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AEW Dynamite
January 8, 2020

by Samoa Rowe

AEW Dynamite

From the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi. I've been worried about low ticket sales for this event since it was announced, but they managed to make the lower bowl on the TV side look respectably filled. The fans sound glad to be there. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Excalibur, Tony Shiavone, and Dave Brown.

Hangman Page and Kenny Omega vs. Private Party (Marq Quen and Isiah Kassidy)

This southern crowd chants "Cowboy sh!t" as Page starts against Quen. Page nearly hits a big boot and Quen catches him with a drop-sault. Private Party swarm Page with tandem offense, including Quen's leap frog double stomp to the head. Crowd chants "We want Kenny" as Page suplexes Kassidy onto Quen. Omega tags in and assists Page in chopping the life out of Kassidy. Backbreaker by Omega gets 2. Kassidy survives a 2 on 1 situation and hits Omega with a springboard flatliner. Quen returns with a flying crossbody on Page and follows with rapid dives on both Elite members. Private Party hit a tandem Spanish Fly variation on Page. Kassidy flies into Page's boot. Page catches Quen in a dive for a fallaway slam. Hot tag for Omega and he piles Private Party for a splash and throws them both into Page for power moves. Omega knees back of Kassidy for 2. Snap Dragon suplex by Omega, but Kassidy dropkicks his knee. Omega monkey flips Kassidy, but he bounces off Quen on the apron to hit Omega with a DDT for 2! That earns them a "This is awesome" chant. Quen's Shooting Star Press misses! Page nearly hits Omega with a lariat on miscue but holds off. They manage to swarm Quen, and Page's discus punch gets 2. Kassidy saves Quen from an electric chair and they dropkick Page into Omega. They catch Omega with Gin and Juice and PAGE SAVES THE MATCH! Omega inadvertently flips Quen into a kick to Page's head. Omega and Page sandwich Quen and Omega's One Winged Angel finishes at 12:30. Cool opening match with a hot crowd that played along, ***½.
Winners: Kenny Omega and Hangman Page

Page and Omega's celebration is cut short by Pac beating up Michael Nakazawa on the screen. Pac wants a match with Omega! Omega darts to the back while Page enjoys some beer with the fans.

Brandi Rhodes joins commentary for the Women's title match. Glum looking Britt Baker and Hikaru Shida are watching from ringside.

AEW Women's Championship:
Riho © vs. Kris Statlander

Bell rings and they keep a quick pace early, quickly establishing Statlander's size and power vs. Riho's speed dynamic. Statlander blocks a 619 but Riho hits an arm drag, but then runs into Statlander's tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. After 90 seconds, it's time for a commercial. Back from break, Statlander catches Riho with a SUPER DELAYED VERTICAL SUPLEX! Awesome Kong and Melanie Cruise show up at ringside to ruin the mood. Cruise pulls Riho off the apron and sends her into the barricade. Crowd is UPSET by this. Statlander drops Cruise with a suicide dive. Brandi leaves commentary while Statlander hits another dive on Kong. Brandi gets into Statlander's face while a creepy bald guy crawls out from under the ring. Excalibur identifies him as Luther: Death Man Legend. The Nightmare Collective serve Statlander up for Riho, but she decides to dive onto the villains instead! Crowd chants "RIHO!" Back to the ring, Riho tries to roll up Statlander, and counters with a crucifix bomb for a good nearfall! Statlander hits a lariat and Falcon Arrow, but Riho kicks out! Statlander teases a Tombstone, but Kong trips her up, and Riho settles for the pinfall at 9:23! Match wasn't all that satisfying due to it being mostly commercial and interference, but it was encouraging to hear the fans rally behind Riho and friends, **.
Winner and still AEW Women's Champion: Riho

The Nightmare Collective isn't finished, as Kong continues to attack Statlander. Riho tries to help out, but Cruise knocks her down. Hikaru Shida jumps the guard rail to help, while Britt Baker stays in her comfortable seat. Big Swole and Sonny Kiss join the rescue party, and the Dark Order, er, I mean Nightmare Collective back off.

Hype video for Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford. Jim Ross likes something about Ford.

Zach Myers from Shinedown is in the front row. Cool? (Editor's Note: Never)

Christopher Daniels vs. Sammy Guevara

Guevara has claimed that the aging Daniels "has lost it" so the veteran looks to shut him up with aggressive chain wrestling. Guevara gets a break, but Daniels hits a flurry of offense, including a power slam. Guevara hides behind the ref and hits a closed fist to the face and double stomp for 2. Guevara does a squat with Daniels on his shoulders and hits a Samoan Drop. Guevara misses a 450 and Daniels hits an Exploder Suplex. Daniels strings some offense, hitting a Falcon Arrow for 2. Guevara blocks Angels Wings and hits a running SSP for 2. Crowd chants "Sammy's Wedgie" as Daniels hits a uranage. Pentagon interrupts the match by daring Daniels to hit the Arabian Moonsault that he botched against him weeks ago. Guevara hits a superkick to the head for the win at 5:48. They were having a good sprint before the distraction finish, **.
Winner: Sammy Guevara

The Dark Order come down to the ring and Evil Uno tries to recruit Daniels to their club of comment section intellectuals. Daniels almost puts the mask on before throwing it back at them. The Dark Order put the boots to Daniels, prompting a save by SCU and the Young Bucks! They clear the ring and try to take out Stu Grayon, who manages to slip out. Scorpio Sky demolishes the Dark Order army with a dive to ringside. Daneils settles for a uranage on Alex Reynolds and a Best Moonsault Ever on a creeper. This came off so much better than the show closing angle in Corpus Christi, with the good guys uniting and standing tall.

Lucha Bros. (Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix) vs. The Brotherhood (Cody, with Arn Anderson, and Dustin Rhodes)

Pentagon dramatically removes his glove and disrespects Cody, so he eats an uppercut. Quick tags result in Dustin and Fenix trading counters. The match quickly breaks down for a 2 on 2 standoff. Cody turns his head, allowing Pentagon's blindside superkick. Cody returns the favor. Fenix cuts off Dustin with an enziguri and suicide dive. The Lucha Bros. isolate Dustin to send us to commercial. Dustin takes a beating throughout the entire break, but manages to create space with back drops. Anderson throws a chair to distract the Lucha Bros, which allows Dustin to nail Pentagon with a spinebuster. Crowd gets on their feet for Cody's hot tag. Cody cleans house on Lucha Bros with his bag of tricks, including a tope suicida. Fenix blocks Cross Rhodes and nails a superkick and cutter. Dustin tags himself in but gets caught with a shouder block. Pentagon drives Cody to the mat. Dustin power slams Pentagon and blocks a flying Fenix with an atomic drop. Cody Cutter on Pentagon! Dustin hits Fenix with the Final Reckoning for the win at 10:17. I'm not thrilled about Lucha Bros losing again, but the crowd made this match feel like a happening, ***.
Winners: The Brotherhood

Tony Shiavone interviews Cody in the ring about MJF's proposed stipulations. Arn Anderson politely interrupts. He doesn't know why MJF thinks he has the stroke to lay down these ridiculous stipulations. They'll let him know next week.

MJF and Wardlow come to the ring to talk. MJF is livid that he's not getting an answer and calls Cody a coward. He gives him a count of 10 to come to the ring and calls him a "little b!tch." Instead, Diamond Dallas Page comes to the ring for a rebuttal. DDP puts over his own accolades while the crowd chants "Yoga." If someone told him 19 years ago that he'd be on TNT again on a show called AEW, he'd say you were smoking crack. MJF hilariously tunes DDP out to play on his phone. DDP says he's been hounded on Twitter by fans asking if he will come back for one more match. MJF has heard enough and claims that even in his prime, DDP couldn't lace his boots, and now he's an old man with arthritis. He summons his henchmen, The Butcher and Blade (with the Bunny). MJF says WCW is dead, and dead is the average age of DDP's fans. He orders Page to kiss his ring and get out, or they can send him straight to hospice, and then he'll help himself to one of his daughters. Page shoves MJF off and hits a Diamond Cutter on the Blade, and another on the Butcher. The Bunny gets in his face, allowing MJF to push Page into Wardlow. Low blow by MJF. Crowd chants "@sshole." QT Marshall and Dustin Rhodes run in for the save. I'm so glad that the babyfaces in AEW actually have friends willing to save them.

Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy, and Marko Stunt) vs. Best Friends (Trent, Chuck Taylor, and Orange Cassidy)

Jungle Boy starts against Taylor and gets the better of him with a springboard armdrag. Stunt insists on a tag and the crowd gives the hometown boy a good ovation. Trent effortlessly knocks Stunt down to boos. Fans chant "Let's go, Marko" as he hits a hurricanrana. Stunt sneaks an inside cradle and does the Floss. Jungle Boy returns and overwhelms Trent, leading to the match breaking down right before a break. They return from commercial with Jungle Boy fighting out of Best Friends' corner. Luchasaurus gets a hot tag and plows through Taylor and Trent. Luchasaurus hits a Tail Whip kick and Orange Cassidy finally tags in. Orange puts his hands in his pockets and lightly kicks while the crowd reacts as if he's lighting him up. Cassidy hits legit dropkicks and then puts hands back into pockets for a dive on the Jurassic Express. Best Friends hug it out. Match continues with Taylor launching Jungle Boy into Trent's spear. Cassidy seems to fall asleep in his splash but his cover is broken via double stomp to the head. Stunt catches Trent in a Canadian Destroyer, which used to be a finisher. Crowd chants "This is awesome" while Luchasaurus press slams Stunt onto Best Friends. Jungle Boy rolls up Taylor to gain his first pinfall victory in AEW. Match was goofy but got over big time, ***.
Winners: Jurassic Express

AEW World Champion Chris Jericho and the Inner Circle (well, just Jake Hager and Sammy Guevara) make their way to the ring to get their answer from Jon Moxley. Sammy Guevara does a cute cue card gimmick during the picture in picture video feed during a commercial. Back from break, and Jon Moxley enters through the fans while Jericho puts him over on the mic. Jericho says that January 8th is an important date for Memphis, but not because of Elvis Presley (he was a jack-ass and if he was here, Jericho would kick his butt). It's because of the party that will take place after Moxley joins the Inner Circle. Moxley says that he put more thought into this decision than anyone realizes, because no one knows his true motivations. Moxley doesn't want any of the money, cars, or things Jericho offered, because he cannot be bought. Moxley came to AEW to dominate, which is why his answer is … YES! Moxley unzips his jacket to reveal an Inner Circle t-shirt. Moxley says no force in AEW is more dominant than the Inner Circle, so he wants to stand with them. The only thing left to do is pop open a bit of the bubbly. The celebration begins as they all start drinking Jericho's exclusive bubbly. Moxley says Jericho forgot something, as it turns out he wants the expensive car afterall. Crowd chants "You sold out" and Jericho gloats about he and Moxley winning their Wrestle Kingdom matches. The party continues until Moxley says he forgot something else: he was just kidding. Moxley: "I would never join the Inner Circle. It's a stupid group. You have nothing I want except that (AEW title)." Moxley drops Jericho with the Paradigm Shift and leaves through the fans before Hager or Guevara can do anything about it, car keys in hand. This was fabulous, I spent the entire segment wondering if the story was moving in a bold, risky direction or if Moxley was going to swerve Jericho, and I felt rewarded by the end. Great chapter in this storyline.

Final Thoughts: After last week's apparent reset show, this edition of Dynamite brought back the things making fans shake their heads (Nightmare Collective and Dark Order), and provided some back to back screwball finishes that this company has wisely avoided for the most part. I still think the Nightmare Collective is a drag on this product, but I'll give credit that it's giving fans a reason to rally behind Riho, Statlander, and Shida. Also, the Dark Order segment worked much better this week, due to the babyfaces actually being smart enough to unite. The main event angle with Jericho and Moxley came off wonderfully with Moxley doing a fake heel turn and making me guess before doing what I expected him to do from the get-go. This was a fun, if imperfect edition of Dynamite.

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