By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Late Night Dynamite
Taped in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired September 22, 2020 on TNT
Powell’s POV: How is it that my DirecTV onscreen guide correctly listed this show as starting at 11:30CT/12:30ET (it technically started at 11:37 CT), yet AEW’s Twitter account advertised the show as starting at 9CT/10ET? AEW did note that the start time could be delayed by the network’s NBA coverage, but they couldn’t have actually thought that the game would conclude that early. Anyway, the long wait is over and the show is finally underway.
The Dynamite opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage… Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur were on commentary. Chris Jericho made his entrance and joined the broadcast team for the evening. The broadcast team ran through the three match lineup. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer…
1. Ben Carter vs. Scorpio Sky. Excalibur noted that Carter is a “high flying specialist” and is just 22 years-old. Excalibur said it’s the biggest match of Carter’s career. Jericho agreed and said it’s because it’s the first Carter match that he’s seen.
Carter showed off his athleticism early with a nice acrobatic sequence that led to him throwing a nice dropkick. Sky took a powder, then slapped hands with Carter once he returned to the ring. Sky caught Carter with a kick and threw a dropkick of his own. A short time later, Sky dropped Carter with a punch. Sky used his boots to rake the face of Carter heading into a break. [C]
Carter performed a nice springboard into a reverse DDT for a near fall. Carter performed a standing shooting star press that led to another two count. Sky rolled to ringside. Carter went for a moonsault off the apron, but Sky avoided it and then kicked Carter at ringside. Sky placed Carter over the apron and then slammed his face onto the mat.
Sky, who had a cut on his right eyebrow, followed up with a legdrop that Carter avoided. Carter performed a flip dive onto Sky. Carter went up top and nailed a frogsplash for a good near fall. Sky came back with a neckbreaker for a near fall of his own. Sky picked up another near fall and showed frustration over not getting the three count.
Carter rolled up Sky for another good near fall. Sky ducked a couple of kicks and then went on the offensive. Sky delivered a big boot to the head of Carter, then followed up with a TKO and got the three count. After the match, Sky helped Carter to his feet and hugged him…
Scorpio Sky defeated Ben Carter in 15:10.
Powell’s POV: A very nice match and a strong Dynamite debut for Carter. It’s easy to see why AEW is so high on him. If you are reading this on delay and didn’t see the show, this match is worth going out of your way to see.
Schiavone set a video package on the Jon Moxley, Will Hobbs, and Darby Allin vs. Lance Archer, Brian Cage, and Ricky Starks six-man tag match that is scheduled for Wednesday’s Dynamite…
The Dark Order accompanied Anna Jay onto the stage. Jay headed to the ring for her match and the rest of the faction headed backstage… [C] Brandi Rhodes made her entrance and the broadcast team noted that the rest of the Nightmare Family was conspicuous by their absence…
2. Brandi Rhodes vs. Anna Jay. Rhodes and Jay went face to face and traded punches. Referee Paul Turner separated them and then called for the bell. Rhodes performed an early DDT style move on the apron as while falling to the floor. Back inside the ring, Rhodes worked over Jay with some strikes and then whipped her into the opposite corner.
Jay came back with a sleeper. Rhodes rolled Jay into a pin for a two count while also breaking the sleeper hold. Rhodes put Jay down and then threw some punches that led to the camera cutting each time she. Jay rallied and tied up Rhodes in the corner and then stomped her. Jay put the boots to Rhodes and then suplexed her.
A short time later, Jay executed a snapmare and a neckbreaker, which led to a two count. Rhodes regained offensive control. Evil Uno and Stu Grayson headed to the ring and distracted the referee. Rhodes hit Jay with a big boot and had a visual pinfall, but she only got a two count by the time the referee turned around. Uno and Grayson left. Jay applied her Queen Slayer sleeper hold and got the win…
Anna Jay beat Brandi Rhodes in 6:05.
Ross hyped the main event as still to come… [C]
Powell’s POV: There were a couple of clunky moments. For instance, I’m sure there was a reason that they cut to a variety camera shots while Rhodes was throwing a series of punches, and there was an awkward moment near the end where the wrestlers seemed to stop and look at one another. That said, this turned out to be an entertaining match. I like that Jay stole the win and they didn’t rush into Rhodes getting her revenge so quickly.
Scorpio Sky was interviewed by Alex Marvez in the backstage area. Sky said Ben Carter is a stud with a very bright future. Sky said he’s going for the TNT Championship. Matt Sydal interrupted and praised Sky’s performance. Marvez praised Sydal’s performance in the Casino Battle Royale. Sydal said he had a couple of eliminations. Sky said Sydal eliminated his opponent from the match. Sydal and Sky were friendly and bumped firsts…
Highlights aired from the Casino Battle Royale that showed Matt Sydal eliminating Shawn Spears from the match…
The broadcast team hyped Brodie Lee vs. Orange Cassidy for the TNT Championship and then set up a video package on the match. The video featured comments from Taz, Jim Ross, and Tony Schiavone… [C]
3. Matt Sydal vs. Shawn Spears (w/Tully Blanchard). Sydal was in offensive control when they went to a break roughly four minutes into the match. [C] Spears caught Sydal going for a huracanrana, then spun him around and slammed him to the mat for a near fall.
Sydal and Spears traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Spears tagged Sydal with a forearm, but Sydal came back with a kick. Spears slammed Sydal on his knee. Schiavone ran through the Dynamite lineup (in what seemed to be a voiceover added in post production).
Sydal caught Spears with a meteora from the top rope for a really good near fall that Spears made by kicking out at the last possible moment. Spears rolled to ringside and took a seat on a chair. Sydal followed to ringside and dropkicked Spears off the chair.
Sydal brought the chair into the ring and held it up while playing to the hard camera. Meanwhile, Blanchard loaded the glove of Spears while the referee was clearing the chair from the ring. Sydal brought Spears back inside the ring. Sydal tired to roll up Spears, who hit him with the loaded glove and followed up with his C4 (Death Valley Driver) finisher and got the pin.
Shawn Spears defeated Matt Sydal in 12:40.
After the match, Spears was ready to dish out more punishment, but Scorpio Sky ran out to make the save. Spears went to ringside and then tried to sneak back in the ring to attack Sky, who saw him coming. Spears gave up and headed back to ringside. Sky held up the arm of Sydal while Ross closed out the show on commentary…
Powell’s POV: A nice match with Sydal having the out for losing due to Spears using the loaded glove. It will be interesting to see if the Sydal and Sky friendship lasts. Sydal has made dramatic improvement on the mic since the Evan Bourne run in WWE. And while he went overboard with the spiritual guru talk in Impact, Sydal has become a better heel than he is a babyface. In other words, I wonder if they are establishing a friendship between them now with the goal of having Sydal turn on Sky.
Overall, this was a solid one-hour edition of Dynamite. With three matches and not a lot of mic time, the hour moved quickly. I believe there was some question as to when this episode would air, so AEW wisely went with matches that could essentially air whenever without causing any storyline timing issues. If you are short on time, it is a missable episode from a major storyline development standpoint, but it was also an enjoyable show that is worth watching if you do have an hour to burn.
Join Jake Barnett for his live review of AEW Dynamite tonight. Dot Net Members hear my same night audio reviews of Dynamite each week.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...