By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 28)
Taped in Norcross, Georgia at One Fall Power Factory
Aired April 15, 2020 on TNT
A video package opened the show and showed Lance Archer beating down people in the woods again, while Jake Roberts spoke about how he was a dog, and the TNT Championship was a bone. He said every time Lance wins, he gets a little bit closer to what we want. He then said that he’s watched Cold Cabana for years, and he’s got some stuff, but not enough. Jake claimed Archer was angry, because he was forced out of the US to go to Japan to earn a living. He then said that people should heed his words, or they would pay the price. Jericho and Schiavone were shown at the commentary table. They plugged tonight’s matches, including Cabana vs. Archer, Sabian vs. Chuck Taylor, Britt Baker, and more.
A Colt Cabana video package was shown, where he said he thinks he’s blowing away everyone’s expectations. He spoke about Archer being dominant in Japan, but spoke about his track record all over the world being even better. He said he wanted to show his worth and prove himself, and said he’s beaten big bad dudes before. Colt said he didn’t realize when he started that his goal was the TNT Championship, but the opportunity presented itself and he’s fully committed.
Colt then made his entrance in the arena, followed by Lance Archer.
1. Colt Cabana vs. Lance Archer: They went back and forth a bit early, with Colt showing his playfulness, and Archer looking deadly serious. Archer retreated to the floor after getting dumped onto the apron, and they played a bit of cat and mouse as Archer started chasing Colt around. Jericho said Colt needs to get serious or Archer would take it out on his ass. Colt went for a splash in the corner, but got caught and slammed for a near fall.
Colt tried chopping at Archer, but he showed no effect and then cut him down with a clothesline. Archer then choked Cabana in the corner with his knee, and then stomped on him. Colt threw a gut punch, but Archer didn’t react. He then punched Cabana down and performed a spinning Vader Bomb out of the corner for a near fall…[c]
My Take: A solid beginning of the show. The video package for Colt and Archer was well done, and the extra production touches everywhere give the show a slick feel. They’ve had to pivot away from Archer vs. Cody for now, but they are doing a nice job of keeping it on the back burner with Jake’s promos.
Archer landed a hard kick to the face, and then slapped Cabana around. Cold fired back with a series of kicks, but was quickly grounded again by a gut punch. Archer climbed up top and attempted a splash, but Colt moved out of the way. Colt then landed an elbow and a flying head scissors. He then landed a splash for a two count. Colt landed some punches and a Boom Boom elbow, but Archer shrugged it off and landed a Monty Brown style Pounce.
Archer landed a chokeslam, and then backed up to the corner to line Colt up. He took a charge at Colt in the corner, but he got the elbow up. Colt went to the second rope, but Archer caught him with the Blackout for the win.
Lance Archer defeated Colt Cabana at 12:42
After the match, we got a video package from Britt Baker where she cast herself as a hero for her valiant performance last week, and said she was a true winner for fighting fair after Shida used her illegal brutal tactics on her. The show then pivoted to a prediction from Ariel Helwani for Moxley vs. Hager, and he predicted Hager to win because of his MMA bonafides. Tazz then gave his prediction, and he went with Jon Moxley, who he thinks will keep the fight away from the ring…[c]
My Take: An entertaining match from Archer and Cabana. I never really felt like Colt had a real chance, and that kept the drama down a bit, but they worked hard and delivered a convincing effort. I’d like to see AEW continue to give Colt opportunities to shine, because I think he’d be a much better fit with opponents that can play into the more unique parts of his act. Archer was all business that didn’t really have the ability at this point in his act to show some ass so to speak.
Cassandra Golden made her way to the ring, followed by Britt Baker. Hikaru Shida was in the crowd, and Baker talked some trash to her.
2. Britt Baker vs. Cassandra Golden: Baker landed a superkick right out of the gate. Baker dragged Golden over to the ropes and had her bite down on the bottom rope. She then stomped on her and made a cover for the win.
Britt Baker defeated Cassandra Golden at 0:48
Sammy Guevara is next, as well as the “Bubbly Bunch”, which appears to be a Brady Bunch spoof with the Inner Circle. Ron Funches predicted Jon Moxley to retain his title. Mike Goldberg made his prediction for Jake Hager.
My Take: The predictions for the Title Match are good fun. Mike Golberg was extra over the top with his TV announcer voice praising Hager.
Santana was shown mocking Nick and Matt Jackson on a facetime conversation with Ortiz. They mocked Nick Jackson for trying to be like Sammy Guevara. He then joined the conversation and punched a bag while saying that Matt Hardy was a loser for calling him a fake latino. Jake Hager joined in and said he would choke out the entire Elite, and that he would beat the shit out of Jon Moxley to become the AEW World Champion. Jericho then praised him for being undefeated, and said Guevara looked sexy today.
Jericho asked what you call an idiot who has been missing for weeks, and likes horses? Hangman Page. He then spilled some orange juice and fed an egg to his dogs. In the arena, Sugar Dunkerton made his entrance, going by Suge D aka Pineapple Pete. Sammy Guevara then made his entrance. Jericho called him his sexy protege, who reminds him of a young Chris Jericho.
3. Sammy Guevara vs. Suge D: Guevara clowned on Suge with a takedown and a floatover. Jericho said his team name when he tags with Guevara is the Sex Gods. Suge landed a kick, but Guevara came back with a running knee. He then pulled Suge out to the floor and landed a kick to the back. In the ring, Guevara landed a delayed vertical suplex for a two count. He then picked up Suge in a fireman’s carry for some squats, and then performed a samoan drop for a two count.
Jericho took credit for signing Sammy Guevara into AEW. Sammy continued to control the offense and landed a nice dropkick. He then paid homage to Jericho and did a one legged cover for two. Guevara missed a splash in the corner, and Suge got a short comeback, but Sammy shut him down with a knee to the back of the head. He then landed his Burning GTS and got the win.
Sammy Guevara defeated Suge D at 7:15
After the match, Sammy grabbed a mic and said he would offer a preview of his first round TNT Championship tournament match. He then returned to attack Suge D. Darby Allin then entered to make the save…[c]
My Take: A nice showcase match for Guevara. Jericho went way out of his way to put him over on the microphone. The Darby run in at the end really needed a live crowd, because it would have been a nice moment in that scenario.
Kip Sabian made his entrance for the next match with Penelope Ford. Chuck Taylor then made his entrance with Orange Cassidy.
4. Chuck Taylor vs. Kip Sabian: We got some chain wrestling at the start, and Chuck pulled Sabian into a single leg crab. He retreated to the floor and was comforted by Ford. Jericho said he liked Ford’s leather pants, and said he wears his everywhere, even the hot tub. Chuck continued to push the pace with some strikes and an elbow drop. Sabian turned things around with a knee strike, but missed a baseball slide to the outside. Chuck intercepted him and suplexed him on the apron.
Ford provided a distraction so Sabian could land a kick and cover for two. He then landed a european uppercut and a kick to the head. He then hit another soccer kick and covered for a near fall. Chuck got sent to the floor, and Ford took advantage with a couple kicks and forearms. Jericho accosted Schiavone on commentary for calling Orange Cassidy one of the great managers he’s seen, saying he’d been in wrestling for 65 years.
Sabian placed Chuck on the top rope. Sabian attempted a full nelson, but he shoved Sabian off. He then jumped down and landed a sit out powerbomb, but he couldn’t make a call. Jericho said he should call the move the Chuck E. Cheese. Chuck went for a suplex, but Sabian avoided it. Sabian went for a head scissors, but Chuck reversed into another powerbomb for a near fall. Chuck went up top again for a double stomp, but Sabian moved and landed a heavy punch for a two count. He then used the ropes for a slingshot neckbreaker for a near fall.
Kip went for a springboard cutter, but Chuck avoided it and landed Sole Food. Ford offered another distraction by taking of her coat, and Sabian gave her a kiss. OC did the same, and Jimmy Havoc pulled him down and landed a spike DDT on the floor. The ref distraction allowed Ford to land a flying head scissors. Sabian then rolled up Chuck for the win.
Kip Sabian defeated Chuck at 10:58
After the match, Ford and Sabian celebrated. Dan Soder made a prediction for Moxley. Sammy Guevara and Ortiz both predicted Hager would beat Moxley’s ass.
My Take: This was a solid match that I just couldn’t manage to get excited about. The ref distractions and comedy were fun at times, but Sabian and Chuck just didn’t have the chemistry to pull me into the story they were telling. Ford and Orange Cassidy provided most of the entertainment in this one.
Justin Law made his entrance, followed by Shawn Spears.
5. Shawn Spears vs. Justin Law: Spears asked if he was serious. Law said yes, and Spears said he wouldn’t even take his shirt off. He then landed a snap mare. Law got to his feet and they worked some arm twists, and Spears landed another snap mare. Spears offered Law his back in an amateur wrestling position, and Law quickly pulled him into a bridging pin for a near fall. Spears got angry and landed an elbow and a lariat. He then landed his C4 Death Valley Driver for the win.
Shawn Spears defeated Justin Law at 2:10
After the match, Spears gloated to the babyfaces at ringside. The announce team said Guevara vs Allin, and Sabian vs. Dustin Rhodes are next week. We’ll also see Brodie Lee and Kenny Omega in action. The Main Event is next. We got some predictions from Josh Thompson and Santana. They both predicted Jake Hager winning quickly…[c]
My Take: Not much to say for that much. Could have been on AEW dark any given week.
The show returned to Jake Hager making his entrance at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. John Moxley then made his entrance. Jim Ross was solo on commentary.
6. Jon Moxley vs. Jake Hager: Both guys wore green camo themed gear. Things moved slowly with some chain wrestling to start. Moxley nearly applied an armbar, but Hager escaped and landed a right hand from up top. Moxley picked Hager’s ankle, but after a couple of reversals Moxley reached the ropes for a break. Hager landed the first significant offense with knee strikes in the corner. Moxley replied with some chops and mounted elbows in the corner.
Moxley tripped up Hager and applied a Kimura briefly, but Hager escaped and landed another knee to the ribs. Hager then focused on the ribs kicks and stomps. Moxley recovered and landed a knee to the ribs, and then tossed Hager to the floor. Moxley splashed Hager on the outside and attempted another cross armbreaker. Hager broke free and landed some hammer fists…[c]
The action spilled into the arena as they brawled beyond the security railing. Mox went for a piledriver, but Hager reversed into a back body drop onto the concrete. They ended up in the seats, where Hager landed a hard kick. Hager continued to land hard blows. Mox upended Hager with a double leg takedown, and then wrapped his legs around a steel railing to apply a figure four. Hager fought to escape, but had to limp away.
Moxley landed some hard chops and punches. They brawled into an open area, and Hager tossed Moxley hard into a nearby barricade. Hager dropped Moxley’s shoulder onto a railing, and then dug his knee into Moxley’s chest. Hager then tossed him back into the ringside area. He then sent him into the ringpost onto the same shoulder that went into the railing earlier.
Hager sent Moxley into the ring and then went for a Hager Bomb, but Moxley avoided it and landed a running knee strike. Hager fired back with some strikes and scored a two count…[c]\
Moxley stood up in the corner, and Hager landed several running lariats. Moxley replied with one of his own, but did more damage to his right shoulder in the process. He pulled Hager in for a gotch piledriver, but Hager picked his ankle for an ankle lock. Moxley reversed into a rollup for a near fall. Moxley caught Hager with a DDT, but couldn’t capitalize quickly enough because of his shoulder.
Hager then applied an arm triangle, but Moxley eventually reached the ropes. Hager then landed a few more hard punches that sent Moxley to the floor. Hager picked up a chair at the timekeeper’s table, and drove the chair into Moxley’s gut. He then placed the chair into the corner in between the ropes, and picked up Moxley. He attempted to run Moxley into the chair, but he slipped out the back. Moxley took a charge at Hager, but bounced off the chair for a two count…[c]
Hager used a chair to smash Moxley’s left ankle, and then applied an ankle lock. Moxley screamed at him to break his ankle, and Hager demanded he tap out. Moxley countered and tossed Hager out of the ring. Hager entered quickly and got caught with a Paradigm Shift, but Moxley held onto the guillotine for a submission. Hager powered out to his feet and they traded strikes again.
Jake hit the ropes and landed a low blow to Moxley’s groin. Moxley stumbled to the corner and tossed the chair into Hager’s face. He then followed up with a Paradigm Shift onto the chair for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated Jake Hager at 30:52
After the match, Moxley could barely stay on his feet, but celebrated his victory and held up his championship belt. He spoke into the Camera and said no one would be able to take the AEW Championship from him. He said AEW was the hottest promotion in the world and he was on top.
My Take: I had heard that AEW was really happy with this match after it taped, and so my hopes were high, but alas this one ended up really overstaying it’s welcome. I think you could have condensed this match down to 20 minutes and sped up the pace a little bit, and it would have felt like it had a lot more life, but that’s assuming these two guys would have worked a faster pace together. As it is, I came away from it hoping Moxley’s next opponent has a bit more chemistry with him in the ring. Hager is good in small doses as Jericho’s heater, but he’s got one speed in the ring, and it’s not what it needs to be to carry AEW main events.