By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Dynamite Hits
Jon Moxley rejects Chris Jericho’s offer to join the Inner Circle: A solid segment. With everything pointing toward Jericho vs. Moxley at the Revolution pay-per-view, it was surprising that the live crowd bought into the swerve of Moxley joining the group. The fans even chanted “you sold out” at Moxley before he revealed his true intentions. It will be interesting to see what they do to keep this feud strong given how much time there is before the February 29 pay-per-view.
Kenny Omega and Hangman Page vs. Private Party: A good tag match that continued to tease tension between Omega and Page. In this case, they had a near miss moment and then Omega accidentally took out Page at one point, but Page simply recovered and didn’t show any signs of frustration with Omega. The post match angle with Pac attacking Michael Nakazawa backstage felt like a rerun, and it’s odd to have him keep demanding a singles match with Omega without having Omega actually respond to him. Perhaps that will change next week.
Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus, and Marko Stunt vs. Orange Cassidy, Trent, and Chuck Taylor: A fun six-man tag match with Stunt being very well received in his home area. The fans continue to pop big for Cassidy. And while the live crowds like his soft leg kicks, I’d actually like to see them eliminated from his AEW act. The kicks are polarizing with the larger fanbase and just don’t feel necessary. The fans who like Cassidy will like him without the kicks, but perhaps the fans bothered by the kicks will be more likely to take to him if that part of his act is eliminated. AEW has a really good thing going with the popularity of Jurassic Express and Cassidy, and hopefully they can mold the acts to maximize their popularity.
Christopher Daniels vs. Sammy Guevara: Guevara gets another cheap win, which is perfect for his pest heel character in that it keeps fans wanting to see someone put him in his place. The Daniels and Pentagon Jr. build feels needlessly long. I get that they are trying to tell the story of Daniels doubting himself, but it’s just not that compelling. And I definitely could have done without Daniels rejecting the Dark Order’s invitation on the same night that Jon Moxley rejected the Inner Circle in the main event.
AEW Dynamite Misses
Cody and Dustin Rhodes vs. Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix: The match was a Hit from a quality and entertainment standpoint, but I didn’t care for the outcome. I’m a big believer that the vice presidents of the company were hired into these positions because of their star power and thus should book themselves as stars, but this is a case where it felt like Pentagon Jr. and Fenix could have gained more from winning the match than Cody and Dustin did. The post match angle with Arn Anderson putting off Cody’s response to MJF’s proposed stipulations was lousy in that it put Anderson in position to be booed while also making Cody look weak for not responding to the challenge on his own.
Riho vs. Kris Statlander for the AEW Women’s Championship: I was genuinely looking forward to seeing what type match the champion and challenger could produce, but this quickly turned into an overbooked mess. The Nightmare Collective continues to feel Dark Order strange to the point that I have a small fear that Brandi Rhodes will be revealed the “exalted one” that Evil Uno referred to last week. The most interesting part of everything that happened was Britt Baker looking bitter and not helping the babyfaces run off Brandi’s crew.