AEW Dynamite (Oct. 30, 2019) emanated from Charleston, West Virginia. It featured a contract signing between Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes, the tag team tournament final between the Lucha Bros and SCU to crown AEW’s first tag champs, and a killer promo from Jon Moxley.
Get caught up on all the details with the live results and play-by-play.
Let’s hit the recap and reactions.
Chris Jericho & Cody Rhodes contract signing erupts in glorious violence
I love a chaotic contract signing in professional wrestling, and this one delivered the goods.
The running story throughout the first hour of the show was Cody Rhodes arriving to the arena for his AEW World Championship contract signing against Chris Jericho at Full Gear. Rhodes was en route via private flight and limousine. They did a tremendous job of hooking into the sport aspect of professional wrestling. Rhodes looked like he had butterflies in his stomach prior to the big moment as he reflected on his personal motivations and desires.
When the time came for Rhodes to sit across his foe, the tension was high. Rhodes signed the contract first. Jericho teased signing then did a table flipping fake-out.
I shouted, “Yes,” eager for shenanigans. Then, Jericho slowed down as to not make a mockery of the proceedings. Booo!
Jericho signed the contract, and the two shook hands. As Jericho turned to leave, Rhodes did not let go. Jericho warned Rhodes that he couldn’t stand here all night. Rhodes might be needed elsewhere.
Sammy Guevara flashed on the big screen. The camera panned over to Jake Hager beating the tar out of Dustin Rhodes. Knee to the groin!
That was a fantastic reference to Jake Hager’s no contest MMA fight last weekend. Hager proceeded to pummel Rhodes by smashing his head into the side panel of a car and slamming the door on his arm. Dustin was left as a heap on the ground. Cody and MJF ran off the Inner Circle to end the scene.
Just when AEW made me sad about no fighting at the contract signing, they pulled me right back in with spectacular violence from Hager. Jericho is one crafty son of a gun to pull a stunt like that. As much I enjoy Jericho as a evil genius, it will be satisfying to see Cody kick his butt at Full Gear.
SCU has guts and glory
SCU are your inaugural AEW tag team champions. They fought one heck of a bout against the Lucha Bros. In the end, Pentagon powerbombed Frankie Kazarian through the timekeeper table. Things looked bleak for Scorpio Sky. Fenix hit a totem pole splash off Pentagon’s shoulders, but Scorpio kicked out at two. The Lucha Bros were setting up their flying butt stomp into package piledriver finisher, but Sky escaped for an inside cradle to Pentagon. Kaz pulled himself up and ran across the ring to block Fenix from breaking the pin. 1, 2, 3. SCU will have their names immortalized in the record books.
This was a solid bout and cemented SCU as team to take serious. I’m still getting used to the AEW wrestling style of dramatic kick outs. At times, it feels like the kick out can be too much. At other times, the kick outs lift me off my seat in excitement. In this case, it was more on the side of not believing fully in the outcome. It did help Sky’s rise to the stars, so that’s a plus.
It is weird to see Fenix act as a heel. He’s always been a good guy in every promotion I’ve watched, except for when wires got crossed as he was brought back to life in Lucha Underground. We can’t fault Fenix for that. We can fault him for duplicitous tactics in AEW, such as eye-gouging. So rude. Fenix did have some dope rope-bouncing, so it will be hard to hate him.
Let’s jam through the rest of the evening’s events.
Hangman Page defeats Sammy Guevara. This bout was rugged cowboy style versus disrespectful sparkle style. Page connected on a buckshot lariat for victory. Afterward, he took the mic to proclaim his desire to do some real cowboy shit to PAC in their match at Full Gear. I’m not quite sue what real cowboy shit entails, but I am sure that wearing chaps over trunks is never a good look in wrestling. It always makes me think they just exited the bedroom after partaking in some kinky occurrences.
Hikaru Shida defeats Shanna. It was pretty cool to see some international flavor. Hikaru Shida hailed from Japan. Shanna resides in France but was born in Portugal. Her nickname is, “Portugal’s Perfect Athlete.” Shida was victorious after a high knee, a Falcon Arrow sitdown slam, and a running knee strike. Shanna showed heart with several close call kickouts, but Shida proved to be too much to handle.
Brandi Rhodes is a voodoo queen. There was a vignette with Brandi flashing yellow cat eyes as she summoned Awesome Kong. Kong had a meat cleaver and doll hair in hand. Wild, wacky, stuff. I love it! I really hope it gets posted separately on YouTube. That video deserves a full examination.
Rick and Morty win a match. Chuck Taylor, Trent, & Orange Cassidy defeated Alex Reynolds, John Silver, & QT Marshall. The Best Friends and Orange Cassidy were victorious after a suicide dive by Cassidy to take down two foes and the Strong Zero finisher to win.
This bout was the tie-in to the Rick & Morty promotion. The Best Friends were dressed in Rick and Morty costumes. Cassidy was also dressed as Rick. The fans were provided plastic Rick and Morty masks to wear. The ring posts were decorated as green portals, while the turnbuckles had advertisements for the show. I’m not familiar with the cartoon, so I don’t know if there were any inside jokes from the good guys during the action.
The Elite defeat Jack Evans, Angelico, and Kip Sabian. The Young Bucks were dressed as Ken and Ryu from Street Fighter for Halloween. I have no clue who Kenny Omega was supposed to be. This match was moves galore. Two stupendous sequences in particular stood out to me. First, Angelico had Kenny Omega trapped in a Negro Navarro figure four. It was broken up as Jack Evans did a corkscrew backflip onto Omega and a Young Buck did a backflip onto Angelico. Second was three consecutive snap dragon suplexes by Omega to his opponents. The way Omega hits it at a low angle is dope. The Elite were the winners after a V-Trigger and One-Winged Angel from Omega to Evans.
Santana and Ortiz running amuck. Earlier in the evening, they beat up the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express with loaded socks. They also double powerbombed Ricky Morton through a side stage. Later, they posed as fans under Rick and Morty masks to ambush the Young Bucks.
Omega’s blood is on AEW’s hands. Jon Moxley learned from Tony Kahn that his match against Kenny Omega would be unsanctioned. The results would not count in the win or loss column. Moxley hit the ring to beat up Peter Avalon and cut one heck of a promo. He aired his grievances about AEW treating him as a freak and outsider. He accused AEW of protecting Omega. They can shove it up their ass. Moxley intends on beating Omega within an inch of his life. If the Elite vs Inner Circle ever becomes large enough in scale to NWO vs WCW, then this may be an interesting promo to revisit if Moxley has to pick a side. It reminds of Sting’s dilemma, in a hardcore Moxley manner.
Stud of the Show: Hikaru Shida
Hikaru Shida stuck out in my eyes with her variety of knee strikes. Her running knee launch off a chair was outstanding. The sound of impact was vicious. It made me go, “Oh!”
With Shida’s perfectly placed knee attacks, she should train Jake Hager for MMA. Perhaps he would then hit his target instead of hammering groins.
Did I mention that Shida brought a sword to the ring?
I’ll always pop for accessories of destruction. Sign me up to see more slaughtering from Shida.
Dud of the Show: The tag team tournament final as the main event
I’m talking about scheduling from a sporting aspect. AEW pushes the idea of being sport. Having a match of such monumental magnitude begin with only 14 minutes left in the show is a dubious decision. Saying that the tape machines will be rolling is not good enough if the match did not finish prior to the show’s two-hour time window closing. AEW has some wrinkles to iron out in their sporting identity.
Show Grade: B
Grades are in comparison to other AEW episodes only. The highlights were high with the contract signing segment and the Moxley promo. The rest of the show was medium-lights. There weren’t ever any boring moments, but I’m still in the process of getting sucked in to caring about all these new characters.
How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? Are you a fan of contract signing shenanigans or do you prefer a tame affair? Was SCU the right choice to become tag champs? Who was the stud of the show? Who was the dud?