It’s Wednesday, you know what that means. Another week, another episode of All Elite Wrestling’s flagship show Dynamite. And with less then two weeks until their first PPV of 2021, AEW have drawn the battle lines and are ready to go.
The first match of the night started with Justin Roberts’ longest Jon Moxley ever, and ended with an incredibly intense promo from the former AEW World Champion. Ryan Nemeth, who was even given a short promo before his match, goes up against Mox for another match on Dynamite. It seems apparent that audiences will be seeing more of Nemeth on AEW, and I would not be surprised if we soon see an “Is #AllElite” card for the Hollywood Hunk soon.
After an short match- where Nemeth actually got in some decent offence on the former champ- Mox sits backwards in a chair (that’s how you know it’s about to get serious up in Daily’s Place) and talks about his upcoming match at Revolution- the soon-to-be infamous Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch against one Kenny Omega. Mox really hypes up the intensity and danger of the match, and comments on how he is going to “drown in that violence.” But as he puts it himself- hell of a way to go out.
Results: Jon Moxley def. Ryan Nemeth
Afterwards, we get a little preview of Lance Archer and Rey Fenix for their main event qualifying match. They get into a little scuffle as tensions rise.
Next up is Team Taz- specifically Brian Cage and Ricky Starks- taking on the Varsity Blondes (Griff Garrison and Brian Pillman, Jr). The Varsity Blondes are nicely established as a tag team at this point, and it shows with their clever offence and great teamwork- they have good chemistry. They manage to get in consistent and good offence against Cage and Starks, with Garrison having an stellar hot-tag towards the end of the match. Some notable moments include Cage hurling Pillman Jr into the ring post, and Pillman Jr interrupting Starks running of the ropes, sending him hurtling to the outside of the ring. Cage and Starks eventually win the match with a combined spear-discus lariat-suplex piledriver.
Then, one of the absolute highlights of the episode happens. While Cage and Starks are enjoying their victory, an cryptic Darby Allin-special (see: black and white, very artistic) video plays for them- showing Darby escaping from the body bag Team Taz had bundled him into weeks prior. After that, in regular fashion, Sting appears to confront his enemies. This time, he comes bearing gifts in a body bag- Taz’s son, Hook. While, I assume, Brian Cage is gearing up to slam Sting’s spine into the ground again, Sting points skyward. And, in a scene reminiscent of classic era WCW, Darby Allin ziplines into the ring. Both men clear the ring, and Sting does his patented Stinger Splash.
It’s a spot that by all means, should’ve been utterly ridiculous. But something about the clear nostalgic value of it, and the unexpectedness of Darby shooting in from the rafters to clear house with Sting, makes it an very cool and entertaining stunt.
Results: Team Taz def. Varsity Blondes, Darby Allin & Sting def. expectations.
Miro, Kip, and Penelope sit down for a quick chat. Miro begs Chuck (Charles the Butler, as he calls him) to come home and stop playing games with Orange Cassidy. Miro is given a note- clearly from the aforementioned Orange and Chuck- asking if he wants to have a tag match at Revolution. Angrily, he accepts. It’s going to be Miro and Kip Sabian vs Chuck Taylor and Orange Cassidy at Revolution.
We get a little clip of Matt and Nick Jackson showing their parents around backstage- pointedly, a truck with their faces on it. Otherwise known as Chekov’s Truck.
Next up is a matchup that seems to have no one excited- Jake Hager and Brandon Cutler. Setup due to the Inner Circle attacking Cutler last week. All in all, a fairly unexciting match. Brandon shows off his in-ring ability, Hager does his MMA style wrestling (aka: punching), and it’s finished pretty quick. The match obviously only exists to set up the Inner Circle wailing on Brandon so the Bucks come out to defend their friend and start a superkick party. When they do, hot-headed Matt Jackson demands they come out and face them right here, right now. Of course, Jericho and MJF aren’t going to do that.
Instead, they taunt the Bucks by showing them their beaten-up dad, smearing his blood on the aforementioned truck. The Bucks run to his aid, in an unintentionally hilarious moment where Matt Jackson turns into Usain Bolt (did you know he could run that fast? I didn’t) in his pursuit of the dastardly Jericho/MJF team. Afterwards we see Papa Buck being loaded up into an ambulance accompanied by Nick and, for some reason, the Good Brothers. What a sight to wake up to in the hospital.
Results: Jake Hager def. Brandon Cutler, Matt Jackson def. bad hair days.
Hangman Adam Page is back in singles action, and his title card is telling us that he’s made some new friends. During his match with Isiah Kassidy, those new friends in the form of John Silver and Alex Reynolds come out to offer him support. This is a good match, with both Kassidy and Page showing off some impressive movesets- Kassidy pulls out a rather impressive poisonedrana. A rather notable moment during the match is when Matt Hardy gets ejected from ringside and the crowd chants “Delete.” Hangman wins with the Deadeye, Matt tosses Alan ‘Five’ Angels through a table in order to mess with Hangman. This feud is ready to go for Revolution.
Results: Hangman Page def. Isiah Kassidy.
We cut to an impromptu interview with Don Calliis, interrupting what seems to be AEW World Champion Kenny Omega doing some unhinged woodworking. They say they are building a Moxley Extermination Chamber.
In the first US bracket semi-final of the Women’s Eliminator Tournament, Dr. Britt Baker meets Nyla Rose. This is a very strong and entertaining match, showcasing the talent and work of both women. Britt has a little tantrum, almost getting counted out, and uses her quickness to evade Nyla’s strong offence. Reba interferes, and takes a bump for her trouble. Nyla struggles out of the Lockjaw not once, but twice, and there is a pop-worthy nearfall from Britt. Eventually, Nyla is victorious. An extremely impressive match.
Nyla Rose def. Britt Baker.
There is a small video package between FTR (and Tully) and Jurassic Express, hyping up their match. FTR wax lyrical about old-school wrestling, Jurassic Express are furious at how they’ve been treated like jokes. There is a very compelling juxtaposition between FTR and Jurassic Express- with FTR representing the old-school and Jurassic Express the new school. A very well-built match-up.
Finally, we get to the main event. It’s a thrilling and expertly done matchup, with Rey Fenix as the smaller high-flyer and Lance Archer as the more-grounded monster. They both come out of the ‘face’ tunnel, which is incredibly fun to see. Jake Roberts is up to his mischievous ways to add some levity to the match, and there is an incredible spot where Fenix leaps over Jake to take down Archer off the stage. It’s fast-paced, with lots of offence on the outside of the ring from both men. Rey Fenix has the standout moment with a jaw-dropping Spanish fly off the ropes. After a very intense and very physical match, Archer takes the win with a Blackout. This match is absolutely stellar, with both wrestlers giving it their absolute all, and Jake is a delight, as always. It’s very clear both of these men are very likely contenders for belts in AEW. Afterwards, Archer gives Rey a fistbump- a show of respect for his opponent and sometimes tag partner.
Results: Lance Archer def. Rey Fenix, Rey Fenix def. gravity.
AEW continued to establish the upcoming feuds and matches to be seen at the PPV, and introduced a few more- including a tag team battle royale. All in all, this episode of AEW Dynamite was really just another set-up for the upcoming Revolution- but an important one at that.