This week’s AEW Dynamite follows last week’s show from the Jericho cruise where AEW officially announced that Chris Jericho will defend the AEW World Title against Jon Moxley at Revolution. That’s going to take place on Saturday, February 29th in Chicago. It should be an awesome match. I expect AEW to announce most of the rest of the card in the next few weeks. They shouldn’t leave it until the last week.
Live from Cleveland, Ohio, this is episode #17 of AEW Dynamite. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE, AEW and other wrestling news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. Here’s my AEW Dynamite TV review archive. I’m watching on TSN2 in Canada, so there might be different commercial breaks or split-screen moments.
The show began with highlights from last week’s Dynamite from the Jericho cruise. That show included Kenny Omega and Adam Page winning the AEW Tag Team Titles, The Young Bucks throwing MJF into a pool on behalf of their friend Cody and the announcement of Jericho vs. Moxley at Revolution.
The show began with Jon Moxley walking in from the crowd. Moxley had an eye patch on his right eye to sell the eye injury from a few weeks earlier. The AEW announce team is Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur as usual. Moxley was in his street clothes and a leather jacket.
Let’s Hear from Jon Moxley
Moxley said it was around the time when he got spiked in the eye with a metal spike, he realized the fun and games are over. Moxley said that it’s Moxley vs. Jericho for the AEW World Title at Revolution on February 29. Moxley said it’s more than a wrestling match, it’s not just possibly the greatest of all time Chris Jericho – it’s also the Inner Circle as well. Moxley recapped some of the things Jericho has done in his career, from his AEW acts to even saying he stole Rey’s mask and punched a woman in the face (Shawn Michaels’ wife in 2008). Moxley said he had honor and he lived by a code. Moxley said he thought Jericho was an insecure egomaniac, a coward and a bully while adding that he hates bullies. Moxley said that Jericho will have a target on him, but Moxley won’t blink or hesitate – he will take the AEW World Championship and he claimed there isn’t a damn thing Chris can do about it. Moxley said it’s not about the man you are, it’s the man you are not.
Moxley said that he knows he’s going to spend the next four weeks thinking about the Inner Circle going after him, but he doesn’t have the patience like that. Moxley called out Jericho for a fight right now and told him to take the beating like a man.
Chris Jericho made his entrance on the stage with the AEW World Title on his shoulder and he was alone. Jericho called the fans idiots. Jericho told Moxley he earned the spike to the eye and all Moxley had to do was join the Inner Circle, but now he looks like a jacked up version of Captain Jack Sparrow and said “oh ho ho a bottle of dumb.” Jericho said that he saw Moxley’s mother backstage, she looked fetching and maybe he’ll talk to her later. Jericho said that it is Moxley’s own fault that he is like that because Moxley smashed a bottle in his head, so Jericho had to get payback. Jericho told Moxley he doesn’t have what it takes to beat Le Champion and said he doesn’t have what it takes to blink with both eyes. Jericho asked the fans if they want to see this fight and told them to “go to heel” to get more heat. Jericho said that he didn’t go anywhere without his boys and he called out his Inner Circle buddies to join him.
The other Inner Circle members Jake Hager, Sammy Guevara, Santana and Ortiz joined Jericho on the stage.
Moxley said that Jericho probably thinks he’s going to walk into a 5 on 1 beatdown because he’s crazy and stupid, but it’s not going to be 5 on 1. Moxley said he was born and raised in the great state of Ohio (in Cincinnati), then he led the crowd in “OH-IO” chants and Moxley said it’s the five of them against Moxley and the entire arena. Moxley left the ring, so Jericho told him a stupid son of a bitch just like everybody from OH-IO. Jericho said that even though they can kick Moxley’s ass again, they brought in some street thugs from the south Bronx courtesy of Santana and Ortiz. That led to five guys walking onto the stage and Jericho said it’s no 10 of them against Moxley along with the idiots of Ohio.
Moxley faced off with Ortiz, he hit him with a headbutt and hit a DDT on the floor. Jericho and friends got into a brawl with Moxley, which led to referees and security showing up to try to break it up. Moxley ended up hitting a DDT on a security guy and then Moxley went away through the crowd as the fans cheered him. Jericho and Moxley had a staredown as Moxley went up the stairs.
Analysis: Good promo work from both guys as you would expect from two of the best talkers like Jericho and Moxley. It’s rare for AEW to begin the show with a 15-minute talking segment like this (like we have seen WWE do many times over the last two decades), but I don’t mind it this week at all since Jericho/Moxley ended last week’s show with a staredown. This segment also put over the toughness and perhaps you could say craziness of Moxley by not being afraid to try to fight ten guys all by himself. It made Moxley look like a badass babyface, which makes him more likable in the eyes of the fans.
The announce team of JR, Tony and Excalibur talked about the situation. They went over the matches to come later on the show. The lineup of matches this week don’t look as good as the last two weeks, at least on paper.
A video aired featuring MJF and his bodyguard Wardlow. MJF walked into some kitchen where The Butcher and Blade were standing by with some meat. MJF walked up to their manager The Bunny, he gave them an envelope saying “The Young Bucks” and that was the end.
Analysis: The idea behind that is that MJF has paid The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny to work for him.
The heel team of The Butcher, The Blade and The Bunny entered for a match with MJF and Wardlow joining them.
(Commercial – There was some split screen stuff shown with MJF pissing off fans in the first row. At one point he slapped a fan and then he took a guy’s scarf and he rubbed it against his crotch. MJF also made a fan kiss the ring he wears. MJF went up to the commentary table to join them for the next match.)
The Young Bucks made their entrance for a tag team match. MJF complained about Young Bucks throwing him into a pool last week, he said he couldn’t swim and mocked Tony for wearing multiple t-shirts if he’s in a pool because he’s fat.
The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) vs. The Butcher and The Blade (w/The Bunny)
Young Bucks hit a double team dropkick on Butcher, then Nick hit a double axe on Blade, Matt with a double axe on Blade and Nick tagged back in with a double foot stomp on the left arm on Blade. MJF said he didn’t care about a win or loss, he wanted Young Bucks to not be able to wrestle anymore. Matt got the tag leading to a double team hiptoss followed by a double dropkick. Butcher tagged in with a double clothesline on both Bucks. Nick tagged in with a kick on Butcher, forearm on Blade, kick to the gut kick to Butcher on the apron and Bunny pulled Nick off the apron to send Nick into the apron. Butcher hit a cross body block on Nick on the floor. Blade knocked Matt off the apron and hit a dive over the top on Matt on the floor.
(Commercial – The split screen action showed the heels dominating against Nick to keep him isolated from his brother.)
The full screen action returned with Blade and Butcher double teaming Nick as Butcher tossed Nick onto Blade’s knee. Blade hit a Powerbomb for a two count as Matt made the save. Nick sent Blade into Butcher, then Nick broke free and Matt got the hot tag with a cross body block off the top on Blade. Matt with a dropkick on Butcher on the floor, then a Sliced Bread neckbreaker on Blade and Matt slid out of the ring with a superkick on Butcher. Matt went up top with a top rope elbow drop on Blade for a two count. Nick tagged in and hit a Senton Bomb on Blade for a two count as Butcher made the save. Young Bucks hit a double superkick on Butcher, then the Young Bucks hit their double team Meltzer Driver (yes, name after a wrestling report) with Nick pinning Blade for the pinfall win after 9 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)
Analysis: *** The match was solid with The Young Bucks getting the obvious win. I don’t think anybody watching this thought that The Butcher and The Blade had a chance to win. The Young Bucks winning is the right call and I have no problem with that, but it just felt like a regular tag team match.
Post match, The Butcher attacked both Young Bucks with kicks. Kenny Omega ran out for the save with a V-Trigger knee on Butcher. Adam Page was next with a beer in his hand, Page gave the beer to Matt to hold and Page hit a Buckshot Lariat on Blade. Page left as Young Bucks and Omega soaked in the cheers from the crowd.
Analysis: It was a simple way to show that The Elite are still a cohesive unit. Page is in his own world as a drunk, so at least that’s some character development.
A commercial aired for AEW Revolution on February 29. The weird thing about that is they didn’t mention Jericho vs. Moxley in the commercial. You need to promote the main event more.
Nyla Rose vs. Big Swole
Swole with a flatliner early on, but then Rose came back with a clothesline. Swole hit a leg lariat that sent Swole out of the ring to the floor. Swole went for an attack on the apron and Rose tripped her up to send Swole face first onto the apron. Swole went for a forearm, Rose ducked and Swole hit the ring post with her arm.
The match returned with Rose missing a corner attack, Swole with a knee to the face and a front facelock. Rose broke free and Swole hit a jumping kick to the face. Swole with a headbutt that knocked Rose into the turnbuckle, Swole with a kick to the back and Swole jumped off the ropes into a Cutter for a two count. Swole jumped up on Rose’s shoulders and hit a flatliner to take her down. Rose countered a forearm attempt with a Spear. Rose picked up Swole for a sitout Powerbomb for the pinfall win after 9 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nyla Rose
Analysis: **1/4 This match was decent with Swole on offense for most of it and then it took a few moves for Rose to get the win. Swole had some nice moves with her strikes, plus some of the other nearfalls she got. The problem with AEW’s women’s division is they don’t do much character development for the women, nor do they have many storylines, so it just feels like a match without much of a story behind it. They need to work on these female characters more.
A video aired for AEWShop.com shilling some AEW merchandise.
Kip Sabian made his entrance along with Penelope Ford, who is his girlfriend. She has some really big…sunglasses. Huge. Just saying. Cody got a big pop as usual for his entrance with the legendary Arn Anderson joining him. Arn had a playsheet as if he was a football coach, which is absolutely not necessary for pro wrestling, but it’s the thought that counts.
Cody (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Kip Sabian (w/Penelope Ford)
Sabian with a running dropkick followed by a gut buster. Cody came back with an uppercut punch followed by a pump kick. Sabian shoved Anderson, the referee never saw it and the referee told Arn to stay out of it. Cody knocked Sabian out of the ring, Ford went up close to him and Ford took a ridiculous bump when Cody was about to punch Sabian. Cody picked up Ford, then Sabin hit a running kick off the apron and knocked Cody down while Ford revealed she was okay. JR called them evil. Sabian and Ford kissed on the apron to celebrate that cheating move.
(Commercial – There was split screen action with Sabian working over Cody with a hard whip into the turnbuckle. They did a spot where Sabian faked a knee injury, Cody was gullible and it was all just a trick by Sabian, who hit a springboard DDT.)
Cody came back with a powerslam. Cody took off his leather belt to try to attack with it, but Ford took it from him. Cody came back with a Disaster Kick, Ford threw her boot into the ring for a distraction, which caused the referee to delay his pin attempt and Sabian kicked out. Anderson grabbed the shoe, he went into the ring and threw it into the crowd. The referee Bryce Remsburg, who overacts way too much, yelled at Arn to get in the ring, so Anderson bumped the referee in the chest and the referee ejected Anderson from ringside. Ford hit a headscissors on Cody on the floor that the referee didn’t see. Sabian hit a somersault dive over the top onto Cody. Sabian was about to kiss his girlfriend again, but Joey Janela was in the crowd and the couple kissed him on each cheek by accident. Clever spot, I guess. Cody hit a suicide dive on Sabian on the floor. Sabian blocked a top rope move with a dropkick and hit a suplex off the ropes for a two count. They battled on the top rope, Cody to the turnbuckle and Sabian with a springboard attack with a snapmare. Cody got out of Sabian’s attempt at a finisher, Cody hit the Cody Cutter off the ropes and then he hit the Cross Roads three times for the pinfall win to show off his aggressiveness. The crowd popped huge for the second and third one. The match went 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Cody
Analysis: **3/4 This was okay at times when it came to the in-ring action, but then it was cheesy with how Arn Anderson was booked and got ejected. It made Arn look like a moron. Cody continues to impress in every match. He’s in a good zone right now having the best matches of his career. I think it was important to give Sabian a lot of offense because he’s a guy with a bright future. They probably involved Ford too much, but I like seeing managers getting involved to some degree. Cody getting the win made sense assuming he’s facing MJF at the Revolution PPV next month. The aggressiveness by Cody at the end of the match was something that the fans loved, so it was a clever way to end it.
It was announced that Cody will receive the ten lashes from MJF next week, which was agreed upon a few weeks ago.
(Commercial – There was split screen post match highlights shown of Cody greeting fans at ringside and he signed some autographs too. Cody also went into the crowd to pose for pictures with some fans. Nice guy.)
They replayed Britt Baker being a bitch to Tony Schiavone (by making fun of him for working for Starbucks previously) during a post match interview. Tony saying “what the f**k” to the camera was so great.
Dr. Britt Baker (yes we know she’s a dentist) was interviewed on the stage by Tony Schiavone and she made him call her a doctor. Baker said that they were the stars of the show last week while claiming she was trending worldwide while Tony held the microphone, “Mr. Starbucks.” Baker said that the true offense from last week was Jim Ross interrupting her and she told him not to interrupt her when she’s talking while adding that he knows she’s a dentist since he talks about it all the time. The fans booed this. Baker said that JR sits there in judgment of them while the wrestlers do all the work. Baker told Jim to be the legend she grew up on, not the BBQ sauce salesman that can’t even get the roster’s names straight. The fans booed this loudly. Baker said this is her division, she was the first woman signed to AEW and her picture is on all the billboards and posters. Baker said that she will be here each week with her smile beaming across our television sets, which is more than we can say about the champion Riho. Baker told Tony she cares about him a lot, but judging from his appearance and gum tissue while saying he had moderate to severe gingivitis while telling him to “pick up a damn toothbrush.” Baker congratulated Cleveland for having a Baker they can trust (a shot at Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield). JR: “What a ray of sunshine.” That was very sarcastic as Baker left.
Analysis: That was very heelish and mean. The fans love the old announcers JR and Tony, so taking shots at them is always going to get heat even when it’s cheap heat. She had some good lines. At least Baker is a character with his heel turn. Most of the women on the show don’t do much as characters. This is called character development and it’s something they need a lot more of in AEW. I also hope Baker acts like more of a heel in her matches too.
The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega were interviewed backstage by Lexy Nair (DDP’s daughter). Nick Jackson said that they needed the win and Matt Jackson said they won’t forget about Dark Order or Santana/Ortiz for what they’ve done to the past. Matt said that they may get a shot at the AEW Tag Team Titles one day. Adam Page joined them with Page mentioning they got name plates for their tag team titles. Page brought Matt and Nick nameplates they might use in the future because Page said he got his name plate earlier. Kenny said that they got an 8-man tag team match next week against Butcher, Blade and a team of their choosing.
Analysis: I like drunk Hangman Page. It makes me laugh. Please don’t drive if you drink like him.
The SCU trio were wearing Kobe Bryant jerseys on their way to the ring, which is a very nice tribute to the late great LA Lakers legend along with his daughter Gianna and seven others that died in that helicopter crash on Sunday.
(Commercial – It was split screen commercial time that just showed SCU in the ring and they were talking to the fans in attendance.
The Hybrid 2 team of Jack Evans and Angelico as the opponents. SCU are the former AEW Tag Team Champions.
So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky) w/Christopher Daniels vs. The Hybrid 2 (Angelico and Jack Evans)
Kazarian battled Angelico early with some basic stuff, Sky tagged in and hit a dropkick to Angelico. Kazarian tagged in with a suplex. Sky stomped on Angelico’s face, Angelico drove him into his corner and Evans tagged in as his team took control. Sky with a double foot stomp to the back, Kazarian tagged in and they hit a double back elbow on Evans. Sky with a kick to Evans followed by Kazarian hitting a release German Suplex for a two count. Angelico sent Sky throat first across the top rope while Evans hit a jumping kick to the face for a two count. Angelico went back in with a kick to the back of Sky for a two count.
(Commercial – Evans brought Sky out of the ring and whipped him into the barricade. Angelico stomped on Sky, Evans tagged in with forearms to the back of Sky and some punches. Sky fought out of the corner briefly, but Angelico hit him with a knee to the back and Evans hit a rolling kick to knock Sky down again. Angelico with a kick to the back of Sky.)
The match returned with Sky fighting off Evans and Sky hitting a suplex. Kazarian got the hot tag against Angelico, dropkick to Evans and a dropkick on Angelico followed by a hiptoss to Evans. Kazarian with a legdrop to the back of Angelico followed by a slam on Evans. Kazarian launched Angelico into a Cutter for two as Evans made the save. Sky missed a charge on Evans, Angelico picked up Kazarian and Evans with a double stomp on Kazarian into a pin for two as Sky saved his partner. Evans missed a dive on Sky on the floor, Sky back in the ring and they hit the SCU Later double team knee to the face for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: So Cal Uncensored (Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky)
Analysis: *** It was a standard tag team match with some good workers that know what they’re doing out there. This was more of a traditional tag with Sky as the face in peril, Kazarian getting the hot tag and finishing from there. Sometimes in AEW the format of the matches are not as clear. It was a way to give SCU a win after they lost the titles last week. The Hybrid 2 team has no momentum in AEW and I can’t remember the last time they won on Dynamite, or if they have even won on this show. Wins on Dark don’t really matter that much. I think The Hybrid 2 has potential, but they just aren’t being featured enough on a regular basis.
Dark Order appeared on the video screen with Evil Uno telling Christopher Daniels that the exalted one wants them to target his family, friends and brothers in SCU. Stu Grayson said he didn’t care who they target first and Uno said consider this your warning. A graphic said JoinDarkOrder.com to end it.
A video package aired about Pac walking down some stairs outside while he was in his wrestling gear. Pac threatened Jon Moxley saying maybe he’ll pluck his other eyeball. Pac said that he guesses Kenny Omega has finally heard him, but it’s the arrogance and audacity that he can’t stand. Pac said that when it’s convenient doesn’t work for him. Pac said that starting next week, he’s coming for blood for Omega. It ended with Pac yelling.
Analysis: I like Pac a lot. He’s one of my favorites in AEW. A true heel that can go in the ring. It’s hard not to like a guy like that.
Next week on AEW Dynamite: MJF gives 10 lashes to Cody, Jon Moxley vs. Ortiz, Britt Baker vs. Yuka Sakazaki in her AEW debut and an 8-man tag team match with Lucha Brothers, Butcher & Blade vs. Young Bucks, Omega and Page. The main event is next.
Private Party made their entrance for the main event. Their intro graphic said that Hangman Page didn’t give them the $12 they were owed. That’s clever. Darby Allin got a good pop for his entrance that saw him ride his skateboard down to the ring. They found a kid in the crowd with their face painted like Allin with JR putting over how well he has connected with the audience and that’s a true statement.
The team of Santana and Ortiz made their entrance. They are part of the Inner Circle group along with their partner. Chris Jericho got a big reaction as fans sang along with his “Judas” song for the second time in the night. Jericho had Inner Circle buddies Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara with him.
Private Party (Isiah Kassidy and Marq Quen) and Darby Allin vs. The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz (w/Sammy Guevara and Jake Hager)
Allin started with Jericho with a dropkick followed by a springboard arm drag, so Jericho tagged out. Kassidy tagged in against Ortiz with a kick to the head, Quen tagged in and hit a double foot stomp to the face of Ortiz. Ortiz came back with a missile dropkick on Quen and Santana tagged in with a body slam. Jericho worked over Quen with some chops to the chest. Quen with a headscissors on Santana, who tackled Ortiz in an awkward spot, but I guess it worked. Kassidy got a rollup on Ortiz, then a crucifix pin attempt for a two count and Kassidy countered into a victory roll pin attempt for two. Jericho with the tag and hit a springboard dropkick on Kassidy to knock him off the apron to the floor.
(Commercial – The Inner Circle group worked over Kassidy including Santana hitting the two vertical suplexes, then passing it off to Ortiz, who passed it off to Jericho, who hit Kassidy with the third suplex.)
There were about nine minutes left in the show as Kassidy got a rollup on Jericho, but then Jericho countered for a two count of his own. JR said “Kennedy” at least twice for Kassidy. Santana with a backbreaker. Ortiz tagged in, Santana with a senton, Jericho with a Lionsault and Ortiz with a headbutt for two as Quen made the save. Kassidy got some momentum with a headscissors takeover followed by a jumping boot to the face. Allin got the hot tag with a flipping Stunner on Ortiz, a suicide dive on Jericho, headbutts to Santana a sunset flip powerbomb for a two count. Allen with a cloverleaf submission into a pin for two as Jericho made the save. Quen with a jumping kick to Jericho, Ortiz with a flip slam on Quen, Kassidy with a crucifix bomb on Ortiz that looked sloppy and Santana with a Stunner on Kassidy. These guys really like the Stunner. Jericho made the blind tag and ran right into a moonsault press by Allin for two. Allin with a dropkick on Hager to knock him off the apron and Allin hit the Coffin Drop to Hager on the floor. Quen with a twisting dive over the top to take out two guys. Santana hit a Senton Bomb off the top on Jericho for a two count and Kassidy was shocked by that. Kassidy set up Jericho for a kick, Jericho avoided it and Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow to the face of Santana for the pinfall win at around 13 minutes. That finish came out nowhere. Kassidy sold it with his right hand twitching a bit after the match.
Winners by pinfall: The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho, Santana and Ortiz
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good tag team match with some fun moments featuring some of AEW’s youngest guys in there looking like they belong with the top guy Jericho. I thought the finish was excellent because it put over how dynamic the Judas Effect elbow is and how Jericho can hit it at any time to win the match. Jericho was just in a position where he was getting pinned, but then he hit that finisher out of nowhere (like the RKO) and it looked so impressive. The other key thing is they protect the move by not having anybody kick out of it, so when Jericho hits it, you know it’s going to end the match. It was really well done. I thought everybody in the match worked well together as Inner Circle continues their dominance.
The Inner Circle group celebrated the ring, then they left the ring and instead of leaving, they went back in the ring to attack the losers.
The Inner Circle beat up Allin, Kassidy and Quen. Hager hit a Powerbomb on Quen as Jericho hit Allin and Quen with the strap of the AEW World Title. Guevara got the skateboard and hit Allin in the ribs with it. Guevara jabbed the skateboard into Allin’s throat and drove it into the mat. Allin sold it like it hurt his throat.
Jon Moxley ran out for the save. Moxley hit Hager in the ribs with it. Moxley hit Guevara, Santana and Ortiz with the baseball bat. Jericho left the ring without Moxley touching him. I could hear somebody at ringside yell “30 Seconds” at them to give them a time cue, so Jericho and Moxley had a staredown and the show ended there.
Analysis: The save by Moxley was predictable and also the right thing to do. This could set up an 8-man tag team match between all of these guys before Revolution. Guevara using the skateboard on Allin could lead to those two having a feud, which might set up a match at Revolution. That would be smart because they need to feature Allin more in a meaningful feud. The fans love Allin, so AEW should utilize him more.
Three Stars of the Show
- Chris Jericho
- Jon Moxley
- The Young Bucks
This week: 6.5 (out of 10)
Last week: 7.5
2020 Average: 7.05
Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 6.25, 7.75, 7, 6.75
This week’s Dynamite gets a 6.5 out of 10.
This show was good for the most part, but there wasn’t anything that I would consider must-see. They did a nice job of furthering the Jericho/Moxley feud that is main eventing Revolution. Some of the better wrestlers weren’t in matches, though, so I think that hurt the quality of the show. There are weeks where we might get two or three matches around four stars out of five, which means excellent matches. This week there wasn’t one match at that level, but several of them were pretty good. I still liked a lot of the things on Dynamite this week. I’m just saying it wasn’t a standout show.
The next AEW PPV is called AEW Revolution on Saturday, February 29 in Chicago. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship: Chris Jericho (c) vs. Jon Moxley
That’s all for now. Cody vs. MJF is likely, but it’s not official yet.
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