Kenny Omega after his grueling iron man match against Pac on 'AEW: Dynamite'
Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail

AEW: Dynamite headed into this weekend’s Revolution pay-per-view with a full head of steam.

For the last three months, All Elite Wrestling has set the table for this weekend’s big show in Chicago.

But there’s still business to conduct. A weigh-in with AEW Champion Chris Jericho and challenger Jon Moxley headlined the episode. And the long-awaited rubber match between Kenny Omega and Pac took place.

AEW: Dynamite left it all in the ring heading into the pay-per-view.

Now let’s see where they hit, and which targets they missed.

The Bastard on the verge of victory over Kenny Omega on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT — Kenny Omega Vs. Pac, 30-Minute Iron Man Match

It’s hard to argue with AEW: Dynamite when they can open a show with a PPV-main-event-quality match.

After weeks of chasing, Pac finally gets his rubber match with Kenny Omega. It’s a rivalry that began almost half a year ago at August 2019’s All Out pay-per-view.

Omega gets a monster babyface pop from the Kansas City crowd. Well, the guy’s over. I don’t know why, but he’s doing something right, I guess. In an interesting turn, Omega is accompanied by the Young Bucks – the team he and Adam Page will defend the tag titles against at Revolution.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Iron Man Matches. Especially with time limits under an hour. Making a most-falls-wins match seem real on a format like AEW: Dynamite is a difficult task. If you can rack up multiple falls in 30 minutes, why can’t you beat everybody else in 5 minutes? Anyway.

To call it pay-per-view quality is an understatement. This was one of the best televised matches of the year so far. Both guys carry a stalemate to the 30-minute time limit, so we go the WrestleMania XII route and go to sudden death. Omega hits the One-Winged Angel to win the match and the best-of-three series.

After the match, Schiavone interviews a less-than-happy Pac, only to be interrupted by Orange Cassidy. Naturally, Pac beats him senseless, setting up a match at Revolution. Um. Okay? I mean, I can see that being a five-minute filler squash for AEW: Dynamite, but the Bastard vs. the Comedy Guy?

Weird.

Luchasaurus towers over Ortiz

HIT – Jurassic Express Vs. The Inner Circle

Inner Circle has its own entrance music now, and it is about as lame as it gets.

Both teams looked great on AEW: Dynamite. And I swear, is there anyone in wrestling who plays “obnoxious twerp” better than Sammy Guevara?

It was pretty standard fare, but the crowd was into everybody in the match. It was all Inner Circle for most of the contest until Luchasaurus did what half-dinosaur-half-wrestlers do. He cleaned house.

And if the crowd wasn’t into it already, the three-on-one assault on Sammy Guevera at the hands of the Express put them over the top. This kid is great at making people hate him, and he showed that talent off in spades on AEW: Dynamite.

Sammy mounted a mini-comeback, but Darby Allin provided a timely distraction, allowing Jungle Boy to hit the snap rana to pick up the win for the Express.

I’m gonna go ahead and call it. Darby vs. Sammy is going to be the sleeper hit at Revolution. Allin’s interference and his house-cleaning single-handedly saved this segment.

Darby Allin might be the most beloved babyface on a roster containing Jon Moxley and Cody. And Sammy is nearly as good at being hateable as MJF. A solid – if pedestrian – AEW: Dynamite segment building to what could be a massive match at Revolution.

The Blade punishes Trent on 'AEW: Dynamite'

MISS – Best Friends Vs. The Butcher & The Blade

Another tag match to come out of last week’s AEW: Dynamite tag team battle royal. And considering how unimpressed I was by Butcher and Blade just a few weeks back?

They’re one of the acts I most look forward to on each AEW: Dynamite. But they weren’t well-served by their match this week.

Neither team did anything wrong, per se. Both Best Friends and Butcher and Blade are a pair of the better teams in AEW. Best Friends picked up a solid win, but there just wasn’t much chemistry between these four.

And it’s made worse by the fact that there was nothing at stake. I know AEW wants to fill their time with as much in-ring action as possible on AEW: Dynamite. But televised wrestling is a means of advancing stories. And nobody benefited from this match.

This was wrestling for the sake of wrestling.

Nobody gets over in a match like that. It definitely does no favors to Butcher and Blade – who had been on a roll – to drop a decision to a talented-but-middling team like Best Friends.

The comedy stuff between Bunny and Cassidy was fun, but it diminishes the attack from Pac earlier.

Shanna, Hikaru Shida, and Big Swole in a test of strength on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Shanna Vs. Big Swole Vs. Hikaru Shida Vs. Yuka Sakazaki

Anybody else get a Katamari Damacy vibe from Yuka’s theme music? Anyway.

A women’s segment bringing a jolt back to an “eh” AEW: Dynamite? Will wonders never cease?

This was a really fun match. And it was surprising to see a women’s wrestler – Shanna, in this case – in action two weeks in a row on AEW: Dynamite.

After making a less-than-stellar AEW: Dynamite debut against Nyla Rose a few weeks back, Big Swole got a chance to show what she can do. And it was refreshing to see Hikaru Shida back in the ring after an absence of a few weeks.

There was tons of high-flying action, and for the first time in a long time, there seem to be legitimate contenders to the women’s championship in AEW.

Shida picked up the victory to get back in the title hunt. With Rose defending the women’s title against Kris Statlander – another recent highlight of the women’s division – at Revolution, the women are getting their act together on AEW: Dynamite.

Or rather, AEW is getting its act together.

MISS – JR Interviews Young Bucks and Page & Omega

This should’ve been a no-brainer “hit” for AEW: Dynamite.

Instead, the Young Bucks made the ongoing “dissolving the Elite” storyline more complicated than it needed to be.

Nick and Matt came across as absolute jerks. In a feud where ‘Hangman’ Page – the guy who walked out on the Elite and has been leaving his crew hanging of late – should be the clear heavy.

Instead, the Bucks made spectacles of themselves by telling Page he’d be a jobber (oooooh, insider terms! No they di-eh-n’t!) without them.

The segment was entertaining enough, but I’m left wondering what the point was. As usual, Omega is the uninteresting odd-man-out. Page comes across looking like the good guy, and I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams that that was the intent.

What a confusing mess.

Jericho works the crowd at 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Jericho/Moxley Weigh-In

All hell broke loose on AEW: Dynamite.

Since the show debuted in October, All Elite Wrestling has shown a knack for letting the genie out of the bottle in main event segments.

This could easily have de-evolved into your standard 20-minute promo. But AEW: Dynamite weaved a promo and some real storytelling together to make a killer segment.

Jericho took the heel low-road by insulting the Super Bowl Champion Chiefs. And he got a vicious headbutt from Jon Moxley for his troubles. Vicious enough to open Le Champion up.

Thus begins an insane brawl, bringing out Dustin Rhodes to attack his Revolution opponent Jake Hager.

This was everything a go-home segment should be, and AEW: Dynamite did it beautifully. The champion and his challenger went at it, we built up the hoss fight between Hager and Rhodes, and we even got one last reminder that Darby and Sammy have a date at Revolution.

It was a fantastic way to close out an iffy episode of AEW: Dynamite.

AEW - All Elite Wrestling

The Breakdown

This week’s AEW: Dynamite was a mixed bag, to say the least. It started and ended with a bang.

But the meat of the sandwich lacked a consistent flavor.

We got great stuff from the women, but weak stuff from a Best Friends match. There was intense, clever storytelling with Darby and Sammy, but inconsistent, confusing depictions of the tag title contenders.

I’m starting to think AEW: Dynamite is incapable of putting on a “bad” show, but sometimes being inconsistent can be worse than being bad.

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

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - February 26, 2020

7.1

In-Ring Action

7.0/10

Booking/Writing

6.5/10

Promos/Video Packages

7.0/10

Entertainment Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • That Iron Man Match was an instant classic
  • All hell breaks loose between Moxley and the Inner Circle
  • More frequent exposure for the stars of the women's division

Cons

  • Butcher and Blade taking the loss halts their momentum
  • Cassidy vs. Pac? What?
  • The JR sit-down with the Elite was a confusing cluster
Facebooktwitterpinteresttumblrmail