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AEW Dynamite recap & reactions (Dec. 11, 2019): Street fighters

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AEW Dynamite (Dec. 11, 2019) emanated from Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. It featured Jon Moxley receiving an Inner offer, Cody Rhodes finding an unlikely friend, and a bonkers street fight between the Young Bucks and Santana & Ortiz.

Get caught up on all the Dynamite details with the excellent live results and play-by-play from Claire Elizabeth.

Street fighters

The main event of the evening was an officially sanctioned Texas Street Fight between the Young Bucks and Santana & Ortiz. Much to my chagrin, none of the four had taped fists or wore tight jeans. They must not have read HHH’s guide to street fighting. A last-minute stipulation also made it a #1 tag team contender bout to challenge champs SCU next week.

The action erupted when Santana & Ortiz with Sammy Guevara ambushed the Young Boys from behind during their entrance. Brandon Cutler evened the numbers and paid for it with a double powerbomb through the stage.

Guevara was dispatched with a teamwork assisted spike piledriver on the stage by the Bucks. That led to Nick Jackson leaping off the entrance tunnel roof for a cannonball onto Ortiz through a table.

The street fight raged on in the ring with plenty of table spots, chair spots, trashcan spots, and even Matt Jackson wearing a Dallas Cowboys helmet to absorb punishment.

The first close call was Nick executing a 450 splash onto a trashcan to Ortiz. Jake Hager ran down to pull the referee out before the count of three. Ref Rick Knox ate a huge knee strike from Nick by accident when Hager ducked. Dustin Rhodes ran down to beat off Hager away from the action. A short while later, the Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck aerial attacks to pin Ortiz. Ref Knox was still unconscious, so Aubrey Edwards had to run down as a replacement. Ortiz kicked out of an unofficial nine count.

The next close call occurred when Santana & Ortiz connected on the Street Sweeper onto a trashcan.

This time Nick pulled ref Edwards out of the ring before the three count.

In the end, the Bucks tasted victory. Santana was pushed off the turnbuckles down through a table. The Bucks nailed Ortiz with a double bulldog onto open chairs, a double superkick, a kick to the face through a chair, and a Meltzer driver onto chairs for the win.

That was a fun match with plenty of memorable moments. The Young Bucks showed they are back on track as #1 contenders for SCU. They also proved that they are not just cosplaying street fighters. (Actually, they still are, but that line sounded good in my head.)

Now it’s time for my disgruntled fan reaction. Screw that BS. I fully support Santana & Ortiz, so I was a bit peeved that the back alley brutes didn’t win this particular bout. They are from the streets. It stands to reason a street fight would be their specialty. As far as I’m concerned, this feud is over for now. I think it was a missed opportunity to establish them as top guys over the Young Bucks. We’ll have to see how next week’s title bout plays out to learn if the plan is for the Bucks to become champs. If so, then I’ll accept Santana & Ortiz as the role of stepping stones.


You’ve got a friend in Darby

Cody Rhodes was in tag action against the Blade and the Butcher, who were hired by MJF. Cody allowed them to pick his partner. QT Marshall was the choice.

Cody dominated when in the ring for the most part. QT was the weak spot in the early going. At one point, Cody was on a roll, then Bunny clawed his eyes. QT tagged himself in to run wild in spectacular fashion.

In the end, QT couldn’t handle the teamwork of BBB. Butcher and Blade won with a suplex/lungblower combo. Cody pouted ringside about the loss. Enter Darby Allin! One of MJF’s plot points was claiming Cody had no friends left. Well, it looks like Cody has a friend in Darby.

I’m on board so far with the A to Z story, but the details in between have been jumbled. I was expecting BBB to make a statement as a serious threat in AEW. This match in particular did no favors to establish BBB. QT having flurries of success was a crowd-pleaser, however, it looked bad how BBB could barely handle a jobber. Cody wiped the mat with Blade quite often. Blade showed grit by kicking out of precarious pinfalls, but that has lost its effect when practically everyone in almost every match kicks out multiple times from heavy moves. I saw nothing from BBB that showed they are anything more than simple fodder for Cody to run through on his way to MJF. That’s too bad, because I think the BBB gimmick is kind of intriguing in a heel sort of way.

AEW has handled Darby Allin excellently. Whenever he appears, it is for huge moments. Title match against Jericho, challenge to Moxley, and now pal to Cody. They should have no problem kicking BBB’s butt in the near future.

Speaking of MJF, he later cut a promo accepting Cody’s challenge. There will be stipulations to be revealed in Jacksonville on January 1. MJF wasn’t interested in Cody’s crap or money offered last week. He wants Cody to suffer.


Let’s jam through the rest of Dynamite.

Inner Circle invitation. Jon Moxley opened the show with a squash against Alex Reynolds. Mox set a new record for quickest win in AEW after a running knee and Paradigm Shift DDT. Chris Jericho sauntered out with troops in tow. Le Champion explained how he taught Moxley to become a main-eventer and how he also navigated him out of a career funk toward AEW. Jericho invited Moxley to join forces with him as a member of the Inner Circle. Jericho gave Moxley time to think about it over the holidays.

Moxley did not dispute Jericho’s claims, so there must be validity to them. Even so, there is clearly no way Moxley accepts. It should be a quality television moment when Moxley officially declines and beats the heck out of Jericho.

Dark Order + 2? We were treated to another Dark Order vignette. This one included Alex Reynolds and John Silver. Reynolds was lounging on his hotel bed when the Dark Order infomercial played. It began speaking to him directly from the television. Stop losing, start winning. Strength in numbers. Join the Dark Order. Silver entered the room and wondered who Reynolds was talking to.

This Dark Order story is riveting, but will AEW really follow through on jobbers getting a win streak under the Dark Order affiliation? I’m curious if the Dark Order can reel in a big fish.

Big Swole defeated Emi Sakura. The top highlight was Big Swole with an ode to James Brown, although, it was watered down with air guitar. It was also worth it to hear Tony Schiavone screech, “She’s feeling good.”

The match itself was Swole with the athletic advantage while Sakura had the advantage in veteran savvy. Sakura controlled much of the match by being ready for Swole’s attacks. In the end, Swole countered into a ripcord elbow strike to win.

Big Swole is full of charisma. She’s a future star. I’m not feeling her wrestling flow just yet. I can’t explain why.

PAC wants his rubber match. Jenn Decker interviewed PAC. He came to AEW for one reason, opportunity. PAC wants another shot at Kenny Omega, or else he can’t be held accountable for what he does next.

I said it last week, and I’ll say it again. I’m more curious to see PAC follow through on his threats than getting his rubber match with Omega. Give us chaos!

Kenny Omega & Hangman Page defeated Shawn Spears & Kip Sabian. There were several stories mixed into this match. Tully Blanchard set his sights on finding a tag partner for Spears. They tested out Sabian on this evening. Tully observed from backstage. The two worked alright together, but I didn’t see anything that makes Sabian a lock moving forward.

During the match, the lights went out. Lights on and Tully Blanchard was tied to a chair on the stage. The culprit was Joey Janela. Spears and Janela fought to the back.

The third story was the interactions between Elite pals Omega and Page. Page had left the Elite, because he didn’t feel worthy. They worked cohesively as a unit, but their were slight signs of dissension from Page. For example, he left Omega hanging on a double high five. For the finish, Sabian was all alone. Omega kicked his butt with a snap dragon suplex and a V-Trigger. Page tagged himself in for the buckshot lariat to win. Omega was a little shocked at Page’s trick, but he accepted it since the result was victory.

The extra layers of stories were a nice touch to give meaning to an otherwise random matchup. I could have done without the Janela bit. It was too much icing on this cake. However, that separate story still has meat on the bone. I wouldn’t mind a feud between Hangman and Omega as the cowboy proves he is worthy of the Elite. We might get headway on that next week when those two wrestle the Lucha Bros in tag action.

New Nightmare Collective baldy. Brandi Rhodes had a message for the masses and Kris Statlander. She took shots at Riho and Britt Baker. Last week’s offer still stands for Statlander. Brandi revealed a new male member of the family. The camera caught the back of his bald head, but Brandi made sure his identity remained a secret.

Yes! These Brandi vignettes have all been great. I like the addition of a male member. It fits better with their manifesto of doing the dirty jobs. It would have felt off if this unit was only focused on taking out other women. Also, that choice of music perfectly sets the creepy tone.

Luchasaurus defeated Sammy Guevara. Power vs speed. A tombstone facebuster was the winning maneuver for the dinosaur. Chris Jericho and Jake Hager rushed the ring to pummel Luchasaurus. That set up Jungle Boy peeling off Jericho for a hurricanrana pin as Marko Stunt made the three count.

That was an enjoyable tease of excitement for next week’s non-title bout between Jericho and Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy proved he has the chops to pull out a surprise victory. I’m pumped for that contest.

Revolution. AEW announced their next PPV. Revolution will take place February 29 from Chicago, IL. Tickets go on sale December 20.


Stud of the Show: Penelope Ford

Penelope Ford was superbad on Tuesday’s AEW Dark. She carried that momentum over with more slick moves on Dynamite when hitting a running hurricanrana off the apron and a double handspring back elbow in the corner.

I recognize that there is a novelty factor of not being familiar with Ford, but those out of nowhere moves were still badass.

Dud of the Show: Rankings are proven to be worthless

A number #1 contender women’s match was announced for next week. The winner will wrestle Riho for the AEW Women’s World Championship on January 1. You would think the top ranked woman would be in that contender match. Nope. #4 Britt Baker will compete against #5 Kris Statlander. Hikaru Shida got hosed with no explanation why. What’s the point of having rankings if being #1 doesn’t even get you into a #1 contender match? Pfft.

I wouldn’t be surprised if AEW fans on Twitter raise a deserved stink and Shida gets added to make it a three-way. As for #2 and #3, Nyla Rose is suspended for the rest of the year, and Emi Sakura took a loss to Big Swole. It makes sense that they got skipped over.

Grade: B

This episode of Dynamite was a pretty good show. The stories continue to churn forward keeping my attention. The wrestling action was enjoyable overall, even if I disagreed with the execution of certain things. The grade gets downgraded for Santana & Ortiz losing. Yes, I’m being petulant. No, I don’t care. Wepa, wepa, wepa! (PS. I’m jesting in truth. I’m not actually bitter.)

How do you rate this episode of Dynamite? What was your favorite moment? Who was your stud and dud of the show? Who is your guess as the newest member of the Nightmare Collective?