By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 61)
Taped November 19, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired November 25, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] The show began with pyro as Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur sat at the commentary table. Adam Page made his ring entrance, followed by He was followed by John Silver, who had the Dark Order at his back. There was a brief vignette from Silver where he spoke about Dark Order being on the rise.
1. John Silver vs. Adam Page: Page landed a couple of shoulder blocks, and then a body slam. Silver fired back with a body scissors and then an arm drag. Silver flexed at Page and tried to get him to respond back, but Page just landed a forearm shot instead. They traded heavy chops in the corner, and Silver got the worst of it. Page then landed a big back body drop, and then played to the crowd a bit.
Silver egged on Page by slapping him on the ass after performing a standing switch. Page then attempted a springboard dropkick, but Silver cut him off and landed a cross body off the top rope for a two count. After some back and forth, Silver landed a snap German Suplex for a two count. Page replied with a springboard clothesline from the second rope to the apron, and Silver fell to the floor. Page then attempted a splash to the floor, but Silver avoided it. He then attempted a dive onto Page, but he stuffed it at the ropes.
Page then climbed back into the ring and splashed Silver on the outside. He then tossed him back into the ring for a two count. Things went rapid fire as Silver landed a series of kicks in the corner, followed by a Brainbuster for a near fall. Page got back to his knees, and Silver landed more kicks, which Hangman smiled and absorbed. Hangman fired back with a big lariat and a Liger Bomb for a near fall of his own.
He then sprung up to the apron and landed a Buckshot Lariat for the win.
Hangman Page defeated John Silver at 9:18
After the match, we got a replay of the finish and a celebration from Page. Dark Order walked out en masse and collected Silver. Evil Uno had a mic and said he wasn’t there to jump him as they’ve done in the past. He said they have many regrets about their past, just like Page does about his own. Uno said he was a part of one of the most popular groups of all time, and no matter how many times he tried to leave, they wouldn’t let him go. If that’s not a cult, he doesn’t know what is. Uno made an offer for him to join them, and said he knows where they are and how to find them.
We’re going to see Powerhouse Hobbs, Anna Jay, Jerich and Hager, Kenny Omega, and Top Flight vs. Hybrid 2. Backstage, Omega was interviewed and asked about the contract signing later. Omega said last week was eventful, he’s come to the conclusion that the more things change, the more they stay the same. He reflected on nursing injuries he sustained wrestling Moxley a year ago, he still nursing injuries. And they’ve changed because Moxley’s name is on all the magazines as the best in the world.
He then said he has worked himself back into contention, and now he needs to take Jon Moxley’s championship in order to be considered Best in the World. He then made a “gentleman’s challenge” for Moxley to leave the garbage wrestling at home. Omega told Moxley to pin, submit, or choke him out, but beat him with skill instead of garbage cans. Omega started to walk away, but came back to say that he listened to Jon’s words last week, and it tugged at his heart strings. But he bet Moxley’s Dad wasn’t that tough at all, and that his Dad could probably beat the shit out of his Dad.
Powerhouse Hobbs is next…[c]
My Take: A very entertaining opener between Silver and Page. Silver continues to make good use of the time he’s given to show off his skills, even in defeat. Omega’s promo was all over the place, and could have used a bit more brevity. I do like that he’s settled into being completely full of shit.
We saw a Darby Allin video package where he set fire to a car that had some Team Taz Imagery on it. Powerhouse Hobbs made his entrance in the arena.
2. Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Lee Johnson: Taz was on commentary. Hobbs tossed Johnson to the outside and landed a big lariat. He then tossed him into the barricade and back into the ring. He then picked up John and landed a big front slam akin to the World’s Strongest Slam. He then covered for the win.
Powerhouse Hobbs defeated Lee Johnson at 2:01
After the match, Taz walked into the ring and told Hobbs to go celebrate so he could take care of business. Taz said had a problem with AEW and the FTW Championship. He said he was sick and tired of the FTW Lifestyle and Title not being recognized. He said he’s not going anywhere until someone from management comes out and explains to him why it’s not taken seriously. He said tough bastards have competed for the title. The mic was cut off, and Taz demanded another microphone from Justin Roberts.
Taz said if Keith Mitchell and Tony turn that mic off, he would go to the announce table and take one of those mics. The Mic was cut off, and the announce team said Tony was told Taz will be asked to leave the ring. Cody walked out and asked what he was doing. He said he came out here out of respect, because he’s wasting time. Cody offered himself and Darby vs. Ricky Starks and Will Hobbs next week.
Taz said Cody would get his ass whipped next week, but he still needed someone from management to put some respect on the FTW Title. Cody said he would run it up the Flag Pole, and started to walk away. Taz asked him if he was going to say creative had nothing for him, or wish him well on his future endeavors.
Cody walked back and grabbed the FTW Title, and asked if that title was everything, why was Taz’s son training with him instead of Taz? The mics got cut off, and Taz said that was too far, and he was stupid. Taz started to leave, and Cody looked at the camera and gave the neck slash gesture that they were done. Taz returned and applied the Kata-ha-jime (Tazmission) and bailed when the Gunn Club approached the ring. Cody walked to the back with his son Hook holding the FTW Championship. Cody got up and apologized to the crowd…[c]
My Take: The verbal performances here were very good, but the worked shoot part of it just didn’t work. The effort was there, but these types of angles just don’t work for me in 2020. Hopefully I’m reading too much into it, and the insider terms and “management” component won’t be a major part of the story going forward. I would prefer if we didn’t have yet another promotion rely on struggles against backstage authority to tell stories. I also don’t think the anybody in the audience was fooled by the mics getting cut, or the idea that this was unscheduled and Taz was delaying the show. Powerhouse Hobbs is a better name for him and the squash was fun.
Backstage, Eddie Kingston was interviewed by Alex Marvez. He spoke about Fenix and Pac, and said they would get theirs. Jon Moxley walked up, and he told Moxley that it wasn’t him, and Moxley already knew who it was. He told Moxley they both had to handle their own business.
Top Flight made their entrance, and footage was shown of them being attacked after their match last week by TH2. We then saw TH2 make their own ring entrance. We then saw some interview footage from Britt Baker’s talk show where TH2 said they needed to remind people who they are.
3. “The Hybrid2” Jack Evans and Angelico vs. “Top Flight” Darius Martin and Dante Martin: Angelico and Darius started the match. Angelico applied a submission early, but Darius flipped out of it for an escape. We then saw some chain wrestling that resulted in Darius throwing Angelico with an arm drag. Dante then tagged in and landed a kick and covered for a two count. Angelico held the ropes and Dante whiffed a dropkick, which allowed Jack Evans to tag in…[c]
During the break, TH2 remained in control as Angelico applied a leg submission to Dante. They cut off the ring and landed a double team stomp and suplex combo in the corner for a ner fall. Evans lost control of things as the show returned from break and Darius tagged back into the match. Angelico entered and got hit with a shotgun dropkick. Evans was sent to the floor. There was some clumsiness with a double team powerbomb in the corner, but Evans broke up the pin.
Evans tried for a German Suplex on Dante out to the floor, but Darius helped block it. Evans got sent into Angelico on the floor. Darius and Dante both then splashed TH2 on the floor. Darius landed a slingshot suplex onto Evans back into the ring, and then Dante landed a big splash for a near fall. Evans replied with a DDT. Angelico then gave an assist for a standing 450, but only got a near fall.
Dante reversed out of a powerbomb into a Code Red, and Evans had to break up the pin. Darius tried to baseball slide to the outside, but Evans caught him and pulled him hard to the floor. Angelico then applied the Navarro Death Roll on Dante for the submission win.
TH2 defeated Top Flight at 11:42
After the match, Evans stomped on Dante’s legs while he was still in the submission. The Young Bucks ran out and broke things up.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero and Nyla Rose spoke about Nepotism, and said a perfect example was Brandi Rhodes. She said she didn’t require nepotism to get Jade Cargill to injure Brandi’s arm, but she’s sure that Big Swole and Red Velvet would like to know who they are associated with. She said Brandi’s business model is broken, and if she needs any tips she should give her a call…[c]
My Take: Top Flight is an exciting addition to the tag division, and they continue to look very good in their TV appearances. TH2 just doesn’t click for me as a heel team that aims to contend for the Tag Team Championships. They just don’t feel like a threat at this point.
As the show returned, we got an FTR video package where the said the Bucks were only better than them for 3 seconds, and they would be the next AEW Tag Team Champions.
SCU (Kazarian and Daniels) made their entrance. They were followed by the new Inner Circle with MJF and Wardlow. All the AEW undercarders sang along to Judas, which has become a bit rote at this point.
[Hour Two] 4. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager (w/Sammy Guevara, Santana, Ortiz, MJF, Wardlow): Daniels and Jericho started the match, and Daniels weathered an early storm and took down Jericho with a dropkick. Kazarian tagged in, but Jericho quickly escaped to tag in Hager, who pummeled Kaz quickly. Jericho tagged back in to gloat and step on him in the corner. Hager then entered and again and landed a knee strike. He then argued with the ref so Jericho could choke Kaz.
Kaz broke free and tagged in Daniels, who took it to Hager initially, but the Inner Circle interfered, which allowed Hager to land a modified powerslam. He then threw Daniels to the floor, where he was stomped on by the rest of the Inner Circle…[c]
The Inner Circle team dominated Daniels during the break. Hager landed several knee strikes, and Jericho landed a vertical suplex. Jericho missed a Lionsault as the show returned, but was able to drag Daniels to the corner to tag Hager. Daniels absorbed a number of strikes from Hager before scrambling for a tag. Kaz entered the match and dumped Hager to the floor. He then landed a springboard leg drop onto Jericho for a near fall. He then went over the top to take out the inner circle members on the outside.
That gave Jericho time to recovery, but Daniels tagged in and landed a stop on his chest. He then Dove on Hager on the floor, and returned to the ring with a top rope cross body to Jericho for a near fall. Hager tagged in and landed a lariat, but Daniels returned fire with a diving flatliner. He then hit the BME out of the corner, but Jericho broke up the pin.
MJF landed a punch on Daniels with the Dynamite Diamond while the ref was distracted. This allowed Jericho to hit the Judas Effect. Hager covered for the win.
Chris Jericho and Jake Hager beat Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian at 11:01
After the match, Kazarian decked MJF, which started a brawl. Scorpio Sky ran out to clear out Inner Circle with a chair.
Backstage, we saw a new segment from Miro and Kip, which was a video game extravaganza. Orange Cassidy walked in and turned off the Xbox Series X, which angered Miro. They chased OC out of their trailer, where a brawl broke out with Best Friends. They powerbombed Kip Sabian into a portable toilet, and Miro shook the camera and went after revenge. We then saw some footage of Jon Moxley being unconscious last week.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring for the AEW Championship Contract signing. Moxley was out first. Schiavone introduced him as The Cleaner. His entrance focused very heavily on being a Wrestling Observer Hall of Famer. Then we got the broom ladies, and Jon Moxley appeared behind Kenny in the entryway, and threw him through the tarp. He assaulted him on the way to the ring and threw him through the table. He then gave him a Paradigm Shift onto the AEW Championship Belt.
Moxley said he wasn’t sure who Omega hired, but they did a pretty piss poor job because he’s still walking. He said next time he wants a hit on somebody, call him and he will hook him up with some professionals from Philadelphia. Moxley then said he’s made sure that the only way to become AEW Champion is to dig deep into his guts and become the Kenny Omega people think he is. He’s going to have to beat him, and win, lose or draw Winter is Coming for him.
Moxley said this is not a game, it’s not jokes on BTE, and it’s not dancing girls with brooms, this is real life and he better not miss. He told Kenny to steady his hand, aim, and fire because he’s only getting one shot. He then signed the contract and thanked Tony Schiavone…[c]
My Take: A long segment with a lot to go over. The SCU and Inner Circle match was decent but not particularly exciting. The pattern of the match seemed to be that Jericho couldn’t quite maintain control when he was in the match, and he needed Hager to pick up the slack. MJF ensuring the victory was another piece of that story. The Moxley and Omega segment was a nice bookend to last week. Moxley is about 10x the promo that Omega is at this point, so I worry about a decline in build quality for future title feuds once he’s out of the picture. I have to assume Omega wins next week.
JR threw back to an interview with the “Leader of the Inner Circle” Chris Jericho, but it was MJF who grabbed the microphone first to complain about being sucker punched. Jericho said they had won the match fair and square, and he said he would make Kazarian famous next week. He challenged Kazarian to a match next week, and said he will teach him a lesson in humility next week on Dynamite for what he did to MJF.
We then got a video package for Anna Jay vs. Hikaru Shida. It focused on how much Anna Jay has improved, and how she’s a new person from when she debuted. Shida said what Anna Jay needs isn’t the Women’s Championship, it’s to find more heart. Anna Jay made her entrance with Tay Conti, followed by Hikaru Shida. Jon Silver and some masked Dark Order members were on the stage.
5. Hikaru Shida vs. Anna Jay (w/Tay Conti) for the AEW Women’s Championship: We got some Shida chants early on. They traded blows early, and Jay applied her Queenslayer Sleeper. Shida slipped out and landed a tilt a whirl backbreaker, followed by a seated dropkick. Shida set up for a running knee on the apron, but Jay avoided it and sent Shida into the barricade on the outside. The then sent her into the ring apron and taunted the crowd. Jay tossed Shida back into the ring for a two count…[c]
Anna Jay landed a kick that sent Shida from the second turnbuckle back into the ring. Jay asked Tay Conti for a chair, and she reluctantly gave her one. Jay then used the ref distraction of the chair to grab Shida’s Kendo Stick and hit her in the knee. She covered and got a near fall. Jay then applied the sleeper, but Shida escaped quickly. Anna Jay reversed a Falcon Arrow into a pinfall for a very close near fall.
Shida then recovered and landed an elbow strike, and a running knee for the win.
Hikaru Shida defeated Anna Jay at 8:01 to retain the AEW Women’s Championship
After the match, Shida celebrated with her Kendo stick and limped away. She stood on the ramp for a while, which ensured she would be attacked. As expected, Abandon appeared and caused Shida to recoil in horror. Abandon grabbed the Women’s Championship and licked it.
Backstage, Matt Hardy put himself over as a trailblazer and creative genius. He said 2020 has been a difficult year, but if he can survive, anyone can. He recalled overcoming insurmountable odds to defeat Sammy Guevara, then we can overcome their pedestrian problems. He told everyone to survive, thrive, and win. Matt will be in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal last week.
Elsewhere, Team Taz were standing in a lobby of some sort, it might have been a backdrop or green screen. Ricky Starks said they were happy with AEW, but not with Cody Rhodes. He said he made this personal when he brought Taz’s son into things, and that they would take it out on him and Darby Allin next week.
Back in the arena, Butcher and Blade made their entrance for the main event. Eddie Kingston joined on commentary, and The Bunny was at ringside…[c]
My Take: A solid effort from Shida and Anna Jay. One of the better AEW Women’s TV matches in recent memory. Abandon returning will be an interesting test for Shida. They have asked her to do much acting, and facing Abadon requires her to sell the effects of that character. Matt Hardy becoming convinced of his own genius could be fun. We’ll see if they can keep it fresh. Team Taz’s promo seemed to jerk the wheel back from the insider references and worked shoot territory, so here’s hoping the Cody and Taz segment was an anomaly of sorts.
Death Triangle made their entrance. Penta accompanied Fenix and Pac. A brawl broke out before the match started, and Butcher tossed Fenix into the ring from the stage. Pac and Fenix took control and splashed Butcher and Blade on the outside.
6. Pac and Fenix (w/Penta El Zero Miedo) vs. Butcher and Blade (w/The Bunny): Eddie Kingston was on commentary for the match. The bell never rang, so I’m starting the official match myself. Butcher and Blade took over and controlled Pac on their half of the ring. Blade stomped him in the corner, but Pac escaped a body slam attempt and made a tag to Fenix. He entered and applied a crucifix hold to Blade and landed some elbows. He then tagged Pac back in, who threw blade hard into the corner. The match broke down a bit, and everybody ended up down after a series of kick and a cutter from Fenix to The Butcher…[c]
Pac and Fenix took control on The Blade during the break. They landed a double hip toss and an assisted senton. Pac covered for a near fall. Fenix tagged in, but Blade escaped his control and tagged in Butcher. He entered and landed a series of slams, and then tossed Fenix hard into the corner. Butcher then landed some big chops and knocked the button lose on Fenix’s mask. He then tagged in Blade, who ate a springboard cutter from Fenix. Pac then entered and kicked Butcher off the apron.
He then landed a full speed dropkick on Blade, followed by an enziguri. Pac pulled in Blade for a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Pac climbed to the top and went for a Shooting Star Press, but Blade got out of the way. Pac tried to charge in again, but Blade caught him with a powerslam. The Butcher then tagged in and landed a big running lariat for a close near fall.
Butcher and Blade took turns landing big strikes on Pac. Butcher tossed him into the knees of Blade for a gut buster. Blade then landed a sit-out powerbomb, but Fenix broke up the pin with a dropkick. Blade went for a suplex, but Pac escaped and made a tag. He and Fenix landed a double superkick to Blade. Eddie Kingston then ran to the ring, and Allie provided a distraction, which allowed Kingston a chance to crotch Fenix on the ropes.
Butcher and Blade landed their Powerbomb and Neckbreaker Combo finish for the win.
Butcher and Blade defeated Pac and Fenix at 12:34
After the match, the attack continued. Allie brought Kingston a chair. He then grabbed Pac and landed two DDT’s onto the chair. Lance Archer then showed up, and evened the odds. He took out Butcher, and Fenix took out Blade. He grabbed Kingston by the throat, but Kingston was able to escape before further damage was done. Archer climbed the ropes and stared them down to close the show.
My Take: A wild close to a show with a blistering pace. Adding Archer to the conflict between Pac and Kingston seems a little clumsy on first blush, but perhaps it was in service of setting up the Battle Royal next week? Time will tell. The match was another of what have become fairly formula AEW Tag matches. The heels go on the run to start, then settle into control for about 5-7 minutes, and then the foot goes on the throttle with rapid momentum changes to close. The talent always make it work, but the pattern has emerged.