By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
AEW Dynamite (Episode 69)
Jacksonville, Florida at Daily’s Place
Aired live January 20, 2021 on TNT
[Hour One] The AEW into video aired and Pyro lit up the arena. Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur joined on commentary as Dark Order’s music hit. This match is a celebration for -1’s Birthday. The match was booked after -1 (Brodie Huber) cut a promo on Luther a few weeks ago. There was a birthday cake on a table on the stage, and they lit the candles for him. Jon Silver got on the microphone and said tonight was going to be a celebration, and the Dark Order was going to get a new recruit. He indicated it would be Adam Page. He then said the second item was Brodie’s Birthday, and he then led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday.
Luther walked out through the heel entrance and said they didn’t care about the Birthday Party, and complained that AEW had become a daycare center. He was joined by Serpentico, who didn’t say anything. Luther complained that Brodie had said he looked stupid a few weeks ago. He claimed his face as perfectly symmetrical, and called the rest of the Dark Order a bunch of masked doofuses. He said the Chaos Project didn’t like children, and that they would ruin his birthday.
A brawl ensued that carried to ringside. Adam Page’s music hit and he splashed Luther, Serpentico, and They Hybrid2 at ringside.
1. Colt Cabana, Adam Page, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds vs. Luther, Serpentico, Jack Evans, and Angelico: Silver started the match with Jack Evans. Silver and Reynolds landed a pop up European Uppercut combination, but Luther and Serpentico quickly jumped in to turn the tables on the offense. Luther tagged in and landed some strikes, and then body slammed Serpentico onto Silver.
Silver broke free of the offense of TH2, and made a tag to Adam Page. He entered and cleaned house on the heels, and the match started to break down. Everybody jumped into the ring for a chaotic brawl that spilled almost everyone to the outside. Page attempted a splash to the outside, but everybody moved out of the way. There was more brawling on the floor, and then Page landed a moonsault onto a group of standing wrestlers on the floor.
Luther and Cabana brawled back into the stage, resulting in Luther threatening to destroy -1’s cake. -1 ended up hitting Luther with a Kendo Stick, and then Cabana dumped him onto the cake. In the ring, after a Stunner-Superkick-Buckshot Lariat-German Suplex Combination, Reynolds got the pin on Serpentico.
Colt Cabana, Adam Page, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds beat Luther, Serpentico, Jack Evans, and Angelico at 7:38
After the match. Serpentico was taken onto the stage and held in place for -1. He told Serpentico that he was an idiot, because they couldn’t ruin his birthday, because it was 3 days ago. He then hit him in the head with a Kendo Stick, and then threw some papers at him. Jon Silver then fawned over Adam Page, and asked him for his answer about joining the Dark Order. Page said he couldn’t, but celebration pyro and dancers appeared anyways. The Dark Order had to shoo it all away.
Page said he couldn’t because he had already done the group thing before, and it didn’t turn out well for him. He said he had a lot of fun with them over the last weeks and months, but he just couldn’t do it. He then grabbed a bottle of alcohol from Stu Grayson and walked to the back.
Sting will congratulate Darby Allin next. Elsewhere, Jericho and MJF were interviewed by Alex Marvez. MJF said Marvez’s breath stunk like a rat orgy that was happening in a microwave. Jericho put over the tag match between the Inner Circle members later, and predicted a victory. MJF said they were Christopher and Maxwell, and they would be the next Tag Team Champions…[c]
My Take: A wild 20 minutes to start the show. Rapid fire pacing and I’m sure I missed some details, so I apologize. The Brodie Jr. stuff was very lighthearted and sweet, and it was a nice gesture from the company to continue involving the Huber family in the show. The Adam Page situation wasn’t the direction I was expecting, but I liked it. Maybe Dark Order will be able to teach him to trust again.
Tony Schiavone was in the ring and introduced Sting, who wanted to congratulate Darby Allin on retaining the TNT Championship last week. Sting made his way out first, followed by Darby Allin. Schiavone gave Sting the floor. He said there was something about Darby that reminded him of himself, and said he wanted to be the first one to congratulate him in public on being the TNT Champ. He then said he wasn’t there to interfere in the match, he wanted to make sure Darby had a fair shot.
Taz popped up on the screen and told him to shut up. He accused Sting and Allin of using weapons and fighting like they were on the street. Taz said he grew up on the streets and knew what it took to get in done there. Ricky Starks piped up and said they couldn’t even see them in the streets, and everyone else nodded along. Taz then issued a challenge to put the ball in their court, and asked if they were ready to take it to the streets.
Sting whispered into Darby’s ear. Darby took a moment to reply, and said that Team Taz should be careful what it wished for, because it just might happen. He and Sting then walked off.
My Take: Is this a setup for a Cinematic Match? I guess that would be one of the few ways they could protect Sting and avoid having him take heavy bumps. We’ll have to see where it goes.
Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker was hyped for Beach Break in two weeks. We then threw to a video package at Kenny Omega’s house, where The Young Bucks arrived for a meeting of The Elite. Alex Marvez was there with a TV crew. The Bucks ran into Michael Nakazawa, who walked them into a living room. There was a painting on the wall of Kenny and Don Caliis shirtless with abs and jeans. Callis walked in and said Kenny couldn’t be there. The Bucks asked why he couldn’t be at his own house. Callis said they changed his phone number a few weeks ago, so he didn’t know who they had been talking to.
Callis sent Marvez and the camera guy out of the room, but he left the camera on the floor. Callis offered them a check to pay off the investment in their friendship, because they were trying to keep him away from the old friends from the old neighborhood. The Bucks said the checks weren’t any good anyway, because they were from his other company that doesn’t have any money. They called him out for manipulating Kenny, and the camera went dark as it sounded like they started to assault him.
In the arena, Peter Avalon made his entrance. He was followed by Cody Rhodes. He was accompanied by Arn Anderson and his Waffle House menu.
2. Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Peter Avalon: Cody landed CrossRhodes immediately. Jade Cargill’s music hit and she headed to the ring. Avalon kicked Cody with a low blow while he was distracted, and followed up with a chop block to the knee. He then landed some chops in the corner. Cody turned the table and landed an overhand chop. Cody then punched him in the face and headed to the top rope. Avalon caught up to him and followed to the top. He then landed a Superplex, but couldn’t make a cover.
Action spilled to the floor, where Cody was on the run from chops and strikes. Avalon landed a suplex in the ring, but got a one count on a cover. Both men went down with a double clothesline…[c]
Avalon dominated the break, but missed a moonsault press attempt from the top as the show returned. Cody flubbed a leapfrog, and the ref checked on him. Avalon sent him to the floor and then landed a suicide dive on the outside. Avalon brought the action back into the ring, and Cody fired up and landed a cutter. He then ran the ropes well, and landed some lariats. Cody fired up and hit a powerslam, and then threw his belt into the crowd.
Cody applied a Figure Four, but Avalon turned things over on Cody. They turned again. Cody was going to slap Avalon in the face, but he got scared and tapped out to protect his good looks apparently.
Cody Rhodes defeated Peter Avalon at 9:46
After the match, Excalibur butchered Bert Kreischer’s name on purpose as a gag for the Go Big Show. The announce team then threw to FTR backstage with Tully Blanchard. Tully said they were #1, but they needed the belts for the bragging rights. Jurassic Express walked in and Jungle Boy said that he learned something last week, and that he could beat either one of them. Dax Harwood accepted, and Jurassic Express said he would be there to make sure nobody else gets involved.
Back at ringside, Jon Moxley made his entrance for the next match…[c]
My Take: Avalon looked pretty good in the ring, but it’s a shame he has such a terrible character. He tapped out to avoid getting slapped in the face, which is a new one on me. I don’t know how you recover from that other than doing a full character reboot, but his ring work held up against Cody. Moxley is still the most over guy in the company based on his entrance reaction. The Callis and Young Bucks segment was a nice piece of character work. It at least firmed up where the Bucks stand on matters.
Nick Comorato was in the ring, and he is absolutely jacked.
3. Jon Moxley vs. Nick Comorato: Moxley fired up early on, but Comorato turned the tables with a big powerslam. Comorator landed a big elbow charge in the corner, followed by a backbreaker. He then landed a backbreaker, but held Moxley in place for a submission. Moxley attempted to take a bite out of Comorato’s face, but he sent him away with a knee. Comorato landed an Ushigoroshi, and then fired up for a run. He charged at Moxley in the corner, but Moxley got out of the way.
Moxley landed a few big kicks to the chest, but couldn’t pick up Comorato for a suplex. He was able to get him over with a rebound German Suplex. Moxley went for a lariat, but Comorator shoved it off. Comorato picked up Moxley, but he spun out and applied a rear naked choke his back. Comorato went out quickly.
Jon Moxley defeated Nick Comorato at 3:36
[Hour Two] After the match, Moxley asked for a microphone. Moxley said anything can happen on Dynamite, and he’s having a hard time keeping up. He said Kenny brought in his brothers from Nashville to have his back, but all he did was make it more fun. He said more there were more necks to snap and limbs to break, and he loves it. Moxley said Kenny can bring in all his buddies from Japan, Mexico, Nashville, or wherever, because all roads in wrestling run through him. Moxley then threw down the microphone and did some push ups…
Elsewhere, Dasha was with Eddie Kingston and his crew. She said he would face Lance Archer next week, and asked how he would prepare. He said he doesn’t prepare, but he’s been having a hard time lately. He said he had to move past Pac and focus on Archer. Jake Roberts and Lance then walked up, and Archer said that Pac beat him, but he would put him down for good. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, everybody dies. They got face to face and teased a brawl, but Jake pulled Archer away. He told Kingston to save it for next week when he wouldn’t have his monkeys to back him up. Jake then told Kingston to “Bite me”…[c]
My Take: Moxley got a pretty solid match out of a green trainee of Cody and QT Marshall. It was fairly basic in structure, but it wasn’t beyond Comorato’s abilities, and so it worked. Eddie and Archer did a pretty basic promo, but it was solid as well.
Kenny Omega walked in the building, and was asked by Alex Marvez if he had heard about what happened at the Beach. Kenny said he wasn’t there, and Marvez said they were at his house. Kenny looked surprised. Callis was in the locker room with a black eye. He reluctantly revealed that Matt and Nick did it. Marvez walked up and tried to ask a question, and Omega and Callis told him to get out of their private space.
Matt Sydal and Top Flight made their entrance. They were followed by Private Party and Matt Hardy.
4. Matt Hardy and “Private Party” Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy vs. Matt Sydal and “Top Flight” Darius and Dante Martin: Dante Martin started the match with Marq Quen. Top Flight jumped out to an early advantage. There was an ugly botch early on where Darius missed a splash and a moonsault attempt. Sydal landed a moonsault afterward to cover for it, but it got a one count.
Quen and Kassidy took some cheap shots on Top Flight as they were on the apron. They entered the ring, and took down Quen and Kassidy, and then applied a Triple Boston Crab of sorts where the three babyfaces had the hold applied to both Quen and Kassidy. The heels took back over after the ref got control, and isolated Sydal in the ring…[c]
The heels maintained their control of Sydal as Kassidy held onto a rear chinlock. Kassidy made a tag to Quen, and then they attempted a double suplex. Sydal flipped out and knocked Hardy from the apron before taking down both private party members. Darius Martin tagged in and landed a standing spanish fly on Kassidy. Darius sent Hardy to the floor, and then landed a hard suicide dive onto him on the floor.
Private Party went for the Silly String on Daunte, but Darius broke it up. Darius landed a suplex and converted into a european clutch pin for a two count. Hardy entered the ring again and landed a side effect on both Darius and Daunte. Sydal leapt off the top at Hardy, but he caught him and landed a side effect on Sydal for a two count.
Marq Quen went for an unnecessarily complicated kick that forced Sydal to stand for way too long. Daunte and Darius cleared Kassidy and Hardy from the ring, and then landed a front flip into a head scissors on Quen. They covered, but Hardy broke up the pin. There was a traffic jam in the corner, and Kassidy used a chair on Daunte Martin behind the ref’s back. Marq Quen landed a shooting star splash and got the win.
Private Party and Matt Hardy defeated Matt Sydal and Top Flight at 11:50
After the match, Sydal and Darius yelled at Private Party about the chair incident. Private Party assaulted them, Hardy landed Twist of Fates on Sydal and Darius Martin. Daunte was still on the ground from the finish.
Backstage, MJF and Wardlow walked into the room with the rest of the Inner Circle members. Jericho wasn’t present. MJF said if it was up to him, this match wouldn’t have happened, but Jericho is their leader. Guevara stood up and got in his face, and said a lot of things wouldn’t have happened if it was his call. MJF said he wasn’t a sociopath, and he was coming from a good place. He asked that they just get the match over wish, and move forward. Everybody but Guevara gave MJF a fist bump.
In the arena, Leyla Hirsch made her ring entrance. Orange Cassidy was shown in the crowd. Penelope Ford made her entrance. She was accompanied by Kip Sabian, Miro, and Butler “Charles” Taylor.
5. Penelope Ford (w/Kip Saban, Miro, “Charles” Taylor) vs. Leyal Hirsch: They tied up to star, and Hirsch shoved her off. They went back to the tie up, and then ended up on the mat. Hirsch held into a waist lock, but Ford fought back to her feet. Hirsch pushed Ford into the ropes, which caused a break. Ford kicked her in the knee, followed by a shoulder block. Hirsch got tripped by Butler Charles and Kip against the ropes. Hirsch managed to grab an arm bar, but Ford reached the ropes. Hirsch rolled to the outside to deal with Sabian, but Ford landed a pump kick…[c]
My Take: The six man was full of a lot of awkward moments that took away from the action. I thought the right team won, with Private Party embracing heel tactics, but it was a tough watch at times. MJF continues to be the Inner Circle master manipulator, and he as most of the squad sucked in. It’s only a matter of time before he can turn them on Jericho.
Ford controlled the action during the break, but Hirsch showed some impressive offense during her comeback as the show returned. Double knees in the corner, and an impressive deadlift german suplex for a two count. She then landed a moonsault onto Sabian and Miro at ringside. Ford landed a pump kick on Hirsch as she got back in the ring. Sabian was supposed to throw Hirsch’s leg off the ropes to steal the win, but he was late.
Penelope Ford defeated Leyla HIrsch at 9:06
After the match, Miro grabbed a mic and said he could do anything he wanted to Charles, and so he forced him to address Orange Cassidy and say that Miro is his best friend now. He did it, and Cassidy looked disappointed from the crowd, and then left.
Backstage, The Good Brothers worked over Penta backstage. Omega joined in, and kicked him while Karl Anderson choked him with an air compressor cable. Kenny jabbed the toe of a boot directly into Penta’s eye.
The announce team said Archer will face Kington next week, Cody will respond to Shaw, and Harwood will face Jungle Boy. There will also be an 8-Man tag between The Young Bucks and Good Brothers vs. The Dark Order. Baker vs. Rosa was plugged for Beach Break, as well as a Tag Team Battle Royal for a title shot at AEW Revolution.
My Take: Ford vs. Hirsch was very enjoyable. I wish they couldn’t have gotten some time together without all the distractions.
Tony Schiavone announced a #1 Contender Eliminator Tournament for the AEW Women’s Championship.
MJF and Jericho made their entrance to a mashup of their entrance themes. They were followed by Sammy Hager, and then Santana and Ortiz.
6. Chris Jericho and MJF vs. “Sammy Hager” Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager vs. Santana and Ortiz in a Triple Threat tag match: Jericho and Guevara started the match. Jericho backed Guevara in the corner and threatened a punch, but backed off. Guevara slapped and punched Jericho and then dumped him to the floor. He teased a springboard splash to the outside, but he backflipped into the ring and clowned on Jericho instead.
Guevara avoided a Jericho dropkick, and landed a slingshot that sent Jericho into a Hager right hand. Guevara then rolled up Jericho for a near fall. Jericho tagged out to Santana and bailed to the floor. Guevara and Ortiz traded blows until Jericho tagged himself back in by slapping Guevara. Santana and Ortiz doubled up on Jericho, who had to scramble to tag Guevara to get out of the match…[c]
During the break, Jericho was tagged back in and held an advantage over Guevara. He landed a vertical suplex and landed some chops in the corner. He then landed another suplex and got a one count. Guevara avoided a bulldog and sent Jericho into the corner of Santana and Ortiz. Jericho tagged out to MJF, and Guevara tagged Hager.
MJF got blitzed by Hager, who then knocked Ortiz and Jericho off the apron. Guevara landed a cutter on MJF, and things broke down. Santana and Ortiz splashed Jericho and Hager. Guevara dove onto MJF. He then suplexed Ortiz, but Santana landed a superkick that shut him down. MJF picked up Guevara on his shoulders, but Guevara pulled out a reverse huracanrana. He got a near fall on MJF. Jericho grabbed his bat, but Hager kicked him in the face. MJF tried the Dynamite Diamond, but Hager punched him instead.
MJF landed a powerbomb on Guevara, and Jericho landed on his head attempting a Lionsault for a two count. Satana and Ortiz took out MJF and Jericho, and covered Jericho for a two count. Jericho fired back with a Codebreaker on Ortiz, but only got two. MJF tagged into the match. Ortiz landed a double DDT on Jericho and MJF. Hager entered and took out Santana and Jericho. Guevara landed a big somersault senton off the top rope on MJF, but the pin was broken up. MJF shoved Guevara into Wardlow on the apron, and then rolled him up with a big handful of tights for the win.
MJF and Chris Jericho defeated Sammy Guevara & Jake Hager and Santana & Ortiz in a Triple Threat tag match via pinfall at 12:53
The show went off the air immediately after the pin, as they were running late.
My Take: A rough outing for Jericho, who did not look very mobile throughout the match. Guevara looked like a star here, and is poised to be a breakout from the Inner Circle once this run is over. Overall, this episode was up and down a bit, but generally good. The major criticism I have for the show is that it’s still a little too busy, and could give some of these matches and segments a bit less time for a little breathing room. There’s also a tendency to overcomplicate match finishes, which led to some awkwardness at various points in the show that was unnecessary.