By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite on TNT
Aired live on November 20, 2019 from Indianapolis, Indiana at Indiana Farmers Coliseum
The show opened with some crowd shots before switching to the announce team. They announced Private Party vs. Proud and Powerful, the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal, Moxley vs. Darby Allin, and Nick Jackson vs. Rey Fenix. That match will open the show, as Nick Jackson made his entrance first, followed by Fenix. The announce team spoke about Fenix being an active singles wrestler, while Nick Jackson has gone 200 matches without a singles appearance.
1. Nick Jackson vs. Rey Fenix: They circled each other and traded some shoulder blocks and dropkicks. Nick avoided a kick by acrobatically exiting the ring. On the outside, we got more reversals and avoidance, followed by a double dropkick back in the ring. The crowd lit up and enjoyed the fast paced sequence.
Nick landed a kick and a chop, but Fenix replied with two springboard flying headbutts. He then showed up some very athletic rope bouncing in the corner into an arm drag. Fenix played to the crowd and hit the ropes, but got caught with a big kick from Jackson in response. Nick tried a springboard drive to the floor, but Fenix got out of the way and hit a rolling cutter on the floor.
Fenix shoved Nick back in the ring and hit a Senton Atomico from the top for the first near fall of the match. Nick recovered and hit three hard kicks and a bulldog, followed by a running knee strike for a near fall of his own. Both men attempted superkicks, but Nick got the worst of it. Both men bounced on the ropes in the corner, leading Nick to hit a head scissors from the top for another near fall.
After another athletic sequences of reversals, Fenix hit a superkick. Then Nick hit two, followed by another one from Nick. Both men were down, and the ref began counting. Nick got to his feet first, but Fenix wasn’t far behind. Fenix sent Nick the apron and hit a hurracarrana out to the floor. He then continued the assault in the ring with another big kick and scored another near fall.
Both men ended up fighting on the apron again, and Nick hit a series of kicks and a German Suplex. Nick spiked Fenix with a springboard facebuster, and then hit a Destroyer. He attempted a cover, but turned it into a Scorpion Deathlock when Fenix kicked out. Fenix reached the ropes after a brief struggle.
They traded offense and pinning attempts, until Fenix hit a Black Fire Driver and got the win.
Fenix defeated Nick Jackson at 12:20
After the match, Nick Jackson offered a handshake, but Fenix rejected him and walked up the ramp…[c]
My Take: A highly competitive and entertaining match to open the show. Not much selling from Nick Jackson of his leg injury from last week, which was a little surprising, but overall a solid performance from him. Fenix’s offense stood out a bit more, but both men had the crowd from start to finish.
Britt Baker made her entrance, followed by Hikaru Shida.
2. Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida: Baker went for Lockjaw a minute or so into the match, but Shida was able to quickly escape. There was some frustration early on with Baker, which JR explained as her having high expectations for herself…[c]
Britt Baker seemed to be bleeding from the nose during the break, which might have been what she was upset about. Shida placed her over the top rope in the corner a drove a knee into her ribs. The action then spilled outside, where Shida grabbed a chair. She set it up like a seat and used it to launch herself with a flying knee. Back in the ring, Baker started her comeback with a slingblade, followed by a neckbreaker for a near fall.
Shida went for a running knee in the corner, but Britt escaped. Shida ended up on the apron, and Baker brought her back in the ring with a pendulum DDT for a two count. They traded strikes, and Shida hit a rising knee. She then hit a Fireman’s Carry Backbreaker, followed by a running knee strike. Shida went for a cover, but Baker reversed into a Rings of Saturn. She then hit a neckbreaker for a two count.
Shida landed an eye poke, and hit a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Shida hit another running knee strike and finally got the three count.
Hikaru Shida defeated Britt Baker at 9:15
After the match, Shida bowed and Baker looked angry and frustrated. We got a video package for the Dark Order, which showed a man walking through the subway. Someone bumped into him and stepped on his glasses. A video then played on the subway that offered him freedom. It was a self help propaganda video that was a cult recruitment video for the Dark Order. They offered to help stop the chaos, and bring a new order into your life. The guy gave a hashtag, and said they would find you. The Battle Royal is up next, and Hangman Page made his entrance…[c]
My Take: A bit of a sloppy match from Baker and Shida. It never quite gripped the crowd, and never found a groove or told much of a story in the ring. I’m not sure if Baker was having breathing problems due to her nose, or if she just doesn’t have great chemistry with Shida, but the match just never got out of first gear.
During the break we got entrances from Best Friends and Orange Cassidy, Pentagon, Sonny Kiss, Joey Janela, MJF, Jimmy Havoc, and others. Billy Gunn made his entrance as the show returned from commercial. Christopher Daniels dressed up like Fenix to distract Pentagon.
3. Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal: Pentagon was eliminated immediately. Sonny Kiss started twerking in front of Billy Gunn, but was eliminated by MJF before he could return the favor. Gunn eliminated Marko Stunt and Jimmy Havoc. Jimmy didn’t take kindly to being eliminated, and ran back in with a staple gun and went after everyone in the ring, and had to be removed by referees…[c]
Joey Janela was eliminated by Shawn Spears during the break. Kip Sabian attacked Billy Gunn while Penelope Ford watched. Gunn fired up and knocked everybody down with punches. Orange Cassidy got up and placed his hands in his pockets for his light strike shtick, but MJF tossed him out before he could get anywhere with hit. MJF then backed into Billy Gunn, who hit him with a Rocker Dropper. Gunn then tossed MJF over the top, but he held on. Wardlow walked down to ringside and distracted Gunn, which allowed Hangman Page to hit a Buckshot Lariat and toss him out of the ring.
MJF exited the ring, but was not eliminated. Chuck Taylor, Kip Sabian, Jungle Boy, and Hangman Page remained in the ring. Sabian eliminated Taylor with an enziguri, and Jungle Boy sent Sabian out with a flying head scissors. Page and Jungle Boy had a stare down, and then MJF pulled Jungle Boy down off the apron. Page and MJF were declared the winners, and will face each other next week for the Diamond Dozen Ring.
MJF and Hangman Page survived at 10:02
After the match, Page went after MJF, but Wardlow intervened and prevented him from getting very far. MJF walked to the back and Page celebrated. Chris Jericho’s major announcement is next. He was shown backstage walking to the ring with Jake Hager…[c]
My Take: Not a particularly exciting Battle Royal. The finish was made obvious when MJF exited the match without being eliminated, and then being left with two finalists just felt wrong for some reason. That said, I look forward to Page vs. MJF for next week.
We got a video recap of Scorpio Sky’s win over Chris Jericho last week. Jericho then made his entrance in the arena with Jake Hager.
Jericho said his tantrum last week was not conduct that should come from a Champion, but he couldn’t bring himself to say the word sorry. Hager had to say it for him. His major announcement is that next week he will finally get the thank you he deserves from AEW and TNT, as well as the fans. He said he was glad his celebration was in Chicago, because it has a hockey team and two baseball teams, and it’s just better than here.
He said his thank you celebration will have dancers, an aquarium, fireworks, maybe a clown, etc. He said the losers in the crowd could watch it on their televisions next week, and tried to close out before he was interrupted by SCU. Scorpio Sky had a microphone. He said what Jericho said was admirable. It takes a paragon of virtue to say he’s wrong and apologize, but he forgot to mention why he threw the tantrum last week. Sky got in Jericho’s face and said he pinned him, and said it was one of the best moments of his life. He said he partied all weekend, his DM’s blew up, and he got a date with his High School crush. Sky said he was sorry, because he’s a big Jericho fan, and he didn’t mean to embarrass him.
Jericho said he wasn’t embarrassed, and Melanie Parsons has gained a lot of weight since High School. He thought it was cute that Sky thought he could beat him fair and square, and told him he’s not in the same league as him. Jericho said he wanted a singles match with him so he couldn’t pin him from behind. Daniels played reverse psychology and tried to beg off, and said they needed a few months to have a training camp, which made Jericho insist on the match being next week.
Kazarian told Sky that it shouldn’t be for the title, since Jericho gets crazy over that AEW title. This made Jericho insist on the title match. They shook on it, and Sky got serious. He told Jericho he had been waiting 15 years for this shot, and he would turn Le Champion into Le Bitch.
The rest of the Inner Circle ran down and took down Daniels and Kazarian so Jericho could take cheap shots at Sky, along with Hager. Hager tossed Sky into a Judas Effect, and Jericho held the title over Sky’s face. Jurrasic Express ran down, and Jericho clobbered Jungle Boy and Stunt. Luchasaurus caused everyone to clear the ring, and he and Jake Hager had a staredown briefly before the Inner Circle decided to leave…[c]
My Take: I thought they got a little too cute with the reverse psychology bit, which made Jericho look like a doofus, but Scorpio Sky has something on the mic, and the crowds are excited about the potential matchup. The beat down and rescue felt a little disorganized, but I think they still got the point across. People were excited for Luchasaurus taking on Jake Hager.
Luchasaurus was still in the ring. He was joined by Peter Avalon. Avalon said he was happy to see him back, but he was going to turn him into motor oil like a fossil.
4. Peter Avalon vs. Luchasaurus: Luchasaurus hit a kick and then flattened Avalon with a slam from the tombstone position. He then covered for the win.
Luchasaurus defeated Peter Avalaon at 0:24
Jurassic Express celebrated after the match. Santana & Ortiz vs. Private Party is next. We got ring entrances for Santana and Ortiz, followed by Private Party. The match is dedicated to honoring recently deceased wrestler Matt Travis, who trained Private Party.
5. Satana & Ortiz vs. Private Party: The match began with Kassidy and Santana in the ring…[c]
Santana and Ortiz double up on Mark Quen. Santana hit a Russian Leg sweep out of the corner, and then hit a German Suplex. Kassidy had to break up the pin. Santana hit a backbreaker and vertical suplex to continue the assault. He then picked up Quen for a delayed vertical suplex, made a tag, and then handed him over to Ortiz to continue. They then did this two more times, keeping Quen in the air for well over a minute. Ortiz eventually delivered the suplex and covered for a near fall.
Ortiz pulled off Quen’s tails and raked his back. He then applied a BostonCrab, and dragged Quen to his corner for a tag from Santana. He entered and kicked Quen in the face, and then applied a double submission with a Camel Clutch…[c]
During the break, Ortiz continued to isolate and break down Mark Quen. Quen escaped a bear hug and launched himself into the corner for a tag to Kassidy. He entered and knocked Santana of the apron. He hit an enziguri on Ortiz, and then splashed Santana out on the floor. He hit a slingshot Code Red, and appeared to pin Ortiz, but the referee just stopped. The announce team tried to play it off like Ortiz wasn’t the legal man, but I think they just botched a broken count.
Back in the ring, Santana and Ortiz hit some double team offense on Kassidy. Santana tagged in and hit a cutter on Kassidy for a two count. He then ran to the outside to grab his slapjack, but Nick Jackson prevented him from using it with some interference. A moment later. Private Party hit Santana with Gin and Juice and got the win.
Private Party defeated Santana & Ortiz at 13:11
After the match, Sammy Guevara ran down and took out Nick Jackson. Dustin Rhodes then entered and took out Guevara and sent the Inner Circle members scrambling. The announce team ran down the card for next week. Darby Allin and Jon Moxley is next. Kenny Omega was shown lifting weights. He said he’s not really known as a promo guy, or a hardcore guy. He said he’s lost sight of who he is, but he’s tracked down the cause. When he lost to Pac at All Out, he snapped. Moxley picked up the scraps, but Pac started it. He said the powers that be have given him a chance to hit the reset button next week, and it will come at Pac’s expense. He told the crowd to tune in next week.[c]
My Take: A wild match between two strong tag teams. Santana seems to have botched breaking up the pin, which caused some chaos and caused some awkward improvisation from the referee. It took the match a good couple of minutes to reset, and the announce team had to basically ignore it. It marred an otherwise very entertaining match. Kenny Omega’s promo was a bit too cute for me. He hasn’t earned breaking the fourth wall.
We got a video where a body bag was crowd surfed through a venue with Mox’s logo on it. Allin then made his entrance, but he was in the body bag being carried by several men. He exited the bag with a skateboard. Excalibur said he crowd surfed to the arena, and my eyes rolled so hard they fell out onto my desk. Moxley made his entrance through the crowd. Allin hit a dive to the outside before Moxley even got to the ring. They brawled into the crowd before the bell rang. Moxley tossed Allin back to the ringside area, but Allin jumped back over the barricade after him. Back at the ringside area, Moxley ran Allin into the post and hit an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor.
6. John Moxley vs. Darby Allin: The match finally began in the ring. Allin tried to hit Moxley with a crossbody off the top, but Moxley just shrugged him off. Mox then hit a full speed dropkick and then tossed Allin across the ring…[c]
During the break, Moxley continued a one sided assault. The match spilled outside, with both men going through the ropes. Darby managed to stomp on Moxley’s hand and shove him into the steps. Moxley recovered, but Allin managed to keep him on the outside with a dropkick. Both men ended up on the top rope. Allin focused on Moxley’s hand, but Moxley pushed him into the ring, and he bounced off the top turnbuckle.
The ref checked on Moxley’s hand, and the action quickly spilled back to the floor. Darby hit a dive onto Moxley, and then retrieved the body bag. In the ring, Moxley hit a lariat, and placed Darby in the bag. He then stomped on him as the ref shoved him off. Eventually, the ref freed him, and Darby bit Moxley’s hand. Allin managed to reverse a Body Slam into a Stunner, but then ran into a side slam.
Allin ran Moxley into the post in the corner, and then rolled him up for a near fall. He got another near fall a moment later with a Code Red. Allin then crawled to the corner for a Coffin Drop, but Moxley countered into a rear naked choke. Darby flipped over and nearly got a pin, but Moxley released at 2.9. Both men climbed the corner, and Moxley was able to turn it into a Paradigm Shift from the second rope for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Darby Allin at 10:50
After the match, Moxley said that Allin broke his hand. It appeared the middle finger on his left hand might have been dislocated. He celebrated anyway to close the show.
My Take: That match was violent from start to finish, and a great example of what makes Moxley a unique talent. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ultra hardcore style he and Kenny went for at Full Gear, but this was a banger. Allin looks good in defeat as well, as it took an avalanche spike DDT to put him down for good. Overall, AEW was mostly very good tonight. The women’s match didn’t land with me, and the crowd had to carry the Battle Royal, but everything else was very good. It was a real shame about that botch in the Private Party vs. Santana and Ortiz match, as they really delivered otherwise.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...