1/19 AEW Dynamite results: Powell’s live review of Jon Moxley’s return, Sting and Darby Allin vs. The Acclaimed, Adam Cole and Britt Baker vs. Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander, CM Punk vs. Shawn Spears, Malakai Black and Brody King vs. The Varsity Blonds, Serena Deeb vs. Skye Blue

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Dynamite (Episode 120)
Washington, D.C. at Entertainment and Sports Arena
Aired live January 19, 2022 on TBS

[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage while Jim Ross, Excalibur, and Tony Schiavone checked in on commentary. The ring announcer was Justin Roberts…

Jon Moxley made his entrance through a side area to “Wild Thing” and received a strong ovation in his first appearance since he entered a rehab program in November. A loud “Moxley” chant broke out. Moxley put his arms on the top rope and faced down for a moment. A “welcome back” chant started.

Moxley removed his jacket and started to speak. A fan said something that irritated him. “Hey, go f— yourself, get that guy out of here,” Moxley said in an uncensored moment. Oops. Moxley said he had a dream about having a black cloud hanging over him and it was the kind of demon that follows you around for your whole life.

Moxley spoke of having scars and pretending they are not there. He said those are the scars we should be proud of because they tell our stories and make us the people that we are. Moxley said nobody is perfect and if everyone was perfect then the world would be a very boring place. Moxley said you should stand up, scars and all, and say “this is me.”

Moxley said there are plenty of people who write him off or doubt him. He said you can say whatever you want to say or think whatever you think. He said he’d tell them the same thing he’d tell the demon from his dream – shove it up your ass. Moxley said he doesn’t run from demons, he can kick the shit out of them.

Moxley thanked everyone who supported him through everything and told everyone that we’d be going on one hell of a ride. Moxley said that more than anyone in the business, he is now truly free. He said there is no hell that can be put on him in the ring that’s worse than the hell that he’s already been through. Moxley said he’s thirsty and if you thought he was dangerous before, the only thing he’s drinking these days is blood…

The broadcast team hyped upcoming segments and said the mixed tag match was coming up next… [C]

Powell’s POV: Uncensored F-Bomb aside, that was a gem. Hell, who am I kidding? I love the uncensored F-Bomb, but I’m guessing TBS officials don’t feel the same. I couldn’t make out what the fan said that upset Moxley, but he obviously didn’t let it ruin his promo. I’m anxious to see what comes next for Moxley in AEW. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett again this week. He needed the night off and mentioned something about going to AEW Dynamite and yelling at Moxley. Okay, not really. Jake will be covering AEW Rampage in place of Colin McGuire on Friday night.

MJF and Wardlow stood together in a locker room. MJF said last week was an embarrassment and an abomination. He accused Punk of holding Wardlow’s hair and tights while pinning him. MJF said Wardlow needs more seasoning so he would have known how to reverse the move that beat him. MJF apologized to Wardlow for losing his cool last week and noted that it was his birthday. MJF said Wardlow put his hands on him last week and he has no choice but to dock his pay. MJF said he would raise his pay again if he qualifies for the Face of the Revolution ladder match and wins the TNT Title for him. MJF said Shawn Spears would show the world and Wardlow how to get the job done when he faces Punk later in the show…

Powell’s POV: Great stuff. MJF always delivers on the mic, and Wardlow is doing a great job of expressing his annoyance with MJF with his facial expressions.

1. Adam Cole and Britt Baker vs. Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander. The entrances for both teams were televised. Cassidy did the light kicks on Baker and then Statlander went on the offensive. Cole tagged in and told Statlander to leave the ring. Meanwhile, Cassidy climbed up top and performed a cross body block. Cassidy and Statlander did the Best Friends hug at ringside, but the heels took offensive control heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]

Cassidy hit a Stun Gun on Cole and set up for another move when Baker interfered. Baker made a blind tag and performed a Stomp on Cassidy. A short time later, Statlander went up top for the Area 451. Cole covered Baker and dared Statlander to “do it” and she obliged by performing the move on both of them. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.

Cole ended up rolling onto the ramp, which was level with the ring. Cassidy tried to dive at him, but Cole superkicked him. Cole went to the ropes. Statlander tossed Cassidy back inside the ring. Baker caught Statlander with a kick and then put her down with a Destroyer on ramp. Cole hit the “Pittsburgh Sunrise” on Cassidy for a good near fall.

Cole and Baker took the timekeepers table and moved it closer to the ring. Cassidy went for an Orange Punch, but Cole moved. When Cassidy ran the ropes, the bumped into Baker, who fell through the table below. Cassidy showed concern for Baker. Cole low-blowed Cassidy while the referee was doing weird AEW referee things. Cole lowered his kneepad and hit him with The Boom and then scored the pin…

Adam Cole and Britt Baker defeated Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander in 14:30.

Powell’s POV: A fun opener with the right team going over. Cole and Baker are just getting started as an on-air couple (after being a long time real life couple), so it was only logical to put them over.

Backstage, Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz were interviewed by Alex Marvez, who said the trio would face Daniel Garcia and “2point0” Matt Lee and Jeff Parker. Marvez also said that Eddie Kingston was injured by the heel trio last week. Jericho said he doesn’t care about Kingston and he can “GFY.” Santana interrupted and said that Jericho might not care about Kingston, but he and Ortiz do.

Santana also said there might be something to what Kingston said about Jericho being the reason they are not the AEW Tag Team Champions. Santana asked when Jericho has had their backs. He said that next week, they might start focusing on themselves rather than this. Santana asked if Jericho felt him, then he and Ortiz walked away. “No, I don’t feel you,” Jericho said…

Excalibur said they hoped to hear from “a very angry” Cole, and CM Punk vs. Wardlow was coming up next… [C]

Backstage, Adam Cole dismissed Marvez and then spoke into the camera and challenged Orange Cassidy to face him in an anything goes, No DQ, Lights Out match on the Beach Break themed edition of Dynamite. Cole said he can’t stand looking at Cassidy any longer and it’s time that he ends his career…

Excalibur noted that the last time AEW had a Lights Out match it featured Britt Baker vs. Thunder Rosa… A brief video package set up Punk vs. Spears and then entrances for the match took place…

2. CM Punk vs. Shawn Spears. Before the match, MJF came out and joined the broadcast team on commentary. MJF said Spears would hand “PG Punk” his first loss. Punk avoided whatever move Spears was going for and hit him with an immediate GTS and then pinned him clean.

CM Punk defeated Shawn Spears in 0:11.

As Punk was celebrating on the ropes, MJF tried to sneak into the ring. Punk caught him and grabbed him by the scarf when he tried to leave. Punk wound up for a punch and MJF pulled away and left the ring, leaving Punk with MJF’s scarf, which he put around his own neck once he went back to celebrating with the crowd…

Powell’s POV: A good bounce back win for Punk. Granted, he technically won his match over Wardlow, but he was destroyed with repeated powerbombs and it was framed as if Wardlow would have beaten him had it not been for MJF demanding that Wardlow continue to destroy Punk.

Excalibur said Billy Gunn had commandeered one of their backstage cameras. They cut backstage where Gunn greeted Christian Cage as he arrived at the building and made a pitch for his sons to challenge Jungle Boy and Excalibur for the AEW Tag Titles. Cage said Austin and Colten are talented. He also recalled Billy struggling to get a statement win. He told Billy to have his boys get a statement win and then they could talk. Cage tried to walk away, but Billy grabbed him and then Colten and Austin attacked Cage and left him lying. “Statement made,” Colten said…

TNT Champion Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Excalibur set up a preview of Thursday’s Go Big Show that aired in a PIP break. Cody slid a ladder inside the ring and set it up during the break… [C]

Cody stood in the ring and asked the jeering crowd what they wanted to talk about. Cody spoke glowingly about CM Punk’s Pipe Bomb promo. He said someone told him to save the promo, but he didn’t know if he’d get the chance, so he was using it now. Rhodes said Punk’s return was called the comeback of the year by PWI, but it’s actually the comeback of the decade and we’re all loving it.

Rhodes said that in Punk’s absence, someone did everything he spoke about. “I did them,” Rhodes said. Cody said he carried the revolution and the fans cheered him. He said the reason he won’t turn heel is because the fans cheered him when he needed it most. He said that when he speaks about there being more than one royal family in pro wrestling, he’s talking about “all of us.”

Cody brought up the Forbidden Door. “I was the one who build it,” he said. A “Cody” chant broke out. He said he’d been gone two weeks and the Bucks almost started the Wednesday Night Wars all over again. He said he knows Red Dragon graduated from hip-toss class with flying colors, but he doesn’t need to see the Young Bucks beat the developmental more than once.

Rhodes brought up his “real-life friend” Ricky Starks getting into it with Jay Lethal. Rhodes said word to the wise, the Lethal Injection is the one cutter that people don’t kick out of. “Avoid, avoid, avoid,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes brought up Malakai Black beating him twice. Cody said everyone knows he hates to lose. He said Black needed no help, but he got it. He said they’re not in the business of renaming people like “Gunter McGillibuddy or whatever the hell it is.” But he said it takes balls to come to AEW and call yourself Brody.

Cody brought up the TNT Championship and said it’s not a secondary belt normally, but it is now because there are two. He said he thinks it’s clear what they need to do and then he looked at the ladder. He said Tony Khan sent a contract in the mail to him and Sammy Guevara. “Maybe it’s not the contract I wanted,” Rhodes said. Cody walked up the ladder while challenging Guevara to face him on next week’s Beach Break themed edition of Dynamite…

Powell’s POV: This is what I’ve been waiting for from Cody Rhodes. One of the most compelling things in AEW right now is watching Rhodes deliver promos in front of crowds that are mixed at best. It seems like he was shying away from speaking in front of live crowds for a while, but this was a reminder of how entertaining his mic work can be in hostile settings regardless of whether he wins over fans or not. But he actually did seem to win some fans over or he at least rallied his supporters enough through his fired up promo to chant his name at one point.

Backstage, Tony Schiavone hosted an interview segment with TBS Champion Jade Cargill and Mark Sterling on one side of him, while Cargill’s challenger Anna Jay and John Silver stood on the other side. Schiavone said Cargill issued an open challenge and Jay accepted. The two sides jawed back and forth briefly…

[Hour Two] Entrances for the next tag team match took place…

3. Malakai Black and Brody King vs. “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison (w/Julia Hart). Hart was still wearing an eye patch to sell the mist that Black sprayed at her. Pillman set up for a springboard move, but he second guessed himself and went to ringside. Garrison followed and moved Pillman out of the way when King charged, which resulted in King taking out Garrison. Black and Kick doubled up on Pillman. Garrison eventually returned, but he was taken out with a clothesline. Black and King hit their double team finisher on Pillman and got the win…

Malakai Black and Brody King defeated “The Varsity Blonds” Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison in 2:25.

After the match, Black took the mic and told the members of the House of Black to rise. A video package interrupted him. A blindfolded Pac spoke about how he has a new vision and now he truly sees Black. Pac held up the Justice tarot card and said he would make a martyr out of him…

A video package recapped Lance Archer attacking Hangman Page last week and featured comments from both sides. Archer was accompanied by Jake Roberts and Dan Lambert for his verbal portion. Roberts said Archer doesn’t wait in line anymore…. [C]

Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta walked in front of a camera that was held by Brandon Cutler. They recalled beating the Young Bucks in Japan. Romero challenged the Bucks to face a reunited Roppongi Vice on Friday’s AEW Rampage…

4. Lance Archer (w/Dan Lambert) vs. Frankie Kazarian. Both entrances were televised. Archer dominated the match heading into a PIP break. [C] Archer continued to dominate the match and set up for his finisher, but Kazarian bit him to block it. Archer eventually chokeslammed Kazarian and put him down with his Hellecoaster. Archer finally hit the Blackout and scored the clean pin.

Lance Archer beat Frankie Kazarian in 9:00.

Lambert started to deliver a promo afterward, but Archer took the mic away from him and said, “Enough of this cowboy bullshit, I’m going to show you what I’m going to do.” Archer tossed Kazarian over the top rope and onto the ramp. Archer set up for a chokeslam onto a chair, but he let go of Kazarian when he was interrupted by entrance music.

AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page made his entrance and went face to face with Archer. Page slapped Archer across the face. Archer hit him back with a forearm and eventually caught him with a knee to the gut. Archer picked up the chair. Page took his boot off and hit Archer with it. Archer retreated into the ring. Page went for his Buckshot Lariat. Archer blocked the move, but Page was able to clothesline him over the top rope. Archer landed on his feet and was held back by Lambert…

Powell’s POV: The match went longer than it needed to. The outcome was never in doubt, but it felt like it should have been one of those brief Archer squash match wins or at least a more violent destruction of Kazarian. The post match angle with Hangman Page was much better, but I was surprised to see Page get the better of Archer even slightly, simply because I think most fans see Page as the favorite to win their eventual title match.

Dante Martin was interviewed by Alex Marvez in the backstage area. Matt Sydal and Lee Moriarty were also present. Martin said that they have been like brothers to him and he has their back. They cut to a Ricky Starks promo while Powerhouse Hobbs stood by. Starks said Martin has a baby brother complex and thinks that everyone is his brother or his friend. Hobbs said Martin better have someone watching all sides because Team Taz are assassins… [C]

Schiavone interviewed Leyla Hirsch, Kris Statlander, and Red Velvet. Hirsch accused Statlander of costing them a match on Rampage and costing her and Velvet thousands of dollars. Red Velvet tried to stick up for Stalander. Hirsch struck Velvet. When Statlander tried to help, Hirsch put her in a cross arm breaker…

5. Serena Deeb vs. Skye Blue. Both entrances were televised. Blue didn’t get much of a reaction. During the match, a “Deeb” chant broke out briefly. The broadcast team pointed out that Deeb is from the area. Deeb put Blue down with Detox, then slammed her knee into the mat and applied the Serenity Lock for the win…

Serena Deeb beat Skye Blue in 2:55.

Powell’s POV: A good showcase win for Deeb.

Dan Lambert, Scorpio Sky, and Ethan Page spoke backstage. Lambert said everyone scurries like cockroaches when Jon Moxley showed up looking for an opponent. He said that wasn’t the case with Ethan Page, who then cut a promo about facing Moxley. Sky snapped his fingers and the screen went black…

The broadcast team hyped the following matches for AEW Rampage: The Young Bucks vs. “Roppongi Vice” Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta, and Hook vs. Serpentico, and Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay for the TBS Championship for AEW Rampage. Clips of the Bucks vs. Roppongi Vice in Japan were shown, and there was also a brief Hook video…

For next week’s Beach Break themed edition of Dynamite, the broadcast team listed Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara in a ladder match for the TNT Championship, Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy in the Lights Out match, Chris Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia and 2point0… Guevara did his card gimmick during a PIP break… [C]

Excalibur announced that Red Velvet vs. Leyla Hirsch had been added to next week’s Dynamite card…

Schiavone stood backstage with Matt Hardy, Andrade El Idolo, Jose, Private Party, Butcher, Blade, and Bunny. Hardy announced that he decided to sell Andrade 51 percent of the Hardy Family Office. Hardy said he and the Private Party duo would hold three seats on their board of directors while Andrade and Jose would hold the other two. Hardy said Andrade would be their president. Hardy said Darby Allin better smarten up and join the HFO if he survives the tag team main event…

A brief Acclaimed spoof on Darby Allin’s black and white videos aired. Max Caster rapped as they made their entrance. Darby Allin made his entrance and then the lights went out before Sting’s entrance.

Caster and Bowens jumped Sting and Allin before the bell. They wrapped a chair around Allin’s head and then ran him into the ring post. Trainers checked on Allin and then Sting joined them. The trainers helped Allin toward the back…

6. Sting and Darby Allin vs. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Sting started the match on his own and ran Caster and Bowens into the ring steps early on. Back inside the ring, heel heel duo took control. Bowens got a two count on Sting heading into the final break. [C]

Sting rallied, but he was eventually cut off. Caster distracted the referee while Bowens slammed the Acclaimed’s boombox over Sting’s head at ringside. Caster set up for a move on the ring steps. Allin flew into the picture and took out Caster. Allin followed up with a Coffin Drop dive onto Caster and Bowens on the floor.

Back inside the ring, Allin got a near fall on Caster, then put him in a standing guillotine. Caster was able to carry Allin to his corner so that Bowens could tag in. Bowens hit Allin with a nice series of strikes. Caster hit the Mic Drop elbow drop and then Bowens went for the cover, but Sting broke up the pin.

Sting sent Bowens onto the entrance ramp, then dove off the ramp onto Caster and through a table on the floor. Bowens returned to the ring where Allin put him down with a cutter and then followed up with a Coffin Drop, which led to the three count…

Sting and Darby Allin beat “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens in 9:20.

Sting and Allin celebrated with the crowd while the broadcast team hyped Rampage and next week’s Beach Break themed edition of Dynamite. Ross closed the show with a strained voice that seemed to bother him at different times throughout the night…

Powell’s POV: A decent main event that felt a little formula. It felt predictable that Allin would eventually return from the pre-match attack, and he didn’t really sell that attack once he came back out. I was actually hoping to see an upset to really put The Acclaimed on the map, even if it led to the babyfaces winning a rematch.

Overall, this was an entertaining episode. Moxley’s return was great. I don’t know if Cody won over many of his detractors with his spirited promo, but it made for good television to see him speak in front of a live crowd again. They once again crammed a lot into the show and I still feel like they would be better off slowing down and making things count rather than rushing to get more people on the show. Again, though, I enjoyed the episode and felt it was an improvement over last week. Will Johnny Gargano make his AEW debut in his hometown next week? Either way, I will be back shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Dynamite. Let me know what you thought of this episode by grading it below.

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Readers Comments (8)

  1. The promo work has been good to great so far. Really happy to see Moxley looking so healthy and sounding so inspired.

    The mixed tag is the worst bullshit AEW does (enforce some fucking rules) and now it’s leading to another shitty garbage match.

    Punk and MJF is the best thing AEW has done so far. It’s almost as if someone else is booking it.

    Bonus points for actually explaining why a camera was following someone backstage for a confrontation.

    If Punk gave the Pipe Bomb then Cody just gave the Stink Bomb.

  2. Cody tried. But that was not it. He isn’t his dad. He isn’t Punk. He just does not have “it.”

  3. Also

    At what point is AEW going to be confident enough in their own product that they can stop taking shots at WWE. Maybe that had some impact two years ago but now it comes across as childish and cheap.

  4. Mostly good show. The mixed tag was the only real miss since the Bucks and HFO crap was maybe two minutes total.

    Cody was an in between bordering on a miss.

    Everything else was good to very good. Mic work was way better than usual for AEW. Squash matches need to be way more prevalent. The main event was a nice modern spin on the injured partner returning during the match to help get the win.

    I want way more of this AEW and not the awful shows from last week.

  5. The fan that pissed Moxley off yelled something I didn’t catch, then yelled “get that trash out of the ring” which prompted Mox’s fuck yourself line.

  6. AEW has an inferiority complex. I want them to eclipse WWE but I just can’t see it happening while Dynamite has so little discipline in its presentation.

    If Cody wants to talk about his aborted heel turn he should do it on podcasts, not the fictionalised TV show. Or better still, don’t do it at all.

  7. I thought his delivery was very good here, but the problem Cody has is that everything he says and does feels so calculated. You don’t feel like he’s speaking from the heart even when he is.

  8. Does Jake Barnett ever work?

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