Brodie Lee and the Real Winners and Losers of AEW Dynamite

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterAugust 28, 2020

Brodie Lee and the Real Winners and Losers of AEW Dynamite

0 of 7

    Photo courtesy of AEW

    At the risk of angering the hordes of All Elite Wrestling fans out there, let's speak honestly for a moment—Thursday's episode of Dynamite was among the most disjointed episodes in recent memory.

    It lacked the flow that usually makes AEW such a pleasure to watch, one thing leading to the next in seemingly organic fashion, all of it combining into the Voltron of wrestling shows: stronger than the sum of its parts.

    The show was so poorly constructed that it was left with less than eight minutes for the main event between Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara, much of that spent in a commercial break. Of course, AEW being AEW, Orange Cassidy saved the day in the final moments with a Flash-like sprint across the stage to attack Chris Jericho at the announce table.

    And, just like that, all was forgiven. A strong finish cures a lot of ills, especially in serialized content like pro wrestling where the entire idea is to keep them hooked for another episode.

    Despite the strong finish, though, this was a night with more losers than winners. But it wasn't lacking all redeeming value. Let's take a look at what worked and what missed the mark.

Losers: The Elite

1 of 7

    The Young Bucks were on a roll to open the show, getting good matches out of both QT Marshall and a wobbly Chuck Taylor.

    Nick Jackson, in particular, was at his daring best. No one else in wrestling packs that kind of next-level athleticism into such a decidedly unathletic looking package.

    But just as it looked like they would advance to face FTR in the tag team gauntlet match, "Hangman" Adam Page came out and cost his supposed friends the match.

    After half a year of what felt like "final straw" moments, this was truly the end of The Elite as we know it. The Bucks officially kicked Page out of the superteam, never really giving him a chance to explain himself. 

    What will his tag team partner, Kenny Omega, make of all this? As a member of The Elite himself and a champion alongside Page, he can't really play Switzerland in this battle of his buddies. He will have to pick a side—look for next Monday's episode of Being the Elite to be especially spicy.

Winner: Jon Moxley

2 of 7

    Like an experienced boxer, AEW champion Jon Moxley rolled with MJF's verbal blows, allowing his young challenger to carry 75 percent of the segment with his wonderfully dexterous golden tongue. That's because, when you're as effortlessly cool as Moxley, you don't really need to say much at all.

    Huffing and puffing isn't necessary. Neither is breaking a table.

    Show up. Kick butt. Go home. Maybe trick a lawyer into signing up for a fistfight if you have a few extra minutes.

    It's good work if you can get it.

Winner: The Dark Order

3 of 7

    I believe in letting readers know my biases up front. I am a member of The Dark Order. I support them wholeheartedly and was proud beyond words of our leader Brodie Lee for taking home the prestigious TNT Championship.

    It's good to see the Order shine—and on this episode of Dynamite, everyone got their moment. Evil Uno got time on the stick, John Silver got a chance to do his schtick (even whiffing on a high-five with Lee) and Anna Jay was put front and center for the first time. 

    It was a good night for an act that was being left for dead a year ago but somehow managed to not just survive but to also fully claw its way out of the grave so many had dug. Now it's the effigy of Cody in the casket on live television. 

    We've come a long way in a short time. The Dark Order is one of professional wrestling's most impressive redemption stories. Who deserves a victory lap more? 

Losers: Everyone

4 of 7

    I won't attempt to parse blame here. It's too hard to know exactly who fell down on the job when something in the wrestling ring goes wrong.

    I will say this: The match between Big Swole and Britt Baker's hand-picked team of Penelope Ford and Rebel was arguably the worst match the promotion has ever put on national television. It fell apart early and the performers never really got their equilibrium back.

    The best thing you can say about this match? At least it's over. And, thankfully, it leads us to a long-awaited confrontation between Baker and Swole, giving them a chance to redeem this.

    I'm confident they can do something at All Out that everyone involved can be proud of.

Winner: Darby Allin

5 of 7

    Darby Allin, thumb tacks still stuck in his back from Ricky Starks' brutal attack, walked to a bridge in the woods. There's nary a soul to be seen, just a man alone with his thoughts.

    But Allin isn't someone who does "contemplative." He's a man of action. So, from a distance, we see him climb to the top of this bridge like a real-life goth superhero. 

    And then he jumps into the water below. 

    It's beautiful, haunting and, most importantly, really awesome. 

    Wrestling can present the audience with a lot of things: athleticism, comedy, toughness, anger. One thing you almost never glimpse at a wrestling show is "cool." 

    Darby Allin is cool—and that's why, no matter how many people the promotion signs, he'll continue to find his way into the spotlight. It's hard to replicate what he's got.

Losers: Matt Hardy and Sammy Guevara

6 of 7

    I looked up at the clock as Sammy Guevara made his way out to the ring for his hotly contested main event with Matt Hardy and shook my head in dismay.

    I'm no scientist, but it sure looked to me like the tables match, built for weeks on television and on social media, was going to start with less than 10 minutes of television time remaining.

    What the guys did looked great. Unfortunately, even the abbreviated match they performed was interrupted in the middle with an extended commercial break. 

    The two men deserved better. Hopefully, they'll get a do-over at All Out on Sept. 5—with someone keeping better track of the format to make sure they have the time to make it something special.

Winner: Orange Cassidy

7 of 7

    I can only imagine the chaos that engulfed the AEW staff at the end of Dynamite. They had less than 10 minutes to stage the main event with a ton of crazy spots planned and needed to squeeze a commercial break in to boot. 

    And then there was the confrontation between Orange Cassidy and Chris Jericho still to follow. 

    It was a lot, but Cassidy did his part to help the team make up time. You can see him if you watch this replay, just a blur at the top of the screen streaking in and out of the shot like he was trying out for the Olympic team. 

    Jericho's level of hyper-obnoxiousness succeeded in making a man too lazy to care sprint across the stage to attack him. For the lackadaisical Cassidy, it was a truly memorable departure, a sign that there is life in him yet. 

    Last week I expressed doubt about their upcoming Mimosa match. But, in the time it took Cassidy to cross the stage, I was back in. Squeeze this feud until you're down to the pulp.

    Heck, let Jericho and Cassidy wrestle forever as far as I'm concerned. I'm prepared to put my trust in Le Champion—in the 25 years I've watched him work his magic, he's rarely let me down.