AEW Dynamite was not at the not beach this week, nor was it on a boat. No, we’re back to arenas with no nautical theme whatsoever. I could personally do with more boat action, since, as someone with a debilitating fear of being anywhere I can’t escape if the vibe gets bad, I can only experience cruise ships by watching them on television. Nary an anchor in sight, Dynamite was in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jon Moxley Hates Bullies
The show opened with the Purveyor of Violence himself, which, hey, has anyone pointed out that the wording Martin Luther King Jr famously used to describe the United States when he spoke against the Vietnam War is a wild thing for a babyface wrestler to be nicknamed? Like, why would you go with that? Maybe because he’s the New Japan United States Champion? That would be even more wild. Anyways, Moxley showed up in an eyepatch to tell Chris Jericho to man up and fight him. Jericho emerged with his boys in tow, and then summoned even more dudes when Moxley said he had the entire state of Ohio to back him up.
They brawled, it was fun. Between building to a New Japan title defense February 9 in Osaka against Minoru Suzuki and building to challenging Chris Jericho at Revolution on the 29th, Moxley has his hands full. So full I don’t even begrudge him not getting an eyepatch that fits. He did a sultry shoulder roll at Jericho, so I’m happy.
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The Young Bucks def. Butcher & Blade (w/ Bunny)
MJF showed up at the Butcher & Blade & Bunny Meat Co. with an envelope of money for them to kick the Young Bucks’ asses, then got on commentary about it. The match itself was fine—the Butcher & the Blade never wowed me as a team on the indies and they still don’t wow me. It wasn’t enough to keep my attention away from MJF, who is either masterfully performing a character who is bad at insults or needs to up his insult game. Like, I tweeted about this, but, why did he say swimming is for poor people and fat people who wear shirts to do it? Rich people love swimming. They love it. That’s why fancy gyms and fancy houses all have swimming pools. That’s why they go on vacation to the ocean all the time. Maybe it’s a whole meta thing about how he’s insecure and just lashes out at anything vaguely threatening to him by calling it fat and/or poor. I don’t know. It didn’t land for me at all, though. I don’t get why people hold him up as this brutal heel when he never says anything genuinely insulting. Like, he said Tony Schiavone’s suit was $5? Why not say an actual amount that a cheap suit costs? Or a mid-range priced suit? It drives me crazy.
While I was being driven crazy over this, the Young Bucks won with a Meltzer Driver. When the villainous losers started taking out their own frustrations on them, Kenny Omega ran to the ring in business casual to defend them. His Tag Team Championship partner Hangman Page followed shortly, delivering a buckshot lariat to the Butcher while Matt Jackson held his beer.
Nyla Rose def. Big Swole
Nyla Rose and Big Swole had a match that was a little sloppy in spots, but a lot endearing. Nyla dominated for most of it, going after Swole’s right arm and mangling her hand in the turnbuckle. Swole got back in there, and the crowd seemed really behind her, but it wasn’t enough, and Nyla won with a sitout powerbomb. Both women have room to grow as performers, but I really like watching them!
Cody (w/ Arn Anderson) def. Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford)
This was nuts—not nuts in the high flying athletic crazy spot-monkey way, but nuts in that Cody vs Kip Sabian was probably the least important aspect of the match. It featured stuff like Arn Anderson waving Penelope Ford’s sparkly Doc Marten at referee Bryce Remsburg, Joey Janela popping out of the audience to interrupt Penelope and Kip kissing, and Penelope Ford hitting a rana on Cody in one boot and one sock. It went on for a pretty long time, too, considering how much of it was shenanigans. Arn had a laminated card with plays on it, since he’s Cody’s coach, I guess? And he and Remsburg kept arguing to the point that Arn bumped him with his belly and got booted from ringside. Arn, Penelope and Bryce were the real stars here. I don’t even remember how Cody won, or what this has to do with Cody’s storyline, but who cares? It balanced being easy to follow with feeling authentically chaotic in a way that was truly refreshing. What a weird, good time.
my new promo queen pic.twitter.com/HDC033tPmJ
— hunktears has a mullet now (@hunktears) January 30, 2020
Promo: Britt Baker has the most incredible, pilled-out, deranged promo style I’ve ever heard. Colette was absolutely right last week, I’m in awe. Baker came to the stage this week for an interview with Tony Schiavone, where she delighted in how talked about they were the week before, berated JR for being a sloppy barbecue sauce man who doesn’t know the names of anyone in the women’s division, and then casually diagnosed Schiavone with moderate to severe generalized gingivitis. Her delivery is pure chardonnay reality TV reunion episode. Highlight of the episode for me.
Promo: Kenny and the Bucks talked backstage about teaming up next week. Hangman Page showed up drunk. I think drunk Hangman Page is very cool, but I’m getting the distinct impression that this storyline is going to be some after school special shit about alcoholism, which is sooo not interesting to me.
SCU def. TH2
Former Tag Team Champions SCU wore Kobe jerseys and did a Kobe tribute on their way to face TH2. I still don’t connect with SCU at all, but Jack Evans and Angélico are fun dirtbag heels in gear reminiscent of cheaply made raver thotwear. But Scorpio Sky and Frankie Kazarian, while very technically proficient as wrestlers, do nothing for me. The match got fun when it started heating up towards the end, but I’m not really sure what purpose feeding TH2 to SCU served, but someone out there clearly likes these guys, I guess.
Promo: The Dark Order showed up on the Titantron to threaten Christopher Daniels. He seems to be the next guy they’re trying to recruit? I can’t remember if this has been on Dynamite or if I’m supposed to know about it from Being the Elite, but the whole thing felt a lot like when I used to read superhero comics and would miss major plot points because they happened in a series I didn’t read.
Promo: There was a black and white video of Pac on some steps outside in just his gear. Fantastic stuff. He wants Kenny Omega to make time in his busy schedule to wrestle him. I love this man. I would do anything for this densely packed container of meat shouting and coughing in the cold.
Chris Jericho & Proud and Powerful def. Darby Allin & Private Party
I had no idea why this match happened, but AEW posted a video to Twitter where Chris Jericho explained to Santana and Ortiz that Private Party didn’t pay their bar tab on the Cruise and Darby Allin trashed his stateroom. So this match was to punish them for all the damages Jericho had to pay. This was not mentioned a single time on TV, but it was a good enough time I didn’t really care.
I am never going to complain about seeing Santana and Ortiz wrestle. I like their chemistry against Quen and Kassidy, and the tag rapport they’re developing with Chris Jericho is really delightful. If All Elite is in fact planning on introducing a trios championship, this Inner Circle threesome seems like a natural fit for contention (alongside favorite trios the Jurassic Express, SCU, the Elite, and the Best Friends & Orange Cassidy).
The Private Party/Darby Allin team still needs some work, but they could do a lot with that. Imagine Darby taking Quen and Kassidy to the goth club so they can all get on the same page! They haven’t danced to industrial together yet, though, so Jericho hit the devastating Judas Effect and won the match.
Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara joined the rest of the Inner Circle in the ring to beat up Darby Allin and hit him with his own skateboard. I was shocked Excalibur didn’t do a play on “hoisted by his own petard” with like… “hoisted by his own skateboard”? But you say “skateboard” like “petard”—well I think it’s funny. No need to be rude. The Ohio crowd cheered and chanted for their homestate boi Jon Moxley to come and beat up these awful bullies, which he did. It was fun! All these guys are great!