By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 44)
Taped July 30, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired August 5, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired… Pyro shot off on the stage. Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Taz checked in on commentary. The opening match entrants were already in the ring…
1. Hangman Page, Kenny Omega, “FTR” Cash Wheeler and Dax Harwood, and “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “The Dark Order” Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, Five, and Nine in a 12-man tag match. Anna Jay and Ten were shown watching the match. Anna Jay and Ten were shown watching the match. There was an early quadruple suplex spot. Omega had the pin, but Cabana broke it up. Lee stood at ringside while his teammates worked the match for a bit, then joined them on the apron.
Later, FTR hit a double team move on Five. Harwood came up holding his knee. Omega worked over Five in the ring while the rest of the team checked on Harwood and eventually helped him onto the stage. Wheeler and page helped Harwood to the back, leaving Omega and the Bucks to face six men. Taz said it was only a matter of time before the Dark Order won the numbers game.
Matt Jackson was on the verge of making a hot tag to Nick Jackson, but Nick was pulled from the apron by Evil Uno. Matt fired up and performed moves on the Dark Order members and ducked a Lee clothesline. Page returned and took a tag from Matt. Page worked over each of the Dark Order members other than Lee, who squatted by the ring post and watched. Page set up for a Buckshot Lariat on Five, but he was stopped by another Dark Order member.
Page slammed Five on the apron. Page went up top and performed a moonsault onto the Dark Order members while Lee stood on the apron and watched. Page let Lee tag into the match. Page got the better of a brief exchange and went to run the ropes, but the Dark Order members held the ropes open and he crashed to the floor. Cabana checked in. Uno and Grayson hoisted up Page for Cabana, who hit the Chicago Skyline and had the pin, but Omega broke it up. Five performed a top rope double stomp onto Omega.
Grayson and Uno performed simultaneous moves on Page and Omega. Grayson covered Page, who kicked out. Lee tagged in and went for a discus clothesline, but Page ducked it and the Young Bucks blasted Lee with a double superkick. The Bucks hit Dark Order members with superkicks, then superkicked Lee into a snap German suplex by Omega. Page went for a Buckshot Lariat that Lee and then Omega ducked. Lee hit his discus lariat on Page and pinned him…
“The Dark Order” Brodie Lee, Colt Cabana, Stu Grayson, Evil Uno, Five, and Nine defeated Hangman Page, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and FTR in 17:30 in a 12-man tag match.
Lee smiled while standing on the stage and held up his arms with the rest of the Dark Order on each side of him… [C]
Powell’s POV: That was a really fun match with some good storytelling. Harwood’s injury is obviously questionable in terms of whether his character was faking it. Page leaving with FTR was interesting, but he returned. And then it looked like Page tried to hit Omega with the Buckshot Lariat well after Lee had ducked out of the way. Great stuff. By the way, I am filling in for Jake Barnett, who needed the night off. Jake will be replacing me for WWE Smackdown coverage this Friday night, and things will likely be back to normal next week.
Footage aired from earlier in the day of The Best Friend’s arriving in what the broadcast team said was Trent’s mom’s van… Schiavone hyped the AEW Championship match for later in the show. Taz grumbled that Brian Cage and Ricky Starks were banned from the venue…
Jon Moxley was shown seated on a stairway. He spoke about people telling him earlier in his career not to work death matches and other type of matches. He said part of him wishes he would have listened, but he also said he wouldn’t change a thing. He said he understands why Darby Allin challenged him for the title and what he’s trying to do. Moxley said that in an ironic twist, he’s become the advocate and the voice of reason and the person concerned for someone’s health.
Moxley said he knows Allin will come at him until he can’t stop. Moxley said he nearly broke Allin’s neck the last time they wrestled. Moxley said it weighs heavily on him. He said he doesn’t want it on his resume that he ended Allin’s career because Allin is his favorite guy in AEW. However, Moxley said the title is on the line and he has to do what he has to do. Moxley said he wouldn’t try to talk Allin out of anything, but he said when it’s time to stay down he hopes that Allin will just stay down. Moxley said he knew Allin wouldn’t listen because he wouldn’t (if he were in the same position)…
Powell’s POV: A gem of a promo from Moxley. It was clearly well thought out in terms of the comparisons between the younger version of him and Allin, and it was very well delivered. I was looking forward to the AEW Title match and this promo sold me on it even more. That’s how it’s done.
Schiavone hyped some upcoming segments…
2. Santana and Ortiz vs. “Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent. Taylor and Trent performed their hug spot heading into a break a few minutes into the match. They cut to a picture-in-picture break. [C] Taylor hit Ortiz with Sole Food and a falcon arrow for a near fall. A short time later, Taylor put Trent on his shoulders, then Trent suplexed Ortiz from the ropes into the ring.
Ortiz rallied with a kidney punch and then tagged in Santana, who hit a nice cutter on Trent. Ortiz hit a sit-out powerbomb on Trent, then Santana kicked Trent in the face. Santana covered Trent for a near fall and acted shocked when he kicked out. Santana and Ortiz set up or their finisher, but Taylor returned to break it up, then Trent rolled up Ortiz and pinned him.
“Best Friends” Chuck Taylor and Trent defeated Santana and Ortiz in roughly 14:00.
Schiavone noted that the three match winning streak of Santana and Ortiz was done. The Best Friends celebrated their win heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The match was well worked, but it didn’t feel like it served much of a purpose beyond filling some time and getting both teams on the show. AEW seems to be pumping in some artificial crowd noise (or there’s a lot of noise coming from the balcony). The spectator wrestlers don’t appear to be more enthusiastic than usual, but there’s a lot of noise. I don’t have a problem with pro wrestling companies taking this approach as long as they don’t go overboard to the point that it’s distracting, which this is not. I wonder how much WWE and AEW have been inspired by the production of the NHL, NBA, and MLB playing in empty venues.
MJF and Wardlow stood outside the door of what MJF said was his campaign headquarters. They entered the room where some people were working on his campaign posters and pins. MJF took issue with a poster that a man named Lee hung up because it wasn’t level. The latest “poll” was shown with MJF getting 100 percent while Jon Moxley had negative 88 percent. MJF was asked what happens if Darby Allin beats Moxley. MJF condescendingly said it would suck to have to wrestle the emo kid…
Matt Hardy delivered an in-ring promo and said he came to AEW because he wanted to work where he would be respected. He said he’s had a blast with his multiverse, but he also listens to his audience. Hardy said the majority of the audience wants to see him be himself, the “Stronger Than Death” version.
Matt said he still wants to give back. He said Private Party remind him of himself and his brother. Matt said he will have their backs if they need him. Matt said he also tried to help out Sammy Guevara, but he didn’t want to listen to his advice to get away from Chris Jericho. Hardy recalled being attacked from behind by Guevara and said he now desires to hurt rather than help Guevara.
Guevara emerged from under the ring and tried to attack Hardy from behind. “Sammy, I knew you’d come,” Hardy said in a normal voice before turning and fighting Guevara. Hardy got the better of it and took the fight to ringside where he slammed Guevara onto the ring announcer’s table. Hardy set up another table. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate, but Guevara shoved him into the ring post.
Hardy punched Guevara while lying on the table. Guevara picked up a chair and threw it at Hardy. Guevara went to the stage and performed a wild dive that drove Hardy through the table. Hardy bled heavily from the forehead and Ross attributed it to the chair that Guevara threw at him. Guevara went to the stage and taunted the spectator wrestlers…
Outside the building, Santana and Ortiz used a sledgehammer to vandalize Trent’s mom’s fan. Ortiz asked if they thought they were a joke. Santana pulled out a can of spray paint and wrote “Sue” with an X through it. “Tell your moms, we said what’s good,” Santana said while looking into the camera… [C]
Powell’s POV: You had to know that something would happen to the van at some point. The broadcast team even stated when Best Friends arrived that Trent’s mom told him to park it in a different location than they normally do to avoid trouble. It’s kind of a quirky storyline to have Best Friends need to drive one of their mother’s vehicles to the building. Meanwhile, I’m happy to hear that Matt Hardy intends to stick with one persona. He can always go back to the other characters somewhere down the road, but the multiverse gimmick wasn’t clicking, particularly without fans in attendance to react to his character shifts. Some wrestlers would have dug their heels in and stayed the course, so good for Hardy for being self aware and calling an audible. His brawl with Guevara was strong and breathed some life into their program.
Ring entrances for the next tag match took place…
[Hour Two] 3. Matt Cardona and Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. John Silver and Alex Reynolds. There were no Dark Order members in the corner of Silver and Reynolds, who worked the match while wearing their masks. Cody was isolated by the heel duo for a stretch heading into a PIP break. [C]
Cardona eventually took a hot tag and worked over both opponents. Cardona powerbombed Reynolds and had him pinned, but Silver broke it up. Cody took out Silver with a springboard cutter, then sold injuries from his time in the ring. Reynolds and Silver performed some double team moves on Cardona and picked up a good near fall.
Cody returned and dumped Reynolds to ringside. Cody tried to suplex Silver, but he reversed it and they both tumbled to the floor. Cardona performed a leg lariat on Reynolds and then pinned him…
Matt Cardona and Cody beat John Silver and Alex Reynolds in 11:55.
After the match, Cody was heading to the back when Scorpio Sky met him in the entrance chute. Sky locked eyes with Cody, then knocked on the TNT Championship, and headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match. Silver and Reynolds are a quality team and hopefully they will eventually get a good push, but it could be tough in this crowded tag division. I love the idea of Scorpio Sky challenging Cody. I’m looking forward to that match.
Chuck Taylor and Trent stood in front of the trashed van. Trent said Santana and Ortiz could do whatever they want to them, but they should leave his mom out of it. They said Santana and Oritz just had to ask if they wanted a rematch. Trent said that when they beat Santana and Ortiz they will apologize via speakerphone…
Sammy Guevara made his entrance and stood on the stage heading into a PIP break. [C] Guevara did the notecard bit and the cards taunted Matt Hardy and put over Guevara and the Inner Circle. One of the cards described him as a “master debater” so he tore it up before they went to a full screen break…
Justin Roberts stood in the ring where two podiums were set up. Roberts hyped it as the AEW Super Wednesday Debate and fireworks shot off on the stage. Roberts introduced Eric Bischoff as the guest moderator. The broadcast team made a big fuss over Bischoff being back on TNT for the first time in 20 years. Bischoff wore a suit and waved to the spectator wrestlers.
Bischoff took a seat behind a desk on the stage and thanked the spectator wrestlers and welcomed viewers to the debate. He said there would be five questions that were put together via AEW social media platforms. He said neither debater had seen the questions. Bischoff introduced Orange Cassidy, who walked out and shook his hand, then introduced Jericho.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager were dressed in suits as they made their entrance. Hager held up Jericho’s orange juice covered jacket. Bischoff’s first question was why they hated each other so much. Jericho said it was nice that Cassidy dressed up for the occasion. Cassidy pulled out a tie and put it over his usual attire. Jericho vented about Cassidy not being as big of a deal as he thinks he is. Cassidy was given a chance to respond, but he remained silent.
The next question was which wrestler was the bigger star. Jericho laughed and went on about his greatness compared to Cassidy. Jericho mocked the smell of Cassidy’s jacket. Bischoff asked Cassidy for his response. Cassidy remained silent.
Bischoff’s third question was for their thoughts on the global sea levels rising. Jericho said it had nothing to do with them and called for the next question. Cassidy ran through a bunch of facts about global warming, which shocked Jericho and Bischoff, and drew cheers from the spectator wrestlers. Funny.
The next question was why Cassidy is so popular. Jericho said he’s the epitome of all the smart mark fans watching at home. Jericho called him the pimple on the pro wrestling business. Jericho said he will pop Cassidy next week. He said Cassidy would have to give him $7,000 to replace the jacket that he ruined once he beats him next week. Jericho said Cassidy could go back to the mall and make his smoothie, then added that he wouldn’t tip him. Cassidy offered no response.
Bischoff final question’s was why the rematch meant so much to them. Jericho started to answer, but Cassidy told him to shut up. Cassidy said Jericho scheduled a debate against a guy who doesn’t talk to embarrass him. Cassidy said he’s not embarrassed because he doesn’t care, but he does about their match and called it the biggest match of his life.
Cassidy said it’s also the biggest match of Jericho’s career. He said Jericho has done it all. “But what if Chris Jericho loses to the guy who puts his hands in his pockets?” Cassidy asked. “I want you to look at me, Chris. I want you to look into my eyes and look at the man that is going to embarrass you. And next week, look at the man who is going to beat you.” Jericho looked surprised and Cassidy put his shades on.
Bischoff said he had no choice but to declare that Cassidy walked away with the debate. Jericho was pissed. Bischoff said he was blown away by the global warming answer. Jericho told Bischoff that he hasn’t liked him for 22 years. Bischoff said it’s been 24 years and he knows exactly how Jericho feels. Jericho said he would kick the shit out of Cassidy next week. Jericho said he’d kick the shit out of Cassidy now, then told Hager to get him.
Hager attacked Cassidy and propped him up in the corner. Hager whipped Cassidy in to the Judas Effect elbow from Jericho. Chuck Taylor and Trent ran out, causing Jericho and Hager to leave the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: I got a kick out of Cassidy going into “Frank The Tank” mode from the Old School debate scene. But the money part was Cassidy’s promo about their match next week and how embarrassing it would be to Jericho if he lost. This was really good and it was cool to have Bischoff in the moderator role.
Schiavone interviewed Britt Baker, who named Reba (Rebel) as her choice to face Big Swole. Reba was unhappy, but Baker told her to get into the ring. Reba struggled to entered the ring on her first try. Big Swole made her entrance…
4. Big Swole vs. Reba (w/Britt Baker). Swole took Reba down to start the match while Baker shouted at her while seated in her wheelchair. Swole was distracted by Baker, allowing Reba to go on the offensive. Swole avoided a Reba moonsult, then hit her with a discus forearm and pinned her…
Big Swole beat Reba in 1:40.
Powell’s POV: This was rough. Rebel was a work in progress during her Impact run, and it’s hard to say how much ring time she’s had since then. But I do get a kick out of her in the role of Baker’s frustrated lackey.
The broadcast team hyped the following matches for next week: Cody vs. Scorpio Sky for the TNT Championship, Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy in a $7,000 Obligation match, Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy for the AEW Tag Titles, The Young Bucks vs. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno, and appearances by The Rock & Roll Express, Tully Blanchard, and Arn Anderson for tag team appreciation night… [C]
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Darby Allin wore a black and white photo of Jon Moxley over his face with one eyehole while he walked to the ring. Moxley made his entrance…
5. Jon Moxley vs. Darby Allin for the AEW World Championship. The referee called for the bell to start the match and Allin was still wearing the Moxley photo over his face. Moxley swatted it away. Allin slapped Moxley across the face. Moxley responded with a punch. Allin came up bleeding from the mouth while he smirked.
Allin motioned for more, so Moxley kicked him in the gut and went on the offensive. Allin came back and dropkicked Moxley, who ended up on the entrance ramp. Allin performed a headbutt spear onto Moxley, who came back and threw Allin off the stage and into the ring post. Allin was down heading into a PIP break. [C]
Allin came back coming out of the break and performed a nice suicide dive on Moxley. Allin put Moxley’s hand on top of the ring post and stepped on it, then let him go to ringside and dove onto him with a flip dive from the post. Moxley sold hand pain and was rolled back in the ring. Allin went for a springboard coffin drop. Moxley caught Allin and went for a suplex, but Allin landed on his feet. Allin hit a Code Red on Moxley for a near fall.
Moxley caught Allin on the rope and performed a German suplex. Allin landed on his feet and tumbled into the corner. Wardlow walked out and distracted the referee while MJF entered the ring and hit Moxley with the AEW Championship belt, then rolled to ringside. The broadcast team agreed that MJF wanted to face Allin for the championship rather than Moxley. MJF and Wardlow headed to the back.
Allin performed a top rope Coffin Drop for a great near fall that Moxley made by kicking out at the last possible moment. Moxley bled heavily from the head from the belt shot. Moxley stumbled as he got back to his feet. Allin threw several punches at him. Allin dropkicked Moxley into the corner, and performed a cutter style move. Allin went up top and went for another Coffin Drop, but Moxley spread his legs and put him in a sleeper hold.
Moxley released the hold and performed a vicious piledriver. Moxley covered Allin, who kicked out. Moxley showed frustration. Moxley made the sign of the cross, then hit Allin with a Paradigm Shift and scored the clean pin.
Jon Moxley defeated Darby Allin in 14:30 to retain the AEW World Championship.
MJF was shown flipping out while watching the match on a backstage monitor. In the ring, Moxley held up Allin, who acted like he was still out cold, and spoke to him while the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: A strong main event with good storytelling that played off of what Moxley set up in the promo. MJF flipping out backstage felt a little off in that it seemed like he could have stuck around and tried to do more if he really wanted Moxley to lose the title, but I get what they were going for.
Overall, this was a strong episode of Dynamite. I wasn’t a big fan of last week’s show, so this was a nice bounce back edition that also did an effective job of setting up the TNT Title match and especially Jericho vs. Cassidy for next week. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll on the main page. I will return shortly with my same night audio review for Dot Net Members.