By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 54)
Live from Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired October 7, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] A video package opened the show with various AEW superstars speaking about Chris Jericho’s influence on their careers. The synopsis is that he’s the greatest man that ever lived. In the arena, the announce team of JR, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur were joined by Taz and Ricky Starks. They ran down the card for the, including the Dog Collar Match Main Event between Cody Rhodes and Brodie Lee. Will Hobbs made his ring entrance, followed by Brian Cage. Video aired that recapped how this match came about over the past few weeks.
1. Brian Cage vs. Will Hobbs for the FTW Championship: They traded big strikes to start the match. Hobbs landed a jumping cross body, but Cage quickly recovered and landed a superkick in the corner and covered for a two count. After a series of reversals, Cage landed a running seated dropkick. He then landed a fallaway slam and a standing moonsault for a near fall.
Cage countered a headlock into a back suplex, and then took some time to recover in the corner. Cage charged in, but Hobbs avoided a splash and landed a lariat. He then followed up with a shoulder tackle and a powerslam for a near fall of his own. Hobbs avoided a lariat, and then landed a sit out spinebuster into a pin for a two count. Cage grabbed a pumphandle, and then spun Hobbs around in the air for a facebuster. He then landed a Fireman’s Carry Slam, and covered for a close near fall.
Cage followed up with a German Suplex, and Hobbs popped right up and landed one of his own. Both men hit the ropes and caught each other with a double clothesline. They battled back to their feet, and Cage landed a series of kicks. Hobbs fired back with a spinebuster and landed a close near fall. Hobbs sold frustration and climbed the ropes in the corner. He went for a Frog Splash, but Cage got out of the way. Cage then landed the Drill Claw and got the win.
Brian Cage defeated Will Hobbs at 8:46 to retain the FTW Title
After the match, Taz got on the microphone and talked trash to Hobbs. Ricky Starks walked to the ring. Taz called off Starks for a moment, and called Hobbs impressive. He gave Hobbs the option A of joining Team Taz, or option B of turning him down and getting another beating. Before he could answer, Darby Allin walked out and caused Cage and Starks to back down. Taz then addressed Allin, and said he would learn not to stick his nose in Team Taz business. Starks and Cage walked to the back. We then got videos from Slash, Dennis Miller, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Bully Ray, and his Dad Ted Irvine congratulating him on 30 years in Wrestling…[c]
My Take: A fun opener between Hobbs and Cage. We don’t see too many hoss fights in AEW, so this was a change of pace from the usual spotfest format. I like the upside that Hobbs continues to display, but we have yet to hear him on the mic or show much personality. Hopefully they can find the right coaches for him in that regard.
We got a pre-taped promo from Lance Archer where he spoke about his previous match with Jon Moxley in NJPW, and how he’s on another level now, and that Moxley hasn’t faced anyone like him yet in AEW. In the arena, The Hybrid2 made their ring entrance, followed by FTR. The Young Bucks were shown backstage watching FTR as they made their entrance. The match will be contested under the 20 minute Brush with Greatness rules.
2. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. The Hybrid2″ Jack Evans and Angelico for the AEW Tag Titles: Evans kicked Cash Wheeler off the apron and rolled up Dax for a tow count. Evans botched a flip out of the ring, but recovered to land a springboard tornillo. Angelico then came off the top rope for a splash and a two count. Wheeler pulled Harwood out of the ring to collect themselves. Angelico went to land a cross body off the stage, but he got caught by FTR. Evans then jumped on all three of them, and dragged Harwood back in the ring for a cover and a two count.
Evans climbed up top, but Tully provided a distraction, allowing Wheeler to drop Evans onto the top turnbuckle. Harwood then pulled him the rest of the way down, and tossed him to the floor. He then smashed Evans into the barricade, and wrapped his knee around the post. Wheeler then applied a Figure Four around the post a la Bret Hart…[c]
Harwood and Wheeler continued to isolate Evans during the break. He made a break for an escape, but Wheeler caught him and dragged him back. Harwood tagged in, and Evans landed an enziguri, but Harwood recovered and applied a single leg crab. Evans avoided a suplex and rolled up Harwood for a two count. He then made a tag to Angelico.
Angelico entered and landed kicks and a dragon leg twist on Wheeler. He managed to apply a submission to both members of FTR simultaneously, but they just dragged him to the ropes. Evans tagged and landed a double stomp side slam combination on Wheeler for a two count. Angelico then helped Evans with an assisted 450 splash, and covered for a near fall. Evans tagged in again, and Harwood dragged Angelico to the floor.
FTR landed tandem suplexes into a pinfall attempt, but Angelico broke it up. Evans landed some slow moving kicks, but Harwood dropped him with a hard right hand. Evans botched a top rope move and seemed to land awkwardly on Harwood’s head. He then attempted a moonsault, but Wheeler broke up a pin attempt. Wheeler landed a Gory Special on Angelico into the ring apron.
Harwood and Evans were in the ring. Evans rolled up Harwood with an awkward stacking pin for a two count. Harwood then landed lariat and a sit out powerbomb for a near fall. Wheeler tagged in and both men landed a Power and Glory Power Plex and got the win.
FTR defeated The Hybrid2 at 14:04 to retain the AEW Tag Titles.
After the match, The Young Bucks gave a Double Super Kick to the Camera Man that had been spying on them backstage. FTR then appeared on the screen as Hot Dogs (wieners), and then Best Friends made their entrance. Trent asked them if they got the joke. He then said as comedy backyard wrestlers, they just wanted them to know that they think they are weenies. Chuck then jumped in and said their Tag Title shot is on the anniversary show next week. A brawl broke out, but it didn’t go anywhere as FTR bailed out of the ring. Best Friends held up the Tag Team Championships before tossing them back and giving each other a hug.
We then got MJF’s tribute to Chris Jericho. He said the first time he spoke to Jericho was after Double or Nothing. He said Jericho told him that he had something, and told him to not be afraid to borrow things from his inspirations. MJF then said that he pointed at Jericho and gave him a nod. We then saw tributes from Shaq, Gene Simmons, Don Callis, Lars Ulrich, and DDP. The Dog Collar match is next…[c]
My Take: Parts of the FTR vs. Hybrid2 match were really good, and others were just too clumsy to really enjoy. It didn’t seem like Dax Harwood was seriously hurt by the Evans botch from the top rope, but the potential was there. The Young Bucks character development continues to move at an excruciatingly slow pace, much like Kenny Omega. Hopefully things pick up soon.
JR threw to a video package that went over the feud development between Cody Rhodes and Brodie Lee. Cody made his entrance with Brandi and Arn Anderson. Brodie Lee made his entrance with Anna Jay and John Silver. Doctor Michael Sampson was shown at ringside. Greg Valentine was shown in the crowd observing the match. Justin Roberts made ring introductions…[c]
3. Brodie Lee (w/Dark Order members) vs. Cody (w/Arn Anderson, Brandi Rhodes) for the TNT Championship: Rhodes and Lee played tug of war with the collar to start the match. Cody charged at Lee, and knocked John Silver to the floor, who had been standing the apron just so they could do that spot. Silver came up bleeding from the chain hitting him in the forehead. Cody tried to climb to the top for a springboard cutter, but Lee used the change to tug him back into the ring. Lee then dragged Cody to the outside, and gave him a face buster into the ring apron.
[Hour Two] Lee set up a chair for Silver to sit in, but Cody immediately kicked him out of the chair. Lee dragged Cody into the ring and landed slam. Anna Jay walked down and Lee told her to take Silver to the back. Cody bladed after a DDT onto the chain, and Lee took advantage by gouging at it with the chain and his fingers. Lee landed a chop in the corner, and tossed Cody off the ropes. Cody slipped between Lee’s legs and pulled the chain into his groin. Cody then landed a chain assisted Russian leg sweep.
Lee escaped to the floor, but Cody dove through the ropes and crashed into him. Lee tossed Cody over the barricade and then used the chain to pull him into the backside of the barricade several times. He then set up the timekeeper’s table next to the ring, and tossed some chairs into the ring. Brodie pulled Cody onto the apron and then setup for a chokeslam onto the table. Cody fired back and dropped down to the floor. He then pulled Lee off the apron into a cutter on the floor…[c]
Cody and Lee setup on the apron, and Cody delivered a package piledriver variant through the table setup at ringside. I might have saved that one for full screen. Both men were bleeding profusely at this point. The announce team tried to say it happened when they went through the table, but the replay didn’t agree with them. In the ring, Cody landed a facebuster, and then whipped Brodie across the lower back with the chain. He then wrapped the chain around his fists and landed some punches to the head of Lee. Cody then wrapped the chain around the ring post, and used the leverage to choke Lee.
Lee reversed an Irish Whip and sent Cody over the top rope. He then pulled on the chain to choke Cody, but he lifted himself back into the ring. Lee landed a Bossman Slam and covered for a near fall. Lee then landed some chain wrapped punches, and winged the chair that was in the ring past Arn Anderson’s head. Arn got into the ring, and Alex Reynolds approached from behind. Arn gave him a Spinebuster, but Lee punched him as soon as he got back to his feet. Cody landed some big punches and then choked Lee with the chain.
Cody then climbed to the top rope and landed a moonsault for a near fall. He then wrapped his fist again, but Lee kicked his arm away. Cody landed CrossRhodes, but Lee kicked out at one. Cody then attempted a Vertebreaker, but Lee was too heavy to execute the move. Lee slipped away and landed a powerbomb for a near fall of his own. Both men spilled to the outside, and Cody pulled Lee into the ring post. Cody climbed the turnbuckles, but Lee met him there with some strong punches. Lee landed a superplex, and both men were laid out.
Both men fought to their feet, and Lee landed a Dragon Suplex. Lee went for his discus lariat, and landed Dustin’s Final Cut Suplex for a two count. Cody then wrapped the chain around Lee’s face and rained down elbows. He then landed another CrossRhodes for the win.
Cody Rhodes defeated Brodie Lee to win the TNT Championship at 20:32
After the match, Dark Order walked out and recovered Brodie Lee in defeat. The Nightmare Family walked out and Tony Schiavone grabbed a microphone and interviewed Cody in the ring. Cody was in tears, and told the crowd he would be with them until the very end. He talked about people telling him to go down a dark path, but this is his life’s work and the fans made it possible. Cody said he wanted to defend the TNT Championship next week. Orange Cassidy walked out and gave a thumbs up, and Cody gave one in return. Schiavone said the match was on for next week…[c]
My Take: A brutal and well thought out match. It feels a bit premature to end the Brodie Lee title run, but maybe they have other plans for him? I hope so, as it felt like he had just gained traction. The post match promo from Cody was a little bizarre. Nobody told Cody to embrace a darker path. He had been teasing as much before his absence, and then came back dressed in all black. It was more people reading the tea leaves. That said, I will not be surprised if this is an attempt at redirection and he does embrace a new direction soon.
Wardlow, Colt Cabana, and Hangman Page were announced for the Number One Contenders tournament for the AEW Championship. Kenny Omega was interviewed by Alex Marvez and asked about the tournament. Kenny said it was good to be back in the Singles division, and spoke about all the tournaments he’s won all over the world. He was supremely confident, and said he would win the tournament and take the AEW Championship from whoever the hell has it at the time. Omega tried to pretend like he didn’t care about Page being in the tournament, but his body language gave away that he was bothered by it.
Big Swole made her entrance. Serena Deeb was already in the ring.
4. Big Swole vs. Serena Deeb: They worked some chain wrestling to start, and both women eventually countered their way back to their feet. Swole used her raw strength advantage to push Deeb back down to the mat, but it was reversed into a pinning attempt for a two count. Swole landed a backbreaker, but Deeb fired back with a hard lariat for a two count.
Swole rolled out to the apron to recover, but Deeb pulled her back through the ropes for a dragon screw leg whip. She then landed a neckbreaker using the ropes. The show went picture in picture for a bit, and Deeb continued to control the offense using holds…[c]
Deeb charged at Swole in the corner, and the women looked to knock heads. Swole then started her comeback with a series of lariats. Swole then landed a headbutt to the chest for a close near fall. Swole went out to the apron for a springboard move, but Deeb reversed into what looked like it was supposed to be a backstabber.
Swole went for a discus clothesline, but Deeb countered into a backslide for a two count. They traded a series of strikes and reversals, but Swole put an and to things with a headbutt to the chest and a discus clothesline. She then covered for the win.
Big Swole defeated Serena Deeb at 8:34
We got a pre-taped promo from Jon Moxley, he spoke about not being able to rest as World Champion. Every monster you take down reveals another one around the corner. He acknowledged that every time he competes, his number might be up. Moxley said on October 14th, maybe he wins, but maybe Archer does. But he’ll have to unstrap it off his dead body to do it. And maybe he will. As Archer always says, everybody dies.
In the arena, Chaos Project (Luther and Serpentico) made their entrance. We then got some video tributes to Jericho from Lance Storm, Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Gabriel Iglesias and Chavo Guerrero, Steel Panther, Ultimo Dragon, and Paul Stanley…[c]
My Take: Big Swole and Deeb had a pretty clumsy match. The effort was there, but it seemed like they just struggled to get in sync at various moments. Both are very talented, so I think it just comes down to working together more often. The same could be said of the rest of the Women’s Division. They need more reps. I liked the Jon Moxley promo. He continues to do very well at being an everyman badass.
Chris Jericho made his entrance with Hager. Miro was shown playing video games with Kip and Penelope. The crowd went ham for Judas.
5. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico: Serpentico and Jericho started the match. Jericho delivered a chop, but Serpentico fired back with a flying head scissors. Jericho shut him down with a lariat, which prompted Luther to tag in. Jericho landed a big boot and a butterfly suplex on Jericho, and then tagged in Serpentico. They traded quick tags and cut off Jericho from his corner. Luther reverse suplexed Serpentico onto Jericho…[c]
Jericho recovered and landed a Lionsault on Luther, and tagged in Hager. He entered and traded punches with Luther. Hager landed a belly to belly, but then missed a Hager Bomb out of the corner. Serpentico entered and Luther body slammed him onto Hager. He then covered for a two count. He then tried a flying cross body to the top, but Hager caught him and landed a powerslam. Jericho and Hager then isolated Serpentico in the heel corner.
Serpentico reversed a back body drop into a DDT. Luther tagged in and clotheslined Jericho to the outside. Serpentico and Luther then dove onto the inner circle on the floor. Nobody looked happy to be catching Luther. In the ring, Luther landed a knee drop from the top for a near fall. Jericho sent Luther out onto the apron for a springboard dropkick, but Luther countered with a clothesline. He then landed a clumsy looking bulldog from the top rope where he struggled to maintain his balance.
Serpentico and Hager crashed to the floor. Luther intercepted Jericho’s bat being tossed into the ring, and hit Jericho with it. He then landed another big boot for a near fall. Jericho quickly recovered and landed a Judas Effect elbow for the win.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager defeated “Chaos Project” Luther and Serpentico at 8:43
After the match, Jericho soaked in the cheers for a bit. He then started to thank the fans, but MJF made his way out. He told them to cut his music because it wasn’t about him. Wardlow walked someone out that was covered in a sheet. It looked like a clown. MJF said he was there to celebrate Corazon De Leon and Le Champion, and eventually uncovered Clownico the Clown.
The Clown held another gift, and MJF told Jericho to hold off on opening it. MJF said he would make a career altering announcement next week. The gift was a picture of MJF, and Jericho immediately broke it over the clown’s head and gave him an elbow. Jericho told MJF he hates clowns and to never interrupt him again. They went face to face, but both eventually laughed it off. They then did the SNL closing bit where everyone came out with a drink, and faux credits rolled giving Jericho credit for everything on the show.
My Take: The tease of the MJF and Jericho feud was fun, but the clown reveal died 1,000 deaths, maybe on purpose. The match was a lot of Luther, which makes sense as he’s Jericho’s close friend, but it wasn’t terribly exciting to watch as a viewer. He really struggled to keep up at various points, and was clearly gassed after the first few minutes. Overall, the episode was quite enjoyable, but wasn’t the strongest outing the company has put forth recently outside of the very strong Cody and Brodie Lee match.