Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review here on TJRWrestling. I’m going to do the format where I summarize the matches and promos rather than doing the very detailed review. I’ll go play by play format for the main event. I’ll still have star ratings and analysis for everything on the show. It’s just a way for me to write a bit less on a very busy day.
The Dynamite intro video aired. JR started with: “It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means” just like he does every week now. Good stuff. It’s Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur on commentary as usual. There were wrestlers surrounding the ring as usual. This week’s show was taped last Thursday.
AEW TNT Championship: Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela
I did some research to find Janela’s last match on Dynamite was December 16 against Kenny Omega, so it’s been nearly two months. Janela gets a title match for being 2-0 on Dark this year apparently. Allin started off grabbing a wristlock and hitting a dropkick leading to a battle on the apron. Janela suplexed Allin face first into the ring apron leading to a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Janela remained in control with a corner whip for a sternum first bump from Allin. JR said that Janela can “be as good as he wants to be” which is another way of saying you don’t know what else to say, so here’s a generic statement. Allin got some offense with a dropkick into the turnbuckle and then he wrenched on the left arm a bit. Allin hit an incredible suicide dive into Janela into the barricade. Allin went for a dive off the middle rope, Janela hit a German Suplex to counter (that was cool) and then a superkick got a two count. Allin got in some shots, but Janela came back with a clothesline. Allin countered a move with a Stunner like move. Janela hit a piledriver that hit a two count. They battled on the top rope with Allin hit an Avalanche Code Red for two. It’s a Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the top. Allin with a back heel trip on the arm. Allin hit the Coffin Drop off the top for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Darby Allin
Analysis: ***1/4 It was pretty good with a lot of action and they wrestled at a fast pace that is fitting for these two guys. Janela got a lot of offense here to show that he belongs, but they just don’t use the guy enough. He’s been in AEW since day one and hasn’t had an interesting feud yet. I know the Coffin Drop is Allin’s finisher and that’s why he won with it, but the Avalanche Code Red looked like a better finisher to me.
The announcers ran down the lineup for this week’s show.
There was a Jon Moxley promo talking about how if Kenta wants the NJPW US Title then they will settle it on February 26. Moxley said that is a sanctioned match. Moxley said tonight is an unsanctioned match that is going to be fun.
There was a video of Sammy Guevara in the Inner Circle locker room and a camera was in the room with Sammy and MJF. Sammy asked Santana, Ortiz, Jake Hager and Wardlow to leave. Sammy told the camera to stay. Sammy told MJF that it is obvious he is trying to take over the Inner Circle. MJF said he first thought that Sammy was jealous of him, but then MJF became Chris Jericho’s favorite. MJF said that he thinks Sammy hates Chris Jericho and MJF thinks that Sammy wants to be a bigger star. Sammy said “I hate Chris Jericho” in a mocking way with MJF saying that was exactly what he wanted to hear because he was recording it. Sammy threw the phone into a wall and Sammy punched MJF in the gut to knock him down. Sammy left.
Analysis: Some Inner Circle drama there. This has been brewing for a well. I thought it was well acted by Sammy and MJF.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance with Lee Johnson as his partner with Arn Anderson as the coach. Their opponents were already in the ring. Cody shook hands with Brock Anderson, who is Arn’s young son. Tony noted that Brock recently graduated from university and he’s training to wrestle. Tony was right saying that Brock looks like Arn in some ways.
Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson (w/Arn Anderson v. Peter Avalon & Cezar Bononi
Cody started for his team, Johnson tagged in next and Bononi did a blind tag leading to a cheap shot to the back. The announcers noted that Johnson had yet to get a win with Johnson hitting a dropkick on Avalon. Cody was against the bigger man Bononi with three clotheslines in a row. Bononi hit an overhead suplex with Cody favoring his left shoulder. They went to a picture in picture break.
The match returned with Johnson getting the hot tag and he was on fire with a twisting dive over the top onto Bononi. Avalon ran right into a kick by Johnson and Johnson hit a Fisherman’s shoulder breaker type move. Cody was tossed out of the ring by Bononi, who slammed Johnson into the mat. Johnson avoided an attack to the back and Johnson did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Cody Rhodes & Lee Johnson
Analysis: *3/4 It was fine for a shorter match to give Johnson his first win. The announcers did mention the lack of wins a lot during the match, so nice job of making that seem like a big deal. Cody did hurt his left arm here although the severity of the injury isn’t known right now. Avalon and Bononi did fine in their roles as the heel losers of the match.
After the match, Johnson celebrated the win while other members of the Nightmare Family like Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall joined the celebration. Johnson got a hug from Dustin. Johnson said that it was a year of losing, he was 0-29. Johnson mentioned trainers Cody, Dustin, Arn, even Brandi and he didn’t mention QT Marshall, who was standing behind him and staring at him. Johnson said that the Rhodes Family is his family and they did this for him. Cody and Dustin raised Lee’s hand while Marshall did some light applause.
Analysis: This is the start of some storyline with Marshall feeling slighted since Johnson didn’t mention him. I guess we’ll see that play out in the weeks ahead.
There was an interview with the Young Bucks conducted by Dasha. The Good Brothers duo of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows showed up to talk to them. Nick and Matt Jackson complained about Karl and Doc costing Nick in the battle royal. Anderson/Gallows said they there to distract Private Party. Anderson/Gallows reminded Matt that Santana/Ortiz eliminated Matt from the battle royal last week. Matt said he was fired and said next week Young Bucks defend the titles against Santana/Ortiz.
Analysis: That should be a good match next week. Santana/Ortiz are poorly booked in AEW, so I’m glad they are getting a title shot, even though they aren’t going to win.
There was an interview with “Hangman” Adam Page conducted by Dasha, which was interrupted by Matt Hardy. Matt claimed he had a bar just to themselves and the drinks are on him. Page walked toward the building when the Dark Order guys showed up. Page said he was going to meet Matt at the bar, then John Silver on Dark Order said he’ll catch him on the flip…without saying side, so the idea is that Silver is nervous around Page. Anyway, Page kept on walking by the Dark Order guys.
Analysis: The ongoing saga of people trying to be friends with Page continues.
Pac (w/Rey Fenix) vs. Ryan Nemeth
Ryan is Dolph Ziggler’s younger brother who is 1-1 in AEW and is there to do another job. Pac was dominant early on with a suplex, running elbow against the turnbuckle and Pac connected with a dropkick off the time. Pac with repeated kicks to the body along with a running kick to the head. Nemeth got some offense with a leaping DDT. Pac sent Nemeth into the barricade and was back in control in the ring. Pac hit the Black Arrow onto the back of Nemeth and then the Brutalizer submission for the submission win after about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Pac
Analysis: *1/2 A dominant win for Pac. They usually book squash matches to go longer than this and I don’t like it, but this was perfectly fine with me. A match length of three or four minutes is just right for this kind of match. I enjoy Pac more as a heel although it’s not like his character changes much as a face.
Pac held onto the submission for a few moments after the match. I thought Nemeth’s face looked ridiculous. It was too comedic instead of good wrestling selling. Anyway, his brother used it for a profile pic. I guess that’s historic since a WWE guy is using an AEW image as his profile pic and AEW’s Twitter account even retweeted Ziggler doing it.
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) February 11, 2021
There were highlights shown from the wedding segment last week. It also featured promos from Miro joined by Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford (Sabian). Miro said that the ceremony was ruined by Charles/Chuck Taylor shackling Miro with handcuffs and then Ford was sent into a cake. Miro said that it was Orange Cassidy who ruined it. Miro said he’s going to them in the hospital with their other buddy Trent. That led to a promo from Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy asking what they think was going to happen. Chuck: “Obviously Orange Cassidy was going to pop out of a wedding cake.” That led to them having some champagne.
Analysis: This feud hasn’t been very good, in my opinion. Miro needs to be utilized better. This should lead to a tag team match and possibly Miro vs. Cassidy at the Revolution PPV if I had to guess. Is Orange Cassidy a bigger star after that long Chris Jericho feud last year? I think he’s fallen down more than he’s surged ahead.
Chris Jericho was about to be interviewed as MJF walked up to him with taped ribs while claiming that Sammy sucker-punched him. MJF complained about Sammy breaking his ribs. Jericho said that they had a match right now, so they can worry about this later.
There was some crowd singing for Chris Jericho and MJF’s entrance as the crowd sang “Judas” while the announcers talked over it as much as they could. The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster and Anthony Bowens did their entrance with Caster doing a rap.
The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho and Maxwell Jacob Friedman (w/Jake Hager, Wardlow, Santana & Ortiz) vs. The Acclaimed (Anthony Bowens and Max Caster)
MJF had his ribs taped as he bailed to the floor to complain to Jericho about Sammy. Jericho tagged in leading to some tag team moves from The Acclaimed with Bowens hitting an elbow drop on Jericho. Caster and Bowens worked over MJF for a bit, the referee pulled MJF back, so Jericho did an eye gouge. Jericho and MJF hit a double flapjack on Caster with both heels walking over the chest of Caster as the show went to break.
The match returned with MJF in control of Caster with the abdominal stretch where Jericho held the hand for leverage, then the referee kicked the arm and Caster countered it. Bowens tagged in with some big punches for both opponents leading to a dropkick on Jericho. Bowens with a spinning splash onto MJF. Bowens punched Ortiz down. Jericho knocked Bowens down, then Jericho went for the Lionsault, but Caster hit Jericho in the head with the boombox and Bowens covered Jericho for a two count. Bowens with a lifting slam on Jericho. When Bowens tried a move onto MJF on the floor, MJF avoided it and Bowens hit the floor. The referee was looking that way, so Hager pushed Caster off the top and Jericho hit the Judas Effect elbow for the pinfall win at around nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Chris Jericho and Maxwell Jacob Friedman
Analysis: *** This was an enjoyable tag team match. They worked well together. I continue to be impressed by The Acclaimed duo as a young team with a bright future. There was that one nearfall near the finish with Jericho kicking out of the boom box shot where it looked like The Acclaimed might win. That was really well done as a nearfall. Anyway, I did like Jericho/MJF winning because they are the number one contenders already, so it makes sense for them to keep the momentum going.
Post match, The Inner Circle was in the ring together when Sammy Guevara showed up to his own music. The fans cheered Sammy walking out there alone to join the group in the ring. Jericho asked Sammy what’s wrong with him. Sammy said he told him on December 9 on Dynamite, if one more thing happened with MJF, then he is done. Sammy told Jericho he is done as the crowd chanted “Sammy” for him. Sammy said he is done and he quits the Inner Circle. Sammy also left by going through the babyface tunnel instead of the heel tunnel. Jericho wasn’t happy about it. As you can see in the image below, MJF was smirking when Sammy announced he was quitting the group.
Analysis: It has been obvious for a while that Sammy was going to break free as a babyface. They can probably build to a big match by doing Sammy vs. MJF as a long-term feud. I also think they can have MJF turn on Jericho to make Jericho into a face as well. That’s more of a long term thing. Sammy saying that MJF wanted to take over the group will end up being the truth. That’s my prediction, not a spoiler.
They replayed Sammy’s promo towards Jericho.
Sammy Guevara was shown leaving with Alex Marvez there to interview him. Sammy said he needs time away from this place so he can focus.
Analysis: Time away? They only work four days a month. It’s a nice gig. Anyway, if Sammy is on his own now then maybe Inner Circle will beat him up whenever he comes back. That’s where I see it going.
There was a bar scene of “Hangman” Adam Page and Matt Hardy, who poured his drink out instead of drinking it. Page did his shot. Hardy said that he thinks he can make Page the number one pro wrestler in the industry. Hardy told Page he can help him make millions, Matt will take 30% and if you make that much then what’s the difference? Page was drunk saying Matt was right. Page threw Matt’s contract away while Matt spoke to the camera and Page signed another paper that was in his jacket pocket. Matt spoke to the camera saying it is now documented. Matt signed the contract after Page and he thanked Page. Matt left while Page had another drink.
Analysis: Page outsmarted Hardy. Are we supposed to assume that nobody alerted Matt of this until next week? I assume so because that’s pro wrestling.
Let’s Hear from Sting
Sting was interviewed on the stage by Tony Schiavone. Nice pop for the Stinger as usual. Sting was about to speak, but then Tazz and Powerhouse Hobbs appeared in a car. They panned to the parking lot where Ricky Starks and Brian Cage had Darby Allin in a body bag that was tied to the back of the car while in the body bag, so the car drove away with the body bag behind it. Sting went to the back.
Analysis: This made me laugh more than made me get mad at the heels for being mean. It looked so silly to me. Anyway, Sting didn’t say a word. I guess creative had nothing for him. I don’t know what AEW pays Sting, but that was an easy day at the office.
There was an Earlier Today segment with Kenny Omega on the golf course with Alex Marvez trying to talk to him. Omega hit a ball out of the sand wedge. Marvez told Omega he should be prepping for his match instead of playing golf. Omega said he’s already the best of all time at wrestling, so why should he be studying his opponents? Omega said he was getting himself prepared mentally and emotionally. Omega was confident because he never loses and he’s not going to lose tonight. Omega gave Marvez his golf ball as a bit of a souvenir.
Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament First Round Match: Leyla Hirsch vs. Thunder Rosa
Rosa lost to Britt Baker last week. Hirsch is short, but she is powerful and has had some good matches. They didn’t do much in the first few minutes, then Hirsch hit a suicide dive. Rosa barely sold it and was back in the ring quickly. Rosa hit a neckbreaker across the middle rope leading to a PIP break.
The match returned with Rosa hitting a corner splash along with a double knee attack and a dropkick. Hirsch came back with two German suplexes. Hirsch hit a cross-body block onto Rosa. Hirsch took way too long going up top, she jumped off with a moonsault, Rosa got her knees up and got a two count. Rosa avoided another top rope attack leading to a kick for Rosa for two. Rosa fought out of an armbar and hit a sitout slam for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Thunder Rosa
Analysis: **1/2 This was an average match with the bigger name Rosa getting the win to move on in the tournament. Hirsch’s offense does look good. I just think both women could have done a better job of selling. It just seemed like they were busy thinking of the next move and didn’t sell enough.
The Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament continues on Monday on Youtube with matches from Japan.
Jungle Boy did an Earlier Today interview with Tony Schiavone. Marko Stunt is not longer kidnapped. Riveting news. Jungle Boy spoke into the camera about his great match with Dax Harwood of FTR and he came out on top. Boy wants to look Dax and FTR in the eyes and make him his bitch.
Analysis: Thank you for the kidnapping update. I’m sure fans care. Keep in mind that this company also booked a kidnapping segment this week with Team Taz taking Darby Allin away in a body bag. They must really like those kinds of angles.
Next week on AEW Dynamite in a live episode:
* FTR vs. Matt and Mike Sydal.
* Hangman Page, Matt Hardy and Private Party vs. The Hybrid 2 and Chaos Project.
* Sting will call out Team Taz. You mean he has to actually do something instead of just standing there? That’s nice.
* Serena Deeb vs. Riho. It is Riho’s first match on Dynamite in 11 months.
* The Young Bucks defend the AEW Tag Team Titles vs. Santana & Ortiz.
Analysis: This company really likes tag team matches. That’s for sure. At least the main event and women’s match should be great. The others are too predictable.
The main event introductions took place with KENTA bringing out his IWGP US Heavyweight Challenger meaning he gets an IWGP US Title shot at Moxley. Excalibur mentioned that Moxley has held the title for over a year…because he hasn’t had to defend the title due to being unable to go to Japan. Kenny Omega got his ridiculous introduction full of stats including his 38 AEW victories are more than anybody else in AEW. Kenny Omega entered with The Cleaner girls with the brooms and manager Don Callis was with him. The fans booed while the announcers trashed Omega.
Lance Archer made his entrance for the babyface team with Jake Roberts joining him. Don Callis was on commentary. Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the building with the IWGP US Championship on his shoulder.
Falls Count Anywhere No Disqualification Tag Team Match: Jon Moxley and Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Kenny Omega and KENTA
There was a lot of time left in the show for this match with about 20 minutes for this match. Kenta attacked Moxley in the head with the briefcase. Kenta hit Archer in the back while Archer was going after Omega, but Archer no-sold that. Omega with a chop block on Archer and the Kitaro Crusher. Omega worked over Moxley with punches, so Kenta shoved Omega and Kenta stomped on Moxley. Omega and Kenta each kicked Moxley, Omega with a corner splash and Kenta with a running kick. Archer came back with a running tackle on Omega and Moxley with a clothesline. Moxley and Archer each hit running corner splashes. Omega with a hurricanrana to send Archer out of the ring. Moxley with a knee that knocked Omega out of the ring. Moxley and Kenta exchanged forearms, then each man with a kick. Moxley slipped out of a GTS attempt as Omega got back in the ring with a trash can shot to the head/wrist of Moxley. Omega hit a moonsault with the trash can into the ribs of Moxley. Kenta with a running dropkick into the trash can on Moxley for a two count. Archer brought a red ladder into the ring and he knocked over Omega/Kenta with it. Moxley sent Kenta to the floor leading to a suicide dive. Archer suplexed Omega into the ladder that was bridged against the turnbuckle. That led to a PIP break.
Archer was battling with Omega on the floor, Kenta went over to save his partner and he did briefly. Kenta grabbed Peter Avalon and he gave Avalon the GTS knee to the face. Archer with a forearm to the face of Kenta, Omega tried attacking from a guardrail, and then Archer slammed Omega onto some table that had a red cover on it. Moxley set up Kenta on a chair leading to a kick to the chest for two on the floor. Moxley and Kenta went brawling up the stairs to a back part of the arena where Moxley has entered Daily’s Place often in the past. Archer went walking towards Moxley and Kenta. The match continued with Kenta fighting Moxley in the kitchen area. Moxley went Kenta into some trays and refrigerators. Moxley teased a move onto some stainless steel tables, but then Kenta hit a DDT on the steel table. Kenta slapped on an armbar submission pulling back on the head, but Archer showed up with a bag of potatoes to break it up. Moxley punched Omega with a potato as the announcers kept talking about potatoes, which is a wrestling term used for hard shots in a match. They cut away to replays for about 30 seconds and then back to the match.
Moxley and Omega were brawling in the side part of the arena. Moxley with a chair to the ribs. Moxley got a hold of a kendo stick from under the ring with Moxley hitting a hard kendo stick shot to the back. Moxley saluted Roberts at ringside and went into the ring. Omega blocked a kendo stick shot to the face, but then Moxley hit a kendo stick to the head. Omega came back with a V-Trigger knee that rocked Moxley so much that Moxley was on the floor. Archer and Kenta were back fighting on the stage. Omega with another V-Trigger knee on Moxley. Archer and Kenta were near the announce table. Archer lifted Kenda for a Powerbomb, but Kenta fought out of it and Kenta hit a diving foot stomp onto Moxley on a level below him. The table didn’t break perfectly, but it broke enough. Archer faced off with Omega in the ring with Archer blocking a kendo stick shot and Archer broke the kendo stick. Archer with a huge Chokeslam spike in the middle of the ring. Archer did a rope walk into a standing cross-body block on Omega for two. That led to Anderson and Gallows going out to the ring. Kenta was back in with two spinning back fists, but Archer hit a running boot to the face. Anderson countered Archer with a Gun Stun. Roberts hit the short arm clothesline on Anderson and Gallows hit an uppercut punch on Roberts to put the legend down. Omega charged, but Moxley was back in with a barbed wire bat to Omega. Moxley hit Anderson and Gallows with the barbed wire bat. Kenta hit the GTS knee on Moxley. Archer ran over Kenta. Omega and Kenta with a double low blow kick to the groin. Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer double team move on Archer. Omega with a V-Trigger knee on Archer. Omega lifted Archer into the One Winged Angel with an assist from Anderson/Gallows and Omega hit the One Winged Angel for the pinfall win after 20 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Kenny Omega and KENTA
Analysis: **** This was an excellent match. Lots of brawling all around the building and it felt like a fight from the beginning. They didn’t slow down here at all. I like that it was booked as Falls Count Anywhere because it allowed them to fight anywhere around the building, so all of it felt important. I think the kitchen fighting scenes were a bit lame and they weren’t needed, but I get that they wanted to try to show that these guys were fighting all around the building. I thought all four guys did an awesome job here. Archer was the guy that was pinned, but it took four men to beat him down including a double low blow kick before the finish. The point is that Archer isn’t going to be hurt by losing here. I liked the Moxley/Kenta stuff as they continued that rivalry. Omega was terrific as usual as the egotistical heel champion. It was a lot of fun to watch and never got boring. Any time you can get a four-star level main event, that’s a wonderful thing. I’m sure people that are more biased to AEW compared to me will rate it higher, but I think my rating is fair.
After the match, Kenta was on the floor with Moxley with Kenta beating him up with punches. Omega celebrated in the ring with Anderson, Gallows and Callis. Omega continued to celebrate. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: I assume they go with Omega vs. Moxley at the Revolution PPV next month, but Archer is definitely in the mix now too. They have options.
Three Stars of the Show
- Kenny Omega/KENTA
- Lance Archer/Jon Moxley
- Darby Allin
This Week: 7.5 out of 10
Last Week: 7.75
2021 Average: 7.29
It was a fun show this week with an outstanding main event tag team match where Kenny Omega and KENTA beat Jon Moxley and Archer in a wild match. It wasn’t a clean finish, so Archer wasn’t hurt by being pinned. I recommend that main event if you missed it because it was full of action and I think any type of wrestling fan would enjoy that kind of match. In terms of other matches, everything else was okay. I liked Darby Allin’s performance in the opener.
The storyline progression was strong throughout the show. They do a lot of the little things right in terms of people reacting to things in the background. There’s just a lot of clever dialogue that exists. I like the stories involving guys like Page/Hardy, Sammy Guevara is on the verge of being a breakout babyface star and The Acclaimed is another act that I’m impressed by. They’re building some stories very well as we head towards the Revolution PPV next month.
This was also one of those weeks where AEW’s refereeing didn’t bother me that much. Maybe they’re getting better? I hope so.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Revolution on Sunday, March 7. Here’s what we know so far.
Street Fight: Brian Cage and Ricky Starks (w/Taz) vs. Sting and Darby Allin
AEW Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (c) vs. The Inner Circle’s Chris Jericho and MJF
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