MJF put Cody through hell on 'AEW: Dynamite'
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AEW: Dynamite continues to redefine American pro wrestling.

There’s an art to pro wrestling, believe it or not. And it involves the seamless blending of violence, emotion, and storytelling. And the final segment of this week’s AEW: Dynamite combined all of the above in disturbing, uncomfortable fashion.

Cody lived up to his word and took 10 lashes from MJF en route to their match at AEW Revolution. Jon Moxley continued his chase for Chris Jericho’s AEW Championship. And the Elite continues to break further and further apart.

So far, the pro wrestling world has belonged to AEW in 2020.

Let’s see if AEW: Dynamite continued to deliver the hits.

HIT – Jon Moxley Vs. Ortiz (W / Santana)

Jericho and Sammy Guevara join the commentary team. Sammy is wonderful as Jericho’s personal sycophant.

As far as the match itself, Moxley is at the top of his game on AEW: Dyamite. Ortiz and Santana are good foils for Moxley, with Ortiz putting the beat down and Santana playing the role of cheating second to perfection.

Having said that, it was pretty standard fare. It wasn’t much different from what you’d get in a Raw main event. There was a really deliberate pace, but it did its job of keeping Moxley front-and-center and taking on the Inner Circle.

It was what happened after the match that made this AEW: Dynamite segment a hit. After putting Ortiz away with the Paradigm Shift, Moxley takes some Biblical revenge on Santana.

Looking to take an eye for an eye, he stabbed Ortiz in the eye the key to the Ford GT Jericho gifted him weeks ago. The Inner Circle ran down for the save, and Moxley got out of Dodge.

AEW: Dynamite is setting up what’s bound to be one hell of an AEW Championship match at AEW Revolution.

The Dark Order strikes on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – SCU Vs. Best Friends (W/ Orange Cassidy) / The Dark Order Strikes

Well, knock me over with a feather – the Best Friends are actually wrestling as a tag team tonight.

It’s interesting how AEW teams are able to adjust their roles from week-to-week. For all intents and purposes, this was two babyface teams going at it on AEW: Dynamite. And both teams played to the crowd, but the Best Friends veered every so slightly into heel territory.

After a vicious double-DDT from Kazarian and Scorpio, Trent suckered them in by feigning a neck injury and turning it into a near-fall. Really cool stuff.

Two great teams at the top of their respective games. SCU picked up the win, which only makes sense since they’re on the post-championship rebound.

After the match, the Dark Order ran down to put the boots to SCU after promising to go after Chris Daniels’s friends.

I can’t say I’m 100% sure where AEW: Dynamite is going with the identity of the Order’s Exalted One. And I’m not 100% sure AEW is sure. But it is making for fun, intriguing television.

She's a dentist - Britt Baker punishes Yuka Sakazaki on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Dr. Britt Baker Vs. Yuka Sakazaki

I’m not quite sure how to say this, but Dr. Britt Baker might be a new weekly highlight for AEW: Dynamite.

Tonight’s match was the first time Yuka Sakazaki has been on AEW programming since Fyter Fest this past summer.

Baker’s work in the ring remains pretty limited. Lots of restholds, armbars, and power stuff. But as a heel, it makes for a decent in-ring story on AEW: Dynamite.

And that heel style makes her a good foil for Sakazaki. Cool finish as Baker yanks at the hair while trying to apply the Lockjaw, but Sakazaki was able to shift her weight and pin Baker with a crucifix.

Just as I was about to decry the booking, Baker loses it and goes full evil heel. She beats Sakazaki over the head with the ring bell, and curb stomps her (no, LITERALLY curb stomps) on the bottom rope, knocking out some teeth.

Well, that’s one way to get customers. AEW: Dynamite today, root canal tomorrow.

'Hangman' Page's relationship with the Elite became even more strained on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – The Elite (Omega & Page And The Young Bucks) Vs. Butcher & Blade And The Lucha Bros.

If AEW puts a Butcher monocle on their website for sale, I am so there.

This had all the makings of a potential AEW: Dynamite cluster, but it turned out to be pretty measured. Omega, the Bucks and the Luchas did their stunt work, and Page, Butcher, and Blade were there to keep things grounded.

And let it be known that, some day, Rey Fenix is going to snap in half in the ring eventually. Dude’s crazy, yo.

The finish went a long way to further the impending dissolving of the Elite, as Page refused to tag in his partners despite a badly-injured leg, allowing the heels to pick up the win. Oh, sure, now the Bucks care about tagging in.

As if that wasn’t enough crazy, Pac came out to demand his rubber match with Omega (they got my letters!) by threatening to put AEW Women’s Champion Riho through a table.

Quick aside: The average rank-and-file AEW: Dynamite viewer doesn’t know Omega and Riho are tight. If you keep up with AEW Dark, sure. But otherwise, why would you know this? Omega is on AEW: Dynamite every week, and Riho has been on a milk carton since 1989.

Anyway. Omega takes the bait and agrees to the match, saving Riho. At least until Nyla Rose comes out and puts Riho through a table.

With one segment, AEW: Dynamite told three stories. That’s why I dig this show.

Kip Sabian took on Joey Janela on 'AEW: Dynamite'

NEAR-MISS – Kip Sabian (W/ Penelope Ford) Vs. Joey Janela

This was – I mean, this was fine.

The match between these two should’ve been through the roof, though. And I’m sure part of it had to do with time constraints for AEW: Dynamite.

But the feud between Kip Sabian and Joey Janela has had a little over a months’ worth of build-up.

Penelope Ford continues to play the “evil valet” part to perfection, and the personal history with Janela makes that all the more interesting. But this was just a little underwhelming, and it leaves both guys without much to do going forward on AEW: Dynamite.

 

MJF prepares to punish Cody on 'AEW: Dynamite'

HIT – Cody Takes His Lashes

This was uncomfortable. And it was awesome.

MJF got over as a heel by making cheap heat seem more complex than it is. That’s generally how it works. But that’s not enough to stay over. On this week’s AEW: Dynamite, MJF showed us all how it’s done.

As one of his stipulations for granting Cody a match at AEW Revolution, Cody has to take 10 lashes. MJF laid them on hard, and the Huntsville crowd went dead silent. But the good kind of dead silent. The “holy crap, I don’t know how to feel about this” silent.

And AEW turned the drama up to 11. At about the halfway point, Cody’s brother Dustin ran in and begged to take the rest. No dice. For the last lash, Brandi Rhodes came out to be there for her man as he went through hell.

MJF went full evil, and Cody picked up the Pyrrhic victory. And Cody still has a cage match with Wardlow on AEW: Dynamite on February 19.

AEW - All Elite Wrestling

The Breakdown

Eyes were stabbed. Teeth were lost. And backs were whipped to shreds.

This was easily the most uncomfortable episode of AEW: Dynamite yet. But it wasn’t just blood-and-guts. This is the part of the story where the heroes have to limp home with nothing left but their dignity.

AEW: Dynamite tells stories like no one else in pro wrestling.

They’re old-school tactics. This is nothing new for pro wrestling. But sometimes, the old ways are still the best.

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

All images courtesy of All Elite Wrestling.

'AEW: Dynamite' - February 5, 2020

9.3

In-Ring Action

9.5/10

Booking/Writing

9.2/10

Promos/Video Packages

9.0/10

Entertainment Value

9.5/10

Pros

  • Cody and MJF get real and real uncomfortable
  • Britt Baker is coming into her own as a heel
  • Moxley and Jericho feud stays super hot
  • Direction for the women's division? What sorcery is this?

Cons

  • Sabian and Janela was pretty underwhelming
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