New AEW Champion Jon Moxley dares the Inner Circle for a fight
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AEW: Dynamite had a tough act to follow this week.

The follow-up show to AEW: Revolution, one of the best pro wrestling events in years, had a lot of fallout to deal with.

AEW addressed Chris Jericho’s feelings about being the ex-world champion and continued to draw out the mystery of who is the Dark Order’s Exalted One.

It was  big night of pro wrestling with great action and strong story movement.

And with that, we count the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.

Moxley holds the AEW gold

HIT — Moxley Promo

AEW: Dynamite opened with a promo from new AEW World Champion Jon Moxley.

Moxley declared that the title never belonged to Chris Jericho. And it doesn’t belong to him. He declares that it belongs to the fans and puts the crowd over for “bringing pro wrestling back.”

The new champ says he knows the Inner Circle is out for his blood and dares them to come for him. Jericho obliges, with the whole crew in tow. I’m having trouble seeing my keyboard, because Jericho’s shirt is blinding me. Seriously, that thing is shiny.

Jericho notes that Moxley has more guts than brains and calls Mox a cheater for feigning the eye injury at AEW: Revolution. The former champ puts the whole roster on notice that the Inner Circle is no longer a “good-natured” bunch of guys – they’re a hit squad now, and they’re coming for everybody.

Le (former) Champion puts over the main event of himself and Sammy Guevara against Moxley and Darby Allin and promises a beating for Moxley. Jericho promises to take a 60-day leave of absence if Moxley leaves the match on his own two feet. Hey, what’s this about Fozzy tickets available in my area soon?

The Inner Circle leader teases an ace up his sleeve, saying Moxley isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.

I was wondering who AEW would position as Moxley’s first challenger. But this AEW: Dynamite promo makes me feel like there’s still gas in the tank for this feud.

The Dark Order battled SCU and Colt Cabana on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Colt Cabana And SCU Vs. The Dark Order

JR ponders whether or not the Exalted One really exists. I think the AEW bookers have been wondering the same thing.

Cabana looked pretty good in this AEW: Dynamite match and meshed well with the rest of SCU. It’s a shame he doesn’t have any friends, or ex-friends, coming to AEW with him. And the Dark Order is really good at taking advantage of the spookiness of their gimmick. Lots of spots of the Order rushing the ring and swarming their opponent.

Anybody else think, at least with the mask, that John Silver and Alex Reynolds look like Daniel Bryan? Me either, I was just asking.

Cabana gets the pin for his team off of the Chicago Skyline, making a big splash in his debut. The match was strong, but I would’ve liked to have seen more from Scorpio Sky. I love SCU, but Sky’s got “singles star” written all over him.

After the match, Evil Uno freaks out that the Exalted One will be furious and promises that “heads will roll.”

It’s not clear what AEW has in mind for Cabana long-term, but that’s all right. There’s time.

What is clear is that they’ll continue to drag out the “Exalted One” mystery for at least a few more weeks on AEW: Dynamite. And honestly, it’s been good enough that I don’t care if AEW knows who it’s going to be or not.

Big Swole punishes Leva Bates on 'AEW: Dynamite'

MISS – Big Swole Vs. Leva Bates

Hey, it’s Leva Bates! Don’t they realize this is AEW: Dynamite and not Dark? That’s not a knock at Bates, by the way. She’s awesome and should be on this show more.

Britt Baker joins the commentary team for the match, and she’s just dripping with disdain. It’s a thing of beauty. She knows how to play heel perfectly.

Swole looked fantastic, but this was way too short.

I swear, I’m getting nauseous with all the ups and downs of this women’s division on AEW: Dynamite.

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts says he has a "client" to take care of Cody on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Cody Promo

Not for nothing, but if you shave about 20 minutes off of Cody’s entrance, you’d have time for longer women’s matches on AEW: Dynamite.

The American Nightmare goes on an impassioned, if disconnected, rant about how it’s the dream of every wrestler to be on a main card for a PPV. That’s all true, but what’s it got to do with, well, anything?

Cody calls out MJF and dares the Salt of the Earth to come say that he beat Cody fair and square at AEW: Revolution. Instead, Jake “The Snake” Roberts comes out.

Well, that was unexpected.

Roberts tells Cody he’s tired of listening to him cry about losing and says he has a client. And that “the dark side” will come to AEW. He goes a little meta, talking about why he used to bring a snake to the ring. The Snake keeps calling Cody “Ceasar,” which is kind of cool.

He says he isn’t in AEW to take down the whole promotion – just Cody.

That was a cool segment, and a promo from Roberts that the young kids could learn a thing or two from. I’m disappointed that we seem to be done with the MJF/Cody feud, because it ended so indecisively at AEW: Revolution.

But none of that takes away from how awesome this AEW: Dynamite segment was.

"The Bastard" PAC took on Chuck Taylor on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Pac Vs. Chuck Taylor

PAC and Chuck Taylor put on one hell of an AEW: Dynamite match.

There was lots of back-and-forth. At one point, halfway through the match, PAC teased a tope on Taylor and ran to the other side of the ring with eyes on taking out Orange Cassidy. Trent stepped in, allowing Taylor to sneak in with a baseball slide.

Nice call-back to PAC’s match with Cassidy at AEW: Revolution.

Taylor does a good job of keeping up the heat against PAC, and both guys pull out some pretty cool evasion spots.

PAC picked up the win on AEW: Dynamite with the Brutalizer and stayed undefeated against the Best Friends. This was a really solid match, and I don’t have any complaints about the action.

And finally, AEW gets serious with PAC. After the match, the Lucha Bros. come out and help the Bastard beat down the babyfaces, forming a new heel stable: The Death Triangle. Okay, I’m not crazy about the name.

But I really like this teaming.

 

Jake Hager took on QT Marshall on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Jake Hager Vs. QT Marshall

Okay, I know we need to keep Hager strong on AEW: Dynamite, but we don’t have anybody for him to go over besides Cody’s buddy from the YouTube videos?

QT puts forth a valiant effort, but Hager’s too much for him. The Big Hurt picks up the win over Marshall by submission with that standing triangle hold.

After the match, Hager won’t let go of the hold, so Dustin rushes in to break it up, only to get swarmed by Santana and Ortiz. Cody and Matt Jackson come out to make the save, but the IC swarms him, too.

And this leads ‘Hangman’ Adam Page to come out, beer in hand, to save the day for everybody. Once he’s cleaned house, Page flips Matt the bird before staggering on his way out.

Once again, AEW: Dynamite tells a lot of stories with a single segment. Hager’s a monster, his business with Dustin is unfinished, Matt is willing to stick up for the Elite’s extended family, and Page hates everybody. And is drunk most of the time.

Just a great, great segment. Not a great match, but really good pro wrestling television.

‘Hangman’ Page is the most over guy in AEW – it’s gonna be time to push him to the moon soon.

HIT – MJF Promo

In a pretaped interview for AEW: Dynamite, MJF seemingly confirms that the feud with Cody is over.

He says that the match at AEW: Revolution was the final chapter in Cody’s odyssey.

MJF plans on remaining undefeated in AEW, and he doesn’t care who his next opponent is. Finally, he opens his shirt to reveal an “I Pinned Cody” shirt. Although he does admit it’s a little obnoxious.

“Like a neck tattoo.”

Oh, MJF. Please cut promos on AEW: Dynamite forever.

Jon Moxley and Darby Allin faced the Inner Circle on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Jon Moxley And Darby Allin Vs. Chris Jericho And Sammy Guevara

The Inner Circle jumps Moxley on his way to the ring, forcing him to get stretchered out for medical attention backstage.

That leaves Darby Allin to compete in the AEW: Dynamite main event by himself. And he looks like the star he’s very, very quickly growing into.

Guevara and Jericho work Allin over for most of the match, but Darby gets a few good shots in, too, including a really strong clothesline on Jericho that forces the ex-champ over the top.

Later in the match, Allin goes for a suicide dive on Jericho, but Le Champion hits the Judas Effect in mid-air. He throws Allin back in the ring, and Guevara makes the easy pin. Okay, I guess Fozzy isn’t hitting the road just yet, as Moxley doesn’t make it back until after the match.

Moxley tries to make the save, but he takes an Inner Circle beatdown instead followed by a powerbomb through a table, courtesy of Hager.

Really strong segment, putting Moxley’s back against the wall right off the jump on AEW: Dynamite. Smart business – if you don’t have “the chase” to lean on, you’ve got to give your top babyface daunting odds.

The Breakdown

We don’t know exactly where all the stories are going coming out of AEW: Revolution yet. But that’s all right.

What we did get was an AEW: Dynamite with only one miss (the women’s match, go figure). And plenty of setup for where AEW might go.

The Jake Roberts appearance was a genuine surprise, and it makes me wonder who his “client” is.

Strong wrestling action, good storylines, and genuine intrigue.

Another strong showing from AEW: Dynamite.

AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM/ET on TNT.

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - March 4, 2020

8.3

In-Ring Action

8.0/10

Booking

7.5/10

Promos/Video Packages

9.0/10

Entertainment Value

8.7/10

Pros

  • Moxley set up with obstacles as the new champion
  • Jake the Snake!
  • The Dark Order intrigue continues to build
  • PAC and the Lucha Bros. could be a team to be reckoned with

Cons

  • Broken record time - the AEW women's division is horribly inconsistent
  • Too soon to move Cody to another feud
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