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[TV Review] ‘AEW DYNAMITE’ 10.21.2020 – Eliminator Tournament Begins, Le Dinner Debonair

COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross, Excalibur, & Tony Schiavone

This week’s Dynamite features all four Quarterfinal matches of the Eliminator tournament as well as a four-way #1 contendership match to see who challenges FTR at Full Gear, AND a musical number. It’s pretty much everything you want in a wrestling show kinda maybe.

CHAMPIONS

  • AEW WORLD CHAMPION: Jon Moxley
  • AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Hikaru Shida
  • AEW TNT CHAMPION: “The American Nightmare” Cody
  • AEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood)

LINEUP

  • ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: Jungle Boy vs. Wardlow (**3/4)
  • ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: Sonny Kiss vs. Kenny Omega (NR)
  • ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: Penta El Zero M vs. Rey Fenix (***3/4)
  • ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: Hangman Page vs. Colt Cabana (***)
  • Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. vs. KiLynn King (**1/4)
  • #1 CONTENDER’S MATCH: Private Party vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Butcher & The Blade vs. The Dark Order (***1/2)

*****

ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: QUARTERFINALS
Jungle Boy vs. Wardlow

The tournament will decide who the #1 contender for the AEW World Championship is AFTER Full Gear, as the finals will happen at the PPV. My bad, I thought they were getting the shot at the actual PPV this whole time. Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt accompany Jungle Boy to the ring before moving to the crowd, Wardlow’s employer MJF too busy getting ready for his big steak dinner to show up. Also he probably wouldn’t anyway.

Wardlow throws Jungle Boy around, Jungle Boy sticks and moves trying to take the legs out of his much bigger opponent. Wardlow sent to the floor, Jungle Boy tries a rana but Wardlow is too powerful and he gets sent into the post spine-first. Wardlow continues the offensive onslaught, hitting a gutwrench powerbomb for a two-count and hitting a lariat after Jungle Boy flips out of his grasp. Jungle Boy fights back with a series of strikes and a missile dropkick to the back, sending the big man to the floor and leaving him open to a tope suicida also to the back. Jungle Boy connects with a slingshot tornado DDT, Wardlow emphatically kicks out at 1. Jungle Boy climbs the buckle, Wardlow KIPS UP but eats a rana from the middle buckles. Jungle Boy drives Wardlow to the mat with a backstabber after a brief struggle, Wardlow rolls to the ramp/stage. Jungle Boy follows, Wardlow makes him pay with an F-10 into the ring followed by another F-10 for the 1…2…3.

Wardlow defeated Jungle Boy via pinfall (8:45)

  • Good match to kick off the tournament, they did the big man/little man dynamic really well. Both are great but unsurprisingly Wardlow came out looking like a monster here and has all the potential in the world. I can imagine a crowd chanting “WARD-LOW” while he’s trucking fools. (**3/4)

-LAST WEEK: Eddie Kingston had some comments for Jon Moxley following the end of the show as he was held at bay by The Lucha Bros. Kingston calls Moxley a sellout for leaving for the land of sports entertainment and leaving him behind to get screwed over repeatedly by pro wrestling. Kingston vows to make Moxley quit and to make him pay for leaving him behind. It’s announced after that Moxley/Kingston will meet for the AEW World Title in an “I Quit Match” at Full Gear, which puts Kingston’s seemingly random “I’ll make you quit” comments into context.

-VIDEO: Jon Moxley says no one was happier for Kingston to sign with AEW than he was, but Kingston has changed into a bitter man. Moxley refuses to apologize for making his money and doing his thing, and at Full Gear will either beat and torture Kingston to get his friend back or end him. 

Kenny Omega gets a ridiculous entrance full of pyro, two dancing girls with brooms (cuz THE CLEANER), and an introduction that lists a comically large amount of accomplishments.


ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: QUARTERFINALS
Sonny Kiss vs. Kenny Omega

Kiss is replacing tag team partner Joey Janela in this one; Janela came into contact with a Covid-positive person during GCW’s Collective weekend and is staying home as a precaution. 

Omega shakes Kiss’ hands, gets the crowd clapping…and then murder Kiss with a V-Trigger and One-Winged Angel to get the quick victory. Tremendous. 

Kenny Omega defeated Sonny Kiss via pinfall (0:27)

  • Omega had a whole different attitude and swagger in this one and I loved every second of it. The confidence level of this man is sky high. (NR)

Omega helps Kiss up after, raises his hand, and hugs him to be a good sport. Kiss is very much put off by this.


-EARLIER TODAY: Tony Schiavone interviews Orange Cassidy. Schiavone asks about the time limit draw against Cody last week, Cassidy says that sometimes calls go your way, sometimes they don’t. Schiavone asks Cassidy about next week’s match, Cassidy says “onto Cincinnati”, Schiavone corrects him saying it’s Jacksonville, and Cassidy responds with “whatever”. Schiavone gives up and walks off, Cassidy gets enamored with the big screen TV behind him.

-EARLIER TODAY: Cody and Arn Anderson arrive to Daily’s Place in a big ol’ limo. Dasha Gonzalez stops him for thoughts on facing Orange Cassidy next week. Cody is surprised at the “swiftness” of the rematch and mentions that a stipulation might be added, but is also confident his opponent won’t get the job done because he couldn’t last time. Dasha then asks him about the 14 pounds he’s gained, Cody says it was time to shift to the Heavyweight division, then says he has today off and will enjoy only dealing with his EVP duties and watching the tournament.

  • I’ll be honest Cody looks the exact same to me as he did before gaining 14 pounds. Maybe that’s part of the joke, I don’t know. These Elite people are weird.

-BACKSTAGE: Eddie Kingston breaks from laughing to hype up his boys Penta El Zero M, Rey Fenix, and The Butcher & The Blade who are all in action tonight. Kingston then says what Moxley said about him is true, he’s bitter but he had to become a snake and a liar because the ends justify the means and now he has a World Title shot. Kingston says he has never quit anything in his life and that won’t change come November 7th. 

  • Eddie Kingston is straight up f*cking killing it.

ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: QUARTERFINALS
Penta El Zero M vs. Rey Fenix

Kingston joins the commentary team for this one, almost beating the sh*t out of Jim Ross during the entrances of The Lucha Bros (separately but with the same music/video) for talking to him wrong. Amazing. 

Lucha Bros shake hands and it’s all counters and reversals to start, both men knowing each other like the back of their hands. They challenge each other to a chop off, Penta taking his glove so his hurt that much more. Fenix tries a flying nothing which gets countered into a superkick by Penta for a two-count. Both men end up on the apron, Fenix sends Penta to the floor and hits a torneo from the top turnbuckles. An absolute BEAUTIFUL dive, damn-near flawless. Fenix tries to rope walk, Penta pulls the ropes so he slips and continues the offensive during the commercial picture-in-picture. Fenix dodges a chop, Penta hitting nothing but ringpost, but gets tripped up when he tries a back handspring off the apron and both are down as the show returns to full-screen. Penta hits a pump kick and sling blade for a two-count. They fight on the buckles, Fenix hits a Spanish Fly that pops Kingston on commentary for the 1…2…Penta kicks out. Penta hits a pop-up powerbomb, FLIPPING FENIX IN MID-AIR, for the 1…2…Fenix kicks out once again. Penta “snaps” the arm of Fenix but shows compassion long enough for Fenix to regroup and hit a Destroyer for the 1…2…3.

Rey Fenix defeated Penta El Zero M via pinfall (14:12)

  • These two have fought each other and as a team for so long that they could probably sleepwalk their way to a good match…which to be honest it kinda felt like was happening in the beginning. But then they ramped it up and I was buying into every nearfall by the end. Great match here, loved the side story of big brother Penta showing sympathy towards beating up his younger brother. Fenix moves on to meet Kenny Omega in the semi-finals next week which should be an excellent match in and of itself…or it’ll be another 20 second squash and everyone will FREAK OUT. I’ll take either one. (***3/4)

-VIDEO = Best Friends say they accidentally broke Kip Sabian’s arcade machine, Miro says he was trying to be nice and make friends but Best Friends ruined it. This is dumb.

Alex Marvez interviews Colt Cabana, John Silver, and Alex Reynolds of The Dark Order. Cabana is feeling zero pressure, Silver FREAKS OUT and says everybody’s under a lot of pressure and mentions he doesn’t like Cabana before saying he will move on and win the tournament out of solidarity. Silver then says that the entire Dark Order, Mr. Brodie Lee included, will be in attendance for next week’s TNT Title match and leads a “BRODIE” chant that no one joins in on and he walks off-camera. Cabana leaves for his match, Reynolds stuck having to corral his hot-head friend.

  • I enjoyed this, I like John Silver being a crazy zealot and it feels like he hates Cabana because he doesn’t really buy into The Dark Order as much as he does. 

ELIMINATOR TOURNAMENT: QUARTERFINALS
Adam “Hangman” Page vs. Colt “Boom Boom” Cabana [w/ Evil Uno]

Cabana quickly and easily escapes the various holds Page tries to put on him, Hangman eventually giving up wrestling in favor of a good old fashioned punch to the face. Page hits a corner clothesline, big boot, and standing shooting star press but Cabana kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Picture in picture starts as the action moves outside, Page wanting to put Cabana through what looks like a table but decides against it and gives up after Cabana blocks it. Cabana mounts a comeback with a series of Dusty jabs and a Bionic Elbow. Page catches a corner splash attempt and turns it into a German suplex, bridging for the 1…2…Cabana kicks out. Page climbs the buckles, Cabana pushes him off and he BOUNCES OFF THE APRON en route to the floor, Cabana following up with a splash. Page goes for the Buckshot Lariat, Cabana counters and traps Page in a Superman roll-up for the 1…2…Page kicks out. Page fakes Cabana out then hits the Buckshot Lariat for real and the 1…2…3.

Hangman Page defeated Colt Cabana via pinfall (10:52)

  • Damn good match. I haven’t seen a ton of Colt Cabana matches so I always forget he’s that good, but y’all he’s really that good. I also haven’t seen Hangman Page in awhile and was heartbroken to find out he changed his ring gear. Not important though because he kicked some ass and I liked the fake-out at the end before hitting the Buckshot Lariat. Page has been on a downward spiral since losing to Chris Jericho back at All Out last year and this is his chance to get things back in gear as a singles wrestler…and potentially facing his former/still(?) tag team partner Kenny Omega in the finals to do so. (***)

Members of The Dark Order help Colt Cabana to the back, showing a strange amount of compassion that baffles the commentary team.


-VIDEO: Sammy Guevara is obsessed with ending Matt Hardy, burns a photo with the date of Full Gear on it. Guess they’re rasslin’ then.

-After a commercial we are greeted with Team Taz (Taz, Brian Cage, & Ricky Starks) on the stage. Taz’s first piece of business is Will Hobbs, who still hasn’t given him an answer on his offer to join Team Taz. Second on the agenda is Darby Allin, Taz telling a story about how owner Tony Khan said that Starks would be getting the TNT Championship shot at Full Gear if he had beaten Darby. Taz is aghast at Darby seemingly getting whatever he wants instead of Cage or Starks. Starks grabs the mic and says he has proven his worth and promises Darby that the next time they meet he will put him in a grave.

  • Solid promo work from everybody here to keep their stories going. Starks is SO MUCH BETTER here on the mic than he was in the NWA.

LE DINNER DEBONAIR

Chris Jericho and MJF are seated for dinner, one-upping each other to order the rarest steak they can. Jericho brings up MJF’s rudeness and mentions that next week The Inner Circle will be holding a town hall to decide if he can join the group. Jericho and MJF bond over making fun of Orange Cassidy then ALL OF A GODDAMN SUDDEN A FULL BLOWN MUSICAL NUMBER BREAKS OUT, COMPLETE WITH CHOREOGRAPHY. MJF’s got Sinatra-style pipes. By the time everyone starts wondering if they’re having a fever dream we go back to the restaurant where they realize they’ll have to send their steaks back since they’re too rare.

  • I 10000000% did not expect a f*cking musical number but I am so happy it happened. Some folks probably hated it, but I thought it was one of the best segments I have seen on a wrestling show in quite some time. I’m still not convinced what I saw actually happened.

KiLynn King vs. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. [w/ Rebel/Reba]

King shows off some good wrestling acumen, but this is a showcase for Baker and showcase she does. Lots of moves that involve King going face-first into the canvas and buckles, Rebel hands Baker a surgical glove and she gets the tap with the Lockjaw.

Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D defeated KiLynn King via submission (4:06)

  • Solid showcase for Baker, but KiLynn King had her moments too. Remember when AEW started and we were all like “Britt Baker has no personality”? My how things have changed. (**1/4)

-VIDEO: Darby Allin is at an indoor skatepark with Steve-O. He zips himself up in a bodybag labeled “Face of TNT” and rolls himself down a halfpipe. I also remember Jackass.


#1 CONTENDER’S MATCH
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Butcher & The Blade [w/ The Bunny] vs. The Dark Order (John Silver & Alex Reynolds)

Winner of this one faces FTR for the Tag Team Championship at Full Gear, the champs themselves sit in on commentary for this one and yes they make fun of folks for doing top rope moves instead of just punching people. It’s pretty great.

Young Bucks are in control early, hitting a double dropkick on The Blade and a pop-up dropkick on The Butcher. Young Bucks try to superkick Private Party, but Kassidy & Quen catch them and put their legs down gently. Young Bucks try again but Private Party connect with a Superkick Party of their own, revenge for last week’s attack. All the teams start brawling in and out of the ring, Kassidy hitting a tope on The Blade and a diving splash on Silver. Quen connects with a shooting star press but The Butcher makes the save. Matt Hardy is ringside cheering Private Party on but gets attacked by Sammy Guevara during the picture in picture, both men brawling to the back. That was…unnecessary. Dark Order get distracted by The Bunny (can’t blame them, honestly), leaving them open to an attack by The Butcher & The Blade, who get their moment to shine throwing people around and looking dominant. Silver then goes full Cesaro, running around the ring and hitting everyone he can with various moves but Quen dodges his double stomp attempt. Reynolds tags in, Dark Order hit a stunner into a German Suplex but the Bucks make the save. Private Party connect with a splash/legdrop combo but the Bucks break up that pinfall as well. Blade pulls Reynolds to his corner to make the tag, he and The Butcher hit Full Death but for the third time the Bucks make the save. Finally Nick Jackson tags in for the Bucks and it’s all sorts of kicks to the Dark Order, and penalty kicks to Private Party from the apron. The Butcher falls victim to a Superkick Party and they hit a piledriver/senton combo but their pin is broken up, karma being a bitch and all that. Kassidy tries to tag out but Bucks repeatedly pull folks off the apron to prevent it. Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver, Quen pulls Nick Jackson off the ropes, Kassidy rolls Matt Jackson up for the 1…2…Matt reverses for the 1…2…3!

The Young Bucks defeated Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade, & The Dark Order via pinfall (13:28)

  • A bit chaotic but a fun main event outside of that Hardy/Guevara stuff. Didn’t know Matt Hardy was advising Private Party so I was confused as to why he was even at ringside, so thank you Google for clearing that up for me. Every team got their moments to shine, especially John Silver of The Dark Order who really had a fun stretch there, but The Bucks proved why they’re one of the best tag teams of all-time playing both offense and defense. The finishing sequence was a nice callback to the first Bucks/Party match at the inaugural Dynamite, but this time they came out victorious. (***1/4)

FTR offer beers to The Young Bucks, who shove it away. A masked man shows up and hits Matt Jackson with a chair, then helps hurt Nick Jackson with a spike piledriver. FTR then use the chair to Pillmanize Matt Jackson’s leg, the masked man revealing himself to be…FTR’s manager Tully Blanchard. I AM SHOCK-ED. FTR and Blanchard leave as officials and Nick check on Matt Jackson.

  • Was this masked man thing a bit FTR had been doing for awhile or something? Felt like it was a reveal people were waiting to see. 

*****

FINAL THOUGHTS: Lots of good in-ring action this week on Dynamite plus some great promo work from Eddie Kingston, Jon Moxley, Team Taz, and others. Your enjoyment of the Jericho/MJF musical number may vary but I thought it f*cking ruled and made the show even better. Helluva episode.

  • MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Penta El Zero M vs. Rey Fenix
  • MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Chris Jericho and MJF’s steak dinner suddenly turns into a musical number. What a left field thing to happen.

 

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