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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Aug. 22, 2020): Exalted destruction

AEW Dynamite (Aug. 22, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL for a special Saturday night episode. The show featured a surprise challenger for Hikaru Shida’s Women’s Championship, an upset in The Deadly Draw finale, and Mr. Brodie Lee becoming a super villain against Cody Rhodes.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the live results and play-by-play from Geno Mrosko.

Exalted destruction

The main event of the evening saw Cody Rhodes defend his TNT Championship against Mr. Brodie Lee. In a shocking turn of affairs, the Prince of Pro Wrestling was absolutely obliterated.

Cody entered with coach Arn Anderson by his side. Mr. Brodie went solo without the Dark Order. The opening bell rang with 10 minutes left in the broadcast, so we knew the action would be fast and furious. Cody charged first for a quick assault. Mr. Brodie weathered the storm and took over with brawling on the floor. Back in the ring, Mr. Brodie executed several release suplexes. Cody escaped a powerbomb, but Mr. Brodie put him down with two superkicks. Two powerbombs followed.

Mr. Brodie clobbered Cody with a discus lariat. 1, 2, ... 3. Mr. Brodie squashed Cody clean to become new TNT Champion.

Hot damn! That result took me by major surprise. I thought a win by Mr. Brodie was possible, but I didn’t foresee complete destruction. This win showed how important it was for Cody to rack up so many successful defenses in his weekly open challenge. It laid the groundwork to elevate the shocking impact of Mr. Brodie’s superiority. That was a Lesnar-esque performance. Mind you, I enjoy Brock Lesnar’s displays of domination, so don’t take my comparison as an insult. That win just put Mr. Brodie on the map as a main player in AEW. Credit to Cody for selling the finish by not moving afterward.

The aftermath transformed Mr. Brodie from a standard heavy into a super villain. The Dark Order celebrated while Mr. Brodie cut a promo about nobody believing in him. All his previous struggles elsewhere (WWE) created this moment. It also created a monster. With the TNT strap, Mr. Brodie now has the power.

Cody was stretchered out. He gave the cliche thumbs up to show he wasn’t paralyzed, but his night wasn’t over. The Dark Order decided to pick his bones like vultures. They attacked Arn Anderson then dumped Cody off his stretcher.

Mr: Brodie hit Cody with a black sack that was later revealed to contain the remnants of the original unfinished TNT Championship. The Dark Order goons brought out the beat up bodies of Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall. That explained why the Dark Order was not ringside. Brandi Rhodes ran out to protect her husband’s body, so Mr. Brodie issued an order to Anna Jay. She applied a rear naked choke until Brandi was unconscious. The show closed with an iconic image of Cody holding Brandi’s hand.

AEW Dynamite

That closing segment was sports entertainment at its best. It was peak shenanigans as expected from a Cody storyline, and I loved it. The cheesy thumbs up gave way to vicious brutality from Mr. Brodie. Not only is Mr. Brodie a villain, but he is also a mastermind. He anticipated his victory and made sure the Dark Order took care of any interference from Dustin or QT. Since Cody is a huge fan of Stark Trek, all we need is a scene of him waking up in the hospital screaming, “Brodie!!!” much like Captain Kirk screamed, “Khan!!!”

This story is most likely a set-up for the All Out PPV on Sept. 5, but I’m hoping they take this on a longer journey. Two weeks is too soon to come back from how badly Cody sold that injury. I want to see him be out of action similar to Hulk Hogan after being attacked by Earthquake. Have kids send in postcards wishing good health for Cody. Go the whole nine yards. There could also be a route of Cody coming back too soon for All Out and being injured even worse. That would give time for a huge comeback at their next PPV after All Out.

Upset in The Deadly Draw

The Deadly Draw women’s tag team tournament culminated with the finals on Dynamite. Brandi Rhodes & Allie squared off against Ivelisse & Diamante. Even though Ivelisse & Diamante were the more skilled wrestlers, the story direction pointed toward a victory for the Nightmare Sisters. Surprisingly, an upset was in the making.

All four women upped their game to make this the best bout of the tournament. Even Brandi was solid.

In the end, Allie was in trouble for a teamwork assisted sliced bread finisher. Perfect gentleman QT Marshall sensed doom, so he hopped onto the apron as a distraction. Would that be the break that the Nightmare Sisters needed? Not so much. Ivelisse blasted him in the face for his chivalry. Brandi went for a double underhook maneuver, but Ivelisse sent her packing with a back body drop down onto QT.

Diamante walloped Allie with a stunner, then Ivelisse closed it out with a snapmare takeover into a kick to the face. Ivelisse pinned Allie for victory. The winners celebrated their triumph by holding the Puerto Rican and Cuban flags.

With so many fans assuming The Deadly Draw was a platform to push Brandi as a champion, AEW swerved with the right call. After comedy in the semifinals, I appreciated the focus and physicality from both teams to show the importance of the prize. It was a nice touch in the celebration for Ivelisse and Diamante to dump the roses and hold up their flags. That little gesture spoke volumes about their character. They said they would do it for their people, and they lived up to it.

Overall, I think The Deadly Draw should be considered a success. I hope it becomes an annual event. AEW’s women’s division picked up some momentum the past few weeks with this tournament. I’m not sure where the story of Ivelisse and Diamante goes from here without a tag division, but it will be important to lock them down for the near future to keep that positive flow chugging. Add in standouts Tay Conti, Rachael Ellering, and Lil’ Swole Nicole Savoy and AEW could flip the script quickly on their depleted women’s roster.

Thunder Rosa is here!

Outside of the main event angle, my biggest pop came courtesy of an unexpected appearance from Thunder Rosa to announce she will be challenging Hikaru Shida for the AEW Women’s Championship at All Out on Sept. 5.

Thunder Rosa is 100% legit in the ring. You may remember her as Kobra Moon in Lucha Underground, but her skills have improved exponentially since then. Thunder Rosa has worked hard to become one of the best women’s wrestlers in the world today. This is the kind of match that genuinely makes me want to order All Out. I’m super pumped. Great job by AEW for pulling whatever strings needed to be pulled to secure the NWA Women’s Champion.

Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

FTR defeated Private Party. Tully Blanchard was ringside as manager of FTR. He paid dividends in the end by pulling Dax Harwood out of the way of slingshot plancha from Isiah Kassidy. FTR capitalized with Goodnight Express on Marq Quen to win.

FTR seemed more aggressive than usual. I’m not sure if that was actually the case or if my mind told me so based on Tully in FTR’s corner. The air must have been super humid. Harwood was visibly sucking wind on several occasions. It even played into the match when he missed blocking the save on a pin from a kickass spinebuster by Cash Wheeler.

I’d say FTR still has work to do in elevating their game if they want to win the tag titles from Hangman Page & Kenny Omega.

Tough guy. Jon Moxley cut a backstage promo about MJF. People who talk about themselves all the time rub Mox the wrong way. Where he comes from, the toughest guys don’t need to say much. That makes Moxley think MJF is hiding behind words. At All Out on Sept. 5, Mox will beat the hell out of MJF and the world will find out what MJF is hiding.

Ban the Paradigm Shift. MJF wore a soft neck brace after being attacked from behind by the gutless coward Jon Moxley last week. MJF’s eyes teared up at the thought of telling his future kids that he couldn’t play ball because of Moxley’s attack leaving him permanently injured. MJF’s lawyer addressed the situation. They have a contract to ban the Paradigm Shift from the title match at All Out. Otherwise, MJF will sue Mox for everything he owns, including the AEW World Championship.

The back to back airing of these two promos put into display the differences between Moxley and MJF. Mox cut a no-frills promo in front of a fence. MJF was lawyered up at his campaign headquarters. I don’t think they would have had the same impact if spaced out during the show.

The small touches were what made MJF’s promo outstanding. His assistant kept her fake smile, as previously ordered, despite MJF’s pain. MJF’s pronunciation of papa helped make his vision feel more sincere. Icing on the cake was Wardlow raising his eyebrow in disagreement at the suggestion that he too could be injured by the Paradigm Shift.

Natural Nightmares & Jurassic Express defeated Blade, Butcher, & Lucha Bros. The 8-man tag bout broke down in the end with a flurry of signature maneuvers. The story was the heels having issues. Picking up from Dark, the beef boiled over. In the end, Pentagon was setting up a package piledriver. Blade climbed to the corner to make it a teamwork move. Pentagon let go and didn’t want Blade’s help. Shoves were exchanged. Pentagon pushed Blade right into a school boy pin for Jungle Boy to win.

The losing squad almost came to blows until Eddie Kingston came out to rally the troops. They have all been on the indies grinding together. He provided a pep talk about them being better than every tag team in AEW. They only lose when divided. Walk with King and everything they want will be theirs. All five men got together for a group hug, but Kingston looked off to the side at the camera with a smile and a wink. It felt like he was letting us know he is conning them.

The match was fine with cool flips aplenty, but it was the small moments that elevated my enjoyment. Fenix danced a little jig in the ring. He also used the referee’s hand to make the Cero Miedo sign. Luchasaurus hit an awesome tail whip roundhouse kick to an unsuspecting Pentagon when he was taunting with Cero Miedo.

Adding Kingston is an intriguing straw to mix this drink. Looking past the hole in his pitch about two tag teams obtaining what they want when only one team can be champs, I’m not buying for a second that he is on the level. It is a cool start of a story that has my interest though. I’m kind of hoping that PAC returns to reunite with the Lucha Bros as Death Triangle and tells Kingston to have a Coke and a smile and shut the f—k up.

Dental offer. Dr. Britt Baker DMD was in the gym rehabbing with Reba. Penelope Ford and Kip Sabian were kissing on the side. Dr. Baker offered them one year of free dental care in exchange for Ford joining her to make a handicap match against Big Swole. Dr. Baker sweetened the deal by offering a year of free make-up from Reba. Offer accepted. Back to smooching.

This was another segment enhanced by the little things. From Kip pretending to do 69,600 curls to Reba’s reactions, such as clapping at Dr. Baker mentioning she is a dentist, to Kip’s enthusiasm over free make-up to his request to continue making out.

Mimosa Mayhem Match. Orange Cassidy’s in-ring interview was interrupted by Chris Jericho before OC could speak. Jericho congratulated OC on proving critics wrong. OC showed he has heart, desire, courage, and what it takes to be a main event superstar. Jericho proposed a new creation for their rubber match. Introducing the Mimosa Mayhem Match, where 80 gallons of orange juice will be mixed with 500 cases of A Little Bit of the Bubbly ringside. Win by pinfall, submission, or being thrown into the mimosa mixture. OC accepted with a thumbs up, then a beatdown commenced by the Inner Circle. They held OC upside down to pour bubbly onto his face.

I was hoping for a special stipulation to up the stakes for this feud. A special stipulation was delivered, however, I’m not sold. My initial reaction is that the Mimosa Mayhem Match idea sounds a little lame, but I’ll give Le Champion the benefit of the doubt. He has produced so much gold in the past, and he is the Demo God after all. If anyone can turn something silly into must-see TV, it is Jericho.

Elite defeated Alex Reynolds, Jon Silver, & Alan Angels of the Dark Order. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks dominated early. Dark order used underhanded tactics to even the playing field. The Elite overcame and won with an assisted IndyTaker then One Winged Angel for Omega to pin Angels. After the bell, Omega was intent on more punishment. He wanted to powerbomb Angels onto a chair with the legs pointing up, but the Bucks stopped him.

I had trouble caring about this match since the Elite are top guys and Dark Order’s line-up consisted of jabrones. Credit is deserved for plotting a story that made sense to justify giving the match time instead of a squash. Angry Omega has my interest. This has been slow developing for life after Hangman. The big question will be if he snaps on his partner.

Gauntlet match. Alex Marvez interviewed FTR and Tully Blanchard. It was revealed that next week will have a #1 contender tag team gauntlet match based on the rankings. Natural Nightmares vs Young Bucks, winner vs Best Friends, winner vs FTR. FTR also mentioned that they sided with Tully to become champs. Hangman Page entered upset about last week’s attack on the Rock ‘n’ Express. FTR handed him a beer and convinced him of their case.

Smart strategy to use beer and the Bucks to turn Hangman to their side. Hangman doesn’t necessarily agree, but he understands. Good job of adding another layer onto that saga.

Darby Allin defeated Will Hobbs. Allin attacked before the bell in a disappointing display of poor sportsmanship. Allin had trouble with Hobbs’ power but conquered the big man with a Coffin Drop. This felt like a tune-up to practice for a future clash with strongman Brian Cage.

After the match, Taz introduced the newest member of Team Taz. Ricky Starks came out dressed like Allin to mock him. Cage ambushed Allin with the FTW title, and Starks nailed the Coffin Drop on Allin.

Starks was fantastic. He portrayed Darby as I view him, so I was obviously grinning at the mockery. Starks took it up a level when it was time to get serious. He showed main event mic skills.

Good to see Will Hobbs on Dynamite. He has been one of my favorite enhancement talents on Dark. Hobbs maximized his minutes to make a powerful impression. I really want to see him get signed so he can quit this losing streak and begin developing for the future.

Deletion. Sammy Guevara did his cue card gimmick, however, a message from Matt Hardy was slipped in without Sammy realizing. Hardy wants to delete Sammy. Hardy attacked from behind with a chair and tossed Sammy off the stage through a table. Referees prevented Hardy from going for blood.

Next week will have a tables match between those two.

Stud of the Show: Mr. Brodie Lee

Mr. Brodie became a megastar in this specific story. Sure, Cody will have his revenge in time. For tonight, Mr. Brodie is king.

Dud of the Show: Kenny Omega’s dramatic tag

Omega had been taking a beating then exploded with snap dragon suplexes. That part was cool.

What followed was whack. After Omega’s flurry, he dropped to the mat and slowly crawled for the hot tag to Matt Jackson. Come on, dude. I’m supposed to believe Omega had enough energy to handle three wrestlers but couldn’t sustain for a few seconds longer to tag out? The lack of energy transition wasn’t even smooth. A leaping tag would have been better in that situation.

Grade: B+

Dynamite was jam-packed with material. There was zero dead time. All the vignettes and story advancement were aces. The majority of matches lacked a reason to be invested in the outcome. The show finished strong with that bonkers angle for Mr. Brodie Lee and Cody Rhodes.

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

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