By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite on TNT (Episode 33)
Aired live on May 20, 2020 from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
The show opened with a Double or Nothing promo. It focused on Cody and Lance Archer, Inner Circle vs. The Elite, and Jon Moxley vs. Brodie Lee. A limousine was shown approaching the arena as the show went back to live footage, and the Inner Circle climbed out. Jericho told Alex Marvez that if he liked what they did to Vanguard 1 last week, he’ll be really impressed with what they do with The Elite tonight. Marvel pressed for more information, but they mocked him and told him it was a confidential surprise.
Pyro went off as various AEW talents were shown near ringside. Tony Schiavone, Excalibur, and Jim Ross joined on commentary. Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara is later, along with Shida and Statlander vs. Britt Baker and Nyla Rose. They also plugged MJF vs. Marko stunt and Jon Moxley vs. 10 from The Dark Order. For the first match, 10 made his ring entrance, led by Brodie Lee with the AEW Championship Belt.
Lee grabbed a microphone and said he wanted to address the viewers at home. He said he wished the crowd would be quiet while the adults spoke. He told 10 that he would like him to take a knee, and he did. He berated him when he didn’t use the correct body positioning. Lee then told the audience that there seemed to be a disconnection with them. He said they must think a top athlete at the peak of his game can’t relate to them, but he thinks that’s not the case. He said he sweats and bleeds, and he’s not a god, but a man.
Lee said he came into possession of a very special piece, pointing to the AEW Championship. He said the difference between the Dark Order then and the Dark Order Now is that they were the true elite, and they were the lions of AEW. Lee said he must win on Sunday to pay off his desire, but also to pay off the loyalty of his men. He turned and addressed 10, and told him he was special. He said he hand picked him, and tonight was his promotion as a grand knight of the Dark Order. He told him to go out there and hurt Jon Moxley, who then made his entrance.
1. Dark Order 10 vs. Jon Moxley: Dark Order 10 vs. Jon Moxley: Moxley started hot and landed a running knee and some heavy strikes. Moxley tossed 10 with a suplex and pummeled him in the corner. The ref Aubrey Edwards pulled him off, which allowed 10 to strike from behind. Moxley ended up on the apron, and 10 landed a pump kick that sent him to the floor. On the outside, 10 sent Moxley into the barricade, and then suplexed him into the ring apron.
In the ring, 10 landed a Ripcord Cutter and a kick to the face. He then covered for a two count. Moxley fought to his feet, but was put down by a spinebuster. He then picked up 10 in a Fireman’s Carry, but Moxley reversed out and landed the paradigm shift. 10 was then laid out, but Moxley picked him up and landed a Gotch piledriver. Moxley kept looking around for Brodie Lee, and asked him if this was his boy. Moxley then picked him up a third time and landed an elevated version of the paradigm shift for the win.
Jon Moxley defeated 10 at 4:42
After the match, Moxley grabbed a chair and tossed it into the ring. He then grabbed a second one, and got a microphone. He took of 10’s elbow pad and wrapped his arm up in it. Moxley picked up the mic and said he didn’t really care about Brodie’s strategy in stealing his title, but he was pretty sure it was to tweak him out. He said he wasn’t going to chase him around like a dink, so he was going to give him 10 seconds or he would break this guys arm.
Brodie Lee appeared on the screen and told Mox that all he had to do to get it back was ask, but now he made it personal. Lee said we all have to make sacrifices to get what we want in life, and right now he was leaving. Moxley said ok, I’ll see you Saturday, and smashed the chair wrapped around 10’s arm with another chair. Moxley then exited the ring and stared down The Butcher at ringside before leaving. The announce team plugged Countdown to Double or Nothing on Friday Night, and the PPV on Saturday.
MJF then made his entrance for the next match with Wardlow…[c]
My Take: Moxley was great there, and had the swagger of a champion. Brodie Lee and his version of the Dark Order are adopting more characteristics of a cult, but I don’t think it’s making him any more interesting. It just seems like he’s saying a lot of words without communicating much at all. The cast surrounding him are also portrayed as non-threats.
Marko Stunt made his entrance alone.
2. Marko Stunt vs. MJF: The match began with MJF taking control quickly and applying a bear hug. Stunt broke free with some chops. He tried to land a sunset flip on MJF, but he mocked falling over and then picked up Marko Stunt and threw him aside. MJF then used Marko’s fingers to pick his nose.
My Internet went out part way through the match, so I missed a portion of the action. As I returned, MJF landed a butterfly suplex and applied his Salt of the Earth Armbar for the win.
MJF defeated Marko Stunt at roughly 5 minutes.
After the match, Marko Stunt told Marko he did a nice job, but he was too pathetic to offer a reward. He then grabbed the Dynamite Diamond from Wardlow, and punched Marko on the side of the head with it. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus ran out to clear the heels from the ring. Footage was shown of Cody and Lance Archer’s brawl, and Jake Roberts made his way to the ring for a conversation with Arn Anderson next…[c]
My Take: My apologies for the missing match coverage, I lost my internet connection and had to reboot my modem, which took a few minutes. It didn’t appear much had changed from when I left to when I returned. It was a dominant victory and an opportunity for MJF to get some heat heading into Saturday Night.
Arn Anderson joined Tony Schiavone and Jake Roberts in the ring. Shiavone did the setup work, and noted the match on Sunday was for the TNT Championship, and Mike Tyson would present the title to the winner. Jake said it was surreal to be across the ring from him, as they had crossed paths many times and never got in the ring together. Jake told Arn to get used to coming to the ring alone. He said everyone has dreams and nightmares, but those aren’t real, but Lance Archer is. Jake claimed Cody had sacrificed many men, including his own brother, in order to avoid Archer, but he’s out of excuses. Jake called Archer a killer, and said he would rip Cody’s heart out on Saturday.
Arn told Jake he almost made him believe him. He spoke about a potential dream match between them, and said they had a shared credibility. Arn spoke about how Jake was a master of deception, and said he had evil in his eyes. He said he recognized a long time ago that the snake was a distraction, and the real threat was sitting across the table. Jake said they were only 6 or 8 feet apart, and they could do it anytime and anywhere.
Arn said Mike Tyson has free reign on Sunday, and would be able to wander around at ringside. He questioned what would happen if he threw the snake on him. Jake said Lance Archer was promised first shot at Tyson, and he would knock him out just because he could. He then said he was hoping that Bimbo Brandi would present the title, because he’d like to bump into her again.
Arn then said he spoke to Cody, and he had to win the championship to validate his leadership in starting this company and turning the wrestling industry on it’s head in one years time. He then told Jake that he knew he was doing DDP Yoga, and he was hoping he would be limber enough for Arn to give him a spinebuster and put his head where the sun didn’t shine. Jake then flipped the table, and they teased a confrontation before referees interfered.
We then got a video package for Darby Allin, who played cards with people wearing masks with the faces of his opponents in the Double or Nothing Ladder Match. He was shown climbing a ladder and lighting a card on fire…[c]
My Take: Arn and Jake were a little rough around the edges with their delivery, but it was still an enjoyable promo. It was interesting in the sense that it put on display the double edged sword of the creative freedom given for AEW promos. They were really good in spots, and then other times seemed a bit lost.
A Pac video package was shown, where he told Orange Cassidy he was marked, and that tonight he need to find humility or Rey Fenix would tear him apart. Fenix attempted to run up and kick him like he did last week, but Orange casually moved out of the way.
3. Orange Cassidy vs. Rey Fenix: OC avoided all of Fenix’s offense in the early going. He put his hands in his pockets and catapulted Fenix into the corner, and then landed a dropkick. Fenix rolled to ringside and angrily put himself back together. Fenix got back in the ring and got a two count from a Crucifix pin. OC reversed into a pinfall of his own, but Fenix got to his feet and landed a nasty double stomp. Fenix attempted a powerbomb, but got rolled out for a two count. He recovered and landed a kick and a springboard leg drop for a near fall. Fenix applied a headlock briefly, and then sent Orange Cassidy to ringside…[c]
Fenix toyed with Cassidy and worked over his arm and elbow. He brought him back into the ring only to send him back out with a baseball slide. He then chopped OC in the corner, but OC chopped back. Cassidy fired back with some palm strikes, and then a Superman Punch. Fenix tried to roll to the outside, but OC followed him with a suicide dive. He then hit a top rope splash, followed by a Tornado DDT. Cassidy went back up top, but Fenix met him there with an uppercut. After a bit of fighting, Cassidy shoved Fenix back into the ring. He then landed a diving DDT for a near fall.
They tied up back on the turnbuckle again, this time Fenix landing a sunset flip bomb from the top for a close near fall. Fenix set Cassidy on the top for a Musclebuster, but OC reversed out for a DDT near fall. Kip Sabian then walked out and set a ladder on the stage near the ring. The distraction allowed Fenix to hit a low blow and a cutter for the win.
Rey Fenix defeated Orange Cassidy at 10:37
After the match, SCU dumped Sabian off the ladder and into the ring. Jimmy Havoc then entered and things broke down into a brawl. Rey Fenix went for a splash at ringside, and I don’t think anybody caught him as he landed horribly. Colt Cabana then did an Asai moonsault onto anybody that was left standing. The brawl resumed, and Orange Cassidy splashed everybody that stood back up. The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy stood tall to close the segment…[c]
My Take: I hope Fenix is ok, because he got a lot of hang time before landing flat on his back on the floor. He could have the wind knocked out of him, broken ribs, or even worse. The match itself was entertaining, but felt more like a loose connection of spots than it did storytelling. Orange Cassidy has a lot going for him, but I’m not sure it has the same impact without crowds. The canned reactions from his co-workers can only bring so much to the table.
Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida made their entrance, followed by Britt Baker and Nyla Rose. Footage was shown of Rose hitting Shida with a kendo stick last week.
4. Hikaru Shida and Kris Statlander vs. Britt Baker and Nyla Rose: Statlander and Shida quickly took control and sent Baker to ringside. Rose and Statlander got started, and Rose hit a pounce that sent Statlander flying across the ring. She then landed some kicks in the corner and used her boot to shove Statlander out to the apron. The abuse continued as Rose landed a body slam and a leg drop…[c]
Rose landed a side slam and a splash for a two count. She maintained control for a few moments, and tried to tag Baker, who initially refused. Rose grabbed her by the throat and brought her into the match. Statlander immediately tried to roll her up, but she kicked out at 2. Statlander knocked Rose down on the apron and managed to drag herself away from Baker to make a tag to Shida.
Shida cleared the heels from the ring and landed a big knee on the apron to Baker. She also landed a knee strike on Rose. Shida brought Baker back into the ring and landed a vertical suplex for a two count. Statlander tagged back and landed some forearm strikes. Rose tried to break them up, but Statlander and Shida picked her up and slammed her into Baker in the corner.
Baker managed to break free briefly in order to tag in Rose. Statlander managed to pick up Nyla in an electric chair position, and planted her in the ring. Shida tagged in and landed some strikes and went for a cover, but only got a two count. Baker was getting checked out by doctors at this point, as Rose had landed on her knee earlier. Rose was able to put away Shida with a beast bomb after Statlander was too late to break up the pin.
Nyla Rose and Britt Baker defeated Kris Statlander and Hikaru Shida at 10:54
After the match, Rose set up a table in the ring to splash Shida through it. Statlander prevented Nyla from jumping off the turnbuckle, and Shida then jumped up onto the ropes and gave Rose a Superplex through the table.
Elsewhere, Alex Marvel interviewed Jon Moxley and asked about Brodie Lee. Moxley said every conflict in life is on a pathway towards violence. He said it only gets worse for Brodie Lee from here, and it would get pretty bad on Saturday. Moxley said on Saturday Brodie Lee is going to sleep, and he’ll have lost any power that he thinks he has, and all he will have left is some dudes in creepy masks to repair his shattered ego.
My Take: I hope Britt Baker wasn’t seriously injured there. Nyla Rose landed awkwardly on her knee in the corner and she looked to be in considerable pain. She didn’t check back into the match after tagging out. I’m not sure why you couldn’t have done a DQ there with the table rather than the clean finish, but it worked in this configuration anyways.
We got a Shawn Spears News segment, where he mocked Cody for being at fault for his brother’s “retirement” after failing to protect him from Lance Archer. He then mocked Dustin for his previous painkiller addiction, and challenged him to a match on Saturday. Spears said he was going into business for himself since he couldn’t get booked in any matches around here. He said that since he said it publicly, the fans expect it so it has to happen.
The announce team confirmed Spears vs. Dustin for Saturday, and ran through the Double or Nothing Card. They also plugged the preview show on Friday, and a Battle Royal next week on Dynamite. The winner of the Battle Royal will face the TNT Champion. We then got a promo video for Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara, where they showed highlights of the last several weeks of conflict between The Elite and The Inner Circle.
After the video, Sammy Guevara made his ring entrance…[c]
My Take: The Shawn Spears segment was creative in it’s production. I can’t say the shots at Dustin’s painkiller addiction did much for me, but I appreciate the attempt to make the hastily booked match feel personal.
Matt Hardy made his ring entrance.
5. Matt Hardy vs. Sammy Guevara: Hardy took control early on with some headbutts, He then tossed Sammy hard into the corner, and then sent him to the outside. Hardy slammed Sammy into the ring steps repeatedly, and then dropped him across the ring barricade. He then mashed Sammy’s face into the ring post, and sent him crashing hard into the barricade at the opposite side of the ring.
Matt brought the action back into the ring and went for a twist of fate, but Sammy avoided it by using a handstand. Sammy then landed a kick to the back of Matt’s head and landed some forearm and elbow strikes. Sammy attempted a springboard cutter, but Matt avoided it and landed a reverse DDT for a two count. Sammy remained in control as the action spilled back to the floor…[c]
Sammy paid back Matt by repeating many of the same offensive shots Matt had delivered to him earlier. He tossed him onto the barricade and mashed his face into the ring post. He then dragged him back in the ring and covered for a two count. He then chopped away at Hardy in the corner, and sent him hard into the opposite corner and covered for a near fall.
Sammy missed a moonsault attempt, and Hardy mounted a comeback. He gave Guevara repeated turnbuckle smashes in the corner, and then did a Taker Tribute with snake eyes in the corner and a big lariat that turned Guevara inside out. Matt then landed a side effect, but only got a two count.
Guevara clawed his way back into the match and set up for a GTS, but Hardy countered with a twist of fate. Guevara rolled outside, and Matt had to roll him back in to make a cover. He only got a two count. He went for another Twist of Fate, but Sammy escaped and landed a big flying knee and a kick to the face. He then landed a second big kick and covered for a close near fall.
Sammy went for a double stomp from the top, and Hardy avoided it. He then landed another Twist of Fate that Sammy sold like RVD. Matt covered and got a near fall, and he was upset. He pulled off Guevara’s boot, and took a bite out of it. The ref pulled Matt away, and Sammy landed a knee strike that got a 2.9 count. He followed up with a springboard cutter and got another 2.9. Guevara took to the top rope for a shooting star, but Matt got the knees up and rolled him up for another near fall. Matt landed another Twist of Fate for the win.
Matt Hardy defeated Sammy Guevara at 13:25
After the match, Hardy grabbed a chair, but Chris Jericho appeared on screen with Kenny Omega tied to a goal post on a football field. They hit him in the gut with a baseball bat, but The Young Bucks showed up to make the save. Matt Hardy showed up and took out Ortiz with the baseball bat. Jake Hager and Santana landed shots on Matt Jackson and the Inner Circle appeared to have the upper hand, but Adam Page ran in from across the football field to land a 40 yard dash clothesline in Cowboy Boots. Eventually the Inner Circle retreated and said they would take care of them on Saturday. Hangman Page walked off after Inner Circle cleared off.
My Take: A wild ending to the show, as expected. I’m not sold on the stadium match format, but it’s definitely a bold concept for a time where bold concepts are needed. Hardy and Guevara had a good match, but I think it had a few too many near falls to be great. The post match brawl with all the returns was one of those moments that was begging for a crowd, and Page running in from 100 yards away in Cowboy Boots to land a clothesline was hilarious, but I’m not certain if that’s what they were going for. Either way, the show did a nice job of putting some attention on all the Double or Nothing matches, but a $50 PPV is a difficult sell in difficult times.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Jake Barnett co-hosting the Boom and Dot Net Weekly combo show. Jason and Jake discuss Becky Lynch announcing her pregnancy, Alberto Del Rio being accused of sexual assault, WWE's IC Title tournament, Mike Tyson appearing at AEW Double Or Nothing, Undertaker's Last Ride documentary, AEW Dynamite and NXT TV thoughts, and more...