Super Wrestling: AEW Dynamite (01-29-20)

AEWDYNAMITE

AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT

The vacation is over, the beach has been thoroughly bashed, and it’s time for AEW to get back into the swing of things!  With their next PPV revolution just a month away, we’ve got a lot storylines to set up, expand upon, and pay off before then, so let’s get started and see what they do!

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Jon Moxley Promo – Preparing For Revolution

Not even five seconds into the show, the dude’s music hits and he comes out through the crowd wearing an ACTUAL eyepatch this time instead of just a bandage, so I’m gonna start calling him Big Mox for the rest of this episode.  After his win against Pac last week, it’s now official that he will be challenging Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship Revolution and the man is just GIDDY at the prospect!  He calls Jericho out for being a coward and a Jabroni who got through his career with guile and manipulation rather than heart and honor, and he straight up calls him out to have the match RIGHT now instead of waiting for the big show.  Surprising everyone, Jericho DOES come out from the back to confront Moxley, but he stays nice and safe on the ramp rather than go down to the ring.  After all, what’s the point of having these really nice microphones if they’re not going to talk to each other from nice safe distances?  Jericho goes in on the insults and calls him a pirate, he talks about how he wants to bang his mother, all the heel classics, but there is one thing that hits home and is a genuine mark against Big Mox; Jericho calls out the Inner Circle because he’s GOT those teammates who will be there to watch his back.  Moxley on the other hand, has no one.  He’s got a bigger chip on his shoulder than anyone and certainly is one of the most skilled guys there, but without eyes in the back of his head and only one eye working on the front of it, he’s a bit out of his depth which is a great bit of characterization for the guy and it kind of reminds me a bit of the end of Moxley’s run at WWE where his final storyline was about him wanting to go it alone but realizing he’s a part of The Shield and is at his best when he’s with his bros.  Sadly he doesn’t have Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins here to join forces with, but I’m curious if anyone here will try to befriend him in the next few weeks.  Things get a bit weird here as, for whatever reason, Santana & Ortiz have brought a bunch of dudes from the Bronx with them (the show is in Cleveland, did The Inner Circle pay their bus fare?), and so now Moxley is EVEN MORE outnumbered than usual.  Moxley’s not perturbed in the least however because he’s in his home town, but this still seems like a bad guy no matter how brass his balls may be, and sure enough he’s SWIFTLY overwhelmed by the numbers and has to retreat before they take out his other eye.  This was a really great way to start the show and I really hope they develop Moxley beyond just the trash talking super badass, but only time will tell if they make good on him being the lone wolf who needs a pack.

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After that we get a video package where MJF and Wardlow visit some terrifying butcher’s shop where I guess The Butcher, The Blade, and The Bunny work during the day before becoming horror movie characters at night.  I’m not sure we really needed an origin story for this crew, especially since one of them was already wrestling here BEFORE she joined them, but we’ve got it anyway so that’s now a thing I guess.  Speaking of whom…

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The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson Vs. The Butcher and The Blade (Andy Williams and Braxton Sutter)

The Butcher and The Blade is accompanied to the ring by The Bunny (Allie)

MJF is on commentary for this match; to not so much call it but to yell about how terrible The Young Bucks are and how they could have killed him last week.  If you need a refresher, The Young Bucks super kicked MJF and then threw him in the pool (MJF is now claiming he cannot swim) which was absolutely hilarious and did a great job of advancing the feud between Cody and MJF.  Not only did this give Cody a much needed leg up on this spoiled brat (until that point MJF controlled every aspect of the feud), it brought the Elite into the conflict which could indicate some big faction war down the road; Cody and The Elite Vs. MJF and his nefarious buddies in some sort of War Games match.  Maybe once all these factions have sufficient members (I’m looking at YOU, Dark Order!) we could have a full on War Games TOURNAMENT!  Oh a man can dream, but until that day comes let’s take a look at the actual match we have tonight.  Now I’m not that hard to please when it comes to wrestling so take this for what it’s worth, but The Butcher and The Blade are starting to grow on me as they have a pretty excellent match here with The Young Bucks.  It feels like they’re telling a story with this match instead of just trading moves which is what the Bucks can too often fall into with other tag teams, and sure this is a basic story as the faces are highflying showoffs while the heels are cheaters, but it works as a showcase of both teams talents and finally makes THE BUTCHER AND THE BLADE feel like they have a place here.  The Blade is fast and agile, The Butcher is big and intimidating, and The Bunny always ends up exactly where she needs to be to give her team an edge in the fight; all of which are dangerous weapons that are tested against the Bucks here!  The good guys persevere however as the match ends with The Young Bucks landing a Meltzer Driver on The Blade to the utter shock and dismay of MJF.  A fitting ending for such a great match, though The Butcher doesn’t seem to agree as he jumps back into the ring and starts pounding on the two victorious Bucks.  Kenyy Omega immediately comes out in khakis and a pink shirt to make the save and lands a V-Trigger right away while Adam Page stumbles out in blue jeans, an ill-fitting shirt, and a half empty cup of beer to make the save albeit with far less enthusiasm. Adam Page is SO great here!  He has one of the Bucks hold his beer, he then does a Buckshot Lariat on The Blade, and then picks up his beer and leaves; secure in the knowledge that he did a good deed today and will no doubt polish off a few more brewskies before the night is done!  LOVE this guy!  So overall it was a pretty good match.  Nothing earth shattering, but it held my attention and made me appreciate a tag team I was otherwise dismissive of, so good job there!

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Nyla Rose Vs. Big Swole – Number One Contender Match

So apparently these two got this match through some victories on Dark which unfortunately I haven’t been keeping up with, but at least they’re bothering to explain it here instead of just assuring us the numbers are accurate in these rankings.  This is actually a pretty interesting match, at least as far as the setup, as Big Swole has kind of been making a name for herself in the last few weeks.  She’s more about brute strength than anything else which is what led her to win her previous matches, but putting her up against such a big competitor like Nyla Rose means her best qualities may not be enough to overcome this challenge, so she’s either gonna have to change up her game or fall prey to Rose’s onslaught.  It was an interesting match and they do work that angle effectively as Big Swole tries her hardest, but she just can’t out power Nyla Rose which not only gives Swole room to grow and Rose more clout, but it also shows us why Riho is so exceptional of a wrestler; that she can overcome challengers like Rose through sheer technique and cunning despite being much smaller than even Swole.  The only issue I have with this is that it was a Number One Contender Match, and so this means that Rose is ONCE AGAIN in the title picture.  We’ve seen her challenge for it at least twice now, and we’re supposed to be excited about a third shot?

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Cody Rhodes Vs. Kip Sabian

Cody is accompanied to the ring by Arn Anderson while Sabian is accompanied by Penelope Ford

Now this is an odd one on its face considering what is currently being built up for the both of them.  Cody’s on the road to his big match with MJF at Revolution and Kip has been feuding with Joey Janela for weeks now, so whichever one of them getting a defeat here feels like putting the brakes on their momentum at exactly the wrong time; not to mention that neither one of them has any effect on the other’s story, so the win doesn’t feel like it’d mean a whole lot.  However, there is an angle where I see this working, and that’s who they’re bringing to the ring.  Cody has been relying more and more on Arn Anderson while Penelope Ford is basically the one in charge of their little dynamic duo; more or less starting the feud with Janela herself.  A battle of wits between the managers would be an interesting angle and that SEEMS to have been the plan here, but the whole match is a little odd.  Penelope Ford is definitely helping Kip out in duplicitous ways, but it feels a bit… tacky I guess; especially at one point where Cody and Kip are brawling outside and Penelope fakes getting knocked out by Cody.  Cody, being an utter fool, decides to pick up her and take her to the back for medical attention which gives Kip enough time to kick him RIGHT in the face to the consternation of Arn Anderson who for some reason the ref is REALLY laying into despite Penelope clearly inserting herself into the match at every opportunity.  Sure, Ford can pull this fake injury stunt, but Arn stands SLIGHTLY outside of his designated corner!?  Well we’re not gonna have any of THAT in this respectable bout!  At least the rest of Ford’s distractions are less silly and somewhat clever as there’s one where she throws her shoe in the ring which the ref has to clear out RIGHT as Cody makes the pin on Kip and another where she does a Hurricanrana on Cody when the ref’s back is turned.  Arn sadly was not as helpful as the ref kept on yelling at him for pointing out all the cheating, and he eventually lets his temper get to him as he goes into the ring and belly bump’s the ref.  Arn gets tossed, Penelope and Sabian gang up on Cody, and then the best thing in the ENTIRE match happens when all hope appears to be lost!  Kip and Penelope, secure in the certainty of their victory go in for a kiss, eyes closed, right at the barrier where the audience stands, and out of nowhere Joey Janela pops his head up from behind the barrier and puts his face between the two of them!  The reactions here are amazing as Joey has a cartoonish grin on his face while Penelope and Kip’s growing realization and horror is right out of a three stooges bit!  That was pretty good, but the match continues from there and despite ALL the interference and cheap tricks, Cody eventually wins the match with a Cody Cutter followed by two Cross-Rhodes back to back.  I don’t know, I guess Penelope Ford looked good and that Joey Janela spot was amazing, but it was kind of a mess of a match and I don’t think either of them looked particularly great in here.  Not all that bad, but nothing I’d call a classic

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Britt Baker Promo – More Evil Than The Dentist In Little Shop Of Horrors!?

So the one thing I basically missed from last week was the women’s match and Baker’s subsequent promo.  Thankfully they showed a clip of it here and she just bad mouthed Tony Schiavone; saying that he worked at Starbucks and all that.  Doesn’t seem like I missed a whole lot all things considered, but I guess it’s time for round two as Baker comes out, insults Tony Schiavone, and THEN goes after JR because… I don’t know; I honestly couldn’t care less.  This doesn’t exactly seem like it’s working for the audience either, and honestly she sounds a TINY bit unsure of herself as she’s saying these really mean lines.  I get that she’s going heel, but is this really what we want to see from her?  Adam Page is doing something similar as the former good guy going bad, but his turn has been pretty entertaining while this is just… bleh.  SPEAKING OF WHOM!

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We cut to a backstage interview with The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega off to the side.  They say they want to win, that they don’t like the Dark Order for beating them up like sex weeks ago, and that they’ll someday shoot for the tag belts again; currently held by Omega and Page.  Page then stumbles his way through, talks condescendingly at The Bucks, and leaves Omega to clean up the mess.  See, THIS is how you do an entertaining heel!  If you’re not going for scary which neither Page nor Baker can pull off, there has to be something at least a little bit charming or funny about them so that you don’t outright hate the character.  Baker’s just going in with the cheap shots and doesn’t sound like she’s having fun doing them, so why should the audience have fun watching her do them?
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SCU (Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) Vs. They Hybrid 2 (Angélico and Jack Evans)

SCU are accompanied to the ring by Christopher Daniels

This was a perfectly fine match, but I wasn’t as into it as I should have been considering how talented the two teams are and what a solid performance they gave.  I think that last match with Cody and the Britt Baker promo kind of took the wind out of my sails and I just couldn’t really get into it.  It could also be the fact that SCU lost the belts last week and that Scorpio Sky lost his match against Jericho, so despite the team being very good I guess they’re just not in a place where I feel like it matters one way or the other.  SCU eventually wins the match with an SCU-Later, so there’s that.

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After the match, SCU is celebrating in the ring when The Dark Order appears on the screen and Evil Uno informs Christopher Daniels that their leader The Exalted One is VERY upset with him and that they will be coming for the other members of SCU as revenge, so perhaps this storyline is as conclusively ended as I once thought!  See, NOW I can get invested in what SCU are doing because they have something to strive for other than the belts they either lost or lost the chance of winning!  I’m still hoping Daniels goes to The Dark Order at some point, but I don’t mind a slow burn for the time being!

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After we get something really odd which is a video promo from Pac, but not it’s not like anything we’ve seen from the guy up to now.  The video is in some sort of subway entrance, shot entirely in black and white, and Pac is screaming about how unfair it was to fight on a boat last week, how he’s going to go after Moxley once Jericho is through with him, and how Kenny Omega still has an ass whooping coming his way.  Pac has certainly been… theatrical in the past with his assaults on Michael Nakazawa and how his hair is ALWAYS perfectly messy to make him look cool, but maybe this video was a bit much?  Seems like it’s trying a bit too hard, but then I’m less here for his promos than I am for his ridiculously amazing wrestling skills.

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Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) & Darby Allin Vs. Proud N Powerful (Santana and Ortiz) & Chris Jericho – Six Man Tag Match

Jericho is accompanied to the ring by Jake Hager

It’s time for our main event, but I was still feeling a bit meh on the show at this point so I didn’t feel much about it.  To start with, there was really no way there was going to be an upset here as Jericho needs to be built up for the PPV, and both Private Party and Darby Allin (despite being super over with the crowd) don’t really have anything going on to justify putting them over The Inner Circle.  Still, there were a few highlights here such as when Isaiah Kassidy and Ortiz have an AMAZING pinning combination that looks like a choreographed dance routine.  Darby Allin runs wild after the hot tag; taking out Santana, nearly pinning Jericho, and even does a coffin drop onto Jake Hager which was pretty cool, and Isiah Kassidy gets a near fall on Jericho as well.  Oddly enough I don’t remember what Marq Quen did in the match which is odd considering how memorable he tends to be, but again I wasn’t really into the match and may have missed some cool spots.  What I DIDN’T miss was the finish where Jerichio once again pulls out the most OP finisher of all time; the deadly ELBOW TO THE HEAD that he’s named The Judas Effect.  Jericho just BARELY gets it to land on Kassidy, and the dude drops down DEAD!  They don’t even need to bother with the pin because that guy is never waking up again, he’s selling this elbow so hard!

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After the match, the rest of The Inner Circle comes out and they all start to beat the crap out of Allin and Private Party with Jericho whips them with the title belt.  Private Party somehow escape or are thrown out of the ring to lick their wounds while The Inner Circle takes their sweet time torturing Darby Allin for whatever reason, and this goes on for way too long before Big Mox comes out with a baseball bat and cleans house.  The episode ends with him standing tall in the ring and The Inner Circle running to the back while also setting up the idea that he and Darby Allin MIGHT be teaming up in the future.  I mean might as well.  We’ve got Big Boss, so why not add Skull Face to the mix?

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I don’t know, I just wasn’t feeling this episode all that much.  I started off pretty good with the great Moxley promo and the fun Bucks match, but over time I just found more and more to either dislike outright or I just felt rather numb about them, and even when there were good things to find like the SCU match and the main event, I just couldn’t really get into them as much as I should have.  This is why we need The Jurassic Express or Orange Cassidy in the ring each week!  They bring a lot of lighthearted fun and overwhelming personality to this show, and while the other wrestlers can pull that off as well, no one does it as consistently as them and they certainly weren’t doing it here.  We’ve got some stuff set up for next week like Cody’s ten lashings as part of the revolution stipulation, so hopefully this is just a minor misstep on our way to the PPV.

 

 

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