With a month before AEW’s next pay-per-view, I’ve sort of had to recondition myself as a fan. For so long, wrestling fans have been treated to, like clockwork, a major show every month, allowing for a fairly quick four week or so build.
I’m sure AEW will eventually succumb to this model, but currently they’re operating on more of a slow burn. In some ways, it’s almost impossible to believe that their last pay-per-view was at the beginning of November. Now, with a month to go before Revolution, we should begin to see some match-ups begin to develop outside of the two announced matches (Jericho vs. Mox and Cody vs. MJF).
This week’s Dynamite didn’t exactly provide a ton of answers in that department, but I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that it did lay the groundwork for answers in the upcoming week’s. Let’s dive in to this week’s Getting Over:
Main Event Shit
–The show opened from Cleveland with a really good Jon Moxley promo. Mox, an Ohio native, does the “I’m no role model” bit, but says that, unlike Jericho, he at least has a code. He calls Jericho out, and Jericho obliges, with the Inner Circle at his side. The segment picks up even more steam once Jericho starts insulting Moxley’s home state and Mox responds by inciting an “O-H-I-O” chant. Eventually Mox attacks the Inner Circle, along with some South Bronx extras brought in by Santana and Ortiz.
Mox comes out on top during the brawl and exits through the crowd. As far as a non-match opener, this was about as good as it gets. It was a home state boy, some huge heel heat from Jericho, and a hot ass crowd. Hard to beat that.
–This week, the Britt Baker heel turn continued, and, I have to say, I’m kind feeling it. I’ve ripped on Baker almost every time she’s been on television, but she’s got real heat right now for the first time. After ripping on Schiavone last week, Baker comes for JR this week, calling him a “sloppy barbecue sauce sales rep who can’t even get our roster’s names straight.” Holy shit, that is hilarious.
I don’t care if she ever wrestles again. I’ll take these promos every week. I’ve done a total 180 on Baker, but, like I said last week, that’s because for the first time she’s being booked appropriately. People already hate her. Crank that shit up to 11, AEW. It’s way better than trying to make the crowd like someone that is unlikeable.
–An MJF video package aired, with MJF delivering an envelope full of money to Bunny, the Butcher, and the Blade in a butcher shop. Of course. While a little silly, at the very least it helps to further establish the link between MJF and the Butcher and the Blade. The idea is that they’re not a formal stable. Instead, MJF has hired them as mercenaries.
This leads into the Young Bucks vs. the Butcher and the Blade. MJF sits in on commentary and is, predictably, great. The actual match was a typical Bucks match, lots of good action with the crowd into all of the regular spots. A post-match beatdown by the Butcher brought out Omega to a huge pop. Then, Hangman comes out in street clothes with a beer, hands it to Matt Jackson, and delivers a Buckshot Lariat to the Blade.
The crowd absolutely ate this up, which is probably the most that could possibly be expected out of a Butcher and the Blade match to be honest.
–In this week’s main event, Jericho, Santana, and Ortiz beat the unconventional team of Darby Allin and Private Party. Even with all of the talent in the ring, Allin came across as the unquestioned star. The crowd just loves him. I’m gonna steal an idea that I got from Ted Flint: Please AEW, give us Darby vs. Sammy at Revolution. That match would rule.
Things broke down a little as the main event went on, but there were also some great action between Darby and Jericho. In the end, Jericho hit maybe the most brutal Judas Effect ever on Isiah Kassidy.
Then, just as it looked like the show was over, the Inner Circle went back to the ring to deliver a beatdown. Jericho whipped Allin with the world title belt, and then the rest of the Inner Circle destroyed Allin with his own skateboard.
The crowd chanted for Mox to come down and make the save, and Mox obliged, clearing house as the show went off the air.
Mid-Card Mixed Bag
–Nyla Rose took on Big Swole in this week’s token women’s match. I keep hoping that one of these days AEW will get the women’s division figured out, but it just hasn’t quite happened yet. That said, I was looking forward to getting to see Big Swole in action again.
She’s extremely charismatic, even if her in-ring work needs some refining. With no real momentum for anyone in the women’s division, I would have preferred Swole going over here. If you’re looking to create female stars, Big Swole is a great choice. So, of course, Nyla Rose wins. She is the #1 contender, so I get it. I just am not very invested in her as a character.
–In a match that really didn’t need to exist, Cody wrestled Kip Sabian. Cody had Arn Anderson in his corner, while Sabian had Penelope Ford. And, because we have Sabian and Penelope involved, there has to be a Joey Janela appearance. The result of all of this was a predictably overbooked match. Sabian went after Arn, Arn went after the ref, and Ford distracted at every turn.
Arn eventually got ejected, and Joey Janela popped his head up in the middle of a Sabian/Ford kiss in probably the best spot of the match.
Speaking of the match, the extracurriculars took precedence over the in-ring stuff, so there’s not much to say there. It was fine, it happened, and it wasn’t as bad as it probably should have been given the overbooking.
–In a match that very nearly killed the live crowd, SCU beat The Hybrid 2. This match served as an extended squash, with the storyline being that SCU is now back on the “winning track.” Afterwards, The Dark Order had a video package saying that they’re unhappy with Christopher Daniels and, as a result, will be targeting his friends and family. If the Dark Order is going to exist, this is the version of them that I want. This gives both SCU and the Dark Order something to do outside of the main event scene.
–In yet another solid and interesting video package on this week’s show, PAC cut a promo saying that he’s coming for Omega, starting next week.
With Omega, Hangman, and the Bucks competing in an 8-man tag, I have to think that they are setting the stage for PAC interfering and ultimately causing some sort of riff between those teammates. Regardless, I’m all for restarting the PAC-Omega feud. Those two are as good as anyone in the company, and it would be a nice touch for PAC to make Hangman’s heel turn complete.
–While this week’s episode of Dynamite was far from perfect, there was nothing out-and-out terrible.
The Final Bell
–While this episode may not have been top-level stuff from start to finish, I thought that having Jericho-Mox bookend the show was a nice touch. Couple that with some slow building of the Elite tension, and I thought there was plenty to like about this show. Another solid, entertaining effort by AEW.