By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 15)
Aired live on January 15, 2020 from Miami, Florida at Watsco Center
[Hour One] We got a graphic regarding the passing of Rocky Johnson, and Jim Ross, who was on commentary with Excalibur and Tony Schiavone, made reference to Pompero Firpo, Kendo Nagasaki, and AAA’s LaParka also passing…
The Young Bucks, Best Friends, Omega and Hangman Page, and Santana and Ortiz were in the ring. The match will determine the number one contender for the AEW Tag Team Championships. The match with SCU will be next week about the Jericho Cruise.
1. Best Friends vs. Hangman and Omega vs. Santana and Ortiz vs. The Young Bucks: Trent and Nick Jackson began the match. Nick landed a corkscrew armdrag and then ducked a lariat. Nick tagged in Hangman Page, and Trent tagged in Chuck. Page threw Chuck with a fallaway slam, and then Matt Jackson and Omega tagged into the match. Santana and Ortiz both entered the match and attacked Matt and Kenny. They dragged Matt over to their corner and Santana tagged into the match officially.
Kenny worked with Nick Jackson temporarily working over Santana, but Nick broke up Kenny’s subsequent pinning attempt. We then saw some tandem offense from the Elite Trio of Omega and the Bucks. Matt Jackson and Trent tagged into the match. Matt hit his locomotion Northern Lights Suplexes, but Trent prevented the final one with a tornado DDT. Chuck then tagged in and landed a series of power moves on the Young Bucks. He and Trent then hit their Half and Half and Sole Food combination. Ortiz entered the match to break up the pin.
Santana and Ortiz took over in the ring, hitting a cutter and a standing moonsault on Matt Jackson. They then hit simultaneous splashes on different opponents on the floor. Santana hit three amigos suplex on Matt Jackson. He passed off the third stalling suplex to Ortiz when he tagged himself in. Matt broke up the offensive momentum of Santana with a spear, but they were still able to prevent a tag.
Omega and Hangman jumped up on the apron, and Matt broke free of Santana again with a Stunner out of the corner. He then tagged Omega, and Hangman looked dejected. Omega drilled Santana with two snapdragon suplexes, and then another on Trent when he tagged in. Hangman then entered the match, and he and Omega landed some tandem offense. The final of the sequence was a moonsault to the floor by Hangman Page.
Things continued at a frenzied pace, with multiple dives to the outside. The announcers questioned who the legal men were. Trent placed Matt Jackson on the top rope for a superplex, and they crashed onto the rest of the match participants on the floor. In the ring, Trent hit a knee strike on Omega in the ring. There was a ref bump on a double suplex attempt, and everybody ended up in a Rugby Scrum. This ended when Orange Cassidy joined in and Best Friends, along with Santana and Ortiz were able to suplex The Young Bucks, Omega, and Page.
Best Friends landed Strong Zero on Omega, but Matt Jackson broke it up. Matt and Chuck clashed briefly, but Page entered and hit Chuck with a lariat. More madness as we saw Santana and Ortiz enter and clear Hangman from the ring and attack Chuck. The Bucks then entered and we got a superkick party all over the ring. They set up for a Meltzer Driver on Chuck, but Trent assisted with a reverse. Omega entered the ring and helped clear Trent and The Bucks. Omega and Page then hit a V-Trigger and Buckshot Lariat combo for the win.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Best Friends, Santana and Ortiz, and The Young Bucks at 17:06
After the match, The Bucks had an argument with Omega and Page in the ring, but eventually cooler heads prevailed…[c]
My Take: A wild match down the stretch with a lot of action to follow. I apologize because I know I wasn’t able to capture all of it in my report. I like the decision to put Omega and Hangman over here, if only because it will make their eventual blow up mean that much more. The match was well executed, and hopefully the disruption to the rest of the tag team division won’t be too lengthy while they tell the story with Kenny and Page.
The announce team ran down the rest of the card for tonight. Jon Moxley will take on Sammy Guevara, Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida vs. Mel and Brandi, DDP in action, as well as Darby Allin vs. Pac. Cody Rhodes then made his entrance in the arena.
Cody said Arn Anderson was right when he said the audience wanted this match. He then mentioned that he was self righteous when he asked MJF what his price was to give him a match, and it was pretty expensive. They displayed a graphic on screen, and Cody first mentioned the Cage Match with Wardlow. Cody stipulated that MJF wanted to soften him up, but he warned that he’s been in teams and factions before, and he thinks Wardlow might end up shining brighter in the process. He warned MJF that crowds might think he should be carrying Wardlow’s bags instead of the other way around.
He then said he can’t believe he has to read it, but he will take 10 lashes on Live TV. He said his skin might bruise and break, but he won’t. And when it comes to not touching MJF until Revolution, he doesn’t need to, because he lives rent free in his head. He called MJF a kid whose parents put him on TV when he was seven, and he finally found something he was good at. Cody said MJF gets told all the time that he’s an “old school heel”, and that less is more, but he said that’s just an excuse for being lazy.
He then he’s lazy, and that less is more because he’s incapable of more. He said as far as the stipulations go, he accepted them all. And come Revolution, he would give him his own god damn scar…[c]
My Take: Another well delivered promo from Cody, but it was all over the place in terms of content. I’m curious if they are regretting the lashes stipulation, given how ridiculous Cody made it sound, and how he seemed to accept it somewhat reluctantly. Even though it lacked a little focus, the crowd ate it up and it was well received.
A video promo was shown from Joey Janela. He called out Penelope Ford for only being able to get over on his name. He laid down a challenge for Kip Sabian, and then said he would get his 2020 off to a better start next week against Rey Fenix. Janela said he would show Fenix next week why he’s considered a bad bad boy.
In the arena, Brandi made her entrance along with Luther and Melanie Cruise. They were followed by Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida.
2. Brandi Rhodes and Melanie Cruise (w/Luther) vs. Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida: Mel started the match with Shida, and immediately started tossing her around the ring. Shida took Mel down with a head scissors and that sent her out of the ring. Statlander hit a moonsault on the apron and looked a bit sloppy. Statlander let Shida use her as a vault for a knee strike, and they then tossed Mel back into the ring.
Back in the ring, Mel took back over with a big boot after a Brandi distraction. She then landed a leg drop and tagged in Brandi. She hit a kick to the ribs and covered Shida for a two count. Brandi choked Shida against the bottom rope, and then goaded Statlander into the ring. While the ref was distracted, Brandi slipped out of the ring and Mel came back in. The ref apparently didn’t care, and Mel went back to work on Shida…[c]
Mel covered Shida as the show returned for a near fall. She then attempted another Suplex, but Shida blocked. Shida landed a few strikes, but Mel put her back down with a forearm. Brandi tagged into the match after Shida created space with a knee strike, and Statlander got the tag to meet her. Statlander hit a kick and a lariat. She followed up with a Michinoku Driver, but Mel broke up the pin.
Shida hit a dropkick on Mel from the top, and they spilled to the outside. Brandi hit Statlander with a spear, and Mel tagged in and hit a spinning side slam for a near fall. Mel climbed to the top, where Shida entered and met her for a superplex. Statlander then hit a standing moonsault and covered, but Brandi broke it up. Shida cleared Brandi from the ring, and Statlander hit Mel with her Big Bang Piledriver for the win.
Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida defeated Brandi Rhodes and Mel at 12:15
After the match, we saw a recruitment themed video for The Dark Order with a presentation made to the Supreme Leader about the various members of the Elite. They are targeting Michael Nakazawa, Brandon Cutler and Adam Page. The leader instructed the man giving the presentation to continue showing the world that no one is more powerful than The Dark Order.
In the arena, Sammy Guevara made his entrance…[c]
My Take: That women’s match was a mess. Statlander and Shida did their best to keep it together, but it was sloppy and Brandi and Mel looked out of sorts at various points in the match. The Nightmare Collective is an idea without many redeeming qualities, and if it were my call I’d be looking for a way to leave it behind.
The crowd chanted for Moxley, and Sammy motioned to the crowd that he didn’t want to hear it. Moxley drove into the arena in his Ford GT, and the announcers made clear that the winner of this match would compete next week to determine the #1 contender for the AEW Championship. Moxley’s music never hit, but he got an introduction from Justin Roberts.
3. Jon Moxley vs. Sammy Guevara: Sammy jumped Moxley early on, but Moxley shook it off and landed a series of hard chops. Sammy avoided a lariat and started strutting, but Moxley quickly regrouped and cut him down anyways.
[Hour Two] Sammy sent Moxley to the floor and then hit a suicide dive on the floor. He then put Moxley back in the ring and climbed to the top rope, but he dropped down and started strutting instead of executing a move. Moxley recovered and slapped Guevara across the face. He then hit a release vertical suplex. Moxley set up for a Paradigm Shift on the apron, but Guevara escaped and landed double knees from the top rope. He then took Moxley around the ring and tossed him into the steps. In the ring, Sammy applied a chin lock…[c]
During the split screen break, Sammy stayed in control and sent Moxley back out to the floor. He followed and tossed some popcorn in Moxley’s face. He then tossed him into the ring post, and back into the ring. Guevara then climbed to the top rope, and Moxley met him there. He then pulled Guevara into a superplex from the second rope. He then landed some forearms and went for a German Suplex, but Guevara flipped out of it. Sammy then landed a standing shooting star press for a near fall.
Moxley avoided a couple of kicks and grabbed Sammy for a bulldog DDT. Moxley then attempted to pull Sammy to the top for a Paradigm Shift, but Sammy reversed into a Spanish Fly. Sammy then grabbed Moxley and landed a Torture Rack into a knee lift, almost like a reverse GTS. That got a close near fall. Sammy then climbed up top and jumped at Moxley, but got pulled in for a Rear Naked Choke. Sammy tapped out immediately.
Jon Moxley defeated Sammy Guevara at 10:02
After the match, Jericho’s music hit and lights went out. When they came back on, Jericho and the rest of the Inner Circle were in the ring. Moxley attacked, but was quickly subdued. Jericho then whipped the back of Moxley with the AEW Championship. Jake Hager then kneed Moxley in the balls, but he clearly hit somewhere in his inner thigh. They then stood him up again, where Guevara slapped him, and Jericho removed one of the spikes from his coat and stabbed Moxley in the forehead with it.
The announcers made it sound like Moxley got hit in the eye, and Jericho held up the spike. Referees entered the ring to try and restore order, and Doc Sampson checked on Moxley…[c]
My Take: That match wasn’t what I was hoping for. It was well wrestled, but I don’t know if I would have booked pest heel Sammy Guevara to look like he was close to putting Moxley away. The post match angle was well done, and I like the reinforcement that Moxley has no friends in the locker room. I don’t think you can credibly say that Jericho came anywhere near Moxley’s eye, but that appears to be where they are going with this. There is no way you could put a spike like that into someone’s eye without destroying it, so this stretches credibility a great deal. Maybe they could have brought back the “abrasive powder” that blinded JYD.
They showed us an angle from behind Moxley so you couldn’t see Jericho wasn’t anywhere close. Backstage, Jericho said they kicked the shit out of Jon Moxley, and it was his fault for turning them down last week. He would extract an eye for an eye. He said they would do the same next week to Jurrasic Express. Jericho then said he would see Moxley later, even though he couldn’t really see him. He then said he would swab the deck with Jungle Boy and his rats nest hair next week.
In the arena, The Butcher, Blade, and Bunny made their entrance. After that it was MJF, QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, and DDP. MJF wore a shirt that said he banged DDP’s daughter. DDP got a great live reaction.
4. Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall and DDP vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and MJF: Both DDP and MJF started the match, but MJF tagged out to The Butcher. MJF left the ring and stood behind the barricade for a moment, but then got back in the ring once QT Marshall got in. MJF hit a shoulder block and talked trash to the crowd. Marshall gave him the finger, and MJF gave him a thumb to the eye.
Dustin Rhodes tagged in, along with The Blade. Dustin hit an atomic drop and a series of punches. MJF punched Dustin from the apron, while wearing his Diamond Ring that was passed to him by Wardlow. The blade then tossed Dustin to ringside where The Bunny slapped him, and Wardlow landed a mafia style front kick…[c]
The heels worked on Dustin throughout the break, with MJF in the ring as the show returned. Dustin eventually knocked The Butcher and Blade off the apron, and hit a back body drop that sent MJF to the floor. Dustin landed a powerslam on The Blade before tagging in DDP. He entered and slammed MJF into the corner turnbuckle. He hit The Butcher and Blade with lariats before hitting The Butcher with a Diamond Cutter. He then played to the crowd for one on MJF, but was caught with a low blow first.
Dustin tagged back in and hit a Destroyer on MJF, and then DDP hit him with a Diamond Cutter. The Blade entered to break up the pinfall attempt. Things went wild as QT and Dustin splashed Butcher and Blade on the floor. DDP then took off from the top rope to the floor in a pretty insane dive. After all that MJF rolled up QT Marshall out of nowhere for the win.
MJF, The Butcher and The Blade defeated QT Marshall, DDP, and Dustin Rhodes at 10:10
After the match, the heels celebrated up the ramp, and DDP had a celebration for himself in the ring. Backstage, SCU was interviewed by Jenn Decker. They were interrupted by Hangman Page, who was clearly drunk. He bumped into them with a drink, and instigated a fight. Omega walked up and tried to clear up the hostilities, but Page continued to say he would kick all their asses. Cooler heads prevailed.
The announce team then said Wardlow vs. Cody would take place in Atlanta in a few weeks…[c]
My Take: A fun return for DDT, and the match had the right outcome for the ongoing feud between MJF and Cody. It’s a little surprising that MJF took a Diamond Cutter and sold so much offense, but no harm was done in the end. The crowd loved to see DDP, and he showed he still moves pretty well for a guy his age. He was also well protected in the 6-man format from being asked to do way too much.
Pac’s entrance was joined in progress. Darby Allin then made his entrance on his skateboard.
5. Darby Allin vs. Pac: Darby jumped out on offense early with a big dropkick. Pac recovered quickly and landed a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He then picked Darby up and tossed him across the ring. Allin avoided a splash in the corner and hit Pac with a shotgun dropkick. He then sent Pac to the floor and hit a splash through the second rope. Pac escaped back into the ring, and then slid out the other side. Allin followed and hit another shoulder block through the ropes. Pac scrambled away, but Darby followed and attempted a head scissors from the apron. Pac caught him and slammed him into the ringsteps…[c]
Pac powerbombed Allin onto the steps during the break. He then slowed things down and applied a chinlock. Pac threw Allin into the barricade on the floor, and hit a missile dropkick off the top rope that sent Darby flying across the ring. Darby had swelling and bleeding on his head and arm. Pac picked up Darby and climbed to the top rope, but Darby reversed into a crucifix bomb from the top, though he was unable to make a pin attempt. Pac rolled outside, but Darby hit a coffin drop from the top rope out to the floor.
The ref count began, but Pac made his way back into the ring. Allin hit a Stunner, followed by a Cody Red for a near fall. Pac escaped to the floor again. Allin attempted a baseball slide, but Pac captured him in the apron and kicked him in the face. Pac then hit a huge lariat for a close near fall. Darby and Pac then had a pinfall exchange with reversals that nearly saw a couple of pins.
Darby went for a springboard coffin drop, but Pac caught him into a German Suplex. Pac then hit a Liger Bomb for another close near fall. He then pulled Allin to the top rope, and knocked him down with headbutts. He then hit Black Arrow and got the win.
Pac defeated Darby Allin at 11:42.
After the match, Pac celebrated. Tony Schiavone went to the ring to interview Pac, who announced himself as the number one contender. Pac said Moxley is incapacitated, which in lehman’s terms means a forfeit. Pac then addressed Jericho, and said he was coming for him. Shiavone interrupted and said they had to go backstage, where Moxley burst out of a ambulance with bloody rags wrapped around his head. He walked to the ringside area and said it wasn’t going down like that. He said he didn’t care if he was blind or had one eye, he would kick his ass because that title shot belongs to him. Moxley seemed quite calm for a guy who just had his eye pierced with a metal spike.
My Take: Ok, the silliness of the eye thing aside, Pac vs. Moxley is a legit main event and will be a lot of fun next week on Dynamite. The show taking place at sea during Jericho’s cruise should make for some interesting visuals as well. Overall, this episode of Dynamite moved along pretty well. The Women’s segment was a miss, but everything else was well executed. I have my reservations about the eye angle and playing on an alcoholism issue with Hangman Page, but the show is very watchable and enjoyable regardless.