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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Oct. 14, 2020): Explicit Mox intelligence

AEW Dynamite (Oct. 14, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The anniversary show featured four title fights. FTR pulled out old tricks, Hikaru Shida fortified her status, Cody Rhodes and Orange Cassidy went down to the wire, and Jon Moxley used his wits to overcome the Murderhawk Monster.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Explicit Mox intelligence

Jon Moxley showed he is as smart as he is tough in the main event of the evening. Lance Archer finally cashed in his title opportunity from winning the Casino Battle Royale at All Out. Due to Archer’s absence from COVID, the heat with Jon Moxley petered down a little. That steamed right back up in a hurry. During the show, both men attacked each other on separate occasions. Tony Khan decided to change the rules to no DQ.

The blood was boiling, and no time was wasted before first contact. The two rams charged. Moxley hit a Paradigm Shift within the first few seconds.

Archer would not be put down so easily. The battle continued. It turned into a donnybrook when chairs were introduced. Moxley threw one right into Archer’s face. Archer retaliated by escaping a DVD to smash Moxley with a chokeslam onto two open chairs.

Archer wound up for a chair shot, but Moxley rolled in for a knee lock. Since it was no DQ, there were no rope breaks. Archer had to pull himself falling out of the ring to escape the submission.

Archer tricked Moxley on the next step. He laid low with a trashcan and waited for a suicide dive. Mox abode and ate aluminum. Archer wanted to send Moxley through tables, but Moxley sandbagged the underhook to fire a low blow. Moxley lifted Archer for a Paradigm Shift off the apron through tables.

Moxley powered up for a Paradigm Shift in the ring. Archer kicked out on the cover, so Moxley transitioned to a bulldog choke. Archer rose up for a DDT. Archer aimed to finish it with Black Out, but Moxley countered into a crucifix pin for the win. Moxley retained the AEW World Championship.

This fight was a ripsnorting good time. It was physical and intense with nifty sequences. Archer’s trap on the suicide dive was smart. Moxley was even smarter. His knee lock was a well executed surprise. As was dropping his weight low to attack the groin. To top it off, the crucifix pin was smooth. It was a nice touch to end such a brutal showdown on a fancy technical pin. Those were all excellent displays of explicit Mox intelligence. Heck, the phrase, “smart as a fox,” should be changed to, “smart as a Mox.”

After the match, Archer wanted to immediately inflict more pain. Eddie Kingston had been on commentary with the Lucha Bros by his side. He sent Fenix and Pentagon in for the save. Archer backed down and exited. Kingston then celebrated Moxley’s effort. The champ wasn’t trusting, and for good reason. Kingston cheapshot Moxley with a spinning backfist then choked him out with a rear naked squeeze.

That backfist delivery was slick. It seems like Kingston will be getting the Full Gear PPV slot across from Moxley on November 7. There is not a chance Kingston wins, but he sure is building interest toward an I Quit match. The draw being how bad Moxley has to beat him before he quits.

Time-limit draw

Cody Rhodes was back to being blonde, but it didn’t do any good against Orange Cassidy in a TNT Championship title defense. Cody also brought back his showboating ways (pushups) and teetered the line toward heel behavior (smashing Cassidy’s leg against the ring post). So, basically Cody hasn’t evolved at all through his feud with Mr. Brodie Lee.

The big story early was if Cody could get Cassidy into his first collar & elbow lock-up. OC clowned around playing mind games. It was when Cody shoved Cassidy and knocked his sunglasses off that the fight became serious. OC was instantly motivated and even initiated the lock-up. Cassidy got under Cody’s skin with his tactics, and Cassidy also got the better of Cody in technical wrestling exchanges.

The story progressed to Cassidy’s speed advantage against Cody’s power advantage. Pain was also involved. Cody was still feeling the punishment in his neck from last week’s dog collar match. Cassidy’s leg was damaged by Cody’s devious strategy. It affected both men during pivotal moments in the match when attempting finishing maneuvers.

The two competitors went back and forth encroaching close to the 20-minute time-limit. Cody locked in a figure-four and a lengthy roll of reversals took place. They eventually rolled into the ropes for a break. OC exploded for a Beach Break on the apron.

Cody was out. OC barely beat the count rolling Cody back into the ring. Cody was a sly one though as he suckered OC for a pin only to counter with a crucifix pin. They got up to hit a double clothesline with 1 minute remaining.

Cody countered OC’s Superman punch, but OC countered Cody’s Cross Rhodes into a swinging DDT. OC hit Beach Break. 1, 2, Cody got his shoulder up. 10 seconds left. OC ran for a Superman punch. His leg collapsed before lift off. Cody went for Cross Rhodes, and OC countered him again. This time it was a Mouse Trap pin. 1, 2, ding, ding, ding. The time limit expired before 3. Cody retained the TNT title in a draw. A rematch was later announced in two weeks.

Look, it’s no secret that I don’t care for Cassidy’s style. There is too much play time to make it work for me. I didn’t particularly like this match, but there were things I can appreciate. Cassidy’s tactics were clearly mind games rather than laziness. The contest did hold my attention throughout. There were plenty of cool moves. The injuries created drama. The down to the wire finish was exciting.

There were also two other instances of note. First, Darby Allin was scouting from the seats high above. It was announced that he will get a TNT title shot at the Full Gear PPV on November 7. I don’t really want to see OC as champ, but I am intrigued by the idea of OC versus Allin. Darby won’t be one to slow his pace and allow Cassidy to play his game. I’m curious how OC would handle that.

The second was a Dark Order sighting. The full crew, minus Mr. Brodie Lee, was front row. They crossed over the guardrail at one point, but no contact was made with Cody. The referee ejected the Dark Order. John Silver stole the TNT title and ran around. OC snatched it from him and gave it back to Arn Anderson. That showed Cassidy as a good soul when he passed the opportunity to hit Cody with the belt while the referee was distracted.

Shida rolls on

Hikaru Shida put her Women’s Championship on the line against Big Swole. Shida controlled much of the pace with suplexes and strikes. She was clearly the better fighter. Swole had one big offensive flurry of a roundhouse kick, a cutter on the entrance stage, and a cutter in the ring. Shida ducked Dirty Dancing for a dope straitjacket German suplex.

Shida followed with a knee strike and a Falcon’s Arrow slam. Swole was not done yet. She came back to uncork her Dirty Dancing elbow strike. Shida was close to the ropes on the pinfall and grabbed them. Shida ducked another Dirty Dancing attempt then pounded Swole with two running knee strikes to the head for victory.

This was a serviceable match. Shida looked effective in combat, as she always does. It was a quality win on paper to stack her career resume. Swole came across as a prospect that danced with the champ before her skills were ready. It was the kind of match that came too soon but should result in development as a learning experience.

Cheaters always win

FTR defended the tag titles against Best Friends in the opening match. Trent and Chuck Taylor came to compete. They had four close pinfalls that I could believe would have been good enough to end the match.

In my eyes, the Best Friends redeemed themselves as championship caliber after never pushing into a higher gear during the loss to Hangman Page & Kenny Omega in a previous title contest.

The big moment came when Trent attempted a spear in the front row area. Cash Wheeler dodged and Trent plowed into Kip Sabian’s arcade game. The electronic device of joy was in ruins. Trent’s head was also in ruins.

Back in the ring, Chuck got the hot tag. Dash Harwood escaped the Awful Waffle maneuver, and the two men went into the ropes. Referee Rick Knox cowered in fear at getting hit in the bounce back. Wheeler had perfect timing in whacking Chuck’s head with the title belt, so Harwood could pick up the easy pin. FTR retained their gold.

The match had solid action with everyone performing well. I wasn’t a fan of the finish for two reasons. First, it was a sloppy way to interfere. FTR could have easily been caught red-handed and disqualified. It wasn’t smart strategy from the calculating duo. Second, it played off as too planned out. That’s the first time in my memory that a referee reacted in that manner. How convenient that it was to allow cheating.

FTR runs the risk of becoming too reliant on cheating. It is good to build heat when used as necessary, but FTR is close to the point of overdoing for every win. It isn’t helping their legacy. Maybe FTR can squeeze in a dominant victory or two before the PPV.

As for Kip’s broken video game, he sent Penelope Ford to the back to retrieve best man Miro. Miro and Kip attacked the Best Friends after the match. That setup for a feud was creative, but I didn’t like it coming during a title match. I prefer the focus to be solely on the prize.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Miro & Kip Sabian squashed Lee Johnson & Sean Maluta. Miro did the work, tagged in Sabian for a flying splash, then came back in to lock in the camel clutch. Afterward, Kip and Miro yelled about the broken video game and threatened the Best Friends.

This was fine to establish Miro as a powerhouse. Yelling in Bulgarian was amusing, but it made my heart sink when a spattering of “What?!?” began in the crowd. That chant is played out.

#1 contender tournament. The bracket was revealed to earn a future AEW World Championship opportunity.

  • Fenix vs Pentagon
  • Kenny Omega vs Joey Janela
  • Colt Cabana vs Hangman Page
  • Wardlow vs Jungle Boy

Those are some interesting matchups. It is a little bit of a bummer that Fenix versus Pentagon is being given away without any story, but the match should be fire. I’ve also got my eye on Wardlow versus Jungle Boy. That’s too tough to call a winner. I’d like to root for the underdog in Jungle Boy to win the whole shebang, however, I also really want to see Wardlow against Hangman in the second round.

MJF’s huge announcement. To stay on top of the ever adapting climate in AEW, MJF had an idea to combine forces with the other top draw in the company. After some verbal dancing, MJF asked Chris Jericho if he could join the Inner Circle. Ortiz stepped in to decline that idea. Jericho slowed it down asking for time to make the decision as a group. In the meantime, Jericho challenged MJF one-on-one... to a steak dinner next week. Both men made sinister scowls. Jake Hager and Wardlow also shared an intense staredown.

This segment was amusing, even with the bizarre flavor to it. What’s the big deal about a steak dinner? It felt like an awkward scene from a Will Ferrell movie where it will get funnier on repeated viewings as you pick up new things. One obvious chuckle was MJF gifting a jacket to Sammy Guevara that was way too large.

Chest waxing. Dr. Britt Baker DMD and Tony Schiavone had a day at the spa. While Baker put the women’s division on notice for her return next week, Schiavone stole the segment experiencing different spa treatments, such as a chest hair waxing.

Rule 5 of being a role model was that Baker is ready to be the baddest bitch. As a Lucha Underground fan, I look forward to Ivelisse and Jack Evans taking exception. They never got to settle those bragging rights in the Temple, and now Baker has inserted herself into the conversation of baddest bitch in the building.

Superkick party. A random draw determined participants for a four-way tag team #1 contender bout next week. Private Party, Reynolds & Silver, Butcher & Blade, and Young Bucks were chosen. The Bucks superkicked two foes then chaos broke out. The Bucks and Private Party cleared the ring. The Bucks initiated a handshake then superkicked Private Party anyway.

At least the Bucks have to earn their title shot. Unfortunately, they are still rotten finks. Is AEW really going to force use to choose between rooting for cheaters or rooting for brats at the Full Gear PPV? That’s a tough pickle to swallow.

Debt owed. Shawn Spears addressed his feelings toward Scorpio Sky. He’s not stalking the man. It’s that he can’t tolerate a thief. By running in to save Matt Sydal on Late Night Dynamite, Sky robbed Spears of a memorable moment. That means Sky owes Spears a debt, and he plans on collecting.

I’m impressed with the creative spin by Spears. It is easy to understand his point of view, while he still cultivates the desire to see his butt kicked.

Stud of the Show: Jon Moxley

Moxley took a beating and kept on ticking. His intestinal fortitude is legendary. Through it all, Moxley kept his wits for a surprising method of victory in such a hard-hitting fight.

Dud of the Show: Mystery attacker reveal

Sammy Guevara was revealed to be Matt Hardy’s mystery attacker. Honestly, I completely forgot about the attack angle. No thanks on this continuation. Their feud lost all momentum after their awkward and dangerous PPV fight. Sammy claimed that he won’t stop until Hardy is sent home for good. If this results in a fight on the Hardy compound, then I’ll check it out. Otherwise, I’ll pass.

Grade: B+

AEW’s anniversary had good energy and good effort in storytelling. In the end, there were no title changes. And that’s okay. Being so close to the PPV, sticking with the current champs makes the most sense. All the matches still maintained my interest.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?

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