AEW DYNAMITE RECAP 2.19.2020 W/HEATHER

A new week here at AEW with #1 Contenders to the Tag Titles to crowned, Nyla Rose maybe meeting her next (two?) opponents, more sexy eye patch Mox, a really great Tag Team Title match and Cody and that Wardlow dude in a cage.  Let’s do this.

Young Bucks win Battle Royal to become #1 Contenders to AEW Tag Team Championship (defeated Santana & Ortiz, Butcher & The Blade, Jack Evans & Angelico, Best Friends, Jungle Express)

I really do like Battle Royals, but they can often be a mess and ones where both members of the tag team have to be eliminated in order to win is a bit of a clusterfuck.  I suppose it is better than one person being eliminated and the other member of the team just slinking off so who am I to complain?  I do question the rankings system if we’re also using battle royals to determine #1 Contenders.  What are the rankings for then?  Are those tag teams all just tied so this is to break the tie?  Angelico and Jack Evans are tied with the Bucks?!  I guess maybe actually, the Bucks have lost a lot.  Everyone’s friends were ringside so we got Orange Cassidy catching Trent?  on the outside and the Bunny low blowing Orange with a really awkward kick to prevent him from doing it twice.  Nick Jackson was eliminated early on so Matt had to survive by himself all the way to the end – against all odds!  But The Young Bucks pull it off.

Kris Statlander defeated Shanna

Britt Baker was on commentary for this and even though I’ve been a super hater about her she was fine here.  JR was a disaster but if I commented on that every time I thought it this would be a very mean anti- JR post and I have too fond memories to do that.  Yet.  This match was a really good TV show women’s match.  It had some goofy moments in the middle including a “boop” off where Statlander and Shanna returned vicious nose boops, but it’s clear that both women are great wrestlers and can deliver a match worth watching.  I did think it was weird Baker was out here when she had no interaction with either female, isn’t the champ and isn’t even on the verge of deserving a title shot, but I think she is the woman they still want as their #1.  That will inevitably go through Statlander who is as they said the #2 ranked female in AEW and a powerful baby face.  I don’t necessarily get it, but I think she’s great in the ring and likable enough to deserve a place in the title hunt.

Immediately after that match Tony Schiavone had an interview with Nyla Rose where she said she is the Queen Bee of AEW.  It was a pretty good promo and she successfully drowned out a WHAT chant from the crowd so I was pretty pleased.  She said nobody is on her level and was interrupted by Kris Statlander pretty much guaranteeing their soon to be future match.  They were also then joined by Big Swole who I am going to guess will be the foe Nyla will have to take out in between her battle with Statlander.

Jon Moxley defeated Jeff Cobb

Another super fun match on this show.  I was torn whether or not I thought it was the right outcome.  On one hand I don’t know that someone being pushed as a huge threat should lose in their first match with no interference, but on the other it was to the #1 contender and the match was super competitive til the end.  There doesn’t always have to be interference I suppose – it was good to not know it was going to end clean.  Plus, Cobb was cocky with his finisher and it makes sense an experienced wrestler could take advantage.  I’ve watched quite a bit of Cobb in New Japan and some in ROH and I think he’s a great hoss fighter.  I find him more appealing as a face, but am willing to see how it plays out in AEW.  I think Jericho just has too many people around him now but maybe Cobb is the make up for Hager, that piece of shit who hasn’t done shit.

Right after Mox got the win Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Hagar who were sitting in suspiciously placed ticketed seats nearby hit the ring to take Moxley out.  He got help in the form of Dustin Rhodes and then, after a black out, the returning (after what like 3 weeks?) Darby Allin.  People love this guy.  Even my friend who usually hates all smaller guys loves Darby Allin.  He’s definitely appealing even if I haven’t totally loved his wrestling.  I have to admit that sometimes isn’t the only thing that matters.  Also – it would be unfair of me to act like an expert.  For now, I’m glad they’re giving someone who is a hit with the crowd a chance to continue to be.  WWE ruins this way too often.

AEW Tag Team Title Match: Hangman Page & Kenny Omega (c) defeated Lucha Bros

I’m not sure getting Hangman Page more over than Kenny Omega is what they were going for, but it certainly seems that is what the result of this journey is.  I’ve said before and I hate to, but I don’t know that Kenny has even brought the same charisma from NJPW here to AEW.  I think he’s a great wrestler and very possibly the best in the world, but there’s something missing here.  I do have the suspicion that this is kind of the plan – to not show the true Kenny Omega powers until he’s main eventing.  He also isn’t bad by any means, still a fucking beast.  I also still believe the end result of this “Page is drinking and leaving his friends” will be someone else betraying The Elite not Page, but I am…very often wrong.

The match is really great of course, The Lucha Bros are awesome as well, but we already knew that.  Again the rankings and the rematches and the grudge matches is still a bit confusing, but complaining about these four men wrestling would make me an idiot.  It was fast paced, cleverly fought and gave opportunities for all 4 guys to look amazing.  The appeal of great wrestling is that you never know who is going to win a match, and here I genuinely went in thinking Omega and Page were going to pull it out with some close calls from Lucha Bros, but towards the end I really thought Lucha Bros were going to win this match.  It was a ton of goddamn fun.  Maybe the best match we’ve seen on this show in weeks.

Steel Cage Match: Cody Rhodes defeated Wardlow

When Wardlow came out in the singlet I genuinely wondered why they didn’t just wait and have Jeff Cobb in this position with MJF.  Someone said to me because they were impatient and didn’t wait for him to be a free agent and this has to be the only answer.  Wardlow certainly beat Cody up a lot and made him bleed…during the Picture in Picture break.  This is probably to get people to watch the break free on Bleacher report, but you know – this is kind of their bread and butter pickle here.  Most of this match is just big man Wardlow tossing Cody around the ring like a rag doll and making him bleed before Cody inevitably pulled out the victory through chance, experience, a low blow and a stealing of MJF’s ring.  There was some noise on the outside where Arn slammed the cage door into MJF and then threw him over the guardrail after Brandi hit MJF with multiple chair shots that apparently did not hurt him at all.  That was a weird spot.  Her womanly strength I guess.  A wicked moonsault off the top of the cage that they did not give enough of attention to won the match!  It seemed like Cody knew they were running out of time and just went for it without even looking.  It was awesome.  Honestly this match was pretty good.  Letting Wardlow throw Cody around to not show his weaknesses was really smart and I found it super entertaining.  If that tag title match hadn’t happened before it this would undoubtedly be the match of the night.

WATCH THIS MATCH: Page & Omega vs Lucha Bros

I can complain about the same tag teams getting title shots all I want, it does not take away from great wrestling and this was great wrestling.  I think Lucha Bros need to be tag champs eventually because their chemistry is great, but Page and Omega have worked well and really won me over as an …sigh…elite tag team.

SKIP THIS MATCH: Battle Royal

I mean if you have to skip one.  It was a clusterfuck but still fun.   It was definitely the weak spot tonight because I thought the other matches were good shows of wrestling.

I’ve been pretty hard on Dynamite but I genuinely thought the last two weeks were really great TV with really great wrestling matches.  They are going in strong to their PPV and I can only hope they keep their momentum up next week.  Watch this show!  It was good!!

You wanna chat wrestling?  Find me over at @HM_Pufnstuf on twitter!