By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 22)
Aired live on March 3, 2020 from Broomfield, Colorado at 1stBank Center
[Hour One] Dynamite opened with a recap of the Revolution pay-per-view… Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary…
Ring announcer Justin Roberts introduced new AEW Champion Jon Moxley, who entered through the main level concourse area. The broadcast team hyped the AEW Revolution replay. Ross noted that the Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Young Bucks match may have been the greatest tag team match that he’s ever called.
Moxley had a nasty cut on his forehead from the pay-per-view. The live crowd chanted “Moxley” once his music stopped and he held up the mic. A “you deserve it” chant broke out. Moxley said the AEW Championship belt is a beautiful thing because of what it represents.
Moxley looked into the camera and said AEW represents professional wrestling. Moxley said it’s the sport that he loves and that he has dedicated his life to. Moxley said the belt never belonged to Chris Jericho, nor does it belong to him. Moxley said the belt belongs to the fans who helped will the company into existence.
“We brought pro wrestling back,” Moxley said intensely. A loud AEW chant broke out. Moxley said he will defend the belt with his life. He said he will crawl through hell and climb every mountain to defend the belt. He said no one in the entire industry has what it takes to pry the belt from his cold dead heads. Moxley said he knows things aren’t over between him and the Inner Circle and that they would be coming after him. He said he had a message for all of them. “I dare you,” Moxley said.
Chris Jericho’s entrance theme “Judas” played and he walked onto the stage with Inner Circle members Santana, Ortiz, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager. Jericho said he doesn’t need a belt to be Le Champion. Jericho mocked the crowd for not being able to chant in unison. “So why don’t you shut your ass and let me say what I have to say,” Jericho taunted.
Jericho said Moxley’s reckless abandon has paid off because the Moxley era is underway. Jericho asked the fans if they like the Moxley era. “I don’t, I think it sucks ass,” said Jericho. The fans responded by chanting “you suck ass.”
Jericho said Moxley’s reign is based on a lie because he’s a cheater and a liar. He explained that he spent the better part of three months training to face a man with one eye. Jericho said Moxley and the fans are all liars. Jericho said Moxley turned the Inner Circle into a hit squad.
Jericho said they were putting the entire AEW roster on notice. He said it didn’t matter you’re the Librarians, Michael Nakazawa, or Moxley. He said they were going to hurt people and they would start with Moxley. Jericho guaranteed that Moxley would not walk out of the building on his own two feet.
Jericho said that if Moxley does walk out on his own, then he will take a 30-day leave of absence from AEW. Jericho upped it to 60 days. Jericho told Moxley that he always has a plan and Moxley isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.
Moxley said no one ever said he was a genius and he didn’t even graduate high school. He said he’s so sick of listening to Jericho talk. Moxley said he’d do exactly what he did at the pay-per-view and send Jericho packing for 60 days and make him look like a stupid son of a bitch…
Powell’s POV: Moxley’s first promo as champion was strong and well received by the live crowd. Jericho’s rebuttal was a nice hook in terms of keeping viewers watching to see if the Inner Circle strike as suggested and, obviously, the big hook for Moxley being laid out of Jericho disappearing for 60 days. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight. He had some car related issues, but he will be joining me for the Dot Net Weekly audio on Thursday.
The broadcast team checked in while standing behind their desk and hyped the previously advertised matches… SCU and then Colt Cabana made their entrances for the eight-man tag match. They cut to a picture in picture break. [C] The Dark Order made their entrance while Ross wondered aloud about the Exalted One…
1. Colt Cabana, Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky, and Frankie Kazarian vs. “The Dark Order” Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver in an eight-man tag match. There was a loud chant for Cabana when he started the match against Grayson. Reynolds and Silver wrestled in their Creeper masks. The Dark Order isolated Daniels heading into a PIP commercial at 4:00. [C]
Kazarian eventually took a hot tag and worked over Reynolds and Silver until Uno hit him with a cheap shot. Everyone ended up in the ring. SCU cleared three members of the Dark Order while Uno cleared Cabana, which led to SCU roughing up Uno briefly.
Later, Sky took out three members of the Dark Order while Cabana performed the Chicago Skyline and followed up with a Superman pin on Reynolds for the win.
Colt Cabana, Christopher Daniels, Scorpio Sky, and Frankie Kazarian defeated Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Alex Reynolds, and John Silver in 10:25.
After the match, Uno took the mic and said it wasn’t supposed to go that way. He said the Exalted One would be furious…
Footage aired of Hangman Page and Kenny Omega beating The Young Bucks to retain the AEW Tag Titles at AEW Revolution…
Britt Baker joined the broadcast team and gave Schiavone a Starbucks coffee cup…
2. Big Swole vs. Leva Bates (w/Peter Avalon). Baker sat in on commentary for the match. The Librarians’ entrance was not televised. Swole put Bates down with a cutter, then followed up with a discus forearm strike and scored the pin…
Big Swole beat Leva Bates in 1:20.
A video package recapped MJF defeated Cody at AEW Revolution…
Cody’s neck tattoo made its entrance heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Swole match was a simple and effective squash. It was much better than the usual approach of booking two women against one another in a ten minute match before their personas have been established. Meanwhile, I like all the pay-per-view highlights. They are doing a good job of making the pay-per-view feel like a big deal rather than simply moving on to the next thing, which will help make their future pay-per-view events feel important.
Cody spoke about his loss to MJF. He said wrestlers work hard to get on pay-per-view events and once you do, you get guaranteed money and the winner gets the winner’s purse. Cody said the only way he will be comfortable with losing is if MJF comes to the ring, looks him in the eye, and tells him that he beat him fair and square.
Jake “The Snake” Roberts made his entrance instead. A graphic listed him as a veteran with 46 years of experience. Cody handed his mic to Roberts, who was well received by the live crowd. Roberts said he hated to spoil the party, but he got tired of listening to Cody crying and bitching. Roberts said said Cody was whipped like a dog by “that punk.”
Roberts said he wasn’t there to praise Cody, he was there to slay him. Roberts said he had a client. “The Dark Side will be coming to AEW,” Roberts said. “And once my roots have taken hold t will be like a phoenix rising from the ashes.” Roberts said it’s been twenty years for him to get right and he’s earned it.
Roberts said he wouldn’t be a nice boy and play nice. Roberts said he would be on the outside the ring for his client. “And you can bring that one trick pony Arn Anderson along with you,” Roberts said. He added that what the snake wants, the snake gets.
Roberts said he wasn’t there to take the whole pie, he’s only there for Cody’s share. Roberts said a wise man once said to never turn your back on somebody your respect or that you’re afraid of.” Roberts tossed Cody the mic and then had his back facing him when he left the ring…
Powell’s POV: A terrific closing line from Roberts. The rest of the promo was solid albeit tough to hear at times due to Jake’s gravelly voice, but that final line got a strong reaction from the crowd.
Highlights aired from the Pac vs. Orange Cassidy match at Revolution with the interference involving the Lucha Brothers and Best Friends…
Chuck Taylor made his entrance along with Orange Cassidy and Trent. They cut to a PIP break… [C] Pac made his entrance coming out of the break. Exclibur said Nick Jackson and Kenny Omega were not cleared to wrestle or even to travel. Ross emphasized that it was mostly precautionary…
3. Pac vs. Chuck Taylor (w/Orange Cassidy, Trent). Pac went on the offensive to start.
[Hour Two] Pac slid out of the ring and got in the face of Cassidy. Trent got between them. Taylor caught Pac with a slide kick while he was distracted. Pac came back and had Taylor down at ringside when they went to a PIP break. [C]
Chuck got a good near fall off an Awful Waffle. Taylor tried to follow up with a moonsault, but Pac rolled out of the way. Pac applied the Brutalizer and got the submission win.
Pac defeated Chuck Taylor in 10:05.
Afterward, Pac jawed at Taylor and was about to pick him up when Trent entered the ring and went face to face with him. Orange Cassidy pushed Trent aside and removed his sunglasses just in time for Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix to show up and hit him with a double superkick. Pac and the Lucha Brothers put the boots to the babyface trio.
Pac took the mic and said, “Listen up, scumbags, we are Death Triangle.” Pac held the mic up while the Lucha Brothers said something simultaneously. Pac said AEW did this to themselves and now no one is safe. Pentagon held up Cassidy, who was then double stomped by Fenix into a piledriver. Pac picked up Cassidy and jawed in his face while Pentagon posed next to him with Cassidy’s ear in his mouth…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. I like the alliance between Pac and the Lucha Brothers. Pentagon and Fenix are great, but they need someone to do the talking for them.
A pre-taped Shawn Spears and Tully Blanchard promo aired. Blanchard said they’ve been trying to find Spears a partner. Blanchard said there are a lot of wrestlers in the world and they need to go out to find them, just as he did when he found Baby Doll. A graphic listed a hashtag entry for the search for Spears’ partner…
QT Marshall made his entrance and was accompanied by Dustin Rhodes and Brandi Rhodes… [C] Jake Hager made his entrance and was accompanied by Santana and Ortiz…
4. Jake Hager (w/Santana, Ortiz) vs. QT Marshall (w/Dustin Rhodes, Brandi Rhodes). A graphic listed Ross’s book while Excalibur noted that there was a chapter about Ross recruiting Hager. Ross noted that his late wife Jan used to tell Hager to keep his feet off their coffee table. Marshall performed a top rope move and covered Hager, who kicked out at one. Hager came right back and applied his standing arm triangle for the submission win.
Jake Hager beat QT Marshall in 3:25.
After the match, Hager didn’t release the hold. Dustin ran in and hit Hager to break it up. Santana and Ortiz ran in and were fought off momentarily by Rhodes, who ended up losing the numbers game. Cody ran out to help his brother. Cody took out Santana and Ortiz and then fought with Hager. Ortiz recovered and hit Cody from behind with a chair. Ortiz was going to hit Cody again, but Dustin laid over his brother.
Matt Jackson ran out and cleared Santana and Ortiz from the ring. Matt fired away at Hager, who no-sold initially and then dropped to one knee. Jackson charged at Hager, who slammed him to the mat. The Inner Circle trio put the boots to the babyfaces.
Hangman Page walked out with a drink in hand and walked to the ring. Ortiz wound up with a chair, but Page talked him down and took a swig of his beer. Ortiz went back to beating on Dustin. Page put his beer on the ring post and then fought the heels. Hager tossed Page over the top rope, but Page landed on his feet and hit Hager with a Buckshot Lariat. The babyfaces cleared the ring. Page took a swig of his beer, then flipped off Matt Jackson before leaving the ring. Page went to ringside and drank a beer that a fan gave him. They cut to a PIP break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Another good segment. Hager got the televised win that he should and the post match scene was fun, especially once Page showed up and eventually flipped off Jackson. Are they setting up the Blood & Guts (WarGames) match or is this for something else?
A video package spotlighted Nyla Rose defeating Kris Statlander to retain the AEW Women’s Championship at AEW Revolution…
The broadcast team hyped Cody vs. Ortiz, the debut of Death Triangle (Pac, Pentagon, Fenix), and the announcement of the rules for the Blood & Guts match, and MJF, The Butcher, and The Blade vs. Jurassic Express for next week’s Dynamite in Salt Lake City…
An MJF promo aired with Wardlow standing behind him. MJF said he went from protege to prodigy when he beat Cody. MJF said his legacy will read that the was the greatest world champion in the history of professional wrestling. MJF said he will become the No. 1 contender and he doesn’t care who gets in his way, including Chris Jericho, Hangman Page, Kenny Omega, or Pac.
MJF took jabs at Jurassic Express and said he would remain undefeated in AEW because he’s better than you. MJF said it was hot and had Wardlow remove his jacket and scarf to reveal an “I Pinned Cody” t-shirt. MJF said it was embarrassing, obnoxious, regrettable, and very distracting “kinda like a neck tattoo”…
An ad aired for the AEW podcast… [C]
Powell’s POV: The crowd gasped at MJF’s neck tattoo line at the end of his strong promo. I loved the t-shirt and everything about this, including the nice touch of Wardlow putting his hand over the camera at the end. Good for Cody for being a good sport about the tattoo jab. It’s not like he doesn’t have enough clout in AEW to make sure no one taunts him about it on the air.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Fans sang along with “Judas” for the second time of the night during the Jericho and Guevara entrance. Ross referred to Allin as a “young, strange enigma.” A graphic noted that it was Allin’s second match back after missing a month due to a throat injury.
Moxley made his second entrance from a spot where The Shield made their entrances in WWE. Three masked men attacked Moxley and took him to the concourse. The men unmasked and revealed themselves to be Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager. The beatdown continued in the concourse while Jericho smiled in the ring and cupped his ear.
The heels poured trash on Moxley and then mugged for the camera. Moxley got up and tried to jump one of them. Hager quickly applied a triangle arm hold that seemed to leave Moxley lying.
Powell’s POV: I hope they explain how the Inner Circle knew where Moxley would be making his entrance since that’s not the spot where he’s been making his AEW entrances from. Some viewers won’t care, but I’m all for wrestling promotions filling in any potential gaps and pay attention to small details.
5. Darby Allin vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara in a handicap match. Allin started the match on his own. A doctor was shown tending to Moxley in the concourse. Hager, Santana, and Ortiz all came to ringside. Allin performed a sunset flip off the ropes and got a two count on Jericho. Allin got another near fall when he performed a springboard moonsault. Jericho came back and put Allin in the Codebreaker. Allin reached the ropes to break the hold. Jericho kicked Allin to ringside heading into a PIP break. [C]
Guevara and Jericho took turns performing vertical suplexes on Allin. Jericho posed. Guevara performed his own version of the Spinaroonie, which he capped off with a pose. Jericho joined him in posing. The censors muted the hell out of everything during a crowd chant for a few moments. Allin made his comeback and sent Jericho to ringside. Allin followed with a suicide dive shoulder block. Guevara flashed a great look of concern.
Back inside the ring, Jericho tagged in Guevara while fans chanted “this is awesome.” Guevara drove Allin into the corner and worked him over. Ross brought up the question of why no one had come out to replace Moxley. Ross explained that Allin committed to this match in its current form (nice touch).
Jericho tagged in again and taunted Allin by rubbing his boot on Allin’s face. Allin got up and fired away with forearms, but Jericho knocked him down with an elbow. Jericho went for the Lionsault, but Allin put his knees up. Ross said Allin is a brilliant competitor. Allin crawled to a corner and pulled himself up, then acted like he tagged himself into the match. Allin fired up and worked over Guevara, who had also tagged in. Allin got a great near fall off a Canadian Destroyer.
Allin flipped Guevara onto the Inner Circle members at ringside, then performed a Coffin Drop onto all of them. The crowd chanted “holy shit” while the broadcast team raved about Allin. Back inside the ring, Allin put Guevara down and hit a top rope Coffin Drop. Allin had the pin. Jericho ran in to break it up, but Allin saw him coming and moved. Allin sent Jericho to ringside and went for a dive, but Jericho caught him in mid-air with a Judas Effect elbow, then rolled him back inside the ring where Guevara pinned him…
Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara defeated Darby Allin in a handicap match in 14:00.
After the match, Moxley fought off security on the stage to come to the ring with a chair in hand. Moxley threw a chair at Hager, then went after the Inner Circle members. Moxley performed a Paradigm Shift on Guevara and stood alone in the ring. Hager hit Moxley from behind and knocked him to ringside.
Santana and Ortiz took Moxley to the stage. The rest of the Inner Circle joined in. Hager, Santana, and Ortiz performed a Shield style powerbomb that sent Moxley off the stage and through a table below. The Inner Circle members all flipped off Moxley while standing on the stage. Ross said the Inner Circle has never been more dangerous and the evidence is lying all over the arena, specifically Moxley. “What a night for the Inner Circle,” Ross said while the group posed on the stage to end the show…
Powell’s POV: That was a really good main event. Allin got to show major heart and had the crowd rocking until the numbers advantage (and the Judas Effect) did him in. I’m not sure if the crowd caught the Judas Effect on the floor, as they didn’t seem to be expecting the pin. It was tough to see live, as even the broadcast team was uncertain, but a replay showed that Jericho did use the elbow. It was logical for this to be an Empire Strikes Back type of show with the heels standing tall given that Jericho lost the title at pay-per-view. This was one of the better editions of Dynamite and the show has really found its stride over the last month or so. I will have more to say about Dynamite in my audio review coming up later tonight. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll available on the main page.