AEW Dynamite (Nov. 6, 2019) emanated from Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. It featured a star in the women’s division, Brandi Rhodes hinting at becoming Master Blaster, an additional stipulation from Cody Rhodes for his title fight, and a wild brawl to sell the Full Gear PPV.
Get caught up on all the details with the always excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Let’s hit the recap and reactions.
An effective go-home?
This was AEW’s go-home show to the Full Gear PPV. The top matches are Chris Jericho defending the World Championship against Cody Rhodes, Jon Moxley fighting Kenny Omega in a Lights Out match, and, to a lesser extent, Santana & Ortiz versus the Young Bucks. Those were the money movers that needed to be sold on Dynamite, and it played out through the show.
First, Cody revealed that if he does not win the World Championship at Full Gear then he will never challenge for the belt again. That was a reaction to the chatter about him as management competing for the title. It was a fine promo full of emotion and arguably the best of his career. My reaction? Meh, don’t care. The big punchline of “stupid dick” was rather tame and thus lame. I’ve never been sucked into caring about Cody, but I can easily understand why his speech would move the hearts of fans.
Side note: I love the line that AEW is the Ellis Island for professional wrestlers in regard to freedom.
About the stipulation, it was pointed out to me by Cain A Knight that Cody said, “If I do not defeat Chris Jericho...” That does leave AEW wiggle room in the future if they want to use Cody’s literal words rather than the implied message. I’m feeling mixed about the added condition. On one hand, it adds to the story and emotional investment for Cody and his fans. On the other hand, it muddies the waters for a match that already has a confusing wrinkle with the judging panel. It also doesn’t excite me too much, since I’ve been brainwashed by WWE to either expect Cody to win his final chance or a massive amount of shenanigans. I’m curious to see if AEW relies on the quality of the match itself at Full Gear or the extra noise surrounding it.
Second, the Inner Circle provided a comedic take to jab at the serious nature of the upcoming contest. It profiled Jericho’s struggle in finding the best place to go for bubbly. It is always a hard thing and a lot of responsibility. He’ll face it though, because he is Le Champion. There were cameos from Soultrain Jones (aka Virgil), a swearing senior citizen, and the rest of the Inner Circle. This was fantastic, but I’m not sure it was go-home material. It didn’t do anything to increase my desire for the big match.
Third, the main event was a tag bout between Kenny Omega and Hangman Page against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. Guevara took the brunt of the punishment, while Jericho strategically picked his points. It felt like a showcase for Kenny Omega to wow fans with cool maneuvers to pump up his momentum in viewer’s eyes.
If that was indeed the case, then it worked. I was impressed. I haven’t seen that much of Omega before, and now I am excited.
Hangman also had some sweet sequences, such as a fallaway slam followed by a slingshot plancha.
For the finish, Omega hit a tope con hilo atop Guevara and Jake Hager on the outside. Hangman was next with a moonsault onto Guevara and Jericho.
Hangman rolled Jericho back into the ring waiting for his slingshot lariat finisher, however, the crafty Jericho spoiled those plans. He grabbed the referee’s hand as a distraction for Pac to appear and kick Hangman in the cojones. Jericho quickly won the bout via Judas Effect.
That leads into the fourth part of this story. The chaotic brawl finish!
Out came Cody to run off Jericho. Out came MJF with a chair to whack Hager and send Jericho to face his nemesis in the ring. Cross Rhodes from Cody. Business picked up even more when Moxley walked to the ring holding a barb wire bat with bad intentions for Omega. Omega met him with a barb wire broom for a showdown. Santana and Ortiz ran down to beat them up. Out came the Young Bucks to fight their PNP rivals. The brawling continued with everyone involved and a cannonball flip high spot by Nick Jackson off the roof of the entrance tunnel.
Was this segment drawn out too long? Yes. Was it lazy story for Santana and Ortiz to attack Omega and Moxley? Yes. Was Nick’s leap not much higher than leaping off the top of the ring post down to the floor? Yes. Were all these escapades entertaining? Hell, yes. Did it sell me more on the PPV? Yes. The answer to that last question makes this episode of Dynamite an effective go-home show to Full Gear in my eyes.
Jamie Hayter is the star of AEW’s women’s division
We’ve seen a handful of women’s matches now through six episodes of Dynamite. Even though I am impressed by Riho’s tremendous intestinal fortitude and pure babyface feel, I haven’t been truly captivated yet by any of the competitors. That was until Jamie Hayter tonight.
Hayter is far and beyond everyone else in the charisma department. Her evil presence controls the ring.
I also enjoy her bruising style. I will admit that is easy to look good when throwing around the diminutive Riho. I’m looking forward to seeing more from Hayter in the near future.
The evolution of Brandi Rhodes as Master Blaster
After last week’s terrifying voodoo vignette, Brandi Rhodes was back to address her haters.
I sense tones of Brandi becoming Master to Awesome Kong becoming Blaster. I hope the two compete in a Thunderdome match one day down the line. I love the Brandi saga of becoming a destruction force. I’m not clear on who the target is, but I fear for their safety.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Pac defeated Trent, despite being outnumbered 3-to-1 with Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy interfering to aid their best buddy. Pac was clearly the superior wrestler in this bout. The finish seemed to be botched by the referee. Pac hit a Black Arrow to win, but the referee did not complete the three count for whatever reason. Pac resorted to the Brutalizer submission until Trent passed out.
A tag team championship bout was announced for Full Gear. SCU will defend against the Lucha Bros and the winner of the tournament bronze medal match between Dark Order and Private Party. Dark Order dominated with power, but Private Party displayed flashes of offense. In the end, Private Party was victorious via their Gin and Juice finisher of a super hurricanrana into a cutter.
Emi Sakura and Jamie Hayter defeated Riho and Shanna in tag action. It was earlier announced that Riho will defend her women’s belt against Sakura at Full Gear. The finish came down to rolling pin attempts between Riho and Sakura. Sakura got the best of the exchange via magistral cradle to pin the champ.
Shawn Spears took care of Brandon Cutler in singles action. Spears won Death Valley driver. Afterward, Tully Blanchard slid in a chair for Spears to use on Cutler. Joey Janela ran down to make the save. He has pending beef with Spears over Spears barbarically applying pliers to his tongue on AEW Dark. This is the feud I’m most intrigued by. Non-graphic, old school torture rules.
Stud of the Show: Pac’s pump kick to Orange Cassidy’s mush
Orange Cassidy’s shtick has its enjoyable moments, such as high-flying. The weak-willed kicks are not one of them, in my view. With that in mind, I howled with laughter when Pac pump kicked Cassidy in the face.
Dud of the Show: Lucha Bros getting a title shot
AEW in all their sporting wisdom decided to reward the Lucha Bros after losing last week in the tag team tournament final with a title shot at Full Gear in a three-way. I don’t believe any explanation was given. The Lucha Bros getting a free opportunity feels cheap. At least Private Party had to earn their ticket. I said it last week, and I’ll say it again this week. AEW has some wrinkles to iron out in their sporting identity.
Honorable mention dud: AEW had SCU on commentary and they didn’t even give the champs chairs to sit in. No respect.
Grades are in comparison to other AEW episodes only. In a nutshell, the show was fine and a quick two hours. When compared to the banging A+ premiere and that it was a go-home show, the grade gets lowered. There was very little fire for the PPV outside of Cody Rhodes’ speech and the brawling climax to close. It may sound like a harsh grade, but rest assured I did enjoy the show.
How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? What was your favorite moment? Did the finishing brawl sell you on Full Gear? Do you agree that Jamie Hayter is the star of the women’s division?