The Young Bucks punched their ticket to 'Full Gear' at 'AEW: Dynamite'
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AEW: Dynamite hasn’t spent much time building to November 7’s Full Gear PPV.

With just a few weeks to go, AEW is sprinting to the finish. And AEW came out of the gates strong this week.

The World Championship Eliminator Tournament to determine the post-Full Gear number-one contender started in earnest this week.

Jon Moxley encountered his next challenger, Eddie Kingston, and Cody put his sights on his upcoming TNT Championship defense against Orange Cassidy.

There was a lot going on with this week’s AEW: Dynamite. Let’s get into the hits and misses.

Jungle Boy and Wardlow battle in tournament action on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, Quarterfinal: Wardlow Vs. Jungle Boy (W/ Luchasaurus & Marko Stunt)

Oh, right. Wardlow wrestles professionally sometimes. Thanks for the reminder, AEW: Dynamite!

JR calls the kid “Jungle Boy” Jack Perry three minutes into the show. Sigh. Thanks, AEW: Dynamite.

So Wardlow spends quite a bit of time just murdering Jungle Boy. As he should. Jungle Boy is kind of a perfect opponent for Wardlow. The guy can sell for the big man, and he can draw sympathy. Which, unfortunately, it looks like that’s gonna be Jungle Boy’s lot in AEW.

But the match, for what it was, was fun. Wardlow picks up the win and advances. Here’s hoping AEW: Dynamite didn’t forget the tension between Wardlow and MJF coming out of All Out.

Also, Wardlow is great.

HIT – Eddie Kingston/Jon Moxley Dueling Promos

Last week after AEW: Dynamite went off the air, Eddie Kingston ranted about Moxley being a sellout.

He gets in the fallen Moxley’s face screaming about Moxley leaving him behind to be a pro wrestler. And it’s easily the most impassioned promo I’ve seen in AEW in forever. I don’t know if they ran out of time last week or what, because this needed to be on TV.

Kingston promises to make Moxley quit pro wrestling, something Kingston never did. Leading to JR announcing that Moxley vs. Kingston at Full Gear will be an “I Quit” match for the AEW Championship.

Moxley cuts a pretaped promo in response. He says Kingston is someone he was proud to call a friend. But he doesn’t recognize the whiner Kingston has become. And he won’t apologize for being successful. Moxley promises to bend and twist Kingston until he either gets his friend back or “ends” him.

That’s gonna be an awesome match. And it’s gonna be an awesome program for AEW: Dynamite.

Kenny Omega dominates Sonny Kiss on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, Quarterfinal: Kenny Omega Vs. Sonny Kiss

Sonny Kiss replaces Joey Janela, Omega’s originally-scheduled AEW: Dynamite opponent self-quarantined after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Justin Roberts’s intro now lists Omega’s laundry list of accomplishments. Kenny’s introduction includes neon lights and his own dancers.

See, this is the frustrating thing about Omega. He’ll be interesting for a few weeks, and he goes back to being super-Ziggler. I can never get a read on just how impressed by this guy I should be. Right now? I’m impressed and I’m interested. Because right now, he’s interesting. Call me again in three weeks for an update.

I think the intro lasted longer than the match. Omega hits the V-Trigger and the One-Winged Angel immediately off the bell. Well. That was a thing that happened.

Omega barely registers that he won. And he goes over the top with the sportsmanly hand-raise and hug. It’s like Cena on happy pills. I love it.

HIT – Orange Cassidy/Cody Dueling Interviews

Tony Schiavone tries like hell to interview Orange Cassidy. But he can’t get more than three words per question out of him.

For reasons passing understanding, Orange thinks that his match against Cody is next week in Cincinnati.

Earlier, Dasha catches up with Cody on his arrival to the arena. Cody’s heard that there will be a stipulation for the AEW: Dynamite rematch. Dasha asks why Cody emphasized gaining weight during his time off. Cody says he’s spent too much time battling giants. It was just time.

Rey Fenix and Penta El Zero M battle in tournament action on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, Quarterfinal: Rey Fenix Vs. Penta El Zero M

The Lucha Bros EXPLODE!

Before the match, Kingston cuts a backstage promo. He puts over the Luchas and declares Butcher and Blade (again with the Bunny) as the favorites in the tag-team four-way. Kingston says he had to become a sniveling liar and whiner. Because he had to in order to move ahead. These two have excellent chemistry, and I say again – I can’t wait for this feud to keep unfolding.

Excalibur – because he’s the announcer with useful information – mentions that Fenix and Penta have wrestled before. But this marks their first AEW: Dynamite meeting. Kingston joins the announcers for commentary. Also, why is Penta’s name so complicated now? Maybe I’m dumb (yeah, I’m dumb), but that seems hard to say.

Here’s another AEW: Dynamite side quest coming to fruition. Penta and Fenix were at odds in the early days of their alliance with Kingston. Now they’re being all sportsmanlike and whatnot.

Eventually the brothers put sportsmanship aside and just start beating each other up. Awesome mix of high-flying and straight-up pro wrestling. To say nothing of solid psychology. Fenix picks up the win, and he’ll go on to face Kenny Omega.

Awesome, awesome match.

HIT – Meanwhile-Mania!

In advance of the tag team fatal four-way, Best Friends try to tell Miro and Kip Sabian that they didn’t mean to smash their arcade cabinet.

What is it with the things people fight over on AEW: Dynamite? FTRs truck? Sue’s van? Kip’s arcade cabinet?  I mean, it’s pro wrestling. It’s not like the motivations need to be complicated. But it’d be nice if they were a little more complicated.

MEANWHILE, the Dark Order promises to come out of the fatal four-way on top. And they’re ready to go on to beat FTR for the tag titles. But while Colt Cabana is super chill about his tourney match against the Hangman later, John Silver takes Colt’s chill the wrong way. He says the whole Dark Order is under pressure to succeed.

But one way or another, Silver promises to demolish whoever comes out of next week’s AEW: Dynamite with the TNT Championship.

'Hangman' Page and Colt Cabana battle on 'AEW: Dynamite'

NEAR-MISS – AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, Quarterfinal: ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Vs. Colt Cabana

JR quotes Talladega Nights by suggesting John Silver was “all jacked up on Mountain Dew.” Well, at fourteen years old, it’s still more relevant than WWE’s pop culture references.

The Hangman’s graphic this week: “Entered the tournament via a series of drunken voicemails.”

This was a little bit of a slog to start. The Hangman and Cabana have different styles, and it just took a while for them to mesh. It picked up in the end, though, but the end result was never in doubt. ‘Hangman’ Page picks up the win to advance. I feel like there’s no way this doesn’t lead to a Hangman vs. Omega final. But I wouldn’t be surprised if AEW: Dynamite throws a curve ball at some point.

NEAR-MISS – Meanwhile-Mania! Part II

We get a recap of the least interesting feud on AEW: Dynamite. Just a brief recap on Sammy Guevara revealing himself as Matt Hardy’s mystery attacker. If you want to pull a shocker, have Sammy revealed as the guy who lifted the briefcase at King Of The Ring 1999.

I just can’t make myself care about Hardy vs. Guevara. I’ve still got a bad taste from the mismanaged finish at All Out. And the Inner Circle is involved in way more interesting stuff right now.

Team Taz with a warning for Darby Allin and Will Hobbs on 'AEW: Dynamite'

Up next on AEW: Dynamite, Team Taz cuts a promo about roughly seven or eight years of lingering storylines. I exaggerate because it’s funny.

Anyway, Taz is annoyed that he still hasn’t heard a response from Will Hobbs. You folks at home remember that? Back in the mid 50s, Team Taz told Will Hobbs to join them or else.

But because Taz is the cranky old man of pro wrestling (I mean that lovingly), he’s got other things on his mind. He’s annoyed that Darby Allin is getting a TNT Championship shot at Full Gear. Ricky Starks gets on the mic and promises that somewhere down the line, he’ll destroy Darby Allin.

One interview, two (potential) matches set up. Darby Allin vs. Ricky Starks and Brian Cage vs. Will Hobbs. Efficiency. I love it!

HIT – Le Dinner Debonair

It’s an AEW: Dynamite segment starring MJF and Chris Jericho. Of course it’s a hit.

MJF orders a well-done porterhouse. Jericho orders the same, but he wants it medium well. So MJF changes his to medium well. And they go back and forth about eight more times, changing their orders to the point that the waitress leaves, utterly exasperated.

Jericho agrees to give MJF his say with the rest of the Inner Circle. Next week, MJF and Jericho will hold a town hall with the IC.

And then things get magical. By magical, I mean MJF and Jericho do a Vaudeville-style song-and-dance number, complete with back-up dancers. I’ll say no more about it, because you need to – at all costs – watch this to experience it.

Once the song ends, they sit down to their meal, and both immediately call to have it sent back.

This was. I mean. This was magical. Like, Mankind and Rock This Is Your Life magical.

Britt Baker cinches in the Lockjaw on 'AEW: Dynamite'

MISS – Dr. Britt Baker, DMD (W/ Reba) Vs. Kilynn King

I’m still baffled about why this AEW: Dynamite match is Baker’s “comeback.” I mean, I guess the brawl at All Out wasn’t a match, per se.

Still, if you’re gonna treat it like a comeback match, this was the way to go. Baker makes really quick work of King (the match didn’t even go five minutes). The good doctor pulls off the win with the Lockjaw.

Baker needed the win, and to make her a big deal, it kinda needed to be a squash. But there are some tonal issues when it comes to Britt Baker. Is she a comedy character, goofing around with Reba and Tony Schiavone? Or is she a merciless monster?

She has the talent to be both, but the mixture could be a little more robust.

Meanwhile, Darby Allin is hanging out with Steve-O from Jackass. Rolling down a skateboard ramp while stuffed in a bodybag. Um. A’ight. You kids at home remember Jackass?

The Young Bucks battle the Butcher and the Blade, Private Party, and the Dark Order on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Fatal Four-Way To Determine Number-One Contender To The AEW Tag Team Championship – Young Bucks Vs. Private Party Vs. Dark Order Vs. Butcher & Blade (W/ Bunny)

Hey, so the Bunny is back. I was honestly liking the Nightmare Sisters thing. But I guess we’ll never get that Brandi vs. Alli match. Because AEW women’s division.

Anyway. Before the match, it’s announced that Cody Vs. Orange Cassidy will be a Lumberjack Match. Eh. Lumberjack matches tend to be lame, but it’s AEW. So I’ll keep the faith.

This AEW: Dynamite match was beautifully-orchestrated chaos. The last several weeks’ worth of tag team stories converged into about fifteen minutes’ worth of glorious madness. The Young Bucks pick up the win, as they should. But the road to the win was awesome.

Butcher and Blade and the Dark Order (Silver and Reynolds) could be bigger players in the tag team division right now. And Private Party just keep getting better. Their small measure of revenge on the Bucks was a nice moment.

After the match, a masked man with a chair rushes in and nails Matt. Then FTR follows and gives Nick the Brian Pillman treatment with the chair. The mask comes off, and it’s Tully Blanchard. FTR stands over the Bucks, and it looks like we’re getting heels vs. heels for the tag titles at Full Gear.

FTR jumps their future challengers on 'AEW: Dynamite'

The Breakdown

Now that’s more like it.

Last week’s AEW: Dynamite was less-than-stellar. This week’s was out of the solar system. Incredible wrestling action, perfect storytelling, and the best vignette pro wrestling has done in years.

I can’t lie. The ups-and-down roller coaster AEW: Dynamite has been on in recent weeks is a little concerning.

But as long as the hits outnumber the misses, I’m a happy camper.

Match results and ratings:

Wardlow def. Jungle Boy, ***

Kenny Omega def. Sonny Kiss, *

Rey Fenix def. Penta El Zero M, *** 3/4

‘Hangman’ Adam Page def. Colt Cabana, ** 1/2

Dr. Britt Baker, DMD def. Kilynn King, *

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

All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - October 21, 2020

8.4

In-Ring Action

7.9/10

Booking

8.5/10

Storytelling

9.0/10

Entertainment Value

8.2/10

Pros

  • Le Dinner Debonair
  • Awesome action in the world title tournament quarterfinals
  • Eddie Kingston and Jon Moxley have picture-perfect chemistry
  • Main event tag-team madness!

Cons

  • They're making it hard to get excited about Orange Cassidy matches. That shouldn't be possible.
  • AEW has to find the right balance for Britt Baker's goofiness and sadism
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