COMMENTATORS: Jim Ross, Excalibur, & Tony Schiavone
It’s 8-man tag team action in the main event this week as The Dark Order takes on The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers. Also on the show Jungle Boy proves his worth against Dax Harwood, Sting & Darby Allin act like hoodlums, and Lance Archer finally gets his mitts on Eddie Kingston.
- AEW WORLD CHAMPION: Kenny Omega
- AEW WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPION: Hikaru Shida
- AEW TNT CHAMPION: Darby Allin
- AEW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
- Lance Archer vs. Eddie Kingston
- Chris Jericho & MJF vs. The Varsity Blonds
- Adam Page vs. Ryan Nemeth
- Jungle Boy vs. Dax Harwood
- Shanna vs. Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D.
- The Dark Order vs. The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers
Eddie Kingston defeated Lance Archer via pinfall with a knuckle duster-assisted Backfist (8:54)
- Kingston came out alone, while Archer told Jake “The Snake” Roberts to wait backstage so they could settle this like MEN. A hard-hitting match with Kingston taking some NASTY bumps, including a chokeslam on the apron that he took entirely on the hip. Poor guy. Archer had the match won at various points but decided to inflict more punishment, which would end being his undoing as The Butcher & The Blade distracted him by dragging a hurt Roberts out, allowing The Bunny to give Kingston a knuckle duster which he then used to score the pin.
- AEW has made me a real believer in Eddie Kingston over the past few months; he was a dude I never really got but his time in the company has made me finally see the light. He was excellent here, fighting Archer’s pure strength and rage with dirty street fighting tactics and a refusal to give up even as he got the sh*t kicked out of him. It’s a trait that would get a crowd behind him if he was a plucky babyface, but as a heel it annoys the hell out of you and I love it so much. No one like Eddie Kingston on this roster.
- Kingston, Butcher, & Blade continued attacking Archer after the bell, with Kingston connecting with a regular Backfist to put an exclamation on his victory.
–Jon Moxley talked about next week’s big six man tag team main event from an “undisclosed location”. He couldn’t make heads or tails of all the allegiances going on between The Elite and his own Death Triangle teammates and said he was a simple man who doesn’t like to overcomplicate things. He ended the promo telling Pac and Fenix to saddle up because next week is going to be wild. Jon Moxley is EASILY the best talker in pro wrestling, no one comes close. If I wasn’t already sold on Beach Break next week this would’ve done it for sure.
–Sting & Darby Allin also had some comments from an undisclosed location about their upcoming Street Fight in March at the next PPV Revolution (date revealed to be March 7th, the first AEW PPV to be on a Sunday). They called themselves hoodlums and broke some windows with their weapons of choice (skateboard for Allin, bat for Sting), and Sting even threw in a SHOWTIME for good measure.
- They’ve got a lot of time to kill before Revolution happens so I’m interested to see how they keep interest up for this match…which does not need to happen because Sting DOES NOT need to be wrestling again even in something as protected as this.
Chris Jericho & MJF [w/ Jake Hager, Ortiz, Santana, & Sammy Guevara) defeated The Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison) when Jericho pinned Pillman following a Lionsault (8:10)
- Jericho beefed the Lionsault in last week’s main event, so this Tom Petty motherf*cker decided to end the match with a picture-perfect one to silence the “haters”. That’s pretty great.
- Before the match MJF got on the mic to throw shade at Garrison, who apparently has had dealings with Friedman in the past. Sure.
- Varsity Blonds looked great here, and would be an EXCELLENT team to have a U.S. Tag Team Title run if AEW had such belts. This was my first real look at them in an actual tag team match and I dug what I saw. Brian Pillman Jr. has gotten so much better over the past few years. Props to Jericho & MJF as well, who have immediately gelled as a team and play off each other so well. MJF being this good this quick is f*cking criminal.
- After the match Inner Circle did their dumb middle finger thing then Guevara almost came to blows with MJF once again, MJF “confused” at the hostility.
–PAC had some comments about next week’s 6-man tag team from an UNDISCLOSED CHURCH LOCATION, vowing revenge on Omega & The Good Brothers for their attack on Penta El Zero M.
–Tony Schiavone brought “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes & “The Enforcer” Arn Anderson out to the ring after we got a video of Shaq challenging Rhodes for Revolution. Rhodes would have rather pitched he and his wife taking on Shaq and Jade Cargill at the PPV but life happens and she’s pregnant. Anderson then took over, first with a story about his father Dusty wrestling thirty minutes then taking a private jet to see the birth of Cody, then saying that the Revolution match was a once in a lifetime opportunity. He brought out Red Velvet, who took the mic and vowed to stir Cargill’s bitch ass up. Velvet left, no comments from Rhodes or Anderson, but it was implied Velvet would take the place of Brandi in the match against Shaq and Cargill if it ends up happening which it probably will.
- How the F*CK did it take until 2021 for Shaq to actually be in a pro wrestling match (I’m not counting the the Andre Battle Royal)? This feels like a long time coming and props to AEW for having the BRAND SYNERGY to be able to do it. It’s not a PPV seller for me personally but I hope it gets some media attention.
–Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford hyped their wedding for next week’s show, Miro excitedly saying he was going to bring CHARLES (Chuck Taylor) with him.
- If somebody shoots someone during this and Tommy Dreamer is brought in to investigate I’m going to SCREAM.
“Hangman” Adam Page defeated “Hollywood Hunk” Ryan Nemeth via pinfall with the Buckshot Lariat (5:36)
- This was Nemeth’s AEW debut match; you may remember him from his time in WWE as Briley Pierce. Yes he’s the brother of the guy you think he’s the brother of. Apparently he’s been wrestling for ten years but you wouldn’t have guessed it from this one as he absolutely COULD NOT hang with Page and looked like a lost goober the whole entire match. It was rough to watch, but Page did his best to keep it watchable.
- “Big Money” Matt Hardy showed up mid-match to cheer a confused Page on, then called him back to the ring after the match for an interview mediated by Schiavone. Hardy said that Page is a good person who deserves to be happy and offered his dressing room for Page to change in since he’s been changing out in the hall since leaving The Elite. Obvious ploy from Hardy to get some BIG MONEY out of Hangman but I appreciate the honey pot approach. As an introvert though I really wish they’d leave Page alone and just let the motherf*cker fly solo without putting any pressure on him.
Jungle Boy [w/ Luchasaurus] defeated Dax Harwood [w/ Cash Wheeler & Tully Blanchard] via submission with the Snare Trap (14:55)
- Wheeler and Blanchard were handcuffed to Luchasaurus at ringside to prevent any shenanigans. Marko Stunt stayed backstage as well, still nursing a taped up shoulder from the shellacking FTR gave him last week.
- Tony Khan is an absolute GENIUS for licensing that Baltimora song for Jungle Boy’s entrance. First off it’s a great song, but also it got the crowd singing along throughout the match in support of Jungle Boy which makes for great TV/atmosphere.
- Jungle Boy set out to prove to Harwood that he’s a serious pro wrestler when the situation calls for it and boy DID HE EVER. This was easily the match of the night, a great back and forth contest that had me out of my seat towards the end as they traded rapid-fire nearfalls. Jungle Boy looked like an absolute STAR here and I love the Snare Trap. He is going to make an arena VIBRATE when he wins the World Title in the future, for sure.
- Blanchard blinded Luchasaurus with MYSTERY POWDER and Wheeler sent him into the post, then a 3-on-1 attack commenced on Jungle Boy including a TRIPLE spike piledriver and slingshot suplex. They cut the horns off Luchasaurus’ mask and went for Jungle Boy’s hair until Stunt and some other folks ran out to make the save.
–Team Taz (Taz, Hook, Ricky Starks, Brian Cage, & Powerhouse Hobbs) responded to Sting & Darby Allin’s earlier comments by beating up two merch guys and destroying a merch stand. Taz’s whole “I AM FED UP WITH THIS BULLSH*T” demeanor was excellent. They are also hoodlums.
Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D. [w/ Reba] defeated Shanna via submission with Lockjaw (7:16 shown)
- Shanna came into this one on a 3-match winning streak on AEW Dark, which was squashed by Baker in relatively short order. Baker was fun here, I think this is the first time I’ve seen her wrestle and she was pretty good though it was hard not to consider her the heel since she was in Goku-ish cosplay and anime makes me turn into Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
- Baker and Reba kept attacking Shanna until Thunder Rosa chased them off. Rosa/Baker will do battle next week at Beach Break.
–MJF found Sammy Guevara backstage, and Guevara laid his cards out on the table by calling MJF a master manipulator. Guevara refused to buy into MJF’s ra ra ra about the Inner Circle, MJF cooly asked if Guevara really wanted to play it this way and Guevara said he wasn’t playing.
- MJF about to gaslight Guevara right out of the Inner Circle.
-Commentators announced the first match scheduled for the Women’s Eliminator: NWA Women’s Champion Serena Deeb vs. former AEW Women’s Champ Riho (oh right she DOES wrestle for AEW huh). It was also casually shown that one half of the bracket is the U.S. division while the other half is the Japanese division. I wonder how that’s going to play, does AEW have a partnership I don’t know about with STARDOM or something?
–Dasha Gonzalez interviewed The Young Bucks & The Good Brothers ahead of the main event. Bucks said they were cool as long as Don Callis didn’t stick his nose into things. Kenny Omega rolled up wanting to “have a talk” with the Bucks, Don Callis wearing a REAL THEATRICAL bandage on his face from last week’s “attack”. Bucks brushed him off and headed to the ring.
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) & The Good Brothers (“Big LG” Doc Gallows & “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson) defeated The Dark Order (Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds) when Matt Jackson pinned Grayson following a Meltzer Driver (12:00 or so)
- Crazy entertaining main event, especially from The Dark Order who had all the best spots. John Silver is SO DAMN GOOD at everything and his energy is something I wish I could bottle and use for my day job. Both teams had quadruple-team spots that kicked all kinds of ass, but The ex-Bullet Club picked up the win in the end. Real fun.
- Bucks got on the mic after and said they were entering next week’s Tag Team battle royal and if they win they can handpick their opponents for Revolution. Rey Fenix came out and took out the Bucks with a springboard double dropkick but was quickly attacked by The Good Brothers. Jon Moxley showed up to help his soon to be partner clear the ring, Kenny Omega tried to attack Moxley with his steel toed boot but ate a Paradigm Shift for his troubles to end the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I thought AEW Dynamite would’ve phoned it in a bit heading into their big TV special next week but they most certainly did not. A real fun two hours of pro wrestling here, with Jungle Boy/Dax Harwood stealing the show and the 8-man tag team main event being a real fun piece of business. I have nothing bad to say really, I was entertained and didn’t feel like my time was wasted so I consider it all a success.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Jungle Boy vs. Dax Harwood
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: John Silver’s “around the ring” attack on The Bucks & The Good Brothers. Always a nice jolt to the system to watch.