Last night's episode of AEW Dynamite was dedicated to the memory of the late, great Brodie Lee. With elements of Lee throughout the show from a Dark Order laden match card to the TNT Championship being on the line, the night was bound to be special. Even Lee’s son Negative One and wife Amanda were featured on the show, as well as the episode emanating from Brodie Lee’s hometown of Rochester, New York. Here I will try and capture the special night and share my thoughts.
Jungle Boy vs. Adam Cole
Thoughts: The first match on the card was the perfect start to an exciting night. Going at a methodical pace, Jungle Boy and Adam Cole put on a classic, technical, yet highly aggressive match. Both men sharing similar wrestling styles and move sets allowed Adam Cole to continue to be the established star he has become. In addition, it showcased Jungle Boy’s athleticism and why the young wrestler is going to be a star in this business. After surviving a superkick and Panama Sunrise from Adam Cole, Jungle Boy was ultimately undone by a low blow from Cole. Even in defeat, Jungle Boy looked like he belongs in a main event scene.
After the first match, The Elite cut a promo effectively stroking their own egos. Adam Cole ranted about beating Jungle Boy without help because he is Elite, as well as undefeated in AEW. Kenny Omega talked about his match with Danielson and how it was a great match but that doesn’t matter because Danielson isn’t getting a rematch, especially for the AEW World Championship. Danielson came out to provoke Kenny into a rematch. The American Dragon enticed the crowd into a chant stating, "Kenny has no balls". Danielson then challenged any member of the Elite to wrestle him on Rampage. The segment soon devolved into chaos as Jurassic Express, Frankie Kazarian, and Christian Cage ran to the ring, causing The Elite to scatter. This segment was damn good because it covered multiple storylines at once while still keeping the focus on Bryan Danielson and Kenny Omega.
Andrade challenged the Lucha Bros for the AAA Tag Team Championships. The Lucha Bros accepted and hopefully, fans get to see this match on AEW.
Matt Sydal and Dante Martin vs. Cody Rhodes and Lee Johnson
Thoughts: This tag team contest featured a healthy mix of veterans and youthful talent. A match that started out quickly evolved into a litany of high flying chaos. Each member on both teams traded dives both from the top turnbuckle and over the top rope, with the cherry on top being Dante Martin. This match was used to showcase Martin’s talents. He was eventually beaten by a brain buster delivered by the hands of Lee Johnson. I thought this was a middle of the road match to move the show along, with the highlight being Dante Martin’s gift of flight.
After the tag team match and a victory by Johnson and Rhodes, Cody called out Malakai Black. An incensed Arn Anderson cut off Cody and proceeded to lecture Rhodes. Anderson blamed Cody for all the bad things that have happened to the nightmare family since Malakai Black first attacked them. Arn Anderson then stated he doesn’t associate with losers, telling Lee Johnson to come with him, essentially cutting ties with Cody Rhodes.
Darby Allin, Jon Moxley, and Eddie Kingston vs. Bear Country, Bear Boulder, and Anthony Greene
Thoughts: Not every match can be a stellar display of great wrestling prowess. Even with the big team of Bear Country and Bear Boulder standing across the ring from Allin, Mox, and Kingston, this matchup was a squash match from the jump. It was very physical, however once Country and Boulder were tossed to the outside of the ring and taken out by a Darby Allin's Coffin Drop, the match ended in swift fashion. This match was essentially a filler moving the night along.
Ruby Soho and Britt Baker, D.M.D. addressed their previous match at Grand Slam. Soho promised that the next time these two women lock up, the outcome will be a lot different.
Orange Cassidy and Dark Order with Negative One vs. Hardy Family Office – 16-Man Tag Match
Thoughts: Chaotic and all over the place, this match was a part of the night meant to honor Brodie Lee. Throughout the match, I did not know where to place my eyes. Brawls ensued and eventually The Dark Order started to crumble from within once again. However, as Colt Cabana Stu Grayson and Evil Uno attempted to abandon their team, the Trio was stopped on the ramp by Amanda Huber, Tay Conti, Anna Jay, and Negative One. Amanda scolded the three men saying that this match was for Brodie and they better get back out there. This seemed to be the motivation the team needed to become one again as The Dark Order decimated the HFO the rest of the match. I felt this match was a great way to honor Brodie Lee, just on the simple fact that it was as chaotic and spontaneous as Brodie Lee was in the ring.
Lio Rush called himself LBO Lio. Rush went on to say that Tony Khan has been contacting him for weeks asking him to become All Elite.
The FTR essentially told the audience that they are done making excuses, because excuses are for the weak. The team also declared that FTR being focused and ready is good news for both The Pinnacle and FTR.
Men of The Year and Dan Lambert Promo
In what has become my least favorite part of Dynamite every week, Dan Lambert came to the ring with Men of The Year once again. However, Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page did most of the talking. The Men of The Year addressed how much they have been overlooked during their respective tenures in AEW and that things will change. They won’t stand to be overlooked and underutilized, as well as thanking Dan Lambert for recognizing their talent. This was a fresh change of pace hearing Sky and Page speak their minds. Hopefully this leads to an uptick in how the men are used on the show.
Tay Conti and Anna Jay vs. Penelope Ford and The Bunny
Thoughts: This women’s tag team match featured some pretty sound technical moves and some extra violence as these two teams hate each other. The tempo of the match was nice, with a series of solid reversals and counters by Tay Conti and Penelope Ford. Ultimately, Tay Conti and Anna Jay were victorious. After the win, Negative One ran out to the ring to hug and congratulate the team. As both teams made their way to the ring, I couldn’t help but notice that each team had matching ring gear. My main takeaway from this is that maybe we could see a women’s tag team championship revealed sooner rather than later.
In a quick 30-second vignette, Cargill, Rose, and Thunder Rosa all claimed they will be victorious in their triple threat match this Friday on Rampage.
Usually an MJF promo is riddled with derogatory phrasing and discontent. This one felt different the entirety of the promo. MJF stated that there are four young pillars of AEW are currently carrying and will carry AEW for decades. MJF declares these pillars as Jungle Boy, Sammy Guevara, Darby Allin, and himself. Friedman continued to rant, even threatening to call up Bruce Prichard, insinuating a jump to WWE if he wasn’t awarded an opportunity at the AEW World Championship. This was until he was interrupted by one of those pillars in Darby Allin. The two exchanged words, even to the point of MJF bringing up Darby’s past. Darby would not be deterred however, telling MJF that he will not be mentally broken. This entire segment was awesome. It starts a fresh new storyline that can hopefully and eventually lead to a match for the title.
TNT Championship Match: Miro (C) vs. Sammy Guevara
Thoughts: Having the TNT Championship defended in Brodie Lee’s hometown of Rochester was very apropos and a wonderful tribute to Brodie Lee. An obvious size mismatch between God’s Favorite Champion Miro and Sammy Guevara, the latter attempted to dethrone the champion. Despite bringing the fight to Miro early in the match, Guevara was brutalized for a large portion of this contest. However, The Spanish God was not made out to be a bum, proving MJF's words correct. Sammy Guevara is definitely a young pillar of this growing company. Guevara brought the fight to Miro, even launching himself over the ring post, taking out Miro on the outside of the ring. This seemingly opened the door for Guevara to capitalize. This, coupled with an interference by best friend Fuego Del Sol, a GTH, Sammy Guevara got the unsuspected win and clean pin on Miro to become the New TNT Champion.
For a tribute to Brodie Lee in his hometown of Rochester, I felt the show was perfect in that vein. Each match captured a little bit of the essence that Brodie Lee had as a character and a person. From the Dark Order tag team match, Negative One running out to congratulate Tay Conti and Anna Jay on their win, and even down to Sammy Guevara’s purple ring gear, Lee’s presence was felt throughout the night. A class act from a top tier company.
Besides honoring Lee, a few new possible storylines were created as well, which is important to keep things fresh and keep the audience entertained. Hopefully we see where AEW is headed with new feuds, especially with MJF and Darby Allin. Time will tell!