By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 62)
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired live December 2, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] The Dynamite Winter is Coming theme was shown on the monitor, and Jim Ross was joined by Tony Schiavone and Excalbur. Justin Roberts ran over the rules for the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal.
1. Dynamite Diamond Battle Royal: All the competitors rushed into the ring, but Shawn Spears waited on the outside. Scorpio Sky tried to bait him into the ring, but had no luck. Isaiah Kassidy was thrown out by Matt Hardy early on. Miro attempted to take out Matt Sydal, but he clung on. Silver and Reynolds landed a rapid combo of offense on Serpentico, and then Hangman Page gave him a lariat over the top rope. Luther was then dumped to the apron and knocked to the floor by Silver and Reynolds. Spears finally entered the ring and started in on Scorpio Sky.
Sydal landed a knee strike on Spears, but was then dumped on the runway with a Death Valley Driver in return to be eliminated. Sky then fired up on Spears and quickly sent him to the floor. Tully Blanchard walked from the seats to ringside to hand him a slug for his glove. He then snuck onto the apron and took a a cheap shot on Sky. He was then tossed out by Wardlow. Silver inadvertently knocked Alex Reynolds from the apron. Silver was then tossed out by Marq Quen, and Matt Hardy offered the assist with a low bridge.
Hangman Page landed a fallaway slam on Marq Quen. Matt Hardy then dumped Hangman to the apron, and then knocked him into Dark Order, which made the save for him and placed him back in the ring. Hardy quickly eliminated Page on the opposite side of the ring, but he managed to land a Buckshot Lariat on Marq Quen before getting tossed. Kip Sabian got tossed by Orange Cassidy, and then Miro got angry and went underneath the ropes to throw Orange into the post on the outside.
Miro then had his moment and tossed around Joey Janela and Jungle Boy. Hardy then confronted Miro, and traded blows. Miro sent Hardy to the apron. Marq Quen tried to go for silly string, but Miro quickly shoved him to the outside, followed by sending both Hardy and Joey Janela out in quick eliminations. Miro tossed Sammy and MJF away to confront Wardlow, and they traded big punches. Miro got the better of it, before being jumped from behind by MJF and Guevara.
Miro broke free, but was clubbed down with a lariat. Miro then got tossed out by all three members of the inner circle. Jungle Boy was the only man in the ring not in the Inner Circle. He and Sammy Guevara battled on the apron with some impressive acrobatics, and they ended up on the top turnbuckle, only for MJF to shove both of them to the floor. MJF celebrated, and then Wardlow realized that Orange Cassidy was still on the outside in the match.
Cassidy escaped a Wardlow slam, and MJF was nearly eliminated by accident. Wardlow saved MJF, but Orange Cassidy fired up and eliminated Wardlow.
MJF and Orange Cassidy were the finalists for the Dynamite Diamond Match next week at 12:51
After the match, Miro ran down and wanted a piece of Cassidy, but was stopped by referees. The announce team ran down tonight’s show. Omega vs. Moxley is your main event. Britt Baker will take on Leyla Hirsch, and up next is Jericho vs. Kazarian. Kazarian then made his ring entrance…[c]
My Take: This was brief for a battle royal, so everybody had to fight to stand out over a very limited time period. This was another good showing for Miro, who continues to look good in the ring despite having one of the worst characters AEW has conceived thus far. Jungle Boy continues to be someone I think AEW could use better, because he’s very good in the ring and gets instant sympathy. Adam Page and the Dark Order has been interesting thus far, as well as the MJF and Sammy Guevara feud coming to a head. Overall, The Battle Royal was fun, even if the Dynamite Diamond is a concept that seems to be searching for a reason to exist.
Chris Jericho made his ring entrance with Jake Hager and Ortiz.
2. Chris Jericho (w/Jake Hager, Ortiz) vs. Frankie Kazarian: They circled each other early on as Tony Schiavone plugged Dynamite Tickets. Kazarian grabbed a side headlock. Jericho took a shortcut with an eye poke, and landed some chops. Jericho and Kazarian battled near the ropes, and ended up on the apron. Kazarian landed a leg drop on the apron, but Hager ran interference on the floor for Jericho, and he was able to recover and land a Codebreaker. Jericho then dropped Kazarian gut first on the top rope, and landed a running shoulder tackle that sent him to the outside…[c]
Jericho sent Kazarian into the ring barricade, and then back into the ring. Ortiz talked some trash to Kazarian, and then Jericho tossed him back in the ring. Jericho remained in control and gloated to the crowd. Kazarian battled back into the match and pulled Jericho into a backslide for a two count. He then landed a cross body and pumped up the crowd. Jericho avoided a senton attempt, and attempted a Lionsault, but Kazarian got the knees up. He then landed a springboard leg drop for a near fall.
Jericho and Kazarian climbed to the top rope, and Kazarian landed a Spanish Fly/Flux Capacitor for a close near fall. Kazarian sold frustration and went for a Killswitch, but Jericho fought free. Jericho then attempted Codebreaker, but Kazarian avoided it and applied a Boston Crab. Ortiz teased interfering in the match, but held back. MJF walked out and teased throwing in the towel, but Sammy Guevara prevented it.
Jericho eventually broke free. Kazarian tried a series of roll ups for near falls, but Jericho eventually landed a Judas Effect elbow and got the win.
Chris Jericho defeated Frankie Kazarian at 10:34.
After the match, the announcers tried to plant the idea that Jericho saw Guevara with the towel, and that the Inner Circle was off their game. A scuffle broke out between MJF and Guevara, and then Wardlow and Hager. Jericho grabbed a microphone and said they had 7 days to figure it out, and next week they would decide whether they would work together or break up for good.
Elsewhere, the Young Bucks were interviewed by Alex Marvez. They spoke about their title win, and said they had a match next week with TH2. They said they didn’t have the record for a title match, but if they won next week they’d get a shot. The Acclaimed walked up and Max freestyled a bit clowning on the Young Bucks for staring at each other’s dicks on the cover of their own book. Anthony laughed while he was rhyming. TH2 attacked The Bucks from behind while The Acclaim shouted World Star. Daniels and Scorpio Sky made the save for The Bucks.
In the arena, Britt Baker made her entrance. A vignette aired where she spoke about sending the undeserving Leyla Hirsch back to Russia. Hirsch then made her own entrance.
3. Britt Baker (w/Reba) vs. Leyla Hirsch: Hirsch grabbed a Fujiwara Armbar immediately, and Baker had to scramble for the ropes. Hirsch then grabbed a side headlock, but Baker escaped and they tussled a bit before Hirsch grabbed a cross armbreaker. Baker managed to escape again, and landed one of the worst looking superkicks I’ve ever seen. She then hit a DDT…[c]
My Take: A long continuous segment there. Jericho and Kazarian was ok, but not spectacular, and the finish appeared to be off because MJF and Wardlow were late for their cue. The Acclaimed look like they’ll be a fun team together, and are already leagues more interesting than TH2.
Hirsch landed a pump kick and a german suplex, and Baker rolled to the floor. Hirsch landed a suicide dive, but Baker moved out of the way and she collided with Reba. Baker landed a kick and brought Hirsch back in the ring. She set up for a neckbreaker, but Hirsch broke free and landed a kick and applied another cross armbreaker.
Baker rolled free and nearly applied Lockjaw, but couldn’t sink it in. Hirsch broke free and landed another pump kick, but didn’t make a cover. We had another jumbled interference spot and Reba was later on some interference, causing Hirsch to have to stall. Following the interference, Baker landed a neckbreaker and applied Lockjaw for the victory.
Britt Baker defeated Leyla Hirsch at 9:19
After the match, Thunder Rosa attacked Baker, causing refs to intervene. Reba tried to attack Rosa, but was suplexed by Hirsch. Rosa broke free from the refs and went back on the attack, prompting even more officials to reinforce. We then got a video package explaining the Cody and Darby feud with Team Taz, thankfully leaving out nearly all of the worked shoot elements that didn’t work.
Darby Allin then made his entrance in the arena, followed by Cody Rhodes. Team Taz then made their entrance, with Powerhouse Hobbes and Ricky Starks competing. We had all four men brawling to start, then the bell rang…[c]
My Take: A real standout effort from Leyla Hirsch, who has looked really good in both of her Dynamite appearances. I’d like to see more of her on a regular basis. Baker had a much better performance the back half of the match after a bit of a rocky start. Thunder Rosa came off as a star as well. Overall a very solid segment.
4. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) and Darby Allin vs. Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks (w/Taz): Cody and Darby had Starks isolated in their corner, but he broke free from Darby Allin and made a tag to Hobbs, who immediately used his power to take control of the match. He sent Allin into the barricade on the floor, and then landed a delayed vertical suplex. Hobbs and Starks made frequent tags and broke down Allin in their corner. Hobbs landed a backbreaker, and applied a bear hug.
[Hour 2] Starks tagged in and they both he and Darby collided heads in a neutral corner. Hobbs tagged in first and prevented Darby from making a tag, and then rag dolled him in a bear hug and tossed him back into the heel corner. Hobbs gloated to Cody, and Darby tried to surprise him with a Sunset Flip, but Hobbs grabbed him by the head and threw him into an overhead suplex. After a series of suplex reversals, Darby managed to back into his own corner and make a tag.
Cody landed a springboard dropkick on Hobbs, and then a DDT on Starks. Taz and Arn got on the apron, and Starks used the distraction to rake Cody’s eyes. Cody recovered and landed CrossRhodes on Starks. Darby tagged himself in, and Cody splashed Hobbs on the floor. Darby then landed a Coffin Drop on Starks for the win.
Darby Allin and Cody Rhodes defeated Powerhouse Hobbs and Ricky Starks at 10:32
After the match, Hobbs jumped Darby Allin, and a brawl broke out. Arn Anderson got involved, but got beat down for his trouble. Dustin Rhodes tried to interfere, and he turned the tide for a moment, but Brian Cage ran down and returned the momentum to Team Taz. Just as Taz started directing traffic, the lights went out and a Winter themed video played on the screen.
It marked the debut of Sting in AEW, and he made his entrance to a big reaction. Fake snow fell in the arena as he cleared the heels with his bat, and walked out to the ring. He got face to face with Dustin, Cody, Darby and Arn Anderson before acknowledging the crowd and taking a walk to the back….[c]
My Take: Sting just got a huge paycheck to walk out and look at some people, and then leave. That’s a true legend right there. I can’t say I think Sting has a lot to offer in AEW outside of some character work and a mentor role, but maybe that’s all they have in mind? I can’t imagine Sting has a lot left in the tank, especially after his neck injury scare just a few years ago. Maybe surgeries have improved that situation? I’m not sure. But it was a moment that genuinely felt big, so credit for that.
We got some video of crowd reactions for Sting, followed by some advertising for next week’s Dynamite. The Young Bucks will face TH2, MJF will face Orange Cassidy for the Dynamite Diamond, Dustin Rhodes vs. 10 from the Dark Order, and FTR vs Varsity Blondes. Sting was announced as having a multi-year deal with AEW.
Backstage, Hikaru Shida was interviewed by Alex Marvez. He asked why she was reluctant to engage with Abadon last week. She said she wasn’t afraid, but her body language said she was rattled. A noise happened off camera, and she jumped, and asked to do the interview again. Marvez said they were live, and she said she had to go.
Sting will be interviewed by Tony Schiavone next week.
A Jox Moxley promo aired. He spoke about how this week was special with a little magic in the air. He said a few years ago people thought he was washed up, but he bitched slapped the wrestling world across the mouth. He then said he and Kenny Omega were destined to be rivals, and now that the contracts have been signed and the promos have been cut, it was time to go out there and make them all go absolutely banana…[c]
My Take: Hikaru Shida is not what you’d call an actress. Hopefully she can improve on the character work, because it all felt very High School play. Moxley’s promo was a bit inconsequential, but it had his usual charm.
Don Callis joined on commentary at the request of Kenny Omega. Justin Roberts was in the ring for ring introductions. We got Kenny Omega’s bombastic entrance announcement from Roberts, and he made his entrance with some Pyro, but without the girls with brooms. The announce team said they would stick with the match beyond the top of the hour until there was a conclusion. Moxley then made his entrance through the crowd, and got a strong reaction from the crowd…[c]
4. Jon Moxley vs. Kenny Omega for the AEW World Championship: We got a staredown, and then Moxley applied a choke. Omega quickly got to the ropes. They traded holds and started out at a deliberate pace. They eventually got to their feet and traded chops and punches. Kenny managed to land a headscissors that caused Moxley to bail to the floor. Omega then hit the ropes, and Moxley slipped into the ring and landed a spinning side slam. He then landed a lariat that sent Omega to the floor. They brawled around the ring area, with Moxley maintaining control…[c]
Moxley played to the crowd after tossing Omega into some seats in the stands. He then marched Omega back to the ringside area and slammed him into a chair. This is apparently legal in a normal wrestling match? The rules are loose apparently. Moxley sent Omega into the post with a catapult, prompting the referee to finally tell him to bring it back in the ring. Omega attacked Moxley’s knee as he got back in the ring. He landed a dropkick and a dragon whip. He then threw Moxley into the barricade knee first.
Omega landed a springboard dropkick to Moxley’s left knee, and then a Kotaro Crusher. Omega focused on the knee and wrapped it up in the ropes in the corner. He then landed a running dropkick. Omega fired up for a running attack, but Moxley cut him down with a big lariat. Moxley hobbled on this leg, and Omega pulled him into a kneebar. Moxley broke free, but Omega remained in control and landed several kicks. He picked up Moxley, but Moxley slid free and landed a German Suplex, followed by a second.
Moxley went for a third, but Omega landed some elbows. Moxley pushed through and pulled in Omega for an exploder suplex for a two count. Both men ended up on their knees trading punches…[c]
Moxley wrapped up Kenny in the ropes, and landed some chops. He then charged Omega, but Kenny moved and sent him to the floor. Omega then splashed Moxley on the floor. Omega then dove back into the ring, but jumped into a paradigm shift. Moxley didn’t cover though, and went outside to grab some chairs.
Moxley set up the chairs and invited Omega to sit across from him. Omega sat down, and he told Omega to hit him. They then had a slap fight, and then traded punches, and Moxley landed a big right hand. Omega replied with a V-Trigger, followed by a snap dragon suplex. He then landed another.
Omega went for another V-Trigger, but Moxley avoided it with a German Suplex and a big lariat. Moxley landed a second paradigm shift, and covered slowly, and only got a near fall. Omega rolled to the floor and Moxley dove at him directly into a knee to the face. Omega took to the top rope, and landed a missile dropkick, and followed up with a V-Trigger in the corner. Omega landed a Tiger Driver 98 for another near fall.
Omega landed another set of V-Triggers. Moxley avoided a third initially, but ended up eating it anyway a moment later. Omega landed a dropkick, and then a ripcord V-Trigger. Omega went for another One Winged Angel, but Moxley shifted, but Omega pulled him into Croyt’s Wrath. Omega went up top, but Moxley knocked him to the apron. Moxley then landed a Paradigm Shift into one of the ringside heaters. The ref called for a doctor, and kept Moxley away from Omega.
Moxley got in the ring, and Don Callis came over to check on Omega. Moxley eventually pulled him into the ring and landed some mounted punches. Callis jumped up on the apron, and had a microphone to say Omega was hurt. Moxley knocked him down. Omega had the microphone in his hand, and smashed Moxley between the eyes. Moxley came up bleeding, and Omega pulled down his knee pads. Omega landed a series of V-Triggers, and Moxley couldn’t even stand. Omega used the turnbuckles to land the One Winged Angel, and got the win.
Kenny Omega defeated Jon Moxley to win the AEW Championship at 28:31
After the match, Callis entered the ring and held up Omega’s arm. Callis and Omega then made a swift exit out of the building. They walked by a bunch of screaming wrestlers and producers as they made their escape. Marvez grabbed an interview with Callis, who said they would address it on Tuesday on Impact Wrestling on AXS TV. Eddie Kingston jumped in on the announce microphone and said he wanted Lance Archer now. JR said they had been jobbed out and had a bloody ex-champion to close the show…[c]
My Take: That was a very good match with a finish that didn’t really make Kenny Omega a star. Don Callis? Impact Wrestling? What? I’m really hoping this plays out better than I’m imagining. I’ll reserve final judgement until we see what they have in mind, but my gut feeling is skepticism on this direction for Kenny Omega. On the positive side, this show delivered on a big moment with Sting, and a big fight feel for the main event. I also enjoyed the major of the Baker/Hirsch/Thunder Rosa segment, and the Inner Circle implosion saga. Look for Jason Powell’s audio review of the show later tonight, and I’ll be on Wade Keller’s post show here in a bit.