AEW Dynamite Review (January 19, 2021)

aew jon moxley dynamite

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured the return of former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley as well as Sting teaming up with Darby Allin against The Acclaimed in the main event.

This is AEW Dynamite episode #120 at the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Washington, DC. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It’s Wednesday night and you know what that means. The pyro went off on the stage with the commentary team of Jim Ross, Excalibur and Tony Schiavone on hand to call the action. Dynamite starts with…Jon Moxley! Welcome back.

Let’s Hear from Jon Moxley

Jon Moxley made his entrance from the back part of the arena and he walked into the building through the crowd. It’s been about three months since we have seen Moxley on AEW TV since he went to an inpatient rehab facility. He looks to be in great shape. There were loud “Moxley” chants before he could say a word.

Moxley started his promo, some fan spoke up for some reason and Moxley said “go fuck yourself” and told security to kick the guy out. Moxley said that a little while ago he felt like he had a black cloud over him and a demon that was following him for years. Moxley said that cloud was talking to him saying that everything he had was too good for him and asked him if he thought he would make it out. Moxley said he has scars on him, but it’s the scars inside that we have and those are the scars that we should be proud of because they tell our story. Moxley said those scars are what make us the people we are. Moxley said that nobody is perfect because we all have scars and we shouldn’t afraid to say “this is me.” Moxley claimed there will be people that write him off, that will doubt him and he said they can say what they want to say or think what they want to think, but you can take all that shit and shove it up your ass. Moxley said he doesn’t run from demons, he beats the shit out of them. Moxley thanked everybody that has had his back. Moxley said he’s going to go on a ride, he’s going to grab the world of professional wrestling by the balls and do whatever he wants because he is truly free.

Moxley said that he’s been to hell, he wouldn’t recommend it and Moxley said if anybody thinks they put him through more hell, he’s thirsty. Moxley said that if you thought he was dangerous before, these days all he drinks is blood. Moxley picked up his jacket and left through the crowd.

Analysis: That was a great promo. It was Moxley’s way of telling us that he’s back in action and ready for whatever is coming next for him. Moxley thanked the fans for the support, but it was more about showing us that he’s back to his old self. No more alcohol, but I guess he’s thirsty for some bloody matches. Bring it on because he does them very well. Moxley is one of my favorites in AEW, so I’m glad to see he’s doing well and look forward to whenever he gets the chance to wrestle again. No doubt the company is stronger by having him back in action.

The announcers ran down matches coming up including the mixed tag team match up next.

(Commercial)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman and Wardlow were backstage. MJF talked about how CM Punk took the easy way out by pinning Wardlow last week and if Wardlow had a bit more seasoning, he could have reversed it. MJF said that Wardlow has been a stellar employee and friend for over two years now. MJF noted it was Wardlow’s birthday. MJF said that he can’t allow Wardlow to put his hands on him while adding that MJF will dock his pay. MJF said that if Wardlow helps him in the future, he’ll get that money back. MJF also said that Shawn Spears will get the job done against CM Punk. MJF said he’s better than us and we know it. JR and Tony said they hated MJF. That’s always funny.

Analysis: Poor Wardlow with his pay getting docked. They are clearly building to the split in the near future, but there’s no rush to it and I like that.

Adam Cole made his entrance with a 9-0 record in singles action, so he’s the top-ranked singles wrestler in AEW. They’re in a smaller building this week because there’s a ramp that is not that long from the entrance area to the ring. Dr. Britt Baker, the AEW Women’s Champion, was Cole’s partner and they are also dating for a few years now in case you don’t know. The team of Orange Cassidy and Kris Statlander entered as the babyface opponents.

Orange Cassidy & Kris Statlander vs. Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

The rules are that the men have to face men and the women have to face the women. No intergender action in AEW.

Baker dared Orange to hit her, so Orange did his stupid shin kicks and she stomped on his foot to boos, but then they chanted “DMD” for her. They boo her for doing a move to the guy and then chant her initials. Statlander got a slam on Baker, then Baker tagged out and Cole had to face Orange, who hit a cross body block on Cole. Cole came back with a pump kick, then Orange came back with a counter and hit a DDT, so Cole rolled to the floor. Baker into the ring, so Statlander hit a delayed vertical suplex with Orange playing to the crowd. Statlander jumped onto Baker on the floor. Cassidy did a fall off the apron on Cole. I think Cole was out on the floor for about a minute or more at that point. Orange and Cassidy celebrated, so Cole and Baker hit them with superkicks. Cole kissed Baker, Excalibur goes: “I’m sorry you had to see that Tony.” Tony just said “yeah” to that. That’s funny.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Statlander getting a tag leading to a tag on Baker. Statlander hit a running knee on Baker followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Baker got a backslide pin on Statlander, then they exchanged some moves and Baker hit a neckbreaker. The guys tagged back in with Orange delivering punches, Cole with a kick to the leg, Orange caught a boot and Cole hit an enziguri kick. Orange hit a Stundog Millionaire to counter Cole. Baker tagged in, she saved Cole from a move and Baker hit The Stomp on Cassidy. Statlander back in with a boot to the face followed by a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Statlander went up top, Cole covered Baker and Statlander hit a 450 Splash (Area 451 for her) on Cole/Baker. Orange got the tag and hit the Beach Break on Cole for a two count. Great nearfall there. Orange wanted a punch, but Cole left the ring to go up the ramp, so Orange tried an attack over the top and Cole hit a superkick while on the ramp. Statlander sent Orange into the ring to avoid a Panama Sunrise. Cole looked like he was going for the move on Statlander, but then Baker hit a superkick on Statlander. Baker hit a Canadian Destroyer on Statlander on the ramp. Cole hit the Panama Sunrise on Orange for a two count. The fans chanted “AEW” for that two count. Cole and Baker grabbed the timekeeper’s table and set it up at ringside. Baker was on the apron, Orange missed an Orange Punch on Cole, and Orange bumped into Baker, who bumped through the table. Cole hit a low blow punch on Orange (the referee was checking on Baker) and Cole hit a Boom knee to the back of the head of Orange for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Adam Cole & Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D.

Analysis: ***1/2 That was really good. Lots of action, big spots, nearfalls and a finish that was booked well. It would be nice if referees actually enforced countouts in AEW, but that’s not going to happen any time soon in this company. They treated the table bump (which was obvious based on how they set up) as if it was something deadly even though Baker gave Statlander a Canadian Destroyer on the ramp as if that’s not a devastating move. Anyway, it was a cheap win for Cole with the low blow that the referee didn’t see and that led right to the finish. Cole continues his winning ways.

Post match, Cole checked on Baker at ringside with Cole shoving a doctor away. Tony: “He’s only trying to help her, you jerk.” Cole kept on checking on Baker as they showed replays of Baker’s table bump.

They showed Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz backstage for an interview with Alex Marvez. Jericho said he didn’t care about Eddie Kingston while Ortiz said they care about Kingston. Santana said that Kingston did speak some truth saying they have been fighting Jericho’s battles and maybe he’s the reason why they are not Tag Team Champions. Santana said that they are going to look out for themselves now. Jericho was shocked that they spoke like that to him.

Analysis: Some small problems for the Inner Circle there. The reason Santana & Ortiz are not Tag Team Champions is because of poor booking. I know AEW fans hate me saying that, but Santana & Ortiz haven’t been in a 2-on-2 tag team match on TV in about five months. Yes, they are on the Youtube shows, but those clearly don’t matter. They need to be booked better on TV.

CM Punk faces Shawn Spears up next.

(Commercial)

Adam Cole was interviewed by Alex Marvez in the backstage area. Cole told him to get out. Cole said that Orange Cassidy has been a thorn in his side for too long, so then he puts his hands on Cole’s girlfriend. Cole said he’s done everything beating Orange in singles and now in a mixed tag team match. Cole proposed an Anything Goes, No Disqualification, Lights Out Match against Cassidy next week on Dynamite: Beach Break. Cole said he wants to end Cassidy’s career. The announcers said that what Cassidy did to Baker was an accident. That’s true.

Analysis: A big match for next week with a stipulation. Cole should win that one too.

A video aired showing some of the actions and words exchanged between CM Punk and Shawn Spears ahead of their match.

Shawn Spears made his entrance with a steel chair since he’s the “Chairman” of AEW. CM Punk was next and he got a big pop from the crowd. Great reaction for Punk who is wrestling in the trunks instead of the long tights. Maxwell Jacob Friedman also made his entrance since he was on commentary for this match. The other announcers complained about MJF being there with MJF saying Punk was going to give PG Punk his first loss.

CM Punk vs. Shawn Spears

Spears went for an attack, Punk caught him and Punk hit the Go To Sleep on Spears for the pinfall win after about five seconds.

Winner by pinfall: CM Punk

Analysis: Match of the year. The video was way longer than the match.

After the match, Punk celebrated on the turnbuckle and MJF slid into the ring for a cheap attack, but Punk saw him there. Punk grabbed MJF by the scarf, then MJF got out of there and ran away.

Analysis: They keep teasing Punk vs. MJF, but we have to keep waiting. I assume that they want to save it until the Revolution PPV on March 6th, but I’m not sure. It’s close enough now where it seems like they can wait until that date.

Billy Gunn was shown in the parking lot area where he talked to Christian Cage. I liked the Attitude Era too. Gunn said that his sons are ranked in the top five and deserve a title shot at Christian’s boys Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus. Christian told Billy that his sons are talented because they have Billy’s genes, but then he took a shot at Billy for not having statement wins in his career.

Cody Rhodes made his entrance in a brown suit with the TNT Title in his hands. Cody is back after missing two weeks.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Cody Rhodes

Cody set up a ladder in the ring and opened it up as he stood in front of it to face the hard camera. Cody asked what they wanted to talk about. Cody said he’s reminded from that last match about a man that once sat on a stage, looked in a ring just like this and he gave one of the most addresses in the history of our sport. Cody said that it inspired thousands of wrestlers, millions of fans and he is talking about CM Punk and the Pipebomb (June 2011). Cody said somebody told him to save this promo, but he doesn’t know when he will get the chance, so he’ll do it now. Cody said that he listed things like going to New Japan, working with Ring of Honor and ultimately talk about teaming with the Young Bucks. Cody said that he was unable to do those things and some fans were chanting unsavory things. Cody said that Punk came back to AEW for the Comeback of the Year while adding it was the Comeback of the Decade and they all loved it. Cody said that in the void that CM Punk left behind, somebody did each and every one of those things – “I did them!” The fans booed.

Cody said that carried every anti-monopoly sentiment on his shoulders and every one of you cheered. Cody said the reason he won’t turn heel is that the fans were there for him when he needed them most. Cody brought up the forbidden door and said that before there was a forbidden door, he was the one that built it. Cody said he was gone for two weeks, so then he sees that the Young Bucks almost started the Wednesday Night Wars all over again. Cody mentioned Young Bucks going after Kyle/Fish and then Ricky Starks got into it with Jay Lethal while adding that Lethal Injection is the move people don’t kick out of. Cody mentioned Malakai Black, then talked about Brody King having balls and made a joke about they don’t do name changing and said “Gunner McGillicutty” as a reference to WWE changing Walter to Gunther. Cody said in eight years, that kid is going to show up (Brodie Lee’s son).

Cody mentioned Brodie, Miro and Sammy Guevara. Cody said that we have been taught for 20 years that there are no secondary belts while adding that they don’t have secondary belts. Cody said he knows that Tony Khan sent a contract in the mail, but not the contract he wanted (a reference to Cody being a “free agent” even though he’s likely remaining in AEW). Cody suggested a Ladder Match for the TNT Title at Dynamite Beach Break next week, so it will be Cody against Sammy Guevara next week on Dynamite.

Analysis: A strong promo from Cody. He could have made it quicker too: “Hey assholes, stop booing me. There wouldn’t be a company without me.” He was right about how he was the Forbidden Door because he worked everywhere after he left WWE. It’s funny how the fans try to hate Cody for some reason, yet as the promo went on, they started cheering him because they remembered he helped start this company. By the way, the TNT Title is absolutely a midcard title. It’s not like they have it headline PPVs or anything like that. The AEW World Title is more prestigious no matter what Cody tries to say in a promo and the fans know it too.

There was a backstage interview with TBS Champion Jade Cargill with Mark Sterling and Anna Jay with John Silver. There will be a match. They exchanged words with Anna saying there’s a dark side to her and she wrapped barbwire around her arm to win a match. Cargill said you must understand who we are while adding that the title is “That Bitch Show.” That was it.

Analysis: It was the end of hour one at this point. They only had one match that got about 15 minutes and then the second match was done in a few seconds. Maybe the least amount of wrestling in the first hour of an AEW Dynamite episode so far. At least it felt that way. It’s not a complaint. Just stating a fact.

The dark duo of Malakai Black and Brody King entered with part of their entrance taking place with the lights off. The Varsity Blonds were the opponents.

Malakai Black & Brody King vs. The Varsity Blonds (Brian Pillman Jr. & Griff Garrison)

Garrison started for his team, he got beat up a bit, Pillman got the tag and Pillman slapped him in the face. Pillman hesitated instead of doing a springboard attack. King charged on the floor, Pillman moved and King sent Garrison into the steel steps. King drove Pillman’s back into the apron. Pillman with a kick, but the Black with kicks and King hit a senton splash to the back. King with a clothesline on Garrison. Black picked up Pillman, tossed him to King and King hit a powerslam for the Dante’s Inferno double team move from the pinfall win. It went about two minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Malakai Black & Brody King

Analysis: * A squash match to put over the new team. I’m not surprised that they had King get the win since he’s new, so they wanted him to look strong by picking up the victory.

Post match, Malakai Black told the crowd to please rise. A promo was shown from Pac saying he can truly see Malakai as a self-obsessed, power-hungry man and it’s exhausting. Pac said he is in-corruptible. Pac said that he’s going to make a martyr of Black.

Analysis: I look forward to whenever we get that match between Pac and Black. That will be great.

They showed a video with Lance Archer making his return by going after “Hangman” Adam Page. Archer was shown backstage with Jake Roberts and Dan Lambert was there with them. Page said if you want a shot at the World Championship, come for it and Jake said when it comes time, Page will bite the dust. Lambert didn’t even say anything.

(Commercial)

The duo of Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero did a promo while Brandon Cutler held the camera. Romero said he’s tired of the Best Friends losing to The Elite while talking about how they beat The Young Bucks when they were in Japan many times. Romero said that Roppongi Vice (their team name) challenges The Young Bucks to a match on Rampage this Friday night.

Frankie Kazarian made his entrance. Remember his “Elite Hunter” gimmick? I guess it went away because it was completely dropped. Lance Archer was accompanied by Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Dan Lambert.

Lance Archer vs. Frankie Kazarian

Archer with a punch, Kazarian with a dropkick to the leg and then Archer hit a clothesline to the back. Archer with another clothesline. Archer worked over Frankie with a hard chop, then forearms to the back and Archer stood on his chest while against the ropes. Archer put his foot against Frankie’s face while against the turnbuckle followed by Archer tossing Frankie across the ring. Archer with a whip into the corner, Frankie to the apron and Archer hit a clothesline that sent Frankie to the floor. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Archer remained on offense with a hard whip into the corner with Frankie taking a bump sternum-first into the turnbuckle. Archer called some fan a “bitch” or something worse. Archer went for a Chokeslam, Kazarian got out of it with a forearm to the face, then another forearm and Archer sent Kazarian into the corner leading to an elbow strike to the head. Kazarian blocked a Blackout attempt from the corner, Kazarian did some biting and hit a missile dropkick. Kazarian with a springboard leg drop for a one count. Kazarian hit a running knee to the spine, but Archer came back with a forearm and a Chokeslam. Archer with a Helicoaster slam that was like a Bossman Slam. Archer hit the Blackout out of the corner for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Lance Archer

Analysis: **1/2 A dominant win by Archer that went a few minutes longer than it needed to be. Kazarian got some offense, but he was selling for most of the match and the fans didn’t believe he had a chance to win. This was just done to rebuild Archer as a World Title contender against Hangman Page.

Tony Schiavone went into the ring for an interview. Dan Lambert did a promo trashing Hangman Page for being a guy that played video games, sipped water growing up and something about cows. Archer said that it was enough of this cowboy bullshit. Archer said he’ll show us what he’s going to do. Archer tossed Kazarian out to the ramp with a steel chair. Archer teased a Chokeslam on the ramp, but then Hangman’s music and the AEW World Champion Hangman Page got in Archer’s face. They exchanged some trash talk as fans chanted “Cowboy Shit” and Page slapped Archer in the face. Archer hit a knee lift to the ribs. Page used his cowboy boot to hit Archer in the head to knock Archer into the ring. Page went for the clothesline, Archer blocked, Page with forearms and a clothesline over the top to the floor. Lambert held Archer back as they left.

Analysis: It was okay as a segment to build to the eventual Page/Archer match. Page looked strong as a champion that didn’t back down from facing off against a bigger guy.

The trio of Matt Sydal, Lee Moriarty and Dante Martin were interviewed by Alex Marvez. Martin said that Sydal has been like a brother to him and he trusted Lee as well. Lee said until his brother is back, they’ll watch Dante’s back.

Ricky Starks and Powerhouse Hobbs did a backstage promo with Starks saying that Martin is all alone. Hobbs said that Martin needs to watch his front, back and sides because Team Taz are assassins.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage interview with Kris Statlander, who had Red Velvet standing with her and Tony Schiavone was doing the interview. Leyla Hirsch walked into the interview saying Statlander was selfish and has cost them thousands of dollars. Velvet tried to calm Leyla down, so Leyla hit her with a forearm to the back. Leyla also hit Statlander from behind and slapped on an armbar on Statlander. The inept referees showed up to break it up.

Analysis: There’s the heel turn for Leyla. Some bad acting and weak dialogue in that segment.

Serena Deeb vs. Skye Blue

Last week Serena beat up Hikaru Shida and Skye Blue helped Shida to the back, so that’s why they have a match. Serena with a snapmare leading to a kick to the back. Serena with a shoulder tackle, then she sent Blue to the apron and Blue hit a forearm. Serena hit a neckbreaker on the middle rope. Serena with a corner clothesline followed by a catapult into the bottom rope. Serena with an uppercut to the back along with a neckbreaker. The fans cheered this woman even though she’s a heel that viciously attacked a woman last week, but it’s AEW where the fans want to cheer everybody. Serena hooked the arms leading to the Detox slam. Serena slammed the left knee of Blue into the mat leading to the Serenity Lock submission for the tapout win after three minutes.

Winner by submission: Serena Deeb

Analysis: * Another squash match on this show. That’s fine because it put over Serena’s aggressiveness as a heel.

A promo aired from Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky and Dan Lambert. Ethan said he’s up for the task to face Jon Moxley. Ethan said he’s been racking up victories and moving up the rankings. Ethan said if you want a marquee match for Rampage, look no further than Ethan Page.

Analysis: That match is official. Moxley should win, but Ethan Page is very underutilized. I know he just said he wins a lot. Most of it is on the Youtube shows. He gets to wrestle on TV maybe once or twice a month. It should be more often.

This Friday on AEW Rampage live from Washington, DC in the same building as Dynamite this week:

* Jon Moxley vs. Ethan Page.

* Roppongi Vice – Trent Beretta & Rocky Romero vs. Young Bucks.

* Hook vs. Serpentico. When they showed Hook on screen, the crowd popped for him more than others that were shown. A short video aired about Hook.

* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill vs. Anna Jay

Next Wednesday on AEW Dynamite: Beach Break from Cleveland. Yes, a “beach” show in Cleveland where they have snow on the ground and it’s cold. Weird.

* TNT Championship Ladder Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Sammy Guevara.

* Lights out Match: Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy.

* Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz vs. Daniel Garcia & 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker).

* Red Velvet vs. Leyla Hirsch.

That last match was announced after the break, but I wanted to list it with the others.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage interview with Matt Hardy and his group along with Andrade El Idolo. Matt Hardy said that he sold Andrade 51% of the Hardy Family Office with Matt getting 49% and some other things. Matt said he’ll remain as CEO and Andrade will be the President. Matt said that they’ll be the AHFO. Andrade mentioned Darby Allin by insulting him and Matt said that Darby Allin should join the AHFO. Matt and Andrade shook on it to say their agreement is official.

Analysis: A stable that barely wins any matches gets bigger. Thrilling? Whatever. Speaking of Andrade, his last singles match on TV was on December 1. I was hoping he’d get to wrestle more in AEW. It’s not happening.

The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster and Anthony Bowens made their entrance. During his rap on the way to the ring, Caster mentioned “gory self-mutilation” that WWE said in a statement recently where they were critical of AEW, so of course it made AEW TV. Caster said that they’re going to make Sting look worse than Starrcade 1997. Good line at the end there. That show was in Washington where Dynamite is this week.

Darby Allin and Sting made their entrance. Big pop for them, especially for the 62-year-old Stinger with a 6-0 record in AEW.

Sting and Allin were attacked before they could get into the ring. Bowens hit Allin in the ribs with a steel chair. They wrapped a chair around Allin’s throat and whipped him into the turnbuckle so the chair was around Allin’s head while he was sent into the turnbuckle. Referee Bryce Remsburg called for the doctor to check on Allin.

Analysis: It’s a classic booking move to have the heels attack a face before the bell to get some heat.

Sting & Darby Allin vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens

The bell rang with Sting fighting both guys by himself. Allin was helped to the back. Sting worked over Caster with punches to knock him off the apron. Sting tossed Bowens out of the ring. Sting whipped Bowens into the steel steps and then he sent Caster into the steel steps as well. Sting hit a Stinger Splash on Caster, Bowens avoided a splash, he exposed a turnbuckle pad and Sting hit the steel buckle. Bowens got a two count for two. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with about seven minutes left with the heels working over Sting until Sting ran the ropes leading to a double clothesline. Sting had Caster locked in a Scorpion Deathlock, so Bowens hit a forearm that sting no-sold and Bowens kicked Sting to knock him out of the ring. Bowens hit Sting with the boombox while Caster was distracting the referee. Bowens and Caster tried a move on the steel steps, but Allin showed up again with a suicide dive on Caster and he sent Bowens into the ring post. Allin tagged in, he went up top and hit a Coffin Drop onto both heels on the floor. Allin with a Code Red for a two count. Allin with two Coffin Splashes to Caster against the turnbuckle leading to Allin going for a guillotine, but Bowens managed to tag in. Bowens with a series of strikes, then a superkick and a sitout slam. Caster up top with the Mic Drop elbow off the top, but Sting broke up the pin. Sting with a clothesline on Caster to the ramp and a back body drop that sent Bowens over the top to the ramp. Sting looked exhausted as he stood by the announcers, then he jumped off the stage and put Caster through the table at ringside. It was an impressive leap from the Stinger even though it wasn’t a lot of height. The dude is still 62 years old. Bowens charged Allin, who moved and Bowens hit the exposed turnbuckle. Allin hit a flipping Stunner, then up top and Allin hit a Coffin Drop splash on Bowens for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Sting & Darby Allin

Analysis: *** Easy win for the faces even with Sting working most of the match himself. Any time a guy is taken out and gone to the back, they are always going to come back while usually winning the match as well. Sting’s leap off the stage that put Caster through the table was the most impressive part of that match. Allin’s offense is always good to see too. I don’t think anybody believed The Acclaimed had a chance to win here. Sting remains undefeated in AEW.

They showed some highlights of the match. Sting and Allin celebrated in the ring for another minute. The announcers did a rundown of Rampage and Dynamite matches. Sting and Allin continued to celebrate. The show ended there.

Analysis: I wonder when Sting will lose. It’s been over one year of him winning every match. At some point, they should figure out the right time for the 62-year-old man to lose a match. I’m not complaining about his wins. A lot of them make sense. I just think it will mean a lot for somebody to beat him soon. Kudos to him for staying in shape and continuing to thrill the crowds during his matches. I respect him a lot.

 

Three Stars of the Show

1. Jon Moxley – Welcome back!

2. Cody Rhodes

3. (tie) Adam Cole/Britt Baker

3. (tie) Sting/Darby Allin

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 7 out of 10

Last Week: 6.75

 

Final Thoughts

This was a good, but not great show with Jon Moxley’s return promo as the highlight. It was nice to see him looking happy and healthy again while speaking from the heart. He even fired back at a heckler, which was pretty funny! Cody Rhodes also had a solid speech to set up the TNT Title Ladder Match next week. Cody promos feel like they are pandering at times, but I thought he did a better job of making his point while putting over the TNT Title this time.

The first hour had about 15 minutes of in-ring action. Not complaining. Just saying it’s rare for AEW. I did like the mixed tag team match a lot. They worked well together and had fun spots in that match. The main event tag was fine, but it didn’t feel like a main event on a better AEW show, yet it was on last here because they had nothing else. There were several squash matches too. They all made sense to me, but I think another great match on the show would have helped.

It was obvious that they were saving some things for next week (nothing says “Beach Break” like f’n cold Cleveland in January) with some bigger matches set to take place on that show.

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport