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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Nov. 25, 2020): Tazmission

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AEW Dynamite (Nov. 25, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Taz taking no guff from anyone, Hikaru Shida continuing her run as the top babyface, and Jon Moxley selling his title fight against Kenny Omega like a crazy man.

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

Tazmission

One thing I learned tonight is to not press Taz’s buttons. He’s been mostly jovial in his commentary role away from Team Taz in AEW, however, he still has that aggressive spirit when feeling disrespected. Taz took all he could take from Cody Rhodes’ lip and choked Cody as a result. The other thing I learned is that the Tazmission is still badass.

Taz’s evening started off simple enough as Will Hobbs squashed Lee Johnson with a falling powerslam. Hobbs was issued a new Powerhouse moniker, dressed in an orange and black singlet, and used a more methodical style with a mean streak.

Johnson received zero backup from the Nightmare Family during the contest. I’m curious what the plan was by announcing Johnson as a member. His easy losses are doing a detriment to the Nightmare Family image. Johnson should have stuck with MJF, and he might have been in the Inner Circle instead.

Taz came down to the ring with a message for AEW top brass. He was tired of management disrespecting the FTW Championship. Taz refused to leave until the situation was remedied, so production cut his microphone twice. Eventually, Cody came out requesting Taz to take a hike. Cody gave some bullshit line about sending the FTW title up the flagpole as a way to placate Taz. I don’t know what that was supposed to mean. Taz saw through the garbage promise.

Cody made it personal by airing dirty laundry public. He questioned why Taz’s son was training at the Nightmare Factory instead of with his own father. When Cody turned his back, Tazmission!

The Gunn Club made the save, while Taz’s son was ringside to support his father and the FTW belt.

That was a great use of Taz. Sure, I’d love to see him in one last match for nostalgia purposes, but that’s probably an idea better left as fantasy. By getting physical with the Tazmission, it scratched that itch and left him standing as a badass.

Cody Rhodes & Darby Allin will battle Ricky Starks & Will Hobbs next week on Dynamite. If anyone is feeling bold, a Powerhouse drinking game could be in order. Be careful though. Commentary said Powerhouse enough times tonight to send someone to the hospital.

Queen Slayer slayed

For my money, the AEW Women’s Championship bout between Hikaru Shida and Anna Jay was the most entertaining contest of the evening. I’m not saying it was the best. Just that I enjoyed it the most.

AEW started it out on the right tone with an effective hype package. It pumped up Jay as a worthy contender and raised doubts about Shida retaining with concerns over the health status her knee.

As the two tussled early, Jay grabbed a sleeper hold. Shida was not sufficiently worn down, so she quickly escaped. Jay showed her awareness by blocking a knee strike then attacking the damaged joint.

As the match progressed, the drama intensified with outside assistance. Tay Conti was ringside and reluctantly offered Jay a chair. The referee intervened. 5, 10, and John Silver were observing from the stage. 10 handed a kendo stick to Jay, so she swung hard at Shida’s knee.

The champ kicked out of the pinfall. Jay locked in a rear naked choke on the mat. Shida struggled and eventually shifted her position to roll over for an escape. On the way out, Shida blasted Jay with a furious forearm. Jay reversed a suplex for a near fall. I think she might have been robbed a little on that count due to the referee’s late start.

Shida powered up for a straitjacket German suplex, a forearm shot, then a running knee strike for victory. After the match, Abadon made a surprise appearance to lick the championship belt. I assume that action declared her intention to challenge Shida very soon.

That bout was a ton of fun. AEW did a great job to book the match with shenanigans for maximum drama. Shida shined as always as a top-notch babyface. Jay has room to improve as a wrestler, but her sports entertainment qualities are very good.

I’m glad Shida kept the gold. She is so much better than everyone else in the core group of AEW’s women’s division that it should be a special moment when Shida finally loses. And that loss should be to someone who can carry the division and maintain the positive momentum created by Shida. Even if it takes a full calendar year for that person to emerge, so be it. Let Shida rock and roll until then.

Moxley vs Omega made official

After last week’s mystery attack, Jon Moxley finally was able to sign on the dotted line to defend the AEW World Championship against Kenny Omega on the December 2 edition of Dynamite.

The second attempt at a contract signing began with seeds being planted earlier in the show. It started with Omega requesting a gentlemen’s agreement that Moxley leave the garbage wrestling at home. Prove he is the best by beating Omega in the middle of the ring based on ability. Omega then used a schoolyard insult tactic to say his father would beat the ass of Moxley’s father.

As Eddie Kingston was cutting a promo backstage, Jon Moxley interrupted without saying a word. Kingston shut up and changed his tone. He denied being behind the attack on Moxley last week. Kingston implied that Mox knew who did the deed.

Time for the contract signing. No tables were harmed in this segment, but Omega sure was. Moxley crept up on Omega during his entrance to pummel the challenger. The champ dragged Omega to the ring for a Paradigm Shift on the title belt.

Moxley blamed the attack as Omega’s doing. Mox’s violence on this evening made them even. Omega will need to dig deep to find guts. When you come at the king, you best not miss.

Damn! That was pure fire from Moxley. Everything from the beatdown to the promo pumped me up for the title bout. Not so much on Omega’s end. I don’t think it did him any favors for doubters of his best bout machine status.

I do still wonder if Omega was truly the brains behind last week’s attack. Years of watching wrestling would tell me that it is obviously Omega’s fault, but I haven’t noticed any indication from Omega of it being true. Either there will be more layers to this story, or it was a rather abrupt finish to the mystery.


Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Hangman Page defeated John Silver. The Dark Order personally requested this bout, even though, they like handsome Hangman and his beautiful hair. Silver came close to winning with a surprise hurricanrana pin counter on a buckshot lariat attempt. Silver followed with a barrage of quick strikes, slams, and a brainbuster. Hangman stayed alive to soak in the pain and deliver a crushing clothesline, Liger bomb, then a buckshot lariat for victory.

Once the comedy turned into intensity, Hangman and Silver put on a nice little match focused on the desire for victory. I still don’t buy Silver as a threat to win big matches, but he did force me to wonder if an upset could be brewing with those close pinfalls.

After the match, Evil Uno tried to recruit Hangman. He compared the Elite to a cult that wouldn’t let Hangman leave. It kind of made sense in a funny way. Uno did not demand a decision. He left it as they will be there for Hangman if he needs their support.

The Dark Order is a totally different entity these days without Mr. Brodie Lee. Evil Uno’s tender love and care approach doesn’t really make me yearn for Hangman to smash them. When Mr. Brodie was there, tension was much higher. Stu Grayson still has the ornery attitude, and I was hoping to see him fight Hangman.

TH2 defeated Top Flight. Angelico finished it with a Navarro death roll leglock. When he took his time releasing the submission, the Young Bucks made the save. This was a competitive affair with plenty of flash. Angelico put some stank on the winning submission with emphasis on the roll. That touch made it look extra painful.

Chris Jericho & Jake Hager defeated Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian. The Inner Circle was ringside in full force. In the end, Kaz entered the ring to save CD, so the referee forced Kaz out. MJF used that distraction to pop Daniels in the face with the Dynamite Diamond Ring. Jericho blasted CD with the Judas Effect, and Hager picked up the pin.

Afterward, Kaz punched MJF flush in the face. Scorpio Sky ran in with a chair to save his SCU family.

Jericho and Hager delivered excitement and misdeeds on their end, which in turn helped SCU shine as pure babyfaces. Everyone was elevated in the process. If Jericho and Hager wrestle like that in the future, then I wouldn’t mind seeing them rise the ranks toward a tag title shot on TV. With Daniels and Kaz, seeing them score payback would be satisfying.

One obvious thing that will need to be addressed is the overwhelming numbers of the Inner Circle ringside. Commentary was on top of questioning how long that will last in the coming weeks. This was a ‘fool me once, shame on you’ scenario for AEW officials. It could quickly turn into a lamebrained ‘feel me twice, shame on me’ situation for the referees if not contained.

Later in the show, MJF was irate about Kaz socking him in the kisser. That led Jericho to defend the honor of his crew by challenging Kaz to a match next week. Jericho played it humorously straight with backward double standard heel logic.

Butcher & Blade defeated PAC & Fenix. This bout was a pleasurable clash of styles. Eddie Kingston had been on commentary. He rushed to the ring when PAC and Fenix were on a roll. Kingston knocked Fenix off the turnbuckles. B&B finished the luchador with a neckbreaker/powerbomb teamwork combo.

The real shocker for this main event segment came in the aftermath. The Kingston Family put the boots to Death Triangle. Kingston hit a DDT twice to PAC on top of a steel chair. As Kingston was gearing up for a third DDT, Lance Archer stormed the ring. He was focused on killing Kingston, but fast Eddie escaped.

That was a perplexing appearance from Archer. I like the surprise element and desire to ruin Kingston, but I’m scratching my head a little about where that leaves PAC. Whoever gets to Kingston first won’t leave much on the bone for the other. Kingston still has enough value that his next loss will be important. The loss after that? Not so much.

Notes: For what it’s worth, Jim Ross pointed out that Hangman entered without an alcoholic beverage in hand. Hangman also didn’t leave with a drink after his win.

Darby Allin torched a car at his home compound to provide a pretty cool visual.

Eddie Kingston wasn’t mad at Pentagon leaving to reform Death Triangle, but he was really disappointed.

Vickie Guerrero and Nyla Rose had a message for Brandi Rhodes about her nepotism. Brandi has to use her power to convince her friends, while Vickie didn’t need to convince Jade Cargill to go on the attack last week. Brandi’s business plan is set for failure.

FTR’s loss to the Young Bucks was one of the worst nights in their lives. It pains Dax Harwood to say that the Bucks were better for three seconds. FTR is still the baddest though. They need the tag titles back. Tully Blanchard believes it is FTR’s destiny to became champs again. The fire and desire in that promo sold me on the rematch.

Kip Sabian and Miro tried to debut a new video game segment, but Orange Cassidy came in to shut off their TV. It was a ruse to lure Sabian and Miro into an attack by the Best Friends. Miro raged off-camera to kick butt. This fight was a little on the corny side for my taste.

Matt Hardy cut a condescending promo about surviving 2020. If he can overcome insurmountable odds, then us chumps should be able to handle pedestrian challenges. Survive, thrive, and win. So, is Hardy a heel now?

Ricky Starks loves AEW and Tony Khan, but he has a problem with Cody. That man crossed the line to make it personal by airing Taz’s family issues. Brian Cage and Powerhouse Hobbs made menacing faces in the background. Starks shined while Cage came off as a clear second fiddle, even if that wasn’t the intention.

I’ll conclude this portion by applauding Tony Schiavone for his stylish pink pants.


Stud of the Show: Jon Moxley

As much as I enjoyed the Tazmission, the silhouette of Moxley behind Kenny Omega was an even better display of pure badassery.

That beating was hilarious. Technically, this honor should go to whoever thought of the idea.

Dud of the Show: Tay Conti

Conti didn’t help her friend very much. It should have been clear that Anna Jay would be taking a shortcut or two. If Conti is so opposed, then why be out there in the first place? Of course, this could all be part of a plan for maximum impact when Conti goes full rudo. If that occurs, then I’ll scrub this dud from the record.

Grade: B

A good, solid show. Lower profile matches stepped up to entertain. The story beats were a little confusing at times but delivered intrigue nonetheless.

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