Ten Lashes on Live TV: AEW Dynamite Recap

You're going downtown to Chinatown, Daddy.

Last night’s episode of AEW Dynamite was pretty wild you guys. There was eye violence, mouth violence, back violence, and a very beautiful tan on PAC. Since I’ve been a little confused about some of the storylines on Dynamite, I actually caved this week and watched Monday’s episode of “Being the Elite” to prepare. I’m not sure if it was worth it, but I wasn’t confused once the whole episode! A huge week for me.

Lee South/AEW

Jon Moxley def. Ortiz

Mox and Ortiz had a fun little opening match with Jericho and Guevara on commentary. Moxley poked Santana in the eye afterwards with the key to his fancy car. Like I mentioned last week, Mox’s schedule this week is pretty nuts, and he went wild with Suzuki in both of his tag matches over the weekend. I wasn’t surprised that this was on the shorter side. The best news here is that Moxley now has an eyepatch that fits, and also looks really hot.

Grade: Yeah!

More Pro Wrestling:

Lee South/AEW

SCU def. Best Friends (w/ Orange Cassidy)

A solid match between a team I love more than almost any other team and a team that I see as the wrestling equivalent of 2010s radio rock. The Kings of Leon of wrestling. Actually, this was one match where my watching ‘Being the Elite’ was actually helpful. Like, for one, it had Frankie Kazarian playing bass at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which, and I played bass for years so I can say this, explains a lot about Frankie Kazarian. He has everything it takes to provide a solid foundation for a wrestling match, while also being incredibly easy to ignore. Best Friends and SCU are good together, though, even if my personal bias for charismatic weirdos means I wasn’t crazy for the result.

Lee South/AEW

As has been the case in every Best Friends match of late, Orange Cassidy was the star here, getting the most attention during entrances, a fun comedy spot mid-match, and being the one to receive a beatdown from the Dark Order after the match. All jokes aside, the real reason ‘Being the Elite’ was helpful this week was that it showed Christopher Daniels with a Dark Order goon mask in his suitcase. Daniels ran out to save the Freshly Squeezed King from the aforementioned beatdown, while the Dark Order all backed away, refusing to touch him. Maybe they’re doing a Fight Club/Mr. Robot gimmick here with Christopher Daniels not realizing he’s their Exalted One. And when I say “maybe” I of course mean I’m 80% sure that’s what they’re doing.

Grade: Yeah.

Promo: MJF talked about why he’s giving Cody 10 lashes—to symbolize Cody’s empty promises in making him a star or something, I don’t know. He said “leather” and “skin” though so it was good. I’m simple and easy to please. TAZ weighed in that he thinks the lashes are going to be difficult to watch. I love TAZ and would like to hear from him more often.

Lee South/AEW

Yuka Sakazaki def. Britt Baker

The most entertaining thing about the match itself was Excalibur’s very understandable decision to not explain the concept of “magical girls” to Tony Schiavone and JR when they asked him about it during Yuka Sakazaki’s entrance. Baker may be my new promo queen, but she still has a ways to go in the ring. This was on the rough side, for sure. Sakazaki is good, but not good enough to make up for where Baker is lacking. Where Baker isn’t lacking is in vibes and tantrums. After Sakazaki pinned Baker with a crucifix, Baker hit her with a ring bell, then wrapped her mouth around the bottom rope for a curb stomp that knocked one of Yuka’s teeth out. She held her in the lockjaw finisher after that, getting Yuka’s blood on her hand, and like… THAT ruled. Who cares if the match wasn’t great with a post-match that good?


Lee South/AEW

Lucha Bros & Butcher & Blade def. The Elite

I’m never going to complain about seeing the Lucha Bros. Never! Everything in it with them was wonderful, everything else was whatever. The story here was that Hangman Page lost the match for his team by refusing to tag out, and then taking the pin. Because he’s troubled and drinking too much. Whatever. Penta and Fénix did cool stuff! Who cares!

Grade: Yeah.

Promo: Tony Schiavone began to interview Kenny Omega before being interrupted by an incrediblybeautifully tan PAC, who threatened Riho backstage. Kenny agreed to have a match with him, and PAC assured us that he would never harm a woman. Nyla Rose emerged and powerbombed Riho into a table instead. They have a match next week! Cool!

Video Package: Darby Allin went after a cardboard cutout of Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara with a flamethrower. Darby Allin is the best. Darby Allin is the best.

Lee South/AEW

Kip Sabian (w/ Penelope Ford) def. Joey Janela

No comparison to last week’s baffling Kip Sabian match against Cody, but this was fine, a little on the long side, I guess. Not too much was remarkable here other than JR and Tony Schiavone being really horny for Penelope Ford. Once again, Bryce Remsburg was kind of the star of the match, his bewildered “not now!” to Sabian and Ford kissing the most memorable thing about it. Sabian won with a rollup, holding Janela’s tights where Remsburg couldn’t see. Sabian and Janela don’t have the most interesting chemistry, but I really think AEW should be trying to figure out a weird throuple angle and be the first wrestling company to fully embrace the concept of annoying couples looking for a third.

Grade: Eh.

Promo: With a brief intro from Jericho, Santana dropped a fire promo on Moxley about the match they’re having next week—an eye for an eye match! What does that even mean? I’m jazzed.

Video Package: There was a Dark Order heartburn medication commercial. I think these are the best part of the whole Dark Order schtick.

Promo: The Young Bucks confronted Hangman Page about losing their match and implied he had a drinking problem. Then they did a sight gag with Page grabbing a pitcher of beer out of nowhere. Tonally very odd. Even having watched ‘Being the Elite’ this week, I don’t really know where they’re going with this.

Promo: Dustin Rhodes spoke to the camera, directing a message to Cody about the ten lashes stipulation that “the whole world is behind” him.

Lee South/AEW

MJF Gives Cody 10 Lashes

The 10 lashes weren’t just the main event of last night’s Dynamite, the segment lasted almost a full 20 minutes. It’s the best work I’ve seen MJF do in AEW since “I’m no horse professor.” Cody took his beating, filled with dramatic pauses, entrances, tears, and cheers of encouragement, with all the abject hotness a pro wrestling martyr needs. While I do have to say that if you’re trying this at home, you’re supposed to avoid the neck and lower back, the segment was a real treat.

I’ve thought this a few times, but watching Cody and MJF last night really hit it home for me. There are some wrestlers who clearly put matches together with animated gifs in mind. Cody is a wrestler who seems to structure these performances for the AMVs someone is inevitably going to make of them. (What song would you use? Comment below or @ me.) Even for non-perverts, I’m sure watching Cody’s friends and family come to the ring one by one to offer their support and tell him he’s doing a great job, culminating with a crying Brandi who kissed him before the final blow, was effective. For perverts, though? This was a beautiful gift.

Grade: Fuck Yeah! (Seriously though don’t whip people in the back of the neck or the lower back near the kidneys that’s 101 stuff.)



On Wrestling Criticism Part 2: Wrestling Mechanics