After another successful PPV with Double or Nothing, which you can read more about in the excellent review by Georgia Madden, the Inner Circle headed to this week’s AEW Dynamite ready to lick their wounds with a Pep Rally but a surprise guest showed up that you would not want to miss.

Private Party & Joey Janela vs The Young Bucks & Broken Matt Hardy

A pre-match promo saw the Bucks asking for Hardy to help them with a different persona going back even further than his Hardy Boyz days as he became his old school spot monkey self from his much younger years.

After the Elite and Delete started off strong against their oddly paired opponents, Private Party and Janela went into high gear as a countering Isiah Kassidy managed to hit a rebound cutter followed up by a stunning assisted hurricanrana to the outside from Marq Quen and finally a suicide dive to Death Valley driver combo from Janela.

As things were heating up, a dodge from Janela on the outside saw Nick accidentally superkick the Butcher and the Blade who were in the crowd with a retaliating assault from the pair being stopped in its tracks by a dive from Matt Jackson.

When Private Party seemed to have Matt Hardy on the ropes for them to take the win, a superkick from Matt Jackson got in the way as the Bucks hit More Bang for your Buck and a slightly bemused Hardy realised he was the legal man and eventually went for the pin to bring another victory home for the Elite.

After the match, Hardy helped a seemingly injured Quen to the back, but this was later confirmed as a work and a means to get Hardy out of the ring for the follow-up. The Butcher and the Blade hit the ring and started assaulting the Bucks before a truck pulled up to ringside and out came FTR, the former Revival from WWE.

The pair teased attacking the Bucks but instead took out Butcher and the Blade with a spike piledriver, a clear homage to the Brainbusters. FTR then stared down the Bucks setting up the potential of a confrontation between the pair.

A fun match that gave Private Party chance to show off their amazing high-flying talent that felt lacking on the Double or Nothing Buy In and Janela is good value as always. FTR are a great addition to the AEW locker room and it’s long overdue for them to finally face the Bucks after all the references to them on Being the Elite. I can’t wait to see what these two teams can get out of each other.

Brian Cage vs Lee Johnson

Moxley came out to join commentary but Cage didn’t wait long to decimate Johnson. Cage tossed his opponent around like a sack of potatoes before finishing him off with the Drill Claw.

Tazz gave a promo after the match to Moxley calling Cage a machine (Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling fans got a chuckle) and promised that his protegee would decimate him in their announced match for the upcoming FyterFest.

Cage is a great signing and has shown what a great competitor he is in promotions like Lucha Underground and Impact. I would have preferred to have seen the teased Darby Allin confrontation with Cage before he took his title shot but Moxley and Cage should have a great David and Goliath match none the less.

Britt Baker addresses her injury

Baker came to the ring in a wheelchair emblazoned with diamantes spelling out “Roll Model” as she came to present “The Rules of Being a Role Model”. Baker suggested a targeted conspiracy against her from the women’s division that set to deliberately injure her and let the crowd know that their Role Model would return to the ring by All Out.

It’s a real shame that a freak accident caused Baker to suffer a tibia injury as her heel work has been thoroughly entertaining and a huge improvement for her as a competitor.

Hopefully, Baker can continue to make her presence known on TV even without being able to compete because she has become a consistent highlight on AEW Dynamite.

Hikaru Shida vs Christi Jaynes

The newly crowned AEW Champion was invited to dance by Jaynes but it was a ruse for her to get a cheap shot on the champ.

Jaynes had the upper hand until Shida put her in her place with a devastating knee strike after launching her into the corner.

A knee lift onto Jaynes as she was draped on the apron gave Shida the opportunity to keep the momentum of the match and eventually finished off her opponent with the Falcon Arrow.

Shida deserves the championship spot and I was ecstatic to see her win against Rose at Double or Nothing. She looked great in this match and I can’t wait to see who they pair her with for a programme in the future.

Cody issued an open challenge

Cody addressed his win and becoming the inaugural TNT Champion. He told Tony Schiavone that he didn’t’ get the belt through nepotism, even revealing he wasn’t even in the first 3 people Tony Khan called when setting AEW in motion, and that his mother inspired him to have the grit and determination to claw his way to the top by himself.

He then announced a Battle Royal to determine who would be his first opponent he would defend the TNT Championship against and promised he would defend the belt every week.

Cody cuts a promo with effortless ease and is still as strong a babyface as he’s ever been. Using him as a means of putting over the roster’s talent à la John Cena during his later US Title run is a very smart idea and Cody should get the best out of a lot of people as he’s done with the likes of Darby Allin and Lance Archer.

AEW World Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders Match: SCU vs Kip Sabian and Jimmy Havoc w/ Penelope Ford

It was odd to see Best Friends not being offered a spot in this match but never the less, these two teams had a great match that SCU starting off strong with their experience as a team giving them an edge.

A failed roll up from Kazarian allowed Sabian to hit a sneaky kick to the head and put his team in the driver’s seat as they hit a nasty double team manoeuvre. The pair isolated Kazarian for a large portion of the match using bullying strikes to keep their opponent down.

An awesome brawling came back from Kazarian and some nifty combat roles gave a thrilling hot tag to Scorpio Sky who came at his opponents thick and fast.

Even after a Death Valley Driver/Double Foot Stomp combo from Havoc and Sabian, Sky still managed to stay in the fight and get some aid from a recovered Kazarian to seemingly set up the SCU Later for the win.

However, Penelope Ford grabbed Kazarian’s leg outside of the view of the referee allowing the pair to hit a Shotgun Dropkick/Sit-out Piledriver finisher to take the win.

Sabian and Havoc have become an engaging team that should have a great match with Hangman Page and Omega. Sky looked despondent after the match so it will be interesting to see if they capitalise on this with him.

TNT Championship No. 1 Contender Battle Royal – MJF, Wardlow, Luther, Peter Avalon, Brandon Cutler, Jurassic Express, Sonny Kiss, Christopher Daniels, Colt Cabana, Billy Gunn, Orange Cassidy

A fun Battle Royal ensued here as MJF took a back seat and let the others duke it out like a patience vulture. Cassidy received a beatdown courtesy of the Inner Circle for interrupting their backstage interview earlier but would return later in the match.

Some fun spots saw Cutler and Avalon’s duelling balance on the ropes and a hoss standoff between Luchasaurus, Wardlow and Billy Gunn before MJF helped his enforcer eliminate his opponents.

With only Jungle Boy left in the ring, it seemed MJF and Wardlow would add more insult to injury by teaming up on the lonesome Jurassic Express member. However, Cassidy returned to the ring and managed to trick MJF into hitting his enforcer with the diamond ring allowing he and Jungle Boy to eliminate the devious pair.

A great fast-paced sequence between Jungle Boy and Cassidy gave anticipation for a match we didn’t even know we needed, but we certainly do now, but in the end, it was Jungle Boy who would secure the win with a leaping hurricanrana launching Cassidy to the floor as Jungle Boy just barely held on.

As Battle Royals go this was fun and allowed Cassidy and Jungle Boy to have a really fun end rally. Cody isn’t going to struggle to make Jungle Boy look good in their match as it plain to see how talented he is and is a worthy first challenger.

The Inner Circle Pep Rally

The Inner Circle tried to get over their sorrows with a Pep Rally as they tried to offload their heavily overproduced stampede winner T-Shirts after being introduced by a screeching Vicki Guerrero in cheerleader garb. The group exchanged gifts with Sammy Guevara giving some second-hand trophies, it’s a pandemic after all, and Hager had even written a poem called “Happiness” that eventually devolved into a murderous rant that the other members had to put the brakes on.

Guevara asked Jericho what he truly wanted with Jericho responding that he wanted Mike Tyson’s head on a platter. Guevara tried to placate Jericho with a cheese platter and a bottle of the bubbly but it was revealed Tyson and his crew had already got to it.

Cue Tyson and his posse who came to the ring and stood nose to nose with the Inner Circle. After an exchange of stern words, Jericho took a cheap shot as everyone in the arena attempted to keep Tyson and Jericho apart to close out the show.

It’s crazy that AEW has managed to secure this angle in the middle of a global pandemic but here we are. As a promotional event, this is a gold mine and the biggest regret they’ll probably have is this couldn’t have a roaring crowd to go along with it.

This episode of AEW had solid matches throughout and had a host of great surprises with FTR debuting and Tyson coming back to face Jericho. This all bodes well for AEW’s growth even in a time of uncertainty.

All pictures and video courtesy of AEW

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