AEW Dynamite Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 20
A week after a take-no-prisoners open challenge to the All Elite Wrestling locker room, Jon Moxley faced his first challenger in the form of Darby Allin.
The match headlined a show that also featured a major announcement by AEW world champion Chris Jericho and a tag team showdown pitting Private Party against Proud and Powerful.
Who emerged victorious from those encounters, what effect did Jericho's announcement have on the future of the company and who earned the right to compete on next week's show for the AEW diamond ring?
Find out with this recap of the November 20 broadcast.
Nick Jackson vs. Fenix
A week after Matt Jackson suffered an injury at the hands of Santana and Ortiz, Nick Jackson found himself alone in singles competition against familiar foe Rey Fenix of The Lucha Bros.
The pair showcased their athleticism early, but neither was able to execute much successfully, as every attempt at offense was well-scouted. Chops by Fenix left Jackson's chest beet-red, and a cutter on the floor left the tag team specialist clutching his face in pain.
A swanton by Fenix earned him a two, but Jackson countered the tightrope kick and dropped the masked luchador with a bulldog for two. A double superkick attempt left the wrestlers reeling, but Jackson shook it off and delivered a big hurricanrana from the middle rope to a thunderous ovation.
Counters and reversals highlighted the late moments of the match before superkicks reigned supreme. Fenix tightrope-walked the middle rope and delivered a headscissors to the arena floor. Jackson recovered with nasty kicks about the body.
Jackson delivered a German suplex on the ring apron and spiked Fenix with a destroyer before segueing into a sharpshooter. Fenix fought through the pain, though, and put away Jackson with the muscle buster for the pin-fall victory.
Fenix ignored his opponent's show of respect after the bell.
Fenix defeated Jackson
It was nice to see a singles match out of Fenix and Jackson, who have been relegated strictly to tag team action to this point in AEW, but it felt like a bout with zero context. It existed for the sake of existing.
Yes, it told the story of Jackson having to go it alone following the injury to his brother a week ago, but beyond that, there was no rhyme or reason for it to happen...unless there are plans to push Fenix as a singles star.
He is fresh off a critically acclaimed fight with Kenny Omega in Mexico, a Match of the Year candidate. Perhaps this is the first indication that a singles run for the masked rudo may be in the works.
Regardless of its reason for being, the match was good, featured a hot crowd and was exactly the energetic opener this show can and should benefit from.
Britt Baker vs. Hikaru Shida
The early moments of Britt Baker's match with Hikaru Shida saw her attempt to apply her Lockjaw finisher, only for her opponent to fight out and avoid an early defeat heading into the break.
Back from the commercial, Shida sent her rival into the guardrail and then delivered a jumping knee to bounce the face off a steel chair. Baker escaped a suplex attempt and pulled Shida arm-and-shoulder-first across the top rope to create some separation.
Baker delivered the Sling Blade and followed with a pump-handle facebuster. Shida fought out of a fisherman neckbreaker but missed a blind-charge knee strike in the corner. A big knee from Baker gave way to a draping DDT.
Baker countered a pin attempt by Shida, looking to apply the Lockjaw. Shida fought out and followed with a falcon arrow for a two-count moments later.
Another knee strike from Shida earned her the victory over the No. 1 contender to the AEW Women's Championship.
Shida defeated Baker
The match itself was above-average and really showcased the skills of the women involved. Unfortunately, it also served as an example of what is wrong with the AEW women's division.
The in-ring work has never been the problem. What has been is the total lack of storytelling and character development beyond Riho's ascension as the plucky underdog and Brandi Rhodes' descent into madness.
Baker was built for weeks and suddenly lost to Shida, whose motivations and character are nonexistent.
Sure, there is only so much time the company can devote to each division, but the women's section has been largely underdeveloped to this point.
Until that changes, it will be a collection of very talented women wrestling matches that are of a high quality but serve no greater purpose than reminding fans there is a women's division, if only because someone like Emi Sakura is going to come from out of nowhere and win a match on AEW Dark to earn a title shot.
Dynamite Dozen Battle Royal
MJF, Billy Gunn, Kip Sabian, Jungle Boy, "Hangman" Adam Page, Chuck Taylor, Joey Janela, Sonny Kiss, Orange Cassidy, Trent, Pentagon Jr. and Jimmy Havoc battled for the right to compete for an AEW diamond ring next week.
Kiss twerked with Gunn in a fun spot, Shawn Spears interfered and blasted Janela with a steel chair to eliminate The Bad Boy, and MJF dumped Cassidy to a thunderous chorus of boos.
At one point, Wardlow appeared at ringside and provided a distraction that allowed MJF to dump Gunn.
Later in the match, Jungle Boy eliminated Sabian, only to be pulled to the mat by a hiding MJF.
Page and MJF were declared the final two competitors and will now meet for the diamond ring on next week's Thanksgiving Eve episode.
Page and MJF won
There was a spot or two that continued ongoing storylines and the right wrestlers were spotlighted, but there was nothing much to the match beyond that.
Page and MJF are the right two to focus on, and their stars are such that the battle for the ring will mean more as a result of their involvement in the match than it would have with any number of the other competitors featured in the Battle Royal.
Chris Jericho's Major Announcement
AEW world champion Chris Jericho took to the squared circle and demanded silence as he prepared to make his major announcement.
He gave an insincere apology for his actions a week ago, which included a tantrum and destroyed production equipment, through Jake Hager.
From there, he announced that next week in Chicago, he will finally get the thank-you he has long demanded.
Before Le Champion could exit, SCU's music played and the AEW tag team champions made their presence felt.
Scorpio Sky reminded Jericho that he was the first man to defeat him in AEW. After some further back-and-forth, Sky said he would beat Jericho for the championship and "turn Le Champion into Le B---h."
A brawl between SCU and The Inner Circle broke out, and Santana, Ortiz and Sammy Guevara joined in. The numbers game proved to be too much for the babyfaces to overcome, and the heels handcuffed Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian to the ropes.
Jericho and Hager obliterated Sky, with the champion dropping his next opponent with the Judas Effect.
Jurassic Express hit the ring, and the arrival of Luchasaurus sent the heel faction scurrying to the floor rather than combating the masked big man.
This worked as well as it did because it used Jericho's star power to elevate names like SCU and Jurassic Express. More than that, it continued to present Luchasaurus as a star of the future, having the entire Inner Circle bail rather than confront the dominant heavyweight.
Just as he did a week ago to The Dark Order, Luchasaurus single-handedly cleared the ring, this time without having to throw a single kick or chokeslam. That speaks volumes to an audience that already enjoyed the act.
Sky receiving a world title match next week makes sense given he was the first blemish on Jericho's win-loss record. Furthermore, it takes the star he has already built for himself through his extraordinary performance in the tag team title tournament and elevates it even more.
Whether there are long-term plans for him or this is just a one-off match, Sky has more than earned it.
Luchasaurus vs. Peter Avalon
Moments after sending The Inner Circle fleeing from the ring, Luchasaurus squared off with the unabashedly loudmouthed "Librarian" Peter Avalon.
The heel threatened to turn Luchasaurus into fuel, calling him a fossil.
The response? A quick, decisive defeat at the hands of the rolling big man.
Luchasaurus defeated Avalon
Follow up a red-hot save from Luchasaurus with a quick squash match that allows him to build on his sudden momentum.
This worked and only fuels the fire for a full-blown dyno-mite push. Yes, I said it. Yes, I'm unashamed.
Private Party vs. Proud and Powerful
A match set up during Santana and Ortiz's beatdown of The Young Bucks took on more emotional meaning for Proud and Powerful and Private Party as they squared off in a high-stakes tag team bout. The untimely death of friend Matt Travis fueled the young teams even more.
Santana and Ortiz seized control of the match during the break, isolating Marq Quen from partner Isiah Kassidy and cutting off the ring. They continued their focused attack, working the lower back of their opponent.
Quen finally created separation and tagged Kassidy in. The babyface exploded into the match and took the fight to the opposition. He soared through the air, wiping out Santana at ringside.
A sunset flip by Kassidy led to a botched referee's count that the commentary team cleared up as a legal-competitor issue.
The damage to Quen's lower back prevented him from executing the Silly String with his partner.
Left to fight on his own, Kassidy showed great resiliency as he kicked out of a pendulum cutter. As Santana tried to use the loaded sock, Nick Jackson ran down and disarmed the heel. This allowed Private Party to deliver Gin and Juice to score the upset win.
After the match, Sammy Guevara attacked Jackson, only for Dustin Rhodes to return and blast The Spanish God with the cast on his left hand.
Private Party defeated Ortiz and Santana
This is an instance in which interference leading to a pinfall worked and made sense within the context of the story.
Jackson earned a measure of revenge for the beating he and his brother endured at the hands of Proud and Powerful, while Private Party earned a huge win that will skyrocket the duo up the tag team rankings.
Unfortunately, Quen and Kassidy's win was not given the opportunity to breathe, as Rhodes' return overshadowed it.
Yes, Dustin needed to come back and tee off on the guys who injured him, but it didn't have to happen here. It watered down what should have been a statement win for the babyfaces.
Let things breathe. Sometimes, less is more.
Darby Allin vs. Jon Moxley
Darby Allin showed no fear of Jon Moxley, attacking him prior to the bell in Wednesday's main event. It proved a mistake, though, as Moxley dropped him at ringside and left him writhing in pain before the match could officially start.
Moxley seized control heading into and coming out of the break, but a crossbody by Allin downed his rival and allowed the face-painted antihero to mount some offense.
Moxley met his opponent up top and teased a superplex to the floor, but Allin fought out, trapping his rival's fingers in the turnbuckle. Still, the smaller competitor crashed and burned from the top rope, allowing Moxley to regain control.
Back inside the squared circle, Moxley trapped Allin in the body bag the latter brought to the ring and proceeded to stomp away at the defenseless competitor. Referee Bryce Remsburg ordered a break and opened the bag.
This allowed Allin to fire off a stunner on Moxley, who responded with a sidewalk slam. Moxley tried for the Paradigm Shift, but Allin escaped and scored a pair of close two-counts.
Allin went up top for the Coffin Drop, but Moxley caught him in a sleeper, which was countered into another near-fall. Up top, Moxley bit the face of his opponent and delivered an avalanche Paradigm Shift for the win.
Moxley defeated Allin
AEW has done an excellent job of building Allin into an unorthodox underdog fans can get behind. He has yet to score that definitive win, but the closer he gets, the more fans will yearn for it and erupt when it finally occurs.
Allin feels like the first real, relatively homegrown star to come from AEW, and his continued presence in main event matches against household names only cements his status as a true breakout star.
Moxley continues to impress and is the closest thing AEW has to a star who can genuinely shift the tide in the wrestling war whenever he hits the ring.