By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 19)
Aired live on February 12, 2020 from Austin, Texas at HEB Center
A recap video of last week’s episode of Dynamite aired, followed by a fireworks presentation in the arena. Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur introduced the show and went immediately to the ring. Omega, Page, and SCU were already in the ring. Justin Roberts introduced everyone for the first match of the night. Before the match began, the Dark Order appeared on the screens and said they were watching. They said The Dark Order is many, but some of them are closer than they appear. They said they are awaiting the exalted one, and soon they will strike. Daniels took off, volunteering to confront them despite not knowing where they are.
1. SCU (Scorpio Sky and Kazarian) vs. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page for the AEW Tag Team Championships: Omega landed a series of arm drags on Kazarian. Sky caught Omega in the back with a kick as he hit the ropes, and Omega stared him down. Omega knocked him off the apron with a big boot in response. Kazarian prevented Kenny from landing a springboard move, and then Sky returned fire with a kick.
Kaz knocked Hangman from the apron and tagged in Sky. They set up for SCU Later on Kenny, but Page broke it up. Kaz prevented a Buckshot lariat from page, and then we saw Sky and Omega make dives to the floor. In the ring, Omega landed a missile dropkick to Sky’s back and landed a fisherman buster for a two count. All four men got involved again after Sky and Page tagged in. Omega landed a Kotaro Crusher on Kazarian and sent him to ringside.
Page and Omega attempted some double team offense, but Kazarian broke it up. Omega landed on Sky’s knees on a moonsault, and then Page was sent crashing into the barricade by Kaz after attempting one of his own. Sky and Kaz focused on Omega’s back. They shoved him into the ring apron and the barricade on the outside. Sky then stood on Omega’s lower back as he was draped over the bottom rope.
Kazarian got a near fall with a cross body, and then applied a body scissors. Omega powered up to his feet and fell backwards to pancake Kazarian onto his back. Hangman Page has not yet been able to return to the apron. Eventually, Omega battled out of the SCU corner and made a hot tag. Page hit a big boot to Kaz, and caught Sky with one as he dove off the top. He then hit a series of clotheslines, and followed with a standing moonsault on Sky for a two count.
Omega got back in the match, but was quickly dumped to the floor. Hangman went for a buckshot lariat, but Sky ducked and Kaz landed a big lariat of his own. Kaz tagged in and hit an assisted swinging DDT for a near fall on Page. He then hit a backstabber, and Sky followed up with a springboard cutter. Kaz landed a cutter of his own on Omega, and both members of SCU applied Dragon Sleepers on an opponent.
Omega tagged himself in and landed a V-Trigger on Kaz. He then hit a snapdragon suplex on Scorpio Sky. Page landed a powerbomb on Kaz, followed by a V-Trigger by Omega. They then hit a Buckshot Lariat and V-Trigger combo on Kaz and Omega made the pin. Kaz managed to grab the ropes just after the count, but it was close.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated SCU at 13:40
After the match, Page left through the crowd and took some beer on his way to the back. Kazarian and Sky were left in the ring, and The Dark Order made their way to the ring. Best Friends made their way out for the assist. Hybrid 2 and The Butcher and Blade surrounded the ring. The Young Bucks then made their way out, and a huge brawl started. It got kind of sloppy as people were cleared from the ring. Evil Uno and Stu hid up on the ramp. The Bucks ended up the last men standing after everybody was cleared. They then dove at the pile of people at ringside…[c]
My Take: The match was fun, even though it suffered a bit from people waiting around for spots to happen at various points. The brawl was basically everybody waiting for spots to happen. Omega and Page have very good chemistry together as a team, and they worked well for the most part with SCU. The finish was a bit odd with Kazarian being so close to the ropes, but the announce team explained it away well enough by saying he was KO’d. JR called The Young Bucks “The Bucks of Youth”, so the Matt Hardy hinting continues.
The announce team went over tonight’s matches and then threw to an interview with JR and Santana. JR asked him to elaborate on what he meant when he said Moxley would learn what it’s like to live in darkness. Santana recalled a few years ago being broke and living in a dark apartment. He recalled his father being blind, and how his father was stolen from him, and that he never got a chance to say goodbye. JR brought up the fact that Moxley’s attack was retaliatory, and asked if Santana should be angry at Jericho instead? Santana said that Moxley built his own coffin when he rejected the invitation to The Inner Circle, and tonight he would learn what it’s like to live in darkness.
We then saw a video package from Darby Allin, where he used writing on cards similar to Sammy Guevara to explain he would find him eventually. One of the cards was a challenge to Guevara for Revolution, and then a crude drawing of Sammy’s face saying he got herpes from kissing Jericho’s ass. Guevara made his entrance in the arena, followed by Dustin Rhodes. I believe Dustin actually lives pretty close to the arena where they are performing tonight.
2. Dustin Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara: Jake Hager and Sammy tried to distract Dustin out of the gate, but he didn’t fall for it. Dustin landed several punches and a pancaked Sammy onto his back. Guevara and Hager tried to leave at that point, but Dustin gave chase and landed a diving lariat on Guevara. He then got in Hager’s face, and threw up the Hook em’ Horns symbol of the local Texas Longhorns…[c]
During the break, Hager and Guevara conspired to toss Dustin into the crowd. Guevara then hit him with a fan sign and slammed him into the timekeepers area. From there, he remained in control in the ring. Dustin caught Sammy coming off the ropes and slammed him chest first on the mat. He then hit a series of clotheslines and slapped Guevara across the face. He then landed a snap powerslam for a near fall.
Dustin climbed to the middle rope, but Jake Hager got involved and froze him there. Sammy then pulled Dustin into position for a burning hammer, but he turned it into an inverted GTS of sorts. Sammy climbed up top, but Dustin punched him down. He then sent Guevara back into the ring with a back body drop. Guevara tried to climb back up, but Dustin sent him back down again. He then hit a Destroyer and his “Final Reckoning” suplex for the win.
Dustin Rhodes defeated Sammy Guevara at 6:52
After the match, Jake Hager helped Guevara to the back as Dustin celebrated. Rhodes then grabbed a mic and demanded he turn around. Guevara did, but Dustin said he was referring to Jericho’s bitch. Dustin asked him if he was going to get in the ring or just keep collecting a check. He called him a failure at MMA and a failure in AEW before he even started. Dustin said he Hager broke his arm, and he wanted a piece of his ass at Revolution. Dustin wanted Hager to come to the ring and accept it, but he just walked off.
The announce team recapped Britt Baker’s attack on Yuka Sakazaki from last week. Tony Schiavone then interviewed Britt Baker on the stage. She gave him a disingenuous hug. He asked her to justify what she did last week. She called it a stupid question. Britt said she did a public service and said the tooth needed to come out anyway. She also said a bunch of dental terminology I won’t be able to capture. Britt bragged about extracting the tooth for free, and she probably doesn’t even have dental insurance. She said Tony did, and called him Mr. Starbucks.
He then asked her about the Riho and Nyla Rose’s title match. She said she’s always been impressed with Nyla Rose, but they will always be #2 compared to her. Britt then attacked the crowd’s chubby Whataburger faces, and the crowd started chanting Whataburger as she tried to explain her college degrees and why she was superior before walking off…[c]
My Take: Going after Whataburger in Texas is serious heat seeking. Baker did a nice job, though maybe not as strong as when she went after Jim Ross. Rhodes and Guevara was a fun match, but having Guevara take a quick loss seems to slightly undermine his program with Darby Allin. I’m sure we’ll see the Jake Hager payoff in Atlanta next week.
We got a video callback of Riho vs. Nyla Rose from back in October, and Nyla’s rampage ever since. Nyla Rose made her entrance in the arena, followed by Riho.
3. Riho vs. Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s World Championship: Riho started the match with a running knee strike. She then grabbed a waistlock, but Rose backed her into the corner quickly. Nyla missed a clothesline, and Riho rolled her up for a quick two count. Rose landed a second lariat attempt and covered, but Riho bridged out. Riho hit a head scissors and a dropkick that sent Nyla out to the floor. She then climbed up top and dove at Nyla, but was caught and slammed into the ring apron.
Nyla placed Riho back in the ring and pulled out a table. The ref told her that this was illegal, but she set it up on the outside. Riho used it as a ramp and drop kicked Nyla into the timekeeper’s area…[c]
During the break, Nyla recovered and wore down Riho in the corner. She hit a clothesline and then put a boot in her face. Nyla remained in control after the break, but Riho reversed a Samoan Drop attempt into a crucifix bomb. Both women were down, and had to answer a 10 count. Riho went for a Tiger Feint Kick (619), but Nyla avoided it. She then hit a low dropkick and covered Nyla for a near fall.
Nyla picked up Riho and landed a Samoan Drop this time for a close near fall. She then picked up Riho and draped her over the top rope. She then climbed the rope and hit a flying knee that brought Riho back into the ring. She then covered lazily, and Riho kicked out. Nyla splashed Riho in the corner and picked her up. She looked to be setting up for a second rope Samoan Drop, but Riho escaped. Nyla bit Riho and pulled her back in for a second rope Death Valley Driver. Nyla covered for a near fall.
Nyla picked up Riho in an Electric Chair position, and looked to hit a One Winged Angel. Riho escaped and hit two snapdragons suplexes. Riho missed a splash in the corner, and Nyla attempted a sit out powerbomb. Riho escaped again and hit a double stomp. She then hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a near fall. Riho hit a double stomp from the top, which only got a one count. She then hit two more double stomps from the top, but Nyla got her foot on the ropes.
Nyla fired up and hit a spear, and hit her sitout powerbomb for the win.
Nyla defeated Riho at 12:22
Nyla celebrated in the ring, and got a nice reaction from the crowd after the pin.
My Take: That was a strong match that I really enjoyed. Riho got a strong babyface reaction for her comeback spots, and had some impressive and believable near falls off of her strong offense. These two have good chemistry together, and had perhaps the best televised AEW Women’s Match to date. Nyla was the right call here. While Riho did a nice job, she just wasn’t driving interest in weekly matches and angles as much as I think Nyla can going forward.
The PIP commercial showed Nyla getting a hug from Tony Khan, and saying something to Kenny Omega and talking trash to other women backstage. I might have televised that moment?
Backstage, Jericho was interviewed with The Inner Circle. He called Moxley trash for what he did to Santana with the car keys he stole from them. He said he looked around the world for a bounty hunter, and he found someone that has been ending careers. He said if he survives Santana this week, he’ll take a tour of the islands next week with Jeff Cobb. Jericho said he thought he’d see Moxley in the inner circle, but now he’ll see him in heel. We then got a brief video package hyping up Jeff Cobb, followed by a recap video of Cody taking 10 lashes last week.
My Take: Jeff Cobb is an interesting new signing for AEW. He’s always been a machine in the ring, but I’m curious if he’ll thrive in a weekly TV environment.
Brandi then joined on commentary, and seems to have taken a hard break from her Nightmare Collective character, as she apologized to Excalibur. MJF made his entrance with Wardlow…[c]
Jungle Boy made his entrance on the back of Luchasaurus with Marko Stunt in tow. They posed on the entrance ramp and Jungle Boy made his entrance alone.
4. Jungle Boy vs. MJF: They traded holds early on until MJF hit a lazy looking shoulder tackle. We then saw more chain wrestling until Jungle Boy landed a hip toss. We then got some mat wrestling and reversals, and both men kipped up and had a faceoff. Jungle Boy knocked down MJF with a shoulder block and MJF retreated to ringside. Jungle Boy hit an elaborate acrobatic arm drag out of the corner, but was then shut down with a thrust to the throat.
MJF stomped away in the corner and then dragged Jungle Boy to the outside by his hair and threw him into a barricade. MJF then mocked the crowd. He then hit a body slam on the outside and got back in the ring to break the count…[c]
Jungle Boy landed to dives to the outside, followed by a somersault dive over the top to the outside (tope con hilo). In the ring, Jungle Boy landed a poisoned rana for a near fall. MJF sold back spasms after the move, and got spiked by an Alabama Slam from MJF. He then applied a a submission over his back and wrenched on Jungle Boy’s legs to put pressure on his back.
MJF then grabbed his junk and told Brandi to join a real mean. The showboating allowed Jungle Boy to hit an running Liger Bomb for a near fall. Wardlow rejoined MJF at ringside and placed the AEW Dynamite Diamond on his fist. He then punched Jungle Boy before landing his awkward looking version of CrossRhodes for the win.
MJF defeated Jungle Boy at 12:06
After the match, Wardlow picked up Jungle Boy and tossed him across the ring. Luchasaurus ran down for the save and the heels scrambled…[c]
My Take: This was a solid match. Jungle Boy was over and the crowd loved his offense, and people love to hate MJF. The cheap finish made sense, and there’s no reason for anybody else to beat MJF before Cody does.
We got a video package from Pac. He said Kenny hasn’t been the same since he choked him out in Chicago. He said he understands why Kenny lost his confidence and refused to help his friends. He said Kenny is scared because he knows Pac is the best and it eats him inside. Pac said in two weeks he gets his rematch, and in 30 minutes he would prove he’s the best in the world.
The announce team then plugged Wardlow vs. Cody and the Tag Team Battle Royal for Next Week. Omega and Hangman will also face The Lucha Bros. Jake Hager vs. Dustin Rhodes was confirmed for Revolution. Jon Moxley vs. Santana is up next. A video package was shown recapping the eye for an eye feud.
In the arena, Jericho was shown entering a luxury suite with Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager. JR put over the local high school football program. We got a nice crowd shot that showed a close to full HEB Center. Santana made his entrance with Ortiz, followed by Moxley. The crowd gave Mox a big reaction. He stared down Jericho. Santana attacked Moxley before he made it to ringside, and they brawled through the crowd. Ortiz carried the loaded sock. Moxley ended up sending Santana over the barricade with a back body drop.
5. Jon Moxley vs. Santana: The brawling continued in the ring, with both men landing heavy shots. Moxley clotheslined Santana over the top and landed a double axe handle from the top out to the floor. Moxley somehow tripped himself into the steel steps on the outside, and then Santana tried and failed to shove his eye into the corner of the steps. Santana landed a baseball slide dropkick as Moxley returned to the ring…[c]
The match slowed down during the break, with Santana in control. He used a hold to keep Moxley grounded. They got back to their feet and Moxley landed a lariat, and then a backslide for a two count. Moxley then landed a reverse german suplex, and Santana nearly landed on his head. Moxley charged at Santana in the corner and ate a big boot. He then hit an STO that sent Moxley into the second turnbuckle.
Santana hit a rolling cutter and Moxley just kind of had to wait for, and then made a lazy cover for a two count. He then landed a piledriver, and got another two count. Santana climbed to the top and went for a splash, but he took too long and Moxley got the knees up. Ortiz went to hit Moxley with the loaded sock, but the ref put a stop to it. Moxley then landed a lariat and turned Santana inside out. He then climbed to the top, but Ortiz spit something into his good eye. Santana splashed Moxley in the corner, and then hit a frog splash from the top for a close near fall.
Moxley crawled around blind and threw some wild punches that went nowhere. Santana grabbed him, but Moxley stuck his thumb in Santana’s bad eye. They both stumbled and bumped into each other, and Moxley hit a Paradigm Shift for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Santana at 9:58.
The Inner Circle swarmed the ring and Ortiz dug his fingers into Moxley’s eyes. There was a gang beatdown with the loaded sock, and then he and Jericho took turns hitting him with the belt and the sock. Hager then kneed him in the balls, and Guevara hit a twisting splash from the top. Jericho then put the finishing touches on Moxley with the Judas Effect and they made a symbolic cover.
Jeff Cobb then made his entrance after Jericho called for him. He entered the ring and hit Moxley with the Tour of the Islands. The inner circle celebrated with some champagne to close the show.
My Take: Another good angle to close the show. Moxley and Santana had an entertaining brawl to close the show, but the outcome never seemed in doubt. The gang beatdown and Cobb’s introduction was the right way to close the show, but I would avoid doing those kinds of finishes repeatedly as they feel very rehashed NWO if overdone. Overall this was a very good episode of Dynamite that didn’t suffer from any overly weak segments or puzzling booking decisions that have dragged down episodes in the past. Hopefully this is a sign that AEW is making the right adjustments and identifying their weaknesses internally.