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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (May 27, 2020): Pandemonium

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AEW Dynamite (May 27, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL for their fallout show to Double or Nothing. Dynamite featured the surprise debut of FTR, Superbad Death Squad earning a title shot, Jungle Boy doing the same, and pandemonium between Chris Jericho and Mike Tyson.

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

Pep rally to pandemonium

The main event segment was the Inner Circle holding a pep rally to cheer their spirits after losing in the Stadium Stampede. Chris Jericho proclaimed themselves to be sexy phoenix that will rise again. Gifts were exchanged. Poetry was read. Sammy Guevara asked Le Champion what he truly wanted. The answer was Mike Tyson’s head on a platter.

Jericho never forgot the traitorous punch by Tyson from January 11, 2010 on a Monday night.

Sammy couldn’t offer Tyson, but he did bring a cheese platter and a little bit of the bubbly. Sammy pulled off the cover to reveal all the cheese had been eaten and the bubbly bottle empty. Jericho blew his cool and shouted for Tyson to come out.

Tyson obliged, but he wasn’t alone. MMA fighters Henry Cejudo, Vitor Belfort, and Rashad Evans were by his side. There were also a few other fellows in Tyson’s posse.

Tyson called Jericho a sucker that deserved that punch from years ago. Jericho gave Tyson one chance to apologize to make things right. Tyson ripped off his shirt and flexed in Jericho’s face. That led to a shoving match as the locker room emptied. Pandemonium ensued.

This is the ridiculousness I love about professional wrestling. That was a wild encounter leaving me eager to see resolution. Great use of Mike Tyson. It was memorable and didn’t require much from Tyson to make it work. Who knows if the future holds a match, but tonight left a huge grin on my face.

After the show, AEW released reaction clips from Tyson and Jericho with NSFW language.

The pep rally was overshadowed by the aftermath, but it had fantastic moments as well. Sammy gifted participation trophies, Santana gifted Ortiz chopped cheese and a framed photo of Mark Anthony to Jericho, Jericho gifted Sammy a scooter to replace his nerdy crutches, and Jake Hager provided the greatest gift of all in poetry. His poem taking a Taken turn with promises of violence took the cake. All these little touches make the Inner Circle a perfectly paired unit.

Fear the Revolt

The show opened with the Young Bucks & Matt Hardy defeating Private Party & Joey Janela. In the locker room, the Bucks asked for a different version of Hardy. Matt obliged to become young Hardy. The bout featured flippy spot-monkey moves from both teams. It looked like Marq Quen had a legit knee injury from the landing of a tope con hilo. That injury appeared to cause confusion in the finish. The Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck, but Matt Jackson had to remind Matt Hardy he was actually the legal man for the pin on Isiah Kassidy.

This was a high energy opener to keep the mood lit after the great Double or Nothing show. Unfortunately, the finish was sloppy. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had to call an audible after the Quen injury. Jim Ross clearly noticed and rhetorically asked if someone was going to get in the ring to finish the match.

The real news coming out of that bout was the surprise appearance of Cash Wheeler (fka Dash Wilder) and Dax Harwood (fka Scott Dawson) as FTR (fka The Revival). Their presence has been teased for weeks on Being the Elite. Tonight, FTR arrived in style.

AEW tried to pull a mini swerve by including Blade and Butcher. Blade was unintentionally superkicked by Nick Jackson when Janela ducked. After the match, B&B pounced on the unsuspecting Bucks for payback. That’s when FTR drove up. They entered the ring with a “Who’s side are they on?” vibe.

FTR teased helping B&B, but they decided to clean house on the bad guys instead. After a staredown, FTR exited the ring while stiffing the Bucks on a handshake.

That was a simple and effective debut from FTR, and I liked it. They handled business why keeping the mystery of their goal. It would seem they want to prove themselves in competition against the Bucks. I also like that this will keep the Bucks busy with a high-profile feud and out of the tag team title picture.

Credit to AEW for keeping this a secret. In the age of social media, wrestling surprises are easily ruined. I didn’t hear a peep about this, so I received the pleasure of popping at the surprise as business was about to pick up.

#1 man

The first challenger for Cody Rhodes and the TNT Championship was determined by a 13-man battle royal. The participants were MJF, Wardlow, Luther, Peter Avalon, Brandon Cutler, Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, Marko Stunt, Sonny Kiss, Colt Cabana, Billy Gunn, Christopher Daniels, and Orange Cassidy. OC was jumped by Santana & Ortiz before the bout after walking through an Inner Circle promo earlier in the evening.

The final four came down to MJF, Wardlow, Jungle Boy, and Orange Cassidy. OC finally entered the fray at this point. MJF put on his Dynamite Diamond Ring to punch OC, but he ducked out and MJF hit Wardlow instead. In a fit of fury, MJF charged at Jungle Boy and was tossed out to the floor. Jungle Boy and OC then teamed up to dump Wardlow.

Jungle Boy and OC had a spirited back and forth as the final two. OC had momentum after a Superman punch. He threw Jungle Boy into the ropes, but Jungle Boy bounced back for a big clothesline. Jungle Boy eliminated OC with a hurricanrana.

The order of elimination was:
13. Luther via chokeslam by Luchasaurus
12. Kiss tossed by Cabana
11. Cabana tossed by Gunn
10 & 9. Cutler & Avalon eliminated each other fighting on apron
8. Daniels via hurricanrana by Stunt
7. Stunt via gorilla press by Wardlow
6 & 5. Gunn dumped by MJF and Luchasaurus dumped by Wardlow
4. MJF tossed by Jungle Boy
3. Wardlow dumped by Cassidy
2. Cassidy via hurricanrana by Jungle Boy
Winner: Jungle Boy

Jungle Boy is a nice pick as the winner. He put in work to outlast the rest. In the words of Terry Tsurugi’s father in The Street Fighter, “Become a #1 man.” By winning, Jungle Boy is now a #1 man, at least for one week while Jungle Man waits to challenge Cody for the TNT Championship on the next Dynamite.

One thing I’m tired of for battle royals is the ploy of spending excessive time outside the ring. Nothing against Cassidy on this particular occasion, but that tactic is played out. There should be a time-limit rule against it. At least OC didn’t win like that, so all’s well that ends well.

Overall, this was a fun little bout. Giants collided. MJF got his comeuppance. The finish was spirited. Also, I’m always amazed at how Billy Gunn towers over the AEW roster. His height more or less fit in when with WWE.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Brian Cage defeated Lee Johnson. Cage destroyed his opponent in short time. The winning sequence was a powerbomb into a buckle bomb followed by a Drill Claw sitdown piledriver to finish. Afterward, Taz addressed Jon Moxley, who was on commentary. Taz respects Mox’s career. He wants Moxley to bring grit and heart when wrestling Cage at Fyter Fest. Taz closed with, “Beat him if you can. Survive if he lets you.” Moxley was unfazed.

Cage pummeled Johnson with urgency. He was out there to make a statement. His match against Moxley should be a dandy. My concern is keeping this feud fresh and on fire until then. Fyter Fest doesn’t have a date yet. It was announced as sometime this summer. That will make it hard for AEW to plan properly to build maximum anticipation.

C-O-N-spiracy. Dr. Britt Baker DMD revealed a conspiracy theory that will rock your world. Kris Statlander, Hikaru Shida, and Nyla Rose all conspired a plot to injure Baker. The shocking part is all signs point to referee Aubrey Edwards as the mastermind. Good news is that Baker plans to return for All Out, which is scheduled for September 5, 2020.

This was my favroite segment of the night. Baker gave us something ludicrous to remember her by as we await the return of AEW’s role model.

Hikaru Shida defeated Christi Jaynes. This showcase bout lasted longer than I was expecting. Shida finally put the obnoxious Jaynes away with a Falcon Arrow slam.

Shida has carried the women’s division during the pandemic with consistently entertaining bouts. Much to my surprise, that was not the case tonight. This match was not appealing. Shida allowed Jaynes to play games instead of showing why she is the best. While I didn’t like the proposed dance break, I’ll admit that I am very curious to see Shida cut a rug. She is talented in several of the arts.

Do the work. Cody Rhodes announced that he plans to defend the TNT Championship every week in a series of open challenges. He will outwork everyone. Cody feels an obligation to the fans to give them his best. This is where the fun will begin.

That was a positive promo with a motivational message from Cody. He certainly sold me on the exciting times ahead.

Superbad Death Squad defeated SCU. Penelope Ford was ringside. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky represented SCU. For the finish, SCU was setting up SCU-Later, but Ford grabbed Kaz’s foot to prevent action. Kip Sabian attacked Kaz from behind. That led to a Sabian dropkick into Sky for a Michinoku Driver by Jimmy Havoc for the win. That victory actually earned a tag title shot for Superbad Death Squad next week on Dynamite.

I consider this an upset win by Superbad Death Squad. They are relatively new on the AEW tag scene and just beat the former champs. Good job mixing it up and giving a new team strong momentum. Avoiding predictable results has a larger effect of making matches more interesting.

As for why a title shot was on the line, I don’t know. It kind of flies in the face of the rankings. Aside from that issue, I look forward to seeing Hangman Page and Kenny Omega taking on new contenders. Too bad Riho isn’t around to keep an eye on the managerial interference of Ford.

Notes: Hangman Page and Kenny Omega left the show to drink beer and milk back in their hotel room. Allie was in the fan section flirting with QT Marshall. An annoyed Brandi Rhodes was next to QT letting it slide. Upon elimination from the battle royal, Colt Cabana was handed a Dark Order flyer. He kept on to it under careful consideration. Vickie Guerrero did the Inner Circle introductions for the pep rally.

Prior to the battle royal, MJF cut a promo with Wardlow. There could be trouble in paradise for the duo. MJF implied Wardlow would take a dive when they are the final two. Wardlow began to protest, so MJF screamed in his face. When Wardlow squared up, MJF claimed it was a rib.

Stud of the Show: Dr. Britt Baker DMD

Baker will be out of action until September, and she left with a bang. I love a good tinfoil hat theory. Baker’s web of evils did not disappoint. She went out swinging by dragging down the reputations of all alleged conspirators involved. Well played by the role model.

Dud of the Show: Face-paint guy in Mike Tyson’s posse

In a game of which of these don’t belong, that dude fit the bill. He had the loudest mouth and looked the least capable of backing it up. His hamming was a distraction to the focus of the scene.

Grade: B+

The show delivered big moments and nicely set up next week with title shots. The filler segments were what dragged this episode down from the A range. Lots of the matches were thrown together without story. The action was entertaining, but it didn’t feel important. The finish was strong. Tyson crashing the Inner Circle’s pep rally was gold.

Share your thoughts about this episode of Dynamite. How do you rate it? What future plans do you want to see between Mike Tyson and Chris Jericho? How do want FTR’s story to play out?