By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 63)
Taped December 3, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired December 9, 2020 on TNT
[Hour One] Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur were on commentary as they went right to the entrances for the opening tag match. A pre-taped Young Bucks promo aired with Matt Jackson saying they had yet to talk with Kenny Omega since he won the AEW Championship…
1. AEW Tag Team Champions “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico in a non-title match. The heels attacked the babyface duo to start the match. Schiavone noted that if H2 were victorious, they would get a future AEW Tag Title shot.
The Bucks regrouped and went on the offensive with some of their signature spots. Evans and Angelico rallied with some flashy offense, including an assisted 450 splash on Matt that led to a near fall. They went for the same move again, but it was broken up.
A sort time later, Matt powerbombed Evans from the apron and ended up throwing him onto an “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens in the spectator wrestler section. H2 came back with Evans performing a springboard 450 splash onto Matt for a good near fall.
The Bucks hit a double superkick on Angelico and then Matt covered him for a two count. The Bucks followed up with More Bang For Your Buck, but Angelico put his knees up and then Matt sold his knee injury after flipping from the ropes.
Angelico applied a knee submission hold on Matt while Evans stood guard in the ring as Nick was down on the floor. Nick eluded Evans, then performed a Swanton onto Angelico to break the hold. The Bucks set up for a Meltzer Driver, but Evans broke it up, then performed a big dive onto both Bucks, who caught him. The Bucks performed an Indy Taker (spike piledriver) on Evans on the floor. Back in the ring, the Bucks delivered a double superkick to a kneeling Angelico, then followed up with the BTE Driver
“The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson defeated “The Hybrid 2” Jack Evans and Angelico in 11:50 in a non-title match.
Afterward, Matt sold his knee injury. The Acclaimed hopped the barricade and tried to get in the ring, but Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian came out and cut them off…
Powell’s POV: A hot opener with good back and forth action with the expected great athleticism from both teams. The non-title aspect actually helped make the outcome feel less predictable. There wouldn’t have been any reason to suspect a title change, but it was reasonable to wonder if H2 would go over to set themselves up with a title match. By the way, I am filling in on Dynamite coverage for Jake Barnett for the next couple of weeks due to his other commitments, but he should return before the end of the year.
MJF delivered a backstage promo while Wardlow stood behind him. MJF said he gets to upset a bunch of smart marks when he smashes in the head of Orange Cassidy and keeps his Dynamite diamond ring… Excalibur ran through the show’s lineup… [C]
Darby Allin was shown in black and white with a man who was holding up ink blots, which reminded Allin of the Team Taz members. Allin spoke about defending the TNT Championship against Brian Cage. The last ink blot was Sting’s face paint. “What about this one?” he man asked. Allin smiled…
Cody Rhodes made his entrance heading into a commercial break… [C] Tony Schiavone stood in the ring with Cody and Arn Anderson. Schiavone asked for Cody’s reaction to what happened with Sting last week. Before Cody could speak, Sting’s winter themed entrance video played and he headed to the ring.
Anderson approached Sting while Ross said there was no love lost between them. Anderson waited for the crowd to stop chanting Sting’s name, then said he had to get a little closer “to make sure this was real.” Anderson said he knew Sting had an agenda, so for now he would step aside. Schiavone handed Sting the mic.
“Tony, are you kidding me?” Sting asked before asking for a hug. Sting and Schiavone embraced. Sting spoke about how Schiavone helped his career with all the times he yelled, “It’s Sting!” Sting had Schiavone deliver the line and then pumped his fist in response, and they hugged again. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Cody stepped up and welcomed Sting back. Cody said he’d been waiting a long time to get in the ring with Sting. But Sting told Cody that he wasn’t there for him, at least not now. Sting said there was something really familiar about this place. Sting looked into the stands where Darby Allin was holding his TNT Championship. Sting spoke about being back on TNT.
“Like I said, sir, welcome back,” Cody said. Sting told Rhodes that he knows everything that happens in AEW. Sting said the only thing about Sting is that nothing is for sure. “Except this, I am signed officially with AEW,” Sting said. “And I plan on being close to the AEW wrestling fans and in this promotion for a long time. I plan on spending a lot of time right here.” A “welcome home” chant broke out.
Sting told Cody that the way he chooses to play is his business. Sting slapped Cody on the back, then put his arm around him. Cody smiled. “See you around, kid,” Sting told Cody before leaving the ring…
Powell’s POV: A cool segment with the fun nostalgia of the Sting and Schiavone reunion. The Sting and Cody portion was compelling, as Cody’s character was cordial, yet didn’t seem genuinely thrilled to see the legend in AEW. Sting telling Cody that he wasn’t there for him yet was intriguing, and his closing line was great. I like that they didn’t give away too much in the first promo.
Taz spoke backstage while his son Hook, Ricky Starks, Will Hobbs, and Brian Cage stood by. Taz mocked the previous segment by saying, “Oh, what a special moment on Dynamite.” Taz said it was a special moment when his crew beat the hell out of Cody and Allin before Tony Khan signed Sting to save his two golden boys. Starks said Hook is now training with Team Taz after being Cody’s star student. Taz said his men are always ready to beat somebody’s ass…
2. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler (w/Tully Blanchard) vs. “The Varsity Blondes” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison. The show cut to a picture-in-picture break a few minutes into the match. [C] Garrison worked over both FTR members and speared them both, then covered Harwood for a near fall.
Garrison went for a suplex, but Harwood slipped out and then shoved Garrison through the ropes. Pillman tagged himself in as Garrison was going through the ropes. Pillman went for a springboard move, but Harwood moved and then followed up with a kick and a brainbuster. Wheeler tagged in. FTR hit the Goodnight Express (Shatter Machine) on Pillman, then Wheeler covered him for the win.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler beat “The Varsity Blondes” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison in roughly 8:30.
Afterward, FTR exchanged words with the Jurassic Express trio at ringside…
Powell’s POV: A fine television tag match. It will be fun to see Pillman and Garrison develop as a team in AEW.
Footage aired from “earlier today” of “Hangman” Adam Page being interviewed by Alex Marvez in the bar area. Marvez noted that Page is scheduled for a six-man tag match next week against Matt Hardy and Private Party, but he doesn’t have any tag partners. John Silver and Alex Reynolds, who wore “Recruitment Specialists” t-shirts, popped up from behind the bar wearing cheesy cowboy hats. Page asked how long they’d been there. Page said they were not his partners. They asked who else it would be. “Okay, fine, it’s one match,” Page said while insisting that he would not be joining The Dark Order…
The Dark Order led 10 (Preston Vance) to the ring… [C] Dustin Rhodes made his entrance and was accompanied by Lee Johnson…
3. Dustin Rhodes (w/Lee Johnson) vs. Dark Order’s 10. Excalibur said Johnson is the latest member of the Nightmare Family. 10 ended up at ringside. One of the spectator wrestlers reached out and touched 10, then 10 responded by kicking him in the face. Dustin ended up going over clean.
Dustin Rhodes beat Dark Order’s 10 in 2:50.
After the match, Evil Uno walked out with the Dark Order members and called for the music to be cut. Uno said Dustin’s legacy has gone through five decades. He said that his last name comes with pressure, and in AEW he’s the third most important Rhodes. Uno said they could help Dustin.
“Will you take your rightful place as Seven in the Dark Order?” Uno asked. “What do you say, Seven?” Dustin held out his hand, but then slapped Uno with it. Uno ordered the rest of Dark Order to back up. “When you see the light, when you understand what I understand, you’ll come begging for us,” Uno said as he left the ring…
Tony Schiavone was shown seated with Brandi Rhodes, who had her arm in a sling. Schiavone introduced NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who was in the room with them. Brandi took issue with the big introduction that Schiavone gave Shaq yet only called her the Chief Brand Officer. “It’s fine, go ahead,” Brandi said.
Shaq said he and Jade Cargill go way back and he wants to see her do good things, but he didn’t care for what Jade did to Brandi’s arm. Brandi said she would get in her face if she tried it again. She said she hoped that Shaq could stop it all before someone gets hurt. Schiavone asked if they could settle it on Dynamite.
Shaq said he would love to see that. He also said that he was just being him and messing around with Cody on social media. He said he loves Cody, his brother, and their father. Shaq said he wants to see Brandi face Jade and would be there.
Brandi shook hands with Shaq and Schiavone, then took offense when Shaq suggested that she should watch Jade to get some pointers while her arm is in a sling. Brandi asked if that was a joke. Shaq said he was serious. Brandi took Schiavone’s water glass and threw it at Shaq while calling him an overgrown asshole… [C]
Powell’s POV: Does this count as another turn for Brandi? Babyfaces don’t take offense to an NBA legend getting a bigger introduction. Putting that aside, I like that this was more than just Shaq appearing via satellite.
“The Inner Circle” members Chris Jericho, MJF, Wardlow, Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, and Ortiz headed to the ring. Jericho spoke about how they could be the strongest faction in wrestling or split. MJF said he wasn’t trying to take over the group. He said he wanted to join the most powerful group and form bonds that would never be broken.
[Hour Two] Guevara got in MJF’s face. Jericho said he saw MJF bring the towel to the ring during his match. MJF claimed he had sweat on his brow. Ortiz said MJF and Wardlow are assets to the group and they are great, but not so much as human beings. Ortiz said Wardlow is great, but MJF is growing on him like a fungus. Ortiz told told Guevara that he gets that they didn’t choose this, but in life you don’t get to choose the hand you are dealt.
Ortiz told Guevara to be the better man by shaking MJF’s hand. “You’re better than him and you know it,” Ortiz told Guevara. Sammy said he would shake his hand and stated that he trusts Jericho. Guevara said he was telling MJF and Jericho that if one more thing happens with MJF, he would quit the Inner Circle. Jericho accepted it. Guevara and MJF shook hands.
Jericho said it seemed like they were on the same page and everything was cool. Hager asked Wardlow why he was staring at him. Wardlow got pissed and said Hager has been staring at hime since he started in AEW. Jericho said they would agree to stop staring. Hager and Wardlow agreed.
Jericho said the Inner Circle needs to grow, build, and dominate AEW. As Jericho was talking, MJF stepped up and spoke about being in the main event. “Max, you’re ruining it,” Jericho said. Jericho called for the group to do a group flip off, which they did…
Powell’s POV: More Inner Circle fun. Guevara’s ultimatum means that the truce is temporary. I like the slow build to wherever this is going.
Marvez interviewed FTR and Blanchard backstage and brought up how they lost the tag titles to the Young Bucks. Wheeler said he let his emotions get the best of him and tried to beat them at their own game. Blanchard said he wasn’t there, and they are invincible when they are together. Harwood spoke about how they are the best tag team and their goal is to regain the tag titles. “Alex Marvez, fear the revelation,” Harwood closed…
Ring entrances for the six-man tag took place. [C]
4. Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts), Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix vs. Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, and The Blade (w/The Bunny). Archer was the last man out coming out of the commercial break and performed a big dive over the ropes that started the match. Butcher slammed Penta through a table at ringside. Penta was helped to the back, leaving his team down a man.
Fenix eventually tagged in Archer, who worked over Butch and Blade while Kington was down at ringside. A graphic teased new AEW Champion Kenny Omega during the PIP break. [C] Archer was down and selling his knee coming out of the break. The Blade ran the ropes and was tripped by Roberts, which led to Archer hitting Blade and then tagging in Fenix.
Fenix performed a dive through the ropes onto Kingston. Fenix hit his head on the floor and referee Aubrey Edwards checked on him, but he returned to the ring and seemed fine. Butcher and Blade hit a powerbomb and neckbreaker combo on Fenix, then Blade covered Fenix for the pin.
Eddie Kingston, The Butcher, and The Blade defeated Lance Archer, Penta El Zero Miedo, and Rey Fenix in roughly 9:45.
Schiavone noted that Archer and Fenix were outnumbered due to Penta’s injury. Archer attacked his opponents as they were celebrating their win. He grabbed Kingston by the throat, but The Blade broke it up. Kingston fled the ring, then Archer worked over The Blade. The Butcher saved his tag partner from taking Archer’s finisher…
Powell’s POV: Good action. Is Archer being positioned as a babyface? Are both sides heels?
Backstage, Jade Cargill and Nyla Rose were roughing up Red Velvet while Vickie Guerrero played cheerleader. Sereena Deeb and Big Swole showed up to help, then Ivelisse and Diamante showed up and shoved Deeb from behind. Referees tried to break things up while Schiavone said Cargill made some powerful allies…
5. Abadon vs. Tesha Price. Abadon dominated the match and performed her backpack neckbreaker finisher and then scored the pin.
Abadon beat Tesha Price in 1:15.
Abadon attacked Price afterward and slammed her head into the mat several times. AEW Women’s Champion Hikaru Shida came out with a kendo stick in hand. Shida stopped on the stage and looked fearful for a moment, then shook it off and entered the ring. Shida hit Abadon with the kendo stick and then tended to Price. Abadon stood up, which led to Shida and Price leaving the ring…
Powell’s POV: This was a step in the right direction. Shida was thrown off and a bit intimidated by Abadon rather than acting terrified by her as she did in past weeks.
Ross hyped Kenny Omega and Don Callis for later in the show…
Backstage, Dasha spoke with Jericho, Guevara, Hager, and Ortiz and asked if the Inner Circle is on the same page. Jericho said they are on the same page and would join MJF at ringside for the main event to make sure the Inner Circle get the Dynamite diamond ring… [C]
Ross welcomed viewers back to the show and said that Omega and Callis were arriving in a helicopter. Tony Schiavone stood in the ring while Omega was shown exiting a helicopter with the AEW Title belt over his shoulder. Callis then exited the helicopter. Alex Marvez showed up and tried to get a word with them, but they ended up saying very little and headed toward the ring.
Ring announcer Justin Roberts delivered the over the top introduction for Omega. Women danced on the stage with brooms in hand. Schiavone said he’s never been more disgusted in his professional life about what happened last week. Callis took the mic and said Schiavone, the fans, and Tony Khan are all upset.
Callis said Khan invited him into his house as an honored guest and now feels like he get screwed. “Tony, you’re welcome for your first lesson,” Callis said. “Welcome to the wrestling business, kid.” Callis said “they” are saying it’s the biggest screwjob since Montreal. He said he was there that night and the stakes were actually much higher last week.
Callis said hell froze over because Omega appeared on Impact with the AEW Title belt the night before. Callis said they have planned this for years. He said he’s known Omega since he was ten years-old. He said they changed the course of wrestling with Omega vs. Jericho at the Tokyo Dome. He recalled Khan saying there may not be an AEW had it not been for that match. Callis introduced Omega and handed him the mic.
Omega said he didn’t beg and plead Khan to get his friends in AEW. He said they sat back and plotted for over a year. Omega spoke of what he did as fine art and said it was inspirational. He said everyone watching at home fell for it. He said he didn’t care whether the fans, Tony Khan, or Jerry Lynn fell for it.
Omega removed his shades and pointed to an eye injury, which he blamed Jon Moxley for. Omega said no one kicks out of the One Winged Angel. He said that if you thought last week was a big surprise, there is so much more coming. Callis took the mic and said they can’t handle it. He said Omega makes history. Omega delivered his “goodbye, goodnight, bang” closing line…
Powell’s POV: I continue to wish that the big crime that Schiavone was so outraged by and Omega and Callis are so proud of was more than a microphone shot to the head of Jon Moxley. I’ve always enjoyed Callis on the mic and Omega’s performances the last two nights are his best since AEW started. But all this talk about the screwjob just doesn’t mesh with what they actually booked with that mic shot finish last week. That said, I love the Omega and Callis pairing and I think they are in a great place going forward.
Excalibur hyped the following for next week’s Dynamite: Cody Rhodes vs. Angelico, Hangman Page, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds vs. Matt Hardy and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens, Ivelisse and Diamante vs. Big Swole and Sereena Deeb.
Excalibur also hyped a late start for the December 23 edition of Dynamite following NBA coverage. He also hyped New Year’s Smash for December 30 with Chris Jericho as special commentator, and the January 6 New Year’s Smash Night Two with a special appearance by Snoop Dogg…
MJF and the Inner Circle members headed to the ring for the main event… [C] Orange Cassidy and Best Friends made their entrance…
6. MJF (w/Wardlow, Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Jake Hager) vs. Orange Cassidy (w/Chuck Taylor, Trent) for the Dynamite Diamond Ring. MJF attacked Cassidy from behind the moment the bell rang. MJF dumped Cassidy to ringside where the Inner Circle members put the boots to him. Jericho threatened the Best Friends duo with his baseball bat. MJF distracted the referee while Guevara ran Cassidy into the ring post and then threw him back inside the ring heading into a PIP break. [C]
The Varsity Blondes, Top Flight, and Brandon Cutler joined Best Friends in the corner of Cassidy during the break. Cassidy hit a suicide dive. Back inside the ring, MJF went to work on Cassidy’s hand, which he targeted prior to the commercial break, including a moment where he wrenched his fingers in the turnbuckle.
MJF tried to pin Cassidy with his feet on the ropes, but Best Friends called him on it. While the referee argued with Best Friends, Jericho’s bat was tossed to MJF, who tried to do the Eddie Guerrero spot. Cassidy put his hands in his pocket. MJF got up and grabbed the bat, then Cassidy laid down, and the referee questioned MJF. Cassidy hit the Beach Break for a near fall.
MJF went back to work on the bad hand. Cassidy avoided the Fujiwara armbar, but Cassidy wrenched his fingers. Cassidy hit the Orange Crush punch for a good near fall. Cassidy performed a second Orange Crush and had the pin, but Ortiz placed MJF’s foot over the bottom rope.
A brawl broke out at ringside with the Inner Circle and everyone in Cassidy’s corner. Miro and Kip Sabian walked onto the stage. Miro entered the ring and turned Cassidy inside out with a clothesline while the referee was caught up with the big brawl. Miro returned to the stage and mockingly put his hands in his pocket. MJF covered Cassidy and got the three count.
MJF defeated Orange Cassidy in 13:35 to win the Dynamite Diamond Ring.
Best Friends rushed the stage and fought Miro and Sabian. Referees and security quickly intervened. Miro roughed up the security guards, then picked one of them up and tossed him off the stage. Miro clotheslined another security guard, then he and Sabian posed on the stage while Miro placed his foot on the face of the guard. MJF was shown wearing the diamond ring and boasted that he beat Cassidy clean in the middle of the ring. On the stage, Miro mugged for the camera to close the show…
Powell’s POV: So MJF keeps the diamond ring for another year. Meh. I was really hoping that Sammy Guevara would win the ring just to torment MJF. It’s cool that they took a different approach, but MJF keeping the ring feels a little flat. Then again, the Cassidy character has no use for the ring, so once it came down to them in the finals, it seemed like MJF should win the match and keep the ring. The big brawl was fun. I have no idea what happened to the Sabian and Penelope Ford wedding, but hopefully Miro will be a bigger deal in 2021 as Tony Khan indicated during a media call.
Overall, this looked like a loaded show on paper and it delivered with Sting, Shaq, Omega and Callis, the matches, etc. It will be very interesting to see if Dynamite can top the one million viewer mark for this episode considering everything they advertised and delivered. Let me know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade in our post show poll available via the main page. I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of AEW Dynamite exclusively for Dot Net Members.