04th Dec2020

‘AEW: Dynamite’ Review (Dec 2nd 2020)

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this week’s review of All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite, which is an extra-special episode dubbed “Winter Is Coming”, with a huge card that feels more PPV quality than a regularly scheduled episode. I’m editor Phil and I’m filling in for a busy Nathan this week. Let’s get started…

Match #1: The Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Matt Hardy tossed Isiah Kassidy over the top, wasting no time! Alex Reynolds and John Silver double-teamed Serpentico, and then “Hangman” Page finished off Serpentico! The three of them worked together to eliminate Luther next! Spears hurled Matt Sydal over the top rope, sending him crashing onto the ramp. Scorpio Sky grabbed Spears and eliminated him next! Tully Blanchard loaded Spears’ glove on the outside. Spears blindsided Sky with a swift punch, forcing Sky to be eliminated. Matt Hardy assisted Marq Quen with getting John Silver over the top rope! Miro and Kip Sabian double-teamed Orange Cassidy. “Hangman” Page was almost eliminated when the Dark Order caught him on the outside of the ring and pushed him back into the ring. Unfortunately, Matt Hardy was waiting for Page inside the ring; Hardy chucked Page over, and this time no one was there to catch him. Miro pump kicked Lee Johnson and eliminated him, and then planted Janela! Matt Hardy and Marq Quen attempted the Silly String on Miro, but Miro wiped them both out. Miro and Wardlow slugged it out in the center of the ring like two behemoths! MJF and Sammy held Miro down while Wardlow clubbed him. It took all three of them to get Miro out of there!Jungle Boy shotgun dropkicked Wardlow. Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevara fought on the top turnbuckle and MJF knocked them both outside. This left three men: Wardlow, MJF, and Orange Cassidy! Cassidy connected with the Orange Punch on Wardlow and MJF! Cassidy eliminated Wardlow! Your winners: Orange Cassidy and MJF!

My Opinion: 4 out of 5 – AEW book their battle royale’s differently from that other promotion and that’s clearly on show here. Storytelling was the name of the game here, with only some “spots” to raise excitement levels. There was even the start of a heel turn for Matt Hardy buried in this match, tying into his “big head” performances on Being the Elite. Speaking of spots, Jungle Boy and Sammy Guevara really shined, as did Miro – who finally got to show some of what he can do rather than just be Kip Sabian’s sidekick.

Match #2: “Demo God” Chris Jericho (with Ortiz & Jake Hager) def. Frankie Kazarian of SCU

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

They locked up with Frankie taking down Jericho with a drop toehold into the ropes. Frankie followed up with a big right hand and then rolled up Jericho for a near fall. Jericho poked Frankie in the eyes and then chopped at Frankie’s chest. Jericho nailed Frankie with a code breaker! Jericho dropped Frankie onto the ropes and then hit a shoulder tackle, sending Frankie to the outside! Hager, Ortiz and Jericho worked over Frankie on the arena floor. Frankie fought back with a flying forearm to Jericho. Kazarian hit a huge leg drop on Jericho for a very near fall! Frankie propped Jericho on the top turnbuckle and then used the flux capacitor off the top for a near fall on Jericho! Jericho tried for a code breaker but Kaz countered it with the walls of Jericho! MJF and Wardlow ran down the ramp. MJF was holding a white towel and was about to throw it in, when Sammy came down and pulled it away. Jericho turned around and thought Sammy was intending to end the match. Jericho finally escaped Frankie’s submission attempt and scored the pin after blasting him with the Judas Effect!

My Opinion: 3.5 out of 5 – Despite being booked to take a beating from Jericho, Frankie Kazarian looked like the star here. Both men are of similar age but Kazarian rang rings round Jericho, almost showing up Jericho’s limitations. The ending was a good way to move the Inner Circle storyline forward without interfering in the match too much. I’m looking forward to seeing where next week’s “Ultimatum” takes the faction.

Match #3: Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. def. “Legit” Leyla Hirsch

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Leyla immediately tried for an arm breaker. Baker rolled to the ropes to force the ref to break the submission. Leyla took down Baker again, but Baker countered with leg scissors. Baker superkicked Leyla and then followed up with a DDT. Baker trash talked Leyla Hirsch, but Leyla heard enough and used a release German suplex on Baker. Leyla jumped through the ropes to the outside, but connected with Reba. Baker capitalized with a sling blade. They grappled back into the ring and Leyla applied the cross arm breaker again, but Baker countered and went for the lock jaw! Leyla escaped, connected with a knee strike and then a thrust kick to Baker. Reba distracted ref Rick Knox while Baker blasted Leyla with a twisting neck breaker. She transitioned into the lock jaw and forced Leyla to tap!

My Opinion: 2 out of 5 – An OK match saved by Thunder Rosa’s post-match run in. I don’t know if I missed something but the ending, with Britt’s submission move didn’t look like Hirsch actually tapped out before the ref called for the bell. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention… Which honestly happens a lot with Britt Baker’s matches. I remember hearing how great a wrestler she was but here in AEW she isn’t showing anything that screams “amazing wrestler” to me. At least not on weekly television.

Match #4: TNT Champion Darby Allin & “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes (accompanied by Arn Anderson) def. “Absolute” Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs (with Taz)!

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

TNT Champion Darby Allin & “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes (accompanied by Arn Anderson) vs. “Absolute” Ricky Starks & Powerhouse Hobbs (with Taz). Darby and Cody worked very well as a team, isolating Ricky Starks during the opening minutes of the match. Starks slapped Darby in the face. Darby chased after Starks on the ring floor, but Hobbs was waiting just around the corner! Hobbs nailed Darby with a shoulder tackle, ramming him right into the metal barricade. Powerhouse Hobbs applied a reverse bearhug on Darby, and then dropped him spine-first across his knee! Starks tagged in, and he and Darby collided, knocking one another to the mat. Hobbs tagged in and trapped Darby with a boot on Darby’s back. Hobbs rag dolled Darby with a bearhug. Hobbs grabbed Darby by the ears and hurled him back overhead. Darby finally flipped away from Team Taz and tagged in Cody. Cody cleaned house on Team Taz, powerslammed Starks. Cody knocked Hobbs to the outside with the disaster kick! Starks countered CrossRhodes from Cody but Cody followed up with a cutter! Darby grabbed a tag and nailed the coffin drop on Starks, scoring the pin! Hobbs jumped Allin from behind after the match. Arn came in to even up the odds, but Hobbs and Starks got the better of him! Dustin Rhodes sprinted down the ramp to fend off Team Taz, but then “The Machine” Brian Cage came down. It seemed like Team Taz was going to pick apart everyone when suddenly the arena went dark!

My Opinion: 4.2 out of 5 – This was a fantastic tag team match with Starks and Hobbs seemingly truly gelling as a team. And Hobbs was booked as a bearhugging machine – really showcasing his strength… I’m hoping we, eventually, get a Hobbs vs Cage match somewhere down the line! Everything felt and looked smooth. The ending, with Allin tagging himself in and getting the pin looked like the work of a veteran wrestler, worthy of the TNT champion he is.

Match #5: [Main Event] #1 Contender Kenny Omega def. AEW World Champ Jon Moxley!

The following is courtesy of allelitewrestling.com:

Don Callis joined the commentary team for this match. Champion and challenger met in the center of the ring, staring down one another, trying to intimidate the other. Mox applied a bulldog choke but Omega grabbed the rope, forcing the ref to break the submission. He took down Omega with a side headlock. Omega rolled up Kenny for a two-count! They got to their feet and Kenny chopped away at Mox’s chest. Mox fired back with right elbow strikes, and followed up with a clothesline. Omega countered with a mean rana! Mox halted Omega with a sidewalk slam, and then clotheslined him to the arena floor. Mox tried to toss Omega into the barricade but Omega put the brakes on with his boot. Mox was right there, though, suplexing Kenny onto the floor. Kenny saw an opening on Mox and tweaked Mox’s wheels with a dragon screw leglock, and then a Kotaro crusher inside the ring! Omega grapevined Moxley in the corner and then followed up with a dropkick. Omega charged at Mox but Mox had him measured, nearly taking his head off with a lariat! Omega fought back and jacked up Mox on his shoulders, but Mox countered with a German suplex. And then a second German suplex! Mox hooked Omega with an exploder suplex for a near fall! Mox used another suplex. After another near fall on Omega, Mox clutched his leg, clearly in pain for Kenny’s earlier strategy. Mox stepped over Omega and applied a submission, but Omega escaped. Omega sent Mox to the outside and nailed him with his terminator dive! Seconds later, Mox hit the Paradigm Shift! Mox didn’t bother with a pin, instead opting to go outside and grab some steel chairs. Mox set the chairs up inside the ring, and insisted that Omega take a seat. He invited Omega to hit him. They traded palm strikes, and then strikes. Kenny rocked Moxley with a V-trigger and then a snap dragon suplex! Mox avoided a V-trigger and then countered with a king Kong lariat! Moxley used a second Paradigm Shift, but Omega kicked out. Mox ran for a tope suicida but Kenny Omega countered with a V-Trigger. Omega followed up with a missile dropkick and another V-Trigger. Omega hit the Tiger Driver ’98 but Moxley kicked out! Moxley lured Omega in, but Moxley ran into a V-Trigger from Omega. He followed up with a ripcord V-trigger on the champ. On the outside of the ring, Mox used a Paradigm Shift on Omega, right into heaters that were set up ringside. Omega took the brunt of it on the concrete floor. Don Callis, concerned, came to the ring holding a microphone. Callis got the ref’s attention, and told the ref that Omega was hurt. Mox pushed Callis away. In the meantime, as ref Paul Turner was distracted by the situation with Don Callis, Omega grabbed the microphone and drilled Moxley with it, busting him wide open! Omega used four consecutive V-triggers and then the one-winged angel and pinned Mox!

My Opinion: 4.6 out of 5 – Now this was a wrestling match! A slow start and some clumsy moves couldn’t stop this from being a slobberknocker! The mid-match “reset” with Moxley and Omega b*tch-slapping each other whilst sat on chairs brought a surprising amount of excitement to the match, which continued right through to the dodgy end. An ending that broke the ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ to not use weapons, turned Omega into a true heel AND teased an AEW/Impact team-up! What a way to end the show…

News of the Night:

  1. After a backstage scuffle, The Bucks face TH2 in a non-title match next week
  2. Thunder Rosa attacked Britt Baker after her match
  3. Sting. The icon. The legend. He’s back and he’s in AEW – with a “multi-year contract”. Need I say more?
  4. Don Callis helped Kenny Omega screw Moxley out of the Championship
  5. It looks like AEW and Impact Wrestling may have a new working relationship after Don Callis promised that the audience would here from Omega “…this Tuesday on Impact Wrestling on AXS TV!”

Final Verdict: 4.5/5

This was one of the best weekly episodes of Dynamite in some time. The whole thing had a pay per view, big-fight feel which was only made more electric by the surprise appearance of Sting and the shock ending which ended this week’s show on a true high note – generating the kind of excitement that AEW did when it first launched.


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