By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 14)
Aired live on January 8, 2020 from Southaven, Mississippi at Landers Center
[Hour One] A recap video focused on last week’s main event and Chris Jericho offering Jon Moxley a sports car and 49 percent of the Inner Circle… The broadcast team of Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, and Memphis legend Dave Brown checked in…
Powell’s POV: It’s good to see AEW adding a recap video at the start of the show. It makes the show easier to follow for newcomers and those who don’t watch religiously. It’s also cool to have Brown on commentary with the show near Memphis. By the way, I’m swapping coverage with Jake Barnett this week. Jake will be covering WWE Friday Night Smackdown instead, so be sure to follow along with him on Friday.
1. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isaiah Kassidy. Prior to the match, footage aired of the Page and Private Party bar scene from last week. Omega had what appeared to be cupping therapy marks on his shoulders and back. Schiavone noted that Brown will be the co-host for next week’s AEW Dark and the Memphis legends tribute will continue on that show. Quen showed off his athleticism with a flip dive onto Omega at ringside, then he returned to the ring and performed another dive onto Page on the other side of the ring.
Page caught Quen diving from the ropes and performed a fallaway slam. Omega took a hot tag and then he and Page both worked over the Private Party duo. Omega caught Kassidy with a knee to the back and then covered him for a two count. A short time later, Page and Omega doubled up on Quen, which led to Page getting another two count.
Page set up for a Doomsday Device style move with Quen on his back, but Kassidy broke it up. Quen performed a huracanrana that pulled Omega from the ropes and into a cutter from Kassidy that led to a good near fall (cool spot). Omega came back and flipped Quen at Page, which resulted in Page taking a boot to the head. Omega blasted Quen with a V-Trigger knee, then Page returned for a Buckshot Lariat and V-Trigger combo move on Quen. Omega hit the One Winged Angel and pinned him…
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Private Party in 12:25.
Powell’s POV: A fun opening match with some really cool spots along the way. I must admit that the only school fan in me wanted to see Omega or Page choke Kassidy with the necklace he wore during the match. That said, Kassidy is far from the only wrestler who does that these days, and at least Quen stopped wearing his shades during matches. Meanwhile, we got the latest tease for an Omega and Page split with Omega accidentally sending Quen into Page. I like the way they are dragging this out.
Backstage, Pac had his Brutalizer submission hold applied on Michael Nakazawa while referees and others tried to get him to release the hold. Pac told Omega to give him his one on one match or this would continue to happen. Omega rushed to the back… [C] Page drank beers with fans at ringside during the split screen break. They also showed a young fan dressed like Orange Cassidy…
The broadcast team announced Best Friends and Orange Cassidy vs. Jurassic Express along with previously advertised matches for later in the show…
2. Riho vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women’s Championship. Brandi Rhodes replaced Brown on commentary for the match. Brandi said Statlander is not an alien, she’s a woman in makeup. Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida were shown sitting together in the crowd and neither woman acted happy to be there. Brandi mocked Excalibur’s mask and asked if he takes it off to shower and if he wears it because he’s so ugly. They cut to a split screen break early in the match. [C]
Statlander held up Riho on the middle rope before performing a vertical suplex. Awesome Kong and “the bald fan” Melanie Cruise walked to ringside. With the referee distracted, Cruise pulled Riho off the apron. Brandi acted like she didn’t approve. Statlander performed a suicide dive onto Cruise and then performed another on Kong.
Brandi left the broadcast table and confronted Statlander at ringside. The bald man from Brandi’s videos climbed out from underneath the ring and stopped her from punching Brandi. Excalibur said the bald man was Japanese death match legend Dr. Luther. Riho performed a cross body block onto Luther. The match continued in the ring. Statlander lifted Riho in position for a tombstone, but Kong tripped Statlander and then Riho hooked her legs for the pin. Ross said Riho didn’t seem pleased over the way she won…
Riho defeated Kris Statlander in 8:30 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship.
After the match, Kong turned Statlander inside out with a clothesline and then worked her over while Brandi smiled and nodded from ringside. Riho tried to make the save, but Cruise cut her off. Shida entered the ring and ran off the Nightmare Collective women while Baker was shown sitting back down in her chair rather than helping. Big Swole and Sonny Kiss came out to help Riho and Statlander…
Powell’s POV: I was looking forward to the match, so all the interference was disappointing. The tone of the Nightmare Collective continues to feel too similar to the Dark Order and even The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny. There was too much going on in this segment, but it’s worth noting Britt Baker was acting unhappy, so we’ll see where that goes.
A video package aired on Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford… Shinedown guitarist Zach Myers was shown standing in the crowd and identified with a graphic…
Christopher Daniels made his entrance going into a full screen commercial break… [C] Sammy Guevara made his entrance coming out of the break. Ross noted that they were near Memphis on The King’s birthday. He noted that the was referring to Elvis, not Jerry Lawler…
3. Christopher Daniels vs. Sammy Guevara. Late in the match, Daniels slammed Guevara and motioned to the ropes. Pentagon Jr. walked onto the stage and challenged Daniels to “show me.” Excalibur said he was challenging him to perform an Arabian moonsault. Daniels ended up running into a couple of kicks from Guevara, who pinned him. Pentagon laughed on the stage.
Sammy Guevara defeated Christopher Daniels in 5:50.
After the match, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, Alex Reynolds, and a couple of Creepers headed to the ring. Uno said he may not be what he is today had he not met Daniels years ago. They entered the ring and Uno said the fans don’t share his high opinion of Daniels. He said the fans don’t believe in Daniels any longer and say that he’s lost a step.
Uno said he could make Daniels the man he once was. An “SCU” chant broke out. Uno said SCU was a thing of the past. He presented Daniels with a mask and told him to be one with the Dark Order. Daniels looked at the mask, then tossed it onto the ground. Uno told him he made a huge mistake.
The Dark Order roughed up Daniels until the Frankie Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, and the Young Bucks ran out and made the save. The babyfaces cleared the ring with the exception of Grayson, who tried to fight them on his own. Reynolds ended up in the ring and took a double superkick from the Bucks and then an Arabian moonsault from Daniels going into a split screen break… [C]
Powell’s POV: I like that they are starting to find flukey ways for Guevara to win, as it helps him maintain his pest heel heat. The Dark Order continues to feel like a soft faction. The hope this point is that the “exalted one” who was referenced last week can somehow save this and somehow justify all the attention given to the faction.
Cody, Dustin Rhodes, and Arn Anderson were shown walking backstage during the split screen break…
[Hour Two] Ring entrances for the tag match took place…
4. Cody and Dustin Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix. The broadcast team labeled it a battle of the brothers. Ross said it was blood brothers, not wrestling brothers. Funny. Pentagon was getting the better of Dustin heading into a split screen break. [C]
Dustin was isolated and eventually made a hot tag to Cody, who worked over both opponents until Fenix caught him with a kick and a cutter. Dustin tagged in a short time later. Penta took out Cody. Dustin performed a Canadian Destroyer on Fenix. Cody hit a cutter from the ropes on Pentagon. Dustin hit his finisher on Fenix and pinned him…
Cody and Dustin Rhodes defeated Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix in 10:15.
After the match, Schiavone entered the ring and asked Cody for a response to all the stipulations that MJF laid out in order for Cody to get him in the ring. Anderson interrupted and asked how MJF thinks he has the stroke to make all those demands. Anderson said if MJF wants the match then he and Cody would talk about it this week. There were some boos…
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see Cody and Dustin get the win, as they feel like made men already. Pentagon Jr. and Fenix would have gained more from the win than Cody and Dustin did. Meanwhile, Arn putting off the response to MJF until next week was disappointing.
Alex Marvez interviewed Lanny Poffo on the backstage interview set. He said he spent the day with Jimmy Valiant and Austin Idol, and said he was excited to be there. Footage aired of some of the Memphis legends in the ring. He said he hopes he wouldn’t overstay his welcome, but he hopes to contribute to “this exciting wrestling product.” Marvez hyped more on the Memphis legends for AEW Dark…
Powell’s POV: I was hoping to see the legends appear on the actual Dynamite show. That said, they are in a ratings battle and I can understand why they would save that segment for their YouTube series.
MJF made his entrance with Wardlow as they cut to a split screen break… [C]
MJF did a countdown for Cody to come out and respond to his stipulations. When Cody didn’t come out, Cody called him a little bitch. Dallas Page made his entrance. Page introduced himself and put over DDPY. Page said that if you had told him 19 years ago that he’d be back on TNT with the hottest new wrestling company he would have said you were smoking crack.
MJF stood in the corner and looked at his phone while Page worked in a Dusty Rhodes impersonation. Page said he was there to address a situation with MJF and Wardlow from a couple weeks ago. Page worked in plugs for his Twitter and Instagram pages while saying that fans have been asking him if he’s coming back for one more match.
MJF said that Page couldn’t have laced his boots during his prime, and he couldn’t hold his jock today with his arthritic hands. Page was about to go after MJF, who told him he didn’t want to fight him, but “these guys” might.
The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny made their entrance. MJF said WCW is dead, and dead is the average age of Page’s fans. MJF said Page had two options – kiss his ring and get out of his company or they could send him straight to hospice and he could take one of his “diamond daughters” to bed and “bang.”
Page grabbed MJF by the throat. The Butcher went after Page, who gave him a Diamond Cutter. The Blade tried to help, but Page also dropped him with a Diamond Cutter. The Bunny entered the ring. MJF went for a cheap shot on Page, who Page saw it coming. Page went for a Diamond Cutter on MJF, who shoved him toward Wardlow, and then kicked Page in the balls.
MJF looked into the camera and said what was about to happen to Cody’s mentor was on Cody. QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes ran out and the heels retreated to ringside with only Wardlow remaining in the ring briefly… [C] Page and the other babyfaces went into the crowd to celebrate during the split screen break, then Jurassic Express made their entrance…
Powell’s POV: Page must be returning to the ring for a match. If not, he should pay AEW for commercial time given all the plugs he worked in from himself.
5. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt vs. Orange Cassidy, Trent, and Chuck Taylor. Ross noted that the show was being held in Stunt’s home market. The fans came to life when Stunt checked in. Ross said you can’t get pissed off at someone for wanting to live their dream no matter who they are or what they are doing. A loud “let’s go Marko” chant broke out amongst his hometown fans. [C]
Cassidy checked in and did his light kick bit on Luchasaurus, who didn’t sell the kicks. Cassidy performed a move on Luchasaurus, who ended up at ringside, then Cassidy put his hands in his pockets and dove onto Luchasaurus at ringside. Best Friends and Cassidy did their group hug. Later, Stunt performed a Canadian Destroyer on Trent. Marko had Luchasaurus toss him onto Trent and Cassidy at ringside. In the ring, Jungle Boy countered out of Taylor’s powerbomb attempt and into a rollup for the win…
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt beat Orange Cassidy, Trent, and Chuck Taylor in 10:45.
Powell’s POV: People who dislike Stunt and Cassidy will continue to bitch about them while ignoring how the live crowds pop big for them wherever AEW goes. You don’t have to like them, but you need to accept that not everything in life is geared toward your personal tastes.
Schiavone hyped Jurassic Express vs. Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz for two weeks on the Jericho Cruise edition of Dynamite. The broadcast team also hyped Pac vs. Darby Allin, Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Awesome Kong and Mel (Cruise), and DDP, Dustin Rhodes, and QT Marshall vs. MJF, The Butcher, and The Blade for next week’s Bash at the Beach themed episode from Miami.
Ross, Excalibur, and Schiavone spoke about the decision that Moxley had to make. Schiavone said it would be hard to turn down the car. Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara made their entrance heading into a split screen break. [C]
Jon Moxley made his entrance through the crowd while Jericho and his crew stood in the ring. Jericho introduced Moxley as his friend and protege. Moxley entered the ring, which was covered by red over the canvas, and a table with cold beverages was set up behind Jericho.
Jericho noted that it was Elvis’s birthday and said he’d kick his butt if he were there. Jericho showed off the keys to Moxley’s car and eventually asked if he would be part of the Inner Circle. Moxley said he had a lot to think about this week and a lot more went into the decision than the people probably think. He said people might think they understand what makes him tick and understand his goals and aspirations.
Moxley said he doesn’t think Jericho understands either. Moxley said he didn’t want what Jericho had to offer. He said he didn’t come to AEW because of money, he came to AEW to run roughshod and dominate. “That’s why my answer is yes,” Moxley said. Moxley removed his jacket and showed that he was wearing an Inner Circle t-shirt.
Jericho taunted the fans for not believing that Moxley would say yes. Moxley said Jericho is the greatest of all time and thus he will stand with Jericho and they will dominate AEW for years to come. Moxley called for them to pop open a little bit of the bubbly.
“Moxley said yes,” Jericho boasted. “2020 is going to be the year of the Inner Circle, baby,” Jericho said. Jericho, Moxley, Hager, and Guevara sprayed champagne in the ring together. Jericho said it was the year of the Inner Circle taking over AEW.
Moxley said Jericho forgot something, then motioned for the keys. Jericho said the car was worthy $750,000, which is more than every person in the building makes combined. Jericho said it all belongs to Moxley, who took the keys. A “you sold out” chant broke out. Moxley said he was going to run his 2015 Dodge Ram into the ground until he got the gift of Jericho. Jericho boasted that they won their Wrestle Kingdom matches in Tokyo and they were together in AEW.
Moxley looked into the camera and said he was riding out of the building in style. Hager and Guevara went to ringside while Jericho and Moxley celebrated inside the ring. Moxley called for the usic to stop. “Chris, my friend, I was just kidding,” Moxley said. “I would never join the Inner Circle. It’s a stupid group and you have nothing that I want, except for that (the AEW Title belt).”
Moxley slammed a bottle of champagne into Jericho’s head. Guevara returned to the ring and was hit with the Paradigm Shift. Hager returned to the ring and then Moxley fled the ring to cheers while Hager cradled Jericho’s head. Moxley went into the crowd and held up the car keys to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A pretty good angle with the live crowd obviously believing that Moxley had sold out based on their chants, and then they were totally with him afterward. I’m not sure if the average fan at home felt the same way, as it was hard for me to believe that Moxley might join the group. Well, I thought he might join the group, take the car keys, and then simply quit once he had the car. Anyway, the overall show was more hit than miss, but I’ll have a lot more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review coming up shortly. Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...