By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 12)
Aired live on December 18, 2019 from Corpus Christi, Texas at American Bank Center
[Hour 1] The show began with The Lucha Brothers, Hangman Page, and Kenny Omega in the ring. Justin Roberts made ring introductions. The announce team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in.
1. The Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix and Pentagon Jr.) vs. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page: The announce team made mention of Omega and Page failing to get along last week. Omega and Fenix began the match. The crowds had dueling chants for Omega and Lucha Brothers. Omega grabbed an arm twist to start, and Fenix escaped acrobatically. After a series of reversals, Omega landed a low dropkick and taunted Fenix. He then followed up with a Kotaro Crusher. He then went for the One Winged Angel, but Fenix escaped and scrambled to tag Pentagon.
Hangman then checked in, and he and Pentagon soaked in some crowd chants before squaring up. The crowd was going nuts despite nothing happening, and that led Penta to take off his glove and shove Page. He didn’t back down, and returned a shove to Pentagon. They then traded a series of chest slaps, but Page telegraphed a follow up backdrop and ate a kick to the face. Page responded with a big boot, and then tagged in Omega.
Things got a little too cute while Omega and Page paused their attack so Penta could taunt them. Eventually Page cleared out, and Penta raked Omega’s eyes. He then took a shot at Page on the apron. Omega hit a head scissors that sent Penta to the floor. Fenix went to check on Penta, and Omega dove on them both. He then jogged up the ramp and played to the crowd. Page entered the match again, but Penta quickly sent him back out to the apron. Using an assist from Fenix, Penta hit a superkick. He then hit a double knee facebuster. Fenix them came off the top with a double stomp to Page’s back.
Penta continue to punish Page with chops and kicks. Page fired back with a lariat out of the corner. He then made a tag to Omega, who hit a top rope Frog Splash on a standing Pentagon. Fenix intervened in the pin, and Omega swatted him away with a polish hammer. Omega then went for a moonsault, but landed on Penta’s knees. Fenix took out Page on the floor. Penta sent Omega to the outside, and then Fenix hit a suicide dive through the ropes.
Penta made a cover back in the ring for a near fall. We had a flash on the screen of what looked like a member of the dark order, and the announcers said it was a technical glitch. Fenix hit a hook kick on Omega in the ring and went for a hurracarrana, but it was reversed into a Powerbomb. Page tried to get back in the match, but was sent to the floor again by Fenix. After a ref distraction by Fenix, Penta took cheap shots in the corner. Omega finally made a tag to Page, who entered the ring and cleaned house.
He sent Penta and Fenix to the floor on opposite sides of the ring, and hit suicide dives on both. Back in the ring, he hit lariats on both Fenix and Penta, and then used Pentagon as a springboard to hit a moonsault on Fenix for a near fall. Fenix hit a high impact facebuster a moment later for a near fall of his own. The Lucha Brothers hit some double team offense on Page, and then made another cover for a near fall.
Penta attacked Omega on the apron. They continued the assault on Page, who eventually broke free for a tag to Omega. He entered the match and things broke down a bit. We saw some rapid fire offense from Omega and Page, who hit powerbombs and a slingblade Pentagon and Fenix. Page made it back out to the apron, and Omega remained with Pentagon. They battled back and forth a bit, and Penta attempted a package pilediver. Omega escaped around the back and held Pentagon.
Page attempted a Buckshot Lariat, but ended up hitting Omega by mistake. Penta hit Page with a superkick, and then he and Fenix hit their double stomp package piledriver for the win.
The Lucha Brothers defeated Hangman Page and Kenny Omega at 18:09
After the match, Page and Omega got into a bit of a staredown and shoving match. Pac was then shown on screen backstage. He asked Kenny Omega if he remembered who he was, since he never answered his challenge. He then walked over to a locker room where Michael Nakazawa was shown. Pac said it was time to remind him what he was capable of. Nakazawa was wearing headphones and couldn’t hear. Omega ran to the back, but Nakazawa was gone. The Lucha Bros ran down Omega backstage and put a beating on him. Page intervened and ran them off.
My Take: That match was a bit too cute early on, with seemingly no one interested in pushing the offense, and playing to the crowd instead. Thankfully, once it got going, things improved. The Lucha Bros getting the win makes sense as they are the team with real chemistry, and the post match angle furthered the story of Omega, Page, and Pac.
Page and Omega looked for Nakazawa backstage. Darbin Allin was shown walking backstage. In the arena, the announce team then ran down Jericho vs. Jungle Boy and Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander. The Butcher and The Blade made their entrance with The Bunny. They were followed by Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes. Big ovation for Cody.
2. Butcher and The Blade vs. Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin: The Butcher and Darby Allin started the match. Allin ran straight at Butcher, who tossed him aside. Blade tagged in, and Darby was able to hit an armdrag that caused Blade to regroup out on the floor. Cody and Butcher tagged in, and Butcher hit a clubbing blow across Cody’s back. Cody fired back with a punch, but then got turned inside out by a lariat.
Butcher and Blade made some quick tags and isolated Cody. Bunny distracted the ref, and Blade low bridged Cody out to the floor. After some strikes, Cody was tossed back in the ring. We then saw a double team side slam and leg drop combo…[c]
Cody was isolated by Butcher and Blade during the break. Even the Bunny got in a cheap shot on the outside. Allin fired up the crowd from the corner, and Cody made a dive for a tag. Butcher cut him off, and tagged in Blade. There was a mid air collision with a double body block attempts from Cody and Blade. Cody managed to tag in Allin, who hit a Code Red on Blade, only to find out he wasn’t the legal man due to a blind tag. Butcher then hit a backbreaker on Allin, and applied a Texas Cloverleaf. Cody kicked Butcher multiple times, but he refused to break the hold. Blade pulled Cody outside and they brawled around ringside.
Allin escaped and hit a Stunner on Butcher. Cody tagged in and landed CrossRhodes, but the Bunny distracted the ref and prevented a count. Cody sent both Butcher and Blade to the floor, and both he and Allin hit suicide dives to the floor. Allin looked to have barely made contact after a minor botch. As the action moved back towards the ring, Allin hit a Coffin Drop on Butcher as he layed on the apron. Cody then hit a springboard Cutter on Blade for the win.
Cody and Darby Allin defeated The Butcher and The Blade at 10:48.
After a brief celebration, we saw a training video for Jungle Boy. The narration was Jericho talking trash about Jungle Boy, and the faux pin he got on Jericho last week…[c]
My Take: This was a fun match, but it was a bit sloppy at times. The crowd was into it, but there were enough mistakes that it didn’t come across particularly well to me on television. The suicide dive and the cutter sell at the end of the match both looked a bit off, but everybody popped big for the finish, so hopefully they work out the kinks for the next one.
Awesome Kong made her entrance as the show returned, along with Brandi Rhodes and Melanie Cruise. We got a picture in picture promo where Brandi Rhodes said she thought Kris Statlander would join their Nightmare Collective later.
2. Awesome Kong vs. Miranda Alize: Kong hit a back fist and the Implant Buster for the win.
Awesome Kong defeated Miranda Alize at 0:23
After the match, the Nightmare Collective took their trophy from Miranda. After the match, JR was shown in a sit down interview with Jungle Boy. JR asked if he was scared about facing down Jericho. Jungle Boy said he’s not afraid of Jericho the man, but he respects Jericho the legend. He then said that he understands the gravity and pressure of the situation, but pressure makes greatness. JR asked about what Jungle Boy’s Dad would think of him facing The World Champion. Jungle Boy said he knows this was something his Dad would be proud of, and that he’d be with him in spirit and he took on this challenge.
In the arena, Jericho made his entrance. The announce team made mention of Luke Perry as Jungle Boy’s father, and said this was undoubtedly the biggest moment in his career thus far…[c]
My Take: I still have no idea what Brandi Rhodes is doing, but Kong looked great in her squash. The sit down interview with Jungle Boy was very good. He came across well and it did a nice job of making him the sympathetic underdog.
Jungle Boy made his entrance with Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. Jungle Boy’s family was shown at ringside.
3. Chris Jericho vs. Jungle Boy: A ten minute timer was shown on the screen in the arena. Jungle Boy hit a very acrobatic arm drag, and then rolled Jericho up in a pinning attempt for a two count. He then reversed a Walls of Jericho attempt into another pinfall attempt for a two count. Jericho then dropped Jungle Boy across the top rope, and then landed some chops. Jericho then tossed Jungle Boy into the ropes and hit a Codebreaker on the rebound. He didn’t make a cover, and Jericho taunted the crowd.
The crowd chanted for Jungle Boy, and Jericho hit a second codebreaker, but pulled him up at two. Jake Hager brawled with Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt at ringside, taking them out of the equation. Jericho continued the abuse, but Jericho telegraphed a backdrop and took a kick to the gut. Jericho went for a springboard dropkick a moment later, but Jungle Boy avoided it and Jericho crashed to the floor. He then hit a series of suicide dives, and then hit a diving DDT on Jericho in the ring for a near fall.
Jungle Boy avoided a splash in the corner and hit a backstabber for a near fall. Jericho hit a back elbow, and then went for a Lionsault, but Jungle Boy avoided it. He then hit a Lionsault on Jericho for another near fall. Jungle Boy pumped up, but walked into a lariat. Jericho covered for a two count. Less than three minutes are left on the clock. Jericho landed a chop that dropped Jungle Boy, followed by a catapult into the bottom rope.
Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho in the center of the ring. A minute was left on the timer. Jungle Boy crawled towards the ropes and nearly made it before Jericho pulled him back into the ring. Thirty seconds were left. Jungle Boy did not submit, and the bell rang. Jericho demanded five more minutes, and the match was restarted.
Jungle Boy hit a hurracarrana for a two count. He then grabbed a crucifix for another near fall. Jericho then grabbed his belt and left up the ramp…[c]
Jungle Boy survived against Chris Jericho at 11:58
Jericho came back down to the ring and threw a fit during the commercial break. He also trash talked Jungle Boy’s family.
My Take: By no means perfect, but still a great outing for Jungle Boy. Jericho gave him considerable offense and near falls, and he spent well over 60 seconds in the Walls of Jericho without passing out. Along with the interview, they did a great job of establishing Jungle Boy as a lovable underdog hero.
Schiavone interviewed Jericho on the match, and he outright denied that Jungle Boy lasted 10 minutes with him, and he didn’t beat him. Jericho said Jungle Boy would get his later, but the real story is whether Jon Moxley would join the Inner Circle. He said he already kind of knows what the answer is, but he wanted to let Moxley know that the Inner Circle spent the last week inside the Inner Sanctum mansion. He mocked the crowd for not knowing what a mansion was, and then said he wanted an answer from Moxley in two weeks after the New Year when AEW returns to TV.
Backstage, Jen Decker interviewed SCU, who said they were ready to defend their Championships later. The Lucha Bros walked up with a GIF playing on one of their phones of Daniels botching a moonsault a few weeks ago. They said he didn’t have it anymore. Daniels stormed off in disgust. We then got an ad for AEW Revolution on February 29th. I can’t believe they didn’t use Lethal Leap Year…[c]
My Take: Harmless fun with Jericho. I guess Penta and Daniels aren’t done quite yet.
Kris Statlander was in the ring as the show returned. Britt Baker then made her entrance. The announce team put over her Lockjaw finisher as she walked down the ramp.
4. Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker: Statlander escaped an arm twist with a series of cartwheels. Statlander pulled Baker in and touched Baker’s nose, and then touched her own. Excalibur said it’s the way her species communicates? Ok. They went back and forth a bit, with both women taking turns maneuvering into pinning predicaments for two counts. Baker finally broke the sequence with a hanging neckbreaker…[c]
Baker controlled the action for a bit, and punished Statlander with strikes and holds. Statlander broke free for a bit, but was shut down with a back elbow and a running knee. Baker went for Lockjaw, but Statlander used her size and strength to quickly reach the ropes. Statlander hit a knee to the head from the apron, and then a dropkick from the top rope.
Statlander tried to roll up Baker, but didn’t quite get the shoulders down. Baker fired back with a sling blade for a near fall. Statlander replied with a short arm clothesline. She then headed to the top rope, but Baker met her at the top and hit a superplex. Baker rolled over, but got pulled into a Michinoku driver by Statlander, and both women were down. They brawled to their feet, and Statlander got the best of it.
Baker hit a Fisherman’s neckbreaker, but Statlander quickly got back to her feet. Baker attempted to pull her into Lockjaw, but Statlander used her power to stand up and transition into the Big Bang Theory for the win.
Kris Statlander defeated Britt Baker at 9:32
After the match, Statlander celebrated as Riho looked on from the crowd. Statlander will be granted at title match as a result of this win. Schiavone interviewed Statlander at ringside and congratulated her. She booped him on the nose like she did Baker earlier, and they were both interrupted by Brandi Rhodes.
She complained about her microphone not being turned on time, and sent Schiavone away. She congratulated Statlander, and told her she comes in peace. Brandi asked her once again to join the Nightmare Collective, and she wagged her finger no. Melanie Cruise and Awesome Kong walked down the ramp, and then Brandi blindsided Statlander with the spike of her heel. Sadie Gibbs ran down to check on Statlander as Brandi walked up the ramp and away. Young Bucks vs. SCU is next.
Spears and Blanchard were shown backstage. Spears spoke about how tag team wrestling mattered in AEW, and they spoke about finding a guy to be his tag team partner so they could go get the big checks. Tully said he had to be the right guy who can be molded and open minded. Tully spoke about chemistry, and how he and Arn Anderson knew exactly what to do just by looking at one another. The said they would keep scouting.
My Take: I guess Spears and Blanchard will be joining the tag division shortly. It makes you wonder how they are going to find TV time for all these teams. We’ll see. Statlander and Baker was a very enjoyable match. Statlander is a quality wrestler, but her gimmick needs work. The alien thing is confusing to the crowd, and the announce team seems to be nearly embarrassed by it.
We got a Young Bucks vignette, where they spoke about how they wanted to show they were the best in the world, but it felt like they were lying to everyone. They said they had to crawl back up the rankings after a rough start, and it ended last week when they earned a Tag Team Championship match in a street fight last week. They spoke about SCU were some of their best friends, but it was their time to win the belts on Wednesday. Matt said they were tired of saying they are the best, but they would show they are the best. He said then SCU is over for Christmas, it would be awkward, but they would have their Tag Team Championship belts on display.
Justin Roberts gave ring entrances, as everyone was already in the ring.
5. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. SCU (Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian): Nick Jackson and Kazarian started the match. Scorpio Sky made a blind tag and went for SCU later, but Nick escaped and tagged in Matt. They pushed the pace early, with all four men ending up in the ring at once. Matt hit a double dropkick on both SCU members. He then knocked Scorpio Sky out to the floor. The Bucks hit some double team offense on Kazarian, including a canonball enziguri combination in the corner.
Scorpio Sky returned to pull Nick Jackson off the apron with a hurracarrana. Sky then tagged in and assisted Kazarian with a double clothesline on Matt Jackson. Nick tagged in and hit kicks and knees to both Sky and Kazarian. He then followed up with a bulldog and dropkick combination. We then saw some corner acrobatics ending with Nick hitting a hurracarrana from the second rope on Sky. Matt tagged in and hit a big elbow drop, but aggravated his elbow injury from last week.
Sky pulled Kazarian to the floor, and Nick Jackson hit a twisting splash on them both out on the floor…[c]
The Young Bucks controlled the action during the break, isolating Scorpio Sky. Matt Jackson applied a sharpshooter, and Kazarian had to break it up with a DDT. Both Sky and Matt Jackson were down, and both crawled for tags. Kazarian tagged in first and prevented Matt from reaching the corner. Nick entered anyway, but Kazarian hit both Young Bucks with a double lariat. They retreated to the floor, where Kazarian hit Nick with a hurracarrana from inside to outside. Scorpio Sky then splashed both Young Bucks.
Back in the ring, Scorpio Sky covered Matt for a near fall. Sky then went for a TKO, but Matt avoided it and made a tag to Nick. He then dove at Scorpio Sky, but got stuck with a cutter. Kazarian hit Matt with a cutter, and suddenly both Young Bucks were in a Dragon Sleeper. Matt broke free and hit a Northern Lights suplex on Kazarian into Scorpio Sky. Matt Jackson picked up Kazarian for a tombstone, but Sky made a blind tag. Kazarian took out Nick on the apron with a DDT, and Sky hit SCU later in the ring on Matt. He then covered for the win.
SCU defeated The Young Bucks at 11:10
After the match, the creepers surrounded the ring and joindarkorder.com appeared on the screen. Uno and Stu then made their entrance onto the ramp. Uno congratulated SCU on their win, and said the Young Bucks suffered a hard loss. He said tonight wasn’t a recruitment night, it was an initiation, and he ordered the creepers to annihilate them. A brawl broke out in the ring, and Kenny Omega, Cody, and Dustin Rhodes tried to make the save. They were of no use, because they were overwhelmed. Grayson produced some masks, the initiates John Silver and Alex Reynolds put them on.
Uno said no one would ever doubt them again, especially you. He then put his fingers in Matt Jackson’s mouth and pulled them out with some blood on them…
My Take: I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw a bunch of top guys get decimated by some faceless jobbers to close the show. Clearly someone in AEW is very high on the Dark Order concept, but it seems ill advised to me to put them in this kind of position before further refining the act. The creepers still feel like power ranger scrub villains, and Uno struggles to convey what they are aside from the most generic of terms. The tag match was ok, but the first five minutes felt like you were watching choreography. I know these teams know each other well, and it shows, but in this case it resulted in a match that didn’t resemble a fight at times because of how rehearsed it looked.