Compare and Contrast TNA and AEW: AEW Dynamite 10.16.19


Welcome, Gatecrashers, to another installment of TNA/AEW Compare/Contrast Backslash/Backslash. Last week’s Dynamite was a vast improvement from the first episode and featured Kenny holding a broom, Jericho trashing another company’s creative system, Darby on a skateboard, and a Freddy Mercury tribute act. I did a good job making it sound really bad! It wasn’t!

This week we are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the… this can’t be right… Licorice Center? No, let me copy and paste… LIACOURAS Center for the third episode of DYNAMITE!

There are six matches on this card and four of them are tag team affairs; two for the Tag Title Tournament and two… just because tag team wrestling is AWESOME and I LIKE IT!

Time for the Good, the Bad and the Mid of AEW Dynamite: Episode 3!

Good: The Lucha Bumrush

SCU: Addiction Configuration (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) start the show off tonight by heading to the ring… before getting absolutely MUGGED by The Lucha Brothers. Daniels eats a Fear Factor on the ramp. Scorpio Sky saves Kazarian from the same fate. Lucha Brothers bail, “medical professionals” do their freakin’ jobs checking on Daniels. There’s a couple of nice touches where the Bucks and Cima come down to check on Daniels. Sky, in his street clothes, says he’ll take Daniels’ spot. He tapes up his wrists real quick and IT’S ON!

The Original Best Friends Chuck Taylor and Trent? get right to work on SCU: (spoiler) Championship Configuration (aka Skyzarian), taking advantage of Kazarian’s post-mugging condition. Early in the match Taylor tears one of Sky’s sneakers off and throws it out of the ring, then BITES HIS TOES in the first Reverse Mr. Socko in wrestling history.


Best Friends play incredible heels in this match, especially Chuck Taylor. He had a great run as a serious heel in Evolve a couple of years before. It’s worth watching this excellent Kenny Johnson Minidoc where Chuck absolutely crushes it with bitter pathos. A heel turn from Chuck and/or Trent!?!? could be a good reset down the line if AEW ever needs a tag team threat.

Back to the match, TBFs dominate for a while until an errant DIVE by Chuck wipes out Trent!??!?!?. Sky takes off his other sneaky and, looking like a kid in a bouncy house, takes control of the match for SCU. Sky gets some heel heat by breaking up TBF’s Okada Hug. TBF double teams Sky and then GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT with a big ol’ hug.

I keep having to remind myself this column isn’t a blow by blow recap but it’s really hard when a match is good and fun like this one. Anyway, the match ends when SCU hits a kind of bad looking Powerbomb/Dropkick combo. The announce team puts over Sky for his sticktoitiveness in spite of his sneakerlossitviness. Nice way of heating up Sky quickly, although this didn’t really pay off in making him a singles star.

Good: Meat Man!


First appearance of jobbers with no personality who will never be over Silver and Reynolds.

Mid: Proud and Jobberfull

Pre BTE Silver and Reynolds were there to eat pins and provide wins. P&P wins in about 3 minutes with the Street Sweeper, proving their value to The Inner Circle. It’s an effective squash. 

Jericho cuts a “backstage” (pre-recorded) promo putting over P&P by insinuating they are criminals, which is… uncomfortable. Not “NWA’s The Truth promo” level of uncomfortable, but it’s not great. He lays out a challenge to The Bucks on behalf of P&P for Full Gear. 

Good: Cody-cumentary Footage

Okay, so we get a very VERY “Cody” mini-doc where everyone talks about how Cody is hyper-focused on Chris Jericho and their title match at Full Gear, but he’s being torn in multiple directions as EVP and “The Face” of AEW. Brandi, MJF, JR, his Mom Michelle Runnels, Tony Shiavone and DPP (doing a very bad Dusty Rhodes impression) all give their thoughts on Cody’s mental state. The doc is overwrought and longer than the previous match, but it does a lot of leg work to build Cody/Jericho. It edges out of Mid territory due to how well directed and edited the segment is.

Mid: The Mayo-Powers EXPLODE!

Britt Baker is taking on Riho for the AEW Women’s World Championship. I have said a lot about how dull Riho is as a character and also how Britt Baker was pushed as one of the faces of the Women’s division even though she had no charisma. Well, allow me to say more!

I’m not sure what the story is here. They were a tag team last week and again at Fight for the Fallen, but they weren’t wacky and they did get along, so they don’t have the TNA shortcut to singles match tension. I guess Baker’s one singles win earns her a shot at the title? In the end it doesn’t really matter, because no amount of backstory could put heat on this pair.

Baker looks pretty damn rough here, especially when they are mat wrestling. She just doesn’t have the sense of timing between moves so everything falls apart. Riho always has the good in the ring but it’s not enough to make Baker look big time.

This looks pretty big time though.

I do have to say that Baker has the best looking Slingblade in the biz. He actually looks like she’s making contact with the trailing arm instead of just kind of spinning her arms around the opponent’s head (looking at you, Penta).

It’s a fine little affair with Riho reversing the Lockjaw into a pin. The Faces face to face handshake in the middle of the ring.

Good: Luchas without the Saurus

More Tag Team action! The Lucha Brothers first round challenge is against Jurassic Express: Stunt-le In The Jungle Configuration (Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt). Luchasaurus is out with a legit injury which, if I recall, kept him on the shelf for a while. Mark Stunt steps up but he has big dinosaur sized shoes to fill. During the entrance Jungle Jack carries Marko around the ring to make sure they are on brand.

There’s a quick shot of Private Party sitting ringside, scouting the competition. “THIS AIN’T WATER” mouths Cassidy. DRINKING AT WORK!?!

Lucha Brothers get the big time entrance with fire and fireworks because they are big time players and deserve big time treatment.

They look so tiny!

This is prime “Cero Miedo” crowd interaction era. The Cero chants reign down from the rafters like a broken Matrix readout. I am lucky enough to be able to watch the FITE TV version of the broadcast where The Lucha Bros fill commercial time by calling Marko “Babysaurus” and saying they don’t “lucha con niños.” What y’all saw was some commercials and then the crowd yelling Babysaurus for no reason.

I SWEAR I’m not going to go move for move with this match. I WILL STICK TO ANALYSIS I PROMISE!

Marko and Penta have a little fun at the top of the match, trading Cero Miedos and Fortnite dance before Marko and Boy take control. There’s a lot of fun team moves with Boy and Marko, mostly Marko getting thrown onto and off of people. We also get a lot of Rey Fenix bouncing onto and off of things AND people. 

This match was a reminder of how entertaining Stunt can be in the right situation. The problem is that situations that play to his strengths can’t come along in every match. He’s so light that he can pull off moves that nobody else can, and he can also sell like a pro. In the end, though, he’s just not a legitimate contender and eventually will (and did) end up being a sideshow player.

Marko ends up eating a TON of offense down the stretch, just getting obliterated by Penta and Rey. Rey keeps cutting off Boy while Penta manhandles Marko. Marko gets a hot tag to Boy and Boy cleans house. Boy hits a standing Backflip Knee into a Marko 450 into a standing SSP from Boy for two. The momentum changes back to the Bros, Boy gets taken out and Stunt eats a Penta Armbreaker into a Footstop/Package Piledriver and that’s it.

This match is effective in that it shows the Stuntboy Configuration won’t be a pushover and how tough it’ll be for anyone else in the tournament to take down the ascendant Lucha Brothers. There’s not too much story progression here outside of making the Bros a threat.

Good: A Poxley On Your House

MORE TAAAAG TEAAAAM AAAACTION! AEW takes a nod from TNA by having a wacky tag team that doesn’t get along with Pac and Moxley (aka Poxley) vs a team that very much DOES get along in the Elite pairing of Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page.

They play a prerecorded clip of Mox cutting a promo in the stands. Of course it’s good shit. Mox says Omega shouldn’t write him off after one injury. He’s here to reassert the pecking order in AEW and he’s at the top. He wants Kenny Omega’s head on his wall. WOW OKAY.

The FITE TV version gives me another nice moment of the Philly crowd chanting “SEE ZEE DUB” for former local champion Moxley. Pac tries to get them to quiet down and gets booed. Mox takes the mic and calls out that this is a commercial break, but he’s not here for commercials, he’s here to fight, BECAUSE THIS IS PHILADELPHIA! Philadelphia cheers because they hate commercials!

Hangman to the ring looking agitated. JR points out that Page needs to get on a roll and taking down Mox or Pac would get him going. Very good point from the Oklahoman. Omega comes down next and he’s fucking over with the Philly crowd. Omega and Mox can hardly be kept apart by referee Bryce Remsberg. Pac and Hangman go at it on the outside while Mox and Omega trade… NO I WILL NOT DO A PLAY BY PLAY DAMMIT.

If you expected this match to be good, you would be right! What a shocker that four of the best wrestlers in the world being in the ring at the same time resulted in a banger. The moves are hard hitting, crisp and well thought out. Nice subtle storytelling too: Mox and Pac control the match and tag smartly, but they NEVER look each other in the eyes, even when pulling off tag team maneuvers. Page plays the face in peril for most of the first half of the match. When Omega comes in, he’s incredibly dominant, which is what we’ve hoped to see for the last six months.


This match is a nice little preview of future tag champs The Elite: Megahang Configuration. They look great together and really take it to Poxley. When we finally get Mox and Omega in the ring together, it’s ELECTRIC. These two facing off always has the Big Fight Feel. I’m sure they’ll continue their rivalry past the current August 2022 time period.

The CZW Barbed Wire Baseball Bat and The ECW Barbed Wire Broom make another appearance, but before Mox and Omega can start swinging, Pac comes from behind each wrestler and throws the weapons out of the ring, pointing at his head and letting us know that they can’t win if Mox gets disqualified. 

Clean Sweep!

Despite the absolute logic of this, Mox gives Pac the two finger salute and a Paradigm Shift, then bails. Pac, now alone, gets spammed with signatures and finishers before eating a pin from rival Hangman Page. Flipping fantastic TV match.

You can watch a whopping 1 minute and 44 seconds of this match here. AEW desperately needs to put up full Dyanmite/Rampage matches on their Youtube channel now and again.

Good: Philadelphia Fever Pitch

The show is capped off by “I Beat Jimmy Havoc And Now I Get A Title Shot For Some Reason” Darby Allin vs. AEW Champion Chris Jericho in a Philadelphia Street Fight. Allin skateboards to the ring but does not hit an ollie or a frontside grind or anything cool. Oh well.

I wonder if Darby wans to be the champ?

I wonder if Jericho wants to be a mime?

Jericho gets a big pop from the SMARTMARK Philadephia crowd. Jericho has chosen his Painmaker Alt attire for the evening, featuring crappy Crow facepaint and a leather jacket that Pinhead would be jealous of. More Jericho love from the Philly audience as they give him a big “Thank You, Jericho” chant. NO SELL FROM LE CHAMPION.

The match itself is pretty chaotic. AEW was obviously already on the Darby train, so he gets a lot of innovative offense against the veteran Jericho. Jericho uses his alt NJPW Bruiser Brody brawling moveset to kick the absolute dogshit out of Allin. Jericho is Alt Out tonight!


Jericho also skateboards.

Little Bit of the Boardbly.

Late in the match, Jericho tapes Darby’s hands together with gaffers tape, allowing Jericho to make a bunch of Pain, but Darby shows his agility and resourcevulness by actually bringing the fight to Jericho. He also somehow doesn’t break his goddamn wrists after landing on his hands on multiple bumps and dives. Darby nearly gets a no-handed pin, but as he goes for a Coffin Drop, he eats a punch from HUMAN PHANTOM Jake Hager. This allows Jericho to lock in the Liontamer. Darby must tap!

Yeah, this match is good fun, especially if you really really like Painmaker Jericho. It’s not a must see or anything, but if you track down this episode to see Megahang vs. Poxley, you should stick around for the main event.

The Inner Circle comes to the ring, spraying A LOT of the Bit of the Bubbly all over the ring, and that’s our show!

Final Thoughts:

This was a good Dynamite! The only thing that might have held it back was not having Cody make a live appearance, but I guess he was, like, being torn in half by his EVP duties and his emotional “I must avenge my father’s name” duties. You know, normal Cody shit.

It’s hard to beat last weeks’ episode though. That was a high bar, although I will add Omega/Page vs. Mox/Pac to the Best Matches list.

Compare/Contrast with TNA Weekly PPV #6


Again, AEW pulls a big W over TNA. Ki vs. Lynn and Styles vs. Skipper were great matches, but there’s no way they could compare to MegaHang wrestling freakin’ Moxley and Pac.


Am I actually going to give it to TNA this week? I love THE SPOOKY STUFF with Mitchell and the ram’s blood. The Truth’s masterful manipulation of Ricky Steamboat to get a NWA World’s Title match was ingenius.

At the same time there was a bunch of off screen storytelling, a horrific misogynist segment that promises more awful Disco Inferno bits, and a little person threatening people with a firearm.

AEW moved the story ball forward with Cody’s documentary footage, the Lucha Brothers assault on SCU leading to Skyzarian Configuration’s big jump in the tournament, Omega and Mox facing off and… not much else. There wasn’t a big story segment this week.

Dammit, I think off the strength of The Truth alone, TNA picks up a win! I have to put my blinders on to do it, but sometimes you have to focus on the positive. Go TNA!


Adding a match to the list this week!

Best Matches
4 Way X Division Championship Match – TNA Weekly PPV 2

The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers for the AAA Tag Titles – Double or Nothing 2019
Cody Rhodes vs. Dustin Rhodes – Double or Nothing 2019

Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho – Double or Nothing 2019
The Elite vs. The Lucha Brothers and Laredo Kid – Fyter Fest 2019
The Young Bucks vs. The Lucha Brothers for the AAA Tag Titles – All Out 2019
Kenny Omega vs. Pac – All Out 2019

Omega/Page vs. Mox/Pac – Dynamite 10.16.2019

Join me in two weeks where I have a complete meltdown over the The Dupp Cupp Segment.

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