By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 42)
Taped July 16, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired July 22, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] Justin Roberts was in the ring to open the show, and he announced the TNT Title defense will open the show. Cody Rhodes was already in the ring for the match. Eddie Kingston walked out and said Cody talked about grinding and living a rough life, but he grew up around legends like Anderson. He said he grew up around junkies and alcoholics, and said Cody can’t last a day in his shows. Eddie said Cody talks about the sport of wrestling, but it’s a joke. He’s faced nothing but children, and he’s a grown man.
He said Cody might be best friends with Tony Khan, but he paid him to come here and talk, and he paid him to come here and kick his ass. Eddie then told Arn Anderson that he’d bury him if he kept talking. He told Cody he’d bury him and smile about it. He then said Cody was an egg sucking dog or an egg sucking bitch. Justin Roberts then announced that the match would be No DQ… Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone were on commentary…
1. Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Eddie Kingston in a No DQ match for the TNT Championship: We saw a cheapshot from Kingston to start the match. They brawled out to the floor and back. Cody landed a Disaster Kick and then a suicide dive. He then went for a missile dropkick from the top rope. The action spilled outside again, and Eddie grabbed Cody’s weight belt and slammed it across Cody’s back. He then chopped him in the chest and slapped him with the belt again. Eddie pulled up the mats on the concrete floor and sold a knee injury. The announce team questioned how serious the injury might be.
Cody landed a back body drop onto the concrete. Back in the ring, Kingston landed a suplex and continued to favor the left knee. He then landed a series of kicks, and applied a facelock. Cody fought to his feet, but Eddie threw some wild punches to send him back down. Cody started to attack his left knee, but Eddie cut him down with lariat. He then applied the Stretch Plum, a head and arm lock submission pioneered by Toshiaki Kawada.
Cody got back into the match after flipping out of a suplex and landing a chop block. He then tossed Kingston into the corner. Eddie collapsed when Cody tossed him across to the other corner. Cody approached, and then Kingston landed a low blow. He then landed a DDT and rolled to the outside. He grabbed a bag of thumb tacks from under the ring and spilled them out mid ring. He chopped Cody and picked him up for a body slam into the tacks, but Cody fought out of it.
Cody went for a Vertebreaker, but Kingston reversed and powerbombed Cody onto the tacks. Cody was bleeding from the mouth and several places on his back. About 25 tacks remained in Cody’s back. Kingston landed a backdrop suplex, but Cody popped right up and landed a lariat. He then traded slaps with Kingston, and applied a figure four for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Eddie Kingston at 12:32 in a No DQ match to retain the TNT Championship.
The announce team spoke about the toughness of both men as Cody celebrated…
My Take: A hard hitting match, though I could live the rest of my life without seeing another tacks spot. Seems like it hurts an awful lot for something that ends up being less visually impressive than the typical crimson mask. I guess if it makes enough people cringe, it might be worth it. The match ended up being a lot of fun, but I like Kingston’s promo work even more. He could be an asset for that reason alone.
The announce team went over the card for the night, featuring The Young Bucks, Hangman Page, MJF, Ivelisse vs Diamante, and the main event of Jurassic Express vs. Jericho and Hager. They then cut to a promo from Jon Moxley. He said so many in wrestling are completely full of it, but he prides himself on keeping it real. He does what he said, and that includes when he snapped Brian Cage’s bicep last week. Mox said he was disappointed he didn’t get to hear Cage’s bicep pop like a water balloon, and next time he wouldn’t let go.
In the arena, MJF made his entrance and grabbed a microphone. Griff Garrison was in the ring to face him. He grabbed a microphone and said Griff was jacked and tan. He said he could tell he was nervous, but he was a nice guy, so he’d give him a chance to introduce himself. He called him Jungle Man, but he corrected him and said his name was Griff Garrison. MJF apologized, but said it was a joke that Griffy called himself the Ivy League MVP. He said he didn’t think he looked like he could pass a finger painting class. MJF said he should listen to him since he was undefeated, but Griff pointed out he lost a tag match at Fyter Fest. MJF cut him down with a lariat.
2. MJF (w/Wardlow) vs. Griff Garrison: MJF continued the one sided assault…[c]
The beating continued during the break, and MJF grabbed the mic and continued the verbal assault on the microphone and demanded Griff repeat that he was undefeated. He eventually did, but Griff tripped him up and got a near fall after folding MJF up. MJF immediately popped up and pulled Griff over to the ropes for his Heat Seaker piledriver for the win.
MJF defeated Griff Garrison at 5:43
After the match, a Britt Baker video package aired where she illustrated how her previously fractured nose was targeted. She tried to illustrate her conspiracy theory, but Rebel and Tony Shiavone kept stepping on her metaphors. She eventually called herself the Michael Jordan of the division, and said not to count her out, especially at All Out. Video was then shown of Dark from last night, where Rick Starks joined Tazz and Brian Cage to beat up Darby Allin.
Taz said there were hard discussions over the last week, and he was nearly fired, but cooler heads have prevailed. He called throwing in the towel a business decision, and gave Mox credit for a badass armbar. Taz said Brian Cage is not wired to tap, he has no surrender, and no quit, and that’s why he’s the FTW Champion. Darby Allin then interrupted, but was blindsided from behind by Ricky Starks. It looked like he was KO’d for a minute, but Starks continued the assault anyway. Cage landed a powerbomb on the ramp, and then chucked Darby into the ring.
Starks then grabbed a skateboard from ringside, but Jon Moxley appeared and ran everybody off before they could make use of it. He was carrying a barbed wire baseball bat, and Cage and Starks scrambled up the ramp to get away…[c]
My Take: I’m not sure if Allin was temporarily knocked out when he hit the ropes when Starks attacked him, or if he was just selling, but he went limp for about 10 seconds there. Hopefully it was selling, because it’s scary how much offense after getting knocked out if it was legitimate.
Chris Jericho was interviewed, and I lost audio for a moment, so I don’t know much of what he said. What I caught was mostly frustration and insults hurled towards Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus, including revealing that he wasn’t actually a dinosaur.
Backstage, The Young Bucks and Butcher and Blade met up backstage, and the match began as a falls count anywhere match in what looked like a refrigerator or freezer area that was made up to look like a commercial kitchen..
3. Butcher and Blade vs. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson in a Falls Count Anywhere Match: The match quickly turned into a walking Brawl, with Butcher and Blade tossing Matt and Nick around the kitchen area. The action spilled out to the concourse area, where Nick Jackson was tossed off the production truck. Matt Jackson flew in from nowhere and landed a tackle on the concrete. He sold his elbow and had a cut on his face.
The Blade was tossed through a plexiglass stand in a Concessions area. Matt Jumped on the blade using a sheet pan underneath himself. The blade retreated away from the Young Bucks, but got kicked onto an escalator that took him up to the next floor…[c]
Thing approached the ring as the show returned, and it got a little clumsy with Matt Jackson and The Butcher being out of place for a dive from Nick Jackson. The Blade ran up and hit Matt Jackson on the back with a chair. Nick took out The Butcher with a dive off the railing at ringside, and Matt landed a cutter from the apron to the floor on The Blade. Matt and Nick attempted to suplex The Butcher through a table, but he reversed it into a double suplex. He then tossed Nick into the railing.
The Blade went for a splash on the floor, but missed Matt Jackson and the table that was setup at ringside. The Butcher then put Matt through another table with a running splash. In the ring, Matt and Nick double teamed The Butcher with a DDT bulldog combo. They then applied a half crab and crossface combination, but The Blade broke it up walking gingerly. He hung Nick out on the top rope, and then landed a lariat that sent Matt to the rampway. They then landed a powerbomb and neckbreaker combo on the stage, and then headed towards the entryway to grab two more tables.
The Bucks interrupted them and setup the tables. There was a brawl briefly, but both Butcher and Bladed ended up set on top of the tables. Both Bucks climbed to the top of the entry staging, and splashed both The Butcher and The Blade for the win.
[Hour Two] Matt landed an elbow on Butcher, and Nick landed on The Blade with a Swanton.
The Young Bucks defeated The Butcher and Blade at 12:04 in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
After the match, the announce team showed some match highlights before cutting to Alex Marvez. He interviewed Lance Archer and Jake Roberts, and Archer kicked the shit out of a locker room full of scrubs. He then tossed one of them into the trash can. Roberts said they were tired of waiting for people to step up to Archer…[c]
My Take: A crazy match that felt like something I would have put together in a Wrestling video game. There were some sloppy elements and missed spots, but that was a good win for the Young Bucks, who definitely need a few.
Diamante was in the ring. Ivelisse then made a TV entrance.
4. Diamante vs. Ivelisse: The match was shoved aside a few seconds in to show a Big Swole promo. She said Britt Baker would eventually have to face her in the ring, and then she would learn her lesson. Ivelisse rolled to the floor to get away from the strikes of Diamante. She tossed Ivelisse into the barricade, and they traded hard chops. Diamante rolled into the ring to break the count, and continued the assault.
There might have been some communication issues, as both women couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be inside or outside the ring. They had a chop battle, and then some kicks. Diamante landed a German Suplex and covered for a two count. Diamante then went for what looked like a CrossRhodes, but Ivelisse countered and landed a Powerbomb for a near fall. Diamante surprised Ivelisse with a rollup coming off the ropes and got the surprise win.
Diamante defeated Ivelisse at 5:34
Diamante looked at Ivelisse and talked some trash and celebrated…[c]
My Take: This one suffered from some sloppiness and a lack of chemistry. It was sluggish at times, and it looked like there might have been some confusion as various points. The strikes were stiff, which the announce team pointed out, but this one just didn’t click.
Five of the Dark Order made his entrance, formerly known as Alan Angels. He was followed by Adam Page.
5. Adam Page vs. Five: Page chopped down Five, and then landed a big boot after a series of reversals. Page then went for a cover and got a two count. After some quick reversals on the apron, Angels landed a kick that sent Page to the floor. The rest of the Dark Order sans Brodie Lee walked out, as Angels used the distraction to kick the middle rope into Page’s groin…[c]
Page made his comeback with a lariat and a discus rolling elbow. Page kicked out at two and Page couldn’t believe it. The Dark Order stood at the top of the ramp in an intimidating way. Page hit a powerbomb and got the win.
Adam Page defeated Five at 7:54
After the match, The Dark Order stared down Page, who didn’t look bothered. Brodie Lee and Colt Cabana then walked out, and Brodie had a mic. He called him Mr. Page, and said he had been nothing but impressed with him. He was impressed with his match, but was not impressed by his lack of friends or a tag partner when he was clearly in immediate danger. He made an offer that the Dark Order can protect him, and they wouldn’t leave him alone. Not in the ring, and not even at a bar. Page said he appreciates the compliments and the offer, but he’s not really ready to join a cult right now. Brodie said he just made his bed, and he hopes he enjoys his sleep. He then left with Cabana.
The rest of the Dark Order walked to the ring, and the numbers game quickly overwhelmed Page. FTR then made the save, running off the rest of the Dark Order. Omega was late to the party, and was in street clothes. FTR offered Page a handshake and a beer, and he accepted. The main event is next…[c]
My Take: The match was just kind of there, but the work after the match continued the story between Omega, FTR, and Page nicely. Brodie shielding Cabana from the rest of the Dark Order’s motives was a nice tough as well, though Cabana continues to struggle to convey his emotional state well with his facial expressions.
Jurassic Express made their entrance, followed by Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle.
6. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager (w/Santana, Ortiz) vs. “Jurassic Express” Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus (w/Marko Stunt): Jericho blindsided Jungle Boy early, but he weathered the assault. Jungle Boy landed a couple of hip tosses and a dropkick. Jericho backed off, and Luchasaurus and Hager tagged into the match. They traded heavy shots, and Hager got the better of it. Luchasaurus landed a kick to shut Hager down temporarily, but it didn’t last. Hager avoided a chokeslam and put on an Ankle Lock. He then dragged Luchasaurus to the corner, where he and Jericho took turns working over the leg. Luchasaurus started a comeback, but Hager cut him down with a chop block to the bad leg.
There was a double clothesline with Hager and Luchasaurus, and both men were down. Both Jericho and Jungle Boy tagged in, and Jungle Boy knocked Hager to the floor. He then rolled up Jericho for a near fall. Jungle Boy dove on Santana and Ortiz at ringside, and then landed a springboard STO on Jericho, but it was an awkward landing. Marko Stunt entered and gave Jungle Boy an assist behind the refs back, and they stacked up Jericho for a close near fall. Jericho took control again with a lariat…[c]
Jericho controlled the action during the break, as the heel team dominated Jungle Boy. He got cocky through, and his showboating allowed Jungle Boy to land a top rope cross body for two. Jericho then shut him down with a lariat, and tagged in Hager. Hager prevented a tag, and Jericho entered the ring with his baseball bat. Aubrey took it away from him, and an argument ensued. Jericho then tossed the bat out of the ring.
Jungle Boy managed to roll up Jericho for a two count, and then land a lariat to climb back into the match. Jericho managed to prevent a tag and reach Hager. Jungle Boy managed to reverse a double back body drop into a double DDT, and made the crawl to his corner to tag in Luchasaurus. He gave Hager a pump kick and chopped down Jericho. He then landed a lariat on Hager, and landed a hook kick and a roundhouse on Jericho and Hager. A Santana and Ortiz distraction let Marko Stunt landa dropkick on Jericho.
A kick and a slam later, Luchasaurus had a few near falls. Jungle Boy took out Santana and Ortiz with a dive. Serpentico jumped up onto the apron and smashed Luchasaurus in the back with the bat, and Jericho landed a Codebreaker for the win.
Chris Jericho and Hager defeated Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy at 16:54
After the match, we saw a beatdown of Jurassic Express, and then a Shooting Star press from Serpentico, who revealed himself to be Sammy Guevara. After the reveal, The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy ran off the Inner Circle. A five on five match was announced for next week involving everyone here.
My Take: That match was far too long. It wasn’t bad, but it really dragged at points, particularly when Jungle Boy had several comebacks shutdown before making the hot tag. It might have worked better in front of a crowd with a little more salesmanship from Jungle Boy, but it didn’t really click with me as a viewer. Overall, this episode had a lot more good than bad. I hope Darby Allin did a fantastic job selling, and he’s just fine.