Welcome to the AEW Dynamite review here on TJRWrestling. The Revolution pay-per-view is coming up on March 7th. We found out the main event of that show last week when Kenny Omega announced he’ll be defending the AEW World Title against Jon Moxley in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. That should be wild.
There was some big (pun intended) AEW news earlier on Wednesday with the announcement that wrestling legend Paul Wight (aka Big Show or The Giant) signed a multi-year contract with AEW. Wight will wrestle and be an announcer on a second AEW Youtube show on Mondays. At 49 years old, Wight is one of the older guys in AEW, but there are some that are older. He should help some of the bigger guys in the company while also putting over some younger talent. This week’s show was taped last Thursday, so Wight wasn’t on this show in the arena, but he should be there next week.
The AEW Dynamite intro aired. The great Jim Ross started us off with the “It’s Wednesday night and you know what means” line. We miss you, Brodie Lee. The announce team was JR, Tony Schiavone and Excalibur as usual. Jon Moxley entered for the first match. Wrestlers surrounded the ring as usual with some edited comments from Tony welcoming Paul Wight to AEW. Ryan Nemeth did a pre-match promo prior to doing the job.
Jon Moxley vs. Ryan Nemeth
Moxley decked Nemeth with a clothesline and forearms. Moxley with a backdrop suplex. Moxley did some finger pulling, Nemeth got a boot up and some weak forearms. Moxley no sold that, hit a clothesline and Nemeth hit a clothesline. Moxley wrenched a tight headlock and then hit the Paradigm Shift for the pinfall win after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jon Moxley
Analysis: * Just a squash match straight out of a 1993 WWF Superstars or WCW Pro weekend show. It’s smart to give Moxley wins leading to his Revolution match against Omega.
Moxley did a post match promo saying from the moment he woke up without the AEW World Championship, he’ll do whatever it takes to get back to the top and take the hill. Moxley spoke about the images that come to mind when you hear the words Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. Moxley said things like fire, blood, burns, torture and agony come to mind while mentioning Japanese wrestling magazines. Moxley said that he’s addicted to being in that ring, all the blood, sweat and tears and leaving his soul bare in the ring. Moxley said it was a feeling he can’t get enough of. Moxley said he can’t resist this match even if this some kind of trap by Kenny Omega and his boys. Moxley said Omega’s not the first guy to try to take him out. Moxley said win, lose or draw, everybody in this building and watching at home, you will know that Moxley gave you everything that he had. Moxley said that if it comes to an end at Revolution live on pay-per-view in an Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match then that’s a hell of a way to go out.
Analysis: Awesome promo from Moxley, who might be the best talker in AEW. It depends on what kind of style of promo that you like. I liked the intensity shown by Moxley talking about the violence of the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match while noting that even though it may be violent, he’s ready for it.
There was a video package about the violent history of Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega going back to their matches two years ago. They also showed the December 2 match where Omega beat Moxley for the AEW World Title and Kenny making the match last week.
There was an interview from last week when Lance Archer and Rey Fenix were interviewed about their match this week. Archer said that they were a killer tag team, but he is going to kick Rey Fenix’s ass. Fenix spoke in Spanish with AEW’s Spanish-speaking announcer telling Archer that Fenix said that Archer was the worst partner that Fenix had. The wrestlers got into a fight to end it.
They replayed Brian Cage giving Sting a Powerbomb in the ring last week. Sting wants payback this week.
The Young Bucks were shown arriving earlier in the day with their Mama and Papa Buck aka their parents. They took a picture in front of the AEW truck with the Young Bucks picture on it.
Team Taz (Brian Cage and Ricky Starks) vs. Varsity Blonds (Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman Jr.)
Taz was on commentary. It’s good that Varsity Blonds have matching gear because it makes them look like a regular team, which they are. Pillman and Garrison made some quick tags working on Starks, who ran the ropes and bumped to the floor. Pillman with a dropkick on Starks on the floor. Starks knocked Pillman off the apron to the floor. Cage grabbed Pillman and drove him back first into the ring post.
The match returned with Cage doing a fallaway slam on Garrison. Starks hit a back elbow on Pillman and then a dropkick off the middle ropes for a two count. Cage rocked Pillman with an uppercut. Starks with a forearm on Garrison, then Pillman tagged in Garrison, who was on fire with clotheslines. Garrison with a boot to Cage, corner clothesline and a dive over the top onto Cage on the floor. Garrison with a sitout face first slam for two as Cage made the save. Pillman back in with a springboard clothesline on Cage. Pillman hit a missile dropkick into a Powerbomb by Garrison for a two count on Starks. Cage tagged in, Starks with a spear, and Cage with a discus clothesline. Cage hit the Drill Claw sitout piledriver for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Team Taz (Brian Cage and Ricky Starks)
Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average match to put over the team that is wrestling at Revolution. Starks has a lot of talent, but not enough opportunities as a singles wrestler. Cage has cool moves. I like the Varsity Blonds as a young team that can hopefully pick up some wins soon. What makes it tough is that AEW has about 47 tag teams, so it’s hard for any teams to really break through especially when they start pushing singles guys like Jericho/MJF as a team.
There was a video with Sting and Darby Allin in some field of some kind with Sting driving a car and he opened a body bag to reveal a smiling Allin with the TNT Title.
Sting made his entrance with Tony screaming “It’s Sting” and Sting had a body bag with somebody in it. Sting opened the body bag where Taz’s son Hook was in it. Darby Allin was on the catwalk of the building and was on a zipline that led him down to the ring. That was a cool entrance. Allin hit Cage and Starks with the skateboard. Taz checked on his son. Allin hit Starks with a skateboard to knock him out of the ring. Allin dove onto Starks on the floor. Sting with a running clothesline on Cage followed by a Stinger Splash and a kick to the back of the leg. Sting hit the Scorpion Death Drop on Cage to lay him out in the ring. Sting and Allin stood tall in the ring. They left to a nice ovation from the crowd.
Analysis: That was great. I enjoyed that a lot with Allin making the zipline entrance. It is similar to what Sting used to do in WCW, but not the same thing. This was more like Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25 years ago. Anyway, I like that it was some babyface payback for Sting and Allin as they took out Starks and Cage with a lot of aggression. Last week we saw Sting take a bump in more than five years and this week we saw Sting get in some of his signature offense on Cage. I thought it was smart to do. Well done.
There was a replay of the Darby Allin/Sting segment from before the break.
Interview with Miro, Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford
The interview was from earlier in the day with Tony Schiavone conducting the interview. Sabian complained about how Orange Cassidy and Charles the Butler ruined their wedding at Beach Blast. Miro said that he liked Charles (Chuck Taylor), said he was a nice man and said that Charles can come back to Miro as his butler. A random AEW guy handed Tony a piece of paper. Tony read the note with Chuck and Cassidy asking if Miro/Sabian will wrestle them at Revolution “Yes/No/Maybe Circle One.” Miro told Chuck not to act like a child. Miro briefly ate the paper and spit it at Tony.
Analysis: Poor Miro. The guy was misused in the company he used to work for and now he’s feuding with comedy wrestlers. Miro should be the near main event scene. Instead, he’s not anywhere near that. Anyway, at least there has been a long-term story here even though it hasn’t been that good.
Brandon Cutler made his entrance to lose a match. He has some small pyro because he’s a friend of the Young Bucks. Jake Hager entered as the opponent.
Jake Hager vs. Brandon Cutler
I have no memory of when Cutler last wrestled on Dynamite. I’m sure he’s on Dark, which I don’t watch. Hager hit two wheelbarrow suplexes on Cutler. Hager with a boot to the face followed by the Hager Bomb splash off the ropes. Cutler with a boot to the face and then he sent Hager out of the ring. Cutler hit a suicide dive on Hager into the barricade and then Cutler hit a somersault dive over the top on Hager. Cutler jumped off the top, Hager caught him and hit a spinning slam. Hager ran the ropes and hit a running lariat that might be from Hell, or maybe Oklahoma. It went about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Jake Hager
Analysis: *1/4 Another squash match on this show. Hager has had nothing to do in AEW for months although he did put over Wardlow, who also does nothing.
The Inner Circle’s Ortiz, Santana and Wardlow ran out to attack Cutler. Young Bucks hit superkicks on Santana and Ortiz. Hager avoided the superkicks as the heels retreated.
Matt Jackson of the Young Bucks did a promo saying we don’t have to wait until Revolution. Matt wanted their Revolution opponents Chris Jericho and MJF to get their “stupid asses” out to the ring right now. Chris Jericho and MJF appeared backstage in front of the same truck we saw earlier with the Young Bucks pictures on it. Jericho and MJF revealed that they had a bloody (some form of red liquid on his head that was not blood) Papa Buck with them. Jericho and MJF trash-talked the Young Bucks with Jericho whipping Papa Buck into Nick’s photo. MJF whipped Papa Buck into Matt’s image as well. Jericho told the Young Bucks to pick up the trash with MJF saying they’ll see them at Revolution. They did a Young Bucks pose. The Young Bucks ran to the back where they checked on their dad. Jericho and MJF left in a car with Matt chasing after them.
Analysis: I guess John Cena’s dad was booked. That’s a joke. Relax. I like that as an angle because it feels personal to attack the father of the Young Bucks and it makes the fans want to see the Young Bucks get revenge for what Jericho/MJF did. I’m fine with them not having Papa Buck do some blade job to bleed some real blood. A non-wrestling guy like him shouldn’t be doing that. It was more about the story and the idea of beating up the Young Bucks dad. It’s well done as a way to get heat. Is it cheap a bit? Sure, but that’s okay. Heels can be cheap like that.
There was a replay of what happened before the break.
The ambulance left with Papa Buck with Nick Jackson, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson leaving with him. Matt stayed at the arena.
A video aired about the Dynamite match next week on March 3 with Cody Rhodes teaming with Red Velvet against Shaquille O’Neal and Jade Cargill. The AEW talking heads talked about the match as we saw Shaq watching Cargill training in a ring. That match is next week.
Isiah Kassidy entered with “Big Money” Matt Hardy, who had TH2 members Angelico and Jack Evans joining them as well. It’s “Hangman” Adam Page against Kassidy with Hangman also facing Hardy at Revolution on March 7.
Isiah Kassidy (w/Matt Hardy, Angelico and Jack Evans) vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
Page was aggressive with punches and kicks on Kassidy. Page hit a fallaway slam across the ring followed by a running clothesline. Kassidy jumped off the turnbuckle, Page kicked him out of the ring and Page dove over the top onto Kassidy on the floor. Page clotheslines Kassidy over the barricade. The referees in AEW don’t really believe in countouts, so there was no count. Kassidy avoided a Powerbomb on the floor, then went back into the ring and Matt grabbed Page’s foot while TH2 distracted the referee. Kassidy grabbed Hardy’s right arm and then Hardy sent Page into the ring post. Dark Order’s John Silver and Alex Reynolds told the referee what Hardy did, so referee Aubrey Edwards sent Hardy to the back while Silver and Reynolds stayed at ringside. Kassidy slapped on an armbar on the right arm of Page as the show went to break.
The match continued with Kassidy in control with a forearm to the face of Page while Page was on the apron. Page knocked down Kassidy with a punch followed by a boot to the face. Kassidy came back with a forearm. Page went back into the ring with a spinning elbow strike to the face for two. Kassidy came back with a spinning kick to the face, Kassidy jumped up and Page caught him with a Death Valley Driver. Both guys were down as the fans got into it. Page with a running clothesline, Kassidy avoided a clothesline, kick to the knee and then Page hit a brainbuster for two. Kassidy with a kick, then a step-up enziguri and a reverse rana sending Page head first into the mat for a two count. Kassidy tried for an armbar, but Page got his hand on the bottom rope to break. Page went for a springboard attack on the apron, but Kassidy avoided it and sent the right arm into the top rope. Kassidy jumped off the ropes, Page caught him and hit the Deadeye slam for the pinfall win after 14 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: “Hangman” Adam Page
Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good especially in the second half of the match. Kassidy showed a lot of here in terms of his offense, but when he went for submissions on the right arm the technique was poor, which Excalibur correctly pointed out. I did like the nearfall after the reverse rana although I doubt anybody watching this match thought that Kassidy was going to win this. Page was impressive as usual.
Post match, Matt Hardy did a promo saying that Page chose the Dark Order over “Big Money” Matt Hardy. That led to Hardy saying he’s going to hurt Page and hurt every member of the Dark Order that Page loves so much. Hardy had Alan Angels of the Dark Order (Number Five) and tossed him off the stage through a table that was below. Nice dive by Angels.
Analysis: This was fine. It should mean more attacks by Hardy on the Dark Order guys. It puts over the Dark Order guys as faces, which could lead to Page being more willing to work with them.
There was some scene with Kenny Omega, Don Callis and some guys building some structures for the Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. Alex Marvez tried to talk, but we could barely hear them. Omega and Callis talked some trash about Moxley and told Marvez to get out of there.
It was time for the lone women’s match on the show that is part of the tournament they have going on.
Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament Semifinals: Nyla Rose vs. Britt Baker (w/Rebel)
Rose with body slams on Baker, who bailed to the floor. Baker was throwing a fit about what happened and then she went back into the ring with a kick to the gut. Rose got a hold of Baker leading to a Samoan Drop. Rose tried splashing Baker in the corner, but Rebel saved her friend. Rose lifted up Baker and then dropped on the mat so it was like a press slam. Baker kicked the barricade while Rose’s arm was against it.
The match returned with Rose hitting a superplex and then Baker suplexed Rose into the turnbuckle. The referee was watching as Baker took off the turnbuckle pad. That was during the break. Rose got some momentum going with a few clotheslines. Rebel distracted on the apron, so Rose gave her a uranage slam on the apron. Rose hit a neckbreaker on Baker for two. Baker kicked down Rose and Baker put on the black glove. Rose hit a Chokeslam on Baker. Rose hit a cannonball splash on Rebel against the turnbuckle. Baker sent Rose into the exposed steel turnbuckle and Baker tried for the Lockjaw submission, but Rose powered out of it. Rose with a side slam for a two count. Baker got an inside cradle for a two count. Baker with a superkick and then a second superkick connected. Baker jumped on the back of Rose leading to a Crucifix Bomb into a pin for two. Rose fought out of the Lockjaw submission attempt. Rose with a punch to the face. Rose hit the sitout Beast Bomb for just a two count as Baker kicked out. Nice nearfall there. Baker escaped a move, Rose ducked a kick and Rose hit the Beast Bomb for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nyla Rose
Analysis: ***1/4 Another good match here with Rose picking up the win. I would have preferred a Baker win just because I thought Baker should be in the title picture and winning this tournament would have got her there. They likely did it this way so they can do Riho vs. Rose again, which should be fun. Rose does a nice job of selling as a bigger wrestler while Baker continues to put on good matches no matter the opponent. Baker was my pick to win the tournament, so I got that wrong.
A video aired to set up with FTR and Tully Blanchard facing Jurassic Express trio of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt. FTR talked about how Tully will be there and he’ll be in the match. Dax Harwood mentioned that Tully’s last match was 1989. Cash Wheeler said that they are better than they’ve ever been.
Next week on AEW Dynamite (March 3):
* FTR and Tully Blanchard vs. Jurassic Express trio of Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy and Marko Stunt
* Chris Jericho and MJF Revolution Press Conference. Hopefully there’s no singing.
* Paul Wight will be on AEW Dynamite next week.
* Shaquille O’Neal and Jade Cargill against Cody Rhodes and Red Velvet
* Dark Order vs. Matt Hardy, Private Party and The Hybrid 2
* Dark Order’s 10 vs. Max Caster with the winner making the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match
They also ran down some of the matches at Revolution on March 7.
This match is a qualifying bout for the Face of the Revolution ladder match. Does this mean that Archer/Fenix are on the same level as Dark Order’s 10 and Max Caster? It shouldn’t be that way considering Archer/Fenix are main eventers while the other guys barely win matches with Caster as part of a tag team. They put Cody Rhodes, Penta and Scorpio Sky in the match already without qualifying. I can understand Cody, but the other two don’t have that many wins on Dynamite. There’s a lack of logic in how this match is being put together.
Lance Archer made his entrance with Jake Roberts by his side. Archer is in the main event where he belongs. Rey Fenix was up next as the opponent.
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier: Lance Archer (w/Jake Roberts) vs. Rey Fenix
Archer with a knee, then a whip into the ropes, Fenix missed a kick and Archer blocked another kick attempt. Fenix jumped off the middle rope with a headscissors. Fenix with a handspring back elbow, Archer avoided it and Archer sent Fenix into the mat. Archer charged, Fenix ducked and Archer went over the top to the floor. Fenix hit suicide dive onto Archer with Fenix landing over the barricade on his feet. The referee did a terrible job by standing with Archer on the floor while Roberts held the leg of Fenix to knock him down. Fenix jumped over Roberts by the steel steps and landed onto Archer. The referee Rick Knox continued to not count them out of the ring as they battled on the floor. They went to break with the wrestlers on the floor.
Archer was in control with punches to keep Fenix grounded. Fenix with repeated chops that had no effect, Archer with a hard chop to rock Fenix and then Fenix tried a move off the ropes, but Archer with a clothesline on the ring apron with Fenix doing a flip bump to sell it. Archer whipped Fenix into the barricade. Tony was screaming about how this was “an early match of the year contender.” Calm down. That sounds like they edited that into the commentary because the audio sounded a bit different. At this point, the story was just Archer in control and it was hardly a Match of the Year anyway. Archer whipped Fenix into the barricade. Archer with a running cannonball on Fenix against the barricade. Once again, the referee wasn’t counting them out of the ring and then Archer sent Fenix back into the ring. Archer with a suplex where he tossed Fenix across the ring. Fenix got some momentum going with a running kick to the ribs and then a double foot stomp to the back. Archer came back with a release German Suplex. Archer walked the ropes leading to the moonsault off the ropes onto a standing Fenix for two. That’s always impressive when he does that. Fenix fought back with chops, Archer whipped Fenix into the turnbuckle and Archer hit a shoulder tackle. Archer with a running elbow, then Fenix with a kick to the face and a jumping kick to the chest. Fenix walked across the top rope leading to a kick to the face of Archer. That was pretty cool as it got a two count for Fenix. Fenix with a backflip off the ropes, Archer moved and then Fenix dropped him with a Cutter for two. That spot is a bit too contrived, but it still looks cool. Archer hit Fenix with a forearm and then a Fisherman’s Buster for a two count. They battled on the turnbuckle where Fenix hit a Spanish Fly off the top rope with Excalibur screaming about it and it got a two count. Archer got out of a move by grabbing at Fenix’s mask a bit, then Fenix ran off the ropes and Archer ran him over with the Pounce shoulder block. Archer with a Buckle Bomb followed by a huge Chokeslam for two. Archer lifted up Fenix and hit the Blackout slam for the pinfall win. This match went 18 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Lance Archer
Analysis: **** It was an awesome match. Rey Fenix continues to impress and might be my favorite in-ring performer in all of AEW. Archer had a very impressive showing because it’s not easy to keep up with a guy that’s as quick as Fenix, but Archer more than held his own. Archer was dominant for most of the match although Fenix got plenty of offense and came close to winning a few times. The refereeing could be better although that’s not the fault of the wrestlers. The “Match of the Year” and “classic” comments from Tony Schiavone took away from the match for me. It’s silly to have announcers doing that eight minutes into a match. I wish AEW had a heel announcer because all three guys currently are such cheerleaders that it hurts the show sometimes.
The win by Archer means he joins the Face of the Revolution Ladder Match.
Archer extended his fist and Fenix, who was selling like he was knocked out, touched his fist out of respect. They are both faces, so that’s why it ended like that.
Three Stars of the Show
- Rey Fenix – I know he lost, but he was the star of the match.
- Lance Archer
- “Hangman” Adam Page
This Week: 7.75 out of 10
Last Week: 8
2021 Average: 7.44
This is the second straight week where I thought it was a great episode. The first hour wasn’t that strong, but the second hour was terrific with some awesome matches especially that main event with Lance Archer and Rey Fenix. I think the announcers tried too hard to talk people into thinking it was some classic, but I still enjoyed the match a lot. Rey Fenix truly is one of the best wrestlers anywhere in the world right now.
There was some strong storytelling throughout the show. I liked seeing Sting and Darby Allin get payback on their rivals with Sting busting out some wrestling moves as if it was 1997. The MJF/Jericho thing beating up the Young Bucks dad is more of a cheap heel thing, but it worked. I like the Page/Hardy feud a lot because I think it will benefit Page a great deal and working with a heel that can elevate him is what Page needs. Jon Moxley’s promo after his squash match was exactly what it needed to be.
An enjoyable wrestling show overall. AEW is in a good spot heading into Revolution in less than two weeks.
The next AEW pay-per-view is Revolution on Sunday, March 7. Here’s what we know so far.
AEW World Championship Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Jon Moxley
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
Big Money Match: Matt Hardy vs. “Hangman” Adam Page
AEW Women’s Championship: Hikaru Shida (c) vs. Winner of Women’s World Championship Eliminator Tournament
Face of the Revolution Ladder Match: Cody Rhodes, Penta El Zero, Scorpio Sky, Lance Archer and two more wrestlers.
Miro and Kip Sabian vs. Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy
Casino Tag Team Battle Royale: John Silver & Alex Reynolds, Evil Uno & Stu Grayson, Private Party, The Butcher & The Blade, Santana & Ortiz, Top Flight, Bear Country
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