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by Samoa Rowe
December 4, 2019
Last week's Thanksgiving Eve edition of Dynamite did a startling low rating, so there's been a lot of tough questions being asked of AEW's creative direction. I am curious to see how they respond, and crossing my fingers that they don't overreact and do something stupid.
From State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Shiavone. The building is a small arena, and it appears the balcony sections are totally empty, but the lower bowl looks full. This is an odd market for AEW to take a chance on though, so I'll give them credit for drawing as many thousands of fans as they have. The show begins with some audio problems with the commentators cutting in and out and lots of volume problems.
The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) and Dustin Rhodes vs. The Inner Circle (Santana, Ortiz, and Sammy Guevara)
Dustin runs through Sammy with a shoulder block and wrenches the arm to tag in Nick Jackson. Dustin hoists Sammy for Young Bucks' tandem dropkick. Bucks catch Santana and Ortiz with SUPERKICKS as Dustin knocks Sammy over with a clothesline. Sammy stumbles into a 3-way SUPERKICK PARTY! The Bucks and Dustin all connect with dives to ringside and the fans LOVE this. Matt hits rolling Northern Lights Suplexes on Sammy and continues as Santana fails to break. Matt can't suplex all 3 opponents, and the Inner Circle hit a double buckle bomb. The audio issues are very distracting, weird that episode 10 of Dynamite would have the first major technical glitch. Matt saves himself with a superkick and makes the hot tag to Dustin. Dustin dishes out power slams and tells Sammy to freeze so he can catch his breath. Sammy is so confused that he's an easy target for a slam. Dustin hits a flying crossbody on all 3 Inner Circle guys! DESTROYER by Dustin but a late cover is broken by Ortiz. Ref blocks Shattered Dreams, and Santana clocks Dustin in the groin with the sock full of baseballs. Crowd is MAD! Sammy's 630 senton is good but DUSTIN KICKS OUT! Nick interrupts with a mule kick on Sammy and a running bulldog. Matt hits a spear on Sammy and the Young Bucks hit tandem splashes for 2. Bodies go flying to the floor and fans loudly chant "AEW." Inner Circle hit Matt with a flying double stomp/powerbomb combo, but Dustin saves the match. Sammy vlogs on his phone while climbing the buckles and flying right into a SUPERKICK PARTY! The heroes hit a triple team tombstone piledriver/back senton for the win at 10:54! Glorious spotfest that reminds us just how great the Young Bucks can be when they go supernova, ***¾.
Winners: The Young Bucks and Dustin Rhodes
Trent (with Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy) vs. Rey Fenix
Trent recently defeated Pentagon Jr. on Dark, and last week the Best Friends defeated Lucha Bros. in a noteworthy upset. There's a sense of urgency as they block each other's finishers early. Fenix misses the corner 619 but settles for kicking the legs out from under Trent. Fenix elbows the head while applying an armbar to send us to commercial. Fenix controls the match throughout the break, but Trent counters a top rope corkscrew move as they return. Fenix drives Trent into the barricade, but Trent pops right back up with a spear. Trent's tornado DDT gets 2. They trade monkey flips and Fenix counters with a powerbomb for 2. Fenix hits a tightrope walk kick to the head but Trent's desperation kick gets 2. Fenix answers with a springboard double stomp to the back on the apron. Trent blocks a diving splash and nails a running knee to the face. Trent's piledriver gets another 2. Fenix surprises with a cutter and hits the spinning musclebuster for the win at 11:00. They aimed high and certainly showed off some cool counters, but the fans were more polite than into this, ***.
Winner: Rey Fenix
Cody makes his way to the ring to yet another hero's welcome. Tony Shiavone interviews him about the recent betrayal of MJF and the ambush by The Blade, Butcher, and Bunny. Cody says he wears his scars on his face. Last week, while receiving yet another ass kicking by an unknown entity, he found himself all alone while his brother has his own blood feud, his wife is cutting off random womens' hair, and MJF is on the outs after kicking him in the balls. Cody addresses the Butcher and Blade, saying if they wanted a match, all they had to do was ask. MJF has declared that he will never wrestle Cody, which is a hell of an absolute, and Cody does not deal with absolutes. Cody says he hand picked MJF when no one else wanted him, and he has the emails to back it up. Cody is willing to give MJF whatever he wants if he'll wrestle him, including his special watch from Tony Khan, and a case of cold hard cash. Cody still thinks MJF is the future, but he plans on educating and harming him and dares his former protege to name his price. Loud "Cody" chant but MJF never shows up.
Backstage interview with Joey Janela. He is answering Jon Moxley's open challenge because he's been put on the backburner despite being one of the first AEW signees. Janela brings up their war at Fyter Fest, but this time Moxley will have to kill him. Moxley interrupts, shakes his head and utters "Kids" before walking away.
An angry looking white guy is angrily typing on some sort of incel message board. He gets recruited by the Dark Order. The footage cuts to some kind of bizarre torch-lit induction ceremony in the woods. Evil Uno demands to know if the recruit will disown his family. The man states he just wants friends. Stu Grayson kicks him in the face and unleashes the creepers on him. This is working for me.
Nyla Rose vs. Leva Bates (with Peter Avalon)
Footage reveals that Nyla Rose powerbombed Shanna onto a table during a meet and greet. Bell rings and Rose hits a hard big boot. Rose draps Bates on the ropes for a flying knee to the head. Avalon enters the ring to stop a Beast Bomb, but Rose grabs his shhing finger. Bates hits Rose with a book to zero effect. Rose chokeslams both librarians to massive crowd approval. The Beast Bomb ends it at 1:33. Good squash, except now I like Rose and I think she's supposed to be a heel.
Winner: Nyla Rose
Rose hits a second Beast Bomb to remind us that, yes, she's supposed to be a heel. Shanna runs in for an ambush flying crossbody. Shanna's shots have little effect and Rose puts her down with a power slam. The scene continues through a commercial, with Rose powerbombing a referee through a table, and then powerbombing Shanna onto the referee's carcass. Britt Baker reacts from the crowd as a rib of her NXT Takeover appearance.
Le Champion Chris Jericho makes his entrance to a big ovation. He's accompanied by Jake Hager and is pimping his Little Bit of the Bubbly adult beverage. Jericho gets right to business crapping on the city of Champaign, as no one from this town has ever been successful. Jericho brags about having sold 12,000 bottles of his Bubbly drink. Jericho complains that AEW is forcing him to have one more match in 2019, which will take place on the final Dynamite of the year. As Le Champion, he's put together a list (big pop). Jericho tells the fans this isn't 2016, so it's not a list, but a "Lexicon of Jericho" and it lists everyone he does NOT want to face, which basically includes all AEW stars and random references that rhyme with the names of AEW stars. Jon Moxley is on the list like eight times, which is the sort of gag that never gets old. He's interrupted by the Jurassic Express of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt. Jericho says that next on the Lexicon were dinosaurs and little children. Luchasaurus takes the mic and says he bets that Jericho didn't know he had a degree in ancient history. Luchasaurus defends Stunt, saying he's small for his age, but more man than Jericho. Jericho says that Stunt is small for any age, but grins about Jungle Boy possibly stepping up to face Le Champion. He mocks JB for not having won a match and calls him a piece of sh!t who couldn't last 10 minutes with him. Jungle Boy takes the mic and declares to last 10 minutes and kick his ass. They brawl and Jericho and Hager flee from the ring. Jericho continues to bring the greatness on the mic and I was surprised by how well Jurassic Express got over here.
Kris Statlander vs. Hikaru Shida
Shida has a slight advantage in a chain wrestling sequence, but Statlander breaks and cartwheels all over the ring to mock her opponent. They quickly cut to commercial. They're back with a fight on the apron. Shida's enziguri allows a flying knee to the floor. Shida's missile dropkick gets 2. Statlander answers with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, but Shida pulls her right into an arm breaker. Shida suplexes Statlander over the ropes for a good nearfall. Statlander bounces off her back to dodge a lariat and hits a lariat of her own. Stantlander's electric chair slam and scissors kick is good, but SHIDA KICKS OUT! Shida's running knee to the face gets another good 2 count, as the fans are pretty into this. Statlander absorbs a knee to the face and slams her for a great 2 count. Statlander's cradle powerbomb scores a huge upset at 8:27! Fun match and I want to see a lot more of both women, ***¼.
Winner: Kris Statlander
The lights go out and reveal Awesome Kong and Brandi Rhodes on the ramp. Brandi is willing to shed on light on why she and Kong have been terrorizing the women's division. She brands themselves as the "Nightmare Collective" and says they do the work that no one else wants to do. Brandi offers Statlander a spot in their stable and promises to give her a home. A plant at ringside begs to be pledged into the Nightmare Collective instead. She lets Kong cut off her pony tail, as it appears that Statlander is going to avoid making a decision here and now.
Christopher Daniels vs. Pentagon Jr.
Daniels blindsides Pentagon with a dive onto the ramp. Pentagon counters with a backdrop onto the steel. Pentagon superkicks the back of the head and clotheslines him into the ring for the official bell. Daniels answers with a spear. Back suplex by Daniels but Pentagon double stomps him into a tree of woe. Pentagon is in charge as they wrestle through a commercial. Back from break, Daniels desperately counters with a DDT. Vertical suplex by Daniels and a Blue Thunder Bomb gets 2. Pentagon hits Sling Blade for 2. Pentagon hits a Backstabber for 2, but Daniels answers with a falling lariat. They tease a Destroyer on the ramp, but instead Daniels crashes and burns on an Arabian moonsault attempt. They trade hard shots in the ring and Daniels hits the Angels Wings. Rey Fenix runs in for a distraction. Pentagon misses a shot with the mic stand and Daniels considers using it himself before tossing it. The ref misses Pentagon's low blow and his package piledriver ends it at 8:41. This had a few spots that might have been either botches or storytelling, but either way it looked pretty ugly at times, **½.
Winner: Pentagon Jr.
Backstage promo by The Butcher, Blade, and Bunny. Allie says last week's assault on Cody was their first order of chaos. They are sick of seeing Cody's face everywhere. They are here to cut the head off the snake.
Joey Janela vs. Jon Moxley
The time limit is TV TIME REMAINING! Bell rings and Moxley manages to outwrestle Janela with a back waistlock takedown and then steps over his back. Janela breaks a headlock but Moxley hits a shoulder tackle. Janela runs the ropes for a back elbow. They exchange knife edge chops until Moxley hits a headbutt. Janela scores a diving ax handle onto the ramp. Moxley bounces Janela off the ropes to hit a hard lariat on the ramp! CUE THE COMMERCIAL! They come back with Janela directing the fight back into the ring, but Moxley spins him with a powerbomb. Janela blocks the Paradigm Shift and leaps over the ropes to DDT Moxley onto the ramp. Janela's heat seeking missile dive is good! Moxley teases the top rope Paradigm Shift, but Janela powerbombs him off for a good nearfall. They trade blows until Moxley hits a decapitation lariat. Janela answers with a DDT into the buckles and then dives onto Moxley onto ringside furniture! Janela's flying elbow gets a great nearfall! They meet on the top rope and Moxlely Paradigm Shifts Janela onto the top turnbuckle. Another Paradigm Shift finishes Janela at 9:31. This was great after the commercial, great win for Moxley, ***½.
Winner: Jon Moxley
Moxley's celebration is cut short by Chris Jericho's music. Jericho and the Inner Circle enter through the stands to send a message. They stare each other down as the show goes off the air.
Final Thoughts: Ratings were down last week, but I still really enjoy this show and appreciate what they are trying to do. I can't find that much to nitpick from Dynamite to Dynamite, though I could probably complain about some of the big picture booking. But seriously, if I think a wrestling company is putting forth a good faith effort to be great, and the shows are enjoyable as these 10 episodes of Dynamite have been, I tend to not dwell on the mistakes and imperfections and just enjoy myself. I'm crossing my fingers for a ratings rebound, because AEW Dynamite deserves it.
This flew by and was awesome all the way through. Excuse me while I mark out. Thumbs Up.
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