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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Dec. 30, 2020): RIP, Mr. Brodie Lee

AEW Dynamite (Dec. 30, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show celebrated the life of Mr. Brodie Lee.

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

Mr. Brodie Lee

The wrestling world stopped when news broke that Mr. Brodie Lee had died last Saturday. AEW decided to delay the previously planned show and do their best to honor the life of Mr. Brodie. Given the circumstances, the tribute turned out to be one that the whole locker room can be proud of.

A ten bell salute opened the program with everybody on stage. Brodie Jr. was wearing a Dark Order mask and holding a kendo stick. Jon Moxley spoke from the heart about his memories of the man. He is proud of how the wrestling community support each other in times of need. The lasting message is that every day is a gift.

Various other promos played throughout the program. Darby Allin spoke about how Brodie had no ego. He wasn’t there to take anyone’s spot. Brodie was there to elevate them all. Dax Harwood, Arn Anderson, Colt Cabana, and Bryce Remsburg all put Brodie over as a tremendous family man. Eddie Kingston had a message for Brodie’s kids. As long as they remember their father’s teachings, he will never be gone. Chris Jericho appreciated Brodie as a man of worldly knowledge.

The top two moments of the evening involved Brodie’s family members. First was a surprise appearance from his Wyatt Family brother, Erick Rowan. During the Inner Circle’s match, Wardlow was on the warpath, so Rowan ran in to handle business. That was an awesome shocker.

The second also occurred during the Inner Circle’s match. MJF rudely screamed in the face of Brodie Jr. and ripped the mask off the young lad. Brodie Jr. retaliated by whacking MJF in the head with a kendo stick. I’d like to think that even the most hardened wrestling purists cracked a smile on that one.

After the main event bout, Cody Rhodes spoke about Brodie. He chose a quote from Samuel Johnson, “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” Brodie’s family came out to retire his boots in the center of the ring. Brodie Jr. was then presented with a TNT title belt by Tony Khan.

The closing segment was a video montage celebrating Brodie. AEW even showed photos of Brodie hanging with WWE stars.

Rest in peace, Mr. Brodie Lee.

If you want to help support Brodie’s family, all proceeds from the “Exalted in Heaven” t-shirt will be donated.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite. The show was mostly matches with no story advancement, however, there were a couple of moments for character work.

Chris Jericho was on commentary and added his usual witty banter.

Young Bucks & Colt Cabana defeated Matt Hardy & Private Party. Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen were more aggressive under the tutelage of Hardy, while the babyface trio provided the flashy moves to pop the crowd. In the end, Private Party was able to hit Gin & Juice on Nick Jackson. The hits kept coming with a Twist of Fate, swanton, and shooting star press all to Nick. Cabana made the save to keep hope alive. Hardy decided a chair needed to be used, but Quen wasn’t comfortable with violent cheating. The delay allowed the good guys to take control. Cabana crushed Kassidy with a Chicago Skyline. As Quen ate an Indy Taker from the Bucks, Cabana leaped forward for a Superman pin to win.

The opener had positive energy to set the mood for the evening. Tears welled up often, but they remained focused to put on a show. Cabana was the standout. This was a time where his goofiness actually felt right in place for the moment. He also upped his game for big moves.

Going in, I assumed the Dark Order would win all their matches. This bout did well with a couple believable false finishes for Hardy and Private Party. They hooked me into thinking victory would be theirs. Alas, it was not to be, but that feeling remained all night to keep a sense of surprise in the air.

After the match, the Acclaimed came down to spit some disses, but SCU cut them off before getting started. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian shoved the Acclaimed into the ring, so the Bucks and Cabana could beat them up.

Lancer Archer, Stu Grayson, & Evil Uno defeated Eddie Kingston, Butcher, & Blade. Jake Roberts and Bunny were ringside. Archer wore an outfit resembling that of Luke Harper. Kingston had nice words for Brodie, then he turned his ire to the Dark Order. He aimed to prove they are cowards. Evil Uno responded by getting the referee to check Kingston’s knee pad, so he could deliver a cheap shot boot to Kingston’s face. Very crafty move by Uno.

This bout was a slobberknocker. The finish saw Archer and Kingston brawl on the floor, while Grayson walloped Butcher with a flying DDT on the apron. Dark Order hit Fatality on Blade for victory.

Archer was fantastic. He brought a style of aggression and intensity fitting of Brodie. I loved how amped up he was when slamming Uno and Grayson on top of Kingston then demanding they return the favor. That they did with a double suplex.

After the match, Archer and the Dark Order took turns pummeling Kingston. Roberts even got in on the action with a short-arm clothesline.

Hangman Page, Alex Reynolds, & John Silver defeated MJF, Santana, & Ortiz. Wardlow, Jake Hager, and Sammy Guevara were ringside. MJF was treated to new gear from Proud and Powerful. They gifted him a bandana and trunks with the Puerto Rican flag prior to the show.

This was another match were I fell hook, line, and sinker for a false finish in favor of the bad guys. MJF’s Heatseeker followed the powerbomb teamwork finisher of Santana and Ortiz had me convinced it was over.

Hangman and the Dark Order persevered to overcome the sexy hooligans. Reynolds and Silver hit their finishing chain of moves to set up Hangman for a buckshot lariat. MJF barely made the save. After Brodie Jr. hit MJF in the head with a kendo stick, Silver put out Ortiz’s lights with a discus lariat.

There has been discussion about what to do with the Dark Order without Mr. Brodie as their leader. The Dark Order could easily flip to babyfaces after tonight and use their comedy to become fan favorites. Hangman Page taking charge of the crew could be just what the doctor ordered. He needs friends, and he has plenty of time to fill until fulfilling his destiny of dethroning Kenny Omega as AEW World Champion.

Anna Jay & Tay Conti defeated Dr. Britt Baker DMD & Penelope Ford. Kip Sabina, Miro, and Reba were ringside. Jay found success by countering Ford’s springboard cutter attempt with a rear naked choke. Conti took out Dr. Baker and Reba, so Ford had no choice but to tap.

The women’s match had entertaining moments, but it was a little on the sloppy side overall. Conti’s style of moves remain cool. I’m really looking forward to when she puts it all together to become a star.

Afterward, Dr. Baker called Tony Schiavone to the ring to complain about a conspiracy. The whole match was rigged. She said with a wink to the sky, “It was a big rig,” in reference to Brodie’s nickname of Big Rig. All of a sudden, Thunder Rosa stormed the ring to kick Baker’s butt.

Cody Rhodes, Orange Cassidy, & 10 defeated Brian Cage, Ricky Starks, & Will Hobbs. The good guy squad was chosen personally by Brodie Jr. as his favorite wrestlers. Taz, Hook, and Arn Anderson were ringside. Everybody got some shine in this main event bout, but it was Starks who went down in the end. Taz and Arn had an old school standoff with chairs. Cassidy made use of the distraction to sneak up on Starks for a Superman punch. Cody went next for a Cross Rhodes. 10 closed it with a spinebuster for the three count.

It was a fun little match for what it was. 10 stepped up in his first main event opportunity. He was crisp and channeled the energy of Brodie. I’m glad Starks was strongly protected by taking three finishers for the pinfall. He’s still in the building phase, and that loss didn’t lose any status for him.

Sting! After the main event bout, fisticuffs broke out. Hook charged for an overhead toss to Cassidy. Team Taz began brutalizing Cody when the lights went black. Darby Allin’s music hit as he entered through a side door by the fans. The lights went dark for a second time, and Sting appeared through the same door. Team Taz backed away as commentary teased Sting and Allin forming a relationship.

Heat check on Sting? Yep, it’s still exciting to see him on Dynamite, even though, he still hasn’t done much of anything yet.

Stud of the Show: John Silver

Silver ran wild with emotion like a crazy man.

Picking up the win with Brodie’s discus lariat was a fitting touch. If there is one man to get the rub of Brodie’s moves going forward, Silver is it.

Dud of the Show: Penelope Ford

Ford was the weak link of the women’s match. Some of her setups were very awkward.

Grade: A

As a tribute show, AEW earned an A. They handled the situation with class and grace. Even when attempting to manipulate grief to build heel heat, it was executed at an appropriate level and never felt gross. The matches delivered a good time. The surprises of Jake Roberts getting physical and Erick Rowan with a run-in were hot.

Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show? What is your favorite memory of Mr. Brodie Lee?

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