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Credit: All Elite Wrestling
With Full Gear on November 7 rapidly approaching, Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite focused on the stars, the matches and the intensely personal rivalries that will help define that pay-per-view extravaganza.
Cody’s answer to Mr. Brodie Lee’s challenge for a TNT Championship match and Eddie Kingston’s hand-picked opponent for AEW World Champion Jon Moxley helped define this week’s broadcast.
What went down in those two instances and how did they, and the rest of the show, influence the build to the final PPV of 2020 for All Elite Wrestling?
Find out now with this recap of the September 30 episode.
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Already announced for Wednesday’s show:
Coverage begins at 8:00 PM.
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The weeks-long rivalry between “Absolute” Ricky Starks and Darby Allin came to a head in the night’s opening grudge match.
The combatants wasted little time taking the fight to each other. Allin countered a spear with a guillotine choke and followed up with an armbar for another quick submission attempt. A tope suicida moments later continued the face-painted antihero’s early roll.
Starks turned the tide in his favor, slamming Allin to the arena floor. The heel, and member of Team Taz, targeted the core of his opponent as he looked to systematically drive the air–and fight–out of him.
A resilient Allin exhibited quickness and suddenness that allowed him to grab a quick submission and, again, nearly force a tapout from Starks. As the fight headed to the top, Allin got the best of his opponent and delivered the Coffin Drop to the injured back of Starks for the win, moments after Will Hobbs interjected himself in the proceedings by preventing Brian Cage from interfering.
Allin defeated Starks
This was a really good, solid wrestling match between two of the most talented young stars on the roster.
The one problem? It never felt like the grudge match it probably should have been.
We had seen the tensions between Allin and Starks build and build for weeks. This felt like a really competitive match between two wrestlers looking to move up in the rankings rather than the final blowoff of a red-hot feud.
Still, it was a great and energetic way to kick off the show and the involvement of Hobbs and Cage suggests the issues between all involved may go on for the foreseeable future.
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Cody returned for a special interview with Dasha Gonzalez.
He expressed shame in losing to Mr. Brodie Lee in three minutes, then jumping at a Hollywood opportunity, while still wondering who the hell he was. As it turned out, he was the man who lost in three minutes.
Dasha asked if Cody accepted Lee’s challenge for a Dog Collar Match.
Citing optics, especially in his role as Executive Vice President of AEW, Cody said “no.” He teased leaving but returned to the ring. “No as in no regrets!” He accepted the match for next week’s show, drawing Lee and The Dark Order to the ring. The locker room cleared out and attempted to pull them apart.
The brawl in the ring gave way to chaos at ringside as Nyla Rose attacked Kylinn King and the rest of the women’s division battled.
Lee returned to the squared circle and attempted to continue his beatdown until he retreated once again.
If this was intended to drum up interest in next week’s Dog Collar Match, this worked to great effect.
The intense brawl between Cody and Lee was great, the introduction of other competitors, feeding off the tension, was perfectly done and the result was absolute chaos that was impossible to take one’s eye off.
On a special edition of Dynamite that will serve as the one-year anniversary of the historic debut broadcast, there is no better match than Cody vs. Lee to headline. It continues an ongoing rivalry, there is a unique gimmick involved and the TNT Championship is the centerpiece.
Everything about this angle was great stuff.
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During a backstage interview, Tony Schiavone asked AEW Tag Team Champions FTR about a potential showdown with The Young Bucks. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler denounced the idea, questioning what Matt and Nick Jackson have done to earn a shot. From out of nowhere, Matt blasted Schiavone with a superkick, leaving the champs to wonder why they didn’t just target them.
Moments later, Harwood and Wheeler took to the squared circle for a defense of their titles. The opposition? Inaugural AEW tag champions Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky of SCU.
What started as old school, gritty tag wrestling from FTR gave way to a fiery onslaught by the challengers, including a clever sequence where Kazarian patted Harwood on the ass, then lured the champs into a plancha from Sky.
Still, the heels seized control heading into the break, downing Sky on the arena floor. Picture-in-picture highlighted FTR’s continued domination of Sky throughout the commercial timeout.
Sky finally created separation and made the tag to Kazarian, who exploded into the ring and laid into both Harwood and Wheeler. Kazarian tagged Sky back into the match as SCU looked to put the champions away. Stereo cutters almost led to new champions but FTR kicked out.
A miscommunication spot saw Kazarian collide with Sky and FTR score a near-fall off a dragon suplex by Wheeler. Near-falls reigned supreme from there, including one off a near backfire from FTR advisor Tully Blanchard.
It was the legendary Four Horseman that proved the difference-maker as he swept the leg out from underneath Sky during a suplex attempt, bringing Wheeler down on the challenger and allowing him to score the pinfall victory.
FTR defeated SCU to retain
This was a great bit of wrestling from two tag teams who are synonymous with it.
While it felt like it ran out of steam late, everything that came before the closing minutes was absolutely stellar stuff that showcased the in-ring chemistry and psychology of the teams.
Blanchard’s interference firmly solidifies him as a dangerous asset to champions that absolutely do not need his assistance to prove themselves the best in the world.
And finally, the finish allows SCU to stay in the hunt for the titles as they could always incite the indecisive nature of the match as the reason for a potential rematch.
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Commentators Excalibur, Jim Ross and Taz put over the celebration of Chris Jericho’s 30-year career that will go down on next week’s show as The Demo God made his way to the ring, accompanied by The Inner Circle, for his match with Private Party’s Isiah Kassidy, who had Marq Quen and Matt Hardy backing him up.
A driven and determined Kassidy took the fight to Jericho early and often, even catapulting him to the floor. After a head-scratching exchange between Jericho and Dr. Luther in the stands, Kassidy wiped Le Champion out with a plancha that also dropped the other Inner Circle members.
Jericho slowed his opponent’s momentum during the break, working him over as Jake Hager, Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara taunted Kassidy from ringside.
Back from the commercial, Kassidy fought his way back into the match and scored a stunner for a near-fall. A second gave way to another two-count. Kassidy got the knees up on a Lionsault attempt, only to fall prey to his own finisher by Kassidy.
The young babyface followed up with a Codebreaker for another two as he attempted to put Jericho away with his own arsenal.
Unfortunately for the young star, he would attempt a springboard that earned him a Judas Effect and led to Jericho’s hard-fought victory.
Jericho defeated Kassidy
This was another fun, energetic match in a string of them tonight.
Jericho was great as the oppressive veteran heel and Kassidy shined as the resilient, out-of-his-league babyface who just narrowly lost the biggest match of his young career to date.
The interaction between Jericho and Luther, as well as The Demo God and Hager’s attack on Luther and Serpentico after the match, suggests a showdown between The Inner Circle and Chaos Project. Considering Jericho and Hager are making their way up the tag ranks, there are worse ways to get them there than by having them go through all the teams, including their fellow heels.
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Orange Cassidy sought to avenge his loss to Mr. Brodie Lee in last week’s TNT Championship Match as he battle The Dark Order’s 10. Cassidy was accompanied to the ring by Best Friends’ Trent and Chuck Taylor, while 10 had his fellow cultists Colt Cabana, Alan Angels, Alex Reynolds and John Silver at ringside with him.
Cassidy, still smarting from the beating he took at the hands of Lee a week ago, overcame the power and athleticism of 10 to pick up the win in impressive fashion.
Cassidy defeated 10
The match was relatively nondescript and the segment did nothing to really advance things.
It was there for the sake of being there, an excuse to get Cassidy in front of the camera. Moving forward, though, it will be interesting to see how frequently Freshly Squeezed is on TV because he did not rise to the prominence he has by being overexposed on a weekly basis. AEW is walking a fine line with that particular character and should probably exercise the “less is more” approach when it comes to the King of Sloth Style.
A feud between the secondary members of Dark Order and Best Friends, though, could be a lot of fun if it has the opportunity to showcase the personalities at play.
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Dr. Britt Baker returned to the squared circle for the first time in months, accompanied by “Reba,” for her match with upstart Red Velvet.
A focused Baker toyed with Velvet early, then paid for it as the babyface caught the rusty heel off-guard on more than one occasion. A wicked clothesline slowed things down for the good doctor and turned the tide back in her favor.
Baker ultimately delivered a fisherman neckbreaker and stomp for the win. Afterward, she applied the Lockjaw as an exclamation point on the one-sided victory.
Baker defeated Velvet
This was a great showcase for Baker, who looked fantastic in her first match in months.
In the best shape of her young career, against a performer in Velvet who was perfectly equipped to sell for her. Baker’s facial expressions and body language are next-level and the continuation of Rebel as her right-hand woman is the right call.
The sky is the limit for the woman AEW has always intended to build its women’s division around. Hopefully, for her sake, she can stay healthy because a title reign in the very near future cannot be ruled out.
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Eddie Kingston, accompanied by The Lucha Bros, hit the ring alongside referee Bryce Remsberg. He asked the referee why he called for the bell when he never heard Kingston tap out. Remsberg explained himself, saying all of the personal friendship between them does not equate to professional favoritism.
Jon Moxley hit the ring as it looked like the official may be in trouble. As the AEW World Champion appeared poised to go to war with Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix, Kingston revealed his real opponent was The Butcher.
The big man bowled Moxley over with a clothesline to start and dominated the action through the commercial break.
Selling the left knee that had been the focal point of Butcher’s attack, Moxley fought his way back into the match. That is until the mutton-chopped big man countered and applied a half-crab. Butcher continued his surprising dominance, Moxley’s injury proving costly.
Tenacious, he fought back but as he had throughout the match, Butcher cut him off, this time with a crossbody. Moxley battled back, as he has so many times over his career, and delivered a jumping piledriver for two.
Moxley countered a clothesline into a double-arm DDT and applied the choke for a submission win. He stared Kingston down for a brief moment before standing tall, his title tightly in his grasp.
Moxley defeated Butcher
Just five years into his professional wrestling career, Butcher main evented an episode of Dynamite against the world champion and turned in a hell of a performance that really saw him spotlighted.
He never looked out of his element, nor did the moment appear too big for him. Instead, he worked a smart, physical match that saw him throw everything he had at the champ before succumbing to the same DDT/choke combination stars much more established and experienced than he had.
The money match appears to be another showdown between Moxley and Kingston, but time will tell if Moxley makes it past Lance Archer on October 16, first.
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