By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 21)
Aired live on February 26, 2020 from Kansas City, Missouri at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena
[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur checked in from their desk and ran through the lineup. They added Yuka Sakazaki vs. Big Swole vs. Shanna vs. Hikaru Shida in a four-way to the list of previously advertised matches and segments. Ross turned it over to ring announcer Justin Roberts…
Powell’s POV: It sounds like another hot crowd in KC tonight. I’m filling in for Jake Barnett, who will be taking my place on WWE Friday Night Smackdown coverage this week. I will also be hosting the weekly AEW Dynamite audio review later tonight for Dot Net Members. Jake will share his thoughts on this episode in tomorrow’s AEW Dynamite Hit List. Join me for my live review of AEW Revolution on Saturday night, and then Jake and I will co-host an audio review of the pay-per-view for Dot Net Members. Got all that? There will be a quiz later.
1. Kenny Omega (w/Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson) vs. Pac in a 30-minute Iron Man match. The broadcast team noted that the Young Bucks were in the corner of Omega, yet his own tag partner Hangman Page was not. They also hyped the special Countdown to AEW Dynamite special that will air on TNT immediately following this episode. Omega performed an early flip dive onto Pac, which drew a big pop from the crowd.
Back inside the ring, Pac avoided a second rope moonsault attempt by Omega, who bounced right back by shoving Pac face first into the corner and then followed up with a dragon suplex. Omega signaled for a V-Trigger knee, but Pac rolled to ringside. Omega followed and they fought onto the entrance ramp. Pac ended up performing a DDT onto the ringside mats. The wrestlers returned to the ring and Pac performed an avalanche brainbuster.
Powell’s POV: AEW production made the WWE mistake of showing the top rope brainbuster from multiple angles, including one that showed Omega’s head didn’t actually hit the mat. This is a regular complaint of mine, but I feel compelled to keep mentioning how much I wish all wrestling companies would avoid replaying moves in slow motion or from angles that make them look less impactful than they did live.
Omega came back and threw a couple of V-Trigger knees and hit the Tiger Driver 98 for a good near fall. Omega went for his One Winged Angel finisher. Pac started punching from atop the shoulders of Omega, who then dropped him down to the mat and performed a wicked suplex that led to another good near fall. The fans did the Terminator clap and then Omega performed a V-Trigger knee to the back of Pac’s head.
Omega placed Pac in Electric Chair position and climbed the ropes, but Pac countered into a powerbomb. Omega came right back by dropping Pac face first onto a top turnbuckle. Omega hit a snap dragon suplex and another V-Trigger knee for another close near fall. Pac rolled to ringside and pulled out a chair, which he hit Omega with. Referee Paul Turner called for a DQ.
Kenny Omega won the first fall by DQ to go up 1-0.
Pac hit Omega with the chair again. The Young Bucks checked on Omega while the broadcast team explained that there was a 30-second rest period between falls (the clock did not stop). The Bucks left the ring at the end of the rest period. Pac performed a corkscrew moonsault and scored the pin. They cut to a picture-in-picture break while the match continued. [C]
Pac won the second fall to tie it up 1-1.
Back from the split screen break, Pac suplexed Omega from the apron and turned it into a sit-out powerbomb style move on the way down. The crowd chanted “holy shit” and it was actually censored (good lord). Omega climbed back onto the apron and was dropkicked into the referee. REF BUMP!!!
Pac placed Omega onto a table on the floor. Pac performed a shooting star press from the top rope that drove Omega through the table. Excalibur noted that part of the broken table popped up and hit Pac in face (that part looked tame, but the actual move was amazing). The referee started to count out both men. Pac returned to the ring. Omega got an assist from Matt Jackson and just beat the count with roughly 5:45 remaining in the match.
Pac went up top for his Blackout finisher, but Omega put his knees up. Omega hit a move that Excalibur said was from the Hiroshi Hase playbook and got a near fall. Omega set up for the One Winged Angel, but Pac countered into a Poison Rana. Pac followed up with a DDT and then applied his Brutalizer submission finisher. Omega tried to escape and got to his back, but Pac held on. Omega rolled onto Pac for a two count. With 30 seconds left, Omega covered Pac’s face and he released the hold, but then reapplied it and wrenched on Omega’s neck until the time limit expired.
Afterward, Pac took a cheap shot at referee Paul Turner while the Young Bucks checked on Omega. Justin Roberts stood up and announced that he was informed that the match would continue under sudden death rules. Aubrey Edwards replaced Turner as the referee. Omega came to life and delivered a V-Trigger and a kamigoye knee to the face. Omega hoisted up Pac and performed the One Winged Angel and then scored the clean pin…
Kenny Omega defeated Pac 2-1 a minute into overtime in a 30-minute Iron Man match.
They cut to a split screen break after the match while Omega headed to the back and Pac eventually made his way to the stage where Tony Schiavone was waiting.
Powell’s POV: A fantastic match and the easily the best match either man has had in AEW thus far. This was terrific and is absolutely worth going out of your way to see if you didn’t watch this show. While Omega has had some impressive moments in AEW, this is the match that will help fans who didn’t follow his career in Japan understand why he’s considered one of the best wrestlers in the world. And Pac absolutely belongs in that conversation as well.
Schiavone asked Pac about losing the match after all the talk and everything he did to Omega. Pac asked Schiavone what he was trying to achieve. Orange Cassidy walked onto the stage and received a big ovation. Cassidy approached Pac and removed his shades. Pac responded with a forearm to the head and then put the boots to him. Agents including Jerry Lynn and BJ Whitmer came out and talked Pac down…
Powell’s POV: I love the idea of Cassidy working with Pac in a serious program. Cassidy is super over with the live crowds and I continue to hope that the company will capitalize on it by having him work a bit more of a traditional style in meaningful programs. He feels too over to simply be the sidekick of the Best Friends.
A brief video spotlighted the Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley main event for AEW Revolution…
Lexi stood outside Chris Jericho’s locker room door, which read Painmaker Posse, and said she hoped to get an interview with him. Jake Hager answered the door. She asked twice if she could speak to Jericho, but Hager remained stone faced until he went back inside the room and closed the door without saying a word…
2. Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. Santana wore a patch over one eye to sell the injury from the angle with Jon Moxley. The babyface trio jumped out to a quick start. The Inner Circle trio eventually isolated Stunt and worked him over going into a break a couple minutes into the match. [C]
Guevara ended up alone in the ring with the Jurassic Express trio and was hit with simultaneous big boots in the corner. Luchasaurus had him pinned moments later, but it was broken up by Ortiz. Moments later, Jungle Boy was worked over by Santana and Ortiz and nearly pinned.
Guevara and Jungle Boy ended up alone in the ring together. Guevara picked up the loaded sock that Santana and Ortiz use, but Darby Allin came out and took it away from him. Jungle Boy hit a wicked looking Frankensteiner and scored the pin.
Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt beat Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz in 9:50.
After the match, Guevara charged at Allin, who backdropped him over the top rope and onto Santana and Ortiz heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] Allin did Sammy’s card bit with cards that added up to read, “In three days at AEW Revolution, the coffin will drop.”
Powell’s POV: Guevara has lost a lot of matches lately, so it won’t mean much if Allin beats him at the pay-per-view on Saturday. As such, I would hope that the idea is to give Guevara a cheap win to extend the feud.
A video package recapped the Cody and MJF storyline history.
[Hour Two] The Cody and MJF video continued into the second hour of the show. Ross asked how much blood MJF will spill on Saturday…
3. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent (w/Orange Cassidy) vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/The Bunny). Cassidy clutched at his jaw to sell Pac’s attack. Excalibur said Butcher and Blade were brought in to be MJF’s henchmen, but it seems like they’ve turned their attention to dominating the tag division. Taylor was isolated going into a break a few minutes in. [C]
Trent took a hot tag all four wrestlers quickly ended up at ringside. The Bunny and Cassidy ended up in the ring together. The Bunny took Cassidy’s shades and put them on. She tried to give Cassidy a low blow, but he blocked it and then took her bunny hears and put them on his head. Cassidy ducked a Blade clothesline and then performed a suicide dive onto Butcher. Best Friends hit their finisher on Blade and scored the pin…
Best Friends beat The Butcher and the Blade in 8:05.
After the match, Schiavone stood in the ring with Best Friend and Cassidy. Schiavone announced that Pac will face Cassidy at Saturday’s pay-per-view. Schiavone noted that the Best Friends are moving up the tag ratings. Taylor said Pac thinks Cassidy is a joke, but this time he’s going to try. The crowd laughed and chanted, “He’s gonna try.” Cassidy gave a thumbs up…
A split screen ad hyped the Countdown To Revolution special and then went to other commercials while Cassidy and Best Friends had some fun in the ring, which included a group hug with Schiavone… [C]
4. Yuka Sakazaki vs. Big Swole vs. Shanna vs. Hikaru Shida in a four-way. All four entrances were televised. They cut to break three minutes into the match. [C] In the end, Shida hit a seated Swole with a running knee strike and scored the pin…
Hikaru Shida beat Big Swole, Shanna, and Yuka Sakazaki in 9:10 in a four-way.
Powell’s POV: I really wish AEW would stop throwing the women out there with little to no introduction to the characters. It continues to be one of the real weaknesses of the promotion. Swole received a bit of mic time last week. I realize there may be language barriers in some or even all cases with the Japanese talent, but there’s no reason the company couldn’t produced character driven video packages to give viewers some understanding of why they should like or dislike these women. As for the match, it was a mix of impressive and clunky moments. In retrospect, Big Swole’s involvement in the Nyla Rose and Kris Statlander exchange on the stage makes even less sense. Will something happen at the pay-per-view to justify it?
Ads aired for the AEW podcast and AEW merchandise…
A brief Dark Order video aired. Evil Uno said the Exalted One is near and has given them assignments. Uno said he and Grayson will show SCU the true might of Dark Order at AEW Revolution. He said Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian are in for a rough night, and Christopher Daniels will find out that he’s truly obsolete. Uno snapped his fingers and the screen went black… [C]
Powell’s POV: Obsolete is the key word from the promo. Is it a Matt Hardy clue or is Matt Hardy a red herring? Hardy’s WWE deal is reportedly up on Sunday, so we could find out as early as next week.
Excalibur set up a pre-taped interview that Jim Ross conducted with Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and their tag title challengers the Young Bucks in the empty arena. Matt Jackson said he never would have imagined when AEW started that Omega and Page would be champions. He said they are his best friends and he applauds them.
Ross said he believes the Bucks are the best tag team in the world and questioned why they haven’t ben the tag champions. Nick said it’s a hard question to answer. Omega jumped in and said he and Page stumbled on something incredible and were just in the ring place at the right time. He said that whenever he and Page have stepped through the ropes, he saw it as a chance to show that they can be just like the Young Bucks.
Page, who had a drink in hand, took exception and mocked the idea that it was just a big accident. Omega stammered and said they came from the ground up as a tag team and earned it. Ross asked Page why he’s uncomfortable. Page said he wasn’t uncomfortable, he was just listening.
Ross asked the Bucks how they prepare for a team that knows every move they will make. Matt said it’s not just their moves, they know their families. He said Omega and Page are his best friends in the world. Matt said they will see the competitive Bucks. He said they are the best tag team in the world and they will take the AEW Tag Titles. Matt said The Elite is bigger than whoever is carrying the tag titles.
Page was bothered by Jackson saying The Elite is bigger than the tag titles. Page said he tried to leave The Elite and they wouldn’t let him. Matt said they brought him into the Bullet Club and Being The Elite. Nick said Page was just a jobber in Ring of Honor before they brought him into Bullet Club. Page said winning the tag titles has been the biggest accomplishment of his career and the first chance the Bucks have they want to take it away from him. Page said his glass was empty so he was leaving…
Powell’s POV: A very good segment with Omega still stuck in the middle. Page is still boozing, Omega is in the middle, and the Bucks were hard to read. They are clearly ticked with Page’s behavior and everything they said was true, yet a case can be made that their characters were heelish for being so blunt with Page. This storyline has been really fun to follow and I’m looking forward to seeing it all play out on Saturday.
Taz joined Ross and Excalibur on commentary and helped them run through the pay-per-view lineup. They also hyped the countdown show and the Revolution Aftermath show for next week in Denver. Ross noted that Lance Archer has arrived in AEW and then a graphic showed Archer. Ross hyped the weigh-in for after the (split screen) break… [C]
Schiavone stood in the ring for the weigh-in along with two models, security, and photographers. Schiavone introduced Gary Michael Cappetta, who served as the special host for the segment. Cappetta introduced Jon Moxley, who made his entrance through the crowd. Once Moxley was in the ring, Cappetta introduced Chris Jericho, who was accompanied by Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager.
The Inner Circle members wore matching red and black warmup gear that read Painmaker Posse and walked to the ring in a straight line with their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. Ross called it an amazing act of solidarity. Cappetta asked Jericho to be the first to stand on the scale, which had an AEW logo on it.
Jericho said he knows Cappetta is an announcing legend, but judging by his technique it’s obvious why WCW went out of business. Jericho said The Painmaker always goes last. Cappetta apologized and introduced Moxley again. Moxley removed his boots and stepped onto the scale. A man worked the scale, then Cappetta announced that Moxley weighed 234 pounds.
Cappetta introduced Jericho as the AEW World Champion. Jericho stepped onto the scale while holding the title belt, then got off and handed the belt over to an Inner Circle member. Jericho climbed on again, then stepped off and removed his shades. Jericho also removed a bandana he had around his neck.
Jericho took the mic and said, “Hey, Kansas City, shut your ass.” The fans booed and then did the Kansas City Chiefs war cry and tomahawk chop. “You know what else, Air (Patrick) Mahomes is a piece of shit,” Jericho said. The fans booed and chanted “asshole” at him. Jericho removed his short and climbed onto the scale, then dropped off again.
Jericho jawed at Moxley, who headbutted him. The Inner Circle members went after Moxley. Jericho came up with blood on his face. The Inner Circle held Moxley down in the corner. Dustin Rhodes came out and clotheslined Hager over the top rope and then brawled into the crowd with him.
Jericho joined the remaining Inner Circle members in attacking Moxley while Dustin and Hager took their right to the concourse area. Hager delivered a knee to the groin of Rhodes and then ran him into the concourse wall and then a Dippin’ Dots stand. Darby Allin ran out with a skateboard in hand and worked over the hit Santana with it, but Guevara cut him off with a knee to the head and then hit him with the skateboard.
Moxley got to his feet and he and Jericho were the only people standing. They came together and traded punches. Jericho ran into a big boot and Moxley set up for his finisher, but Santana caught him with a low blow. Jericho hit Moxley with a Judas Effect elbow and then performed Moxley’s own Paradigm Shift finisher onto the scale. Jericho put his foot on Moxley and posed with the title belt while the broadcast team hyped the pay-per-view to close the show…
Powell’s POV: Top notch final hype for the AEW Revolution main event. I like the weigh-in setting and the big fight feel that it created as well as the overall angle. This was a strong go-home show. I wish they had cut the women’s four-way and dedicated more time to Cody and MJF and/or the AEW Women’s Championship match, but the hype for the main event and the AEW Tag Title match was outstanding. I will have more to say about this show in my weekly AEW Dynamite audio review coming up later tonight for Dot Net Members. Stop back and join me for live coverage of AEW Revolution on Saturday night.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...