1/1 AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT: Keller’s report on Omega & Bucks vs. Pac & Lucha Bros., Cody vs. Darby, Moxley vs. Trent, Dustin vs. Guevara, Riho vs. Rose vs. Baker vs. Shida
KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (12/19)
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AEW DYNAMITE TV REPORT
JANUARY 1, 2020
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. AT DAILY’S PLACE
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Announcers: Jim Ross, Taz, Excalibur
Tonight after AEW Dynamite, join me live with guest cohost Jake Barnett from ProWrestling.net to break down the show with live callers, mailbag, and an on-site correspondent from Jacksonville, Fla.
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-They opened with a video on The Elite – Cody, The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page – describing tonight as a “defining moment” and asking if they can rise up tonight. They repeated the word “Elite” in their own voices a couple dozen times during the vignette. Then it showed them sitting in an empty arena with their arms around each other’s shoulders.
-Ross introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd. Then they went to the announce trio on camera, including Taz in Tony Schiavone’s chair as a guest commentator. (Tazz was good on AEW several weeks ago.) They hyped the loaded line-up for the show with graphics for each of the matches. This episode is dubbed “Homecoming Edition.” (It’d be good if they established why that’s home for them, as I bet a lot of regular viewers have no idea what the connection to Jacksonville and the Jaguars is.)
-A vignette aired on Darby Allin getting across his demeanor. It showed him skating around a cathedral with a Cody mask on, which he then set on fire with a candelabra.
The show then moved to a video package for Darby Allin, where he skated around a gothic looking cathedral wearing a mask of Cody’s face. He then lit it on fire with a candelabra. Cody made an entrance along with a man in a Cody mask, who Tazz explained as Eric Whitney from the band Ghostmane. He wore another disfigured mask underneath the Cody paper one. Cody then made his entrance along with Arn Anderson. They announced Arn as the head coach of the Nightmare Family, which may or may not be the parent company of the Nightmare Collective.
(1) CODY (w/Arn Anderson) vs. DARBY ALLIN
Darby made his ring entrance. Another guy walked out first wearing a creepy mask underneath the Cody mask. Tazz said that person was Eric Whitney from a band “Ghostmane.” Arn Anderson stood on the stage as Cody’s ring entrance began. Justin Roberts touted Arn and said he was the “head coach of the Nightmare Family” (not to be confused with the “Nightmare Collective,” I suppose.) Even before he took off his jacket, Cody looked like he slimmed down over the holidays. Ross explained that they are starting all over with the rankings this week because it’s the start of 2020. Excalibur said they’ll still look at the career records, the rankings have not reset, but 2020 is a clean slate for everyone. (Okay, I’m totally confused. Did Excalibur just correct Ross, argument Ross, or back up what Ross said? Is everyone 0-0 but their 2019 records still factor into the rankings?) Excalibur said Darby has been studying Cody matches to prep for this one. A couple minutes in, Arn gave Cody some advice after watching the opening minute of the match.
At 4:00 Darby swept Cody off the ring apron and Cody landed on his arm on the edge of the ring. Thenhe dove through the ropes and knocked Cody hard into the barricade. Cody came back to kick Darby off the ropes. Darby went to work on Cody’s arm. Cody countered with a figure-four at 6:00. At 8:00 Cody shoved Darby off the top rope, but Darby landed on his feet and dove back at Cody. Cody rolled through for a near fall. Cody caught Darby with a snap powerslam seconds later. Fans chanted “Cody! Cody!” Cody mounted Darby in the corner and punched away at him, then caught him with a second rope back springboard Cody Cutter. They announced they were at the ten minute mark of a 20 minute time limit match. Ross said these two last battled to a 20 minute time limit draw. He said Cody just couldn’t put Darby away. (I wish they had recapped that before the match began.) Darby kicked out of a top rope inverted suplex. Ross was amazing Darby kicked out. Both were slow to get up. [c]
They stayed with the action on split-screen. Darby hit a Code Red for a near fall during the break, which they replayed after the break. Darby then gave Cody a stunner out of nowhere. He climbed to the top rope to set up his Coffin Drop, but Cody rolled to the floor at 15:00. Darby gave Cody a Coffin Drop on the edge of the ring apron instead. Both fell to the floor as fans chanted “Holy sh–.” Ross noted that it appeared Cody might have lifted his knees, but it didn’t really seem like he did upon replay. Ross said that either way, the Coffin Drop is going to hurt both guys involved. Back in the ring Darby side-stepped a Cody Cutter, but Cody hit Crossroads seconds later for a believable near fall. Cody got wide-eyed afterward. Arn said something to Cody as he tried to figure out the next move. Darby avoided a charging Cody, who crashed into an exposed turnbuckle in the corner. Darby removed it earlier. Darby then went for a Coffin Drop, but Arn yelled something to Cody and pointed at his knees. Cody lifted his knees. Cody lifted his knees as Darby flew at him with his Coffin Drop. Cody then scored the three count.
WINNER: Cody in 18:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. Cody has really slimmed down and seems more believably athletic without losing any sense of having heavyweight power or size. It helped him here keep up with Darby. Not sure what they’re doing with Arn. It’s not exactly cheating to give advice at the end like that, but it also is strange that a babyface would need someone to tell him what to do in that instance. I’d assume if Cody has the wherewithal to look over at Arn and see and hear advice, he could also foresee and then see Darby doing his signature finisher at that time and know what to do to counter it without Arn’s “years of experience” to help. It’s time to give Darby a program of his own that he can because he’s a valuable act who was elevated by working with Cody.)
-Backstage Jen Decker interviewed SCU – Kaz, Scorpio Sky, and Christopher Daniels. Sky said The Dark Order wants to stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. He called them “spooky perverts” and said they ruined their finish. Kaz talked about Santana & Ortiz. In walked Sammy Guevara with his camera in selfie mode. He congratulated them for having the tag team titles, then looked at Daniels and asked what he has besides wrinkles and losses on his record. “Maybe you just don’t got it anymore,” he said. Daniels stepped up and said they can find out next week. He licked his thumb and rubbed it on Sammy’s phone. Sammy was grossed out and tried to clean it on Decker’s dress.
(2) RIHO vs. NYLA ROSE vs. SHIDA vs. BRITT BAKER – AEW Women’s Title match
Rose came out first. Ross said she was returning from suspension. Excalibur said the suspension was due to attacking an AEW referee, Rick Knox. They replayed her powerbombing him through a table last month. Shida came out second. The announcers talked about her place in the rankings. Baker came out third. And then champion Riho. Ross said this match features the champion, and the no. 2, no. 3, and no. 4 contenders. “Hell, it’s like an all-star game,” he said. Rose hit Riho with her own title belt before the bell. The director inexcusably missed the shot as he was showing a close-up of Baker instead. Rose hit Baker, too. Shida hit Rose with a kendo stick. The ref called for the bell to start the match. He shit Rose with a knee for an early two count. Nyla then rolled out of the ring. The other three recovered and battled. Rose tripped Shida and yanked her to ringside. Then she pulled a table out from under the ring and set it up. Riho leaped off the top rope and hit Shida, but Rose moved out of the way. Rose then kicked Riho and threw her onto the table. They cut to a break as Baker pulled Riho to safety. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen where Rose and Baker battled at ringside. Back live, Rose was in control in the ring. Rose put Shida on the table at ringside and then leaped off the ring apron with a senton splash. There wasn’t very much clearance at ringside. Seems like it’d be prudent to back the barricade a couple extra feet away for all the ringside spots they do. Baker then brought Rose back into the ring with a DDT for a near fall. Baker then transitioned into a Lock Jaw attempt. Tazz said Rose is thick. Ross said she’s powerful. Rose elbowed Baker, then powerbombed out of it. Riho stomped Rose from behind to break up the cover. Then she leaped off the top rope with a doubles top for a near fall. Baker broke it up with a superkick. Baker then gave Riho a neckbreaker for a near fall.
Ross ended up taking over on everyone a couple minutes later. Ross said she was stacking Riho and Shida like corn wood. Rose climbed to the top rope and went for a senton, but Riho and Shida moved. Riho then hit double-knees and covered Rose, but Shida broke it up. Shida then landed a sitout powerbomb Rose for a near fall. The crowd popped. Baker then superkicked Shida and hit a Russian Leg Sweet followed by a Lock Jaw attempt. Shida rolled her back for a two count. Riho then pinned Baker with Jackknife cover for the win.
WINNER: Riho in 11:00 to retain the AEW Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match with everyone getting chances to shine with good build to dramatic near falls. A relatively small thing, but Baker’s superkicks just don’t look crisp or high-impact at all. Not sure I’d do them as often as she does.)
-After the match, Rose attacked Riho and leaped off the top rope and splashed Riho through a table. Excalibur said Riho will defend her title next week against Kris Statlander. He wondered what condition she’d be in.
-Alex Marvez interviewed Joey Jannella, asking what’s in store for him in 2020. Joey suddenly winced. The camera lowered and Penelope Ford was standing there, having crotched him from behind. Kip Sabian was with her. They smiled and walked away. [c]
-A Dark Order video aired. This time it was prefaced with a message: “This Message Was Paid for by Dark Order.” A Dark Order member said The Elite has fallen. Clips aired of their attack last week on Kenny Omega, Cody, Dustin Rhodes, SCU, and The Young Bucks. He closed by saying soon they would see the true reach of the Dark Order. Then a distorted Darth Vader-like voice off camera laughed and said, “Wonderful.” It closed with a graphic sending people to www.JoinTheDarkOrder.com.
-Excalibur wondered who The Exalted One is that the spokesman was talking to.
(3) TRENT (w/Chucky T, Orange Cassidy) vs. JON MOXLEY
Ross said Cassidy “has a new orange t-shirt that Tazz is jealous of.” Tazz chuckled, said that was a shoot, then added he’s a fan of Cassidy. (That’s a riff on how fiercely protective Tazz during his wrestling days of the color orange in any ring gear of his colleagues.) Moxley came out second. His record is 5-1-1. Tazz translated Justin Roberts’s highly affected pronunciation of “Jon” for the audience. Excalibur said the rankings are weighted, so if Trent beat Mox, that would rocket him near the top of the rankings. They built slowly early with some headlocks and then some chops. Mox was fired up at ringside as they cut to an early break. They aired the match on split-screen during the first half or the break. (The second-half of the break were spots sold by local cable distributors and isn’t done on split-screen because of that.) [c]
Trent speared Moxley on the floor and took over in the ring with a half-nelson suplex. Mox rolled to the floor. Trent did a running flip dive onto Mox on the floor.
Mox came back and scored a two count after a faceplate. Mox took over until Trent caught him with a clothesline as he rebounded off the ropes, scoring a two count. Both were slow to get up. Orange Cassidy entered the ring and created a distraction. Mox stared at him as he put his hands in his pockets. Mox looked perturbed. Mox put his hands on his pocket. Trent then charged at Mox with a running knee followed by a stuff piledriver for a near fall. Justin announced the ten minute mark. Trent leaped off the top rope on the ramp, but Mox kicked him and gave him a Paradigm Shift. Back in the ring Mox finished Trent with another Paradigm Shift for the win.
WINNER: Moxley in 11:00
-Guevara then walked out through the crowd with a wireless mic. In a syrupy tone, he complimented Mox on his win. He said he gets why he walks through the crowd because you get free drinks and free food as he helped himself to fans’ snacks. Mox entered the ring and looked upset. Guevara told him to calm down because he wasn’t there to fight with him. He put on cheesy 2020 glasses and blew into a kazoo. He tossed it to Mox and said the Inner Circle have a big surprise for him.
A video aired on the big screen of Jericho with his AEW Men’s Title belt. He was standing in front of an blue sports car. Jericho again invited Mox to join the Inner Circle. Jericho said other factions are asking Mox to join, such as The Nightmare Collective or Dark Order. He said they are offering more than black masks or a lock of hair. He said he can offer more – co-leadership in the group. He offered him 49 percent of the Inner Circle LLC if he says less, plus an executive V.P. title. He also offered him “the most expensive automobile in America, a Ford GT, worth millions of dollars.” He showed that it has a personalized license plate, “Mox.” He said they could take total control of AEW. He said they could shove their fists so deep inside Cody’s throat they can pull out his pink tie out his ass. He said they could rub Jungle Boy’s face in the mat like a little puppy dog who was naughty for making a mess. He said they could tie the Young Bucks into an ugly Christmas bow that nobody would want to open. He said they could beat up Kenny so badly he’d be as embarrassed and feel as stupid as all the fans in Jacksonville. “The world could be ours, and all you have to do is say yes. Make your decision wisely and we’ll be waiting for you.” Jericho then drove away in the Ford GT.
Back in the ring live, Ross said Mox has a big decision to make. He wondered if he was about to make it. Mox said all fancy expensive cars aside, he’s always considered Jericho a friend and a mentor. Guevara said, “Me too!” He said out of respect, he’d give Jericho his answer next week. Some fans booed. Mox said the whole world would find out what’s in store for AEW in 2020 next week. Tazz said it sounds like he’s thinking about it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Mox is losing some credibility with fans by drawing this out. I assume he will say no as decisively as one can, but in the mean time, fans are left wondering if Mox can be bought by the top heel in the company.)
-They cut to a break and stayed on split screen as Mox left through the crowd. Then they went to Guevara who held up a series of signs he made with a list of the tempting offers Jericho just made for Mox. Funny. He also told Victoria Justice’s sister to hit him up on Instagram and Twitter. He plugged his handle and hashtag. Then his signs said as for Dustin Rhodes, did he suffered a broken arm or broken foot? He said they’ll find out next when it’s “Time to Finish the Job.” [c]
(4) DUSTIN RHODES vs. SAMMY GUEVARA (w/Jake Hager)
Dustin took it to Sammy at the bell. He leaped off the ring apron a minute into the match and flipped onto him. Ross said he keeps adding new wrinkles to his game. After a distraction by Jake Hager, Sammy nailed him with a wrecking ball kick. They cut to a break. [c]
They fought back and forth. Dustin eventually set up the kick to the nuts in the corner. The ref stepped in the way to stop Dustin. Hager then entered and gave Dustin a low-blow. (Can’t saying he didn’t have it coming.) Guevara then scored the pin.
WINNER: Guevara in 10:00.
-Backstage Decker interviewed Private Party at a bar. Hangman page poured them a shot from behind the bar. Private Party said they’re worried about him. He told them they should be worried because he could whoop both of their asses. He angrily said, “Happy New year, guys.” He grabbed the shot and left.
-MJF made his ring entrance with Wardlow. Ross said it all started with a low blow and betrayal. [c]
-Back live, Ross said MJF has successfully pissed off everyone in the arena. MJF said he is the good guy. He told them to see more clearly, they should take their heads out of their asses. “Maybe you’d see shit clearly,” he said. He said his word play probably goes right over their heads. He called Cody a mouth-breathing moron. He said it’s funny how their roles have been reversed, because now Cody needs him. He said his stips for him to agree to a match with him at Revolution are that he can’t touch him until the match starts or else no match ever, he has to beat an opponent of his choosing which is Warlow, the match will be in a cage, and he gets to whip Cody ten times with a leather strap. [c]
-Decker interviewed Jungle Boy about how he closed out 2019. He said he did what no one thought he could do, but what he said he could do, which was last ten minutes with Jericho. Luchasaurus had to hold back Marko Stunt from groping Decker.
-They showed that Page joined the announce team. He was sipping a drink “to keep my whistle wet.” Ross plugged that next Wednesday night, they’ll be honoring many Memphis wrestling legends. They were pushing tickets hard for that event throughout the show. They hyped Kris Statlander challenging Riho next week.
-Marvez interviewed Riho and Michael Nakazawa. Baker interrupted and said she’s been working her ass off every week becoming the Face of the Division. She said Riho hasn’t been there every week, whereas she is able to wrestle weekly and manage her dental practice. She stormed off. Nakazawa interpreted what she said.
-They went to the announcers. Ross said that’s a different side of Baker. Tazz hyped Cody & Dustin vs. The Lucha Bros. and Hangman Page & Kenny Omega vs. Private Party. Page said he didn’t even know that until they just said it. Ross also said Mox would reveal his answer to Jericho. Ross said in the main event, they’d find out if The Elite are still elite.
(5) PAC & LUCHA BROS. (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix) vs. KENNY OMEGA & THE YOUNG BUCKS
The Lucha Bros. and then Pac came out. Then as Kenny and the Bucks came out, Ross said the Tom Brady era may be over, and so might the era of The Elite. Page said they are getting along just fine and they always do. Ross asked Page if he has distanced himself from The Elite lately. Page said he has tried, but apparently he’s teaming with Kenny next week. The bell rang with 13 minutes left in the show. After some early athletic high spots, they cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen. Back from the break it settled into Omega vs. Pac. Omega landed a nasty snap-dragon suplex and then a sitout powerbomb for a near fall, broken up by Pentagon Jr. Omega and Fenix battled a couple minutes later, with Fenix landing a cutter. Pac tagged himself in and leaped off the top rope with a Black Arrow for a near fall, broken up by The Bucks. Ross called it aerial artistry. Matt superkicked (although overshot it) Pac to break up his submission Kenny. They stereo superkicked Pentagon off the ring apron. Fenix tagged in and flew at Omega, but Omega kicked him out of mid-air with a V-Trigger followed by the One-Winged Angel for the win. Ross said The Elite are scratching and crawling back. Cody came out right away to celebrate the win. Page then said he was going to head out of there. Tazz asked if he’s going to enter the ring. The Bucks, Cody, and Kenny asked Page to enter the ring. He gave them a thumbs up gesture, but also blew off the invite to join them in the ring.
WINNERS: Omega & The Bucks