AEW Dynamite saw its go-home show for Double or Nothing from Daily’s Place as Moxley had his sights on reclaiming his title back from the thieving Dark Order and Broken Matt Hardy faced Sammy Guevara for a grudge match in the main event. Did this show double down and win, or go home with nothing?

Jon Moxley vs Number Ten

Brodie Lee opened the show with his Dark Order cronies by his side. Lee demanded Number Ten take a knee. Lee gave a meandering promo that changed subjects and went on so many tangents that it became unclear what on earth he was saying. It was very reminiscent of the ramblings of the Bray Wyatt of old. He then let Number Ten know he was a high knight of the Dark Order and demanded he hurt Moxley for him.

An angry Moxley came down to the ring and exploded out of the gate on Ten but he got too aggressive, causing him to have a stern word with referee Aubrey Edwards, which gave Ten the chance to blindside him and take back control.

Despite the instruction to hurt Moxley, Ten seemed to run a more traditional wrestling offence that lacked the tenacity that seemed to be promised from Lee’s introduction. Moxley made his comeback with a piledrive and two Paradigm Shifts to finish off his opponent.

Post-match, Moxley grabbed a chair and locked Ten’s arm in it promising that he would break his arm unless Lee came out and returned his title. Lee then came on the big screen and gave an absolutely awful promo that was even more meandering than the one before. It was full of cliché, he stumbled on his words and said nothing of value. Very bad stuff.

This build has been rushed due to the COVID-19 crisis so it’s understandable that the build isn’t going to be perfect but this may be one of the matches with the least hype built up for it. The title theft seems out of character for Lee and it feels like Moxley was scrabbling in his promo to give it more meaning, Lee seems to be floundering in a non-scripted environment, which I wasn’t expecting to say, and attempts to make this more of a blood feud with Moxley’s growing animosity just isn’t enough to make this feud interesting.

MJF w/ Wardlow vs Marko Stunt

MJF was toying with the poor Stunt as he lobbed Stunt around and kept him in humiliating holds, gloating the whole time. Too busy gloating about how he would be beating Jungle Boy at their match scheduled for Double or Nothing, Stunt managed to poke MJF in the eye Three Stooges style and hit a Hurrianrana on MJF driving his head into the turnbuckle. Things got fun and cartoonish as Stunt used his speed and wild to run circles around MJF and kept him swinging and missing.

It wouldn’t be enough unfortunately as a countering stiff punch from MJF stopped Stunt in his tracks and MJF finished him off by making Stunt tap to the Salt of the Earth.

MJF got on the mic after the match and berated Stunt and punched him in the face with his Diamond Ring laden fist. Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus came out for the save as Wardlow and Luchasaurus stared each other down.

This was a fun match that had the classic bumbling heel cartoonishness of a Mountie match but MJF still came out on top and got his heat from the bullying of Stunt. Also, the continuous teasing of Luchasaurus and Wardlow is great. This match will certainly be an interesting prospect for a lot of fans.

When Arn talks to Jake, Darby to card players, and PAC to OC…

Jake Roberts and Arn Anderson headed out to the ring with Tony Schiavone to moderate the interview. The two sat at a table with Anderson representing Cody, and Roberts advising Archer. Roberts said it’s almost surreal to sit across from Anderson as they’ve never actually met in the ring over their long careers. He continued that people have dreams and nightmares, but those aren’t real, Lance Archer is though. He added Cody has wormed his way around just so he didn’t have to face Archer, but there are no more excuses, he’ll have to face the truth. The truth is Archer is “a mean son of a b**h and he’s going to rip his heart out.”

Anderson said Roberts gets goosebumps of the thought of them hooking up in their careers. He said both of them are credible, both are real. Anderson talked about Jake’s snake, how it would scare people, but that was just a distraction, the real evil was Roberts. Roberts then challenged Anderson, but Arn said he has other things to focus on. He brought up Mike Tyson being at the PPV to present the title. Tyson will also be hanging around the back to have all the freedom he wants. Roberts said he was kind of hoping “that bimbo Brandi” was presenting the title. Arn said Cody has told him he has to win the title because he’s one of the leaders and his leadership needs to be recognized for all the hard work he’s done. AA brought up Roberts doing DDP Yoga. He told Roberts that’s great because he wants Jake to be real limber when he gives him a spinebuster through the mat. Roberts launched the table and wanted to fight, but referees ran down to break them up. Roberts headed to the back.

We saw a video of Darby Allin showing him playing poker with other players, all wearing masks of his opponents at Double or Nothing. Clips were shown of Allin makes his way up a ladder. When he got to the top, we saw him go “all in” in his poker game. He set a card on fire and then the ladder he was on was also on fire.

PAC was sitting at home. He said Orange Cassidy thought he could avoid Death Triangle, but that won’t be the case. He called Cassidy cocky little prick and said Fénix (fellow Death Triangle member) will kick his head off.

Rey Fénix vs Orange Cassidy  

Fénix attempted a surprise flying kick as he did last week but Cassidy dodged it like he was a Super Saiyan and casually strolled down to the ring and took off his shades to show he was serious.

There were too many spots in this match to go into detail of each one but needless to say, the athleticism on display here was phenomenal. The sequences these two managed to put together along with retaining the Cassidy lackadaisical gimmick with superb high-octane action was nothing short of amazing.

I’m sure there will be a subset of fans who describe this match as nothing more than a spot-fest and there were admittedly one too many kick-outs for my liking but, as a spectacle of agility and acrobatics, you can’t do much better.

Make some time for this match as both men really gave it their all and had a clear natural chemistry with each other. The finish of the match came when Kip Sabian came to the ring with a ladder and sat upon it like a lifeguard distracting Cassidy long enough for Fénix to hit a low blow and a rolling cutter for the win. Sabian also gave me my second favourite GIF of the year.

The post-match saw a big brawl with the entrants for the Casino Ladder match as SCU knocked Sabian off the ladder onto the canvas, Havoc came out to join the brawl and Fénix took a huge dive to the outside that none of the men managed to catch which likely led to an injury according to reports. Colt Cabana followed up with a beautiful moonsault before Best Friends launched Cassidy to the outside too.

Great matches followed by a great post-match pile-up but let’s just hope Fénix’s injury won’t take him out Double or Nothing.

Shida & Kris Statlander vs Britt Baker & Nyla Rose

The four women brawled before the bell rang with Statlander and Shida coming out on top. Rose didn’t take long to start asserting her dominance again as she began fighting back against the combined forces of her opponents as Baker refused to be tagged in.

Baker had finally tagged in during the break but Shida was on the attack taking out both her opponents with some keen knee strikes. Shida and Statlander positioned Baker in the corner and flipped Rose into her which seemed to go awry as Rose came down hard on Baker’s knee and seemed to legitimately injure her as she sat out the rest of the match.

Rose would manage to fight off both of her opponents single-handedly and finished off Shida with the Beast Bomb.

After the match, Rose set up a table to put Shida through but Statlander came to Shida’s aid and the pair managed to clatter Rose through the table with a superplex.

This match was marred by the injury which clearly affected the match flow and Shida taking the pin from the AEW Women’s Champion on the go-home show before her title shot at Double or Nothing isn’t a very smart booking choice, even with the table spot, as she’s already been beaten.

Broken Matt Hardy vs Sammy Guevara

Hardy showed the aggressive side of Damascus, enraged by the murder of Vanguard 1, as he threw Guevara around the ring and even tried to squish his head on the turnbuckle post.

Guevara did an amazing handstand counter to the Twist of Fate and made some space for himself with a quick superkick to follow up.

The Spanish God’s cockiness allowed Hardy to counter a springboard cutter into a reverse DDT as Hardy tried to take back control but the speed of Guevara allowed him to stay in the driver’s seat with a corkscrew dive to the outside on Hardy. After the break, Hardy had the reigns again as he was hammering Guevara’s head onto all three levels of the turnbuckle pads but a follow-up Side Effect could only muster a two-count.

A successful Twist of Fate saw Guevara roll out of the ring to avoid the pin and was able to use the break to mount a comeback, firing at Hardy with some hefty kicks and strikes but was unable to put him away. Guevara went for a Shooting Star Press but Hardy dodged and countered into a Twist of Fate yet Guevara still managed to kick out at the last second.

After Hardy bit Guevara’s exposed toes after removing his boot, Guevara fought back in a fit of rage and hit the springboard cutter but Hardy still kicked out. Another Shooting Star Press attempt was countered with the knees up from Hardy before another Twist of Fate gave Hardy the victory.

After the match, it was revealed that the other Inner Circle members were assaulting Kenny Omega in the Daily’s Place football field but the Young Bucks returned along with Hardy to help save their brethren.  Despite this, Inner Circle had the numbers advantage until a mysterious figure came barrelling down the field. It was Hangman Page who cleaned house and came to the aid of the Elite leaving them to stand tall to close out the show.

A thoroughly entertaining match and post-match capped off an uneven episode of AEW Dynamite with some angles being set up very well and others falling flat. The end of the show left on enough of a high to get you excited for the PPV but the worrying injuries and some poor promo work for the AEW World Championship match let this episode down.

All pictures, screencaps, and videos courtesy of AEW