By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Wednesday Night Dynamite on TNT
Aired live on October 2, 2019 from Washington, D.C. at Capital One Arena
[Hour 1] The opening video montage aired on the first episode of AEW Dynamite, and pyro welcomed us into the arena. Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone joined in commentary spoke about the sold out arena and their excitement to kick off the show. They hyped Pac vs. Hangman Page, Riho vs. Nyla Rose, and the main event between “The Elite” Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz. The team then threw to a video package about Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara, and how Cody may be overlooking Guevara because of his dual role as company EVP.
As the video ended, entrances began for the first match of the night. First out was Cody Rhodes, who was joined by Brandi. Cody and Brandi stood in the entryway while fire and pyro went off around them. He made his way to the ring to applause and chants, and he fired up the crowd when he got to the ring. Cody soaked it in as Sammy Guervara made his entrance, and there was a smattering of boos that followed him to the ring. Heavier boos awaited him as he got up on the apron.
1. Sammy Guevara vs. Cody Rhodes: They circled each other to begin the match as the crowd chanted that Sammy sucks. There was a bit of a misfire early on a front flip by Guervara. They recovered and Cody bailed to the outside to collect himself. Sammy posed and got some boos. Sammy showed off some agility by avoiding Cody’s attempts at offense and hitting a dropkick.
Shiavone and Jim Ross gave some historical context about the first match WCW had on TNT between Jyushin Thunder Liger and Brian Pillman. Cody hit a powerslam for a one count, and then sunk in a figure four. Guevara escaped and he and Cody traded chops to the chest. Cody won the chop battle and hit a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. Cody then did some push ups and posed for the crowd.
Guevara avoided some punches and landed a kick, but Cody rebounded with a cutter for a near fall. Excalibur mentioned the 20 minute time limit at 6 minutes and 40 seconds into the match. Guevara hit a cutter of his own for a near fall. He then hit a shoulder charge in the corner and an enziguri. Sammy turned his back on Cody, which got him knocked out to the floor. Cody went for a suicide dive, but Guevara pulled Brandi into the path of the attack. Cody checked on her, and Sammy pushed him into the post after he recovered.
He then went to the top rope and missed a moonsault, and then another standing moonsault. He then hit a standing shooting star press for a two count. Cody recovered and tripped Sammy onto the middle rope. Cody distracted the ref and Brandi took a shot at Sammy. Cody then followed up with a Disaster Kick for a near fall. Cody placed Sammy on the top rope and hit a reverse superplex for another near fall.
Cody fired up as the crowd chanted holy shit. He then set up for a Vertebreaker, but Sammy floated over and avoided it. Cody climbed to the top, but Sammy leapt up to the top rope and hit a Spanish Fly for a near fall. He then climbed to the top again and went for a Shooting Star Press, but Cody got his knees up and rolled him over for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Sammy Guervara at 11:42.
After the match, JR said Tony Shiavone was headed to the ring for a word with Cody. Once he got to the ring, Cody gave him a hug. As Tony began to speak, Sammy shoved Cody and asked for a handshake. Jericho approached from behind during the handshake and assaulted Cody. He took him out with a running lariat, followed by a Codebreaker. During the picture in picture commercial break, Jericho hit Cody with the belt and sent him packing out of the ring. Join Jason Powell for his live review of NXT elsewhere on the site, but there will be no spoilers posted in here.
My Take: A great start to AEW on TNT. Not a perfect match, but very solid and a good showing for both men. The production has been very good thus far, and the commentary team did a nice job of adding context to the action. If I had a criticism for the match, it would be that 12 minutes might have been a few too long. The spots with Brandi seemed like it could have been cut and nothing would have been lost.
Jericho pulled Cody out of the ring and hit him with a chair across the back, and then powerbombed him onto two chairs that were setup at ringside. He then grabbed a mic and announced himself as Chris Jericho and reminded fans that he is the Champion of AEW. He told the crowd “You’re Welcome” as a replay was shown of the assault.
Brandon Cutler made his way to the ring after Jericho cleared out. He was announced as a longtime friend of The Young Bucks. He was followed by MJF. He berated the crowd for speaking while he had a microphone. He called himself the youngest and fastest rising star in the history of Professional Wrestling. MJF said the crowd has the honor of watching a star be born as he faces Brandon Cutler. He said Brandon must have gotten lost on his way to the other side of the guard rail. MJF called him a complete loser, and said that Dungeons and Dragons aren’t real, but he’s better than Cutler and he knows it.
2. MJF vs. Brandon Cutler: MJF tripped Cutler early on. Cutler was able to hit a sunset flip for a two count, but MJF raked the eyes and recovered. He tossed Cutler into the ringpost and stomped on him while he talked trash. MJF followed up with a hammerlock slam and focused on the shoulder as a point of attack.
Cutler blocked an Irish Whip, and sent MJF to the floor. He then hit a suicide dive and landed mounted punches. Cutler climbed to the top, but fell to the mat holding his knee. It may have been a legitimate injury, as they quickly went to the finish as MJF applied a Salt of the Earth Fujiwara Armbar for the tapout victory.
MJF defeated Brandon Cutler at 2:54
The show quickly broke to commercial after the match…[c]
My Take: An unfortunate situation for Cutler if the leg injury is legitimate. MJF came across as an asshole on the microphone, so everything is working as intended there. Tony Schiavone called him a prick from the announce booth, so they are going all in trying to cement his character as completely unredeemable. There isn’t much to say about the match, simply because it seemed to be cut short and the offense was limited.
Chris Van Vliet was at ringside with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes talking about Chris Jericho’s appearance in the Jay and Silent Bob reboot. Angelico and Jack Evans walked down to ringside and talked trash about Morris Day and the Time, and Mewes responded that they haven’t even won a match yet. Private Party then approached and gave Smith and Mewes drinks, and then the segment kind of ended. The announce team spoke about Private Party facing the Young Bucks next week, and showed the bracket for the AEW Tag Tournament.
They then cut to a video of SCU, and Scorpio Sky did an Obama impression while Kazarian and Daniels were dressed like Secret Service. They eventually dropped the bit and reminded us that they are, in fact, SCU. In the arena, SCU was on the entrance ramp and Scorpio Sky was doing interview duty. He said they had to decide which two of them are going to compete in the Tag Team Tournament, and he would sit out in favor of Kazarian and Daniels.
The Lucha Brothers walked out. Fenix grabbed a microphone and said they needed to remind us of why they are the best team in the Universe. Penta said Cero Miedo, and spit in Kazarian’s face, and a brawl broke out…[c]
My Take: Scorpio Sky announcing that he was sitting out was a bit of a bummer. He has the most upside of anyone in SCU at this point in my opinion. The Smith and Mewes segment didn’t work at all. They weren’t bad, but it was just very clumsy and felt shoehorned into the show. There’s still some work to do on the structure and timing of these segment, but that’s to be expected at this point.
The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were shown backstage, followed by Jericho, Santana and Ortiz. Jericho was hyping them up and talking strategy. The Women’s Championship match was hyped for later. The announce team talked up Pac vs. Hangman as Adam Page made his entrance in the arena. He was followed by Pac. JR called him “The Man that Gravity Forgot”…[c]
3. Adam “Hangman” Page vs. “The Bastard” Pac: The action started with both men trading punches mid-ring. They also traded kicks, until Page was able to turn Pac inside out with a big lariat. He then followed up with some chops, and Pac retreated to the floor. Page followed and tossed Pac into the barricade twice. Pac tossed Page back into the ring, but he immediately flew back out with a suicide dive that took Pac hard into the barricade for a third time. Page fired up the crowd, but that gave Pac enough oxygen to pull his neck across the top rope and send him out to the floor. He then hit a springboard moonsault onto Page on the outside.
[Hour 2] Pac hit a springboard 450 back into the ring for a near fall. He then hit a reverse heel kick to the gut and stomped on his chest, and hit a dropkick on a seated Page in the corner. Pac climbed back to the top, but Page hit a superkick and hit an avalanche fallaway slam. He then followed up with a suplex into a cutter for a near fall. Pac returned fire by sending Page shoulder first into the middle turnbuckle and to the outside….[c]
We got another picture in picture commercial, where Pac slammed Page into the barricade on the outside. He then climbed to the top and hit a missile dropkick. He then slowed the action down to choke page on the second rope, followed by a front kick in the corner. As the show came back Page was gasping for air in the middle of the ring as Pac talked trash to him and the crowd.
Page fired up and hit a huge spinebuster, and set up for Deadeye. Pac avoided it and went for a springboard nothing, which ended in Page hitting him with a forearm. Page then followed up with a Powerbomb for a near fall. Pac rolled to the outside, but Page hit a moonsault to the floor. He then went for the buckshot lariat, but Pac avoided it and hit a low blow out of Earl Hebner’s view. Pac then hit the Black Arrow into the Brutalizer for the win.
Pac defeated Hangman Page at 13:07
Pac celebrated as the crowd booed after the match…[c]
My Take: Page and Pac both looked very good there. The low blow looked a little…snug. Hopefully Page isn’t hurting too bad. They protected both guys and they delivered easily the best match of the night so far.
After a brief break to plug full gear, Britt Baker joined on commentary for the Women’s Championship Match. Nyla Rose made her entrance first, followed by Riho.
4. Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship: Nyla charged at Riho to start the match, but Riho avoided it and landed some strikes. She followed with a head scissors a moment later, but was shut down with a shoulder tackle. Nyla followed up with a big splash, but Riho quickly bridged out of the pinfall attempt. Riho went for a double stomp, but Nyla shoved her off and didn’t register the attack.
Nyla grabbed a chinlock, and forced Riho to drag her to the ropes to break the hold. She then went for a vertical, but Riho escaped. She was able to hit a series of running knees that sent Nyla to the floor. Riho then climbed to the top for a splash to the outside, but Nyla caught her and hit a backbreaker out on the floor.
Nyla grabbed a chair from under the ring. The ref disarmed her, and Riho went for some forearm shots. Nyla shoved them aside and sent Riho into the barricades. Nyla grabbed more chairs from under the ring and set them up in a pile on the ramp. She placed Riho on the chairs and climbed in the apron. She then attempted a somersault senton from the apron, but Riho avoided it and she crashed into the chairs. Riho hit a double stomp from the apron to the chest of Rose, and tossed her back in the ring.
Riho then hit a double stomp to Nyla’s back in the ring for a near fall. Riho turned Nyla onto her stomach and applied a crossface as we went picture in picture again. Riho went for a Northern Lights Suplex twice, but got stuffed both times. Nyla hit a slam and covered for a near fall. She then picked up Riho and draped her over the top rope. She hit a knee and then climbed to the top rope. She then hit a knee to the back that brought Riho back into the ring for a near fall.
Nyla then went back to the chinlock, and left Riho lifeless in the ring. Nyla set up for a powerbomb. Riho tried to reverse out, but her body collapsed. She continued to fight back with forearms, but Rose continued to shut her down with power offense. Riho avoided a slam and rolled up Nyla for a very close near fall. Nyla then hit a Death Valley Driver, and Riho kicked out at 2.9.
Nyla dragged Riho to the corner and went to the top rope. Riho struggled to her feet and met Nyla in the corner. She hit a suplex out of the corner and scrambled to cover for another near fall. Riho hit several sets of running knees and got the pin for the win.
Riho defeated Nyla Rose at 13:37 to become the first AEW Women’s Champion
After the match, Riho celebrated as the crowd as the announce team complimented her effort. Michael Nakazawa entered the ring to conduct and interview. He told Riho that he was proud of her. He started to say he was going to conduct an interview in Japanese when Nyla attacked from behind. She hit Nakazawa with a Liger Bomb (on the second try). She set up to hit Riho with a Death Valley Driver on the apron, but Kenny Omega ran down and broke it up to make the save. He asked her what she was doing, as she left…[c]
My Take: A fun match that got a lot better in the second half. They were a bit slow and shaky at the start, but they found their groove and captured the crowd by the time the finish came around. I had favored Nyla to win the match, but we’ll see what they have in mind for Riho as Champion. Involving her with Kenny Omega on screen will certainly get people’s attention, given their history.
The Elite made their entrance to the “Being the Elite” Youtube Theme. The announce team said the main event is next after one more commercial break…[c]
Santana and Ortiz made their entrances, followed by Chris Jericho. I have to imagine we’ll be seeing Jon Moxley make his appearance some time during this Main Event.
5. “The Elite” Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks vs. Santana, Ortiz, and Chris Jericho: Omega and Santana looked to start the match, but Jericho tagged himself in. As it looked like things were going to get physical, Santana was tagged back in. Kenny hit some big chops and a basement dropkick. He followed up with a bulldog. Ortiz entered, and Omega sent him out of the ring with a head scissors. Jericho entered and pulled Omega into a Walls of Jericho, but The Young Bucks hit a superkick party. They then dove on Ortiz and Santana on the outside.
Omega set up for a dive of his own, but Jon Moxley made his appearance and took Omega into the crowd for a walking brawl. In the ring, Jericho assaulted Matt Jackson as the cameras followed Moxley and Omega into the backstage area. Omega teased The Cleaner as he grabbed a mop and hit Moxley with it. Moxley recovered and smashed Omega’s head into a metal door. He then set up for a DDT on a glass table, and it shattered. Omega didn’t appear to actually land on any glass. Moxley’s vest seemed to land on it pretty flat, hopefully…[c]
My Take: An odd approach to your first TV Main Event. At this point we have no idea whether or not the match continued in the ring or not.
Back in the ring, Matt Jackson hit a spear on Ortiz after sending Santana to ringside. He went to tag in Nick, but Santana pulled him from the apron. Ortiz and Santana hit several splashes and aerial moves and covered Matt for a near fall. Jericho tagged in and went for a Lionsault, but Matt got his knees up. He climbed to the corner for a tag, but Ortiz shut it down and knocked Nick back to the floor.
Matt hit Ortiz with a mariposa into a cutter, but still was not able to make a tag. Matt hit locomotion Northern Light suplexes, hit the final one on both Santana and Ortiz. Nick Jackson finally got involved and cleaned house. He went for the Meltzer Driver on Santana, but Jericho intercepted with a Codebreaker. He then hit a Judas Effect on Matt and covered for the win.
Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz defeated The Elite at 12:49
After the match we had Chaos. Cody interrupted and went after Jericho. Sammy Guervara ran down and hit a low blow on Cody. Dustin Rhodes ran in for the save, but he was quickly intercepted by Jake Hager, who assaulted Dustin and Nick Jackson. Santana, Ortiz, Hager, and Jericho piled everybody up in the ring as the crowd chanted “We the People”. The announce team made it sound like Jericho was the one who brought in Hager as his enforcer.
They continued the beatdown, and Hager hit a powerbomb on Dustin Rhodes through a Podium that didn’t break. Eventually Jericho had Hager hold up Cody so he could hit him with a Judas Effect elbow. Jericho, Guevara, Hager, Santana, and Ortiz stood tall to close the show. The announce team said we had just witnessed the destruction of The Elite.
My Take: I think we could have done without having all of this happen at the end of the first show. While I understand you only get once chance to make a first impression, I think a bit of restraint might have been better here. The Moxley/Omega brawl should have been a DQ, but wasn’t, and then the post match chaos didn’t allow anything to sink in before moving onto the next guy interfering. The announcers tried to sort it all out, but I think some of it got lost in the shuffle. I think AEW did a lot of positive things on this show, but there are still some kinks to be worked out. Overbooking the main event was one thing, but the interview segments all felt rushed and ended in brawls, and I think a better balance needs to be found between time dedicated to matches and building characters. It was a solid first effort, and hopefully things will only go up from here.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ProWrestling.net's Will Pruett discussing AEW Full Gear including the polarizing Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega match, what's drawing Will to AEW Dynamite over NXT TV, the appeal of NWA Powerrr, and much more...