Venue: Municipal Auditorium (Nashville, TN)
After a highlight package of Full Gear and a quick rundown of tonight’s lineup, the proper show began with a video update of a black-eyed Kenny Omega who’s apparently still too beat up from his bloody brawl with Jon Moxley to be cleared to compete tonight.
Moxley was ready to go, though. He kicked off the action against Michael Nakazawa.
Jon Moxley vs. Michael Nakazawa
(8:06:46 – 8:07:57)
The crowd showed their adoration for the Purveyor of Violence with loud “Moxley!” chants as the opening bell rang.
This was a quick nothing match. After absorbing a back elbow from Nakazawa, Moxley hit the Paradigm Shift for the victory.
“Well, Moxley has proven once again he doesn’t work by the hour. That was fast and furious.” – Jim Ross
“One of the most unpredictable and scariest men I’ve seen in a long, long time.” – Tony Schiavone
Result: Moxley pinned Nakazawa following a Paradigm Shift (1:11)
Afterwards, Moxley grabbed a mic and and began cutting a promo, starting by mockingly looking towards the back and asking Tony Khan, “So that one counts, right?”
“Kenny Omega will never be the same again. Now, Kenny, you are one radical son of a bitch. Our personal difference notwithstanding, I do respect you. You had the balls to do something I don’t think anyone else in AEW is going to have the balls to do anymore. I don’t think anybody in that dressing room is going to have the balls to step in the ring with me. But can’t nobody run, can’t nobody hide forever. I am on a pilgrimage to scorch the Earth of AEW one broken neck ata time until I am the last man standing.”
Moxley then challenged the entire locker room to see if anyone was man enough to step in the ring to fight him.
“Just do me a favor, if you’re going to step in the ring with me, kiss your loved ones goodbye before you leave the house. Have an ambulance on speed dial, and when it’s all over, nobody ask me for any damn apologies.”
The Dark Order vs. Jurassic Express
(8:15:46 – 8:25:17)
“Let’s talk about Marko Stunt real quick. Much has been talked about, much has been written about his size and how it comes into play. I like his enthusiasm. I like the fact that he is so quick, so fast and so agile, it is very, very difficult to be able to get a read on him.” – Schiavone
“I admire his courage. He is trying to live his dream. He is not the normal sized wrestler, if there is such a thing anymore.” – Ross
Stunt and Evil Uno started things off. Marko got the chance to show off his enthusiasm and agility by reversing one of Uno’s moves into an arm drag before both men tagged out.
Jungle Boy and Stunt took turns working over Stu Grayson. Marko got a little too cocky, however, taunting Uno before the big man came in, slammed him and hit him with a senton bomb off the top rope.
Commercial Break No. 1 (Picture In Picture)
Back from commercial, Stunt managed to make the hot tag. Jungle Boy came in the ring and picked up the energy level, taking out both Uno and Grayson. Surprisingly, he quickly tagged back out to Stunt and they worked together to take out both of Uno and Grayson with some tandem offensive maneuvers.
A whiff and a slip off the top rope by Stunt got on an “eww” reaction and deflated the crowd. Those ewws soon turned to boos as both Grayson and Uno worked together to put Stunt away with a Fatality.
Result: Uno pinned Stunt following a Fatality (9:31)
After the match, Uno grabbed a microphone, gave Marko a mask and offered him the chance to become one of the Dark Order’s creepers. Jungle Boy intervened and threw the mask to the ground, earning both him and his partner a beat down.
Luckily, Luchasaurus appeared for the save and single-handedly decimated all the creepers before taking out Grayson with a chokeslam followed by a standing moonsault as Uno escaped.
The three members of the Jurassic Express embraced in the middle of the ring and posed.
Commercial Break No. 2 (PIP)
Shawn Spears vs. Peter Avalon vs. Darby Allin
(8:35:20 – 8:39:04)
The fans made it clear who they were rooting right from the start, chanting “Let’s Go Darby” as the opening bell rang.
Avalon missed a splash off the top rope and got tossed out of the ring to start things off. Allin then gained the advantage on Spears early but an attempt at a high risk move off the top rope backfired as Spears took his legs out and sent him bouncing down to the canvas.
Joey Janela then appeared at the top of the ramp and he and Spears then started brawling throughout the crowd. Back in the ring, Allin and Avalon duked it out for a minute before Darby hit a Stunner and Coffin Drop to pick up a pinfall victory.
Result: Allin pinned Avalon following a Coffin Drop (3:44)
Following the match, with the crowd once again loudly chanting “Darby!” Allin picked up a microphone.
“Jon Moxley, I accept!”
Commercial Break No. 3
Nyla Rose vs. Dani Jordan
(8:45:21 – 8:46:57)
Jordan got a slap in early but all that did was anger Nyla who proceeded to clotheline her, whip her into the corner and give her a Samoan Drop before finishing her off with a sitout powerbomb.
Result: Rose pinned Jordan following a sitout powerbomb (1:36)
Schiavone began to interview Allie at ringside before the lights went out and Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes appeared at the top of the ramp. Kong came down and knocked Allie out. Brandi pinned her to the ramp while Kong cut off a lock off her hair in the same fashion she did to Bea Priestley at the Full Gear pre-show.
“What the hell is going on? Does anybody know? This is freaky.” – Ross
Commercial Break No. 4
AEW Champion Chris Jericho came to the ring to cut an in-ring promo and got an overwhelmingly warm response for a heel champion.
“I demand a thank you from every single member of the AEW roster, the back office, the front office, the side office. I want my thank you.”
The fans then cheered, but Jericho told them he wanted a thank you from people that matter; not jackasses from Nashville.
“I told you I was going to prove that Cody is not as good as you think he is, and that he’s nothing more than an entitled millennial son of a bitch.”
The lights went out, and Cody’s music and pyro hit, but instead of Cody, it was MJF, Cody’s once best friend who betrayed him with a low blow at Full Gear, who emerged from the smoke.
The crowd let MJF know what they thought of his actions with loud “Asshole!” chants. MJF soaked in the boos and did his usual mocking of the fans.
“You people don’t like me very much do you? Are you upset because I threw the towel in, yeah? What you people don’t seem to understand is if I didn’t throw that towel in, your favorite little wrestler’s career would be over. And yet you want to boo me as if I’m the villain. Meanwhile, you people have been cheering for the real villain the whole time. And that villain’s name is Cody.
(In southern accent) MJF, what do you mean man, Cody’s in my living room every week. He’s a stand up guy. I love me some Cody Rhodes.
Oh do you guys, huh? You love Cody, huh? Well guess what, Cody couldn’t give less of a shit about any single one of you. Because the real Cody only cares about himself. But you sheep don’t want to believe that. There is only one person on this plant who knows the real Cody and you’re looking at him.
The real Cody is a liar. The Real Cody is a user and abuser. The real Cody saw a young, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed kid from Plainview, Long Island, New York and he looked at him, and all he saw was someone he could make into his puppet. And that sociopath put his hand out with a smile on his face and said, hey kid, I want to be your mentor.”
The crowd responded with “Bullshit!” chants. MJF said that he is the new face of AEW.
“Cody Rhodes, I’m better than you and you know it.”
MJF then turned his attention to Jericho and the two had a back and forth exchange about whether MJF would like to join The Inner Circle before they both agreed upon who the biggest jackass was in AEW: Cody Rhodes.
Cody then came charging down to the ring, whiffed on a powerslam on Jericho before successfully hitting it on a second attempt. Then Wardlow made good on the promise of his vignettes and arrived to beat down Cody and choke him with his own tie.
Commercial Break No. 5
Pac vs. Adam “Hangman” Page
(9:14:02 – 9:26:09)
Pac hit some kicks early before bringing the action to the outside with a Page-esque moonsault off the top rope down to the outside. After moving out of the way of a Black Arrow attempt, Hangman responded with a topé suicida and a powerbomb as the crowd chanted “Cowboy Shit!”
Schiavone praised Pac’s leg strength while JR compared him to Dynamite Kid.
The two eventually ended up back on the outside, where Page hit a moonsault of his own.
Commercial Break No. 6
Pac hit Page with a German Suplex, and then hit another but Hangman landed on his feet and nailed him with a spinning lariat clothesline.
Pac got a two-count following a spinning heel kick but Page responded with a superkick to knock him to the outside. The fans showed their appreciation of the action, chanting “This is Awesome!”
Hangman hit Pac with a brainbuster on the outside and followed it up with a buckshot lariat back in the ring but it wasn’t enough to put Pac away.
After two kicks to the head sent Page to the mat, Pac proceeded to stomp on a motionless Page’s head before going up top, hitting a Black Arrow and then putting him in the Brutalizer. The referee was forced to call for the bell when Page failed to respond.
Result: Pac won by submission with the Brutalizer (12:07)
It was a bit of an odd ending to a decent match. This was basically a shorter, more TV friendly version of the bout these two had at Full Gear last Saturday, only this time Pac was the one who came away victorious.
While the announcers advertised the upcoming tag team title match featuring the champions SCU against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara (JR referred to Guevara as Sammy G for some reason), the camera cut to the backstage area where officials tried to break up a scuffle between The Young Bucks and Santana & Ortiz.
Matt Jackson slammed Ortiz through a table while Santana jumped off a forklift onto the Bucks and some security guards. JR somehow managed to confuse Ortiz for Santana as well as Matt for Nick in the span of a few seconds only to be corrected by his broadcast colleagues. Santana then kicked Nick through a door into a bathroom where Orange Cassidy was seemingly just standing around and hanging out—a quick appearance which got a huge pop from the crowd. Then Matt hit Santana with a kick of his own as the brawl raged on throughout the picture in picture commercial break.
Commercial Break No. 7 (PIP)
The two teams brawled from backstage through the arena and out into the ringside area. Ortiz used the loaded sock as an equalizer and took out both Jackson brothers, ending the brawl by slamming Matt through the same spot on the stage that they sent Ricky Morton through.
Private Party then came running out to confront them as Matt climbed out from his hole and Nick limped to the backstage area.
Fittingly enough, a graphic popped up on the screen, advertising a tag match pitting Santana & Ortiz against Private Party on next week’s episode. Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley was also advertised.
Commercial Break No. 8
SCU vs. Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara
(9:48:25 – 9:59:09)
Guevara and Jericho came out separately.
At a combined age of 91, Chris Jericho and Frankie Kazarian started off the action. Kazarian hit a few arm drags and a drop kick early. An overwhelmed Jericho stumbled to his corner to escape by tagging in Guevara. Kazarian dumped Guevara on his head with a German Suplex.
Commercial Break No. 9 (PIP)
Guevara taunted and posed while working over Kazarian. The fans made it known who they wanted to see, chanting “We Want Jericho!”
Guevara missed on a Shooting Star Press, which gave Frankie the chance to tag in Scorpio Sky. Jericho interfered and broke up a Dragon Sleeper to save Guevara. On the outside, Jake Hager took out Kazarian. Christopher Daniels then came looking to help out by running across the ring and diving through the ropes but Hager caught him and threw him into the barricade. Jericho then tagged in but Sky was able to hold onto the advantage before Chris caught him in midair with a Codebreaker. Somehow Sky managed to kick out and then roll up Jericho to retain the tag titles.
Result: Sky pinned Jericho with a roll up (9:44)
After the match, Jericho showed his frustration by tearing up the ringside area and tossing around chairs as the show faded to black.
This was a bit of a sloppy match that lacked heat and had an unsatisfying roll up finish. It was actually quite reminiscent of the opening women’s tag team championship match on this past Raw, in which the champion Kabuki Warriors retained over Becky Lynch and Charlotte. As in that match, there was only one performer (in that one it was Becky; in this one it was Jericho) the fans seemed to care about seeing. Unfortunately, Becky and Jericho spent most of the time on the apron before each entered and ate a roll up pin. SCU tried to work babyface here but the fans just didn’t seem to care about them, which is the general reaction they have been getting since winning the belts.
As far as in-ring action is concerned, this felt like the weakest Dynamite episode thus far. There were two one-minute squash matches, a quick triple-threat match, a forgettable tag match between Dark Order and Jurassic Express, a Pac/Page bout that was good but not on the same intensity level as their match at Full Gear and a main event tag title match that lacked heat and had a disappointing flat finish.
Thankfully, there were some highlights outside of the ring, though. Luchasaurus returned and got a huge welcome back response. The Jericho/MJF promo got the desired heel heat from the crowd and it ended by debuting Wardlow, a character AEW’s been hyping up for a while. The brawl between The Young Bucks and Santana & Ortiz was well done and it helped shift the focus from the Bucks to Private Party. Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes are at least trying to do something. Plus, next week’s Darby vs. Moxley match is an intriguing pairing that can hopefully be built up for a week with some internet banter and vignettes.
Usually the first TV show coming off a big PPV is less focused on good matches and more shaped around building up future feuds and storylines going forward, so in that sense, this show did accomplish its goal. Still, the lack of in-ring action left tonight’s episode having a bit of a hollow feeling overall.