AEW Dynamite Review (January 26, 2022)

aew dynamite mjf cm punk

This week’s AEW Dynamite featured a TNT Championship Ladder Match between Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara to open the show while Adam Cole faced Orange Cassidy in a Lights Out Match.

They are calling it a “Beach Break” show even though they are in Cleveland in late January when it’s below freezing outside. I’m not sure why they thought they should call it Beach Break in January in a place like Cleveland, but that’s what they did. Does it really matter? No.

This is AEW Dynamite episode #121 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. 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.

It was right to the action right after the show came on the air. Cody Rhodes was the TNT Champion while Sammy Guevara was the Interim TNT Champion due to Cody missing a few weeks. Both TNT Titles were hanging above the ring.

TNT Championship Ladder Match: Cody Rhodes (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Sammy Guevara

There was referee Paul Turner in the ring and referee Aubrey Edwards on the floor. I don’t know why there was a referee in the ring for a ladder match, but I guess he wanted to be close to relay messages to the wrestlers. There is no need for a referee in the ring in a ladder match.

They shook hands to start the match. Sammy hit a dropkick. They were killing a few minutes doing nothing. Cody and Sammy each went for big moves, they each got out of those moves and it turned into a shoving match. Sammy tried a waistlock, so Cody used his momentum to send Sammy out of the ring. Sammy got a ladder, which led to Cody punching him in the face. There were more high ladders in the aisle and Cody grabbed a ten foot ladder that he set up as a bridge from the apron to the barricade. Sammy threw Cody into the barricade. They went fighting into the crowd where some fans had masks on while others did not. The referee followed them out there was nothing for him to do there. Cody hit Sammy with a clothesline over the barricade. Cody celebrated that, so Sammy jumped off the barricade and hit a Cutter while on the floor. Back in the ring, Sammy got a hold of a ladder that he used to knock Cody off the apron to the floor. Sammy set up a ladder, Cody pulled him down and Sammy sent Cody into the ladder. Sammy back up, Cody followed to pull Sammy down, which led to a collision spot. The ladders were not much higher than the ladder that was in the ring. The announcers thought the belts were high, but it was not that high compared to other ladder matches I’ve seen. Cody and Sammy set up the ladder for a spot since it was not under the belts. Cody hit a delayed vertical suplex off one of the top stops of the ladder with the referee Paul Turner holding the ladder. I guess that’s a reason to have a referee in there. I think it looks dumb when guys do spots where the referee has to help them. I’ve seen it in WWE too. I’m not saying it’s an AEW thing, but I get that it’s for safety, so it’s fine. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Cody opened up the ladder against the ropes so that it was upside down and then Cody suplexed Cody on the middle part of the ladder. Cody applied a Figure Four Leglock while Sammy’s legs were trapped in a ladder that was in the ring. Sammy fired back with clotheslines, then a step up enziguri and Cody threw a ladder at Sammy on the apron. It would be nice if Sammy sold leg injuries after the Figure Four Leglock spot. Cody was climbing up the tall ladder, Sammy jumped to the top of another ladder and gave a Cutter on Cody from the top of the ladder! That was impressive. Both referees held ladders for the wrestlers. Sammy tried to climb a ladder while Cody was on the bottom, which was a dumb move and Cody pushed the ladder so that Sammy was knocked down. They each climbed ladders with Cody on a tall ladder while Sammy was on a shorter ladder, so Cody hit the Cross Rhodes neckbreaker off the ladder. Cody did a slow climb, Sammy popped right up and Cody was holding the apparatus that had the two belts on it. They ended up falling down while the referee pulled the ladder away so they can bump to the mat. JR kissed Tony Khan’s ass saying it was great to have two referees out there. Cody tried a move where he trapped Sammy’s legs against the ladder. Fuego del Sol was out there as Sammy’s friend, he tried to get Cody to stop, then Cody went into the ring and hit Fuego with a Tiger Driver in the ring. Sammy came back with a move that sent Cody out of the ring leading to a dive on the floor. Sammy hit a GTH knee to the jaw on the floor. Sammy set up Cody across the ladder bridge from the apron to the barricade. Sammy set up a huge 12-foot ladder right where Cody was. Sammy looked into the camera saying he was crazy. Sammy fell off the ladder with a Senton Bomb style splash onto Cody on the ladder. The ladder didn’t even snap upon impact. Arn Anderson was just shaking his head at ringside. Sammy crawled back into the ring, Sammy climbed the ladder and Cody managed to get back into it to climb on the other side of the ring. Sammy got a hold of one of the titles on the apparatus and hit Cody in the head with a title to knock him down. Sammy pulled down both belts to win the match after 24 minutes.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW (UNIFIED) TNT Champion: Sammy Guevara

Analysis: **** This was an excellent match with some great spots. I don’t really get why they had Sammy win the titles back when Cody beat him for the title a month ago. What was the point of that title change? They’re right back where they were. I think it would have been better if Sammy could have sold a knee injury a bit since Cody did moves like a Figure Four Leglock, yet Sammy barely sold anything the whole match. I also didn’t like Fuego del Sol running out there. Sammy shouldn’t need help to win when he’s a face. With that said, I was very impressed by some of the ladder spots including the Cutter off the ladder and the splash off the ladder onto Cody on the other ladder. I still think it’s weird to have the referee holding ladders to do moves and even moving a ladder out of the way at one point although the announcers explained it was done for safety reasons.

Sammy Guevara posted on the ladder with both TNT Titles on his shoulders. They’ll get rid of one of those titles and he’ll move forward as the unified TNT Champion.

A video was shown of Team Taz by Edgewater Beach in Cleveland where it was freezing. Sammy Guevara and Powerhouse Hobbs were interviewed by Tony Schiavone. Hobbs wanted to face Dante Martin again. Starks mentioned Jay Lethal’s challenge, so Starks said that next week on Rampage in Chicago, Starks will defend the FTW Title against Lethal. Tony said his hands were freezing.

Analysis: Nice beach weather in Cleveland. I live across the lake in Ontario and it’s well below freezing (-14 Celsius on Wednesday night), for the record. If they were going to use a Beach Break theme, why not pick a warm city or go for some different name for this show? It’s strange.

Wardlow got a big pop for his entrance since they announced him from Wardlow. Shawn Spears watched from a chair on the stage. It’s a handicap match for Wardlow.

Wardlow vs. Elijah Dean & James Alexander

Wardlow with a clothesline on one guy and then a shoulder tackle on the other guy. Wardlow hit a Powerbomb on the first guy followed by two Powerbombs on the other guy. There’s three straight Powerbombs on the first guy with the last sending jobber one onto jobber two. Wardlow pinned both guys at the same time with his foot on the chest. It was just over one minute.

Winner by pinfall: Wardlow

Analysis: 1/4* A dominating squash match to put over Wardlow like they usually do in AEW.

The main event is Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy in a Lights Out main event. There’s a six-man tag team match up next.

(Commercial)

Chris Jericho got his full entrance with the fans singing along to the Judas song while the other wrestlers were already in the ring.

Analysis: The story going into the match is that Santana & Ortiz believe that Jericho is holding them down in terms of having them chase after the Tag Team Titles, so now we have to see how they get along.

The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz vs. Matt Lee, Jeff Parker & Daniel Garcia

Jericho was going to start, but Santana tagged himself in. Santana whipped Parker into the turnbuckle followed by punches. Santana hit two vertical suplexes, Ortiz tagged in for a double team suplex and Ortiz hit a splash. Lee decked a running Ortiz with a back elbow. Garcia tagged in, but Ortiz hit a forearm followed by Santana tagging in for a double team flapjack along with a low dropkick. Jericho tagged himself in even though Santana was going to tag in Ortiz, so then Ortiz tagged Jericho’s back. Garcia did a chop block to Ortiz’s knee to isolate him as the show went to break.

(Commercial)

The heels remained in control of Ortiz, who was the face in peril. Ortiz hit a clothesline at the same time as Lee. Parker tagged in for a double team move that saw him jump off Lee’s back for an elbow to the back. Parker charged leading to Ortiz hitting a belly to back slam. Ortiz cleared house with a dropkick along with a back body drop. Santana was knocked to the floor, then he got back up and Ortiz tagged Santana instead of Jericho. Santana with punches, then he caught Garcia and slammed him off the shoulders. Santana with elbows and kicks to fight out of the corner, Ortiz into the ring for some reason and he sent Santana across the ring for a double Cutter. Ortiz with a Powerbomb illegally and Santana with a clothesline for two. Jericho left the ring instead of standing on the apron. Jericho ended up saving Santana from a double team move, Jericho sent Parker into the barricade, Jericho hit a Judas Effect on Lee while he was on the floor and Santana hit a piledriver on Lee for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Inner Circle – Chris Jericho, Santana & Ortiz

Jericho was out on the ramp on his own while Santana & Ortiz were in the ring as the winners of the match.

Analysis: **3/4 It was just an average match that was more about pushing the story of Santana/Ortiz not wanting to work with Jericho due to them feeling like Jericho was holding them back. Garcia and 2.0 guys never really had a shot here. It could be the end of the Inner Circle as a group (the five of them are rarely on screen together anyway), but this could just be part of the story with Jericho reminding them that thee reason they won is because of him. If a turn happens then it would likely be Santana/Ortiz turning heel.

Lance Archer did a pre-tape promo with Jake Roberts and Dan Lambert. Archer said he wants a Texas Death Match against AEW World Champion “Hangman” Adam Page. Page said that he wanted a challenger, so now he’s got one. Page was informed that it was a Texas Death Match, Page was a bit shocked by that and then Page said he would be ready for it in two weeks.

Analysis: That should be a great match. Page winning is pretty much a lock, but since it’s a Texas Death Match it should be violent, possibly and the kind of match where the winner has to do a lot to win.

CM Punk speaks and he’s up next.

(Commercial)

There was a backstage promo in a stairwell with Christian Cage talking for Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus, who are the AEW Tag Team Champions. Private Party and Matt Hardy were there with Matt saying PP are the number one ranked team. The teams exchanged words with Matt saying that PP are the best young tag team since Matt and his brother while Jungle Boy mocked a fake watch that one of the PP guys was wearing. The match is on for Rampage.

Analysis: I don’t think I’ve seen Private Party win a regular tag team match on AEW TV in many months, yet they’re first in the rankings? Lots of Youtube match wins. They need to learn to put teams over on TV before they get title shots.

Let’s Hear from CM Punk

CM Punk made his entrance looking ready for a fight since he had his hands/wrists taped and he had wrestling gear on while wearing an AEW sweater. Big pop for CM Punk as usual with the fans talking about how popular he was.

Punk said he tried to walk out there like a badass, but they made him smile from ear to ear. Punk asked if they are sick of him hearing him talk. Punk said that he’s dressed to fight because he’s ready for a match and he wanted them to chant his name while fans chanted “MJF” with Punk noting that was the first time that name was chanted. Punk took off the sweater to show the MJF scarf that he got from last week. Punk was wearing one of his shirts. Punk said maybe he could challenge MJF for a match. Punk said that he saw you could get a cheap five-pack of scarves that were as cheap as his personality. MJF said it was made in Long Island, so he knew it was not made of strong material. Punk said he wanted MJF in this ring and he wanted to do it tonight. The fans cheered. Punk noted that if MJF comes out he’ll be there in a cheap suit that doesn’t fit him and have every excuse in the world. Punk said he’s gone through FTR, Wardlow, Shawn Spears, there’s nobody left and he wants him right now in Cleveland. MJF’s music started after that.

Maxwell Jacob Friedman made his entrance wearing a scarf along with a dress shirt, slacks and a jacket, so he was not dressed in his wrestling gear. MJF had to deal with the fans chanting “you suck” at him with Tony saying he does suck. MJF asked Cleveland if he wants to see them wrestle right here and right now. MJF: “No!” MJF said he won’t waste one of the most historical matchups in the history of this sport in Cleveland, Ohio while saying that this place is disgusting and a cesspool. MJF was greeted by “Asshole” chants. MJF said that they’ll give us the match you’ve been waiting for next week in Chicago, Illinois, it will be CM Punk vs….long pause…MJF. MJF said that they are in crappy Cleveland now while noting it was significant in Punk’s career.

MJF said that this match is something people have grown impatient to see. MJF said that these people want this match or at least they think they do. There was a “shut the f**k up” chant. MJF said that the outcome of the match will be upsetting. Punk dared MJF to do it here. Punk said that he’ll beat Punk in the Midwest in Chicago. MJF claimed that after he wins, you’ll get to see the CM Punk that loses his fake smile when he doesn’t get what he wants and blames his failures on everybody else. MJF said that on February 2nd, Punk will say that he’s leaving wrestling again. MJF noted that if you don’t think Punk would leave, they probably thought the same thing about LeBron James…who left and then the fans booed.

MJF said that Punk left in 2014 when he was scheduled to make an appearance right here in Cleveland, Ohio. MJF said that Punk no-showed that night. MJF said that Punk doesn’t give a damn that you chanted his name at the top of your lungs. MJF said that Punk is going to leave again and complain about it on a podcast. Punk said that MJF listened because he’s a fan. Punks said that the best thing that he ever did was leave and the best thing that he ever did was come back. Punk said now that he’s back, MJF gets a brush with greatness. Punk told MJF to get his boots with the three inch lifts and come fight. Punk said that sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands, that’s what Punk always did and he never lied to the people. Punk said he would rather be himself, try and fail instead of being like MJF and never show up. Punk told MJF to stand in line to get Punk’s picture or autograph. Punk said that the people love him because he gets back up, he tries, he fights – just like Cleveland does, just like Chicago does. MJF fired back said that we should test real quick if Punk gets back up.

MJF was joined by his buddies FTR along with Wardlow and Shawn Spears, who attacked Punk from behind in the ring. FTR held Punk so that Spears could hit Punk in the ribs with the top of a steel chair. FTR held Punk in the ring while Spears hit him in the back although you could tell from the angle they shot the chairshot that Spears just hit the mat while barely touching Punk’s back. Wardlow was doing nothing while MJF called Punk a “dumb son of a bitch.” MJF told Punk to get up, so they knocked him down. MJF ordered Wardlow to deliver a Powerbomb while a chair was in the ring, so Wardlow gave Punk a Powerbomb onto the chair. MJF sat on Punk’s chest and crossed his legs like Punk likes to do. MJF said that it’s so apropos that the same place that the journey started is the same place that it ends. MJF: “I’ll see you in Chicago.” MJF put his hands to the side of his head to mock the “Go to Sleep” pose that Punk does. MJF left with his buddies while Punk was in the ring.

Analysis: Great segment to set up the much-anticipated match between Punk and MJF next week. It went a little long, but they are the best talkers in the company, so I don’t mind. MJF’s reference about Punk no-showing in Cleveland was a reference to Raw after Royal Rumble 2014 when Punk quit WWE and went home. I like how Punk fired back against that saying that it’s okay to stand up for yourself and do what you think is right. It’s a good message for a babyface to say. The problem with the beating at the end is that not a single person tried to help Punk, not even a referee. Other times in AEW brawls get broken up quickly, yet nobody cared here. It’s not consistent. Anyway, I know somebody will say I’m nitpicking. I just want the product to be better in certain areas. I’m looking forward to Punk vs. MJF next week.

The Acclaimed duo of Max Caster and Anthony Bowens did a promo about Jon Moxley. Bowens said he’s going to beat Moxley’s on Rampage in his home state of Ohio.

The lone women’s match on the show was next: Red Velvet vs. Leyla Hirsch.

(Commercial)

There was an interview with Griff Garrison and Julia Hart (with eyepatch) that was interrupted by Smart Mark Sterling, who said that Jade Cargill wanted to face Hart. Sterling wanted her to sign a waiver due to her eye patch thing, Garrison thought that Hart shouldn’t wrestle with her eye condition and Hart said he didn’t have to speak for her. Hart signed the waiver, so the match was on.

“Legit” Leyla Hirsch vs. Red Velvet

There was no reaction for either woman on their way to the ring. Velvet ran into the ring and hit a dropkick since they are former friends after Hirsch recently turned heel. Hirsch drove Velvet back first into the ring apron. Velvet did some moves on the apron with kicks to the back followed by a neckbreaker on the middle rope. Velvet went for an armbar leading to Hirsch countering with a Powerbomb into the turnbuckle. Hirsch kicked the left arm. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

Hirsch remained in control during the break, Velvet went to the middle turnbuckle and hit a Stunner off the middle rope. I think every AEW match has to have a Cutter or Stunner of some kind. Velvet sent Hirsch into the ropes followed by double knees to the back and Velvet was selling a left arm injury. Hirsch caught Velvet to block a move, then Velvet broke free and hit a Spear to knock down Hirsch. Hirsch countered a kick, then a Powerbomb and a knee. Hirsch had a pin attempt, then she let go and went for an armbar, but Velvet got her foot on the rope to break it. Hirsch with a kick to the face, Velvet fought back with an inside cradle and got a two count. Velvet with a kick, Hirsch caught the foot and got a rollup using the tights for the pinfall win. It went about nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Leyla Hirsch

Analysis: ** This was just an average match with the crowd not caring much about either woman. I know they had the story with Hirsch turning on Velvet and Kris Statlander, but it’s not like it was some great angle. A cheap ending for the heel Hirsch to get the win. That’s the result that made sense to me.

Post match, Hirsch applied an armbar on Velvet. Kris Statlander ran out for the save, so Hirsch went up the ramp to escape.

A creepy video aired featuring Malakai Black and Brody King where they talked about how Pac and Death Triangle will feel true pain. They said that Pac will look to the teaching that the House of Black bestowed upon him and say thank you because just like death…they (House of Black) are inevitable.

Analysis: It should be a great match whenever Pac comes back to face Malakai Black in singles although a tag team match was announced for next week.

Sammy Guevara appeared with the TNT Title with Fuego del Sol. Sammy and Fuego had cue cards that were shown during the picture in picture commercial break. I’m sure other people care about that more than me.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Britt Baker

The AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker entered for an interview with Tony Schiavone, who was in the ring with some awards Baker has won recently. Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. walked out with her AEW World Title while waving a Terrible Towel that’s from her Pittsburgh Steelers, but it was the DMD version. The same Steelers who got destroyed by the Kansas City Chiefs a few weeks ago. I won a lot of money on that game. Thanks, Chiefs.

Baker said that it’s been a while since she’s been in the ring with a microphone. Baker claimed that every time CM Punk and MJF had the microphone in their hands, they couldn’t keep her names out of their mouth. Baker pointed at her Pro Wrestling Illustrated Awards for Match of the Year (not my choice), Most Improved and Female Wrestler of the Year. There’s a plaque from my friends at Inside the Ropes that they sent to her as well. If this company wins Wrestling Observer Awards (they will) you know they’ll brag about that too. Baker said she told us that 2021 would be the era of the DMD and she was right. Baker noted that she has nine singles victories since she won the title. Baker said that against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baker Mayfield was sacked nine times while Baker said Mayfield was injured in his non-throwing arm and she won with a broken freakin’ wrist. Baker said she didn’t take a spot, she created the top spot and after she surpassed the entire roster, she became the face of AEW. Baker said she’s been making history since she got there, the first female signed and to main event AEW TV shows. Baker said that she was voted by the fans as Female Wrestler of the Year. Baker continued ripping on Baker Mayfield of the Cleveland Browns. Baker said she’s not going to settle for Female Wrestler of the Year while saying she’s going to be Female of the Decade because she’s not going away. Baker said she will be the champion we deserve because you finally have a Baker you can count on. She ended with her “DMD” line to end it.

Analysis: The promo was okay. She’s better when there’s another person in the ring for her to interact with. It was just bragging about accomplishments like most heels. I kept waiting for somebody to interrupt to shut her up since it would have generated a pop, yet there was nothing. She won the title on May 30. She’s only had nine singles matches in the last seven months? That’s it? She should wrestle more often. Some of these people in AEW barely wrestle.

This Friday on AEW Rampage (taped after Dynamite):

* Jon Moxley vs. Anthony Bowens

* FTR vs. Lee Johnson & Brock Anderson. It was supposed to be last week, but was pushed back to this week probably due to health concerns. They had a quick backstage segment two weeks ago to set it up.

* TBS Championship: Jade Cargill (c) vs. Julia Hart

Vickie Guerrero showed up with Nyla Rose with Vickie screaming “EXCUSE ME” to get heat. Rose said that Ruby Soho got a fluke victory over her. Rose said if she faced Ruby Soho 100 times she would win 99 times, so she wants to face Ruby.

* AEW Tag Team Championships: Jungle Boy & Luchasaurus (c) vs. Private Party.

Every match on Rampage this week is very predictable even if you don’t read spoilers.

Next week on AEW Dynamite:

* CM Punk vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman. That should be the main event.

* Pac & Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Malakai Black & Brody King

That was all for next week’s Dynamite for now.

(Commercial)

The ring announcer Justin Roberts said the lights will go out and when they come back on, AEW will not be responsible for what takes place. No time limit, no countouts, no disqualification and anything goes in the Unsanctioned Lights Out Match.

Adam Cole was up first with the crowd chanting “BOOM” and “Adam Cole bay bay” right on cue. Tony noted they have had five Lights Out matches in AEW history. Orange Cassidy was last doing his slow-walking lazy gimmick.

Unsanctioned Lights Out Match: Adam Cole vs. Orange Cassidy

Cassidy crushed his cheap sunglasses in his hand and then they threw some worked punches that looked comical as they punched eachother in the arm. Deadly arm punching. Cole threw Cassidy to the floor, Cole followed him there and Cassidy whipped Cole into the barricade. Cassidy hit a running dropkick that sent Cole into the barricade. Cole got back into it by sending Cole into the barricade and then a slam onto the top part of the barricade. Cole went for a chair under the ring, then he pulled it out with Danhausen hanging onto it. Danhausen is a former ROH wrestler/indy wrestler that AEW announced as a new signing after the show. The fans popped big at the sight of Danhausen, who did a thumbs up gesture to support Orange Cassidy. That led to Cassidy getting back up leading to a DDT on the floor. Danhausen walked to the back while Cassidy had a shocked look. The fans chanted “Danhausen” for the newcomer. Cole kicked a chair into Cassidy’s face and then Cole came back with a pump kick. Cole sent Cassidy into the ring post. Cole went for a Panama Sunrise on the floor, Cassidy countered it and gave Cole a spinebuster through the table. It looked a bit awkward, but it broke the table at least. Cassidy went for the Orange Punch, but Cole got the ring bell up to hit the hand and Cole sent Cassidy into the steel steps. Cole kicked the steel steps into the right hand of Cassidy. Cole tossed a trash can, a chain and some steel chairs into the ring. They went to a picture in picture break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Cole hitting a brainbuster onto the top of the knee for a two count. There were about ten minutes left in the show. Cassidy countered a Cole move with a Stundog Millionaire because every AEW needs a Cutter/Stunner and then Cassidy slammed Cole onto two chairs leading to a two count. Cassidy charged right into a superkick by Cole leading to Cassidy going to the floor. Cole signaled for help, Brandon Cutler was there and Wheeler Yuta knocked him down. Bobby Fish took out Yuta, then Chuck Taylor threw Fish into the barricade and Young Bucks showed up to hit a superkick on Taylor. Young Bucks were in the ring, but Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero pulled the Bucks out of there. Cassidy hit the Beach Break move followed by the Orange Punch and then Cassidy was selling the hand injury. Cole with a low blow punch, but Cassidy no sold it and revealed he was wearing a steel cup as a jock, so Cole was selling like he was in pain. Cassidy did his comedy kicks, then he went to the middle rope and hit the Panama Sunrise (one of Cole’s signature moves) for the two count. Cassidy put a steel chain on his right hand, Cole saw that and Cole bailed to the floor. Cole went up the ramp to the stage, Cole walked to the backstage area and Cassidy followed him. Cole walked down the steps, there’s Tony Khan and Jerry Lynn there, so Cole shoved Lynn into Cassidy. Cole got a hold of Cassidy and slammed him through the table for a two count. They went back up the steps to go back to the stage area where Cole hit a superkick. Cole went for the Boom knee, Cassidy popped back up to his feet and hit a superkick. Cassidy tried to hit the Orange Punch, but Cole picked up a light that was on the ramp and hit Cassidy in the face. Cole climbed the part of the stage to go above the area where the entrance was. Cole teased a Panama Sunrise, but Cassidy ended up being behind Cole. Cassidy hit Cole with a low blow punch to the groin. Cassidy hugged Cole while they were on top of the structure by the set and then Cassidy slammed Cole off the entrance area and through a padded structure with wood. Cassidy covered Cole after the 15-foot drop and the referee was there to count the pin. Big reaction from the crowd for that spot. It went about 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Orange Cassidy

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good match that was given a lot of time. Cole is awesome and incapable of having bad matches. I don’t love Cassidy’s comedy bits, but he’s pretty solid when he wants to be. Since it was an Unsanctioned match, the loss doesn’t count against Cole’s record where he was undefeated in singles matches. In other words, the stipulation was used to protect Cole to keep him strong while fans can say that Cassidy won the feud since he won this match. The ending with the stunt bump was pretty obvious since we know Cole is not the guy that does high risk moves very often, so I assumed Cassidy would put him through something by the staging area. It was well placed wooden setup with some padding for the fall. It sounded good and since it was a 15-foot drop, it looked impressive enough.

They spent the last minute of the show showing highlights while Cassidy slowly got back up as the winner of the match. The announcers shilled matches on Rampage and Dynamite next week including CM Punk vs. MJF from Chicago. Cassidy was helped up to his feet by his Best Friends buddies. End show.

While that match was going on, Tony Khan announced Danhausen was signed to AEW. Some people are excited about it.

Others are not as excited.

The choice is yours.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Sammy Guevara
  2. Cody Rhodes (and the referees that hold ladders)
  3. Orange Cassidy/Adam Cole

 

The Scoreboard

This Week: 8.25 out of 10

Last Week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

I believe it was the best Dynamite episode of the year. The first match of the night was the Ladder Match that had some really creative spots and cool moments. They got all the time they wanted to do a lot of crazy shit – especially Sammy Guevara, who is a great athlete. I’m a bit surprised that Cody Rhodes lost the TNT Title just one month after he won it, but I guess that’s going to be the title that changes hands often while the other titles in AEW are part of longer title reigns. The main event between Cassidy and Cole was also very good. I liked the ending to it. Big bump for both guys there.

The promo between CM Punk and MJF was excellent as usual. Their match next week on Dynamite is a big one after two months of building it. Great points made by MJF bringing up negative things from Punk’s path while Punk was very noble as the babyface. What bothered me about that is that Punk got beat up for several minutes with nobody attempting to help him. Sometimes there are fights in AEW that are broken up within seconds. Not this time. It’s very inconsistent.

Some of the other stuff was just average, which prevents me from really going high with my score. Why did they call a January show in Cleveland a “Beach Break” event? I have no idea. Weird. Congrats to Danhausen for signing with AEW. The fans loved him and he’s a unique guy. Very evil too.

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