By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 45)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired August 12, 2020 on TNT
The show began with a few fans in attendance. JR said they were all playing by the rules. The Young Bucks made their entrance, but Dark Order assaulted them from behind as they stood on the stage. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson followed behind the masked Dark Order members and entered the ring. Nick Jackson was tossed into the ring for the beginning of the match.
1. The Young Bucks vs. Dark Order (Evil Uno and Stu Grayson): The action started with Nick Jackson isolated by Grayson and Uno. Things spilled outside where Matt Jackson joined the action and splashed the masked Dark Order members with a splash. Uno and Grayson maintained control of Nick in the ring, and Matt was able to get on the apron. Matt reversed out of a back suplex from each Uno and Grayson, and then made a tag to Matt. He entered the match and landed a double clothesline and sent Uno to ringside.
The Bucks double teamed both Grayson and Uno, and made quick tags to hold onto control. Matt tagged back in and avoided a Uranage from Stu Grayson with an arm drag. Uno cleared Nick Jackson from the apron, and Grayson landed a lariat. Uno tagged in and continued the assault on Matt. Grayson landed a unique springboard Swanton onto Matt, who was laid out on the apron. Uno and Grayson cut off the ring and made frequent tags to isolate Matt Jackson. After a minute or so, he escaped out to the floor, but was surrounded by Dark Order members. He escaped under the ring and attempted to make a tag by sliding in on the friendly side of the ring, but was cut off by a jumping neckbreaker from Uno.
Uno landed a spear, and then landed a hard big boot. Uno put Matt on Grayson’s shoulders, but he reversed into a poisoned rana. Matt Jackson tagged in and cleaned house with a running knee and a bulldog and lariat combo. Nick Jackson sent Grayson into the spectators on the outside, and then superkicked him when he tried to jump back into frame. The Bucks got a couple of back to back near falls on Uno with some aerial double teams.
Grayson made his presence felt and they landed a spear and splash combo onto the both members of the Bucks for a near fall on Nick. They then landed a Brainbuster and 540 kick combo on Nick, but Matt broke up the fall. Grayson had the masked Dark Order members held Matt Jackson on the stage. Uno and Grayson went for their Fatality Finisher, but Nick Jackson escaped and got the rollup win.
The Young Bucks defeated Evil Uno and Stu Grayson at 13:09
After the match, MJF was shown walking backstage belittling his campaign staffers. He told his female staffer to speak when spoken to, and that she was doing great. The announce team ran down the card for tonight, featuring Hikaru Shida, Orange Cassidy vs. Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky, and Jon Moxley. They also said FTR will be honoring Arn and Tully, along with the Rock ‘n Roll Express later tonight.
There was a video package where people were asked what their favorite Tag Team is. Kenny Omega and Adam Page were asked, and Omega immediately said the Young Bucks. Page was going to say them, but Omega said they were just two singles guys. He called The Bucks the Gods of Tag Team Wrestling. MJF made his entrance in the arena…[c]
My Take: Another quality win for the Young Bucks, and another good showing for Uno and Grayson in tag team action. I’m not sure the finish did much for the Dark Order and their ability to strategize and use their numbers, particularly after getting a big win last week. Hopefully this doesn’t become a 50/50 situation with the booking. Omega and Page appear ready to implode.
MJF stood in the ring with his lectern and security/campaign team. He told people to use a couple of hashtags, and then berated his staffer for no reason. The staffer Nina showed MJF’s polling which showed him winning the AEW Championship poll 500% to -1000%. He said he mourned for their belief in their leader, because today it dies. He said that if Dictator Jon cared about his people, he would have shown up tonight. He apologized for Dictator Jon’s absence, and thought he might be afraid of him.
MJF said that was perfectly understandable, because he’s swimming in the uncharted territory of wrestling a man that’s so much more talented for him. He said Jon is also not wrestling someone who will comfortably look up at the lights for him. He moved the lectern out of the way, and laid down flat on his back. He said he started this campaign because the company deserves quality leadership. He said Jon is one hell of a wrestler, but he’s not a leader, he’s a rab dog chasing cars. MJF said he wouldn’t know what to do with the car if he caught it.
He then said Jon had caught pretty platinum, the AEW Championship. MJF said if Jon wanted to prove how much he loved the people, he would fork the keys over to a man who was better than him in every way. He then said he knows, Jon knows, and the people know that they deserve better. Moxley’s music then hit, and MJF scrambled his people to find out where he was coming from.
MJF sent all of his people into the crowd, but Moxley came down the entrance way and blindsided MJF with a clothesline. He then tossed him into the lectern and then drilled him with an elevated Paradigm Shift. Moxley then left through the same way he came from, and grabbed a microphone. Moxley said that doesn’t make them even, not even close. He said at All Out, he’s going to teach MJF a painful lesson in humility, and ihe would make sure it was a very difficult pill for him to swallow.
Back int he ring, MJF was shown in anguish, and then we saw a video package of Matt Hardy’s head wound from last week. Hardy was interviewed, and Alex Marvez told him he had to wait at least 10 days to be cleared. Hardy said he would never stop until Guevara bled like he did. He would be cleared on August 22nd, the special Saturday edition of Dynamite, and he would get even with Sammy then. He said he likes the taste of his own blood, and he would make Sammy hurt like he did. Marvez asked if Matt was ok, and he attacked someone who walked by that looked vaguely like Guevara. It turned out to be an AEW referee.
Back in the arena, Scorpio Sky made his entrance and kicked a door down that was setup in the entryway…[c]
My Take: I wasn’t as big of a fan of that MJF promo as I was his first one a few weeks ago. The whole political campaign gimmick is pretty thin gruel, and I feel like he’s already run out of clever ways to use it in a wrestling context. Moxley immediately kicking the shit out of him also seemed like a bit of a waste, and I would have rather seen MJF skirt a beating until the PPV. The Hardy and Guevara stuff should feel really personal, but for some reason it feels like Matt Hardy is doing a Matt Hardy impression. I don’t know how else to describe it. I am looking forward to Scorpio Sky vs. Cody Rhodes.
Cody made his entrance with his entire Nightmare Family entourage, including the returning QT Marshall with Ally. Justin Roberts gave Cody an over the top ring introduction that called him the Prince of Wrestling. Mike Chioda was the referee for this match, making his AEW debut.
2. Cody Rhodes vs. Scorpio Sky: The match started with some mat wrestling, with Sky getting an early advantage. After a series of reversals, Sky ended up on the floor from an arm drag. They traded blows back in the ring, but Cody took them both back out to the floor with a lariat. Sky recovered and landed some knees in the ring…[c]
Cody landed a snap powerslam for a two count. Sky continued to show fight, despite Cody spending the majority of the break in control. Cody picked up Sky for a delayed vertical suplex, but dropped him on his face. Sky caught a breather by dropping Cody on the top rope on his ribs. He then placed Cody in the tree of woe and kicked his ribs repeatedly. Sky then pulled Cody ribs first into the ring post, and then applied an abdominal stretch.
Cody looked to start a comeback, but Sky landed a Cutter out on the stage to cut him off. He then covered in the ring for a near fall. Sky started to sell his lower back after the Cutter. He was unable to pick up Cody for a vertical suplex. Cody placed him on the top rope instead for a superplex. Cody landed the superplex, but held Cody for a cradle near fall. Sky went for a TKO next, but Cody reversed into the CrossRhodes for a close near fall. Cody looked shocked and picked up Sky for a tombstone piledriver. Sky reversed out, and then hit an STO. Skywent for a springboard Cutter, but Cody held the ropes and avoided it. He then landed another CrossRhodes for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Scorpio Sky at 11:39
After the match, Cody celebrated with Arn and Brandi. Brodie Lee appeared on the Big Screen, and asked Cody if he thought his transgressions against the Dark Order would go unanswered. He held the former TNT Championship, while Cody held the new gold one. Lee said Cody would answer for his transgressions next Saturday, and when he took his championship, he would be nice enough to give him the original one back. In another video, Private Party recalled The Hardy Boyz being their favorite tag team ever. In the arena, Jurassic Express made their entrance. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus competing for the Tag Team Championships…[c]
My Take: Scorpio Sky and Cody had a very entertaining match, but it didn’t really get enough time to really sell the story of one of them succumbing to their targeted weak point. I rarely think AEW matches could have used an extra few minutes, but I think this one did. The announce team also played heavily into the significance of Sky becoming the first African American singles Champion in AEW, but he was quickly broomed aside after the match was over for the Brodie Lee angle. I’m not sure that quite sent the message that they were intending it to.
Hangman Page made his entrance, followed by Kenny Omega.
3. Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus: Omega backed up Jungle Boy into the ropes and threatened a punch. Marko Stunt jumped on the apron, and the referee tried to dismiss him. Omega slapped him for getting involved. Jungle Boy managed to trip Omega as he ran the ropes, and then landed an acrobatic arm drag using the ropes. Luchasaurus tagged in and he assisted Jungle Boy with a double team casadora. Luchasaurus covered for a near fall.
Luchasaurus sent Omega into the mat face first, and then tagged in Jungle Boy for a swanton and a near fall. Page made a tag to Omega as he ran the ropes, and then landed a Big Lariat on an unsuspecting Jungle Boy. Omega and Page controlled the offense by cutting off Jungle Boy for a bit, but he managed to chop himself out of a double team situation. Omega was sent to ringside, and Page shut down Jungle Boy by sending him crotch first on the ropes. He sent kicked Luchasaurus off the apron…[c]
Omega and Page controlled Jungle Boy for most of the break, but he broke free and Luchasaurus tagged in just as the show returned from break. He landed a tailwhip kick and a standing moonsault on Page for a close near fall. Omega tagged Page’s back along the ropes, and then landed a V-Trigger to the back of Luchasaurus. He then landed two back to back snap dragon suplexes on Luchasaurus in the ring.
Jungle Boy entered and sent Omega to the floor, where he landed a snap dragon on both Marko Stunt and Jungle Boy. In the ring, Omega landed a Fisherman’s Buster on Luchasaurus and covered for another two count. Omega and Page tuned up Luchasaurus. They then landed a double team German Suplex on Jungle Boy. Page attempted a Buckshot Lariat on Luchasaurus, but got caught for a chokeslam. Luchasaurus then double suplexed both Omega and Page.
Jungle Boy sent Omega to the floor again, where Luchasaurus threw Marko Stunt at him. Jungle Boy tagged in and splashed Page and covered him, but Omega broke up the pin. Luchasaurus was sent to ringside, and then Page powerbombed Luchasaurus on top of him. Omega then splashed both men. Page powerbombed Jungle Boy in the ring for a near fall. He and Omega then landed their Buckshot and V-Trigger Combo for the win.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page defeated Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy at 14:21
Santana and Ortiz were supposed to talk about their favorite tag team, but instead they threw Best Friends luggage into the showers and covered it all with bleach…[c]
My Take: That was a high energy match, but it was really sloppy at times, and it wasn’t the best performance from either team. Everybody looked pretty beat up and exhausted by the end of it.
FTR and The Bucks were in the ring with the Rock ‘n Roll Express, Arn Anderson, and Tully Blanchard. The Young Bucks thanked the RNR Express for creating the style of wrestling they use to this day. They thanked them for creating the business they continue to succeed in, and for creating an environment for wrestling to thrive. Dax Harwood grabbed a mic and thanked everyone for allowing him to travel the world with his best friend and to raise a family doing what he loves. Ricky Morton grabbed a microphone and thanked everyone for the celebration. He then put over the Young Bucks and said they had taken Tag Team Wrestling to an entirely different level. He said they reminded them of a team from their era, and pointed to themselves.
Arn grabbed the mic and congratulated the Rock ‘n Roll on still going strong. He complimented the Young Bucks on all of their accomplishments. He said he’s ruffled some feathers before, and he’ll do it again, but he called FTR the best tag team in the world. Tully grabbed a mic and was immediately hostile. He said Tom Brady is the best QB because he has the most rings, and neither of these teams were the AEW Champions. He then said that he’s had an issue with Arn going back to his guy’s match with Cody Rhodes, and then Shawn Spears was shown creeping up behind.
Arn said he was a grown ass man, and he didn’t have to ask for permission to do anything. Tully then hauled off and slapped Ricky Morton, and everybody rushed in to settle things down. Spears didn’t end up doing anything, and Dax Harwood went down with another knee related issue. After things cleared up, Cash wheeler jumped Robert Gibson with Dax’s knee brace. They then gave Ricky Morton a spike piledriver. They then left the ring, and the Bucks checked on Morton. Page and Omega came down to assist them.
Backstage, Mike Chioda was interviewed by Alex Marvez about being in AEW. Chris Jericho walked up in his now blaze orange jacket, and open told Chioda that he could get him a permanent job in AEW if he threw the main event with Orange Cassidy in his favor…[c]
My Take: A strong segment that could really, desperately missed a hot live crowd. It was good as it was, but the angle would have been nuclear with some louder crowd support. Jericho openly bribing Chioda came across a bit awkward, if I’m being honest. It was like we were supposed to believe these guys had some years long relationship on screen in WWE or something.
Hikaru Shida made her entrance. Heather Monroe was already in the ring.
4. Hikaru Shida vs. Heather Monroe: The match began with some early offense from Monroe, who landed some elbows and kicks. Shida came roaring back, but Monroe cut her off again with some kicks in the corner. Shida landed a suplex into the corner, and then some hard forearm shots. She went for a Falcon Arrow, but Monroe rolled her up for an ear fall. Shida then applied a Stretch Muffler and got the submission win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Heather Monroe at 2:00
After the match, Shida was interviewed on the ramp by Shiavone. She just celebrated her win and vowed to take on all comers. Backstage, Jake Roberts spoke about ring psychology and winning your matches before they start. He did this while Lance Archer kicked the shit out of jobbers in the background. Archer asked him if he told them yet, and Jake said no. Archer ripped off Jake’s shirt, and revealed “EVERYBODY DIES!” written on his back. Archer said everybody dies, and walked off. FTR vs. Private Party was advertised for 8/22, along with The Elite vs. The Dark Order, and the Women’s Cup final. Cody vs. Brodie Lee was officially announced, and Jericho vs. Cassidy is next.
A video package was shown to recap the Jericho vs Cassidy Rivalry. Orange Cassidy made his entrance…[c]
My Take: Shida continues to suffer from a lack of strong competition as Champion. I really wish they would have found a way to extend the feud with Penelope Ford, because that was the strongest Women’s content we’ve seen on AEW in recent months.
Chris Jericho made his ring entrance.
5. Chris Jericho vs. Orange Cassidy: Cassidy jumped out to a quick start by ejecting Jericho to the outside and tossing him into the barricade. He then splashed him with his hands in his pockets. Back in the ring, he landed a diving DDT off the top for a near fall. Jericho absorbed the early damage and struck back with a back suplex. He then landed some chops and a boot to the face. Cassidy ended up on the apron, where Jericho landed a forearm shot and a slingshot dropkick that sent Jericho to the floor…[c]
Jericho, controlled the action during the break. He slowed the pace and landed a delayed vertical suplex and paint brushed Cassidy. Jericho landed a back elbow and a lionsault for a near fall. Cassidy avoided a Judas Effect attempt and landed a side kick. He then landed a lariat and a top rope splash for a near fall. Cassidy followed up with two dragon screw leg whips. He went for a third, but Jericho avoided it. He then dove at Jericho from the second rope, but Jericho caught him and turned into the Walls of Jericho.
Cassidy was in pain, but managed to roll Jericho up for a near fall. Cassidy landed another awkward looking dragon screw, and applied an Ankle Lock. Jericho escaped but Cassidy turned a suplex attempt into a stunner. Jericho replied with a Codebreaker for a near fall. Jericho grabbed his baseball bat, and Chioda objected. Jericho told him to do the right thing, and Chioda turned around. Chioda turned around and stole the bat from Jericho, and Cassidy rolled him up for a near fall.
Cassidy then landed a Michinoku Driver for a near fall, and then powered up for the Orange Punch and landed it. Jericho’s crew and Best Friends brawled out onto the stage, and Jake Hager used the distraction to land a high angle slam. Jericho rolled over for a two count. Both men got to their feet, and Jericho shielded Chioda from a low blow on Cassidy. After a struggle, Cassidy pulled Jericho down into a mouse trap pinning combination and got the victory.
Orange Cassidy defeated Chris Jericho at 12:56
After the match, Jericho looked in shock as Cassidy celebrated in his own half assed way.
My Take: Another match where both guys worked hard, but the bag of tricks and sloppy execution at points made it more difficult to get into than I would have liked. The finish also didn’t need to be as convoluted as it was, and I don’t think it ended up being executed properly. Matches don’t really benefit from referees looking like morons and superfluous interference in normal conditions, but it’s even worse when there isn’t much of a crowd there to react to it. Cassidy getting the win here sets up a rubber match at All Out I have to imagine, and I hope they find a way to make him look like more of a credible in ring threat coming out of it than they did here.
Overall, I felt like this show was a bit of a step back compared to last week. I didn’t like the way Scorpio Sky was presented very much. The Tag Title match didn’t feel like the challengers were taking it very seriously, the Women’s division continues to be a bit of an afterthought, and the main event was below my modest expectations. Here’s hoping for a stronger show in the special time slot next week.