By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 43)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired July 29, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired… Pyro shot off on the stage and then the broadcast team of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Taz checked in. Chris Jericho made his entrance and was followed by Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara. They were followed by Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Trent, Marko Stunt, Luchasaurus, and Jungle Boy. They all entered the arena to Orange Cassidy’s entrance music…
1. “The Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara vs. Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, Orange Cassidy, Trent, and Chuck Taylor (w/Marko Stunt): Cassidy and Jericho appeared to start the match, but Hager tagged in immediately. Cassidy threw some light kicks, and Hager tossed him into the ropes. Cassidy ducked, and then threw more light kicks. Hager picked up and tossed Cassidy into the corner. He then picked him up a second time, and Cassidy clapped his hands behind Hager’s ears and broke free. The action broke down and the heels were dumped to ringside. Chuck drove on them, followed by Trent.
Santana got on the apron, and Jungle Boy landed a flying head scissors that sent him back to the floor. Luchasaurus played catch with Marko Stunt, and he ended up taking out Jericho on the floor. Orange Cassidy relaxed in the ring and threw his glasses on, and they had a group hug in the ring. Guevara tried to jump at them, but got beat down for his trouble. There has yet to be a legal tag or a count in the last several minutes, and all ten man are involved.
Finally we resumed something of a normal tag match, and the heels isolated Trent in their corner. JR gave his weekly speech about Jake Hager having a lot of untapped potential, as the inner circle continued to beat down Trent. Santana landed a vertical suplex and tagged Jericho back into the match. There was another 5 man beat down while Aubrey Edwards pretended to be distracted by Marko Stunt.
Sammy tagged in and tried for a cover on Trent for a two count. Guevara then picked up Trent and squatted him as a taunt before landing a TKO of sorts. Hager tagged in and Trent started a comeback. He landed a boot and a vertical suplex before making a tag to Luchasaurus. He cleaned house on the heels and played to the spectators. He set up for a chokeslam on Guevara, which led to Hager breaking it up. They traded punches before Hager landed a big lariat.
The action broke down as Orange Cassidy cleared Hager from the ring with a superman punch. Santana and Ortiz landed a double team powerbomb on Cassidy. Trent and Chuck landed a half and half sole food combo on Santana. Jericho then landed a Codebreaker on Luchasaurus. The melee ended with Sammy Guevara about to jump at Luchasaurus from the top, but Matt Hardy interfered and shoved him down. Luchasaurus landed a Chokeslam and a Roundhouse Kick on Guevara for the win.
Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Orange Cassidy, Trent and Chuck defeated The Inner Circle at 12:40
Matt Hardy taunted Sammy after the match…[c]
My Take: That match gets a big meh from me. It felt pretty lifeless for most of it, and Matt Hardy’s return didn’t make up for the shortcomings of the match. Sammy and Matt Hardy looks to be restarting again…but we’ll have to see if AEW has learned how to make Matt Hardy’s character jumble tell a story a bit more cohesively.
Darby Allin and Jon Moxley will face Brian Cage and Ricky Starks in a Tornado Tag later tonight. Moxley was shown on an interview set. He said he tries to stay out of other people’s business, but not this time. He said he thought his issue with Cage was over, but then he had to go bully his compadre Darby Allin. He said Ricky Starks had fallen in with the wrong crowd, and then dared them to try and bully him, because while he doesn’t always start fights he will finish them.
The announce team ran down the rest of the card, and Cody vs. Warhorse is next. Warhorse made his entrance first, followed by Cody Rhodes. He had some pyro and headbanged his way out to some metal music. He was followed by Cody Rhodes. Justin Robers made ring introductions for the TNT Championship Match. Robers said Warhorse weighed 4000lbs of Heavy Metal, and he was there to rule ass…
2. Cody vs. Warhorse for the TNT Championship: The circled each other to start the match, and Cody backed Warhorse into the corner. Cody backed off a chop, which allowed Warhorse to land a kick from behind. He stacked Cody up for a near fall, and then landed a hip toss. They hit the ropes and Cody avoided a clothesline and bailed out to the floor. Cody got back in the ring and grabbed a side headlock. He took Warhorse over, but he quickly got back to his feet.
They crossed each other on the ropes a couple of times and Warhorse managed to land a big lariat. Cody rolled back to the outside…[c]
Cody gained control during the break with a superplex, and then applied a half crab. Warhorse reached the ropes, but Cody quickly applied a Figure Four. Warhorse turned it over, and then he was forced to scramble for the ropes. Warhorse landed a shotgun dropkick and then a sequence of lariats. Warehouse went to the top rope, but was selling his legs. Cody rolled to the floor, but Warhorse jumped to the apron and then double stomped Cody. He then landed a flying elbow from the top for a near fall.
Warhorse went up top again and missed, and he seemed to jam his knee. Cody went for the figure four again, and Warhorse was forced to tap.
Cody Rhodes defeated Warhorse at 10:45 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Cody prepared to shake Warhorse’s hand, but the Dark Order interfered. Warehorse shoved Cody out of the way to attack the two Dark Order members, but he couldn’t fend them off. Matt Cardona (fka Zack Ryder) ran down and cleared the ring. He landed Leg Lariats on both Dark Order members, and then got a hug from Cody…[c]
My Take: It’s nice that AEW is willing to give guys like Warhorse a shot, but I don’t think I’d offer it in a TNT Title Match in the future. He’s got charisma and fun gimmick, but he looked out of his depth at times in the ring with Cody. Will Matt Cardona be another guy that comes in as Cody’s good friend and immediately betrays him? I guess time will tell.
Tony Schiavone was going to speak about All Out on the stage when Chris Jericho interrupted. He said they were furious Sammy Guevara swore revenge on Matt Hardy and called him a Son of Bitch. Jericho then said on August 12th, he would beat Orange Cassidy again in a rematch, and when he defeated Cassidy again, he would pay him $7000 cash for his ruined jacket. Jericho then challenged Cassidy to a debate next week with a surprise moderator, and said that he would crush him mentally as well as physically.
Jericho asked Santana if he still smelled like oranges, and he said he smelled like Cat Piss. Ortiz said cat piss as well. We then saw the official AEW contract signing for FTR. Arn Anderson showed up to oversee the signing. They got clauses in their contract for the tag rope and other rules to be strictly enforced. They will also host a Tag Team Appreciation Night on August 12th. Hangman Page showed so after they signed to celebrate with a shot of whiskey for FTR, Arn, and Hangman.
We got a recap of the Hangman Page and Dark Order segment last week, where FTR made the save. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno made their ring entrance for the AEW Tag Team Title match, and Brodie Lee joined on commentary….[c]
My Take: The Inner Circle stuff continues to be not my cup of tea. I just don’t find Jericho’s humor to be nearly as clever in this empty arena setting. Maybe they’ll get it right with the debate? I’m hopeful they have something original planned. The FTR segment was well done, but what kind of dipshit attorney or sports agent is going to let the “hottest free agents in wrestling” work without a deal for 14 weeks? Seems a bit odd.
Hangman Page made his entrance. Omega started his entrance, but Page got attacked by Grayson and Uno, so Kenny had to rush to the ring. Colt Cabana was added to commentary. Brodie Lee and Anna Jay stood by the commentary table. Anna Jay wore a Dark Order outfit.
3. Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson for the AEW Tag Titles: This started quickly as Page and Omega had words about the brawling before the bell. Grayson and Uno got an early advantage on Omega, but he was able to make a tag to Page, who quickly recaptured control with a big boot and a fallaway slam on Uno. He then clotheslines both Grayson and Uno to the floor, and landed a crossbody on Grayson on the floor. Uno ran Page into the ring post, and then sent Omega into the barricade on the outside.
[Hour Two] Grayson and Uno cut off Page, and made frequent tags to control the offense. Uno and Grayson landed a suplex and kick combination on Page. Omega had to enter the match to break up the tag…[c]
Uno and Grayson continued to prevent Page from making a tag. Omega got his hot tag during the break, and cleared Uno from the ring before landing a moonsault on Grayson for a two count. It seemed like Dark Order might shut Omega down, but Kenny shut down the surge with some knee strikes, and Page landed an assisted German Suplex on Uno. Grayson dove over the turnbuckle onto Page on the floor, and Uno popped back up to land a pump kick and a Swanton on Omega for a near fall.
Uno and Grayson then landed an assisted powerbomb for another close near fall on Omega. Uno then splashed Page in the corner, and Grayson landed a 450 on Omega for another near fall. More quick tags from Dark Order. Omega broke free of a Gory Special and landed a knee strike on Uno. He then landed a snap dragon suplex, but Grayson splashed him from the top as he landed.
Page cleared Grayson to the ring, which allowed Page and Hangman to land the Buckshot Lariat on Uno, and they picked up the win. Grayson tried to break up the pin, but was just a bit too late.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Evil Uno and Stu Grayson at 13:35
After the match, Brodie ushered Anna Jay and Colt to the back, and then scolded Uno and Grayson. He grabbed a microphone and thanked Kenny Omega for showing up this week. He said The Dark Order has numbers, and this is the last time Hangman Page will piss him off. The Young Bucks were in the ring, followed by the goons of the Dark Order surrounding them. FTR made the save with their styrofoam cooler, and they ran off the dark order quickly. Brodie retreated and thanked Kenny for showing up again before leaving.
Tony Schiavone threw to Britt Baker in her spot near the commentary table. She said Big Swole is in the Women’s Tag Team Tournament, but she knows she wants to get her hands on her too. She then said if Swole wants a shot at her, she’ll have to defeat an opponent of her choosing first…[c]
My Take: This was the best match of the night thus far, and I think Uno and Grayson showed out well. I’m not in love with the Dark Order as a concept, because most of the characters just don’t stand out, but Brodie Lee is doing well in his role. Hopefully they ditch the silly masks and try to keep the faceless goons to a minimum.
Diamante was in the ring as the show returned. We then saw a video package where Diamante spoke about how important it would be for her to win a high profile match as an unsigned talent. She said this was the big opportunity for her, and pressure makes Diamonds. Hikaru Shida then made her ring entrance.
4. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida vs. Diamante in a non-title match: The match started with a brawl and spilled out to the floor. Shida placed Diamante over the barricade, and then landed a running knee strike. Back in the ring, Shida landed another driving knee strike, and then climbed to the middle rope to try and superplex Diamante back in the ring. Shida didn’t have the power, and Diamante hung her up on the top rope. Diamante landed rapid fire chops, and then a wheelbarrow stunner. Diamante made a cover, but the ref didn’t count as Shida’s shoulders were never really down.
Diamante went for a Code Red, but Shida was too close to the ropes. Shida then landed a delayed Vertical Suplex into a Falcon Arrow. Shida thought she had it won, but Diamante Kicked out. Shida followed up with a running knee for the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Diamante at 4:55 in a non-title match.
After the match, Shida celebrated her way up the stage. The Tag Team Cup tournament rules were explained. It is a random draw for a color, and matching colors will be teammates. The selections are final and cannot be appealed. They showed a trophy that will be the tournament prize. Backstage, Nyla Rose was shown standing to Vickie Guerrero. They were asked who she wanted as her partner, and Vickie said it didn’t matter. Nyla drew the color purple, and it was shown that Ariane (fka Cameron in WWE) would be her partner. Nyla looked disgusted. MJF made his entrance in the arena for his State of Wrestling address…[c]
My Take: I hope Ariane has improved since leaving WWE, because she had some rough outings. Shida vs Diamante was more of a struggle than a match. It had many of the same issues as Diamante vs. Ivelisse from last week, and Shida’s usual smoothness and skill was not much on display. It seemed like there was either miscommunication or just a lack of rapport between the wrestlers involved.
MJF had a lectern and thanked Tony Khan for the opportunity to speak. He said he had been given an inordinate amount of time to fill the people with knowledge. A woman approached him and told him to stick to the sheet, and he told her to smile for him. He started reading his speech, and said the people were shocked to see him on Dynamite two weeks in a row, and not with the benchwarmers around the ring.
He said he’s not on Dynamite two weeks in a row, because a certain someone doesn’t want to be upstaged two weeks in a row. He said people in this company used to want change, out with the old and in with the new, but now he just wrestlers where he wants and whomever he wants. MJF said people showing up from the land of Titans and making demands is old hat, brother. He said wrestlers have been brainwashed to come out and flip around and damn near die for the entertainment of fans.
MJF called for a leader that won’t sit idly by while the company lets the roster play wrestler, and he doesn’t have to imitate any other wrestler, and that’s a stone cold fact. MJF started calling Moxley Dictator Jon, and said he does better numbers by the minute than Moxley, and that it was time for a new guard around here. He called for a new world order, and said the old guard has gotten us nothing but famine, war, and destruction. He said Jon Moxley leads the old guard, and he wants to put the company on his back and carry it up the steep slope to the top of the mountain.
He said he wanted to change the company from a place that’s happy to be the alternative, to a place that’s the pinnacle of professional wrestling. He then challenged Moxley to a World Championship match at All Out, and announced his candidacy for World Champion…
FTR and The Elite vs. The Dark Order was announced for next week, as well as the Jericho and Orange Cassidy debate. The main event is next…[c]
My Take: There were a lot of insider references in that promo, which I’m not generally a fan of, but things improved when MFJ started going after Moxley directly and tried to cast him as somebody that isn’t representative of what AEW was supposed to stand for. It doesn’t really ring true for anybody that knows Moxley’s story, but I think it’s something that can be used to get under Moxley’s skin. I look forward to any future promo back and forths between the two. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a real high quality one in AEW.
Darby Allin’s music hit, and he didn’t appear. Jon Moxley then made his entrance, who looked frustrated to have to go it alone. They cut backstage, where Taz, Cage, and Starks were standing. Taz said Moxley’s little buddy didn’t show up. He starting putting over Brian Cage, and said he had biceps and triceps like pistons. Starks grabbed the microphone and said he was everything that Moxley’s baby momma wished he would be.
Starks said when the man that choked out a gold medalist tells him to get him, that’s what he’s going to do. He addressed Darby and told him when you try hard, you die hard. He said Moxley might have had a chance with one of them, but tonight they were going to dig a grave. Starks and Cage made their entrance, and Darby Allin flew out of nowhere and landed a coffin drop on both Starks and Cage. We then had a brawl break out that went all over the ringside area. The bell never rung, but I guess the match is on…[c]
5. Darby Allin and Jon Moxley vs. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage in a Tornado Tag: Starks and Cage took out Moxley on the floor, and tried to isolate Allin in the ring. Darby fought back and jumped at Cage from the top and sent him crashing into the ropes. Starks tossed Darby in to the ring post, but Moxley cut him off with a sleeper. Cage hit Moxley in the back and picked him up for a fallaway slam. Darby jumped on Cage’s head, but Cage slammed both of them.
Things went a bit sideways when Moxley brought a chair into the ring. He hit Starks with it at first, but Cage put him down. Allin landed a stunner on Cage, and Moxley landed a cutter on Starks. Things turned around when Starks hit a spear on Allin. Moxley landed a DDT and tried for a cross armbreaker on Cage, but Starks broke it up. They then suplexed Moxley onto a trash can, but Allin broke up the pin.
Allin and Moxley landed a paradigm shift and coffin drop combo on Cage for a near fall. Moxley splashed Starks at ringside. Allin hit Cage with a trash can and grabbed a skateboard at ringside with tacks on the bottom. Moxley tied up Cage with an armbar, and then Allin jumped on Starks back with the tacks and covered for the pin.
Darby Allin and Jon Moxley defeated Brian Cage and Ricky Starks at 8:04.
Alllin stared down Moxley’s title belt. Schiavone announced that Moxley will defend the AEW Title against Darby Allin next week. They had a stare down to close the show…
My Take: It appeared that Allin slid across Starks back a bit, and he had some slashes to show for it. Ugly business, but I guess that’s probably square for Starks knocking Allin into the atmosphere last week. There wasn’t much time for this match, but it was good for what it was. This episode of Dynamite struggled at points, and it wasn’t one of the best episodes in recent weeks. Next week’s show looks to be shaping up nicely, though.