AEW Dynamite (Feb. 26, 2020) emanated from Kansas City, Missouri as the go-home show to the Revolution PPV on February 29. It featured an epic 30-minute Iron Man match of Kenny Omega against PAC, the Young Bucks exposing themselves as jerks, and a donnybrook of a weigh-in between Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley.
Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.
The best segment of Dynamite was a sitdown interview conducted by Jim Ross with Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and the Young Bucks. It was used to promote the tag team title bout at Revolution, but it ended up exposing the Bucks as jerks. Jerks is putting it mildly.
Ross asked about the thoughts of friends fighting in the ring to reach the top of the tag team mountain. Hangman brought out a glass of whiskey early after a backhanded compliment from the Bucks. Omega buttered the Bucks’ buns with compliments by saying the Bucks are the better team, while Hangman and Omega were in the right place at the right time. Hangman took Omega’s comments as an insult that their success was an accident.
That’s when the interview broke down and the Bucks mouthed off. Listen to Matt’s ego in claiming they are the best and will be taking the tag titles.
Personally, I’m tired of hearing the propaganda of the Bucks being the best in the world. Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur are all shills for the Bucks, so they constantly state the same thing on commentary. If the Bucks are the best, then why haven’t they won gold yet in AEW? I say shut up and prove it.
At that point, Hangman tried to walk out. Nick unloaded on him by saying they made Hangman a star. He was a jobber in ROH until joining the Bullet Club.
There we go. That’s what I’ve been talking about when I ran down the Bucks in the past. I’ve sensed this arrogant attitude from them, and now they finally exposed themselves. The confusing thing is that I don’t think this was intended as a heel turn. I mentioned commentary being shills for the Bucks. Well, they were lambasting Hangman as the bad guy when teasing the interview early in the show. From my point of view, the Bucks stepped over the line. I’m disappointed in Omega’s reaction in that clip. He should have stood up for his partner. What Nick said was cold. I understand Omega’s friendship runs deep with the Bucks, however, wrong is wrong and the Bucks were wrong."You were a jobber in #RingofHonor, we bought you into the #BulletClub and look at you now - You're a star" - #NickJackson on @theAdamPage.
Watch #AEWDynamite NOW on @TNTDrama 8e/7c #AEWonTNT @AEWonTNT pic.twitter.com/Dc705BLZid
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) February 27, 2020
This adds a lot of drama for potential outcomes at Revolution. The Bucks could win clean, and that’s that. The Bucks could cheat to add intrigue. Hangman could cheat, since he doesn’t have confidence. Hangman could ditch Omega. Omega could turn on Hangman, because it’s time for him to move on to singles goals. I love when a big match has so many possible directions.
Iron Man epic
Dynamite opened with Kenny Omega and PAC having their rubber match in the form of a 30-minute Iron Man. The match earned two thumbs up from me. I recommend reading Cain A. Knight’s recap of the must-see match for vivid description.
To summarize quickly, PAC sacrificed the first score by getting disqualified for a chair shot to Omega. That was the first disqualification in AEW history. PAC quickly evened the score with a Black Arrow. That was at about the half-way point. PAC pretty much dominated the rest of the bout due to the damage from that chair attack. In the end, PAC locked in the Brutalizer submission three separate times, but the clock ran out for a 1-1 draw. PAC punched the referee in frustration. Justin Roberts announced sudden death. Omega immediately struck with a big knee right as the bell rang. Omega poured on offense and won with the One Winged Angel.
My three favorite moves during the bout were a super brainbuster from PAC...
PAC escaping One Winged Angel but Omega transitioning into a German suplex...
And PAC with a shooting star press through a table.
The Iron Man match had tremendous action and was an enjoyable viewing experience. I’m glad I was able to partake as a viewer. That said, I did not like the storytelling very much. There were a lot of aspects that I wasn’t feeling.
I’ll start with commentary. The trio of Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone, and Excalibur hyped this up to an extreme level in the early going. Before ten minutes elapsed, there were wondering how these two warriors could keep going at it. In reality, it was no different than any other match with those two in AEW. They routinely put on high level contests that last over 15 minutes in duration. Commentary was trying too hard to convince us of the epicness instead of letting the action speak for itself.
The next item on the list was the presence of the Young Bucks. Omega was flanked by his Elite brethren for the entire contest. I don’t understand why Omega needed them. Is Omega so mentally weak that he requires coddling with emotional support to win the big match? The Bucks had a mixed benefit. Their complaining to the referee allowed PAC to squeeze in a second chair shot to Omega, but Matt did assist Omega in beating a countout. The Bucks being there felt like overdoing the story. I’ll have to revisit this after Revolution to see if it served hints for an actual purpose.
The third item was PAC’s strategy. He took a self-inflicted DQ, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on it. He quickly tied the score at 1-1, but then he wasted time during the commercial break. I understand that the commercial could present logistic issues for viewers, so I’ll cut them some slack on that one. Commentary also questioned PAC by bringing up a good point how PAC should have went for the Brutalizer at that moment instead of climbing the ropes.
Last, I did not like PAC losing. He was in charge for the majority of the match, then Omega won all quick in sudden death. It gave me super dude vibes for Omega overcoming the odds. After last week’s Super Cena moment from Matt Jackson, I don’t like this pattern. I also have to question the direction of Omega being booked to win. Omega is embroiled in a tag team story. He didn’t need this and would not have looked weak at all by losing. For PAC, where does he go from here? Losses to Moxley and Omega show he needs work to get to the top. Again, I’ll have to revisit this after Revolution. If Hangman & Omega drop the tag title, then I can see how this win against PAC can be used as a springboard to Omega’s singles career going forward.
Dynamite closed with the weigh-in for Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley as they get ready to compete for the Worlds Championship at Revolution. AEW pulled out all the pomp and circumstance to give it a prize fight feel. Gary Michael Cappetta (I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of him) handled ring announcer duties, ring girls were paraded, and there was a calibrated scale for the big moment. There was even random dudes in suits in the background that I didn’t recognize. That’s always the case for boxing weigh-ins.
Moxley entered solo through the crowd. Jericho entered with his Painmaker Posse in a walk of solidarity.
I’m sorry to say neither participant stripped down to their undies before stepping on the scale. That would have given me a chuckle. Anyway, Moxley went first to tip the scales at 234 pounds. Jericho stalled by removing accessories and articles of clothing. He put one foot on the scale then stepped off. Jericho and Moxley got in each others’ faces. Boom. Moxley laid Jericho out with a headbutt that drew blood.
The Inner Circle pounced to put the boots to Mox. Dustin Rhodes came out to attack Jake Hager. They brawled to the back and smashed a concession stand. Darby Allin came out to get his mitts on Sammy Guevara. Guevara got the upper hand with a big knee then breaking a skateboard on Allin. Those two exited the ring in fisticuffs.
Moxley beat up Santana and Ortiz in all that commotion, then he focused on Le Champion. Santana swooped in to low blow Mox. Jericho struck with the Judas Effect and a Paradigm Shift on the scale. Jericho stood tall to close the show.
That segment had both good and bad. Bad first. AEW did the silly thing of playing entrance music to tease the crowd before a ‘spontaneous’ run-out. That caused the segment as a whole to drag out unnaturally. The good was that it was a rousing melee as the final image before Revolution. Three separate feuds were touched upon. The blood from Jericho made a lasting image. And even though Moxley came across as a badass with that headbutt, Jericho showed he has a variety of ways (whether by hook or by crook) to come out victorious in the end.
Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.
PAC vs OC. After PAC’s loss, Tony Schiavone tried to show him up in an interview. PAC was peeved. Orange Cassidy came out. PAC put the boots to OC. A match was made for Revolution. Later, OC and the Best Friends cut a promo about the announcement. Chuck Taylor said PAC made a mistake, because this time OC will try. Trent slowed down that enthusiasm with maybe OC will try. OC gave a halfhearted thumbs up. They then shared a hug with Schiavone. OC put his sunglasses on Schiavone, who then gave a thumbs up.
Count me in for PAC vs OC. I figure I’ll win either way as a fan. PAC will utterly destroy OC. Seeing OC get pummeled is always enjoyable. Or, OC will actually wrestle, and I’ll finally be able to see what the hype is all about.
Jurassic Express defeated Inner Circle. The Inner Circle was represented by Sammy Guevara, Santana, and Ortiz. The dino crew started with fire, but the Inner Circle gained control by focusing on Marko Stunt. Luchasaurus got the hot tag to run wild. In the end, Darby Allin was involved. Guevara knocked Jungle Boy down to the mat. The referee inspected Jungle Boy. Sammy grabbed Ortiz’s ball sock with bad intentions. That’s when Allin appeared. He snatched the loaded weapon. Jungle Boy hit a hurricanrana pin on Sammy to win.
As an Inner Circle fan, I was disappointed in their loss. At least it was to an overwhelming fan favorite. I thought the ref spot at the end was poorly scripted. The move to Jungle Boy was not that vicious. I didn’t understand why the ref was overprotective of Jungle Boy. In hindsight, I see it was for the story, but it felt forced.
Best Friends defeat BBB. The Best Friends won on Strong Zero when Trent pinned Blade. Who cares about that though. The highlight of this bout was a showdown between valets, Orange Cassidy and Bunny.
Bunny had kicked OC in the jewels last week during the tag team battle royal. This week, OC stepped into the ring and Bunny got in his face. Bunny blocked OC’s hands-in-pocket. She took off his shades and placed them on her own head. OC retaliated by taking Bunny’s bunny ears and placing them on his own head. Bunny went for a kick to the balls, but it was blocked this time. OC then went on to do a suicide dive to Butcher while still wearing the bunny ears. That was good, stupid fun.
Hikaru Shida defeated Big Swole, Shanna, and Yuka Sakazaki in a four-way. Yuka got over with comedic moments. In the end, Shida pinned Swole. Shida had Swole down, then Yuka leaped for a springboard splash to Swole. Shida slammed Yuka on top of Swole then hit a big knee to end Swole’s night.
This match was fine, but it lacked heat since they were all thrown together with no rhyme nor reason. Shida’s win sets her up nicely to challenge the women’s champ coming out of Revolution. So much for thinking last week’s appearance by Swole in the face of Nyla Rose could mean something. She ate the pin, so she’ll have to put in extra work to move up the rankings.
Obsolete. The Dark Order cut a promo about facing SCU. The Exalted One is near. They will show their true might against SCU. Christopher Daniels will find out he is truly obsolete. Could that be a clue that Matt Hardy is near? Obsolete is a word in his vocabulary.
New signing. If you missed the news earlier, AEW officially announced the signing of Lance Archer.
Stud of the Show: Chris Jericho
Jericho took Moxley’s best shot in those particular circumstances and came out on top. Sure, he had numbers on his side, but he was also a bloody mess. That shows Jericho won’t be rattled by Moxley at Revolution.
Dud of the Show: Big time ramifications
A pet peeve I have with AEW commentary is their consistent over-hyping. For example, they often talk up a big winning streak when it is only one or two wins in a row. On this episode in the opening, they had the audacity to claim the women’s four-way would have big time ramifications. I immediately thought, “No, it won’t.” With Shida winning, it turns out I was right. She will remain high in the rankings, while the others will be of no consequence. Quit snowing me, fellas.
This show was tough to grade, since it was the go-home to Revolution. While the Iron Man was quite enjoyable, none of the bouts had any relevance for the PPV. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. One one hand, it did nothing to excite me for the upcoming show. Good thing I was already excited. On the other hand, I like that AEW isn’t burning out matchups and keeping it fresh for the big event. If this was a regular Dynamite, I’d probably give a B+. As a go-home, I’m going with B-. The lack of any build whatsoever for a title bout seals that deal. It seems like Nyla Rose defending the Women’s Championship against Kris Statlander should have at least gotten a promo from Rose.
How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? What was your favorite moment?