By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 35)
Taped May 28, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired June 3, 2020 on TNT
There was a brief video at the start of Dynamite that expressed empathy with the Black Lives Matter movement. We then saw a recap video from last week’s Dynamite. It focused on FTR’s debut, Brian Cage and Moxley, and Cody’s open challenge. The normal Dynamite opening aired after the video. JR, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur started the broadcast, and wrestlers were shown at ringside. Britt Baker had a giant setup so she could sit with her injured leg.
They announce team plugged Nyla Rose vs Big Swole, an FTR Interview, and Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Jimmy Havoc and Kip Sabian. That match will start the show, as Kip Sabian made his ring entrance with Penelope Ford. Jimmy Havoc was next, followed by Hangman Page and Kenny Omega.
1. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc for the AEW Tag Team Championships: Omega and Havoc started the match in the ring. Havoc roughed up Kenny on the ropes with some elbows, but Kenny returned the favor as Havoc attempted to hit the ropes on the opposite side of the ring. Penelope Ford got involved early and distracted Kenny, allowing Havoc to recapture control and isolate Kenny in the heel corner. Sabian tagged in and landed a back elbow for a two count.
Havoc tagged in, and Omega turned the tables with a vertical suplex. FTR were shown watching the action from the crowd. Hangman Page tagged in and landed a hard clothesline on Havoc in the corner. Omega entered again with a double axe handle, and then quickly tagged Page again for a double team. They landed some hard chops on Havoc. Sabian tried to springboard into the ring and take them out, but they caught him and tossed him aside.
Ford took flight and went for a head scissors, and he caught her as well. Rick Knox saw her wrapped around Hangman, and told him to drop her. He obliged, and Ford was tossed out. Havoc entered the ring again and took Omega and Page out with a wrench behind Knox’s back, and then made a cover on Page for a near fall. Page managed to land a kick on Sabian on the apron, but Havoc cut him off again.
Omega was out of the match at ringside due to the wrench attack, which allowed Havoc and Sabian to take over. Havoc wrenched on Hangman’s jaw, and Sabian took out Omega again with a dropkick. He then landed a soccer kick on Page, who popped out and started brawling with both Havoc and Sabian. Omega recovered and tagged back into the match. He landed a huracarrana on both Havoc and Sabian. He then rolled up Sabian in the corner for a near fall.
Page then tagged back into the match, and he and Omega landed a big boot and kotaro crusher combo. Page then did a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Page then took out Havoc on the apron, who tried and failed to swing a hacksaw at him. Page then hit a huge lariat on Sabian, but Havoc broke up the pin. Page tagged in Omega, and then went after Havoc on the outside. Havoc whipped Page into the barricade, and pulled him into the ring at the heel corner.
Sabian escaped Omega and tagged in Havoc, who picked up Omega and sent him into the corner onto Page with a Death Valley Driver. He then landed a spike DDT and covered Omega, but Page broke up the pin.
Havoc and Sabian controlled Omega for a few more moments, but he broke free with a DDT and a V-Trigger. Page tagged back in and the Champions took over. Page landed a powerbomb on Sabian, and Omega followed up with a V-Trigger. They then hit the Last Call on Havoc and pinned him to pick up the win.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc at 14:05
After the match, FTR were shown looking on in the crowd. JR mentioned that Omega and Page will face Best Friends at Fyter Fest…[c]
My Take: I enjoyed the match, but I felt it was a bit too long and tried to do a little too much. They tried to cram a lot into 14 minutes, and I’m not sure it made the match much better because I never really bought into the suspense down the stretch. Sabian and Havoc were never the opponents that were going to take down Omega and Page, and so the near falls lacked a bit of suspense down the stretch.
We saw footage of a Twitter Promo from Tully Blanchard where he called out Shawn Spears for not taking himself or his career seriously enough. We then saw a video where Tully presented spears with a black fingerless glove. We then saw some more video highlights from last weeks Dynamite regarding the show closing brawl, and Bryan Cage’s debut match. Cage then made his entrance with Taz. Shawn Dean was in the ring already.
2. Brian Cage vs. Shawn Dean: Cage quickly gave Dean an overhead suplex, and then tossed him into the corner. Dean rolled to the apron, but Cage yanked him back into the ring with another suplex. He then landed a buckle bomb, followed by the Drillclaw for the win.
Brian Cage defeated Shawn Dean at 1:32
After the match, Taz said he would pull back the curtain a little bit. He said they had a conversation earlier about last week when he addressed Moxley. Taz said Moxley had the audacity to snicker when he was telling him about how the Machine was going to kick the living shit out of thim. He said it was not a game to them, and Moxley would get his head torn off if he didn’t get his head right by Fyter Fest. Taz then said beat him if you can, survive if he lets you.
Moxley’s music hit and he headed to the ring. He grabbed a microphone. Taz told him to think and be careful before he enters the ring. Mox said this is fun. He addressed Taz and said the reason he was smiling last week was because going to war with a guy like Bryan Cage makes him happy. He then said to be clear, stepping in the ring with his title on the line is the farthest thing from a game. Mox said he can be beaten, as he’s just a man, but it would take Cage all night long. He told Cage he would be in over his head when they get in the ring together, because he’s different than everybody else in AEW, because he’s a different breed of shark. Mozley then told them to keep that in mind the next time his name is in their mouths on TV…[c]
My Take: A money promo from Moxley. He’s been on fire for months now, and he’s clearly the most polished all around performer in the company. Taz was very good as well, and I like that they have shifted the tone of this program to being a serious one. The Brodie Lee feud had no gas, and sort of came out of nowhere, but this one is off to a good start. Here’s hoping they can continue to build from here.
Lance Archer was found on a construction site by Alex Marvez while he was beating up a Luchador. Archer cut a manic promo where he was unhinged, and said we haven’t seen the worst from the monster. We saw some footage of the injury to Marq Quen last week, and they had a meeting at their bar with Private Party. He was in Hardy Boyz Matt character mode, and he called them the future of Tag Team Wrestling. Matt offered his help and advice to them as a mentor, and said he really enjoyed their match last week. Cassidy offered them to join together as Hardy Party.
Outside the room, Hardy ran into Sammy Guevara, and told him they were cool and offered respect. We then saw more highlights of Cody’s TNT Championship Win, and set up his Open Challenge and first title defense with Jungle Boy…[c]
My Take: Interesting to see where the Lance Archer character goes from here. Screaming and talking about being a monster seems like they just hit reset on the past few months.
Fyter Fest was plugged as a 2 night event over to episodes of Dynamite on July 1st and July 8th. We then saw some footage of the Inner Circle Pep Rally and Tyson confrontation from last week. We then saw some unreleased footage from last week, where Jericho blamed Colt Cabana for his inability to knock out Mike Tyson. They are booked in a match for next. Colt made his ring entrance first, followed by Jericho. Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager followed with Jericho. Sammy cracked Jericho with his awful rendition of Judas. Allie was seen ringside flirting with QT Marshall.
3. Colt Cabana vs. Chris Jericho: They traded strikes early on. Jericho landed a flurry of awful looking punches, and then threatened Mike Tyson. Cabana landed a hard right hand that knocked Jericho down. The action spilled to ringside, where Cabana landed a springboard moonsault onto Jericho and Hager. Cabana came up with blood in his mouth. He placed Jericho back in the ring, but Hager slammed Cabana into the top turnbuckle as he climbed back into the ring…[c]
Jericho remained in control as the match returned, and made a lazy cover after a back elbow for a two count. Jericho attempted a bulldog out of the corner, but Cabana sent him crotch first into the opposite set of turnbuckles. He then landed a clothesline and a bionic elbow. Cabana then hit a flying apple in the corner and a big splash from the second rope for a near fall. Jericho landed an elbow, but missed the follow up Lionsault. Cabana went for a superman pin, but Jericho reversed into the Walls of Jericho. Cabana reached the ropes, and Jericho argued with Aubrey Edwards.
Cabana landed a headscissors from the top rope, and covered for a near fall. He then tried for another cover, but Jericho kicked out again. Cabana tried and failed to do something in the corner, but turned around into the Judas Effect elbow for the win.
Chris Jericho defeated Colt Cabana at 9:45
After the match, Jericho told everybody in the crowd to shut their ass and treat him with respect. He said what happened to Cabana would happen to Mike Tyson, and called him a piece of shit. Jericho called their confrontation the fight that everyone wants to see, and the talk of the entire wrestling business. He called Tyson a piece of shit, and said he wanted to taste the blood of Mike Tyson on his hands, just like he can taste Colt Cabana’s blood on his fist right now. He said he didn’t want to wait until Fyter Fest, or next week, he wanted him to come out right now.
After a few moments of Delay, Orange Cassidy made his entrance. OC put Jericho’s hands inside of his belt. Hager and Jericho tried to attack, but he rolled away and Best Friends carried OC over the barricade on the outside. Santana and Ortiz rushed to the ring, and Best Friends stared them down from ringside…[c]
My Take: A decent match between Cabana and Jericho. I think Cabana may have had a better showing, as Jericho seemed a little sluggish at points. The Best Friend and OC starting to antagonize the inner circle feels like a big step up for them, and perhaps a step down for Jericho’s squad. I guess they get to stand in for Tyson’s crew to take beatings while we wait for Fyter Fest.
We saw some highlights from earlier in the show, including the promo we just saw before the break. Cody vs. Jungle Boy was plugged. We then got a Britt Baker video packet, which was mostly a comedy of her doing faux rehab exercises. She pulled a small weight behind her wheelchair, and mostly refused to do what the doctor actually asked her to do. She rolled up a small incline, and celebrated like she won a marathon.
Big Swole made her entrance in the arena, followed by Nyla Rose.
4. Nyla Rose vs. Big Swole: Things started out slowly with Big Swole holding onto a side headlock. Nyla attempted to lift her up for a suplex, but Swole pulled her over with a headlock takeover. They fought for position on the ground, and Swole rolled up Nyla for a near fall. As they got to their feet, Swole applied an abdominal stretch. Nyla hip tossed out of it, but got sent to the outside when Swole low bridged her on a clothesline. She then went for a soccer kick on the outside, but Nyla avoided it. Nyla drove Swole into the apron and tossed her back into the ring…[c]
Nyla tried a splash, but Swole got her knees up. She then landed some strikes on Nyla, followed by a cutter, but only got a near fall. Nyla missed a lariat in the corner, and Swole landed a pump kick for a close near fall. Nyla avoided a charge from Swole and sent her out to the apron. Swole reversed out of a suplex attempt and landed a chop block. Nyla quickly replied with a spear. Nyla attempted a Beast Bomb, but Swole reversed out into a sunset flip for another two count.
Swole landed another kick and went for Dirty Dancing, but Rose countered with a Spinebuster Powerbomb for the win.
Nyla Rose defeated Big Swole at 9:30
After the match, Big Swole was interviewed by Tony Schiavone. She said it was good to be back, and it re-centered her. Britt Baker immediately got involved and tried to ram into the barricade with the Golf Cart her Wheelchair was inside of. Swole grabbed a chair, and Baker had her drive back her up and out of there. Swole looked crazy.
Elsewhere, Darby Allin was interviewed by Tony Schiavone about being unable to compete because of Doctor’s orders. He said life is a joke, but he’d have the last laugh on Brian Cage…[c]
My Take: Swole had a good showing against Nyla, and they worked better together here than in previous encounters. I am at a loss about what that Britt Baker interruption was after the match. I would have rather just heard from Swole, who hasn’t gotten enough character development verbally on TV.
Tony Shiavone conducted a sit down interview with FTR. He asked about what FTR stood for, and they said it was whatever they wanted it to be. It’s become a lifestyle and doesn’t just stand for one thing. Schiavone asked if they had a list of tag teams they wanted to face. They mentioned Santana and Ortiz, Lucha Bros, Private Party, and the current Champions Omega and Page.
Schiavone asked them why they didn’t mention the Young Bucks. He said it’s not a dream match for them, and mentioned Dave Meltzer calling them the next Midnight Express. Cash said he wanted to punch them in the mouth, and beat them in three seconds, he’s not interested in dream matches. Schiavone asked they they didn’t take them out last week, and Wheeler said when they beat them, they don’t want to hear any excuses about how they were softened up by Butcher and the Blade.
Tony told them he thought FTR meant “F the Revival”, and they said that’s just what the internet says. Butcher and Blade appeared in the interview area and demanded a fight. They were kept apart by other people in the area, and Wheeler said they could have a match next week. The announce team threw to a Colt Cabana interview with Tony Schiavone. He said he had great showings and proved a lot to himself and others, but wins still elude him. Brodie Lee walked up and spoke about losing being a part of life, but he could help him with how he reacts to losing. Cabana said he wasn’t interested in that, but his face said otherwise.
Back in the arena, Jungle Boy made his entrance…[c]
My Take: I wanted to be more impressed with FTR’s first interview. It wasn’t bad, but I was hoping they would show off more personality and attitude than we’ve seen from them previously. They seemed less driven and more “happy to be there” than I would have expected. I did like the slow burn to an eventual match with the Young Bucks, which I assume is still a ways off.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance in the arena with Arn Anderson. Dasha Gonzaled made ring introductions.
5. Cody Rhodes vs. Jungle Boy for the TNT Championship: Cody grabbed a waistlock takedown, and Jungle Boy scrambled for the ropes. They got to their feet, and Cody grabbed a headlock takeover. Jungle boy replied a moment later with a step up huracarrana and a roll up for a two count. Both guys traded big strikes in the corner. Cody got the best of the exchange and landed a powerslam for a two count. Cody attacked the leg of Jungle Boy, and then applied a Figure Four.
Jungle Boy reached the ropes and escaped. The action spilled outside the ring, and Jungle Boy landed a suicide dive on Cody. He went for a second one, but Cody caught him and tossed him into the Gunn club at ringside…[c]
Cody ran into a wall outside the ring, and came up bleeding heavily. Jungle Boy went right after the cut with punches. He rolled Cody up a moment later, but only got a near fall. Cody shut down Jungle Boy’s surge with a pump kick. Jungle Boy fired back with a big lariat for another near fall. Jungle Boy trapped Cody’s arms and landed some punches. He then took to the top rope, but Cody intercepted him with a dropkick. He then landed him with a hanging vertical suplex from the top rope for a near fall.
Cody went for another figure four, but Jungle Boy shoved him off. They met again on the top rope and traded punches, and they spilled off the top rope through a table at ringside. They both got back in the ring, and Jungle Boy caught Cody in another pinfall attempt for a near fall. Cody then fired back and landed CrossRhodes for the win.
Cody defeated Jungle Boy at 12:45
After the match, Brandi and Dustin came down to the ring, along with Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt. Cody picked up Jungle Boy and shook his hand and gave him a hug. Fireworks went off as Cody celebrated…[c]
My Take: A strong match to close the show, but I don’t think they needed the bag of tricks with the blood and table spot to make it work. I really enjoyed watching Jungle Boy and MJF have a straight wrestling match, and I think I enjoyed it even more than this. That said, this show was a bit uneven, but mostly good stuff from the AEW crew. Here’s hoping the shows continue to improve as we get closer to Fyter Fest.