By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite “Fight For The Fallen” (Episode 41)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired June 15, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] A Fight For The Fallen opening aired… Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Taz were on commentary. Ross noted that Tony Schiavone was awaiting the results of his COVID-19 test. He emphasized that Schiavone was fine, but the results were slow in coming in…
1. Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Sonny Kiss for the TNT TV Title. Kiss danced on the stage with three Jacksonville Jaguars cheerleaders before heading to the ring. Ring announcer Justin Roberts wore a tuxedo and delivered in-ring introductions for the title match.
Cody caught Kiss with a kick to start the match. Cody hit an early Disaster Kick for a near fall. Kiss rolled to ringside. Cody followed. Arn asked Cody if he wanted to win the match, then told him to get his head out of his ass. Kiss went on the offensive and shoved a camera out of the way before rolling Cody back inside the ring.
A short time later, Cody set up for his finisher, but Kiss countered and performed the CrossRhodes, which led to a near fall. Kiss went up top and performed a 450 splash for another near fall. Kiss caught Cody’s head between his legs, but Cody shoved him over the top rope and onto the entrance platform that is level with the ring.
Cody followed to the ramp and performed an Alabama Slam. Cody rolled Kiss inside the ring and covered him, but Kiss put his foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Cody powered up Kiss and performed the Din’s Fire move for a near fall.
Cody superplexed Kiss and got another two count. Cody showed frustration. Ross said he wasn’t taking anything away from Kiss, but Cody’s head wasn’t in the game because his last two pin attempts were off. Cody spoke with Arn and was rolled up for a pin, but he kicked out and applied an STF. Kiss reached the ropes to break it.
Cody removed the top turnbuckle. Kiss ended up sending Cody head-first into the exposed turnbuckle and was covered for a near fall. Kiss and Cody squared off in the middle of the ring. Cody ducked a punch and then hit CrossRhodes and scored the pin.
Cody defeated Sonny Kiss in 10:45 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Cody and Kiss hugged in the middle of the ring. Cody raised the arm of Kiss and saluted him before huddling up with Anderson again…
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. Sonny stepped up and delivered in his highest profile match to date. The story of Cody being off his game that he and Arn told with support from Ross on commentary is interesting. It didn’t seem like it was done to explain why it took Cody as long as it did to beat Kiss as much as it appears to be a story that will continue beyond this match. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight. Jake will be by with his take on the show tomorrow with the AEW Hit List.
Ross, Excalibur, and Taz checked in from their desk. Ross said he hoped everyone is wearing their masks (amen) and then Excalibur plugged AEWFightForTheFallen.com for donations and the event’s t-shirt with 100 percent of the proceeds going to COVID-19 related charities in Florida. They also hyped upcoming matches and segments… [C]
2. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Pentagon Jr. and Fenix. Roberts delivered in-ring introductions again. The Butcher and The Blade were shown watching the match from the truck that they stole from FTR a couple weeks ago. Tully Blanchard was shown wearing a mask while watching the match in the spectator area. Both FTR members were down at ringside heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Wheeler was isolated during the break. When they went back to full screen, Fenix leapt off the top rope and into an uppercut from Wheeler, who tagged out. Harwood picked up a near fall on Fenix. Wheeler tagged in again and was worked over until he caught Fenix going for a huracanrana. Wheeler walked Fenix to his corner and tagged in Harwood, who executed a top rope bulldog that led to a near fall.
Harwood superplexed Pentagon. Wheeler leapt from the top rope, but Penta put his knees up. Fenix leapt from another corner at Harwood, who also put his knees up. A short time later, Wheeler performed a dive through the ropes and grabbed Penta by the head and drove it into the ground. Fenix leapt from the top rope onto Wheeler at ringside.
In the ring, Harwood ducked a Fenix kick. Harwood ripped Fenix’s mask off his head. While Fenix covered his face, Harwood caught him in an inside cradle and scored the pin.
FTR defeated Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix in 13:25.
After the match, Butcher and Blade jawed from the side entrance at FTR. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson snuck up behind Butcher and Blade and then took them out with superkicks. Matt grabbed the key to the truck, then brought it to the ring and presented it to FTR.
Kenny Omega walked out with a cooler in his hand and handed beers to Wheeler and Harwood. Omega, Wheeler, and Harwood toasted, then Wheeler and Harwood poured their beers over the head of Omega. The Young Bucks held back Omega from going after FTR, who then left the ring and got in their truck. Wheeler tried to start the truck using the key, but appeared to be having some trouble… [C]
Powell’s POV: A fun match with a TV finish that gave viewers a winner, yet didn’t hurt Pentagon and Fenix in any way. The post match angle was solid at the end with FTR pouring the beers over Omega’s head. I want to like Butcher and Blade, but they look low budget whenever they show up wearing their all white outfits.
The Inner Circle members Chris Jericho, Santana, Ortiz, and Jake Hager headed to the ring (Sammy Guevara is still suspended). Jericho took the mic and boasted that he had one of the best AEW matches when he beat Orange Cassidy. Jericho also boasted that he won the ratings battle, just as he does every week.
Jericho preached about the 18-49 demographic being the most important aspect of the ratings. He said he’s never been beaten in that demographic and dubbed himself “The Demo God.” Funny.
Jericho, who had a bottle of orange juice in his hand, said Cassidy wants a rematch. He played to the spectator wrestlers and asked if they wanted a rematch, then pulled the rug out by saying they aren’t getting one. Jericho said Cassidy “did good, but not good enough.”
The spectator wrestlers taunted Jericho with a chant that he’s scared. Jericho toasted Cassidy with his orange juice. Jericho took a swig and said it was one for Cassidy, then poured some on the mat and said it was for his dead career.
Orange Cassidy made his entrance from the spectator section. Jericho said Cassidy showed the world that he can go, but he doesn’t have what it takes to be a world champion. Jericho said Cassidy is lazy, a slot, and has a bad attitude, so there will never be a rematch.
Jericho told Cassidy to take his sunglasses off, fold them up, and shove them up his ass. Jericho told Cassidy to get the hell out of his arena, then called him a piece of shit. Cassidy held his hand above his head and gave a thumbs up, then turned it into a thumbs down.
Orange juice fell from above the ring onto the four Inner Circle members. Ortiz did his best Vince McMahon beer bath impersonation by swimming in the small pool of orange juice. Jericho called for a towel and wasn’t happy when he realized it was an Orange Cassidy towel. Ross said Jericho would join them on commentary… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Demo God bit was a comical way to follow last week’s Twitter drama over the television ratings. I could have done without Ortiz doing an over the top parody of a famous WWE skit, but they did a nice job of pushing the idea of a Jericho vs. Cassidy rematch.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviewed Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. Stunt laughed about Jericho being an idiot for having orange juice poured onto him. Luchasaurus spoke about facing The Elite…
Jericho joined the broadcast team and complained that his $7,000 jacket was ruined. Slow motion replays of the orange juice dumping was shown while Jericho threw a fit on commentary. Jericho vented that it’s not over between him and Cassidy, then said there will be a rematch. Jericho also complained about Stunt and called him a little runt…
[Hour Two] Entrances for the six-man tag match took place…
3. “The Elite” Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. “Jurassic Express” Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. Excalibur plugged the Being The Elite series as a graphic touted the online series. Nick went for an early facebuster on Jungle Boy, who blocked it by doing a handstand.
Hangman Page was shown backstage pouring a drink while the match played on a television next to him. Omega worked in his t-shirt and was cocky when he and Stunt checked in. Jericho said he’s known him for three years and that meant that he was underestimating his opponent. Stunt got the better of Omega, who removed his shirt while Stunt tagged out.
Jericho recalled Luchasaurus stating that he’s 65 million years old. Jericho didn’t believe him and said he wants to see his birth certificate. Funny. Meanwhile, Omega performed a flip dive over the top rope onto the Jurassic Express trio heading into a PIP break. [C]
Jungle Boy hit Omega with a nice clothesline at ringside, then returned to the ring with a springboard over the ropes and into a DDT on Matt before tagging out. Luchasaurus worked over Omega and the Bucks. Meanwhile, a shot aired of the FTR duo joining Hangman Page at his bar while Jericho wondered why they were friendly.
In the ring, Omega hit Luchasaurus with a pair of V-Trigger knees and followed up with a snap dragon suplex. Stunt and Jungle Boy ran in and each took a snap dragon from Omega. The Jurassic Express trio regrouped and worked over Omega, which led to a near fall that the Bucks broke up.
The Bucks tagged Luchasaurus with a double superkick. The Bucks teamed up with Omega for a triple powerbomb that led to a near fall. Stunt and Nick fought on the ropes. Jungle Boy joined in and performed a huracanrana that put Nick in the ring. Jungle Boy splashed onto him and had the pin, but Matt broke it up.
The Jurassic Park trio ended up on the ramp area. This led to a wild triple team move that resulted in Stunt performing a Canadian Destroyer on Matt, who was on the top rope.
A short time later, Omega hit his opponents with V-Trigger knees. Omega hoisted up Stunt for his finisher, but Stunt escaped and rolled up Omega for a good near fall. Both men got to their feet and Omega blasted Stunt with a V-Trigger and hit the One Winged Angel for the win.
Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson defeated Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt in 15:05.
After the match, Omega started throwing punches on Stunt. Nick pulled him off and then spoke with Omega, who initially smirked. Nick told Omega that that’s not him. Omega got up and seemed to be apologetic, then sat down in the corner and smiled again…
Powell’s POV: The big spot fest tag match of the night and it was a lot of fun for its style. There was a lot going on, but the guy who continued to grab my attention was Jungle Boy with some of his cool spots. I love the idea of FTR and Page joining forces if that’s where this is going (perhaps with Cody?), and the post match angle with Omega was compelling.
Backstage, Alex Marvez interviewed AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida. Marvez noted that four of the five women in the top five ranking were unable to compete for various reasons. He asked if she was ready to give Nyla Rose her rematch. Shida said she’s always ready for Nyla. Shida added that anyone can be the challenger and it doesn’t have to be Rose. Shida said that if someone thinks they are tough enough and have enough passion to be her challenger then they should show her… [C]
A Jon Moxley promo aired from “earlier today.” Moxley stood outside and said the past few weeks have not been the best for him. He said he’s been pissed off and bent out of shape about a great many things, but he would get to purge all his frustrations in the AEW Championship match.
Moxley said you can’t take anything for granted in this world. “Tonight we fight for the fallen,” Moxley said. He recalled Taz stating that he couldn’t perform a Paradigm Shift on Brian Cage because he’s too big. Moxley said he might not even use the move and instead said he would rip Cage’s surgically repaired bicep clean off the bone. “Enjoy the hospital,” Moxley closed…
The broadcast team spoke. Jericho said Dr. Britt Baker gave him a towel so that he could wipe his sticky fingers. The orange juice dump was shown again…
4. “The Nightmare Sisters” Brandi Rhodes and Allie (w/Dustin Rhodes) vs. Kenzie Paige and MJ Jenkins. Jericho noted that Brandi and Allie don’t seem to like one another. Allie ended up pinning Jenkins…
Brandi Rhodes and Allie beat Kenzie Paige and MJ Jenkins in 2:00.
After the match, Dustin raised Brandi’s hand and seemed reluctant to do the same for Allie, but he eventually gave in. Brandi tried to celebrate with Allie, who rolled her eyes…
Powell’s POV: A potential channel changing moment had it overstayed its welcome. At the same time, it was brief enough that we only learned that Allie is a brat, but viewers who don’t watch AEW Dark are probably left a bit confused by the friction. I can’t be the only person who scratches his head when women form actual tag teams in companies where no women’s tag titles exist.
The broadcast team hyped an announcement from Nyla Rose. They set up a video for the AEW action figures…
Dasha Gonzalez stood in the ring and introduced Nyla Rose, who said she wouldn’t tell anyone anything regarding her manager. She added that she would let the person say it for themselves. Vickie Guerrero walked out yelling, “Excuse me.”
Dasha asked Vickie for her strategy. Vickie questioned why she would tell anyone her strategy. She said that when Rose is ready to go after the AEW Women’s Champion it will be at the perfect time. Vickie told the women in the locker room to stop lying to themselves about how great they are. She said they will never be smart enough to cheat to win, and Rose will steal every opportunity they have ever dreamed of…
Powell’s POV: Vickie was a popular speculation pick for the role. I’m not a fan. I’m fine with using Vickie in AEW, though I was hoping that she would retire the “excuse me” routine. I just don’t see Guerrero and Rose meshing, and Rose is good enough on the mic that she doesn’t need a mouthpiece. I guess we’ll see how it goes.
The broadcast team ran through the card for next week, which features Cody defending the TNT Title, Hangman Page vs. Five, Ivelisse vs. Diamante, MJF in action, The Young Bucks vs. Butcher and Blade in a falls count anywhere match, and Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy…
Brian Cage and Taz made their entrance for the main event… [C]
Taz delivered a promo in the ring. He said Moxley chirped “some propaganda bullshit” that Cage isn’t one hundred percent. Taz said that while Moxley was at home quarantining with his wife, Cage was wrestling. Taz called out Moxley and told him to bring the AEW Title. Moxley made his entrance from the concourse area…
5. Jon Moxley vs. Brian Cage (w/Taz) for the AEW Championship. Moxley wore a Danny Havoc shirt to the ring, and Excalibur noted Havoc’s recent passing. Moxley ducked a clothesline and punched Cage, which led to the referee calling for the bell to start the match. Cage regrouped and curled Moxley by performing a fallaway slam during the opening minute.
Moxley removed his t-shirt and went to work on Cage’s surgically repaired bicep. Cage came right back with punches and a nice side suplex. Cage stood on the apron and tried to suplex Moxley, who avoided it and wrenched the bad arm over the top rope.
Taz checked on Cage. Moxley hit Cage with a suicide dive. Cage regrouped and threw Moxley into the barricade. Cage took Moxley into the area where fans would normally be seated. Moxley put Cage’s arm between the rungs of a barricade and then kicked it.
Moxley grabbed a pice of the barricade and leaned it against the ring. Excalibur noted that the match was continuing due to the referee’s discretion. Moxley set up for a move on the barricade piece, but Cage turned him around and suplexed him onto the barricade. [C]
During the PIP break, the wrestlers returned to the ring where Moxley applied a sleeper that Cage broke. Cage was in offensive control coming out of the break. Cage had Moxley in a Torture Rack and then dumped him onto the mat. Cage put Moxley in a Camel Clutch briefly.
Moxley and Cage went back to ringside. Cage suplexed Moxley onto a chair that was set up on the floor. Cage rolled Moxley back inside the ring. Cage went for a moonsault, but Moxley avoided it. Moxley caught Cage with a knee to the head. Cage clotheslined Moxley, who returned the favor.
Cage caught Moxley with a leaping knee to the chin. Moxley came right back with a Paradigm Shift for a two count. Jericho raved about Cage kicking out of Moxley’s finisher. Moxley placed Cage on the top rope and then superplexed him for a near fall. When Cage kicked out, Moxley immediately applied an armbar.
Cage got to his feet and powered out of the armbar and then Buckle Bombed Moxley. Cage stood on the middle rope and superplexed Moxley back into the ring. Cage set up for his Drill Claw finisher, but Moxley slipped out and rolled him into position for an armbar.
Cage tried to avoid the armbar, but Moxley powered him into the hold and then applied variations of the hold. Moxley smiled at Taz, who told him, “Screw you.” Moxley continued to wrench on Cage’s arm. Taz threw in the towel.
Jon Moxley defeated Brian Cage in 15:00 to retain the AEW Championship.
Ross said Taz made the right call by throwing in the towel and explained the logic. Cage got to his feet and blasted Moxley with the FTW Title belt. Cage started throwing punches at Moxley.
The lights went out. When the lights turned on, Darby Allin was standing on the top rope. Allin leapt from the top rope and hit Cage with a skateboard. Cage and Taz left the ring and headed to the stage. Moxley nodded approvingly while looking at Allin. Meanwhile, Taz had to hold back Cage from returning to the ring.
Ross explained again that Cage couldn’t make any money if he was unable to work. Jericho said Cage is Moxley’s meal ticket as they continued to explain the logic behind Taz throwing in the towel. Ross closed the show while Moxley and Allin bumped fists, and Jericho screamed that he was covered in orange juice…
Powell’s POV: A good main event with a finish that was easy to see coming once Moxley applied his the hold. I believe Taz has been bringing that orange towel out with him, but once Cage was in the hold and the cameras kept showing Taz holding the towel, you had to know where it was going. Even so, I like the basic idea of Moxley targeting Cage’s injury, and I also like that it was Taz throwing in the towel rather than Cage submitting. The broadcast was very good about making sure they explained the logic behind Taz’s move.
Overall, this was a strong episode of Dynamite. It looked good on paper and delivered. I will have more to say about this episode in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of Dynamite by assigning it a letter grade in our post show poll available on the main page.
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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...