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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Nov. 11, 2020): Return of the Bastard

AEW Dynamite (Nov. 11, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Cody Rhodes getting a giant surprise with a tease of Shaq, the Bunkhouse match exceeding all expectations in glorious violence, and PAC returning to teach Eddie Kingston a lesson in the fallout from Full Gear.

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

Return of the Bastard

The main event of the evening lead to a surprise return. Even COVID can’t stop a bastard. I don’t know how it was achieved, but PAC crossed the Atlantic Ocean to reappear back on Dynamite.

The Lucha Bros were given the headline bout, and their duel was lucha-tastic. The underlying story was Eddie Kingston on commentary clearly backing Pentagon over Fenix. Kingston refused to take blame for breaking up a top tag team when prodded for answer by Tony Schiavone.

Ill will boiled when Pentagon ripped his brother’s mask early. Fenix returned the favor to expose part of Pentagon’s face. In the end, Pentagon took his violence to another level. He hit a package piledriver on the apron with cero miedo about his brother’s health.

Pentagon followed up with a Mexican Destroyer on the floor. A package piledriver back in the ring won the bout for Pentagon.

Afterward, Kingston sleazily praised Pentagon and used his foot to shove Fenix’s sore body out of the ring. Kingston accused Fenix of being dead weight holding back Pentagon. That’s when PAC made his return.

PAC warned that Kingston has made a very big mistake. Unfortunately for us, referees successfully kept PAC and Kingston separated.

Fantastic surprise. Despite the promo last week from PAC, I never would have expected him to actually be present this week. I wouldn’t put it past him to canoe across the ocean, because he’s itching so bad for a fight. I love how PAC oozes intensity. Kingston did such a great job of being a scumbag toward Fenix that I can’t wait for PAC to put him in his place.

Giant killer

Cody Rhodes came out to discuss future plans. He congratulated Darby Allin for his TNT win and stated that he won’t be seeking a rematch at this time. Cody teased vindication by going after MJF. That’s when a surprise guest entered the ring. Her name was revealed to be Jade Cargill. She had the jacked fitness model build.

Cargill took exception to Cody’s claims as the giant killer. What does Cody know about giants? Cargill insulted Cody’s manhood by saying there is nothing giant about him. She suggested that Cody keep his grand thoughts to himself, because he’s been echoing loud enough to wake the giant. Cargill backed away to utter the name Shaq.

Brandi Rhodes entered the scene with her sass cranked to 11. She was not having Cargill’s insults about her man. When Brandi turned to leave, Cargill patted her on the posterior cheeks. Brandi had rage in her eyes, but things did not escalate into physicality.

That segment was fantastic entertainment. There was a surprise debut and a giant tease. Cargill has a money look. Let’s hope she can wrestle well enough early in her career. I always laugh at Brandi getting feisty. Seriously, who would be afraid of her? Brandi is mostly bark with little bite to back it up.

The big draw is Cody versus Shaq. I am all the way in on that spectacle. That screams peak Cody level shenanigans, and I can’t wait. I can envision it unfolding like Rocky Balboa with Thunderlips. Arn Anderson would be great in the role of Mickey as the concerned coach. Let’s hope the deal is already sealed for that fight.

Bunkhouse match

There was one match on the card that blew away all expectations. It was QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, Blade, Butcher, and Bunny getting bloody and brutal in a violent Bunkhouse brawl. The match wasn’t crisp and it wasn’t pretty, but it sure as hell was entertaining.

Dustin set the tone early with a Final Reckoning to Butcher on an open chair. Blade smashed a guitar on QT’s head. That led to blood streaming out of QT. Blade actually outdid QT in the crimson department later on. Butcher got a little bit of payback by using a chair on a running crossbody. Bunny even get in on the violence by jabbing a metal object into QT’s red forehead. The big spot of the match was Dustin hitting a bulldog to Butcher off the stage onto a plywood crash area.

The level of craziness remained high when QT hit a flying elbow drop off a tall ladder.

The turning point came when Blade stopped short of accidentally hitting Bunny with a chair. QT sidestepped then attacked with a discus forearm. That knocked Blade into Allie, who fell off the apron and through a table.

Dustin punched Blade with a chain, and QT finished it with a cutter.

That was a PPV worthy effort from all four men. The set decoration enhanced the mood as bales of hay and wooden fence were placed around the ring. The action was so engaging that I didn’t even mind QT getting his happy ending. Personally, I would have preferred it as a springboard to better things for Butcher and Blade, since they have more upside than the Natural Nightmares. AEW is building a nice reputation for these crazy kind of fights being awesome.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

FTW. Team Taz was running wild in the early portion of the broadcast. Taz began by calling out new TNT champ Darby Allin. He also issued a threat to Cody Rhodes about not crossing paths or else asses will be kicked.

Brian Cage defeated Matt Sydal. Cage had a sweet belly-to-belly overhead toss.

Sydal’s speed and shiftiness caused Cage fits. There was almost an upset on more than one occasion. In the end, Cage caught a flying Sydal for a Drill Claw. Taz shouting, “Victory!” is a ringtone I need.

That match was quite nifty by itself. As part of the larger story of Cage, I don’t think it benefit The Machine. Sydal is no easy out, but Cage shouldn’t have struggled as much when his next potential opponents are up a level. A win is a win in the end though, and Cage showed the ability to win out of nowhere.

Afterward, Ricky Starks declared his next step to be going after Allin and TNT gold. He was confident that FTW would make its presence known on this evening. Later in the show, Cage ambushed Cody for a powerbomb. Allin came down from the cheap seats to even the numbers at two apiece. He was wearing a thumbtack jacket for prickly pain on his flying attacks. Will Hobbs eventually ran out with a chair to chase away Team Taz. It seemed like his cue was very late.

Taz and Starks always deliver with their promos. Allin’s special coat was a unique touch. I like that kind of outside-the-box thinking rather than hurting himself on purpose with stunts. Cage & Starks versus Rhodes & Allin was announced for next week, so we’ll finally get a bit of the payoff to all of Team Taz’s blustery threats of violence.

Inner Circle induction. MJF and Wardlow were welcomed by Chris Jericho into the Inner Circle. Ortiz voiced his displeasure. Other than that, it was smooth sailing. MJF treated his new crew to a Las Vegas vacation. Sammy Guevara was missing for the segment. It was later mentioned that MJF sent him an email to meet at the beach. MJF sent everyone else a second email to change plans, but Sammy never received that communication.

This segment was basically light comedy to pass the time. Seeds were planted for MJF continuing to screw with Sammy, so I imagine a match will be in their future. Next week’s Vegas adventure should bring some chuckles.

Black glove. Shawn Spears defeated Scorpio Sky with the aid of his loaded black glove. Tully Blanchard was a master strategist to create a double distraction so Spears could cheat to punch Sky for the win.

This was a solid bout. I was looking forward to it, since I had no read on who would win. The match was well done with big moves and a finish that made sense considering who was involved. It also left enough room for Sky to deserve a rematch.

AEW often makes their referees look incompetent in a bad way. In this case, the incompetence was done in a good way. Referee Bryce Remsburg sensed something fishy was coming, but he couldn’t quite figure out the scheme. That provided a little bit of humor while also protecting the loaded black glove gimmick.

Tay Conti defeated Red Velvet. Anna Jay and Brandi Rhodes were ringside. Jay slid a chair into the ring and urged Conti to take advantage. Conti thought better of cheating and won clean with a pump kick and Gory Special knee strike. Stu Grayson and Evil Uno watched from the tunnel, but their purpose was not made clear.

Red Velvet looked sharp. She was quick and displayed more offensive firepower than previously. Conti had neat Judo tosses and her closing sequence was rocking, however, she moved a little too robotic and wasn’t flowing like water.

This women’s bout pulled the rare feat of a double picture-in-picture. There was the standard commercial break and also a pre-match recap of Brandi’s feud with Jay. I didn’t even realize that the contest had already begun in the smaller screen.

Notes: Dynamite started with a new opening montage.

Jon Moxley believes he is the greatest pro wrestler on the planet. If anyone can beat Kenny Omega twice, it is him. Later, Omega responded that he is ready to take the responsibility of being the best. Moxley has never beaten him in a straight up wrestling match. That title fight will take place on the December 2 edition of Dynamite.

Matt Hardy stated that Sammy Guevara earned his respect in their feud. The blood vendetta had to end that way, and now Sammy can become a bigger star because of it. Hardy warned Sammy not to squander what he’s been given.

The Young Bucks are looking for fresh opponents, so they’ll compete against Top Flight next week. Top Flight are young daredevil brothers, which the Bucks can relate to. Also, Alex Marvez accepted the Bucks’ apology for superkicking him.

Eddie Kingston reiterated his desire to become world champ despite quitting against Moxley.

Notable in their absence were Nyla Rose and Lance Archer. When Vickie Guerrero slapped Nyla at Full Gear, it seemed like follow-up was coming. That didn’t happen. At least that story isn’t pressing business and can take its time to develop. With Archer, he’s been running his mouth a lot about murdering whoever came out as world champ. It feels like dropping the ball a little on that story. Why have Archer so adamant about punishment if there are no plans to keep his word? Maybe he’ll have something to say on Dark.

Earlier in the day, Tony Khan made a statement about the balance of power in wrestling shifting tonight. I’m honestly not sure what he was referencing. Shaq is a cool novelty, but I’ll believe it when I see it after he’s pulled out from WWE in the past. Brandi’s promo reminded me of another era with attitude. PAC’s return was energetic, but he’s not a scale tipper in this wrestling war. Those three moments were what stood out to me.

Stud of the Show: PAC

PAC’s return pumped me up the most on a great broadcast.

Dud of the Show: Alex Marvez?

I have to choose someone here, but I don’t have any strong contenders. Nothing against Marvez. Everyone else picks on him, so I will too. Seriously though, I don’t really have a dud this week. I suppose Eddie Kingston is worthy of the nod for trying to break up the Lucha Bros.

Grade: A-

This episode was a very effective fallout from Full Gear. It was wild, wacky, and off the wall at times, but it all kind of worked well together to provide an intriguing debut, big tease, and surprise return. It was a fun two hours from top to bottom.

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