AEW Dynamite airs live tonight from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Number one contender Jon Moxley will be in action, facing Ortiz in a singles match. On last week's episode, Moxley and The Inner Circle had a pull-apart at the start of the show.
Moxley closed the episode by attacking Inner Circle members Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager, Santana and Ortiz with a baseball bat. AEW World Champion Chris Jericho, Moxley's opponent at Revolution on February 29, escaped before Moxley could get to him.
Cody receiving 10 lashes from MJF is also scheduled for tonight's show. Cody agreed to the lashing as one of MJF's stipulations to accepting a match at Revolution.
AEW World Tag Team Champions Kenny Omega and Hangman Page will team with The Young Bucks in an eight-man tag. Their opponents will be The Butcher, The Blade, and the Lucha Bros team of Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix.
Dr. Britt Baker is also set to take on the returning Yuka Sakazaki in a singles match.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Chris Jericho, Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara joined the commentary desk for the opener. Jericho is quite good on commentary.
JON MOXLEY DEFEATED ORTIZ
Ortiz targeted Moxley's eye patch with strikes. He sent Moxley eye-first into the steps to get the heat. Back inside, Ortiz used a camel clutch. Moxley came back with a figure four, a suicide dive, then a black hole slam.
Ortiz sent Moxley over the top to the floor, then hit a tope. Ortiz tossed Moxley back inside. He hit a top rope splash and a fisherman suplex for a pair of near falls.
Santana jumped on the apron to provide a distraction. Moxley sent Ortiz into Santana. He teased a Paradigm Shift, but Ortiz blocked. Moxley then hit a double-arm DDT, but not the high-angle Paradigm Shift, for the pin out of nowhere.
Santana jumped Moxley after the match. Moxley fought him off, then pulled the keys to Jericho's Ford GT from his pocket.
Moxley said, "An eye for an eye," and spiked Santana in the eye with a car key. Moxley retreated through the crowd while Jericho, Guevara and Hager ran to the ring.
Medical personnel attended to Santana. An effective segment.
Orange Cassidy entered with Best Friends. Best Friends vs. SCU is up after an ad break.
SCU DEFEATED BEST FRIENDS
The first half of this was all action. After a standard tackle and drop down sequence. Trent speared Sky on the floor. Kazarian hit a German suplex on Trent on the floor. Taylor hit a flipping neckbreaker off the steps to Kazarian. All four men were down on the floor. Orange Cassidy approached them, then laid down to join the group.
Trent sold the damage from the suplex on the floor the rest of the match. SCU took over with a swing DDT from Kazarian. Trent made a comeback with knee strikes and one-legged dropkicks.
The finish saw Sky dropkick Kazarian in the back as Kazarian hit a destroyer on Trent and pinned him.
After the match, Dark Order ran in. They laid waste to the two teams. Orange Cassidy climbed into the ring. Dark Order offered him a mask, but he refused, so he was beaten down as well.
Chris Daniels ran in for the save. He dared Dark Order to come after him, but they retreated. The commentary team put over the fact that we still don't know the identity of the Exalted One that Dark Order takes their orders from.
The wrestling here was quite good, though a commercial in the middle of the match hurt the flow. That's TV wrestling, though.
The angle was quite bad. They continue to try with Dark Order. It doesn't work.
Britt Baker vs. Yuka Sakazaki is up next.
YUKA SAKAZAKI DEFEATED DR. BRITT BAKER
They traded left arm wringers, jockeying for position. Baker forced Yuka into the corner, then choked her. Baker hit a Zack Ryder boot in the corner for a near fall.
Yuka made a comeback, including hitting her Magical Girl splash, a springboard off the top rope to the floor. Jim Ross made fun of the size difference between Baker and Yuka, then mocked the name of her move.
Back inside, Yuka hit a lariat and a rolling elbow. Baker cut her off with a superkick, then hit a neckbreaker for a near fall. Baker went for Lockjaw. Yuka pulled Baker into a crucifix and pinned her for the upset.
After the match, Baker grabbed the ring bell. She used the bell on Yuka. Aubrey Edwards took the bell from Baker, leaving Baker and Yuka in the ring.
Baker placed Yuka's mouth over the bottom rope, then hit a curb stomp. Yuka sold her mouth, then supposedly pulled one of her teeth out of her bloody mouth. Baker then used Lockjaw.
This was a good attempt at getting real heat here in 2020. I think the AEW crowd wants to help, and were willing to play along. Picking Yuka for the angle probably helped with the squeamish feel they were going for, as she looks like a child.
Time for a soapbox rant.
On commentary, Tony Schiavone is the perfect third man in the booth. He has enthusiasm, he tries to get things over. Excalibur is very good at what he does. In my opinion, Ross should either get with the program, or transition to a new role. He just doesn't put over what he doesn't like, or he outright mocks it. He gets names wrong. He doesn't call moves.
I understand the value of his voice being the first you hear on the broadcast every week. Fine. Have him do the intro and serve as host, then throw it to the guys who are trying to be good at their jobs.
The eight-man tag is next.
BUTCHER, BLADE, PENTAGON & FENIX DEFEATED THE YOUNG BUCKS, KENNY OMEGA & HANGMAN PAGE
This match was GREAT.
The story here is that Page has good chemistry with the other Elite members, but isn't on the same page with them.
Page and Blade started out. Page hit a series of chops. Omega tagged in for a Kotaro Krusher. Nick got a tag. The Bucks hit dropkicks on an interfering Pentagon and Fenix. Butcher jumped in and ate a triple dropkick from Omega and the Bucks, who then hit a triple pescado. Page stood on the apron, looking sullen.
Just before a commercial break, Fenix hit a crazy springboard swanton off the top rope to the floor, wiping out Omega and the Bucks. Back inside, the heels worked over Nick during the break.
Back from break, Matt got a hot tag and ran wild with his locomotion northern lights suplexes on both Lucha Bros. Fenix hit a springboard armdrag to Matt. Pentagon and Fenix doubled up on Omega.
Omega and Butcher ended up the legal men. Omega hit a hurricanrana and tagged Page, who ran wild with an absolutely electric hot tag. He hit dives, suplexes, and a spectacular moonsault off the post to the floor.
Things were bonkers from here on.
Pentagon hit a destroyer to Matt. Butcher hit a powerbomb to Nick. Omega hit Fenix, Pentagon and Blade with snap dragon suplexes. Matt hit a sliced bread to Butcher. There was a superkick party. Omega hit a V-Trigger on Fenix.
Page and Penta ended up the legal men at the end of this insanity. The Bucks wanted Page to tag them in. Page refused. Penta hit a destroyer to Page. Fenix and Penta hit the combination double stomp/package driver on Page. Fenix then hit a tope to Omega. Penta pinned Page.
After the match, there was more trouble between the Elite. Page argued with the group, then left, then drank beer with fans.
I would enjoy this angle more if I had a better understanding of why Page wants to be his own man, and the relationships between all of these guys. It feels as though there's an assumption that the audience knows who all these guys are and sees them as stars. This is week 18 of their TV. I don't think the audience knows. I could watch BTE, or I could have it explained to me on TNT every week.
After a break, Schiavone was in the ring with Omega. PAC was shown on the screen, with interviewer Lexy, and Women's Champion Riho.
PAC said he's supposed to be having a contract signing with Omega right now, but Omega ruined that. How? By having a match? PAC said clearly Omega doesn't care about Michael Nakazawa, who he left for dead. Twice, actually. So I guess that's what happened to Michael.
PAC then said we'll find out how much Omega cares about Riho. I assume they're a couple, but that's never been explained.
PAC said he's a bastard, but not a beast, and he won't attack a woman. So Nyla Rose entered and laid out Riho instead.
Riho vs. Rose for the title was announced for next week. Omega and Page vs. SCU for the tag titles was announced for next week also.
KIP SABIAN DEFEATED JOEY JANELA
Sabian hit a dropkick. Janela then no-sold some kicks and went on offense with strikes. Sabian sent him up and over to the apron, then hit a leg sweep, sending Janela crashing off the apron into the steps. Penelope Ford then slammed Janela's face into the steps.
Sabian stayed on offense through a commercial break. After the ads, Sabian missed a springboard 450 to the floor. Janela hit a German on the floor. Back inside, Janela hit some more strikes. Sabian hit a backstabber.
Janela hit a DVD for a two count. They traded strikes. Sabian hit a DDT. Ford jumped up on the apron and kissed Sabian. Janela hit the ropes. He tried to hit Sabian, but nailed Ford with a back elbow, sending her to the floor. Sabian then used a schoolboy with a handful of tights for the pin.
Ford sold her knee, and Sabian helped her to the back. Good match, not a lot of heat.
Sabian should come out on top in this feud, there's more chance for upward mobility for him than Janela, but Janela has to get a win here at some point. So far, he's been punched in the balls and lost the only match.
Jericho and his stablemates cut a promo backstage. Santana promised an eye for an eye next week.
The Bucks confronted Page backstage. They wanted to know what happened out there and what his problem is. Matt said he thinks he knows what the problem is, intimating that it's alcohol. He said if Page keeps it up, he'll lose the tag titles next week.
After the Bucks left, Page drank from a pitcher of beer.
Santana vs. Moxley was officially announced for next week.
A tag team battle royal was announced for two weeks from tonight in Atlanta, with the winning team getting a title shot at Revolution.
A PAC vs. Omega 30-minute ironman match was announced for three weeks from tonight.
Dustin Rhodes cut a pre-taped promo. He told MJF that his brother is a lot tougher than MJF thinks.
First MJF and Wardlow, then Cody, entered for the main event lashing, which takes place next.
Cody took his shirt off during the commercial break. MJF said that his belt is too nice to touch Cody, then demanded that Cody give him his belt.
MJF hit Cody with the belt once. Cody fired up. MJF tried to bait him into an attack. Some heels came to the stage to watch. Butcher, Blade, Bunny, Guevara, Baker and Sabian watched on.
MJF hit another belt strike. Arn Anderson pushed his way past the heels and came to the ring for moral support. MJF hit a few more lashes. Dustin ran down and asked to take the remaining lashes for Cody. MJF said that's not how this works, and told him to watch with everyone else.
The Bucks ran down after the next belt lash. Cody's back was starting to welt up. Cody flipped off MJF. Wardlow asked for the belt with two lashes left. He hit a big one, drawing blood.
Dustin and the Bucks fired up the crowd before the last lash. Cody tried to fire up so he could stand up and take the last one, then collapsed.
Brandi Rhodes came to the ring and told Cody he could do it.
MJF hit the tenth lash across the chest. Cody dropped to the mat. The Bucks, Arn, Dustin and Brandi jumped in to tend to Cody.
MJF kicked Cody in the balls, then ran off through the crowd. Some babyfaces ran down to try to get to MJF, but he escaped with Wardlow.
MJF was posing with Wardlow in the crowd at the top of a concourse when it appeared that a fan tried to attack him. MJF got a couple of shots in on the guy before Wardlow and Security dragged the guy away. It appears that this was a plant, not an actual fan.
This was a good old school angle on a night where the angles were underexplained at best, and left a lot to be desired at worst.
After a stretch of thumbs up shows, I didn't care for a lot of the angles tonight.
After 18 weeks of TV, the legacy of this promotion so far is a lot of good matches that no one remembers, and some of the dirt worst angles since TNA.
I don't want to be an "everything sucks" guy. I'm not trying to be contrarian. I just want wrestling that makes sense, with good angles that are fully explained, with characters that are properly developed.
Hopefully there's more of that next week!