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AEW Dynamite: February 16, 2022

by Doc Allen


Live from Nashville, Tennessee. Cody and Brandi Rhodes are officially no longer part of AEW. Our hosts are Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur.

CM Punk is seated in the ring and has something to say. He reminds us that he's drug free, alcohol free, and that means he's better than us. That was his catchphrase 20 years ago, and hey, doesn't that sound familiar? He inspired a generation of wrestlers to be like him, which brings us to MJF, who tries but fails to think like Punk. MJF thinks himself as Piper in Portland, Bret in Calgary, and Punk in Chicago, but he's really just "sh!tty little Max from sh!tty little Long Island." Punk announces their rematch will be a dog collar match at Revolution, in the form of a Valentine's Day proposal. MJF comes out looking less than enthused. Punk shows him the picture of young MJF meeting Punk circa 2008. It was the greatest day of MJF's life, but to Punk, it was just Friday. Revolution will be the worst day of MJF's life, but to Punk, it will be just Sunday. Punk vows to stain the ring with MJF's blood, earning a "CM Punk" chant from the attentive audience. MJF has nothing to say and sulks away.

Tony Shiavone is standing by with AEW Tag Team Champions Jurassic Express (with Christian Cage). There will be a 3-way match for the titles at Revolution. Jungle Boy loves a good 3-way… tag match! They aren't too concerned about who the challengers will be.

Bryan Danielson vs. Lee Moriarty (with Matt Sydal)

Melissa Joan Hart is in attendance and apparently digs Lee's new hip hop theme song. The crowd loves Bryan and gives him the YES treatment until he fakes Lee out with a handshake offer. They aggressively lock up until Bryan slaps the taste from Lee's mouth. Bryan goes for the legs and applies a Romero special, then transitions to a Dragon Sleeper. Moriarty counters, but Bryan uses the ropes to escape for another slap. Lee kicks out Bryan's arm and leg from under him, Bryan uses the ropes to break a chinlock, Moriarty lights him up with uppercuts. Bryan ties him in the ropes for kicks to the heart. Bryan drapes Lee for a knee to the face and it's time for commercials. They return with Bryan controlling a mat contest. They get tied up by the legs and trade punches on their heads. Lee responds with mean elbow smashes, but Bryan goes for the LaBell Lock. Moriarty gets the ropes, crowd chants "This is awesome!" Saito Suplex by Moriarty drops Bryan on his head. They trade stiff shots until Lee goes into a rage and hits a belly to belly suplex for 2. Lee pummels the spine and applies the Border City Stretch! Bryan escapes with a shoulder capture suplex! Bryan hits the running knee, stomps the face, and flexes while applying a triangle sleeper to win at 12:13! Delightful match, I'd like some more, ****.
Winner: Bryan Danielson

Bryan grabs the mic and boasts about accomplishing his goal of teaching Moriarty a thing or two about violence. The crowd doesn't agree, so Bryan feels validated by not trusting the American public with anything. Bryan is through waiting for Jon Moxley's answer and calls him out. Moxley arrives right on cue. Mox says he used to be a lot like Moriarty and the other kids in the AEW locker room. He was young, angry, had nothing to lose, and took his shot at Danielson at a little indie show. Moxley met Danielson for the first time that night, gave it everything he had, came up short, but got a taste of the best which made him want more. Moxley still has never been able to slay the American Dragon, and was surprised when it turned out Bryan wanted to team with him. Mox puts over Bryan's offer and admits that he had trouble thinking of reasons to say no, but he does wonder if Bryan wants to be his partner so he doesn't get destroyed. Moxley isn't saying yes or no, but instead throws the proverbial ball back to Bryan, because he doesn't ride with anyone unless they bleed together first. Looks like this is heading to Moxley vs. Danielson at Revolution in a match where they can beat some respect into each other before teaming up.

Keith Lee video promo. The Limitless One has arrived in AEW. He's gunning for the TNT Championship.

Wardlow (with Shawn Spears) vs. Max Caster (with Anthony Bowens)

Winner gets a spot in the Face of the Revolution ladder match. Caster's rap includes digs at Nashville hot chicken, and portrays Wardlow as MJF's b!tch boy. Wardlow keeps a cool head, but still looks for an early powerbomb. Caster slips away and hits a boot to the face. After 40 seconds of action, it's time for commercials. They return with Caster cheating with a chain shot and hitting a flying elbow for only 2. The fans are behind Wardlow as he hits a backdrop, setting up the first of many powerbombs. Wardlow wins at 5:15, though we only saw about 90 seconds of this without ads.
Winner: Wardlow

Bowens tries a revenge attack but Wardlow puts him down with a powerbomb too.

Tony Shiavone chats with Mercedes Martinez, AEW Women's Champion Dr. Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, and Rebel, ahead of Mercedes' No DQ match with Thunder Rosa. Britt will not accept any losing from Mercedes and orders her to finish the job. Britt has the best squad and best sensei (bringing in someone from Cobra Kai that might excite some of you). Sensei thinks Britt should finish Mercedes with no mercy should she lose.

AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page comes to the ring to talk. Hangman doesn't have time to answer Tony's question before Adam Cole interrupts. Cole puts over Hangman's epic championship matches, but takes time to tell Shiavone to get the hell out. Cole says it's a shame that Hangman's reign will be ending soon. Hangman wonders what it was like for Adam to watch his friends build a wrestling empire without him. Cole questions what kind of friend Hangman is, since the Dark Order seem to have moved on. He goes on to say that anytime they're in the same promotion together, Hangman is known as the "other Adam." Hangman gets aggressive, so Cole talks him down by saying he's got nothing but love and respect for him, and hopes to meet him for the title soon. They shake hands, but reDRagon attacks Hangman from behind. Cole joins the beatdown. Security, and then the Dark Order, run in to break it up. Preston Vance then randomly starts beating up the security guards, and the other Dark Order guys don't know what to make of this.

Darby Allin video package. He and Sammy Guevara both seem to have a death wish, and that's because competition is therapeutic for them. Whatever happened between them on the indies is in the past, they will have a fresh fight tonight.

Chris Jericho and Jake Hager vs. Santana and Ortiz

Eddie Kingston shows up with a mean smirk on his face. Jericho lights Santana up with chops, but Santana hits a shoulder block. Santana talks a lot of smack while hitting corner attacks. Santana hits a flying dropkick to the back of Jericho's head. Santana and Ortiz double team Jericho with a DDT and then an assisted moonsault. Fisherman suplex by Ortiz gets 2. Facebuster by Jericho, and Hager tags in for a double shoulder tackle. Hager shows rare emotion, yelling "TELL ME WHY" and hits the Hager Bomb for 2. Back from commercials, Jericho and Hager have been keeping Ortiz isolated. Santana gets the hot tag and is allowed to run wild on Hager. Jericho cuts Santana off with the Codebreaker, and Hager hits a big time slam for a great nearfall. Bulldog by Jericho, but Ortiz blocks the lionsault, allowing Santana to hit a leg sweep off the middle rope Santana and Ortiz hit Jericho with the Street Sweeper, but Jericho kicks out! Fans chant "This is awesome!" Santana goes for an assisted cannonball, but Jericho reverses into the Liontamer! Santana gets the ropes! Jericho dropkicks Eddie from the apron, misses the Judas Effect, and Santana finishes with the Discus Lariat at 10:44! Great fun, action, and energy in this one, the fans got behind Santana and Ortiz in a big way, ***½.
Winners: Santana and Ortiz

Jericho angrily goes after Kingston, refs run in for the pull apart brawl.

Adam Cole, reDRagon, and The Young Bucks talk to the Cutler Cam. Cole wants to know where the Young Bucks were while they were beating up Hangman. Bucks don't have a good excuse, but Cole lets it go. All of Cole's friends are heading into a battle royal where two teams will win and face Jurassic Express at a 3-way. They all start bickering about fatherhood, so Cole loses his cool and shouts "YOU ALL HAVE BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN!" The group disperses, and Cutler wants to know which team Cole will leave with.

No DQ's Match:
Mercedes Martinez vs. Thunder Rosa

Martin Kove from Cobra Kai is in the front row, likely to keep a close eye on Martinez. Rosa is armed with a chair and neutralizes Martinez' lead pipe in a duel. Fans chant for Rosa while she enjoys a hot start. Martinez drives Rosa into the ring steps for an opening. Rosa reverses an Irish whip through a guard rail. Rosa hits a flying crossbody from a handrail! Back from commercials, Martinez hits a Fisherman Buster through a table! Rosa absorbs a chair shot but reverses into a super rana! Rosa puts Martinez into a trash can for a slick shotgun dropkick. Martinez uses a can lid to set up an AVALANCHE GERMAN SUPLEX! Flying (er, falling) elbow by Mercedes gets 2. Rosa comes back with a crucifix bomb, followed by a Thunder Driver onto a pile of chairs for the win at 9:41! Another hot match, and a great win for Rosa, who looks brave after surviving some scary bumps, ***½.
Winner: Thunder Rosa

Rosa and Mercedes seem to have found new respect for each other. Britt, Jamie, and Rebel show up. Sensei orders Britt to finish off her weak enemies. The evil trio prepare a lead pipe attack on Rosa. Mercedes hesitates, and Hayter attacks her from behind.

House of Black video package. Malakai Black's tarot cards indicate that he must destroy Death Triangle and leave them as a pile of ash.

Switchblade Jay White video package. He beat Kenny Omega for the IWGP title and sent him packing to America, so maybe we should be thanking him for AEW's existence. White is here to prove why this is still his era.

TNT Championship:
Sammy Guevara © vs. Darby Allin (with Sting)

The fans give them a loud dueling chant while they shake hands. The feeling out process shifts into an intricate series of pinning predicament reversals. Darby gets to show off some technical wrestling chops. Sammy looks for a Spanish Fly, but instead slams Darby onto the top buckles! Sammy drapes Darby on the ropes for a brutal swanton bomb! Back from commercials, Darby mounts a comeback with coffin splashes. Darby starts focusing on Sammy's bad knee. Sammy fights out of a Tree of Woe and hits a Spanish Fly! Sammy takes a breather to check on his bad knee, and Darby counters into a Figure Four! Sammy briefly reverses, shouts FU while trading shots to force a break. Darby blocks the GTH and pulls him into the Last Supper for 2. Stunner by Darby, but Sammy rolls to ringside and reverses a tope into a cutter! Sammy then misses a swanton bomb onto the ring frame! Darby very slowly sets up a coffin drop, but is distracted when Sting has to beat up Jose the Assistant. Andrade shows up to bust a tablet over Darby's head. Sammy is oblivious to what has transpired and limps into the GTH to win at 14:48! This was rocking until that lame finish, ***¾.
Winner and still TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara

Matt Hardy helps out while Andrade poses with both TNT titles. Sting saunters in to clear them out. I will say that they have some intriguing match options for Revolution.

Final Thoughts: This was a ridiculously good TV show. Like, it didn't have to be this good, but it was. Also, I'm not trying to act like a crazy fanboy or anything, I really did enjoy this episode more than I can remember enjoying most episodes of any wrestling show. I think many of us take Dynamite for granted, I recommend slowing down, and appreciating this show for what it is while it's firing on most cylinders. Big recommendation.

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