AEW Dynamite continued to entertain us throughout this pandemic with another fun evening of wrestling where we saw the first round of the inaugural TNT Championship Tournament.

Is Cody a man or a mouse?

Things started off with an ominous warning from Jake the Snake Roberts who’s been taunting Cody over the past couple weeks for his avoidance of Lance Archer and questioned whether he may throw his quarter-final match for the TNT Championship against Shawn Spears. We shall see.

Lance Archer vs Undisclosed location Jobber

Lance Archer made quick work of a poor young jobber as he hit a devastating release suplex from a chokeslam position and hitting him with the blackout for a quick victory. Damn, this guy looks scary. I’ve been thinking about him demolishing Marko Stunt all week…


Britt Baker vs Hikaru Shida

I’ve not been Britt Baker’s biggest fan in these reviews but her heelwork has really come into its own and in this match with Shida, her ring work excelled. This was a hard-hitting and highly entertaining match between these two as they started off with a huge amount of animosity towards each other from the get-go.

Shida is top of the women’s rankings after an impressive 7-win streak but Baker wasn’t one to make an 8th victory easy as she grabbed and pulled hair to keep Shida on the backfoot. A cocky chat to the camera was Baker’s undoing as Shida made a comeback and draped Baker over the barricade, with the help of some ringside talent, to hit Baker with a vicious rising knee strike.

Back from the break, Shida managed to lock Baker into an armbar but the D.M.D managed to get the break on the ropes and retaliated with a sling blade and butterfly suplex for a close 2 count.

After a failed lockjaw attempt from Baker, the pair exchanged heavy blows and a botched enzuigiri busted open Baker’s nose caking her face in blood. Baker capitalised on this by attempting to put Shida in the Lockjaw all whilst asking for a glove for her hand. Health and Safety are paramount in this pandemic even when your nose is bleeding like a leaky tap.

Shida managed to break loose and took the win after dumping Baker onto the turnbuckle and following up with a running knee strike.


Jake Hager and Jon Moxley promo

An MMA style promo package hyped up Moxley and Hager’s upcoming No Holds Barred Empty Arena match for the AEW World Championship. Hager touted how he’s a winner and his focus on wanted the title for the money juxtaposed with Moxley’s reverence for the championship and what it represents. A good package in spite of the circumstances, well played.

Kenny Omega & Michael Nakazawa vs Best Friends w/ Orange Cassidy

The added stipulation for this match was that the winners would gain the title of “Best Friends” as Chuck Taylor and Trent started off strong against Omega before he tagged out to Nakazawa who made keen use of his oil-based offence to deflect Trent’s chop attempts off his slick chest.

Omega and Nakazawa used a tag team manoeuvre that planted Nakazawa’s head into Trent’s crotch and followed up by running Trent’s crotch into the turnbuckle post.

After the break, the nut focused assault continued as Nakazawa slid Trent along the middle rope in a move the commentator’s entitled “The Hentai Slide”. Omega changed pace from the silliness with his patented strong style move set but Trent managed to get the hot tag as Taylor came back out of the gates swinging.

Taylor used Nakazawa’s head to hit a Kintama into Omega’s crotch as payback for his friend before the pair launched out of the ring with tandem topes to the outside.

A hug attempt from the Best Friends to Orange Cassidy was thwarted by Omega and Nakazawa. To try and make a comeback, Nakazawa started squirting oil in the Best Friend’s eyes but couldn’t stop Cassidy who shielded his eyes with his sunglasses.

Omega came flying back as he took on both of the Best Friends singlehandedly and planting them both with Dragon Suplexes. However, he couldn’t keep up against the two on one advantage. It wouldn’t keep Omega and Nakazawa down for long as the pair came back with a surprise comeback and a close two count after a double team manoeuvre.

Nakazawa went for the victory with the thong laden Ultimate venom arm but it wouldn’t keep Trent down even with a V-Trigger to help out. Omega accidentally felt the full force of the Venom Arm stopping them from capitalising and gave the opening for the Best Friends to hit the Strong Zero for the victory.

This match will probably enrage a certain subset of wrestling fandom but this was so entertaining and fun its exactly what we need in a time like this. Even with the comedy antics, there was still a heck of a lot of athleticism here that made for a great showing overall.


Matt Hardy responds to Chris Jericho

The vessel known as Matt Hardy allowed Damascus to speak through him as he dressed down the Inner Circle from the Hardy Compound.

He called Sammy Guevara a false god, talked about how he would love to munch on Santana and Ortiz and spoke with Vanguard One to laugh at the thought of him joining the Inner Circle.

Words cannot describe how wonderful it is to have Broken Matt Hardy back and fully unhinged.


Brodie Lee vs Lee Johnson

The Exalted One wasted no time dominating in this match against the debuting Johnson as he threw him around the ring like a ragdoll. It didn’t take long for Mr Brodie to plant Johnson with a discus lariat for the swift victory.

It would be easy to criticise AEW for two monsters squash matches in one week but given the circumstances, it’s totally acceptable and serves the purpose of making these towering monsters look vicious.


Cody vs Shawn Spears

After 8 months, these two finally faced each other again with the pair meeting hold for hold in the opening before Spears decided to retreat to the outside to catch his breath. Spears threw his signature chair into the ring as a distraction but Cody wouldn’t be fooled as he planted Spears with a Cody Cutter.

The pair continued to try and beat each other but Cody clearly had the edge with his keen mat-based offence keeping Spears on the defensive for the majority of the opener. An ill-advised moonsault was dodged by Spears and followed up by a nasty piledriver from Spears for a close 2-count.

After the break, Spears was making use of his power advantage to launch Cody across the ring and take the wind out of sails. Spears set up a guard rail on the apron and clattered Cody through it with a suplex but could only muster a two count still.

A springboard frog splash was countered by Cody as he put the knees up giving him his second win and slamming spears into a mat with a heavy powerslam that would have made his brother proud. Despite this, Spears dodged a disaster kick and Spears planted Cody with a sit-out spinebuster going into the break.

Spears set up a table on the outside but Cody thought back and even got a hand from Sugar Dunkerton as he kept Spears at bay. It wouldn’t be enough though as Spears managed to hoist Cody onto his shoulders and launch him to the outside with the C4 through the table.

Cody miraculously managed to get back into the ring just beating the 10-count and managed to muster enough fighting spirit to hit two Cross Rhodes on Spears.

Spears managed to kick out in another miraculous escape but Cody locked in the Figure Four Leglock and put Spears in so much pain that his shoulders stayed down for the 3-count.

Cody heads to the next round of the TNT Championship tournament to cap off a thoroughly entertaining episode of AEW Dynamite. It’s hard to judge these shows considering the world circumstances but I left the show with a smile on my face and that’s all I can ask for.


All pictures and videos courtesy of AEW

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