Original Air Date: October 28, 2020
Event Date: October 22, 2020
(aired on TNT & the FITE app)
Commentary: Excalibur, Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone
Ring Announcer: Justin Roberts
“Dynamite” by No One Hero
Dasha tries to interview Wardlow about possibly becoming AEW World Champ if he can win the Eliminator Tournament, but MJF interrupts. MJF says that if Wardlow does win the title, then MJF will be champ because Wardlow is under contract to him. Wardlow reluctantly agrees.
Sammy Guevara walks up and tells MJF that he’s going to make sure MJF never joines the Inner Circle. MJF then gives Guevara some advice on cutting promos, just saying “don’t.” MJF continues to condescend, but he walks away when Guevara gets in his face.
AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Semifinal Match
“Mr. Mayhem” Wardlow w/ MJF vs “Hangman” Adam Page
(referee: Aubrey Edwards)
Result: Adam Page wins via pinfall after the Buckshot Lariat
Very good match. Page attacked Wardlow right away, and he tried not to let the bigger man gain any momentum at all throughout the match. Wardlow’s power allowed him to toss Page around a bit, and that became a problem. Page was nearly counted out, but he continually pushed back hard against Wardlow and kept hitting him with everything he could. The match was fun, and it felt tense and chaotic. Part of that was the near-constant action, but part of it was also the audio. The crowd noise was loud and constant, like they boosted the crowd noise in post. Maybe they did, or maybe I’m just getting used to quieter wrestling shows in the pandemic era, but the crowd noise was a tiny bit of a distraction for me. Especially since I didn’t even see a crowd beyond the wrestlers at ringside. Regardless, this was a very nice match to begin this show.
Jon Moxley says he has worked hard to make the AEW World Title the highest-valued prize in the industry, but his defense against Eddie Kingston is completely personal. He warns Kingston to protect his neck.
Eddie Kingston w/ The Butcher, The Bunny, The Blade vs Matt Sydal
(referee: Bryce Remsburg; watching in the crowd: Lance Archer, Jake Roberts)
Result: Eddie Kingston wins via submission with a bulldog choke
Very good match. Sydal’s speed was an issue for Kingston in the first half of the match. Once Kingston started to slow Sydal down with some strikes, he was able to turn the match into more of a brawl. Kingston had a distinct advantage then, and he began to beat Sydal down.
Eddie Kingston won’t let Matt Sydal out of his bulldog choke after the match ends. The Bunny brings a mic over, and Kingston forces Sydal to say “I quit” after referring to Sydal as Moxley. Sydal says it. Kingston lets go of the hold and stands up. Kingston looks down and tells Sydal, “I’m sorry.” Kingston looks angry that he had to do what he just did, and he gives Bryce Remsburg a glare that has Remsburg getting well out of Kingston’s reach.
Earlier today, Excalibur sat down with the Young Bucks while FTR and Tully Blanchard joined them via video. Matt Jackson looks like he’s still in some pain because of his ankle, but he says he’ll be at Full Gear no matter what. Both teams realize their match against each other has been building for years. Matt also talks about the Young Bucks missing something over the past year, and FTR might have sparked something in them. Matt isn’t proud of everything he and Nick have done over the past few weeks, but he feels it might have been necessary for them to move forward.
FTR is tired of listening to the Young Bucks talking, so they leave the interview. Matt then reveals that the Young Bucks will never challenge for the AEW Tag Titles again if they don’t win them at Full Gear. Excalibur is practically speechless, so the interview ends.
Tony Schiavone and Dasha Gonzalez moderate a town hall meeting to discuss whether or not MJF should join the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Santana, & Ortiz) come out first, then MJF comes out on his own.
Luchasaurus has the first question, and he asks MJF how he will help the Inner Circle continued financial success. MJG shows a graph that doesn’t really make sense. Britt Baker and Rebel/Reba have the next question. Baker asks Jericho about MJF’s terrible track record with friends. Jericho says he’s not a “dipshit” like Cody, and if MJF ever tries to turn on the Inner Circle, they’ll knock his teeth down his throat. Peter Avalon is next, and he asks if he can join the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle laughs.
Up next is Eric Bischoff. He has a three-pronged question. First, what can MJF do for the Inner Circle? MJF answers with one word: friendship. Second, what can the Inner Circle do for MJF? MJF kind of deflects the question, saying he believes that he can learn how to be a team player by joining the Inner Circle. Third, what is the guarantee that MJF and Jericho won’t just “kill each other” within the Inner Circle? MJF stalls and doesn’t answer. Instead, MJF asks Jericho what hasn’t MJF done to prove himself yet? Jericho says MJF hasn’t beaten him… but he’s going to offer him the chance to do that. At Full Gear, Jericho will face MJF one on one, and if MJF wins, then MJF can join the Inner Circle. MJF says he will do anything to win. Anything.
Ortiz is tired of hearing MJF talk. Ortiz tells MJF that he and Wardlow will face Ortiz and Guevara next week on Dynamite, and MJF won’t even make it to Full Gear.
Taz talks about why he is continuing to pursue Will Hobbs to join Team Taz. Brian Cage says they need an answer soon. Ricky Starks is also there.
TNT Title Lumberjack Match
“Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy w/ Best Friends vs “The American Nightmare” Cody (TNT Champ) w/ Arn Anderson, Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall
(referee: Paul Turner; lumberjacks: Jack Evans, Angelico, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, Alan Angels, Preston Vance, Billy, Austin Gunn, Will Hobbs, Luchasaurus, Marko Stunt, Jungle Boy, Trent, Chuck Taylor, Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall)
Result: Cody wins via pinfall after Cross Rhodes (and a pump kick from John Silver) and retains the title in his second defense
Good match. As you might expect with any lumberjack match, a lot of the tension was built around waiting for the lumberjacks to get involved. Cassidy and Cody had a good match going, but it was inevitable that the people around ringside, most prominently Dark Order, were going to sway the outcome of the match. For that reason, I enjoyed Cody and Cassidy’s previous TNT Title match a lot more, but this was still fun. This felt more like a story line match rather than a straightforward title match.
As the match ends, that ring erupts in chaos as the lumberjacks swarm into the ring and start brawling. As the fighting begins to die down, we see Darby Allin watching from one of the balconies.
Alex Marvez tries to get a word from best Friends, but Kip Sabian and Miro interrupt. Sabian and Miro say they’re sorry for getting do mad about Best Friends accidentally destroying their game cabinet. Penelope Ford (dressed as Orange Cassidy) gives Best Friends a gift and says “trick or treat.” Best Friends say “neither,” but Miro and Sabian attack them anyway. Best Friends get beat up, and Sabian unwraps the gift revealing the game cabinets control panel (named Alan).
NWA Women’s World Title Match
“Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs Serena Deeb (NWA Women’s Champ)
(referee: Rick Knox)
Result: Serena Deeb wins via submission with an arm-trap half crab and retains the title in her first defense
Time: 8:34 (1 break)
Very good match. I first saw Leyla Hirsch in Stardom earlier this year before the pandemic. She was low on the Stardom totem pole, but she showed strength and mat skills with some surprising agility, so I knew she’d be a very good opponent for Deeb in this match. Also, Serena Deeb won the NWA Women’s World Title from Thunder Rosa at a UWN PrimeTime Live event on October 27th. So, unless the dates and taping info I’ve tried to track down are wrong, Deeb defended the title on Dynamite before she actually won it from Thunder Rosa. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but anyway, this was an entertaining match.
Both Hirsch and Deeb have strong technical skills, but the action in this match made it feel like Deeb is the smarter wrestler and the quicker thinker. Deeb had a strong start, but Hirsch’s speed and power forced Deeb to play some defense and think about how to turn the momentum in the match back into her favor. Deeb remained calm, and she gave a very nice performance in what I suppose it her first title defense.
Alex Marvez asks Hikaru Shida about Nyla Rose, despite being the number one contender” refusing to face Shida unless the champ specifically calls her out. Shida takes the mic from Marvez and and directly challenges Rose to a title match at Full Gear. So, the match is made.
Shawn Spears w/ Tully Blanchard vs VSK
(referee: Bryce Remsburg)
Result: Shawn Spears wins via pinfall after the C-4
A one-move squash.
After the match, Spears is heckled by someone dressed in a bull costume at ringside. Spears pulls the person into the ring and bullies the bull. As Spears turns his back to load up his glove, the bull removes his mask. It’s Scorpio Sky. Sky hits Spears with a TKO.
AEW World Title Eliminator Tournament Semifinal Match
Penta El Zero Miedo w/ Rey Fenix vs Kenny Omega (AAA Mega Champ)
(referee: Paul Turner)
Result: Kenny Omega wins via pinfall after the One-Winged Angel
Omega breezed through his first tournament match, but Penta was ready for a fight. Penta El Zero M lost to Rey Fenix in the first round, but Fenix had to forfeit his win because of an injury he sustained in the match. Omega has history with both of the Lucha Brothers though, so we still got a great match tonight.
Omega was as confident and arrogant tonight as he was last week, but Penta quickly forced Omega to defend himself. The two men exchanged strikes early in the match, though Omega was a bit more devious with some of his fake-outs and distractions. The action built up to a number of hard strikes and dramatic moves, and their were an increasingly number of tense near falls before the actual finish. This match was definitely good enough to be a tournament final match, though I am happy about the final match we actually are getting.
This felt like it could have been the go-home show for Full Gear. The matches were mostly all really good, and the card for Full Gear got a lot of nice hype. Considering the matches they announced for Dynamite next week, I feel like they might be coasting into the PPV. Tonight was great though.
Match of the Night
Penta El Zero Miedo vs Kenny Omega
It’s good to see Omega getting back to his singles ways.