 100 percent and the awkward spot where someone is arbitrarily “too hurt” for a match to continue even though they’ve been beating the hell out of each other for over 25 minutes. Callis is a potential good addition to the Omega act.)
-Callis and Omega escaped backstage past jeering AEW wrestlers and staff. Marvez asked Callis to explain himself. Callis said they’d find out next Tuesday. Marvez said, “You mean next Wednesday?” Callis said no, he means next Tuesday on Impact Wrestling.
(Keller’s Analysis: Hmmm. Interesting.)
I’ve been a wrestling fan for 55 years. I thought I’d probably seen my last mark-out moment. I was wrong. The return of Sting was one of those moments.
Not sure about the angle with Impact. My cable system doesn’t have AXS, so I can’t see Impact Wrestling where I live. I was hoping for more cooperation with Billy Corgan’s National Wrestling Alliance.
Those of us who think Kenny Omega is overrated don’t have our minds changed when they have to do a screwjob title switch. Seems someone agrees with us. It was a good match due to the fact that Moxley is the best wrestler in the world. Hopefully Omega’s reign is short because other than a rematch with Mox, I don’t see money in any other program with him.