Manolo Has Pizzazz
AEW Dynamite (Oct. 28, 2020) emanated from Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, FL. The show featured Hangman Page and Kenny Omega emerging victorious on their way to the #1 contender final and Cody Rhodes receiving some help in retaining the TNT Championship,
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
Hangman Page and Kenny Omega are on a collision course at the Full Gear PPV on November 7. Both men advanced to the #1 contender final. Hangman took down Wardlow, while Omega scooted past Pentagon. The time is near for the former partners to collide.
Dynamite opened with my favorite bout of the evening. Hangman was forced to solve the riddle of power coming from Wardlow. That story was carried out with excellence.
The match started with heavy blows from Wardlow. I was surprised Hangman didn’t vomit after those shoulder shots to the gut, since I assume the cowboy had been drinking booze all day. Wardlow was downright mean when he rammed Hangman into the guardrail.
Hangman created a chink in Wardlow’s armor when he countered the big man’s knee strike finisher into a cross armbreaker over the ropes. Wardlow was visibly damaged, but he still powered through Hangman with slams.
Hangman picked up some steam when he flipped onto his feet from a release German suplex. Hangman charged for a running clothesline to knock Wardlow over the ropes.
A moonsault to the floor followed. Hangman kept it fancy with a standing shooting star press in the ring. That only put Wardlow down for a 1 count though.
Like a proper beast, Wardlow came back to hit an F10. Hangman astutely rolled out of the ring to avoid a pinfall. The tide turned in Hangman’s favor when he managed to outmaneuver Wardlow on the turnbuckles for a super fallaway slam.
A buckshot lariat knocked the war dog down to one knee. A second buckshot lariat sealed the deal. Hangman drank a celebratory beer as he advanced to the tournament final.
Great match. I’ll never get tired of the classic story of chopping the oak tree down. Both men put in outstanding performances. The flow was executed in a believable manner. Hangman dug deep to prove his championship caliber mettle. Once he gets over his personality issues, I can completely buy in to Hangman being the man to carry AEW as champ. Wardlow was powerful enough to shine in defeat. He lost the match, but he showed that he is fit to compete against the top talent.
In the other semifinal, Omega battled Pentagon. The man who has an old high school buddy that currently resides North Carolina was taken to the limit by the luchador. (Reminder that Pentagon was a replacement for the injured Fenix.)
The match took a little bit to get cooking as they were playing around with the AAA Mega Championship and a tough guy test of chops. The action spilled to the outside, where Omega hit a DDT onto a cooler.
The strategy was Omega trying to hit his One Winged Angel. Omega connected on some V-Triggers throughout, but Pentagon kept escaping the finisher. At one point, Pentagon hit a leaping Mexican Destroyer on the ramp then a package piledriver in the ring. Omega barely got his shoulder up before the count of 3.
The closing sequence began with Pentagon running the ropes into a V-Trigger. On the One Winged Angel attempt, Pentagon countered into an armbreaker. Snap! Omega fought on despite the pain. He escaped a package piledriver and began throwing blows. Pentagon tried to get fancy and springboarded right into a high knee strike. Omega finally finished it with One Winged Angel. He now has a date with destiny and Hangman.
The skill level was high for this fight, but I wasn’t feeling the overall story. They lost me with the nonchalant beginning. This match had big stakes and yet they clowned around without urgency. It wasn’t until Pentagon snapped Omega’s arm that I became intrigued.
Last week, I was all aboard the Omega train. His sassy entrance and dominant performance in the ring had me hooked. This week, not so much. I was hoping for badass Omega and was given cheeky BTE Omega instead. His facial expressions seemed weird and overexaggerated while hamming it up for the crowd. As a fickle fan, I think I’m going to leap from the train and hop onto Hangman’s horse.
That’s not to say I’m down on Omega’s new direction. It was amusing to see Omega rage on Pentagon and slap him in the face with his own glove. Also, the entrance still remains awesome.
Cody Rhodes and Orange Cassidy had their rematch for the TNT Championship. The first affair resulted in a time-limit draw. The second affair involved lumberjacks. The idea was to prevent Dark Order from interfering. Much to no one’s surprise, that did not work, especially since the Dark Order were chosen to be ringside as lumberjacks.
The match began with quick reversals to escape signature finishers. Cassidy used his lazy tactics as a fake out to get the jump on Cody. As the match progressed, Cody worked the weakened knee of Cassidy.
It took about 10 minutes until the first moment of lumberjack chicanery. Best Friends caught OC from falling onto the floor. They then did the same for Cody but instead decided to drop him on purpose. Trent even sucker punched Cody. The big spot was a soft fight between lumberjacks setting the table for a superplex onto bodies below.
Cassidy had the first moment close to victory. He popped for a stunner, flying DDT, and Beach Break slam. Cody kicked out of the pin.
That’s when the match got muddled. Dark Order caused a distraction so John Silver could hit a pump kick to Cassidy in the ring. Then Arn Anderson suckered punched OC. Cody didn’t see the attacks and pounced for Cross Rhodes to win.
Overall, the contest was entertaining but not quite satisfying. The action was fine, however, the match felt overshadowed by extracurricular activity. We still don’t have an answer of who is better between Cody and Cassidy.
AEW has been really good about not booking illogically stupid stuff. That was not the case with this lumberjack deal. I really don’t understand the decision of allowing the Dark Order ringside. Perhaps it will play out into a larger story.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
Property. MJF stated that the world title will be his if Wardlow goes on to win the tournament and championship. Since Wardlow is under contract with MJF, his property is MJF’s property. That would mean the belt belongs to MJF. Wardlow reluctantly nodded in agreement after making a face of disbelief. Sammy Guevara came in to trade barbs with MJF. After MJF issued condescending advice, Sammy got in his face. MJF backed away.
That was an effective way to remind us that MJF is obnoxious, as if we needed any reminding. It also built on the desire to eventually see Wardlow make MJF squeal in pain. There’s often talk about potential feuds lasting for a decade in AEW. Sammy vs Darby and MJF vs Jungle Boy commonly pop up. I’d like to see Sammy vs MJF get a chance to churn. They have good chemistry on the mic as foes.
Crush! No, I’m not talking about Rusev or Lana. I’m talking about Jon Moxley. He wants to crush Eddie Kingston’s windpipe, skull, and ego. Past title bouts for Moxley have been about elevating the AEW World Championship as the top belt in the business. His ‘I Quit’ match with Kingston will be personal.
Eddie Kingston defeated Matt Sydal. Kingston won the competitive affair with a spinning backfist then a bulldog choke. He wouldn’t let go and forced Sydal to say, “I quit.” Kingston was in a trance thinking that Sydal was Moxley.
Those two segments kept the fire stoked between Moxley and Kingston. It was a smart decision for Kingston to have that match, because he still needs momentum to be taken as a believable threat to dethrone the champ.
Stipulation. The Young Bucks added a stipulation to their bout against FTR. If they lose, then they won’t ever again challenge for the tag titles in AEW. Excalibur laughed and didn’t believe them. The rationale made sense in that they always come through when betting on themselves.
That seals it. I am 100% rooting for FTR at Full Gear. Two reasons why. The Bucks are still jerks. They blamed their poor attitude on FTR’s manipulation. Matt Jackson even said that he doesn’t regret the random superkicks to staff. He chalked it up as good people sometimes doing bad things.
Second, the stipulation is played out and also excessive for round 1 of a dream match. There is no need to go overboard. Plus, Matt is hurt. That stacks the deck against them even more for Super Cena odds.
In my opinion, the story leading into this title fight has been bumbled badly. FTR left in the middle of the interview and nobody cared. That’s not a good sign. On the bright side, at least AEW is trying to explain these odd character motivations. It is way too late, but better late than never.
Town Hall meeting. Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez moderated with questions from various wrestlers and Eric Bischoff. The theme was MJF joining the Inner Circle. When it came down to it, Jericho said the one thing MJF has never done to prove his worth is beat Le Champion. A match was made for Full Gear. MJF stressed that he will do anything to win. Jericho wouldn’t have it any other way.
Given the past sketches with Jericho and MJF, this fit right into the vibe of their feud. The big question is if it built desire to watch them on PPV. For me, I guess so. It is a unique matchup, has interesting stakes, and adds to the overall strength of the Full Gear card. I think the story is good enough to entice any fence sitters into purchasing.
What I’m really excited about is next week’s tag match with Ortiz & Sammy versus MJF & Wardlow. They both hate MJF, so it will be interesting to see how badly they try to hurt him.
Tick tock. Team Taz still wants an answer from Will Hobbs about their offer to join. Taz believes Hobbs would be a good fit, but the clock is ticking on decision time.
I’m torn about what I want to see Hobbs do. On one hand, AEW is light in the babyface department, and I think Hobbs can rise high very quickly. On the other hand, I like the idea of him wrecking shop under the tutelage of Taz. Tough call.
Trick or treat. Miro and Kip Sabian beat up the Best Friends backstage as a Halloween gift. Trent vs Miro was made for next week. After Trent’s cheap shot on Cody, I’m rooting for Miro to teach Trent a lesson about respect.
Serena Deeb retained the NWA Women’s Championship against Leyla Hirsch. Deeb won the belt last night from Thunder Rosa. Hirsch came in and put on another tough fight after having a great match with Hikaru Shida on Dark. Hirsch’s power grappling style is impressive. Deeb used her veteran savvy to take control in the end with a swinging neckbreaker, a regular neckbreaker, then a knee crank to win.
This was a really good match. Given that Deeb was obviously going to win, it still kept my attention throughout. I think Deeb is AEW’s second best wrestler signed to the women’s division, behind Hikaru Shida. I’d say Hirsch is the second best youngster, behind Dr. Britt Baker DMD. Hirsch has a lot of potential.
Shida? Shida! When asked about Nyla Rose’s challenge, Hikaru Shida accepted for Full Gear. I’m sure the match will be entertaining, but this feud is ice cold. I have zero enthusiasm for it. Even if Rose wins the strap, there is no heat to make it feel important.
Shawn Spears defeated VSK. One hitter quitter with a C4. A masked bull heckled Spears, so he dragged the animal into the ring. When Spears turned his back to load his black glove, Scorpio Sky revealed himself under the bull’s head. Sky attacked for a TKO to stand tall. They will fight next week on Dynamite.
The squash was effective in putting Spears over. The hijinks from Sky was nice payback for past agitation. I like that I have no clue who will win. I’d lean toward Sky, but Spears has Tully Blanchard in his corner.
Stud of the Show: Hangman Page
Hangman came, he saw, he conquered, he drank beer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Dud of the Show: Dustin Rhodes
Trent sucker punched Cody right in front of Dustin, and Dustin didn’t do a thing about it. Come on, bro.
Very solid show. Very solid matches. Very solid story advancement.
Share your thoughts about Dynamite. How do you rate it? Who stole the show?