AEW: Dynamite isn’t exactly paving the road to the Revolution PPV at the moment. In recent weeks, the show has capped off weeks-or-months-old feuds. Or they’ve begun building them to their conclusion on the Beach Break special in February. But do date, not much movement toward Revolution.
Still, All Elite Wrestling continues to churn out a good week-to-week product. Which is important when that product is, you know, a weekly television show. You listening, WWE? Of course you’re not.
Anyway, this week’s AEW: Dynamite capped off a few weeks’ worth of tension between the Jurassic Express and FTR, as Jungle Boy took on Dax Harwood. We dived just a little deeper into the growing divide within the Inner Circle. Cody Rhodes kept talking smack about some basketball player, and the intrigue grew between Kenny Omega and the Good Brothers, and their former Bullet Club mates, the Young Bucks.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the hits and misses from this week’s AEW: Dynamite.
HIT – Eddie Kingston Vs. Lance Archer
Speaking of concluding feuds that have been brewing for weeks. Lance Archer makes his entrance on AEW: Dynamite and immediately sends Jake Roberts to the back. I mean, that’s probably for the best considering Jake Roberts is Methuselah years old. This was everything that a big confrontation between these guys should be. It was violent, it was brutal, an it was ugly. Almost as if they should’ve saved it for a certain PPV.
Excalibur: “Eddie Kingston got kicked out of Catholic school for throwing a desk at a nun.” I feel like that’s a lost Vince Russo script from the Attitude Era. Tony says that Kingston is both “despicable” and “despiseable.” One of those is not a word. Wicked cool and uncomfortable spot, as Archer chokeslams Kingston over the top rope, and Kingston glances his hip across the apron. Yeesh. Then they head outside, where Archer throws Kingston face-first into the camera. Smile! Seriously, I can’t say enough about how perfectly AEW has booked Lance Archer matches.
Archer, because he’s a Murderhawk Monster, you see, splashes Kingston and goes for a pin but pulls him up at one. Good for his character, bad for his chances, as Kingston gets a second wind and fights back. Of course, it wouldn’t be AEW: Dynamite if JR didn’t crow about how Archer should’ve just taken the win. Jim, we know it’s all storytelling. And when you start reminding us why this or that doesn’t make sense, it makes us think of stuff we didn’t intend to think of. Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox.
Archer has the advantage until Butcher and Blade drag a beaten Jake Roberts onto the stage. Bunny slips Kingston brass knucks. Kingston does what you do with brass knucks, and he scores the pin. The family puts a beating on Archer after the match. Cool, there’s still life in this feud. Book it for Revolution!
HIT – Promo-Mania!
Moxley cuts a pretaped promo, and he tries to make sense of the recent nonsense between the Bucks, Omega, and the Good Brothers. You and me both, dude. He compares all the rivalries on AEW: Dynamite with the Luchas back with Death Triangle and how they hate Kingston’s family now. Mox likes to keep things simple. Cold beer, hot coffee, and sex in the morning. The guy’s not wrong.
Jon Moxley only trusts himself, and he plugs the big six-man with himself, Pac, and Fenix against Omega and the Good Brothers on the Beach Break episode of AEW: Dynamite. Wow. A short promo that cuts to the chase and sells the match. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this whole pro wrestling thing isn’t nearly as hard as some promotions make it out to be.
Meanwhile, Sting and Darby Allin are hanging out in an old abandoned warehouse. Or somewhere. Sting doesn’t care for Taz calling a hoodlum. Darby Allin fully admits to being a hoodlum and throws his skateboard through the weekend just to prove it. And to show he’s hip with the young kids, Sting smashes a couple windows with his bat. Long story short, they’re ready to face Team Taz in a street fight at Revolution. If I had to guess, it’ll be a cinematic match, and that’s probably best considering Sting’s spine is made of tissue paper and cottage cheese. I’m curious to see how they pull it off at the PPV. For the time being, this was a fun couple of promos on AEW: Dynamite.
NEAR MISS – Chris Jericho & MJF (W/ Wardlow) Vs. Varsity Blonds
So this was a weird AEW: Dynamite match. I like Jericho, and I like MJF. And I like the Varsity Blonds. I really like the intentionally-stupid mashup of ‘Judas’ and MJF’s theme. This match kinda sucked. Luckily, the in-ring stuff wasn’t the point. As with all things Inner Circle, it was all about continuing to build the tension.
MJF opened the contest by giving Griff Garrison the opportunity to just give up right off the bell. And there’s some nice continuity as MJF brings up murdering Griff a few months back on AEW: Dynamite. But Griff is a white meat babyface, and he don’t go for that! He chucks MJF to the floor, so Max immediately tags Jericho in. Seriously, I don’t think it’s possible to love MJF’s approach to this character any more. Meanwhile, Sammy subtly cheers every punch Garrison lands. I love the character work.
Jericho gets the pin, and he even added a little spice to his finish. He used the Judas Effect as a setup for the Lionsault. Neat. After the match, Sammy gets fresh with the rest of the Inner Circle. And again, the boys have to pull one another apart. I love it.
Pillman and Garrison both looked great in this match. Before long they’ll be players on AEW: Dynamite. And they’ll be fixtures in the AEW tag team division. But the match itself just wasn’t anything to write home about. The story behind the match, though? Perfection.
HIT – Cody, Shaq, & Who Cares?
Earlier on TNT, Shaq talks some smack about Cody Rhodes. He mocks Cody’s blond hair and calls him a “little girl.” And he calls him a punk eight or nine times. He says to name the time and place before deciding he wants to fight in March. I can’t listen to Shaq say anything and take him seriously. Remember that Family Guy cutaway where the waitress can’t tell if Shaq is angry or not? It’s kinda like that.
That brings Cody out on AEW: Dynamite. The American Nightmare says he would’ve loved to team with Brandi to face Shaq and Jade Cargill. But, you know, Brandi has a small human growing in her belly ‘n stuff, so that’s not really in the cards. Arn Anderson tries to get Cody to take the match anyway. Um, Arn? Check Webster’s for the definition of “pregnant.” Oh, wait, he has a plan. Arn thinks Cody should take the match, but he’s gonna have to partner with someone else. Brandi’s understudy Red Velvet comes out and offers to team with Cody at Revolution.
I don’t have any reason to doubt AEW or AEW: Dynamite. But I honest to goodness do not care about this feud. Red Velvet isn’t any good at, you know, wrestling. And, like, you know, there are other wrestlers who can do stuff with the celebrities. Tyson and Shaq, both of them, have angles with Cody. Snoop walks him to the ring. Everybody brought the fire, so I can’t fault the promo. It did what it was supposed to do. They sold the match, and they did it with flair. That’s why it’s a hit. They did all they could to make me think I should care about this feud, but I just don’t.
MISS – ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Vs. Ryan Nemeth
Up next on AEW: Dynamite, we have the Hangman taking on Dolph Ziggler’s brother. Yeah, no, he’s Dolph Ziggler’s brother. His actual name is irrelevant. That’s not fair, and it’s not nice. But it is funny, and I’m not sorry. This week’s Hangman caption: “Accompanied by crippling emotional baggage.” I’m sad that the Dark Order thing is kind of over. Because, once again, ‘Hangman’ Page is left without much of a program to work with.
So the Hangman beats the crap out of Ziggler’s Brother for about five minutes before taking the pin with the Buckshot Lariat. Not much to this match, really. After the match, Matt Hardy comes out and tries to recruit Page. He plays on Page’s recent loneliness and recites a country song about how all of Page’s friends keep ditching him. You know, I like the idea of everybody wanting Page on their payroll. But why is every ‘Hangman’ Page angle about someone or other wanting to hang out with Adam Page? I don’t blame ’em. Hanging out with ‘Hangman’ Page looks fun. But there’s got to be a better story to tell with the Hangman on AEW: Dynamite.
The match was boring. And even though Hardy just kind of wandering out was weird and quirky and, in some ways, could end up playing to Page’s strengths, the segment just fell a little flat.
HIT – Jungle Boy Vs. Dax Harwood
Oh my lord, thank you Jungle Boy and Dax Harwood for getting this episode of AEW: Dynamite back on track. The gimmick of the match is that Tully Blanchard and Cash Wheeler have to be handcuffed to Luchasaurus. But this match didn’t need a gimmick. Jungle Boy and Harwood absolutely crushed it.
This was one of the best AEW: Dynamite matches I’ve seen in a long, long time. Hell, it’s one of the best TV wrestling matches I’ve seen in a long, long time. My words aren’t going to do it justice. It’s solid back-and-forth action, and they get clever with the side action between Cash, Tully, and Luchasaurus. But I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Jungle Boy gets the win. Oh, wait, he doesn’t just get the win. He taps Dax Harwood out with the Snaretrap STF. Jungle Boy made one of the best wrestlers on the planet quit.
Yes, if you need to read that again, I understand. But Jungle Boy got a big singles win on AEW: Dynamite. And I really, really hope it’s the beginning of something special. Jungle Boy has all the tools in his arsenal to be more than just a gimmick in a loincloth. The kid can go, and Harwood was probably the perfect opponent for him. Harwood made him look even better than he already is. And the added fun of Tully and Cash doing all they could to keep Jungle Boy from beating their FTR buddy made the match all the more special.
After the match, Tully throws powder in Luchasaurus’s face. Cash and Tully break free, and they beat the Express down after the match. And Tully comes off the top with a spike piledriver! Even the elderly guy was awesome in this match! They cuff Luchasaurus to the ropes and cut the horns off of his match. Tully goes after Jungle Boy’s hair, but Marko, Top Flight, and SCU run out for the save.
HIT – Dr. Britt Baker, DMD (W/ Reba) Vs. Shanna
Before the match, Team Taz responds to Sting and Darby. Taz and the gang say Sting and Darby don’t have what it takes to call themselves “hoodlums.” And to prove it, they beat up the guys at the merchandise stand. In the middle of the parking lot. Where there’s no foot traffic. Oh, pro wrestling. How you put things where they don’t belong. Taz says Darby and Sting don’t have any idea what a street fight takes. So Cage lawn darts one of the guys at the stand into a truck. And Ricky powerslams the other one through a table.
That was cool. But the AEW: Dynamite match that followed was even better. Yet again, we get flashes of brilliance from the AEW women’s division. Dr. Baker and Shanna put on an awesome match. Baker heeled it up in all her magnificent glory. Funny spot on commentary, as Excalibur correctly refers to “Reba” as “Rebel.” And Tony “corrects him.” Poor Tony. Although I did laugh out loud at his misfortune. Back to the match, and both women trade some pretty stiff shots at each other. Shanna and Baker have pretty good chemistry together.
There’s a lot of fun back-and-forth, but Dr. Baker pulls out the win with the Lockjaw. Reba and Britt put the boots to Shanna, but Thunder Rosa runs out to make the save and set up the match on next week’s AEW: Dynamite special. Good match, good storytelling, and it built toward Beach Break next week. I dig it.
Backstage, MJF swears that he didn’t tell Wardlow to interfere in the Inner Circle three-team match on last week’s AEW: Dynamite. Sammy sees through it, and MJF gets serious. He asks if Sammy really wants to play this game, and Sammy assures him he isn’t playing. Awesome.
HIT – The Good Brothers & The Young Bucks Vs. Dark Order (John Silver, Alex Reynolds, Stu Grayson, & Evil Uno)
Is it weird that I want to refer to this Dark Order lineup as “Dark Order classic?” Anyway. Also classic is this week’s AEW: Dynamite main event. Before the match, the Bucks and Gallows and Anderson talk strategy, but Don Callis pops up and accuses the Bucks of assaulting him last week. Yeah, I’m still not super impressed by any direction this whole “Omega and Impact” thing might be going. As with all things AEW, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. But so far I do not care.
Regardless, this match was fantastic. It ran a little over twelve minutes, and the action just did – not – stop. As with most ex-WWE guys, it makes me sad that the Good Brothers didn’t get to do more cool stuff in WWE. But the Dark Order came out of this looking pretty legit, and it’s a veritable certainty now that they’re babyfaces. And John Silver is the clear star of the group. They went out of their way to make sure Silver didn’t take the pin. Anyway, this match had some fun spots, and everybody got their stuff in. Grayson and Uno hit the Fatality, but the Good Brothers make the save before hitting the Order with powerbombs on the apron.
I hear that’s the hardest part of the ring.
This crazy AEW: Dynamite match ends with the Good Brothers setting the stage with the Magic Killer on Grayson before the Bucks close out the match with the Meltzer Driver. After the match, the Bucks promise to win the battle royal and pick their own challengers. For some reason, this draws out Rey Fenix to attack the Bucks. Wait, are the Bucks heels or faces? I’m tired of asking this question. The Good Brothers and Omega beat down the Dark Order and Fenix, but Moxley runs out to make the save. Fun finish to a really fun match.
For the first hour of this week’s AEW: Dynamite, I was 100% ready to call this show a miss. A big miss. And then out came Jungle Boy and Harwood to turn the whole thing around. The second half of this show crushed it. And most important, I actually care about Beach Break.
Now it’s time to start making me care about Revolution. As good as the first half was, there was some cringey stupid stuff in the first hour. They started out really strong with Kingston and Archer, but the show just kinda fell apart for a while there. AEW: Dynamite righted the ship when it mattered, though.
Full match ratings and results:
Eddie Kingston def. Lance Archer, ** 1/4
Chris Jericho & MJF def. Varsity Blonds, * 1/2
‘Hangman’ Adam Page def. Ryan Nemeth, *
Jungle Boy def. Dax Harwood, **** 1/4
Dr. Britt Baker def. Shanna, ***
Young Bucks & Good Brothers def. Dark Order, *** 3/4
AEW: Dynamite airs Wednesday nights at 8 PM on TNT.
All images provided by All Elite Wrestling.
AEW: Dynamite - January 27, 20210.00
- Jungle Boy with the submission win!
- Awesome main event.
- Britt Baker and Shanna had the best AEW women's match in weeks.
- Sting, Darby Allin, and Team Taz making weeks of posturing WORTH IT
- Nothing is gonna make me care about Shaq, Red Velvet, or Jade Cargill. It would've happened by now.
- Nothing is gonna make me care about Kenny Omega and Don Callis. It would've happened by now.