By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 53)
Taped last week in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired September 30, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage. Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Taz were on commentary…
1. Darby Allin vs. Ricky Starks. Starks brought a bodybag to the ring with Darby’s name on it. In between entrances, a black and white video aired with a man telling Starks that Allin would remind him of how much of a bitch he really is. Starks slapped Allin, who responded with a dropkick.
Starks applied an early armbar that Starks broke by reaching the ropes. They went to the apron where Allin suplexed Starks, who fell to the floor. Allin performed a suicide dive. Allin stood on the apron and grabbed the hand of Starks and then became distracted.
Brian Cage walked to the ring. As Cage climbed through the ropes, Will Hobbs ran out and ended up fighting with Cage to the back. Allin grabbed the hand of Starks again, but Starks had recovered pulled him from the apron, causing Allin to take a bump on the floor.
Taz recalled his attempts to give Allin some friendly advice and said Allin essentially spat in his face. Back inside the ring, Starks went on the offensive and picked up a couple of near falls. Starks set up for his finisher, but Allin slipped out and performed a nice sunset bomb for a near fall.
Allin caught Starks in a Fujiwara armbar. Starks reached for the ropes, but Allin hooked his arm and then locked his fingers. Starks managed to get his head under the bottom rope to break the hold.
Allin performed a cutter and then went for a springboard move, but Starks caught him with a spear in mid-air that led to a good near fall. Starks placed Allin in a seated position on the top rope. Starks set up for a top rope version of his finisher, but Allin fought his way free and knocked Starks into the ring. Allin performed a Coffin Drop and got the win…
Darby Allin defeated Ricky Starks in 10:00.
Powell’s POV: A strong opening match without any over the top spots from Allin. This was enjoyable from bell to bell.
Ross, Excalibur, and Taz checked in. Ross noted that Tony Schiavone was setting up for an interview. They ran through the show’s lineup…
Cody made his entrance… [C] Dasha was in the ring with Cody coming out of the break and asked him how he was feeling. Cody recalled his trainer Al Snow telling him never to wrestle injured. Cody said that wrestlers don’t shake hands out of respect, it’s because they need each other.
Cody told viewers to imagine his shame when he lost the TNT Title in three minutes. Cody said he got a Hollywood call and he jumped at it. He mentioned the celebrities on he show and asked himself who he was. Cody said he’s the guy who was beaten in three minutes.
Dasha asked Cody if he would accept Brodie Lee’s challenge to a dog collar match. Cody said the optics in pro wrestling are very important. He mentioned the optics of a match that bloody and violent featuring an executive vice president. “My answer is no,” Cody said before exiting the ring.
Cody stopped on the stage and then headed back to the ring. “No, as in no regrets,” Cody said. “No, as in no looking back.” Cody yelled that he accepted the dog collar match.
Brodie Lee headed to the ring. AEW producers followed and then Dark Order members and other wrestlers pulled Lee and Cody apart. Lee ended up at ringside with Dark Order members.
Brandi Rhodes showed up and did a senton dive onto the Dark Order members. Anna Jay fought Brandi until they were pulled apart. Nyla Rose reached over the barricade and pulled another female wrestler down, then ran her into the barricade. Lee broke free and returned to trade punches with Cody one more time before they were pulled apart again…
Powell’s POV: A really good segment. I bought the tease that Cody was leaving because I thought they might be saving the dog collar match for the pay-per-view. He showed great passion when he returned to the ring and announced that he was accepting the match for next week.
Backstage, Tony Schiavone interviewed Tully Blanchard, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler. Wheeler noted that Best Friends were not 100 percent and he labeled them backyard wrestler and “participation guys” to explain why they weren’t getting this week’s shot. Wheeler said they have to beat SCU.
Schiavone asked Harwood about the Young Bucks. Harwood said the Young Bucks have repeatedly blown their opportunities and cited several examples. He said just because Dave Meltzer loves them and gives them all the stars doesn’t mean they deserve a title shot.
Matt Jackson superkicked Schiavone out of nowhere. “Did we interrupt something?” Jackson asked before leaving. After Jackson was gone, FTR taunted and asked why he didn’t kick them…
Ross asked Excalibur what was happening with the Young Bucks. Excalibur said it’s stupid and he hates it…
Backstage, Dasha interviewed the SCU trio of Scorpio Sky, Frankie Kazarian, and Christopher Daniels. Sky and Kazarian spoke briefly about their tag title match and then headed toward the ring. They crossed paths with Shawn Spears, who condescendingly told them good luck. SCU walked past him and went to the ring… [C]
Hangman Page joined the broadcast team on commentary, then FTR made their entrance…
2. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian (w/Christopher Daniels) for the AEW Tag Titles. The match had a 20-minute time limit as part of the FTR “brush with greatness.” Wheeler was running the ropes and acted like he was tripped by Daniels. Referee Paul Turner ejected Daniels from ringside. FTR took offensive control heading into a picture in picture break. [C]
SCU had a pin, but the referee was distracted. Page was shown taking drink from his whisky glass at the broadcast table. Sky and Kazarian hit stereo cutters and Sky covered Harwood for a two count. Harwood came right back and powerbombed Kazarian, then Wheeler hit him with a dragon suplex for a good near fall.
Sky got several near falls on Wheeler. Sky tried to suplex Wheeler, but Blanchard tipped Sky, causing Wheeler to fall on top of Sky. Blanchard held the leg of Sky down while Wheeler scored the pin…
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian in 15:40 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
Excalibur announced an eight-man single elimination tournament with the winner getting a shot at the AEW Championship at the Full Gear pay-per-view. Excalibur announced Jungle Boy, Rey Fenix, and Kenny Omega. Page nearly choked on his drink. “I gotta go,” Page said before taking off his headset and walking away… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very well worked match. Oddly, though, it felt like they made the referee look like an oblivious moron more than they put heat on FTR for cheating. Meanwhile, I like the idea of a tournament, as it gives meaning to any tournament matches that play out on Dynamite. I wonder if Page will also be announced for the tournament.
Private Party and Matt Hardy made their entrance. Chris Jericho made his entrance accompanied by Inner Circle members Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara. Jericho brought his bat out with him. Ross hyped Jericho’s 30th Anniversary celebration for next week’s show.
[Hour Two] 3. Chris Jericho (w/Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara) vs. Isiah Kassidy (w/Marq Quen, Matt Hardy). Jericho pie-faced Kassidy in a sign of disrespect. When Jericho turned around to gloat, Kassidy went after him and went on the offensive.
Kassidy used an Oklahoma Roll to pick up an early near fall. Ross noted that the move was used by his childhood hero Danny Hodge. The wrestlers ended up at ringside a short time later and ended up in the spectator wrestler section. Luther clotheslined Jericho over the barricade and back to ringside.
Kassidy performed a corkscrew dive from the ring onto Jericho, Hager, and Guevara. Kassidy rolled Jericho back inside the ring and then performed a Swanton Bomb for a good near fall. Kassidy ran the ropes and Jericho pressed him into the air and then slammed him down going into a PIP break. [C]
Kassidy caught Jericho with his own Codebreaker finisher for a strong near fall with Jericho kicking out at the last possible moment. Kassidy went for a springboard move, but Jericho caught him with the Judas Elbow and pinned him clean…
Chris Jericho pinned Isiah Kassidy in 11:10.
After the match, the other Inner Circle members ran in and put the boots to Kassidy for a moment before Quen and Hardy ran them off. While at ringside, Jericho took a cheap shot at Luther, who was still in the spectator wrestler area. Luther’s partner Serpentico ended up trading punches with Jericho while Luther and Hager traded punches…
Powell’s POV: An entertaining match with the expected outcome. I assume the post match angle means that Jericho wants to do something with his longtime friend Luther for his 30th Anniversary show next week.
Footage aired of Kip Sabian and Miro talking about Sabian’s bachelor party. They ended up playing video games. Miro was playing a game when “The King of Kong” star Billy Mitchell showed up next to him. Miro wondered how he was supposed to have a great bachelor party during a pandemic. Mitchell told Miro that he knew people who could help him if he wanted to do something really crazy…
Powell’s POV: Billy Mitchell is the greatest pro wrestling heel to never have a pro wrestling match.
Dasha was going to interview Best Friends and Orange Cassidy backstage when FTR showed up. Harwood said there’s a spot in the main event for them, while there’s a spot in the middle of the card for people like Best Friends. Wheeler said they could be comic relief and said that’s okay. They went to leave when Best Friends stopped them and teased punching, which made FTR flinch. “Weenies,” Cassidy said. Best Friends and Cassidy made their entrance heading into a PIP break… [C]
4. Orange Cassidy (w/Trent, Chuck Taylor) vs. Dark Order 10 (w/John Silver, 5, Colt Cabana). Silver provided a distraction that led to 10 going on the offensive to start the match. A couple of the Dark Order members mocked the Best Friends’ hug. Cassidy dove onto the pile. Back inside the ring, Cassidy hit a DDT, a Superman Punch, and his finisher before scoring the clean pin…
Orange Cassidy pinned Dark Order 10 in 3:25.
Powell’s POV: A solid spotlight win for the popular Cassidy.
Backstage, MJF told a cameraman that while he invited him, he wanted him to stop breathing down his neck. MJF and Wardlow entered the Inner Circle locker room. MJF brought jackets for the Inner Circle members other than Sammy Guevera. MJF swore that it wasn’t intentional.
Guevara wondered what he was doing in there. MJF said he was simply there to congratulate them on their win. Jericho said he had a question for MJF that he asked him a long time ago. Jericho asked if MJF wants to join the Inner Circle. MJF asked if Jericho wants him to join the Inner Circle. They went back and forth again.
Jericho said they appreciate the gifts and called it a classy, MJF move. MJF said it was a very Chris Jericho move for him to notice. MJF congratulated Jericho on 30 years in pro wrestling and said it’s been legendary. MJF left the room. “What a loser,” Guevara said. Jericho cut off Guevara and said, “Perhaps he’s not”…
Powell’s POV: A fun callback the segment that saw Jericho and MJF going back and forth over whether MJF wanted to join the faction. It looks like MJF is out for Guevara’s spot in the faction. That said, I continue to wonder if MJF will ultimately replace Jericho as the leader of the Inner Circle, which would free up Jericho for a babyface run.
5. Britt Baker (w/Reba) vs. Red Velvet. The AEW Dark results were shown at the bottom of the screen. Baker winked at the camera before performing a suplex. Baker dominated the match and then performed a clunky looking Stomp and got the win.
Britt Baker defeated Red Velvet in 4:30.
After the match, Baker got a black glove from Reba, then applied the Lockjaw (Mandible Claw) on Velvet
Powell’s POV: A simple spotlight win for Baker. The Stomp looked a little off because Velvet rocked her head up at the last moment while preparing to take the move.
The broadcast team hyped Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Luther and Serpentico, Brian Cage vs. Will Hobbs for the FTW Title, Brodie Lee vs. Cody in a dog collar match for the TNT Championship…
Eddie Kingston walked to the ring with his arm around referee Bryce Remsburg while Pentagon Jr. and Fenix followed… [C]
Kingston said he did not tap out to Jon Moxley’s bulldog choke. Kingston said Moxley was so pissed that he called Tony Khan and now he gets to choose who Moxley fights. Kingston said he had to talk to someone he thought was his friend.
Kingston asked Remsburg why he called for the bell when he never heard him quit last week. Remsburg said Kingston was unresponsive. He said they are friends at home, but in the ring it’s work and it’s his job to protect Kingston from himself. Kingston, Pentagon, and Fenix started to surround Remsburg, but they were interrupted.
Jon Moxley made his entrance and brought a barbwire baseball bat to the ring with him. The heels fled to ringside. Kingston mocked Moxley for being a tough guy with a barbwire bat. Moxley threw the bat aside while The Butcher entered the ring behind him. Kingston told Moxley that he was fighting The Butcher, then had Remsburg call for the bell to start the match…
6. Jon Moxley vs. The Butcher (w/Eddie Kingston, Pentagon Jr., Rey Fenix) for the AEW Championship. The Butcher attacked Moxley to start the match. The Butcher was in offensive control heading into an early PIP break. [C]
The Butcher targeted the left knee of Moxley. They ended up at ringside where Butcher charged Moxley, who stepped aside and shoved a diving Butcher into the barricade. Back inside the ring, Moxley tried to run the ropes and stopped to sell his knee. Butcher performed a running cross body block for a two count.
A short time later, Moxley caught Butcher on the ropes and performed a superplex. Butcher got up and put Moxley in a leg lock. Moxley rolled out of it, kicked Butcher, and gave him a piledriver that led to a two count. Taz praised Butcher for being able to kick out after taking the piledriver.
Moxley placed Butcher on the ropes. Moxley went for another superplex, but Butcher shoved him off. Butcher performed a cross body block from the middle rope and covered Moxley for a two count. Ross called it the best match he’s seen from The Butcher since he started in AEW. The Butcher went for a clothesline that Moxley ducked. Moxley dropped Butcher with a Paradigm Shift and then applied his Bulldog Choke and got the submission win.
Jon Moxley defeated The Butcher in 14:30 to retain the AEW Championship.
After the match, Moxley glared at Kingston, who stared back at him from ringside. Moxley jawed at Kingston and then held up his AEW Championship belt. Ross called Moxley the number one man in AEW and the face of the brand. Kingston threw a fit at ringside while Pentagon Jr. and Fenix tried to calm him down. The heels went to the stage while Ross closed out the show on commentary…
Powell’s POV: A good match. Much like Monday’s WWE Raw, AEW played up the mystery of who would face their world champion. It’s a good hook and both main events were entertaining despite featuring challengers that fans wouldn’t expect to win the championship. The Butcher definitely gained something in defeat.
Overall, a good edition of Dynamite. It didn’t have the big peaks that some episodes do, but it was consistently solid. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post Dynamite poll available via the main page. Dot Net Members will hear my same night audio review of AEW Dynamite coming up shortly.
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...