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AEW Dynamite
February 17, 2021

by Samoa Rowe

Orange Cassidy

Live from Daily's Place. Jim Ross, Tony Shiavone, and Excalibur are hosting.

Hangman Adam Page and Big Money Matt Hardy vs. TH2 (Angelico and Jack Evans)

So, last week I was so busy typing that I missed Page switching the presumably bad contract from Matt before signing. Page might know that Matt is up to no good, but they still make for a good team early, making quick tags to keep Evans flustered. Angelico tags himself in and takes control of Matt. Evans double stomps Matt off of Angelico's shoulders. Matt counters a back hand spring splash and Page storms in on a hot tag. All those months teaming with Omega have left Page as a hot tag specialist, and he powerbombs TH2 onto each other. Hardy tags himself in, and TH2 shove him into Page. Evans botches a Phoenix Splash, and Page returns for a double Buckshot lariat. Twist of Fate on Angelico finishes at 7:02. The late botchiness hurts, but this served it's purpose of developing the Page/Hardy dynamic, and also made Page look like he could take on the world, **¼.
Winners: Adam Page and Matt Hardy

Hardy is thrilled about the victory and Page's decision to sign with him. Page admits that he switched papers, and added some bonuses. The Jags mascot struts in with the new contract, revealing that Hardy will face Page at Revolution, and if Page wins he gets Matt's paycheck. Matt appeal's to Page's honor and asks him to put his pay on the line too. Page accepts the "Money Match" and shakes hands, but the mascot then jumps him, as it's really Isiah Kassidy in disguise. So, Kassidy played along with Page's contract, but was ready to attack later? Whatever, the Dark Order run in to save Page from an ass-kicking, and the segment ends on a hot note.

Backstage interview with the Inner Circle, ahead of Santana and Ortiz challenging the Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team titles, just weeks after losing a match that stipulated that Jericho and MJF would be the championship representatives from the group. Jericho and MJF hijack the interview to bicker over Sammy Guevara's departure. Jericho declares that Sammy is dead to him and forbids the very mention of his name.

Quick (and highly necessary) video recap of the first round Women's Eliminator Tournament from Japan.

AEW Women's Championship Eliminator Tournament - First Round
NWA Women's Champion Serena Deeb vs. Riho

Riho is back after an 11 month absence, due to travel complications caused by COVID-19. I missed Riho's 98 pounds of fury more than I realized, and seeing her lock up with Serena almost has a surreal feel to it. Deeb rag dolls Riho, who sprints back up for a dropkick. Riho cartwheels into place for a crossbody, but Serena blocks a 619 and catapults her into the bottom rope. Good action, but it's time for a commercial. Serena appears to injure her knee and hobbles around while working Riho over. Back from break, Deeb is rocking a chinlock. Riho smashes free and hits a snap Dragon suplex. Deeb answers with a series of tight forearm shots. Head scissors takedown by Riho and running dropkick get 2. They exchange counters, and Deeb rolls through a high crossbody and relentlessly attacks the knee. Riho sells a dragon screw legsweep like death, and Deeb's swinging neckbreaker gets a great nearfall. Riho is scrappy and hits a 619 and diving double stomp to the spine. Riho hits another high crossbody and Deeb rolls to ringside. Deeb sneaks another dragon screw, hits a powerbomb, and then steps into a Stretch Muffler, but Riho reverses into an inside cradle! Northern Lights suplex by Riho gets a 2.9999, so she hits a diving double stomp to the gut, but DEEB KICKS OUT! Riho issues a running knee, blocks De-tox, and they trade rapid nearfalls until Riho wins at 14:44! Riho's return immediately boosts the women's division, and this match rocked, ***¾.
Winner: Riho

Jade Cargill works out in slow motion while Shaquille O'Neal spots her and later they shoot some hoops together.

Orange Cassidy (with Chuck Taylor) vs. Luther (with Serpentico)

Luther knocks Chuck off the apron, and Serpentico follows with a suicida. Luther pump kicks OC and hits a powerbomb for 2. Luther chokes OC with his shirt and spins him around. Cassidy counters with a powerbomb onto the floor. Taylor stops Serpentico from interfering and hits an Awful Waffle. Orange Punch finishes at 1:54. This was exactly what it needed to be.
Winner: Orange Cassidy

Chuck helps Cassidy put on his jacket, and the segment ends with no Miro appearance.

Video package reminds us that Team Taz hauled Darby Allin out of the parking lot in a body bag.

Taz, Brian Cage, and Hook come to the ring to talk. Taz dares Sting to show his face. It starts snowing in Daily's Place, and Sting arrives with a bat in hand. Taz says Sting is nothing without the bat, Sting takes the bait by tossing his weapon aside and throwing his jacket at Cage. Sting actually gets physical, throwing punches, but then CAGE POWERBOMBS STING! JEE-ZUS! I sure hope they know what they're doing.

Eddie Kingston, Butcher, Blade, and Bunny talk to the camera. Eddie wanted the match tonight against Moxley, Fenix, and Archer, because he has bones to pick with all of them.

Earlier today, AEW Champion Kenny Omega visited an elementary school to read to kids. He brought the Young Bucks' autobiography and teaches the kids that New Japan's business increased when they were on top. Don Callis gives the signal to end. The kids want them to play, but get Michael Nakazawa instead. The kids chant "We hate Nakazawa" and attack him. This was funny, kind of felt like a send-up of WWE's PR video packages featuring heel wrestlers visiting schools to promote anti-bullying initiatives.

AEW Tag Team Championship:
The Young Bucks © (Nick and Matt Jackson) vs. Santana and Ortiz (with Inner Circle)

Again, Santana and Ortiz recently lost a match to Jericho and MJF that stipulated they couldn't pursue the titles, but here we are. At least Cody is still out of the World title picture. Santana doesn't care about stipulations and makes the most of the opportunity with a hot start. Matt tags and serves hip tosses. The Bucks continue to fluster LAX while Omega and the Good Brothers watch backstage (now parodying the absurd angle in which wrestlers watch screens on WWE shows). MJF jaws at the ref and the entire Inner Circle gets ejected. Cue the commercial! Santana and Ortiz manage to isolate and work over Nick. Superkick to Ortiz and Matt storms in for a rana on Santana. Matt avoids a 2 on 1 situation and catches Santana with a twisting stunner for 2. Nick's Iconoclasm sends Santana into Matt's sitout powerbomb. Santana blocks More Bang For Your Buck and hits a super Falcon Arrow for 2. LAX hit a Magic Killer and Ortiz applies a Stretch Muffler. Matt breaks it with a flying elbow. Bucks hit a buckle bomb/enziguri combo and stereo superkicks for a nearfall. Santana dodgesthe BTE Trigger and hits double cutters. Street Sweeper on Nick, but Matt dives onto the ref to break count! LAX powerbomb Matt into the crowd! Nick surprises Ortiz with an inside cradle to win at 13:09! Good match, like you'd expect, ***¼.
Winners and still AEW Tag Team Champions: The Young Bucks

The Inner Circle return to beat up the Young Bucks. Omega and the Good Brothers don't seem too bothered backstage. Brandon Cutler tries to save but gets beaten down too. The Good Brothers make a casual late save. Jericho messes with the Bucks' old man in the front row.

Cody and Brandi Rhodes come out on the stage for a gender reveal and IT'S A GIRL! That's so sweet.

FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) vs. Mike and Matt Sydal

Dory Funk Jr. is in the stands to watch the debut of the Sydals as a brother tag team. The Sydals get a hot start, soon FTR will hate stiff kicks as much as flips. Wheeler saves Dax by hitting Mike with a wild second rope German suplex! J.R. frets about whether or not tag rules are being followed as they head to commercial. Back from break, Matt tags in to save his brother from Harwood, and they hit a tandem rana. Matt runs wild with roundhouse kicks and knee strikes. Mike helps with a top rope moonsault onto FTR on the floor. Harwood soon rolls Matt into Wheeler's uppercut. Matt is feisty, but falls to FTR's flurry of offense, but Mike saves after a powerbomb. Mike is off target with a leg drop, and FTR finishes with the Big Rig at 8:56. Great chemistry between these teams, but the commercial ate up a lot of it, **½.
Winners: FTR

The lights go out and Luchasaurus appears in shadows on the big screen, standing over his vandalized mask. The lights come back and Jurassic Express are in the ring and remove FTR by force.

Jon Moxley promo from the back lot. He announces he's facing KENTA on New Japan Strong on February 26th and plans on breaking his neck. He still has Kenny Omega in his crosshairs and it's almost time to pull the trigger.

Eddie Kingston and The Butcher and The Blade (with The Bunny) vs. Lance Archer (with Jake Roberts), Rey Fenix, and Jon Moxley

The good guys enter together from the parking lot and storm in for a chaotic brawl. The match settles into the ring with Butcher and Blade hitting a tandem leg drop on Moxley. Moxley fights back with a neckbreaker on Blade. Archer tags and throws Blade over this shoulders and follows with a belly to belly suplex. Butcher tries to interrupt Archer's tight rope walk but Fenix flies in to stop him. They cut to commercial. Back from break, Archer is getting worked over in enemy territory. Moxley runs in to clothesline Eddie over the ropes and Archer hits Butcher and Blade with a double crossbody block. Rey Fenix gets a hot tag and sprints through an insane house cleaning sequence. Eddie catches Fenix off guard with an exploder suplex. Butcher hits Archer with a crossbody block, but Moxley answers with a German. All six guys hit the canvas after exchanging drive-by attacks. Moxley and Kingston rekindle their rivalry and slug it out. Fenix roundhouse kicks Kingston, and Archer follows with a pounce. Moxley applies the bulldog choke, but Butcher breaks it up. Archer chokeslams Fenix into a plancha, and then hits a big time cannonball senton off the apron. Moxley and Kingston resume brawling, and the Paradigm Shift ends it at 11:56. Great main event with a cool mix of vicious physicality and crazy athletic high spots, ***½.
Winners: Jon Moxley, Rey Fenix, and Lance Archer

The Good Brothers run in and beat up Moxley. Kenny Omega struts in with a mic. He's got Moxley's contract for a rematch at Revolution, but he reveals it will be an Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch! Omega plans on putting Moxley in the ground, Moxley connects with a kick, so Kenny hits an easy V-Trigger. Omega is bleeding from Moxley's kick but stands tall to end the show.

Final Thoughts: Overall, great show, with a few nitpicking details. I am not a fan of Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatches, but I could see Omega and Moxley putting something worthwhile together at Revolution. I am eager to see Cody move on to something new after this whole Shaq feud turned into a fiasco, so I'm glad that's coming up before the PPV. Also, I hope Sting is alright after taking Cage's powerbomb. As per usual, Dynamite gives me a lot to think about.

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