AEW Dynamite is owned by All Elite Wrestling, Shahid Khan, and TNT
It’s finally here! AEW Revolution is this Saturday and we are on the last episode of Dynamite before that momentous event! They’ve done a great job of setting up the various matches that will be on the card for that show with some great character work in regards to Cody, MJF, The other members of The Elite, and even the more recent stuff like Dustin Rhodes Vs. Jake Hagar and Darby Allin Vs. Sammy Guevara. Is this the perfect Go Home show for something they’ve worked so hard to get to, or are they about to trip at the one yard line? Let’s find out!!
Kenny Omega Vs. Pac – 30-Minute Iron Man Match
Kenny Omega is accompanied to the ring by The Young Bucks
See, I thought this was going to be the main event of the show, but we’re starting right off the bat with it! Now this match is a good example of AEW being pragmatic with their embarrassment of riches because Kenny Vs. Pac in a specialty match like this could have easily been on the PPV, but when everything started to shake out it was clear that there was just not enough room for that AND his tag team match, so we’re instead getting it here on TV which is great because if you want to sell an audience on your PPV, you want to give them a REALLY good match to let them know just how good the paid version is going to be! Now if you didn’t know (I didn’t hear the announcers explain the rules at the start of the match), it’s basically a Time Versus Match in Super Smash Bros; you have a limited amount of time for you and your opponent to kill each other and whoever has the most points at the end wins! Now they don’t ACTUALLY kill each other here (though I wouldn’t be surprised if that was Pac’s intent) and instead you get a point from a pin fall or a submission of your opponent. Now the issue you need to contend with when it comes to an Iron Man match is keeping the momentum up for the full thirty minutes, and often these matches are rather routine and don’t get a lot of heat until the very end when it gets down to the wire. These two guys are absolutely game to try and fix that by going at full speed RIGHT off the bat and never really stopping! There may not have been a pin in the first five minute, but I’ll be damned if these two weren’t getting the crowd cheering with a serious flurry of super moves and adept athleticism! The First near fall occurs just over eight minutes in as Pac does a DEVISTATING drop kick from the top rope and tries to pin Kenny who kicks out at two. The match is then grounded for a bit as Pac continues to work over Kenny on the floor, which is fine as any good match needs peaks and valleys, and I’m sure both guys could use a moment to get their energy back. When Kenny DOES get his momentum back at around the thirteen minute mark, he starts landing super moves on Pac but he’s still not able to land a pin on the guy as we’re still at zero-zero. At the sixteen minute mark, with only fourteen minutes to go, Pac says SCREW IT and grabs a chair from under the ring and bashes Kenny right in the head with it! The ref calls for the bell which isn’t QUITE a disqualification (if it was, it’d be the first one in AEW history) but instead gives Kenny a point. I’m sure he’ll be happy about that when he WAKES THE HECK BACK UP, but until then he’s Pac’s play thing and lands a pin on the guy after a Black Arrow; bringing the total to one-one. Then we go to commercial and then nothing happens. You’d think Pac would have gotten a FEW more pins while Kenny was still recovering from the chair shot, but I guess they didn’t want to give too much away while the cameras were off and Pac makes sure to give us something HORRIFIC as soon as we get back. I don’t know what this move is called, but the best I can describe it is that Pac lifts up Kenny while both are on the apron, and then PILE DRIVES HIM into the floor! THAT somehow looked worse than the chair shot and Kenny will no doubt be hurting during his tag team match on Saturday! But that’s not enough! Pac grabs a table from under the ring, puts Kenny on it, and then jumps from the top rope and smashes Kenny’s crumpled body through the table! We’ve still got six minutes to go! The ref starts counting for the Ten Count as both of them are outside the ring and Pac crawls his way back to the ring at the count of seven or eight. Kenny (with a bit of help from The Young Bucks) gets back into the ring a nanosecond before he gets to ten. Pac is getting annoyed here and goes up to the top rope for another Black Arrow, but Kenny is ready for it this time and gets his knees up right before impact. With not much energy left, Kenny goes for back to back V-Triggers and then slams Pac to the mat. He goes for the pin, and NO! Pac kicks out at two!! With less than three minutes left, Pac finally gets Kenny in The Brutalizer; the move that knocked him out and cost him the win in their first match, and now he has to survive it after taking THAT much abuse! Kenny inches and crawls his way to the ropes and just barely breaks the hold, and yet undeterred Pac kicks him back to the middle of the ring and reapplies The Brutalizer. We’ve only got about a minute left and Kenny manages to make it until the bell rings, and the match ends in a draw; one to one. Pac is so pissed off that he attacks the ref and leaves Kenny on the ground which turns out to have been a mistake as it’s announced that the match will CONTINUE under Sudden Death rules; meaning the next pin fall wins. Kenny immediately hits a V-Trigger and then a One Winged Angel on Pac to get the pin and win the match. This whole saga was all VERY GOOD and left things a bit ambiguous at the end there without feeling unsatisfying. Kenny flying in under the wire of that Ten Count could be seen as too lenient on the ref’s part, but then Pac DID use a chair on him and then also wasted time hitting the ref which gave Kenny an opportunity to get the win. Everything just fired on all cylinders from the pacing to the drama to even the placement of the commercial break which in previous episodes would normally be a huge problem with the show, but here they got it to work just right along with everything else for one heck of an opening bout!