AEW Dynamite (Sept. 16, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured more soap opera drama from the Elite, Will Hobbs lighting the fuse to bring the boom, and the best street fight ever between Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Best street fight ever
The main event saw Best Friends brawl Santana & Ortiz in a parking lot fight. This contest exceeded all expectations and was the best street fight I can remember.
The setting got the blood simmering as Best Friends waited for their opponents while surrounded by a circle of cars. I immediately flashed back to one of my top Jean-Claude Van Damme films, Lionheart. Santana & Ortiz entered with painted faces of death. The winner would be determined by pinfall, submission, or surrender.
These four wasted no time in getting dirty. They beat the stuffing out of each other using the cars for creative attacks. There were suplexes and powerbombs on trunks, hoods, and roofs. Sentons flew from above. Ortiz threw a sledgehammer through a windshield for crying out loud.
My favorite was a suplex by Ortiz on the roof then Santana flying in from the top of a truck for a splash.
The most brutal spot was a double powerbomb to Trent into a windshield.
For the finish, Santana had Chuck Taylor brutally beaten. Santana retrieved a lead pipe to bash Chuck’s skull. A car trunk popped open and out hopped Orange Cassidy. He clobbered Santana with a Superman punch. Cassidy had a chain wrapped around his fist. That was the momentum shifter needed by the Best Friends. Chuck planted Ortiz with a piledriver on a car roof. Trent won the match by pinning Santana after destroying him with a back-to-belly piledriver through a wooden panel.
Trent’s mom, Sue, zoomed up in her minivan to pick up the boys. She flashed her middle finger then drove away.
That fight was so awesome. It was brutally violent but not obscene, like barbwire and thumbtacks. I also like how AEW gave this mid-card feud the main event treatment. The story was built effectively over several weeks and AEW trusted Trent, Chuck, Santana, and Ortiz to deliver the pay-off. In my eyes, it made stars out of Santana and Ortiz. Their aptitude for violence was captivating. I would believe they are worthy of carrying a PPV main event.
As much as I enjoyed the fight, I have to give a loud boo to the finish. Specifically to the ambush involving Orange Cassidy. Don’t get me wrong. I laughed at OC in the trunk, but there is a time and a place for that. A silly Cassidy surprise in the climax of a badass parking lot fight was not it. Due to Cassidy’s actions, I don’t feel any resolution for this feud. OC was the one that got the shine in the end, not either of the two teams that went through extreme violence for our viewing pleasure. Best Friends and Santana & Ortiz didn’t deserve the backseat after their tremendous efforts.
Lance Archer will get his shot at Jon Moxley for the AEW World Championship on the Dynamite anniversary episode on October 14. Next week will be a taste of the action with a six-man match. Archer and Moxley got to pick their partners. That presented an intriguing conundrum since both are loners.
Jake Roberts called out Taz to discuss an arrangement. Team Taz is on board as long as Brian Cage gets the first title shot after Archer takes the gold from Moxley.
The champ arrived up above for his usual entrance. Ricky Starks was planted as a fan behind Mox and ambushed the man. I’d like to say Cage was hiding as well, but it would be impossible not to notice him. Cage ran in from the side to unload on Mox. They tried to replay that scene from All Out when a fan was tackled while trying to approach Moxley. This version saw Cage destroy that same security fellow.
All of a sudden, Will Hobbs ran up swinging wildly with a chair to save Moxley.
Moxley announced that Hobbs would be one partner. Moxley then looked into the camera to tell Darby Allin to get his ass there next week. They will be going to war.
That was a perfect segment. It hit all the right notes to turn a bland 6-man idea into a much hyped fight. The story weaved smart logic with exciting action. It also provided a huge boost to a newcomer. Hobbs is an excellent addition to freshen up the intermingling feuds.
As the Elite turns
Time for your weekly update of the soap opera antics of the Elite. The Young Bucks opened the show by going down to the ring to superkick an innocent referee. Or at least he was innocent in that moment. Perhaps that ref botched a call in a past match. The Bucks went backstage to throw a stack of cash at Tony Khan in advance of the coming fine. FTR mocked the two moody chumps about the breakup of the Elite.
I’d say it is time for a suspension to the Jackson boys. Khan needs to lay down the law on the childish duo. Credit due for building genuine heel heat. I enjoy the Bucks in the ring, but I never liked them. Now, I strongly desire to see them get beat down. I’d love for those two punks to try superkicking someone like Lance Archer, Jon Moxley, or Brian Cage.
Hangman Page was back in the saddle with a singles victory over Frankie Kazarian. Those two put on a fantastic bout with plenty of counters and hard hammering. Hangman had a variety of impressive attacks, such as a pumphandle Death Valley Driver. He also kicked out of several signature moves from Kaz. In the end, Hangman ducked a rope-hung leg drop then exploded into the ring for a Buckshot Lariat to win.
I loved that finish. It was a creative way to snatch success from the jaws of defeat. The sequence flowed perfectly for maximum impact.
Kenny Omega was on commentary for Hangman’s win. Omega was sort of two-faced with backhanded analysis of Hangman while putting himself over. Omega made clear that his focus is on singles action. However, he wouldn’t pass up a tag title shot with Hangman if they were next in line.
After the match, Omega left the commentary table and went to the back without congratulating Hangman. Hangman looked around for his pal then became saddened at the realization that Omega split. Hangman hung his head a little and asked for a beer.
Hangman can become the biggest star of the four, but he desperately needs to get past drinking booze to drown his sorrows. If he can do that while still enjoying an alcoholic beverage, then the world will be his. In my perfect scenario, Hangman wouldn’t have to give up his vice. Just make it that he conquers his emotional issues to control the liquor instead of the liquor controlling him.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
FTR defeated Jurassic Express. Non-title bout. FTR used smart diversionary tactics to control Jungle Boy’s speed and Luchasaurus’ power. In the end, Jungle Boy rolled up Dax Harwood. Cash Wheeler pulled Harwood up to reverse top position. Wheeler then locked hands with his partner to provide leverage out of sight from the referee for the win.
Good match to keep Jurassic Express hot and FTR looking devious by pulling out tricks to win. Jungle Boy was the star. He used his ability and awareness to score several close pinfalls. Luchasaurus pulled another bonehead maneuver at the end by missing a flying attack to land on the front row of bodies. I would have thought a dinosaur with a masters degree wouldn’t make the same mistake twice so soon. That’s how the Young Bucks pulled ahead to win at All Out. The lesson learned is that Luchasaurus needs more roar and less soar.
Broken Matt. No, that character did not return. I’m referring to Matt Hardy and a possible broken knee. A backstage scene showed Hardy down in pain. Apparently, someone clubbed his knee. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager walked up feigning concern. Since Jericho was holding Floyd the bat, it was implied that they were the culprits. Later in the broadcast, Jim Ross did try to accuse Private Party of the attack since they were the ones standing there when cameras arrived. The rest of the commentators brushed that off as a conspiracy theory.
MJF squashed Shawn Dean. MJF poked Dean in the eyes then locked in the Salt of the Earth armbar to win. That was the entire match, and it was perfect for what it was. It reaffirmed MJF’s domination, dastardliness, and vicious streak.
Afterward, MJF called out Jon Moxley for cheating in their championship bout at All Out. MJF demands to now be called the undefeated, undisputed, uncrowned AEW world champion. He also teased forming a faction. Sign me up for that. I’ve always been a fan of faction warfare. The more the merrier on AEW.
Technique by Taz. The always awesome segment returned to analyze Ricky Starks’ spear and Rochambeau finisher. I could watch a weekly half hour show of Taz breaking down holds.
King and friends. Eddie Kingston cut a promo with three main points alongside Fenix, Pentagon, Butcher, and Blade. First, Kingston never lost the Casino Battle Royale. Second, his group is a family, not a stable or faction. They are a family of violence and will act as agents of chaos. At the point, Kingston instructed the meat men to pick random jabrones for a vicious beating. Third, it is time for Blade to get his house in order. I take that as a reference to trifling Allie/Bunny with QT Marshall.
I’m excited that their family appears to finally have direction. We’ll see if being agents of chaos is an empty threat or will become their true purpose. Listening to Kingston’s wisecracks while his brothers pummel fools should be very entertaining.
Chris Jericho & Jake Hager defeated Private Party. The veterans had trouble handling the speed and high flying of Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen, so Hager whacked Kassidy with Floyd the bat. Private Party rebounded to dominate down the stretch. Kassidy made a questionable call in strategy and missed a swanton. Jericho exploded for the Judas Effect to win. Afterward, Jericho rained down punches and locked in the Walls of Jericho. Quen kicked Le Champion to stand tall.
When the Judas Effect hits flush, it is one of my favorite moves in wrestling. It helps greatly that everyone sells it like death. Jericho & Hager were victorious, but Private Party looked like the better team by far. Jericho & Hager have work to do if they want to be taken as a believable threat to win tag team gold. The closing number with Quen felt like a setup for a singles match with Jericho. That’s odd timing considering Jericho expressed his desire last week to rise up the tag division.
NWA World Women’s Championship: Thunder Rosa retained against Ivelisse. This was an action-packed, ass-kicking fight. These two ladies were given plenty of time to work their craft. Thunder Rosa pulled it out with tombstone piledriver. Afterward, Hikaru Shida made the save when Diamante attacked Thunder Rosa. Shida handed the NWA belt back to the champ, but she clung on a little too long to imply that she would be interested in wearing that belt around her waist as well.
On an ordinary evening, this bout would have easily stolen the show. Personally, I’m partial to Hangman vs Kaz as the match of the night. That’s no knock on these two ladies. They brought the thunder, so to speak. Thunder Rosa has raised the profile of the AEW women’s division. Her dance partners definitely deserve a share of the credit, but it is Thunder Rosa that makes it feel special.
Best Man. Kip Sabian, Penelope Ford, and Miro game hard, but they also work hard. As evidenced by Miro bench pressing. He is eager to go in the ring and devour somebody. First, he will provide the best bachelor party for Kip.
Stud of the Show: Hangman Page
Great performance from Hangman. He showed he is ready to ride solo. Hangman displayed heart, determination, and a variety of cool maneuvers.
That is actually the first of Hangman’s singles matches that won me over into believing he can carry the promotion.
Dud of the Show: Wood to the face
Sometimes accidents happen, and it is no one’s fault. That was the case in the parking lot fight when Trent bashed his opponent with a long piece of wood. The wood bounced back and hit Trent in the face. C’est la vie.
Mighty fine action after last week’s gabbing. The majority of matches were really good. The surprise of Will Hobbs provided the jolt of excitement needed to earn a solid A up to that point. The parking lot fight was a magnificent cap to the evening.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show? Where does the parking lot fight fit in your rankings for best street fight?