By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 31)
Aired live on May 6, 2020 from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
[Hour One] A video package recapped last week’s show and then the Dynamite opening aired… Fireworks shot off while Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. Several wrestlers were shown seated behind the barricade. Some of the wrestlers wore masks. The broadcast team ran through the lineup and added that AEW Women’s Champion Nyla Rose would be in action…
1. Cody vs. Joey Janela. Dasha Gonzalez served as the ring announcer. Pyro shot off during the entrances of both wrestlers. The wrestlers shook hands and then started the match. Ross noted that the wrestlers behind the barricade were practicing social distancing. Ross emphasized that they are playing by the rules.
In the ring, Cody set up for CrossRhodes, but Janela shoved him off and Cody slammed into the middle rope. Both men ended up at ringside where Janela ran Cody into the barricade. They fought by the stage area. Cody slammed Janela’s face off the ramp. They fought onto the small ramp, which was level with the ring. Janalea walked back into one of the entrances chutes and charged at Cody, who moved, causing Janela to crash into the ring ropes.
Cody knocked Janala to ringside and then performed a moonsault off the stage. Back inside the ring, Janela caught Cody with a superkick. Janela went up top and performed a top rope elbow drop for a near fall. Janela went to the ropes and played to the wrestlers at ringside. Cody cut him off and performed a reverse superplex for a near fall.
Cody removed his weightlifting belt and tossed it into the crowd. Cody went for CrossRhodes, but Janela avoided it. Cody stuffed a piledriver and power slammed Janela for a near fall. Cody went for a springboard move, but Janela caught him and turned it into a German suplex.
Janela ran the ropes and knocked Cody down with a clothesline. Cody avoided a Janela moonsault and then performed a Cody Cutter for a two count. A short time later, Cody hit his CrossRhodes finisher and scored the pin…
Cody defeated Joey Janela in 13:25.
Ross hyped Nyla Rose as coming up after a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A fun opening match. It’s nice to see Janela hold his own in a traditional match rather than being only a hardcore style wrestler. AEW appears to have more wrestlers in the crowd area than usual, but they don’t sound as loud in the open air venue as they did at the Norcross, Georgia tapings. Even so, this continues to be a much better approach than truly empty venue settings that WWE and Impact Wrestling use at their tapings. A little noise goes a long way in creating an atmosphere.
The broadcast team spoke at their desk. Schiavone noted that he would be talking with Nyla Rose. They set up a video package that recapped Rose beating Riho to win the AEW Women’s Championship, and Rose’s title reign. The narrator said there has been a shift in the women’s division and stated that Dr. Britt Baker has emerged and it’s only a matter of time before she gets a title shot. The narrator also noted that Hikaru Shida has a 7-1 record and is the number one contender. The narrator also mentioned Penelope Ford as a contender…
Nyla Rose’s opponent was already in the ring when Rose was introduced. Schiavone interviewed Rose on the stage. Rose acknowledged the video package and said she is the champion and always will be…
2. AEW Women’s Champion Nyla Rose vs. Kenzie Paige in a non-title match. Excalibur said it was Paige’s AEW debut. He added that Paige is 18 years-old and had been wrestling since she was 14. Ross noted that she was trained by Tom Prichard and also received coaching from Ricky Morton. Rose dominated the match and performed a senton bomb. Rose had the pin, but she picked up Paige and then performed two powerbombs and a Beast Bomb before getting the three count…
AEW Women’s Champion Nyla Rose defeated Kenzie Paige in 2:20 in a non-title match.
Powell’s POV: A strong squash match win for Rose. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Rose on television, so the video package recapping her history and spotlighting the top players in the women’s division was a really nice touch.
MJF delivered a promo while sitting in a chair with the city skyline behind a window. He spoke about other wrestlers having insecurity because he’s 24 years-old and has taken their spot. He’s said he’s not The Rock, Roddy Piper, or Ric Flair, he’s something that the business has never seen before. He said he can sit back and sip wine because he knows what when he returns to work his spot at the throne will be left without a solitary scratch. MJF stood up and crew members replaced his red chair with a throne. MJF said next week he gets back on his throne… A graphic hyped MJF’s return to the ring for next week… [C]
Shawn Spears delivered a promo from what appeared to be a hotel room. He spoke about the Lance Archer vs. Dustin Rhodes match and blamed Cody for not saving his brother from the bloody beating. Spears pointed to Cody not throwing in the towel and questioned if it’s because Cody is selfish or because he wants to carry on the Rhodes legacy by himself. Spears claimed Dustin’s career is over and said he couldn’t live with himself if he did what Cody did…
Schiavone stood at ringside and interviewed MJF, who was standing with a clean shaven Shawn Spears while Wardlow stood behind them. Spears said MJF’s comeback story is the greatest in sports history. He asked him if he’s 100 percent. MJF said he’s over-healed. Schiavone said MJF will wrestle on next week’s show and will also face Jungle Boy at the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. MJF did a spit take and was unhappy about the match with Jungle Boy…
Frankie Kazarian made his entrance and was accompanied by Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky… [C] Jon Moxley made his entrance from the concourse area…
3. AEW Champion Jon Moxley vs. Frankie Kazarian in a non-title match. Schiavone noted that Daniels and Sky walked away to let Kazarian go one-on-one. Ross called it honorable. Kazarian went on the offensive, but Moxley flipped him over the top rope. Kazarian landed on the stage and sold a knee injury while they went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Moxley and Kazarian fought at ringside during the break. Moxley used a Russian leg sweep to drive Kazarian into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Moxley picked up Kazarian in suplex position and dropped him on his back, then covered him for a two count. Coming out of the break, Moxley delivered a running knee that sent Kazarian crashing to the floor.
Moxley went to the top rope and leapt at Kazarian, who caught him with a boot to the face. Back in the ring, Kazarian leapt over the ropes and DDT’d Moxley on the way down, which led to a near fall. Moxley rallied with a release German suplex. Kazarian came right back with a Backstabber, then performed an Unprettier for another near fall.
Moxley came back with a dropkick and then went for his finisher, but Kazarian stuffed it. Kazarian applied a leg lock, which Moxley broke by kicking himself free with his other leg. A short time later, Kazarian caught Moxley coming through the ropes with a leg drop. Kazarian slapped Moxley and set up for a suplex. Moxley floated over, but Kazarian caught him with another release German suplex.
[Hour Two] Moxley caught a charging Kazarian with a lariat clothesline. Ross called it a show stealing matchup. Kazarian rolled Moxley into a pin for a near fall, then followed up with another pin attempt for another near fall. Kazarian suplexed Moxley into the corner. Kazarian went to the ropes, but Moxley followed him up. Kazarian knocked Moxley back into the ring and then leapt over him. Moxley avoided a charging Kazarian in the corner and ended up putting him down with the Paradigm Shift.
AEW Champion Jon Moxley defeated Frankie Kazarian in a non-title match in 16:25.
After the match, seven masked members of the Dark Order attacked Moxley. Daniels and Sky ran out to help while the broadcast team recalled SCU’s issues with the faction. Ross said that the Dark Order members would be arrested if this happened outside the building. The Dark Order members dominated Moxley and the SCU trio.
Brodie Lee walked onto the stage dressed in a suit and slammed a chair over the head of Daniels on the stage. Lee entered the ring and hit Moxley with a discus lariat. Lee had a mic and said he was there to answer the bounty that Moxley put on his own head last week. Lee said there was no crowd for him or any energy to lift him up. Lee said no one was there to save him. “This is the energy you feel now,” Lee said.
Lee said he has so much that Moxley desires and he’s not the same person who looked eye to eye with him in the past. Lee said he is a leader who makes lives extraordinary. Lee said that his men would stand up and sacrifice themselves for him. Lee looked at the AEW Title belt and said Moxley is the unfortunate soul who has come into possession of what he wants.
Lee said Evil Uno told him that Moxley is a reasonable man. Lee challenged Moxley to an AEW Championship match. He said he’s not sure if Moxley is reasonable, an actor, an MMA fighter, a wrestler, or what he is. He wondered if he’s just a scared little boy who grew up without a daddy. Lee told him to answer the challenge “or we will make you.” Lee dropped the mic by Moxley.
“Dude, all you had to do was ask,” Moxley said before laughing. Lee booted Moxley’s head, then had the other Dark Order members put the boots to him. Lee went to the stage and watched while his minions left Moxley lying…
Powell’s POV: I felt numb going into Moxley vs. Kazarian match because it was a non-title match between the champion and a guy who usually works tag matches, so the outcome felt predictable. But they worked really well together and Kazarian received more than enough offense to make things interesting. The post match attack was well done. It’s a bit strange that none of the babyfaces hopped the guardrail to help Moxley and SCU, but I can live with it given the circumstances. I don’t believe the broadcast team used the word Creepers to describe the Dark Order members, so perhaps that name as been scrapped. I assume this means we’re getting Moxley vs. Lee for the AEW Championship at Double Or Nothing.
The broadcast team recapped highlights of the Dark Order attack on Moxley and SCU…
A pre-taped Brandi Rhodes promo aired. She addressed Jake Roberts and Lance Archer. She spoke about being a damsel in distress and having her husband come to save her. She said it’s not 1991. She said if Jake slaps her she will slap back. Brandi said her husband is a good guy who kisses babies, but she’s more challenging to pinpoint. She said she’s not Caesar’s Cleopatra or Sampson’s Delilah. She said she is Brandi Rhode and Roberts will keep her name out of his dirty mouth…
Powell’s POV: I can’t wait for the Archer vs. Brandi match?
4. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts). vs. QT Marshall (w/Brandi Rhodes). Archer came out and knocked down one of the wrestlers with a forearm shot to the head. Roberts wore a face mask and took a seat at ringside. Schiavone said Brodie Lee walked off with the AEW Championship belt. Roberts pulled the mask down and laughed while Archer dominated Marshall in the ring. Schiavone hyped AEW Dark for Tuesday. Archer chokeslammed Marshall onto the apron and then jawed at Brandi. [C]
Marshall was down at ringside when Britt Baker took her shoe off and hit him with it. Brandi took Britt’s shoe and threw it. Back inside the ring, Marshall got a bit of offense, including a suplex. Marshall went up top and leapt over a charing Archer, who then knocked him down with a shoulder block. Archer placed Marshall on the top rope and then performed his Blackout slam. Archer could have pinned Marshall, but he picked him up so that he could apply his EDB Claw. Archer slammed Marshall’s head into the mat a few times and got the pin.
Lance Archer beat QT Marshall in 6:35.
After the match, Baker attacked Brandi and DDT’d her on the floor. Baker rolled Brandi inside the ring. Roberts brought a snake to the ring and placed it on Brandi, then hovered over her in push-up position for a moment. Roberts let the snake crawl on Brandi. The broadcast team explained that it takes a lot of time for the wrestlers to come to the ring from the backstage area because of the layout. They said the wrestlers take a golf cart from the locker room to the entrance area… [C]
Powell’s POV: The return of a Damian-like moment. I love it. Brandi’s promo felt needless, but the angle with Roberts placing the snake on her was a strong throwback. I love that the broadcast team explained why Cody wasn’t there to make the save. Again, there’s still the issue of the babyfaces at ringside not getting involved, but I’m sure a lot of people in a legit situation would balk at saving someone from a snake.
The broadcast team announced Moxley vs. Lee for the AEW Championship for the Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. They also hyped MJF vs. Jungle Boy, Cody vs. Archer in the finals of the TNT Title tournament, and a casino ladder match. Excalibur said the winner of the ladder match would get a future AEW Championship match. Ross said they would have the match details next week…
Backstage, Taz asked Darby Allin about losing to Cody last week. Allin didn’t respond. Taz said he would love to help. Allin blew him off and walked away without saying a word…
The broadcast team hyped Brodie Lee vs. Christopher Daniels, the in-ring return of MJF, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus vs. Chuck Taylor and Trent, an interview with Lance Archer and Jake Roberts, and Hikaru Shida vs. Penelope Ford vs. Britt Baker vs. Kris Statlander in a four-way, and Chris Jericho in action for next week…
Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Jake Hager made their entrance for the main event. Jericho and “Pineapple Pete” bickered at ringside. Schiavone gave a shout-out to nurses, and Ross acknowledged the death of Joe Pedicino and wished his wife well… [C] Kenny Omega made his entrance coming out of the break, followed by Matt Hardy…
5. “Le Sex Gods” Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (w/Jake Hager) vs. Kenny Omega and “Broken” Matt Hardy in a Street Fight. Ross noted that it was Hardy’s in-ring debut in AEW. He also said falls count anywhere and the time limit was the television time remaining. Guevara flipped off Hardy, who bit his finger to start the match. Schiavone announced that Jericho’s match next week will be against Pineapple Pete (a/k/a Suge D, Sugar Dunkerton).
Jericho and Hardy fought into the entrance chute, leaving Omega and Guevara to fight in the ring. Jericho returned and joined Guevara in working over Omega. Jericho performed a Lionsault on Omega. Regular Matt Hardy returned (not the Broken version) and worked over both heels. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Jericho and had the pin, but Guevara broke it up. Guevara caught Hardy with a kick. Omega drilled Guevara with a snap dragon suplex.
Jericho returned to the ring with a bat and hit Omega with it while Ross reminded viewers that it’s all legal. Ross also noted that the Young Bucks and Hangman Page were home adhering to social distancing due to the pandemic. Hardy pulled a ladder out from underneath the ring and slid it into the ring while Omega slid a table inside the ring.
Omega drilled Guevara with a knee to the head and then placed him on top of the table. Hardy climbed the ladder and splashed Guevara through the table. Hardy had the pin, but Hager pulled the referee out of the ring. Omega dove onto Hager, who caught him and dropped him face first onto the ring apron. They cut to a PIP break. [C]
Jericho and Hardy brawled into the concourse area and a group of the spectator wrestlers followed. Hardy found a pipe and hit both Jericho and Hager with it. Hardy shoved Jericho into a Jacksonville Jaguars ice cooler, but Jericho pulled out a bag of ice and hit Hardy with it. Jericho and Hager shoved Hardy into the ice cooler. Omega showed up and took out Hager with a trash can.
Guevara showed up and rammed the head of Omega into an ATM, then pulled some cash out of the ATM. Omega ran Guevara into a pillar. Omega picked up Guevara and powerbombed him into a garage door. Hager tried to get involved, but Omega hit him with a V-Trigger knee and then threw him over a stack of barricades. Jericho showed up with a rolling cart and slammed it into Omega.
Jericho suplexed Omega onto a barricade. Jericho placed an orange pylon on his head and laughed like a witch. Funny. Omega hit Jericho with a wet floor sign. Hardy emerged from the ice cooler and was back in Broken mode. Matt climbed into a golf cart and struggled to get it started, but he eventually did and drove toward Jericho. Ross said it appeared to clip Jericho. Omega joined Hardy in the cart. They chased Guevara, who was hit by it.
Omega placed Jericho onto a table. Omega climbed onto an elevating cart. Hager showed up and pulled Hardy off the table. Omega performed a moonsault from the top of the elevated cart and landed on all three men. Cool spot. Omega placed Jericho on his shoulders. Santana and Ortiz showed up and attacked Omega. Hardy joined in, but he was quickly outnumbered by the Inner Circle.
Hager, Santana, and Ortiz performed a Shield style powerbomb that put Hardy through a table. Jericho had Omega handed to him and he slammed him onto the top of the golf cart. Hager shoved Omega toward Jericho, who hit him with the Judas Effect elbow and scored the pin.
Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara defeated Kenny Omega and “Broken” Matt Hardy in 19:25 in a Street Fight.
The Inner Circle members stood in an area where the TIAA Bank Field could be seen behind them and their faction name appeared on the scoreboard behind them. They posed for the camera to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A wild brawl with some really fun moments to close the show. I like that the spectator wrestlers followed the action, as it provided a good atmosphere for the concourse portion of the brawl. As an NFL fan, it was also cool to see them work in the shots of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium. Hardy’s wardrobe changes from Broken to Matt didn’t do much for me, but it’s impossible to gauge how it’s working with the masses without a live crowd present. The Inner Circle numbers advantage finish felt a bit lazy, but they needed to put heat on the faction after they spent the last few weeks providing the most humorous and entertaining moments of the Norcross tapings.
Overall, it was fun to see AEW live again and they came through with an entertaining episode. I will have more to say about this episode in my same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of it by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll available on the main page. Stay safe.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features referee Rob Page discussing the difficulty of reffing tag matches in the modern era, making three counts if a wrestler's shoulders are down even if it wasn't the planned finish, the growth of F1rst Wrestling, and more...